21 October 2013
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the current list visit our Calendar.
Thursday 24 October Locomotive
Club of Great Britain Noel Coates "The L&YR in B R Days"
Friday 25 October Great Western
Society North West Branch The Corris Railway by David Coleman.
Saturday 26 October. Birkenhead Docks cruise. (see main text).
26-27 October Llangollen
Railway Days Out with Thomas
Wednesday, 30 October Ffestiniog Railway
Society Dee & Mersey Group Birkenhead Tramways & The Wirral
Tramway by Rob Jones
Thursday 31 October Llangollen
Railway Ghost Train evening
Thursday 31 October Richard Sant Merseyside Railway
History Group 'Building the new Patriot engine'
Friday 1 November Clwyd Railway
Circle Paul Davies 'The Buckley Railway and the
Industries it served' The talk celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the
Saturday 2 November Llangollen
Railway Murder Mystery evening
Saturday 2 November Wirral
Unit 7, The Odyssey Centre, Corporation Road, Birkenhead CH41 1HB
British model trains running 13:00 to 17:00. Admission £2 - ample
free parking. Nearest Station Birkenhead Park. Contact 0151 653 0637 or
j.elliott37[at]sky.com for more information.
Sunday 3 November Llangollen
Railway Ride the Rocket evening
Friday 8 November Altrincham
Electric Preservation Society FREIGHT AROUND THE WORLD by John
Ryan. Presentation is 90% steam
9-10 November Llangollen
Railway Remembrance Weekend
Monday 11 November Wrexham Railway Society.
Thursday 14 November Llandudno
Valley Railway Society AGM 'American Wanderings Part 1'
Monday 18 November RCTS
‘Circular tour of North Wales from 1966 to 1980’ by John
Thursday 21 November Locomotive Club of
Great Britain Steve Fort "Carlisle to Crewe " - mainly steam
Wednesday, 27 November Ffestiniog Railway
Society Dee & Mersey Group George England Locomotives, by Chris
Thursday 28 November Geoff Morris Merseyside Railway
History Group 'The Many Varied Railways of Australia'
Friday 29 November Great
Western Society North West Branch Railways of the Iberian
Peninsula, by Barry Rushton.
Saturday 30 November Llangollen
Railway Santa Specials
1 December Llangollen
Railway Santa Specials
Friday 6 December Clwyd Railway
Circle 'Members Night & Christmas Celebration'
Members are invited to give a 15/20 minute presentation of their choice
(any format). This will be interrupted by festive treats (all high
calories). Members must book their slot no later than 16th November by
telephoning David Jones.
7-8 December Llangollen
Railway Santa Specials
7 December Llangollen
Railway Real Ale Train evening
Monday 9 December Wrexham Railway Society.
company of his dog. He is a
and his presentation will be based on his home county, including the
beautiful Settle to Carlisle line.
Thursday 12 December Merseyside Railway
History Group Geoff Coward 'Europe & The Old Buffers'
Thursday 12 December Llandudno
Valley Railway Society Xmas Social/ 'All Change at the
Junction' Local Speakers
Friday 13 December Altrincham
Electric Preservation Society STEAM SHEDS ACROSS THE YEARS By John
14-15 December Llangollen
Railway Santa Specials
Monday 16 December RCTS
Wales ‘Early Days’ by
David Maidment, Formerly Operations
Manager BR London Midland Region David presents his early days at
Swindon and commuting on the Southern and around the UK in the early
Thursday 19 December Locomotive Club of
Great Britain John Ryan "Various Gauges in France and Spain
1966 to 1973"
20-24 December Llangollen
Railway Santa Specials
26-31 December Llangollen
Railway Mince Pie Specials.
1 January 2014 Llangollen
Railway Mince Pie Specials.
Friday 3 January Clwyd Railway
Circle David Rapson 'Wrexham to Bidston Line' A history
of the route illustrated with pictures covering the last 70 years.
Thursday 9 January Llandudno
Valley Railway Society 'From a Driver’s point of view'
Friday 10 January Altrincham
Electric Preservation Society HISTORY OF BOLTON TRAMWAYS by Derek
Shepherd (Vice-Chairman, Heaton Park Tramway)
Monday 13 January Wrexham Railway Society.
Monday 20 January RCTS
BRANCH A.G.M Followed by Alan Donaldson ‘Around
Britain 1983 to 2010’
Thursday 30 January Merseyside Railway
History Group David Rapson 'Seacombe to Wrexham'
Friday 7 February Clwyd Railway
Brian Bollington & Peter Hanahoe 'Polish Steam'
is a mix of slide shows and video showing steam on the national
network, including shed scenes, taken in the 1990’s.
Monday 10 February Wrexham Railway Society.
