Archive Section

The Locomotive & Carriage Institution
Home Centenary 2011 Continental Visits Lectures Newsletters History Visits Pictorial Visits Narrative Seminars
A History of the Locomotive & Carriage Institution 1911 - 2011

Stuart Smith, Institution Secretary

(hyperlinks refer to related pages)

Founded in 1911, and known then as the Institution of Locomotive Inspectors & Foreman, the inaugural meeting took place at the Kings Cross Station Institute.

Most, if not all, of the records dating from the 1930's and 40's have been lost over time, and so consequently, very little about the early years of the Institution are actually known in any detail.

Some facts are traceable however. In 1931 the title was changed to The Locomotive & Carriage Institution. Some of the early Presidents were Sir Henry Fowler, Sir Nigel Gresley, R.E.L Maunsell Esq., and W.A Agnew Esq. All of these were prior to 1934.

Adding a slight piece of confusion to the history is a reference on a 1935 visit document, which is titled "Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon Institution of Great Britain".

Several overseas visits took place during the early years of the Institution, with extremely high attendance figures for most of them.

The first International trip on record took place in May 1933, as an educational visit to the Belgian National State Railways. In May 1935, a staggering 100 people journeyed to Switzerland. The following year, 1936, 79 members participated in the 8-day educational tour to Sweden. Certainly the Institution was at its peak during this era.

1936 marked the Silver Jubilee of the Institution, and a Gala Dinner took place on the 19th December at the Baltic Restaurant. The invoice shows 241 members and guests attended the meal, with each person paying 5s 3d. During that year, several day excursions were advertised; Eastleigh Works, The Royal Mint, Viewing the Queen Mary at Southampton and to Woolwich Arsenal.

For the 1938 International visit, 44 members travelled together for a week-long tour of Ireland and Scotland.

In 1939 a visit to Southampton Docks and the Post Office Tube Railway formed part of the syllabus. Several other 'non-railway' trips were also included.

Annual Reports exist from 1936 and 1940 to reveal a few more snippets of information, and then, with the onset of war, details of the history become very sketchy again.

In 1940 the membership stood at 209, with W.S Graff-Baker Esq.  Being re-elected as' President.  In his Annual Report of that year, he makes reference to the climate of war, and the need for members of the Institution to "face their duties and do their part". R.C Kiloh was Chairman around this time, (the exact dates are not known), and reference is made of him standing in as President during WWII.

There are no details in the pre-war period of any regional branches, except for one based at Inchcore Works, Dublin. In 1940 though, it had only 7 active members.

An archive photo taken in August 1947 shows a large group of men and women at Southampton Docks. Although no details are known, it is assumed they are about to embark on a voyage across the channel as part of an International visit?

On the 20th May 1948, a small group visited the G.E.C at Witton, Birmingham. Members were shown how the company has worked to supply electrical equipment for trolley buses and tube trains in London. Plans for future developments with electric trains were also demonstrated.

From 1951 to the present day, we are fortunate to have a near complete set of minutes books and various other reports to detail the history with. However, with virtually all the records being hand-written prior to 1975, the various styles of handwriting of previous Secretaries do take quite a bit of deciphering!

In May 1951 a visit to the Colchester Pumping House was organised. The International trip was to Holland.

At the AGM in 1952, the Membership Secretary of the day reported that 244 members were paid up. The Doncaster Centre opened on 13th October 1952, and within one month had a membership of over 60. The annual outing in late July saw members travel to Leamington Spa, Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick Castle.

The death of W.S. Graff-Baker Esq. (President 1938-40) was also recorded during 1952.

ST. Clayton Esq. was elected as President in 1953. He held office for just one year.

In November 1954, 35 members visited the Rugby Testing Station. Also in that year, a group travelled to Chippenham for a visit to the Westinghouse Signal Company.

To celebrate Christmas 1957, the Institution held a dinner & dance at the Lysbeth Hall in Soho Square, London.

76 members journeyed to Belgium for the International trip in 1957. Centred on Brugge, the party also visited Brussels and Oostende.

In May 1959 an 11 day trip to Austria took place. As well as railway installations in Innsbruck, a day trip to Munich, and several Bavarian Castles also featured in the itinerary.

1961 saw the Institution celebrate its Golden Jubilee, and on Saturday 28th October, a Gala Dinner took place at The Tavistock Banqueting Rooms on Charing Cross Road. Included in the 5 course dinner were Fillet of Plaice 'Bonne femme' and roast Surrey chicken severed with game chips.

