Presenter: Chris Meredith
Our season of “Zoom” meetings continued on Monday 8th March when the Branch Annual General Meeting took place in this format. Thirty-four members participated out of a current branch membership of 108. Chris Meredith, Peter Wilson and Jeremy Harrison reported on their respective spheres during the past year. Obviously the impact of the “lockdown”” featured prominently in all these reports. The Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and two committee members were re-elected unanimously with thanks from all present for their work during the very difficult past year.
After a short break Chris Meredith gave a presentation on “Operating Clan Line”. He explained that in addition to being Chairman of the Croydon and South London Branch of the R.C.T.S. he was also a working member of the Merchant Navy Locomotive Preservation Society – the owners and operators of 35028 Clan Line. It first emerged from Eastleigh Works in late December 1948 in malachite green livery and was allocated to Bournemouth (71B), Subsequent transfers took it to Dover (74C), Stewarts Lane (73A ) and Nine Elms (70A) before being rebuilt in October 1958. It finished its B.R. days at Weymouth (70G) and Nine Elms (70A) before being withdrawn from service on 9th July 1967 on the withdrawal of steam from the Bournemouth main line. The M.N.L.P.S. had been formed in 1965 with a view to preserving a suitable locomotive after its withdrawal from B.R. service. 35028 was selected because it was the most recent member of the class to receive a major repair and had a boiler in the best possible condition. The principal objective of the Society is to maintain the fully restored locomotive in fully operational condition for main line running. After its purchase from B.R. it has been housed in a variety of safe and secure locations but since 1999 has been based at Stewarts Lane where all routine maintenance is carried out by appropriately qualified volunteers. When working trains Clan Line is accompanied by a Working Party Support Crew who service the locomotive and travel in the Support Coach – an ex-B.R. BSK. Chris showed photographs of the many and varied less glamorous jobs that need to be done to keep the locomotive in tiptop mechanical condition and pristine visual condition.