John Day “East Anglian Railways in Transition”.


Our April meeting was a cartographer’s dream, as far as East Anglian lines was concerned.  John Day, who was making his debut visit to the branch but is well-known in RCTS circles, treated us to a colourful geographical trip around his native part of England, from 1980 onwards.  His home location, Ipswich, featured heavily in a fast-moving presentation.  Some of the branches/termini covered included Felixstowe, Harwich, Frinton-on-Sea (Walton-on-Naze), Sudbury, Leiston (Sizewell Nuclear P.S.), Lowestoft, King’s Lynn & Great Yarmouth.  The travelogue proceeded with scenes at Ely, Saxmundham, Bury St. Edmunds, Ipswich (particularly the docklands) March, Thetford, Cambridge, Norwich et al., often vividly showing the changes in environment, infrastructure and track work that have taken place over 40 years.   Freight was very much to the fore, with views of container traffic, sand (for glassmaking), aggregates and dockyard movements.  In terms of locomotion we saw classes 03, 08, 20, 25, 31, 33, 37, 47, 56, 59, 60, 67, 68, 69, 70, 73, 86, 87, BR standard 7MT 4-6-2 ‘Oliver Cromwell’, LNER A4 4-6-2 ‘Bittern’ & Deltic D9000.  An interesting juxtaposition was of Ely station environs, with military aircraft flying closely over the area.  This short report cannot do full justice to the excellence and range of John’s presentation.  We hope to see John again, in the not too distant future.