Meeting Reports

Thursday 16th November 2017
Annual General Meeting of RCTS Scottish Branch

The 2016 AGM of Scottish Branch was held during the third week of November, & was attended by 13 members. The Committee members were re-elected en bloc.
Following reports on the past year's activities, from the Chairman, Treasurer & Secretary, discussion turned to future meetings and events.

Upon concluding the formal business, members entertained those present with their digital and slide presentations, covering a variety of locations and themes. Messrs K Falconer, J Harrold, R Walker, D Thompson, R McAdam, K Sanders & S Malcolm contributed.

Thursday 9th November 2017
Mysteries of Merseyside : Its Railways made Simpler
Bob Mowat

Our well-attended meeting featured Robert Mowat with the presentation “Mysteries of Merseyside: its railways made simpler”.
The Merseyrail operating area encompasses mainly Liverpool, Birkenhead, & Cheshire, and is unlike any other rail system, possessing a vast railway history comprising bits and pieces. Moreover, the railways are integrated, because of geography and history with society, and have inter-developed, the 19th century Industrial Revolution bringing commercial enterprises of various types to the area. The Port of Liverpool handled the import of commodities & the export of manufactured goods.
The pre-grouping railway routes to Liverpool were described, including GWR joint operation of the Wirral Railway. 1933 saw inward extension of Birkenhead Docks to create an Iron Ore Receiving Point for ‘John Summers’ Steelworks. Commentary was supplemented by numerous drawings, sketches, maps and plans.
Images included Lime Street Station, Allerton MPD, Liverpool Overhead Railway, Trans Pennine set, Liverpool Pullman, original DELTIC, Birkenhead Woodside tunnel entrance, Olive Mount Cutting, and the current Cl.507/508 Merseyrail EMUs that will be replaced in the next few years by Cl.777s.

An interesting evening.

Thursday 11th May 2017
Railways of Scotland
Dr Les Nixon

Dr. Les Nixon, and the presentation, “RAILWAYS OF SCOTLAND”, brought a large audience to our May Meeting.
The images ranged from the 1950s to the late 1990s, covering a multitude of subjects and locations. Dr. Nixon was in splendid form, dispensing many anecdotes during the evening.
We began with a DELTIC at Berwick upon Tweed in 1977, with Lindisfarne in the background. Notable images included the intact Lochee West Station from 1965, the final train to Forfar in June 1980, with a Cl. 40 at Stanley Jct., the original Fort William shed, early 1960s Ballachulish with Pickersgill 0-4-4 Tank, an 8F on Steam excursion at Wick, Glengarnock Aluminium Works and Peckett industrials in 1970, a Cl.26 on coal train to Cockenzie PS, a Cl.4 leaving Kyle of Lochalsh 1997, Polmont shed in 1962, St Margaret’s in 1963, a J37 shunting at Inverbervie in 1965, a Cl.31 on semi-fast to Newcastle, pre-electrification, Blackpool to Stranraer NI Saturday Summer extra with pair of 26s, ‘Miles Beevor’ at Laurencekirk on Aberdeen-Glasgow Buchanan St. in 1965/6 and a Cl. 5 at Dunblane with northbound freight during 1960s.

An excellent evening of nostalgia, ending our Winter Season on a high note.

Thursday 13th April 2017
Bendy Engines
Mike A. Stephen

Mike Stephen’s presentation, “Bendy Engines” (Beyer Garratts, etc), highly entertained a large audience.
The presentation encompassed Fairlie, Mallet, Meyer & Beyer Garratt machines. Extensive information on each type was provided, accompanied by photographs of the machinery, and associated plans.
Fairlies succeed on the Ffestiniog due to the short distances travelled, but are generally unsuitable overseas because of restricted operational distance, and maintenance difficulties.
5000+ Mallets, incorporating a swivelling front bogie, the rear bogie being fixed, were built between 1887 and 1961. The French 60cm routes, metre-gauge and NG systems were their home territory. Overseas, the US were largest users, think “Big Boy”. Mallets also feature on the Harz NG.
Jean Jacques Meyer, with his son, patented in 1861 a system of tank locomotive articulation. The first examples were employed in France, Belgium & Switzerland. Royal Saxon State Railways were largest users, employing them on standard and 750mm Narrow Gauge.
Robert Garratt worked with Beyer Peacock, overseeing with BP Chief Engineer, the introduction of articulated locomotives, a patent being granted in 1908. 1651 Beyer-Garratts were constructed until Beyer-Peacock closed in 1966. Africa were biggest market for Garratts. Garratts were operated by 86 railways in 46 countries. 250 were still extant in 2011.

Thursday 9th March 2017
Then + Now
Dr. Mike A. Cooper

Dr. Mike Cooper, and the presentation, “Then & Now” (GNSR Lines), produced a large attendance at our March Meeting.
Dr. Cooper began with an update on the ongoing work at Grantown-on-Spey East, currently being renovated to become a tourist attraction, followed by a selection of images of locations and infrastructure of the Great North area, including Abbey of Deer Halt, Aberdeen Palace Hotel in 1912/1914, Aberdeen Suburban Station, Aberlour with a Cl.40, Advie, Alford, Arnage, Auchnagatt, Banff, Bankhead, Subby’ departing Bieldside, Boddam, Bridge Street Halt, Buckie, Buckpool, Cairnbulg, Cairnie Junction, Carron, Inverurie Colony, Craigellachie, Cruden Bay & Cullen.
This was followed with a “Then & Now” journey on the Deeside Line, including Holburn Street, Ruthrieston, Pitfodels, Cults, West Cults. Muchals, Murtle, Milltimber, Eyesight Testing Signals, Culter, Drum Station & Cabin, Park, Park crossing Keeper’s cottage, Crathes, Oldmeldrum as was, now at Milton of Crathes, Battery Railcar, original Banchory station, Dee Street Halt, Glassel, Torphins, Beltie Viaduct, Satan’s Den cutting, Lumphanan, Dess, Down side Aboyne station, 2-6-4 tank at Aboyne, Clayton on last Deeside Goods, Dinnet, Cambus O’May, Ballater Station following the fire, Braemar, the original Bus Depot, early Fife Arms Hotel and now.

An evening of nostalgia, highly evocative.

Saturday 11th February 2017
Digital Enhancement of Railway Photographs - Part 2
Dr. David P. Williams

Our February meeting entitled ‘Digital Enhancement of railway photographs part 2’ by David Williams had a good audience in spite of inclement weather.
As an introduction, images from 1959 of locomotives at Darlington Works awaiting scrapping, including examples of D49/Hunt’ and remains of a K2’, while at Doncaster Works an N1 and B17 ‘Sandringham’ awaited scrapping.
Doncaster Shed housed a B16, ex-works K3, W1, and in the station, a GCR tank. Also at Doncaster, SNG on the day of SLS Silver Jubilee run was also seen.
Selby shed housed a T1 4-8-0T, Morpeth provided a J25, Dunbar shed a V2 and J36, ‘William Whitelaw’, D11 ‘Director’, at Haymarket, & D49’ Dunbartonshire’ at St. Margaret’s.
“Computer Coloured Monochrome”, a process of adding colour to a Black and White original facilitated by Photoshop, was described, including the compensation required when the original image was on orthochromatic or panchromatic film. Finished work included Edinburgh examples - Lord President at Haymarket, William Whitelaw & Director ‘James Fitzjames’ at Waverley.
David Williams is working with NRM on images from the R D Stephen Archive.
The final image illustrated the 3 original LMS Duchesses on Press Day at Crewe Works, the original negative being approximately A4 size.

An excellent afternoon meeting.

last updated: 03/01/18