* Remembering the Rye & Camber, some notes made by the late Ken Clarke for a book on this charismatic line which was never published. The notes were deposited with the Colonel Stephens Museum. Laurie Cooksey has brought together those which never made it into his own book.
· Stunning photos of the bridge spans being put in place at Robertsbridge
· News from Albyn Austin of the restoration of the ex-Metropolitan Railway 4-wheel coach, which once ran on the WC&PR
· The second and final part of Paul Jackson’s analysis of traffic patterns on the S&MR
· A report on the project to widen the historic Cob at Porthmadog to enable reconstruction of the platform at Harbour Station
· Laurie Cooksey marks the centenary of re-opening of the S&MR Criggion Branch
· Brian Janes marvels at a surviving chair from the old Potts
The Colonel 120
Colonel 120 celebrates the Society’s 30th year with our usual 32 page A5 size Journal having 4 pages of colour photos. There are articles by our two founder members:- one about anecdotes of his visits to the Shropshire and Montgomery Railway while the other relates the author’s life after leaving the Society. The autumn 1939 Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Railway timetable is discussed with comments by Howard Carey, son of one of the railway’s guards and always an enthusiast for the line. Howard also explains the train services in the 1930s, the uses of the coaching stock and the locomotives, with notes on their liveries. The WC&P is the setting of the Society’s Christmas card which shows the loco Hesperus with one of the American style coaches. Other short articles cover the motive power on the Snailbeach District Railways, the last 50 years of operations on the Weston Point Light Railway and a trip on the North Devon and Cornwall Junction Railway not long before it and the much busier lines to Bude and Padstow all shut. “Blasts from the Past” catalogues articles and features on the Colonel’s railways in “Railway Bylines” magazine with brief summaries of the articles. There are also a few more interesting snippets from old magazines. There is a review of Jonathan Clay’s new book of and about his locomotive paintings with the proceeds going to the Railway Children’s charity. All this plus our regular features:- News and Events, Press Digest, Society News, Modelling Notes and Dispatches (letters). Join now for four issues of the Colonel for a tenner!
'The Colonel' is an informative journal containing, News, Reviews, Reports and articles about the life and times of Colonel Holman Fred Stephens and the railways he was involved with.
It is produced quarterly and delived free to members of the 'Colonel Stephens Society'
The Colonel - Journal of the Colonel Stephens Society
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The Colonel 132
The Colonel 131
The Colonel 130
The Colonel 129
The Colonel 128
The Colonel 127
The Colonel 126
The Colonel 125
Colonel 133 includes our usual round up of news both in the Society and the wider world of Stephens’ railways. It is 150 years since his birth but I’m sure he, and the Salford Terrace staff, would be delighted that his railways are still remembered and that even in 2018 parts of them are still running.
In this issue Brian Janes sorts out the very complicated story of Rother Valley and K&ESR coaches prior to 1914, while Richard Barton describes how he built an RVR rake of coaches from etched brass and plasticard. “Blasts from the Past” features a cache of early 1950s Drawings of Stephens’ stock in the “Model Maker” magazine discovered by Ian Cross. Brian Janes has also found a possible new loco that ran on the WC&PR—see “The Mysterious Hecate” on page 27. There is also an account of the teenage Stephens stay in France and the usual interesting letter and emails in Dispatches.
There are also some photos of Howard Carey’s Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Railway collection of fascinating paperwork and memorabilia. There are several book reviews including the new and much enlarged edition of the book on Colonel Stephens’ Railmotor available to members at a reduced price from Nigel Bird.
Colonel 132’s cover features the blue plaque to commemorate Colonel Stephens recently erected at Tonbridge station. There is more about the event inside. Besides our usual features Ralph Gillam concludes his story of a 1950 coach trip with a visit to the Kelvedon and Tollesbury Light Railway, where he rode in the former Wisbech and Upwell tram car. There is a feature on the early Great Eastern coaches, bought bythe Rother Valley Railway, and the Pickering specification for the three bogie carriages supplied to the Kent and East Sussex Railway in 1905. Were the third class seats arranged longitudinally along the coach walls or were they the usual two plus two type with a central gangway? Both options were offered. “Press Digest” includes more information on Ffestiniog signalling in the 19th and 20th century. “Dispatches” adds more information on Ford railcar gearboxes and confirms that the giant “Boche-Buster” gun did reach Halwill Junction at the end of the North Devon &Cornwall Railway, but probably never ran over the line. However it was briefly stationed on the East Kent Railway. A photo of the 1978 staff reunion of Stephens’
surviving staff and its accompanying letter makes interesting reading. There are someinteresting photos of the WC&PR with a thought on what traffic might have been intended for Wick Saint Lawrence wharf. The book of the diaries of the Southern Railway’s Gilbert Szlumper and Leo Amery is reviewed as is one on Sebastian Meyer, the “Light Railway King of the North”, hardly remembered today, but a man who built nearly as many light railways as the Colonel. Finally the back cover has
two evocative colour photos from the 1960s of Fallgate Quarry, the last vestige of the Ashover Light Railway