Thursday 13 February Llandudno
Valley Railway Society 'A short history of Crosville &
my time with it' Clive
Friday 14 February Altrincham
Electric Preservation Society A JOURNEY FROM MANCHESTER TO
EASTLEIGH WORKS IN 1910 By Mike Hayward (Secretary, Manchester
Monday 17 February RCTS
Wales Barry Shore ‘BR freight in the post steam
era 1967 to
Thursday 20 February Locomotive Club of
Great Britain John Sloane "BR Scenes from the 60s”
Thursday 27 February Merseyside Railway
History Group Allan Lewis 'Union Pacific Steam'
Friday 7 March Clwyd Railway
The Committee & David Southern AGM followed by
'Railways of the Wirral' After the formality is over,
we can look
forward to Dave sharing his railway experiences of 60 years living on
Monday 10 March Wrexham Railway Society.
of the world.
Thursday 13 March Llandudno
Valley Railway Society 'The Dinorwic Quarry Railway &
its locomotives' Eric Lander
Monday 17 March RCTS
‘The Ugly Duckling’: Bob Casselden looks at the transformation of
B.R.’s ‘Other Provincial Services’ via ‘Regional Railways’ into today’s
Friday 14 March Altrincham
Electric Preservation Society A Selection of Doug Darby's UK
PHOTOGRAPHS by Paul Shackcloth (Photographic Officer, Manchester
Thursday 23 January Locomotive Club of
Great Britain Neville Bond “From Sea to Shining Sea” 30 years
of North American scenes
Thursday 20 March Locomotive Club of
Great Britain Dr Michael Bailey "The Manchester Ship Canal
Thursday 27 March Merseyside Railway
History Group AGM & Members Slides
Friday 4 April Clwyd Railway
Circle Ron Watson-Jones 'The Irish Mail
Train Crash at Penmaenmawr Aug 1950' Ron’s account of the accident on
27th August 1950.
Thursday 10 April Llandudno
Valley Railway Society 'Welsh Wanderings in the 1980’s
& 90’s' Geoff Morris
Thursday 10 April Merseyside Railway
History Group Ted Lloyd 'Quiz and informal evening'
Friday 11 April Altrincham
Electric Preservation Society Slides from the Manchester locomotive
society collection by David Young. Mainly steam locomotives taken
1950s and 1960s
Monday 14 April Wrexham
Jon Penn. Railway Pictures From the 1960’s –scanned
black and white
negatives and vintage colour slides, favouring the Cheshire and
Monday 28 April RCTS
Merseyside, Chester & North Wales ‘South of the
Border steam in the 50s and 60s’ by David Kelso, David
travels from Kent to present a follow up to his earlier North of
border presentation, including a period when he was resident in the
West Riding of Yorkshire.
Thursday 17 April Locomotive Club of
Great Britain Norman Matthews "Steam in Central America"
Thursday 8 May Llandudno
Valley Railway Society 'The Deganwy Dock Story' Eric Smith
Thursday 15 May Locomotive Club of
Great Britain AGM and Members/Visitors Slides & Digital
47 805 John Scott 12-5-45 to 22-5-12 on the rear
of the 'Northern Belle' passing Wrexham on 18 October. Picture by George
Ringo (not Starkey)
Ken Robinson writes: John Hobbs' photos, especially 80097
at Criccieth with 'Ringo Special' on the smokebox (last
issue) made me think about a railwayman from Machynlleth by the
(nick) name of Ringo, could he have been this one? However I do
remember Ringo as a Guard and Chargeman at Machynlleth but he could
have been a fireman early on in his railway career? My photograph of
76079 after arrival at Pwllheli in 2008 shows it adorned with
references to 'Ringo's' 60th birthday - is he the same one I wonder?
(He'd be 16 years old in 1964.) If I remember correctly he was given a
footplate ride on 76079 that day and was sweating like mad!
Runcorn East celebrates - report by John Hobbs
The 30th anniversary events at Runcorn East on Friday went well with
the Lady Mayor, Councillors and Council Officials etc in attendance.
The Railway Chaplain oversaw events while the Salvation Army provided a
bugler, and the British Legion a Colour Party. The seeds were broadcast
in the flower beds and a prayer of dedication made over the garden
before we all went to the Murdishaw Community Centre for cake, tea and
In the picture above, Kerry Ramsbottom from Halton Borough Council
& John Hobbs from the North
Group cut the cake at Murdishaw Community
Centre, near Runcorn East Station. The miniature railway failed to
materialise due to ill health, and
logistic and financial problems caused a failure to procure a Crosville
If you anyone should find themselves at Runcorn East, it's worth a walk
the Murdishaw Community Centre, on the car parking side of the station
turn right; go up the hill the centre is on the left after 300 yards or
so. Breakfast is available and other items, tea etc., all at great
Runcorn East station has had over 200 hours of work undertaken in
the last three weeks by the Probation Service - Community Payback
Scheme, the North Cheshire Rail Users Group and Arriva Trains Wales. As
a result it currently looks fantastic. A programme of Environmental and
Social Interaction is proposed over the next five years and should lead
to an even better environment for passengers.
