Railway Correspondence and Travel Society

Our meetings are held at The Old Church Rooms, Park Road, Radyr, CF15 8DF
Doors open 19:00, meetings start 19:30.

Walking directions from Radyr Railway Station.
Driving directions from M4 Junction 32

Entrance is FREE for RCTS members and a donation of £2 is requested for non members.

Tea and coffee is provided

A Wheelchair Friendly venue.

For any additional information, please contact the Branch Secretary, southwales@rcts.org.uk / 01656 856422

A Charitable Incorporated Organisation registered with the Charities Commission No. 1169995 – VAT Registered No. 197 3433 35


PROGRAMME FOR  2019


Wednesday 13th February 2019

“Ramblings of a Francophile Ferroequinologist”

John Davies

BRANCH MEETING REPORT
– 13 FEBRUARY 2019 –
‘THE RAMBLINGS OF A FRANCOPHILE FERROEQUINOLOGIST’
BY JOHN DAVIES
COMPILED BY STUART WARR

John Davies, the much respected former BR manager visited our branch again in February, his talk, entitled ‘The Ramblings of a Francophile Ferro-equinologist’ entertained an audience of 57.

The show began with a look at a map of France and John identified the four regions, pointing out some of the many locations we would see.

John has visited France on numerous occasions since 1958 and we saw images from that time through to the present day, his talk clearly showed the passion he has for the country and its railways, though this passion did not blind him to the shortcomings of the rail network and its management.

Whenever John visits us, we are entertained with wonderful anecdotes, many are very humorous; his knowledge of the network is extensive and he talks authoritatively without notes, a rare skill.

During the talk, John made comparisons between the French rail network and our own, one in particular brought a smile to our faces regarding the uncomfortable seating on many French trains and compared that to the similar situation on the IETs being introduced in the UK.

A final comment is that John’s photographs were superb, showing not just the trains, but the infrastructure around them.


Wednesday 13th March 2019

‘From Railways to Royalty’

Jack Boskett


Wednesday 10th April 2019

Charter Trains in the 21st Century – A personal view

Iain Pate

On Saturday17th October 2015 Ffestiniog Railway Brakevan No 7 (built 2004 as a replica of the 1873 Brown Marshall & Co van) is seen on the rear of the Vintage Train at Tan-y-Bwlch. This was a special train for Statesman Rail.

On Saturday17th October 2015 Ffestiniog Railway Brakevan No 7 (built 2004 as a replica of the 1873 Brown Marshall & Co van) is seen on the rear of the Vintage Train at Tan-y-Bwlch. This was a special train for Statesman Rail.

With the privatisation of the railways everything changed including the charter train businesses. Since 2004 I have been involved with the operation of main line charter trains both steam & diesel all over the UK, working as on train staff and Steam Locomotive Support Crew.

On Saturday 26th August 2017 'The Statesman' Pullman train stands at Kingswear Station on the Paignton & Dartmouth Railway awaiting it's return to Wolverhampton

On Saturday 26th August 2017 ‘The Statesman’ Pullman train stands at Kingswear Station on the Paignton & Dartmouth Railway awaiting it’s return to Wolverhampton

This presentation is very much a personal view which I have compiled to give an inside picture of charter trains over the past 14 years. It includes different locomotives, interesting carriages we’ve used and stories of passengers, crews and incidents that I have been involved with, some thought provoking, some humorous but all entertaining. I look at regular steam over the Settle to Carlisle line, including Hellifield Station, locomotives we used and the ‘last’ steam runs over the Folkestone Harbour branch before closure as well as some ‘exhibition’ runs.

On Friday 28th August 2015 SR Battle of Britain Class No 34067 "Tangmere" stands in Platform 1 at Southall with a preserved MLV (Motor Luggage Van) in tow on their way to the Ramsgate MPD Open Day.

On Friday 28th August 2015 SR Battle of Britain Class No 34067 “Tangmere” stands in Platform 1 at Southall with a preserved MLV (Motor Luggage Van) in tow on their way to the Ramsgate MPD Open Day.

Although there are some crossovers, the presentation is divided into two parts, Railtours and Support Crew work.

I have been involved with Railways for over 50 years starting with the embryonic Mid-Hants Railway in 1974 where I was a Guard, Signalman and Duty Controller as well as serving two terms as a Trustee of the Preservation Society, latterly as Deputy Chairman in 2000. From 2004 I have been involved with main line charter trains working with tour operators, being Train Manager and Steward and working as part of a Steam Locomotive Support Crew, the latter two of which I continue today.


