Presenter: Dr Peter Darke
On 21st October we welcomed Dr Peter Darke to present his thoughts on “Operations at Lansdown Junction in the 1950s”. Peter had spent time as a student at Dean Close School in Cheltenham, the school grounds formed the southern boundary to this junction. An early photograph showed a relatively simple layout with the Midland line from Lansdown Station and the Great Western from Malvern Road converging and the Banbury line diverging. Service expansion on both the Midland and Great Western prompted a major rebuilding exercise with the railway towards Gloucester becoming 4 track, access to/from the Banbury line being available from both the GW and Midland stations and, out of view, a third side to the Hatherley triangle being constructed to allow trains to and from the north east to avoid the town centre stations. Peter has sourced many photographs of trains he would have seen whilst at school. Comparison of Midland 2P, 3P, 4F, and GW City, County, 45xx classes, moving up to Midland cl.5s, cl.6s and GW Hall, Manor, Grange, Castle classes, North Eastern B1s, Southern Us, Standard cl.7P and 9F meant that Lansdown Junction was one of the best places in the country to be a railway enthusiast. Many attendees at the meeting were able to enthusiastically recall their days in the vicinity of Lansdown Junction.