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Events During 1975::

Wednesday 8 January - ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

 This was held at B.R. H.Q. In the absence of any other nomination and all being willing to continue, the Officers and Committee were re-elected. One vacancy was left and Mr. J.E. Lunn'(SR) was proposed by Mr. Chalice and seconded by Mr. W.C.A. Taylor and, elected on the Committee


Wednesday 5 February 1975 - FILM NIGHT AT '222'

 The following films were shown to an appreciative audience:

“Wires Across the Boarder” - A B.R, film about the extension of" electrification from Weaver Junction to Glasgow.

 "Men, Mountains and Mud" - A Texaco film about the construction of a pipeline over the Andes mountains.

 "The Face of Britain" - Another Texaco film in the form of a Travelogue around Britain.

 The Texaco films were once again arranged by our Associate Member Mr. Trevor Tritton to whom the Society's thanks are due.


Wednesday 5 March - B.R. H.Q.

Submarines of the (near) future

The attendance was disappointing but the speaker Mr B.D. Thomas A.A.I.E. from Naval Department of the Ministry of Defence was not. He gave a most interesting talk on, amongst other things the possible use of Nuclear Submarines for transporting oil from under the ice pack of Alaska to the Southern United States for refining. Mr. Thomas touched -of the which can be adopted to shut down a nuclear reactor in and emergency.


Wednesday 2 April - PADDINGTON

Mr. D.J. Hounsell, Assistant Traction and Train Crew Officer Officer, R.H.Q. Paddington spoke on ".Ghana Railways".

 From first hand experience Mr. Hounsell described the physical characteristics and the working of the railways in Ghana. Amongst other things he described the railwaymen, some who would do anything provided their own palms were suitably ‘weighted’ and some amusing incidents with a Food car converted to run on the rails.


 The party travelled by 08.30 Paddington -Taunton picking up further members at Reading and Taunton.  Leaving Taunton just after 11.00 o'clock by coach to Lynmouth via the Minehead Road skirting the Quantock Hills with views of Dunster Castle and Taunton-Minehead Railway line which will become the West Somerset Railway when opened again as a private light Railway.  From Minehead the toll road was followed to avoid Porlock Hill, with breathtaking views of Bays along the coast from Minehead to Lynmouth.  The weather was to be kind throughout the trip with plenty of sunshine.  At Lynmouth most of the Party had a trip on the Cliff Railway up to Lynton and noted the simple method of operating the cars by water as ballast.

All the townspeople were dressed in period costume of about the late 17th Century, not just the tradesmen but even the children playing in the streets!  Our route back to Taunton was via Exford and Simonsbath across Exmoor with its ever changing colours of green as the coach travelled along.

Arrival back in Taunton was early enough for some members "to get one in" at the 'Wheeltappers Georges” before the train was due to take us back after what everyone agreed was a very pleasant trip.

10-14 September - VISIT TO WEST GERMANY

A party of nine members and three wives visited Rhine, Osnabrück and Hanover for three days to take advantage of facilities kindly made available by the Deutsche Bundesbahn.

On arrival at Rhine from the Hook of Holland, the party was met by Herr Renfordt of DB and Herr Plankert, the Shedmaster, and taken by special railbus to the steam depot.  Here some 50 steam locomotives remain in freight service , until 1977, all Class 042 (2-8-2) or Class 043 (3 cyl. 2-10-0), mainly on the line to Emden, and all oil-fired.  Facilities for servicing, cleaning and maintaining the locomotives were inspected, as were a number of withdrawn Class 012 3cyl.  Pacifics which worked on the Rhine-Emden passenger service until June.  Interest was also taken in the arrangements for rostering engines and men.

Following lunch as guests of DB, the men travelled towards Emden, riding in turn on the Class 220 diesel hydraulic locomotives (the parents of the WR Class 42's): three lucky ones rode back from Papenburg on a 2-8-2 on a pickup freight and the remainder from Leer on another diesel.  The ladies meantime were busy in the town's shopping precinct.

On Friday the party travelled to Osnabrück, were Herr Renfordt was waiting to show us over a diesel maintenance depot.  The party was impressed by the spaciousness and cleanliness of the diesel locomotive engine rooms inspected.  A quick visit was made to the Town Hall (a historic building with associations going back to the 14th Century) where the civil treasurers were explained by a charming guide, and to the cathedral.

After lunch the party went on to Hanover: when AC electric traction took over midway, members rode on the locomotive in turn.

The only formal visit in the two days in Hanover was in the impressive Town Hall, the view from the tower (over 300 feet up) causing much expenditure on film!  Four models in the main hall, of the city in medieval times, in 1939, 1945 (grim this!) and the future, also proved fascinating.  The trains caused considerable interest, too, as did the flea marker, the old part of the city and the Herrenhausen Gardens.

The majority of the party returned on Sunday evening from Hanover via Hook of Holland.


Wednesday 1 October - B.R. H.Q.

The evening had been set aside for a chat session with one of the former Presidents Mr. W.G.F. (Bill) Thorley who, at the same time, would have signed members copies of the recently published book "A Breath of Steam".

Mr. Thorley does not enjoy good health and unfortunately he was unable to make the journey.  Instead Mr. Powell initiated a general discussion on the achievements and future aims of the Institution.


Wednesday 5 November - B.R. H.Q.

 Mr. N.J. (Jack) Temple, Chief Traction Inspector W.R. chose "special and Royal Train Working" as his subject.  Mr. Temple dealt at length with the history of Royal travel by rail and outlined many of the innovations which later became general practice.

He went on to describe how the limit on present speeds for Royal trains became  more restrictive as Inter-City speeds generally increased.  In the ensuing discussions Jack Temple highlighted some of the problems which arose and related some incidents from his vast experience of working on very many Royal journeys.


Wednesday 3 December B.R. H.Q.

Mr J.R.W. Kirkby (a vice President), Train Planning Officer, W.R. spoke on Timetable planning and compilation.

This simple title gave no indication at all of the innumerable considerations affecting many departments of the railway which have to be brought together to plan a timetable.

Mr. Kirkby described how the format of both the Public and Working timetables had changed little over the years and went on to indicate changes more likely in the future and how the computer will assist the timetable planner and timing clerk and replace the printer.

A long and lively discussion followed on the merits or otherwise of recovery time allowances for temporary speed restrictions, on what information train crews' required and methods of presentation.



It is with a very great regret that we learned of the death on Wednesday 14 January 1976 of Mr. W.G.F. Thorley who was President of the Locomotive and Carriage Institution from 1963 to 1971.