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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 great photo of A3 locomotive No. 60046 Diamond Jubilee taken, appropriately, when this engine was based at Grantham shed in the early 1960s.

60046 DIAMOND JUBILEE - Gresley LNER Class A3 4-6-2 - built 08/24 by Doncaster Works as LNER No.2545 - 07/46 to LNER No.46, 08/49 to BR No.60046 - 06/63 withdrawn from 34F Grantham - seen here at Wood Green, 06/62.

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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2 thoughts on “Grantham Railway Club

  1. Humphrey Platts

    With reference to the Diamond Jubilee of the Railway Club and the A3 locomotive No.60046 "Diamond Jubilee", I was pleased to present a nameplate from this loco to Grantham Museum in 1966/7. The Mayor of Grantham, Montague Ogden, received the plate at a ceremony of which I have a copy of the photograph taken by the 'Grantham Journal'. I do not have the exact date. Since the closure of the Museum, and subsequent limited opening, the nameplate has been in the possession of the Museum of Lincolnshire Life and in store at Lincoln. Perhaps it may be possible one day to bring it back to Grantham where it belongs!

    Reply
    1. TracksthroughGrantham1

      I remember the Diamond Jubilee nameplate very well - it was on display when I first visited Grantham Museum in 2007. It was also prominent in an exhibition about Grantham's railway history held the following year, in which the museum kindly exhibited a large number of my father's photographs. Sadly, along with many other exhibits, the nameplate hasn't been seen in Grantham since early in 2011.

      To explain, for the benefit of readers who aren't 'in the know', in 2010 Grantham Museum was threatened with closure by Lincolnshire County Council which had decided to 'pull the plug' on its funding. Eventually the museum was 'saved' by being transferred to a voluntary team in 2011. They reopened the museum in 2012 and have been running the 'front of house' operation since then. They've done a great job, especially given that the council withdrew virtually all support practically overnight, without a properly planned transition. However, the town's museum collection was all packed up and moved away to Lincoln because, I suppose, the voluntary group doesn't have the resources and the training of the former professional staff team.

      I too hope that the museum will, before too long, once again give Grantham's proud railway history the profile it deserves.

      John Clayson

      Reply

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