The meeting was entitled "Around the World in 80 days" with yours truely as speaker and after a long trawl through my slide collection I felt I had a programme which would interest the audience and keep their attention throughout.
We began in Brighton before leaving our shores for the Netherlans and Arnhem where trolleybuses still run - but this was 1967 when they were operating BUTs while taking delivery of new vehicles in the shape of Leyland "Leopards". We made the short hop to Nijmegen where the trolleys were about to come off and continued to Liege in Belgium to look at the trolleys, both pre-war and post-war. Alas their days were also numbered. Nearby was the tram system to Seraing, an industrial town with a really superb tramway system nowadays long withdrawn.
It was then over the border to Aachen in West Germany with a brief look at their tram and trolleybus systems, once again since consigned to the history books. We took a brief excursion around both West and East Germany before hopping over into Poland to the northern areas of Gdansk and Gdynia to see how progressive were both their tram and trolleybus systems. We could have spent all evening on Poland but after a quick squint at the meter gauge trams we set course for Russia and a look at St Petersburg and the many historic trams out in service. Still heading East we concluded the first half with a look at China and Hong Kong.
After the break we headed "Down Under" with visits to Australia and New Zealand on a tour organised by a German group and what an eye-opener that proved to be. We visited Melbourne for their iconic W6 cars which still soldier on and a visit to the Transport Museum before fetching up in Sydney to see their now demolished monorail and fledgling tramway. It was then to Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand (a visit between their two earthquakes!) for their heritage trams including the superb Ferrymead museum which outshines all other museums in both content and operation.
It was then on to Wellington on the North Island to see their up-to-date trolleybus system whcih amazingly closed in October 2017. We proceeded via Vancouver in Canada before finishing our whistle-stop with a visit to the Luas in Dublin and to the Isle of Man. Pure self indulgence for me but I earnestly hope the audience has as much enjoyment from the evening as I did in presenting it.