Spain was the destination for the International trip in 1963.

At the AGM in 1972, it was reported that the Doncaster Centre had 44 members, of which 16 were now retired.

For 1973, the Institution was able to secure a visit to Bressingham Gardens and Live Steam Museum. Unlike today, the grounds were not open to the public on a regular basis. Another trip that year took members to Redbridge Permanent Way Works and Millbrook Freightliner Terminal. Meetings were now held at the BR Headquarters at Kings Cross or Euston.

Early attempts in 1973 to set-up regional branches in South Wales and the West of England were unsuccessful.

On the 26th June 1974, the summer day out took members to the Isle of Wight. Mentioned in the report published after the trip, is of the atrocious weather that lasted for most of the day!

October 1974 saw a small group of members take a 3 day trip to Northern France. Depots at Longeau, Amiens and Calais were visited, and the trip finished with a 'farewell1 dinner provided by the hosts from SNCF. When our members made their exit at 3.30am, the party was still in full swing!

From 1975, meetings were held at Marylebone BRB HQ. During September, an International trip to Germany took place, with visits to Osnabruck and Hanover Depots. A visit was also made to the steam shed at Rheine. Travel from/to the UK was made via the Harwich - Hook of Holland sea route.

The 14th January 1976 marked the death of one of our Presidents, W.G.F Thorley Esq., who had served from 1963 – 1971.

The 1976 Swedish trip marked the 40th Anniversary of our first trip to that country. Visits were made to the Stockholm Locomotive Depot, Göteborg Panel Box & Wagon Works and a Hydro-Electric Plant at Trollhättan. As an aside to the railway activities, visits were made to Tivoli Gardens and Carlsbery factory in Copenhagen.

A tour of the London Bridge Panel Box took place later that year.

In 1977, a visit was made to Old Oak Common Depot. Members were able to get a close up view of the new '125' High Speed Train.

During 1978, Institution trips were organised to the G.P.O Railway at Mount Pleasant,  the GWR Museum at Didcot and the Bluebell Railway.

In the September of 1978, a trip to Switzerland took place. Visits were included to the Workshops & Depot at Bellinzona, plus the scenic lines to Ponte Tresa and Monte Generoso. A visit to the Transport Museum at Luzern also featured.

For the summer social trip in 1979, a group of members and friends travelled to Folkestone for a ride on the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway. The International trip later that same year was to Naples in Italy.

In 1980, trips were organised to British Aerospace at Filton (to see Concorde under construction), Didcot Power Station, York Museum, Doncaster Works and the Dan Air works near Basingstoke. The International visit took members to East Germany. The Rainhill Trials took place in May 1980, and the Institution took a group of 36 members to Liverpool to view the event.

At the AGM in 1981, A.L. Brooks Esq., resigned as President for the second time, having served from 1971-74 and 1979-81.

For June 1981, a 3 day trip to Aberystwyth was organised. The main attractions were the Vale of Rheidol Railway and the Cliff Railway. Also in that year, was a trip to Westinghouse at Chippenham.

December 1982 saw members visit the L.T.E Workshops at Bollo Lane, Acton.

For 1983, trips to the Mid-Hants and Paignton & Dartmouth preserved railways were offered.

In 1984, Matlock Bath was the destination for the summer day out. Some members opted additionally to ride the Heights of Abraham cable car. A trip to the quarries at Merehead and Whatley also took place that year. In September, the International visit was to Prague, Czechoslovakia.

By 1985, the membership had fallen to just 71. A visit took place in May 1985 to Derby Works and Litchurch Lane. At the latter, members got a sneak preview of the new Class 142 rail-buses being built.

1986 saw the Institution celebrate its Diamond Jubilee.

In 1986, the Institution accepted its first female member - Sarah Kendall. An interview appeared in our 1995 Annual Report, which amongst other details, lists highlights of her railway career. A brief glance through this shows that she started as an Operations Management Trainee at Crewe, before moving to Witlesden Junction to become the Assistant Traffic Manager. Being in London enabled her to attend the monthly meetings and after a few years she joined the Institution Council. In January 1993 she moved to Eurotunnel to take up the position of Train Crew Manager, being responsible of over 550 staff. Today she holds the role of Business Improvement Director for Arriva (Mainland) Europe.

In May 1986, members travelled to Porthmadog for a visit to the Ffestiniog Railway. During the weekend, cab rides were available on the narrow gauge line, as well as a tour of Boston Lodge Depot. A visit to the L.U.L Training School at White City was also arranged.

