Getting a balance between deep/detailed knowledge and material that is more
accessible is always a challenge in the make-up of ï¿½Light Railwaysï¿½. We need
to recognise that most people go through the process of development from being
novices to becoming knowledgeable.
As one of the current editors of "Light Railways" and the instigator of "Light
Railway News" as it existed from 1977 until the introduction of the new style
magazine in 1998, I have always believed that the future of the Society is in
attracting the younger members. I suggest that this has been generally
successful, especially since the launch of the new style magazine.
High-class presentation is an important aspect of "Light Railways", and we are
very lucky to have the professional talents of Bruce Belbin in this area. The
inclusion of news sections for Industrial and Tourist/Heritage is I believe an
aspect that many readers appreciate.
The remainder of the magazine reflects the tradition of the Society over a 45
year period. There is a very important need for both well-researched detailed
historical articles and for lighter pieces that take little for granted. We
are constantly on the lookout for contributors of both types, and a very
pleasing aspect of our magazine is the large numbers of authors who have
What both types of articles need in common is that they should be readable and
clear to follow. Of course, the more detailed articles may require more effort
from the reader but if our articles are not clear and easy to follow for those
who have little prior knowledge, the editors have failed in their job.
So we require contributors who are happy to work with the editors to ensure
that the final results meet our readers' needs. Not everyone feels confident
in their ability to write polished articles, but the editors are more than
happy to assist in getting material "into shape" as required. New authors get
a great thrill from seeing their work published.
Contributions in the form of photographs are always welcome and will always be
considered for inclusion. We could certainly do with more scale drawings that
are accurate and well-presented.
The editors are constantly trying to improve the magazine and are always
grateful for any comments and suggestions that may be of assistance.
It would be interesting to hear from group members their comments on how the
magazine is performing and if there are any further ideas for catering better
to our wide and varied readership, or better still expanding the readership.
I might add that the Society has been very lucky in having a visionary and
capable group serving as Council members. A great feature is that they have
always been prepared to take risks and try new things. They have also shown
confidence in others who have come up with ideas. Inevitably, sometimes things
havenï¿½t always worked out the way they were meant to, but in todayï¿½s world you
have to change to stay alive.