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INDEX OF MONTHLY MEETING, NATTER NIGHT & ADDITIONAL MEETING REPORTS

The list below shows all the recorded BRS meetings since 1985. Reports for 2018 are shown in full directly below.  View earlier reports by clicking the three red 'decade' links above. There are no reports for 1985 to 1995 and 2004, but some speaker names and presentation titles are given. Gaps appear in the early years. Please help to improve the lists by passing details through the "Contact BRS" link or passing it to a Committee Member. Dates shown in italics denote an 'Additional Meeting' not held on the normal first Wednesday of the month.

​​​2019

October 2019 - Les Nixon, “55 years of railway photography: Part 4”

 

It is always a pleasure to welcome Les Nixon for his annual visit to Burton Railway Society and this year was no exception.

 

Les started at Barnetby and in the next instance he had taken us to Darjeeling. He had arrived there in his Austin Maxi car! (He had more faith than I would have done in such a vehicle.) We were quickly transported back to 1962 withA3 60075 'St. Frusquin' heading for Kings Cross. Les’s theme was all about variety - one minute we on Shap and the next in East Africa! He produced an amazing variety of photos and I’ll list a few of the highlights that stood out for me.

 

He had a really nice shot of a 4F at Burrs, but Les described it as a “committee” shot because it was taken on a charter and several other people took the identical photograph. This certainly wasn’t the case with a 1969 view of an elderly Black Hawthorn loco still in use at Wirksworth Quarry, the loco having been built in 1873. Back abroad to Boulogne with the steam crane for coaling locos being the main subject. Then it was a return to the Maxi, first it was being loaded onto a boat and next it was parked with a pair of camels overtaking it! Onto tray two with a pair of Class 20s in action at Settle Junction in 1989 before going further back in time with the Donegal rail cars in Douglas Station. Mysore loco shed looked to be a splendid place with the words “Mysore Loco Shed” above the roof of the modern round house. Arriving in Grimsby in 1960, we viewed the Grimsby & Immingham tram in operation. Non operational was 46115 'Scots Guardsman' in shades of B.R. green and brown rust primer at the long closed Dinting Rail Centre. Les reminded us to take photographs today as nothing stays the same for very long.

 

Excitement occurred during the interval as at long last there was a winner of our “Snowball” with member 675 going home £120 the richer.

Part 2 and a reminder of the single car four-wheeled DMU that shuttled between Buxton and Millers Dale - a black and white composition. A Black 5 on Shap Summit in 1967 was followed by Rowsley 3F shunting at Bakewell and no cars in view. At Beverley, a station unchanged, G5 69280 posed with a two-coach train for Hull. A broadside shot of 46237 'City of Bristol' reminded us of the days when a yellow stripe adorned the cab number. At Chinley in 1977 we were treated to a Class 40 on a string of vans, in a location altered out of all recognition.  Les enjoyed the 'Hungarian 150 Years of Railways' celebration and captured an unusual view of a Rumanian Pacific complete with lovely red wheels. December 1981 and he was at the G.C. for the Stirling Single - I remember the occasion well as a ride behind this wonderful machine was a first trip out for my recently born second son. Keeping to the elderly loco theme was a slide of 'Lion' in operation at Steamport alias the old Southport engine shed, now sadly a supermarket. As always Les referred to his wish for a time-machine, this time it would have been to have seen a G.C. Atlantic loco in action. His show was drawing to a close and we finished with an abstract of dozens of wheels in Doncaster Works in 1977 and a final shot taken in 1964 of two water cranes with braziers burning to stop them from freezing. Proof that you don’t always need a loco in a photograph to make it interesting!

Dare we say it? A Thomas Cook’s tour of countries of the world and steam in the past along with much more modern traction. How sad that Thomas Cook has folded!. Finally, it was honours even, Les being a Barnsley fan was happy that his team had scored a last ditch goal to equalise against Derby County. The Rams fans in the audience were not so pleased as the final score was 2-2.

Mark Ratcliffe

September 2019 - Chris Banks, “Engine Sheds: Part 12 – The Finale!”

Once again it was time to climb aboard the imaginary “30 bob” coach tour for another tour of the steam engine sheds. In the 1960s it seemed that these tours were guaranteed to get you around every slum clearance area in the country. It is sad to think that it was 51 years ago that the last depots closed their doors forever. Well, I remember the thrill of visiting these “cathedrals of steam” sat on the back of a Honda 50! Alas my old friend the driver, David Banton, has also been consigned to history. Thus Chris ably supported by son John took us around the final 20 sheds from “T to Y”. 

 

1. TYNE DOCK: Despite being in a dreadful state, this building wasn’t demolished until the 1970s. Views included 69921, a rare beast, and the last active member of the class -  Q6 63399, Q7 63470, J27 65860 and a very clean 9F 92063 tidied up in November 1966 for the last steam-worked service to Consett Steel Works. (My own memory was of finding two A1 pacifics stored there ready for the scrap yard).

2. WADEBRIDGE: The depot here was built in 1895 and show-cased all three of the famous Beattie Well Tanks together. G.W. pannier tank 4666 was tried out prior to 1367, 68 and 69 taking over. 

3. WAKEFIELD: This was a massive place with 139 locos allocated at nationalisation. It was famous for the large number of “Austerity” 2-8-0s kept there -  47 of them in 1957. A shock was to see 90385 ex-works!

4. WATFORD: The shed here was close to the station and 40659 was viewed, coaled and ready to go in September, 1960. The depot closed in March 1965.

5. WELLINGBOROUGH: Chris portrayed 84007 nice and clean inside the number two roundhouse in April 1959, prior to this it had been an ex-17B loco. 48276 peered out of the shed doors whilst alongside the building in August 1961 46106 Gordon Highlander was then allocated to 17A. Of course 92020 fitted with a Crosti boiler in original condition just had to be shown!                                                        

6. WELLINGTON: This was a small three-road shed and was illustrated with 9630 by the coaling stage and “Dukedog” 9004 in store.

6A: GRESTY ROAD, Crewe, was a small sub-shed of Wellington illustrated with 41232 and Chris recounted that he and his friends had a permit to visit and the man in charge wouldn’t let them round! He even brought out his Alsatian dog to see them off! 

7. WEST HARTLEPOOL: It was sad to see 63344 re-arranging “dead” locos two days before closure in 1967. A slide of 90339 showed it dumped outside.

8. WESTHOUSES: There was a long distance view set the scene to start off with. Despite being closed in October 1966 it was still servicing steam locos for Williamthorpe Colliery and continued in use for servicing diesels - classes 20, 25 and 47 illustrated this. By 1979 the building was no more, but diesels still congregated here.

9. WEYMOUTH: Again a general view of the shed to start with followed by slides of 1011 ‘County of Chester’ and 4918 ‘Dartington Hall’ to emphasise the Great Western era prior to Southern control. Unrebuilt 34107 ‘Blandford Forum’, ex-works in June 1963’ represented the latter period. 

10. WHITBY: A lovely overall view included the shed, yard and the famous abbey on the hill. This shed is still standing. A July 1956 slide of L1 67791 after a visit to Darlington Works was worth seeing.

11. WICK: This stone constructed shed maintained three locos. The building survives today as a supermarket! 54495 was the featured locomotive.

12. WIDNES: Chris had only one colour slide of this depot in his collection and it showcased two 8Fs - 48308 and 48039.

13. WOLVERHAMPTON OXLEY: For me this brought back memories of a fearsome shed foreman who, apart from one occasion, always pounced when ever I visited. Chris had a slide of “night owl” 4704 coming out of the side entrance. I could see the front number plate of this engine peering at me through a window from inside the depot on an occasion I was denied admittance - very frustrating! Another of Chris’s slides portrayed 9F 92232. 

