Banbury - The Railway Preservation Movement, 84 High Street - 15 Jan 2016
Local businessman Bill Trinder ran a radio and gramophone record shop from 84 High Street. His friend Tom Rolt walked into the shop and showed him a copy of the bill to nationalise the UK’s railways in the winter of 1947/8.
The two men were gripped by the news and the fact that the Talyllyn Railway in Wales was to fall outside the net of state control, and it was a defining moment in the bid to save the narrow-gauge railway.
During discussions in Bill’s flat above the shop, the two men resolved not only save the Talyllyn Railway, but to run it using volunteers.
Following the inaugural meeting of the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society in 1950, Bill Trinder was appointed its first chairman.
Now over 150 years old, the railway remains a leading example of its kind – there are now countless heritage railways around the world, most of them wholly or substantially staffed and run by volunteers, following the model pioneered by Trinder and Rolt.
The Banbury Civic Society and Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society commemorated their achievements with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque to mark the spot where it all began.