Colonel 131 features an account of the AGM and the AGM weekend activities. The cover portrays the latest museum acquisition, a set of K&ESR coach transfers, rather elaborately shaded. Other features include a list of the Colonel’s unfulfilled schemes and some more WC&PR photos with comments from Howard Carey, the son of one of the guards. Modelling notes has lots to report- an OO “P” Class and a new proposal for an OO “Terrier” plus 3D body models of various Stephens’ prototypes. “Blasts from the Past” records a proposed Hunslet steam railmotor for the Westward Ho and Appledore Railway, while Ralph Gillam recalls a 1950 coach trip to visit the Coryton Light Railway. There is a 1979 obituary of Arthur Iggulden, Stephens’ railways accountant, and a 1917 timetable for the East Kent Railway. All this plus the latest news from the various Stephens connected railways and restoration projects, Press Digest of articles about Stephens’ railways and Dispatches which includes a letter on “Boche Buster” the 18” howitzer used in Kent to deter a Nazi invasion in 1940, being based on the North Devon & Cornwall Junction Railway where it fired at least one shell onto Dartmoor. The editor doubts this but has since found he was wrong! See the next Colonel for the full story
Colonel 130 seems to mention most of the Colonel’s railways. As well as the usual News section, AGM details etc there is an article by Andy Probyn of Maxitrack of his connection with Stephens’ railways. In particular he knew Bill Austen Junior through their common interest in model engineering. There is a colour photo of Bill Austen Junior in the centre pages. Chris Grove of the Tamar Belle discusses the Colonel’s dealing with Cornwall and locos with connections to Cornwall. An article features Crich Tramway museum’s near derelict London horse tram body that seems very similar to “Gazelle’s” horse tram trailer. Modelling Notes has a WC&PR bias but Press Digest has a nice photo of a calf being unloaded from the trailer of the Selsey Tramway. There are obituaries of two former CS members – John Spencer and Richard Casserley. The Ffestiniog Railway Heritage Journal features an article on therailway’s connection with the armed forces, especially the First World War, when two employees and two former employees were killed and several invalided out due to wounds or serious illness. There are more details about the FR’s Ulster born directors. The “Tenterden Terrier” has an article on Kent & East Sussex Railway in
the early 1930s showing how important to the railway was the former Southern Railway “Camelback” tank engine acquired in the early 1930s. “Dispatches” has more thoughts on whether the Revd. Awdry in his school days near the K&ESR saw “Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Varnished Rubbed Down Ply” on some of the K&ESR coaches. There are also more photos of K&ESR cattle wagons and some thoughts on what they might be. Some interesting photos of the Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Railway have explanatory captions by Howard Carey and a nice photo of Rye Harbour shows the former Rye and Camber “Golf Links” station. Finally we have an article on building a “Terrier” tank loco for a garden railway using 3D printing.
Colonel 129 has a wide range of articles. We catch a glimpse of a twilight moment on the East Kent Railway, how the Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Railway nearly acquired two ex-LSWR 4-4-0 locos, the last advertised passenger service on the S&M in 1936, the origins of S&M wagon 49 and was Stephens the origin of the “Fat Controller” in the Awdry books? Find out why the Ffestiniog “Fairlie” acquired the name “Livingston Thompson”, proposals for passenger carriages for the Snailbeach District Railways, Howard Carey provides some interesting captions to photos of the Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Railway plus supplying some diagrams of the various lettering to be found on WC&PR wagons, there is an interesting photo of a fruit train being loaded at Calstock on the Plymouth, Devonport and South West Junction before 1914, and another blueprint view of a further Great Eastern cattle wagon design that may have ended up on the Kent and East Sussex Railway. All this plus our usual news, modelling and magazine reports of the Colonel’s railways.
Colonel 128 has all the usual society news from railways and preservation groups with a Colonel connection. There are details of two Selsey tramway film clips, and the arrival of the replica Ford railmotor at Tenterden. In Society news are details of possible blue plaques for the Colonel, the WC&PR centenary model railway show at Portishead Leisure Centre on 22nd October 2017 and next year’s May AGM weekend. Articles include a 1930s account of a journey on the K&ESR, the last passenger services on the “Potts” (Shropshire & Montgomeryshire), the contents of the sidings at the “Potts’” Kinnerley shed in 1937, track drains on the Ffestiniog and what details are known about the elusive K&ESR cattle wagons. Colour photos include the replica railcar, the body of the old Wolseley railcar in the 1970s, 1960s photos of K&ESR stations at High Holden Road and Junction Road. Details of the new 7mm coach kits for Stephens’ railways from Alphagraphix, the delightful 7mm Dapol “Terrier” tank model in WC&PR livery from “Antics” and the 4mm version from Hornby using the old Dapol moulds with all their inaccuracies and even getting the livery wrong with gold lettering rather than yellow. There are also book and CD reviewsThe Colonel 127
Colonel 127 has all the usual features. It includes an account of our 30th AGM and our AGM weekend visits to the Mid Norfolk and North Norfolk preserved railways. The last passenger timetable for the Shropshire and Montgomeryshire railway is explained together with an account of a trip over the line in the early 1930s. We also have an account of a 1956 trip on a coal train over the East Kent Railway. Blasts from the past has an account of the EKR in the 1930s, the Selsey Manning Wardle locos and details of Southern Railway locos hired in to work the K&ESR. Tom Burnham has notes on the Colonel’s Wolseley Siddeley and his 11 HP Brasier cars. There are details of early Festiniog loco liveries and about the FR’s second manager, John Hughes. There are notes on the post Great War story of the loco that became EKR No. 5, the Adams Radial Tank, how the Selsey Tramway was considered as an alternative location to the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch and confirmation of Stephens’ birthday as 31st October 1868. There are two previously unknown photos of the K&ESR wagon 13, and ex SER Cattle Wagon and reviews of three recent books and a DVD.
