Below is a list of all the recorded BRS meeting reports by date going back to 1985. Italics denote that the event was a 'Natter Night' or an 'Additional Meeting' - meetings held at times others than on the normal first Wednesday of the month.

The earliest reports can be viewed as pdf files by clicking the link below the relevant year's programme list. Please note that there are no reports available between 1985 and 1995, and for 2004, and there are gaps elsewhere, particularly in the early years. If you can help to improve the lists or if you spot any errors, please pass on the details through the 'Links' page and then the "Contact BRS" link or pass the information to a BRS Committee Member.



October - Paul Chancellor, "A fifth Colour-Railway journey"

Once again it was a great pleasure to welcome Paul Chancellor from Colour-Rail for his annual visit. First he gave us a quick resume of his company: it has 80,000 images to view and an update takes place on the 15th of every month.

The show was divided into eight pasrts with the first being dedicated to South Wales.

THE CARDIFF AREA: This included the small GWR tank loco 1340 ‘Trojan’ at Cardiff East Dock which had local connections being based at Old Netherseal Colliery and later at a paper works in Tamworth. There was a nice shot of 70020 ‘Mercury’ at Canton, an unusual visitor to Cardiff General in the shape of 46169 ‘The Boy Scout’, locos in store at the East Dock Shed plus and diesel selection.                                                                                                                                                        

PETERBOROUGH: Here we viewed GN No. 1 in a rare colour photograph from 1938. Moving on 20 years with 60800 ‘Green Arrow’ headed through, appropriately on goods, and a further goods working had a grotty N2 69513 in charge. A Scot, 46155 ‘The Lancer’, was in extremely clean condition, possibly on an enthusiasts’ special. Finally, 89001 was depicted in Inter City Livery.

CARLISLE: The year was 1958 and 46221 ‘Queen Elizabeth’ was ready to hand over to another member of the class. 1965 and 72006 ‘Clan Mackenzie’ was handling a goods train whilst in 1963 Burton Jubilee 45557 ‘New Brunswick’ was fairly clean and handling the 08.05 Birmingham service. Another freight service had the rare combination of 70041 ‘Sir John Moore’ and D5707 with the Co-Bo leading! Lastly, a Trevor Owen master piece depicted an overall view of Kingmoor Shed.

BOURNEMOUTH: Here we saw another unusual double-headed pairing in 1953 in the shape of 10202 and “U” 31623 and in the same year shots of a Black 5 and a V2 were on loan to the Southern whilst the Merchant Navy Class had checks on their axles. 10 000 was in action in 1954 and a shed view depicted an M7, a W.C., and a “U”. Somerset & Dorset 53807 arrived at Bournemouth Central on a rail tour for the Home Counties Association. At this point Paul’s last slide of the half announced “It was time for tea!” – Well, beer in Burton’s case!

BIRMINGHAM NEW STREET: Back to 1955 and a Jubilee with a double chimney in the shape of 45742 ‘Connaught’ had charge of the “Midlander”. 1957 and 17B’s 42896 was viewed, as was Coronation Class 46240 ‘City of Coventry’ and a 1961 view of 46125 ‘3rd Carabinier’ with a Class 105 DMU in the picture for good measure. More Scots in the shape of 46160 ‘Queen Victoria’s Rifleman’, (a loco shot), with 46169 again but this time on a short parcels train. Finally, 46235 ‘City of Birmingham’ was shown on its way to the museum.                                                                                                                                                                                        

EDINBURGH: Here there were some really classics with 2001 ‘Cock O’ The North’ and at Haymarket 2002 ‘Earl Marischal’. The latter shed had a nice line up of 60052, 60116 and 60529, but a rarer shed was the DMU depot at Leith where, much to the annoyance of the local Transport Policeman, Paul had a permit! 60532 ‘Blue Peter’ and Class 24s were on view at St. Margaret’s Shed.                                     

LEEDS & BRADFORD: At Holbeck Shed in 1958, single and double chimney Black 5s 44755 and 44757 were side by side for comparison. 45659 ‘Drake’ was on the “Thames Clyde Express”. Time for a couple of interior round house shots featured five locos round the turn table, (1962) with six locos around the table in a 1963 view inside Holbeck. 46115 ‘Scots Guardsman’, with a yellow stripe, was at Bradford in 1965 and DP2 was also in the same city.                                                                                                                  

WERE YOU THERE? As the question suggests, lots of spotters were in view.  Thus, in 1957 48318 was admired at Lichfield, a rather dirty 46228 ‘Duchess of Rutland’ and the admiring “oiks” sported duffle bags. 46157 ‘The Royal Artilleryman’ had the locals at Lancaster touching the tender. Finally two Scots, one being 46160 again were the subject of rapt attention.

Paul amused us with lots of light-hearted quips and kept the audience on its toes by getting us to guess the year of some of the photographs.

Mark Ratcliffe


September - Chris Banks, "Engine sheds - Part 11: Stourbridge to Truro and many others in between"

Once again it was time to welcome “Shed Master” Chris along with his son John with the penultimate show regarding former steam engine sheds.  Our tour enabled us to visit 17!

STOURBRIDGE: This was a single unit round house shed that opened in 1926 to replace a 4 road building. It was coded 84F and 2C and closed July 1966. A shot of a Grange started the show off and 4147 with missing wheels was also illustrated.

STRANRAER: This comprised two separate buildings with the G.& S.W. and The Caledonian each having their own sheds side by side. It had a unique coaling plant and was illustrated in a general view by Ken Fairey. Chris told us that 54508, withdrawn in 1959, was still there in 1963!

SUNDERLAND: Illustrated with a general view with 63395 prominent and an inside shot showed three J27s grouped around the turntable. It closed to steam in September 1967, but remained open to service diesels. 65894 was “bulled up” ready for sale and 90009 had a red backed number plate.

SWANSEA DANYGRAIG: Situated at the eastern end of Swansea docks and had an all tank engine allocation. 1145, one of six built by Avonside featured.

SWANSEA LANDORE: 14 Castles were allocated here with 5074 ‘Hampton’ illustrating it. An early closure to steam and converted to diesel servicing.

SWANSEA VICTORIA: Also known as Paxton Street, this was an L.M.S depot, but was later transferred to the Western. 58889 with two Super “D’s” and 42304 featured.

SWINDON: A key shed with nine straight roads and a turntable at the back and also another unique coaling stage. Another feature at the rear in 1960 was lines of stored Pannier Tanks. A surprise here was 53808 inside whilst out on the yard engines illustrated included 1000, 6000, (May 62), 7037 ‘Swindon’, (allocated there for much of its life), 7022, 46251 and 61039 ‘Steinbok’. However in my view over 30 slides used to demonstrate the depot was a few too many!

TEBAY: A modern shed and three Fowler tanks ready for banking duties featured. Stanier and Fairburn tanks took over and these in turn were replaced by Standard 4 M.T’s including 75024.

TEMPLECOMBE: And so to the S. & D. – the usual allocation here was around 15 locos. 53804 and 40537 were included in the picture selection.

THORNABY: A new shed built in 1958 at a cost of £1,250,000 pounds. It replaced several other sheds in the area and finally closed its doors to modern traction in July 2009. It was built to accommodate steam with ready conversion to diesel servicing. 90369 was in a woeful state inside the depot whilst in contrast was 63388 15 days after overhaul at Darlington, Q7 63460 was a visitor from Tyne Dock.

THORNTON JUNCTION: Then back to Scotland - here the illustrations included: K4 61993 ‘Loch Long’, D30 62442 ‘Simon Glover’ and, in store, D11 62686 ‘The Fiery Cross’. 65288 & 65345 were kept especially for use in Dr. Finlay’s Casebook and, thanks to the BBC, were the last steam locos in service in Scotland.

THREE BRIDGES: At last to the Southern with K 32351 and Q1 33015 featured. Taken on the 6th May 1961 was the later to be preserved M7 30053.

TILBURY: Only one shot here and that was 80070. When Plaistow closed the allocation here went from 12 to 41!

THURSO: A single road, stone built building sufficed here for 40150, it was a sub-shed to Wick.

TONBRIDGE: Yet another depot with a unique coaling stage and slides of 31329, 31410 and 31760 were shown.

TREHERBERT: One slide only, a general view with a Pannier Tank, but with seven others inside the shed.

TRURO: A 3 road shed illustrated by 1007 ‘County of Brecknock’ and the last slide was 6836 ‘Estevarney Grange’.

Chris started with a Grange and finished with one!                                                                                            

Mark Ratcliffe


August 2017 - Adam Crick, "Railways today - Part 2"

It was a pleasure to host our own Society member Adam Crick for another session of his favourite shots. Adam explained that his photographic influences came from two contrasting sources - Keith Pirt and Colin Gifford. As expected he started his show locally with Castle class 5043 at Burton station followed by some classic diesel photographs sporting a wide variety of liveries. Being the proud owner of a Morris Minor, Adam took great delight in including this vehicle in his composition with 60103 ‘Flying Scotsman’ passing by in the background. Next he took us to the Burton-Leicester line and featured a tube stock move with Pannier Tanks bursting out of Gresley Tunnel and a reflection shot in the River Trent of Stapenhill Viaduct with a train passing over of course!

It was then down to Chasewater for the tribute day to the Burton Breweries system. A visit to Shackerstone on the Battlefield Line followed where the T9 30120, 3802 and the diesel bubble car took turns to grace the screen. Staying in Leicestershire, we were next transported to Adam’s favourite preserved line, the Great Central, and there we were treated to the M7 in the snow and then on other occasions the 04, 46521, 34007, 3850, 30541, 48305, 6023 and a Peak diesel.

It was then time to move further afield with visits to Foxfield, Cheddleton and an extended interlude at Peak Forest. Then it was on to Bury via the tram system to the East Lancs Railway before going across to the K&WVR for a lovely photograph of the Super D in the snow. Steam and diesel featured on the Settle & Carlisle line before Adam took us to the North York Moors system. His visit was timed to coincide with the laying of narrow gauge track through the pedestrian access to the loco shed so that the little loco ‘Britomart’ could be used. The first half drew to a close with a session on the Isle of Man thanks to a David Williams charter over four days in 2015. The final slide of the half was entitled “Beer time: end of part 1”, most appropriate.

After the beer break it was down south to Cornwall with Adam using his other classic form of transport, an M.G. sports car to get there. He started in Penzance, visited the relatively new preservation site at Truthall on the former Helston branch before sampling the St Ives branch and taking photographic opportunities at Hayle and Truro. An astonishing sight was a mainline H.S.T. unit cautiously wending its way over heavily overgrown grass to Newquay. Of course whilst down there, Adam showed us views at the Lappa Valley Railway and the Bodmin & Wenford. The Looe Branch came next and he was delighted to capture not only the Class 70 freight working, but also in the background he got an H.S.T. working over the distant viaduct. Adam then revealed that he had risen at three in the morning to travel from Bodmin in order to get the photograph he wanted of the Saltash Bridge! Naturally a sojourn in Devon took place with visits to the South Devon, the Paignton & Dartmouth Railways and the Okehampton project. Dawlish of course featured and better still it was 46100 ‘Royal Scot’ that was shown racing by. Moving a little closer to home, Adam then called in at the West Somerset line and, rather appropriately, captured Warship diesel ‘Greyhound’ in undercoat grey livery! A couple of steam shots were included with Black 5 44871 at Bath and Castle 5043 passing Sidney Gardens. A special trip was made so that Adam could photograph the last workings of the bubble car unit on the Princes Risborough – Aylesbury line. Sunday visits to see the Shakespeare Express enabled us to view both the Castle and the Hall in action. The Severn Valley diesel gala was illustrated before a Welsh interlude with action included on the Talyllyn, Festiniog, and Welsh Highland narrow gauge lines along with standard gauge at Llangollen and the Dean Forest. Adam closed with a tribute to the recent Bulleid Gala on the Swanage Railway.

Adam’s sheer enthusiasm for railways really shone through coupled with his top class photography with real variety - truly “Railways Today”.

Mark Ratcliffe


July 2017 - Peter Triggs, "Railways in the West Country covering Somerset, Devon and Cornwall

It was a pleasure to welcome Peter Triggs for his first visit to Burton Railway Society. Peter’s slide show and talk covered the counties of Somerset, Devon and Cornwall with modern day images and as he put it: “some old stuff”. He set the scene with units at work and quickly moved on to the East Somerset preserved set-up followed by archive material on the S&D with 43216 at Evercreech Junction. We then moved to the Yeovil area with 5525 “swimming” at Langford West in the floods. The Adams Radial Tank 30592 graced Combe Pine Halt, whilst other locations in the area include Seaton Junction, Colyton, and Seaton. 34034 'Honiton' illustrated Exmouth Junction and Z 30955 was on banking duty in Exeter. Moving to Peter's home territory, Taunton, 'County of Leicester' put in an appearance alongside Dukedog 9016, whilst 9757 was on station pilot duty. One particular graphic picture showed 6028 'King George V1' in crashed condition. Peter described how for many years he was a volunteer on the West Somerset Railway working mainly at Crowcombe. He also spoke about part of his working life in the coal business and how he’d bought coal from our local pits at Church Gresley, Measham, Moira and Cadley Hill. The first half finished with a slide of a scantily dressed young lady at the tea bar at Dawlish!

The second half commenced with another photograph of the same young lady. Indeed Peter made sure his audience was awake by including various similar shots throughout his show. This, peppered with the handing out of sweets to members who answered his questions correctly, went down very well indeed. Other Devon scenes featured Newton Abbot and of course the Paignton – Kingswear and South Devon Railways. The latter included a shot of Thomas the Tank Engine! A quick scurry was made down the Plymouth to Gunnislake Branch and then it was time to enter Cornwall. Here Peter had various illustrations of the Liskard & Looe branch, the Bodmin preserved railway and Wadebridge with Beatty well tanks of course. Newquay, Hayle Docks, the Falmouth Line and St Ives were all illustrated before we finished at the end of the line with a slide of 67022 at Penzance on a parcels train. All in all we enjoyed a most pleasant evening.

Mark Ratcliffe


June 2017 - The Annual Fun Quiz set by Chris Eaton & Dave Hook

A sign of the times is just how quickly it seems before our Annual Fun Quiz is here again. Messrs Chris Eaton & Dave Hook took it in turn to ask each round of questions and it was good to welcome our visitors from Leicester. Eight teams of four took part with names of participants for each team being drawn out of the hat, (or box in this case). Scores ranged from 115 -160 with the questions ranging from fairly easy to very testing. Below is listed the titles of the rounds with a sample question from each.

Round 1: Railway Roundabout and of course one of the answers in this round just had to be Pat Whitehouse and John Adams.

Round 2: Named Trains with question 1 being between which places did the Devonian run – answer: Bradford – Paignton.

Round 3: (From here on the joker could be played on a particular round of each team’s choosing to enable them to double their points), the title in this case was: LMS News Headlines: and the name and number of the Princess with the male sounding name was 46207 ‘Princess Arthur of Connaught’.

Round 4: Railway Colours: so the colours of the overhead electrification warning plaques were red and white.

Rounds 5 & 6 were photographic puzzles. Five was a set of 8 black & white station photographs with the location of each having to be identified. So the B.R. Standard Class 4 with a castle on a hill in the background was Harlech. In Round 6, the photos were in colour and were all taken in the National Railway Museum in February 2017. Bits of various locos were shown and required identification, one being the copper pipe work of ‘Evening Star’.

Round 7: Trainspotting Days, so how much was an Ian Allan Combined Volume in 1965? The answer was 12/6d.

Round 8: A Day at the Races and this included a town with a race course featured on an A3 – answer Doncaster.

Round 9: What’s in a Name? Thus which two classes of diesels had examples named Sister Dora?   The answers required being, Classes 31 & 37.

Round 10: Britannia Names – this Britannia could use something provided by 70017 - well 70017 was named ‘Arrow’ and so Robin Hood fitted the bill nicely.

There was just time to finish off with Last Man Standing and Nearest the Bull. The members of the first three teams received cash prizes and a can of Marston’s ale for each team member. Those in the team that finished last also got a can of beer each. It’s a shame that we can’t get more members to take part because it isn’t “Mastermind” and it’s also a lot of fun. Those taking part also got a free drink each, so it was a great value night out.

Mark Ratcliffe


May 2017 : Stephen Gay, "Railways in a Cornish landscape - Tamar to Truro"

It was good to welcome Stephen Gay back for his fifth visit to talk to members of BRS. Stephen started us off deep in the Cornish Landscape with several slides of Bude. These included the remains of the Bude Beach Tramway which was last used in 1942. We then had a laugh at modern road sign directing travellers to Camelford Station, only one problem, it had closed 50 years ago! It was then time to include some trains in the show and where better than an HST on Brunel’s Bridge over the Tamar. Nearby by, Brunel was depicted on a pub sign in Saltash. Next it was to the Looe Branch and Stephen being Stephen chose to join a service at Coombe Junction Halt. According to the conductor he was the first passenger to be picked up there for 3 months! Stephen then showed slides and gave a commentary on each station on the line. Then he next chose the longest and busiest branch in Cornwall - the line to Newquay. This location was once served by a line from another direction and part of this is used by the Lappa Valley narrow gauge railway so a quick detour was made to illustrate it. It wasn’t long before we were in Truro and so we were taken down the track to Falmouth, pausing to look at the Perranwell Viaduct. This was originally broad gauge with remains of the wide piers showing up well alongside the “new”.

Stephen knew from his research that an accident had happened on the Redruth – Chacewater Railway on 16 March 1899. Sadly one person on a train was killed and Stephen had the shock of his life when he investigated the church yard to find the grave of the victim. This was because the man who died was also called “Stephen Gay!”

Off next to Hayle and he most ably “framed” the slide of the HST with palm trees. Of course he had to visit the line from St. Erth to St. Ives and so Lelant Saltings and Carbis Bay stations were depicted en-route. St. Ives station was portrayed from a very artistic point of view. It was taken from inside a phone box with seagulls in the composition as well. He then entertained us with a poem entitled “A Few Lines From St. Ives”. Finally we ended up at Penzance and Stephen took the opportunity to remind us of the Penlee life boat disaster in 1981.

It is always a pleasure to welcome Stephen, his slides are thoughtfully composed, depict delightful scenery and not taken until the sun light is just right. This often involves hours of waiting around or, more often than not, a return visit. His commentary is superb and he always makes me laugh when he finds himself having to take up an unusual position to get his photograph and he says: “I felt a ‘rate’ tea-cake!” This often involves him standing in water up to his knees, no doubt much to the amusement of those passing by. But none of this happens by accident and is down to thorough research before starting on his journeys. And of course we mustn’t forget his poetry.

Mark Ratcliffe


April 2017 : Ian Krause, "All’s not lost, but most of it is"

What an intriguing title for Ian’s second visit to BRS. But it could have been entitled “Much of what used to be there on the railways is no longer there”. However, because the photos he was showing had been taken widely over the UK, Turkey and Spain he described how things and places had changed since the 1960s and 70s rather than show ‘after’ pictures.

Ian prefaced his presentation by stating that he had never been into colour photography as he had found that black and white suited him and had not let him down as certain colour films had. But he demonstrated that he was not against technical advancement by saying that his first three pictures would probably be better if they had been taken digitally.

Unfortunately the slides for his first session - taken in the UK in the early 1960s - needed a great deal of manual effort by Andy Colson who did an excellent job to get them accepted by the projector. Ian’s initial coverage was in the north of England including Dent Head Viaduct, Shap and Tebay and included some lesser known freight lines. Shots of an 8F going through Appleby, the 3 Dales Rail Tour and a withdrawn loco brought back into service and then quickly retired again when it failed to perform adequately were also shown. Holbeck was one of Ian’s favourite sheds and he had a 1967 photo taken there. He then moved down south with shots of Waterloo taken from a block of flats – not the safest place to be ,he said – and he mused over the extent of changes in the sky-line in that area of the capital.

Despite all the trials and tribulations suffered by Ian in Turkey (filthy train seating and toilets, a forced haircut, attacks by locals on a train, and a brush with a huge cockroach) this was my favourite section. The scenery was stunning and provided fitting backgrounds for the wide variety of locos he encountered there. Surprisingly, despite the awfully slow journey times, drivers and firemen seemed to take a pride in their charges. However, Ian did witness a signalman close down his box (with one train clearly in view) and spent five minutes in prayer before releasing the train. Over eight days, Ian and his travelling companions seemed to have covered most, if not all, parts of the country.

Then came the Spanish section – plenty of clag here without having to ask for it. As in Turkey there was a good selection of locomotives from various sources including a lone 8F which Ian thought had probably found its way back home by now. But wasted investment into railway construction was a theme covered here. The first example was where two lines were constructed running in parallel and with different gauges. The second was introduced by a slide of a train making a trial run along a high embankment on a long distance line. This had been constructed with political support from General Franco. However, there was a fatal omission in the planning process – no account had been taken of the clearance required to install catenary on a line with so many tunnels and bridges. So, what do you do then – you build another line! Ian asked us to spot the loco in a huge worked-out quarry with very many levels. No one did because the scale made it look like a small mark. And the loco was probably destined to remain there as a result of its isolated position.

Because of the time lost in the first section, Ian had to hurry the last section showing slides in Great Britain.  He included some late-60s and early-70s fellow photographers including Paul Riley. We saw top-and-tailed trains and early steam on the main line in the 1970s which included “Flying Scotsman”

Ian gave an entertaining commentary without using any notes (which was most unfortunate for this reporter) who had hoped to use them for this report. Despite the initial problems with the projection, Ian remained professional. We enjoyed his photography and he seemed to enjoy the evening as well.

 Rodger Smith


March 2017 : Bryan Holland, "Ramblings with a new camera in 1962" 

We were pleased to welcome Bryan Holland for the premier of this show. He was accompanied by Michael Chapman who provided the technical assistance in assembling the programme. The “new camera” concerned was an Ilford Sportsman Vario 35mm, which together with the case, cost an “eye-watering” £14–11s–6d: quite an investment for Bryan whose pay then was only £6 a week!

The photographic year in question started on 24 February with three exposures at the favoured local spot of the shed yard at Leicester. Bryan described his efforts as “train spotting record shots.” His photographic record had lain undisturbed in a suitcase for 55 years and had never been seen before! A few shots taken up in the north east came next and then it was the much waited for, local material. Coalville on 15 April 1962 was the first port of call with 58163 and a sister loco stored in a siding at the side of the station. Next to Overseal with a panoramic view of the shed and yard, with six locos were in view – 44552, 44538, 44528, 44124, 43991 and 8F 48694. Arriving in Burton and in time to record 48143 drifting by before attention shifted to the shed environment. First up was Reidinger crab 42829 - his main reason for the visit. Other locos photographed were: 43793 (in store), 44871 with 45561 ‘Saskatchewan’, 45532 ‘Illustrious’, 45575 ‘Madras’, and 45648 ‘Wemyss’. All in all, Bryan recorded in his notebook 13 Jubilees and one Patriot (if my memory serves me right the Patriot had been sent down from Derby to be placed in store). Staying local, it was off to Derby to visit the works and shed. S. & D. loco 53808 was recorded inside the works and 46153 ‘The Royal Dragoon’ was captured on the shed yard.  Moving to Spondon we viewed 42543 standing silently in the scrap sidings. Heading up north, Oxenholme and Tebay & Carlisle Upperby were the target sheds. At the latter, 45540, 70004 and 46255 appeared on the screen before us.  On 27 May, Bryan was off to Oxford and Swindon prior to a holiday in Devon. There he visited Newton Abbot and Exeter with 34002 ‘Salisbury’ captured by Exeter West signal box before moving on to view both Exeter sheds. The first half drew to a close at the works open day at Derby with 46151 ‘The Royal Horse Guardsman’ passing by on the main line. Whilst, on show, were 44739, 42174, 46500, 70048 and 46256.

The second half and it was back to the Leicester area for an all-day session at Aylestone with a B1 and a Britannia 70010 being photographed. The following Saturday Bryan turned up at Leicester Central shed and was able to photograph a B16 inside the depot and a Hall passing by on the main line. The little-used line from Belgrave Road was the subject on the final Saturday of the weekend both to photograph and travel on. B1 61177 was inside the station and, en route, Thurnby box and station were captured with the well known railway photographer Colin Walker standing on the platform. Carrying on down the line we viewed Thurnby Tunnel, Melton Mowbray station, Bottesford south junction and shots all the way to and at Skegness. In September, York was the chosen destination, but with brief interludes on the way at Nottingham Victoria and Sheffield Victoria. At the end of the month, Banbury was visited with a King in store on the shed and awaiting scrap, whilst sadly the last King in service, 6018, passed through Leamington light engine on its way to Swindon for scrap. Finally in December it was off to Grantham with N2 69535 ready for the scrap yard and photographs taken of classes: K1, A2, 02, L1, A1 and A3 which included 60056 ‘Centenary’ and 60109 ‘Hermit’. Signs of things to come included Deltic D9000, but 60028 and 60021 appeared, with the final scene on the night being 60025 ‘Falcon’.

A superb train spotting record and we all enjoyed being transported back to 1962. An offer to return on a future date was gladly accepted.


