Solent [SOE]


Welcome to the Solent Branch page.

The Branch meets on the third Wednesday of the month from September until May at 19:30 in the

Eastleigh Railway Institute

2 Romsey Road, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO50 9FE

Tel: 023 8061 2270

There is a bar for refreshments.


We ask for a £3 donation from all attendees to defray the costs of the room and speaker.

Please note: The meetings are on the first floor and there is no lift.

In June and July we usually have an observation evening at a Railway Station.


Stalwart of the Solent Branch , Mike Green , passed away on 30th August 2023. Details of the funeral are in the What's On section below.

Link to the New Forest Railway Club

What's on


Click the venue name to see more


John Godfrey
tel: 07850 220009
9 Duddon Close West End Southampton SO18 3QA

Meeting reports

Northern Trains

15 Nov 2023

The November meeting of the Solent branch was a series of videos filmed by branch member Philip Haines under the title “Northern Trains”, this being used to refer to the…

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Grumpies, Goggles, Vectrons and a whole lot more!

19 Oct 2023

The October meeting was a presentation by the branch Chairman, John Godfrey, of Central and Eastern European counties under the title Grumpies, Goggles, Vectrons and many more. To explain the…

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The Development of Eastleigh

20 Sep 2023

Our first meeting of the 2023/24 season was held on 20 September which began with the sad news of the passing of former branch Treasurer Mike Green on 31 August.…

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Reading Observation Evening

19 Jul 2023

RCTS Solent Branch – Reading Observation session – 19/07/23 (15:00-19:30) The Solent Branch held an observation at Reading station with four branch members attending along with a representative from the…

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Arlington Works visit

24 Jun 2023

On a very warm Saturday 27 members and 2 visitors spent a couple of hours walking around the works. It was a very interesting visit with the regular guides Reg…

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Observation Evening Eastleigh

21 Jun 2023

The Solent Branch held its annual observation evening at Eastleigh station on Wednesday 21 June when 11 members and 2 guests assembled from 16:00. The peak period of activity for…

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Back to where it all started

17 May 2023

Branch member John Goodrich concluded our 2022/23 season of indoor meetings on 17 May taking us on a journey from Southampton, where he has lived since 1969, to his former…

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Gosling’s Gallivant

23 Apr 2023

We welcomed local enthusiast Paul Gosling to our meeting on 19 April to give an illustrated account of his transport activities in 2022 using the title “Gosling’s Gallivants”. These began…

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The Railways of Northern Portugal 1976 – The end of Steam

15 Mar 2023

At the March meeting David Mead took us on a visit to north Portugal in 1976 to witness the end of steam traction in the Porto area. We were given…

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Railways of the Past

15 Feb 2023

Branch member Martin Hubbard took us through his photo archives at the February meeting of the Solent branch to give a presentation on Railways of the Past. The oldest photo…

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Austrian Adventure

18 Jan 2023

The January meeting of the Solent Branch on 18 January began with the branch’s annual general meeting. The Committee elected for the coming year were John Godfrey (Chairman), Denis Horsman…

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Members’ Evening

21 Dec 2022

Our December meeting consisted on members’ slides and digital images with contributions from 8 members. Eric Nicholass commenced the evening’s proceedings with photos taken on overseas trips to Canada and…

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Peterborough and Werrington

16 Nov 2022

Branch member Phil Haines entertained us at the November meeting with four home-produced videos shot in and around his former home town of Peterborough. As well as being a significant…

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Transport on the Isle of Man

19 Oct 2022

We welcomed David Mead to our October meeting to give a presentation on the Transport of the Isle of Man using colour slides taken between the mid 1970s and the…

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Arlington Works Visit

01 Oct 2022

Arlington (Eastleigh) Works visit 1st October 2022. Seventeen members were guided around the works by the Arlington guides Reg Spurr and Dave Titheridge (both RCTS members) were were treated to…

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Steam from the Lineside

21 Sep 2022

Our first meeting of the 2022/23 season was held on 21 October when we welcomed Stephen Bigley who gave a presentation on steam from the lineside taken on photographic charters.…

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Summer 2022 Newsletter

31 Aug 2022

Railway Correspondence & Travel Society Solent Branch Summer 2022 Newsletter Following the re-establishment of physical meetings in September 2021 a year has passed by in which the Branch has had…

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Observation Evening at Reading

20 Jul 2022

Solent Branch Observation Evening at Reading Station was attended by 3 members from 14:50 until 19:05 with a Thames Valley, soon to be Solent member, from 16:30. We seated ourselves…

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Observation Meeting at Eastleigh

15 Jun 2022

On Wednesday 15th June Solent Branch met for an observation meeting at Eastleigh Station from 16:30 until 20:00. There were 11 members present all but one from the Solent Branch…