14. WOLVERHAMPTON STAFFORD ROAD: Well known for its allocation of King Class locos, so 6017 ‘King Edward IV’ with smokebox door ajar was a natural choice. Other engines shown included: 5901 ‘Hazel Hall’, 5026 ‘Criccieth Castle’ and 4000 ‘North Star’. The shed closed on 9 September 1963. 15. WOODFORD HALSE: Again a shed and yard view started off the visit here. Closure came on 4 June 1965 with only five engines allocated at the time. 70016 ‘Ariel’ was captured visiting from Crewe.

16. WORCESTER: A divided shed building with the line in between serving the Sarson’s Vinegar Works. The three-road shed was for passenger locos and the four-road building was for other workings. 7002 ‘Devizes Castle’ was nice and clean and pannier 1661 showed off its massive spark arrestor.

17. WORKINGTON: Again only one colour slide was available, but it showed the overall area of the building and yard. Views of withdrawn 4F 44311 decorated with a yellow band and Furness Railway- built loco 52499 followed. Closure came in January 1968 with seven on the allocation.

18. WREXHAM RHOSDDU: This was a former L.N.E.R. depot which lasted till January 1960. It was a six-road shed and Chris showed slides of 84000 and 69346 - both former occupants.

19. YEOVIL: A three-road building situated by the station, it closed in June 1965 and the area is now a car park. An interesting slide portrayed 5082 ‘Swordfish’ on shed - a type of loco which was officially barred from the area! 30454 ‘Queen Guinevere’ and  34075 ‘264 Squadron’ represented the Southern. 

20. YORK: An interior view of the roundhouse featured 60146 ‘Peregrine’, B1 61276 and J27 65894, whilst one of York’s own 9Fs, 92205, was viewed on the turntable. Out in the yard there were locomotives everywhere including 44736 and 60847 ‘St. Peter’s School York A.D.627’. Other slides showed 47969 a Garrett, stabled - but in steam, 60005 ‘Sir Charles Newton’ in blue livery and B16 61468. The final slide of the evening was of B1 ‘61256’ at the head of a long line of locomotives.

Thank you Chris, not forgetting assistance from your son John, for recreating the thrill of visiting these marvellous institutions and for the information given about each shed. Chris told us that this had been his 14th visit to the Society.

Mark Ratcliffe.

August 2019 - Andrew Goodman, “I moved it my way!”

With two major road closures in the area especially at the Burton end of Shobnall Road, involving a lengthy detour to get to Marston’s Club, it was good to see 44 hardy souls making the effort to attend. Andrew Goodman didn’t disappoint on his first visit. He declared an interest in railways from the word go. This is even more intense as he is now an owner of five locos including 9642 and ‘Cogan Hall’ which he bought direct from Barry Scrap Yard. He is also a keen supporter of the Gloucestershire & Warkwickshire Railway, (naturally as he lives in Broadway), and also of the Vale of Berkeley Railway.

 

A change of career saw him moving into the heavy haulage business starting with Allelys. Thus he moved around 14 locos from Barry including 5553 - the very last engine to leave the yard. His first slide, dating from 1982, portrayed a Bagnall 0-6-0 on the back of a low loader ready to start a journey from Hinckley to the Plym Valley Railway. The very first loco he moved at Barry was 34046, this was in order to get to 4277. Other large items moved included a building from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s garden, trams and an aeroplanes. Andrew explained in detail the problems entailed in moving these items. A former Polish 0-6-0 was overweight for the trailer and then it was discovered that the tanks were still full of water! Carrying on, on the loco front he had a visit to Cadley Hill Colliery to collect a 0-6-0 to take to the Bodmin & Wenford Railway. Over the years he has moved most of the National Railway Museum’s locos including 737 and the ‘Duke of Sutherland’ saloon, ‘Agenoria’, the Deltic and ‘Caerphilly Castle’. He also has a major interest in more modern traction and owns around thirty, 08 diesel shunters including the first and last ones to be built. Work undertaken by the 08’s on the national network includes depots at Bounds Green, Derby and Leeds. Prior to the interval he spoke about work for the film industry including “Casualty”, the Harry Potter movies and the James Bond scenes on the Nene Valley Railway which involved a scene with a helicopter.

 

Andrew started the second half with a description of a bridge beam move from Butterley to Scotland for use on the M74 over the River Allan. In 1989 the bridge over the River Ness at Inverness was washed away thus proving work for Andrew. Class 37s and 156 units were moved to Invergordon to keep the service going. In order to secure this work, a hasty trip was made to Italy to buy second hand trailers to move the loads concerned. Mr Goodman then returned to describing his “train set” with his owning a Toad brake van and 260 wagons! Along with these he has a Ransome steam crane, a former Turkish 8F and an interest in the restoration of the N.R.M. 4F 44027 on the Vale of Berkley Railway. Back to rolling stock movements - ‘Duke of Gloucester’ was taken to the East Lancs, Docklands Light Railway items were delivered and as was new stock for the Waterloo & City line. The latter involved the hire of a huge crane. Over the years he has moved just about everything required for the Channel Tunnel including the first industrial loco for the site. A final slide depicted the movement of a narrow-gauge engine from the centre of Brussels to Coventry.

 

It was a fascinating evening, brilliantly narrated and thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended.

 

Mark Ratcliffe

July 2019 - Gavin Lake, "Modern Traction: B.R. in the Seventies”

We were pleased to welcome Gavin Lake for his second visit to Burton Railway Society. In the 1970’s Gavin lived in Harlow and so London was within easy reach. Green diesels were very much still in favour and Gavin used a variety of cameras to capture the action. These included the following makes: Zenith, Ilford Sports and Pentax. He started his photographic journey at Kings Cross and then moved out to Finsbury Park for the Deltics and D8233 which in 1973 was in use for carriage heating purposes. An Eastern Region “rover” ticket took him to Retford and Doncaster Station and Works. At the latter, D5901 had finally arrived for scrap, its railway research duties having concluded. Next it was to Knottingley which was a freight-only depot and so they had no requirements for engines fitted with train heating equipment - or did they? Well, we were informed that (D)1979 complete with steam heating boiler was allocated there simply because a steam lance could be fitted to the boiler and used for freeing frozen points in winter time! Green diesels by then were rapidly being repainted into the dreaded all blue. Gavin’s further education was at Newcastle University, so as well as locations in the city, he was able to visit York and Thornaby. Thus we enjoyed views from the top of the castle, the prototype H.S.T. 42001 in the station, and the “teddy bears” D9500 locos in use at Ashington Colliery. With Scotland being in much closer reach, he was able to visit depots at Millerhill Yard, St Rollox, Eastfield, and Carstairs. Over at Carlisle in Kingmoor Yard, Gavin captured a long line of Class 24’s waiting for scrap. The lure of Crewe took him to the station, the diesel depot and the works. In the latter in February 1974, 87021 was in the course of construction, its service days on the West Coast now well and truly over it having been sold to Bulgaria for further use. Back then a roll of Kodak colour film cost £6-50 so careful use had to be made of it.

In the second half we looked at the Class 26 “Tommies” in use on the Woodhead route with views at Guide Bridge, Godley Junction and Reddish. Moving more locally, it was to Bescot for an open day, (at which several members of B.R.S. acted as stewards for the day). My claim to fame was having a chat with local radio celebrity Tony Butler. Whilst in the Birmingham area of course, Saltley was visited. Next we were off to the Southern Region in the summer of 1977 with Class 33’s and 73’s. Gavin recorded two class 71’s at Hither Green. Over on the Western Region we viewed D1072 ‘Western Glory’ which was filthy, putting out large quantities of exhaust and anything but “Glory”. It reminded me of a photo I took of it at Crewe Works after it was built when of course it was in just the opposite state. Gavin managed to see and record the Western Pullmans in their last week of working. Old Oak Common Depot was visited with Hymek diesels to the fore and Reading which was  a favourite place for him. Other locations were: Swindon Works, Bristol, Severn Tunnel Junction, Cardiff, Exeter, Dawlish and Plymouth. At Laira Shed in 1973 it was to record a scrap line of Western diesels. Up on the Midland Region, Gavin commented that St Pancras had changed almost beyond recognition. Toton depot revealed various “nose ends”, Etches Park had D5901 and in the station was D100 with the steam heat in operation. The Works of course had loads of Peaks on display. In September 1972 it was time to visit Coalville stabling point and D8143 was on Burton Depot. Westhouses had 47’s and 20’s a-plenty whilst Barrow Hill had a long row of 20’s stabled.

