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 10th April 2019

BRANCH MEETING REPORT
10th  APRIL 2019
‘CHARTER TRAINS IN THE 21ST CENTURY’
BY
IAIN PATE

COMPILED BY STUART WARR

The April meeting brought Iain Pate’s humorous and delightfully illustrated talk entitled ‘Charter Trains in the 21st Century’.

He has been involved in the preservation movement for over 40-years and we heard about his involvement on the front-line since the Millennium.

There had been many highlights during this time, he told us of some of them through pictures and anecdotes.

We started by looking at the S&C and how it copes with steam-hauled excursions, such as platforms that are too short or unsafe after dark and the logistical problems of watering and servicing steam locomotives.

In Iain’s expert opinion, the ideal steam traction on the S&C is the LMS 8F, small driving wheels, never quiet and strong looking.

Other highlights included being involved with some of the last steam workings on the Folkstone Harbour branch and running three-day excursions to Scotland.

We heard of the foibles of human nature on excursions, these brought much laughter from the audience.

Iain spoke at length about 34067 ‘Tangmere’ and its support crews, they are often forgotten, but we saw pictures of the inside of their coach, heard about the characters and admired the unstintingly long hours they devote to their part of this hobby.

Superb presentation!


Wednesday 8th May

“Railways of Glamorgan and the valleys” – Stuart Warr

This presentation looks at railway services in the Glamorgan valleys, those that once carried the title ‘Cardiff Valleys’, but also includes a look at some freight workings within the area, i.e. coal from Tower, Deep Navigation, Cwmbargoed and the lines that radiate from Tondu.

Class 143 at Abercynon South 2007

Class 143 at Abercynon South 2007

Class 50 at Llwynipia - 1998

Class 50 at Llwynipia – 1998

Images date from the early 1970s to 2018, starting and ending at Radyr having visited many locations in a clockwise journey of the valleys that lead to Treherbert, Aberdare, Merthyr Tidfil and Rhymney and then south of Cardiff to Penarth, Barry Island and up the valleys to Maesteg and Blaengarw.

Class 37 at Radyr - 1980

Class 37 at Radyr – 1980

A4 at Cadoxton - 2011

A4 at Cadoxton – 2011

There are a few surprising and rare views to be seen, some on lines that closed many years ago.

Class 60 at Tondu 2012

Class 60 at Tondu 2012

Class 37 at Bargoed - 2002

Class 37 at Bargoed – 2002

We are anticipating a large audience at the May 8 meeting as it coincides with the much publicised Radyr & Morganstown Festival, which is expected to tempt more local residents to our meetings than is the norm, our advice therefore, is to arrive sooner rather than later on the night to help guarantee a seat.

 


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

13 MARCH 2019
‘FROM RAILWAYS TO ROYALTY’
BY JACK BOSKETT
COMPILED BY STUART WARR

An audience of 52 were entertained by Jack Boskett’s presentation entitled ‘From Railways To Royalty’ at our March meeting in Cardiff.

Jack is something of a rarity within our hobby, he is young and has been a professional photographer for almost 10-years.

We saw both railway and non-railway subjects, those images of railway subjects were superbly crafted with imaginative and innovative compositions, some were monochrome and many others, colour; Jack uses theatrical props and volunteer actors to enhance the atmosphere of his images.

He does freelance work for publications such as Rail and The Railway Magazine, the Telegraph, the Times, publicity work for Pathfinder Tours and GWR.

In addition he has photographed stars of stage and screen, such as John Bishop, Rachel Riley and Tim Vine; also, he has captured excellent images of members of the Royal family when there is a railway connection.

We saw some superb silhouettes of railway subjects, many taken close to his home in Tewkesbury and he is an advocate of using monochrome to produce timeless images.

His range of subjects included his ‘house’ rabbit who even has a railway themed name, Brunel!

Throughout his presentation, Jack talked effortlessly and with great humour, all without notes.

A thoroughly recommended presentation.


BRANCH MEETING REPORT
27 MARCH 2019
‘THE RAILWAYS OF BRITON FERRY’
BY PHIL ADAMS

COMPILED BY STUART WARR

Our first foray to an additional meeting venue saw a decent number of attendees in Port Talbot listen to the presentation by Phil Adams, co-author of the recently published book, ‘Reshaping Rail In South Wales’.

His subject was the same as the content of his book, but ‘The Railways of Briton Ferry’ summed-up the presentation.
Phil outlined a brief history of transportation in the area in the post Industrial Revolution era.

We learned that the three railways that drove transportation forward here were the South Wales Railway, the South Wales Mineral Railway and the Rhondda & Swansea Bay Railway; the role of the many industrial railways was also considered.

Neath’s Cwrt Sart MPD was situated in Briton Ferry, believed to be located there because it was about half way between Paddington and Milford Haven; we saw a selection of images displaying not just locomotives, but also members of the shed’s staff.

Phil did not content himself with just a look back at how things were, but also looked to plans for the future including the possible ‘Swansea Bay Metro’ and how it might impact on the local economy.

The presentation finished with a very positive view of this once proud industrial location,
many thanks, Phil.


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.


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