Railway & Transport Club

We meet at 7:45 pm on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, except August and December.  Contact: John Soer.

The Club has over 50 members and enables men and women of all ages to share their common interest.

We meet in the Bradbury Community Centre of the Methodist Church, in Rose Street, where members enjoy a wide range of good quality presentations on transport related subjects, with the opportunity for refreshments and time for a chat.

Future Programme

19 June
'No Need to ask a Policeman'
           John Soer

The posters, official postcards and maps of the Underground finishing with a brief survey of the rolling stock.

Sunday 1 July 6:00pm
Annual Church Service

17 July
The Southern through the ages from Waterloo to Southampton. (part one)
           Paul Joyce

Lots of coloured Bullieds at speed and much more etc.

Saturday 15 September
Visit to West Somerset Railway
Booking required

Monthly Review

On 17th April we welcomed back Mark Casson, Professor of Economics at Reading University, who was to talk to us on 'Railway Archaeology'.  Mark began by saying that his presentation was about the infrastructure of the railways – station buildings, bridges and viaducts, etc. – rather than engines or rolling stock.  Unfortunately, many brick buildings were demolished in the 1970s. In the space available it is only possible to mention a few of the many structures Mark described.  Although the redevelopment of Manchester Victoria has done away with the old, dirty and depressing station, many old buildings have been restored, giving a most pleasing blend of old and new.  A significant number of signal boxes around the country have been listed as being of special historical or architectural interest.  Surely that at Arnside in Cumbria is most worthy of that distinction.

scan0040WNine of the ceramic tiles maps that the Northern Eastern Railway erected at a number of its stations still exist in their original locations.  That at Tynemouth is a very good example.  Of all the bridges and viaducts in the country those at Berwick-on-Tweed must be among the most impressive.

With its gantries of semaphore signals, Worcester Shrub Hill Station seems to be from another era, but there is no doubting the magnificence of the restored Victorian waiting room as shown in the picture.

photo: Mark Casson

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On 19th June John Soer will give the second of his presentations on the London Underground – 'No Need to Ask a Policeman'.  This will look at the publicity material of the Underground such as posters, postcards and maps.  There will also be a look at some areas not usually accessible by the public. All are welcome.

On Saturday 15th September, we hope to visit the West Somerset Railway – the longest heritage railway in the country. A coach will leave Rose Street at 8 a.m. for Bishops Lydeard where we will join the train to Minehead.  The return from Bishops Lydeard will be at 6 p.m., a short while after the arrival of the last steam train there. If Minehead does not appeal, why not try alternatives such as Dunster or Watchet. The cost is £26 for the coach and £16 for the railway.  If 50 people wish to go the cost of the coach will be £21. If you wish to join this outing, please see Cecily Amos by 17th July.

John Soer

Annual Review for the calendar year 2017

Shak 001Thanks to the efforts of Jim Dunning, we have a enjoyed a most interesting and varied programme of meetings, ranging from the Wilts and Berks Canal, Smiths Coaches of Reading to the Metro Systems of Europe.  The talk by Tom Pierpoint, Regional Development Manager of GWR aroused considerable interest.  Although we have lost several members in the course of the year, the average attendance has been about 36, probably greater than many similar clubs.

Our Annual Service was conducted this year by our President, Rev Catherine Bowstead, and consisted of a thought provoking look at the Book of Jonah.

In addition to these meetings we have held a Social Evening in the form of a fish & chips supper.

DSCN1547WWe do reach out into the wider community in that a significant number of those attending our meetings are not members of our Church.  For these, as well as our own members, we provide an interesting evening in welcoming company.

The sale of second-hand magazines, jig-saw puzzles and books has during the year has enabled us to send £140 to the Railway Children Charity.  We have made a donation of £600 to the Church.

John Soer