BASINGSTOKE & DISTRICT RAILWAY SOCIETY
September 2011 Vol.39: No 9
Visit us at www/bdrs70d.co.uk
Chairman Secretary Joint Editors
David Brace Alison Bown Sandra & David Brace
48, Hatch Lane 5B Melford Gardens 48, Hatch Lane,
Old Basing Basingstoke RG22 5EZ Old Basing,
Basingstoke, RG24 7EB Tel: 01256 819401 Basingstoke, RG24 7EB
Tel: 01256 323958 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01256 323958
e-mail: email@example.com e-mail: see Chairman’s email
FORTHCOMING MEETINGS to be held at Wote Street Club, Basingstoke Centre normally at 8pm.
Wednesday 14th September BROAD GAUGE RAILWAY JOURNEY PART 2 - Canon Brian Arman
Wednesday 28th September ON & OFF THE FOOTPLATE - Bill Davies, using slides and anecdotes,
will give a résumé of his 40 year railway career taking in Toton,
Nottingham, the GC, Kings Cross, the Southern and Bedford. He will
offer some childhood memories including various trams and Liverpool’s
overhead railway before focusing on his early working years.
Wednesday October 12th THE LAST YEARS OF BRITISH RAIL -Richard Stumpf, will remind us
of UK rail in the days before TOCs and FOCs. Slam door units and
loco hauled coaches dominated on passenger services. Using slides
from 1991, he will show that the changes in the 1990s were as
significant as the 1960s.
Wednesday October 26th EMERGING TRAM SYSTEMS – UK AND OVERSEAS - Paul Dawkins
began his career with BR in the late 60s and now runs his own civil
engineering consultancy. He will describe the challenges faced in
constructing and subsequently operating and maintaining many of the
modern light rail systems at home and abroad.
We would be pleased to hear from anyone who could give a railway-based presentation.
This Newsletter is produced by the B&DRS and is issued free of charge and for the interest of its
members and of the Society’s friends
Alan George, a Hunslet 2' Gauge 0-4-0T, runs round its train a t
Henllan on the Teifi Valley Railway in Carmarthensh ire. The less
than clement weather shows that it is July 2011. Alan George was
built in Leeds in 1894 and worked in the Penrhyn Qu arries until
1953 and sold in 1965. Photograph by David Brace
At the end of July, Network Rail published its latest Route Utilisation Strategy for London and the
South East. Earlier in the year I indicated some of the draft findings and recommendations as it
effects us here on the South West Mainline to Waterloo. These findings have generally been
confirmed but some of the recommendations have changed and so this may be the subject of an
article in a future Newsletter. The level of overcrowding predicted by 2031 is still the highest of any
route into London at 7000 passengers in excess of capacity for the highest peak hour. Some
interesting proposals are put forward for dealing with this gap including a 5th line from Surbiton to
Clapham Jn, extending CrossRail 2 (Hackney - Chelsea) to Wimbledon and Surbiton, longer trains
and AC electrification from Basingstoke to Reading. All are mega ££££s with long lead times.
Freight from Southampton via Basingstoke and Reading is also likely to increase from around 20
trains each way per direction to 51 with more being routed via Andover as the mainline becomes
more congested. Trains will be 665m to 750m in length and passing loops will be lengthened.
We will be in Colorado again for a month from mid September and so the October Newsletter will be
produced and printed before our first September meeting. Hopefully there will be no more
programme changes other than those detailed below. Note the revised rules and date for the
Photographic Competition. If you do not support it this year by submitting some pictures it could be
the last year of the competition.
OTHER SOCIETY MEETINGS
Meon Valley Locomotive Society
September 13th “Chairman’s Night” Barry Eagles
October 11th “Aspects of Southern Steam & The Golden Arrow” Mike Pym
The Railway Club of the New Forest
September 30th “Railways of Rhodesia & Zimbabwe (1975-2000) Alan Inder
October 28th “Isle of Man Railways and Other Aspects of this Island” John Barrowdale
Newbury & District Transport Group
September 16th “The Dick Sainsbury Collection. Railways 1950s/1960s” John Barrowdale
October 21st “Steamy Eruptions in Indonesia”, Sumatra and Java 1984 Tim Edmonds
Oxfordshire Railway Society
September 14th “On and Off the Footplate” Bill Davies
October 12th “Forest of Dean Railways” Ian Pope
CHANGES TO OUR PROGRAMME
For a number of reasons, our programme of talks published in our February Newsletter has some
changes in the next 3 months. Please note the following :
Wednesday October 12th Annual Photographic Competition put back to 23rd November and
replaced by Richard Stumpf’s talk entitled “The Last Year’s of British Rail”.
