Harrow County School for Boys

Railways and Airways Society - 1954

After a long absence from the august pages of "The Gaytonian" the society returns with renewed vigour, for the long-awaited after school meetings have at last come to fruition.  Here we should like to thank our presidents, Messrs. Duke, Lane and Eagers for their ready guidance, piquant counsels, and continued enthusiasm, and the Headmaster for his co-operation and interest.

The diversity of interests and capabilities of the members lead to a varied and full programme.  Mr. Lane's reminiscences, Mr. Eager's famous quizzes, and Freed's erudite lectures contribute to that heterogeneity on which the Society thrives.  Freed and Barnett are arranging films to complete the term's activities.

An elaborate layout being out of the question, the railway devotees decided to build a model of a Narrow Gauge line.  Agreed; but which to adopt?  The rival merits of various examples of such a typically English institution were hotly debated:  recollections came back of timeless afternoons spent behind a placid locomotive gently ambling over "track as green and beautiful as a chickweedy disused canal, finding its way through hedges of willows rapping the carriage sides".  Eventually we selected the now alas! defunct Lynton and Barnstaple.  Research started here.  We gathered faded photographs local history, technical data and a host of other details about the line on the breezy North Devon hinterland where the quaint tank engines with tall chimneys, cowcatchers and polished steel domes had a delightful character all their own.  Construction is well under way, with Wilkes, Lyons - our competent librarian - and myself as "Superintendents of the Line".  Here again we should like to express our thanks to Mr. Collins for his great help and interest.  

On the airways side too, activities continue apace.  The new journals prove very popular.  On Monday evenings the old hands in this sphere initiate an enthusiastic working party into the mysteries of balsa wood, tissue paper and sweet smelling dope and cement ...  Construction of one model is nearly completed and negotiations for a diesel engine are in progress.

Thanks to the competence of my predecessors and our very successful exhibit at "The Gayton Fair" the Society is flourishing:  among the many interests embraced are carpentry, metalwork, photography, local research, painting and a host of others too numerous to mention!  The present meetings are well attended and prospective new members will find a warm welcome at the hive of activity that is the Old Physics Laboratory at 4 o'clock on Mondays.

J. Mair, Secretary

Source:  Gaytonian, December 1954

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