 

Gavin skilfully narrated us around the country. He was obsessive about green diesels, but in the end it was the blue outlook that took over, all being faithfully recorded for posterity. It was a show much appreciated by our members who remember the early days of diesels rather than the days of steam.

 

Mark Ratcliffe

June 2019 - Chris Eaton & Dave Hook, "The Popular Annual Railway Quiz”

Those who support this event eagerly look forward to it and it’s a great way to meet other members of the Society. Names for the teams are “drawn out of the hat” so no one knows who they’ll be with till the draw takes place. The wheels are first oiled with a voucher for a free drink for all who take part, but we do invite participants to donate a £1 to our current railway charity the G.C. Bridge Project. Unfortunately, for various reasons, our friends from Leicester Railway Society were unable to join us this time. However 30 of our members took part making 7 teams in all – 5 with 4 in the team and 2 with 5 players. There were 10 rounds in all with 8 questions per round. Each team had the opportunity to play a “joker” which enabled them to double the points on that particular round.

 

Round 1: “Up the Junction” - with a description being read out and competitors had to work out the location of the junction.  

Round 2: “The Patriots”: a typical question being how many rebuilt locomotives were unnamed? (Answer 0 as all received names.) 

Round 3: (The Joker could be played from this round onwards). The title for this one was ‘Climbing up the Counties’, not questions on the Western Region examples, but geographical names were required. Thus – “Where is Hemerdon situated? (Devon).

Round 4: “Pre Nationalisation Shed Codes”. So K.X. was Kings Cross. 

Round 5: “Where Is this? (Picture Round). A tough challenge this, with locations including Nottingham Station, Leicester North, Whitby, and Birmingham Moor Street.

Round 6: Another Picture Round, but this time it was ‘bridges’ with locations including: Bennerley, Forth Bridge, and Crumlin.

Round 7: “Steam Sheds”: an example here being - “Where is 8B Dallam”. (Answer Warrington).

Round 8: “A 'LONG' the Line”: thus answers required the word ‘LONG’ in them, so stations between Nottingham and Stoke were: Long Eaton, Longton, and Longport.

Round 9: “Steam Miscellany” so, ‘How many letters in the full name of Llanfair P.G? (Answer 5). Round 10: “Fun with Bulleid Names” with a cryptic twist, thus “A gateway to an orchard” was Appledore and this Bulleid should have been painted red, well Royal Mail of course!

 

The winning team was F amassing 139 points; closely followed by G with 137; and third was B with 132 points. Other scores: Team E 120; C 112; A 110; and D with 71. Team F was composed of Colin Ellis, Jeff Howard, Mark Ratcliffe & Martin Reynolds. The first 3 teams won cash prizes and the last team won a can of beer each. It was then time for “Last Man Standing” with questions being asked until there was only one team left and thus the winners. Finally it was “Nearest the Bull” and again the team nearest was the winner. Team D “pulled up its socks” and won both these rounds so each member went home with 3 cans of beer. A great fun night - it’s not Master Mind so come and join in next time. Thanks to question masters Chris and Dave, and Pete Wardle for marking the papers and keeping the scores and John Fellows for collecting the answer sheets.

Mark Ratcliffe


 

May 2019 - Stephen Gay, "Through Kirton Tunnel (Sheffield) to Cleethorpes: Part 1”

It is always a pleasure to welcome Stephen Gay, this being his 6th visit - the first time he came was in 2009. On the last occasion his faithful Alsatian companion Wrawby was still alive and we were sorry to learn that he’d passed on in October 2017. This time Stephen was accompanied by his wife Denise and we were very pleased to meet her.

 

After looking at the current scene around the former Sheffield Victoria Station we viewed trains, trams and buildings in the Sheffield area. This included a tram travelling over the 1-in-10 incline to get over the railway in Woodburn Road. Stephen commented that Darnall Station is little used by locals due to lots of steps and an undesirable subway to get to it. Strangely, although the signal box has gone, its toilet block still remains – “last flushed in 1971” was his comment! At Beighton Junction there was a depot and it was here that Stephen commenced his working career in 1979 and he spent 15 years there. When he first started work, two Gresley carriages were permanently stationed there, but eventually management ordered them to be burnt to keep vagrants out! Stephen had some spectacular slides of this event. On arrival at Kiveton we were informed that both stations, Bridge and Park, were both still open. A quick diversion to the Chesterfield Canal followed: the tunnel is currently bricked up, but plans are afoot to reopen it. The nearby Thorpe Bridge is infamous for its icicles in winter time and Stephen had a slide to show why. Down the road at Worksop the D.B. Company has pulled out, but plans are in place for Harry Needle to take over the sidings complex.

 

Whiskerhill Junction at Retford was illustrated with a 153 unit climbing the bank to get into Retford. Once again the signal box there has gone, but the toilet block is still in place! Stephen was pleased to report that the Lincoln – Gainsborough line will soon have trains operating six days a week along it, rather than just the sparse Saturday-only service that has operated it for so many years. This involved a Class 47 loco being sent out from Immingham to Gainsborough, first to check that the track was okay and secondly, indeed, still there! [Several years ago when a friend and I booked tickets to use the service, we were dismayed to find it was a bus replacement and I had to map-read for the driver to get us to Cleethorpes! When I did eventually manage to travel along the line it was on a rail tour hauled by a Deltic. Even then it was lucky because the tour was very late and there was concern that the signalmen along the line might close their boxes and go home - fortunately they didn’t.] Finally with Stephen we arrived at Kirton Lindsey Station and the tunnel was illustrated by a Class 156 unit approaching it and by a similar unit coming out. This is where the talk finished and we look forward to part two.

 

As usual Stephen's slides were first-class and involved a great many visits due to the low number of trains using the latter part of the route. His comments and reminiscences were up to his usual very high standard. Finally he emphasised that the slides we had viewed were all new and none of them were from his book he had published on the subject.

 

Finally, having said a final goodbye to long standing member Mick Lunn earlier in the day, the railway possessions of Lilly Atkins, our late Vice Chair, were put on sale for members to buy with the proceeds going to the Great Central Bridge appeal. This was a charity which we’re sure Lilly would have approved of.

 

Mark Ratcliffe

April 2019 - Gerald Daniels, "B.R. working life on the S.R."

The presentation was made by Gerald Daniels covering his long career as a “Proud Railwayman” from 1954 to 1993. He interspersed details of his career moves on transfer or promotion with shots of various locations. Gerald surprised us by starting his digital slideshow with trolleybus FUF1, which recalled his birthplace in Brighton and his part in organising a “wire wipe” with this vehicle before the Brighton system closed. Gerald’s first railway photo was of N15X Remembrance class 32328 ‘Hackworth’ at Basingstoke in the early 1950s. Brighton area shots included the loco shed, rebuild West Country 34025 ‘Whimple’ on a service to the west, departmental A1 ‘Brighton Works’ on a Kemp Town branch special train and a steam hauled Lancing Belle workmen’s train. There were images of Brighton line electric stock in the 1950s including a 4-LAV unit, a type that Gerald regularly used, and 3031 heading a 6-PUL and 6-PAN combination on the “City Limited” at Purley. Rarer shots were of a 4-CEP on test in 1955 and a 4-BUF with a Pullman in place of the buffet car. Infra-structure shots showed the impressive Ouse viaduct and Clayton tunnel portal, which incorporates railway workers accommodation. A number of photos showed aspects of Falmer station, where Gerald started his career.

