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South East Area Groups Meeting Report

This year’s South East Area Groups Event held at Woking on Saturday 30th May was judged by many of the 60+ L&BR Trust members who attended to be a tremendous success.

Members were treated to a series of presentations, each followed by a Q&A session provided by two Officers, Peter Miles (L&BR Trust Chairman), Peter Snashall (L&BR Trustee) and Mike Buse (Chairman, Exmoor Associates). Members heard about the Trust’s plans and proposals to extend the railway beyond its present limits, about EAST’s current project to restore a further four heritage coaches at their C&W facility in Essex, the 762 Club’s desire to operate the completed Baldwin 2-4-2 replica steam locomotive ‘LYN’ hopefully next year, and finally Exmoor Associates' current activities in procuring further sections of trackbed for Phase Three.

Members were invited to donate towards the £700 for an urgently needed replacement dust extractor at EAST’s C&W Works facility in Essex. We are pleased to announce that once Gift Aid has been added to the collected amount, the total raised will exceed well over half that required. We offer our thanks to those members for their kind generosity.

During the meeting, the Surrey Group’s chairman announced that our long serving member Gordon Brown (Senior) will shortly celebrate his 90th birthday. He went on that Gordon had been a member of the L&B for over 27 years, was a Past Chairman of the Surrey Support Group, and a past Chairman of the old L&B Railway Association.

In the early 1960s, Gordon, together with J.D.C.A. Prideaux and H.G. Radcliffe, produced probably the definitive book on the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway. He bought back the publishing rights of the book from publishers David & Charles, and reproduced it in soft-back to bring the cost to less than £10. He waived his royalties in favour of the L&B. Then, in collaboration with Phil Rawstron, he has now updated the book twice to include a colour section showing the restoration of the railway from Woody Bay to Killington Lane.

The book in its latest form has probably earned more money for the L&B than all other Surrey Group sales put together over the past decade or so, with a significant part of that revenue being passed to EAST towards the Heritage Carriage Project. The L&B owes a huge debt of gratitude to Gordon Brown (Senior).


L&BR Trust Chairman Peter Miles presenting Gordon with a framed and mounted montage of photographs as a tribute to the tremendous effort he has put into supporting our railway. (photo: Geoff Kingate)


Chris Dadson
(Surrey Support Group)

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