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Colin begins the talk with a brief look at the character of the Isle of Wight - England's 'Garden Isle' - and the diverse means of getting there from the mainland over many years, including paddle steamers and the hovercraft with which the island has a special attachment. The development of the island's railways during the latter half of the 19th century is described in some detail, emphasising how the various companies were often short of money and forced to rely on second-hand engines and carriages. Southern Railway investment in the 1920s ushered in a golden - and fondly remembered by many - heyday that lasted into the 1950s before competition and foreign holidays began to drive line closures, well before the Beeching axe fell elsewhere. The talk charts that decline, the limited electrification of 1967 and the use of ex-London Transport tube trains, before concluding with an extensive look at the excellent, award-winning, Isle of Wight Steam Railway and how it preserves the memory of the railways that once criss-crossed the Isle of Wight and served it with such unique character and charm.
Everybody welcome - no membership required.
£3 suggested donation - includes interval refreshments