Hitchin & Welwyn Garden City [HTC]

Between Welwyn Garden City and Hitchin - LNER Azuma train heading north over Digswell Viaduct 8th September 2021 Image credit: John Dossett

Welcome to the Hitchin & Welwyn Garden City Branch.

We meet twice per month, once at Hitchin and once at Digswell, Welwyn, except for August when we make an outdoor visit.

The Hitchin meetings are held, in the evening, at Tilehouse Street Baptist Church, Upper Tilehouse Street, Hitchin SG5 2EE on the second Tuesday of each month except August. Doors open at 19:00 with the featured presentation from 19:30 to 22:00 (approx).

The Welwyn Garden City meetings are held, in the afternoon, at the Digswell Village Church Hall,  Warren Way, Digswell, Welwyn AL6 0DH on the last (third in December) Tuesday of each month (except August). Doors open at 13:30 with the featured presentation from 14:00 to 16:30 (approx).

Our meetings generally take the form of presentations on varied aspects of railway history and operational practice. The requested donations (£3 for members and £5 for non-members) include tea/coffee & biscuits during an interval in the presentation and entry into a raffle draw.

The meetings also offer the opportunity to browse and buy from a wonderful selection of hundreds of pre-owned railway books at bargain prices.

All are welcome to join us.


The Branch has a monthly e-newsletter Railway Ramblings.

If you would like to be added to the mailing list please contact Steve Lacey, Branch Chairman at  hitchin.chairman@rcts.org.uk


Branch meetings previously shown as Welwyn Garden City will be held at Digswell Village Church Hall, Warren Way, Digswell, Welwyn AL6 0DH

All meetings are "live" events.

What's on


Click the venue name to see more


David Elsdon
tel: 01438 714277
email: hitchin@rcts.org.uk


Dr. Steve Lacey
tel: 01438 728880
email: hitchin.chairman@rcts.org.uk


Paul Holloway
tel: 01582 642680

Newsletter Editor & Web Coordinator

John Dossett
tel: 01438 714325
email:  hitchinnewsletter@rcts.org.uk



Jan 2023
Feb 2023
Mar 2023
Apr 2023
May 2023
June 2023
July 2023
Aug 2023
Sept 2023
Oct 2023
Dec 2023
Dec 2023


Jan 2022
Feb 2022
Mar 2022
Apr 2022
May 2022
June 2022
July 2022
Aug 2022
Sept 2022
Oct 2022
Nov 2022
Dec 2022

Earlier copies of "Railway Ramblings" are available from the editor.

"Railway Ramblings" was first issued in August 2019

(replacing the earlier newsletters "The Hitchin Flyer" and "Garden City Express").

Meeting reports

An A-Z of Switzerland (Part 2)

28 Nov 2023

This afternoon we welcomed back Steve Ollive with Part 2 of his presentation “An A to Z of Switzerland”. We started today’s tour on the line between Locarno & Domodossola,…

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Five Go To Swansea

14 Nov 2023

This evening we were entertained by Chris Jones with his presentation, “Five go to Swansea”, all about the many railway companies and terminals that existed in this Welsh City. Many…

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Steam in 1950’s & 60’s

10 Oct 2023

A Presentation by Chris Wright. “Steam in 1950’s & 60’s” turned out to be a quite different evening to our usual presentations. Instead of the speaker talking around his photographs…

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The Line from Doncaster to Hull

26 Sep 2023

A presentation by Stephen Gay. Today we welcomed back Stephen Gay from Sheffield with his presentation on the line from Doncaster to Hull. Although many from our area regard the…

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The Last Four Years of Steam

12 Sep 2023

A Presentation by George Howe. Nostalgia was the key, when branch member George Howe presented to us his programme of “The Last Four Years of Steam”. George & his camera…

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Just Like the Old-Days

11 Jul 2023

A presentation by Des Shepherd. A nostalgic trip into past was the theme for our members at this evening’s meeting, Des Shepherd’s presentation “Just Like the Old Days”, took us…

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Mangapps Farm Railway

27 Jun 2023

A Presentation by John Jolly. A thoroughly engaging talk, given without slides (or notes), by the owner of the Museum & Railway at Mangapps Farm, Essex. John, a brilliant raconteur,…

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A 10th Colour Rail Journey

13 Jun 2023

  A Presentation by Paul Chancellor. This evening we were thoroughly entertained by Paul Chancellor, with his “Tenth Colour Rail Journey”. On this journey we looked at photographs of ten…

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Railtours and Specials from the 1980’s

30 May 2023

A presentation by John Day. We welcomed a very good audience to our first meeting in our new venue. They were treated to a superb afternoon’s entertainment with John Day…

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More from the Peter Bland Collection

09 May 2023

A presentation by Bryan Cross. Following a huge storm causing wide spread local flooding in the late afternoon we thank those members who turned out for tonight’s meeting. In which…

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Epping Ongar Railway

25 Apr 2023

A presentation by Eddie Veckranges and Gary Sanders. Our presentation this afternoon started with the history of the line. Originally this was primarily a freight line, as in those early…

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Northwards from Kings Cross

11 Apr 2023

A presentation by Rob Freeman. This evening we were treated to part of the photographic collection of the late H.C Casserley (HCC) 1919 – 1983. During his lifetime HCC visited…

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LMS Patriot Project Update

28 Mar 2023

Presented by Colin Hall, Project Chairman. The locomotive 45551 “The Unknown Warrior”, named in 2021 by Falklands hero Simon Weston, is being built from scratch to the original drawings, but…

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The Harringworth Viaduct

14 Mar 2023

A presentation by John Hillier. The meeting this evening with John Hillier taught absolutely everything there is to know about “The Harringworth Viaduct”. A good evening with plenty of great…

