Monday 8th April 2019

'A Trainspotter's Odyssey'

Brian Arman

On Monday 8th April, the branch was pleased to welcome the Society President Brian Arman who came to present his slide show on the theme of "A Trainspotter's Odyssey". This was to be a journey from Gloucester back to Gloucester via Bristol, the S & D, Bournemouth, Waterloo, the London area and Birmingham.

There was an unfortunate start to the proceedings when the slide projector blew a bulb. Luckily a spare was available and after running repairs, the show commenced. The delay enabled Brian to explain how his interest in railways started and how things developed from there.

The slides came from several sources and largely concentrated on the 1950s and 60s. They gave a very comprehensive overview of the main line, local, and freight services in the locations shown. The motive power depots en route were covered and also many sidings and short freight branches to industrial sites. The steam locomotives shown were a wide range of GWR, SR, and BR types with the occasional diesel locomotive, DMU and EMU appearing.

Of particular interest were 1937 colour slides of SR locomotives nearly all in green livery and an aerial view of Eastleigh depot taken in the 1955 ASLEF strike and completely filled with out of service locomotives. An excess of slides however meant that the audience of 22 was only able to reach Waterloo, which we hope will lead to a return by Brian to complete our journey.

Many thanks to Brian for making the long journey to Sheffield to provide an excellent evening's entertainment of nostalgia covering an area not too familiar to the branch members and with very interesting slides and expert commentary..

The branch was formed in March 1950 and we are pleased to say that some of the original and early members are still attending indoor meetings. The geographical area covered by the Branch includes the Hope Valley, Chesterfield, Retford, Doncaster and Barnsley.

In years gone by the Branch organised rail tours and outdoor visits to railway sites, principally locomotive depots. Recently however, outdoor visits have been few and far between due to the loss of suitable railway sites and the restrictions now in place following the privatisation of the railway system.

Last updated: 12th April 2019