York Evening Meetings and events 2021-2








15 December 2021    Christmas Event    7.00pm Great Hall, NRM    Rob Foxon  


Rob Foxon Presents - Railways Remembered - British Locomotives and the Railway Industry


Britain gave the world railways and alongside the works of the established British railway companies, the independent railway industry flourished producing locomotives and rolling stock for all parts of the world. Locomotive building in the private sector was much more adventurous than in mainstream British main line and the manufacturers had to take a lead in technological development.

This programme of rare archive films includes a special screening of British Locomotives. Produced for the Locomotive and Allied Manufacturers Association in 1959 and with locomotive production at full capacity, this film was made for screening to overseas railway representatives, as a film made to sell locomotives.  NB.  This event will not be available on ZOOM.



Featuring: Henry Ford’s replica ‘Rocket’ built at the Robert Stephenson & Co. works at Darlington in 1929!


Steam locomotives produced by the Vulcan Foundry leaving England for the Indian sub-continent.


Wartime locomotive production at the giant North British Locomotive Company works in Glasgow.


Industrial shunting locomotives by Simplex of Bedford and John Fowler of Leeds.


Manchester built Beyer Garratt articulated steam locomotives in action.


Production of Brush Type 2 (Class 31) locomotives for British Railways at Loughborough in 1961.


Railway modernisation in Britain in the 1960s.


Plus much more!


FILMS! – Screened the way the original film makers intended them to be seen!






Turkey ballotine stuffed with a sage & cranberry stuffing wrapped in savoy cabbage & streaky bacon served with pan roast gravy.

Salmon Wellington wrapped in puff pastry with a sesame crust & baby spinach served with a chive cream sauce.

Roast butternut risotto with sage & blue cheese (GF) (V). Can be vegan friendly on request.

All served with fluffy thyme & garlic roasted potatoes, honey roast root veg, sauté Brussels sprouts & chestnuts

then Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce and rum and raisin ice cream, coffee & mincemeat pretzels.


Special diets can be arranged: advance notice is essential.  A cash bar will be available.


Films and Buffet Dinner tickets --£27.50 per person.


Film programme only - £8 per person.

Please contact the office to book tickets, payable either by credit/debit card, cheque or cash.

11 January 2022     Northern Rail                                                                             Rob Warnes

Northern Trains – the modernisation journey

Rob will outline the modernisation journey so far of the biggest train operating company outside of London and discuss the priorities for further investment to continue that modernisation and decarbonisation journey.


8   February 2022   Time Travail                                                                               Colin Brading

Tracing the course of British railway preservation from early corporate enterprise to today's diverse heritage sector, this presentation will reflect on successes and failures over the years, consider challenges for the future and pay tribute to the dedication of those who not only make history live but who also inspire the making of new history.



8 March 2022         Steam in and around Doncaster, Retford, Newark and Grantham    Chris Nettleton

A selection of photographs and film illustrating the wide variety of steam locomotives and trains operating in and from these important railway centres.

12 April 2022         The Rebuilding of Sir Nigel Gresley                                               Darrin Crone

Darrin will cover the move to York from Grosmont, then describe the dismantling, refurbishment and reassembly of the engine. He will indicate the complexity of skills and facilities available for the work and give the reasons for putting various components out for contractor overhaul including the boiler and wheelsets. He will describe the value of using the NRM workshop and volunteer labour for the project.


York meeting reports Feb/Mar/Apr 2021


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Christmas Hot Buffet Dinner in the Station Hall

Colin Brading, who is a regular speaker at our winter series, gave a lavishly illustrated talk on changes to rail services in South Wales.  Looking at the history of the valley lines from mass coal production to the decline of industries in the 1960s, Colin is working on revitalising the passenger services in the lines leading down to Cardiff.

Colin also posed the question as to what this apparatus was for; answers ranged from "something for pigeons to sit on" to "a line for hanging out the crew's washing".

The answer of course was somewhat technical:- 

Data from "Tank Locomotive for the Taff Vale Railway", Engineering, Volume 39 (27 March 1885), pp. 266, 312-314.

T Hurry Riches served for years as the TVR's locomotive superintendent and from the start seems to have sought the best performance from all of his locomotives. Better known for a long string of 0-6-2T engines, the TVR built this trio four-coupled with bogie tanks in 1884-1885.

Riches adopted a "special form" of blast orifice that may have been unique. The orifice opening could be enlarged by 1/2" (12.7 mm) and shortened by "a couple of inches." He reported that experiments showed that "this blast has enabled goods engines to work at a reduction of fuel of as much as 4 lb to 5 lb per mile compared to the ordinary form of blast.

March 9th, 2021.

Brian Holland, assisted by his technician Michael Chapman, shared some 180 photos taken in 1962/3 as steam was being withdrawn.  Travelling all over the UK, the range of topics covered was superb.  With what seemed like an encyclopaedic knowledge of every detail of every image, he enthralled us with date, day, what he was doing and even why he'd gone there to take each picture.  The four examples here are but just a snippet of the 'journey' Brian took us on in those far off days.  Superb!

Top left is Jubilee 45669 Fisher, at Nuneaton on 25.9.62 as overhead catenary is being constructed.  Steam locos would soon have an ugly yellow stripe across their cab sides to denote whether they could operate under wires.

Top right is O2 63977 at York with a train of oil wagons.  Didn't steam locos have to have a barrier wagon when pulling inflammable tankers?

Lower left is unnamed Britannia 70047  double-heading with diesel 10000 at Bletchley.

Lower right.  No review of the end of steam would be complete without a scrapline view, and here 0-4-2 5815 awaits its end at Swindon. 


April 13th, 2021.

Holding the line: Female Railway Workers in WW2 by Susan Major.

Susan Major gave a fascinating talk, together with audio clips about Female Railway Workers in WW II, which featured the voices of women recorded by the Friends of the National Railway Museum, discussing their wartime railway experiences. During World War II women took on railway roles which were completely new to females. They worked as porters and guards, on the permanent way, and in maintenance and workshop operations. Many were working in ‘men’s jobs’, or working with men for the first time, and these interviews offer tantalising glimpses of conditions, sometimes under great danger. Her talk included women working in the York area: Betty Chalmers was a telephonist when York Station was bombed, and Nellie Nelson was a porter there.  Guard Gladys Garlick helped bring a train to a stop after a V2 had blown a huge hole in the track (V2 flying bomb that is....not a Gresley 2-6-2!).

LNER Guard Gladys Garlick and colleagues Rita and Irene at Bowes Park 1942-43 (National Railway Museum/ Science & Society Picture Library)


A GWR wartime travelling porter (University of Leicester Special Collections)

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Sue's talk - Gladys Garlick and colleagu
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