February 2017 : Dave Richards & Karl Jauncey, “PSOV 2016"

By tradition we always welcome Dave and Karl to Burton in February and so let’s look at some of the highlights. 46100 ‘Royal Scot’ appeared in the opening credits and then in several locations in North Wales including pacing footage at Mochdre. Over on the Settle & Carlisle, 44871 and 45407 made a tremendous noise and scattered the sheep. A1 ‘Tornado’ appeared wearing a coat of early B.R. green. Of course ‘Flying Scotsman’ had to be featured and in this case there were shots made from inside and out of the cab. Modern 91 electrics overtook and flew past and at both Doncaster and York platforms space was at a premium as spectators gathered to enjoy the view.  Lots of action followed from 46233 and 46100 on Shap whilst the latter appeared on the Cumbrian Coast line. On this occasion some BRS members were enjoying the action from their reserved compartment. The return journey from Carlisle featured more cab action as the loco tore down Shap. 46100 and 45699 should have crossed each other on the Cumbrian section, but by some bizarre reason, the Jubilee wasn’t allowed on the train because of alleged gauging problems and so was replaced by a West Coast class 47. This was even more annoying because the camera was perfectly placed to record the occasion. The tour of Great Britain number 9 showed 46100 again both in Cornwall and with whistle wailing as it drew into Temple Meads. Next it was 45699 and this time it was allowed on the Cumbrian coast route. Your reviewer remembers this loco as the most common Jubilee to appear through Burton in steam days. 44871 took the train around Scotland and ‘Leander’ 5690 brought the train back down south.

The second part opened with action on the Hope Valley Line whilst 60103 took its turn to tackle Shap. 5043 “flew the flag” for the Great Western, - it was “A revelation to see what it could do,” commented Dave. On 7th August, 46233 appeared in Cornwall and this is believed to have been the first ever visit by a member of this class in the Duchy. Moving to September, it was the turn of ‘Princess Elizabeth’ to visit Cornwall and be seen on Brunel’s Tamar Bridge. Moving up to Scotland again, the ex-Burton Black 5 drifted over the Forth Bridge. Further north still, Ben and Dave Collier provided the footage of the “Jacobite” with Dave, (aged 68), climbing like a mountain to get a wonderful distance shot. Fireworks for November were provided by Pannier tank 9466 storming up the Lickey in the dark with sparks flying. A further shot in the dark was provided by 44871 and 45407 in tandem as they passed the huge Shrewsbury signal box. Finally it was off to Wales for footage on the Welsh Marches.

As always, the high standards of P.S.O.V. were maintained: with their great planning and brilliant camera work, our grateful thanks go to Dave and Karl and the other cameramen who contributed.

Mark Ratcliffe


January 2017 : Peter & Sarah Berry, "The Robert Whitfield Collection - U.K. steam 1948 - 1958"

All the images we saw were taken by the late Robert Whitfield who hailed from Manchester. All were black-and-white and were beautifully crisp and clear. There were some rare treasures including 46242 on the inaugural “Caledonia Express” and Royal Scot 46151 in un-rebuilt condition. Sadly Robert had not identified any of the locations where he took his photographs. To Peter, some were obvious and others were educated guess work, his main interest being the former L.M.S. In his interpretation of the images, Peter displayed a wonderful sense of humour and so provoked a lively, but good humoured banter: particularly when he declared his allegiance to the former G.W. system. (Somebody in the audience muttered that it was the Gas Works Railway!) It wasn’t all L.M.S. though and the occasional B1, County and H16 tank crept in. Lord Nelson class 30854 featured Robert’s young son Colin by the side of it and he also appeared in many other compositions. Peter drew our attention to the detail in each photograph and praised the way Robert had sought out the best locations for the light. It became a standing joke when Peter commented: “note the rods are down!” This was certainly a speciality of Mr. Whitfield’s photographs. Peter also revealed his interest in the railwayana auctions and interjected several little snippets regarding name plates sold at auction.

Now let me pick out some particular highlights starting with 6202 in turbo-motive form with views of this iconic beast. He also captured it during the short period it ran in rebuilt form as 46202 four Princess Anne£££. The location in this case was Liverpool Lime Street and 25 days later it was smashed beyond repair. Getting up to date, relatively speaking, the new at the time, blue Deltic made an impressive appearance on “The Shamrock” express. Similarly the L.M.S. twins 10000 & 10001 were captured in action. I, of course, appreciated the image of 6100 ‘Royal Scot’ at Crewe surrounded by loads of admirers. Then there was a rare view of a Crosti-boilered locomotive in original condition with plenty of smoke issuing from behind its single smoke deflector.  He also captured two shots of 46243 ‘City of Lancaster’ in streamlined condition - this being the last Stanier Pacific to be rebuilt.

Peter related that each image took around half-an-hour to clean up and digitally scan ready for today’s audience, but in the case of 65143, the photograph was torn in half and it took two hours to digitally sew back together. Sad to report that Robert in later life suffered a break down and destroyed the negatives and all Peter’s work was done by working from small printed photographs. Also sad to relate was that Robert’s son, Colin, had also passed on so all the more reason for us to be thankful that Peter took on the rescue task with regard to the collection.

The one colour photograph that was shown featured Robert Whitfield himself - standing on Black 5 45327. We were informed that Robert’s favourite loco was 45292. This was the first Black 5 to go into B.R. livery. It was painted to an exhibition finish in LNWR blackberry black and even the tender frames were lined out. Robert even owned the smoke box number plate in the late 1960s.

Thank you Peter for saving the photos and for the time spent in scanning the images, thus enabling us all to enjoy the lovely crisp photos and with “the rods down!” This was a brilliant way to start the New Year off for all our members, a truly memorable show.

Mark Ratcliffe



December 2016 : Tony Bowles, "Steam in the British Isles - A mix of main line and industrial 1963 - 1970"

It was good to see Tony Bowles and his wife for a third visit to Burton Railway Society, this time it was Tony’s own material that featured - previous visits had been dedicated to the work of the late Paul Riley). Tony had synchronised the digital images with a recorded. Hand he started off with a few black-and-white shots taken in Wales before moving across to Ireland where he switched to colour images. Next he took us to Scotland for a visit to colliery lines followed by the preserved Scottish pre-grouping locos on the main line. Many in the audience were pleased to see A4s during their last working days and ancient 0-6-0s in action on freight. Personally, I enjoyed seeing 46140 crossing Larbert Viaduct on Easter Monday 1967.  A feature that was appreciated was that all the images appeared on the screen with the date that they were taken. The show was a lovely mix of main line and industrial. Moving down to England, we were taken to the Settle & Carlisle line and Shap. The shots taken here were recorded in superb lighting conditions. We had a look at the Manchester Ship Canal system before going to the Buxton area. There were some lovely snow scenes and Tony reported that “there was only one 180 degree skid in the car!” On next to the Cromford & High Peak Railway before it closed down. Then it was back to Wales for extensive coverage of the Welsh narrow gauge system. Tony remarked that he had covered much of Wales using his bicycle.

The beginning of the second half was devoted to the Southern with scenes around Weymouth and a session on the Isle of Wight On one occasion Tony was off to Hayling Island and this caused some consternation to an officer of the law who demanded to know what on earth Tony was doing out on his cycle at 4-00am! The result was a shaking of the head and a muttering of madness! Tony however got some great photographs and that was all that mattered to him. So what else did we view, well quite a lot! Thus the Sittingbourne system was recorded, ironstone quarries, the Great Central - with 9Fs, Black 5s, a V2 and an 8F, and a good smattering of Great Western action at Harbury, Honeybourne and Stratford prior to the diesel take over. Finally it was to Gloucester to see diminutive 0F 41537 in action in the dock area.

Tony had DVDs of the show for sale at £5 a go (an absolute bargain) and he did a brisk business. A great souvenir of a super show to round off the year!

Mark Ratcliffe


November 2016 : Bill Chapman, “Last days of S.R. steam and the 'Withered Arm' in diesel days”

Bill chose the above subject for his second visit to Burton Railway Society. He started at Waterloo with Merchant Navy 35030 ‘Elder Dempster  Lines’ and moved down to Portsmouth for a visit to the Isle of Wight. One of the locations he used there was Newport and he informed us that all five operating areas of B.R. had a “Newport” so it was possible to collect five different totems! Back to the mainland and it was off to Southampton and Bournemouth with vivid memories for me of observing the loco shed from the station platform at the latter location. Further down the line at Poole we viewed lots of Bulleid Pacifics. Then it was off to the Somerset & Dorset with visits to the following locations: Shepton Mallet, Pylle, and Henstridge. Bill made good use of his bike, a hand built Mercian, when he was in this area. Also featured were shots taken at Salisbury, Corfe Castle and Swanage. Bill included the remains of the three-foot tramway on the quay at Swanage.

The second half started with un-rebuilt Pacifics ‘Salisbury’, ‘Lapford’ and ‘249 Squadron’ all in the Upwey area near Weymouth before treating us to lots of views in the Weymouth area. Near Radipole, Bill discovered that his pocket had been picked and that the thief had taken all his money and his travel tickets. Together with Bill we looked at the remains of the Portland Railway after closure before venturing down the Weymouth Quay line with D2295 as the motive power. A visit to the shed to look at Bulleids at rest included a lovely side view of 34002 ‘Salisbury’ - what a shame that this loco wasn’t saved.

Time then for the diesel section and DMU’s on the Bridport Branch and at Axminster. The long lost curving bridge at Barnstaple was remembered as was as the terminus at Ilfracombe. Thus it was to the “withered arm” section with views at Callington, Bude, Padstow, and Halwill Junction with three separate DMUs on view.

Bill spoke of his slides as a “living collection” to be viewed and not stuck away in a box. We were certainly pleased that he was able to share them with us.

Mark Ratcliffe


September 2016: David Wright & Dave Richards, "Modelling a small brewery layout based on Horninglow Wharf"


October 2016: John Dagley-Morris, "Pre-1968 British steam”

It was a pleasure to welcome John to Burton for his first visit to BRS. Unfortunately this report will of necessity be brief because the reviewer was busy operating the projector for John, so he could not take any notes.

John has spent a long time scanning his old slides and correcting them when necessary so that they could be viewed digitally. He is very well travelled so we had a far ranging series of superb photographs to remember and record those days of half a century ago. One image in particular stuck in my mind and that was of an 8F-hauled goods train passing over Crumlin viaduct: in all other views I’ve seen of this once fine edifice it was always much smaller locos that featured.

High quality was certainly the order of the night and thanks go to John for providing such a fine show that was so well-received.

 Mark Ratcliffe

September 2106: Paul Chancellor, “A 5th ColourRail journey”

For this session Paul concentrated on specific areas to illustrate the far ranging and incredibly well stocked archive that Colour Rail holds.

The first area covered was Crewe and many of the images were in black & white to illustrate the way Paul is now moving the collection forward. Thus we viewed an ex-works Garratt 46202 in August 1952 (shortly before its tragic demise), and diesels 10000 and 10001. Sadly 47190 was in for scrap.

Oxford, a real cosmopolitan city, welcomed all the various BR regions and in particular its wooden engine shed which incredibly managed to carry on until the end of steam. Rewley Road Station was also covered, but in this case it was being dismantled for a new life at Quainton.

At Dundee the former B12 8531 featured along with a 1949 shot of J36 65330 in apple green livery plus photographs of Dundee’s famous trio of A2 pacifics: 60528, 60530 and 60532. Looking fine on Perth shed was 46252 ‘City of Leicester’. Paul featured several rail tours that took place in this area all hauled by lovely clean engines.

The city of Exeter was illustrated by visits to both stations, Queen Street and St. David’s. Highlights there were: Merchant Navy 21C2 in original condition; Castle Class 5058 at Exeter St. Thomas; 30582 inside Exmouth Junction shed; 34081 which had obviously been on fire; and Warship diesel D835 was shown along with A4 60024, the latter being on rail tour duty.

Shed shots were the order of the day in the north-east here visualise B16 61412 at Stockton shed, Q6 62428 at Newport, 69860 at the open air shed of Middlesborough, 63375 with a ship in the background and some panoramic views of the then new Thornaby shed.

The evening was rounded off with visits to London Sheds. Old Oak Common featured a R.O.D. 2-8-0 and much later on three Western diesels and a Warship posed around the steam-age turntable.  At nearby Willesden 46240 positively glowed. Camden displayed Princess 46207 whilst at Kentish Town Scot 46112 caught the eye. Neasden had brand new standard 73000 whilst Cricklewood had an unusual visitor in the shape of B1 61105. At Kings Cross, front ends were the order of the day with ‘Flamboyant’ and ‘Lord Farringdon’ on show. At Finsbury Park D9003 was brand new and there was also a lovely night time view of six Deltics in a row. At Stratford J70 68220 resembled a garden shed rather than a loco, whilst a 1956 photograph of 43020 showed what Devons Road was like. Bricklayers Arms displayed E1 31507 and Stewarts Lane had on show a magnificent 30915 with white -walled tyres! This view dated back to 1953. Going further out we arrived at Hither Green to look at 31899 and at Norwood Junction a Q 30533 was the subject. Finally back to the city and Nine Elms: here panoramic views recorded the end and included 35008 dumped and ready for the scrap man.

As always another fine evening of entertainment was provided by Paul - Colour Rail never fails to deliver top quality images.

Mark Ratcliffe


August 2016: John Bagshaw & Friends, "UK Railway photography the digital way - heritage and modern"

This was a very well worked presentation featuring slick audio visual sections, both in colour and black & white, along with individual shots which John commented on.

The Duchess looked very fine in the snow on Shap and better still in a reflection shot taken at Wychnor. The black & white audio visual section took us back to the early 1990s and featured the ‘Duke’, 75069 and 60532 ‘Blue Peter’, the latter being recorded at Scropton. A preserved railway section followed and covered: Butterley; the NYMR; Nene Valley; both sections of the GC; the Welsh Highland; and the SVR where 46100 looked very fine.

In the second half “young” Kurt, at age 43, was introduced! Kurt specialised in bringing the railway scene up today for our more modern biased members. Thus we were treated to 68012 at Kings Sutton on the Marylebone service, blue-liveried 66750 on a biomass working and 37s working D.R.S passenger trains on the Cumbrian Coast services. Kurt reminded us that many diesels in use now fit the heritage tag. He explained that many of his photos were taken by mounting his camera on an extending pole. Diesels on heritage lines followed in a class by class section and featured: 03; 08; 11; 20; 25 (both early & late); 26; 27; 31; 33; 35 (Hymek); 37; 40; 43 (proto-type); 44; 45; 50; 52; 55; 56; and 58.

 Thanks to John, Jarad and Kurt for a very entertaining evening.

Mark Radcliffe


July 2016: Les Nixon, "1978 - That was the year that was!"

We were highly delighted that Les Nixon was able to come and join us following the sad news that the scheduled presenter, Terry Curzon, had died.

Les started the journey back to 1978 with shots from his own locality, thus Tinsley Yard featured with a Class 31 and one of the specialised Class 13 shunters. The complete scene there has now gone and Les recalled the time that he wanted a particular photograph of all the stored Peak diesel locos that had congregated in the yard: but how to do it? Answer, wait till Christmas Day when no one was around, climb a gantry and job done! Next it was into Derbyshire and he took us along the Hope Valley line, moved on to Great Rocks before going to Chesterfield. At the latter he obtained a lovely glint photograph of a Peak diesel just after it left the station taking a freight train along the old line. Of course in 1978 line-side photographic permits were still available and everything was painted blue. His final Derbyshire location was in the “v” at Ambergate. Although 1978 may not seem that long ago to most of us, since then there have been major infrastructure changes on the railway and many lines, signals and signal boxes have closed. As Les constantly reminded us, it’s important to keep making photographic records because what’s here today won’t be around tomorrow. A case in point was at Loughborough where you’ll no longer find a diesel shunter working in the yard nor see a brake van on the end of a train. He also illustrated the value of 180 degree shots i.e. take a shot one way, but don’t forget to turn around and capture the view the other way. Les rounded the first half off with a quick tour of the London area featuring Cricklewood (lots of Class 45s there), Paddington, Liverpool Street and even Broad Street. Finally, it was the turn of the Great Northern main line in the time before the wires. This included three HSTs at Kings Cross - they of course being relatively new then. 

In the second half Les turned to preserved steam and his selection included the following: 5305 at Harrowgate, 4472 at Neville Hill cutting, 4498 by the old Midland shed at Carnforth, 6000 at Wrexham,  92220 at Horton, and 35028 at Chinley East. 1978 was the year that 6115, in LMS black, made just two forays out on to the main line and Les captured ‘Scots Guardsman’ at Nunnery Sidings (Sheffield), on a trial run. The loco was fully painted, but the tender was a patch-work quilt of rubbed down filling areas.  Next, it was a series of Deltic photographs, plus the then “new kids on the block” the HSTs. This section also included the classic shot from the top of Newcastle Keep. Then followed  23 slides of Taiwan with its variety of track gauges. There was one splendid shed shot with around 20 locomotives in view with very many shades of the old days in the UK. Most of the steam stock in Taiwan was Japanese-built. Les’s real reason for going was to see some Shay locomotives at work and he even managed a cab ride. Today these locomotives can still be seen in preserved state in Taiwan with three working examples.  

Another British diesel interlude followed with Red Bank Sidings, Manchester being one location where Les was able to include a somersault signal still in use at Barkston East. In conclusion he took us to Pakistan to observe British steam locos at work both in urban locations and along the Kyber Pass.

Les certainly made full use of his photographic permit in 1978 even if it didn’t include climbing signal posts and gantries! He finally admitted that there were occasions when his wife was less than pleased with his many photographic forays, but 1978 certainly for him was “that was the year that was!” He packed more into one year than most of us would do in ten years. 

Mark Ratcliffe


June 2016: Chris Eaton & Dave Hook, "Annual Quiz Night"

 Thirty-two members and guests from other railway societies joined in the fun of the Annual Quiz Night. There were 10 rounds in all and the sections were as follows:

    1 : Flying Scotsman.
    2:  The birds and bees!
    3:  Games & pastimes.
    4:  Odd name associations.
    5:  Railway faces.
    6:  Station(ary) pictures.
    7:  Noughts & crosses.
    8:  Climbing in the counties.
    9:  The Royal Scots.
    10: The games the name.

Thus round 5 was a pictorial one and featured faces of railway personalities for contestants to guess, one being Michael Portillo. Round 6 was similar and photographs of well-known stations appeared and had to be identified. To add to the entertainment each team was able to play a “joker” on a round of their choosing and so double the points for the group of questions chosen. Between the 8 teams participating the scores ranged from 89 to 148 and everyone agreed it was an evening of great fun. The evening was rounded off with two further competitive sessions - “Last man standing” and “Nearest the bull”.

Thanks to Chris Eaton and Dave Hook for providing an entertaining and lively evening. Perhaps next year a few more will take a chance and join in? The teams of four are chosen at random and it’s a great way of meeting other society members.

Mark Ratcliffe


May 2016: Michael Clemens, "Atlantic Coast Express/Shropshire/1963 in the N.E./4-8-4s in New Zealand"

It is always a pleasure to welcome back Michael as he has such an exhaustive collection of archive railway film taken by his late-father Jim. However, on this particular evening he started, just for a change, with films bought by Jim.

The first purchased film featured London – Dover in the 1950s. Here we viewed railwaymen at work and Bulleid Pacifics thundering by. Next was the short clip of the first ever film of a moving train, taken by the Lumière brothers in 1895. This was followed by parallel running of trains in LNWR days. For this particular evening Michael had brought with him long lengths of wire so he could connect up to the speakers in order to provide sound. Thus, after “Animal Express” featuring circus animals in the USA, it was across to New Zealand to view 4-8-4s at work. There was some really impressive footage of engines working hard which was enhanced by the sound track.

Next Michael produced footage of the “Withered Arm”. We started with 35028 ‘Clan Line’ leaving Waterloo at the head of the A.C.E. (Atlantic Coast Express) on 1st March 1964. The action in between included 34006 ‘Bude’ on Salisbury shed. Many other locations were featured as far as Exeter where the M.N. came off and was replaced by light pacific 34072 for the journey via Barnstaple to Ilfracombe.  Back at Barnstaple, the Torrington line was traversed and other locations now devoid of track included Halwill Junction, Launceston, Bodmin, Wadebridge, Padstow, and Callington. Locos seen included T9s and the well-loved Beattie well tanks. 

The second half commenced with footage taken on the N.E. region in August 1963, where the Clemens family holiday that year was based in Scarborough. I don’t think the seaside was visited very much there, but locations such as Northallerton, Darlington, Newcastle, and Gateshead were! Michael’s first siting of a Q6 was on Gateshead shed. The holiday also included a visit to York for a filming interlude with Britannias, a visit to Hull, and then Whitby via the NYMR, but in B.R. days. The final film of the evening was entitled, “A Shropshire Miscellany”. This included the delights of Llynclys and Oswestry, but the latter, apart from the shuttle service to Gobowen, was by then a freight-only line. The shuttle passenger service was DMU- operated and lasted till November 1966. Steam specials marked the end of the Paddington – Birkenhead service with Castles 7029 and 4079. Other areas included in the footage were: the Wrexham Branch, Ellesmere, Bala, and Llangollen.      

A splendid evening’s entertainment with many past memories being brought back to life. A thank you to Michael for persevering with the long lengths of cable to ensure it was possible to have the sound footage.

Mark Ratcliffe


April 2016: Ian Krause, "The 1960s in black and white" 

BRS members were very pleased to welcome Ian for his first ever visit to the Society. He started off with photographs taken on the Cromford & High Peak. These featured 68006 and 47007 in 1962. Ian revealed that at that time he was aged 14 and he wrote requesting permission to visit on the grounds that it would be the subject for his thesis at university! Very cheeky! So let’s look at a few high lights.

His first avant-garde shot was taken inside Old Oak Common. Next was a location familiar to your reporter and where Ian used to live, Kenton on the West Coast main line, and featured rebuilt-Royal Scot 46144. Then to places more local and a visit to Coalville Depot and station, where 8F 48646 was the back ground for the lamp lighter at work – most impressive. Heading up into Derbyshire we were treated to four views of Staveley Works and the small Midland locos in action.                                                        

The next destination was Edinburgh where Ian had managed to travel to from London on his scooter purchased for a fiver! As he said, he had a shot of Killin Junction Shed, but not Overseal, so to put matters right we introduced him to our own Dave Fleming (the last fitter-in-charge at this depot). Ian visited all sorts of fascinating nooks and crannies. He was rightly proud of his composition featuring Q1 33009 which was having its smoke box emptied on Guildford Shed. This photograph won first prize for him in the “Railway World” photography competition and the prize money enabled him to buy a new and much better camera.

The second half started with a shot of a Southern “Spam Can” on a special train by the M1 and, better still, there was only one car in the frame, unbelievable today! Now where was Ian on the day when England won the World Cup? Well, at Low Moor Shed Bradford. It sounds like a good deal to me! Then it was back up to Scotland with A4 60024 ‘Kingfisher’ framed by a bridge. He managed to get onto W.J.V. Anderson territory with a visit to the Leslie Branch home of W.J.V.A.’s paper works. Once steam finished working the branch Mr. Anderson cancelled the contract and went over to road transport.

Ian broke away from the traditional style of photography: he was of course influenced by Paul Riley and in particular Colin Gifford. He told us he was once on the S & C with C.G. when a fellow they didn’t know came up and introduced himself as Colin Gifford! No, they didn’t put him right!

Then to Tyne Dock shed which was Ian’s particular favourite establishment. I quite agree as it had a particular appeal although I only visited it once. Trying to get away from the maddening crowd was his description of being back on the Cromford & High Peak on the last day of its operation. We really came to appreciate his new style of approach with the different angles he used as steam drew to a close. As Ian said, “There are only so many dirty black 5s you can photograph the traditional way.”

In the North East, I loved his take on 65894 as it crossed the River Wear and was framed by the bridge portals. We were all surprised to hear that Ian had negatives taken in the Tebay & Scout Green areas in 1967 which had remained untouched till early this year. Thanks to the power of the scanner it was now time for them to be viewed and we were grateful to witness them. 1968 loomed and he was there for the last days of steam around Buxton and in particular on the Hindlow branch. Ian was also able to capture 70013 on Monsal Head Viaduct and then it was onto the last-day-specials and the final knockings at Lostock Hall. 

It was an excellent evening; Ian’s timing was superb with just the right amount of information without dwelling too long on each slide nor moving on too quickly. Above all what really amazed me was that the entire dialogue was from memory - not a single note was to hand. Thank you very much Ian.

Mark Ratcliffe


March 2016: Dave Harris, "An illustrated tour of signalling and signal boxes in and around Burton"

What a show this was! Listed below are the ‘boxes that were illustrated in the order they appeared.

Clay Mills – MR type 2B and in existence from 1899-1987.

Wetmore Sidings dating from 1949.
North Stafford Junction.
Horninglow Bridge (photo: M A King) - box ex-Guild Street No. 1.
Burton Station North 1915 -1966.
Burton Station South.
Leicester Junction.
Branston Junction 1923 and opened on 23 January.
Branston Sidings Number 1.
Birmingham Curve Junction.
Leicester Junction Sidings – abolished 1956 and after that in use as a shunter’s cabin. 
Dale Street..
Uxbridge Street – 20 levers in the box: Wood Street, Peach & Co., and Thornewills controlled by it. Branston Road.
James Street Junction – the name board is in the Brewery Museum.
Park Street Number 1 – the name board is also in the Museum.
Burton New Street No. 1.
Duke Street – (photo: “Barking Bill” Flickr site).
Park Street Number 2.
Lichfield Street.
Burton New Street Number 2 - (note aerial view of this and the box above. Wellington Street Junction.
Shobnall Junction.

Shobnall Crossing and cross bar signal.
Shobnall Maltings – ex-Swadlincote East bought by Bass for £200 and now at Bill McAlpine’s private railway.

Allsopps Sidings (LNWR).
Stretton Junction – both old and new boxes illustrated.
Hawkins Lane Sidings.
Hawkins Lane Junction.
Horninglow Goods Yard.
Anderstaff Lane.
Salt’s Engine Shed.
The Hay.
Trent Bridge Signal Box – established 1908 and gone by 1934.
High Street Crossing.
Church Croft.
Guild Street.
Allsopps Crossing – details shown of the crossing on the flat.
Brook Street Crossing – very small!

