The Brighton Circle


The Circle was founded in 1974 as an association of individual members worldwide interested in the history and operations of the LB&SCR. Many members are active modellers of the railway. We also have complementary membership arrangements with a number of County and railway archives. Our affairs are governed by the Circle Rules 2021, which sets out our objectives as follows: -


The Circle is a historical society dedicated to the furtherance and publication of original research into the history and operations of the London Brighton & South Coast Railway (“the Railway”) in all aspects and facets. This includes the encouragement of collation and preservation of information, knowledge and records of all kinds relating to the Railway, and the encouragement of historically accurate modelling of the Railway and its rolling stock, infrastructure, and operations.

We are managed by a committee of Officers who stand for re-election annually at the AGM. Circle Stewards act as centres for knowledge in their particular area of interest and are available for members’ enquiries.


The Brighton Circular

This is our journal of record. It is published three times a year in April, July and November, and copies are posted to all members. It is compiled entirely from members’ contributions, and material on any aspect of the history of the LB&SCR is welcomed by the Editor. New research or interesting photographs are always welcome as a source of information and discussion. All past issues are available for members to view in the Digital Archive (see below).

The Satellite

This is a newsletter published to subscribing members between 2 and 4 times a year. This is available by download from the Digital Archive, and hard copies are posted to members who do not have email. Contributions from members are very welcome.

The Modellers’ Digest

This is edited by the Modelling Steward and published publicly online to members and modellers outside the Circle in June and December each year. Articles, photographs, and news items on matters relevant to modellers of the LB&SCR are always welcome. Links to download the current and all past editions of the Digest can be found on the public part of the Circle website.

Digital Resources and Social Media

The Circle website

This is at This contains much information on LB&SCR topics, as well as an extensive Bibliography of both books and periodicals with material of LB&SCR interest information as well as links to the Circle Facebook pages and to the Modellers Digest. The website is currently under further development.

The Members Only Area

This has recently been created as a password protected section of the website accessible only to members.

The Digital Archive

This is located in the Members’ Area, and over time, we intend to increase the collection of Circle publications and other LB&SCR related materials for members to refer to.

The Circle e-Group.

We operate an email discussion group limited to current members, which is a very helpful point of contact and enquiry for members seeking or wishing to exchange information. There are a range of options available as to participation and as to how messages are forwarded.

The Circle Facebook Group.

Our FaceBook Group pages have been drawing in a substantial audience of LB&SCR enthusiasts (over a thousand followers at the beginning of 2023).


Annual Meetings.

We hold two meetings a year. The Spring meeting takes place at the Patcham Community Centre, Brighton in late April. The Autumn meeting takes place at the Model Railway Club, London (close to Kings Cross/St Pancras/Euston stations) in late October. Both start around 11.30am until around 5.00pm. There are opportunities for discussion and members are invited to bring models of interest for display. There is usually at least one presentation with slides. The Autumn meeting also includes the Circle AGM. These meetings were both held in 2022 as ‘hybrid’ meetings with members attending in person and with the presentations (and the AGM) also available simultaneously online. The online elements are recorded and made available in the Digital Archive.

All members are circulated in advance with the AGM papers and Officers’ annual reports and have the opportunity to vote on all business at the meeting either in person, online, or in advance by proxy vote.

Online meetings.

A series of regular online meetings are held on Zoom. These were initiated at the start of the pandemic, focussing initially on modelling matters but are now widened to include historical matters, and are being continued. Any member with an internet connection is welcome to join. These meetings are recorded, and past meetings are available to view in the Digital Archive.

Collections and further developments

The Circle Collection.

Over the years, we have been given items of interest by current or deceased members, and we presently hold quite a substantial number of books, periodicals, LBSCR documents and other papers and artefacts, plus an extensive collection of photographs. The plan with these is to pass them over time to a suitable archive for safekeeping once we have catalogued and scanned or photographed them. The intention is to make all such digital copies available to members through the Digital Archive.

Future developments.

The Circle has been going through a considerable process of change and development both during and as a result of the pandemic. Our activities continued entirely online from first lockdown, but we have now been able to return to in person meetings. We intend to continue with three of the changes that the pandemic required of us, being the availability of all future meetings both online and in person, the online members meetings and the opportunity for all members to participate in the AGM whether in person, online or by proxy vote. We continue to look to the future, and to expanding the range of facilities available to members. In particular, we are looking to enhance and improve both the functioning and range of content of the Digital Archive, and to increase the capability of our email system so as to improve contact with members.

Subscription & Membership details

Membership application form (Word document)

Subscriptions are due for renewal on 1st January each year. The subscription for the following year is one item to be agreed at each AGM. Membership will be treated as lapsed if the subscription has not been renewed by 31st March.

The annual subscription is £23.00 and covers the calendar year 2024. 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 2023-24

Role Name
Chairman Dave Searle
Secretary Nicholas Pryor
Editor Andrew Garood
Treasurer Simon Bass
Publicity Alan 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 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.
2023 New Item Arch Overbury For his contribution to the early days of the Circle for 17 years and 97 issues as Editor.


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.)