Guide to traffic in branch area


The spring/summer indoor meetings programme is rapidly drawing to a conclusion and for the month of May two meetings were held, one of which was the second of the season’s afternoon sessions.Both are reported here.

By way of something different the May meeting comprised of a showing of DVD material derived from 1950’s and 60’s filmed material taken by the late ‘Cam’ Camwell who specialised in recording scenes well off the beaten track.Opening footage, in colour, recalled two Scottish rail tours on the West Highland and Great North of Scotland Railways when early day preserved Scottish locomotives were used as centrepiece attractions.

Interest was further extended as a trip the Emerald Isle provided a fascinating insight into the delightful Cavan & Leitrim and Tralee & Dingle narrow gauge railways in the days preceding their inevitable closure.Celtic travels also extended into Welsh territory where much was to be seen of remote branch line activities in South Wales featuring little used but interesting lines around Port Talbot, Pembroke, Cardigan and Carmarthen.

Material from English counties began with a showing of activities in North Eastern regions where the North Sunderland Light Railway was first to be featured.Film of everyday scenes illustrating the intense industrial nature of the Tyneside/Teeside areas provided something to widen the interest concentrating on activities around the docks at Blythe and the Lambton Colliery lines.Glimpses of the electrified Tyneside suburban were also to be seen as was rare footage taken in the Richmond and Masham localities.

Interest from the Yorkshire Ridings was plentiful as detailed passages illustrated the long closed branch lines between Cawood and Selby, plus both the Easingwold and Derwent Valley Railways.Various rail tours around the West Riding told of long closed branches in the areas around Huddersfield, visiting the towns and villages of Meltham, Kirk Burton, Rishworth and Stainland.A closing sequence showing Cam’s favourite surviving engines steaming together on the Keighley and Worth Valley was memorable and most appropriate.

At the end of May the second of the season’s afternoon meetings was a presentation by well-known photographer Steve Batty who was making a very welcome return to Saltaire.On this occasion his photographs comprised of illustrations mostly taken within the last couple of years.

This very well constructed programme initially covered action around the counties of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.Freight activities were well illustrated as visitations to Horbury, Stainforth, Barnetby, Brocklesby and beyond displayed the varied freight movements that are to be seen in these localities, along with the associated full array of modern day diesel motive power.Passenger duties were also on show and main line operations, chiefly along the ECML south of York, brought images of the line’s locomotives whilst the up and coming Azumas on test running provided an added bonus.Rail tour interludes employing both steam and/or interesting diesel motive power enhanced the variation of the presentation as did illustrations showing locomotive power seen in deepest Lincolnshire inclusive of ECML diversions where drags were to be observed.

In further widening the scope and area of the material trips to the Settle & Carlisle and the Forth Bridge provided a number of very photogenic pictures, whilst coverage of the NYMR ensured that steam power was not to be ignored.In conclusion glimpses of German narrow gauge steam in the proximity of Dresden, together with scenes from the last summer of Great Western HST’s, plus material taken at last year’s Society Members’ Weekend, based at Swanage, suitably concluded an afternoon show of superb photography.

Both meetings were very well patronised but it was particularly pleasing that the afternoon attracted an attendance well in excess of 30, an amount which was the second highest recorded for an afternoon session.

June’s meeting is that which is specifically dedicated to members’ presentations and for this three members have offered to provide the entertainment for the evening.First up will be Austin Hughes who has done a couple of presentations in the past, both of which have been favourably received by the members.On this occasion he will be telling of his steam day railway adventures around the Birmingham area.This is a second part to the talk he gave a couple of years ago and will doubtless be of the same high class quality.Post interval Tom Ickeringill and David Wilkinson have each put together material from their extensive collections.Both will be very different and will nicely vary the evening’s content.The meeting is arranged for the usual third Thursday in the month, i.e. 20th June, commencing at 7.30pm at Saltaire.

Once again I would like to remind members and any potential visitors that the annual outside evening meeting will be a visit to North Cliffe Woods, Shipley, where the Bradford Model Engineers will be running a number of engines around their circuits within the park.Driving experiences are available for adventurous members.A previous visit a few years ago proved to be a great success. Proceedings are set to commence at 6.30pm on WEDNESDAY 17th July.

Since reporting briefly on the AGM of the Society nothing of any further consequence has emerged from Centre as no Management meeting has since been held.This may well change as two are to be held in the very near future.I will report back accordingly.The minutes from the AGM have been finalised and will be published in the August RO.

Finally the Branch programme of meetings for 2019/2020 was made available at the meetings in May.To those who do not yet have a copy please note that they will be circulated, along with my annual letter, to the Branch members around the middle of August.

Last updated: 11th June 2019