Ruabon views - by Martin Evans
On a dull and misty 18 October (above) 47 810 Peter Bath MBE
leads a 'Northern Belle' from Swansea to Chester through Ruabon...
... with 47 805 John Scott on the rear.
On the same day, 66 176 powering through Ruabon with the
evening steel coils to Shotton.
The Birkenhead Docker
A Birkenhead Docks cruise is on offer for Saturday 26 October, as
organised by the Daniel
Adamson Preservation Society. A Mersey Ferry will depart from the
Duke Street bridge, after participants have been brought round by bus
from Seacombe Ferry commencing 11:30. After the cruise of the dock
system ferry will exit into the Mersey for two hour river cruise which will
terminate at Seacombe at 15:30. Cost £27 - booking
via 0151-330 1444.
Tender at The Junction - by John Wilkinson
I recently found these pictures I too at Llandudno Junction in the
summer of 1976. This tender was originally parked for many years at the
bottom of the siding below the entrance to the Conwy Castle rail bridge
on the Junction side of the river. I was amazed to see it had been
moved for cutting up in the summer of 1976.
For some reason it was never offered for preservation and was cut
up the following week I was there. (The actual date I do not have.) The
tender is a standard Stanier tender fitted to Black 5, 'Jubilee',
'Royal Scot' or 8F 2-8-0.
An interesting thing I noticed was the old BR logo can be seen under
the later one and I was sure it was a maroon colour under the weathered
black, but this could have been an undercoat I suppose. Do readers have
any ideas why it was dumped originally, which loco it came from and why?
Oliver Cromwell in Chester -
pictures by Roly High
On 19 October 'Britannia' pacific 70013 Oliver Cromwell
Chester (above) with an excursion which has started at
Cleethorpes at 06:05.
At a stand in platform 4. The station management have wisely taken
precautions against anyone hoping to sneak down the ramp.
With no diesel loco on hand, 'Oliver' had to do his own shunting.
Above, the coaches have been moved to the sidings and the loco and
support coach head for the triangle of lines west of the station to
turn ready for the return trip.
Now on the connecting chord line, out of sight behind the tree behind
the trees, as
it waits for 175 102 to enter the station with the 11:44
Llandudno to Manchester Piccadilly.
The turning move completed ....
... meanwhile, even with the sign saying 'clearance' on the wall of a
local store,the driver of the wagon with its load of coal for the
tender, finds the entrance to Alstom's yard a tight turn.
Coaling in progress outside the Alstom Class 175 depot.
Past Times with John Hobbs - One, Two, Three
One LMS class 5 4-6-0, 45316, leaves Prestatyn with 1T50, the
Sundays Manchester (Exchange) to Llandudno excursion which gave many
Mancunians an early season trip to the seaside; this is a rather damp
26 April 1964.
Two: LMS class 8F 48181 heads "Down"
the coast, on freight, while LMS Class 5 4-6-0 45111 heads "Up"
with the 12.10 Bangor to Manchester(Exchange) on 4th May 1964, at
Rockcliffe Hall; the old Connahs Quay Power Station of the
late-lamented Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) looms in the
Three: a trio of LMS Class 5 4-6-0s at Prestatyn. 45184
is just leaving Platform 1 with the morning 'Down' parcels service, 45270
is coasting to a halt with the Dyserth Goods (before setting back
across all the roads), on the 'Up' slow; while 45277 is
on the 'Up' fast with 1X74, a special. All on Saturday 12 September
Thomas in Europe
After a very successful series of 'Days Out With Thomas
during August the star of the show set off via the
Harwich - Hook ferry on a Continental visit. After a successful
repeat visit (30 August - 1 September) to the railway Haarksbergen - Boekelo line
in the Twente region of The Netherlands where he has his own website,
transported to the Stoom
Centrum Maldegem near
Bruges. Appearances on Belgian regional television ensured a record
crowd turned out to see Thomas perform in a set piece demonstration.
Mike Pearce, the owner of the Llangollen based Thomas, travelled out to
Belgium to be with the famous engine and was very impressed with the
reception he was awarded by the Belgian railway volunteers.
Later in September the engine moved on to Spontin in the
province of Namur in southern Belgium where it was a guest on 14-15
September at the Chemin de Fer di Bocq,
restored by volunteers as a tourist railway in
the very rural setting of the Walloon Region. Although the region is
less populated then the Bruges area, many fans were attracted to see
the famous engine in action here too.
