Thornycroft Society News Bulletin 64

Just arrived- interesting read as usual with a nice range of subjects- particularly some extracts from The Sid Wilkinson Story -A lad from the Lea, which covers the period during the Second World War and immediately thereafter, when he worked for Thornycroft’s at their Basingstoke factory.

Written by the man himself at the insistence of his daughters, it is an excellent example of this genre which shows how robust our Fathers and Mothers were in the face of what life threw at them  during the 2nd World War. The piece is complimented by some excellent accompanying photographs provided by Kempshott History Group.

South West Trains- Sorry to see you go

So one of the best run rail franchises over the past 21 years, South West Trains (Stagecoach) has lost its franchise  to First.

Sorry to see them go- obviously running it well for 21 years doesn’t count much with the Department against Transport.

First- you’ve got a great act to follow and based on your performance elsewhere  we could all be in for a rough ride!

The press & railway terminology

Unfortunately on the extremely rare instances of railway accidents without or with fatalities,  press & TV reporters seem unable to use the correct vocabulary for railway related items.

They borrow terms related to motoring- the … came off on a sharp corner- rather than a curve in the track. Then the most inappropriate- “the …. skidded or swerved off the track”.

The term train tracks or rail tracks (that’s like saying rail rails!) seems to have crept into common usage, rather than the more correct railway tracks.

I’ve heard ballast referred to as shingle or gravel, the list goes on…. confusion between locomotives, carriages and multiple units.

Obviously we have reached an era when interest in transport systems  in ones youth, other than cars, passed the reporters by.

We won’t mention their lack of knowledge of railway safety systems or acknowledgement of the rarity of railway accidents & fatalities when compared to  motoring.

and some of them call themselves transport correspondents..

Southern van goes even further “South for the Sun”

From The Italian Railways Society research & an Italian website, the World War Two Railway Study Group has identified an SR  12t Ferry Van in a photo taken in Vibo Valentia.

Apparently the van, which had Italian State Railways Engineering Department markings, was made by the SR for the WD in 1942 and was kitted out as a mobile repair shop.

Obviously wanted to retire to a place with a lot more sun than Eastbourne or Bournemouth!


Membership drive bears fruit

Building on some overlap with the Liphook U3A Transport Interests group – 3 members of that group, Bill, Dennis & Barry have visited the club over the last month. Of these Bill hasn’t returned to either; Dennis has visited the club twice & is going to join and it looks like Barry will come back after his holidays.

I addition Edward, the son of a long time member, has joined as a Junior member, the first for many years.

All in all a fairly successful outcome- a 17% increase from 14 to 16.5 members!

U3A Transport Interests Group

A new venture by the club in co-operation with Liphook U3A (University of the Third Age)

The proposed group would cover most forms of transport & the hobbies associated with them. Initial thoughts are for monthly meetings with speakers drawn from within the group or brought in, each covering a topic of transport interest. In the Spring & Autumn visits to places of transport interest would be arranged

See link to Liphook U3A for details.

The group will be formally launched at the LIPHOOK U3A OPEN DAY on 14th MARCH 2016