Winter 2020/1 issue 174

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.

It’s January, and the temptation is to look back over the past year.  One brief look immediately tells us that 2020 is a year to forget, but like most ‘momentous’ years, it will probably be one long-remembered.  So, in this issue we’ve gone back fifty and one hundred years looking at railways in 1921 and 1971, Picture Gallery features the new locos of 1921, there’s a look at a railways Who’s Who (1921) and we look at the GWR in that year.  We then look at 1971 to see what was happening, including decimalisation.  Magnetic levitation was being looked at as a new form of railway propulsion and one of the engineers describes his work on this, leading to the setting up of the Derby R&D team in 1973.


Containerisation, another railway revolution, was taking off around 1971, and we also look at locomotives we lost in 1971 – a slew of mainly unsuccessful types some less than ten years old – Claytons, Baby Deltics, Warships and others.       Personal recollections in this issue include working at EWS and life as a young apprentice at Polmadie in 1944.  Using the wealth of oral history we have, life at Woodford Halse railway lodgings in Northamptonshire is described, railway lodgings once being an important part of railway workers’ lives.  From further back in time, how did railway staff apprehend someone who had just taken a shot at the Monarch?   We have a final round-up of railway pub signs and plenty of new book reviews, plus a list of our latest second-hand books for sale.

The FNRM has allocated a large sum for the redevelopment of Station Hall at the NRM, York.  This is one of the largest, if not the largest, donation to a single project in the Friends’ 43 years and one of the NRM’s project team shows us the plans for this major project.   Renovation at Shildon is also described with some photos of the superb sympathetic restoration of heritage buildings there.

Finally, in the 174 issues of NRM Review, stretching back over forty years, we have amassed a huge library of articles and news of Britain’s railways.  In order to try and unlock this vast treasure trove of information, an online indexing project has been launched and details are given on how to access, through this website, the growing number of back-issues that have been indexed so far.

Following a challenge set in the last NRM Review, so far we have not heard of any extant steam locomotives with a right-facing lion on the BR late crest, a ‘mistake’ applied in 1956/7 when the early crest of the lion across a wheel was replaced.  A task during lockdown – check your photos to see if this ‘quirk’ has been preserved anywhere in the UK.

This winter issue is another 84-page bumper issue, one of the benefits of membership of the FNRM.  Details of how to join can be found on this website.