Oddities! Harlows, never a signal box although it resembles one. Dave speculated – could it be left-over parts from Burton North and South boxes when they were renewed? This is still in existence and can be viewed today. It is situated off High Street.

Finally, Dave showed three brewery-owned boxes:

        Station Street in art deco style
        Blue Posts Box on High Street

A thoroughly entertaining evening, thank you Dave for a first rate show which revived many memories. What a collection Burton upon Trent once had. Dave has asked that I acknowledge the following people who provided the bulk of the photographs. These were: Pat Larkam, Brian Whitehouse and Roger Newman. Without them the show would not have been possible.

Mark Ratcliffe


February 2016: Dave Fleming, “Engines I have known: Part 2”

After the AGM, Dave was in good form for part 2 of his show. He carried on from the Hughes Fowler Crab locos and quickly got into his stride. The tales that followed were of his time with each loco that he had been called upon to attend to in his capacity of a fitter. As an example, a discourse of problems with a run-down Holbeck ‘Royal Scot’ lasted for ten minutes. With time against him, Dave managed to get to the LNER B1 class and he still had 35 slides to go. It was a pleasure to listen to him, and so part 3 beckons.

Mark Ratcliffe


February 2016: Dave Richards & Karl Jauncey, "PSOV: A review of 2015"

As usual the opening sequence revealed what we could look forward to seeing and Dave told us that most unusually the footage would be a Black 5 “free” evening.

46233 ‘Duchess of Sutherland’ kicked off the evening in fine style and was followed by 4965 ‘Rood Ashton Hall’. We then had an extended session with black-liveried 5690 ‘Leander’ on the Settle & Carlisle line. Dave Oldfield was the cameraman on the footplate and captured “rock steady” footage using four cameras. The fireman, a butcher by trade, was totally on “top of the job” and it was good to watch him in action. I particularly enjoyed my brief contribution to the day with footage from Helwith Bridge. It wouldn’t be a P.S.O.V. DVD without an A55 roadside pacing session and 5043 ‘Earl of Mount Edgcumbe’ dutifully obliged! Shades of the good old days had 45699 ‘Galatea’ on duty on Shap being followed by 70000 ‘Britannia’! Unfortunately it was a laboured journey up the bank for the Jubilee on an overloaded train and the Brit. was in the shot in close proximity. The first half drew to a close with B1 61306 and 60163 ‘Tornado’ both in LNER green or ‘undercoat’ as Dave described it! The Forth Bridge featured prominently, first with a superb firework display and then with 60163 crossing over it.

It was good to see the second half start off with a ‘proper’ engine - re-built Scot 46115, not that your reviewer is biased of course! The lads had film of it leaving Holyhead and we were informed that this was the first time for 40 years that a Scot had left this Welsh port. Then we were transported back to late 1950s with ‘Britannia’ leaving Paddington. Meanwhile a return was made to the S&C to enjoy the sights of ‘Leander’ and ‘Galatea working the “Dalesman” trains whilst Ben Collier went into “mountain goat” mode to get to a high vantage point to capture 46115 at speed through some beautiful scenery. Soon we were enjoying more David Oldfield cab footage with 70000 ‘Britannia’ charging along the sea wall route through Dawlish & Teignmouth. There was a particular evocative film of the Brit crossing the Royal Albert Bridge at Plymouth with the whistle wailing long and loud. It was also refreshing to see ‘Galatea’ at work along the Cumbrian Coast Line before we were taken back to Shap to witness Castle Class 5043 tackling the bank. More footplate footage, this time on 60009 ‘Union of South Africa’ heralded the celebration of the re-opening of the Waverley route as far as Tweedbank. A brief foray was made to the Highlands to see K1 62005 on the Mallaig trains before the evening drew to a close with 46100 ‘Royal Scot’ itself on its test run on 22 December 2015.

As usual superb footage to commemorate preserved steam in action on the mainline. Karl and Dave always manage to come up with new ideas and, as I said at the end, they are often imitated, but never bettered.

Mark Ratcliffe


January 2016: John Calton, "Forty years of railway photography"

We expressed our grateful thanks to John for stepping in to fill the breach with this show. He said that he had taken his first transparencies in 1961 including Carlisle Canal’s A3 ‘Sir Visto’. He was particularly pleased that he had captured Royal Scot 46115 ‘Scots Guardsman’ in its final year of service at Carlisle Kingmoor in 1966 and again in 1978 when it made a very brief appearance in preserved condition on the main line. He was also around for the last knockings of steam in the North East in 1967. Then it was down the eastern side of the country visiting Low Moor in Bradford,  Doncaster and Skegness. Next it was via Essex to Kent and in particular for scenes on the fearsome bank out of Folkestone.  Slides taken on a photographic charter in Southampton Docks paved the way for a visit to the Isle of Wight. We were then whisked off to the London area which included St. Pancras and Kings Cross stations and the bank at Camden. 1985 loomed and John went to record the last year of semaphore signalling and associated infrastructure accompanied by steam of course.

After the interval we went back in time to view the last rites of the Cromford & High Peak Railway with J94 68006 leading the charge. Then there was a leap forward to 20 March 1999 when John attended a charter at the Shelton Steel Works in Stoke on Trent with three industrial locos from the Foxfield Railway. Your reviewer remembers seeing this charter in action on a returning from Crewe and thus made a detour to watch the proceedings from the Asda car park! 6233 ‘Duchess of Sutherland’ was recorded in action on royal train duty in Wales before John crossed the sea to visit the Isle of Man. Back to pre-1968 and we observed: an ex-Crosti-boilered loco at Birkenhead; signal gantries at Preston; and 46257 ‘City of Salford’ inside the burnt out Preston depot. Meanwhile up in Scotland, 68098 was captured in McWilliams scrap yard. It was here that John was offered a nameplate for £5, but he was travelling light and so couldn’t carry it! The evening ended with: 5690 ‘Leander’ and Midland compound 1000 in the snow; 70013 light engine on the last day of steam; before concluding with visits to Wolsztyn in Poland and a Swiss tour with steam.

It was very pleasing that John included so many infrastructures that have long gone, views that showed steam in the landscape and a lovely mix of archive and preservation days.

Mark Ratcliffe



December 2015: Richard Binding, “Plymouth to Exeter in B.R. days and the current scene”

Unfortunately, due to work commitments, Michael Whitehouse, the advertised presenter, could not attend so the Society was grateful that Richard Binding was able to attend a month earlier than planned. 

Mr. Binding commenced with several shots around Plymouth mainly consisting of diesel power. The Leemoor Tramway that crossed the main lines near to Laira Depot was illustrated and a brief history of the depot was also related. Two miles of the Hemerdon bank were soon encountered. It was usual practice to double-head trains up this gradient and various workings at this stage were skilfully illustrated with a mix of Colour Rail and the presenter’s own slides. Viaducts in Cornwall are plentiful and a descriptive outline of Brunel’s designs was given. Some early photographs were used to showcase these before they were replaced when the track was doubled. Replacement would have been necessary in any case because the first versions were constructed in timber. Richard also included the various branches that diverged from the main line such as Kingsbridge, Ashburton, Kingswear and Brixham. It wasn’t all Western motive power either as the Southern got a look in with the Bulleid Pacifics. Crews on these locos needed to maintain route knowledge in case of problems on their own tracks. Even planes and boats got a look in as the show unfolded. Arrival in Torquay area proved an apt stop for the interval.

The second half commenced at the once very important railway centre of Newton Abbot with slides of the station area, works and depot. Your reviewer well remembers narrowly escaping the grasp of a transport policeman whilst visiting the engine shed in 1971! I spotted him first and made a remarkably rapid exit having seen all I wanted to. A visit to the Moreton Hampstead branch was made and even the small engine shed here was illustrated. Richard had several views of the highly scenic sea wall section around Dawlish, this area being well remembered for the terrible damage the sea inflicted on the wall and track in this town. As we left the area he had even managed to find an example of Cockwood Harbour with water actually in it! Unfortunately today this is another area that has been despoiled by unnecessary security fencing. As we drew near to Exeter, Richard produced a lovely Peter Gray slide showing a beautiful reflection of a ‘Warship’ class diesel as it cautiously negotiated floods on both sides of the track. The presentation was then rounded off with several views of the railway scene in Exeter itself.

It had been a most enjoyable evening and was appreciated by all those present. Society members were no doubt also pleased that to celebrate 30 years of the Society’s existence a “membership holiday” was announced for next year and so avoided the queue to pay their subscriptions.

Mark Ratcliffe


November 2015 [The first presentation] Dave Fleming, "Engines I have known: Part 1"

This time our afternoon show took the form of a “double-header!”  Dave Fleming started with slides of engines he had known and worked upon. 

His first slide was of Bass loco number 1 - one of the engines he had become familiar with as a young lad whilst helping Dad on his allotment. Next was S.R. ‘F1’ class. Three of these had arrived at Burton in the war years to work the Burton – Leicester trains. A glance at the LNER followed with a B16 and an N5. Dave explained that the usual practice for the B16 was to turn on the Dove Junction triangle and work tender first into Burton. This was because the Horninglow turntable was hand operated and difficult to work. The N5 was shown because one of the class, 69360, spent a week on trial as the shunter at Horninglow. ‘Thundersley’, formerly 41966, appeared next, purely because a member of this class gave Dave an unexpected surprise on his first day at work. The unfortunate loco concerned managed to end up in the turntable pit! In an attempt to find work for the Fowler 2-6-2T loco 40050, it was tried out on the Tutbury Jinny for a week – it just about managed it, and the same applied to a member of the 41900 class. So on to 40633 fitted with the Dabeg feed water heater, his comment was that this loco worked well, but it was hard to keep steam tight. The Midland Compound, celebrity 1000, “ran hot” and was sent to Burton to use the wheel drop. The instruction was that fitters from Derby Works would be sent to do the job, but it was in the way so fitter Tommy Turner got on with the job and did it before the works staff arrived! Long standing engines allocated to Burton were 41516, used on the Netherseal Colliery branch, and 41523, which worked the Bond End branch. Apparently, 42336 was the shed’s pride and joy and it was dedicated for quite some time on the Jinny run. Finally, we just had time for the Reidinger Valve fitted ‘crabs’ and Dave illustrated 42824. This was fitted with vernier adjustable cams, with careful set up the loco was equivalent to a class 6 powered engine in forward gear, but the down side was that, in reverse, it was the equivalent of only  a class 3!

Mark Ratcliffe


November 2015 [The second presentation] Michael Carrier, “My working days: Marshalling yards"

The second presenter was Michael Carrier making a welcome return trip and having travelled all the way from Armathwaite, Cumbria. This time he spoke about his working days when he was involved with the running of two marshalling yards.

A post he thoroughly enjoyed was Assistant Yard Master at Whitemoor near March in East Anglia. Here there was a bunch of really good railwaymen all of whom had two jobs – yard work on the railway and various tasks associated with agriculture. The main items handled by the yard were: Campbell’s soup, coal and agricultural products. The sidings were laid out with the following in mind: arrivals; the hump section; classification; and departure lines. The latter however were mainly used for storage with train departures leaving from the classification sidings in all directions. A typical task for him on the 6a.m. to 2p.m. shift was to count the number of brake vans. However he quickly found out that it was better to be economical with the truth regarding the number available when reporting to Control. Otherwise Control would have requested that a train of spares should be sent to Peterborough thus leaving him short for his own trains! The next shift spent much of its time sorting wagons and trains - with feeding cows being a priority when cattle traffic was being handled. But the real work was tackled on the night shift.  After the Great Train Robbery, mail carriages were fitted with voice alarms. Michael discovered this much to his consternation following a rough shunt when an automated voice started shouting out, “Help! I’m being attacked by bandits!”

Michael was later moved to take over as Yard Master at the new Kingmoor Marshalling Yard at Carlisle. It was a difficult time for the staff who had been transferred following the closure of the many small yards around the city. These yards had been increasingly ineffective, but, by the time the new yard was opened, traffic was disappearing rapidly: it should have been opened years earlier. But as Michael stated – two marshalling yards, but very different.

Mark Ratcliffe


November 2015: Les Nixon, “Around South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire”

Taking the title as read, Les explained that this would be “A silk purse (late 1960s) from a sow’s ear (late 1940s and mid 50s)”. This was because he planned to show some of his very early railway photography attempts using a Box Brownie camera. He started in the West Riding with a shot of inside the roundhouse at Holbeck which was very reminiscent of Burton especially with a Jubilee, ‘Alberta’, on the left. We moved on to the Wakefield area with a slide of a very grimy W.D. being of note before moving down the line to Normanton. 

NORMANTON: Les explained that most of the locations he would be featuring have changed dramatically and Normanton was no exception. It was here that he took a particularly favourite portrait, but without a locomotive in sight! In the scene, a full moon illuminated a row of terraced houses whilst a gas station lamp spluttered light over a group of trucks – very satisfying!

CASTLEFORD: Here we viewed a Neville Q6 in charge of coal train in 1965, before looking at a 1969 slide of an industrial loco at Primrose Hill Colliery in the snow.

ROYSTON: Memories revived for me of a large engine shed containing a great number of 8Fs and one shunting a line of brake vans duly featured in Les’s photograph. There was also a super shot of a visiting Britannia pacific 70021 peering into the inside of the shed.

CUDWORTH:  Many illustrations here because this was where Les spent his youth and, sad to say, there is nothing left now – just trees and the stone base of the water column. To illustrate Les showed LMS tank 58040, 43032 fitted with a double chimney. an 8F, a B1 in departmental use as no. 32 and on its way to Royston for servicing and, from more modern times, a Class 37 and a Peak.

SILKSTONE: Here two Class 76 electric locos proved a sharp contrast to two 02s and a 1949 portrait of the Worsborough banker in the shape of the LNER Garratt “helped” by an N2!

PENNISTONE: In this area we looked at an electric Class77, a Jubilee and a Class C13 67434.

HAZLEHEAD: Spotted here was a little Yorkshire Engine Company 0-6-0 built in 1960 and seen working for the Hepworth Iron Company.

BARNSLEY: It was 1949 and Les appeared along with other members of the Barnsley Grammar School Railway Society standing on the frames of a 2F, with L.N. himself standing in front of the loco chimney. Views of Courthouse Station and Jumble Lane engine shed followed with the latter now being a bus station - how are the mighty fallen? Proudly displayed by Les was his first ever railway photograph of a B1 61247 on a fish train, captured at the age of 13 with his Brownie camera.

STAIRFOOT: An 8F captured on a mineral train - but nothing railway wise exists today - and similarly lost in the ether an 04/8 crossing a bridge over the Doncaster Bypass.

ALDWARKE: This was interesting place with the Midland and the Great Central crossing from one to the other as the bridge where this location could be viewed Les was pleased to get a slide of an HST before being told to leave.                                                                                                                                                        

WATH YARD: Again, what changes - full in a 1980 scene, but with just one track present today.

TINSLEY: The main subject here was Class 13 “master & slave” unit with a Class 8F and a Class25 diesel in the background.

CANKLOW: A view from 1967 of a line-up of small tank locomotives once used to manage shunting operations in Staveley Works and all totally redundant, very sad.

GRINDLEFORD:  Garratt 47971 laboured out of the tunnel mouth, no doubt to the crew’s relief!

CUDWORTH: The last slide of the night just had to return to this location and a 1981 scene of 45690 ‘Leander’!

The presentation showed just how important it is to get out there with your camera now and record the railway scene before it changes forever! Thank you Les.

Mark Ratcliffe


October 2015: David Mitchell, “Ireland and the Isle of Man system in steam days p assed”

It was a pleasure to welcome once again David Mitchell and this time with his wife Janet to Burton Railway Society.

We started on the Cavan & Leitrim system in 1959 captured just before closure. The engines photographed were in a deplorable state with the line being worked to death with coal trains from Arigna. We then moved to the County Donegal which also closed in 1959. Of interest here were the railcars which were later moved to the Isle of Man. Car 19 was pictured on the line to Letterkenny and number 20 was seen at Donegal Town Station. These vehicles just about survive on the Isle of Man. Next it was to the West Clare where we started at Ennis. At Moyasta Junction David captured a diesel towing a railcar.

The main thrust of the evening was concerned with the Isle of Man (IOM) system to which David has made numerous visits and still continues to do so. The system ran till 1965, nothing happened in 1966, but in April 1967 the Marquis of Ailsa leased the system for 21 years. 1967 and 1968 proved to be money-losing years and at the end of 1968 the Ramsey and Peel closed. Thankfully, the Government took over the Port Erin line.

The main feature of the evening was to return us to the years prior to 1965 when all was relatively well. We started in the goods yard at Douglas with a scene of the railway lorries. Then it was to the station and lots of views with the canopies in place. Of note was the fact that the Donegal rail cars ran attached back-to-back on the IOM system and these were seen on a Kirk Michael service. Here I will mention just a few of the many highlights. The Ailsa re-opening special featured three locos all bedecked with flags and painted in Ailsa LNER green. Then we were off down the line. Union Mills was an attractive station with banks of rhododendrons. Crosby featured no. 8 on the morning Ramsey service banked by no.1. So to St. Johns where our first view was framed by the arch of the bridge carrying the Foxdale branch. The branch was abandoned years ago, but David was able to illustrate Foxdale Station, but without the track in place. There was a great deal of activity at St. Johns with trains arriving and dividing, plus trains to Ramsey and Peel leaving at the same time and racing each other on the parallel tracks! St. Johns also displayed a large selection of out of use locos which were dragged out each day simply for viewing. There was also another less appealing display – Manx Northern coaches very dilapidated and dumped outside the carriage sheds.

After the break, Part Two saw us viewing Peel with its station, harbour, castle and small engine shed all featured. Then it was to the Ramsey line with superb views with the sea in the background - if only the track were still in place and in use today! David had a wonderful view taken from the cab of the railcar with the first train after the winter closure period: the rails were completely invisible and, to all intent and purposes, it seemed that the vehicle was riding through grass alone! The viaducts at Glen Wyllin and Glen Mooar, with no. 8 on the latter, showed just what we are missing today. Everything was overgrown with grass at Ballaugh, but David even managed to capture the scene at Wild Life Park Halt, a station that had a life of a mere three years. Sulby Glen was appealing with palm trees as a backdrop and 11 ‘Maitland’ calling. Sulby Bridge, with no. 10 in attendance, looked better in 1967 with the track tidied up. Next came Lezare – a station that closed in 1956 - and finally we arrived at Ramsey. This place, as far as the railway was concerned, always had an air of dereliction. No. 8 was captured prior to going inside the shed where the water tank was situated.

Off next to the Port Erin line where David started with a shot over the river bridge on the edge of Douglas - today this isn’t really possible due to tree growth. Then coming right up to date he included no. 8 on a photo charter in the cutting at Oakhill which is the summit of the line. We then progressed down the line with all the present day familiar locations being shown - Port Soderick, Crogga Woods,  Santon, Ballasalla, Castleton Colby, and Port St. Mary to Port Erin. Santon and Ballasalla were both illustrated in their original state before proper platforms were constructed.

Other rail aspects of the island were not forgotten and so it was back to Douglas for the horse trams where David even managed a photograph of the one and only season when the horse tram worked as far as the harbour. Next was the Manx Electric with a lovely overhead view of the old Derby Castle tram sheds. A quick visit was made to the Groudle Glen 2 foot line with ‘Sea Lion’ operating. So to Laxey where, in 1995 when the centenary of the Snaefell line was celebrated, we viewed ‘Caledonia’ and along with no. 4 ‘Loch’ working on the Manx Electric section.

A truly comprehensive over view of the Isle of Man as it was and to some extent still is. David has made so many visits that I’m surprised he isn’t classed as a Manx resident!

Mark Ratcliffe

September 2015: Chris Banks, “Engine sheds: Part 10 Ryde - Stoke

It was a pleasure to welcome Chris making his tenth shed visit. He started with a plea for “spotter’s logbooks”: along with Patrick Evans, over 90,000 logbooks have been preserved and these include the notes of your reporter. This time we visited 18 sheds photographically and started on the Isle of Wight.

Ryde: A new two-road shed holding eight locos was opened here in 1937 and it closed in March 1967. Chris illustrated it with eight slides.

St Blazey: Down to Cornwall to visit this unique nine-track semi-round house with individual stalls. It closed to steam in April 1962 and was used by diesels for several years after. This proved to be its saving grace and the building is now listed. It had a sub-shed at Moorswater which had two roads.

St. Leonard’s: This was a modern building crammed into a very tight site. It was a four- road through-shed and had a long association with the ‘Schools’ Class locos.

Salisbury: Opened by the L.S.W.R. in 1901, it was built on made up ground and was partially re-roofed in 1954. It had a reputation for clean locos right up to the end which came on the 9th July 1967. Reputed to be difficult to visit unofficially due to the fact you had to walk by the office window, I have to say that on my two visits there I just walked straight in! Chris had 11 illustrations, one of which was preserved 34039 ‘Boscastle’ in un-rebuilt condition.

Scarborough: This closed in May 1963 and we viewed 62707 ‘Lancashire’ being serviced on the depot.

Selby: This closed in 1959; it was formed of two roundhouses and had 18 stalls. Only one colour slide was available and featured a Q6 and B16 61456.

Severn Tunnel Junction: It was opened in 1908 as a four-road shed, then in 1951 two more roads were added. It closed to steam in 1965. It was then used a s a holding depot for withdrawn locos making their way to South Wales scrap yards and often included Southern examples.

Sheffield (Darnall): An unusual development because it opened during the war in 1943 and replaced Neepsend. It had ten through-roads. Although long closed for loco stabling, it was used for other purposes managing to hang on until 1995 before it was finally demolished. Many D11s were allocated there and we saw nine examples.

Sheffield (Millhouses): This was the largest straight-shed built by the Midland and had eight roads. We looked at 2P 40557 posed outside in August 1956. We also saw Compound 41190 and Jubilees 45570, 45572, 45602 and 45609 which were all allocated there.

Shoeburyness:  A great shed for spotters as it was situated right by the station platform. It was formed of two buildings both of different architectural styles. It was noted for having the entire allocation of Stanier three-cylindered Class 2-6-4Ts allocated there. Closure came in June 1962.

Slough: According to the Fuller Guide, this was a five minute walk from the station. It was a through-shed with four roads. A corrugated ((wiggly tin) extension was added so that diesel rail cars could be accommodated. Chris had a nice slide of 5766 posing inside.

Southall: The buildings here were demolished after the war in 1953 and a new eight-road was opened in 1954. When I visited, I just had time to admire the preserved Castle 4079 ‘Pendennis Castle’ before being asked to leave!

Shrewsbury: The LNWR and GWR sheds were sensibly built side-by-side. Chris had lots of slides of named W.R. locos to illustrate this important depot and included 1026 ‘County of Salop’. Others of note were: 41945 on its way to Cashmores for scrap; Black 5; un-rebuilt Patriots; 46206 ‘Princess Marie Louise’; ex works 46220 ‘Coronation’; and, 71000 dead on shed.

Staveley Great Central: Originally this was a 12-road shed, but due to poor condition it was reduced to five-roads. 04s were the main-stay of this depot, all of which were incredibly dirty. On my visit I had to climb the steps of every loco in order to read the number!

Stirling: Then to Scotland to look at this four-road shed. Slides we viewed included Perth’s 4F 44253 and 46236 ‘City of Bradford’ the latter prior to working the Stirling to Sutton Coldfield car sleeper train.

Stockport Edgeley: What a lovely shed to visit! It had eight-roads and closed to steam on the 6th May 1968. Chris had an interesting slide of two Class 40s standing outside the building the following month: it seemed that the authorities quickly decided that the place was unsafe and so the buildings were roped off! Stockport had a “pet” loco 45596 ‘Bahamas’ which was kept immaculate and 70004 ‘William Shakespeare’ was also equally well maintained – two lovely slides.

Stoke: A shed of two styles: one was a round house across the other side of the track, latterly little- used even for storing locos and the other, the main shed, had a collection of usually filthy locos which closed on Sunday 6th August  1967. Chris had six shots to illustrate and included Ivatt 2-6-0s (Flying Pigs!) and Black 5s and it was nice to see them in steam. I used to travel on the back of my friend’s Honda 50, (yes, that’s right!), to visit the depots in the North West and Stoke was always our last port of call on the way home – more to get the legs working again than anything else!

Thanks Chris for a terrific evening of nostalgia: wouldn’t it be great if the experience could be repeated again – now where’s that time machine?  But I’ll pass on the ‘Honda 50’ experience!

Mark Ratcliffe

August 2015: Roger Jones, “1991 and onwards”

Once again it was a pleasure to welcome BRS member Roger to present a show from his vast collection of slides. He and his friend Richard have shared many journeys together travelling around the U.K. in pursuit of preserved steam in action on the main line. In order to give a flavour of the evening I have picked out a few of the locos shown along with the various locations.

* Starting with a couple of local places, we viewed 3440 ‘City of Truro’ at Elford and S.R. S15 828 at Stenson. 

* 75069 at Hastings in the early days when steam was allowed on to S.R. electrified third rail. 

* 80080 in the days when the “Skeggy” line enjoyed regular steam excursions. Roger had the sense to cover several places of interest along the line including the somersault     signal and the signal box at Thorpe Culvert.                                                                                                                                         

* Knucklas viaduct with the unique Black 5 44767, but sadly in foul weather. 44767 also appeared much more locally first at Uttoxeter and then at Scropton.   

* The Skipton line was covered extensively before the electrified wires went up and included the dreaded Pilkington “K” coaching stock in all its “gory glory!” Of course         many things have changed since 1991 and Roger was able to comment on what has appeared since -  in several of the views many more trees, new roads and of course     the dreaded palisade fencing. 

* He did get his dream shot though - steam in the shape of an 8F in dramatic sunlight on the Radford curve in Nottingham. 

