Watford [WFD]

Metropolitan Railway Electric No. 5 "John Hampden" arriving at Watford station with the brakevan special to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the class on Sunday 16th July 1972. Classmate No. 12 "Sarah Siddons" was on the rear of the train which reversed at Watford and travelled to Amersham via Watford North Junction. Image Credit: Geoff Plumb
Metropolitan Railway Electric No. 5 "John Hampden" arriving at Watford station with the brakevan special to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the class on Sunday 16th July 1972. Classmate No. 12 "Sarah Siddons" was on the rear of the train which reversed at Watford and travelled to Amersham via Watford North Junction. Image Credit: Geoff Plumb.

Welcome to the Watford Branch pages of the RCTS website.

Both physical and online Zoom meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month, apart from August when we take a summer break.

Physical meetings are held at Beechen Grove Baptist Church, Clarendon Rd, Watford WD17 1JJ, in the first floor Conference Room (this is a recent change from the third floor Lecture Hall) – at present, physical meetings are scheduled until December 2024, Zoom meetings will recommence for the winter months of January 2025 and February 2025, then physical meetings recommence from March 2025.

Members from all branches are welcome to attend all our meetings, as are non-members, visitors, and guests – and membership is easily available. A door donation, at physical meetings, of £2.00 is requested from members, and £3.00 from non-members, this entitles you to a raffle ticket as well. Refreshments are usually available at these meetings for an extra £0.50 – serve your own at Zoom meetings (!)… Donations for Zoom meetings, in units of £2.00, can be made via the website if you so wish, to help alleviate costs that still continue in the background, even when we are not having physical meetings

Several members meet up prior to physical meetings at the local Wetherspoons (‘The Moon Under Water’, 44 High Street, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD17 2BS) for a meal and a chat – all welcome to join us, though we may not all get to sit together. We are there from around 17:30.

Meetings start at 19:00, the room is available from around 18:30 and we finish around 21:30. The venue is a few minutes’ walk from Watford Junction Station or Watford High Street and local buses stop outside. There is limited car parking at the venue, generally available after 18:00, also local multi-storey car parks and on-street parking, free after 18:30.

We generally organise at least one outdoor fixture during the warmer months to railway-themed destinations – potentially subject to any further government restrictions with regard to the Covid-19 situation.

What's on


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Geoff Plumb
tel: Home: 01844 290226 Mobile: 07710 172758
email: watfordchair@rcts.org.uk
Rosemary Cottage, 13 Rudds Lane, Haddenham, Aylesbury, Bucks HP17 8JP


Rob Davidson
tel: Home: 01386 830502 Mobile: 07803 941531
email: watford@rcts.org.uk
2 Legion Court, Middle Littleton, Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 8JH

Meeting reports

‘Those Were the Years Those Were’ Part 1, by Michael Reade, 7th May 2024

07 May 2024

7th May 2024 Meeting. We welcomed Branch Member Michael Reade for the first part of a two part presentation entitled: “Those Were the Years Those Were” Part 1 (With Apologies…

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Branch AGM, followed by ‘The Story of the Travelling Post Office’, by Roland Gillott, 2nd April 2024

02 Apr 2024

2nd April 2024 Meeting. For our 2nd April meeting we started with our Branch AGM attended by all six Committee Members and a fair sprinkling of our Branch Members as…

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‘That Was the Year That Was – 1973’, by Geoff Plumb, 5th March 2024

05 Mar 2024

5th March 2024 Meeting On the 5th March we had our first physical meeting of the year, and it was the turn of Branch Chairman Geoff Plumb for another in…

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‘Railways in and Around World War Two’, by Robin Mathams, 6th February 2024

06 Feb 2024

6th February 2024 Meeting On 6th February we sat down for our second Zoom presentation of the year reaching a peak viewing figure of 62 to enjoy Robin Mathams with…

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‘Northampton Gateway Strategic Railfreight Interchange – Project Overview and Construction Update’, by George Collinson, 2nd January 2024

02 Jan 2024

2nd January 2024 Meeting. 2nd January was the date of the first meeting of the year for us and we started off with a Zoom Presentation from George Collinson, a…

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‘Members’ Presentations’, plus Lizzie’s Mince Pies and Sausage Rolls! 5th December 2023

