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Thames Valley Group Meeting - Saturday 14 April

It was very pleasing to see the large number of members who had made the journey to Newbury for the recent meeting of the Thames Valley Group. Some had travelled from as far afield as Milton Keynes to the north, Southampton to the south, Guildford to the east and New Milton to the west.

It was especially good to see Chris Ward in the audience, Chris founded the Thames Valley Group back in 2004. With Gail, his wife, Chris then moved to North Devon in 2012 to be closer to their beloved Lynton & Barnstaple Railway.

For the next five years they both helped the railway in many ways - Chris as a guard and doing research work connected with the planning applications while Gail was busy in Woody Bay shop. They have now moved back to Oxfordshire to be nearer to their family.

Mike Pearce, the leader of the Thames Valley Group, opened the meeting with a few items of L&B news. In particular he referred to the joyous news of ENPA granting Planning Permission for the extension to the railway. Mike was fortunate to be staying in Rowley Moor House that week so was able to sit in the ‘public gallery’ in the meeting in Lynton Town Hall and experience at first hand the ENPA debate.

1. Mike Pearce gave a vivid description of the recent ENPA Planning Meeting…

Mike then introduced the guest speaker, Charles Summers. Charles informed, educated and entertained the audience with a selection of transparencies and anecdotes about the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway.

2.…and then the audience members listened attentively to Charles Summers’ presentation.

During the drinks interval all were encouraged to part with cash, either to buy various L&B items or to make a donation to the railway.

After the interval Trevor Garnham showed a short video of recent activity down at Woody Bay. Charles then concluded his whirlwind photographic history of the L&B from 1898 right up to the present day.

Mike Pearce


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