THE 2013-2014 winter season of meetings of the 8E Railway Association began with the intriguingly entitled ‘Coal to Chocolate’, an exploration of industrial railway systems.

The format turned out to be rather different from what might have been expected and the audience had to work quite hard.

The speaker, Russell Hatt, had acquired a collection of about 3,500 slides. Many of these were unlabelled.

For the talk he had selected about 160 and the challenge then was to try to identify the locations and any other useful information. Many were of collieries and their associated railway systems.

Others were from major, and minor, industrial complexes most of which had, and some still have, internal railway networks, e.g. steel works, breweries, gas works and dockyards.

The audience got involved, with some success and it turned into a most enjoyable evening. The ‘Chocolate’ connection was not too difficult. It had to be Bournville and Cadburys and was dealt with in some depth – firm ground after the preceding quagmire!

The next meeting is on Tuesday, October 8 when Chris Banks will continue his survey of engine sheds. This is Part 2 and covers Bournemouth to Carnforth.

We might expect some information on Bristol and Carlisle, but Bury, Brecon or even Burry Port? You will have come to find out. Visitors are welcome.

For details see the website or contact Paul Tench on 07790 486 735.