A warm welcome is assured at Chichester.
We meet for a prompt 19:30 start on the fourth Wednesday of the month, except December when we meet on the third Wednesday. There are no meetings in June, July and August.
Prior to the Covid pandemic our meetings were held at:-
West Sussex County Council, Council Meeting Room 3, County Hall, West Street, Chichester PO19 1RQ.
The venue is centrally situated close to the Cathedral, within easy reach of local bus services and Chichester railway station. Car parking is available on site. Our initial meeting was in September 2007 following much preparatory work and canvassing of known local RCTS members in the area. From humble beginnings attendances have grown through the years requiring on occasions the use of a larger room. Flexibility that the County Council building affords us.
Our annual programme is always varied, invited speakers, presentations covering all aspects of railway history, operation, infrastructure, publicity and art, archaeology, and people, the list is endless. We are fortunate to be visited by senior railway professionals including, in recent years, representatives from our local Train Operating Companies, South West Trains, Southern and First Great Western, the latter now the Great Western Railway. A rare opportunity to question and chat to the decision makers within the rail industry. Retired railway professionals, e.g. Gordon Pettit, Chris Green have enthralled the audience with their presentations and given us an insight into the management of the railway in recent decades.
Historical evenings are always popular, the more so when accompanied by a wealth of visual images. Many an appreciative sigh can be heard from elder members of the audience as long gone memories are resurrected. For example, the highly respected Ted Goodman has covered the subjects “Is your journey really necessary – The Southern Region in World War II”, “The Necropolis Railway” and “The History of Waterloo Station” in three delightful, comprehensive presentations. Railway Earthworks – an unlikely subject title, but one of many unusual evenings which have enthralled and educated the audience. This presentation, in fact, preceded by only a matter of days the horrendous conditions encountered on the rail network following heavy rain and gales, culminating in the massive breech of the sea wall at Dawlish in early 2014. Timely indeed! Professional travel writers and journalists have many tales to tell, and views to extol, Christian Wolmar’s visit to Chichester being another memorable evening. We don’t forget “steam” of course, but there are so many interesting subjects to delight the audience.
Specific subject matter and descriptive presentation title is important, thus ensuring there is a clear understanding, expectation and purpose to each evening. Whilst every individuals level of interest in each topic will vary, many a time a new interest is created and the comment heard “I’m glad I didn’t miss that” Overseas railways have also featured, a recent evening highlighting how favourably the British Railway system stands against most overseas operations.
Our committee has recently been strengthened with the intention of building on the past success of the branch. Visits, similar to that enjoyed by several members to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway have proved popular. Members suggestions for moving the branch forward are always welcome.
Age is no barrier to enjoying an evening in Chichester and joining us at County Hall. Both members and non-members are very welcome to attend. Refreshments are provided during the interval and we conclude between 21:45 and 22:00. We ask for a small donation of £3 (£2 for RCTS members) to cover meeting costs etc.
We look forward to seeing you at a Chichester Branch meeting soon!
Yes we really do. Our monthly meetings during the current pandemic are virtual, using Zoom. See our events page for details.
Click the venue name to see more
Geoff Adams, Ian Mckey, Julian Clark, John Barrowdale,
Honorary Branch President
Presenter: Lee Davies For the last presentation of the current season, Chichester Branch, including the many virtual attendees from elsewhere, were treated to a wonderful selection of anecdotes from Lee…Read More
Presenter: Derek Huntriss Derek’s presentation consisted of two-parts, the first half covering what was, in the 1980’s “Modern Traction” and the second half covered Mainline Steam in the same period.…Read More
Presenter: David Brown David presented a very special collection of images depicting scenes from the middle of the last century in and around the South East of England. The first…Read More
Presenter: Colin Brading The lure of the Isle of Wight attracted a bumper audience to County Hall. Colin began by explaining the unique geography of the area and how the…Read More
Presenter: Geoff Boote Our December meeting was held two weeks earlier than our normal monthly meetings to avoid the Christmas period. The Branch AGM comprised the first part of the…Read More
Presenter: David Brown The October meeting of Chichester Branch was entitled Classic Southern Electric in Colour, presented by David Brown, one of our own members, who also sits on the…Read More
Presenter: Keith Brown An encouraging audience of fifty gathered for our first meeting of the new season to hear Keith Brown give an illustrated presentation entitled ‘The Mid Hants Railway…Read More
A dozen or so Chichester members went abroad on Sunday 09 June. Well almost! We visited the Isle of Wight Steam Railway on a lovely warm sunny day. Perfect weather…Read More
Presenter: Brian Hardy Over 40 members and supporters attended this excellent meeting in which Brian Hardy demonstrated the changes that have taken place within the London Underground (LU) throughout the…Read More
14 Chichester members plus a guest from Surrey branch enjoyed an escorted tour of the Eastleigh works site. Our lead guide, Norman, was an expert on all things connected with…Read More