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

17 October
Trams and Metro systems in Europe
           Steve Ollive

Steve, who spoke on Switzerland in 2015, returns

21 November
Annual General Meeting
followed by: NOXious or Not
           Jim Dunning

Jim illustrates 200 years of alternatives to diesel propulsion

Monthly Review

Our September meeting saw the return of Paul Chancellor who entertained us with a talk – 'A Sixth Colour-Rail Journey'.  Paul, the custodian of some 80,000 items is the leading supplier of colour images to the railway publishing industry.  In this presentation Paul took us to eight different locations, showing the differences in infrastructure and traffic that have taken place in the last 70 years or so.

The slides of the locomotive sheds at Carlisle showed what dirty and dangerous places could be.  Birmingham New Street, though dilapidated in the 1950s, was a more pleasant place to be than the present dingy, diesel fumes ridden construction.  (Nice shopping centre, awful railway station.)

One sight that has disappeared from our stations is that of piles of mail bags and vehicles pulling trolleys full of them along platforms.  Health and Safety Inspectors today would not be impressed by someone smoking while using gas cylinders, as was to be seen at Bournemouth.  At the same place, it was noticeable how well dressed people going on holiday were in the 1950s/60s.  The same could be said of the train-spotters at Paddington.  Collars, ties, short trousers and school caps were much in evidence.  At Reading, the boys were photographed sitting with their legs over the platform edge, though it was a little used bay platform.

No. 5 

Station 1972

John Soer


~ ~ ~

On 21st November we hold our Annual General Meeting, after which Jim Dunning will give a presentation 'NOXious or Not', when he will look at 200 years of alternatives to diesel propulsion.

John Soer

Annual Review for the calendar year 2016

Again we have enjoyed a varied and interesting programme ranging from Professor William Powrie's talk on the research being carried into railway track engineering, Paul Whittle on the railways of Siberia, the Somerset & Dorset Railway with David Brace to various aeronautical museums in the USA and Canada in the company of Colin Wells.  An innovation was the anthology of poetry and prose with a railway theme organised by Paul Hammond.

Our Annual Service was conducted this year by our President, Rev Catherine Bowstead.

In addition to these meetings we have held a Social Evening in the form of a fish & chips supper, and visited the Spa Valley Railway in Tunbridge Wells.

DSCN7697wPicture taken at Eridge Station on the Spa Valley Railway

We do reach out into the wider community in that a significant number of those attending our meetings are not members of our Church.  For these, as well as our own members, we provide an interesting evening in welcoming company.

The sale of second-hand magazines and books has during the year has enabled us to send £100 to the Railway Children Charity.  We have made a donation of a little over £500 to our Church.

John Soer