Crewe Works was visited in June 1987, with members able to view the 'half-life' rebuilds being undertaken on the Class 37's. Around a dozen or so were present during the visit. Also viewed was the embryonic work being done on the Class 91 'Electra' Locomotive.

 Other visits in 1987 were to Three Bridges Panel Box and Markham Colliery. Of note on the latter trip was that members were asked to bring a leather webbing belt, (of no more than 1” width) to support the battery for the underground lamps!

In October 1987, several members of the Council travelled to Scotland in an attempt to start a regional centre in Glasgow. This was unsuccessful as only 4 potential members turned up.

Norman West Esq. replaces T.A. Greaves Esq. as President at the 1988 AGM. He holds office for 9 years.

Dungeness Power Station was visited in June 1988, whilst in September; a joint International trip to Belgium and Holland took place, taking in the Leuven Railway Museum and the steam railway from Hoorn to Medemblik. A chartered L&CI train around Amsterdam was also arranged, with members (including the ladies in the group) being offered a chance to drive!

During 1989, visits to the Plassers Factory at West Ealing, DLR at Stratford, Port Talbot Steel Works and Derby Technical Centre were offered in the syllabus.

The death of T.C.B Millar Esq., President from 1951-52 & 1961-62 was recorded in 1990. He was one of only two men to hold the office on more than one occasion.

Brush Works was visited in 1990, which gave an opportunity to see the Class 60 Locomotives being built. Later that same year, 21 members participated in the International trip to Switzerland, which gave members the chance to visit the S.L.M (Sulzer) Works at Winterthur, along with the depots at Bern and Montreux. The trip even included a steam train ride into the Feldschlossen Brewery near Basel.

March 1991 saw 27 members take part in a visit to Canton Depot, Cardiff. In May, we were fortunate to be invited to the Liverpool Street Integrated Electronic Control Centre', and the following month, 14 members visited Chart Leacon 'Level 5' Depot.

Also this year, Terry Clark (L&CI member and South Central driver at Tattenham Corner), was part of the first group of drivers selected for training on the 'International Eurostar trains through the Channel Tunnel. The year-long course not only involves learning the French language, but also the rules & regulations of both the French and Belgian national rail systems.

In September 1992, 16 members (accompanied by 3 ladies) journeyed to Ireland for a week-long tour, taking in Adelaide Goods Yard, Inchcore Depot, York Road Works, North Wall Goods Yard and the DART Maintenance Depot at Fairview. Excursions to Waterford and Cork also featured.

A month later, members visited the Severn Valley Railway for a return steam hauled journey behind Stanier 8F, 8233. A visit to the sheds at Bridgnorth was also made.

The West of England centre opens on the 12th October 1992 at Exeter. By the end of the year, the total membership of the Institution stood at 280.

In geographical terms, London has always been the main focal point for the Institution. However several regional branches have also been set up over the years, and these include: - Ireland (1940-??) and (1952-??), Doncaster (1952-73), Crewe (1972-82), West of England (1992-97), White Rose (1993-97) and North West England (1995-98). Sadly, none of these remain today, although a quick scan through our membership list does reveal that we have still have a significant number of members in the “West of England” area.

In 1993, several 'repeats' from the last few years took place, with trips to White City, Paignton and the NRM featuring.

Also in 1993 were visits to ABB Works at York and West Hampstead Panel Box. At the Hunslet Works at Leeds, members had the opportunity to see the new Class 323 EMU's being assembled.

With the arrival of privatisation in 1994, the Institution had to change too. Arranging visits and outings became increasingly more difficult, as 'red tape' and Health and Safety tended to get in the way of people being able to make decisions. The type of activity that was offered to the membership had to be altered, with ideas such as: walking old railway routes and visiting steam preservation centres becoming more common.

During 1994 the Institution moved to 55 Broadway (our current home) for the monthly meetings and guest presentations.

On the 14th February 1994, L&CI member Terry Clark "put himself into the history books" when he became the first person to drive a Eurostar train into Waterloo International station. The 'quarter-mile long' Class 373 train went on show in Platform 24 to members of the public for the first time.

In August 1994, 14 members visited Willesden Eurotunnel Freightliner Terminal. Whilst September saw the Institution use the ‘classic’ rail/sea crossing from Calais to Dover for the last time, whilst returning from Dresden, Berlin and Hamburg.

