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The following PDF files are digital versions on the Friends Newsletter produced since your webmaster became Editor in 2010 starting with the most recent. All the PDF links on this page will open a new browser tab or window.

2016-3 (3.7MB) Reports on two talks. Dave Whitfield’s photo’s of the last days of working steam in various countries was a visual treat which the Newsletter cannot really do justice to while Colin Hatton described the railway’s role in the Great War. There is a brief report on the Early Railways Conference in Newcastle and a farewell to Don Whitfield.

2016-2 (4.6MB) Chris Nettleton looked into the prestige streamlined trains of the thirties, Bob Gwynne of the NRM discussed the National Collection and Flying Scotsman (which appeared on the cover as required by current legislation) and Ray State described the history of boiler explosions. As if that wasn’t enough there is a report on the Friend’s AGM!

2016-1 (2.5MB) The Museum’s plans for the year and talks about Grand Central Rail and Alexander McDonnell (an engineer more influential than famous) as well as a review of Train Simulator 2016 from Dovetail Games and the Weardale and Teesdale add-on for it which models the local railway network including Darlington and the Museum in the ’60s.

2015-1 (365KB) A stop-gap issue with little other than news itens and the 2014 Christmas Quiz.

2014-2 (7MB) Reports on talks about lost branch lines near Darlington, the Advanced Passenger Train, an Australian branch line nearly 200 miles long and a reminiscence of Steam around Darlington as well as features about the NER in WW1, a memorable ride on a preserved line in South Africa and a spread from the Great Goodbye event at Locomotion which brought all the remaining Gresley A4 Pacifics.

2014-1 (5.3MB) Write-ups of talks by the A1 Steam Trust's Tony Lord on the construction and operation of Peppercorn A1 Pacific Tornado and the Trust's next project, Transport Consultant Jonathan Spruce on the Tees Valley Metro, The Northern Echo's Chris Lloyd on the building of the main line past Rockliffe Hall and Richard Barber on the Armstrong Railway Photographic Trust not to mention the Friends' Christmas Quiz from the December meeting devised by John Dodds.

2013-2 (6.7MB) Write-ups of talks by Ray State on the Hackworth blast-pipe which is more wide-ranging than it sounds, the Friends of the National Railway Museum and a bit about the North Yorkshire Moors Railway with photographs by Ian McInnes. There is also a report on the Friends' Annual General Meeting.

2012.2.pdf (1.4MB) Something of a stop-gap but there's an interesting photo' of a replica Rocket being built with some information and the Christmas quiz.

2012.1.pdf (6.5MB) Accounts of talks about The Bishop Auckland Line, Bishop Auckland itself, Witton Park, The Railway Heritage Trust and Gordon Reeds reminiscences of a life on the railways. It also sums up the AGM and is burdened with an obituary for the Friends' President John Leng.

2011.11.pdf (2.8MB) Features the 2011 Christmas Quiz and talks about Robert Stephenson, railways around Barnard Castle, the building of Durham Viaduct and railway contractor John "Paddy" Waddell.

2011.07.pdf (3.1MB) Senior railwayman Derek Reeves concludes his memoir Life on the Railways in the North-Eastern Region: 1939-1984 and talks about the National Railway Museum and Nesham and Welch's Portrack Lane long vanished iron-works in Stockton are written up.

2011.04.pdf (5.3MB) Derek Reeves described his involvement at 1975's Railway Cavalcade at Shildon celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway. Talks reported were about the South Tynedale Railway and steam in China.

2011.01.pdf (5.8MB) Derek Reeves' continues his memoirs and features the Christmas quiz which was part of the December meeting and writes up talks including The Battle for the Tees and the Museum's year in review.

2010.10.pdf (14.9MB for no obvious reason) Includes notes about a photograph discovered by chance by the Friends' archivist Don Whitfield and the Back on Track campaign to encourage train-building's return to the North East as well as notes on talks about Locomotion (the museum in Shildon not the locomotive), Volk's Electric Railway and railway safety.

2010.07.pdf (5.2MB) Includes features on Edward Pease, part of Derek Reeves memoirs Life on the Railways in the North-Eastern Region: 1939-1984 and notes on monthly talks including one about Lambton Locomotive Works.

Vic Branfoot was Newsletter Editor before me and, happily, he kept his files which he has sent to me to add to the on-line back numbers. Vic would produce each Newsletter item as a separate file and print out to be collated which has necessitated some editing before his Newsletters can be presented here. I have not included pages that have dated and, on the assumption that these will probably be read on screen, I have adopted a relatively large minimum font size. Vic also uses Microsoft Word where I use Open Office and the process of importing his files, whilst largely fool-proof, can go awry. The Newsletters here will not match a printed copies if you have them and may suffer from peculiarities of page lay-out and spacing for any or all of the above reasons.

Spring 2010 (233KB) Museum Manager David Tetlow looks forward to the year ahead and Derek Reeves' autobiography continues. There are also reports on talks about named train The Northern Belle, The Weardale Railway and the building of what is now the section of the East Coast Main Line between York and Darlington.

Winter 2009/10 (284KB) Then Friends' Chairman Richard Wimbury and Museum Manager David Tetlow note their thoughts for the New Year, the 2009 Christmas Quiz is reproduced and Derek Reeves' autobiography sees him moving to York. Talks were about the first locomotives to steam in the USA, Victorian industrialist William Barningham and... er... well... railways (it'll make sense when you see it).

Autumn 2009 (221KB) Apart from some notes about the membership cards there is not much editorial left but Derek Reeves' autobiography describes his time as Works Manager at the Walkergate (Newcastle) Carriage and Wagon Works and the introduction of Diesel muliple units. Talks were about The Stockton and Darlington Railway's network and railway museums in the USA.

As noted elsewhere you will need Adobe Reader or a suitable browser plug-in to view these or any other PDFs for that matter. If you lack either, which is very unlikely, Adobe Reader is free and can be downloaded from here. Versions specific to Windows, Mac' or Linux can be selected here. Readers with dial-up internet access be warned: this will be a large file, a few hours over a decent 'phone line, so you might like to download it at your local Library. As for browsers there are so many on different operating systems I can only refer you to your help menu although installing Reader will probably set your browser up too.

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