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News > Alumni News > Railway Club by David R. Morgan (OS 1959)

Railway Club by David R. Morgan (OS 1959)

David R. Morgan (OS 1959) has many fond memories of his time at SGS. Non stand out like his time as part of various school societies such as the Railway Club, later known as GrammarRail. Read more.
20 Oct 2022
Alumni News
Bethesda Quarries
Bethesda Quarries

David R Morgan (OS 1959) has many fond memories of his time at Stockport Grammar.  None stand out like his time as part of various school societies such as the Railway Club, later known as GrammarRail.  David spoke about how this pastime helped build his confidence.

“In the 1950s, some friends and I developed an interest in trainspotting. In the senior school, we joined the school Railway Club which was run by Classics teacher, Mr Theodore Horne, whom we called Tonk. A group of us would often take the train from the Stockport Edgeley to Crewe to do some trainspotting.  The fare was 7/6d (37p), saved up from pocket money.  We had plenty of fun, spotting locos from other parts of the country, some of which had been overhauled in the Crewe Workshops. The luggage trolleys provided seats for us to eat our packed lunches.

As club secretary in 1958-59, I was encouraged by Mr Jimmy Gosling to arrange a field visit to the Penrhyn Slate Railway and quarries near Bangor during the May half term on May 26th 1959.  The school had just acquired its first minibus, a Trojan, which was driven by Anthony, the Headmaster’s son, who had a driving license. The company attached an open quarrymen's coach to the end of the train of empty slate waggons at Port Penrhyn.  A steam locomotive called “LINDA” hauled the train up the 2ft gauge line for 7 miles to the Penrhyn slate quarries at Bethesda.  Here we were conducted round the quarry workshops and gazed overawed at the largest slate quarry in the world.  The quarry now has a newer role as host to Europe's longest and fastest zip line! 

As a teenager who was quite shy at school and did not achieve at sports, being a member of school clubs helped develop friendships, confidence and skills. I have fond memories of the photographic society; The Christian fellowship group; and the Archaeological Society.  All these played a significant educational role in my early life. 

My first public talk was in the sixth form at the railway club, on steam locomotives. As visual aids, I used railway pictures cut out of old Kellogg's cornflakes boxes, and projected using the epidiascope. I gained a lot of confidence in my abilities to be able to speak to a group.  At Durham University, where I read chemistry, I helped to found Durham University Railway 

Society, so gaining both committee and speaking experience.   I later chose a teaching career in chemistry which included four years on contract in Tanzania. 

I will always be grateful for the friendship and experiences I had as a member of school societies, and kept in touch with several former teachers like Jimmy Gosling, until they passed away.   I would encourage students to participate in extra-curricular societies because I believe they can be transformative.  Even 60 years later, I still have opportunity to practise organisational and lecturing skills, with local societies, Probus groups etc.”

Visit more of David's photographs here. We're keen to know who you can spot!

 

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