Written by Brian Dawson.
Photos by Brian Dawson
[singlepic id=688 w=300 h=233 float=right]It was allegedly the largest Swap Meet EVER held in South Africa! 67 tables were set out in the Northmead Mall on Saturday 25th March 2017! ALL the major traders were there, as well as many new smaller traders and individuals…
A large group of committed club members were there at 6:30am on Saturday morning to start setting up. ColinTT and Jimmy had to make a special arrangement with the Mall Management for us to get in earlier than the normal 7:00am opening time, because of all the extra work that would be involved in getting ready for this biggest ever Swap Meet.
[singlepic id=687 w=300 h=233 float=left]Traditionally, the hired tables have been delivered to the Mall on the Friday, and placed in stacks outside the club premises, and then carried by hand from there to where they are required. This time, mindful of all the extra tables to be moved, ColinTT had the foresight to have the tables placed by the supplier onto the club’s HO exhibition layout trolley at the club-room door. So when we arrived, we started by offloading those tables required closest to the club room (to lighten the load a bit), and then wheeled the trolley-load to the far end of the Swap Meet area (right up near Maxi’s), and then offloaded and set up tables, moving back along the mall towards the club room entrance. Good thinking, Colin! And also due to Colin’s meticulous measurement and planning beforehand, we again had print-outs of exactly how the tables were to be set out in order to fit them all in to the available space. It worked out perfectly!
[singlepic id=686 w=300 h=233 float=right]Next came the black tablecloths. Fortunately the committee had had the foresight to have ten extra tablecloths made up before the Swap Meet (thank you, Dianne Mattushek, for buying the material, and doing all the sewing!). Even with 60 tablecloths there still weren’t enough, and we had to “stretch” them a bit to get all the tables covered.
And while the tables were being covered, the first traders started arriving. Which meant the off-loading started!…. Our club has the wonderful reputation of being the friendliest and most helpful club as far as assisting the Swap Meet traders is concerned. This time was no exception, and all hands were on deck to carry boxes and boxes, and push trolleys, and help in every imaginable way, assisting the traders to get their tables set up and Page 24 of 27 their stocks set out. And covered!! (Yes, many of the traders heeded Colin’s instruction to cover their wares as soon as they were set up, so that trading would ONLY start at 9:00am, as advertised (it has been agreed that this is a crucial rule for the Swap Meet, to put a stop to unscrupulous “pretrading” and reservation of items before trading is supposed to begin!).
While we were setting up tables, the Sausage Saloon set up their mobile wagon at the entrance, and appeared to do a roaring trade throughout the morning. As did Maxi’s and the other food suppliers in the mall!… And the club’s kettle and small “kitchenette” also worked overtime providing coffee and tea for the traders and club members… Meanwhile, inside the club room, all the layouts were readied for operation, so that there would be trains running on all the tracks to show off our activities to the interested public. And there were trains running on all the layouts during the course of the morning (and well into the afternoon as well)! We even had a visitor running a triple-headed 40 wagon container consist on the N gauge layout (under supervision, of course!).
The Swap Meet was well attended by the public (a little slow to get going initially, but picking up nicely later by all accounts), and the traders reported that they were happy with the trade on the day. The club made a bit of money by hosting the Swap Meet, and all the buying public scored from the many bargains that were to be found on the tables!
There is an EXCELLENT video of this latest Swap Meet on the club’s Facebook Page (the video is hosted on YouTube), as well as a number of other photos taken during the Swap Meet.
And afterwards, the same willing hands packed away the tables and cloths, and helped traders to carry left-over stock back to their vehicles.
And now we look forward to hosting the next Swap Meet on 24th June! And we’re still looking for a Swap Meet Organiser (committee position), to take over from Colin TT, who organised this one as a last “special arrangement”, seeing that he has retired from doing this in addition to everything else he used to do! So – who is man enough to take on the job?
[singlepic id=220 w=300 h=233 float=right]On the 25th March, EMRIG will be hosting the first of it’s 2017 Swap Meets at the club premises in the Northmead Mall, Benoni.
Our December 2016 Swap Meet was our biggest meet in the history of EMRIG Swap Meets with 52 tables. However, this one on the 25th is proving to be bigger still with 56 tables wanted and a week and a half still to go. All the regulars will be there and others.