05 Dec 2023

5th December 2023 Meeting Our December meeting as usual featured Lizzie’s sausage rolls, mince pies and members’ presentations. Geoff Brockett showed scenes from heritage lines large and small, light railways,…

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‘The East Coast Main Line from Kings Cross to Edinburgh’ – Part 2, York to Edinburgh, by Stephen Gay, 7th November 2023

07 Nov 2023

7th November 2023 Meeting Our November meeting saw Stephen Gay visit for the ninth time for this presentation of ‘ECML Part 2 York to Edinburgh’ which carried on from where…

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‘Underground Then and Now’, by Brian Hardy, 3rd October 2023

03 Oct 2023

Aldersgate Station (now Barbican), Then & Now. Image Credit: Brian Hardy 3rd October 2023 Meeting. We welcomed back ever popular presenter Brian Hardy, former Head Controller at London Transport and…

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“The Route of ‘The Canadian’and its Branches”, by John Day, 5th September 2023

05 Sep 2023

5th September 2023 Meeting. For the start of our new season we welcomed back John Day, from the Ipswich Branch, with the theme of following the Route of ‘The Canadian’,…

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‘That Was the Year That Was – 1971, by Geoff Plumb, 4th July 2023

04 Jul 2023

A sight we had not expected to see again – steam on the main Line! The train that started the great return to steam movement that we still enjoy today…

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‘Mangapps – The First Thirty Years’, by John Jolly, 6th June 2023

06 Jun 2023

6th June 2023 Meeting We welcomed Mangapps Railway Museum owner and curator John Jolly for a very interesting talk all about this wonderful venue near Burnham-on-Crouch. John was a farmer…

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‘European Misadventures’, by Michael Reade, 2nd May 2023

02 May 2023

2nd May 2023 Meeting For our 2nd May meeting we welcomed branch member Michael Reade for his presentation of ‘European Misadventures’. Starting off in 1964  over in Germany his job…

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Branch AGM and ‘Indian Hill Railways’, by David Brace, 4th April 2023

04 Apr 2023

4th April 2023 Meeting Indian Hill Railways It was the time of the AGM, and this was duly held and dispatched within thirty minutes. There were no surprises and the…

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‘Locomotives of the GWSR, Visitors and Resident’, by Dave Boot, 7th March 2023

07 Mar 2023

7th March 2023 Meeting. For our final Zoom meeting of the year we welcomed GWSR Senior Station Master Dave Boot, who has been with the GWSR since the start and…

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‘More from Australia in the 1990s’, by Rob Freeman, 7th February 2023

07 Feb 2023

7th February 2023 Meeting For our February meeting, which was the second of our three Winter Zoom meetings, we welcomed Branch Committee member Rob Freeman with ‘More from Oz in…

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‘Railways and Me – Full Circle’, by John Dyer, 3rd January 2023

03 Jan 2023

For our January meeting we resumed with a Zoom to let people stay in the warmth of their homes and welcomed GWSR Volunteer John Dyer presenting ‘Railways and me –…

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‘Members’ Presentations’, 6th December 2022

06 Dec 2022

For our end of year meeting we always have a members’ presentations evening and with a small attendance of just 16 there were 5 people with items to show. We…

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‘Behind Closed Doors’ & ‘Underground Photos From the Past’, by Brian Hardy, 1st November 2022

01 Nov 2022

1st November 2022 Meeting For our November meeting we welcomed back Brian Hardy, former Head Traffic Controller on London Underground for more fascinating insights into the London Underground. There were…

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‘Around London, Where Variety is the Spice of Life’, by Geoff Brockett, 4th October 2022

04 Oct 2022

4th October 2022 Meeting   Today we welcomed South Essex Branch Member Geoff Brockett, whose name you will know as a regular supplier of information to the RO, with his…

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‘The LMS Patriot Project’, followed by ‘Rob’s Railway Years: the 1980s’, 6th September 2022

06 Sep 2022

6th September 2022 Meeting.   Our booked speaker had to call off and is re-scheduled for next year, so Colin Hall stepped into the breach for the following talk. The…

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That Was the Year That Was – 1974, by Geoff Plumb, 5th July 2022

05 Jul 2022

5th July 2022 Meeting For our last meeting of the season on 5th July we had our regular July speaker, Watford Branch Chairman Geoff Plumb with another in his series…