Colonel 126 has all the usual features of news of Stephens related railways and the Society. Articles feature the mysterious “tin saloon” centre car for the Ford railmotor at Selsey, a 1939 visit to the Shropshire and Montgomeryshire and theories about the origins of the name of Locomotive “Morous”. Modelling notes features details of new products and Stephens themed layouts. There is a plan of WC&PR 2-4-0 “Clevedon” and more information on the KESR’s Pickering steam railmotor. “Blasts from the Past” features East Kent Railway passenger services to Sandwich Road and a 1946 trip on the KESR. Dispatches has letters on the WC&PR small Drewry railcar trailer, the ex-LCDR 0-6-0T hired to the EKR in 1944 to 1945, the derailed Selsey train photo in the last issue, and the last BR passenger train to Tenterden in 1960. The new book on the Portmadoc, Beddgelert and South Snowdon Railway is reviewed, a line on which work started but faded away until it was replaced by the Welsh Highland Railway in the 1920s.
The cover for this issue has a colour photo of the last British Railways’ train to Tenterden, Kent and East Sussex Railway, in 1961 as part of a response to a member’s query about this train and what locomotives worked it. Inside there is more about the origins of the short-lived Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Railway locomotive “Portishead”. It looks increasingly likely that it was originally “North Western” of the Jersey Railways, with some convincing photos showing the two locomotives from a similar viewpoint. There are tales of 1940s visits to the Snailbeach, a 1948 visit to the East Kent railway and a 1952 visit to Tenterden and Rolvenden stations. A 1933 Shropshire and Montgomeryshire timetable and a 1937 WC&PR one are featured. The colour centre spread shows the locos for the last BR trip to Tenterden taking water at Robertsbridge and then some recent photos of preservation progress at Robertsbridge including the erection of a new water tower. There are notes about the man behind the building of the Welsh Highland Railway, Mr. Jack, plus details of next year’s AGM, and all our usual features about recent news, modelling notes and letters.
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The Colonel 123
The Colonel 122
The Colonel 121
The Colonel 119
The editor’s liking for the current scene on Colonel Stephens’ related railways has surfaced with some colour photos of Class 66 locos leaving Runcorn from the remains of the Weston Point Light Railway on the front and rear covers. The centre spread colour also includes a recent photo of a Class 153 single unit working the Gunnislake service over the remaining portion of the Plymouth, Devonport and South West Junction Railway.
As well as our usual features of news and events we also have some interesting articles. There is a personal account by the late Bill Willans on his memories of assisting with the trials of the pioneer Kerr Stuart diesel loco no. 4415 on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway in 1928-9. There is a report of ticket issuing by the guard walking along the outside of the coaches on the Kent and East Sussex Railway about the time of the First World War; the likely livery of the East Kent Railway’s Adam’s Radial Tank in the 1920s is discussed prior to the issue of the Oxford 4mm model of this loco in EKR livery; and some information on PD&SWJR wagons bought from Pickerings. There are interesting photos of the Selsey Tramway station at Chichester, the derelict Boston Lodge works of the FR in 1953 and the rolling stock of the Rye and Camber Tramway. There are more letters than usual adding information to articles in previous Colonels plus some interesting summaries of articles from vintage magazines. All in all an interesting and well balanced issue!
The summer 2016 “Colonel” contains articles on the AGM and the weekend visits. These were to the Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway for a trip behind their Baldwin 4-6-0 778, a bus tour along the course of the former Brill branch and a visit to the Quainton Road site of the Buckinghamshire Railway Society. An article looks at the origins and possible identity of the WC&PR loco “Portishead” that briefly served on the railway in the early 1900s. Other articles consider the large WC&PR Drewry Railcar and that railway’s ex-Metropolitan coaches. There is the latest news on the societies dedicated to Stephens’ railways and reports of new ready to run models with Stephens’ connections. An article tells the story behind a vintage Rye and Camber Motor Rail loco model. Two booklets on the Ashover and Bishop’s Castle Railways are reviewed, as is the latest Festiniog Railway Heritage Group Journal, and two recent articles about the former PD&SWJR. This now forms the Gunnislake branch from Plymouth. “Blasts from the Past” reports on locos in use on the wartime K&ESR as well as three model railway items from 1981 and the early 2000s. Dispatches includes a splendid photo of the former “Walton Park” as rebuilt and in industrial service in the 1950s and Dana Wiffen explains the strategy of the current EKR developments. There is also a reference to a film clip of the WC&PR in the 1930s and three lovely 1935 photos of WC&PR locos at Clevedon shed.
This issue begins with the sad news that well respected author and keen Society member Stephen Garrett has died after a long battle with cancer. He was a modest and helpful man with a huge knowledge of the K&ESR and the EKR who we’ll miss. He made many contributions to the Colonel over the years and was a regular attendee at our AGM weekends where he was always very friendly and helpful.
On a happier note Brian Janes has written an interesting article on the men of the Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Railway volunteer fire brigade. Other features include an expenses form for the 1951 AGM of the Snailbeach Railway, the origins of the K&ESR Pickering steam railcar, some recent colour photos of the remains of Wick St Lawrence wharf and several views of “Bodiam” both the real loco and the recent Dapol 7mm model. There is an article on the operation of the Selsey tramway when split into two by the 1910 floods, a possible photo of the Colonel on the deck of the “Lily”, plus two more of him in civilian clothes plus some fascinating letters on recent topics in the Colonel. There are also our regular news feature, Society news and AGM details, modelling notes and two book reviews.
Sadly as this issue went out there was more sad news that long term Society member Colin Shutt had died of pancreatic cancer just a few days after it was diagnosed. His last days were spent in ensuring that his replica Ford railmotor and mostly complete Ford rail lorry would find a good home in the Colonel Stephens Museum. He was another kind and helpful man who made many contributions to the Colonel and was a regular AGM attendee. Many of us can remember riding in the Ford railcar at our AGM on the K&ESR a few years ago. The photo of the month shows Colin about to crank the engine over at this event.
