Dear All

First and foremost all the very best for this New Year which I hope will be a good one for everyone. My new-year resolution is that I will try to keep our Branch running nicely along for yet another year.

Luckily 2019 came to a very interesting end with much to be seen of the final days of LNER HST's. Along with loads of enthusiasts I was there to witness the final HST to Inverness and London Kings Cross. The latter being a departure from Harrogate. But my abiding memory will always be the picture I took on Darlington station of a south bound service from Inverness on the penultimate weekend where I happened to be the only photographer on duty. As the train departed the station the driver blew his horn, again and again and again … All for me - just brilliant. No more will it now be possible to witness their full throttle non-stop runs through Doncaster, which was always a superb and enjoyable experience.

In finishing off the past year within the Branch the pre-Christmas entertainment was presented courtesy of Deputy Branch Chairman John Holroyd who entertained members and friends with a widely varying programme comprising of his superb photographic slides taken over the past 50 years. This was an evening divided into two sessions, the first of which concentrated on his activities when travelling around the country in 1969. Rail tours into North and South Wales, Scotland and the West Country brought about interesting scenes at numerous preservation locations all interlinked along the ways with local rail activities. Trolley buses made a number of appearances and were to be seen in Cardiff and on Teeside where Cargo Fleet carried out their daily operations. Quite naturally a fair number of photographs described plenty of action on heritage and industrial railways close to home.

After a break for Christmas fare, the second part of the evening comprised of an interesting three part quiz where the presenter tested the knowledge of the audience by challenging them to identify the illustrated locations. From photographs, all taken by himself on his many travels, John offered pictures of stations mainly taken around Europe and to help all to identify the country of origin backed them up with examples of their national locomotives. Beyond Europe the questions broadened out to include South Africa, India and China.

Part two of the challenge concentrated on stations spread throughout the UK, often from long lost localities well away from the main line whilst for the third element members were assisted in their deliberations as locations were put forward in alphabetical order. This finally brought the programme to a conclusion which was a nostalgic and widespread reminder of what has been lost over the passage of time.

So now we can all look forward to 2020 and for the first meeting Vic Drake, of our own branch, will be the speaker, presenting a programme taken in the days of steam which will depict all that can be seen around the motive power depots of that period. A widely varying number of locomotives will undoubtedly be on show.

As is always the case the meeting will be in Saltaire and is set for Thursday 16th January at the usual time of 7.30pm.

An interesting email has recently crossed my screen relating to a few photographs taken of, and in, Keighley signal box. The enquirer seeks of our branch members the identity of the signalman in the picture. To me it looks to be no easy task but someone somewhere may be able to help! If anyone has any idea please be kind enough to let me know. His email and photographs are attached to this letter.

My apologies for this slightly later than usual letter, due mainly to catching up with quite important issues at Management level and, of course, Christmas and New Year festivities. However as always my thanks to all of you for supporting the Branch as I find this to be most encouraging and thus makes the effort so very worthwhile.

May we all meet again for the meeting on the 16th January.

With my kindest regards


Last updated: 10th January 2020