Programme of Meetings

Members are requested to inform the contact for the event of their
intention to attend at LEAST SEVEN DAYS beforehand.
Events may be cancelled or changed at short notice
Please supply  contact details so that you may be updated 

Forthcoming SIAS Members Events
compiled by Malcolm Dawes

Winter events at West Blatchington Windmill, Hove  BN3 7LF

Non-members welcome £1.00


Friday 11th May Visit to Beehive Terminal and Gatwick Mail Centre Meet at Beehive at 3:00 pm. for a tour of the building including the rarely seen control room with John King of the Croydon Airport Society. The beehive is the original terminal building at Gatwick which opened in 1936. Parking is limited so car share is advisable The Beehive is well served by local buses (Metrobus) - four routes, all of which also stop at Gatwick South Terminal. The Beehive stop is now called City Place.

Following a stop for refreshments we meet at Gatwick Royal Mail Centre in James Watt Way at 6:30 pm. for a conducted tour where we will see how the mail is sorted and moves around the building.

Booking is essential with John Blackwell 01273 557674 or e-mail

Saturday 26th May Cruise the Solent aboard SS Shieldhall The largest operational steam ship in Europe departing Southampton at 4:00 pm and returning at 6:00 pm. The cost is £10 per person, plus any travelling expenses one may incur, and is kindly subsidised by SIAS member Jim Hawkins.

Travelling details are available on the Society’s website. Numbers are limited so booking is essential with Jim Tel 01273 507973 or e-mail

Wednesday 27th June 100 years - Devil’s Dyke Bombing Testing Range

Start 7:00 pm. meet in car park north of the Devil’s Dyke Hotel, 6:45 pm.

A joint walk with Brighton and Hove Archaelogical society, led by Martin Snow to comemorate 100 years since the 1918 requisition of the Dyke Estate to enable the building of a Bomb testing facility - Quality Control. We will visit the various remains that are still to be found in the landscape and will be expounded.

Martin has researched in the National Archives to produce the facts of this ‘lost’ use of a Victorian Pleasure Ground that is still a popular destination for tourists and local walkers; not to mention the updating for use to launch modern hang gliders.

If there is time then the artefacts of the Pleasure Grounds that may still be viewed will be visited and explained.

Do come prepared for cool, windy conditions – it is mid summer after all!

If too wet we will conduct a virtual tour in the bar in the hotel.

There is pay and display car parking, so please do consider car sharing.

Saturday 21st July Visit to Bluebell Railway to see the progress of the ‘Atlantic’ Project’, a new build of D. E. Marsh’s 4-4-2 H2 class locomotive Beachy Head . Meet at the entrance to Sheffield Park Station at 10:30 am. for a guided tour with David Jones followed by lunch in the station’s Bessemer Arms and/or a chance to visit the Museum. In the afternoon we board the 1:30 pm. train (fare chargeable) or proceed by car to Horsted Keynes for a conducted tour of the carriage and wagon works. There will be an admission charges to the stations/museum totalling £5.50 unless travelling by train.

Numbers are limited to 24, first come first served. Please register with John Blackwell Tel 01273 557674 or e-mail

Sunday 5th August. Visit to Sir William McAlpine’s Railway and Museum, Fawley Hill near Henley-on-Thames

We have been extremely lucky to have been offered a group visit to this private standard gauge steam railway in the grounds of Sir William’s house near Henley. (Only invited groups can visit the Museum and our last visit was ten years ago). The grounds are full of historic railway structures, saved and transported by his company whilst working on civil engineering contracts across the country. Items such as the massive iron finials from Blackfriars Bridge and the stone carriage entrance arch from Waterloo Station. There are warehouses that contain his huge collection of railway artefacts including the original iconic destination board from Brighton Station.

The Museum is open from 12:00 to 5:00 pm, and is situated at Fawley Hill near Henley, with the free car park in fields a short walking distance from the Museum. Tea and coffee are available; however, it would probably be best to plan to have a picnic in the car park before entering the grounds. The suggested donation is £10 per person. SIAS has been asked to pass on the donations in advance.

Advanced booking will be essential. Initially we will have to restrict bookings to members but we hope that we will have sufficient places to allow one guest per member. To secure your booking please send an email to Malcolm Dawes at The £10 donation can be given to Malcolm or our treasurer Peter Holtham at an SIAS meeting. Once you have booked a place you can also send a cheque, payable to SIAS, to Peter at the address listed at the end of the Newsletter.

September Hollycombe

Advance date for your diary

Saturday 6th October 7.30 pm. The story of Crystal Palace and its transport

The extraordinary story of this once great building told by Ian Gledhill. This is a gem of a talk full of wonderful details and presented by a very entertaining speaker. Not to be missed. Usual venue at West Blatchington Mill barn.



Selected Meetings of Other Groups

Please Always Check details and that event is going ahead Before Traveling  
In case of bad weather, travel, sickness or other problems.

Other Activities
Amberley Museum
have a full program of events during the season 
(March to October and Christmas Santa Weekends)

Weald and Downland Open Air Museum
Also run a range of courses

These meetings are covered fully in the newsletter and other publications of the society, their appearance here is intended purely as a guide.
Please make your own checks before traveling.

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Last modified: April 06, 2018