Hopefully we’ve another interesting issue to entertain and educate you all! Just when we thought after 30 years that we knew all we were going to find out about the Colonel, we received an article on his plans for a Light Railway in Ireland! It was thwarted by the First World War and the subsequent “Troubles”.
We continue the Society’s 30th anniversary theme with an article about the committee and name a few long-serving members. Howard Carey provides some more fascinating insights into the carriages and wagons of the Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Railway. There is a newspaper report on the abandoned Shropshire and Montgomery Railway from the 1890s. We also have a history and update on the Ryde Pier Drewry tramcar project supported by the Society. I’ve published, in vignette form, all the known civilian photographs of the Colonel that the museum possesses, of which there are surprisingly few. “Blasts from the Past” summarises two fascinating articles from ancient “Railway Worlds”. The first is about the fascinating Torrington and Marland industrial line, preceding and later feeding the North Devon and Cornwall Junction Railway. The second article has some interesting stories from the wartime Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Railway.
All this plus our usual features of News and Events, Society News, Book Reviews, Press Digest, Letters and Modelling Notes (with a photo of the new Dapol O gauge Terrier in K&ESR blue livery). We report the unveiling of new information board on the Weston, Clevedon and Portishead at the site of Worle station. Finally we report the 150th Anniversary of the Bishop’s Castle Railway opening. Commemorative plaques were unveiled by local dignitaries at Craven Arms Station and near the station site at Bishop’s Castle. This was a much quieter affair than the opening in 1865 which had floral arches, bands, fireworks and feasts. As the local paper said at the time, it was the next best thing to a public hanging. The line was soon in receivership, where it stayed until closure in 1935, and even the Colonel decided it was in too bad a state to take it on.
The cover features members at the AGM weekend enjoying their reserved carriage on the restored section of the narrow gauge Lynton and Barnstaple Railway high up on Exmoor near Woody Bay Station. This was nearly 3 miles and a 1000ft above this failed Victorian holiday resort.
Inside Ross Shimmon writes up the fascinating story of East Kent Railway No. 5, the Adam’s Radial Tank, which survives today on the Bluebell Railway. Two manufacturers are due to release models in 4mm scale of this attractive engine this year. It was built in 1885 for London outer suburban fast passenger services by the LSWR. It was first put on the scrap line in 1914, made redundant by electrification – now over a century ago! It has survived 4 close encounters with the scrap man over its long life. Stephens bought it very cheaply for the EKR in 1923 as back up loco to haul the heavy coal trains from Tilmanstone Colliery. As the Oakwood Press book on the railway says: “looking for a sturdy workhorse it seems to have found a retired racehorse instead”.
The Society reaches its 30th anniversary this year, with its AGM in Barnstaple. The AGM news reported a slight decline in membership and an appeal for new blood on the committee who are all getting long in the tooth. A £500 grant had been made to Colin Shutt to help produce the rail wheels for his replica Ford lorry as used on the Selsey and Shropshire and Montgomery lines. Allen Morgan had listed all currently available kits of Stephens’ railways prototypes and this has been added to the website.
There are visit reports of our AGM members’ weekend coach trips. These followed the routes of the North Devon & Cornwall Junction Railway, the last branch line to open in the UK in 1925 and engineered by Stephens, and the Lynton and Barnstaple narrow gauge railway, closed in 1935. Brief histories of both lines are included.
Colour photos show various current scenes on the ND&CJR and the L&BR, plus new exhibits for the Colonel Stephens museum - a scratch-built KESR train presented by Steve Hannington and a diorama of Ashover Butts made by Laurie Cooksey, both superb models. There is also a recent photo of DB Schenker 60092 and caustic soda train on the remains of the Weston Point Light Railway.
There are also our usual regular features of News & Events, Book Review, Modelling News and Press Digest and Dispatches (letters and emails to the editor).
4 issues of 32 pages a year for a tenner, plus an excellent members weekend, must be good value,
Colonel 117 Winter 2014
Colonel 116 Autumn 2014
Colonel 115 Summer 2014
The cover features an early 1950s colour photograph of the Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Railway, S&MR, platform at Llanymynech where it made a junction with the former Cambrian Railways’ main line. Inside a second article completes the story in the Pickering records at Glasgow concerning the hand crane and runner supplied to the Kent & East Sussex Railway, K&ESR. The son of the former Guard on the Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Railway, WC&PR, Howard Carey, shares his memories of Wick Saint Lawrence and Clevedon Wharves where sailing vessels unloaded cargoes up to the Second World War.
The centre spread colour photos include two views of the Wick Saint Lawrence wharf and adjacent river bridge remains in 2005, when the Society visited the site. There are also two early 1950s colour photos of the Criggion branch bridge of the S&MR across the Severn, [now a road bridge] and a view of Luckett station on the former Plymouth, Devonport and South Western Junction Railway with a local train waiting at the platform.
There are two 1922 views of the incline on the Edge Hill Light Railway, one of Stephens lesser known lines. “Test Les and Brian” looks at the mystery saddle tank locomotive used to help reconstruct the S&MR in 1910-11.
There are also the usual regular features including News and Events which lists progress at all the preservation sites on former Stephens lines. Other news concerns plans by the Isle of Wight Steam Railway to rebuild the Drewry railcar they own which worked on Ryde pier but which is very similar to the Drewry railcar on the WC&PR. There is also a proposal to build a replica of “Moel Tryfan” the 0-6-4T which once worked on the Welsh Highland Railway.
