15th April 2019 · Industrial Railways – Summer 1969

Presenter: John Hubbard

Due to the unavailability of the booked speaker, John Hubbard, (the joint branch president) stepped in with a talk on Industrial Steam in 1969.

In 1969 the opportunities for steam photography in Britain were limited to a nascent heritage sector or industrial steam, which was still reasonably plentiful. John talked about the trips he made in the summer of this year to sites from Fife to West Glamorgan.

He explained that access to the various sites was simple, with a simple request to the chief engineer. This permission was given in over 90% of cases, with visitors receiving a Health & Safety briefing, consisting of the phrase “Watch how you go”. Industrial steam was on the decline, caused by the closure of sites and dieselisation.

Gaining overnight accommodation was easy too, with a multitude of cheap boarding houses available. The accommodation was more basic than one would expect nowadays, with en-suite meaning a chamber pot under the bed. In one place, the pot turned out to be a bucket, so its use at night would create a noise that woke up other sleepers in earshot.

Many thanks are due to John for stepping in and creating an evening of nostalgia for those of a certain age and also showing younger enthusiasts the industrial heritage of steam engines on preserved railways now