LOCOMOTIVE CLUB of GREAT BRITAIN
Our indoor meetings are enjoyed by both LCGB members and guests 13 times a
All railway enthusiasts are welcome. Only August is without a meeting.
Subjects vary enormously – with our guest speakers treating their subjects in a variety of styles varying from light-hearted to technical (but not too technical!)
Meetings (unless otherwise stated) are held at St Johns Church Hall, St John’s
Street, Bedford MK42 0DL 19.30 - 22.00
Click for Map and Rail Links
Admission £1.00 Members, £2 Non-members (includes free tea or coffee)Refreshments are served at half-time.
You can buy new and second-hand books and other items at all indoor meetings. We also visit exhibitions, open days etc.
Bedford Tourist Information St Paul’s Square, MK40 1SJ
01234 215 226 firstname.lastname@example.org Click here for website
[Tuesdays unless otherwise stated]
4th April The GN and LNWR Joint Line
After 20 years Robin Cullup takes a fresh look at the early years of this line, drawing on the Joint Line Committee’s Minute Books, before leading us on a journey from Market Harborough to Bottesford and Nottingham, pausing at the GN branch to Leicester Belgrave Road along the way.
18th April Quiz v RCTS - home leg
LCGB Bedford and RCTS Northampton compete yet again for a small casket of ashes from Ravenstone Wood Junction signalbox. A team from LCGB St Albans will join us to compete for the Fred Cockman Trophy. Quizmaster to be announced. This fixture will now take place only once a year, alternating between Bedford and Northampton.
2nd May All Change at Cricklewood
John Downing takes an illustrated look at life and conditions behind the scenes from the days of the Midland Railway to British Railways and meets the men behind the paint and polished brass.
6th June South of the Border – Black and White Steam in the
50s and 60s
David Kelso presents scenes from trips to England and Wales during this period. His PowerPoint presentation covers the North, the Midlands and the South and also North Wales including narrow gauge and the quarries.
4th July Much mardling around on the M&GN
Chris Youett explores the much-missed Midland and Great Northern, aided by what he modestly describes as the largest known collection of colour slides covering the M&GN, taken between 1936 and 1980.
15th August Outdoor trip to Bletchley
5th September On The Route Of The Master Cutler
Richard Crane explores the former Great Central Railway from Sheffield Victoria to London Marylebone, marking the 50th anniversary of closure.
3rd October The East Lincolnshire Railway: its Origins, Development
Mike Fowler returns to the Branch and revisits his favourite subject. Following an acclaimed exhibition in Alford commemorating 45 years since the line closed, Mike has assembled a Powerpoint presentation portraying the East Lincolnshire Railway from Grimsby to Boston and onwards to Peterborough.
17th October AGM and My Travels with David Eatwell
Our annual outbreak of democracy is followed this year by Ray Schofield who looks back on a lifetime of hunting steam with David, and sometimes both their wives, in countries far too numerous to list!
7th November The Hitchin South Diaries 1906-1968
George Howe recalls some of the events recorded in a diary by past signalmen and found in his former workplace, Hitchin South Box
5th December Engine Sheds Part 8
Chris Banks returns with the next leg of his grand tour. With the aid of his prodigious slide collection he takes us from Manchester to Perth. As usual, the route will depend on which sheds can be illustrated and how well Chris knows his alphabet!
19th December Christmas Special
The seasonal mixture of food, films, fotos and frustration!
7 March 2017 – An Evening of Railway Films – Frank Banfield– David Cross by Chris Foren
Frank Banfield returned to the Branch with two projectors and
a large bag of films. It is fitting that the collection of 8mm cine
shot by the late Brian Lockey should have been entrusted to Frank’s
care and Frank regaled a populous audience with a selection fairly
representing the work of its creator.
7 February 2017 – An Evening with my Father’s Slides – David Cross by Chris Foren
On his first visit to the Branch David brought a selection of
slides taken by his late father Derek. The very loose theme of the
evening was a journey round the M25. Every theme has its variations
and the journey began at Paddington.
The Branch welcomed George Sullivan once again with the third instalment of the entertaining presentation on the Cromford and High Peak Railway created by the late Ian Lyman.
Unfortunately co-presenter Tommy Tomalin was unable to be present.
After a brief resume of the previous instalments the journey restarted
at Middleton Top shed.
This year’s Branch Christmas meeting was generally similar
to previous years. As usual, there were members’ slides, contributed
by Ken Dickens, Ted Burley, Geoff Biggs and Bill Davies. Bryan Cross
showed some mystery slides covering a selection of LCGB railtours
and set the audience the task of identifying them.
Chris Banks seems to have become a Branch fixture in December. This tine he returned with part 7 of his epic series, “Engine Sheds”. With the theme of roof replacement running through the presentation, the journey began at Immingham and ended at Patricroft. The latter was presented as a Manchester shed, as were Agecroft, Gorton, Longsight and Newton Heath. Similarly Aintree and Edge Hill were treated as part of Liverpool.
