Taken from the RPS Newsletter, Winter 1961/2
From RPS to RPA
Changes in Policy
Plan to encourage co-ordination.
On Saturday, October 21, representatives of Bluebell RPS., Middleton RPS., and the RPS itself, met at Leeds to discuss and agree upon a national organisation for the following objects:
a) To act as a general clearing house and meeting place for all railway preservation societies.
b) To circulate information on existing and proposed schemes.
c) To foster and encourage co-ordination between existing and proposed schemes.
d) To organise and assist full exchange of information between all societies on preservation of railway ethics.
e) To co-ordinate and assist with publicity.
It was unanimously agreed this organisation should be known as the Railway Preservation Association, and that members of any constituent society should be welcome to meetings and to activities of other constituent societies.
The RPA will not be another society which will appeal for individual members. It is being established as a national organisation where representatives of schemes accepting the underlying principles will meet regularly. It is planned as a forum where consultations and co-operation can be mutually beneficial.
News from the Districts
West & East Midlands
We are still in the market for a branch line. Members are probably aware that our negotiations with British Railways for part of the Coalport Branch have fallen through, due to the excessive annual rentals of £1,500.Coalport. Would’ve been nice – including the Coal Tank!
But we are hoping that further news concerning the Mountsorrel mineral line. This has been discussed with our Patron, the Earl of Lanesborough, and something should materialise in the not too distant future, and so provide a definite start for our East Midland members.
Response to a correspondence campaign launched to build up membership in the East Midlands, has so far been poor. Several informal meetings are planned fro this winter to tell prospective members about our cause.
John Betjeman, the historian and an authority on railway architecture, has agreed to join Lord Lanesborough as a Patron. Further details will be announced later.
A New Chapter Opens
Pooling our resources
This is the last issue of the ‘Newsletter’ in its present form. Our National Council has decided that the Society shall in future be known as ‘The Railway Preservation Association’, to which all organisations connected with railways may seek affiliation and take advantage of our space and distribution scheme.
When we publish again in the Spring your news and features will appear in a new magazine called ‘Forum’, which will be distributed nationally, and which we hope will assist greatly in interesting the public in our endeavours.
During the three years that the ‘Newsletter’ has been circulated our achievements have been considerable. We believe that ‘Forum’ will widen further the prospects that lie ahead for all of us.
As far as these posts are concerned, I shall continue to follow the interests of the West Midlands District though their magazine ‘The Mercian’ I assume that somewhere in our archives we have copies of the ‘Forum’ and if so, I shall have a look for items of local interest.
The organisations involved at the start of the Railway Preservation Association were given as: London District, West Midlands District, East Midlands District, North-West District, Scotland District, Bluebell RPS, and Middleton RPS.