The Society’s recent October meeting once more took members to faraway places as we followed our speaker’s efforts to track down the world’s last steam locomotives.

Don Taggart started his presentation with photographs of Turkish steam taken on a trip in 1977. At this time, tourists in the country were virtually unknown and the further east Don and his colleagues travelled the more they were the focus of local interest. Turkey had obtained locomotives from France, Germany, the UK, Sweden, the USA and numerous other countries and Don had managed to capture on film this splendid variety in action in some very remote parts of the country. His second trip in 1982 yielded further fascinating locations where steam had even replaced more modern traction!

In complete contrast, in 1979 and 1980 our speaker had travelled to South Africa on a similar quest. We were treated to 3ft 6in gauge giants that would have towered over UK standard gauge equivalents. Don had visited several sheds with upwards of 120 locomotives in steam and had ventured into the countryside to photograph what were then everyday workings. It was a delight to see Garratts in such spectacular settings, caught on film by an expert photographer.

All too soon our speaker concluded and we were left realising what we’d missed but thankful that Don had been to such remote corners and had shared his photography with us.

The Society next meets on Monday 2nd November to watch some of Alan Price’s DVDs from his own On Track Productions.

All meetings start at 7.30 at the Birchley Social Club, Brunel Road, Oldbury: everyone is welcome and no membership is required. For further information, contact George Richards (0121 559 4888), Alan Shenton (0121 559 3200) or Alan Atkinson (01562 886549).