The Swap Meets at the Northmead Mall are proving to be extremely popular due to the location. The setting is wonderful and there is so much for the whole family to do. The wife and children can go shopping at the many clothing shops, visit the Clicks, and with the weekend being payday for most, pop into the Pick and Pay to do the monthly grocery shopping! And the best of all, there is plenty of parking!
Now all of the above can be very tiring. So take a break at the Maxis or one of the many other fast food outlets to recharge to batteries.
Lastly, these events have proved to be a great social event. Come along and meet friends old and new. And, dont forget to satisfy that thirst for the greatest hobby in the world. Buy a train, or a wagon, some scenery, anything. It is extremely therapeutic.
Looking forward to see you all there on the 25th.
The EMRIG team
PS, for a map to the Northmead Mall, go to the “Contacts Page” on the EMRIG website at www.emrig.co.za
Editor’s Note: Here, verbatim, is the tribute speech that Glynn made at the AGM, to honour Colin’s sterling work as club chairman and numerous other contributions to EMRIG over the past years.
Afternoon folks, I hope you are all well. I will hopefully not take much of your time before the festivities start…
I was told by Dave Walker that on the 25th September this year, EMRIG turned 33 years old. Now by that standard, I can tell you that I and many other members here are but siblings to this wonderful club. So hopefully the elders will excuse me doing this speech.
I cannot speak about the club before 5’ish years ago when joining, apart from seeing it in the Kya Sands warehouse, the Northview High school and after that the John Barrable Hall, but I have certainly seen it grow from strength to strength since joining, and although many have contributed, appreciation must certainly go to one man in particular, Colin Tanner-Tremaine.
I first joined the club when it was in the Checkers Centre in Benoni town, and first came upon Colin. After a couple of session with him I thought: “eish – this guy reminds me of my worst headmaster in school.” If the first AGM I attended was anything to go by, sparks flew. I will not go into detail, suffice to say I kept my mouth shut and continually reversed my chair out of the lager. And guess what, there were arguably about 8 or 10 of us. Look at us today! Suffice to say, volunteers were few and far between then.
I would at the time probably have said, “to hell with it, I am out of here”, however, Colin stayed with it. I asked myself if he was a sucker for punishment. I have since come to the realisation that it was rather a passion for a hobby he loved and enjoyed. Who else would continue under such circumstances, especially when you have your own layout at home?
There is a saying, never judge a book by its cover. Well over the years, I have seen the real Colin. I have seen a person I am sure we all aspire to be – someone with Perseverance and Vision, and someone who is actually a teddy bear under it all.
If EMRIG were a business and we had time cards, Colin would have raked up the most hours. In this case, with no payslip, just pure love. But, we also hope, with a great sense of achievement and gratification.
Colin got EMRIG off to a great start by tirelessly ensuring we have arguably the best club house in South Africa. I can attest to the work he has put in behind the scenes with the various centre managers to secure our shops. Then he put his name in the firing line when signing the lease. Who else would have done that?
Swap meets under Colin’s tenure have gone from strength to strength. Yes, we have an awesome venue and the like, but Colin had the vision and the tenacity to organise and see every meet through. He contacted sellers, organised tables, set up floor plans…., the list is endless. All we as members did, was print out the floor plan and set the venue up.
Colin is forever at the club, not for himself, but for the club and us. How many times have you seen him walk in, not just with his trains, but with his toolbox? No sooner is he there, than he will be repairing something on the club layout. He then gets briefed by persons there of other issues, and he is off repairing those too. Not only does he sort the layout out, but helps fellow members with anything they ask, giving advice, helping them program their locos. Again, the list is endless…
What about the layout visits, the clinics? Who arguably did most, if not all the work behind the scenes? Colin!
Then let’s not go into club politics. But who in their right mind would subject themselves to such torture? What I can say is, compared to other clubs I am with or have been with, EMRIG comes out shining. There is a kind of camaraderie in this club which is hard to describe.
Colin says it like it is, and it works. Know that if you get a drilling from Colin, you probably deserved it!
I could go on and on for hours, but shall not.
All that is left to say, Colin, is thank you for your 8 years as Chairman. Thank you very, very much for everything you have done for not only this club, but also its members.
Hopefully the new committee will continue your exemplary work and take EMRIG to even greater levels. Thank you for being the friend you are to all of us, and we hope to continue seeing you at the Club, running trains only, and without all the stresses.