At the end of the month, a lecture by Pete Waterman was given at the Crewe Heritage Centre. The main subject of the talk was Waterman Railways, with note being taken that they were the first private operator for Railtrack. Following the lecture, members were able to take a tour of the Heritage Centre.

On the 24th April 1995, the Institution recorded the death of one of its most 'colourful' members - A.E. (Bert) Hooker. Having been a member since 1953, he was a regular at meetings and on visits. For several years he served as an Auditor on the Council.

During 1995, day trips to Reading and Hornsey Depots, The Black Country Museum and the Tyne & Wear Metro all featured in the educational programme.

February 1995, and in just three years, the membership had almost doubled - now standing at 517. Over 160 of these were in the West of England Centre.

Overseas members from Germany participated in a 5 day visit to Scotland in 1995. Organised by our White Rose centre, it included the Glasgow Underground & Transport Museum, Inverness TMD and Fort William Alcan Works (with the aluminium production process being viewed). The Inverness signal box was also seen, including a demonstration of the RETB Signalling system which now controls the Kyle of Lochalsh & Far North lines. A day trip to Oban also featured.

 Also in 1995, the West of England centre organised trips to Westinghouse at Chippenham and the Severn Tunnel pumping station.

On the 13th December 1995, Class 47/4, No.47584, was named "THE LOCOMOTIVE & CARRIAGE INSTITUTION". The ceremony held at Bristol Temple Meads station, saw the then General Secretary, John Lunn, performing the honors. Following it's naming, the loco worked the 18:02 'Postal' to Low Fell, whilst members attended a West of England centre meeting, which included a talk given by Charles Belcher (Managing Director, RES).

 The loco operated all over the country hauling various trains until being withdrawn in April 2000. After this time, it went to Wigan Springs Branch for component recovery, although official disposal was at Booths of Rotherham in October 2002.

A brief history of 'our' locomotive shows that it was built at the Brush Falcon Works in Loughborough (works number 537) and entered traffic on 23rd October 1964, carrying the number D1775. Throughout its life, it was an Eastern Region loco, and was allocated to Immingham, Tinsley and Stratford Depots. These were interspersed with brief periods at Bristol Bath Road and Crewe Diesel Depot. In May 1974 it was renumbered 47180. Between May 1979 and October 1993 it carried the "County of Suffolk" nameplates. In December 1980, it was converted to a Class 47/4 and renumbered 47584. Before its demise, it was officially allocated the number 47735, although it is doubtful it ever received them. Throughout its 38-year life, the loco carried the following liveries - Dual Green, BR Blue, Intercity (Mainline) and Rail Express Systems.

The year closed with the Institution being invited to ride on a test train of the D78 Stock from Ealing Common to Upminster. A short depot visit took place at both ends of the line.

 In 1996, the Institution launched its own website - www.lococarriaqe.org.uk

During 1996, depot visits to North Pole (Eurostar), Sheffield (Supertram) and Wakefield (Bombardier) were arranged. A trip to Chatham Dockyard also took place.  Sweden was the destination for the International trip in this year.

During 1997, Eastleigh Works, the L.U.L Control Centre (Northern & Victoria Lines) and the Severn Valley Railway were all visited.

There was no International trip in 1998, although 'domestic' trips were to Adtranz at Derby, Tunstead Quarry (Buxton) and the Peak Rail at Matlock. Members also visited Scunthorpe Steel Works, where a steam-hauled journey around the industrial complex was taken. Of note is that the passenger accommodation was made up of two brake vans!

At the AGM in 1998, Nick Agnew Esq. was elected as President. In 2009, he became the longest serving President in the history of the Institution.

The White Rose Centre organised a trip to the British Alcan Smelter at Lynemouth in 1998, which attracted members from both the London and Yorkshire groups.

In 1999, a special train on the East London Line was chartered for members of the Institution. Trips were arranged to the Thrall Europa Works at York, the Eurostar HQ & driver simulator, plus the Seaton Tramway.

Later the same year, Brush Works at Loughborough and Wimbledon Park Depot were visited. At the latter, the new Class 458 "Juniper” units were on show. The summer trip was to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, with a visit to the steam depot at Grosmont.

At the start of the new millennium, the membership total stood at 319.

The 11th March 2000 saw the L&CI collaborate with The Newcomen Society for a joint visit to the Media Centre at Folkestone for a series of lectures on the Channel Tunnel. In the afternoon, a return trip to Coquelles was made on board "Le Shuttle".