Images of the “Bluebell Line” included E4 32504 at Newick & Chailey with a single carriage in the days of the “Sulky Service” and an electric unit at Horsted Keynes. A 2-HAL unit was shown at Ardingly on the electrified stub from Haywards Heath to Horsted Keynes. Gerald showed a nice colour postcard of the frontage of East-bourne station, where he had been a part-time announcer! A shot of 7813 ‘Freshford Manor’ with an inter-regional train on Gomshall Bank recalled the care that had to be taken when changing engines at Redhill as the Western Region used a different level of vacuum in the brakes as compared with the Southern.

In an Irish interlude dating from 1957, Gerald showed shots of a railcar and a steam loco, both taken at Raphoe and a railcar towing a van on the West Donegal line. The first half finished with a C class loco decorated with foliage (!), some Hayling Island branch shots at Langston viaduct and then 76067 on a passenger train.

Unfortunately, Gerald’s tablet device decided not to play ball after the interval and Gerald filled in with reminiscences and anecdotes dating mainly from his time as Area Manager, Basingstoke from 1978 onwards. These included the Templecombe station re-opening in 1983, his organisation of steam specials in the Andover area, arranging for the installation of the first electric hand dryer in a station toilet and his personal experience of being in the front train at the Clapham disaster and of arranging the evacuation of passengers.

Andy Harris   ​[Thanks go to Gerald for coping brilliantly in the face of the technology fault! Ed.]

​March 2019 - John Langford, “Around the Branch Lines in Steam Days”

 

We started the evening with a minutes silence for Lilly Atkins - member 83, our Society Vice Chair, Membership Secretary and Honorary Club Vice President - who died after a long illness. She will be very much missed. Included in the memory was a long standing member Roger Knight, member 260, who also passed on in the same period.

 

We had the delight of welcoming John Langford to present his show. It was John’s first visit to Burton and we thank Michael Patterson for his help in arranging the visit and getting John to our venue. A former railway man and a keen enthusiast, John got to many places that were rarely visited by other photographers. A case in point was his first slide of the evening, featuring Woodville goods yard with a special train that arrived there on 1 March 1959. Despite the title of branch lines, John first of all then treated us to some mainline views and locomotives. We thus we observed 46154 ‘The Hussar’ at Grange Over Sands and 46230 ‘Duchess of Buccleuch’ on Carstairs Shed. We were soon onto the branch line scene and where better than the Hemlock Branch with 1450? Well, for me, it was the branch train at Savernake! After that we visited out of the way locations in Wales and England. One photograph that stuck in my memory was of the preserved D Class 737 having been hauled to Stewarts Lane by an immaculate 30912 ‘Downside’. Southern branch lines followed and included Robertsbridge on the Kent & East Sussex and Hayling Island. There was also a lovely cameo of a U.S.A. dock tank looking for all the world as if it had been coupled to a Bulleid tender! This was taken in Eastleigh Works.

 

After the interval, the audience was delighted to see slides of Bass, Worthington, Truemans and Ind Coope featuring both the steam and diesel fleets. Then it was time to look at the Metropolitan lines and the Isle of Wight. Scotland wasn’t forgotten and we also had an electric section with E.M.U.’s made to look scenic subjects. An interesting section featured just stations without trains – these having long gone. They included Wigston and Medbourne, the latter having closed in 1916.

 

Unfortunately, I was not able to make as many notes as I would have liked because John’s slides were of the thin cardboard type which our projector doesn’t like and so a lot of time was spent in persuading them to co-operate particularly in the second half. But it was a truly superb evening with lots of unusual and interesting subjects and John received many tributes of praise from members at the end of the night. John would not take a fee and asked us to donate it to our current fund raising appeal, the “Bridge the Gap on the Great Central Railway”. He also put his own donation in and, with the sale of donated D.V.D’s and books belonging to a former Longsight driver, the fund reached £264 - a great achievement after only 3 months.

 

Mark Ratcliffe

February 2019 - Dave Richards & Karl Jauncy,  “PSOV 2018”

By tradition, the February meeting is always booked for the famous duo with their film of mainline activity, aided and abetted by other skilled friends. It was the usual classy introduction with short clips of the action to come accompanied by music.

 

The session started with 70013, appropriate because its future is in the balance. Another familiar sight was 45699 ‘Galatea’, strange to think that its seven year working ticket will soon expire. The action followed quick and fast with 48151, “45157”, 45690, 60163, 46100, 60009, 35018 and 35028 all making an appearance. Pleasing action featured a double-headed train to Buxton in the snow with a black 5 and a black Jubilee. 60163 was also seen on its ill-fated 90m.p.h. trip. Whilst at Easter time 45157 was on the Fort William – Mallaig service. Terrific action show-cased 46100 ‘Royal Scot’ being “paced” from the road as it left Holyhead. All the locos used on the annual “Great Britain Tour” were seen including “N” 31806. Just before the first half came to a close, it was pleasing to see 60009 looking the part, i.e. rather grubby, and it is sad to think that it is entering its last year of operation!

 

The second half opened with 60103 being “saluted” by the fire brigade at Holyhead. 8F 48151 demonstrated that it was very good at rounding up sheep whilst working the “Lune River Trust” special. A sad occasion was the special run to commemorate the late Denis Howells with 9466, the loco’s owner for many years who worked tirelessly to keep this 0-6-0 running on the mainline. All proceeds went to charity from this particular trip. It was good to see 70000 back in action in October. Then once again it was the turn of 8F 48151 at Batty Moss with Dave commenting that this was the engine that set Karl and himself off on their long running project in 1988. It was therefore most appropriate to return to the same location to film the same loco almost to the day 30 years on! The ‘Duchess’ 6233 made a welcome return to the Midland mainline sporting its new colour of maroon. Soon we were in December 2018 with 61306 making its first test run in atrocious weather and It was fitting that 60103 ‘Flying Scotsman’ brought the show to an end.

 

To quote Tina Turner, these two are “simply the best” at what they do. I was amused by two locations chosen – “Promised Land Lane” and “Jeffrey Bog”! 2018, 50 years on of steam on the mainline – who would have thought that would be possible in 2018? However as Dave and Karl will tell you, every year it gets more and more difficult for them to do their work.

 

Mark Ratcliffe

January 2019 - Dave Coxon,  "The Mickleover Test Track”

An early start to the New Year saw us welcome Dave Coxon for his first visit to B.R.S. with his “Mickleover Test Track” presentation. In its early days the test track ran from Derby Friargate to Egginton Junction, but road improvement works saw the line cut back to five & a quarter miles starting at Mickleover. Dave illustrated and described the route in Great Northern, L.N.E.R. days, B.R. and B.R. Specials. He also had photographs of all the former stations along the line – Friargate, Mickleover, and Etwall & Egginton. The test track was used mainly for low-speed work as there were no level sections for brake testing. The line was singled in 1969 and cut back to Mickleover in 1970. Some of the tests that took place there were:

Class 151 trials -  Track defects -  Wind tunnel tests using a miniature version 4-wheel wagon tests for stability - Plasma torch trials - Remote     controlled shunter (Class 08 named Pluto) - Class commissioning for 154 units and locos 59 and 60 - Network S.E. snow train - Publicity for classes 154 and 156 plus many more - The Gemini battery D.M.U. which was allocated for many duties and was kept in a purpose-built depot at Mickleover. Other  

 Other items of stock included the single unit Iris, Lab 20 a Wickham track recording car and a Hydra a single car Cravens unit.