* Nearer to Burton, 80079 appeared at Bardon Hill, a pity it was a dull day.

* At Fenny Compton, we had sight of ‘Scotsman’ in its hybrid state featuring a double chimney, smoke deflectors, but in LNER green! 

* When 46233 ‘Duchess of Sutherland’ was rostered for the royal train, he was down in Wales for the event. On asking a signalman if it was due, he was told: “I can’t tell     you, but the next train to come is a class one!” 

* Even nearer to home appeared 4965 ‘Rood Ashton Hall’ at Moira West. 

* Once the Mallaig steam specials ended, an opportunity was given to organise a photo charter on an operational main line. Roger joined in the fun in 2003 when    appropriate LNER power was used in the shape K1 62005 and B1 61264 which was masquerading as 61244 ‘Strang Steel’. 

* On a personal note, I was pleased to see that he had covered the “Two Castles to Penzance Special” because I travelled on that train on that occasion. 

* Finally we ended the evening in November 2004 with a magnificent artificially illuminated shot of 6233 ‘Duchess of Sutherland’ posed on the viaduct in Mansfield whilst        operating a Santa special. The final shot of 6233 really was the “icing on the cake.”

Thanks to Roger for a Jones’, as opposed to a Cook’s, tour of the country. Also for his coping with having to replace the projector lamp immediately before the show was due to start.

Mark Ratcliffe


July 2015: Phil Grain, “Midlands - diesels, electrics and steam over the last 20 years”

It was a pleasure to welcome Phil Grain, a well-known and respected local photographer to Burton. It was his first visit to the Society and it was pleasing to see that several of his friends had come along to support him. Reflecting his local knowledge, Phil started with shots he had taken along the Burton – Leicester line that demonstrated the varied motive power to have travelled those tracks. (Was it really 2005 that the last coal train left Swains Park hauled by 66214?) Other locations covered were: Bagworth; Forest Road and Mantle Lane Coalville; Swannington; Sinope; Hicks Lodge; and, the A511 shot taken before tree growth ruined the possibility. 66729 ‘Derby County’ was captured taking the first London Tube stock movement along the line.

Right at the start, Phil spoke about early training days at Leicester and working in the power box. Unfortunately, health problems prevent him from furthering his career in this field. Steam, diesel and electric were amply demonstrated in profusion in the wider locality without travelling too far afield. As a dog walker Phil makes sure that this task doesn’t hinder his photographic forays, thus dogs featured prominently as framing aids and he didn’t rule out using fellow photographers to frame the train either. The many and varied images demonstrated Phil’s eye for composition and included infra-red shots and sharp subject matter with blurred backgrounds to give the impression of speed. Above all Phil had an eye for the photographic shot that others would miss. It was without doubt an evening of superb photography.

Mark Ratcliffe


June 2015: Annual quiz"

For the 25th quiz anniversary two past quiz question setters, Chris Eaton and Dave Hook, teamed up to test participants’ rail knowledge. As a further celebration members and guests were able to enjoy a free drink to help get their brains into gear. What was really refreshing was the fact that 36 people took part enabling the questions to be directed to eight teams of four.

Round one was entitled “S is for station” with all the answers requiring a station name beginning with “S”. Therefore the junction station for St. Ives was “St. Erth”. After this round members had to choose which round they would like to play the joker on to enable them to score double points.  Thus in the first half competitors had to deal with the following rounds of questions: all about 1991; name the builder; relatively local; where is this; and, railway anagrams. In the latter round we had to contend with whilst answering questions from all the rounds mentioned. I’ll present sample questions from some of the rounds.

First let’s take 1991 and the question was: What was the destination of the 1991 Burton Railway Society trip and the name carried on the loco headboard? Answers “Edinburgh” and “The Midland Scot”. Name the builder of the shunting diesels numbered D2850 – 69. Answer “Yorkshire Engine Company”. Where is this?: - turned out to be a series of photographs taken by Dave Hook where contestants were required to identify the locations.

After the beer break, the following rounds of questions came our way: railways in sport; LMS and LMR;  a jubilee and celebration round; and,  & what would you get if? Thus, a sporting example was, name the depot coded 70F and the football club associated with it. Answers “Fratton” and “Portsmouth”. Now to the final round and what would you get if D803 was seen at Burton? Answer “Burton Albion”! There was still time to squeeze in two more fun questions entitled “Last man standing” and “nearest the bull”.

The winning team collected 122 points with the second placed group was only one point behind! Cash prizes and cans of beer were awarded to the first three teams. The team members finishing in last place also went home with a can of beer each – well it is Burton!

Thanks to Chris and Dave for setting the questions and for taking it in turn to ask them. It was most gratifying to have such a good turn out so let’s hope that next year even more members will join in and experience the fun of the evening. It was good to see some of our friends from Leicester Railway Society who also enjoyed the proceedings.

Mark Ratcliffe


May 2015: Colin Boocock, "Bulleid Pacifics"

Once again we were pleased to see Colin Boocock with another of his most professional presentations. Colin detailed the milestones in Oliver Bulleid’s career starting with his work on the LNER. On his appointment to the Southern Region he reviewed the locomotive situation and for a man familiar with the motive power of his former employer it was glaringly obvious that the Southern possessed no really large engines. With the war very much in progress it wasn’t an ideal time to construct a new class of passenger locomotives so the Merchant Navy class had to be designated mixed traffic engines. The first locomotive came into being in 1941 and was named ‘Channel Packet’ after the Southern’s own cross-channel steam service. Colin profusely illustrated the Merchants in their original un-rebuilt form - a nice touch was the name of the photographer being shown on each slide.

Moving on to the West Country and Battle of Britain 4-6-2s, these came about because there was a need for locos of a lighter form for the holiday lines beyond Exeter. The weight of these classes came in at 86 tons and so the Civil Engineer was happy! The first 48 engines were all named after places in the West Country, but as the class also needed to work in Kent, it was felt inappropriate to continue this naming policy for the next group of engines. So, with Kent being at the fore front of the Battle of Britain, names relating to this were chosen. The B of B class therefore had winged shaped nameplates, but in the end this mattered little because named locos from both batches worked in both areas! Colin ended the first half with a summary of the good and bad points of both classes.

Beer replenished, it was time for part two and Mr. Boocock started with a potted history of Ron Jervis who was an ex-Derby man. After overseeing the re-building of all the Merchants and 60 of the lighter Pacifics, Ron continued working till 1971. He was involved in both the HST project and also the highly successful class 73 electro-diesels. Mr. Jarvis kept many of the existing good points on the rebuilds, particularly the distinctive wheels. 35020 ‘Bibby Line’ was tested using the G.W. dynamometer car and, much to everyone’s delight, it turned in a constant predictable performance. All too soon the end was nearing for all steam locomotives and in November 1966 34089 ‘602 Squadron’ received the last classified repair with a light overhaul of valves and pistons at Eastleigh Works. More illustrations followed of both classes with one of 35003 ‘Royal Mail’ at Derby, when it was on a Home Counties Rail Tour and its destination was Burton!

Whilst working at Brighton Loco Works, Colin was given the task of working out whether the re-building programme gave value for money. The re-builds cost £8,500 but the mileage between overhauls went up to 90,000 miles. In 1962 the payback time was calculated to be six and a half years so the vast majority certainly more than covered the cost of the operation. Bulleid Pacifics have fared well in the preservation stakes – 11 of the Merchant Navy Class and 20 West Country / Battle of Britain Class which equates to 22% of the total of the fleet.

Thank you to Colin for a most enjoyable and informative evening and hopefully members contributed to his charity tin for the Railway Children. Colin told me after the show that over the years he has collected a staggering £22,000 for this charity and his aim is to take this to £30,000.

It was quite a full day for several members of the Burton Railway Society, with a few hardy souls taking part earlier in the day in “Wardle’s Dawdle”. This was a four mile guided walk following more of the route of the Ticknall Tramway. So thanks to Peter Wardle for organising it and to Dot Morson for acting as our guide. 

Mark Ratcliffe

April 2015:  Paul  Chancellor, "A fourth Colour Rail journey"

We were pleased to welcome Paul for his second visit to Burton. Paul told us that 400 new views are added each month to the Colour Rail portfolio and the total number currently stands at 50,300! It would be an impossible task to comment on each slide shown so I’ll mention some of the highlights.

The evening commenced with images of Ashford & Ramsgate and included a 1939 colour shot! Next we explored a modern image section and the purpose of this was to demonstrate just how many liveries have appeared and then been displaced. Moving to Bristol an exterior image of the Temple Meads illustrated just how many car parking spots were available in 1956. A visit to Barrow Road shed revealed 46164 ‘The Artists Rifleman’ and a Peak diesel together.  Also shown at the same depot was local Jubilee 45682 ‘Trafalgar’ – a regular loco at Burton. It was therefore interesting to see Burton Jubilee 45620 ‘North Borneo’ inside the original Brunel station section, this event occurring on 17th February 1963! The 9th of May 1964 was the date of the high speed run by members of the Castle Class and 5054 ‘Earl of Ducie’ was shown ready for her turn. In the early days of the diesels they were fitted with steam heat boilers and so had to use water columns to top up the water supply. D18 was captured with this process in action, a most unusual shot.

Time to move north and so we arrived at Doncaster ready for a selection of front line Eastern motive power. This included: a 1948 view of 60114 ‘W P Allen’ in apple green livery; 60037 ‘Hyperion’, a 1962 image showing her sporting German smoke deflectors; 60093 ‘Coronach’ with double chimney, but no deflectors; 60007 ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’ nice and clean; whilst 60010 ‘Dominion of Canada’ was very much in “work-a-day” condition.

After the well-known Burton beer break, it was time to head to Scotland. Highlights here included a couple of Royal Scots - first was 46144 ‘Honourable Artillery Company’ without deflectors and then we enjoyed a 1953 shot of 46156 ‘The South Wales Borderer’ in un-rebuilt condition. A 1960 image showed a train working along the street in Govan, a situation unimaginable today! The Scottish section finished with views of the following engine sheds: Eastfield; Corkerhill; Polmadie; and Shields Road.

Moving down south, it was time to visit some of the London termini. Thus at Paddington 5038 ‘Morlais Castle’ graced the station. At nearby Marylebone B16 61438 was on rail tour duty in October 1962. Across at Euston rebuilding work was going on, but Stanier crab 42981 graced the scene. 45530 ‘Sir Frank Ree’ looked very fine, whilst a 1961 slide of 46220 ‘Coronation’ has for the last 30 years proved to be the best selling image with over 1,000 copies being sold. Down the road at St Pancras we viewed 42338 and then 46117 ‘Welsh Guardsman’, both scenes dating back to 1961. Across the road at Kings Cross the featured engine was 60063 ‘Isinglass’. Paul also had views taken at: Broad Street; Liverpool Street; Fenchurch Street; Blackfriars; London Bridge; Cannon Street; Charring Cross; Victoria; and Waterloo.

Then it was back up North to Manchester with a superb shot of 45698 ‘Mars’ at Victoria on a Whitby Moors rail tour. At Manchester Central the stabling point was the subject and shed views included Trafford Park and Newton Heath.

The evening ended with the “WHOOPS!” section - accidents and derailments. This ncluded shunter 12054 and D5363 at Derby, the latter with a smashed end. Thus Paul treated us to a show that demonstrated the incredible range and depth of the collection along with an amazing livery variety.

Mark Ratcliffe

March 2015:  Stephen Gay, "Railways in the Yorkshire landscape"

On this occasion for his presentation, Stephen took us for a photographic trip up the Settle & Carlisle Line as far as Dent. Then it was to Hull via Brough and on to Bridlington with some deviations in between. As usual the first slide was devoted to Stephen’s faithfully companion – his Alsatian dog Wrawby. Following a swift visit to the Middleton Railway we were off along the Harrogate line to view the 31 arches of the Crimple Viaduct. A further viaduct at Knaresborough straddled the River Nidd. This was followed by a visit to Poppleton to admire the flowers at the station. In LNER days all the flowers for the whole of its territory were grown here, in fact the nursery had its own narrow gauge railway.

Our journey on the S&C proper started at Armley with excursions to view the light railway at Kirkstall followed by the standard gauge set up at Keighley. Sadly the Kirkstall railway is no more due to problems with repeated theft and vandalism. Carrying on, Wrawby was posed nicely on Hellifield Station. Penyghent featured in lovely sunshine at Horton in Ribblesdale. Stephen’s attention to detail was illustrated at the Arten Gill Viaduct when he revealed that he had paid eight visits there to get the shot he wanted. This was a view from below and involved him in standing in the Arten Gill Beck! The first half drew to a close with our arrival at Dent.

The second part commenced with a lovely action shot of Wrawby storming out of the sea. The sunshine of the first shot was replaced by a high level view of Doncaster in the snow from a car park roof. “Are you a jumper?” asked a nervous car park official. Having reassured him that he wasn’t, he was then told he couldn’t take photographs from there because Doncaster prison was in the background!  Next it was off to the Yorkshire Hatfield, home of the only deep mine left in South Yorkshire. It was here that the pit bank slipped with the resultant closure of all four lines for quite a time whilst repairs were carried out. Other entertaining slides featured swing bridges. The bridge over the River Ouse was actually open, but he wasn’t so lucky at Goole. He also included portraits of the wonderfully named signal boxes at Cave & Crabley Creek. Another excursion took us into the open day at Immingham Docks; this was the centenary celebrations in July 2012. The preserved tram car from the system that once served the docks was sent up from Crich for the occasion. A very entertaining evening was brought to a close with a lovely slide of a sunset over Hull. Thank you Stephen.

Mark Ratcliffe


February 2015: Dave Richards & Karl Jauncey, "PSOV: A review of 2014"

We welcomed Dave and Karl for their annual visit to present PSOV with the action that took place on the main line in 2014. Dave started with a plea for members to support them by buying the DVDs of the action so that they could keep the show on “the road.”

Now let me review some of the action. Well, the B1 made a welcome return and there was some great footage taken on the footplate. In my spotting days the most common Jubilee for me was 45699 ‘Galatea. This was a loco which I never ever thought would return to action due to the centre driving wheels being sliced whilst at Barry, so it was good to see it back in action. Extensive footage of 46115 ‘Scots Guardsman’ followed. “This magnificent machine” was Dave’s description of it - a sentiment I fully share. Moving to Dawlish, the first steam loco to christen the rebuilt sea wall was none other than 60007 ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’. Riley’s Black 5’s made several appearances -  Dave’s described them as probably the most travelled steam locos in the country as they were just so reliable. On to the “Great Britain” tour with the first filmed leg being covered by the Scot, the next day by 44871, and Burton’s ex 45407 took the tour to Stranraer. The next day 60009 ‘Union of South Africa’ arrived with the train in Inverness from where 62005 took half the train to Fort William. 60009 worked Inverness back to York where 46233 ‘Duchess of Sutherland’ hauled the final stretch back to Kings Cross. 2014 marked 50 years of the high speed Castle trip organised on 9th May 1964, so 5029 ‘Nunney Castle’ was used to commemorate the event. The last surviving 1964 crew member died in 2013 and during the journey his ashes were placed in the firebox of 5029.

After the interval there was more action of double-headed Black 5s to be enjoyed along with stunning scenery in Scotland.  46233’s journey from Birmingham to Euston featured scenes from the footplate which were enjoyed by all present. Then it was time for some Southern action. 34067 ‘Tangmere’ laboured up the bank from Exeter St. David’s to Exeter Central banked by 34046 ‘Braunton’ – they only just made it! Back to ‘Nunney Castle’ and there was impressive footage from a low mounted camera showing the wheels and motion in action. October 4th was notable because there were three steam hauled specials out on the same day. 5043 ‘Earl of Mount Edgcumbe’ was filmed filling the sky with smoke as “she” made her way up the Oldbury Bank. Whilst on the S&C. ‘Galatea’ was captured at Ais Gill to be followed half an hour later by the Scot. October 11th and 12th were the days selected for the annual West Highland photographers charter - this time 45407 and 62005 were used. Spectacular action of Tyseley’s Pannier Tanks on the Lickey Bank was captured using an infra-red camera; the fireworks coming out of the chimneys in pitch darkness had to be seen to be believed.  The end of the evening was approaching, but there was time to see the Scot on the Midland main line at Sharnbrook and also at Trent Junction. The evening concluded with 4965 ‘Rood Ashton Hall’ on 6th December in delightful lighting conditions and frost on the ground.

There were of course several other clips which don’t get a mention, but hopefully the reader will have a flavour of the evening.

Mark Ratcliffe


January 2015: Terry Curzon,  "Firing days at Retford 36E"

At short notice we were pleased to welcome Terry from Halesowen for his first visit to Burton. Terry replaced the booked presenter, our own member Dave Fleming, who unfortunately suffered a heart attack over Christmas and his doctor’s orders to him were to rest.

Terry has been a life long railwayman starting in 1961 as a cleaner at 36E Retford Shed. He passed through the grades as a fireman, graduated to driver and drove just about every diesel and electric type there is. He finished his days as Chief Traction Inspector for Virgin Trains. To help illustrate his show Terry paid tribute to following photographers and organisations: Robin Breddy, (work colleague at Retford), Keith Pirt, Colour Rail, “The Bear”, and Roy Jackson. 

It was with a slide of the latter’s fantastic model railway depicting the former flat crossing at Retford that the show commenced. Terry pointed out that both the GC and the GN had loco sheds there. With 14 -18 collieries locally there was a real need for lots of motive power to do the shifting! Terry talked us through the complicated rail layout around the station and described how it all worked. He also described the various classes of locomotives that he worked on and his enthusiasm for the former LNER types shone through. He liked the B1s, O2s, O4s in all there various forms and K1s, but he had reservations for the Austerity WD describing it as a nightmare to work on especially when running light engine. Robin Breddy’s slides in particular illustrated just how rough working conditions could be on a steam shed that was gradually being run down. In 1962 Terry went to “Firing School” in Doncaster where he was given book number 263 on the art of firing a locomotive properly. Using an effective home drawn diagram he succinctly explained the mystery of it to all concerned.

After the interval Terry moved on to the construction of the Retford “dive under” which enabled trains on the former GC route to pass under the main G.N. line without causing hold ups and of course increasing safety. At the time the main reason for the development was the extra traffic that would be needed in order to run to service the new power stations that were under construction. Photographs showing the arrival of the new diesels on the scene showed the new link in action. ‘Meanwhile over at the station we were told that during the Cuban Missile Crisis two carriages were kept in the sidings ready to go into action as mobile control units. With profuse illustrations we were treated to some of the engines that he worked on and the routes that they took. Steam was rapidly being phased out, but he managed firing sessions on one A3, 60065 ‘Knight of Thistle’ and one A1, 60125 ‘Scottish Union’. He also fired Britannia 70005 ‘John Milton’ for 300 yards! Like all steam locos there were good and bad within the same class. Thus B1 61212 was known as the “Retford Rocket” whilst next in line, 61213, just wouldn’t generate steam to the same level! The illustrations then took us over the routes that Terry worked and so we visited: Sheffield Victoria, Peterborough, Annesley, and Lincoln. Annesley he described as a dirty, filthy hole and the photographic evidence backed it up. Lincoln Shed was photographed by Robin Breddy from the top of the coaling plant – what a view! Terry then gave us a brief glimpse of more modern times. He told how lucky he was to have claimed the last spare place at Worksop when the sheds at Retford closed. In doing so we were told of a “hair raising trip” aboard a Class37 when as second man he witnessed the “nutter driver” attempt to race the barriers before they closed against the road! As a flavour for future visits, we were shown various classes of diesels and electrics that he worked on right up to the end of his career. He then reverted back to 1962 scenes in order to end the show. As Terry said, “Closed our eyes and it was gone forever”. Do we want him to visit again – most definitely! 

Mark Ratcliffe


December 2014: Tony Bowles, "A tribute to Paul Riley: Part 2"

We were very pleased to welcome back Tony for his second visit. This time it was part 2 of the tribute to Paul Riley. Mike Squire should have accompanied Tony as he did last time, but on this occasion he was domiciled in Barnstaple.

What a lot Paul achieved in his short life spanning the years 1945 – 1976. The story of his life was narrated by his friend Ian Krause as the digital images were projected on to the screen. Ian had been with him on 11 August 1975 when the car crash happened; the new hire car had reached 100m.p.h. when it took off and crashed spectacularly. Amazingly the four occupants survived and Paul even made it to the pub – their planned destination. A year later Paul was dead: he had climbed on to the Victoria Bridge on the Severn Valley with a planned shot in mind, sadly he dozed off, rolled over and fell 60 feet to his death.

Mr. Krause related that Paul’s early photos were nothing special, but he discovered what a tele -photo lens could do and, coupled to the quality of his imagination, outstanding results were achieved as we saw for ourselves. Details of Paul can be found in back copies of “Steam Railway” for June & July 1992. In particular Paul made the Waverley Route his speciality. He was very much his own man and the “sports jacket and suit” brigade i.e. those in the traditional garb for the main photographers of the time couldn’t cope with him.

As well as taking photographs Paul enjoyed taking the shovel and firing on the footplate and details of some these efforts were related during the show. In particular he took over on 70041 ‘Sir John Moore’ when the rostered fireman had given up because the fire was so badly clinkered. Cleaning locos with the help of friends so they looked good on the main line was another speciality. The foreman at Perth shed was amazed when he saw the transformation of 60027 ‘Merlin’. The foreman at Dundee was not so accommodating when a request was made to clean 60530 so they returned at 2a.m. in order to do it. Then there were the tales of driving in the snow to get photographs. Once, a normal 90 minute journey from Coventry to Buxton took 9 hours in the deep snow of 1968. Only to find when they got there that the engines were not being sent out!

What of the photographs you say? Well, get Tony to come to your Society and for the sum of £5 you can get your own copy on DVD. Now that what’s I call a bargain. Thanks to Tony for all the hours put in with regard to scanning the originals. If there had been a time machine parked outside I wonder how many would have taken the option to join Paul Riley in his exploits? Great stamina and a lack of fear with regard to the way he drove would certainly have been required.

Mark Ratcliffe


November 2014: Michael Carrier, "A railwayman and steam"

Members and friends had a thoroughly entertaining afternoon courtesy of life-time railway man Michael Carrier. With a few quality slides and an informative commentary, an hour “flew by” as he described aspects of his work on the railway and the many and varied tasks that he carried out. Michael worked in a few signal boxes, but his first step into the world of work was at Derby St. Mary’s Junction. His introduction was as follows: “Right lad go to the newsagents and get my paper and when you get back - cook my breakfast.” Once this was accomplished he was instructed to work the box whilst “the bobby” read his racing paper and chose the likely winners. It was a good job he had some experience prior to this.

Michael briefly described his varied occupations after this which included work in the Control Office and Assistant Yard Master at March in Cambridgeshire. He ended his working days as Yardmaster at Carlisle Kingmoor, but he didn’t get around to describing what he did there. He had strong affection for the steam loco and the highlight of his journey down to Burton was when he saw 34067 ‘Tangmere’ at Lancaster. Steam, loved as it may have been, was just totally inefficient with 8 hours to get steam up and lots of preparation and disposal work afterwards. I personally loved his three-quarter shot of 46122 the ex ‘Royal Ulster Rifleman’ at Annesley Shed, absolutely filthy, but still with an air of a thoroughbred about it. Michael then went into the pros and cons of steam shed design - the straight road depot v. the roundhouse – each with their own merits and faults.

He spoke about the infrastructure that has already disappeared and items which won’t be with us for much longer, particularly signalling, and of his desire to visit the new Railway Operating Centre at York which controls most of the East Coast Main Line. As a former Yard Master he lamented the loss of freight to road and he strongly felt that not enough was done to stem the flow, nor since to win it back. Finally we went to his home village of Armathwaite where with other keen supporters he has worked hard to restore the redundant signal box there to pristine condition, painted in its original Midland colours. We very much hope that Michael will once again return to entertain us.

Mark Ratcliffe


November 2014: David Cross, "

Delighted that David was able to spare time from his busy working schedule to visit Burton once more, this time he settled on material around an imaginary 60s “M25”. In choosing this circular area he was able to provide material from all four regions plus of course the occasional stray outside the boundary.  In true “combined volume” style the Western Region featured first with Paddington as the starting point illustrated by 1013 ‘County of Dorset’. Next stop was Westbourne Park where the early days of the HSTs were supplemented by blue painted Class 31s. David’s father, Derek, liked to choose a location and “drop anchor” thus there were several slides at Iver, Sonning Cutting, and Westbury. In the Cutting, a King, a WD, two counties and a Warship diesel provided the entertainment. Whilst at Westbury there was an interesting diesel sequence.

Following the sequence in the combined volume we moved to the Southern Region for a spell at Brookwood. What was remarkable here was that nearly every photo that Derek took was of motive power that has since been preserved! The locomotives concerned that turned up were: 34046, 34081, 34105, 30850, 30506 and 75079. I believe that, apart from the last loco which was the newest one, all have worked again in preservation. Worting Junction, Oxted, and Penshurst were all visited and at the later Derek caught a Q1 in action - the ‘Marmite’ loco David declared – you either loved them or hated them.  It was rather nice to see a young David in a slide taken at Folkstone, he was admiring a Schools Class loco 30934 ‘St. Lawrence’ .

Breaking the combine sequence it was time to move back into the ‘M25’ orbit and to Kings Cross with a Class 31 diesel in blue livery. Some other interesting captures were a new D5319 and D6102, both classes worked briefly in the Home Counties before being moved to Scotland. At Welwyn an N2 69582 was seen in charge of a refuse train, only trouble was the refuse was in open wagons and the smell was appalling! On top of the viaduct was another rare beast – a Baby Deltic and three coaches. Hadley Wood tunnel had 70040 ‘Clive of India’ charging out, followed by 92180. A 1960 slide had a rear view of 60014 ‘Silver Link’ going north on the “Yorkshire Pullman” with A1 60141 ‘Abbotsford’ heading towards Kings Cross.  David Percival, a friend of David’s, spotted that the A4 had a white painted roof and as such was the reserve engine for the wedding that year of the Duke & Duchess of Kent. A couple of Deltics nicely rounded off the Eastern interlude, D9003 in new condition and not yet sporting the ‘Meld’ nameplate and a going away shot at Oakleigh Park of the original blue Deltic.

