Latest News 6 April 2014
Last Call ...
... for this year's members' weekend to be held on 9th, 10th and 11th May. The deadline for booking places on the weekend is 12th April. The booking form was enclosed with the last issue of 'The Colonel'.
The main features of the weekend include:
Friday 9th May: A walk on the newly constructed track from Robertsbridge Junction to Northbridge Street - a privileged opportunity to inspect the new works, including progress on the new infrastructure and to discuss plans for the station with Mark Yonge.
Saturday 10th May; AGM at Crabble's Corn Mill, River, followed by a buffet lunch. At the Agm we need to elect a new editor, society secretary,membership secretary and archivist. Several members have promised to bring artefacts relating to the East Kent Railway. We then return to Shepherdswell EKR station for a return trip through the infamous Golgotha tunnel to the end of the line beyond the normal terminus at Eythorne. We will follow this up with a heritage bus ride to see what remains of the former route of this quintessential Stephens line. We expect that Stephen Garrett, author of the definitive history of the EKR will be with us for the journey.
Sunday 11th May: Brian Janes, the Curator of the Colonel Stephens Museum will point out to us features of the original station. We will also have a guided tour of the Museum, inspecting the many new acquisitions since our last visit. Philip Shaw will be with us, ready to point out recent acquisitions. There will also be an opportunity to see some of the current restoration work in the Carriage & Wagon Department. We will follow this up with a return journey to Bodiam, looking out on the way for the massive new stock shed being built at Rolvenden. We can re-enact our loco-spotting days by seeing what is 'on shed' there and checking which engine is in charge of the train we shall pass on the way.
All in all, this will another action-packed CSS Weekend that will live in the memory!
Remember, this is, as usual, a pick 'n' mix weekend -you can come on all three days, just two days or only one. You choose.
Book your place by 12th April!
UPDATE 1st April 2014
CSS Members' weekend 2014
Planning to join us for our Members' Weekend in May?
Don't miss the booking deadline - 12th April!
This year's event promises to be at least as enjoyable as recent ones at Ashover and Porthmadog.
Three days of activities will be laid on, but each is a stand-alone event and can be booked individually.
A brief reminder of the itinerary:
Friday 9th May: Walk the newly laid track from the new platform at Robertsbridge to Northbridge Street.
Saturday 10th May: AGM at Crabble Corn Mill, River, shuttle bus from Shepherdswell EKR station
Return train journey from Shepherdswell EKR (through the famous Golgotha Tunnel)
to the end of the current line and beyond to Wigmore Lane.
Heritage bus ride tracing some of the former route of the EKR, with
Sunday 11th May: Guided private tours of the station site at Tenterden, the Colonel Stephens Railway
a good opportunity to view the new and reorganised exhib its, and the KESR carriage &
wagon works (a rare opportunity). Return steam-hauled train to Bodiam and back,
providing a chance to relive those loco spotting days to see what's on shed at Rolvenden
and check on progress on the vast new carriage shed just along the line.
A booking form was enclosed in the last issue of ;The Colonel' (114).
Remember each day is a stand-alone event and can be b ooked separately!
Members' weekend 2014 organiser
Friday 9th May
2pm Assemble at Robertsbridge Junction Station TN32 5DG, to view the astonishing progress made since our last visit in 2011 and take part in a walk on the newly-laid track from the new platform to the end of the current line at Northbridge Street. Please wear stout shoes! Tea and biscuits will be available.
Please book your place on the form enclosed with Colonel 114 so that we can verify numbers. Evening is free.
Saturday 10th May
From 9am Assemble at Shepherdswell EKR station, CT15 7PD. The Colonel’s Café will open for the sale of tea and coffee. A classic bus will operate a shuttle service to Crabble Corn Mill at River for our AGM (Agenda appears in Colonel 114) and lunch.
10.30 Annual General Meeting
12.30 Buffet Lunch at the Corn Mill. The price is £13 per head. Please send payment (cheque or postal order) with your completed booking form, enclosed with Colonel 114.
From 1.45 Shuttle bus back to Shepherdswell EKR station
2.30 Train journey From Shepherdswell to Eythorne and Wigmore Lane and return to Shepherdswell, fare is £5 per head, please send your payment with the booking form.
