Event Details


All Talks and Meetings will commence at 2.30 pm and be held in the Chichester Room, Field Place, Worthing; unless another venue or time is indicated.

Timings for visits and outings will be as printed in the detailed description of the activity.

Coffee mornings take place at 10.30am on the 3rd and last Thursdays of the month. Click here for full details…

Date Event Description Venue
Tues 20th
AGM and Talk Modern UK Tramways
Ian Wetherell RCEA
After a brief introduction on the history of tramways in UK, Ian will give a roundup of current modern UK tramways and discuss some design factors for current and future tramways, including signalling, power supply systems, control systems, tram train designs, rail profiles, low floor trams and tram priority issues for street running.
Field Place
Tues 11th
Talk “A Real Boys Own Hero”
Dudley Hooley, Director Tangmere Military Aviation Museum
• The story of Mac McCairns DFC **, MM,
• Spitfire pilot with Bader’s ‘Big-Wing’
• Shot down, becomes PoW and makes a ‘home-run’ from Stalag IXC
• Becomes SOE Lysander Pick-up pilot
Back to Fighters – full circle.

Field Place
Tues 8th November Talk Cooch Memorial lecture – Volk’s Electric Railway – the Past and the Future.
Peter Williams, Volk’s Electric Railway Association.
The talk will cover the history of the world’s oldest operating electric railway (which runs along the Brighton seafront) in two stages, the first from 1883-1940 with the Volk family, including pictures/ film of the famous ‘Daddy Long Legs’ which enabled the railway to travel through the sea at its eastern end, and then from 1940 – 2015 under Brighton Council ownership.
There will be a look into the future with emphasis on the recent Heritage Lottery Grant, which will allow the Volk’s Electric Railway to build a new Aquarium Station and Visitor Centre, new sheds at Banjo Groyne, and to restore three cars.
Currently we are planning a visit to the Volk’s railway during 2017.
Field Place
Tues 13th
Talk The Thameslink Project – Electrical Challenges
Martin Sigrist CEng, MIET, Principal Design Engineer E&P, Thameslink Programme
Martin will discuss electrification works associated with the Thameslink programme to allow the introduction of new rolling stock on the 16 Thameslink Routes. This will include particular issues in the way the electrification design has been integrated with other disciplines and how particular issues that have arisen had to be resolved, such as development of the AC/DC interface at Blackfriars with the signalling system including aligning the European Train Control System (ETCS) virtual signals with the fixed arrangements for the AC/DC traction sections. In addition, how issues between the AC/DC interface, in terms of stray DC currents and track insulated rail joints (IRJs) are being dealt with.
Field Place
Weds 14th
Lunch R.C.E.A. Christmas Lunch at Windsor Hotel, Worthing Worthing
Tues 10th
Talk Ship Propulsion – from Paddles to Jets
Antony Tomkins – Hamilton Jet
The talk will describe and illustrate the development of propulsion systems for mechanically driven ships. Earliest powered vessels were mainly paddlewheel driven mimicking men with oars. Then followed a long period when the main propulsion system was by immersed screws with steering by rudder. In more recent times there have been some significant developments, including pod systems for relatively slow speed vessels and water jet drives for high speed, which give significantly improved and precise handling as well as some other operational benefits. The talk will touch on how modern electronics are increasingly involved, as with all of life today.
Field Place
Tues 14th
Talk Smart Metering
Ashley Pocock FIET, Head of Industry Change, Regulation and External Affairs at EDF Energy.
Smart Metering is currently one of the largest of UK Government’s major projects costing £12bn and involving the construction of a National Communications Infrastructure and the installation of some 100m devices into 30m plus homes and small businesses by 2020.
The talk will provide a walkthrough of the UK Smart Metering programme, how it was initiated and why Government has imposed obligations on the UK market to roll out smart metering, the policy and regulatory landscape, the actors, the end-to-end design and the technological roadmap to address obstacles to an economic, safe and secure deployment.
Field Place
Tues 14th
Talk Industrial Process Automation-a skim across the surface
Dr David James CEng FIET RCEA
A chemical engineer might scale up the manufacture of a speciality chemical from lab scale to full production; a process engineer will design the process plant to manufacture the product, including sizing vessels, motors and pumps; a mechanical engineer might design the vessels and pipework; an instrument engineer will specify the sensors and transmitters needed to measure various physical quantities; and an electrical engineer will design the power supplies to motors, pumps and heaters. But it is the automation engineer who makes all these elements come together to manufacture the product. This talk aims to provide an overview of the automation of industrial production by briefly looking at some typical processes and examining the various parts that make up a process control system.
Field Place
Tues 11th April Talk The early days of the Buccaneer.
Commander Geoffrey George Meekums OBE MA Royal Navy

The Buccaneer, in its original form, was designed as a sub-sonic carrier-borne low level bomber.
The talk will concentrate on the NA39 and, as it later became, the BUCCANEER S Mk1.
Initially examining how the Requirement for the aircraft came about, I will then look at its early development and highlight some of the novel design features such as “area rule” and the incorporation of “boundary layer control” to reduce landing and take-off speeds.
I will then look at its introduction into RN service with the Intensive Flight Trials Unit, 700Z Flight, at the RN Air Station at Lossiemouth and highlight some of the operational features the Unit developed.
Going to sea with the first front-line squadron, 801 Squadron, brought with it a few interesting aspects peculiar to operation in the harsh and restricted environment of an embarked aircraft carrier – first in HMS ARK ROYAL then HMS VICTORIOUS.
Throughout I will visit some of the more interesting incidents and accidents.

Weds 26th April Lunch Spring Lunch at Northbrook College Worthing
Thurs 11th May Outing Bluebell Railway and Sheffield Park gardens.
We have arranged the option of two visits on May 11th and you will be able to join one or both visits.
In the morning, David Jones RCEA (who is also a volunteer with the Bluebell Railway) has kindly agreed to host a visit to see the restoration of the Brighton Atlantic locomotive currently underway at Sheffield Park. This is a special opportunity, as the Brighton Atlantic is not currently on view to the general public. David will meet us at 11am and take us across to the Brighton Atlantic shed. You will need to buy a Platform Ticket to get in to the station – currently this costs £3. Your ticket will also give you access to the locomotive sheds, where you can see some of the railway’s locomotives and carriages, and to the museum. Although David’s presentation is timed for 11am, you can of course arrive earlier if you wish (the museum opens at 10am) and stay on after David has given his presentation.
In the afternoon we have booked a tour of the nearby National Trust Gardens at Sheffield Park, hosted by one of their gardeners. The tour will start at 2.30pm and last for about an hour but, again, you will be free to arrive earlier and/ or stay later if you wish. The cost of this visit will be £13.10 per person (unless you are a member of the National Trust or RHS, in which case you will only need to pay £3).

Thurs 8th June Visit Ford R&D Centre. Postponed to 27th September but fully subscribed Dunton
Tues 11th July Visit Brighton Football Ground; cancelled due to building work.