Railway & Transport Club

We meet at 7:45 pm on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, except August and December.  Contact: John Soer.

The Club has over 50 members and enables men and women of all ages to share their common interest.

We meet in the Bradbury Community Centre of the Methodist Church, in Rose Street, where members enjoy a wide range of good quality presentations on transport related subjects, with the opportunity for refreshments and time for a chat.

Future Programme

19 March
Travels with Bob
           Bob Shaddick

16 April
The Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway
           Roger Fagg

21 May
Railway Archaeology
           Mark Casson

18 June
60 years of Railway and other Photography
           David Canning

6 July (Sunday, 6:00pm)
Anniversary Service

16 July
African Adventure
           David Brace

17 September
Literary Evening
           Organiser: Paul Hammond

Monthly Review

Our first meeting of 2019 saw the return of Paul Joyce with Part 2 of his presentation "London to Southampton".  Paul started at Basingstoke station where the metalwork supporting the platform canopies has been superbly restored.  We saw slides of the various types of traffic passing through the station, including the Bournemouth Belle with its Pullman Coaches.  Also of note was a 'Merchant Navy' in the experimental blue livery of British Railways - I much preferred the Brunswick Green which was eventually chosen.

The Basingstoke & Alton Light Railway, the first light railway to be built, opened in June 1901.  Passenger services ended in 1932 with goods trains lasting until 1936 when the line was lifted, apart from a short stretch at both ends which served industrial premises. The line was used in the production of the films 'Oh, Mr Porter!' (1937) and 'The Wreck' (1929).  A clip of a spectacular crash from the latter film can be seen online. Paul showed us not only slides of the railway in its heyday but also of the remains of the line that can still be found today.

At Alton the national network meets the preserved 'Watercress Railway' which in BR days served as a very useful diversionary route.  Paul's slides also showed the wildlife to be found there, including slowworms.

Our next stop was at Winchester where again Paul illustrated the wide variety to be seen on the line during the last eighty years or so.  An aerial photograph of Eastleigh shows the very extensive nature of the railway facilities there along with the network of lines.

Finally, at Southampton we visited both the Terminus and Central stations.  The size of the former showed that a considerable number of passengers must have come from the ocean liners.

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On the 19th March Bob Shaddick will show more transport gems from his collection of photographs in a presentation "Travels with Bob". All are welcome.

John Soer

Annual Review (February 2019)

London Underground 1922WWe have again enjoyed a very varied and interesting programme ranging through paddle steamers, canals, an airfield and the London Underground to the architectural heritage of the railways.

Our average attendance has dropped to about 29 each month, caused by the ill-health and increasing age of our members.

This year our annual service was conducted by Mike Bowstead who based a very stimulating service on the theme of 'Bridges', in which he emphasized that we should 'Build Bridges, not Walls'

A significant number of those at our meeting are not church members, so we provide an opportunity to meet and talk to others with similar interests.  Also as part of our outreach, the sale of magazines etc. has raised £140 for the Railway Children Charity.


John Soer