2018 Winter Event Report

Date & Time: Saturday, January 6, 2018 - 10:00 AM

Location: The First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ
310 Cottage Road, South Portland, Maine

In spite of the extremely cold weather and just 2 days removed from the winter storm labeled the Bomb Cyclone, our Winter Event began promptly at 10:00 AM with opening remarks from Tage Erickson. Many thanks go out to the 30 members who made the effort and came out to attend the Event. We had no new members or guests in attendance.

The first presentation was from Chuck Hastings of the Southern Maine Model Railroad Club. Chuck provided a presentation that brought us up to date on the Club`s modular layout progress. The SMMRC`s modular layout is now in full operation and available for display at train shows and other events. Chuck`s slide presentation included pictures of the completed layout and a discussion of many of the issues that they had to deal with during the past year while the module construction was in progress. It is very obvious that they have made tremendous progress since their presentation to us, at the Winter Event of 2017, one year ago.

The next event of the morning was the Division`s Annual Meeting, conducted by our Division President, Erich Whitney.  Erich outlined his annual report which documented all the success with major activities that the Division had participated in, during the past year. We had another extremely active year in the Division, thanks to the efforts of all the members.

The Annual Meeting included a vote on the acceptance of the annual reports from the various committees, and then the election of 3 directors for another 3 year term. Chip Faulter, Ralph Brown, and Glenn Mitchell were reelected by the members, to continue their service as Directors of the Seacoast Division. Congratulations to all three of these Directors and a hearty THANKS! for all your service and dedication to our Division and our wonderful hobby.

During the annual meeting, an issue was brought up with regard to attracting younger members to join the NMRA and the Seacoast Division. Chuck Hastings suggested that we form a committee to look into different ways that we could possibly use to accomplish this goal. One suggestion that was offered was to work with local museums, including tourist railroads, to help connect with potentially younger members. This is an issue that is extremely important as our Division progresses into the future. None of us are getting any younger!

The final presenter of the morning was our very own MMR, Tom Oxnard. Tom gave us a wonderful presentation on Backdrops. He discussed materials, paint, brushes, perspective, and many techniques that can be used, that allow backdrops to give a model railroad depth, perspective and realism. Tom used several examples on his own layout, to make his points and show us his methods. Following his presentation, Tom had backdrop materials available for any member that wanted to practice his techniques during the lunch break. Thank you very much, Tom!  Well done!

During the lunch break, the members were able to visit the For Sale tables. Since we have added this feature to our meetings, the amount of tables that we need to display items has increased from one table to three tables. There were a lot of great items for sale! These items always generate a lot of discussion among the members. Please think about taking advantage of this opportunity at our next Event.

Following the lunch break, Bob Bennett discussed several new buildings and flats he had recently constructed that lend realism to his layout, up against his own backdrops. These buildings included a fau covered bridge, a grammar school based on the building in Weeks Mills, a bunk house structure, a general store that had been kit-bashed from from a gas station, and a tell tale. These buildings were on display for the entire meeting. The detail on each building was amazing. Of particular note was the technique Bob used to give depth to the fau covered bridge flat that he built. It was incredible how you could look through this bridge and see though it when the bridge front was only about 1 inch in depth, as it was placed against the back drop. Excellent work, Bob!

The final presentation of the day was by Dr. George Carhart. George`s presentation was highly informative. He went through the Portland, Maine rail network as it evolved from the 1800`s through the early to mid 1900`s, showing us blueprints and photos of the rail yards and surrounding structures. He also described the physical changes that have occurred in the City of Portland as a result of railroad construction and abandonment. If you are modeling the Portland, Maine area, this presentation is for you!

With time running out, the Show & Tell & Ask portion of the event was not done. The event was adjourned at around 2:00 PM so the members could visit Rob Selberg`s layout, on the way home.

The Quarterly Board of Directors Meeting followed the Winter Event. This meeting will be reported on separately, by the Division Secretary. The highlight of the meeting was the election by the Board of Directors, of Chip Faulter as our new Seacoast Division President and Tage Erickson as our new Vice President. Congratulations to Chip and good luck as you lead the Division forward for the next few years!

On an additional note, we have some members that have stepped up to get more involved with the Division. As many of you know, Dave Kotsonis has assumed the position of Division Treasurer. Rick Mills will become our new Division Secretary, and Lou Champagne will be our new Membership Chairman. There are some other changes that are in the planning stages that will be announced as soon as possible. If you think that you would like to get a bit more involved with the Seacoast Division, please contact any of the officers or members of the Board of Directors. We always can use your help!

After the completion of the meeting, Rob Selberg opened up his N scale layout for tours by our members. Rob has been working hard on the scenery and was anxious to let us in and have a look. Rob, the layout was terrific! It runs well, and we thank you for your hospitality. We hope that you will consider doing this again at one of our future Events.

A special thanks goes to Stan Jordan for procuring the use of the Church for the meeting. Stan went out of his way to make sure that the meeting hall was open and set up, in spite of having to clear his own driveway of snow from the storm. Thanks Stan!

Given the bitter cold temperatures and icy weather, the attendance for the Winter Event was 30 members. Thank you for your participation and your dedication to our great hobby!

The next Quarterly Event will take place in Rochester, New Hampshire, at the Governor`s Inn, 78 Wakefield Street, on Saturday April 7, 2018. Seacoast Division Director Glenn Mitchell will be responsible for coordinating and conducting the Spring Event. Please direct all questions and inquiries regarding the Spring Event to Glenn. Please save that date and plan on joining us!

Respectfully submitted,

Tage Erickson, Vice President - Director - Maine Activities Coordinator