Watford [WFD]

Metropolitan Railway Electric No. 5 "John Hampden" arriving at Watford station with the brakevan special to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the class on Sunday 16th July 1972. Classmate No. 12 "Sarah Siddons" was on the rear of the train which reversed at Watford and travelled to Amersham via Watford North Junction. Image Credit: Geoff Plumb
Metropolitan Railway Electric No. 5 "John Hampden" arriving at Watford station with the brakevan special to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the class on Sunday 16th July 1972. Classmate No. 12 "Sarah Siddons" was on the rear of the train which reversed at Watford and travelled to Amersham via Watford North Junction. Image Credit: Geoff Plumb.

Welcome to the Watford Branch pages of the RCTS website.

Both physical and online Zoom meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month, apart from August when we take a summer break.

Physical meetings are held at Beechen Grove Baptist Church, Clarendon Rd, Watford WD17 1JJ, in the first floor Conference Room (this is a recent change from the third floor Lecture Hall) – at present, our next physical meeting is scheduled for 6th September 2022, Zoom meetings may recommence for the winter months of January 2023 until March 2023.

Members from all branches are welcome to attend all our meetings, as are non-members, visitors, and guests – and membership is easily available. A door donation, at physical meetings, of £2.00 is requested from members, and £3.00 from non-members, this entitles you to a raffle ticket as well. Refreshments are usually available at these meetings for an extra £0.40 * – serve your own at Zoom meetings (!)… Donations for Zoom meetings, in units of £2.00, can be made via the website if you so wish, to help alleviate costs that still continue in the background, even when we are not having physical meetings

Several members meet up prior to physical meetings at the local Wetherspoons (‘The Moon Under Water’, 44 High Street, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD17 2BS) for a meal and a chat – all welcome to join us, though we may not all get to sit together. We are there from around 17:30.

Meetings start at 19:30, the room is available from around 19:00 and we finish around 22:00. The venue is a few minutes’ walk from Watford Junction Station or Watford High Street and local buses stop outside. There is limited car parking at the venue, generally available after 18:00, also local multi-storey car parks and on-street parking, free after 18:30.

We generally organise at least one outdoor fixture during the warmer months to railway-themed destinations – potentially subject to any further government restrictions with regard to the Covid-19 situation.

* Refreshments will not be available until our September 2022 meeting - in the meantime you are welcome to bring your own supplies for our mid-meeting break.

What's on


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Geoff Plumb
tel: Home: 01844 290226 Mobile: 07710 172758
email: watfordchair@rcts.org.uk
Rosemary Cottage, 13 Rudds Lane, Haddenham, Aylesbury, Bucks HP17 8JP


Rob Davidson
tel: Home: 01386 830502 Mobile: 07803 941531
email: watford@rcts.org.uk
2 Legion Court, Middle Littleton, Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 8JH

Meeting reports

That Was the Year That Was – 1974, by Geoff Plumb, 7th June 2022

03 Aug 2022

5th July 2022 Meeting For our last meeting of the season on 5th July we had our regular July speaker, Watford Branch Chairman Geoff Plumb with another in his series…

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A Broadgauge Journey from Paddington to the West – Part 1, by Reverend Canon Brian Arman, 7th June 2022

03 Aug 2022

7th June 2022 Meeting For our June meeting we had our much travelled Society President, Reverend Canon Brian Arman, visit us to show his slide presentation of ‘A Broad Gauge…

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Wrexham & Shropshire, a Photographic Retrospective, by Geoff Plumb, 3rd May 2022

03 Aug 2022

3rd May 2022 Meeting Our scheduled speaker for May had to cancel at the last moment due to Covid issues and our Branch Chairman Geoff Plumb stepped into the breach…

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AGM, Followed by ‘Vivarail: designing and building low-emission trains in the UK’, by David Horton, 5th April 2022

31 Jul 2022

Watford Branch AGM, Followed by ‘Vivarail: designing and building low-emission trains in the UK’, by David Horton. April is the new month of our Branch AGM, and this was over…

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Revolution Very Light Railway, by Darren Smith, 1st March 2022

31 Jul 2022

1st March 2022 Meeting We welcomed Darren Smith from TDI [Transport Design International] to talk about The Revolution Very Light Railway, a train for the quieter branch lines. Its launch…

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‘Yours Faithfully’, by Bernie Holland, 1st February 2022

25 Jul 2022

1st February 2022 Meeting For our February Zoom meeting we welcomed former Branch Secretary Bernie Holland, who presented ‘YOURS FAITHFULLY’, a look at the photographs of Jack Faithfull and some…

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An Evening with Phil Marsh, 4th January 2022

25 Jul 2022

4th January 2022 Meeting For our January Meeting we started off with the first of three Zoom meetings and welcomed Philip Marsh for an interesting two-parter talk: ‘The inside story…

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7th December 2021 – ‘Members’ Presentations’

01 Feb 2022

7TH DECEMBER 2021 MEETING After a couple of physical meetings it was back to a virtual Zoom meeting, and as usual for December we had an evening of Members’ presentations.…

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‘Northern Travels Past & Present’

08 Dec 2021

2nd November 2021 Meeting For our second physical meeting since March 2020 we welcomed Steve ‘Slasher’ Batty, who is the RCTS Branch News Editor, for his presentation of ‘Northern Travels…

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East Coast Main Line Part 1 – King’s Cross to York

05 Oct 2021

Presenter: Stephen Gay For our first physical meeting since March 2020 we welcomed Stephen Gay for his eighth Watford visit with his presentation of ‘EAST COAST MAIN LINE – PART…

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Rob’s Years – 1997

07 Sep 2021

Presenter: Rob Freeman This was going to be a physical meeting, our first since March 2020, but our usual venue was unavailable and also after taking a poll amongst Branch…

