9th December 2019 · ‘Branch AGM & Members’ Presentations’

On 9 December the branch held its AGM and the treasurer reported a healthy set of accounts and recommended that membership donations at meetings be reduced. This was accepted and the existing committee were re elected en bloc for another year.

Our members presentations commenced with John Smock describing the background design features of the new Stadler Flirt and Aventra units soon to enter service with Greater Anglia. He also described a little know heritage railway on Alderney in the Channel Islands and also the Southend Pier Railway.

After a break for seasonal refreshments, Dave Chappel showed some black and white images of Great Eastern steam classes ranging from the Class J70 trams used around the dock complex at Ipswich to the B12 4-6-0s which worked many of the mainline express services in the area. Many of the images were taken locally and around the Stratford depot area in London and included ex works and locomotives awaiting disposal.

Then Bev Steele presented 50 years ago this year which was a series of colour slide scans taken at Hitchin, March ,Peterborough, Thetford and Kings Cross with some comparisons of the same view today. Highlights included Class 25s on the holiday extras to Great Yarmouth and also the complex trackwork at Whitemoor Junction. Many of the locomotives were still in the attractive two tone green livery as BR corporate blue was not very widespread then.

Finally John Day presented a history of railtours in East Anglia from the mid eighties. We saw the first commercial electric service at Ipswich in 1985, a farewell tour of East Anglia featuring D200 in 1987, and a tour around Ipswich docks by heritage DMUs. Also the visit of Tornado to Great Yarmouth in 2017 was covered together with a Class 37 tour to Stansted Airport prior to its opening.