This is our hobby in a nutshell, an ultimately futile attempt to stop the arrow of time somewhere around the summer of 59. A time when the real ‘Golden Arrow’ was still being hauled by Bulleid Pacifics and schoolboys still wore short trousers. No.34092 City of Wells looks the part in full ‘Arrer’ regalia, the less said about her train the better; the ‘real’ Golden Arrow would have been composed of Pullman coaches.
The Golden Arrow and its French counter-part, the Fleche d’Or, made the journey from London to Paris in 6 hours, ( today, thanks to the tunnel and TGVs, it’s around 2hrs 20mins), it was a ‘luxury’ alternative to flying – well that was the theory behind it. And now the weird bit. Santa brought me a bound volume of Railway Magazine, for the year 1959, and I thought I’ll see if there’s anything in it about the Golden Arrow. I opened it, more or less in the middle, the July edition to be precise, and there on the right hand page, No.475, was a photograph of No.34091 Weymouth on the very train and from almost the same angle and elevation as in my photograph on the East Lancashire Railway. If that wasn’t coincidence enough, the lower picture on the left hand page, was none other than No.34027 Taw Valley and in rebuilt form.
If you’ve enjoyed my photographs and blog, why not try my book “Gricing: The Real story of the Railway Children”. This is the link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751
Here are some totally unsolicited comments from people who have read Gricing: ‘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’. – 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!’