Area Groups 2018

Area Groups - 2018 Activity

Essex and Southend Dinner - 4th December 2018

On Tuesday 4th December 2018, Members of the Trust in both the Essex and Southend Groups were invited to a Christmas Lunch held in Maylands Golf Club, Brentwood, Essex.

Essex Christmas lunch 2018

They were joined by a number of Directors for a traditional Christmas Lunch in a very relaxing and festive atmosphere. On this occasion our Chairman, Brian Hall, was presented with contributions arising from the sale of N Gauge Railway equipment and the recent Shoeburyness Model Engineering Show.

This was a very enjoyable introduction to the festive season and an excellent opportunity to reflect on a successful year.

Cambridge and Fens Group: Tour of March Railway features - 16th November 2018

An enjoyable tour round the railway features of March was conducted for a small but manageable party of B17 members. Peter Wright, Cambs and Fens Area Group Leader, acted as guide. The tour started at March South Junction, visited East Junction and then admired the architecture of the Victorian station building. Other ancillary buildings included the GER goods shed, stables, band room (which the GER's directors had authorised)  and the last remaining, but near derelict, building associated with the ECR's original engine shed.

The tour then visited the Great Northern public house in Norwood Road, which is a reminder that the GNR at one time had its independent access to March from Spalding. The party then walked to the crest of the adjacent road over bridge where Peter pointed out the sites of March North, March West and Whitemoor Junction signalboxes, and the course of the road over a level crossing which the bridge had replaced. The triangular layout that gave access to the enormous Whitemoor Yard could be seen from here. Peter briefly explained the history of the yard's growth. The party moved off along Norwood Road, passing terraces of workers cottages built in the late Victorian era for the GN/GE Joint and GER companies. A brief visit along Hundred Road followed; from this road, generations of local enthusiasts viewed the comings and goings of locomotives visiting the March locomotive depot.

Retracing their route back over the bridge to Twenty Foot at the northern end of Whitemoor, several members of the party expressed surprise at the extent of the marshalling facilities. The final point of call was Middle Drove level crossing, where just over 75 years ago 2848 'Arsenal' burst out of the early morning Fenland fog and struck a car on the crossing. It was poignant that as the party were being told about the circumstances of this fatal accident, a modern diesel passenger train sped out of the mist towards March, just as 2848 had done all those years before.

Following the tour, all the participants were supplied with a portion of an immense cottage pie and vegetables cooked by Peter's wife Maureen. All the participants expressed their thanks by contributing generously to B17 SLT funds. It is hoped to repeat this event in the future.

Southend Group Activity: Romford MRC Show - Saturday 3rd November 2018

The Southend Group manned the B17 Sales stand at the Romford Show last Saturday. It was reasonably well attended and we were pleased with the interest shown.

From the usual range of B17 merchandise, we had a selection of second hand N Gauge stock for sale which proved to be very popular. If anyone has any Model Railway equipment which they would like to donate to the Trust, we would be pleased to receive it. Thanks to Frank Carter, Jeff Jackson, Eddie Savage for their help, in addition to John Pearson and Larry Sampson.







Norfolk and Suffolk Group Activity: AMREx 2018 - Saturday 6th October 2018

The annual Exhibition of the Aylsham Model Railway Club was held on 6th October, in both the Parish Hall and the Aylsham Station of the Bure Valley Railway. Both venues were connected by a free bus service operated by a preserved London Transport Routemaster Bus (RML 2140). It was a new event for the Trust and our presence at the Show had been masterminded by our local Area Group Leader - Mr. John Peat. We were allocated stand space just inside the main entrance to the Station, which was ideal as everyone entering had to walk past us.
Despite it being a very cold and wet day, we were told that there had been approx 450 visitors to the Show. Indeed, we seemed to have someone on the Stand virtually non stop. This made the time pass very quickly and I can confirm that the free refreshments offered by the Organisers were excellent - always a bonus when you are on your feet all day!
Apart from the usual B17 Merchandise, we had, for the first time, a collection of 2nd hand N Gauge Models for sale, which proved to be very popular. This may be something we look at doing regularly, but it will always be a small display. 
We did make contact with a number of interested people and I hope that some of these contacts may be pursued in the months ahead. Altogether a very good day - thanks to John for organising it and hope that we return again.

North East Midlands Group - Report on Papplewick Pumping Station Visit September 15/16th 2018

The North Midlands group of the B17 SLT visited the pumping station with the publicity and sales stand for the first time in September to attend the Vintage Weekend and found what proved to be a most interesting venue with much to interest the public including a Wallis and Stevens steam roller, classic and vintage cars and trade stands of all kinds including one from Mansfield Fire museum.

Papplewick Pumping Station itself was built in 1884 by Nottingham Corporation Waterworks, a fine example of Victorian extravagance complete with stained glass windows and still housing the two original beam engines built by James Watt. It is hard to believe that such fine architecture was out of bounds to the public until 1975 when volunteers became involved.

