Moorland Landscape

I’ve been coming here, to the North Yorkshire Moors, for over 35 years now. I’ve seen an awful lot of engines come and go, some I even worked on when they were still in BR stock; engines like the soon to return 34101 Hartland and the S15 No. (30)825 and the not so lucky 30841, which is gone but not forgotten.

There’s also the possibilty I worked on the engine in the picture too, No.(4)5428 was a Holbeck engine at one time and I had a couple of months at the depot after moving back North from Nine Elms.  I did a variety of turns during those few weeks including some passenger work and my first,  last, and only turn  on a B1. My first shed, Farnley Jct., had already closed and so had Copley Hill with work from both depots now being done from Holbeck. My trip with the B1 was a former Copley Hill turn – Cleethorpes and back with a stopper.

The turn I might well have worked with No.(4)5428 was a teatime departure from Leeds City to Morecambe calling at, if memory serves, Keighley, Skipton, and then all stations on the little North Western. We travelled home passenger after beign relieved at, as I recall, Bare Lane, so we could make the last DMU back to Leeds.

No.(4)5428 is pictured at Moorgates during the recent NYMR autumn gala event.

Above is the link to Part I of my memories of footplate life in the 1960s. The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway is still  available on Amazon – Below, is the link to that  work.  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

Part II of In Memory is now available and here’s the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Memory-Part-II-C-Wilson-ebook/dp/B07KJQ94BD/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1542361240&sr=8-1&keywords=in+memory+part+II

Steam Age Daydreams began in 2014 and since then over 600 blogs have appeared on all manner of railway topics.  They are all still available to read in the ‘Archive’ section. I am writing this to let you all know that when the existing webhosting contract expires at the beginning of December there are, currently, no plans to renew it – Steam Age Daydreams will cease.

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What a difference 5 miles makes

Woke up this morning, like you usually do,  all around was covered in the white stuff and there was steam on the main line, over the S&C, whoopee!! Thermals on, a flask of coffee and one of soup, just in case, and it’s time to hit the road.  The first few miles, up hill out of the village, were a bit iffy and the gritters hadn’t been near nor by.

O’er the moor, past the wind farm, and on into Tow Law and I was beginning to wonder if I’d allowed myself enough time and what would the B road up to Aisgill would be like.  Another two miles and not a snowflake in sight, not even a touch of frost to make it look like it snowed  – nothing, nada. And, as can be seen, there wasn’t even the whiff of a hint of  snow at Shotlock Tunnel.

And if that wasn’t disappointing enough, moments before the train was due some bloke in a bright blue Citroen Piccaso parked right on top of the tunnel and right in my shot. I shouted, he turned his head in my direction, shut the car door, and walked away. I should have done what any sane person would have done when waking up to several inches of snow – turned over and gone back to sleep.

The forecast for Tuesday’s run on the S&C looks dreadful – I might just turn over and pull the covers up!!

Above is the link to Part I of my memories of footplate life in the 1960s. The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway is still  available on Amazon – Below, is the link to that work.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

Steam Age Daydreams 2019 Calendar is now on sale here’s the link:  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/302929843008

Steam Age Daydreams began in 2014 and since then over 600 blogs have appeared on all manner of railway topics.  They are all still available to read in the ‘Archive’ section. I am writing this to let you all know that when the existing webhosting contract expires in December there are, currently, no plans to renew it – Steam Age Daydreams will cease.

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Snow on the ground

Snow outside this morning and I’m off to the S&C for – hopefully, some steam in the snow. So no blog today – but, if all goes well and I don’t get lost in the snow – there’ll be something to read and see tomorrow.

In the meanwhile check out the link to Steamagedaydreams – lots to see and read, hundreds of blogs and photos to enjoy.

Above is the link to Part I of my memories of footplate life in the 1960s. The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway is still  available on Amazon – Below, is the link to that work.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

Steam Age Daydreams 2019 Calendar is now on sale here’s the link:  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/302929843008

Steam Age Daydreams began in 2014 and since then over 600 blogs have appeared on all manner of railway topics.  They are all still available to read in the ‘Archive’ section. I am writing this to let you all know that when the existing webhosting contract expires in December there are, currently, no plans to renew it – Steam Age Daydreams will cease.

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Engine and van

Some years back, I enjoyed a day out on one of the ‘terriers’, (Stepney), at the Bluebell Railway. I spent the day with Clive Groome,  one of my old drivers from Nine Elms days, running up and down between Sheffield Park  and Kingscote, engine and van.  When I was at Wakefield, just before the end of steam, running engine and van became more of a commonplace as more and more coal and goods traffic was going by road.

We had little pick-up goods turns where you visited goods yards, coal yards, and mill sidings all around the Wakefield area and across the GN to Bradford – this is how most of them began. The essential difference was that we were doing it with a clapped out old WD and with each passing week there were fewer and fewer wagons to collect or empties to deliver. One by one the mills were closing, the local goods yard, with the coal merchant and his staithes, the goods agent and his parcels, were shutting down too. We might have won the World Cup but, the railways, the mines, and the mills were losing the battles. Before much longer the lines we were travelling would shut too. The future was rust, weeds, vandalism, and graffiti – and then came the wrecking balls.

