Tea and buns Worth

43924damloopI always knew them as ‘Derby Fours’ and I know some folk called them ‘Duck Sixes’, but one of my old railway pals, an Ex-Manningham fireman, later a driver at Gateshead, always referred to these engines as ‘night fighters’; the reason why escapes me. Sadly, he’s no longer with us so I can’t ask him to refresh my memory. ( If any one reading this knows the answer – please do tell.)

Speaking of ‘night fighters’, during WWII the LMS introduced ‘Iron Rations’ – the iron rations consisted of spoonfuls of tea and sugar for men who were stranded, by enemy air raids, away from their home depots. However, these rations weren’t  a generous offer, in the ‘Dunkirk spirit’,  made by th LMS to their footplate crew – they charged for them and turned a profit; about 300% on the tea and over 1300% on the sugar, which I’m sure left a bad taste. (Source: J A Carter, Chairman, Willesden  LDC 1941, Locomotive Journal)

In the Pullman coaches, behind No.43924, the passengers are, no doubt, enjoying ‘cream teas’ and in somewhat different circumstances, no iron rations for them. I have to admit I’ve enjoyed a ‘cream tea’ myself, on the K&WVR, riding in the ‘Old Gentleman’s coach’ – great fun.

If you have enjoyed my blogs – 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:


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”

By Amazon Customer on 17 Mar. 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

“Not a murder mystery, but one that I found hard to put down. One of the best additions to my collection of books about railways.”

‘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!

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