Name: Siobhan Osgood
Occupation: I am doing a PhD researching the architecture of the Great Northern Railway Ireland at Trinity College Dublin.
Do you have a role in the society? I’m a member and I formerly edited the IRRS London website.
When did you first become a member of the Irish Railway Record Society in London and why? I joined the Dublin branch three years ago when doing my master’s about GNRI architecture at Dundalk. I moved back to London for a year and now I’m back in Dublin so I’m an inter-member! I’ve learned so much from the talks, journal, members and the wonderful archives at Heuston Station, Dublin.
What is your favourite Irish railway station or location and why? My journey started at Dundalk, so this has to be number one. The yellow, red and black brickwork designed by the GNRI’s first chief engineer William Hemingway Mills is iconic and replicated across the network: houses, engineering works, signal boxes – you name it, Mills designed it.
What area of railways interests you the most? Architecture! I am fascinated by the use of design in railway buildings, how they differ, who designed them, and what impact they have on society. Ireland has some of the most diverse railway stations in the world using stone, brick, iron and cement in various and beautiful ways. They are the grand houses of industrial design.
If you could take a journey on any railway in the world, which would it be? Or describe it if you’ve already done it! I would love to get the Caledonian Sleeper from London to Scotland. I’d feel like I was in an Agatha Christie book and would expect Poirot to appear at any moment. Or maybe I should travel on the Orient Express?
Do you have any other hobbies or interests? My background is art history so I love going to galleries and museums. I was most recently in Athens and visited the Acropolis Museum and Parthenon. I was struck by the scale and features which can also be seen in the GNRI’s engine sheds and engineering works at Dundalk such as pediments and colonnades of arches.
One unknown fact or claim to fame: I’ve sung at the Royal Albert Hall and turned down a role in the Harry Potter movies!