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A Broadgauge Journey from Paddington to the West – Part 1, by Reverend Canon Brian Arman, 7th June 2022

07 Jun 2022

7th June 2022 Meeting For our June meeting we had our much travelled Society President, Reverend Canon Brian Arman, visit us to show his slide presentation of ‘A Broad Gauge…

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Wrexham & Shropshire, a Photographic Retrospective, by Geoff Plumb, 3rd May 2022

03 May 2022

3rd May 2022 Meeting Our scheduled speaker for May had to cancel at the last moment due to Covid issues and our Branch Chairman Geoff Plumb stepped into the breach…

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AGM, Followed by ‘Vivarail: designing and building low-emission trains in the UK’, by David Horton, 5th April 2022

05 Apr 2022

Watford Branch AGM, Followed by ‘Vivarail: designing and building low-emission trains in the UK’, by David Horton. April is the new month of our Branch AGM, and this was over…

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Revolution Very Light Railway, by Darren Smith, 1st March 2022

01 Mar 2022

1st March 2022 Meeting We welcomed Darren Smith from TDI [Transport Design International] to talk about The Revolution Very Light Railway, a train for the quieter branch lines. Its launch…

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‘Yours Faithfully’, by Bernie Holland, 1st February 2022

01 Feb 2022

1st February 2022 Meeting For our February Zoom meeting we welcomed former Branch Secretary Bernie Holland, who presented ‘YOURS FAITHFULLY’, a look at the photographs of Jack Faithfull and some…

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An Evening with Phil Marsh, 4th January 2022

04 Jan 2022

4th January 2022 Meeting For our January Meeting we started off with the first of three Zoom meetings and welcomed Philip Marsh for an interesting two-parter talk: ‘The inside story…

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7th December 2021 – ‘Members’ Presentations’

07 Dec 2021

7TH DECEMBER 2021 MEETING After a couple of physical meetings it was back to a virtual Zoom meeting, and as usual for December we had an evening of Members’ presentations.…

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‘Northern Travels Past & Present’

02 Nov 2021

2nd November 2021 Meeting For our second physical meeting since March 2020 we welcomed Steve ‘Slasher’ Batty, who is the RCTS Branch News Editor, for his presentation of ‘Northern Travels…

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East Coast Main Line Part 1 – King’s Cross to York

05 Oct 2021

Presenter: Stephen Gay For our first physical meeting since March 2020 we welcomed Stephen Gay for his eighth Watford visit with his presentation of ‘EAST COAST MAIN LINE – PART…

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‘Rob’s Years – 1997’, by Rob Freeman, 7th September 2021

07 Sep 2021

Presenter: Rob Freeman This was going to be a physical meeting, our first since March 2020, but our usual venue was unavailable and also after taking a poll amongst Branch…

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6th July 2021 · ‘That was the year that Was – 1962’

06 Jul 2021

Presenter: Geoff Plumb It’s July and that means only one thing at Watford, the eagerly anticipated presentation by our Branch Chairman Geoff Plumb with another in his evocative series of…

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1st June 2021 · ‘The Grand Tour’

01 Jun 2021

Presenter: Richard Morris We welcomed Cheltenham Branch Member Richard Morris for his presentation of ‘The Grand Tour’ which was a VSOE trip to Venice and Part Two for trips to…

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4th May 2021 · North Korea

04 May 2021

Presenter: Colin Miell On Tuesday 4th May we welcomed Colin Miell from the LCGB for a Zoom presentation of his ground-breaking travels with the Locomotive Club of Great Britain to…

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6th April 2021 · ‘Railway Photographs from Glass Plates’

06 Apr 2021

Presenter: David Postle Adrian White*, our booked speaker for the meeting had to call off the evening before the presentation but he suggested a friend who l managed to get…

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2nd March 2021 · This is a luxury I can’t afford

02 Mar 2021

Presenter: Bernie Holland We welcomed back former Branch Chairman and Secretary Bernie Holland to host his show by Zoom entitled ‘THIS IS LUXURY I CAN’T AFFORD’ for which we had…

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2nd February 2021 · ‘Ramblings of a Head Station Master’

02 Feb 2021

Presenter: Dave Boot For the first Tuesday of February 2021 we had another Zoom meeting with a show entitled ‘Ramblings of a Head Station Master’ by Dave Boot, who worked…

