Joint Leaders - Tony Burke & Paul Gosden
We meet on the first Wednesday of every month at Wake House to plan visits by train to all sorts of railway related sites.
We were formed in the middle of 2017 and initially comprised 6 members. Basically, “If it’s on rails – it’s us”. We are a group of retired men and women who have always had a mild interest in railways but could never justify pursuing the interest whilst working full time. Now, as an organised group, these interests can be fulfilled.
We agreed at the onset that it was important to meet every month, just to keep us all together. We therefore meet on the first Wednesday of every month in Wake House at 14.00Hrs. In addition to this, we try to have a visit or trip somewhere each month.
We “pay as we go” and charge £1.00 per monthly meeting to each attendee and we all pay the organiser of each trip/visit as required. As Joint Leader, I send-out 24 e-mails to people who have expressed an interest in our activities and usually get between 15 and 20 to each monthly meeting but the number of people on each trip varies considerably.
Our trips range from travelling by train from Peterborough to Lincoln (and back!) to travelling 1st class to Edinburgh (and back!). LNER feed 1st class passengers very well indeed. We have had a conducted tour of Paddington station, a conducted tour of the North Norfolk Railway – train rides and loco sheds, a ride on the Post Office underground railway, and several visits to the Midland heritage railway at Loughborough.
We have discovered that by booking rail tickets very early, we can get some fabulous bargains. By agreeing to “present” a party of, say, 12 people, we can get conducted tours of areas not open to the general public – and this has proved very rewarding indeed. Perhaps most important of all is that “the mild interest we had earlier and could not justify pursuing can now be fulfilled”.
We have agreement with the appropriate powers that be that we can visit several locations when it is safe to do so. These include a conducted tour of the Nottingham Tram operation, a steam hauled tour of the Scunthorpe Steel works and a 1st class return journey to Penzance. (again, they feed you!!).