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Grantham Railway Club

by John Clayson

The Grantham Railway Sports and Social Club was founded in 1955 as the Grantham Branch of the BRSA (British Railways Staff Association) Club.   It was opened 10th October 1955 by Eric Trask, who was the Motive Power Superintendent of the Eastern Region of British Railways.

Cheers mate! At Grantham BRSA Club on 8th December 1966. Left to right drivers Ted Matsell (seated), Geordie Hope and Roy Veasey (both standing), Alan Lorne and driver Derek Bloodworth (both seated). Geordie Hope later became Club Steward. Photograph lent by Roy Veasey.
Cheers mate! At Grantham BRSA Club on 8th December 1966. Left to right drivers Ted Matsell (seated), Geordie Hope and Roy Veasey (both standing), Alan Lorne and driver Derek Bloodworth (both seated). Geordie Hope later became Club Steward.
Photograph lent by Roy Veasey.

Below are some historic aerial photographs which show the club's site and earliest building.

The building which became the first part of the BRSA Club in 1955 stands parallel to the footpath leading under the station, near the left hand edge of this view. The photograph was taken on 19th April 1950. The primary school now occupies the site of the buildings at bottom left. Just to right of centre is the abandoned turntable pit. The turntable had been taken out of use because of ground subsidence but the turning triangle next to the shed had not been constructed at this date. Locomotives requiring to be turned had to travel to Barkston Junction to use the triangle there. http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/eaw028682 © Copyright English Heritage
The building which became the first part of the BRSA Club in 1955 stands parallel to the footpath leading under the station, near the left hand edge of this view. The photograph was taken on 19th April 1950.
The primary school now occupies the site of the buildings at bottom left. Just to right of centre is the abandoned turntable pit. The turntable had been taken out of use because of ground subsidence but the turning triangle next to the shed had not been constructed at this date. Locomotives requiring to be turned had to travel to Barkston Junction to use the triangle there.
http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/eaw028682 © Copyright English Heritage
Moving forward to 1st March 1957 the BRSA Club is now well established. Soon a tennis court, a bowling green and a shared pavilion will occupy the ground to the left, and an extension will be added to the buildings. At platform 5, the Western Platform, stands the 3.55pm to Derby Friargate.
Moving forward to 1st March 1957 the BRSA Club is now well established. Soon a tennis court, a bowling green and a shared pavilion will occupy the ground to the left, and an extension will be added to the buildings.
At platform 5, the Western Platform, stands the 3.55pm to Derby Friargate.

In the late 1950s/early 1960s the Club's facilities were extended by adding buildings and sports facilities.

This Ordnance Survey map of 1964 shows the extended BRSA club premises, the tennis court and the bowling green with the pavilion between them. The entry and exit roads of the locomotive turning triangle are to the immediate right of the sports facilities.
This Ordnance Survey map of 1964 shows the extended BRSA club premises, the tennis court and the bowling green with the pavilion between them. The entry and exit roads of the locomotive turning triangle are to the immediate right of the sports facilities.
A game of bowls in progress with the locomotive yard and station beyond. Photograph from the Grantham Matters website.
A game of bowls in progress with the locomotive yard and station beyond.
Photograph from the Grantham Matters website.

Today the Club's outdoor facilities have been built over and the view of the railway is blocked by  new homes.

The club's new light-coloured roof cladding identifies it from above. Houses in Ormonde Close occupy the site of the tennis court and bowling green.
The club's new light-coloured roof cladding identifies it from above. Houses in Ormonde Close occupy the site of the tennis court and bowling green.

In 2015 the Club held a weekend of celebrations to mark its diamond jubilee.  There were events on Friday 9th, Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th October.  Here's a link to a great photo of A3 locomotive No. 60046 Diamond Jubilee taken, appropriately, when this engine was based at Grantham shed in the early 1960s.

The Grantham Railway Club remains very active and it is an excellent and friendly venue for meetings, events and celebrations. The address is Huntingtower Road, Grantham, Lincolnshire NG31 7BA. Phone: (01476) 564860. e-mail: granthamrailwayclub@live.co.uk


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