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A Railwayman Remembers

28 Feb 2023

A Presentation by Dave Cockle. The talk covered Dave’s career from when he left school in 1968 and joined the railway, being posted firstly to Finsbury Park No.3, (an 80-lever…

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Trams & Trains on the Isle of Man

14 Feb 2023

A Presentation by Geoff Brockett. This evening we were thoroughly entertained by Geoff Brockett with another of his colourful presentations about the “Trams and Trains on the Isle of Man”.…

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Swanning Around London in the 1980’s

31 Jan 2023

Presented by Jeremy Harrison For our first WGC meeting of the year, we welcomed Jeremy Harrison of Croydon Branch with his presentation “Swanning Around-London in the 1980’s”. We started the…

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Siemens-ECML Signalling Project

10 Jan 2023

Presented by Luke Reger (Siemens). Tonight, we had our largest audience since the end of the pandemic to welcome Luke Reger from Siemens Ltd., to explain what was happening along…

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150 Years GNR from Wood Green to Enfield

20 Dec 2022

A presentation by Dave Cockle. This afternoon we were treated to a superb presentation about our local area by a local man, Dave Cockle, who came to talk to us…

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The History of the Paris Metro

29 Nov 2022

A Presentation by Mike Bunn.   This afternoon we welcomed Mike Bunn back with his superb presentation on “The History of the Paris Metro.” The Metro originated in the Transport…

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The Southern – Past and Present

08 Nov 2022

A Presentation by Des Shepherd. This evening’s meeting was a comparison on Southern Region between photographs taken 1966 and an attempt to re-take them again 50 years later. Des Shepherd…

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GWR Locos in Preservation

25 Oct 2022

A presentation by Richard Morris. Richard started with pictures of broad-gauge loco’s with their 8 ft. diameter driving wheels, stored in various museums, and followed with ex-GWR narrow-gauge engines such…

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A Swiss Railway Trilogy (Part 1)

11 Oct 2022

A presentation by Steve Ollive. This evening we welcomed Steve Ollive with the first part of his presentation on the A to Z of Swiss Railways. Steve had only just…

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ECML Part 2 – York to Edinburgh

27 Sep 2022

A Presentation by Stephen Gay. Today we welcomed back Stephen Gay for what has become an annual event, This time he was talking to us about the ECML from York…

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Hitchin – The Last Few Years

13 Sep 2022

A Presentation by Richard Allen. Local man Richard Allen, this evening’s speaker, gave us an excellent presentation on the railways on our doorstep around Hitchin: The presentation featured the years…

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The GN Railway and Kings Cross

26 Jul 2022

A presentation by Ray Schofield.   This month’s meeting was on a very local theme to us in Welwyn GC and was a presentation by Ray Schofield on “The GN…

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From Rookie Journalist to Grumpy Old Man

12 Jul 2022

Presenter: David Percival.   Our speaker this evening was local photographer, historian and author David Percival, with his presentation “From Rookie Journalist to Grumpy Old Man”. David started “train spotting”…

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A Branch Line to Disney

28 Jun 2022

A Presentation by Steve Lacey.   Once again, we were grateful to our Branch Chairman, Steve Lacey, for getting us out of trouble when our booked speaker had difficulties getting…

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Passenger Services Across the UK During the Past Decades

14 Jun 2022

A presentation by Paul Chancellor. Our evening with Paul Chancellor on his 9th Colour-Rail journey proved to be a great evening, we did not see all of Paul’s 132.000 images…

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Over Half a Century has Passed

31 May 2022

Presenter: Geoff May   Our speaker this afternoon was Geoff May (Chichester) who entertained us brilliantly with his highly provocative presentation “Over 50 years Have Passed”. The show was split…

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A Modern Image? – Not Quite

26 Apr 2022

Presenter – Peter Robins This was a superb presentation covering virtually the whole of the British Isles, all but a couple of photographs were Peter’s own work, with the aid…

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That was the year that was …. 1965

12 Apr 2022

A presentation by Geoff Plumb   We are very grateful to Geoff Plumb for standing in at the last moment with this presentation as our booked speaker had tested positive…

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The Narrow Gauge Steam Railways of Nepal and Pakistan

29 Mar 2022

  The Narrow-Gauge Steam Railways of Nepal and Pakistan A Presentation by Geoff Warren   At our first live meeting back at Welwyn Garden City since December 2020 we were…

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Branch AGM and Members’ Evening

08 Mar 2022

Following on from our Branch AGM, for which we had a rather disappointing turn out, John Dossett gave us a presentation of his very recent visit to the Mid Suffolk…

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The Varying Fortunes of the Hatfield to St Albans Railway

22 Feb 2022

A local subject, in the form of “The Varying Fortunes of the Hatfield to St. Albans Railway” with Alistair Cameron, was our subject for this afternoon’s meeting via Zoom. Unfortunately,…

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“Prince of Wales” – A Brand-New Steam Locomotive for the 21st Century

08 Feb 2022

Continuing with our Zoom meetings currently, this evening we welcomed Rob Morland of the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust to talk to us about the current new build of a P2…

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North from Euston, from the RCTS Photographic Archive

25 Jan 2022

A presentation by David Jackman   Instead of the joys of the church hall, the Welwyn Garden City meeting this month was by Zoom.  Up to 39 people joined for…

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The Work of the Railway Heritage Trust

11 Jan 2022

Presenter: Andrew Savage MBE Following our disappointment of having to cancel our last meeting of 2021 due to the covid variant, our first meeting in the New Year was presented…

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History of Leatherhead Station – Home to the RCTS Library & Archive Centre

14 Dec 2021

This evening we welcomed Andy Davies the Society Archivist to our Hitchin meeting ably assisted by Irene Rabbitts. The evening was split into two parts, Andy first talked to us…

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