Lectures, Railtours and Railway Walks

Within the railway heritage industry, the most noticeable organisations are those who have worked long and hard to restore sections of closed line to their former glories, as well as rebuilding the locomotives and rolling stock that bring them to life. As well as these groups, at ‘grass-roots’ level are those railway study groups organising annual programmes of film shows, talks and lectures. Some such groups are formed on a one-off basis and cover a particular geographical area. Others are nationwide and have different branches in different areas. One of the latter is the Locomotive Club of Great Britain, founded in 1949 and still going strong today.

Within the LCGB are a number of regional branches, one of which is the St Albans Branch, situated in Hertfordshire. In 2013, this Group celebrated the 50th Anniversary of its foundation in 1963. I was asked to write a history of the Branch, the result of which is ‘Lectures, Railtours and Railway Walks‘. The book describes the hard work put in by many people to get the Branch to where it is today, one of the most popular within the LCGB. It throws a spotlight on the work that has to be done at committee level, out of sight of many of the people that visit the Branch, and which enables a successful organisation to flourish. Arguably the greatest success of the Branch was the running, during the early 1970s, of four special trains along the now-closed railway line between Hemel Hempstead and Harpenden, which, at that time, was being used by a private company. The latter three trains had open wagons to convey the guests; the original excursion ended up with the participants travelling on the footplate and running plates of the diesel locomotive used!

Copies of the book can be obtained via the jacett.co.uk website and from myself, Murray Eckett, on murray@mustang100.plus.com


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