Kent Area Group (KAG)

The Kent Area Group (KAG) of the Scalefour Society is associated with the Cobdown Model Railway Club and is based at their dedicated premises at Ditton, near Aylesford.


KAG was formed in 1997 and there are currently six of us with occasional visits from our founder, Rod. These range from experienced modellers to relative beginners. Activity is devoted to building (but see below!) the layout 'Eridge' - a representation of the real station in East Sussex as it was in the 1950s.
Despite none of us having built a P4 layout before, 'Eridge' was successfully exhibited at Scaleforum 2000 as a layout under construction and subsequently at St Albans, Brighton Modelworld and Beckenham.

The original layout was 22ft long with fiddle yards at each end with wiring undertaken by Rod Cameron (also of the Devon Riviera Group) who despite what he tells us, obviously moonlights wiring up Airbus A380's. Suffice to say, when it went wrong (which it didn't often) we left it to him to sort out!

We have (well Mike Ainsworth, S4 General Secretary and KAG member has) some most interesting stock, much of it of a Wainwright persuasion (although unfortunately not in Brunswick Green) but also some more modern items, largely of a Southern / Southern Region nature but every so often he succombs to something rather inappropriate, currently being tempted by that NER 2-D-2 electric loco kit. He hasn't yet succumbed to anything Swindonish yet, however. More recently, Mark has converted us to the joys of diesel power - no-one who has tried a sound chip in a diesel loco can fail to be convinced if they go through the whole routine of winding up the generator and hearing the diesel engine kick into life. We await the first Hampshire / Oxted / Hastings unit to hear what a 4SKRT engine sounds like - who needs a Deltic when you can have a Hastings unit?

Where we are now...

Unfortunately, despite spending a great deal of time on what turned out to be some pretty robust trackwork, the trackbase suffered from some serious warping in a couple of places. We undertook some remedial work but after a great deal of consideration, we took the heroic / foolish decision to build a 'New Eridge'. This is an entirely different construction, viz:-

This means that there is a lot of work to do but a lot has happened since Eridge 1 was started in 1997 which is making the task much easier. Much more is available by way of track and Templot assists greatly as well. Building three long but light and rigid baseboards using glued construction means construction has been very much quicker than last time around. There are fewer joints, speeding up construction and building everything in one go simplifies construction and means skills do not need to be relearned.

There are other advantages as well:-


Of course, the more imaginative amongst you might ask, why not choose another project, having done Eridge? We did think about this and indeed did consider others but have decided to redo Eridge because:-


If anyone is interested in the baseboards and track of Eridge mark 1, I'm afraid its now too late, having gone to the great Valhalla of layouts via the firebox of Maud, a 1908 Aveling and Porter steam roller. Location and all that stuff...

The clubrooms are shared with the well-known 00 S&D layout 'Wouldham Town' and its successor, currently under construction. KAG generally meet on Thursday evenings, although the rooms are also used on Tuesdays. Club sessions finish with a drink at the 'King and Queen' in East Malling which has a fine range of beers unlike our previous hostellry which had a rather unfortunate knack of running out of beer. Interested in helping?

There is now plenty to do again! If you are interested in helping on 'Eridge', or just want to come and see what we're up to, contact Simon Bass by email on simon.bass1 at btopenworld or kag at or phone (01622 884233 or 07789 260579). We have now done the baseboards and trackwork and are currently installing point motors and wiring. The main things to then will be finishing all the detailing of this off and then the scenery malarkey. That still adds up to a lot to do and we also need to do new fiddle yards, overhead lighting etc. At least we have the buildings.

The pressures of the real world outside does preclude us sometimes meeting up every Thursday so if you do want to come along, you are advised to contact me first.

Simon Bass
Updated July 2012

Blue Sheet Return to the Area Groups page