Ipswich & District

Monday 8th April 2019

'West Country in 1960s and 1970s'

John Cashen

On April 8th , John Cashen presented his talk "West Country in 1960s and 1970s" comprising steam and diesel in black and white and colour.

His talk was divided into three sections:-

(a) Bristol - Templecombe, Dorset and East Devon

(b) Exeter - Penzance

(c) The Withered Arm, and Exeter – Bristol

He commenced with steam locomotives at the Bristol M.P.Ds followed by the Somerset and Dorset featuring 58086, 53800 and 53809 on Bath Green Park M.P.D. GWR locos 2219 and 3216 on Highbridge to Evercreech Junction trains. The RCTS and SLS Farewell Tours of S and D in 1966 with 34013 and 48706 respectively at Shepton Mallet were seen.

With the aid of a map, John explained that S and D trains had to be banked into and out of the main station at Templecombe.

This was followed by S.R.steam hauled trains between Poole and Weymouth. The unusual practice of reversing up trains into the platform at Dorchester South prior to 1970 was highlighted.

Many S.R. Pacifics on passenger trains and S15s on freights featured on the main line from Templecombe to Exeter with 30583 on Lyme Regis branch, 41292 and 80067 on Sidmouth Junction to Sidmouth/Exmouth. Departmental DS 219 at Broad Clyst and Z class 30951 on Exmouth Junction shed.

Many diesel hauled trains with Class 47,50,52 and "Peaks"were seen at Exeter St Davids including a pair of Hastings units Nos 1033 and 1031 on a train to Brighton. He highlighted the different track layout from that of today. Some very pleasant views of trains passing Dawlish and Newton Abbot with excellent views of stations, M.P.D. and Works were shown. Thereon appeared diesel hauled trains on the South Devon banks in pleasant settings before reaching Plymouth and on to Penzance with DMUs on the various Cornish branches.

Predominately S.R. Pacifics and Moguls featured on the "Withered Arm" at Wadebridge, Padstow, Halwill Junction, llfracombe, Barnstaple Junction (interesting view of station and layout from the west), and Okehampton.

Finally visits made to Tiverton Junction showing Hall class No 4902, 1442 on plinth in Tiverton Town Centre and passenger train at Hemyock with one LNER coach. He finished by showing Bristol Bath Road shed with diesel Bristol Pullman and a similar shot at night followed by views of the scrap yard.

A most enjoyable evening with each photo well documented with location and the loco numbers specified.

Thursday 4th April 2019

'A Tribute to the late Hugh Ballantyne

John Chalcraft

On 4 April John Chalcraft presented ‘A tribute to the late Hugh Ballantyne’.

The images were mainly black and white from 1952 to the mid-sixties and showed the rail network countrywide, including some of the secondary and rural routes such as the Mildenhall Branch, many of which are now just a memory.

From the West Country to East Anglia and then to Scotland via the West Coast we saw a selection of high quality images taken from 1952 onwards with steam traction dominating the scene. Hugh had favourite locations and workings including Dainton Bank, Twerton Tunnel and Swindon Works running in turns, and many of the locomotive depots open during the period, both large and small, including the one road sheds at Tewkesbury and Brimscombe.

On the Great Western the last King, 6018, was seen together with withdrawn V2 locomotives awaiting scrapping at Swindon Works, new diesels at Radyr and also SR traction at Goring troughs.

On the ECML a new Deltic was seen on Holloway Bank together with Pacific and freight traction at Grantham including a visit to the loco depot and the last day on the Immingham trams was also shown.

We ventured north to Scotland with familiar scenes at Shap and Beattock with banking engines working hard on their customary duties and the little known Killin Branch in the Highlands also featured.

The final sequence was The Somerset and Dorset route with many well known landmarks shown including the station and loco depot at Bath Green Park, the viaduct at Midford and the pre-closure special workings. All images were well documented and also showed the surrounding railway infrastructure as far as possible.

This was an excellent presentation and is highly recommended to other branches

Last updated: 17th April 2019

Ipswich Monday 13th May
A Tour de France by Narrow Gauge
Michael Bunn (Tonbridge)