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6th July 2021 · ‘That was the year that Was – 1962’

06 Jul 2021

Presenter: Geoff Plumb It’s July and that means only one thing at Watford, the eagerly anticipated presentation by our Branch Chairman Geoff Plumb with another in his evocative series of…

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1st June 2021 · ‘The Grand Tour’

01 Jun 2021

Presenter: Richard Morris We welcomed Cheltenham Branch Member Richard Morris for his presentation of ‘The Grand Tour’ which was a VSOE trip to Venice and Part Two for trips to…

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4th May 2021 · North Korea

04 May 2021

Presenter: Colin Miell On Tuesday 4th May we welcomed Colin Miell from the LCGB for a Zoom presentation of his ground-breaking travels with the Locomotive Club of Great Britain to…

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6th April 2021 · ‘Railway Photographs from Glass Plates’

06 Apr 2021

Presenter: David Postle Adrian White*, our booked speaker for the meeting had to call off the evening before the presentation but he suggested a friend who l managed to get…

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2nd March 2021 · This is a luxury I can’t afford

02 Mar 2021

Presenter: Bernie Holland We welcomed back former Branch Chairman and Secretary Bernie Holland to host his show by Zoom entitled ‘THIS IS LUXURY I CAN’T AFFORD’ for which we had…

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2nd February 2021 · ‘Ramblings of a Head Station Master’

02 Feb 2021

Presenter: Dave Boot For the first Tuesday of February 2021 we had another Zoom meeting with a show entitled ‘Ramblings of a Head Station Master’ by Dave Boot, who worked…

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5th January 2021 · AGM, followed by ‘Gems from the Casserley Collection’

05 Jan 2021

Presenter: Rob Freeman This is the time of year for our Branch AGM and we had 23 Branch members in attendance as well as quite a few visitors. There were…

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1st December 2020 · Members’ Presentations

01 Dec 2020

Branch Member Humphrey Gillott started the evening off with shots from 2002/03 taken at Forders Sidings on the Bedford to Bletchley Line. He showed the Signal Box exterior and also…

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3rd November 2020 · Rail touring

03 Nov 2020

Presenter: Rob Freeman For our 3rd November Zoom meeting we had a return visit from Branch Member Rob Freeman with a presentation about his past Rail tours he was either…

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1st September 2020 · ‘The Honeybourne Line’

01 Sep 2020

Presenter: Bernie Holland RCTS Watford Branch members and friends assembled on the ZOOM platform on Tuesday 1st September for Bernie’s presentation which was dedicated to the memory of acclaimed railway…

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4th August 2020 · ‘Members’ Digital Slides’

04 Aug 2020

At Watford Branch we don’t normally have an August meeting, but because we are now having Zoom meetings we thought we would have one to make up for meetings lost…

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30th June and 7th July 2020 · ‘That was the year that Was – 1963’

07 Jul 2020

Presenter: Geoff Plumb After having our Branch Meetings postponed for April, May and June, due to the virus pandemic, we arranged a Zoom virtual meeting organised by David Jackman (Society…

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3rd March 2020 · ‘Capturing the present and re-creating the past’

03 Mar 2020

Presenter: Jason Cross For our 3rd March meeting we welcomed Leicester-based Jason Cross for a first visit to present ‘Capturing the present and re-creating the past’. We saw many locomotives…

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4th February 2020 · ‘A Pictorial Review of the 1935-1962 Tube Stock Family’

04 Feb 2020

Presenter: Brian Hardy For our February meeting Brian Hardy paid us a return visit for ‘A Pictorial Review of the 1935-1962 Tube Stock Family’ which followed on from his Standard…

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7th January 2020 · Member’s slides

07 Jan 2020

Our AGM on 7thJanuary saw only 14 present plus the four committee members. The fifth member, ‘Mistress of the Urn’ Lizzie Davidson, was absent due to recently cracking two ribs…

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3rd December 2019 · Portugal

03 Dec 2019

At Watford we occasionally have to make allowances for travel when Watford FC play at home on a Tuesday coinciding with one of our meetings – this time it happened…

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5th November 2019 · European Miscellany

05 Nov 2019

Presenter: Rob Freeman We welcomed back Branch Member Rob Freeman for a European Miscellany and we had a good attendance of 29 to mark the occasion!! Rob was giving a…

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1st October 2019 · ‘Titled Trains of the MML’

01 Oct 2019

Presenter: Ray Schofield At our October meeting, 23 hardy souls turned up on a foul evening to welcome Ray Schofield with ‘Titled Trains of the MML’. The colour and B&W…

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3rd September 2019 · The Art of Timetabling’

03 Sep 2019

Presenter: Andy Smith For our first meeting of the new season we welcomed Andy Smith who is a consultant with WSP, a Rail Planning Company whose experts are helping adapt…

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2nd July 2019 · An evening with Father’s slides – Steam within the M25’

02 Jul 2019

Presenter: David Cross On 2nd July 2019 we welcomed David Cross to the branch for the first time to present ‘An evening with Father’s slides – Steam within the M25’.…

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4th June 2019 · Australia

04 Jun 2019

Presenter: Rob Freeman At our June 2019 meeting we welcomed Branch Member Rob Freeman to give us Part 2 of his Australian jaunts, this time between Melbourne and Adelaide in…

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2nd June 2019 · Outing to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway

02 Jun 2019

Watford Branch Outing Report. On Sunday 2nd June 2019 I organised a full day out on the GWSR and along with myself there was a healthy attendance of seventeen members…

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6th October 2020 · ‘North from Euston in the 1960s’

06 Oct 2010

Presenter: David Jackman On the 6th October we welcomed RCTS Webmaster David Jackman, who went to great lengths at fairly short notice to present the show ‘North from Euston in…

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