Society news features details of the AGM weekend in Barnstaple and the new Society website. Modelling Notes includes the welcome news that “Steam &Things” are back in production of their 4mm and 7mm scale etched brass kits of various Stephens’ railways rolling stock and railcars.
A 1955 vintage colour picture on the cover of PD&SWJR Calstock viaduct as an 02 on the branch train crosses it. Fortunately the viaduct still remains in use for passenger trains on the Gunnislake branch to this day.
Another helping from the RY Pickering Collection at the Glasgow University Archives considers the K&ESR mobile hand crane from the initial enquiry in 1902 till the crane was finally ordered in 1904. The order included details of liveries and lettering. There is also a general arrangement drawing of the first crane proposal from the HMRS Pickering archive.
Aldwyth, a preserved Manning Wardle K Class tank engine, has a photo feature and a colour view on the back cover. Sister engines worked on the S&M and the Selsey tramway. Then Ian Dack explains how he builds 6 wheel chassis for his coaches with enough movement in the wheel sets to negotiate his layout curves. There is more discussion about the origins of the intriguing wharf at Wick Saint Lawrence on the WC&PR.
The now traditional centre spread of photos features two rare colour shots taken on the Shropshire & Montgomeryshire in the 1950s, and a 1955 view of an 02 and train on the PD&SWJR. The new colour leaflet for the Colonel Stephens museum is also featured. An atmospheric view of two boys on Clevedon WC&PR station with the sheds in the background shares a page with a view of K&ESR No. 4, the ex L&SWR Beyer Peacock saddle tank. A Colonel Miscellany has a 1919 letter from the Colonel re the long saga of some cast iron slippers, a picture of the Meole Brace booking office sign discussed in Dispatches and a photo of the ex - Potts 2-4-0T sold on when operations were suspended in 1880. The line then hibernated until the Colonel reopened it in 1911 as the S&MR. Colin Shutt adds more to the saga of Ford railcar radiators discussed by Brian Janes in Issue 116 with some notes and photos on the various “after- market” Ford radiators available, one type appearing on the S&MR. Blasts from the Past has a couple of fascinating anecdotes from the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway which looks a likely venue for the 2016 AGM. All this and the regular features:
** Society News
** News & Events
** Modelling Notes
** Blasts from the Past
** Book Reviews
There is still time to buy Society Christmas cards. There are 5 different K&ESR designs, a bargain at £5 a pack of five, complete with envelopes. Available from Mary Garner, Avalon, Deansway, Chippenham, Wilts, SN15 1QY.
Last but by no means least subscription renewal forms are included for those who haven’t yet renewed. Complete it and return it if you wish to receive the next issue!
Russell Returns to Steam
"Russell" steams again! The latest issue of 'The Colonel' (No.116, Autumn 2014) celebrates the return of this iconic Welsh Highland engine with a colour picture on the cover, plus a news item inside.
Editor Albyn Austin continues his 'Pickering Pickings' arising from another visit to the RY Pickering Collection at the Glasgow University Archives with his friend Steve Bell. Among the items identified were orders from Stephens for a second hand ex-GWR goods brake van which then "seems to have spent most of its life in a siding". Another order was for 3 second-hand ex-Lambourn Valley passenger coaches for the H&MST. The order included details of liveries and lettering. Several mysteries arise. What happened to the coaches between their withdrawal from the Lambourn line in 1904 and their reappearance at Brighton works six years later? And were they really tested on the K&ESR before delivery to the HM&ST?
The now traditional centre spread of photos features three rare colour shots taken on the Shropshire & Montgomeryshire in the 1950s, one of which shows the ex-LSWR royal saloon in faded blue livery. This year's Christmas cards are also featured - 5 different designs this time, a bargain at £5 a pack of five, complete with envelopes.
Reminiscences are always a popular feature of 'The Colonel'. The second instalment of OH Prosser's notes of his visit to the KESR in 1947 will be no exception: "About twenty people joined at Junction Road Halt where tickets are inspected. Hundreds of hop pickers were at work along the lines ..." We must be grateful that Mr. Prosser and other enthusiasts took the trouble to visit the Colonel's line and record their experiences. The railmotors favoured by the Colonel always generate fascination. Brian Janes contributes some notes and photos on the various radiators sported by the Ford versions. The Rother Valley's planning application for the reinstatement of the line between Robertsberidge and Junction Road has now gone in. A copy of our chairman's letter in support of the application is reproduced in full. The result is expected in October.
All this and the regular features:
** Society News
** News & Events
** Modelling Notes
** Museum Developments
** Test Les & Brian
** Blasts from the Past
** Book Reviews
Last but by no means least subscription renewal forms are included. Complete it and return it to ensure receipt of the next issue!
Colonel 114 Spring 2014
Colonel 113 Winter 2013
Colonel 112 Autumn 2013
Colonel 111 Summer 2013
The Colonel 110 Spring 2013
Have you ever been on a three-centre holiday? Well about 40 members enjoyed a three-centre Members' Weekend in May.