Wednesday 8th May
19:30 – 22:00
“Railways of Glamorgan and the valleys” – Stuart Warr


June 2019
Wed 12 Jun
19:30 – 22:00
“My Railway Career in South Wales” – David Maidment


July 2019
Wed 10 Jul
19:30 – 22:00
Summer Social


August 2019
Wed 14 Aug
19:30 – 22:00
No Meeting


September 2019
Wed 11 Sep
19:30 – 22:00
‘Railways in a Yorkshire Landscape’ – Stephen Gay


October 2019
Wed 9 Oct
19:30 – 22:00
“subject to be confirmed” – David Cross


November 2019
Wed 13 Nov
19:30 – 22:00
“Fifty Years on the Beaten Track” – Geoff Atkins


December 2019
Wed 11 Dec
19:30 – 22:00
“Mike Wilcock videos” – Mike Wilcock


PROGRAMME FOR  2020


January 2020
Wed 8 Jan
19:30 – 22:00
Behind the Iron Curtain: (Mainly) Narrow-gauge Steam in East Germany, 1970-1992 – Nigel Wassell


Wednesday 12th February 2020

“The Monmouthshire Railway and Canal Company in Newport”

Ray Viney

The canal and associated tramways of the Monmouthshire Railway and Canal Company played an important part in the growth, wealth and prosperity of the port of Newport during the burgeoning years of the Industrial Revolution and beyond.
After the decline of the canal and conversion by the company of the tramways into railways in the 1840s, the pace of development was to increase dramatically.

 

 

 1. Cardiff Rd Sidings 1930 The railway storage sidings on Cardiff Road outside the Royal Gwent Hospital in the summer of 1930. Officially known as 'Pitwood Sidings', the lines originally formed part of the early tramroad route along Cardiff Road to the wharves on the River Usk via George Street and Kingsway. From 1852 this route through the streets of Newport was developed by the Monmouthshire Railway & Canal Company into a passenger service from the Western Valleys that headed through Salutation Junction and George Street, terminating at Dock Street Station. Through running of rail traffic from Courtybella Junction ceased in 1907, and all traffic used the alternative route via the 'Neutral Mile' section through Pillgwenlly. Although out of use from 1907 the GWR maintained its right of way along the original route until the 1920's by the annual passage of a locomotive running light on Good Fridays. Newport Reference Library

Cardiff Rd Sidings 1930
The railway storage sidings on Cardiff Road outside the Royal Gwent Hospital in the summer of 1930. Officially known as ‘Pitwood Sidings’, the lines originally formed part of the early tramroad route along Cardiff Road to the wharves on the River Usk via George Street and Kingsway. From 1852 this route through the streets of Newport was developed by the Monmouthshire Railway & Canal Company into a passenger service from the Western Valleys that headed through Salutation Junction and George Street, terminating at Dock Street Station. Through running of rail traffic from Courtybella Junction ceased in 1907, and all traffic used the alternative route via the ‘Neutral Mile’ section through Pillgwenlly. Although out of use from 1907 the GWR maintained its right of way along the original route until the 1920’s by the annual passage of a locomotive running light on Good Fridays.
Newport Reference Library

Although we have the legacy of the Monmouthshire Canal to remind us of our industrial heritage, much of the railway network that had projected the town of Newport into a thriving industrial and major centre during the latter part of the 20th century, was to be replaced.

The Monmouthshire Canal at Mill Street 1914, in this view looking north from Mill Street, a barge navigates past the bascule bridge that provided access from the Mill Street railway yard to Cordes Dos Works on the left. It was around the time when regular canal traffic ceased to travel through to Moderator Wharf, Newport to discharge goods. Wagons to and from the works would have been shunted by the industrial locomotive seen in the distance between the arms of the bridge. Newport Reference Library

The Monmouthshire Canal at Mill Street 1914
In this view looking north from Mill Street, a barge navigates past the bascule bridge that provided access from the Mill Street railway yard to Cordes Dos Works on the left. It was around the time when regular canal traffic ceased to travel through to Moderator Wharf, Newport to discharge goods. Wagons to and from the works would have been shunted by the industrial locomotive seen in the distance between the arms of the bridge.
Newport Reference Library

With the support of a large collection of archive photographs, Monmouthshire Railway Society ‘Journal’ Editor, Ray Viney will chronicle the history and infrastructure of the company’s lines within the borough of Newport during their short existence and under subsequent GWR and BR ownership.

