This scene is Haymarket MPD, in August 1938, twenty years earlier, No.9673 Maude, was in France helping to ‘win’ WWI. Some way or other this engine survived the destruction and carnage of the Western front, she also survived World War II, which was about to break out shortly after this picture was taken. And if that wasn’t enough, she survived the mass steam cull when British Railways ‘modernised’. Overhauled and restored to working condition she traveled to the the S&D 150 celebrations, in 1975, under her own steam .
Built by Neilson of Glasgow, for the North British Railway, in 1891, she was finally withdrawn, from Bathgate MPD, in 1966. Such longevity shows just how wasteful the decision was to cut up steam locomotives which had worked a mere ten or twelve years in active service, as happened with a great many of the Riddles designed locomotives, the BR ‘standard’ classes. The destruction of the steam fleet, in the years from 1956 onwards, was little more than industrial scale vandalism. Rushed, botched, and cobbled together as it went along the ‘Modernisation’ of British Railways was a gravy train – it still is for some.
As for the chap cleaning the pit, I suspect he is now in the great engine shed in the sky – Maude is ‘awaiting’ an overhaul – though just when that might be is anyone’s guess.
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!