The second half of the season fixtures are now live on the website https://plymouthrailwaycircle.weebly.com/2019-20-meetings-programme.html
Plymouth Railway Circle Vice-President Bernard Mills looks back to 3rd October 1970 when he jointly organised a rail-tour 'Exmoor Belle'.
Bernard Say's "It was 49 years ago this month. Route was Exeter St Davids -Barnstaple-Ilfracombe-Barnstaple-Meeth-Barnstaple-Exeter Goods Lines-Exeter St Davids, formed by a 3 car Class 118DMU W51328+W59498+W51313".
Many thanks Bernard for some excellent images and a look back on our history.
Several members and guests of the PRC met for the final summer fixture by walking the Redlake Tramway at Ivybridge and viewing the surviving structures of the railway.
The group was able to view the former tramway loco shed high above Bittaford, some members of the party went down inside the shed to stand on the concrete floor, our Vice-President Bernard Mills observing the former inspection pit has been filed in!
A glorious sunny day was the perfect setting for the PRC visit to the West Somerset Railway; 10 members and 1 wife made the short trip up to Bishop Lydeard. The group travelled on the first departure of the day 10:15 to Minehead. The party had a very enjoyable ride on a packed 9 carriage train, upon arriving at Minehead the group was given a private tour of the workshop facilities at Minehead. A handful of locomotives was either receiving attention or in varoius stages of heavy overhaul.
After finishing the tour of the workshops, the group made the short trip down to Blue Anchor, where the duty signalman gave a very interesting and informative talk about the box and the signalling of the line.
A group photo was duly taken outside of the signal box at Blue Anchor.
The group returned back to Minehead where a two hour window of free time allowed the group to explore Minehead, with majority of the group visiting the local Wetherspoon pub 'The Duke of Wellington'. With the group reassembling back at the station they travelled back on the last steam train of the day departing at 16:30 arriving back into Bishop Lydeard just before 18:00.
We would like to express our gratitude to David Goodyear for liaising with the WSR and organising the trip, with some last minute changes to the itinerary it was still a very enjoyable day out.
Just a reminder to PRC members of the forthcoming visit to the West Somerset Railway on Sunday 28th July 2019 which promises to be a great day out.. Any members who would like a lift up and back to Bishop Lydeard please can you let Colin Lang know (contact details available from the PRC Journal) or message us through the contact page so we know numbers and make appropriate arrangements. Petrol contributions to appropriate driver welcomed.
The second summer meeting saw ten PRC members brave the weather on Dartmoor to walk the former Okehampton Row Tor Military Railway on Monday 17th June. The group was led by Bernard Mills and Jeremy Clark who have walked the railway previously and was greeted with a break in the weather for a small amount of sunshine, The second photograph shows Eastern balloon loop of Row Tor Military Railway with Belstone Tor in the background.
Many thanks to Bernard and Jeremy for providing an enjoyable evening.
The first Summer meeting of the PRC saw 16 members visit the Tamar Belle at Bere Ferres. Majority of the members travelled by train on the 18:23 departure from Plymouth, with some joining at Devonport and St Budeaux, whilst others met the group at Bere Ferres, we was also joined by our good friend and PRC member Maurice Dart.
Our host for the evening was Chris Grove who over the years has amassed a collection of railway carriages wagons and locomotives, the group was treated to a number of rides on the small stretch of line before being served an excellent buffet. Chris was host, guide, driver and waiter for the evening and gave the PRC a very enjoyable evening with the group returning on the 22.43 service back to Plymouth.
The Tamar Belle is open to the public and also Bed and Breakfast is available in one of the restored carriages, full details available from their website http://www.tamarbelle.co.uk/
The 18th May 2019 saw the end of the line for HST operating in and out of London Paddington for GWR, a couple of days after the events saw 43002 stabled in Embankment Road sidings, with 43185 being shunted and readied for it's departure a couple days later. PRC member Gareth Harrison managed to capture 43002 in the sidings and possibly capturing 43185 last moves around the depot with it's name plates still fitted.