The Brighton Circle

Aims and Objectives

The Brighton Circle was formed in 1974 with the aim of collecting and publishing information on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company and its constituents. It is the Circle's intention to cover all aspects of the Company's history and all members are encouraged to contribute as much information as possible so that a complete picture may be built up.

As a means of furthering this aim, Stewards have been appointed to cover particular subjects, such as Locomotives, Carriages, Wagons, Architecture, and Liveries. An increasingly detailed coverage is thus being achieved

Journal

A high quality illustrated journal, called The Brighton Circular, is now published in A4 format, three times a year as a journal of record and contains historical articles on all aspects of the LB&SCR. Naturally the Circular is dependent on contributions from members and the Editor welcomes contributions from anyone who has suitable material.

Newsletter

In addition, a new newsletter The Satellite is published four times a year mainly via email. This is more informal and carries topical information, such as members' requests for information and the responses, book reviews, news of the Circle's activities or items of interest to modellers.

Modellers Digest

The Circle’s Modelling Steward publishes twice a year “The LB&SCR Modellers Digest”. This is an online publication first issued in January 2015. It is full of information written by Circle members and others on all aspects of Brighton modelling in a wide variety of scales. The current edition can be found at http://www.lbscr.org/Models/Digest/index.html .

Meetings

The Circle usually holds two full day open meetings for members each year, both on Saturdays. The Spring meeting (March/April) is held in Hove, and the Autumn meeting (October) in London. These provide excellent opportunities to meet other members of the Circle, to view and display models of LB&SCR origin, and to discuss matters of interest. Both meetings include an illustrated talk on some aspect of the history of the Company presented by one of the members. The Circle holds its Annual General Meeting as part of the Autumn meeting in London.

During the year other informal meetings are held in various locations in the South East. The Circle also maintains a display stand at a number of model railway exhibitions.

Online meetings

Whilst unable to hold physical meetings during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Circle has made use of Zoom meetings called "Virtual Blatchington" (named after the normal location of the Spring meeting). These will continue as it allows members to join in who cannot make physical meetings,

Email Group for Circle Members

Brighton Circle members are eligible to join the Brighton Circle Email group. This is a mailing list for discussion of anything related to the LB&SCR, including modelling. It provides a more immediate forum than the Circular and is suited to more informal discussion than would appear in the magazine.

To join simply email Dave Searle asking to join, making sure you include your name, membership number and email address.

Members' Area on this web-site

Brighton Circle Members have access to a Members' Area, with back issues of the Circular and Satellite and videos of recorded meetings.

Social Media

The Circle supports a Page and a Group on Facebook:

Subscription & Membership details

Membership application form (Word document)

The annual subscription is £20.00 and covers the calendar year 2023. Members joining at any time during the year who pay the full subscription receive all journal issues for that year, or may elect to pay a reduced rate for the remaining issues for the year. All cheques, postal orders, etc., should be made payable to The Brighton Circle, and sent to the Secretary: Nicholas Pryor, 19 Sotheby Road, LONDON N5 2UP, England.

Alternatively, complete and sign the form and send a copy by email to the Secretary who will contact you to arrange payment online of your membership fee.

Privacy Statement

The personal information provided to the Brighton Circle will be stored on a computer database of members' details and used for administration purposes by the Brighton Circle's appointed representatives in the following ways:

You can request for your data not to be used for any of these purposes at any time by contacting the Secretary.


The Committee for 2022-23

RoleName
ChairmanDave Searle
SecretaryNicholas Pryor
EditorDavid Lowe
TreasurerSimon Bass
PublicityAlan Budgen

The Jeoffry Spence Award

At the Circle's AGM in the year 2000, member Nicholas Holliday, presented the first trophy for the Jeoffry Spence Award. Named after the railway historian Jeoffry Spence, the award is intended to be presented to anyone, whether individual, informal group or organisation, that the members considered had made the greatest contribution to furthering the aims and goals of the Circle.

The principle behind the Award is to reward anyone who has gone beyond mere commercialism or personal interest and achieved something of benefit to Brighton enthusiasts, whether in the field of preservation, modelling, the arts or publishing. It is hoped that this acknowledgement will not only be reward in itself, but also be an incentive to further achievements, knowing that their work is appreciated by others.

The Award Results

Year Name Contribution
2000 The late John Smith, proprietor of "Lens of Sutton" His photographic collection has provided a continual source and inspiration for writers, readers and modellers for many years and his help and immense knowledge was always available to those who asked.
2001 Klaus Marx Klaus has written the definitive history of the Lewes and East Grinstead Railway, now better known as the Bluebell Railway. This magnum opus represents the culmination of over forty years of research and writing, and fully deserves this recognition.
2004 Sheina Foulkes Sheina is leading the team restoring several Stroudley carriages to be used on the Bluebell Railway. The award was in recognition of her work on first class carriage No.661, the restoration of which was unveiled on 24th July 2004, 80 years after its original withdrawal.
2008 Mike Waldron of Exclusively Brighton Models EBM (Exclusively Brighton Models) has produced kits for many of the Stroudley loco classes that have not previously been available from other kit manufacturers. EBM's particular contribution has been to provide many of the less popular types and build up a comprehensive selection for the Brighton modeller. For completeness, the product range also includes various signalling equipment, etched running gear and a carriage, again complementing other existing product ranges.
2022 New Item Jonathan Abson For his contribution to the early days of the Circle as Treasurer, Secretary and Editor and over forty years as Carriage and Wagon Steward.

Background

Jeoffry Spence was the god-father of the donor, Nicholas Holliday, and the award was given in his memory. He was an active railway historian with a particular interest in the London Brighton and South Coast Railway, as well as his dearly beloved Caterham Railway, having lived virtually his whole life in that town. He wrote many articles and books covering a wide range of subjects, and was involved in the National Railway Museum when it was at Clapham. (Incidentally, this unusual spelling of Jeoffry had been in use for many generations since his great- great- great- great- great- grandfather John Snelson had married Katharine, daughter of Jeoffry Grime of Eccleshall, Staffordshire in 1664.)