26th October 2018 Speaker

Our Speaker on 26th October was John Gurney, a member of a Local Area History Group, who has an interest in the history of the railways stimulated by his own trainspotting days in boyhood.

Old Metropolitan Railway
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Our Speaker on 26th October was John Gurney, a member of a Local Area History Group, who has an interest in the history of the railways stimulated by his own trainspotting days in boyhood. 

With a plethora of photographs throughout, his presentation illustrated the history of the Metropolitan Line which serves Chesham. Founded in 1863 the railway was extended out from London to, eventually, its furthest point at Verney Junction and included stations at Amersham, Chesham, Aylesbury and even to Brill. 

In its early days Locomotive power was provided by rudimentary steam engines, developing through various iterations of steam engines through ensuing years to electric traction. 

Rotarians brought up in Chesham were fascinated by images of steam engines operating from Chesham, rekindling memories of childhood when such transport was the norm and Waitrose car park was the station goods yard!  John’s unique photographic collection proved thought provoking with so much local social, architectural and industrial history reflected by the images.  

John is a retired Payroll Manager and currently a CWPC Parish Councillor for Loudwater having lived in Loudwater for 45 years.  He is a member of the Flackwell Local Area History Group and his interest in the railways and steam locomotives in particular goes back to his trainspotting days of the early 1960’s when he attended the old Wycombe Technical School in Easton Street (later to become John Hampden Grammar) as the back gate was directly opposite Wycombe station making it easy to view the trains during breaks.