The New Look 'Semaphore' magazine is now in the final stages of production, and it is hoped copies will be available at the station over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend.  As reported in the latest editorial, the magazine has gone through a major overhaul and will come out looking better than ever.  Now to be produced in A4 size (twice the physical size of the previous issues) it will be printed with full colour on every page and has been professionally designed.

The new editorial team of Dave Cole, Stuart Hobday and Anthony Wray have now finalised the latest artwork proofs and the printers are hoping to deliver the completed magazine to the station next Friday, 28th May - members copies will be sent out during the following week.

This first issue is something of a departure from the normal format of previous (and, to a certain extent, future) 'Semaphore' magazines in that it is aimed at both the travelling public as well as members.  A guide to the railway and stock list pages have been included to make up for the fact that the railway does not have a dedicated guide or stock book, and of course there is lots of information on the building of Avon Riverside and what to do when you alight at our new station.  There are articles and news items on the railway, but some other favourites like the 'Flashback' feature has fallen prey to space constraints for this issue.

The next issue (probably out around October/November time) will return to a more regular format, with news, reports, articles, Flashback etc.  The Editorial Team will also have a look at the overall design of the magazine and no doubt make some changes to this first issue which is, of course, a big departure from previous 'Semaphore' magazines.

Most of all we want to hear YOUR views on the magazine - email us with your thoughts -

[email protected].

Here's a sneak preview.

There is a section on the Avon Valley Railway, past, present and future - a history of how we started with a derelict building and no track that has now been built into a three mile long Heritage Railway.  There is also an up to date stock list, with full colour photographs of the main locomotives and coaches at Bitton, and a list of other rolling stock.

The building of Avon Riverside obviously takes up a major part of the magazine - 'Dreams Can Come True' is David Cole's account of the last two years that has seen the railway's volunteers build a new station right in the heart of the Avon Valley, with a wealth of attractions for our passengers to visit.  As can also be seen from this page, the fact that we are producing thousands, rather than hundreds, of magazines, mean we can offer real incentives for local firms to advertise with us, thereby reducing the production costs. 

The four middle pages are a guide to the railway journey, and what our passengers can do when they get off at Avon Riverside - above is one half of the centre page showing the line and nearby attractions.

There are other articles within the magazine, including one on the Midland Railway locomotives that used to work through Bitton (above) and the reopening of the Portishead branch in 2001 (below).

A number of news items are spread throughout the magazine as well - this is just one of the pages.

As stated, the magazine should be out over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, with members copies being sent out during the following week.

Tony Wray.

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This page last updated by Tony Wray on 22/5/2004.