Meetings are normally on the second Tuesday of the month, and last for a couple of hours or so for a talk. Full blown technical discussions are normally very limited. and a relaxed friendly atmosphere is the mark of our meetings
Visits, particularly those to venues requiring special opening arrangements for T&IAG, may be on any weekday. Past visits have used both hired coach or members cars for travel to a destination.
Most visits start mid-morning and include lunch at local café or pub in a convivial atmosphere!
Tony Samson stepped down as Group Leader at the end of 2020. His successors, Robin Satow and Peter Bennett-Davies, expressed on behalf of all the members of the Group, heartfelt thanks to Tony for his wonderful achievements over the past six years - always a stimulating and varied programme of talks and well researched in advance visits - the latter always with a "place of refreshment" included to match the interest of the site or sites visited. The new joint leaders acknowledge "Tony's tenure as Group Leader is a hard act to follow".
Tony thanks all members of the Group for their support over the years and wishes to record that he has thoroughly enjoyed his time leading the group and now looks forward to relaxing on future outings.
The new event calendar for 2021 is below:
Following each event, a summary will be published in the panel below, to show you what you either enjoyed or missed !
For more details contact Robin Satow (01306-640474)
or Peter Bennett-Davies (01483-282774)
LATEST T&IAG ACTIVITY REPORT
On Friday 18th, Tony Samson chaired the last meeting of the year and the last of his time as leader of T&IAG. There was a slide show of Tony's favourite moments of being a member and leading T&IAG. They ran from 2010 when the first trip he organised was to the Mid-Hants Railway for Xmas Lunch, through his first full outing, when he managed to leave a person behind, to wonderful summer outings, including SS Shieldhall during Cowes week and his personal favourite of Mapledurham Mill which included a guided boat trip on the Thames. The session ended with what turned out to be his very last outing in December 2109, Xmas Lunch on the Mid-Hants Railway; a fitting end.
There followed an excellent, Transport related, Quiz chaired by David Lush, who as usual posed the right level of questions which made you think that you should know the answers.
We then pulled crackers, told the awful jokes, had a drink and said our farewells!
On Monday 23rd, Alan Gilbertson gave an illustrated talk on 'The Future of Energy' which was a personal view designed to promote discussion. Alan had done a great deal of research to put together statistics around energy usage and possibilities for the future. We were joined by members of Fetcham IHG as they had also done some talks on this subject and a lively discussion ensued. Alan subsequently told members about the latest Government report that had been published accompanied by a presentation showing the target of carbon neutral by 2050.
On October 16th, Des Samson gave a PowerPoint presentation via Zoom on The History Of Lidos. She took us through the social history and architecture with examples from both ends of England. She also covered two Lidos from where she was brought up, including one that both her and Tony had visited separately as children. The final Lido was Guildford and this was built by local workmen whose wages were partly paid by the Mayor of the time. After the talk participants were invited to talk about their own experiences of Lidos and in most cases Des found the entry in her book on the subject. A very enjoyable and interactive talk.
On September 9th, we had the pleasure of watching a YouTube video of an interview with Dr Peter Shaw on the UK Space Industry. Peter had previously hosted T&IAG on a tour of the Surrey Satellite Technology Company based in Guildford, but is now a lecturer at Kingston University who have a Rocket Science lab. After the video Peter was on the Zoom call to answer a number of very interesting questions.
On August 21st, David Lush took on the first half of a 'World Cruise' delighting us with wonderful photographs and stories of the places that he visited in 2013. The first stop was Tenerife and then crossed the Atlantic for visits to Brazil. Unfortunately they were refused entry to Buenos Aires as they were planning to visit The Falklands, which in the end they didn't due to bad weather. They continued to Chile and a view of Easter Islands 'statues' and the onto the Pitcairn Islands, where he left us; we eagerly await Part 2.