On the 28th April 2001, a trip with ex-Metropolitan Railway No. 12 "Sarah Siddons" was organised. Starting and finishing at Baker Street, the train covered the Metropolitan Lines to Uxbridge, Watford & Amersham. A visit was also made to the Jubilee Line Control Room at Neasden.

For 2002, a trip was organised to Railtex at the NEC in Birmingham.

In March 2003, a seminar entitled "Great Railway Managers of the 20th Century" was held. This focused on the works of Lord Ashfield, Sir Herbert Walker and Lord Beeching. A Modern Traction Seminar was held in November 2003, which discussed a wide variety of topics, including, Russian Diesels, Electrification, Simulation Models and Capacity Issues.

On the 1st January 2004, 13 members visited the Heathrow Express Depot at Old Oak Common. Later in the year, we went to their Control Centre at Heathrow Airport. Two summer trips were arranged, one to the Kent & East Sussex Railway, and the other to the Peak Rail at Matlock. This trip also took in the picturesque town of Bakewell.

The International trip for 2004 was to Germany. Members visited the Siemens Works at Krefeld, where new trains for South West Trains (Class 450 'Desiro') and Class 350s where being built.

Around this time, International trips started to become less frequent. However, from 2005-2010, Alan Spencer (Chairman and General Secretary at differing times) ran twice-yearly tours to Switzerland under the "Charters Helvetica" branding. With the valuable assistance of Willi Frauenfelder, one of our Vice Presidents during this period, these trips attracted around 30 of our members each time. As well as interesting routes and historical locomotives, educational visits to depots also featured.

Health & Safety issues also started to restrict the type of visit we could offer here in the UK too, although in May 2005 another Scottish trip was organised, with members visiting the Brechin Railway and Dufftown. In the same year, 32 members attended the summer day out to the Severn Valley Railway.

Towards the end of the year, day trips to Oostende and Antwerp were arranged, taking advantage of discounted fares on Eurostar services to Belgium.

In 2006, signal boxes (although now called 'signalling centres') featured heavily in the syllabus, with Leicester, Rugby and Slough all included. The summer members' day was a joint trip to the Churnet Valley and Rudyard Lake Railways. A seminar was held in November, and one of the interesting topics was the non-stop Pendolino run made from Glasgow to London a few months beforehand.

Although no official International trip was offered in 2006, around a dozen members travelled to Luxembourg for a railtour and depot visit. In May, a walking trip over parts of the old Midland Railway (Bakewell to Millers Dale) was enjoyed by 22 members.

A small group of members travelled to Fort William for the last weekend of the Jacobite Steam Trains to and from Mallaig.

For the 2007 programme, trips were organised to Greenford Signal Box, the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway and Amberley Chalk Pits Museum. The summer members' day was a trip to the North Norfolk Railway at Sheringham. The AGM in this year took place at Tisbury, Dorset.

On 6thOctober 2007, members were invited to join the then General Secretary, Alan Spencer, on his 60th Birthday Charter Train. This utilised the "Queen of Scots" set of coaches, and took a route from Kensington Olympia to Derby via Birmingham & Worcester! After a superb lunch in The Brunswick Hotel, with various speeches and presentations to Alan, the train returned to London via the Bedford to Bletchley line.

In March 2008, a visit was made to St. Philips Marsh Depot in Bristol. A scenic detour was made to the Clifton Suspension Bridge too.

In early 2009 we offered two walking trips, one to the GCR 'Chesterfield Loop' and the other to the Liverpool Overhead Railway. Several members also visited Railtex at Earls Court in March. The West Somerset Mineral Railway visit in October also proved popular with members.

53 members and guests enjoyed an evening cruise from Tower Bridge Pier to the QEII Bridge aboard the PS "Waverley" in late September.

Undoubtedly the most popular trip of 2009 was to the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway. As well as a ride on the newly re-laid 1-mile track, the trip took in many of the old sights and locations of the once busy route. Travel was in the Vintage' Mercedes of the Blue Motors Company and lunch was taken at the old station of Blackmoor Gate, which now exists as a restaurant. The return coach journey was via Lynton, with most members opting for a ride down the Cliff Railway.

July 2010 saw a small group of members visit Stourbridge Junction for a ride on the Parry People Mover.

The summer social in 2010 was to the East Lancashire Railway. A return steam-hauled train ride was taken from Bury to Rawtenstall, with members also being able to view the lan Riley Workshops.

