7th October 2019 · ‘The Peter Bland Collection – Parts 4 and 5’

Presenter: Bryan Cross

There was an attendance of approximately 35 Members and friends at Weston Favell on Monday afternoon, 7th October. Bryan Cross showed Parts 4 and 5 of his presentations of photographs from the “Peter Bland Collection”.

In his photographing days, Peter made fairly copious notes of his subject matter, and Bryan has obviously spent a great deal of time piecing together additional information whilst describing the pictures. Much of this information may not have been available to Peter at the time, and the effect, even if it was possible, gives the impression that the photographs might have been taken the day before yesterday! The show started with a view at Kentish Town loco in October 1955, and in true date order continued with an RCTS Railtour taking in much of the northern area of the Fens, using the novel idea of 2 separate trains, from Kings Cross and Nottingham, which combined at Peterborough, using a selection of motive power we can only dream of nowadays. Much industrial power was also included.

Yesterday’s “tour” took us to many parts of BR in 1955 to 1959, and so a little of the modern traction that has now long gone was shown in its infancy. A shot of Fowler 3F 0-6-0 43496, dating from 1896, in ex- works, fully repainted in unlined black, complete with an early use of the second BR emblem showed how the paint-shop always placed the emblems on the old Midland Railway tenders that had an upright strengthening strap half way along the tender, to the side of the upright, making things a little lopsided! The subsidence we all remember at Hasland shed was also discussed by those present.

Other non-locomotive interest was what we all knew as the “Hadley Wood widening” of the late 1950s. There was a little discussion here as to how the GN main line failed to be closed for 3 or 4 years whilst the work was carried out!

South Wales was well covered in industrial terms, and one of Bryans’ throwaway comments led your reviewer to seek out the origins of Newport County football club.

This was an excellent presentation with the right amount of added commentary to interest all, and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone present.