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  2018


Wednesday 12th December 2018

“Steam in a different light” – railways in North East England in the 1960’s
Richard Gaunt , author and photographer

 

In the north-east of England at the beginning of the 1960s, like the rest of the country, steam locomotives powered most kinds of railway traffic – much as they had done in preceding decades.
Everybody knows, of course, that this was not going to last.

Richard Gaunt - Steam in a different light

Diesel multiple units and diesel shunters proliferated; soon a Gresley or Peppercorn Pacific on the main line was a rarity.

Richard Gaunt - Steam in a different light

Things change more slowly on the Durham coast where fleets of North Eastern Railway-designed freight engines shifted countless coal trains and serviced the region’s heavy industry for a while longer – but they too were gone by the end of 1967.

 

Q6 restarts from signals with loaded coal wagons; West Hartlepool

Q6 restarts from signals with loaded coal wagons; West Hartlepool

Richard Gaunt, living in Darlington at the time, was watching all of this, and taking photographs. For him, the traditional ’wedge’ shot of the front of a locomotive, with its train strung out behind, began to lose its appeal and he started to look for something different.

This presentation gives the story of that search – covering not just the locomotive and its train but waves on a bitterly cold North Sea, sunbeams in engine sheds and the wider context including rapidly intensifying road competition from motorways and Ford Cortinas.

Richard Gaunt is the author of six books on railways and general photographic topics for Fonthill Media, and has authored various other books and articles including several on railways in the North of England.


PROGRAMME FOR  2019


Wednesday 12th January 2019

A.G.M. + “Once Upon a Time in the West: A celebration of the colour photography of Peter W. Gray.”- Nigel Wassell”

Nigel Wassell

20190109 9 January 2019 Bilingual


Wednesday 13th February 2019

Cambrian and Brecon Railways in early 1960’s

John Davies


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” – Steve Davies


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.


BRANCH MEETING REPORT
14 NOVEMBER 2018
‘RESTORING 7903 FOREMARKE HALL’ BY JOHN CRUXON

COMPILED BY STUART WARR

November’s presentation was ‘Restoring 7903 Foremarke Hall’ by John Cruxon, Locomotive Manager of 7903 Ltd.

John’s father was a driver at Bristol Bath Road, it was guaranteed that he would have an interest in railways.

John told us a little of the history of 7903, she accumulated 621,101-miles in BR service having been introduced in 1949 before withdrawal in 1963, allocated throughout most her life to Old Oak Common.

Following withdrawal, 7903 languished at Woodham’s in Barry until 1981 when bought for preservation and moved to Blunsdon on the Swindon & Cricklade Railway.

We learned of the many trials and tribulations of a restoration that took 22-years to complete and cost in excess of £150,000.

In 2004, she was moved to the Gloucester Warwickshire Railway (G&WR) and 2014 saw the start of an extensive and expensive overhaul that was completed to a very high standard in 2016.

Highlights of 7903’s career in preservation include being the first engine to work the full length of the G&WR following the repairs to correct the serious landslip at Chicken Curve and the first official working in to the re-opened Broadway station.

The branch wishes John and his dedicated team well in keeping 7903 running for many more years.

Photo 1 - 1 June 2007 - Hailes Abbey (GlosWarks Rly) - 7903 working through to Toddington

Photo 1 – 1 June 2007 – Hailes Abbey (GlosWarks Rly) – 7903 working through to Toddington

 

Photo 2 - 1 June 2007 - Woodmancote (GlosWarks Rly) - 7903 working from Cheltenham Racecourse to Toddington

Photo 2 – 1 June 2007 – Woodmancote (GlosWarks Rly) – 7903 working from Cheltenham Racecourse to Toddington


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.