Followers of this series are accustomed to interpretations of
the alphabet such as this! The selection of sheds described included
some lesser known establishments such as Kings Lynn, Kirkby-in-Ashfield,
Louth, Macclesfield and Malton amid those more widely recorded,
the latter including Inverness, Machynlleth and Neville Hill which
was of course filed under Leeds.
7th November 2016 – Away Quiz v RCTS Northampton by Chris Foren
The Branch’s delegation to Northampton for the away leg of the Ashes quiz versus the RCTS was not aided in its journey by road closures and traffic problems.
As usual, question master Brian Benford focused the questions
on the more abstruse facets of steam locomotion, leavened by the
token presence in each of the eight rounds of a ‘where is
it’ featuring a shed.
I November 2016 -- Kettering to Cambridge Revisited -- Robin Cullup by Chris Foren
Robin returned to the Branch with his presentation on the Midland route to Cambridge. His great-grandfather, William Morby, had been stationmaster at Grafham. This and a trip over the line in 1958 served to trigger his interest.
After chronicling the stages and complexities of the line’s
origins and its traffic, Robin described it from west to east, illustrated
by as comprehensive a selection of photographs as could be desired,
supplemented by the relevant RCH junction maps where relevant.
Such a comprehensively researched talk as this was a pleasure
to attend and the Branch hopes that Robin will return with another
of his presentations before long. A rather farcical raffle draw
ensured that the evening would be remembered as entertaining.
18th October 2016 -- AGM and the Peter Bland Collection (Part 5) -- Bryan Cross by Chris Foren
The Branch AGM was, as usual, poorly attended. In a notably witty
speech Chairman Bill Davies thanked the Committee and other regular
helpers of the Branch for their contributions to its functioning.
Peter Crossman gave 12 months’ notice of his intention to
relinquish the job of Sales Officer.
Senior Branch member Ken Dickens presided over the en-bloc re-election
of the committee. Thanks in part to the absence of a member who
delights in posing awkward questions the formal business was transacted
in 26 minutes.
Tuesday 4 October 2016 – 55 Years of Railway Photography Part 1 – Les Nixon by Chris Foren
Dr Les Nixon made a return to the Branch after too long an absence.
His presentation, “55 years of railway photography”,
comprised an apparently random selection of fine images made at
many locations both at home and abroad.
He prefers to include objects of interest to complement an otherwise
dull or routine subject, to make the best use of the landscape and
to eschew the traditional front three- quarter view in favour of
other viewpoints, such as a broadside.
Tuesday 6 September 2016 -- Colour-Rail Jouney 5 – Paul Chancellor by Chris Foren
Paul Chancellor came to present his fifth Colour-Rail journey. He selected a number of localities – Crewe, Oxford, Dundee/Perth, Exeter, Teesside and London sheds - which were then explored more or less chronologically.
The period covered extended from, in one case, 1919 until almost the present day. Naturally the emphasis of the selection was on motive power, both native and visiting and in conditions covering the full range from workaday grot to utter perfection.
A s an example of the latter, a ‘Schools’ at Stewarts Lane, prompted a question from a member of the audience so worthy of babes and sucklings: “Was it a special occasion?”
Aside from this, plenty of examples were projected where the photographer had chosen to depict the wider scene.
The late Trevor Owen was a master at this and fortunately his collection is now in Colour-Rail’s care. Despite its name the Colour-Rail collection now contains many monochrome images, some of which were used to good effect in portraying the scene before the first faltering advent of colour photography in the 1930s and until it really caught on in the 1960s.
Those present thoroughly enjoyed the presentation which must have
evoked many memories. The Branch thanks Paul warmly for another
good evening’s entertainment.
Tuesday 5th July 2016 -- The Unknown Warrior -- John Hastings-Thomson by Chris Foren
John Hastings Thomson from the Patriot Project told us of their
aim to complete a replica ex-LMS Patriot. The name “Patriot”
was first applied to a Claughton in remembrance of the LNWR staff
who fell in the Great War.
The name “The Unknown Warrior” was chosen by Steam Railway’s readers and helped to secure the support of the Royal British Legion.
With the aid of many interesting photographs John described what parts were required and how they were sourced. Much kindness was extended to the project by the preservation movement as a whole – erecting shop facilities at Llangollen, the loan of casting patterns by Tyseley and the supply of surplus bits of 8F by the County project.
To this was added some luck, such as finding a Claughton whistle on E-bay. Despite all this good fortune a substantial amount of new build was required, principally the frames, cylinders, cab and boiler.
All of this was costly but the project has been most successful in raising funds and attracting high profile supporters such as its new patron, Simon Weston. If the aim of having the completed locomotive in London on 11th November 2018 can be achieved it will be most impressive. Chairman Bill Davies thanked John for a fascinating insight into the project which demonstrated clearly the approach adopted and the spirit of co-operation generated. These thanks were echoed warmly by the audience.
London’s rail network.