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5th January 2021 · AGM, followed by ‘Gems from the Casserley Collection’

05 Jan 2021

Presenter: Rob Freeman This is the time of year for our Branch AGM and we had 23 Branch members in attendance as well as quite a few visitors. There were…

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1st December 2020 · Members’ Presentations

01 Dec 2020

Branch Member Humphrey Gillott started the evening off with shots from 2002/03 taken at Forders Sidings on the Bedford to Bletchley Line. He showed the Signal Box exterior and also…

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3rd November 2020 · Rail touring

03 Nov 2020

Presenter: Rob Freeman For our 3rd November Zoom meeting we had a return visit from Branch Member Rob Freeman with a presentation about his past Rail tours he was either…

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1st September 2020 · ‘The Honeybourne Line’

01 Sep 2020

Presenter: Bernie Holland RCTS Watford Branch members and friends assembled on the ZOOM platform on Tuesday 1st September for Bernie’s presentation which was dedicated to the memory of acclaimed railway…

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4th August 2020 · ‘Members’ Digital Slides’

04 Aug 2020

At Watford Branch we don’t normally have an August meeting, but because we are now having Zoom meetings we thought we would have one to make up for meetings lost…

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30th June and 7th July 2020 · ‘That was the year that Was – 1963’

07 Jul 2020

Presenter: Geoff Plumb After having our Branch Meetings postponed for April, May and June, due to the virus pandemic, we arranged a Zoom virtual meeting organised by David Jackman (Society…

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3rd March 2020 · ‘Capturing the present and re-creating the past’

03 Mar 2020

Presenter: Jason Cross For our 3rd March meeting we welcomed Leicester-based Jason Cross for a first visit to present ‘Capturing the present and re-creating the past’. We saw many locomotives…

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4th February 2020 · ‘A Pictorial Review of the 1935-1962 Tube Stock Family’

04 Feb 2020

Presenter: Brian Hardy For our February meeting Brian Hardy paid us a return visit for ‘A Pictorial Review of the 1935-1962 Tube Stock Family’ which followed on from his Standard…

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7th January 2020 · Member’s slides

07 Jan 2020

Our AGM on 7thJanuary saw only 14 present plus the four committee members. The fifth member, ‘Mistress of the Urn’ Lizzie Davidson, was absent due to recently cracking two ribs…

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3rd December 2019 · Portugal

03 Dec 2019

At Watford we occasionally have to make allowances for travel when Watford FC play at home on a Tuesday coinciding with one of our meetings – this time it happened…

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5th November 2019 · European Miscellany

05 Nov 2019

Presenter: Rob Freeman We welcomed back Branch Member Rob Freeman for a European Miscellany and we had a good attendance of 29 to mark the occasion!! Rob was giving a…

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1st October 2019 · ‘Titled Trains of the MML’

01 Oct 2019

Presenter: Ray Schofield At our October meeting, 23 hardy souls turned up on a foul evening to welcome Ray Schofield with ‘Titled Trains of the MML’. The colour and B&W…

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3rd September 2019 · The Art of Timetabling’

03 Sep 2019

Presenter: Andy Smith For our first meeting of the new season we welcomed Andy Smith who is a consultant with WSP, a Rail Planning Company whose experts are helping adapt…

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2nd July 2019 · An evening with Father’s slides – Steam within the M25’

02 Jul 2019

Presenter: David Cross On 2nd July 2019 we welcomed David Cross to the branch for the first time to present ‘An evening with Father’s slides – Steam within the M25’.…

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4th June 2019 · Australia

04 Jun 2019

Presenter: Rob Freeman At our June 2019 meeting we welcomed Branch Member Rob Freeman to give us Part 2 of his Australian jaunts, this time between Melbourne and Adelaide in…

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2nd June 2019 · Outing to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway

02 Jun 2019

Watford Branch Outing Report. On Sunday 2nd June 2019 I organised a full day out on the GWSR and along with myself there was a healthy attendance of seventeen members…

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6th October 2020 · ‘North from Euston in the 1960s’

06 Oct 2010

Presenter: David Jackman On the 6th October we welcomed RCTS Webmaster David Jackman, who went to great lengths at fairly short notice to present the show ‘North from Euston in…

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