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The Norman Aston-Smith Trophy

What we do and how to join us


Meetings

We are a friendly railway society, with members from a wide range of backgrounds and interests, and we meet on the third Thursday of each month (except August). We currently meet at the Bourne End Community Centre. This is in the centre of Bourne End, close to the railway station, and parking is available. Meetings start at 19.45 for 20.00 and usually consist of an illustrated talk on a topic of railway interest, with a break for a visit to the bar at half-time.

Outings

In addition to these speaker meetings we also organise outings (see our gallery for some examples. These have included a 'behind the scenes' visit to the First Great Western's Turbo Simulator at Reading and a visit to Adrian Shooter's The Beeches Light Railway. We also venture abroad from time to time, most recently on a Eurostar trip to Paris.

Top-quality newsletter

The Society publishes a quarterly magazine, The Marlow Donkey, named after the steam train which operated the branch line for many years (and which also gave its name to the pub near the railway station). The contents of the magazine are contributed by members, and include articles and photographs of railway interest. Each year at the AGM in February members vote to choose the best article to be published in the Donkey in the previous year, and the winning author holds for a year the Norman Aston-Smith Trophy which is named in memory of one of the founder members of the Society (see picture above). The trophy for best articles in 2014, is Mike Page, for his contribution titled "Stood Up - So I went to Basingstoke ".

The Eddie Lewcock Cup

A past chairman of the society, the late Eddie Lewcock, had many years ago donated a silver cup as an award to the winner of our annual photographic competition. This competition ceased in the 1990s and starting from 2010 the cup is now awarded to a member who has made an outstanding 'behind the scenes' contribution to the society. This Trophy has not been presented in 2015.

Email news service

Although The Marlow Donkey includes local news of railway interest, there are often topical items - such as information about special trains or society events - where time is of the essence. To fill this gap there is an e-newsletter sent to all members who wish to receive it and who have an email address. An e-newsletter is sent when there is news to share rather than on a regular schedule.

Membership

Full membership costs 16 for a year which includes free entry to all meetings and a copy of each edition of The Marlow Donkey. New members who can NOT receive The Marlow Donkey by e-mail will be asked to pay an additional 10, (26 in total), to cover the costs of printing, postage and packaging. Alternatively you can pay a lower subscription of 8 a year which does not include free entry to meetings - you pay 2 per meeting when you attend, which is suitable for those who live at a distance. You can join at any of our speaker meetings - the Treasurer, Peter Robins, or any of the committee will be pleased to help. Visitors are welcome to our meetings, but we ask that you pay a meeting membership fee of 3 (members of our affiliate group - the RCTS Maidenhead branch - pay the lower rate of 2).

In the news

The society was featured in the 'High Societies' slot in the Marlow Free Press in August 2008. James Nadal's article gave us an excellent write-up and included an interview with Secretary Malcolm Margetts and a picture from our 2007 visit to Bletchley depot. Copy of article (PDF file)

Please contact us for more information about the society.

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