Fully reported in the latest issue of The Colonel, the weekend started on the Friday with a guided walk at the newly-named
Robertsbridge Junction. Mark Yonge took us along the recently-laid track and explained the next steps. All
this is reported by Graham Lager, who included some reminiscences of childhood escapades at Hodson's Mill involving
the P class tank now resident on the K&ESR. The Society has never made a formal visit to the East Kent Railway, so this year's
trip on the line in their class 101 DMU to Eythorne and a little way beyond was eagerly awaited. This, and the shuttle coach to our AGM venue at Crabble corn mill,
the tour of the remains of the rest of the EKR in a restored East Kent Road Car Co. double decker bus are all recorded by John Simmonds, a one-time resident of the area. The final day of the weekend, fully reported by Joe Whicher, started in the former Maidstone bus station, now acting at the station refreshment rooms at Tenterden (have you noticed the bus theme of this weekend. Colin Smith,
one of our guides, remarked on how knowledgeable our members are about buses!). Joe reports on the visits to the Carriage & Wagon Dept, the tour round the station site
with Brian Janes and, of course, the tour of the museum. The final event of the weekend was a ploughman's lunch on the train to Bodiam followed by a ride in the SECR birdcage coach
included in the train especially for us. A nice selection of colour photos taken during the weekend appears in the centre spread.
Members will know that this is the first issue with new editor Albyn Austin at the helm. Not content with editing the contributions of others, he has included a fascinating illustrated piece on
ex-North London passenger brake van hanging on by the skin of its teeth at Appleby Station Heritage Centre. Similar vehicles were used on both the KESR and EKR.
A much earlier visit to the East Kent, in 1947, was recorded by the late O H Prosser, reproduced in this issue, courtesy of the Welsh Highland Heritage Group. Prosser included a brief description of
gravity shunting at Wingham (Canterbury Road). In an extended 'Test Les & Brian' feature, the use (or non-use0 of brake vans is fully discussed prompted by an enquiry by Alan Cliff.
All this is supplemented by regular features:
* Press Digest
* Blasts from the Past
* Museum Notes
Contributions from Howard Carey are always treasured. This issue contains a valuable piece responding to the article by the late Pearce Higgins on the last day on the WC&PR. It ncludes a lot of fascinating details.
Howard also identifies the location of the mysterious sign donated to the Museum by Kerry Baylis. He has even made a super little drawing to explain its position.
Members' Weekend this year is based at three venues; Robertsbridge, Shepherdswell and Tenterden.
The full itinerary is in this issue and a booking form is enclosed with the copy sent to members.
It needs to completed and returned by 12th April.
The agenda for the Society's AGM, to be held at Crabble Corn Mill, River, Dover, on Saturday 10th May, is in this issue.
Dave Harris recalls the early days of the struggles to restore the East Kent Railway; we shall see how they are getting on when we visit.
The main feature is 'Travels in the land of the Red Dragon', a personal account of a series of visits to the Welsh Highland by
Steve Bennion. The centre spread features 'before and after' colour photos of iconic places on the line.
David Powell finds a Stephens look-alike light railway in operation in Suffolk. Richard Barton tells the story of a Sharp Stewart
locomotive that ran on the WC&PR, while Brian Janes reports on his research at the NRM into notes made by Selwyn Pearce-Higgins
on the last days of the railway.
The latest edition of 'Test Les (and Brian)' explains how stock was moved between the various railways managed by the Colonel.
Our regular peep behind the scenes at the CS Museum at Tenterden reveals that a RVR notice of Christmas services in 1901
has been discovered stuffed up a house chimney! You'll be able to see it if you take part in the Members' Weekend in May.
Another recent acquisition on view will be a sign from Clevedon on the WC&PR announcing 'The Station'.
It was retrieved by our very own Kerry Baylis from a man who was downsizing his collection.
Elsewhere there is news of the Sheppey Light Railway possibly re-opening as a footpath, new buffer stops arriving at
Colin Shutt's railway, the return to steam of the WHHR's 'Russell', an obituary of John Snell, railway preservation pioneer,
and the good news that the new bridges at Robertsbridge survived the winter floods unscathed.
Our regular columns, Blasts from the Past, Press Digest, Dispatches and Jackson's Jottings round off this issue.
Finally, there's piece that seems to escaped from an April 1st issue in the railway press which suggested that Holman Hunt ran the EKR!
In the Winter issue of The Colonel, (No.113),just published, Laurie Cooksey provides us with a first hand account of the 'Return to Robertsbridge' weekend put on by the Rother Valley and the Kent & East Sussex Railways. His report is complemented by a colour centre spread featuring K&ESR Terrier 32670 hauling a three carriage vintage train arriving at the brand new Robertsbridge Junction platform - the first passenger trains to travel on this section since 1961.
There's also a special edition of 'Press Digest' with extracts on the event from a variety of publications.
But that's not all; Brian Janes sticks his neck out by listing the Best Books on Stephens and his railways (in his view).
Under the title 'Pickering Pickings', Albyn Austin studies items found in the records of R Y Pickering of Wishaw by Steve Bell. Among the vehicles identified is the infamous K&ESR steam railmotor.
If you are planning a garden railway, 'Holly Bush' contributes some advice on 'Garden Pests and How to Control Them.'
Stan Clarke remembers two visits to the K&ESR in 1947 and 1952.
We have a picture quiz in this issue, posed by David Powell. The first correct entry will receive a genuine Society mug.
We also have our regular features, Modelling News, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Press Digest and Blasts from the Past.
We reproduce a 1924 cloakroom ticket from the Selsey Tramway, which prompts the question 'Were there really cloakrooms on that line?'.
The WC&PR Group is making sure that residents in the area don't forget that there was once a railway in their midst.
We report the installation of an interpretation board near the site of the former station at Portishead.
David Powell has contributed, with Adrian Gray, an obituary of John Keylock whose efforts led to the establishment of the Welsh Highland Heritage Group.
The big story in the preservation world at present, at least as far as the railways associated with Colonel Stephens are concerned, is the amazing progress recently made at Robertsbridge.