Various interesting ex B.R. diesels were also used, thus Co Bo D7505 was photographed in action in 1972 and Baby Deltic D5901 in 1970, the latter at Etwall. A Hymek and a Clayton diesel were also shown, but these were in store at Mickleover. The APTE was used for driver training purposes in the early 1970s whilst the new G.M. diesel 59002 was put through its paces in 1986. Moving on to 1989 60001 ‘Steadfast’ was on trial and gained the impolite nickname of “Stuckfast”. 60003 was also tried out in 1990. Several scrap Class 45s and 46s were used for load haulage on the Class 60 tests. These withdrawn-locos were often stored in the sidings adjacent to the Egginton Junction signal box. Following the tests with 60003, the line was deemed surplus to requirements and track lifting commenced in the summer of 1990. Dave concluded with scenes of the track bed afterwards. Today the course of the line forms a pleasant walk.

Thanks to Dave for a very interesting and informative start to the year and for making such a useful record of his working days there during the test period. For more information on the line, and also the current test track at Old Dalby, visit Dave’s web site at: www.old-dalby.com

Mark Ratcliffe

 

 

 

 
 
 

November 2018 - David Wright,   "Modelling demonstration - constructing buildings"

With 14 members in attendance, David Wright once again put on his annual modelling demonstration on Wednesday afternoon the 21st. He was ably supported by Dave Richards who filmed the demonstration so that it could be viewed on the large screen.

David announced that his Horninglow Wharf project would now be completed as a diorama rather than in layout form and for this session he concentrated on buildings. However he started by demonstrating how to produce realistic water using artists picture varnishing. Turning to the buildings, David indicated that foam board could be used, but for this session he was using mounting board card. After gluing plastic brick work on to the card he suggested “desert tan” spray for the cement. Next he produced an old Burton Railway Society Christmas card and showed how to use it for scribing on vertical timber boarding. Once David had his various pieces in place he used dress makers pins to hold the sides of the building in place whilst the glue dried. Finally he had time to turn to the roof area and he showed how to tile the area concerned.

Regarding painting, David advised using oil paints and recommended the following colours: burnt sienna, crimson, yellow ochre, Naples yellow, Paynes grey, titanium white and burnt umber. Using a home-made palette (a plastic lid), he demonstrated how titanium white and Naples yellow could be used to lighten other colours whilst Paynes grey was useful for darkening other colours. He also found time to demonstrate how to put advertising lettering on to the sides of buildings.

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This session was David’s last demonstration for members and we thank both him and Dave Richards for the informative pleasure it has given us over the last few years.

Mark Ratcliffe

November 2018 - Paul Chancellor, "A seventh Colour Rail journey”

Paul Chancellor made his annual visit to B.R.S. with appropriately a 7th C.R. journey on the 7th of the month! With 93,000 images on line Paul decided this year that he would take the alphabet as his theme.

Thus A was for A4s illustrated with 2509 ‘Silver Link’ in colour at Grantham in 1937. 2510 was shown in 1946 wearing black. Whilst sadly 60015 Quicksilver’ was at Doncaster for scrap, but still bearing nameplates, and 60008 was captured swinging aboard a ship ready for transport to the U.S.A.

B: Battle of Britain locos both un-rebuilt and rebuilt, so ‘Sir Keith Park’ in malachite green in 1948, 34061 with some of its casing cut away following a fire in September 1962 and 34089 on royal train duty at Shawford in 1965 and looking immaculate.

C: Castle class locos, a Trevor Owen photo of 5043 at Churston in 1956 and another photographer captured 5038 with a single chimney alongside a double chimney 7029 at Shrewsbury.

D: Quite definitely Duchesses with 6223 streamlined and in blue whilst 6220 (really 6229), in red on its visit to the U.S.A. complete with headlight. 6238 was streamlined in black livery with a “normal” member of the class behind.

E: for EMUs represented by M29023M at Lancaster and a 303 unit in 1961 sporting blue livery.

F: was for freight featuring 47800 at Keynsham. (Shades of Horace Bachelor!)

G: Gateshead and Paul told us that this was the largest place on the East Coast Main Line without a station! A1 60147 was amazingly clean in 1963 and

D1580 was brand new in 1964.

H: was for hydraulic and with D601 April 1960 and nice & clean. In fact both types of Warship were portrayed.

I: Industrials! What better than Seaham Harbour with an ancient Lewin loco built in 1977? Well, Bass shed in 1961 with five locos present, a Trevor Own portrait!

J: Jubilees with 5594 in maroon at York, 45596 on freight 1962 at Farrington Junction, in the same year Burton’s 45585 on the Lickey, and rebuild 45736 at Willesden in October 1963.

K: Kidderminster pre the Severn Valley Railway with the old station building and the goods yard before the carriage and diesel depot were built.

L: London – various London termini including Paddington with five HST’s in a row.

M: Mixed traffic! A shot of 75002 from on high at Machynlleth looking for all the world like a model.

N: North of Scotland with 62246 at Keith in 1950 and 54495 on Helmsdale shed in 1956.

O: Loco class 02 and the Isle of Wight no. 17 at Ryde and cars of the period at Ventnor.

P: Pre-war with 3822 at Paddington and no.7 on the Wantage tramway in 1930.

Q: “Q” class locos, Q1 69929 at Langwith Junction in June 1957, Q6 September 1966 at Tyne Dock, Q 30540 at Nine Elms in 1964 and Q1 33025 at Guildford also in 1964.

R: “Rural” – 5552 at Goonhaven Halt.

S: S&D. – 40700, 82041 and a Crab loco at Bath shed and 92000 Midsomer Norton and amazing roses.

T: Thames Valley, views taken by Trevor Owen including 6017 at Sonning Cutting on “The Mayflower.”

U: Unclassified – an LNER electric loco at Darlington Works in 1933 and 18000 “Kerosene Castle” at Bristol Temple Meads.

V: Victoria with stations at London Victoria, an external view with period buses, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Norwich, Swansea, whilst not forgetting St Budeaux Victoria Road!                                                                                                                                                                     

W: Wales – Corris Railway no. 4 in 1946, Swansea Docks, Aberystwyth, Prestatyn and Bangor.

X: What else but Cross Country and occasionally it’s possible to take a decent photo of a Voyager! 

Y:Yarmouth and Yatton, D2212 on the roadside at Yarmouth and a Hall steaming through Yatton.                    

Z: Z class locos with 30954 on shed at Templecombe and Z 68191 at Aberdeen Docks in 1962.

Paul ended with a section called “If Only” with several heritage railway pictures which were all about the illumination and framing of photographs. As always a superb evening of entertainment with Paul “keeping us on our toes” whilst we tried to guess what each letter would feature.

Mark Ratcliffe

​September 2018 - Michael Clemens,   "A mix of East Midland's steam - ciné & stills from the 50s and 60s"

Once again it was a pleasure to welcome Michael Clemens to showcase the work of himself and that of his late father Jim. This time, for a change, Michael brought along slides as well as cine and we started with the former. To commence the evening, it was Michael, aged three, in a starring role at Leicester West Bridge! Then it was off to Banbury and the Great Central route in its last days during 1966. A rather surprising star was 45437 sporting a 12A shed plate; Michael demonstrated this by zooming in on to the plate in question, so there were no doubts!

 The following stations then featured:

 Bicester (home of a massive shopping outlet today) -  Launton - Gaydon - Verney Junction – Winslow - Swanbourne (now due to re-open with the station rebuilt for the planned east – west route).

