Minutes of the Meeting held on Monday 4th December 2012.
There has been some delay in the circulation of the printed minutes as labels sent to the printer seem to have been mislaid in the Christmas post. They were approved on the basis of those posted on the website.
News of Members.
The President reported with regret the deaths of three members:
John Bucknall aged 83 on 17th December 2012 The funeral was on 28th December in Exeter Crematorium. John was the Assistant CCE Works (Bridge Engineer) on the Southern and had retired to the Region's former territory at Axminster in Devon.
Ray Smith, former DCE Reading, on 5th December aged 78. The funeral was on 18th December at St Anne's Catholic Church, Lower Caversham.
John Wickes, sometime Principal Industrial Relations Officer BRB, on 22nd December aged 91 after a long illness. His funeral is at the Downs Crematorium, Brighton at 15.00 on Thursday 24th January.
And two non-members: Colin May died from cancer and his funeral is at the East Riding Crematorium, Octon crossroads, Thwing, Yorkshire, on 9th January 2013. He was aged 78 and was a well-known senior T&RS engineer with BR, working on the ER and BRB until about 1980. He was the M&EE Freight Engineer when he left BRB to work in Canada. H G (Harry) Bill on 2nd January, formerly Assistant DCE Derby, Walsall and Birmingham, aged 92 after 34 years of retirement.
Members stood for a few moments in silent tribute to their memory.
Since the meeting the death has been reported in France of John Rogers.
The President recorded notable names in the New Year’s Honours:
Frank Paterson. Formerly Chairman, Friends of the National Railway Museum, for services to Museums, MBE. Congratulations to a member and Past President .
Non-members in transport also honoured: Peter Hendy (TfL), KBE, Kenneth Grange, Industrial Designer, for services to Design, including that of the HST, KBE. Howard Collins (LUL), OBE. Christopher Garnett, OBE. Julian Crow, Regional Manager, West of England, First Great Western, for services to the Rail Industry, MBE.
Welcome to Members Recently Elected.
Alan Gardiner was attending a meeting of the Society for the first time and was accorded the customary warm welcome. Alan said it had taken him 6 months since his election but was pleased to have arrived.
Proposed New Members.
Name: Address and telephone number: Sponsors:
Bob Owen, Field View, 8 Swan Road, Draycott-in-the-Clay Peter Rayner
Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 5GW 01283 820120 Bob Breakwell
Allan Dare, 4 Castle View Drive, Cromford, Derbyshire Richard Malins
DE4 3RL 07771 612286 John Meara
Pension & Travel Facilities Matters.
John Mayfield gave a positive report on the valuation to November, saying that funds are in good order with 10 – 12% gains in equities and bonds. He apologized for his recent non-attendance but said Pension meetings tend to be called on Mondays.
John Meara reported that the new FIP Reduced rate authority cards should have been received from RST by the end of this week, but members should also check on any replacements for entitled dependants.
Any Other Business.
More RROS Authors:
Stanley Hall, already an established railway writer, has produced his latest book "A Railwayman's Odyssey 1930 to 1970, From Junior Clerk to Superintendent" The 1930-1943 bit is as a schoolboy standing at the lineside, and the 40 year period almost coincides with the end of steam. Unashamedly a trawl through nostalgia it is a big book, and weighs exactly 3 lbs, 256 pages, 90,000 words of text and almost 300 photographs. £24.99. Ian Allan Publishing.
Chris Austin and Richard Faulkner’s book “Holding The Line: How Britain's Railways Were Saved” has also been published by Ian Allan at £19.99. Chris will talk about the subject at the AGM on 4th February and will bring copies of his book for sale at a discounted price on request.
7. Talk byKyle Bosworth - Flying Scotsman USA the Unintended Events of 1969.
The President introduced Kyle as a native of West Bromwich and then Leeds whose career had been spent in the army and as a journalist in Fleet Street, working for Reuters. He was a member of the exclusive Fleet St Railway Circle, inhabited by such men as OS Nock and the various Allens. Along that career path he had acquired an enthusiasm for railways, including GWR King Class locomotives, and now found himself the part owner of two engines, no 6023 and a 141R in France. The latter, being built in the US, provided some sort of trans-Atlantic theme. Kyle said that compared to the railway experience assembled in the room he was a simple locospotter but he could talk a bit about what happens when a steam loco is restored. In the case of 6023 it amounted to 25 people paying £100 per month for 23 years and working for free one day a week. But he has now been able to cancel his standing order and King Edward II is steaming again. It had all begun on Worcester Shrub Hill station in 1947 when he had been given a Trains Annual, edited by CJ Allen, featuring 6023, and some glamorous Pennsylvania locomotives from the US, something else that would return to haunt him. However today’s story was to be about Flying Scotsman. Kyle said his railway interest had got him headhunted to a technical engineering journal, edited by one Fred Roberts, who was an old Crewe apprentice, and he it was who sent him to represent the journal on the tour planned for Flying Scotsman in the USA, and write a special edition based on that tour. The inspiration for it lay in the visit loco 6000 King George V made in 1927 for the Centenary of the B&O Railroad, but this was to be run and financed as a trade venture with sponsors. 