Stopping Beeching in his tracks for charity; Rail spoof to raise cash.
HIS name has gone down as the man who almost killed off Britain's railway system So how appropriate that Dr Beeching was at it again - trying to halt a railway in the Colne Valley.
But this time Dr Beeching was to fail in his mission ... to shut down a model railway.
Beeching's infamous 1963 report, which led to the mass closure of railways 50 years ago, was satirised in a play at a fundraising party.
Golcar councillor and railway expert Paul Salveson organised the low-key production lampooning the 1963 Beeching Axe, which recommended the closure of thousands of miles of railway and thousands of stations.
Clr Salveson's annual spring party raised cash for the Jo Barnes Fund. The fund, in memory of Clr Salveson's late partner, Ms Barnes, offers grants to community and environmental projects in Colne Valley.
In the satirical piece Dr Beeching, played by Brian Barnsley, a fellow railway expert, presented his report on why the model railway in Clr Salveson's garden was to be closed.
Other characters and members of the audience were then invited to ask why Dr Beeching was closing the line. The Beeching Axe is still considered controversial today.
In the play, Dr Beeching is later poisoned and the performance becomes a spoof murder mystery.
Clr Salveson, who began his career as a station guard, has two model railways and a huge collection of railway related literature and souvenirs. His love of trains began in his childhood, and he is now a railway network consultant and sits on the board of the national Passenger Focus group.
He is currently campaigning to open a station for Golcar and Milnsbridge with the group GLAM TRaC (Golcar Longwood and Milnsbridge Transport Campaign).
Of the Beeching Axe, Clr Salveson, 60, of Golcar, said: "It was a very short-sighted report. People at the time thought the railways were in decline but they've come back into their own.
"Some lines were beyond redemption but many of the worst had already closed. Many of the other lines were still well used.
"Our railways continue to grow quite remarkably despite the recession. The issue is getting the resources to improve the network."
GLAM TRaC will be holding another public meeting at Milnsbridge Baptist Church, on Friday (7.30pm).
| VILLAGE RAILWAY LINE: Rail enthusiast Paul Salveson, right, showing guests his outdoor railway layout in the garden of his Golcar home and below, looking on as another train goes by (AC260513Ccut)