Spring 2022 issue 179
The NRM Review is of course one of the benefits of being a member of the Friends of the NRM and is published in January, April, July and October.
First, the spring issue contains a couple of appeals, and as you’re reading this online, please could you help us update our membership records with your email address. This makes it much easier to keep in touch with late changes to events. We will of course never divulge email addresses outside of the Friends and will only use them for updates on events and other urgent news. Secondly, with postage rates now going up and banks charging us to cash every cheque, please renew membership online if possible. This will not only save you postage and a walk to the post-box but also save us bank charges and a walk to the bank!
The spring issue includes a wide range of railway-related articles and topics. As is usual in the spring issue, the Chairman’s Report for the previous year and financial accounts are published, together with the agenda for the Annual General Meeting, including minutes of last year’s AGM. Following the disruption to AGMs over the last two years due to Covid, the 2022 AGM in June will now be ‘physical’ again, rather than ZOOM. The lifting of restrictions has also allowed resumption of our outreach and fund-raising activities, and there are several model railway shows which the South of England Group will be attending. We are also planning to form a Midlands Group of the Friends, and the ‘launch meeting’ of this group will be held in late May, near Leicester. In anticipation of much activity with Flying Scotsman next year, its centenary year, we hope that there will be a group of willing volunteers to staff our on-board sales trolley and also our stands at stations where Scotsman will be visiting.
Picture gallery is slightly different in this issue, featuring some wonderful photographs from the winners of the recent Young Railway Photographer competition. These have been on display at York and the exhibition will be moving soon to Shildon.
We have featured some ‘railway personalities and reminiscences’ in this issue. The NRM has strong links with the Sierra Leone railway museum, with our former NRM Director Steve Davies and FNRM Council member, Helen Ashby, still involved in its running. The last manager of the Sierra Leone railway, Richard Norman, was interviewed by Helen and here we tell his varied life-story in railways, many in the north east of England. We go back much further to tell the story of a Victorian-era Chief Inspector of Railways, Captain Tyler, and again in the north east, he reported on an accident in 1877 which would sadly be repeated, same place, same reason more than once over a hundred years later. We also have further instalments of railway careers covering Graeme Miller as a fitter at Polmadie in the early post WW2 period and David Copeland’s continuing work to rectify freight problems in the post-privatisation era with EWS.
Updates on renovations to National Collection locomotives at Shildon are covered by Anthony Coulls and we have an extended commentary on the 5305 Locomotive Association’s work on Sir Lamiel, a National Collection locomotive that has been out on loan for several decades. An article in a previous Review entitled ‘Old tunnels never die…..they just get bored’ has brought more responses from members about more tunnels for which new uses have been found, and also the re-opening of Catesby on the old Great Central which now reverberates to the roar of Formula 1 cars. Which leads us to another novel use of an old tunnel, as a ‘pop-up’ restaurant complete with a brass band……..how would that have sounded in a tunnel!?
Plus of course the regular news from the NRM and Shildon; Where, What, When and crossword puzzles; letters from readers on a wide variety of topics and book reviews. Another 80 pages packed with, we hope, interesting aspects of our fascinating association with railways.