Railway & Transport Club

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

The Club has over 40 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

Currently meetings are being held via Zoom:

26 January '50 years of Photography on the Preserved Great Central'

Monthly Report

This year we broke with tradition and held a meeting in December.  We began on a sad note with the news of the death of one of our stalwarts, John Milner.  The meeting took the form of a quiz prepared by Jim Dunning.  It was a most enjoyable evening with slides covering ships, buses, trolleybuses and, of course, railways.  The questions were enlivened by Jim’s cryptic hints.  There was agreement that we must hold a similar meeting in the future.  Our thanks to Jim for his hard work in providing such entertaining and enjoyable event.

w DSC00107WThe photograph below was taken by Jim, probably sitting in his car.  Can you identify the spot where it was taken?  The answer will be provided next time.

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On Tuesday 17th November Jim Dunning entertained us, by means of Zoom, with the first of two talks on the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS).  The fact that Jim’s presentation will be split over two meetings is due to the size of the LMS.  A number of writers have commented that the LMS was too large. Jim produced data comparing the four companies produced by the amalgamation of 1922 which showed that it was far larger than the other three in all respects.  As to where it ran, Jim said from Swansea to Wick in the north of Scotland.  It was at the latter place where we began our journey by catching a train to Inverness.  Of particular note here was the station at Dunrobin Castle originally built as a private station by the Duke of Sutherland.

We diverted along the line to the Kyle of Lochalsh where it is possible to see the bridge over the sea to Skye.  On our way from Inverness to Glasgow we called at the preserved Strathspey Railway where typical LMS coaches were to be seen.  We did not linger long in Glasgow but took a side trip to Wemyss Bay where the interior of the station is worth seeing.

A visit to one of the preserved railways can give the impression that the engines were always clean and polished.  The reality was shown by trips to the locomotive depots at Carnforth and Rose Grove (near Burnley) where the general atmosphere was of dirt and grime-encrusted engines.  Very different was the Midland Hotel at Morecambe which was rebuilt by the LMS in pristine white Art Deco style.

At Liverpool we journeyed on the suburban lines (Mersey Electric) before we finished our trip at Bolton Trinity Street.  Jim had treated us to a splendid journey full of interest and we look forward to resuming our journey before too long.

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Our next meeting will be on 26th January, a week later than usual, when we will have a Zoom meeting on ’50 years of Photography on the Preserved Great Central’.  All are welcome to join us.

John Soer

Annual Report (March 2020)

No. 60WOur programme in 2019 was wide ranging, taking in topics such as Transport in the 2020s, Railway Archaeology, and an evening devoted to prose and verse on transport themes.  Geographically topics covered have ranged from Berkshire to Southern Africa.

Our average attendance of about 25 is on a par with that of similar groups in the area.

We do attract a significant number who are not church members, giving them chance to meet those with similar interests.  The sale of members’ old magazines has enabled us to raise £125 for the Railway Children Charity.

John Soer