Time now for the London Midland, a single slide of 44984 at Elstree was all that the Midland Main Line mustered. It was break away time from the ‘M25’ and up the new M1 to Watford Gap. Anchoring down on a bridge over both the railway and the motorway, Derek captured the following: 46239, 45629, 46256, D216, 42951, 46252, 45666, 45534 and 45510. What was readily apparent was the scarcity of motorway road traffic: in one slide just one car featured! It was time to get back to ‘M25’ land to see 46153 at Northchurch Tunnel and then maroon-liveried London Underground Pannier tank L90 contrasting nicely with the snow. At Headstone Lane 46154 ‘The Hussar’ was the centre of attention. While at nearby Kenton 10201, rebuilt Jubilee 45735, 44182, 45690 and 46205 provided the entertainment.  Brief scenes at Willesden and Camden hailed the arrival at Euston where five blue electrics were ready to power trains on August 24th 1970, history themselves now. Then 46255 on the “Caledonian” brought the evening to a conclusion.
Thank you David once more for a great evening enjoyed by all present.

Mark Ratcliffe

October 2014: Mike Eggenton, "Pennistone to Nottingham Victoria including Derby Friargate - and bits in between!"

Quite a title for Mike’s show, but one that was fully justified, this being his second visit to Burton. We set off with views taken by Mike’s Dad about 1947 with black and white portraits around the viaduct and snow scenes of that particularly bad winter. Three shots of the LNER Garratt 9999 at work on the 1-31 Worsborough Incline were enjoyed. Blue painted electrics on Britain’s first all-electric line were also included. The 27th June 1964 when Mike paid 12/6d for a ticket on the RCTS’s High Peak Rail Tour hauled by B1 61360 with 26000 ‘Tommy’ attached as pilot for the electrified lines. Having arrived in Sheffield, Mike took the opportunity to showcase at the stations in the city. A surprise was 1F 41875 at Victoria and the Midland station was shown before and after the buildings were cleaned up. With the Eastern Region take over, an A1 Sea Eagle nosed in amongst the Jubilees and an old friend of BRS Ken Horan made an appearance as the fireman of 45188. Mike’s line-side pass enabled him to get out onto the running lines and he photographed DMU’s, 37s and 25s along with lots of B1s, the latter following the Eastern take over. He didn’t neglect the running sheds and so we were treated to views of: Grimesthorpe (with 47625 inside the round house); Darnall; Millhouses & Canklow; and the electric loco stabling point at Rotherwood.

After the break we started with an industrial theme, including a Peckett loco at work with tippler wagons on the task of filling in the ox bow of a local river. Naturally the Chesterfield area featured 0f 41533 at Barrow Hill and several small locos at work in the adjacent Staveley Works. On the other side of the town a visit was made to Avenue Sidings. Then it was off to Williamthorpe Colliery were two jinties were at work after the official end of BR steam. An 8F was seen passing Ward’s Scrap Yard at Killamarsh. The yard contained two Southern Region Q class 0-6-0s, a WD Austerity, and two ex-LNER 04s. Western Region County 1021 ‘County of Montgomery’ was shown surrounded by scrap and 44242 was in various pieces.

The end of steam was nigh and the last trip to commemorate the 4F class was hauled by 43953. It was supposed to have been banked by a 1F, but, to Mike’s dismay, a Clayton diesel loco was used instead. 70013 ‘Oliver Cromwell’ arrived at Chesterfield and the spotters and photographers swarmed across the tracks - so much for health and safety then! ‘Mallard’ was photographed at Rotherham on its way to Clapham Museum. Mike then demonstrated the plethora of lines around Chesterfield with the LD&EC, Midland, and GC well represented. 4472 ‘Flying Scotsman’ on its first trip was sent over the GC Chesterfield loop which had been closed for a year! Hasland Shed was visited at night with 44888, 48749, and 47004 shown to good effect. We were then taken to Nottingham Victoria for interior shots of the station and station furniture. 9Fs and B1s rolled into Mansfield Road Tunnel. Whilst out into the country a lovely photograph of Bennerley Viaduct displayed an Ivatt “Flying Pig” with three coaches in tow. The highlight for many were the views of Derby Friargate Station with various Ivatt “Flying Pigs” in and around the station. Mike commented on how busy the line was with freight movements whilst he was there and he included a WD on such a duty and ended with 44843 on an excursion to Nottingham Victoria. Trains on the GC were coming to an end so after showing 45581 at Pilsley he moved us to Tibshelf where the track was ripped out. Signals were on the floor and the signal box stood derelict. The evening was rounded off with a return to Pennistone.

Mark Ratcliffe


September 2014:  David Wright, "Tunnels, viaducts, bridges and structures"

Once again it was a pleasure to welcome David Wright for the annual evening of demonstrating modelling skills. With the considerable help of Dave Richards we were able to watch Mr. Wright’s skills in close up. Dave filmed David in action and thus was able to project it directly on the big screen so we could all watch the techniques. David’s chosen subject for this year was bridges and we saw the construction from cutting out the basic structure from foam board, covering it in “DAS” clay, scribing on the stones, getting the right shade of paint, right up to gluing the completed item together to span the track. We were even shown how to make a realistic surface for the road on top. Even better was the fact that most of the items used were scrap materials, re-cycling at its best.

It was fascinating watching David in action and we all agreed that Dave Richard’s filming technique made the evening. It was a pity we didn’t attract a few more members.

Mark Ratcliffe


September 2014,  John  Moreton, "The Cromford & High Peak Railway in working days"

We were most pleased to welcome back Buxton-based John for a second visit. Both John and his late-father were prolific photographers of the railway scene in the Peak District in the days of steam and also in the early years of dieselisation. John took a great deal of care to capture both then-and-now scenes for us to enjoy and to help us capture a flavour of a unique line. Thankfully Derbyshire County Council had the foresight to buy the track beds after railway activity ceased so we can, with a huge dose of imagination, picture the scene in the past whilst enjoying the scenery in the present.

The first half was a slide presentation and it was good to see former ex-Burton locos 47000 and 41536 in action.  Indeed the latter was sent up to the line from Burton when 47000 left the rails and slid down the bank on its side. The 0F not only towed the stricken loco back up to the top, but also took over its duties whilst the class leader went to the works for repair. John included the full 33 mile range in his slides from High Peak Junction right through to Whaley Bridge. This included the long-abandoned parts between Friden and Whaley Bridge.

In Part two John had managed to get three short films taken on ciné copied to DVD and we enjoyed watching them in reasonably high quality using the Society’s new digital projector. Finally the evening was extended when more of John’s film work was shown looking at scenes from the “Derbyshire Main Line.”

Mark Ratcliffe


August 2014:  Graham  Briggs, 

It was time to welcome back Graham Briggs and his friend Gordon to present highlights of their video footage during the year so far. There were lots of regional variety and for me the best bit was 46115 ‘Scots Guardsman’ in wonderful lighting conditions, although ‘Braunton’ and ‘Clan Line’ double-heading at Clapham Junction came a close second.  Nearer to home 34067 ‘Tangmere’ was captured at Duffield and Cromford. The team was very active chasing the “Great Britain Rail Tour” and managed to get: 34046, 5043, 44932, 46115, 45407, 44871, 60009, 62005 and 46233, well done! It is so very easy to take the preserved scene for granted, but Graham and Gordon illustrated the tremendous number of locos that that have been put back in service for us all to enjoy.

Part two took in the preserved railways themselves and a simplified list follows below.

    Barrow Hill: 60008 and 60010 were the guests with no 10 featuring the bell ringing. 
    Severn Valley: showcased 4566.
    Great Central: demonstrated newly-acquired 92214.
    Keighley & Worth Valley: it was the U.S.A. 2-8-0.
    North Norfolk: recently released to traffic 76084 was in disguise as 76034.
    West Somerset: turned out S & D loco no 88.
    Mid-Norfolk featured its “West Coast Gala” with 45699 ‘Galatea’, 46115 ‘Scots Guardsman’ and 8F 48151.
    Llangollen had freight power with 3802.
    Back to the Severn Valley and the visiting loco was small pannier 1638.
    Bodmin appropriately had on show 34007 ‘Wadebridge’.
    Bo’ness: it was a delight to see 62712 ‘Morayshire’ painted in B.R. black livery.
    Churnet Valley demonstrated the steam rail motor.
    Battlefield Line at Shackestone turned out 5542.
    Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway had 1501 working during Graham’s visit.
    North York Moors went for large Pacific power with A4 ‘Bittern’.
    The small Lincolnshire Wolds Railway had the Beatttie well tank as an unusual visitor.
    A fairly new railway to the ranks in the shape of the Epping & Ongar Railway turned out 47406.
    Nene Valley showcased home based 73050.
    Midland Railway Centre put out 46521 as its contribution.
    Paignton & Dartmouth featured 4277.
    Llangollen had 80072 disguised as 80096 (I had my first ever cab ride on the “real” 80096 around Welshpool Station). 

The show concluded with the “Great Gathering” of the six A4s at Shildon.

Mark Ratcliffe


July 2014: John Bagshaw, “UK railway photography - the digital way”

John, who trades under the name JJK Photography, made a return visit to Burton to present “UK Railway Photography the Digital Way” assisted by relatives Jerard and Kurt. He showed images taken since 2004 and he reminded the audience that some of the locos he was showing were no longer in steam and some would never be in steam again. His presentation had two short (about five minutes each) audio-visual segments, the one after the break was titled ‘Monochrome Moments’. It took me a few seconds to adjust to the change from colour, but it made me realise that black-and-white still has a fascination and style of its own. For the greater part of his presentation John gave a commentary to slides. There was certainly something for everyone to enjoy – the last three years of steam on the mainline, diesels, preserved lines, static displays  - seen in all the expected locations with enough local interest to satisfy everyone.

The quality of the photos was uniformly high throughout.  If I had to choose one shot which really appealed to me, it was of the blue ‘King’ 6023 on the Great Central. However, I was reminded of the phrase used in the television programmes on house buying – Location, Location, Location and JJK did extremely with their sites. But even in the best location the photographer can sometimes be troubled by unwanted individuals getting in shot. John admitted that occasionally he had to ‘photoshop’ an intruder from view, but he always told us when and what he had done. But sometimes he was lucky, when at Shildon he photographed three A4s with not a sole in sight. He was not so lucky at his next visit there for the ‘Great Gathering’ because there were crowds everywhere he went (as members who went on our trip there will confirm).

Thank you JJK for a most enjoyable evening.

Rodger Smith

June 2014: "Annual quiz"

Chris Eaton and Dave Hook combined forces to jointly present the annual quiz evening for members. This year, I’m very pleased to say, there was a marked increase in the number of members taking part; 29 members had their brains tested during a fun filled evening. Thus the quiz masters were able to test out seven teams.

Rounds one and two eased the assembled gathering in and featured “Nicknames” followed by “Green Diesels.” Thus question 1 was: What was the nickname of the 0-10-0 Lickey Banker? Answer: Big Bertha. Question 5 on the diesels was: Which class had raised cast metal numerals? Answer: the Hymeks. Before round 3 it was time for the teams to select which round they would attempt to play the “joker “ in order to double the points gained. This proved to be a really difficult decision to take, although I suspect many opted not to play it on the anagrams.

Round 3 was “World War 1 Commemoration”, and a sample question was: “Which Royal Scot loco was named after the Kaiser’s 1914 description of Sir John French’s British force in France? Answer: Old Contemptibles. Round 4 was “Loose Connections” which challenged us to discover the connection between the Black 5s and Warship Class “Royal Oak”. Answer: 842 built and the diesel number was D842! Round 5 was the hardest of the lot and was entitled “Anagrams”. Thankfully we were given extra time for this and after a while clues to help with the answers. Thus “dad won funnel” turned out to be Jubilee 45573 ‘Newfoundland’.

After the break it was on to round 6 “Fun with A3 names”. So the answer to Wrigley’s was ‘Spearmint’. The great gathering of A4s was the subject for round 7. “Which A4 was the odd one out in terms of livery?” Answer: 60007 ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’, the only one in early B.R. blue. “Preserved loco names” came next, so for 45428 the answer was ‘Eric Treacy’. On to the penultimate round, “It’s all in the theme” and each question here either featured Hook or Eaton in the answers - after the quiz masters of course! Therefore the station to be found between Basingstoke & Winchfield was of course Hook! Finally it was time for the last round which was “What would you get if..?”  Now I have to say that question 5: “45610 was converted to a Class 14” was stretching it a bit. Answer: “Ghana be my teddy bear!” – Well you were warned!

There was just time for “Last man Standing” and “Nearest the bull”. The first three teams received money prizes and tins of beer and the last team was also awarded beer for its efforts. It was, as usual, a fun night, so do come and join us in 2015. 

There was also a high and a low to the quiz. Long-standing member Dennis Walsh was absolutely delighted to be in the winning team and rang his friends the next day to tell them. Sadly Dennis died the day after, but we were all pleased that his last visit to the club was an enjoyable and a memorable one for him. 

Mark Ratcliffe 


May 2014: Brian Amos and Phil Burton, “The history of Toton Marshalling Yards”

It was a pleasure to welcome Brian Amos and Phil Burton who presented a “History of Toton Marshalling Yards” on this their first visit to the Society. Between them they painted a comprehensive picture of the Toton Yards, (both up and down), the operation, the work of the shed and the locos that worked there. Indeed a sizeable section was devoted to the specialised Garratt locomotives. The compilation was a labour of love and involved many visits to the National Railway Museum to carry out research and considerable expense to purchase illustrations. Both Brian and Phil’s fathers worked in the yard and so knew the “ins and outs” of the control towers and how the hump shunting worked. Even so they were grateful to former Toton workers who at two recent shows in Long Eaton both corrected and added to their vast array of information.

Rather strangely the Toton Yards did not appear to have been photographed by the Midland Railway during the time they were being constructed: the earliest photographs found so far depict the yard in its almost complete state. The dangers men faced carrying out shunting manoeuvres in normal conditions doesn’t bear thinking about let alone in bad weather and especially during war time black out conditions. A slide showing the yard illuminated at night was most impressive. Indeed one of the presenters was able to take several aerial shots of the yard as it existed in the 1950s thanks to a friend who had a pilot’s licence for a light aircraft.

The yard that survives today is a pale shadow of the lines laid down and in use in the 1950s. Indeed further alteration is likely to occur when and if part of the site finds a new use for the proposed High Speed 2 station. Now the control towers are no more and making “cuts” for wagons passing over the hump section is a past memory. The old wagon repair works still stand, the loco shed remains busy, but the yard area for wagons is much reduced and lines of stored locomotives now grace some of the site.

Thank you Brian and Phil for sharing the fruits of your research with us, it was a most informative evening.  

Mark Ratcliffe


April 2014: Return of Wardle's Dawdle – The Ticknall Tramway

After several years without a “Dawdle” it was a pleasure that approximately 20 members and a dog were once again able to take part in a ramble organised by Peter Wardle. The group met in Ticknall village hall car park at 10.15 ready for a gentle stroll. The weather was just right for walking and we were led on our expedition by Dot Morson who knew the area well. Dot was kept busy during our circular trip of four-and-a-half miles in pointing out items of interest relating to the tramway, and industrial and natural features. We visited and walked through both tunnels and were shown the remains of a mine shaft as well as finding the occasional stone railway sleeper complete with drilled hole. Dot even took us to a tramway bridge that many of the party had never seen before.

It was heartening to learn that our £2 fee per person would be put to good use to enable footpath development in and around Overseal. At the conclusion of the walk some of the party retired to the ‘Staff of Life’ in Ticknall for much needed refreshment.  By my reckoning the last Dawdle was in 2006 and so thanks to Peter for reviving the idea.

Previous Dawdles were:

    1990 Darley Dale, Middleton Top and Cromford, (Saturday, 18 August)
    1991 Millers Dale – Monsal Head and Darley – Matlock, (Sunday, 28 April)
    1992 Hartington – Middleton Top, (Saturday, 11 April)
    1993 Eggington Junction – Friargate and Breadsall – Morley Tunnel, (Saturday, 17 April)
    1994 Northampton – Brampton Way, (Sunday, 17 April)
    1995 Middlewood Way from Macclesfield and Sett Valley Trail, Hayfield, (Sunday, 23 April)
    1996 Frogatt to Consall, Cheadle and Oakamoor, (Sunday, 14 April)
    1997 High Peak Trail – Parsley Hay to Whaley Bridge, (Sunday, 13 April)
    1998 Caldon Low Branch and part of nearby tramway, (Sunday, 5 April) 
    1999 Parsley Hay – Ashbourne, (13 & a half miles), (Sunday, 17 April)
    2000 Wombwell and Worsborough Incline – Silkstone & Kirklees Railway, (Sunday, 16 April)
    2001 No Dawdle due the foot-and-mouth restrictions. 
    2002 Woodhead Tunnel- Dunford Bridge End – Pennistone, (8 miles), & Barrow Hill Open Day, (Sunday, 21 April)
    2003 Teversal Trail & visits to Steeple Grange Railway & Wyvern Rail, Wirksworth, (Sunday, 13 April)
    2004 Chellaston (Derby Canal) & Swarkestone – Worthington, (Sunday, 17 October)
    2005 Marple – Macclesfield - Middlewood Way (again), (Sunday, 17 April)
    2006 Brampton Way (again) – Market Harboro’ - Draughton & Lamport Railway, (Sunday, 1 October) 2014 Ticknall Tramway, (Wednesday, 30 April) 

Mark Ratcliffe

April 2014: Mike Clemens, 

Once again we were pleased to welcome Mike Clemens to show examples of cine film taken by him, but mainly by his late father Jim. Mike has a vast collection of film at his disposal and so was able to take us abroad as well as all over the U.K. mainland. Thus we started in Majorca, moved to Wales and then to Kilmerstone Colliery, Somerset to watch colliery wagons using the steep incline. Next it was on to Salisbury for a special hauled by 34051 ‘Winston Churchill’ with the return leg hauled by 7029 ‘Clun Castle’, before checking the long lost branch line at Standbridgeford. Lichfield Trent Valley and Crewe South shed featured briefly before we were onto reel 103B and the Chard Branch with an interlude at Taunton featuring 7036 ‘Taunton Castle’ at its home town station. Early preservation days on the Paignton & Kingswear was followed by a trip to Barnstaple using the long lost Great Western route. GW 1400 class members then performed on the slow train to Hemyock. 

Part 2 opened with the spindly Dowery Dell Viaduct with a pannier in charge of car parts train from Swindon to Longbridge, before taking in another pannier tank tour on the Old Hill – Dudley branch, (reel 123B). A surprise was a Scot on an iron ore train on Hatton Bank before we moved onto Banbury. Here we saw the last County, 1011 ‘County of Chester’, in action followed by ‘Clun Castle’ on Banbury Shed being prepared for use by B.R. despite it being preserved. Scenes at Saltley and Tysley Sheds led onto the last King in action - 6018 at Lapworth. It was time for more long-closed branches at Shipston on Stour, Chipping Norton and Hook Norton, the latter in closure state. 

Mike’s final reel of the night was devoted to Scotland with the Scottish Region preserved locos moving about in heavy snow. A mournful sight was the line of withdrawn Clan Pacifics filmed from the train whilst passing Polmadie Shed. Time for more long lost branch lines: the Lesley Branch of W.J.V. Anderson paper mill fame; Crook of Devon Line at Rumbling Bridge; Reston – Duns with a B1; Tweedmouth – Wooller; Roxborough – Jedborough; and finally, to Dumfries. Here we took the Port Road to Stranraer, but via branches to Kirkcudbright, Whithorn and Garlieston before passing a very crowded and steamy shed scene at Stranraer. It was a great way to end the night. 

Mark Ratcliffe


March 2014:  Mark Ratcliffe,  "My and Stan Needham's slides"

This meeting was organised to test possible interest to see if there would be support for future presentations during an afternoon period. Forty-four members turned up proving that it could work. When it is tried again, it will be towards the end of the year, possibly November. The Committee  thinks this sort of meeting time will help some of our more elderly members who are becoming increasingly reluctant to turn out during the dark winter months. 

On this occasion the advertised speaker was unable to attend due to illness, hence the reason for my [Mark Ratcliffe] stepping in and providing a show at short notice. It seems that my 150 slides and the 25 supplied by member Stan Needham were well received. 

Mark Ratcliffe 


March 2014: Bill Chapman, “East Midlands and Great Central Area in the late 60s”

Bill Chapman made his first visit to Burton Railway Society and provided a splendid evening of entertainment with his slide show. He explained that he went to Toton to work for a month which turned into 30 years. With his first month’s wages, he bought his first camera! Having set the scene Bill launched into his Great Central material which by the time he had started photographing was on its last legs. Various places along the G.C were visited and slides were taken at locations that included: Bulwell, Barnstone, Quorn, Rugby, Aylesbury and Marylebone. Particular attention was paid to Nottingham Victoria which became the largest unstaffed halt at the end of its days. Slides here included: Scot 46156, visiting West Country 34002 ‘Salisbury’ and a truly magnificent evening shot of 70054 ‘Dornoch Firth’. There was a quick trip to Derby Friargate and then on to Guide Bridge for the electrics and the last knockings showed the recovery trains. 

Part 2 started with Toton Shed and in particular featured Eastern Region visitors. Bill took us to Chesterfield and then back south to Long Eaton and out to Trent Junction. At the latter we had illustrations of Britannia 70052 and the long-gone Midland Pullman diesel set. Moving towards Derby, locations included: Sawley, Draycott and Borrowash with David Shepherd’s 9F 92203 at the latter. From Derby we visited the Denby Branch, Wirksworth and Middleton Top. Bill had several illustrations of the Cromford & High Peak Line and he had managed to secure a ride in the brakevan for himself and his bike! Locally, he had slides of Tutbury, Uttoxeter and of a crash at Castle Donington. Featured on a rail tour was 43002 before he took us to various places in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire - a highlight being the gypsum railway at Kingston on Soar with industrial loco power. Thanks Bill for a wonderful evening of entertainment. 

Mark Ratcliffe 

February 2014: Dave Richards & Karl Jauncey, "PSOV: A review of 2013"

Our usual February slot was devoted to steam action on main lines in 2013 presented by Karl and Dave. Thus on the Eastern side we had the Great Gathering of A4s at York, ‘Bittern’ running at high speed and 61994 ‘The Great Marquess’ on the S. & C.  Later, Eastern locos featured included: 60009, ‘Tornado’ and the K1 62005. Representing the LMS were various Black 5s, the 8F, 46115 ‘Scots Guardsman’, 45699 ‘Galatea’, and 46233 ‘Duchess of Sutherland’ . The Western provided 5043 ‘Earl of Mount Edgcumbe’ and panniers 7752 and 9600. Finally, both B.R standard class Britannias were filmed in action – 70000 herself and number 13 ‘Oliver Cromwell’. 

An action packed evening well up to the expected high performance level. 

Mark Ratcliffe


January 2014: Dave Fleming, “A walk around Burton Loco Shed”

We were privileged to have our own member, Dave Fleming, start the year of 2014 with the presentation “A Walk Around Burton Loco Shed”. This was the second time Dave had delivered the illustrated talk, the last time being as far back as 1996! A good book is always worth returning to and so it was in this case. But more important was the need to have the subject covered again first hand by the man who was there. Dave served in the capacity of a fitter at Burton and he certainly brought the old place back to life with tales and anecdotes of what it was like to work there.

Now for a very brief summary of a fascinating evening which attracted the attendance of 18 non-members! 17B was a double roundhouse, the first being opened in 1869 and the second in 1889. One part was always known as “Pullman’s Avenue” after Driver Jack Pullman, the driver who had the misfortune to find that his steed, 58236, was so low in steam that the brakes didn’t work and this resulted in part of the shed wall being demolished!

Much of Dave’s work was carried out in the shelter of the wheel-drop pit and he was kept busy servicing the Reidinger-fitted Crab Locos all of which were allocated to Burton. There was also a lot of work keeping Burton’s batch of small 0-4-0s in good running order so they could be used on the tight curves in the brewery yards. However old loyalties died hard and the various examples of these locos from the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway and the Caledonian were rarely used. Going from one extreme to another, Dave even managed to get his photo taken on the footplate of the LNER Garratt when it arrived at 17B for attention to hotboxes.

The evening was concluded by a brief examination of the sub-shed at Horninglow, but more particularly at Overseal where Dave went as fitter-in-charge and thus had the dubious privilege of closing the place down.

Mark Ratcliffe


November 2013: Paul Chancellor, "A Colour Rail journey"

Paul Chancellor, the owner of “Colour Rail”, paid his first visit to the Society. We were informed that the business was set up 35 years ago and during those years nearly 40 catalogues have been issued. He took over from Ron White in October 2009 only to find a few months later that Kodak was withdrawing the essential duplicating film used by the business. This was quickly followed by the withdrawal of slide mounts. Despite these setbacks, 400 new images per month are added to the list and prints in colour and black & white are now available. Two books have also been published – “A Colour Rail Journey” and “From Dawn to Dusk”. However due to the problems outlined above slides will soon no longer be available.  

Paul then went on to describe how to store slides; they should be kept at a temperature as near to freezing as possible. He also urged that arrangements should be made by owners regarding their own slide collections to avoid them being consigned to either “bin man or bin-woman!” Next we were shown examples of corrected slides and prints using “Photo Shop” and the effects were dramatic. Rescued images included: black and white images of an A4 which was later destroyed in the war; W.Ds at Dover after being returned from the continent in 1947; and, 46202 in its 8 weeks service before the Harrow crash. 

