Railway Exploration – October meeting

Our last meeting studied the classic ‘Five Ages of a Railway – from birth to death’ as exemplified by the remains of a former GWR Midlands line.  We saw some work of the great American artist Edward Hopper who epitomised American life sometimes through his railway scenes.  An architectural tour of the grandeur of Dunedin railway station, the origins of Thomas the Tank Engine’s companion – Toby the Tram engine, and a few explanations of some more unusual station names rounded off the session.  The November meeting will build on last month’s introduction to a seemingly quiet and unremarkable cross-country line in the Midlands.  We explore how up to 2000 navvies ready for pitched battle, the reading of the Riot Act, local police, magistrates and soldiers, and indeed Brunel himself, found themselves coalesced in the rural countryside.  Our resident toponymist will further elucidate on some of his well-researched and intriguing station names.  And after all that, we shall discuss any other impromptu topics from our members!  Phil Danks.