It would be easy to imagine that No.45305 was travelling at some speed as she bursts out from under the bridge, safety valves roaring, and, everywhere, steam billowing. And – that’s the thing about photographing heritage steam operations – it’s really an attempt to time travel. Remember when – well some do, many do not. There are plenty of young faces around the railways who have no experience of what it was like when, practically, all services were steam hauled – how could they, they had all ended before they were born.
Speaking for myself I have 60 years of history with this piece of Britain’s former railway network, having travelled the route, as a boy, on the “South Yorkshireman” between Bradford and Rugby. I have some history with the Black 5s too – working in their footplate over the Pennines from Leeds via Huddersfield to Manchester and to Morecambe via Settle, Bentham and Wennington. I cleaned a few too, most of the ones we had at 55C Farnley Junction, were kept clean or cleanish, in 1962, by myself and a couple of other lads – the ‘cleaning’ gang – not as shiny as 45305 tho’!!
For any of you wanting to know more, or enjoy reading my blogs and the photographs, in them why not buy yourselves a copy of my book. “Gricing” 30,000+ words and more than 100 photographs.
The following are totally unsolicited comments from people who have read Gricing: ‘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’. – and from another ‘satisfied’ reader’ – ‘ I was given what I believe to be your book called Gricing the other night. Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!’
This is the link to my book “Gricing: The Real Story of the Railway Children. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751