Now it was the time to look at the entries from the last ever supplement 20A and Eastern Region slides were the first to appear. Thus we started with 60074 ‘Harvester’ on a RCTS special at Newcastle in July ’61. During the course of the evening, Paul tested us to see if we could recognise certain locations. The first test of this was a panoramic view of Plaistow loco shed in 1959. From the Eastern section, I particularly liked the Trevor Owen slide of the Lambton Quay seen through the circular part of a bridge. Moving to the LMS section, the ‘South Wales Borderer’ 46156 at Cricklewood caught the eye as did 45727 ‘Inflexible’, no longer “flexible”, at Corkerhill. We also had a minor feast of local events which included: a Black 5 at Friargate; 92077 on the RCTS “East Midlander” at Burton Station; Middleton Top; and, Coalville Shed. Perhaps best of all was a rare shot of Overseal shed with 44434, 48303 and 44528 on show. Southern Region offerings included a delightful shot of “N” 31837 at Bude Harbour, holding up the traffic – just one Austin A30!; a classic shot of three 02s at Ryde Pier; and, a spare set of frames for a USA dock tank at Eastleigh Works. S. & D. offerings included Templecombe shed and Bath Green Park Station, the latter on the final evening of operation. 

For the second half it was time to look at Great Western matters. Now, Ron White had been inclined to make withering comments about this region and Paul told us that on one occasion a chap stormed out from a meeting after the fourth slide! At last “Colour Rail” has a colour image of every “Castle Class” loco, as the missing one, 5052 ‘Earl of Radnor’, has been added to the collection. However, there are still 25 “Jubilees” to go! Other treasures were: three locos at St. Columb Road; 82005 at Glaslyn on a local, but no passengers on board; a study of Pontypool Road Shed; and a B1 at Swindon! Paul next took us to Scotland to look at a panoramic view of a W.D. and train on the Tay Bridge and the rarely photographed Seafield sub-shed with five locos on shed. Now it was modern traction time and in the streets of Nottingham a unit passed over the viaduct at Weekday Cross, with a bus and period cars adding to the scene, whilst a similar scene at Partick Hill was equally pleasing.

Paul rounded the evening off with some impressive and also amusing scenes that he had taken himself on preserved lines with the comment “If you like them, then I took them”. We most certainly did like them and it was an evening to remember with several images arousing excited comment.  

Mark Ratcliffe


October 2013:  Chris  Banks,  "Engine sheds: Part 9 Peterborough to Rugby"

The club welcomed ‘Shed Master’ Chris Banks for a photographic tour of steam locomotive sheds from Peterborough to Rugby. Starting at Peterborough’s New England shed, a number of A1, A2, A2/3 and A3 Pacifics were seen, as well as some V2s, a K3, an O2, a filthy O4/7, an N5 and a Standard 9F 2-10-0. On a brief visit to the sub-shed at Stamford, we saw C12 no. 67398. New England shed closed to steam in January 1965.

Then we moved on to Plymouth Friary (shed code 72D), opened in 1908, and closed in May 1963 where we viewed an unrebuilt Bulleid West Country Pacific, O2 tanks 30192 and 30193, E1/R 32095, and B4 0-4-0 30088. Then we went on to nearby Plymouth Laira (code 84A), opened in 1901 and closed to steam in April 1964. This was a much larger shed than Friary, and there were a large number of ex-GWR locomotives, including 2 Kings, 3 Castles, 3 Counties, 2 Halls, 4 Granges, heavy freight 2-8-0s, a 43xx Mogul, a Prairie tank and a 57xx Pannier tank. Non-GW types included two West Country Pacifics and a Standard 9F.

From Laira we travelled virtually the length of Great Britain to visit the little known shed at Polmont, situated between Edinburgh and Glasgow. At the time these slides were taken, the depot was mainly being used to store engines. We saw two D11/2 4-4-0s (62691 and 62693), J35 0-6-0 no. 64490, J39 no. 64975, and two J36 class locos (65257 and 65311 ‘Haig’). Polmont was opened in 1914 and closed in 1964.

Preston shed was our next point of call, where we saw just one Jubilee 4-6-0, no. 45633 ‘Aden’. This shed burned down in 1960, and was completely closed in 1961.

We then moved on to Southern territory at Ramsgate, opened in 1930, where we admired three Schools 4-4-0s (30938, 30931 and 30927), and the Southern Railway’s ugly duckling, Q1 0-6-0 no. 33028.

Chris then returned to the Western Region, and to the Great Western shed at Reading, which opened in 1880, and closed in January 1965. A varied collection of locomotives was seen, including two Halls, Grange no. 6954, Castles 4086, 5096 and 5061, King 6008, 22xx 2212, 47xx 2-8-0 no. 4700, large Prairie tank 6112, and heavy freight tank 7221. We then moved to the nearby smaller shed at Reading South, which catered for Southern locos working off the lines to Waterloo and Guildford. We viewed H15 30491, Q1 33005, Moguls 31815 and 30277, and Schools 30911.

After the interval, Chris stayed on the Southern Railway resuming at Redhill, where we appreciated slides of S15 30837, a Z class 0-6-0 no. 30950, a U type Mogul 31799, a D type 4-4-0 31728, and an ex-Great Western Mogul 6385. A D1 (31247) and a C2X (32451) were dumped at the back of the shed. ‘U’ class Mogul 31780 was seen just three days before the shed closed, and Q 0-6-0 no. 30543 was seen on 1st January 1965, the day of its withdrawal from service.

We then headed up the East Coast Main Line to Retford, which actually consisted of two separate sheds but with the same shed code. The ex-Great Central shed, known as Thrumpton, was full of locos on a quiet Sunday. A V2, two B1s, a K1 and a K3 were seen, but most of the locos were heavy freight 2-8-0 types, mostly O2s and O4s.

Chris then took us to our first Welsh shed of the evening at Rhyl, where smaller engines were seen, including a Stanier 2-6-2 tank, an Ivatt 2MT 2-6-2 tank (41226), a Fairburn 2-6-4 tank, a Fowler 2-6-4 tank, a Johnson 3F 0-6-0 (43618) and an Aspinall 0-6-0 (52119). Moving east, we then found ourselves at Rose Grove, one of the last three steam sheds to survive, opened in 1899, and closed in August 1968. Stanier 8F 48276 was prominent, but many other examples of that class and of the Black Five class were seen. They included 8F 48375 with a missing front end after an accident, and 8F 48519, having its fire dropped for the last time. A short visit to Ross-on-Wye on the Welsh borders allowed us to view 57xx Pannier Tank 9619. This shed, which was a sub-shed to Hereford, opened in 1924, and closed in 1964.

Then it was back to the London Midland Region to visit Rowsley where we saw Fairburn tank 42228, Jintys 47460 and 47461, and 4F 0-6-0 44062. This shed  opened in 1924, and closed in 1964. We then made brief visits to Rowsley sub-sheds at Cromford, Sheep Pasture, and Middleton Top, and saw Stanier 0-4-0 Saddle Tank 47000 and J94 0-6-0 Saddle Tanks 68012 and 68006. 

Our penultimate shed of the night was Royston near Barnsley, opened in 1932 and closed in 1967. All the locomotives on shed for our visit were Stanier 8Fs.

We finished off our tour with a visit at Rugby, where super power was seen in the form of two Duchesses (46225 and 46234) as well as Gresley A4 60007 on a visit to the Test Plant. We also saw two ex-works Black Fives (44964 and 44942), Webb Coal Tank 46604, and national memorial locomotive Patriot 45500, covered in poppies on Remembrance Day 1956. Finally, Chris showed slides of Jubilee 45722, Standard 9F 92013, and Britannia 70043 with Westinghouse air pumps and without smoke deflectors, also visiting the Test Plant.

Mark Ratcliffe concluded the meeting by thanking Chris Banks for acting as shed master, and wished him a safe journey back to his home, appropriately named ‘Lostock Hall’.

Rod Nelson


September 2013: Adam Crick, "Today's railways: Part 2"

Tonight we gathered for Adam’s fascinating trawl through the railway scene in current times. Off we went at break neck pace with a visit to France, double-headed diesels and a West Somerset interlude. At nearby Chasewater, Adam vividly illustrated its mixed steam and diesel gala. He captured Bass No. 5 on shunting duties and then informed us that the loco now has gear box problems. At the Severn Valley we were entertained by lots of shots of the railway in operation at night and during the very early morning hours. The Foxfield Railway provided atmospheric shed action, along with activity on the famous bank and the wee Dubs crane tank operating with a colliery backdrop. At nearby Churnet he was there for the visit of the N7 and 31806 with black and white being chosen for the medium of the latter. Delights at the Great Central included the Station Master visiting the loco to collect coal for his fire. The audience roared with laughter when the head of Adam’s father, Malcolm appeared on the screen complete with bush hat held on by goggles. “It’s Biggles!” someone yelled. However on a more serious note, the M7 photographed in the snow at Quorn is likely to be familiar to all B.R.S. members fairly soon. 

The Burton area was not neglected and it was obvious that Adam had some pretty unpleasant times in both the cold and the snow in order to obtain particular targets. On the diesel side, 31s 37s 56s 60s and 70s perhaps could be expected, but he was also around for some special visitors to Nemesis. These included the ex-royal 47 – 47758 ‘Prince William’ and on another date a Deltic (55) and a class 50! Steam was well represented with 46233, B1 1306, 6201, and Great Western locos 5029 and 5043. Next we encountered 5029 and 5043 on the “Shakespeare Express” before heading off for a Welsh interlude. This included visits to Llangollen, Great Orme Tramway, Welshpool, Talyllyn, Welsh Highland, and the Ffestiniog before heading off to the Isle of Man. Number 4 ‘Loch’ was photographed at Castletown prior to a trip along the Groudle Glen Railway. 

Swiftly moving on we encountered a Great Central interlude: the ‘Duchess’ at Ais Gill and 50s on the East Lancs Railway. Adam relived for us the problems he had with snow and ice on the K&WVR and how he struggled along a particularly slippery path to get the shot he wanted. Images at Toddington, Shrewsbury, (6024 – the King), and the Midland Railway Centre flashed by. Then it was back to Burton with an image taken only the day before the show of D821, D1062 and a Deltic. 67s appeared in various liveries followed by a 66 and a 92 at Clay Mills. Further unusual happenings locally included electric loco 90018 with three 66s and a class 56 with four Class 86 electrics, two being in the Floyd livery. It was time to visit the Burton – Leicester line to see 31106 and 31465 on Stapenhill Viaduct, Pannier tanks L94 and 9600 at Bagworth, 66709 ‘Sorrento’ at Hicks Lodge, 37s in action at Drakelow, the two-tone, unique green 66522 at Castle Gresley, 37s in top-and-tail mode again on the viaduct at Stapenhill, a 20 on the bridge across Branston Road, and finally 37s entering the branch – a shot taken from the foot-crossing at Branston. Further photographs of steam and diesel action all in the local area completed a most entertaining evening. Well done Adam!

Mark Ratcliffe

2013 September: Dave Richards, "John Proctor - A lifetime in steam"

On 4th September we were pleased to welcome Dave of PSOV fame for his second visit of the year. This time he came to showcase in digital format the photographs of his late-friend, John Proctor. Dave outlined how his friendship with John came about and that upon his death in 2007 John left his entire collection to him. Thanks to the good offices of Dave Allen at Book Law publishing, Dave has been able to share the photos in book form. John died of cancer and all the profits of the book sales have gone to Cancer Research, so far totalling over £1,000.

On the evening we were able to view many of the images in 10 x 8 format on the big screen. Most of them images were in black and white, a medium which Dave declared: “Filled one with the warm glow of nostalgia.” We were also able to have a pre-view of some colour shots which are planned for volume 2. Many hours have been spent using “Photo Shop” both to rescue and improve some of John’s images. Quite rightly, the evening started with the front cover of the book, 60004 ‘William Whitelaw’ running into Inverkeithing Station in 1958. Then, in chronological style, we progressed to the Western Region and Dave was able to “fill out” many of the brief captions he had given the photographs in the book. He also included two shots of his own, both of Kings, and revealed that in the first case he had gone to Paddington on 5th May 1961 rather than to the Cup Final which his team, Leicester, lost. In the second instance, just over a year later he went to Leamington Spa with his cousin John Stretton which enabled them to avoid attending a wedding – a wise move!

Moving onto Southern metals and amongst the many gems was a couple taken on Bricklayers Arms depot – Schools 30936 ‘Cranleigh’ and ‘Billington’ E6 32408. John liked his depot shots, but he also photographed at Wadebridge, Barnstaple Junction, Dulverton, Lydford, and Tonbridge Wells. Next it was the turn of the London Midland and time to reveal that a lot of detective work had gone into identifying locations when John had not made any notes. 40454 at Wellingborough Junction took some puzzling out, mainly because the photo had been printed the wrong way round, but once altered Peter Kirk was able to inform Dave of the correct place. John was particularly fond of Midland 2Ps and Compound locos, with several of these images gracing the screen. The audience particularly enjoyed the Derby Loco Works shots, but were highly delighted to see 41277 on the Tutbury Jinny. We ranged far and wide to destinations including Melton Constable, Tebay, and Inverness. Former 17B stalwart, 45557 ‘New Brunswick’, was captured heading “The Palatine” Express and at Loughborough it was 45651 ‘Shovell’ and here Dave surprised us by stating this was the only Jubilee he failed to see - sorry Dave it was very common in Burton! Page 110 in the book features 48064 light engine at Burton wearing a 16F shed plate, sorry to disagree with you Dave, but this was the new September 1963 code for Burton and not for Overseal which remained a sub shed of Burton. The L.M. section was rounded off with engines with numbers beginning with “5”.

On to the LNER section and big pacific power featured strongly - but naturally boos were reserved for B17 61666 ‘Nottingham Forest’. One member particularly enjoyed the Waverley Route scenes, but again John covered large tracts of the country with photographs taken at Fort William contrasting with Eastern machines on routes nearer to home. The finale’ was dedicated to examples of B.R. standard machines with particular reference to 9Fs around Trent Junction. The end was nigh and the evening finished with the solitary diesel – D201 at Grantham with heading: “The New Order.” A splendid evening and a few more books were sold. -  Thank you David.

Mark Ratcliffe


August 2013: Basil Jeuda, "The North Staffs in LMS days "

Basil began the evening with a number of facts and figures which really confirmed that the NSR was a poor relation in the LMS. For instance, only two of the top management were taken into higher management of the LMS and only six out of 192 NSR locos survived past 1936, the last one (excepting the preserved Tank) being scrapped in 1940.

We were then treated to a selection of advertisements, maps, and crests from around 1923, with the point being made that the shortest (but not necessarily the quickest) route from Manchester to London was via Leek and the NSR. There followed a series of interesting views of trains on the NSR in LMS days. A colour photo of a 4F on the Crewe Works train, a G1 0-8-0 at Leek in 1928, an 0-6-0 on the Shobnall branch in Burton, and the Tutbury Jinnie at Rolleston were the highlights.

Also of local interest was a series of photographs taken in the Burton area including 0-4-0Ts and STs as well as a Garratt at Moor Street. Following this was a journey in pictures from Crewe to Derby, the best of these shots being a 3F at Uttoxeter, an ex-GNR J3 on a milk train also at Uttoxeter, and a 4F at Sudbury. The journey into Derby ended with a shot of a brand new Garratt at Derby. Next was a series of pics of various signal boxes on the NSR covering some before and after rebuilding by the LMS.

A feature on excursion traffic followed, with views of handbills, adverts and posters showing attractions such as Alton Towers and Uttoxeter Races accompanied by pictures of trains to those places, as well as one to the eastern counties. Mention was also made of a special in 1927 to North Wales to see an Eclipse of the Sun. The train departed from Rocester at 2.20am! A visit to the Leek and Manifold in all its glory was next, followed by a series on how the war affected the line. Finally there was a piece on the substantial milk traffic of the area, accompanied by photos of such trains.

So an interesting evening on a local topic.  Many thanks to Basil Jeuda for what was his last show ever. Happy retirement Basil!

Dave Hook

2013 July: John Hastings-Thomson & Colin Wright, "Plan and progress on the construction of a new un-rebuilt Patriot locomotive to be named 'The Unknown Warrior'

Visitors to the Society on Wednesday 3 July were John Hastings-Thomson and Colin Wright. John came to address the Society on the achievements and aims of the project to construct an un-rebuilt Patriot locomotive and Colin brought along both his original painting and a print of the locomotive when it is complete and in steam, and he also manned the sales stand.

Right from the start John was clear – “This is going to happen, it’s not an impossible dream!” The last un-rebuilt Patriot was withdrawn in 1962 with class leader 45500 ‘Patriot’ THE war memorial loco going earlier still. The project has the dual aims of creating a new memorial engine whilst filling a missing link in LMS locos of three cylinder 4-6-0s. When complete the engine will carry the number 5551, (last in the class of the original Patriots, but never named in service), and will bear the name “The Unknown Warrior”. The loco has been 'adopted' by the Royal British Legion as a mobile war memorial. John said that 34% of LNWR employees served during Word War One with 11.7% being killed, hence the naming of a locomotive ‘Patriot’, first on a Claughton and then on the leader of a then new class. It was tradition at Rugby for 45500 or 45501 (‘St. Dunstan’s’) to be decorated with poppies on Remembrance Sunday. “Steam Railway” magazine organised a competition to decide on a name for the new loco when constructed thus keeping the tradition of a dedicated memorial locomotive alive.

The idea to construct an Un-rebuilt Patriot was first mooted in 2007 in “Steam Railway” by the then editor Tony Streeter and David Bradshaw. Fund raising started in April 2008 and by October the same year the frames were ordered, (faster progress than the A1 group at the same stage). Progress in 2009 was then outlined and included the frames being cut. In 2010 an original Fowler tender was obtained and Colin produced his original oil painting. The group’s aim is to produce as many parts in the UK as possible. Slight amendments to original specifications will be made, for example the tender water pick up apparatus will not be required meaning water capacity can be increased, and a “tunnel” will be added for storing fire irons to eliminate fatal contact with overhead electric wires. An original chimney from the loco named ‘E C Trench’ has been donated, but this can only be used on preserved railways, the one for main line will need to be 1.5” lower - again for safety reasons. An original whistle, which apparently has never been used, has also been donated.

John showed slides of the driving wheels produced from a pattern courtesy of Tyseley’s Bob Meanley. The wheels were pressed on to the crank axles by the South Devon Railway. Where possible, reductions in cost, but not quality, are looked for. So, inside cylinder patterns were constructed from polystyrene at a cost of £2,500 rather than £33,000 for wooden ones. The inside cylinder is being machined at this moment. The following targets have been set: to have a complete rolling chassis by 2014; engine to be completed by 2017; and, to be ready by 2018. The construction site of the various parts of the new build loco is Llangollen. Here there are also the frames for the ‘Grange’ and 4700 projects. The boiler will be built at Pete Waterman’s LNWR outfit whose previous experience includes renewing much of B1 61264’s boiler, and his firm has waived its £30,000 management fee. It will be a traditional boiler with a copper firebox. Costed at £500,000, an appeal to buy the copper needed was quickly launched when its price fell from £75,000 to £52,000!

John then treated us to a photograph gallery of original Patriots in action. This included 45551 an apparently “camera shy” loco with only a dozen views of it in the group’s archive. Photographs of other class members included 45506 ‘The Royal Pioneer Corps’, 45504 ‘Royal Signals’, 45518 ‘Bradshaw’, 45524 ‘Blackpool’, and 45536 ‘Private W Wood V.C’.  Wilf Wood worked on the railway, (Longsight Shed I believe) and he was given the V.C. for action in Italy in 1915. John revealed that the new engine can be re-numbered and re-named temporarily, so that if Blackpool for example wanted to sponsor it this could take place. On a personal whim, John then produced photographs that he had taken of other Llangollen-based locos bearing ‘The Unknown Warrior’ nameplate. He also revealed that he has commissioned Colin to paint a portrait of 5551 in LMS days standing on Crewe North shed.

The “loco” will appear at the Warley Model Railway Show at the NEC this November, but it will be in 0-6-0 formation. This should provide a great opportunity to garner further funds. The cab will be red on one side and green on the other, but livery changes will be made once it is on the rails. It is hoped that the loco will steam into a London Terminal during Remembrance Weekend November 2018, the hundredth anniversary of the Armistice, so that its official naming and dedication can take place.

We had a splendid evening and BRS members showed their appreciation by filling the collecting pot to the brim with £237.37 inside. John was quite overwhelmed by this; further details of sales etc are listed on the web site.

Mark Ratcliffe


June 2013, David Wright, "Painting the back scene"

We were back for another “How to” demonstration of model making by David, accompanied this time by Dave Richards, concentrating on the often overlooked yet vital part of any model layout – the back scene. As guests gathered in the lounge where a studio had been set up, Dave Richards welcomed us with some film of his mainline PSOV footage. He had also erected a screen on to which he projected live film of David Wright’s demonstration and this proved to be very popular. With a pint in hand, a pen at the ready we were about to begin.

After we welcomed back our presenters, Dave Wright started his presentation. For those who are visual learners and were fortunate enough to make it to his show, Dave had been busy making demonstration DVDs of the various stages of his model construction, as well as his new book. But I’m going to give you a basic report of his tried and tested methods in creating a cost effective and very realistic back scene, suitable for any model railway layouts.

He began by mentioning the variety of options available to the modeller for which a back scene could be built. Firstly is a relatively new option, thanks to the world of digital, photo backboards, created from photographs taken in the desired modelling area, are printed on to canvas. However, this method has its flaws, the most common being that its strong images can often detract viewers’ attention away from the layout itself. Also, it is also extremely expensive to make, with digital software being a must and access to a large industrial roll printer. Another method available is the ready-made printed scene from various model shops, such as Peco. But this can prove repetitive and very common, but can usually be very cost effective. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous (as we must have been), you can always create your very own. For this, Dave’s preferred method is to use canvas, as it can be supplied in sheet form although this may cause problems with viewing pleasure where boards are joined together. A more recent addition, however, is canvas roll, allowing a long length to be created without any breaks, making it the ideal lightweight, durable and effective scene for exhibition layout modellers. 

Before any work is done of to create artwork, Dave recommended we look at the landscape where the model is going to placed, as this research will prove invaluable when we get to the painting stage. Photographs, booklets and visiting the area are all ways of researching the environment, the more the better.

Well, we’re now ready to start. So we handed over to Dave Richards who had a film of the first stage, making of clouds. Spray paints used for car-body work, such as Halfords car range was used in the filming, although some of these colours have since become discontinued, alternative colours can be found from good model shops. With a canvas ready pre-primed, we spray on from a distance, wearing a safety mask, in a well-ventilated space. Using the darkest colour first, spray on the darker clouds in the desired way. After a dark blue is applied, add on lighter tones to build up depth and finish with a white in quick bursts to create the effect of the fluffy clouds. A cream can be used to highlight sun lit tops to the cloud - sparingly if required. Once happy, allow this to dry completely.

Continuing now on to the landscape, Dave used oil paints, using mauve, umber, yellow, greens and titanium white. We started looking at the research material to find your desired colour palette. Firstly the horizon must be made. Using a mauve to create a rough line, this doesn’t need to be a perfect defined line. Very roughly apply the paint downwards to create land. Add brown umber to darken the palette and add the mid-ground hills, again roughly applying the paint down to the base of the canvas. Rough tree shapes and hedgerows can be added using an old brush to stipple on paint. Finish off with another darker mauve in the foreground. These layers will create the idea of depth, so no detail is required. Again allow this to dry before the next process.

Once dried it is time to add in the highlights using lemon yellow, green and white again. The idea now is to add highlights, not paint in the scenery, as so to create the illusion of a continuation of land and not be overpowering to the model in front. Adding the mixed green to the hills, bleed using turps down towards the trees, again this doesn’t have to be perfect, so you don’t have to paint right up to the tree line. Yellow and white can be added to create highlights. Research again will help create an authentic colour - brown ploughed fields, autumn colours and winter snow all have their own colour palettes. The nearer to the horizon line the thinner the paint should be, again research material will come invaluable. In the next process its worthy of note, to think about the location of the sun, and how shadows will fall, as one side will be lighter than the other when adding detail to foliage. Again use the stipple effect and a lighter green to the sun lit leaves. Be very simple and do not tend towards too much detail, simply keep it simple.

Buildings are an essential part of the countryside, so another simple method is draw the rough outline using a pencil, and infill using a chisel brush, using rough colour only. Again think about where shadows will fall and lighten or darken as appropriate. Do not be tempted to paint in the details - windows need nothing more than a suggestion there, so a brown square with highlighted sill will be enough to create the illusion. Highlights can be used with the white and brown umber for shadows. Similarly with walls, add a little green at their base to help blend them into the scenery and there we have it, a complete back scene, unique to your layout.

Additional details like poles, wires can be added using a rigger brush, Roads can be added simply but use the research again to see how they disappear into the landscape, but concentrate the level of details. The idea of the back scene is merely a suggestion of continual space, and should be an illusion and not be a Van Gough masterpiece.  As per prototypical, the distance should lose detail and colour saturation. Researching photographs will be a huge aid, keep it simple, keep it real.

With the process now learnt from the DVD, it was the audience’s time to put its itself to the test. With a pre-sprayed sky already done, (here’s one I made earlier jobs) Dave Wright welcomes us up to have a go and see for ourselves how easy it really is. Within an hour we had an almost complete scene.

Well, I hope this covers most of the simple techniques; Dave’s book and the DVD films will help, but give it a go, you’ll surprise yourself. So as the meeting came to a close we thanked both Daves for a very educational and entertaining presentation.

