Scanned from an old print, the photograph shows Metropolitan Railway E Class 0-4-4T No.1, along with a pair of matching Metropolitan Railway carriages, in a location, a mill(ion) miles from Home counties suburbia, metaphorically speaking. The building behind the engine is Ingrow Mill, once upon a time it spun fine worsted for natty, city gent’s, suits – today, it’s an apartment building.
No.1 was built at Neasden, in 1896, a location well known to the readers of Private Eye and devotees of the legendary soccer manager Ron Knee, aged 59. The carriages, in No.1’s train, were built either side of WWI, Ingrow worsted mill dates to the 1820s, the first section of the Metropolitan Railway, between Paddington and Farringdon Street, opened to the public in January 1863. The Metropolitan Railway, the first underground railway in the World, was the brain child of Charles Pearson, sadly, Pearson died just months before the railway was opened to the public – one can scarcely imagine London without an Underground.
After the Metropolitan Railway extension opened, (‘Metroland’), in stages between 1869 and 1897, one could take tea with an heiress in St.John’s Wood, before travelling to Aylesbury and enjoying a duck, for supper….. Ilkla moor bhat ‘at ne’er saw ducks the like o’ they in Aylesbury – heiresses were thin on t’ ground an awl. (The actual Ilkley Moor is just a mile or two over the hill, the one closest to the main mill building, that is.)
Metropolitan No.1 is usually resident at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, at Quainton Rd. Station, her two coaches are part of the Vintage Carriage Trust’s collection. The VCT have a museum adjacent to Ingrow Station, on the K&WVR, and a fine collection of other vintage carriages and associated exhibits, small and large can be found there.
I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751
These are some totally unsolicited comments from people who have already read Gricing: Amazon Customer on 6 Jan. 2016 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase: “Brilliant and interesting book”
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
‘treated myself to a copy of “Gricing” for Christmas, excellent reading.’
‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’
‘I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’.
‘I was given what I believe to be your book called “Gricing” the other night. Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!