Other attractions include the 1922 Linby Colliery Winding Engines, a working blacksmiths shop and tours of the Underground Reservoir, which is now out of use but beautifully constructed in a variety of cathedral like brick arches.

Nowadays, water is pumped to the site by large electric pumps from the Bunter Sandstone and then flows by gravity, after treatment, to Nottingham supplemented by additional supplies from the Derwent Dams in Derbyshire (of Dam Buster Fame) and elsewhere in Nottinghamshir

There was quite a lot of interest in our project and both Alan Smalley, Brian Hall and myself agreed that we should return in the future.

I would like to thank Keith Crawford who organised the pitch for us and the friendly Papplewick Association members who made us most welcome.

Richard Allsopp, NE Midlands Group

Cambridge and Fenland Group: Friends of March Station Heritage Weekend - 8th September 2018

B17 SLT were guests of 'Friends of March Station' at their Heritage Weekend event on the morning of 8th September. A early start was required as the event was scheduled to start at 8. 00 am. and a large crowd gathered early to watch the passage of 60009 'Union of South Africa'.

The Trust's stand was stocked with all the usual mixture of items and during the morning sales and interest was quite brisk.

Southend and Essex Group Activity: Billericay MRG Show - Saturday 5th May 2018 

This was the second show put on by the Group and held in the Heritage Centre at Great Baddow. It was a beautiful day, which was good as the venue is somewhat outdoors! We were allocated a space in one of the Halls; the stand was set up on the Friday by Mick and colleagues from the Southend Group. Making good use of the weather, some of the display was outside and attracted a lot of interest. One thing which makes this show different is the very friendly approach of Billericay MRG Members. This was true last year and continued this year - they are all extremely pleased to see visitors and talk about the displays, a fact illustrated by the Mayor of Chelmsford opening the show, allowing 30 mins for his visit and actually staying for 2 hours. Richard Taylor was there in the morning and Larry Sampson dropped in during the afternoon to support the stand. Next year the show will move to a new venue in Billericay and we hope that the prevailing atmosphere transfers with the show - it really is a good opportunity to meet local people and thanks to all the Southend Group for their help.

Southend and Essex Group Activity: Ilford and West Essex MRC Show - Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th April 2018

The 88th IWE MRC Show was held in St. Edwards School, Romford and occupied 3 large Halls within the school. As a personal reflection, my Dad used to take me to see this show every Year and I am now exhibiting there - how time flies!! We delivered the merchandise on Friday evening and Geoff Starns kindly agreed to set up the display early on Saturday morning. Those of us who have done a few shows will know that Geoff is the Master when it comes to the stand display and he did not let us down! We had space for 2 tables depth in front of the display board which allowed a much clearer and attractive display of merchandise - hopefully you can see this from the picture attached. On Saturday, the stand was manned by Mick, Geoff Jackson, Frank and Eddie from the Southend Group whilst Sunday was covered by Geoff Starns, Richard Taylor and Eddie. Saturday was by far the busiest day; Fiddlers Green was also on display for the entire weekend (manned by Larry Sampson and John Pearson). It was a good opportunity to get our message across to people in Essex and many were pleasantly surprised at the progress being made.

Cambridge and Fenland Group: 3rd March 2018

The Cambridge and Fenland Group held a promotional stand on March station platform on Saturday, 3rd. March. They were grateful that the fierce Siberian wind had subsided and the temperature had risen to freezing point. So it was wrap up warm to talk to the passing visitors and railway passengers. Some interesting items were brought in as donations and also sold on during the afternoon. Entertaining conversations were conducted and considering the weather it was a successful event, with hopefully some contacts that will be beneficial in the future.

One interesting item was two thirds of a 31B March shed plate with one of the fixing bolt holes missing. Whilst wondering if this would be of any use to the Trust someone came along and bought it. 

North Midlands Group - Report on the Great Central Railway Winter Steam Gala 26th - 28th January 2018

Brian Hall and Richard Allsopp attended this event on behalf of the B17 Locomotive Trust meeting up on the day before the event to establish our pitch and set up the stand.

It was a three day event and as usual did not disappoint. Firstly, the weather was reasonably good for the time of year with one brief band of rain passing on the Saturday, and the further occasional shower which did not appear to deter the crowds who turned up.

The main attraction was the appearance of two visiting locomotives, the B12 from the North Norfolk Railway and the Hughes-Fowler Crab from the East Lancs line. These visitors were well supported by the GCR’s own fleet including the Jinty 0-6-0 tank, the Riddles 0-6-0 tank 68067, the 9F 2-10-0, the Stanier 8F 2-8-0, two Riddles 2-6-0’s and the 3 car Met Cam DMU.

A number of new members were signed up and a lot of interest was shown in our project. In addition the takings proved to be a record for the Trust, greatly helped by the saleable items received from some of our members.