Spring has arrived, yet some days it seems like summer and on other days perhaps more like winter. I guess it is what we delight in referring to as 'British Weather'!
Since the last newsletter the Thames Valley Group stand has been visible at a number of events.
The first weekend in February we attended the Alton Model Railway Exhibition in Eggars School. It was the first time we have been to that show and we found it to be an enjoyable experience. I am pleased to say we have been invited to return in 2018. Thanks are due to John Jones and Roger Beazer for their help that weekend. Thanks also to my brother Alan for his help at that show and the other shows listed below.
The following Saturday we went to the Newbury Model Railway Exhibition where were were ably supported by John Crockford and Stuart Wise - thanks guys!
In March our stand could be seen at the Basingstoke Model Railway Exhibition. Thanks to John Crockford and Stuart Wise for help on the Saturday and to Roger Beazer for his help on the Sunday.
At all three of these shows it was good to meet many local L&B members and many, many non members. Lots of people were enquiring about the 'extension' and, like us, hoping that ENPA do grant us the long awaited Planning Permission in the not too distant future.
We made a point of telling visitors about the Share Offer which is designed to raise funds to purchase Blackmoor Station. Of course we are not permitted to advise or encourage anyone to invest in those shares, but we are allowed to give them factual information.
Basically we said that if anyone were to look at THIS PAGE on the internet they would be able to discover what they might wish to do to help the L&B extension to progress by becoming an 'L&B Funder'. If you haven't already had a look at those pages you might wish to do so now.
I do hope you have a note in your diary for Saturday 22 April . That is the date of the next TVG meeting in Newbury. We are very fortunate that our speaker for the afternoon will be Paul Gower. Back in 1979 Paul was a founder member of the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Association - the Association being the fore-runner of the current L&BR Trust.
Paul told me that the title of his talk will be ‘The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway – a different view…’. This ‘view’ relates to the original design of the L&B back in the 1890’s. You might find you perhaps disagree with some of Paul’s view but you can be sure you will hear many fascinating facts and see pictures which you have not seen before, such is the extent of Paul’s knowledge of the L&B and the size of his collection of photographs of the railway.
The meeting will be in our usual venue, the hall of Newbury Baptist Church in Cheap Street - more details including a map and the postcode will be found HERE.
The meeting will start at 2.00 pm and continue until 4.30 pm.
The Church car park is quite small but there are several public car parks nearby. The bus station and railway station are just a few minutes walk from the Church.
Admission to the meeting is free. However, L&B books and other L&B items will be available to buy, so please bring some money with you!
The meeting is not restricted to L&B members, so please feel free to invite family and friends who might be interested in the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway. By the end of the afternoon they might even decide to become members!
If you don't really know Newbury then you might find this website useful to find somewhere to eat before or after the meeting.
The first two weekends in July we will be taking the TVG Exhibition stand to the Summer Steam Gala on the Watercress Line. We will be in the viewing gallery of the carriage shed so if you do go to the Gala please come and say hello to us!
Finally, I do hope you have booked your accommodation in North Devon for the L&B Spring Gala during the weekend 13 - 14 May. A number of people have told me in recent weeks that their usual B&B is already fully booked but that they were fortunate to be able to find a room somewhere else. If you are stuck then I suggest you phone Lynton Tourist Information Centre on 0845 4583775. They will be pleased to help you to find what you are looking for.
I hope to see you on Saturday week at our meeting in Newbury.
Leader of the Thames Valley Support Group - Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Trust