As a token of our appreciation, we have had a little something made up for you. We hope you will treasure it, and just know that you have most certainly earned it.
Please receive this appreciation award from all your friends in EMRIG, and God bless.
Written by Brian Dawson
[singlepic id=664 w=300 h=233 float=right]I arrived at ColinTT’s home about five minutes before the AGM was due to start. But I had one of the braais and a required gazebo (to shade the food table), so things were delayed a bit while many hands made light work of offloading and successfully erecting the gazebo, despite paying scant attention to the manufacturer’s colour-coding on the poles. Fortunately Kobus and Nico had arrived more timeously with the tables and chairs and a much bigger braai, so the rest of the arrangements were already well in hand.
We gathered under the car-port – Colin stood at the head of the table, and the guys who chirped the most sat in the back row, while those who were more well-behaved were prepared to sit a little closer to the chairman’s chair. Colin quickly called us to order, and things got under way…
[singlepic id=665 w=300 h=233 float=right]With 25 out of the club’s membership of 45 present for the meeting, it was a good turnout (and even some understandable apologies having been sent from as far away as Australia and New Zealand!).
You all received the Agenda sent out to all members ahead of the meeting, and will all receive the Minutes and Financial Statement and Chairman’s Report in due course, so you will get the detailed report of what happened anyway… But, in short, there was all the usual AGM meeting activity – adoption of minutes (taken as read), signing of attendance register, presentation of the Chairman’s report on 2016 activities (by Colin), presentation of the Treasurer’s report (by Colin!), and then discussion of all the other agenda items, including the Events Programme report for 2016 (by Colin!), the Newsletter Editor’s report (also by Colin!), and proposed changes to the Constitution (by Colin!)… So it was NO surprise at all when we got down to the Election of Committee Members – we all understood why ColinTT was stepping down as Chairman / Treasurer / Events Manager / Layout Manager / Newsletter Editor etc.…, and was looking for new blood to step up to the plate!
Colin had made it very clear ahead of the AGM that he would NOT consider standing for re-election as Chairman. He even went as far as to propose changes to the club’s constitution, seeking to establish the position of “Past-Chairman,” so that he could ease himself out of having to do everything, but at the same time pass on his wealth of knowledge and experience in the running of the club to the new committee, in an orderly and “consultative” manner. He even prepared job-descriptions for each of the various portfolios to be filled on the committee, and indicated who he thought might be suitable candidates to fill those positions.
Theuns Wessels was initially proposed to take over as Chairman, but he declined, vigorously protesting that his work commitments would not currently allow him to do the job properly. Jimmy Mattushek, who will be retiring in a few months’ time and hopes then to have more train-time on his hands, was prepared to take on the job, and was elected to the position unopposed. Thanks Jimmy – you’ve got BIG shoes to fill! The other positions on the committee were also filled (the names appear elsewhere in the newsletter, so not detailed here). So there is now a new committee in place, under Jimmy’s leadership, but with ColinTT still around to hand over and guide us in the right paths, based on his hard-earned experience…
In Colin’s Chairman’s report to the AGM he pointed out that the club is doing well – membership is growing, there is money in the bank, and we have a great club facility at Northmead Mall that appears to be pretty secure, is functioning well, and is well used and is appreciated by the members. You’ll get the rest of the detail when you read through the AGM minutes and Colin’s report…
The topic which elicited the most discussion (some of it a bit heated!) was the need for all members using the club layouts to adhere to the operating rules! (And I seem to remember a similar discussion at the AGM last year as well!). Colin, some time back, prepared a set of Model Train Operating Rules and Etiquette (they are pinned to the notice board at the club). The rules are basic, they are logical, there are very few of them, and disregarding them invariably causes inconvenience and irritation, and sometimes damage to the property of other club members. The need for all club members to know and obey the rules was heavily stressed. There have been some unpleasant incidents which have arisen due to some members disregarding the rules, tempers can become frayed at times – and these are things that we can avoid by showing consideration for the other guys making use of the shared facilities at the club! We are going to have to revert to an old arrangement whereby the person designated as the Keyholder for the day will also be the “Stationmaster”, who is responsible for ensuring that all members present are sticking to the rules, and even has the authority of the committee to ask non-compliant members to leave the facility!
