With the Society being formed in November 1934 it seemed appropriate that the milestone of reaching 80 years of age should be celebrated in a grand way.
Various suggestions of ways to mark this momentous occasion were banded about, by the committee of the day, and it was decided that a ‘rally’ style day would seem to be most appropriate.
Invites were sent out to many societies but unfortunately only our friends at Southampton were able to make the event.
The afternoon was, to say the least, a well time-tabled affair with specific events happening at certain times.
Members started to arrive from 08:30 to help set-up the site; there was much to do.
We were saddened by the news that our President, Reg Wrenn, was unable to attend due to recovering from a knee operation.
From around 11:00 activity was seen on the pond and various loco’s were either put out on display or sited on the steaming bays. The two loco’s that had been brought from ‘across the water’ were soon in steam and enjoyed the freedom of a clear raised track.
As seems usual for our ‘rally style’ events our catering team had, once again, ‘done us proud’ by providing a buffet that was more than fit for a king. Lunch was declared served by the ringing of the dinner bell at 13:00.
With the President absent it fell to Chairman Graham Akers to give a welcoming speech, and declare the afternoon officially open.
The society had bequeathed a sum of money by the late Keith Mitchell. The monies, as requested by his estate, were put towards the purchase of a new gardening equipment shed and it seemed only appropriate that the shed should be named something suitable. The committee held a secret ballot and the name Mitchell’s Hut was chosen. It fell to Vice President Keith Whitting to do the honours and the unveiling of the shed’s sign.
Over the years many members have passed through the Society and it was suggested that a “Remember Me?” name board should be displayed in the club’s prefab. Thanks to all who supplied names of those who were members, but are no longer with us. One thing that appears not to have been done, over the society’s years is the taking of a Society photograph showing all of the current members. At 15:00 all those present were ushered into place in front of the garden railway for what could be the first known Society group photograph.
At 15:15 it was the turn of the ‘boat boys’ to ‘set sail’ on the pond. Many boats of various types, shapes and sizes were seen taking to the calm waters. Even the ducks seemed to enjoy it!
15:30 saw all available forms of working motive power called to the tracks. A hive of activity in the steaming bays saw 5 locos and a Wootton Tram take to the ground level track and 6 locos on the raised level track. It’s been a long while since that level of running has been seen at Broadfields and it certainly made for a great spectical.
Left and Right: Our visitors from Southampton
As if we hadn’t had enough to eat it was time, at 16:00, for the cutting of the birthday cake. Gil Hughes, a club member who had travelled from Spain especially for the event, was asked to carry out the joyful task.
Following the shed naming it was the turn of Vice President Roy Gardner (sporting the white cap below) to plant the commemorative tree. Much thought had gone into the siting of the tree but a site adjacent to the back corner of the pond was chosen. Thanks to Gilly and Ron Truelove for researching and purchasing of the tree.
It was left to Secretary Andy Cole to hand out the commemorative mugs and for the Chairman to offer a vote of thanks to the catering team for their hard work.