Hitchin

Tuesday 9th April 2019

'On and Off the Footplate - Aspects of a 42 Year's career'

Bill Davies

On his return visit on 9th April, Bill Davies provided yet another well illustrated and entertaining evening. His subject, On and Off the Footplate; Aspects of a 42 years career” , was well chosen.

In the first half he provided humorous accounts of encounters with station staff, showed slides of the liberal use by the public of Indian railroads, and of ambiguous signage, all of which caused great amusement.

The second part started with slides of Nottingham, where he started his railway career, including nostalgic pictures of his favourite locomotive, the rebuilt patriot 45532 “Illustrious”..

Then followed illustrations, mainly of infrastructure, at the southern end of the Midland mainline. Scenes from the roof of St. Pancras showing the modernisation of the station and Kings Cross complex were especially interesting.

A splendid and unique evening, being both informative and lightly entertaining.

Tuesday 12th March 2019

'Branch AGM and Member's Presentations'

This month we held our AGM, following the co-option to the committee of one member. the committee were re-elected for another year.

The remainder of the meeting was taken up with a presentation by Norman Hill, a Hitchin member who was promoting his new book that had just been published, “Kings Cross, Second man”.

Many of Norman’s photographs from the book were shown, obviously this was of great interest to the members as they were all within our area, including many shots of Kings Cross and “Top Shed” plus those sheds at Finsbury Park, Hornsey, Hatfield and Hitchin.

Norman had also recorded the upgrading of the track on the approach to Kings Cross in 1977.

Also, we saw many views taken from the cabs of whichever loco Norman was in; these days it is called “Drivers Eye”.

This was followed by George Howe, who posed the question “Mystery Junction”. George was given a photograph of a railway junction some time ago with the words Woolmer Green on the reverse, which obviously was not. We went on to hear how George carried out hours of research with the aid of a friends in the right places, and he finished up with a whole series of pictures showing the complete junction before, all through the relaying and repositioning of all lines, and after, when the running speed across the junction was lifted from 15 mph. to 55 mph, A fascinating insight to how the work and design was carried out some 50 years ago.

I am not mentioning which junction George was referring to as he talks to many groups in the area and I don’t want to spoil the surprise for anyone else to whom he might pose the question.

Last updated: 16th April 2019




Welwyn Garden City Tuesday 30th April
'Model Railways'
Michael Watts and Bernard Gudgeon

Hitchin Tuesday 14th May
'A History of the Post Office Underground Railway'
Chris Taft