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Winter 2022/3 issue 182

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.

This issue marks many commemorations.  John Swanwick gives a short pre-amble on the Grouping, implemented on 1 January 1923 and we start a series of four articles by Rob Adamson describing the formation 100 years ago of the ‘Big Four’.  To show no bias, we will be covering them in alphabetical order starting with the GWR, followed by LMS, LNER and SR in the next three issues.  We then step forward to 1948 when Frank Paterson had already been working for some years for the LNER and he describes his early days in north east Scotland as nationalisation happened.  Next it is another jump again to 1998, a mere twenty-five years ago when the tortuous process of privatisation was completed and Chris Stokes describes the often humorous and fascinating goings-on.  We round this off with Mike Peart’s summary of the last 75 years in a year-by-year diary of events.  With the benefit of hindsight, and the personal experience of a lot of our members who were in the industry, were these great upheavals of 100, 75 and 25 years ago for the better…or not? 

   We can’t forget the centenary of Flying Scotsman, and this flagship of the National Collection will be out and about, and we’re looking for help in making the most of this opportunity for some fund-raising after three years of virtually no fund-raising activities.

   Changes are also afoot in the FNRM, with new premises, new staff and potentially a new organisational structure; Chairman Philip Benham outlines these.

   However we do have room for other diverse subjects, with freight featured in the second part of David Hodgson’s time at EWS trying to get consumer goods manufacturers and retailers to adopt rail, and we also look at Leicestershire coal traffic, coal once a huge feature of freight but now no more.  We have, potentially, the final round up of Old Tunnels Never Die, and returning to Flying Scotsman, Brian Harfield relates the role of Retford in the life and times of this locomotive and those who have been associated with it, also tying in our ongoing railway pubs project.   By the way, with the threat of pub closures (again!) please search out railway-related pubs for our collection.

   Meanwhile, the NRM is undergoing great change, and with the granting of planning permission, the huge Vision 2025 project gains momentum, one of the major immediate effects (notwithstanding being moved out of our Weighbridge office!) being the closure of Station Hall for 2023.  Karen Baker gives us an update with particular emphasis on one of the centre-pieces of the new displays being the London Waterloo WH Smith bookstall.  Much is going on in Shildon, with the cutting of the first sods in preparation for ‘New Hall’ which will be one of, if not, the largest collections of historical railway vehicles undercover in the world.

   We have our regular features with no less than ten pages of beautiful photos of locomotives around at the time of Grouping, plus our two regular ‘quizzes’, Where, What, When? and a crossword, plus book reviews covering a very diverse range of subjects this time.  Another 80 pages of, hopefully, interest and news.  

Cover: The Act that changed it all - the first page of the 1921 Act which lead to the Grouping on 1 January 1923

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