29th April 2019 · Member’s Evening

Our last Branch Indoor meeting of the 2018/19 session was a Members Evening. It was well supported, but a few of the non-attendees would have enjoyed the fare of offer at least as much of those present.

Leading the charge was Tommy Tomalin, supported by Brian Sullivan, showing life on the preserved K&WVR from the early 1970s almost to the present day. The stations were represented as well as the locomotives and rolling stock, and a good number of the “countryside” shots were exactly that, and proved that life did not grind to a halt as the years after 1970 marched on. More than a few shouts could be heard regarding shots “then” that could not be taken “now”. The obviously damaged cab of Class 5 45212, that many of us recollect from 1967/68 was to the fore and there is still some doubt as to how the damage occurred, but never repaired by British Railways.

Following on was Lester Cooper who produced a series of colour (with the odd black and white) shots amounting to a who’s who of preserved locos. Just a few numbers for a change – 46115 at Perth, 60103 on the East Lancs line, 46512 at Aviemore, a youthful 60163, blue King 6023, double-headed Manors on the GC line, 34081, 34092, Castle 5043, Southern (30)777, and 2 Class 5s powering past Rugeley on what could have been ‘The Royal Scot’ in1955. These were the result of some skilful “placing” of the subject in the picture, with a shot of 46100 crossing the Far Cotton “15 Arches”, where no background was to be seen, but the location was unmistakeable.

David Scudamore then produced a number of pictures taken in the claustrophobic environs of the museum of Doncaster Grammar School, in which is shoe-horned just about every type of British railway artefacts imaginable, far too many to mention individually, but your reviewer had to note the nameplates of 45727, 45539, 46120, 45607, 45560, 46228, an the fortuitous saving of Harrow 1952 disaster engines 45637 and 46202. There were also a number of plates from the rest of the big four. David and Roberta had also visited Stainforth and Barnetby, where Class 142 and 144 were seen working along with various diesels on freight workings. Items in the museum are so closely packed that from one angle what appeared to be a nameplate “LAMPORT”, became, from a different angle, “FlamboYANT”.

After a late interval. Roger Whitehead produced a worthy slideshow of USA steam taken during a lengthy rail-tour in October 2000. Locos utilised included a preserved Western Maryland 2-8-0 No. 734, East Broad Top & Coal Co. Nos. 13 and 14, Strasburg Line No. 90, Reading Railroad cab-forward no. 1187, as well as “Steamtown” Big Boy 4012. Photography in the wide open spaces of the USA needs a slightly modified approach to that in the cramped situations usually found in the UK, and Roger has certainly managed to cope with that. We are grateful that his horizons were a little wider than some of ours!

Finally, as the clock wound down, a small selection of Brian Denny’s home-made slides covering his home ground around Duston West were shown, the idea being to send us all home with a “cosy glow”, but in fact we already had that feeling from the earlier offerings that comprised a very entertaining evening.