 

When it was the turn of 45529 ‘Stephenson’ to appear on the screen, Michael explained that it was named in 1948 to commemorate the centenary of George Stephenson’s death. Michael had a few slides of quite interesting tickets from special trains and last days of services etc. As well as special trains we were treated to a further selection of stations and one in particular Stanbridgeford. He explained that Brian Clemens, (no relation), but the director of the classic TV series “The Avengers” wanted a run- down and derelict station for a particular episode and this one, which made a big impression on Michael, just fitted the bill. Filming took place in 1968 and took two days. The episode was entitled “Noon Doomsday” and the station was renamed ‘Langs Halt’ for filming purposes.

Of particular local interest to our audience was the LCGB trip of Sunday 1 March 1959 when Jim managed to photograph the train at: Tutbury - Wellington Street - Dale Street - James Street signal box - Bond End by Midland Joinery - Leicester Junction sidings - Woodville Goods - Coalville shed and station – Shackerstone - and Etwall. (Your reporter was able to assist Michael in captioning these photos when they were used in his book on the East Midlands). Part one drew to a close with a return to the GC and Catesby Tunnel. This, we were informed, is now used as a Formula One wind tunnel test site. I would never have guessed that when I walked through it 20 years ago! There were several large open pits in the floor and in some places the water cascaded in like a waterfall: amazing what large sums of money can do, but I still think it would be better with trains running through it!

After the break, it was cine time with a start being made at Towcester in 1959 on the Stratford & Midland Junction Railway. A brief session at Nottingham Victoria was shown before we viewed Jim’s garden railway which had started as a one track affair and had then increased to a four-track set up. Sadly it no longer exists.

Then it was back to the main line at Banbury with Hall Class locos being used on the Bournemouth services.  Another fascinating line (dear to your reporter’s heart) followed, this being the GN & LNWR Joint Line. This time Jim was on a 1963 RCTS tour which started at Nottingham Victoria and took in Bottesford - Hose Tunnel - Melton Mowbray - Marefield triangle – Humberstone – and Leicester Belgrave Road. 45238 was the loco in charge and it went back to John o’ Gaunt where it ran around and went off to Market Harborough before going on to the Seaton Branch. Having walked much of the Joint Line, I’d have loved to have been able to travel on this train. Hose Tunnel was particularly eerie to walk through although I found a large torch which I used for several years after. Footage followed in the Hitchin and Bedford area before a line-side session on the Eastern Region main line with A1s, A2s, A3s, A4s including 60022 ‘Mallard’, and V2s. Michael brought the evening to a close with the last day of service on the Leighton Buzzard -  Dunstable branch featuring 41222. A truly memorable evening and we look forward to Michael joining us again in 2020.

Mark Ratcliffe

August 2018 - John Bagshaw and friends, “U.K. Photography - the digital way”

Once again we welcomed ‘JJK Photography’ (John, Jarad & Kurt) and the evening started with an audio-visual session with preserved steam in action followed by preserved diesels. Quite a few of the locos featured were no longer in action. John then took up the commentary with the commencement of the slide section and featured locos included ‘Tornado’, ‘Duchess of Sutherland’, ‘Scots Guardsman’, ‘Royal Scot’, ‘Earl of Mount Edgcumbe’, ‘British India Line’ and D9009 ‘Alycidon’. A little bit of photography magic changed 45699 ‘Galatea’ from red on its outward journey to green on its way back! Next we had an excursion into black and white regarding 70013 ‘Oliver Cromwell’. Snow caused real problems at Peak Forest with 45407 (disguised as 45157) and 45690 as the locos were hardly discernible- yet, shortly before their arrival, the sun had been shining! After this it was time for another audio-visual section, but this time in black and white. It was then Kurt’s turn to take over with diesels and electrics seen in 2018. Kurt has joined “the pole brigade”) with some pleasing results particularly on the Foxfield Railway. He had some most interesting shots of heritage diesels which included signals and, where available, signal boxes.

After the interval John included an “arty” section with silhouettes, glints and even a full rainbow. The next section of slides was devoted to preserved lines and the following lines were covered: 

Nene Valley: 46100 'Royal Scot' - Great Central North & South: hired in HST unit and the prototype and Q Class 30541 - South Devon: branch line - ****** week with Beattie well-tank 30587 as the guest.- North Yorks. Moors: again with ‘Royal Scot’ - Keighley & Worth Valley when 60103 ‘Flying Scotsman’ was in action.

We had time for two more audio-visual sections with first of all Kurt with a session on diesels in 2012 and 2014 and finally a sequence of night shots entitled: “Welcome to the dark side!” Our grateful thanks were expressed to all three presenters especially to Jarad whose digital projector had failed and he coped very well with the Society’s machine which was unfamiliar to him.

Mark Ratcliffe.

July 2018 - Robin Matthams, 'Railways in and around the Second World War 1937 - 1945'

We were very pleased to welcome back Robin to Burton after a lengthy gap since his last visit. He told us that he would be showing photographs taken by Percy Moseley an engineering manager with Vauxhall cars, who was also an enthusiastic railway photographer. His collection was saved by the Sutton Coldfield Railway Society, but required extensive restoration before the photographs could be shown.

The first portrait was of a Black 5 taken on Sunday 3 January 1937 appropriately at Luton. Saturday January 9th was an open day at Camden Depot and one of the featured engines was 6165 'The Ranger' in original as built form. With Percy being Bedfordshire based, scenes at St. Albans and Leagrave followed before a return was made to the capital. St Pancras and Waterloo were visited and as weel as Kings Cross where he found 4471 'Green Arrow' and then at Euston there was a Patriot and a Scot side by side. He took lots of photos of A4s in original condition. His 1937 holiday was taken in the South East and thus there were several railway views around Folkestone whilst not neglecting the narrow gauge at the R.H.& D.R.

After the interval we moved to 1938 and on 4th April he captured a view of 10,000, the "Hush Hush" loco, at Kings Cross. Robin informed us that there was an intention at one time to name the loco' Pegasus'. In that year he made his first visit to Paddington with his subjects including a Manor and a King, but also the "half hearted" attempt at streamlining with 5005 'Manorbier Castle'. Water troughs locations were not forgotten with trips being made to sites at Aynho and Langley. 1939 rather appropriately included compound 1094 with the Vauxhall factory in the background. On the 10th June the destination was Nuneaton with Princess Class members 6204 and 6210, whilst at nearby Shilton a streamlined 'Princess Alice' stormed by. Down the line at Hillmorton near Rugby his chosen subjects were 5735 'Comet' and 5303 racing each other. Just before war was declared he photographed 6135 at Weedon on 30th August.

Percy took very few photos between 1940 and 1943 because of the wartime conditions, and the fact that railway photography was "frowned" upon by the authorities. Robin commented that most of those photos were in very poor condition and needed a lot of restoration. However, Percy did manage to get to North Wales for a holiday in 1941 and "chanced his arm" by taking a photo of 5A Crewe North Shed from the train on the way home. He took no photos at all in 1942 but in 1943 he managed a couple again whilst on holiday in North Wales. At Rugby in 1944 Percy was able to photograph a U.S.A. utility 2-8-0 in action along with Stanier Mogul 2947. Finally to 1945 and mogul 2976 was the chosen locomotive at Deganwy in September and the show concluded with 6240 'City of Coventry' at Coventry Station on Sunday 14th October where she was on display for a week.

Thank you Robin, we very much appreciated the long hours and the effort you put into the restoration of Percy's collection and we look forward to welcoming you back very soon.

Mark Ratcliffe

​​June 2018 - 'The Annual Fun Quiz' set by Chris Eaton & Dave Hook

Thirty-eight hardy souls took part in the Annual June Quiz. This total included some members of Leicester Railway Society and we were delighted they could join in with the general fun and mayhem of the evening.  It was the usual format of 10 rounds with the opportunity for each team to play a “Joker” for double points on a round of their choice once round two was completed.  The titles of each round were as follows:

 

1. Shed allocation oddities.   2. Steam miscellany.   3. Leicester & Leicestershire.   4. Diesel spillage.   5. Who what when where?   6. Stationary pictures.