The photo is of No.662 (Martello) leaving Winchcombe, on the Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway, heading for Cheltenham.

Above is the link to Part I of my memories of footplate life in the 1960s. The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway is still  available on Amazon – Below, is the link to that work.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

Steam Age Daydreams 2019 Calendar is now on sale here’s the link:  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/302929843008

Steam Age Daydreams began in 2014 and since then over 600 blogs have appeared on all manner of railway topics.  They are all still available to read in the ‘Archive’ section. I am writing this to let you all know that when the existing webhosting contract expires in December there are, currently, no plans to renew it – Steam Age Daydreams will cease.

 

 

 

 

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Gasworks Tunnel?

Teak coaches, GNR locomotive but, sadly not Kings Cross in the pre-grouping era. There is, at the moment, a trend towards painting engines in the livery of their original company owners and it does make things more colourful than a mix of lined Black or lined Brunswick Green. However, being able to run them with a train of appropriately liveried coaching stock from the same period would be even better.

I know the Severn Valley Railway have a very nice set of 1930s LMS stock along with a selection of old GWR stock – the 1930s LMS set would look great with the new build Patriot. And both the SVR and the North Yorksire Moors Railway have nice teak sets but, what of the others? A couple of Caley coaches at Bo’ness, the Quad art set at NNR, there are some nice old 4 and 6 wheel wooden bodied stock at the Bluebell and the Isle of Wight line has a nice vintage set. The Vintage Carriage Trust, at their museum in Ingrow, have a small assortment of vintage and pre-grouping stock.  However, very few lines would be able to assemble a truly representative train of pre-grouping stock to match the locomotive liveries.

I know huge sums have been raised to fund new build locomotives, I even support one of them myself, the 82045 Locomotive Trust. I wonder if similar sums could be raised for new build rolling stock; and if they could what should they build and how many – clerestory roof, wooden framed, non-corridor, suburban, there are so many styles, railways and liveries  to chose from.  How about a new build of the ‘Coronation’ articulated set –  if memory serves there is one of the beaver tail observation cars, from this train, still in service.

Above is the link to Part I of my memories of footplate life in the 1960s. The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway is still  available on Amazon – Below, is the link to that work.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

Steam Age Daydreams Calendar is now on sale here’s the link:  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/302929843008

Steam Age Daydreams began in 2014 and since then over 600 blogs have appeared on all manner of railway topics.  They are all still available to read in the ‘Archive’ section. I am writing this to let you all know that when the existing webhosting contract expires in December there are, currently, no plans to renew it – Steam Age Daydreams will cease.

 

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The Trialist

Seventy years ago this engine, No.35018 British India Line, was one of three Merchant Navies involved the 1948 Locomotive Exchanges, the others were 35017 Belgian Marine and 35019 French Line CGT, all engines I worked on with some regularity in 1963, 64, and 65.  I am currently writing Part II of In Memory, (A biography of my railway life and times.), which covers my brief spell at Stewarts Lane and my early months at Nine Elms, including my first encounter with  a driver who was, himself, a fireman in those 1948 Exchanges.

No.35018 British India Line did her turns not on ‘foreign’ metals but, on her home turf, hauling the Atlantic Coast Express, in each direction, on the 3rd & 4th of June 1948. By coincidence she was also the first of the class to be rebuilt, in February 1956, with conventional Walschaerts motion and the air smoothed casing removed, the form she is in here. She was also one of the early withdrawals being taken out of service in August 1964 before being sent to Woodhams scrapyard, in Barry, in the December.

I have quite a few timing logs of runs with Merchant Navies on which I was the fireman, including runs with No.35017 Belgian Marine and No.35019 French Lines CGT, sadly not of 35018 though. So if anyone out there reading this has a log of 35018, made between May 1963 & August 1964, with Fireman Wilson – I would love to see them.

No.35018 British India Line is pictured crossing Lunds viaduct, just beyond Garsdale, with the Pendle Dalesman, on a somewhat ‘grey’ day.

Above is the link to Part I of my memories of footplate life in the 1960s. The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway is still  available on Amazon – Below, is the link to that work.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

Steam Age Daydreams began in 2014 and since then over 600 blogs have appeared on all manner of railway topics.  They are all still available to read in the ‘Archive’ section. I am writing this to let you all know that when the existing webhosting contract expires in December there are, currently, no plans to renew it – Steam Age Daydreams will cease.

 

 

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Not a sunny interval

On today’s Dalesman the 8F, or loco to be confirmed, turned out to be 35018 British India Line, seen here approaching Lunds viaduct, between Garsdale and Aisgill.  Not that I’m complaining about the engine, far from it; I was delighted to hear BIL’s whistle and not the 8Fs – if only the sun had shone!

Fortunately there are a few more chances to get some sunlight and steam on the S&C in the coming weeks – watch this space, as they say. Off to see something completely different tomorrow; the colliery railway at Beamish. At least it’s only a 15 minute drive – if the sun goes out!!