Back in Britain, he performed at the Gloucester
Warwickshire Railway (21-22 September), the Kent and East Sussex (28-29
September), and the Spa Valley Railway (5/6 and 12/13 October) arriving
back at Llangollen on 18 October for a check-over in time for the 'Days
Out with Thomas' on 19-20 October. There are two more
Out' on 26 and 27 October. Thomas now has a new, smaller, face
(above) as issued by the copyright holders. To fit it to the smokebox a
new collar was required.
The two-day event on 19-20 October attracted good attendances despite
the wet weather. As always, support came from a 50-mile radius
catchment area and some from even further afield, including Ireland and
visitors from Switzerland, Denmark, Germany and Gibraltar. There a
surprise visitor when 'George the steamroller' (above) turned up
on Saturday while appearing in Llangollen. NX 3974 is a 1923-built
Ffestiniog '1863 weekend' views: a second helping
Replicating a 1930s era Welsh Highland service, Prince heads
through the Aberglaslyn Pass with the 11:30 Beddgelert-Porthmadog on
Friday 11 October (Ian Pilkington).
With late afternoon sun on the Moelwyns, the same combination leaves
Pont Croesor with the 17:00 Beddgelert-Porthmadog, Friday 11 October (Ian
Palmerston arrives at Minffordd with slate empties on Saturday 12
October (Ian Pilkington).
The 'Boat' in sailing mode gets a helping hand away from Boston Lodge,
Saturday 12 October (Ian Pilkington).
The two cosmetically-restored George England-built locomotives at
Porthmadog; Welsh Pony, now subject to an appeal for
restoration to running order, and Princess with a display of
restored quarrymen’s carriages. Saturday 12 October (Ian Pilkington).
Handing in the single-line staff at Minffordd, 12 October (Peter
The gravity-powered train of slate wagons, as use in pre-locomotive
days on the Ffestiniog, rolls through Tan-Y-Bwlch, 12 October (Peter
This artwork by Malcolm Rose is based on a picture of Merddin
Emrys at Porthmadog on 12 October.
Rail Head Treatment Train scenes
The Rail Head Treatment Train passes Sandycroft on 17 October, with 97
The high-pressure water jets to clean the rail heads don't seem to be
working (Tim Rogers).
Ther are working at Colwyn Bay on 19 October, with 97 302
leading, running 84 minutes
... and 97 303 trailing. 175 113 looks on while
calling with the 09:50 Manchester - Holyhead (both: Darren Durrant).
Chester (Roly High). The coating of dirt on the yellow livery is
On 21 August, the train headed down the coast with 97 302 alone, minus
tail-end loco, seen at Bangor by Alan Crawshaw.
We've received an email from a Mrs Schofield, who writes: 'We have an
old painting of a mystery mountain, a small village with a church and a
railway. Our family has many links with Wales and we think it depicts
what could be a scene in front of Snowdonia. I have been searching on
the internet and only guessing the location of the picture from similar
images. I wondered if your extensive knowledge of the railway may shed
some light on the scene.
'The key clues:- (1) an old steam train - detail view above - with two
covered front carriages and what appear to be four other non windowed
carriages. Possibly freight. I looked this up and the early trains had
canvas covered carriages behind the front ones, so that is possible and
would date the painting. (2) the railway bridge over water.
'(3) the small village with a church. Of course this might be a huge
town by now. (4) the mountain shape. There cannot be many mountains
with a train in front at that sort of time.'
So what do our readers think? Any thoughts are welcome and will be
Class 37 Farewell, May 2000 - pictures by Ian Bowland
The item about the use of 37 612 and 37 038 on the
Radio Survey train
prompts Ian Bowland to remind us that these were two of the
used on First North Western's 'Class 37 Farewell' celebration weekend
of 21-22 May 2000, which saw pairs of 37s reach various extremities of
the FNW network. Above, on the Saturday, 37 612 stands at
Llandudno Junction in the rain: this pair took the train to Blaenau
Back at Llandudno Junction ...
... and arrived at Holyhead.
The next day's tour started at Crewe and covered north-west England and
featured 37 038, still in tatty BR 'Dutch' engineers' livery,
and 37 029.
Ready for departure at Crewe.
Preston. FNW manager Tim Brawn and colleagues did a fine job in
organising this weekend, with the blessing of Managing Director David
Franks, who in 2013 is in the top job at Irish Rail, and encouragement
from railway journalist Tony Miles.
... and Southport. For a detailed report of the weekend, see Ian Bowland's website.
one of the small band of 'early adopters' of the North Wales
Coast site without whom we would not be here today...
Barmouth bridge from the Mawddach Trail, 16 October (Ian Wright).
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