Background and Information
25th Anniversary Painting
BACKGROUND AND INFORMATION
Railway Society was formed in 1985 by local railway enthusiasts to
cater for people in and around Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire. Some
of the original members were former British Rail employees from the
local steam shed (17B) and others were still working in the rail
industry. The current membership numbers more than 200 and includes
many people from outside the railway industry. Members attending
meetings now come from across a wider area of the West and
East Midlands. Non-members are always most welcome to the
regular monthly and additional meetings - there is a small fee,
currently £2, for admission.
its early days, the Society’s activities revolved around showing films
and arranging trips to interesting railway locations. These activities
still continue but others have been added. One such is the annual Quiz
Night where members are spilt into teams and are tested on their
knowledge of railways past and present. Another is the annual
Photographic Competition where entries in three categories are judged
by the membership. In addition to the indoor activities, there are
the recently- revived ‘Wardle’s Dawdles’, named after the member who instigated the
idea, which are leisurely walks incorporating as much railway and other
transport interest as possible.
Society makes a special effort to invite highly respected guest
speakers to give presentations on a wide variety of railway topics.
There are also 'Additional Meetings' (previously called 'Natter
Nights') where members and non-members make presentations on more
specialist or local topics. Reports of all meetings are shown on this
website and are then archived here for future reference [click on 'Meetings'
above]. BRS has its own newsletter, aptly titled ‘17B’.
to one hundred members attend the monthly club nights that are held at
Marston’s Sports and Social Club, Shobnall Road, Burton [click on
'Location' above for directions]. As befits the location, there is a
bar available and there is a wide variety of books on sale from 'The
Railway Bookshop' [click on 'Links' above for more information].
Chairman: Mr M Ratcliffe
Vice Chairman: Mrs L Atkins
Secretary: Mr J Tuffs
Treasurer: Mr P Wardle
Members: Mr A Crick, Mr D Hook, Mr R Ings, Mr J Marsh
Burton-upon-Trent was once renown as the brewing capital of the country
and was famous for possessing its own extensive brewery railway system
used mainly for internal movements.
in the town this system was more infamous than famous with vehicle
drivers and pedestrians for its 32 railway crossings! Most of this
system was closed down in the mid-1960s as road transport took over
also once very well connected by rail. There were the lines of the
North Staffordshire to Ashbourne, Leek, and Stoke-on-Trent; the Great
Northern to Stafford and Nottingham (via Derby Friar Gate); the Midland
to Derby, Birmingham, Hampton in Arden, Leicester (via Coalville) and
Trent (via Stenson junction); the London & North Western to
Lichfield; and the Joint L&NW and Midland to Nuneaton. Many of
those lines, or the lnks to them, have gone leaving only links to
Birmingham (via Tamworth and via Lichfield); Derby; Trent (via Stenson
junction); and to Knighton junction (via Coalville).
one hundred years ago, Burton Corporation operated trams in the town
and the Midland Railway operated the Burton & Ashby Light Railways
system between Burton and Ashby-de-la-Zouch via Swadlincote.
25TH ANNIVERSARY PAINTING
25th Anniversary in 2010, the committee asked BRS member and local
artist, David Wright, about producing a painting to mark the event. The
idea was to commission the painting and then have exclusive rights to
produce a print. A print would be made available to every member who would like one at a very
small production cost. In the end, the price of a framed print was £25.
proposal was put to David in the latter months of 2009. The brief was
to show the railways connected with Burton-on-Trent within living
memory. He accepted the challenge and set about producing ideas in
sketch form. Initially, he produced two sketches for the committee to
consider. The first was a total montage of the railways in and around
the town, including the brewery railways. The second, and the one
selected, was an interior image of the 1892 Burton Round House posing
locomotives on the tracks radiating on to the turntable. The
locomotives represented were those which David thought would be most
connected with Burton. One change made by the committee was to replace
a Jubilee by a Crab, a class associated with the 'London Beer Trains'.
The other locos remained the same as those in the sketch. These were:
Tutbury Jinny" 41277 Ivatt 2MT (push- pull fitted, this engine
completed the very last round trip from Burton to Tutbury on 11 June
the famous Bass saddle tanks. Originally, David thought this selection
was a case of using artistic licence, but later BRS member Dave Fleming
(a former 17B fitter) said that he remembered one coming on shed for
work to be carried out. So its inclusion was authentic after all!
A 4F 44542, a common workhorse used around the exchange sidings and on the brewery trains.
The Crab 42799.
David had selected Class 20 D8133 because he wanted to introduce a
diesel to represent the transition period. Unfortunately he made a
slight mistake in the choice of number because 20001 - 20128 were
originally built with disc indicators, whilst 20129 - 20228 were fitted
with four character headcode panels, thus D8133 would have had a panel
rather than discs.
For the painting to allow all the engines to fit together, the format
had to be wide rather than deep. This gave David the idea that the
print could replicate one of the carriage prints that we used to see
fitted below luggage racks. The painting and print also features the
17B shed plate, centred at the bottom of the composition, to add the
hope Burton Railway Society carries on to see its 50th Anniversary.
David said that he didn’t think his services would be called upon for
that one, but he added, “You never know!”