12th February 2020 · ‘The Monmouthshire Railway and Canal Company in Newport’

Presenter: Ray Viney

For our February meeting, Ray Viney (of the Monmouthshire Railway Society) gave an excellently illustrated talk about the Monmouthshire Railway & Canal Company in Newport. What had the potential to be a dull history of a localised transport network transpired into a superbly researched and illustrated presentation by an expert with a passion for his subject.

Ray described the talk as a journey through the relevant parts of Newport from 1796 to the present day and presented maps and diagrams to show the development, progress and ultimately, the almost complete decline of this network.

To the reviewer (who has some geographical knowledge of the area) the whole presentation ‘clicked’ into place with the photographic evidence showing how things were and in some instances, how things are now. We saw some pictures from about a hundred years ago that would have been challenging to capture on ‘glass plates’, the equipment would have been heavy and difficult to carry, but their quality was as good if not better than modern digital images. The most surprising pictures seen were those taken during the last couple of decades clearly showing the contraction of the railway network when compared to earlier shots at the same location.

Brilliant show, I loved it!