Ron Fisher, who has supplied many photographs of the early 1960s to this Wiki:
Ron got involved with the F.R. in October 1960 when he and Ron Walker went on their first working party. Ron (Fisher) recalls first joining the FRS whilst on a train spotting tour of Wales in 1958 to get a free ride! He and Ron Walker had both been to the FR as visitors, and had been on the AGM Specials from Paddington. Ron Fisher had spent an afternoon working at Sheffield Park in July 1960 where the newly formed Bluebell Line was getting ready for opening the following month. He thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but found standard gauge sleepers a bit on the heavy side, so Ron suggested to Ron Walker that they tried volunteering on one of the Welsh narrow gauge lines. They had also been to the Talyllyn on their AGM Specials as well as the FR. As Ron Walker had the transport, Ron felt that it was Ron Walker's choice as to which one they went to.
Ron was not disappointed when Ron Walker suggested the FR, so Ron wrote to a Mrs. Pat Ward who was the London Area Group Working Party Organiser at the time, but had a reply from Norman Gurley who had just taken over that role. Their first experience of FR track work was 'digging out' below Lottie's Crossing, but they must have liked it there, because they have been involved ever since, Ron W rather more than Ron. They went on working parties whenever they could, Ron joined the London Area Group Committee and took over as Working Party Organiser when Norman moved up to Wales as a full time employee.
Ron also got to know Geoff Plumb in the mid 1960s, so Geoff's early 60s photos are new to Ron. Later, Ron shared a flat with Geoff in Wembley and a house in Harrow, as well as going on LAG working parties together.
The working parties were Permanent Way work, or similar, although Dan Wilson was S & T and Ron did a bit of occasional firing. At one stage, working parties were fortnightly and Ron once managed four weekends on the trot. One AGM weekend, probably in 1964, there was such a big working party that Ron had to hire a coach! Ron hopes he has some photos of it somewhere!
In 1966, Ron went to live in Switzerland for a couple of years, so someone else had the WPO job for a bit. Ron got re-involved when he returned to England, but not to the same extent as he had been previously, partly because of jobs which meant working on Saturdays. Ron helped Ron and Judy Walker with the renovation of their house in Blaenau which then became the LAG's Welsh HQ. They had used a number of B & Bs and a self catering cottage prior to that.
In recent times, bringing up a family, and working Saturdays, kept Ron on the sidelines where the F was concerned, but he has been on one or two of Rodney Thorp's Drains Gang Working Parties. Not all that often, though, and Ron now has a few back problems, so he doesn't know whether his track-laying and drain-digging days are numbered! However, once he gets used to the idea of being retired, he hopes that the FR will feature somewhere in his future plans; this will include sorting his old photographs for his Fotopic site. Some FR photos will consequently find their way onto this Wiki.
Background information supplied to Kim Winter in an email from Ron in June 2006.