Happy modelling

Adam Crick


June 2013: Annual quiz

It’s the first Wednesday in June, it’s a pleasant evening, and once again time for the Annual Burton Quiz Night. So, on the 5th June in keeping with established tradition, a band of 19 stalwarts assembled to pit their wits against debutante quiz-setter Peter Baumgartner’s set of ten rounds of hand-picked and prepared questions. Dave Fleming put on the quizmasters gown for the second year, and after the traditional draw from the hat, the teams were selected.

This year, the Leicester contingent was not in attendance as a result of a bereavement, and a number or the regular patrons had other engagements, so, given the lower number, teams were composed of three members instead of the usual four. Despite the paucity of members attending, the night was set fair for some fun and light-hearted banter. Question-master Dave confirmed the traditional format of ten rounds each of eight questions, with an essential beer halfway through the quiz.

It is not the intention here to list a complete set of the questions - these can be supplied on request - but below are a few of the head-scratcher variety.
Round 1: ‘The First Round’ which was based on ‘firsts’ in the railway world, that was until question four – “A member of which class was the last to retain the Midland boiler and Salter safety valves?” [Midland 1F tank] and then question seven – “Give the name of the last surviving GWR Star class loco.” [Lode Star} So it was firsts and lasts.

Round 2: ‘TV and the Big Screen’ personally always one of my favourites, but did you know that  “Thomas the Tank Engine” has a rival non-steam programme featuring his mate “Underground Ernie”? Not many of us did, though “Brief Encounter” reappeared at Carnforth, and I did remember from my black and white TV days that Casey Jones drove the Cannonball Express!

Round 3: ‘Let’s Face the Music’ another of my favourite quiz rounds -  there again, we seniors will have remembered Nancy Whiskey on her “Freight Train”, Alma Cogan who has “The railway ran through the middle of the house”, as well as the Kinks and “Waterloo Sunset.”

Round 4: was simply ‘Engine Sheds’ and Peter had obviously been in the time machine again, as 1923 AND Leicestershire, up to question 6 which was the number of loco turntables in Burton in 1950 [5. The final questions were about Uttoxeter shed: the number of roads, and, its shed code [3 & 5F].

Round 5: ‘I’ll name that loco in One’ (you really must get a television which broadcasts programmes from the 21st Century, Peter!). This was a good scoring round. Sample questions included: the name of Britannia 70001 [Lord Hurcomb]; the name of the first member of the GW Hall class [St. Martin]; and Royal Scot 46102 [The Black Watch].

Resuming after the break, ‘Local for a change’ formed Round 6 which, understandably, had a slight Swad’ bias, including a question on the number of signal boxes on the Swad loop before 1956 [4], and what year saw the first diesel through Burton [1934].

Round 7: ‘Minorities’ with a pair of questions on big four coaches with odd prefix/suffix BR ownership, such as, where would you find a blue Jinty in the 1920s?

Round 8: ‘True or False’ the Marmite round - you either love it or hate it. Peter’s questions were extremely well balanced, and could lead you to either conclusion. I enjoyed the question of a multi-coloured Compound at Derby which had worked an “Andy Cap Special” to Blackpool [True], (as I remembered it from the time), though I never appreciated that a Fowler 4P tank had been given green livery!

Round 9: ‘Geographical’ included questions such as: “What was the furthest point west you could see an LNER engine?” [Mallaig]. “What was the furthest point south that LMS engines regularly terminated?”  [Bournemouth]. “Which town in Wales had a sizeable allocation of LNER locos?” [Wrexham]. I’m sure you get the direction!

Round 10: ‘Wot, no Steam Engines”, and as you would expect from the title, it was predominantly a diesel and electric round. This included: “Who built the Blue Pullman?” [Metro Cammell]; “What was the first class of diesel to be seen regularly in Burton?” [Class 08]; and “Which Sheffield firm built the diesel units which featured two front window panel?” [Cravens].

So ended the 23rd Annual Quiz and what a fine night it was too. It is said that few remember the runners up or semi-finalists, and I’m afraid the Guinness was so good that I am in that selfsame bracket. So congratulations to Team B (Mick Lunn, Dave Hook, & Mark Ratcliffe) who won with 121 points. The runners up achieved 115 points, and the two owd codgers at the back who weren’t competing seriously landed an unofficial 114 points.

Thanks to Peter Baumgartner for his hard work in compiling a well-balanced and interesting quiz, to Dave Fleming in his role as MC-Quizmaster, and also to Kevin and Peter who officiated respectively in collecting the answer sheets and scoring the results.

So now to my annual whinge!

Why were there only 19 people competing?  As always I bemoan the fact that we have a healthy Society with, I believe, over 250 members. So why don’t more home members attend? These events don’t just happen - a lot of hard work goes into presenting them.  I know from experience how difficult and time-consuming it is to create a quiz which is both entertaining and fun to be participating in.

Again, congratulations go to all those who worked extremely hard before and on the night, and to Peter B who faced the challenge of his debut quiz with hardly any show of nerves. And it was enjoyable! So next time, come along and try it out - you never know - you might enjoy it!



May 2013: Stephen Gay, "Picture postcard railway rambles"

It was with great pleasure that we received Stephen for his third delightfully narrated presentation to the Society. This time he introduced a new element in the form of poetry, with three poems being included during the night; indeed he started the proceedings with a poem about Doncaster. Stephen recommended that, if time could be spared, it was better to use the stopping service to travel along the Hope Valley line rather than the non-stop service and I would very much agree.

The show itself started at Sheffield Midland with an overall view of the station from the top of a nearby car park. Other shots in the locality required him to build “half a snowman” to stand on and also to wade into the middle of the River Sheaf on a couple of occasions. This served to demonstrate the care Stephen took, not only in ensuring the weather was used to the best purpose, but also to achieve the unusual vantage point. Things changed constantly and although the former steam shed that serviced the line, Millhouses, is still standing despite behind closed in 1962, it is due to be demolished soon to be replaced by houses. Another change was at Dore & Totley Station where the buildings, finished for railway use, were turned into an Indian restaurant known as Delhi Junction! This function has now ceased and a new use remains to be found.

Moving on to the Hope Valley line proper, it was time for another poem, dedicated to Totley Tunnel. This three-and-a-half mile long monument climbs 117 feet from one end to the other and had cost half-a-million pounds to construct. It has five ventilation shafts and Stephen’s constant companion, his Alsatian dog Wrawby, was featured by one of them. Stephen doesn’t use a digital camera and it took him around twelve attempts to get the slide he wanted of Wrawby - a clear demonstration of his attention to detail. At the other end of the tunnel we were let into the secrets of the café set up by the late Philip Eastwood in the former station buildings at Grindleford. Here tea is sold in pint and half-pint mugs, but it was the eccentricity of the owner that was amusing, with postcard signs everywhere. Several of these were read to us, but I include just a couple:

“Uncontrollable kids are not welcome, nor parents of the same breed!”

“Why stand outside and be miserable, come inside and get fed up!”

A slide of a multiple unit framed by a signal in the station reminded Stephen of the sticky end that befell Alec Guinness in the film the “Ladykillers” – the signal dropping on Alec’s head causing him to fall to his death. By a strange coincidence, your reviewer had been watching that film earlier in the day.                                                                                  

Down the line near Hathersage there was a superb shot of a two-car pacer unit framed by snow covered tree branches – proof that you can make a silk purse from a sow’s ear if you try hard enough! Hope Station is the only one on the line with a footbridge, but with no disabled access from the car park for the opposite platform. Stephen isn’t content with close-by shots so an excursion was made into the Derbyshire hills to view both the course of the railway and also the dams at Derwent and Howden. A cracking shot of the reservoir from on high led Stephen to remind those present that it was the 70th anniversary this month of the Dam Busters raid by 617 Squadron led by Guy Gibson, the Lancaster bombers having carried out rehearsals here.

The Hope Valley is well known for its cement works and has a dedicated branch line from the main line to the works; this line ensures that one train load keeps 57 lorries off the road! Two slides here revealed attention to detail and the funny side of railway photography. In the first case Stephen wanted to include the Cheshire Cheese pub and its empty beer barrels in composition of a train working up the branch. Now freight trains don’t run to strict timetables and he had to ask four separate drivers to park elsewhere to achieve the desired result. Whilst in the village of Hope worried neighbours wondered what he was doing outside their property, so he duly obliged by explaining that he wanted a photograph of a passenger train on the branch. “I’ve lived here 29 years and that’s never happened”, exclaimed one home owner. Stephen was so convincing that by the time the train arrived he had 15 amateur photographers with him, but all dutifully lined up behind him to preserve the integrity of the shot! Other slides taken in 2008 illustrated the open day at the quarry. On that occasion your reviewer acted as a steward with the task of ensuring that wagon number collectors didn’t get too excited! Down at the sidings by the main line, several people were disappointed to learn that the classic “porthole” shot carved out in the hedge has been ruined by the placing of a single panel of palisade fencing across it.

Moving onto Edale, it was time for another poem to accompany a marvellous shot taken on a sunny, but snowy day in 2010 with the sun beautifully framed in the fork of a tree trunk. Finally it was to Cowburn Tunnel, over two miles long, but with one ventilation shaft to penetrate to the roof 700 feet below. Dedication to the task was demonstrated for the shot of a train leaving the tunnel; it was not only necessary to be there at 6-00a.m., and in order to do so Stephen had caught the last passenger train from Sheffield the evening before and had spent the night on the station! What more can one say? To achieve end results of this quality requires visits to the same locations to be made time and time again and in all sorts of weather conditions.

It was another splendid evening with exquisite photography and superb narratation, we look forward to Stephen’s next visit in 2015. Meanwhile we trust that Wrawby will keep a dutiful eye on his master and make sure that he doesn’t try anything too extreme to get that all important photograph.

Mark Ratcliffe


April 2013: Ken Woolley & Phil Waterfield,

It had been planned that April’s club night would be presented by the eminent railway photographer Hugh Ballantyne, but tragically, Hugh suffered a stroke in March and died on Good Friday. So has passed away one of the truly great exponents of his art and our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Kindly stepping into the breach to entertain us on this evening were Society members Ken Woolley and Phil Waterfield whose photographs frequently illustrate contemporary railway magazines.

Ken started off the proceedings with local scenes of the early 1960s with a few black and white shots and then mostly colour. Many were taken in the vicinity of Leicester Junction Signal Box where he was a train recorder for almost three years “being paid to train-spot and take photos” as he put it!

One memorable image, taken from the box steps, was of Jinty 47643 on a local trip with the shed path on the left with two enginemen heading home along it, no doubt diverting to the ‘Forest Gate’ en route. Beyond the path stood the stacking yard of Sharp Brothers & Knight with timber piled high. This just illustrated how much has changed in the ensuing half century and how grateful we are that people like Ken took such images at that time. Another Jinty that featured at this locality was 47464 with one brake van heading south on a working known as the “Wells Fargo” – this being a Fridays-only working to deliver wages to Burton and Walton & Wychnor sidings.

From the ridiculous to the sublime, for the next shot passing Leicester Junction featured York’s V2 60978 going well on a Newcastle - Bristol express, not an uncommon sight at that time. That could not be said of a slide taken from the east side of the junction that featured Burton’s 45721 ‘Impregnable’ double-heading a Black 5 departing on a freight for Nuneaton.

Industrial locos around the town were not forgotten with fine shots of Bass’s stud of saddle tanks and also of Marston’s no.3 in the yard at the eponymous brewery. Continuing with the industrial scene but straying further afield, we visited Statons’ mill at Tutbury where a Peckett tank was seen at work. At Cadley Hill Colliery we first saw an immaculate no.1 shunting the yard. This was followed by the incongruous sight of a Beyer-Garratt crossing the A5 near Atherstone, this of course being the well-known and now preserved ‘William Francis’ on a loaded coal train from Baddesley Colliery to the nearby sidings on the WCML.

More archive shots were seen from the last days of steam on the Cromford & High Peak Railway. Then it was down to the glorious scenery on the Golden Valley line from Gloucester to Chalford during the final weeks of the fames ‘Chalford auto’ which also featured a heavy 9F-hauled freight assisted in the rear by the Brimscombe banker.

To take us to the break, contemporary slides were shown of preserved steam, mainly charter on heritage lines, and also out on the mainline.

For the second half of the show, Phil took over and once again we were treated to local scenes in the days of steam.

That local stalwart 47643 featured heavily again, including an atmospheric shot of it crossing Victoria Crescent holding up local cyclists with not a 4-by-4 in sight. In fact, it was noticeable in most of the pictures that showed road crossings, how little traffic there was about in those days; railways really ruled the roost in Burton in the early 1960s.

A rail-tour that has featured strongly in the railway press over the years was the LCGB trip of October 1962. That brought a J11 ‘Pom-Pom’ to Burton and this was duly recorded by Phil at Stretton & Clay Mills Station, virtually untouched by 13 years of closure, with no signs of vandalism and all signs intact.

Back at Leicester Junction, a very rare bird, 72007 ‘Clan Mackintosh’ was seen featured in a black and white image heading a northbound freight, possibly the Washwood Heath – Carlisle. A much more common sight in the locale was the LMS 4F 0-6-0 and a member of this class was seen heading towards Burton on the Leicester line crossing the Trent on Stapenhill Viaduct – the amount of foam covering the surface of the river being noticeable. Further towards Leicester but on the ‘Swad’ loop, we saw a super colour shot of 44260 double-heading 45254 on an up-train of passenger stock passing through Woodville Station, followed by a ‘going away’ shot of it heading for the tunnel.

The ex-GN line from Burton towards Derby Friargate is now, in part, a cycleway, and it was on this section we saw images of freight workings with a B1 and a 9F in charge, and beyond Friargate, at Basford North, a ‘Pig’ 2-6-0 on a local passenger working.

Straying further afield again, we saw images on the ex-GW line in Warwickshire, particularly at Hatton Station where, quite surprisingly for the time, was ex-works 6853 ‘Morehampton Grange’ on a down passenger working, yet that well-known 4-6-0 7029 ‘Clun Castle’ looked decidedly unkempt.

Although steam dominated the proceedings during the evening, other forms of traction were not forgotten, with a few shots of diesels and local dmus. Indeed, even a few local Burton Corporation buses in maroon and cream livery were seen.

Phil’s post-BR steam pictures covered images of steam at work in the USA, South Africa, and China amongst other exotic locations and some of these could still be seen today, but unfortunately those unforgettable scenes of steam crossing Burton roads are long in the past and unrepeatable.

Paul Forbes


March 2013: Martin Nield, "Aspects of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway”

“Aspects of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway” was presented by Martin Nield at an additional club night on Wednesday 20 March. Both digital projectors caused problems and, although the images were not as sharp as Martin would have wished, he was able to give quite an insight into the L&YR. Self-styled as the “Business Line”, it was more of a provincial railway and, despite its 601 miles of tracks, it had to rely on other railways, chiefly the LNWR, for its London connections.

The tracks laid into Blackpool enabled swift growth of the town and so it was able to establish itself as the leading holiday resort in the North West. The L&Y also had the largest shipping fleet of any railway company and Goole and Fleetwood both grew as ports as a result. Other milestones included the building of 291 stations and 733 signal boxes. The signalling school, established in Manchester, was thankfully saved for preservation and is now installed in the York Railway Museum. As a keen railway modeller of the “Lanky”, Martin was particularly pleased that this had happened.

Electrification was a major corner post of the railway - in particular the line to Southport which continues to thrive to this day. In its early days a connection was even made to the Liverpool Overhead Railway, and stores and works were established at Meols Cop. All stock was wooden-bodied on steel under-frames. Due to involvement by Dick Kerr, the short line from Bury to Holcombe Brook was also electrified. This was initially an overhead system, but was later altered to third-rail to match the Manchester - Bury set up; this latter line was electrified during the First World War. In the early years, the steam stock wasn’t particularly notable and the Board was more interested in paying dividends to shareholders. Thankfully, the house was put in order and Barton Wright was appointed to sort out the locomotive situation which he did with great success. Locomotive livery was changed from green to black and a fine new locomotive works was established at Horwich to replace the facilities at Miles Platting. The other notable L&Y engineer was (Sir) John Aspinall who continued Wright’s good work and indeed his sturdy little “pug” locos continue to impress today.

Manchester United, would you believe, is another claim to L&YR’s fame. The carriage works were at Newton Heath and in the 1870s the Company set up a football team known as “Newton Heath (L&YR) F.C.” It played in colours of gold and green halves. When it entered the Football League, the L&Y bit was dropped and a few years later the name “Manchester United” was adopted and the rest, as they say, is history!

The L&Y came to an end in 1922 when it was amalgamated with the LNWR ahead of the Government’s establishment of the ‘Big Four’ in 1924. George Hughes, (a ‘Lanky’ appointment) took the role of C.M.E. and introduced his very successful “Crab” 2-6-0 locos. Of course we must not forget that Nigel Gresley served some of his working time in a managerial role at Blackpool loco shed.

It was a short, but sweet presentation, but Martin who is also the Secretary of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Society, certainly packed in a lot of information about a railway he models with a passion.

Mark Ratcliffe


March 2013: Pete Skelton, "Life with a Pentax 67"

It was a pleasure to welcome Pete back to Burton for the third time. We were therefore ready to see what joys he would have for this time. He chose to start back in 1967 with a youthful shot of himself with 46201 ‘Princess Elizabeth’ on Bath Road depot. This he followed with a restored 6201 wearing red livery exercising on the main line. 4472 ‘Flying Scotsman’ featured south of Banbury in 1986 - will the loco ever work again we mused? Next the Kings made an appearance: 6000 ‘King George V’ at its old home inside Bulmer’s shed and then 6024 ‘King Edward 1’ which was quite appropriate seeing that 6023 will spend a short time in disguise as 6015 ‘King Richard 111’ whilst it is on the Great Central. Settle and Carlisle scenes revealed ex-17B loco 45407 with a volcanic exhaust, 46229 in the snow near Ais Gill, and 71000 along with 46203. A visit to the Severn Valley Railway produced shots of 600 ‘Gordon’, 43106 and a lovely night time portrait of 2857.

Hailing from Gloucester, Pete recounted the rivalry that existed between the local sheds, Horton Road ex-GWR and Barnwood ex-Midland, the staff from each using different pubs! This prefaced a series of GW slides on the main line and on the preserved Gloucester Warwickshire Railway. Keeping with the local theme, Midland 1F class 41708 was used on the Dean Forest Railway in the guise of ex-Gloucester loco 41748. A slide was also produced of the “Steam Railway” 1st April spoof of 3717 ‘City of Truro’ painted in B.R. black, (one side only). John Bellwood, the National Railway Museum representative, had to be kept on the GW side during his visit to save embarrassment!  Later, on the clock on Pete’s local station (Gloucester), revealed a time of 1-47a.m in his photograph and he mused if his wife wondered what he had been up to! A series of Jubilees started with 45552 ‘Silver Jubilee’ in black livery on the GC and the same loco at Bury as 45698 ‘Mars’ with a Fowler tender -   of course this was really ex-Burton loco 45593 ‘Kholapur’. This latter loco appeared in its own right in an atmospheric night shot alongside 45596 ‘Bahamas’ at Shackerstone. On another occasion ‘Bahamas’ sported a “Derby Evening Telegraph Express” headboard when photographed on Hatton Bank. Mr Skelton was also good friends with the well-known artist, the late George Heiron, and he had a slide of him in artistic action: Pete used to print his 6 x 9 black and white shots for him.

Moving down south, he recounted how his three daughters got impatient with him during a long wait to photograph 53808 on the West Somerset when they wanted to go on the beach.  M7 30053 had Corfe Castle as the backdrop and keeping with a southern theme he showed 34105 ‘Swanage’ when it was running on the GC. Pete enjoyed attending a photographic charter at Barrington Cement Works and so industrial steam was introduced to the audience. Back with larger locos, 71000 poured out black smoke on leaving Derby, but he also captured the same loco at Didcot on its first main line run.

A brief interlude with ships enabled us to see the preserved paddle steamer “Waverley”, first coming into Sharpness, second a long walk along the old Severn road bridge produced a superb shot and finally in Bristol with Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge as the backdrop. On the same theme, the second half found us close to Southampton Docks and revealed “QE2” and “Ventura” and also “QE2” and “QM2” with Pete fortunately getting the latter pairing in the same shot! In his civil engineering days he was able to obtain five beautiful sunset shots in 1994 with the new Severn Crossing under construction.

The beginning of the second session was devoted to South Africa and we saw 25NC named ‘City of Kimberley’ on Beaconsfield Shed and then the same loco exercising whilst on freight duty. A lovely three quarter view of 3450 ‘Red Devil’ followed; Pete reported that it could haul 26 coaches before slipping occurred! Moving on to Orange River servicing point led to a slide of condensing loco 3511, a preserved loco, but earning its keep on freight. At De Aar he found 3511 on shed and it was photographed alongside 858, but the remarkable thing was that he captured the fireman in mid air leaping from the tender of 3511 and on to the one of 858! Mr Skelton found some outstanding locations and I’ll end the South Africa section by mentioning a Beyer Garratt photographed heading to George.

Next we were taken to China for snow, industrial pollution, and the Gobi Desert with the latter location resembling a lunar landscape. It was a case of patience, there being only three daytime trains to photograph. Off in the snow to Jing Peng and whilst others in the party were sampling breakfast, Pete and his friend were out for the first train of the day hauled by a couple of QJs. Due to the zigzag nature of the line and being prepared to move reasonably quickly, 37 shots were taken of the same train!

America was next on the agenda with some lovely locations in autumn or should I say the fall! 1993 was the year for capturing Shay locos on logging trains whilst the Rio Grande was perfect for cowboy films.  The Santa Fe provided some awe inspiring diesel freight trains of tremendous length with six locos hauling one particular formation. The Deltic on the Severn Valley Railway and the 37s on the Rhymney – Cardiff trains looked positively puny in comparison. We ended with visits to various preserved railways and this enabled Pete to feature his two favourite locos 5029 ‘Nunney Castle’ and 46229 ‘Duchess of Hamilton’ side by side. The slide of 47383 with three “policemen” or coppers in helmets looking out of the cab drew a resounding laugh.  However perhaps a favourite slide didn’t feature railways at all, it was a field of poppies under a vortex sky – truly brilliant.

Large format slides of exceptional quality and an evening of great variety, we were pleased to give him a warm ovation. Pete has a BR black and white digital show and we look forward to welcoming back with that particular presentation.

Mark Ratcliffe


February 2013: Karl Jauncey & Dave Richards, "PSOV: A review of 2012"

All aboard? It certainly seemed so on 6 February as Karl and Dave travelled against the weather back to Burton for their very popular presentation of preserved steam on video, “but also available on blu ray” we were told. It is a sign of the times I’m afraid. With the usual warm welcome from our Chairman as he controlled the room for his introductory notices, we prepared for a testing of the fire alarm systems. Welcoming back our presenters we handed the night over to Dave and Karl, but before starting they had an additional notice to be made, asking if the alarm should be tested during the show to see if it would successfully wake up a certain member of the society - for his sanity I will leave him anonymous and let our members figure that one out.

Back to business, we put our hands together for our guests and drifted off down the mainlines of Britain once again chasing a variety of steam charters. The lights dimmed and the introduction started with dramatic images and superb emotive sound which immediately caught the attention of any member left on the platform. There the skilled video photographers were capturing stunning scenes of Britain’s natural beauty with the enhancement of steam-hauled trains rolling magically through them.

Back on track we started our journey with a trip to Greenholme to see 45407 with 44871 on a frosty 25 January glide through a white landscape. The bleak landscape, accentuated by the frost, created a superb view as the pairing climbed and a lone horse taking a fleeting glimpse as if it were common place again. But the scenes improved with time as when the trains arrived at Birkett Common with fog filling the valley behind creating some amazingly eerie footage.

Black 5 enthusiasts were in heaven as the next train recorded was hauled by two more black 5s, 45305 and 44932, against the blizzard over Smardale viaduct. Moving on to ‘better` locos, ‘Oliver Cromwell’ took her shot over the Settle & Carlisle. We left one Brit for another as  ‘Britannia’ herself was captured taking flight carrying her white cab roof on the 10 March. On the same day we had sights of the unusual pairing of 5043 and 6201. Another pairing we saw was the ‘Princess’ 6201, being banked by 9600 and L94 over the Lickey Incline.

Moving a little closer to home, on her first public run after a few minor problems, a BR Brunswick Green Duchess ran back into Derby station on 29 March with her return trip being captured passing through our home town. Moving back to the Britannia, 70013 show-cased her very high pitched, two-tone whistle as she stormed over Smardale Viaduct.

The 12 April saw 34067 make her cautious attempt over Shap. On her return she was caught at Wilpshire in her best light, with dark storm clouds brewing up behind. Back closer to home, Brit 70000 was captured at Nuneaton as were the panniers on 14 April passing Washwood Heath, before chasing them down to Castle Gresley and passing Bardon Hill Box.

A year is not complete without seeing the “Great Britain Tour”. A4 Streak took charge of her leg out of London before ‘Cromwell’ took over and powered the train across the Royal Border and Forth Bridges. Scotland welcomed 61994 on to Glenfinnan Viaduct famed for its role in the Harry Potter films. A comical scene caught Black 5s 45305 and 45407 working the Glasgow to Stranraer trip on 25 April emerging from the hillside scaring off sheep.

The 12 May stands out in this film as PSOV’s luck came into play again when ‘Tornado’ was captured passing a double-headed Black 5 special at Bayston Hill in near perfect timing. This was something extremely difficult to get on preserved railways let alone on national metals. Another sequence which captured our attention was the sight of Great Western super loco 5043 on a Linlithgow to Sterling charter on 27 May as she took her train over the Forth Railway Bridge. Another view of boyhood days was the BR Green Duchess seen through two cameras taken from both platforms as she stormed her way through Lancaster. Another Midland beast was represented by 46201, ‘Princess Elizabeth’, fittingly taking pride a place ahead of the Royal Train on its way to Kemble.