7. Railway firsts.   8. Cryptic headlines LNER style.   9. Standards.   10. News headlines all different.   Followed by ‘Last man standing’ and ‘nearest the bull’.

Scores ranged from 129 by the winning team to 55. Actually it was quite good to finish in the last place as each of its members received a can of beer!  The first three teams were also awarded a can of beer.  There was a cash prize of £5 for each member of the winning teamer, £4 each for the runners up and £3 each for those in the third place. Thanks to Chris and Dave for organising everything and Peter Wardle for looking after the scoring. We look forward to next year - will that be the first time that we have in excess of 40 people taking part?

Mark Ratcliffe

May 2018 - Jason Cross, 'Capturing the present - recreating the past'   

 

This was Jason’s first visit to Burton Railway Society and he put on an excellent show of digital images interspaced with video footage. He started with a superb montage with much of railway interest other than locomotives, thus we viewed signs and signals, etc. The first video footage soon appeared and featured D1015 powering through Market Harborough. Local interest was provided with 66718 in London Underground livery moving a train through Bagworth. Then it was the nuclear flask train, two locos for one wagon, the apparent excess motive power being provided for insurance purposes! Many of Jason’s photographs were taken using an extendable pole which he demonstrated to us after the interval. There was much modern day traction to admire with rapid fire shots and a concise, but informative commentary. Photographic charters were illustrated on the Foxfield Railway and also on the Great Central which involved both steam and diesel. On the main line it was good to see 46115 ‘Scots Guardsman’ on a rake of maroon coaches at Rearsby and 46100 at Grantham. A particular interest of Jason’s is the London Underground and this was skilfully illustrated with many interesting shots and carefully selected location. Included were the preserved electric loco ‘Sarah Siddons’ and a steam locomotive. The first half concluded with video footage of a cab ride on L18 on an early hours maintenance train.

The second half started with footage of Adrian Shooter’s private railway and was a combination of video and stills. I was interested to see his photograph of Adrian’s Darjeeling locomotive with his house in the background particularly so as I was standing next to Jason at the time. This really demonstrated the advantages of using a pole because so much more could be included in the shot. Next we had a narrow gauge extravaganza featuring: the Sittingbourne & Kemsley, the Romney, Hyde & Dymchurch, Apedale, Talyllyn, Festiniog, Welsh Highland, Vale of Rheidol, Llanberris Lake, Threlkeld, and the Isle of Man. The latter included the steam railway, electric trams and also the horse-drawn trams. His “on shed” section showed the following: an HST unit at Neville Hill, a class 37 at Crewe Gresty Bridge, Etches Park Derby, a 47 on the jacks at Carnforth, Ruislip underground depot, Barrow Hill, and Swanwick. Finally, we looked at the variety of motive power used to haul the various test rains around the country.

We had a really entertaining evening and Jason provided a different slant on our usual sessions. In particular he demonstrated the advantages of using a pole for the camera to perch on top of. I wonder what Eric Treacy would have thought!.

Mark Ratcliffe

April 2018 - Mike Eggenton, 'ECML - York to Edinburgh and a bit further north'

It was Mike’s third visit to Burton and this time saw us commencing at York and shed 50A with loads of ash everywhere - if only the NRM was like that today! A real scoop for Mike was to get a couple of shots of DP2 in its crashed state in the repair shop at the depot. Up to Darlington and we started with a modern aerial shot of the whole station area. However, once back in our time machine, we looked at 60024 ‘Kingfisher’ entering the station and also a very clean V2 60809 ‘The Snapper’, etc. Over at the depot, 60060 ‘The Tetrarch’ was on stand-by duty. Other locomotives there included Q7 63461 ex-works, inside, side-by-side, were Q6 63406 and 60154 ‘Bon Accord’ and the in-steam breakdown crane. Time to move up to Newcastle and we were informed that the famous diamond crossing was designed by Hadfields of Sheffield. An A4 was shown on the crossing and of course, like everything else, this is all now changed and so the modern comparison featured an HST on a much simpler set up. Visits were made to Heaton Shed with Q6 63437 inside and South Blyth where the twin shed doors nicely framed J27s and an Ivatt 43000 class loco.

Then it was off to the border country with a lovely viaduct on the former Kelso branch which now serves as a footpath. Mike informed us that Berwick Station was built on the site of the great hall of Berwick Castle. Once over the border, a melancholy shot showed the remains of the Penmanshiel tunnel that had collapsed killing two men working inside. Arrival was made in Edinburgh with Deltics very much to the fore together with a pair of 27s which once worked the hourly Glasgow – Edinburgh shuttles. 90021 and a 67 brought us very much up to date. Leaving Waverley behind, it was over to Princes Street Station, now totally banished and replaced by the Scottish Parliament building. At least hot air still prevails! Anyway it was back to more sensible places such as the engine sheds at Haymarket and St. Margarets. The former was illustrated with 60162 ‘Saint Johnstoun’, 60068 ‘Sir Visto’’ 60096 ‘Papyrus’, V2 60894, and 65234. The latter held 65920, 68448 acting as a stationary boiler, and venerable 68095.

Part 2 and it was time for the Forth Bridge. Passing over it we saw various diesels, DMUs, and a 47 on freight. We were then “moved” to the very top of the bridge with a variety of shots and, on this occasion, I was actually with Mike when this visit took place. When in Scotland, Perth is a must and recorded at the station were: V2 60955 on an Edinburgh train along with 60532 ‘Blue Peter’, 60007 ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’ and 60009 ‘Union of South Africa’. Down at the shed Mike discovered 60026 ‘Miles Beevor’ (engine only), 60512 ‘Steady Aim’, 44797, 72008 ‘Clan Macleod’, and 60031 ‘Golden Plover’. Thornton Junction was the next shed with 62686 ‘The Fiery Cross’, 90600, 65917 with D2717, and 65345. At the time Mike was actually doing some work at the adjoining colliery. Proceeding to Gleneagles, 70002 ‘Geoffrey Chaucer’ was on cattle wagons and coaches. Passing through the station was 60006 ‘Sir Ralph Wedgewood’. Time for Dundee and views of the Tay Bridge and, of course, the depot which held 60530 ‘Sayajirao’, ‘Blue Peter’ along with 64608, 60004 ‘William Whitelaw’, 73154, and 64547. Engines in evidence at Aberdeen were 60009 coming in on a postal train and again 60532. At Inverness was 45117 by the famous water tank arch and preserved 103 with just a small crowd around. Several diesels were shown on the depot and it was a similar story at Fort William with a class 20 and a class 27. Mike then had a modern day colour shot with 62005 on a charter. Kyle of Lochalsh was followed by a trek to the far north with 54495 at Helmsdale, then Thurso with a class 26 and 37, and finally 103 again at Georgemass Junction.

It was a most entertaining evening and Mike was thanked for sharing his past exploits with us.

Mark Ratcliffe

March 2018 - David Cross, 'Another evening of Father's slides: Part 7 - Scotland'

Once again we were delighted to welcome David Cross to Burton for Part 7 of Derek’s slides and David reminded us it was in 1984 that his father passed away. On this visit we were taken to Scotland and David advised that the evening would be a “port to port show” - we would start in the North and finish in the South. Thus we found ourselves in the Port of Aberdeen with diesels in the city. Very quickly we moved around and illustrations featured: Perth, Inverness, Wick and the scenic Kyle of Lochalsh line. At Gleneagles there was time to take in a Stanier Class 5, a V2 and a Rebuilt Scot ‘46166 London Rifle Brigade’. At Kincardine Power Station in 1966 J36 65288 featured, but what was really strange, was that even then the site was surrounded by palisade fencing; it’s been around longer than you’d think! Arriving in Glasgow, the stations at Central and St. Enoch were visited. Moving outwards 46230 ‘Duchess of Buccleuch’ was seen on parcels twixt Kilmarnock and Glasgow. David then took us to Millerhill to view what he described as a “Clayton Graveyard!” – a most apt description. He quickly moved on to various locations on the scenic Waverley route before turning his attention to Carstairs with 46247 ‘City of Liverpool’ in lovely bright red livery and 46203 ‘Princess Margaret Rose’. The first half drew to a close with 70022 ‘Tornado’, or as David described it, the proper ‘Tornado’!

