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A Successful Meeting in Manchester

It is always uncertain how many people will attend a local group meeting, and nerve-wracking for the organisers, particularly when a visiting speaker is arranged.  We need not have worried though; although the previous day had been cold and snowy, bright sunshine brought no less than nineteen people, including a few non-members, out on Saturday 5 March 2016 to hear Paul Gower give one of his legendary talks about the L&B.

Paul – on crutches after recent surgery - regaled us for two hours about some lesser-known aspects of the line’s history, illustrated by a great many slides – a number of unfamiliar ones taken from vintage postcards picked up over the years, and even including pictures from “What the Butler Saw” machines!  Why holidaymakers would put a penny in the slot to see a picture of the loading bay at Woody Bay station was not entirely clear…

Interestingly, after many years studying the line, Paul was able to identify many of the people pictured, giving us fascinating insights into their backgrounds and individual characters.

After Paul’s tour of the line had arrived in Lynton, he handed round some of his albums of L&B memorabilia – photographs, postcards, tickets, maps and archive documents, which those attending were invited to browse and discuss.

We had members who had travelled from Nottingham, Leeds and even Gloucester to hear Paul talk.  Our cash collection more than covered the cost of room hire, so we offered Paul and partner Sarah a contribution to their petrol costs, but they asked that instead we make a donation to the Heritage Carriage Fund, so a cheque is on its way to our treasurer for that purpose.

The next NW Group activity will be a display and sales stand at the National G-Scale Gathering at Stafford Showground on Sunday 20 March 2016, where we look forward to chatting to visitors about the L&B.

The next meeting in Manchester will be at the Friends Meeting House from 14.00 to around 16.30 on Saturday 11 June 2016.  The plan is that, in addition to news updates from the L&B itself, Peter Ainley will show us photographs and video from his recent visit to Australia of the L&B’s twin, the 2ft 6in gauge Walhalla Goldfields Railway, as well as the Class NA Baldwin-clones on the Puffing Billy line.  Final details will be announced in due course.

Corporate Supporters - Where to Stay

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