 3. Dock St 1963 In this view from Octopus Bridge, the Dock Street pilot, 0-6-0 PT No. 1656, waits outside the Dock St Goods Yard ground frame, sited at the entrance to the yard. The photograph is undated but, in the background, the erection stage of George Street Bridge confirms that it is sometime during 1963. East Dock St signal box, in the distance, and other boxes in the immediate area closed on 25 January 1960, all lines then being controlled by a new Dock St box sited just out of picture to the right. M.R.S Collectio

Dock St 1963
In this view from Octopus Bridge, the Dock Street pilot, 0-6-0 PT No. 1656, waits outside the Dock St Goods Yard ground frame, sited at the entrance to the yard. The photograph is undated but, in the background, the erection stage of George Street Bridge confirms that it is sometime during 1963. East Dock St signal box, in the distance, and other boxes in the immediate area closed on 25 January 1960, all lines then being controlled by a new Dock St box sited just out of picture to the right.
M.R.S Collection

Starting on the Eastern Valley line on the northern outskirts of the town at Malpas, he will follow the line into Newport, travelling down to Mill Street and Dock St Depots through onto the Western Valley line via Pillgwenlly, Maesglas and the Park Mile, ending the journey at Bassaleg Junction. He will also be featuring the long closed and often overlooked street railway lines in the centre of the town.


RCTS SOUTH WALES BRANCH MEETING REPORT
9 JANUARY 2019

‘ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST’ BY NIGEL WASSELL

COMPILED BY STUART WARR

Our January meeting started with the branch AGM, another successful year reported and the committee re-elected en-bloc.

This was followed by Nigel Wassell’s excellent presentation entitled ‘Once Upon A Time In The West’ with a sub-text of ‘A celebration of the photography of Peter Grey’.

Nigel has been collecting copies of the late Peter Grey’s colour transparencies for a number of years, as ever, the research that Nigel had done prior to the show added much to the captions provided by the great man himself.

He started with a brief history of Peter’s photographic life and the first image seen was taken at Penzance, to be followed by a hypothetical journey east including many of the branch lines encountered.

Peter was a superb photographer; that reputation drew in an audience of 56 and we saw images taken from 1958 onwards, predominantly steam subjects with a few early diesels.

In the reviewer’s opinion, the individual highlights included a photograph taken at Moorswater shed in 1960, a few images of china clay trains and some excellent night shots including one of the Royal Albert Bridge lit to commemorate its 100th anniversary in 1959.

Well done, Nigel, a fabulous show enjoyed by everyone.


RCTS ARCHIVE & LIBRARY OPENED

After a number of years planning and refurbishment the Railway Correspondence & Travel Society opened their new Archive and Library facility in the former stationmaster’s house at Leatherhead on 6 October 2018, the formal opening was conducted by author and antiques expert, Paul Atterbury.

The Society’s vast stock of books, etc. were moved from storage in Northampton, Stevenage, Stockport and Uxbridge to be under one roof, laid out with quality library shelving, computers, desks, refreshment facilities and toilets it is open to both members and non-members.

Members may enter without a donation, but a modest sum will be asked from non-members. For further details please contact the Society Archivist, Andy Davies either by telephone (01932 855015) or email (archive@rcts.org.uk).

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmugQKfb


Contact

Chairman : Peter Fortune < peter.fortuneuk@gmail.com > / 07963 439903
Branch Secretary: Stuart Warr < rctssw+secretary@gmail.com  / 01656 856422

http://www.rcts.org.uk/branches/south_wales/index.htm

We have a free e-mail mailing list, which contains items of railway interest, relevant to South Wales.

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Find Us

The Old Church Rooms, Park Road, Radyr, CF15 8DF, are an 11 minute walk away from Radyr Railway Station, from where there are frequent  trains.

The nearest bus stop is immediately outside the Old Church Rooms.

If travelling by car, the Old Church Rooms has its own car park.


RCTS Privacy Policy – April 2018


Branch Meeting Report

– 10 OCTOBER 2018 –

‘THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF GEORGE BRADSHAW’
BY DR DAVID TURNER

COMPILED BY STUART WARR

Our October branch meeting was attended by 43 who enjoyed the informative, illustrated lecture given by Dr David Turner from York University with the title, ‘The Life and Legacy of George Bradshaw’.

We were told that the subject’s early career was as an engraver and that he had a lifelong passion for map making, which ultimately led to him becoming Britain’s pre-eminent provider of railway timetables and guides as railways developed in the mid -19th Century.

His untimely death in his early 50s from cholera contracted in Norway failed to dampen the public’s desire for his company’s publications.

The word ‘Bradshaw’ became synonymous with railway timetables in a similar way that the word ‘Hoover’ is to vacuum cleaners, we learned that even the fictional creation of Sherlock Holmes carried a copy when travelling away from the capital.

The most famous carrier and user of a Bradshaw is probably Michael Portillo in his series of television programmes about rail travel, something most readers of this review will have seen.

David told us that the Bradshaw guides declined in importance following the First World War and that they failed to move with the times (excuse the pun), the final edition was published in 1962.