21st November 2019 · “Variations – Far and Wide”

Presenter: Gavin Morrison

A very different style of presentation was given by a favourite of the Branch, Gavin Morrison, which allowed members of the audience to select differing groups of images from his vast photographic collection. Having travelled very widely in the world of railways particularly in the days of steam this, when combined with his superb photographic ability, resulted in a top quality programme of great variation.

Travels abroad featured on a number of occasions illustrating steam activities in India and South Africa on their broad and narrow gauge systems. Most memorable were pictures of Indian ‘streamlined’ express engines photographed on shed under the shade of the setting sun. South Africa was to provide a selection that concentrated on their “condensing” locomotives with tenders larger than the engines!! Not to be omitted were the Beyer-Garratts of Zimbabwe shown on Bulawayo shed and in action along the main line.

Scotland provided a number of showings. The initial selection was focussed at Oban, where the Caledonian Single and “Glen” class were to be seen on Railtour duties in 1963. The grouping was broadened to show images of the sea-going ferries which existed at that time. Visits to Glasgow and the Far Lines North yielded many of the Scottish 37’s in typical Highland scenery whilst more up-to-date scenes of 91’s and Pendolinos at Central Station completed the story.

Local action featured 1960’s traffic movements at Leeds Central, which embraced the early days of dieselisation and latter day steam services. Shed bashing photography at Holbeck and Neville Hill depots also featured.

For local enthusiasts a significant section described sightings of the very popular Newcastle/Red Bank Vans service which, more often than not, was a steam double-headed operation, frequently passing across West Riding territory. Modern day activities described wanderings of HST’s off their beaten track, especially in Northern locations such as Halifax, Huddersfield, Ilkley and many more.

This wide ranging and far reaching presentation was greatly enjoyed by a well-attended audience.