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Thames Valley Area Group Newsletter - Spring 2016

It is good to look out of the window and see the variety of flowers which are already in bloom and all the leaves which are suddenly making an appearance on trees and shrubs. It might not be very warm yet, but it certainly feels more like Spring than it did just a couple of weeks ago!

News items on the L&BR website tell us that visitor numbers are already up compared with 2015. We don't know what prompted those folk to visit Woody Bay, but we like to think some are the result of us talking to visitors to our stand at various exhibitions in recent months.

Since the last newsletter we have been to three shows.

1. In February we were at the Newbury Model Railway Exhibition. Thanks to John Crockford, Stuart Wise, Mike Elliot and Alan Pearce for their help at that event. It was interesting to discover that at least two of the layouts in the show were owned by L&BR members.

2. In March we paid our annual visit to the Basingstoke Model Railway Exhibition. Thanks to Stuart Wise, Mike Elliot, Chris King-Smith, Roger Beazer and Alan Pearce for all their help at various times during the two days. Once again we were given a splendid site where every visitor to the show had to pass close to our stand at least twice. We didn't get to speak to everyone but we did our best!

Mike Elliot managed to take a photo during a comparatively quiet moment when there were just the three sets of visitors being told about the L&BR.

3. On Saturday 9 April we took the stand to the Narrow Gauge South Exhibition held at Sparsholt College near Winchester. Thanks to Roger Beazer and Alan Pearce for their assistance at that event. This was the first time L&BR have had a presence at that show and we very much hope it will be the first of many such visits.  Being a specialist narrow gauge show we found that the majority of visitors to our stand did know of the L&B even if they were unaware the line had re-opened and is on the verge of being extended.

I do hope you have Saturday 23 April marked in your diary? As well as being St George's Day it is also the date of the L&BR Thames Valley Group meeting in Newbury when L&BR Trustee, Ian Cowling will be our guest speaker.

In addition to being one of the L&BR Trustees, Ian has been very much involved in preparing the planning application for the proposed extension so it promises to be a very interesting and informative afternoon. Come armed with questions and I am sure Ian will do his very best to give us answers!

The meeting will start at 2.00 pm and continue until 4.30 pm.

The venue will be the hall of Newbury Baptist Church - more details including a map and the postcode will be found HERE.

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.

L&BR books and other 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!

I look forward to seeing you at the Newbury meeting on 23 April.

Mike Pearce
Leader L&BR Thames Valley Group

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