The scale of the project is breathtaking and the Branch is most grateful to Patrick for explaining it so clearly, effectively and enjoyably
6th June 2016 -- Crossrail, Moving London Forward – Patrick Griffin by Chris Foren
Patrick’s enthusiasm for what is the largest civil engineering project in Europe was evident throughout his first-class PowerPoint presentation, which traced the origins of Crossrail from Marc Brunel’s Thames Tunnel through the beginnings of London’s Underground network in the 1860s and the succession of planning studies on which no significant action was taken.
Funding was secured including a significant contribution from Canary Wharf and a Bill deposited in 2005, receiving significant and public support from politicians.
Patrick explained clearly and methodically the planning and construction processes, pointing out the many obstacles to building a full size tunnel under London (mostly other tunnels), the steps taken to avoid damage to existing buildings and the many other challenges before describing the 66 new trains – a snip at £1bn each - and their phased introduction leading to the full service of 24 trains per hour each way through the central section in 2019.
What will be known as the Elizabeth Line will deliver key cuts in journey times and a notable increase in capacity for London’s rail network.
The scale of the project is breathtaking and the Branch is most grateful to Patrick for explaining it so clearly, effectively and enjoyably
3rd May 2016 -- Scotland in the 1950's & 60's - David Kelso by Chris Foren
After a gap of some five years David Kelso returned to the Branch, this time bringing a fine selection of black and white images, projected digitally and captioned informatively, depicting steam in Scotland between 1948 and 1960.
Once his finances had recovered his horizons were greatly expanded. In the ensuing years he travelled extensively in Scotland, capturing the final years of pre-grouping motive power alongside the final LNER Pacifics and the new BR Standards.
The show was arranged by area rather than chronologically and portrayed everything from tired shed pilots and grimy WD 2-10-0s to shiny top link expresses. With regular access to weekly notices there was very little that David missed: in particular he managed to record many rugby and soccer specials, largely double-headed, and, on a couple of occasions, the Royal Train.
Perhaps the most evocative shots were those on the West Highland and Far North lines, where the landscape fully merits the inclusion of trains, but equally charming were some pictures of industrial power.
Many of the locations captured have been swept away and most of the rest changed almost beyond recognition. The Branch extends grateful thanks to David for a fine evening’s entertainment and may well act on the hint that he has another programme available.
5th April 2016 -- Eastleigh Works -- Colin Boocock by Chris Foren
Colin Boocock paid a welcome return visit to the Branch to tell
the story of Eastleigh Works, where he had been an apprentice.
The strategically located greenfield site was chosen by Dugald
Drummond to replace the cramped and cluttered establishment at
8th March 2016 -- Quiz v RCTS Northampton and LCGB St Albans by Chris Foren
This meeting was the second to be held in the afternoon and featured the Inter-Branch Quiz, a fixture of very many years’ standing.
Quizmaster Bill Davies delivered five rounds of 10 questions each, one round having been compiled by chief techie Bryan Cross.
The questions embraced a refreshingly yet frustratingly wide range of subjects and certainly tested the knowledge and guessing power of the contestants. Scores were announced at the end of each round.
At the end and after some tantalising recounts the totals were revealed:- Northampton retained the Ashes with 113 points versus Bedford's 107. The fringe teams clocked up scores ranging from 62 to 106.
Once again the helpful on-screen graphics suffered from spelling mistakes too numerous to list and more than their fair share of stray apostrophes. Fortunately more attention to detail was applied to the questions! Once again, everyone forgot about the Fred Cockman trophy.
2nd February 2016 -- Cromford & High Peak Railway (Part 2) -- George Sullivan by Chris Foren
George Sullivan together with Tommy Tomalin returned to the Branch
with the second instalment of their entertaining presentation on the
Cromford and High Peak Railway. Once again the first illustration
was of the late Ian Lyman who had prepared the script and found so
many of the illustrations.
The many photographs shown depicted the characteristic motive
power deployed on the line and some unexpected oddities such as
wagons branded for Derbyshire County Council. Of the mishaps described,
perhaps the most notable of these was the occasion in July 1955
when Kitson 0-4-0ST 47000 derailed spectacularly, becoming a temporary
and not altogether welcome garden feature.
5th January 2016 -- 175 years of Wolverton Works and the Royal Train -- Phil Marsh by Chris Foren
This meeting turned out to be three presentations in one. The first part recreated an early journey along the London and Birmingham Railway, featuring illustrations of some of its well-known landmarks under construction. Many were taken from engravings by Bourne and featured right hand running for which the railway was not noted. An extract from an early timetable revealed that the journey time from Euston to Birmingham was 5 hours 37 minutes, a marked improvement on the stagecoach.
The focus then shifted to the evolution of the Royal Train from the saloons built for Queen Victoria in 1869, sumptuous on the inside but basic on the outside, through the armoured vehicles built for King George VI in 1941 to the present relatively modern nine coach set which is far more functional than its predecessors.
Finally Phil presented an affectionate portrait and history of
the Royal Train’s home, Wolverton Works, and some of those
who worked there. Hr looked back at its role in wartime and its
provision of the local fire brigade, noting that the future of the
facility is now far from certain given its ownership by a property