Monthly Archives: June 2016

Easy Fundraising off to a Flying Start

In just two days, our new Easy-Fundraising commission partnership has raised £17.08!

It may not sound a lot, but here are some stats:

- This did not cost the supporters who made the purchases any more than it otherwise would have done.
- This is with only seven supporters registered so far – imagine if all 180 members signed up!
- If we carry on like this for a year we will raise £3,000 in a year!

It really is working and it really is worth it – so please join in!

There is even a Chrome extension that you can use to remind you when you’re on a participating retailer’s website and just click the button that pops up to make sure your purchase contributes to SPS. It’s a great system, and it doesn’t cost you any extra at all.

Free money for your favourite panel preservation group!

SPS AGM – The First Routes Set

Thank you to everyone who came to the SPS AGM today and celebrated the first routes being set in preservation!

Apologies for the slightly shaky video – the room was very full so videoing wasn’t easy – but we hope everyone will enjoy this film showing the significant milestone in the panel’s history!


Video by Stephen Lear.

A small area of the panel has been made to work realistically using this demo simulator (Wootton Bassett West to Little Somerford).

After a short speech by Danny Scroggins, the privilege of setting the first ever route on Swindon Panel in preservation fell to two of SPS’s youngest members – the daughter of a signalman and the son of a signal engineer!

The setting of the first route marks the start of the next stage of the preservation of the panel and its conversion into an educational exhibit – wiring up the 3,000 individual controls and indications in the panel, the lamps, switches, buttons, bells, etc, that are all being wired to a purpose-built simulator program to replicate the ten rooms of relay interlocking that the panel originally controlled. (While there isn’t the space to preserve all the electro-mechanical interlocking and this is being replicated using microprocessors, a small demo sample of full-size interlocking will be on display and working so that visitors can see the technology up-close.)

There are still a small number of first-day-issue embossed signalling notices available after today’s AGM (green, as they were green in the 1960s, not yellow!).

They are an excellent match for the format and language of the 1960s and are embossed with an official SPS Back Desk stamp that is carried only on the first-day-issue green copies – surely a collectors’ item for the future!

If you would like to obtain a copy they are available from HOPS. (100% of the price is used in the furtherance of the aims of SPS.)

(“Those who have not received a copy should speak to their supervisor immediately!”)

Proposed Trustee Changes

There are a number of changes to Trustee positions that we hope you will support at the AGM on 26 June.

Firstly, Tom O’Flaherty, the Society’s Chairman and founder, has reluctantly decided to step down due to the commitments of work. We thank Tom for his effort and contribution to the project and the Society since the very beginning – without his initial ideas and foresight, none of us, nor Swindon Panel, would be in the position we are today.

The following is proposed:

Danny Scroggins (already a trustee) will move from the role of Secretary up to the role of Chairman.

Tim Miller (also already a trustee) will move up to the role of Vice Chairman.

James Nelhams will take up a new trustee role in the Society, with specific responsibility for the panel simulator hardware installation and panel alterations. James is already well-known to many in the Society and is a regular face at Didcot. James is a railwayman for his job as well, working in the Control Office at GWR Swindon.

The role of Secretary will be temporarily vacant.

Brian Davis will continue in the role of Treasurer (unchanged).

The Society Trustees carry out an important role in managing the Society to ensure it strives towards meeting its aims, it operates within its defined scope and authority, that finances are managed properly and that it ultimately offers the public educational benefit it was set up to deliver.

These changes to our committee will precipitate very little change in how we operate or ‘what we actually do’, it is really just changing the formal name badges to match what we’re all already doing.

We hope you will support these proposed changes to the Trustee positions on 26 June. If you wish to discuss anything with us in advance then please let us know.

Many thanks.

SPS AGM – 26 June

Thank you to everyone who came to visit us during the DRC Diesel Gala last weekend – we showed six interested groups of visitors into the panel, gained at least one new member, and raised £200 towards the costs of the restoration. Keep it up!

Swindon Panel AGM 26 June

A reminder to all our members and supporters that the AGM is on Sunday 26 June.

We have a surprise for you for AGM day…. you may have seen recently the first panel lamps were lit up in preservation – this is the first results of nearly two years of electronics work, a demo of which is being installed into the panel and a very small working section will hopefully be available for you to play with on AGM day!

10.30am – Centre opens

12noon – Switching on of small working demo section of panel.

1pm – AGM, to be held in the Panel Room for the first time.

As in previous years, the official business of the meeting will consist of a brief update from each of the key areas of the Society and the re-election of trustees [Update 17/6/16 - See below]. After the official part of the meeting there will be an informal question/answer/discussion session open to all members and supporters.

2pm(ish) – There will be a short presentation on the subject of the move of the panel and its installation into the building.

4pm(ish) – A BBQ will be available in the later afternoon.

All members and supports of the Society are welcome to attend the AGM.

DRC steam trains will also be in operation.


The first panel lamps lit in preservation. (Some of the Dominos are upside-down for some reason!) More photos.

Update – 17/6/16.

There are a number of changes to Trustee positions that we hope you will support at the AGM on 26 June.

Firstly, Tom O’Flaherty, the Society’s Chairman and founder, has reluctantly decided to step down due to the commitments of work. We thank Tom for his effort and contribution to the project and the Society since the very beginning – without his initial ideas and foresight, none of us, nor Swindon Panel, would be in the position we are today.

The following is proposed:

Danny Scroggins (already a trustee) will move from the role of Secretary up to the role of Chairman.

Tim Miller (also already a trustee) will move up to the role of Vice Chairman.

James Nelhams will take up a new trustee role in the Society, with specific responsibility for the panel simulator hardware installation and panel alterations. James is already well-known to many in the Society and is a regular face at Didcot. James is a railwayman for his job as well, working in the Control Office at GWR Swindon.

The role of Secretary will be temporarily vacant.

Brian Davis will continue in the role of Treasurer (unchanged).

The Society Trustees carry out an important role in managing the Society to ensure it strives towards meeting its aims, it operates within its defined scope and authority, that finances are managed properly and that it ultimately offers the public educational benefit it was set up to deliver.

These changes to our committee will precipitate very little change in how we operate or ‘what we actually do’, it is really just changing the formal name badges to match what we’re all already doing.

We hope you will support these proposed changes to the Trustee positions on 26 June. If you wish to discuss anything with us in advance then please let us know.

Many thanks.