Above is the link to Part I of my memories of footplate life in the 1960s. The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway is still  available on Amazon – Below, is the link to that work.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

Steam Age Daydreams began in 2014 and since then over 600 blogs have appeared on all manner of railway topics.  They are all still available to read in the ‘Archive’ section. I am writing this to let you all know that when the existing webhosting contract expires in December there are, currently, no plans to renew it – Steam Age Daydreams will cease.

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Blue Fish

Blue Fish isn’t some new internet business it’s the third van back, the one framed neatly by the lineside TPO apperatus.  Insulfish vans came in blue or  a grey white and fish trains were run ‘fast fitted’. On the East Coast the fish trains out of Aberdeen became the stuff of ‘legend’ and the Robinson Class 8 4-6-0s of the GCR were known throughout their working lives as ‘fish engines’. In the last days of steam on the WCML it was not unheard of to see the fish train in the hands of a Duchess.

My own experience of fish train working, circa 1966, was from Hull Docks to Healy Mills and our ‘Duchess’ was one of Wakefields finest Dubdees. My experience with the class 5 BR standards, like the one pictured, was mostly with passenger workings between Waterloo and points West. However, I did work several van trains from Southampton docks to Nine Elms goods with them, usually when the Union Castle line boats came in loaded with bananas.

Several years ago now I wrote a piece for the magazine Steam Days, all about working one of these ‘banana’ trains and, rather foolishly, eating green bananas. There’s a shortend version in the archives – ‘Bananas to the Beat’, if you want to read more.

Above is the link to Part I of my memories of footplate life in the 1960s. The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway is still  available on Amazon – Below, is the link to that work.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

Steam Age Daydreams began in 2014 and since then over 600 blogs have appeared on all manner of railway topics.  They are all still available to read in the ‘Archive’ section. I am writing this to let you all know that when the existing webhosting contract expires in December there are, currently, no plans to renew it – Steam Age Daydreams will cease.

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Lanky Duchess

This is the last time I saw a Duchess on the East Lancashire Railway, No.46229 Duchess of Hamilton, in green and before they put the streamlining back on. It was so long ago this is a scan from a 35mm slide, not a digital shot. Hopefully, this weekend I will be seeing her class mate, No.46233 Duchess of Sutherland, at this very spot or somewhere close by.

I fired on Class 8P Pacifics on the Southern, including, on one occasion, a Waterloo – Exeter – Waterloo trip with No.35022 Holland America Line, on the RCTS’ East Devon Rail Tour, in February 1965. This is a not too disimilar milage to that worked by the crews on the Non-stop Euston – Glasgow runs, made by LMS men in the 1930s, with Stanier’s Pacifics. At least on my Exeter and back trip I had a break, the Camden / Polmadie men had no such luxury.

Having said all that I would have loved to have a go firing one of the ‘Duchesses’ on a Crewe – Perth or Euston – Carlisle. Generally speaking it is the engine driver who receives all the kudos, especially on fast or special runs; however, it is the fireman who makes these fast or special runs possible. ‘No steam – No show!!

Above is the link to Part I of my memories of footplate life in the 1960s. The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway is still  available on Amazon – Below, is the link to that work.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

Steam Age Daydreams began in 2014 and since then over 600 blogs have appeared on all manner of railway topics.  They are all still available to read in the ‘Archive’ section. I am writing this to let you all know that when the existing webhosting contract expires in December there are, currently, no plans to renew it – Steam Age Daydreams will cease.

 

 

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Cows ‘n’ Clag

The roast beef of Olde England utterly unconcerned by the passing of the noisy smoke belching beast; mulching is way more important! Enjoy the grass guys it won’t be long before you’re on the plate – sadly for you it’ll be the dinner plate and not the footplate.

You can just see the first hint of autumn colour in the tree tops and the gone to seed Rose Bay Willow Herb – aka ‘railway lupins’ on the embankment. Another week from now and the clocks go back – it really will feel like autumn, getting dark at 4 o’clock. Before you know it it will be Santa trains and the mince pie specials. However, before that there’s a bit of a do on the East Lancs, next week, and then two Caley engines and some Caley coaches at the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway from 2nd to 4th November. The Strathspey Railway’s 0-6-0 No.828 is the guest engine and Bo’ness’ own, fresh from overhaul, No.419 will be back in action. She was steamed and run for the first time, last week. It will, according to the B&KR, be the first time these two Caley engines have been together, in preservation.  A braw mornin’ wi’ loadsa sunshine would be nice too!

In the photo No.76079 is climbing past Esk valley, shortly after leaving Grosmont, with a train for Pickering.

Above is the link to Part I of my memories of footplate life in the 1960s. The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway is still  available on Amazon – Below, is the link to that work.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

Steam Age Daydreams began in 2014 and since then over 600 blogs have appeared on all manner of railway topics.  They are all still available to read in the ‘Archive’ section. I am writing this to let you all know that when the existing webhosting contract expires in December there are, currently, no plans to renew it – Steam Age Daydreams will cease.

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