Social Events

A range of social events are offered to members of the Friends and a guest either free of charge or at a nominal charge.

Forthcoming events include a visit to the Severn Valley Railway Diesel depot on Wednesday 22 May 2024 and a return vsit to the Kidderminster Railway Museum on Wednesday 9 October 2024 when our speakers will be Anthony Coulls, a senior curator at the National Railway Museum, and Fraser Pithie, chair of the Friends of the Shakespeare Line.

We also have two more turn-up-and-go trips planned, one to the Llangollen branch line gala on Saturday 13th April and  a trip to Aberystwyth on Thursday 6 June 2024 where we can view GWR 9017 Earl of Berkeley Dukedog Class back in its home shed, or alternatively spend the day exploring Aberystwyth. For these trips there is no need to book; just turn up at the meeting point where you will find some members ready to go. Everyone, members and non-members alike, are welcome on these trips; the more the merrier. Note that all costs such as train fares, refreshment and any entrance fees are the responsibility of the individual.

Our social at the Severn Valley Railway (SVR) Railway Museum at Kidderminster on Wednesday 28 February 2024 attracted over 50 members. Our guest speaker was Mike Corbett who was engaged by the National Railway Museum as project manager for the period of final restoration of Flying Scotsman to operational service in early 2016. The afternoon featured an audience with Les Ross, Ray Churchill and Ray Poole.

On Saturday 23 September 2023 we had an informal turn-up-and-go trip to the Holdens GWR-themed Great Western pub in Wolverhampton. This Grade II-listed, previous CAMRA National Pub of the Year, is situated near to the former low-level railway station. It was sympathetically refurbished in Spring 2021. It used to be a train station and contains old train station pictures and pieces of the old train track alongside other artifacts.
There was no need to book for this trip; we just turned up at New Street station at 12.00 noon and meet by the main ticket office on the concourse. In summer we will have similar turn-up-and-go trips to other easily-accessible interesting places; any suggestions are welcome through our contact pages.

We have held two members-only screenings of historical railway films at the Electric Cinema in Birmingham , the UK’s oldest working cinema, followed by refreshment at The London and North Western Wetherspoons pub directly opposite. On 25 May 2023 we screened The Train and on 5 October 2023 we screened The Unstoppable.

We arranged a member-exclusive visit to the  Transport Museum at Wythall on Wednesday 7th September 2022, which included hot drinks and biscuits on arrival, a guided tour of the exhibits by an ex bus company employee full of interesting anecdotes and a complimentary heritage bus to transport us to the local pub at lunchtime.

Our social event on Saturday 20th August 2022 welcomed guest speakers John Mayall from the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway giving a talk about the railway and Denis Chick giving a talk about the Transport Museum Wythall.

Our October 2021 social afternoon, delayed by the COVID restrictions, featured John Perkin, who is well known in railway circles for his enlightening and enjoyable talks. John’s theme for this social was RAILS THROUGH BIRMINGHAM, a photographic journey through the City of  Birmingham in the days of steam along the former Midland, London North Western & and Great Western Lines.

Bob in full flow
Bob in full flow

The first social evening was held on Thursday, 12 September 2019. We were delighted that Bob Meanley, who had recently stepped down as Chief Engineer of Tyseley Locomotive Works after 20 years in the role, had agreed to give a talk entitled Looking Back. Les Ross, who is well-known for his time at BRMB, joined us for the evening and was in discussion with Bob after Bob’s talk – audience involvement was encouraged. A complimentary finger buffet was included in the evening.

Any suggestions for these, and future, events are welcome; please see the Contact Us page for details of how to contact the Friends.