Finally, there's an appeal for someone to take over the editorship of 'The Colonel' from the present incumbent,
who is about to complete 10 years in the job and is running out of steam.
Tom Burnham unravels the story of Railway Developments Ltd., a potential rival to two companies involving the Colonel. All three companies promoted schemes for light railways in the far west of England. But none was successful. It is fascinating insight into the laissez faire approach to the development of the railway network in Britain.
* Return to Bere Ferrers, an account by Nigel Bird of a tour of the remaining branches (and pubs) in Cornwall.
Like it or not, Christmas is coming and much of the centre spread is devoted to a colour reproduction of the Society's 2013 card - a splendid view by Jonathan clay of S&MR trains at Shrewsbury Abbey station in the 1920s.
Other feature articles in this issue are:
* A Saviour of the Potts, Regular contributor, Brian Janes tells us about one of the many strange characters the Colonel associated with in order to finance his schemes; J H Whadcoat.
* The Ashover Connection, David Willmot, following our Members' Weekend based on the Ashover, takes a look at some of the personalities associated with the line.
* Stuart Marshall reports on a diesel gala held in July on the East Kent. He speculates on what machines the Colonel would buy if he were alive today.
* Instead of our regular feature Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Brian Janes reports on the placing of the former Rye & Camber Tramway Bagnall carriage on some genuine R&CT rails at Tenterden.
* News of the amazing progress towards linking Robertsbridge to the rest of the K&ESR, plus news of Colin Shutt's replica Ford railmotor's appearance on the Derwent Valley Light Railway.
All this, and our regular features:
> Society News, including subscription renewal information
> Press Digest
> Blasts from the Past
> Jackson's Jottings
Steve Parr contributes a full report on this year’s Members’ Weekend centred on Ashover in this 32 page issue. He describes the tour of the remains of the light railway, followed by the visit to Crich Tramway Village and a variety of other enjoyable activities. His article is accompanied by a centre spread of colour photos, mainly by David Hanger, depicting some of the visible remains of the ALR. The deliberations of the AGM are covered, including the decision to modestly increase the Society’s membership subscription rates, following recent savage hikes in postal rates.
● The Light Railways Act: Brian Janes assesses its impact, following the passing of the last Light Railway Order last year
Other feature articles include:
● Graham Hallett completes his exploration of Wick St. Lawrence wharf on the WC&PR
● Richard Barton describes the building of a Steam & Things kit of a HM&ST Falcon carriage for display in the Colonel Stephens Museum at Tenterden
Regular features in this issue include: ● Press Digest ● Dack’s Delvings ● Behind the Scenes at the Museum ● Dispatches (including discussions on S&MR liveries) ●Jackson’s Jottings. ● ‘Welsh Highland Railway Renaissance’ (a massive tome) is reviewed.
● While Laurie Cooksey tells us how he built a diorama to display the coach as part of a typical H&MST train
Snow and ice hit Sussex and held up distribution of Colonel 110 for a day or two. It is a packed issue, well worth a short wait.
Our Members' Weekend on 11th and 12th May this year takes place at Ashover. Full details of the event, including a guided bus tour of the route of the former light railway, plus the agenda for the Annual General Meeting, are included in this issue.
Albyn Austin puts on his detective's hat to try to find out what happened to the Wolseley-Siddley railmotor which ran on the S&MR. Graham Hallett continues his exploration of the Colonel's involvement with sea-borne traffic at Wick St. Lawrence on the WC&PR.
Platelayers' trolleys feature strongly with a cover picture of one in action on the K&ESR, Les Darbyshire recounts a schoolboy adventure one year after the line closed to passengers and Richard Jones tells us how he built a model of a BUDA velocipede.
Liveries always arouse controversy and Brian Janes stirs things up by putting forward his views on those of the S&MR. 2013 will be a good year for anniversaries. One of the big ones of course is 150 years of steam on the Underground. Two members, Chris Jackson and Howard Carey report on the first celebrations which featured ex-Met 4-wheel coach 353 which once ran on the WC&P. Some of us saw it under restoration at Boston Lodge last year. Two nice colour photos of it appear on the centre spread
All this and:
news of steam at Shepherdswell and developments at Robertsbridge
Behind the Scenes at the Museum, including the discovery of an 'Austen' notice board which had lain unnoticed by the K&ESR trackbed for 50 years
and finally, the last page features a PD&SWJR memo detailing parcels rates from their Luckett station to stations on the K&ESR as from 1st July 1914. As Les Darbyshire remarks, 'the writer of the memo would not have any idea of the horrors to come'.
'As Rare as Hens' Teeth'
That is how Member Jeremy Segrove describes any unpublished photos of the Sheppey Light Railway. One of Minster-on-Sea station sent in by Jeremy is reproduced in this issue. There is also an unusual shot of the Edge Hill Light Railway by the late Harold Vickers and two previously unpublished views of the Selsey Tramway, with commentary by Laurie Cooksey.
The story of Wick St.Lawrence wharf of the Weston, Clevedon & Portishead Railway has been pieced together from a variety of sources in the first part of an article by Graham Hallett.
Bob Alderman gives us a blow-by-blow illustrated account the building of a 7mm scale back-to-back Ford railmotor set from an etched kit.
Other items in this issue include:
and Dack's Delving’s
The Colonel 109 Winter 2012
The Colonel 108 Autumn 2012
news of major developments at Robertsbridge
first-hand report by Nigel Bird of the Quarry Power weekend put on by the Ffestiniog and the Welsh Highland
Brian Janes analyses two original RVR/KESR working timetables from the Colonel Stephens Archives
first details of next year's Members' Weekend based on the Ashover Light Railway
news of developments at Shrewsbury Abbey
All this, and our regular features, including:
Blasts from the Past
Reviews, featuring 'Trains on the Border: the Railways of Llanymynech & Pant'
Dispatches and Jackson's Jottings.
