The Society’s April meeting, like the previous month, saw a large audience coming to the Birchley venue, this time to enjoy Chris Schroeder from Tyseley Locomotive Works.

Chris started with something of the history of the Great Western’s shed and works at Tyseley, showing us how it looked before large parts of it were demolished in the 1960s.

Our speaker works at the ‘modern’ Tyseley and was able to give us an inside view of the major restoration projects that have been carried out in recent years. As a ‘hands on’ man, Chris was able to explain through his many digital images the lengthy processes involved to restore steam locomotives from scrap yard condition to main line runners. GWR icons such as Castles, Halls and panniers featured alongside the streamlining of Duchess of Hamilton. We then saw stunning photographs of these restored machines where they belong – at the head of a set of carriages on the main line.

Following the break, Chris moved on to show some superb images of the regular steam-hauled Shakespeare Express which Tyseley operates during the summer months between Birmingham and Stratford.

Apart from details of the operation, we enjoyed some atmospheric video footage of Tyseley locomotives working this service.

Our next meeting takes place on Monday 10th May (note that this is again the second Monday in the month) when Chris Bach returns with an entirely new steam show which will include Scotland, Granville Colliery, Scunthorpe Steel Works and the end of BR Steam in August 1968.

All meetings start at 7.30pm 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).