Wednesday 20th March 2019
'An Evening of Nostalgia'
Mike Ellis gave an evening of nostalgia at our meeting on 20th March. Extracts of Mike's video films are included on commercial videos and some of these form the basis of the evening.
The first half of the evening comprised extracts in the form of still frames with short videos in the second half.
After the break we started and finished with trams in Blackpool. Heritage vehicles still ply the Promenade but we also ventured to Fleetwood with conventional street scenes.
Venturing to the Settle and Carlisle line we found The Great Marquess on a special working, whilst another special was headed by a pair of Black 5s.
Living in Morecambe it is inevitable Mike has filmed the Cambrian coast line, mainly class 37s on the passenger workings. These were also seen heading along the West Coast line. In this area if there was no attraction with the trains there was always the scenery behind.
Our thanks to Mike for a relaxing evening.
Wednesday 20th February 2019
Railways of Hampshire
Steve Bigley gave us a presentation on Hampshire railways on 20th February. Those who know Steve will expect the unusual and we were not disappointed. In Hedge End there is an estate where the road names commemorate railways. Steve had photos of many road signs, Terrier Close and Peppercorn Way being two. Unfortunately someone in authority hadn't consulted their ABC as the road sign for Billington Gardens included an unnecessary G. Network Rail's notices on bridges generally gave distances in miles and chains (or even half chains) but one Steve showed was in yards. The notice on Campbell Road bridge in Eastleigh referred to 'Locomotive Works', maybe Network Rail know something we don't!
Starting at Eastleigh, Steve worked clockwise round the area covering photos from the 1960s up to early 2019. We saw stations, viaducts (not many in Hampshire) and signal boxes, as well as seemingly unusual train movements. Freightliner trains from the Romsey direction running wrong line at Redbridge in order to access Maritime sidings.
Steve ventured off the national network to visit the writer's local railway, the Hythe Pier Railway and then headed to Fawley to see the last ever passenger trains to visit Fawley Station before access was blocked.
With constructive comments from the audience, this was an informative and interesting evening and we thank Steve for his presentation.
Wednesday 16th January 2019
Trams and trains in East Germany - 1988
To start the New Year Martin Petch presented slides of a holiday he took in East Germany in 1988. This was before the collapse of The Wall and showed the state of the country in Communist days. Martin and friend visited many of the narrow gauge railways as well as several tram systems.
On the Baltic coast we visited the Isle of Rugen where 0-8-0 well tanks were on passenger trains and the better known Molli, a line featuring street running in Bad Doberan. Inevitably Martin photographed several trains in the town centre.
A pause in Dresden produced trams, often near vintage motor+trailer sets. Sometimes the background revealed war damaged buildings still awaiting restoration. Nearby, we visited the Radeburg line with 2-10-2 tanks and commuter services, then Cranzahl and Zittau.
Continuing south we reached the Harz where we found Mallet 0-4-4-0 tanks working alongside the massive 2-10-2 tanks. Freight on transporter frames was still handled, but, being a tourist, Martin was forbidden from heading towards the Brocken.
Slides showed vast numbers of walkers alighting at some stations. In some places Martin had to be careful with his camera as the railway ran close to the West German border.
We were also shown scenes in some of the towns where Martin stayed. A feature too often was of dilapidated buildings in need of TLC. Memo to scribe - do I renew my passport and visit some of these lines?
Wednesday 19th December 2018
Christmas Film Evening
Our annual Christmas film evening produced two films.
The first showed railways around the Gosport area. It largely compared scenes of an operating railway, with recent scenes. In some instances on the Stokes Bay branch obvious railway bridges were now being used for footpaths. This film would have been better had there been a commentary.
The second film covered heritage railways in 2006 along with limited steam on the main line. Mostly gala and one off events were covered, ranging from the North York Moors to the Bodmin and Wenford via Bluebell and West Somerset amongst others. Somehow or other King Edward i seemed to appear with monotonous regularity!
Wednesday 21st November 2018
Steam and Survivors
Tony Storey opened his November presentation with mainly black and white photographs from the 1960s. Concentrating on our home patch we found M7s, pacifics and standard tanks on the Ringwood line towards the end of its life.
The later main line through New Milton featured many locations, footbridges and minor road bridges, gave unobstructed views of expresses and local services.
After the interval Tony turned to the survivors, largely seen on the heritage railways. Selecting just pacifics and tank locos we visited the Mid Hants and Swanage Railways amongst others. We were reminded that unconventional liveries sometimes adorned the locos, the Americanised USA tank on the Worth Valley in the 1970s being an example.
A nostalgic evening.
Wednesday 17th October 2018
We thought we knew a lot about Terence Cuneo, the well known artist, but by the end of the October meeting we know a lot more. Chris Wheeler of the Cuneo Society provided a brief history of the artist and some of his work. Terence completed his first oil painting at the age of 11, but time passed before he only worked in oil. In the 1930s he completed illustrations for books. During the war he became a war artist with illustrations for magazines.
Commissions followed including one of the Coronation in 1953. As this involved known individuals and theIr attire on the day, these people visited Terence's studio for sketches to be completed. This was a policy adopted whenever he painted identifiable people.
On the railway front, one of first commissions was of Dolgoch Station, no doubt remembered by members as a poster. Another poster was Clapham Junction, something that involved time up a gantry doing sketches. We saw some of the initial sketches, the final sketch and the final painting, all on the screen, not the actual work!
One of his largest paintings was Waterloo Statìon. Working on what is now the balcony, he needed scaffolding and ladders to complete the work.
We were shown illustrations of a wide range of his work. And the mouse? Whilst working on the Coronation painting in 1953, his cat wandered into the studio carrying a mouse as a gift. Thereafter, Terence included a mouse somewhere in the painting, and has had us hunting for it ever since!
Our thanks to Chris for an informative and different evening.
Wednesday 19th September 2018
Mervyn Dunwoody, Construction Director
Our first meeting of the season was on the topical subject of Crossrail. Only when dates were being mentioned by our speaker, Mervyn Dunwoody, did we appreciate how long the project has been on the go. Seven years were needed before Parliamentary Powers were given. A further three years passed before objections were resolved.
Access points in central London were limited and only the minimum area required used. This involved the access to tunnels and construction of stations. Once everything underground was completed, developers were keen to start work on new buildings over stations.
Spoil from tunnels could not come to the surface in the central area and was duly taken by rail and ship from West London to provide our feathered friends with a new reserve in Essex.
Discussion turned to the delay in the opening of the line, something only formally advised a few days earlier. Our speaker's stated view was that extra time was desirable to ensure there were no problems when the line is opened. With the problems associated with the May timetable change, he felt any minor hiccup would be a disaster. He thought May could see the first trains running.
A personal thought from your reporter. A very interesting subject and well explained, but why did it attract so few members?
Last updated: 28th April 2019