Wednesday 26th November Home and Abroad in 2011 by Ian Francis put back to 12th April 2012
and replaced by “Annual Photographic Competition”.
Please note that the rules for the Annual Photographic Competition are broadly as last year (see
August 2010 Newsletter). The main changes are:
a. All entries must have been taken within the last 3 years.
b. Up to five entries per category can be submitted and each category should have the entries
ranked from 1 to 5. If too many entries are submitted, the compiler will reduce the size of
entries by removing the lowest ranked pictures.
c. All entries must be received by David Brace on or before 7th November
REVIEW OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
MEETING ON 10TH AUGUST 2011
Indian Hill Railways by David Brace
Our Chairman enthralled a full house with an illustrated presentation on his and wife Sandra’s trip to
India earlier this year to travel on and photograph three hill railways: Kalka to Shimla and the
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in the north, and the Nilgiri Railway in the south.
David’s digital images were complemented by video footage taken by a fellow traveller which added
sound and movement for fuller appreciation of the experience, particularly the bustling and
boisterous local people, the shops and markets, the railway workforce, its workshops and, frequently
British made, infrastructure. There was also the exceptional scenery and, of course, the sturdy and
stoic (and usually veteran) steam locomotives slogging their way ever upwards by way of reversals
and/or spirals to gain height rapidly – although, in relation to each of the railways, the word ‘rapidly’
needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. An hour’s delay for a locomotive to come off shed when no
other traffic was on the line was one example.
For a few rupees cab rides were available, one being described by David as hell on earth – down on
the cab floor with handkerchief over his nose and mouth to keep out the noxious exhaust. What he
really meant was that it was the best ever! Even better than on the Darjeeling Railway where, with
no cab back and the fireman perched on the coupling with the first carriage, David had first hand
experience of the dangerous conditions endured by the locomen on every journey up and down the
In their three weeks away, David and Sandra travelled the length and breadth of the country to visit
the three hill railways but, being a very reasonable man, he also made sure that several important
cultural sites were included in the itinerary: the Taj Mahal, the Golden Temple at Amritsar and the
Jama Masjid Temple at Delhi to name but a few. We also saw the changing of the guard at the
India/Pakistan boundary demonstrating that John Cleese is not the only one who can carry off silly
Described by David as the holiday of a lifetime (so far), it was plain to see how exceptional the whole
experience must have been. Clag and culture. Steam and sweat. Dust and dirt. Everything a railway
enthusiast, particularly of a certain age, could ask for.
MEETING ON 24th AUGUST 2011
The Great Central Railway in the First World War by Martin Bloxsom
Martin returned, we believe for the 5th time, to present a talk about how the 10th largest railway
company in the UK, the GCR, was involved in and was affected by the happenings of World War I.
In 1914 the GCR had around 31,000 employees, all but 75 male. By 1918 numbers had dropped to
29,000 of whom 8800 were women. Two telling photographs illustrated this graphically. The first,
pre-war, showed an all male staff with a number of lads and porters. The second, post-war, showed
a number of women staff and no young men.
Martin explained how senior staff, such as Sam Fay, were seconded to the government to manage
the transport logistics of the war and he also demonstrated some of the detailed work down at the
lower levels - including lady cleaners working on a humble goods engine.
Shipping featured as the GCR had a cross-channel fleet prior to the war and three were interned in
Germany, complete with crews. Many ships were lost once Germany unleashed its u-boats.
The GCR were required by government to build two long ambulance trains and these were used
around the whole of he UK.
Martin illustrated his talk with slides taken of pictures in the GCR in-house magazine.
This was yet another fascinating talk on a little known subject so thank you Martin, yet again.
ERRATA - JULY NEWSLETTER
There were two errors in the last newsletter for which