York Evening Meetings 2021-2

As we do not yet know if and when Covid restrictions will allow indoor meetings to be held, what capacity we will be allowed and what possible social distancing rules will apply, the September and October meetings will be via Zoom.  Please check www.nrmfriends.org.uk/meetings for the Zoom logon details which will be given on the website at least two weeks before the talk.

14 September 2021               By Rail to Victory                                          Philip Benham

In the 76th Anniversary year of the ending of World War II this talk is about the experience of Britain’s Railways in the war years.


12 October 2021        The L&Y in its Heyday                                               Noel Coates


This talk starts with a brief explanation of how the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway developed before going on to all its 20th Century influences.



9 November 2021      The Evolution of Railway Civil Engineering                  Hugh Fenwick

This presentation shows how railway design and construction was pioneered in the north east of England, to be adopted worldwide. It visits a number of mainly British railway projects to identify events that changed design criteria, construction materials and methods to improve progressively railway structures and civil engineering over a period of almost 200 years, concluding with a brief examination of current practice on works underway on the Chinese High Speed Network.

14 December 2021    Christmas Event                                                      Rob Foxon

                                                The Railway Industry

Details and booking arrangements for the Christmas event will appear in the autumn edition of the NRM Review.

11 January 2022        Northern Rail                                                         Rob Warnes

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.


York meeting reports Feb/Mar/Apr 2021

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)


February 9th, 2021.

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. 


Holding the line.jpg
Sue's talk - Gladys Garlick and colleagu
Sue's talk -Travelling Porter GWR.jpg