The first newsletter of the RPS was published in July 1959 and followed the information given in the previous leaflet.
It invited members “to send letters, articles and news items for inclusion in future issues”.
Other items raised were “Why don’t we take over a Branch Line?” The short answer was – not enough members.
“What type of Branch Line are we interested in?”
“The type of branch line we are interested in would have adequate storage space for relics and must be within easy access of large centres of population. The exact criteria will be the subject of investigation by your committee, but we must bear in mind that the bulk of traffic would come from visitors on summer weekends and Bank Holidays who would not necessarily be railway enthusiasts. We should be able to offer such people other attractions in the way of fine scenery and a terminus that is a natural tourist attraction with good facilities for meals, sight-seeing, etc”.
“Where will this Branch Line be?”
The early RPS members studied a proposal for taking over a line in South Devon but after consideration turned it down for two reasons
“1) Too small membership to make it possible.
2) Too far from the large centres of population where the greatest support would come from.”
The thinking behind ‘Districts’ was explained.
“We think it desirable that wherever possible members should be able to visit a place where active work is going on during summer weekends or even just for an hour or two in the evening. Also by concentrating our collection of relics in one place, we would deprive many members of the opportunity of seeing the relics of their local railways.
“Working from this basis, we have evolved the idea of an organisation built up of districts, each playing their own part within a national plan for preserving a collection of relics. The first district has been formed, covering the counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire, and this is called the West Midland District. A meeting of local members has been called to discuss plans for a London and Home Counties District. The suggested area is the counties of Bucks, Essex, Herts, Kent, London, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex. Other suggested areas for similar schemes are East Midlands, N.W England, Scotland, South Wales, Tyne/Tees and Yorkshire.”
Other items were – How do we form a District, Increasing our Membership, and the names and addresses of the officers of the RPS.