our 2019 meetings programme


 8th Jan.  Annual General Meeting - followed by refreshments and a  3 level quiz run by Programme Secretary Steve Davies.    

12th Feb.  Judy & Chris Rouse - Part 1: The Railway Navvy’s Working Life  describing the working and living conditions experienced by the navvies who built Britain’s railways.  Part 2: An illustrated history of the Midland Railway and the development  of the “Wyvern Index”.  Based on Chris’s  Midland Railway researches you may be able to trace your ancestors in the railway world.  

12th Mar.  Peter Tatlow - railway historian - Dispersal from Dunkirk. Evacuation in 1940; at this crucial time the BEF was surrounded by German forces and had to be evacuated back to Blighty.  The railways played a vital role in Operation Dynamo and the parallel evacuations from  other  European mainland ports.   

 9th Apr.  Alan Hayward - consultant engineer and bridge specialist - The Severn Bridge Disaster of 1960.  It was the longest bridge in England, built in 1879 across the fearsome Severn estuary between Lydney and Sharpness. Its purpose was to export minerals from the Forest of Dean, but as a single  track bridge on cast-iron columns it was vulnerable, being repeatedly struck by vessels.  All 22 spans were being strengthened for heavier trains in 1960 when the bridge was struck in darkness and fog by two oil barges out of control, only minutes after the last train,  Two spans collapsed.  Five barge crew members perished, but by sheer luck 30 bridge workers  were unharmed.  British Railways planned restoration but with only  negligible compensation decided on demolition.  The bridge finally disappeared in 1970.   

 14th May.  Mike Day & Ted Stephens - South Western Circle  - Southwark Bridge.   The creation of a detailed model of the Southwark Bridge area of LSWR based on turn of 19th to 20th Century ideas, history and practice showing prototypical locations and rolling stock.  The practical application of 3D-Printing to the generation of  intricate structures in modelling.  

 11th June.  Peter Harrison - an acive participant in “Chunnel” - The Construction of the Channel Tunnel. This will be a summary of Peter’s personal experiences during the construction of the Channel Tunnel and it will also cover the historical build up to the 1990’s masterpiece.   

 9th Jul. Michael Bunn - A lifetime of railway discoveries.  This is Michael’s 13th visit .  He will take a nostalgic  look back over  his 60 years of  rail interest and travel in the UK and further afield.   

13th Aug. Ken Livermore - North British Locomotive Preservation Group - Great Eastern Lines 1954 - 1962.  A presentation of the railways in East Anglia in the period when standard locomotives, electric and diesel rolling stock began to take over the roles of more traditional steam hauled trains.   

10th Sep. Stuart Isbister - Pewsey Vale Railway Society - Branch Lines off the Salisbury to Exeter Line.  Stuart describes the various branches that fed the LSWR route.      8th Oct. Chris Ardy - P2 Steam Locomotive Company - The Prince of Wales, Britain’s most powerful Steam Locomotive.  We were all probably aware of  the  work being done by the P2 Steam Locomotive Company to build a new locomotive in the form of its original construction in the 1930s and tonight we have the opportunity to hear  all  about  the  project and its  progress  on behalf of  the Company through Chris Ardy.   

12th Nov.  Peter Elliott - Pewsey Vale Railway Society - American Loconotives.  Pictures of North American Locomotives taken during Peter’s several visits to the USA.     

10th Dec. Brian Arman - A Broad Gauge journey Part 2: Bristol  to Newton Abbott.  Canon Brian Arman is a railway enthusiast with special knowledge of the Great Western Railway, one of his activities being the collection of photographs showing broad gauge trains in the second half of the 19th century until abolition of the gauge in 1892.  His talk is the second of three on this subject.  It is longer than usual talks, billed to end at 10:15 pm.