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Colorado Adventure

18 May 2022

The final indoor meeting of the 2021/22 season on 18 May was Colorado Adventure by David Brace. David set the scene by reminding us that the state capital, Denver, is…

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6 Decades of Photographing Steam

20 Apr 2022

For their April meeting the Solent Branch welcomed Tony Storey to give a presentation on 6 decades of photographing steam. The first section of the presentation was concerned with BR…

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Highlights of the 1980’s

16 Mar 2022

The March meeting of the Solent Branch was a presentation by member Mark Greening on the 1980s in the south of England. We began by looking at new stock introduced…

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Railway Allsorts

16 Feb 2022

The guest speaker at the Solent Branch for their February meeting was Ken Mumford who gave a presentation shown under the title of Railway Allsorts. Ken is a Welshman, so…

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Solent Branch AGM

26 Jan 2022

The branch held its annual general meeting on 26 January. The committee elected to serve for the coming year were John Godfrey (Chairman and Secretary), Peter Ifold (Treasurer), Dave Doulton…

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Gosling’s Gallivants

19 Jan 2022

Paul Gosling’s presentation to our meeting on 19 January was Gosling’s Gallivants in which he gave an account of his transport related activities in the last full year before life…

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Members Photographs

16 Dec 2021

Our December meeting consisted on members’ slides and digital images with contributions from 9 members. Eric Nicholass commenced the evening’s proceedings with a selection of slides of London Underground stock,…

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The Illustrated Goods Life – Part 1

17 Nov 2021

We were pleased to welcome Stewart Smith to our meeting on 17 November giving a presentation on The Illustrated Goods Life – Part 1. Upon leaving school Stewart settled on…

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Indian Hill Railways

20 Oct 2021

Presenter: David Peel Our meeting on 20 October saw David Peel take us to India for a tour of its hill railways, though mountain railways would be a more accurate…

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Chairman’s Delight

15 Sep 2021

John Godfrey The Solent Branch held its first meeting since February 2020 on 15th September 2021. Prior to the main presentation an interim annual general meeting was held. The committee…

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Waterloo – Weymouth

19 Feb 2020

Presenter: Mike Pym Unfortunately the speaker booked for the February meeting was unable to give the planned presentation, but an alternative speaker and subject was found in time for the…

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22 Jan 2020

The branch AGM took place on 22 January. The Committee members elected to serve for the coming year were John Godfrey (Chairman and Secretary), Peter Ifold (Treasurer), Dave Doulton (Internet),…

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Southampton Trams

15 Jan 2020

Presenter: Martin Petch With 31 December 2019 marking the 70th anniversary of the closure of Southampton’s tram system it was fitting to mark the occasion with a presentation on the…

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18 Dec 2019

Presenter: Dave Doulton The December meeting of the Solent Branch was the traditional evening of short DVDs which this year followed a continental theme. The first country visited was Switzerland…

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Mid Hants Galas 1989-2019

20 Nov 2019

Presenter: Tony Storey Our November meeting was an exercise in nostalgia as Tony Storey gave a comprehensive illustration of steam galas held at the Mid-Hants Railway between March 1989 and…

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Preparing St Pancras station for HS1

16 Oct 2019

Presenter: Mervyn Dunwoody The October meeting began with the sad announcement by the Branch Chairman of the very recent death of the Branch Secretary, Ted Vaughan, at the comparatively young…

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18th September 2019 · Customer and Communities Improvement

18 Sep 2019

Presenter: Mark Youngman Our intended speaker from South Western Railway, Phil Dominey, was on other Company business and Mark Youngman gave a presentation instead. With an interesting job title of…

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10th August 2019 · ‘Arlington Works Visit’

10 Aug 2019

This was a good visit in that the weather stayed dry until we were leaving, although it was a bit windy. There was a lot to see as shown in…

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19th June 2019 · Observation Evening – Eastleigh

19 Jun 2019

The evening was not one to encourage many members to observe trains at Eastleigh. Dismal weather and a strike by some SWT staff meant reduced activity. One northbound Freightliner appeared…

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15th May 2019 · ‘Czech it out!’

15 May 2019

Presenter: John Godfrey To close the season Chairman John Godfrey spoke on the Czech Republic. The Czech Railways came into being in 1993 and John made his first visit four…

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17th April 2019 · ‘Mixed Transport’

17 Apr 2019

Presenter: Martyn Davies April brought Martyn Davies with a selection of transport slides. Whilst railways dominated the evening we also found aircraft, shipping and buses on the screen. Possibly a…

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20th March 2019 · ‘An Evening of Nostalgia’

20 Mar 2019

Presenter: Mike Ellis Mike Ellis gave an evening of nostalgia at our meeting on 20th March. Extracts of Mike’s video films are included on commercial videos and some of these…

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