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                                  CELEBRATE SAINT PATRICK'S DAY IN LONDON


The IRRS London runs an annual collectors' market at Chiswick Town Hall on 17 March 2018, starting at 11am.

Mainly railway, but a fair bit of buses and London Transport. An excellent place to pick up photographs, postcards, DVDs and tickets.

You'll find me on the Stage of the Main Hall selling books - we trade as The Syndicate (!) and specialise in books, both in and out of print. We like to think that we have almost everything published on Irish Railways. I also stock new books by Lightmoor, plus Pen and Sword - come and have a look. A colleague sells all manner of transport ephemera like old (British) working timetables, maps, transport leaflets etc etc. Our profits go to Irish Railway Preservation.

This year's market happens to land on the National Saint's day, so if you haven't got a ticket for The Boys tackling The English up the road at Twickers, why not come along?   In fact, you could pop in before the match?

The event is open 11am to 3pm. Admission £3 (£1 after 1.30pm). Light refreshments available and we have a continuously running DVD Show to add to the entertainment.

The wearing of something Green (I'll be in my Northern Ireland footie shirt!) is optional.

The Town Hall is on Heathfield Terrace, W4 4JN. Nearest tube is Chiswick Park, or Gunnerbury. Buses 27, 237, 267, 391, 440 and H91 stop on Chiswick High Road - across the Green from the Town Hall.

If you're in London, come along and support the local Area of Ireland's national railway society!

Hope to see a few of you there - be sure to say "Hi" - I'll be wearing a badge, but you can usually hear my Belfast (via Surrey) accent at 100 metres!



Edited by leslie10646
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I plan to post our Irish Booklist on the London Area website in due course - on the To Do list - 

behind -

motorise more points at Portadown Jct, build the platforms at Richhill so that your buildings look "at home", work out why No.53 won't even MOVE after chipping (the perils of DCC), look after the speaker at the next London Area meeting on Thursday (see next post) etc etc.

But seriously, it's an important job and high on the list.

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IRRS London Area Meeting

Further Tales of Irish Railway Travel in the mid-1950s” by Michael Davies

Michael Davies has made over 125 visits to Ireland. Tonight, he returns to recount further his early travels in Ireland, portraying just what it was like to be a young enthusiast in an unfamiliar land. He will dwell on his discovery of the SL&NCR in 1952 and his visits to the railways of Cork from 1956-62. This will be followed by reflections on his long fascination with the Cavan & Leitrim Railway, including reminiscences from some of its great characters.

In Function Room, Calthorpe Arms, 252 Gray’s Inn Road, LONDON WC1X 8JR starting at 7pm sharp. Food is available in the pub from about 5.45pm.

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Come on JB - pay attention - the meeting was last week - you'd need a Time Machine - not Captain Kirk's teleport!

However, I have the job of reporting the meeting and this is what I posted on the London Area website - 

15 March 2017

Michael Davies, who had just returned from his 132nd visit to Ireland, continued his account of his earliest travels in Ireland during the 1950s,. His talk attracted the largest attendance of the season to date, your writer noted visiting members from Scotland, Wales and Ireland!

Michael set out to travel on as much of Ireland’s railway system as possible and he recounted how he largely achieved this goal by 1957 – only a very few branch lines eluded him! Like all young people, he had to be careful with his limited resources, but he was aided by the fact that rural Ireland then had many hotels offering Bed and Breakfast for ten shillings (50p). 

When a rail connection was not available he used buses and on many occasions hitched a lift with commercial travellers and on one occasion, a parish priest. While exploring the Cavan and Leitrim one Sunday, he obtained the loan of a bicycle, but a tyre succumbed to the rough roads. Nothing daunted, he discovered a cycle repair business in the next town, knocked on the door, only to discover that the proprietor was at Mass. The man’s wife fed young Michael, while he waited and when the owner returned and carried out the repair, he would not accept a payment. Michael’s ingenuity knew no bounds and to resolve difficult connections he would write in advance to station masters to ask them have a “Hackney Carriage” waiting when his train arrived - and they did. It was a different world!

He illustrated his talk with photographs taken on his father’s “Box Brownie” camera and he acknowledged the skill shown by Area member Richard McLachlan in restoring the images and bringing them out in their full glory.

Thus the audience was transported back to 1950s Letterkenny (by the Swilly and the Donegal), the length of the Cavan and Leitrim (clearly his favourite), the Midland Great Western from Inny Jct to Cavan and on to Clones by the Great Northern. Michael was also in time to travel several times on the Sligo Leitrim and Northern Counties before that singular railway closed.

Along the way, Michael made many enduring friends among Irish railwaymen and he made more friends tonight with his entertaining account of travels over half a century ago.

Next meeting is Charlie Friel -

Thursday 19th April 2018

“The GNR(I) lines to Newcastle and Derry” by Charles Frielcharles-friel-irrs1.jpg?w=300&h=105

Archivist, historian and RPSI activist, Charles Friel pays us another visit. He starts with lines closed in 1956 – an illustrated journey along the busy Belfast to Banbridge line, the cross-country extension to meet the BCDR at Newcastle and the sleepy branch to Scarva.

He will then present a recording of an evocative BBC NI television programme, largely based on the cine of the late Fred Cooper, made to mark the 50th anniversary of the closure of the fondly-remembered former GN route from Portadown to Londonderry (Foyle Road) in 1965.

find details of this and all the Area's activities at - 



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