Also for 2010, visits were offered to The Crich Tramway, a repeat to the West Somerset Mineral Railway and to the Seaton Tramway for our AGM. Walking trips have taken in locations such as Sharpness Docks, the former railways of Weymouth and Portland and The Lickey Incline at Bromsgrove & Blackwell.

And so to 2011

Today the membership stands at 326 (3rd May 2011) and has hovered above the 300 mark for several years now. The fact that we have not dropped below this level is encouraging, and proof that the Institution must still be doing many things right after 100 years. Hopefully the various events we are organising this year will tempt even more to join.

Encouraging also is that our monthly presentation evenings (held from September through to May), are currently averaging around 35 members per month. The meeting on 2nd March 2010, about the brand new A1 steam loco "Tornado", attracted some 46 members - surely a record?

The current average figure is the highest it has been since records started, and again proof that the Institution can still attract the right calibre of speaker.

Speakers from 2010 included Mark Hopwood, Managing Director of First Great Western; Mark Allatt, Chairman of the A1 Locomotive Trust; Allan Dare, Business Development Manager for Chiltern Railways & Jim Connor from the London Railway Record.

In 2011, we will be welcoming Sarah Kendall, Business Development Manager for Arriva (Mainland) Europe; Anthony Coulls, Senior Curator of the NRM & Paul Lewin, General Manager for the Ffestinog and Welsh Highland Railway.

However, taking pride of place amongst the many plans we have made to celebrate our Centenary, must surely be the naming of a GB Railfreight Class 66/7 Locomotive. The Institution has close links with the freight company and they were only too happy to provide us with an engine to carry our name. The locomotive, 66716, was adorned with our redesigned logo, with the wording LOCOMOTIVE & CARRIAGE INSTITUTION. CENTENARY 1911-2011. The event took place on Saturday 14th May at Wansford Station on the Nene Valley Railway, with John Smith (Managing Director of GB Railfreight) & Nick Agnew (President of The Locomotive & Carriage Institution) performing the honours. Following the naming; members, friends and invited guests were able to enjoy a ride behind the newly christened engine from Wansford to Peterborough.

The loco was built in April 2003 by General Motors "Electro-Motive Division" (GM EMD) as model JT42CWR, (works no. 20028454-4). In common with all Class 66's, it was transferred from the GM factory at London, Ontario, Canada, to the UK by ship, arriving at Newport Docks, South Wales. Owned by HSBC Rail, it is leased to GB Railfreight and carries the original Blue & Orange livery worn by the first batch of 66/7's (17 locos) delivered in 2001-03. The loco entered service on 23rd May 2003, and carried the name "Willesden Traincare Centre" from 1st September 2004 to 21st December 2009. To date it has clocked up just over half a million miles in revenue earning traffic. Following the naming, 66716 will no doubt be seen throughout the length and breadth of the country, and thus spreading the name of the Institution to many perspective new members.

So far in 2011, we have organised visits to Hornsey Depot (including a chance to operate the driver simulators), Central Rivers Depot at Burton-on-Trent and a 5-day Scottish Highlands trip, which took in the Cairngorm Mountain Railway, a depot visit at Aviemore and the Keith & Dufftown Railway. Later this year, Northumberland Park Depot and Derby Works are expected to feature in the syllabus. Our members' summer day out to the newly re-opened Ecclesbourne Railway at Duffield and the nearby Steeple Grange Light Railway takes place on Wednesday 27th July.

Looking forward, the Institution must build on its recent success stories. The Annual General Meeting has been moved from January to May (to bring it into line with the end of our educational year) and now usually includes a supporting fixture. This makes the day more attractive to members, and judging by recent attendance figures has proved very popular. Also, the Council decided to alter the venue of the AGM, and by moving it away from London, has increased the interest from within the membership.

Over the last four years, we have held the meeting in Tisbury (twice), Leeds and Seaton. For 2011, the meeting was held on the 24th May at The Roundhouse in Derby.

Over the years, many of the General Secretaries and Presidents have used their yearly addresses to urge current members to be on the lookout for new blood to join the Institution. I am no different, and although we are currently at a healthy level just over the 300 mark, we can never be complacent. Please take the time to talk to work, .A colleagues or railway associates, and invite them as a guest to one of our monthly meetings at St. James's Park. Hopefully from this, they might be persuaded to join.

The Institution is undoubtedly going through a revival in fortune. Long may the current membership remain interested and active, and let our ranks be swelled with newer members, that will carry us beyond 2011 and towards a glorious future.