On 16th July, Peter Bennett-Davies treated us to a walkthrough of 4 Railway Museums via video and photographs. The first Museum was the National Railway Museum which in 2013 hosted the ‘Great Gathering’ where 6 A4 locomotives had been brought together. A4s were a class of streamlined 4-6-2 steam locomotive designed by Nigel Gresley for the London and North Eastern Railway in 1935. Their streamlined design gave them high-speed capability as well as making them instantly recognisable, and one of the class, 4468 Mallard, holds the world record as the fastest steam locomotive. As well as Mallard, which is on permanent display, there were 2 A4s from outside the UK, one from Canada and one from USA.
The second Museum was one in Ljubljana, Slovenia which contained old steam locomotives, turntable and many interesting exhibits from Slovenia.
The 3rd Museum was at Shildon, near Darlington, which is an offshoot of the NRM in York. It was the location of the first passenger steam railway and has some very interesting exhibits.
The final Museum is at Acton, West London, and is an extension of the LT Museum in Covent Garden. It is essentially the storage overflow and therefore contains many exhibits relating to the history of LT, including buses, trains and many old station signs.
On 2nd July, Tony Elliott gave us an illustrated talk on Trinity House and their ship THV Patricia. Trinity House is the official authority for lighthouses in England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar. Trinity House is also responsible for the provision and maintenance of other navigational aids, such as light vessels, buoys, and maritime radio/satellite communication systems. It is also an official deep sea pilotage authority, providing expert navigators for ships trading in Northern European waters.
Tony had been able to book at week’s trip aboard the Patricia and enjoyed an eventful outing. It is surprising well fitted out and the accommodation was excellent along with the food and drink!
The voyage had certain tasks planned but it is weather and emergencies dependent and some items were not achieved due to having to shelter from a major storm. However Tony did capture on video the rescuing and repair of a major buoy that had been dragged down the Bristol Channel by a ship!
An excellent talk and adventure and one that we will not personally experience.
On 18th June, Mark Blowers gave us a talk on the Nieuport 17 French WWII fighter plane. Mark investigated the history of this plane and its service because he was building a model. He gave us an illustrated talk on the structure of the plane and then a fascinating story of one of its pilots, Charles Nungesser. He suffered multiple injuries during his service, but survived the war to attempt the crossing of the Atlantic; unfortunately he was ‘lost’.
On 4th June, Tony Millership gave us an illustrated talk of his cycling trip to Bulgaria.
This was particularly interesting as it is not a country that is on most of our ‘bucket list’. It gave a good insight into the countryside and it was obvious about the lack of mechanisation in their equipment; horse and carts were very evident. Tony managed very good photographs despite the poor weather.
There was an interesting episode about the group’s failed attempt to rescue a cow from a ditch!
On Thursday 21st May we had our first virtual meeting using Zoom and there were 12 attendees. The subject was London Olympia, discussing the architecture, interesting facts and events over the years. Although it was presented by Tony Samson it was a presentation that Des Samson had given 5 years ago to the Bookham U3A Architectural History Group, A short discussion agreed that we would plan to do a virtual meeting every two weeks, volunteers permitting, until 'lockdown' is over.
On Friday 14th we met at West Horsley Methodist Church Hall to view a DVD about the building and installation of the BP Miller Oil Platform in the North Sea.
The Miller field is situated 270km NE of Aberdeen and production started in June 1992 and produced some 345 million barrels of oil until 2007. The Miller platform consists of an eight-legged tubular steel jacket of 18,000 tonnes and an integrated topside structure taking the total weight to 28,000 tonnes.
John Franklin, who was responsible for the team that designed and built the ‘jacket’ gave a brief introduction and the Q&A at the end was particularly interesting as in the audience were two ex-BP people and somebody who dealt with ‘flare towers’ an integral part of the rig.
On Tuesday 21st we met at West Horsley Methodist Church Hall for a talk by Bob Bryson, chair of Surrey Industrial History Group, on ‘Mechanisation of Agriculture’. This was a fascinating look at the progress made over time from the original manual tools used for farming up to the modern tractors and combine harvesters. It involved the usual inventions by individuals such as Ferguson and then the ‘takeovers’ by large companies like Ford and now Japanese companies.
One notable fact is that we still have enough land to be self-supporting in crops but choose to import rather than grow our own.