Presenter: Paul Chancellor
Paul Chancellor of Colour Rail was our first live face to face guest speaker for exactly two years at Chichester on the 23/03/22 following the Covid outbreak and the decision by the branch committee to do meetings on Zoom only from September 2020. The meeting was the first to be held in our new premises at the Basil Shipman Centre after difficulty with West Sussex CC in continued use of County Hall since the branch opened.
Paul presented his 9th Colour Rail Journey to a welcome audience of 34 including 28 members. Paul mentioned there are now 130,000 images on the Colour Rail website and this is constantly updated on the 15th of every month. He started with a section on named trains with such rarities as Coronation Manchurian, Fife Coast Express and the Humber Link Executive which the majority of the audience had never heard of. Other rare named trains included The Jubilee which only ran in 1977- and one-off specials like the Rolls Royce Owners Club of America.
This section was followed by Pullman Trains, starting with an early 50s shot of a V2 at Bournemouth on an up Bournemouth Belle. Again, some short lived Pullman trains were included like the Stobart Pullman with a class 47 on the front. This section finished with great coverage of the history of the Blue Pullman Services. Following the break, we started with Secondary Routes in every region including a B1 in apple green livery taken at Newcastle in 1947.
A highlight for locals was great coverage of Portsmouth to Bristol/Cardiff services with a huge variety of Motive power from the 1950s to more recently. The next section was on Branch Line Services and this included what is thought to be the only colour picture of the LMS experimental DMU set. Highlights here included the Killin, Dornoch & Lyme Regis Branches, plus photographs of an A8 4-6-2T on the current NYMR and an almost unrecognised picture of Buckfastleigh station in 1960.
The show finished with some lovely shots of the Henyock Branch from the 50s to closure. There was something here for everybody whether it was location, motive power or the unusual enhanced by Paul’s amusing commentary & knowledge. The best picture for me was a perfectly composed picture of a BR 2-6-4T from a slightly rearward view on the Killin Branch after just crossing a bridge. Enthusiasts, railway book authors and national railway magazine editors are very lucky that Paul has built up this vast collection of superb pictures.