10th Anniversary Celebration

Journey on the "Quantock Belle"

speaker.gif - 1037 BytesYou may recall that we were steaming into Minehead as we were finishing off our dinner and the opportunity to Toast the Club with a glass of wine in hand was lost. Our chairman John Coneybeare solved this problem during our return journey when we all were imbibing a cream tea by implementing the unusual idea of a toast with cup of tea in hand! This is his address as recollected by himself:-
Quoting from the BBC's own web site of its history.
"The biggest influence on the early BBC was its general manager, John Reith, a 33 -year old Scottish engineer. The company had been formed with a commercial mission - to sell radio sets - but Reith had a higher purpose. He envisaged an independent British broadcaster able to educate, inform and entertain the whole nation, free from political interference and commercial pressure."
This is the stated purpose of the BBC to this day.
It was an engineer who set the BBC on the right road!
The founding fathers of our club had the same vision, which we achieve by our talks and visits both technical and non technical. In addition we have had social events from the start so that we may enjoy the companionship of like minded people.

brunel.jpg - 3782 Bytes There is also a caring side to our club which has shown itself in three ways
  • First I am aware of several instances of members quietly giving support to other members who are temporarily in difficulties, although I am not trying to suggest that we should become a social welfare society.

  • Second we have raised money for charity - you will remember the concert that raised over £600 for the Muscular Dystrophy Charity. Perhaps I can put in a plug now for our forthcoming concert on 27 November by the Bristol Swing Band, in aid of the charity Victim Support. There are many organisations which support the perpetrators of crime, but Victim Support, which is so close to the heart of our president Michael Clinch, is dedicated to supporting the victims of crime.

    teacup
  • And third we care about the status of the engineering profession which is so undervalued in our country. Perhaps our proposals to erect plaques to commemorate engineers with local connections and their achievements will help a little in this direction.

Then with teacup in hand I proposed a Toast to The Retired Professional Engineers Club (Bristol)

John Coneybeare

Journey on the "Quantock Belle"

The Engine
Our Committee, after consultation and consideration selected a journey on the Quantock Belle Luxury Dining Train as our Special Anniversary Outing for the year. On Sunday the 12th of September, the day of the Bristol Marathon a wet and windy day, we travelled from the Bristol Downs by means of a mystery tour to Easton in Gordano our other pickup point. Next stop was West Somerset Railways Station at Bishops Lydeard. A half hour wait before our train became available was spent in the museum and/or the shop with railway memorabilia books amd models Pictured adjacent is our driver. Who as a boy, did not imagine himself as driving a steam engine, whether he wanted to become a driver or not?

The Driver

Settling into the dining coach with all place names in position I found the seats far more comfortable than I remembered them and the Ladies found a small gift of a box of chocolates.

Then off went the train with the old familiar noises which have a hypnotic soporific effect on me, however the prospect of a meal enabled me to remain awake.
Our up standing Chairman, John Coneybeare is in the picture on the right which like all the pictures in this article was taken by our President Michael Clinch.

The West Somerset Railways is staffed mainly by enthusiastic volunteers who provided us with a service second to none.The Passengers

The meal that followed was flawless though out of necessity with such a large group as ours - we occupied the whole carriage - the it lasted throughout the whole of the voyage. "Crowcombe Heathfield", "Williton", "Blue Anchor" and "Washford" are just some of the stations during our meal.Stopping and starting, was accomplished so smoothly there was no interference with our eating. The continuously changing scenery was appreciated.
After arrival in Minehead we dispersed for a couple of hours shopping, visitng the life boat museum, driving the go carts, joining a beer festival at the station and avoiding the wind and the rain.
We suffered a Cream Tea and the Chairmans Address (reported on the next page). on the return journey. A thoroughly well organised and appreciated event for which we thank Nasim Ahmed our Committee Secretary who did all the organising and successful arrangements for this outing.
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