The latest in our series A Night to Remember.....


Memorable for a number of reasons, John winning the raffle again, a demonstration that old plastic, as well as old bones, can be susceptible to sudden brittle fracture, and an excellent buffet put on by the Chairman's significantly better half. When all had more-or-less settled down, Allan gave us an illustrated talk on the delights of 1985-vintage trains in Italy, when most of the stock seemed to be 50 years old and little the worse for it. His priorities were clear right from the outset: the maximum of interesting trains in diverse locations, the minimum of touristy culture, and absolutely no biological infestations*.

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A number of lessons could be drawn from the presentation: State-owned railways have a lot going for them, particularly when run by (or at least for) a dictator, small stations need big buildings, the original Pendolino design was a lot better than the re-make, and all water towers must be preserved for when we run out of oil and the strategic steam reserve needs to be activated. And don't sit on garden furniture indoors.

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The chairman securing his share of the puddings.

*Late 20th Cent. Glaswegian, trans. 'random bodies cluttering up the photo'.