3.30 Classic bus tour of some of the former route of the East Kent Light Railway with Colin Smith and Dave Harris, returning to Shepherdswell at about 5.30.
Payment will be by donation on the day; suggested minimum of £4 per head. Please book your place on the form enclosed with Colonel114. All times on Saturday are approximate.
Evening is free.
Sunday 11th May
From 10am Assemble outside the Colonel Stephens Railway Museum, Tenterden, TN30 6HE. Tours will be provided of the Museum, the Carriage & Wagon Works and the station site. The Restaurant will be open during the morning for the sale of tea and coffee, etc.
1.15pm Return train journey to Bodiam, with Ploughman’s lunch on board. We have requested the recently out-shopped ex-SECR Birdcage carriage for our return journey from Bodiam, scheduled to arrive back at Tenterden at 3.10pm. The discounted fare is £14.40 per head (current K&ESR members travel free, no other concessions available). Lunch is £6.70 per head. Please pay for rail fare and meal (cheque or postal order) with your completed booking form enclosed with Colonel 114
The rest of the day is free.
Robertsbridge is on the Charing Cross to Hastings line served by Southeastern trains.
Shepherdswell is on the Faversham to Dover line, also served by Southeastern. From London you can reach Faversham from Victoria or St.Pancras.
Tenterden is not, of course, on the national rail network. The nearest station is Headcorn, buses run from there and from Ashford to Tenterden. Southeastern trains:
Food and accommodation
Mark Yonge tells us that the Ostrich pub, right opposite Robertsbridge station provides good food: www.ostrichhotel.co.uk
Another strong possibility is of course Salehurst Halt, a short car ride from Robertsbridge: www.salehursthalt.co.uk
There are several other pubs and restaurants in Robertsbridge village.
There is a limited amount of parking at the RVR at Robertsbridge. There is also parking attached to the mainline station, but it is charged for. Alternatives appear to be a council-run car park next to the village hall in Station Road (village end) or the Ostrich pub, if you are eating there! There is very limited parking at the Corn Mill at River, hence the shuttle bus from
Shepherdswell. There is ample free parking available at the EKR station at Shepherdswell.
There is ample free parking at Tenterden station.
Most members seem to be thinking of staying in the Dover, Ashford or Canterbury areas. Premier Inns seem to be popular. There has been some discussion on our
Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ColonelHFStephens/
If you want to mug up on the lines we are visiting, here are a few suggestions.
The Colonel Stephens Railways in Kent by Peter A Harding, published by Peter, 1993.
The Colonel Stephens Railway Museum website is a good starting point:
Our own website also has lots of information: www.colonelstephenssociety.co.uk
Rother Valley Railway
East Kent Railway
The definitive book on the EKR is: The East Kent Light Railway by M Lawson
Finch and SR Garrett, 2 volumes, Oakwood Press, 2003.
The East Kent Light Railway by Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith, Middleton Press, 1989, in typical Middleton style provides useful photographs and route information.
For a quick refresher, there is Memories of the East Kent Light Railway, compiled byPeter A Harding from notes and photographsby David Kevan, published by Peter, 1997.
Kent & East Sussex Railway
The best overall book is The Kent & East Sussex Railway by Stephen Garrett,Oakwood Press, 1999.
The Kent & East Sussex Railway by Brian Hart, Wild Swan(nd), is beautifully produced and strong oncompany history and the local context, withmany photos, though lacks comprehensiveinformation on rolling stock and operation.
An Illustrated History of the Kent & East Sussex Railway, OPC, 2007, includes someatmospheric photographs, but don’t placetoo much trust in the captions.
The MiddletonPress has published Branch Line to Tenterden by Mitchell and Smith in 1985 intheir inimitable style
Don’t forget to complete the form enclosed with Colonel 114 with your bookings for each event on the weekend, including dietary requirements for the Ploughman’s lunch on the train on Sunday. The form together with payment needs to be returned to:
7 Nobel Court, FAVERSHAM, Kent
ME13 7SD by 12th APRIL.