Before introducing the speaker, the Chairman, Bob Montgomery, gave a reading of Edward Thomas’s poem “Adlestrop” following which Tony Conder, the former Curator of the Waterways Museum, Gloucester, gave his talk, covering the period from the mid 19th century to Dr. Beeching’s axe falling in the 1950s, which resulted in 150 stations in Gloucestershire being reduced to about 15. It was clear that the railways were running inefficiently and were in need of re-organisation.
Mr Conder gave many examples of the faults and the changes made. At one time it was required to change trains because there were both broad gauge and narrow gauge rails on one route. A handsome bridge was built without prior authority and no railway to pass. This report is too short to include more details but there was no doubt as to the enthusiasm with which it was received by the large audience.
Although Adlestrop had its dual lines restored there was no station and the name could only be seen in what was now a bus-stop shelter. This and much more was illustrated by some wonderful photographs which only added to the interest and entertainment of the listeners.