Friends of the National Railway Museum
South of England Group


About Us


We are the South of England Group of the Friends of the National Railway Museum (NRM).

We support the development of the Museum by assisting and promoting its activities through:

  • voluntary effort
  • raising funds for the acquisition of historically-important items and for the restoration, preservation and exhibition of the National Collection of heritage railway locomotives and rolling stock, especially those with a South of England
  • promoting the Museum’s sites and collections at York and Shildon

We regularly attend railway and transport events in the South and Midlands with our information and sales stand and run sales activities associated with main-line charter operations – especially those involving Flying Scotsman – selling a range of NRM-related material.

In return, our members, many of whom cannot, because of the distance, attend the Museum regularly, receive:

  • NRM Review, our quarterly magazine which keeps Friends in touch with events at the Museum, carries information about the National Collection, features articles of general railway interest and includes authoritative reviews of recently published books
  • a series of evening talks in central London each month September to May, covering a variety of topics on the past, present and future of railways
  • the opportunity to go on special visits to railway-related venues

Please explore this website to discover more about our activities and how you can get involved.

Meet the Team

The South of England Group of the Friends of the National Railway Museum is governed by a Committee of Officers and Members who are listed below.

Vice Presidents

In addition to the Committee, at the head of the Group we have two joint Vice-Presidents, both well-connected and well-respected figures able to advocate for our activities within the railway and railway heritage spheres.

Vice-President David Buck
Vice-President Peter Townend


Officers and Members of the Committee are elected at the Group's Annual General Meeting, now held in March each year, and they serve for three-year terms. These are the current Officers and Members.

Chairman and Talks Adviser James S Baldwin I.Eng, M.I.E.T., M.I.G.P.P., Dip. in Eng. Management
MS2 James is a multi-skilled professional Broadcast TV Engineer, Producer and Director, having held significant posts within the TV industry, working with all major Broadcasters in a Live News environment.
        An author and historian, he’s working on newly commissioned titles and produces material for the National Railway Museum, monthly periodicals, major high-street retail outlets, industrial companies, heritage railways and is a regular broadcaster on TV and radio, particularly concerning Flying Scotsman. James is a technical / historical advisor and Ambassador for The British Postal Museum and Mail-Rail Museum at Mount Pleasant, London - currently producing a book about this railway's history.
        A consultant to the Indo-China Rail Company, James advised with the restoration of Tu Luc 2-8-2 steam locomotives for use on a meter-gauge railway in Vietnam between Hue and Da Nang as a tourist attraction and for the railways reopening.
        James is actively involved in repatriating former British-built steam locomotives and rolling stock from around the world for inclusion in the Military Railway and British Overseas Heritage Railway Museum currently being established.
        He is an active participant in the All Party Parliamentary Group meetings on rail and heritage railways, which are held at the Houses of Parliament.
        James is the President of The Clan Project which is constructing a lost class of steam engine, Chairman of The Barnsley Trust, and is involved with many other heritage railway groups.
Secretary George Rutter
Treasurer Roger Smith
Outreach Organiser - Exhibitions Mel Draper
MS2 I have been a member of the Friends for over 30 years. I first visited the NRM during its opening week having organised a students' trip from Leeds University – I completed my Ph.D in mechanical engineering there. I have served on the committee of the South of England Group for over 25 years and on the main FNRM Council since 2013. I lead in promoting the museum through our Outreach events. I was awarded a CBE for government service to the UN in 2012.
        For a list of the next events which we will be attending with our information / promotion / sales stand, please click on this link
Outings Organiser Phil Brown
  When details of this year's visit/outing have been finalised and it is open for bookings, details will appear in the Events Diary on this website at this link. To see what is being planned, click on this link to our News page
Committee Member Martin Sixsmith
Committee Member Susan Oxlade
Committee Member Chris Heaton