All this and our regular features:
Christmas is coming! The Society's latest Christmas card is featured in colour in the latest issue of 'The Colonel', no.108, Autumn 2012, which should be dropping through members' letterboxes about now.
It portrays a snowy scene on the Hundred of Manhood & Selsey Tramway as the line's Manning Wardle 0-6-0T Ringing Rock (not Sidlesham as stated in this issue) crosses the iconic lifting bridge over the canal near Hunston. It's bound to be popular, so get your order in to Nigel Bird as soon as you can.
#Robin Gay explains how he went about creating his exquisite 4mm scale model of Rolvenden station on the K&ESR. Immediately recognisable to anyone who knows the area today, or who has studied any of several books in the line, it features a number of fascinating scenes including the replacement of a single sleeper. A number of colour and black and white photos complement the text. The layout will appear at Expo EM next May alongside Les Darbyshire's 'Maidstone Road'.
We have heard a lot lately of the restoration of the former Metropolitan Railway carriage which ran on the WC&PR as No.7. Howard Carey, whose father was a guard on the line, gives us details of the internal layout of all the ex-Met coaches on the line. Brian Janes joins in by describing the afterlife of No.7 before it was rescued and moved to the London Transport Museum.
Ned Williams takes us on a trip on the East Kent, while Dana Whiffen reports on a rare journey beyond the present terminus at Eythorne. The disappearance of most of the remains of a former bridge which once carried the EKR towards Richborough over the SR main line is reported. Laurie Cooksey comments on two revealing photos of the Rye & Camber which we believe have not been published before. Bob Jones and Mansel Williams report on progress in the restoration of the former S&MR Shrewsbury Abbey station.
All this, and our regular features including 'Dack's Delvings', 'Press Digest', 'Blasts from the Past', 'Behind the Scenes at the Museum' (which contains some fascinating documents about the EKR's Hudswell Clarke loco). 'Despatches' and 'Jackson's Jottings' complete the issue.
Last but not least, 'Colonel 108' includes reminders for members to renew their subscriptions - if they want to receive no. 109!
The Colonel 107 Summer 2012
A photo of the Ffestiniog Railway's George England 0-4-0STT 'Palmerston' adorns the cover of Colonel 108. The loco carries the headboard for the Society's very first special charter train. The train was just one of a series of events making up this year's Members' Weekend,, dubbed by many as the best ever. In this issue are reports of the open top bus trip from Porthmadog to Caernarfon, timed to see the Garret-hauled WHR train in the Aberglaslyn Pass, the fascinating visit to the Festoniog archives at the Gwynedd Archives at Caernarfon, the AGM itself, the special guided visit to Boston Lodge Works and the full return trip on the WHR. Colour photos cover some of the highlights (many more are on this website).
Other features in this 32-page issue are:
News from the Colonel Stephens Museum
Jackson's jottings, and
Reviews, including a superb DVD on the WHR, and The District Controller's View of North Cornwall
The Colonel's links with the Isle of Wight
A brief report on exhibits connected with the Colonel at the NRM's 'Railfest' jamboree
Owners' plates on the Colonel's lines
Progress at Robertsbridge, including some archaeological evidence
The short, fascinating history of Gazelle
News ofthe latest items of the Society's merchandise
A full itinerary for this year’s Members’ Weekend appears in the latest issue of The Colonel, No.106, Spring 2012. All you need to know to make the most of what promises to be one of the best-ever events organised by the Society. If you are planning to take part, please be sure to fill in the enclosed booking form and send it to Nigel Bird at the address given no later than 2nd April.
Also in this 32-page issue:
There’s news of signs erected to mark sites of the WC&PR at Weston-super-Mare and the sales of a BP&GVR loco nameplate and a coach ownership plate from the WC&PR. Philip Shaw remembers Monty Baker, one of the last employees of the ‘old’ K&ESR company, who died recently.
The Colonel 106 Spring 2012
· Museum notes
· Modelling News
· Press digest
· Reviews of the Festiniog Archives DVD and a fascinating analysis of some photos taken on the WHR on one day in 1935
· Dack’s Delvings, and
· Jackson’s Jottings
The Colonel 105 Winter 2011
· Blasts from the past
a guide to the East Kent Railway today
some puzzling ticket survivals from Callington
an analysis of traffic patterns on the S&MR
Philip Shaw unravelling the intrigue surrounding the Colonel's will
a colour feature on the latest amazing developments at Robertsbridge
brief news of the Shrewsbury Abbey Foregate project and the arrival of the first passenger carriage for the Gwendraeth Railway Society
Brian Janes reporting the latest news from the Colonel Stephens Museum
Les Darbyshire, Brian Janes and Laurie Cooksey answering some teasers
Plus our regular features, including:
The Colonel 104 Autumn 2011
Rolvenden War & Peace: a description of a 4mm scale model of Rolvenden station in the forties and fifties
News of the beginnings of better relations between the WHR and the WHHR, and the arrival at Rolvenden of 'Barry wreck' GWR 2-8-0T for restoration
First details of next year's exciting Members' Weekend to be based at Porthmadog and featuring an open-top bus ride to Caernarfon
A fascinating insight into wagon traffic at Biddenden, K&ESR, as Brian Janes analyses a hoard of wagon labels. Brian also provides the first of a series of regular reports from the Colonel Stephens Museum at Tenterden