Part 2 found us out at Crawford, a particular favourite location for Derek, where the featured engine was a rather dirty 46253 ‘City of St. Albans’. The natural progression from there was to Beattock and at the summit was 42214 with one coach and the steps set down on the permanent way. This was the Saturday ‘shoppers special’ for railway employees. It was one of David’s own slides that caught my eye and its subject was a modern-day Pendolino! By its side was sign proclaiming the speed limit as 100m.p.h, but bear in mind this was situated at the bottom of Beattock bank! The slide of D344 featured Derek with his lads and was taken by David’s Mum and David was the one in the duffle coat. It was then time for some industrials and there was a superb shot of 2 Barclays at Barony Colliery. Moving to the Glasgow & South Western line at Dumfries, we viewed a couple of Duchesses, 46223 ‘Princess Alice’ and 46232 ‘Duchess of Montrose’ both on Euston to Glasgow expresses. The next location was Ayr where the subject was coal trains: thus we looked at 42861 with its chimney top missing, (a B1 “nae” brakes was the opinion of this class) and the famous Caley 0-6-0s usually referred to as the twins. A quick dash down the Port Line took us to Gatehouse of Fleet viaduct which supported 45588 ‘Kashmir’ on its way to Stranraer. There, 72006 ‘Clan Mackenzie’ was on shed and, having reached the southern Scottish port, the evening ended with D5407 at the station. Sadly of course Stranraer is no longer a port.

 

It was a lovely evening of steam, diesel, electric and industrials. I think Derek would be quite amused that people still find his photographs to be of interest.

Mark Ratcliffe

​February 2018 - Dave Richards & Karl Jauncey, 'PSOV on the main line 2017'

As always it was good to see Dave and Karl with their outstanding footage of steam on the main line during last year. The lads provided us with a bonus this year in the shape of footage of the Bass Railway System in action in the 1960s. Even better, this was included on the DVD for members to buy - please note that this comes at the end of the DVD.

Here follows a few of the selected highlights from the presentation. 45690 ‘Leander’ started us off on 21 January with the “Cumbrian Mountain Express” whilst 60163 ‘Tornado’ performed on the Appleby - Skipton shuttles on the S. & C. ready for the line to be re-opened after major repair work.  It later appeared on the day of re-opening, but its performance was marred by poor quality coal. Down in Cardiff, 5043 ‘Earl of Mount Edgcumbe’ was in action and no doubt the last Castle to be seen in the Welsh capital prior to the “wires” going up. There was a lovely shot of 46115 passing over the Kent Viaduct as the sun set. The same loco was seen romping up Shap and then at Ais Gill, but with the whistle stuck on! The Great Britain 10 Tour featured the following locos: 60103 Kings Cross to York, 45212 Edinburgh to Dundee, 45212 and 62005 Pitlochry to Inverness (the latter loco solo to Kyle and on this run an Osmo camera was used for pacing shots), 4522 and 62005 Inverness to Perth with 62005 on its own onward to Glasgow, then 46233 and 45699 completed the footage of this remarkable trip. It was rather good to see film of 9466 and 9600 on the Burton - Leicester line on 13 May, even more so because I was on the train. It was back to 46233 for the Tyseley to Minehead run. Then we saw 46115 on the Blaenau branch substituting because the 8F was very strangely ruled out of gauge! There was even a shot of the Scot alongside the narrow gauge Fairlie. It seemed rather strange to view the newly restored 35018 in black livery for its test run. I have fond memories of ‘British India Line’ as it was the first Merchant Navy I saw. Sister engine 35028 was filmed departing Salisbury sporting a wreath in memory of the late David Shepherd. The wail of the chime whistle of 60009 was lovely to listen to as she performed on the Cotswold line. Worcester Shrub Hill with its ranks of semaphore signals formed an impressive back drop for class leader 46100 ‘Royal Scot’, but even more impressive were 9600 and 9466 with fireworks exploding all around. Locally, 70013 ‘Oliver Cromwell’ passed through Cromford on its way to Rowsley whilst 5043 was captured at both Elford and Wychnor. Rounding off the evening was 45407 and we enjoyed the Ben Collier footage of it on the Fort William - Mallaig Santa trains. Dave and Karl never fail to deliver; it was an evening of film of the highest quality.

Mark Ratcliffe

January 2018 - Richard Binding, 'Exeter to Bristol featuring a circuitous route'

It is always good to have a show provided by one of our members and for 2018 Richard Binding started us off at Exeter St. David’s with a Warship diesel entering the station. This was quickly followed by 5070 ‘Sir Daniel Gooch’ steaming through. Next it was time to look at the Southern aspect with an “N” class on a cattle train with a “Z” class ready for banking duty. Richard then illustrated the changes in Exeter with particular regard to the signalling. Moving out to Cowley Bridge it was no surprise to see the River Exe in full spate. Naturally a short detour along the Barnstaple branch took us to the Okehampton line and Meldon Quarry. Quite appropriately it had rebuilt Bullied Pacific ‘Sir Frederick Pile’ in the background! Naturally, the famous viaduct was illustrated with of course its 20m.p.h limit. Richard then worked his way to Tavistock and Bere Alston with a short excursion up to Callington. Then it was back to Bere Alston and finally into Plymouth. At Lipson Vale the chance was taken to illustrate the Turnchapel Branch. It was then time to visit Laira Shed with an interior view featuring a “Matchless” motorbike in the foreground of the shot. Next Richard took us to visit the legendary Halwill Junction, followed by Hatherleigh with 41216 and then Torrington. Here, in Richard’s words, “a broad gauge lady” was in the shot! Once at Barnstaple the line to Ilfracombe was taken and preserved 34067 ‘Tangmere’ was one of the locos to be featured. Full circle was completed with a return to Exeter ready to head towards Taunton. At Tiverton Junction it was off to Dulverton and a lovely overall view of Thorverton Station before returning to Taunton.

The second half commenced with the Hemyock Branch with mixed trains of coaches and milk tanks - the carriages being ex-Barry Railway gas lit stock these being used due to the very low speed on the line. This line lasted till 1975 for milk traffic. Having got back to Tiverton, Whiteball Summit was the destination with a 9F on a summer Saturday special. Three views of preserved locos 46235, 6024 and 60009 appeared next. Arrival into Taunton was with a Class 50 ‘Ajax’. Then it was out to Cogload Junction where we saw double-headed 37s on a Birmingham – Penzance Mazey Day special. Lots of preserved steam locos were also viewed in this area. It was nice to see the diminutive 1338 tank working in the Bridgwater Docks. At Highbridge the S. & D. line was crossed by a Warship diesel. Weston Super Mare, Yatton and the junction for Clevedon all appeared in quick succession. The latter, we were informed, being Richard’s birthplace. Congesbury, Axe Bridge, Cheddar & Wells Tucker Street were all illustrated before it was back to the main line at Nailsea. Moving towards Bristol the turn off was made to the Portishead Branch with several views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. On arrival into Bristol Temple Meads, a Pannier tank was happily “fussing about”. Naturally all three major depots were viewed: I particularly liked the rare view of 47190 at Barrow Road.

Richard’s show was a lovely mix of the historical and modern, and his commentary was very well researched. Additional material was also supplied by his friend Roger Jones. All in all it was a really good start to the New Year.

Mark Ratcliffe.

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