Another significant issue discussed was that of the “ownership” of the layouts. Many members have contributed modules over the years, and these have become incorporated into “the club’s layout”. It was agreed that we need to establish whether the modules have been donated by the members to the club, or whether the member wishes to retain ownership of his module (with it then being on loan to the club). The constructor of each module and its “ownership status” needs to be established if not already known, and then indicated on each module to clarify this situation. So if you have contributed modules, you can expect to be approached by Niel (the new Layouts Manager) in this regard.
[singlepic id=666 w=300 h=233 float=right]ColinTT, as outgoing Chairman, expressed his thanks to members of the club who he felt had contributed significantly during the past year, handing over personalised mugs as a token of appreciation, and then stood down as Chairman. Jimmy took over, and his first act as new chairman was to thank Colin TT for his tremendous contribution to the club during his 8 years as chairman.
Colin handing over a mug to Jimmy Mattushek
Glynn Chamberlain, who has worked closely with Colin for the past couple of years, then on behalf of the club read out a comprehensive expression of appreciation for all that Colin has meant to the club, after which he and Niel handed over a specially-made “Appreciation Award” to Colin TT, who for once was virtually speechless!
[singlepic id=667 w=300 h=233 float=left]Colin and Rosemary were also thanked for their generous hospitality in once again hosting the AGM and braai at their place. Many thanks to the TTs!!
Glynn and Niel handing over the one-of-a-kind Appreciation Award to Colin,
with Rosemary TT and Jimmy looking on
And then the formalities were over, the braai fires were eventually lit, and there was lots of opportunity for chatting and chirping while waiting for the coals to get to the point where we could start braaing meat, and then also enjoying the delicious assortment of salads and desserts provided!
September 2016 Swop Meet
GREAT SWOP MEET AND GREAT TRAINS
EMRIG will be hosting their third regional Swop Meet for the year on Saturday 24 September 2016.
The Swop Meet will be held in the Northmead Mall in Benoni, same place as last February and May.
Pretoria Road (Off Snake Road).
Main Address, First St, Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa
See map at the bottom of this page: – Map here
The swap meets held by EMRIG have been a great success and we look forward to all participating sellers joining us again. However we often have a few late comers wanting to hire a table and be squeezed in up to the night before. This is not always possible as we have limited space so please book early. Your support in our planning will be appreciated.
Points to note:
- We will arrange for table hire for R40 per table as before
- A nominal fee of R40 per seller will be levied for participating.
- This will be for the seller’s cost, over and above the nominal fee for participating in the swop meet as a seller.
- Sellers will need to bring their own portable table(s) if the option to hire is not taken.
- We will provide tablecloths; we suggest that you also bring some to cover your wares before opening time.
- This selling fee is per individual seller / shop, not on the number of tables.
- The meet will be from 09h00 to 12h00.
- We invite all the regular swop meet traders as well as those who want to sell items for the first time to come.
- The swap meet will be in the Mall leading off entrance No2 at the North end of the Mall. Ample car parking is available just outside Entrance No 2, which is off the slip road.
- Our EMRIG premises are also just inside this entrance and all are welcome to come inside to see our layouts. Our latest addition is our wall mounted N gauge tracks, well worth a view.
Buyers are encouraged to come early. We look forward to seeing old friends and new modellers.
Please promote the event to your customers and contacts as well.
In order to book tables and confirm attendance as a seller, please contact Colin ASAP via the contact us page here: – Contact Us.
Note that entrance to the Mall is off a service road that runs parallel with the M44 dual carriage way so get in the left hand lane as you cross over Fifth Avenue.
[singlepic id=672 w=300 h=233 float=right]Did you know that the Burlington Northern Railroad has expanded into the Ebotse Golf and Country Estate? Well it has in N gauge model form.
On Sunday 28th August, yes that long ago a bunch of guys from EMRIG, plus a couple of young ladies went to see the progress on this Burlington Northern layout. Since our last visit in June 2014 Kevin has made some changes to the track plan which now includes more passing loops on the third level. The scenery is also coming on (it takes some time for trees and bushes to grow, especially in N gauge) but it is making progress.
We were also spoilt by Kevin’s good lady Charlene who treated us to a delicious spread of goodies which went down very well. Thanks again to Kevin and Charlene for opening their home to us and making us feel very welcome.