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The Society held its first meeting of the year in early February at the Birchley Social Club. After giving details of the trip to Swindon and the Gloucester Warwickshire Railway, Alan Atkinson introduced the speaker, Chris Dyche.

Chris, who is well known in Stourbridge railway and canal circles, had prepared a miscellany of slides which proved to be extremely entertaining. We started the evening with classic Blackpool trams and a reminder that the system is soon to be extensively modernised. Following the tramway theme, we moved on to the fascinating cable-hauled vehicles that ply their way up the Great Orme at Llandudno and from there we travelled by Steam Packet to the Isle of Man. The Island is an enthusiast’s delight and Chris was able to share many views from his several visits. Starting in the early Sixties when the steam railway reached Peel and Ramsey, we went on to the Manx Electric, Snaefell Mountain, Groudle Glen, Douglas Horse Tramway and the newest railway at Laxey mines.

After the break, Chris changed direction and we were treated to a diverse collection of standard gauge steam on the main line, starting with Kings from 1961, moving on to the end of steam in the North West in 1968 and finally focusing on this year’s Fortieth Anniversary of the Severn Valley. Chris showed photographs taken on the SVR as early as 1967 and then covered the next forty years with locos both on the Valley and on the main line. All-in-all, this was a splendid evening with something for everyone. Thank you, Chris.

The next meeting will be on Monday 1st March when expert photographer, Bob Green, returns with “More Steam in the Landscape”.

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).