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The Science & Technology Group

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Monday 16th March 2020.

Talk by Bill Devitt on how Steam Locomotives work

The first meeting of the new S & T group was held before the lock-down.

At this first meeting, Bill gave a talk on "How a steam locomotive works". This was based upon the sectioning work done to a real steam loco by a group under his direction in 1975, for the National Railway Museum at York.

The talk showed the process of heat energy creation by burning coal in the loco's firebox, releasing heat and turning the adjacent water into steam. This fluid transferred the energy to the locomotive's cylinders, so as to create propulsion. The many design features that went into this successful design were illustrated and discussed.


Thursday 13th February 2020.

As Advertised, the inaugural meeting of the proposed Science Group was held on 13 February at 10.00am at the Ashby Evangelical Church.

No formal minutes were taken but what follows are notes that I took as the meeting progressed. The notes are not necessarily in Chronological order.

1. Twenty two people had registered interest in the Science Group and thirteen people attended the meeting.
2. It was proposed by Bill Devitt that the group name should be 'Science and Technology' to encompass not just pure science but also practical applications of science. Those present agreed with the proposal and the group will be known as the Science and Technology Group henceforth.
3. Rather than select a leader for the group, those present decided to have a small 'committee' to lead the group. Paul McKay, Tanya Dempster and Bill Devitt 'volunteered' to form the committee and will organise future meetings between them.
4. It was agreed that future meetings should be held at the Ashby Alliance Church for the time being.
5. Future meetings will be held on the 2nd Monday of each month at 2.00pm. Should the 2nd Monday of the month be a Public Holiday, an alternative day for that month will be nominated and publicised.
6. Those present agreed that a contribution of £2 per person attending should be collected at each meeting to cover the cost of refreshments and to build up a reserve for expenditure of outside speakers' expenses.
7. Should the group arrange any trips or visits, they would be on a self-funding basis.
8. Initially speakers will be found from within the group when needed. Some meetings will be forums where topics will be discussed.
9. Suggestions of possible speakers and places to visit will be welcomed by the Group Committee but no guarantee can be given that the suggestions will be taken up. The Group Committee will determine suitability and affordability.
10. Mike Stow has added a Web Page on the Ashby U3a for the Science and Technology Group. Information on the group's activities will be notified there.
11. The next meeting has been set for Monday 9th March at 2.00pm at the Ashby Evangelical Church.

Many other things were discussed but the above sets out the main points.

Any other U3A members with a scientific bent, please come along too.

Colin R Woodland Ashby U3A Interest Groups Coordinator


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