We are also indebted to the men on the footplate of 45305 who videoed over the Settle & Carlisle line recording stunning views over Ribblehead Viaduct and storming through Dent station.

Following the same tracks but this time aboard was A4 number 9, ‘Union of South Africa’. Of further note were some very atmospheric shots of 5043 through Droitwich and Worcester against the semaphores and fog, and also superb nightime infra-red footage of the two panniers attacking the Lickey Incline unassisted, even providing their very own firework display to celebrate.

The presentation finished with spectacular scenes in Scotland of 61994 emerging from the mist with stunning trails of steam, all set to emotive music. That concluded our journey through 2012 with all its troubles and spectacles. We thanks all the people involved for a superb evening and wish them all the best for 2013.

Adam Crick


January 2013:  Jon Turner and Bob Smythe, "Lost, re-opened and preserved lines"

Les Henshaw was unable to be present due to illness and his place was taken by Jon Turner and Bob Smythe. The film for the first part concentrated on rail routes around Britain which had either been completely removed from the map or parts had been saved by preservationists. First was the route of the present day Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway saved by preservationists. Many former railway routes have now been converted into attractive footpaths so it was no surprise to visit one of these along with a station now used as a boat house by Lancaster University. Then it was off was off to the much lamented S&D with archive footage taken on New Year’s day 1966 with 73051 and 44422 featuring - thankfully both of these locos are still with us. Various stations along the route were also featured as was Bournemouth West which actually closed before the S&D route. The line to Lewes, (some of it being the present-day Bluebell Railway) was closed pre-Beeching and the footage show-cased various preserved locos at work on the saved portion - Horsted Keynes Station with its five platforms being a film maker’s delight. Moving up to the borders, archive footage of the Waverley route featured two of Carlisle Canal’s rare A3s, these being ‘Sir Visto’ and ‘Coronach’ whilst 65331 was shown on Hawick Shed. In March 2005 the Scottish Parliament sanctioned the re-opening of 30 miles of the route from Edinburgh to Galashiels and work is now underway.

1962 and the Stainmore route was wiped from the map. The A685 road took over some of the track bed around Ravenstondale, while Smardale Viaduct was saved and sold for 1p to the group responsible for its upkeep. Kirkby Stephen East Station is also preserved and the activists plan to re-open the 11 miles from there to Appleby. Perhaps the best known route to be featured was The Settle & Carlisle, still fully functioning of course and now busier than ever, but the route was a Beeching target for closure in 1963 and again in the 1970s and 1980s. Several stations were closed, but now eight of the 12 closed ones are now re-open. Much of the credit for this goes to the Friends of the S & C for their work in making sure that this was a line that wouldn’t die. Indeed presenter Jon Turner wrote passionately in support of keeping the line open and part of his letter features in James Towles’s book outlining the fight to keep the line open.

It was now time for archive footage of electric class 76s at work on the now defunct Woodhead line, the section between Penistone and Hadfield closing in 1981. Non-standard overhead electric equipment, light passenger usage, coal traffic ebbing away and a rival line via the Hope Valley sealed its fate. With a GC theme in mind, footage then turned to preserved locos 63601 and D123 at work on the saved portion of the line. Sixty miles of the route south of Rugby ran mainly through farm land and traffic could be adequately handled on the Midland route so its fate was sealed. A pity that HS2 wasn’t in mind during the 1960s! Other lines looked at briefly included: the Cambrian Coast route (Beeching planned to shut the route to Pwllheli, but now rationalised and radio signalled); Cumbrian Coast (Beeching wanted to shut the Barrow – Whitehead section leaving the route as two branches; in Devon he was more successful, the line ends at Gunnislake leaving Tavistock isolated from rail access; Looe branch in Cornwall which miraculously survived; and, Oxenholme – Windermere which also survives, but now as a glorified branch, emasculated so that loco-hauled trains cannot be used on the section.

After the interval the film was entirely archive and devoted to East Yorkshire. A banner on York Station proclaiming in 1965 that one could travel to Scarborough for 10 shillings! In the same year when horse-drawn transport was still part of the scene in Driffield, the line from there to Malton was already closed and lifted, the route being filmed from inside a Ford Anglia! Next was the Gilling – Coxwold via Ampleforth line with a run on the last train to collect the last wagons along this 18 mile route. Back at Malton we boarded the cab of B1 61319 for a footplate ride to Rosemont and included was the lifted section to Pickering. A view of the line from high above Levisham revealed a Wickham trolley shuffling along before a return was made to the B1 footplate. The driver, Sid Winfield, was in later years to take the controls of the prototype HST. On reaching Grosmont the film diverted to Middlesbrough for a brief DMU trip towards Whitby with the B1 appearing again at Larpool Viaduct. The section from Whitby to Staithes closed in 1958, but the film was able to portray the Bog Hall – Prospect Hill section using a DMU. At the latter station, the driver had to change ends in order to travel over the viaduct constructed of five million bricks to Robin Hood’s Bay. This was the largest station on the line and was the home for five camping coaches.

It was now time for an interlude at Scarborough with visits to the 20” narrow gauge North Bay Railway and a look at the funicular cliff system. Back at the main line station we viewed some of the visiting loco including: 45694 ‘Bellerophon’ complete with yellow stripe; fellow Jubilees 45565 ‘Victoria’ and 45739 ‘Ulster’; and of course 61319 again. Turning, coaling and watering facilities were maintained at Scarborough although the shed was closed, and indeed three Black Fives coupled together arrived from Bridlington for this purpose having travelled 23 miles in order to do so! Black Five 44694 brought this section to an end with filming taking place from the train as it departed.

At Bridlington an enthusiasts’ special train arrived behind K4 ‘The Great Marquis’ and K1 62005, and then it was off to traverse the Filey Holiday Camp Branch. The K4 took the train to Whitby where it met up again with the K1. On 6th May 1965, a seven-car DMU formed the final normal passenger train from Whitby to Scarborough. The film ended on a high note with a very unusual train along the line hauled by D2051. This action took place two years later in 1967 and the track was by now completely weed-strewn. D2051 towed some brake-vans from Scarborough and its purpose was to enable demolition contractors to view what was involved prior to track removal. Normal practice was for contractors to travel by road, but problems of access led to the train being organised. A resident of Robin Hood’s Bay rang BR to demand why there was a train on the line! Finally there was a flash back to October 1965 with the last enthusiasts’ special train of all along the section hauled by two  named B1s, ‘Gnu’ and ‘Reedbuck’, storming up to the tunnel at Ravenscar.

A great start to the 2013 programme thanks to our friends from Matlock Railway Club.

Mark Ratcliffe



December Paul Riley - the early years Tony Bowles & Mike Squire
November Eastleigh Works Colin Boocock
October   John Whiteley
September   Malcolm Crick
September Spain Peter Gray
August Steaming through Britain Graham Briggs
July   Richard Binding
June Landscape modelling David Wright
June Annual Railway Quiz  
May Steam tracked back: 1967 - 1960 Richard Inwood & Mike Smith
May   Leon Powsney & Alf Molyneux
April Canklow to Cape Town Mike Eggenton
March Decades of steam: 1971 - 1991 Roger Jones
February Preserved Steam On Video 2011 Karl Jauncey & Dave Richards
January   Mike Clemens

Click here for a PDF of the 2012 Meeting Reports


December 45 years of railway photography Les Nixon
November A fourth evening with father's slides: Paddington to the West David Cross
October Behind the scenes with the NRM support crew: 1970s to 1990s Rob Tibbets
September Today's railways Adam Crick
September The Midland through the Peak & Buxton to New Mills John Morten
August Lost railways of Leicestershire Rodger Smith
July UK railway photography: the digital way John Bagshaw
June   David Court & Mike Notley
June Annual Railway Quiz  
May Visit to East Midlands Train Maintenance Depot, Etches Park, Derby  
May Landscape railway modelling David Wright
May Picture postcard railway rambles Stephen Gay
April British engine sheds: part 8 (Trafford Park to Perth) Chris Banks
March   Mark Coney
March Now and then Ken Horan
February Preserved Steam On Video 2010 Karl Jauncey & Dave Richards
January North Staffordshire steam: Macclesfield - Uttoxeter Les Henshaw

Click here for a PDF of the 2011 Meeting Reports


November In retrospect Roger Jones
October Five decades of railway photography John Whiteley
September A second helping of Malcolm's locally-based slides Malcolm Crick
September The West Country in the 1960s Peter Gray
August Steaming through Britain Graham Briggs
July Steam in the UK Robert Falconer
June An evening with Mike Notley and David Court  
June Annual railway quiz Dave Hook
June Painting and weathering your model buildings David Wright
May Byways around Britain David Mitchell
April Forty years of photographs David Walker
March Moved by Steam Mike Smith & Richard Inwood
March Beware of engines! John Hunt
February Preserved Steam on Video 2009 Karl Jauncey & Dave Richards
January Along Midland lines Rob Foxon

Click here for a PDF of the 2010 Meeting Reports.


December A thousand eggs on a bicycle Colin Boocock
November The Hope Valley route in the transition period from steam to diesel Brian Staniland
October A further evening with father's slides David Cross
September Slides of the local area and scrap yards nationwide Malcolm Crick
September All trains great and small Dennis Lovett
August Lost railways of Derbyshire Geoffrey Kingscott
July The North Briton Rail Tour and preserved locomotives of the LMS Alan Price
June How to construct scale buildings for your model railway David Wright
June Annual railway quiz Dave Hook
May Woodhead - the lost railway Stephen Gay
April Steam engine sheds "I to M" excluding London Chris Banks
March A second helping of Richard's slides Richard Binding
March A selection of films from the British Transport Collection Alan Willmott
February Preserved steam on the main line: 2008 Karl Jauncey & Dave Richards
January The dragon's dying breath - steam in China Ken Horan

Click here for a PDF of the 2009 Meeting Reports.


December Steam on ciné in the 50s and 60s Mike Clemens
November Railways in the Peak District Les Nixon
October 20 years of mainline steam Malcolm Ranieri
September Southern steam in the south and west Peter Gray
August Steaming through Britain Graham Briggs & Derek Penney
July Is the Master Cutler a South Yorkshireman? Martin Bromley
June Annual railway quiz Dave Hook
May Industrial steam around Northwest Leicestershire & South Derbyshire David Webb
April Recent railway accidents Rev Miles Mitson
April The four regions 'namers' show Alan Sainty
March Signal boxes Richard Binding
March The Leslie Howard Collection Michael Harvey
February Preserved Steam on Video – a review of 2007 Karl Jauncey & Dave Richards
January Railway films of Britain and China Les Henshaw

Click here for a PDF of the 2008 Meeting Reports.


December BR traction in the Deltic era 1961 – 1981 Hugh Ballantyne
November Eric Edwards' photographs around Burton Peter Williams
November BR steam in the final years Derek Huntriss
October More of father's slides: an LMS miscellany David Cross
September BR steam 1962-68 Roger Jones/Mark Ratcliffe
August Bulleid Pacifics Bob Goodman
July The lost railways of Nottinghamshire Geoffrey Kingscott
June Annual Fun Quiz Dave Hook
May The collector's mix Gavin Lake
April Pre-preservation and early days of the Severn Valley Railway Alan Longdon
March Loco sheds of London Chris Banks
February Brewery railway slides Peter Williams
February Preserved Steam on Video 2006 Karl Jauncey & Dave Richards
January Railways remembered Rob Foxon

Click here for a PDF of the 2007 Meeting Reports


December 1967-1977: The transition years Mike Squires
November Eric Edwards' photographs in and around Burton Peter Williams
November The A - Z of railways Les Nixon
October 45 years of steam in colour Derek Smith
September Rails around Wales Peter Gray
August My adventures with "Classic Steam" Richard Derry
July Steaming through Britain Graham Briggs
June Annual Railway Quiz Dave Hook
May Steam in the 1960s – the end and the beginning Ray Read
April Engines I have known Dave Fleming
March 50 years of railway photography: Part II Gavin Morrison
February Preserved Steam on Video 2005 Karl Jauncey & Dave Richards
January BR in steam days 1950-1968 Alan Willmot

Click here for a PDF of the 2006 Meeting Reports


December The Last Post Les Henshaw
November The Peak Line in the early days of steam and diesel Brian Staniland
October A further helping of father's slides David Cross
September Two videos of steam locos John Purdie
September Story of the Euro Tunnel: its construction and operation Richard Storer
August The story of the Sandringham Class LNER B17s Bob Goodman
July From Pullman to Pendolino Bill Devitt
June Annual Fun Quiz Dave Hook
May Main and preserved lines John Bagshaw
April Transport in the Burton area - railways and buses Philip Stanbridge
March BR North West - motive power from the 1970s to privatisation Tom Heavyside
February A review of main line steam in 2004 Karl Jauncey & Dave Richards
January Railways remembered Rob Foxon

Click here for a PDF of the 2005 Meeting Reports


December A tour of the London sheds Peter Groom
November The railways of Scotland Les Nixon
October Steam days in West and North Devon Peter Gray
September Irish railways in the days of steam Tom Ferris
August "Steam Video" Magazine 2004 Graham Briggs
July Annual Fun Quiz Dave Hook
June Lord Willoughby's Railway - the Edenham Branch Rod Pearson
May The Barrow Hill Roundhouse Project Mervyn Allcock
April General transport films with a local theme Don Garner
March Railways in the North West Rob Foxon
February A review of main line steam in 2003 Karl Jauncey & Dave Richards
January Locomotives under his care Brell Ewart

2004 There are no Meeting Reports available.


December Engine sheds Chris Banks
November Fireworks with Mr Colour-Rail Ron White
October The LNER Pacifics Peter Townend
September The B1 story with particular reference to 61264 Mike Cobley
August A video presentation including main and preserved lines Graham Briggs
July The Bass railway trips Rod Pearson
June Annual Fun Quiz Dave Hook
May Wanderings from Wellingborough Ken Fairey
April The Alf Moss Collection (Burton Area Railways) Philip Stanbridge
March An evening with father's slides David Cross
February A review of main line steam in 2002 Karl Jauncey & Dave Richards
January A New Year programme of archive film Rob Foxon

Click here for a PDF of the 2003 Meeting Reports.


December Great Western steam in BR days Hugh Ballantyne
November A silk purse from a sow's ear Les Nixon
October Exe Valley and East Devon Peter Gray
September Best of 35mm slides worldwide Peter Skelton
August A grinder to town Martin Bromley
July On track for Pandora's Box Stuart Smith
June Annual Fun Quiz Dave Hook
May Forty years of railways in Robin Hood Country David Amos
April 1960s steam around Britain David Mitchell
March 50-years of railway slides Gavin Morrison
February A review of main line steam in 2001 Karl Jauncey & Dave Richards
January Archive railway footage Les Henshaw

Click here for a PDF of the 2002 Meeting Reports.


December Freight today and yesterday John Spencer-Gilks
November Holidays by rail to Blackpool and the Fylde Barry McLoughlin
October From amateur spotter to professional photter John Stretton
September Slides of the local area Gordon Coltas
August The A1 Project Bob Alderman
July Annual Fun Quiz Dave Hook
June Murders along the line Cliffe Wrate
May Railway nostalgia around Bedfordshire David Eatwell
April Diary of a trainspotter Michael Harvey
March The LMS in Ireland Tom Ferris
February A review of main line steam in 2000 Dave Richards & Karl Jauncey
January A programme of archive films Rob Foxon

Click here for a PDF of the 2001 Meeting Reports.


December The latest additions to the Colour-Rail Collection Ron White
November A narrow gauge spectacular Les Nixon
October Transport in the 60s with a local flavour John Ireland
September Steam in Cornwall Peter Gray
August Present day steam in Britain and Poland Chris Smith
July The Great Train Robbery Cliffe Wrate
June Annual Fun Quiz Chris Eaton
May LMS Royal Scots Bob Goodman
April Burton area prints Pat Webb
April Steam in the Midlands Peter Groom
March Steam - home and away Ken Horan
February A review of main line steam in 1999 Karl Jauncey & Dave Richards
January Railway operations in the 1950s and 60s Trevor Owen

Click here for a PDF of the 2000 Meeting Reports.


December Millennium Celebration: Burton in the past K Woolley, P Waterfield & R Jeffcoat
November Steam in the Sixties Fred Butler
October Charter trains and VIP specials John Spencer-Gilkes
September Medium format miscellany Peter Skelton
August Photograph competition results  
July Annual Fun Quiz Chris Eaton
June Men of all sorts ran the railway Richard Hardy
May Along the Great Central from Marylebone Tommy Tomalin
April Steam on shed – Code D & Eastleigh Chris Banks
March More ciné films Bill Garbutt
March Branch lines with bacon and egg Hugh Davis
February A review of main line steam in 1998 PSOV
January Southern Region steam Trevor Owen

Click here for a PDF of the 1999 Meeting Reports.

  • 1998

    December All aboard the Pines Express – Bath to Bournemouth Chris Youett
    November North East across to the North West Bill Garbutt
    November Trains in the snow Les Nixon
    October Stanier Jubilees 1934-1967 Bob Goodman
    October A visit to the Brush Works Lougborough  
    September A visit to the Bluebell Railway  
    September Rail freight traffic in the Burton area Phil Eames
    September On my bike in search of industrial steam Tim Jeffcoat
    August Personal railway reminiscences Bob Essery
    July Annual Fun Quiz Chris Eaton
    June A running-shed apprenticeship at Stratford Stan Hinbest
    May Stratford, the human revolution as DMPS 1959-1963 Richard Hardy
    April A journey along the GC: Part 1 Sheffield to Cleethorpes David Webb
    March A railway trip around the Midlands Bill Garbutt
    March South Devon railways in the days of steam Peter Gray
    February A review of main line steam in 1997 PSOV
    January An evening with the LMS Film Unit Rob Foxon

    Click here for a PDF of the 1998 Meeting Reports.


    December Steam on the Western and Southern Regions Trevor Owen
    November Latest offerings from the Colour-Rail Collection Ron White
    October Modern traction in the local area Phil Eames
    October Strong Country connections – Southern steam in the 60s Hugh Ballantyne
    September British steam in the 60s – railways in south Derbyshire Robin Jeffcoat
    August 30th anniversary of the closure of the Burton brewery railways Phil Stanbridge
    July Days on the footplate Colin Jacks
    June Annual Fun Quiz Chris Eaton
    May Days at Stewarts Lane Richard Hardy
    April The last 25 years of world steam Colin Garratt
    April Fall and rise of British steam (1964-1968 & 1968-1996) Ralph Ward
    March BR steam in action Malcolm Ranieri
    February A review of main line steam in 1996 PSOV
    January Railway company and private branch lines around Burton Cliff Shepherd

    Click here for a PDF of the 1997 Meeting Reports.


    December BR steam in action on the main line Trevor Owen
    November A railway enthusiast in the tropics Les Nixon
    October Up the main, down the junction Graham Morgan
    September Railways of Burton upon Trent in the 1960s Robin Jeffcoat
    August A Welsh tour Martin Bromley
    July Days at Woodford Halse (1949) Richard Hardy
    June Annual Fun Quiz Chris Eaton
    May Days at Burton Shed (17B) Dave Fleming
    April Railways remembered – cinema centenary Rob Foxon
    March Steam miscellany including archive and local scenes Ken Woolley
    February A review of main line steam 1995 PSOV
    January Steam in the 1960s including the Bass system Ray Read

    Click here for a PDF of the 1996 Meeting Reports.


    December Archive ciné John McCann
    November Local archive: South Africa and Freight on preserved lines Phil Waterfield
    October Modern history: early years of the preserved Great Central Stanford Jacobs
    September Films: archive and preservation Chris Pratt
    August Railways in the steam age Les Henshaw
    July A Scottish and Welsh tour Martin Bromley
    June Annual Fun Quiz Chris Eaton
    May Locomotive sheds A to C Chris Banks
    April LNW&GN Joint Railway – Market Harborough to Nottingham Robin Cullup
    March Railways remembered – the 1940s Rob Foxon
    February A review of main line steam 1994 PSOV
    January View from a balloon: Canada, Norfolk, Cross City Line, Class 60s Robin Matthams

    No reports available.


    December 1950s and 60s in steam John McCann
    November Latest 300 slides from the Colour-Rail Collection Ron White
    October Railway photographs worldwide Les Nixon
    September LMS locomotives to 8P Hugh Ballantyne
    August Great Central in the 1960s Brian Healey
    July Newton replicas – nameplate manufacturing “Gone with regret” David Newton
    June Annual Fun Quiz Chris Eaton
    May LMS and LNER locomotives Chris Banks
    April Steam miscellany – Stourpaine, S&C, Barry Docks, preserved FR trains David Putt
    March BR in transition Colin Boocock
    February A review of main line steam in 1993 PSOV
    January The Wirksworth branch; line to Skye; and New Zealand Les Henshaw

    No reports available.


    December The Lickey Incline Rob Foxon
    November Isle of Man and Photo Charter freights Chris Milner
    October Archive steam slides David Webb
    September Preserved steam on the main line Bob Green
    August 17B Burton shed Dave Fleming
    July Dave’s slides of steam in BR days Dave Richards
    June Annual Fun Quiz Chris Eaton
    May BR and Irish Railway miscellany Chris Banks
    April Locomotives of the Brush Company G Toms
    March Steam in the BR era Roger Siviter
    February A review of main line steam 1992 PSOV
    January Desborough Co-op Railway and sheds in the 1930s Rob Foxon

    No reports available.


    December 1950s and 60s steam John McCann
    November 30 years of railway photography Les Nixon
    October Large format slides of preserved steam Steve Kirk
    September BR steam – the final years David Webb
    August The ‘Knotty’ – North Staffordshire Railway Basil Jeuda
    July Annual Fun Quiz Chris Eaton
    June Personal memories of Burton: The changing face of railways David Fletcher
    May Locomotives of the LMS Chris Banks
    April The re-opening of the Ivanhoe and Robin Hood lines Stuart Smith
    March Romance of railways (2) Robin Matthews
    February A review of main line steam 1991 PSOV
    January Burton’s brewery railways Phil Stanbridge

    No reports available.


    December The LNER Rob Foxon
    November Steam on the main line 1990 and 1991 David Groves
    October Slides of LNER locomotives Keith Pirt
    September Steam in the 1960s Brian Healey
    August Steam in the Derby and Nottingham area in the 1950s Frank Ashley
    July Annual Fun Quiz Chris Eaton
    June L&SWR – London to Exeter Martin Bromley
    May Irish railways Colin Boocock
    April Ciné of preserved steam Ken Plowman
    March Romance of railways (1) Robin Matthews
    February Steam on the main line 1990 PSOV
    January Freight in the North East – steam days Ray Hammond

    No reports available.


    December The Lickey Incline TUA Film Services
    November Railway roundabout films Ken Plowman
    October Railways around Burton Nelson Twells
    September Preserved steam on ciné David Groves
    August Annual Fun Quiz Chris Eaton
    July Tales of a BR passenger guard Martin Bromley
    June Peak Rail video David & Hilary Barratt
    May An LMS miscellany Nelson Twells
    April. Birmingham Railway Museum, Tyseley Brian Wilkinson
    March Teddy Boston’s films (2) Audrey Boston
    February Brewery railways and ciné of the Tutbury Jinny Phil Stanbridge
    January Tales of 17B Dave Fleming

    No reports available.


    December Midland 150 Rob Foxon
    November His life and times Michael Draper
    October Steam on the main line 1989 PSOV
    September The Settle & Carlisle Railway  
    August. Teddy Boston's films (1) Audrey Boston
    July Video of 5593 ‘Kholaphur' Steve Warren (?)
    June Burton & Ashby Light Railways Joe Storer
    May Quiz Stuart Smith
    April 40 years of BR Rob Foxon
    March Preserved steam film show PSOV
    February Archive ciné of BR steam Peter Swift
    January A review of main line steam in 1988 PSOV

    No reports available.


    December Steam 1939-64 including A4s in Scotland Chris Pratt
    November Railways during the war Rob Foxon
    October Life behind the driver Martin Bromley
    September Trans-Siberian experience Don Watson
    July The Midland Railway Stuart Smith
    June Snow Hill Station Derek Harrison
    May Preserved steam film show  
    April Great Central Railway (particularly Lutterworth) Martin Bromley
    March Night Mail David Kirk
    February (Possibly: PSOV)  
    January Railways in the Burton area including the breweries Phil Stanbridge

    No reports available.


    December LMS remembered Rob Foxon
    November Continental railways Joe Storer
    October 1930s steam loco working and preserved steam on BR Chris Pratt
    July Film show Mike Richardson
    June Film show Bob Clegg
    May Slide show Peter Lockley
    April Burton & Ashby Light Railways Joe Storer
    March Railway films – the 1950s Rob Foxon
    February Railway films P Thorne
    January   Brian Steele

    No reports available.


    December Railway preservations in Europe Bob Clegg
    November (Cancelled due to the presenter’s illness)  
    October Steam specials since 1972 Mike Whymant
    September Modern traction night Brian Steele
    August Steam & Diesel 50% Steam 50% Diesel Chris Pratt
    July Films Mike Richardson
    June Films Bob Clegg
    April Film night Brian Steele
    March Film night Chris Pratt
    February More 16mm railway films Brian Steele
    January Selection of 16mm railway films Brian Steele

    No reports available.


    December Social evening  
    November Archive film show  
    November Midland Railway Centre Bob Clegg
    October (Railway speaker)  
    September Archive films – Royal Mail and Jubilee rebuild at Crewe  
    August Inaugural Meeting  

    No reports available.