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Thames Valley Group - Spring Newsletter

How good it is to look out of the window and see sunshine and spring flowers. The arrival of warmer days and more hours of daylight makes one want to get down to North Devon and to once again marvel at the view from the platform of Woody Bay Station while waiting for the next train to arrive!

The year to date

Members of the L&BR Thames Valley Group have already taken our stand to three different exhibitions this year.

January - we were at Scoutrail in Kidlington - our thanks to Roger Beazer for providing transport and to Colin Smith and Chris Trotman for assisting Roger in looking after the stand over the weekend.

February - we went to the Newbury Model Railway Exhibition. Thanks to Roger Beazer, Colin Smith, Stuart Wise and John Crockford for their help for that show.

March - we attended Basingstoke MRE.  The regulars Stuart Wise, Roger Beazer and Colin Smith were joined by Chris King-Smith and Barry Marshall. We thank them all for their support during the two days of that show.

Planning ahead

I have arranged for the stand to attend three more events in coming months. Several people have already said they will assist to man our stand but more offers of help would be much appreciated.

Please have a look in your diary now to see if you might be able to help and send me an email while it is still fresh in your mind.

Didcot Railway Centre: Saturday 2 May to Monday 4 May inclusive:

This three day Steam Gala will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the closure of the Didcot engine shed so there will be plenty to see.

We went to Didcot in 2013 and were made really welcome. We had the use of a lovely tent and virtually every visitor to the site came past our exhibit, many of them stopping to look at our stand and to listen to what we had to say to them.

Click this link for more information about the Didcot Railway Centre.

Andover MRE - Saturday 5 September and Sunday 6 September:

This is a new location for our group so I am very much hoping that those L&BR supporters who live near Andover will volunteer to help! The venue will be the John Hanson School. Opening hours are 10 - 5 on Saturday and 10 - 4 on the Sunday.

Click this link for more details.

Fareham MRE - Saturday 3 October and Sunday 4 October

This is another new location for our group. One of the organisers of the Fareham show invited us to attend after seeing our stand at the Basingstoke MRE. The venue will be Fareham Leisure Centre. Opening hours are 10 - 5.30 on Saturday and 10 - 4.30 on the Sunday.

Click this link for more details.

I am conscious that many members of the TVG group live north of where I live in Basingstoke. I am therefore appealing to L&BR members in the south to please lend a hand. The Area Groups are not in competition with one another - as L&BR members we all want to see 'our railway' prosper and grow.

Lending a hand and spreading the word!

If you have helped on our stand in the past you will know what it entails and what to expect.

If you haven't helped out before then you might perhaps be feeling a little apprehensive as to what to say and do. My answer to that is simply be yourself; be enthusiastic about the L&BR and don't worry!

If someone asks you a question to which you don't know the answer you have several options open to you. Firstly, you could refer the question to one of the other L&BR members who are manning the stand. Secondly, you could refer to one of the many books on the stand - this might even result in the visitor buying that book! Thirdly, you could ask the visitor to write down their question plus email address or name and address and phone number and we can then contact them with the answer after the show.

Future meetings

On Saturday 30 May the Surrey Group will once again host a meeting which all L&BR supporters are invited to attend. You will find more details HERE

As I now have more 'free time', I  fully intend to organise a meeting in Newbury later in the year.

And finally!

Many people comment on our excellent website We must thank the L&B's web team for all the hours they put in to keep that site up to date so that we might be informed and enthused.

Do have that site as one of your 'favorites'.

Do also remember to click the button half way down the right hand side of that page and thus gain access to the latest news in the 'members area'.

Much has happened and much is about to happen to make the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway even greater!

Mike Pearce
Leader - Thames Valley Group of the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway

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