For enthusiasts, researchers and modellers of the Great Eastern Railway

The 2024 Annual General Meeting of the Great Eastern Railway Society will be held on Saturday 16th March at its familiar venue again this year: ACL Brentwood, Bishops Hill, on the corner of Rayleigh Road and Poplar Road, Hutton, Brentwood, Essex CM13 1BD.

Access to the hall for those setting up stalls and tables will be from 8am and, once again, there will be plenty of second-hand books and stalls of other services for you to enjoy and, who knows, maybe even part with some money towards Society funds. Barry Jackson will be there, with the excellent Files Emporium of course, and he always tries to feature a new item.

Part of the actual business of the AGM will be to elect a Treasurer (Neil Pearson having resigned during the year) plus at least one Ordinary Member to the Executive Committee. Names of volunteers, nominations and requests for further information before putting a name forward should be made to the Secretary at Secretary@GERSociety.org.uk or 07939 567838.

Agenda for the 51st Annual General Meeting:

1. Apologies for absence.

2. Minutes of the 2023 AGM held on 18th March 2023.

3. Matters arising.

4. Secretary’s Report.

5. Treasurer’s Report.

6. Chairman’s Statement.

7. Election of Officers.

8. Election of Executive Committee.

9. Appointment of Independent Examiner.

10. Any Other Business, at the discretion of the Chair.

Four speakers have been booked, commencing at 10am,and this time they will include Alan Neville, Community and Customer Engagement Manager for Greater Anglia. This will be the first time in some years that we have included a representative of a Train Operating Company in the line-up. I have been fortunate to hear Alan at other similar events and can confirm he is extremely knowledgeable and always a very entertaining speaker.

If you want to book rail tickets in advance, Shenfield is the nearest railway station, from which it is a 20 minute walk (it says in my route finder).

The nearest bus route is the number 81 operated by First Bus: the nearest stop to the ACL being Rayleigh Rd Opposite Poplar Drive, Hutton.

If you are travelling by car, please consider car-sharing. As you may know, there is quite a bit of car parking both at the site and in nearby streets.

Please check your travel arrangements before setting off as we live in uncertain times!

After many problems and challenges, the revised website has been launched. The main change is the home page which is, we hope, more attractive and draws attention to the key features of the Society and the website. Other changes have been made, but on the whole, the other pages remain the same. Those items formerly accessed via the home page can be found under "About Us", although most have direct links from the new home page.

The Society’s Half-Yearly Meeting will be held in the Officers Club, Colchester (a short walk from Colchester Town station) on Saturday 7th October 2023. For those arriving by rail, please note that Colchester Town station is down a short branch line from Colchester station.

It is a very pretty little branch and I advise anyone who can arrive that way to do so, assuming they can manage quite a steep walk up to the Club from there. Allow 30 minutes for the walk to the venue via the underpass beneath the busy roundabout and you should arrive well inside that time! The postal address is Colchester Officers’ Club, Londinium Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 7NU for those using a satnav for part or all of the journey, and there is car parking close to the Club (£2)

One of the speakers will be Andy Grimmett, who will be sharing some of his huge collection of images from the 1920s-1960s. There will be a strong Essex/GE presence and he might even sneak in some GE/GN Joint pictures too. He is intending to include a “Where’s This?” interactive section which promises to be a bit of fun and informative too.

We shall also have a talk on the Newmarket–Chesterford Railway. It has been addressed very comprehensively by Ruth Ivimey-Cook in a previous meeting, and I am assured the talk by a different speaker this time will show some new images and also reveal some facts about the line to further broaden our knowledge of this pioneering route in our region.

09.30 Hall opens for setting up.

10.00 Hall opens to members: Raffle Tickets, GERS sales from Barry Jackson, second-hand books etc.

10.25 Our Chairman Peter Walker opens the meeting.

10.30 Presentation by Andy Grimmett, giving his illustrated talk ‘’A Miscellany Of Images on the GE Section; 1920 - 1965’’.

11.30 Refreshment Break. Sales stands & Raffle Tickets.

12.00 Presentation by Geoff Brockett of the RCTS “Railway Images In East Anglia; 1990 – 2010”, illustrated by slides from Geoff’s extensive personal collection.

13.00 Lunch break. Sales stand re-opens.

14.00 GER Society announcements.

14.15 Presentation by Alan Denney on “The Newmarket and Chesterford Railway including the Cambridge Connection”.

15.30 Raffle Drawn, Final circulation and Clearing up.

The venue offers a fine buffet lunch at £14 per person. This must be pre-booked via 07939 567838 or email secretary@gersociety.org.uk and please give at least a week’s notice, although you can pay on the day. Alternatives are: to walk back down the hill to buy something; bring a packed lunch. Teas and Coffees will be available as usual, and the venue has a licensed bar.

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