British Rail in the Early 1980s – The Swansong of Corporate Identity

Presenter: Mervyn Rogers

Physical Meeting at Shenfield Parish Hall

On 16th October, South Essex Branch member, Mervyn Rogers presented his talk on the “British Rail in the early 1980s - The Swansong of Corporate Identity” to 24 members and 4 visitors in Shenfield Parish Hall. Mervyn joined British Rail as a Traffic Management Trainee based in the Divisional Manager’s office at Doncaster in 1973 and his first two roles were Traffic Assistant at Shirebrook and then shift manager of freight operations at Tees Yard. He moved south in 1979, becoming Area Passenger and Parcels Manager at Broxbourne, then Regional Parcels Manager, South, based at Liverpool Street. His last three positions began in 1983 as Area Manager Shenfield, then Stratford before finally at North Thameside based at Southend Central before retiring from the railway in 1985 to work for Deloitte Haskins & Sells.

We can say that it was a very enjoyable evening seeing photos of the many classes of EMU and DMU especially in the East Anglia/ Southern area, the majority of which are no longer in existence. We seem to forget how many classes were about in the early 1980s most painted in Rail Blue (also known as Monastral Blue) with hauled stock in blue/grey livery but with Rail Blue liveried locos. A number of paint schemes were also used especially when the railway was split into sectors in the mid-1980s and of course the NSE “toothpaste” livery from 1986 in the London area. An entertaining evening with someone who was there at the time and brought the subject to life.