4472 would haul an exhibition train in which British products would be featured, and the exhibitors included Cunard, the GPO, the Royal Shakespeare Company, a magazine called This England, BR, BP and the Pegler businesses, Alan himself being the key supporter and owner of the locomotive. Flying Scotsman was overhauled by Hunslet in Leeds and performed flawlessly throughout the trip with a superb footplate crew, the problems all lying elsewhere. It then took a train of Gresley coaches to Twickenham for fitting out, and on to Liverpool where the whole assembly was shipped out on the Cunard liner Saxonia. The exhibitors flew to Boston on a VC10, but when they got there the train had been locked away in a military depot for Irish security threats. When it was released, the tour began badly at Boston South station when a young American railfan fell from the train and died, which the Boston Globe blamed on the English. This was just after the New York Central / Pennsylvania merger and the New Haven operation had long been in bankruptcy. Everything was in a very poor state, track, rolling stock and signalling, while the condition of the South station was such that no one would want to go there, so hardly anyone came to see the train. On the run to New York the train was shot at three times around Hartford. From New Rochelle the train was piloted into Penn station by a GG1 electric loco, possibly the first steam train to go there over the Hell Gate Bridge in many years. Again everything was clapped out and no one came to see the train, although Kyle managed to meet his railway writing hero David P Morgan, editor of “Trains” magazine. It was the same story in Washington, except President Nixon came on board accompanied by the British Ambassador John Freeman. Also while there the rear of the train, the former Devon Belle observation car (fitted with a bar by Watneys) was rammed by a GM F-7 diesel loco, wrecking everything on board. By this time it was clear that a financial disaster was unfolding. The young women recruited to sell tickets were not being paid and had nowhere to stay, being forced to beg rooms with other people, while the journalists and exhibitors at least had salaries and expense accounts, but they were becoming restless, and a protest group led by the RSC team occupied Pullman car D. It was evident that the organisers were incompetent, but they said all would be well when they reached Atlanta, but again nobody turned up. A brighter moment came at the Anniston Alabama “Steamorama” where the Southern Railway laid on a grand show of steam and the first clean trains they had seen. But again people came to see the American locos and the exhibitors were ignored. Alan Pegler, always a fine speaker, had made tireless efforts on TV and radio to encourage interest, but was worn out and had been badly let down by the organisers. As is well known it was a disaster for him personally and financially. Although the trip was set up by the London Stateside Company, they began to be pursued by lawyers as they crossed state lines and the train eventually wound up in California with writs slapped on the loco. Kyle and the exhibitors stayed with it as far as Texas, having made it to Birmingham Alabama, but he found the deep-south in 1969 a really scary place. Even if you were white and seemed not to conform in your dress or hairstyle, or by walking on the highway, you felt threatened by the locals or wanted by the sheriff. Dallas and a flight home from Fort Worth was the end of the tour for him and this sad side of the story has remained untold for over 40 years.
Hugh Gould gave the vote of thanks, saying that the talk rang a lot of bells for him, not just because in his youth he knew A3s and GG1s, and had been to many of the places mentioned, but because he knew the late Alan Pegler. He interviewed him twice for the NRM Oral Archive. Noting the President’s introduction about the more extensive movements of locomotives across the Atlantic he still wondered whether we needed to bring the two A4s back, making six in preservation here.
To be held at 13.45 in the Union Jack Club, Sandell St. London SE1 on Monday 4th February 2013.
Minutes of the Meeting held on 7th January 2013.
News of Members.
Welcome to Members Recently Elected.
Proposed New Members.
David Hallam will propose and Alan Gardiner will second that PHILIP ROWE be elected an ordinary member of the Society. Phil was born in Woking on the nineteenth of October 1949 and joined BR as clerk at King’s Cross in 1974, becoming a TOPS clerk at Walsall / Bescot in 1975. Systems jobs followed at Euston and with Sealink, he joined the APTIS project in 1983. Following its implementation he was Business Systems Development Manager with BRBS, before he went on to develop the Tribute Ticketing system with Sema Group and retired in 2000, working further for Tribute as an independent company until 2008.
Haydn Peers will propose and Colin Boocock will second that ANNE ELIZABETH BLAKENEY be elected an ordinary member of the Society. Anne was born in London on the twenty eighth of June 1945. She joined BR as an Assistant Computer Projects Officer at Darlington in 1967 and held several computer projects posts at the BRB, BT Hotels and Scotland where she became Management Services Officer in 1981. She was ITS Strategy Manager for Regional Railways in 1990, moving to Railtrack in 1993. After privatisation she moved on to the Safety and Standards Directorate and then into Rail Safety where she was acting Head of Railway Group Standards, later retiring from the RSSB in 2012.
Derek Doling will propose and David Maidment will second that GEOFFREY WEIR be elected an ordinary member of the Society. Geoff was born in Coventry on the first of December 1947 and joined BR as a sponsored Engineering Student in 1965 at Birmingham University. From 1970 he held various posts at the DME King’s Cross and CM&EE Croydon, becoming an Engineering Assistant on the WR in 1973. After working at Old Oak Common he went into Management Services at the BRB, becoming Safety Systems Manager for Network SouthEast in 1991 and then Safety Validation Manager for Railtrack GW. He retired from the post of Privatisation Manager with Railtrack, but then led the Shareholder action against HM Government as a named claimant 2003 – 2005. He remains Director and Company Secretary of the Whitchurch Toll Bridge Company, which operates on the Thames at Pangbourne.
Pension and Travel Facilities Matters.
Any Other Business.
Following a comment made by Anna Walker at the Members’ Luncheon, the Committee proposes an additional note to the Rules of the Society, to be included in the preface, as follows: Words importing the masculine gender only shall include the feminine gender and vice versa.
Annual Report and Accounts.
To be distributed at the meeting and published in the next minutes.
Election of President and Vice-President.
Ken Burrage stands as President and Colin Boocock as Vice-President.
Election of Officers, Auditors and Committee.
All present office holders are available for re-election.
Talk by Chris Austin.
Other Meeting dates in 2013: 4th March, 8th April (York), 18th April (Lunch), 13th May, 3rd June, 1st July, 3rd July Day Visit to the Severn Valley Railway, 5th August (Derby), 2nd September, 7th October,
4th November, 15th November (Lunch), 2nd December.
Richard Malins, Honorary Secretary: 7 Orient St, London SE11 4SR