Meeting Reports

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.

Saturday 21st January 2017
NCB Kinneil Colliery- BO'NESS
Robert Jardine

The January meeting, entitled “NCB Kinneil Colliery, Bo’ness”, with Robert Jardine, was very well attended.
Coal mining in the area goes back to the 1200s, the owner of land at Carriden granting the Monks of Holyrood a tenth of his coal. In 1769/1770 the lessee of Kinneil House, who also leased the mines in Kinneil, engaged a certain James Watt to get the steam engines driving the mine pumps working efficiently. A detailed history of mining and associated industries in Kinneil/Bo’ness followed, illustrated by numerous maps and photographs. The changes of ownership of the mine(s) were noted.
The Miner’s Welfare Institute opened in 1923, costing £4,000, hosting cricket, Angling Club, Quoits, Homing Pigeons, and Pitch & Toss. A Bowling Green opened in 1927, the Colliery Silver Band operating from 1953.
A new shaft, 22ft diameter & 2,400ft deep, was sunk in 1950, construction taking 7 to 8 years, designed to produce up to 3000 tons of coal daily, costing approximately £6,000,000.
Despite the investment, geological, and probably financial, problems contributed to the eventual closure of Kinneil Superpit in the autumn of 1982, a number of phases of redundancies from the mid 1970s predating eventual closure and subsequent demolition.

last updated: 22/09/17