Member's Page

Chris Hazlehurst Obituary

Christopher Hazlehurst, a good friend and a fellow member, known to us as ‘Chris’ passed away on Saturday 9thNovember 2019 in Boston hospital following a sudden illness. He was a native of Colchester, where he spent many hours as a youngster taking in the local railway scene and with his mates would also visit the renowned Bob Todd at his home in Edmonton. Here Chris, with the other boys, would watch cine film with soundtrack of the steam era made by Bob Todd himself and also admire the many locomotive nameplates on permanent display. By the early 1970s, Chris became one of the founder members of The Stour Valley Railway at Chappel and Wakes Colne. He went on to work as a volunteer with a number of other heritage lines in those early years, with The Bluebell and The Great Western Society prominent. In later years Chris also supported various steam and diesel locomotive preservation groups. He was involved with the establishment of The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust from its earliest days becoming an early member upon its formation to continue as a staunch supporter to the B17 project. The funeral service for Chris was held at Boston Crematorium on Thursday 19th December 2019.  

Sandy's Holidays in India

India 1 Sandy has just returned from an extended tour abroard, visiting some fasinating places. Here's his first photo with his friend Sahil - where is he?
Sandy went to visit new friends on his holiday, but he took some old friends with him. He was not sure that they suited the local dress fashion though - can you recognise Sandy's old friend? India 2


India 4 India 5 India 6

On leaving Amritsar, Sandy took the Kangra Valley Railway which runs for 162Km from Amritsar up into the foothills of the Himalayas. The Railway was built by the British in order to transport construction materials for a hydro-elecric Power station. It is now used as transport for the local population. Sandy got off the train at Kangra for a brief rest and also to meet some more new friends.

At Kangra Station, Sandy met an 85year old lady who sells refreshments from her front porch. She has been doing this for 70 years and has appeared in a documentary film shown in the UK. Sandy helped out for a bit and promised to keep in touch.
Sandy then asked the Station Master if he could have a go at being the signalman before catching the next train.

Gerry Bennett - Obituary

Our good friend and fellow member ‘Gerry’ Bennett sadly passed away on Tuesday 22nd October 2019 in hospital after a serious fall. He will certainly be missed by the many of his friends who shared the common interest of railways and the ‘old days'. A genuine character indeed, who always joined in conversations with anyone and everyone he came into contact with. He was an instant friend to us all and was keen to share his memories with us. Gerry’s funeral service was be held at the Cheltenham Crematorium (Prestbury) GL52 5JT.

More B17 nameplates at Mangapps

A member has sent me a photo of the latest acquisition by the Mangapps Railway Museum of another B17 nameplate - I think that's John Jolly's 5th or 6th, but certainly the best display of B17 nameplates anywhere. The Trust, of course, has 2.

somerleyton hall

Streamlined Model!

For those interested in the B17/5 variants, one member has sent me pictures of his working OO model of 2870 'City of London'. It was created by Roy Mears using a resin casting from Dean Sidings (currently the kit is off the market, but hopefully back one day). The kit was designed for a chassis from a Hornby B17, but modified to take a motorised chassis under the loco body. The painting, by a third party, is superb.

B17 5 OO resin model reduced B17 5 OO finished model reduced

Rochford Garden Railways Group Day Out – 15thAugust 2018

Four B17 members usually found in gardens somewhere in Essex running either 16mm live steam, 00 or 10mm narrow gauge, saw a change of venue in Burnham-on-Crouch visiting the Mangapps Railway Museum for the day. Truly a wonderful experience, with a large collection of locomotives (including the largest collection of 03 diesels in the UK), coaches, wagons and a huge number of railway memorabilia, most of which are related to the East Anglia area.

Amongst the museum items we found three B17 nameplates – these are displayed here. 


Our thanks to John Jolly, owner of the Mangapps Railway Museum, for permission to photograph these nameplates and reproduce them on the website.


Also, thanks to another member, Joshua Cooper, who on the day we found volunteers at Mangapps, was guarding for the day and who showed us around areas of the museum not normally open to the public.