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

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

14 September (Saturday)
Visit to Amberley Chalk Pits Museum
           Booking Required

17 September
Literary Evening
           Organiser: Paul Hammond

Monthly Review

On 16th April we welcomed Roger Fagg from the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway. Roger began by telling us about the history of the line which originally ran from Princes Risborough to Watlington.  The inhabitants of Watlington and Chinnor wanted a railway to provide a link to the main line at Princes Risborough, but the GWR was not interested.  So, a group of local landowners decided that they would build their own railway. Prominent among these was the Earl of Macclesfield at Shirburn Castle who probably felt that he would benefit by being able to send the livestock and produce from his estate more reliably to London.  The line eventually opened to passengers on 15th August 1872.  The company soon ran into financial difficulties and for a while the directors ran the line at their own expense. After being approached a number of times, the GWR took over the line.  They decided to relay the track and open a number of halts.

Roger then went on to show us a number of photographs of the staff, trains and stations from the 1920s through to the 1950s.  By the 1950s the number of passengers had declined to such an extent that the line closed on 29th June 1957.  The track between Chinnor and Princes Risborough was retained to serve the large cement works and a wood yard in Chinnor. When the latter closed, the station, including the platform, at Chinnor was demolished.  The last train to the cement works ran in December 1989.  Chinnor1673Before the line had closed a group was formed with the aim of reopening the line between Chinnor and Princes Risborough.

We then saw slides of the various stages of the restoration, particularly the station building at Chinnor which has externally been re-erected as it was in the flint and brick typical of the Chilterns.  Travel to Princes Risborough station became possible with the official opening of platform 4 there in August 2018.  Roger ended his talk with a look at the restoration of Princes Risborough North signal box which, in its heyday, had 147 levers. 

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On 21st May we welcome again Professor Mark Casson of Reading University who will show us more of the wonderful buildings and structures built to provide train services.  Those who have seen Mark's earlier presentations will know that we will be treated to a stimulating evening.

On 18th June we welcome David Canning with a presentation, '60 years of Railway and other Photography'.  This will be a treat of historic photos from David whose work, particularly of West Berkshire, has been widely published.

Visit to the Amberley Chalk Pits Museum

On Saturday 14th September there will be an outing to the Amberley Museum who will be holding their steam weekend.  There is a wide range of things to be seen at the museum which consists of over 40 exhibits covering topics such as the history of transport and communications with a narrow-gauge railway and historic buses.  There is an emphasis on traditional crafts such as a blacksmith, pottery, woodturning and broom-making as well as a print shop.  Those who wish to do so will be able to visit Arundel with its castle and shops.  The total cost of coach and entrance to the museum will be £30. If you would like to join us, please contact Cecily Amos.

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