Those sunny days of yesteryear, where are they now? Those days when we sat on a wall, fence, or banking side, to watch the trains go by, are they just distant memories, or are we transported back there every time we visit a heritage railway or go to watch a main line tour whistle by? Being a northern lad we didn’t get to see too many GWR engines so, when we did, they tended to stick in the memory.
My own first sightings of GWR engines, one of the 43xx class moguls, came on trips to see relatives in Rugby, the Great Western engines would rumble by, on the GCR, which used to cross the WCML on a huge girder bridge, just south of Rugby (Midland) station. My first major encounter though was when I went on a school ‘loco spotters club’ trip to Wolverhampton Stafford Road works, age tweleve. A properly organised trip with a works pass and school master in attendance. We all thought Birmingham Snow Hill station was amazing, though I doubt that many of the locals did, especially as enormous flocks of Starlings used to congregate in the area just outside the station. (Not so much Snow Hill as guano mound!!)
And yes, I know it’s not a girder bridge, nor a mogul, but this was the memory that this photo brought back, of sunny days by a railway line and my first sightings of the locomotives of the Great Western Railway. In the photograph, 2-8-0 28xx class No.2857 is crossing Oldbury viaduct on the Severn Valley Railway, with a Bridgnorth – Kidderminster service.
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!