Making a getaway

In 1954 No.76038 was one of a number the of BR Class 4 2-6-0s allocated, from new, to Neasden, just tweleve years later she was withdrawn, as we were winning the World Cup, from Machynlleth. Somewhat closer to where this photograph was taken, Goathland, on the North Yorkshire Moors, the sheds at West Auckland and Kirkby Stephen had an allocation of these 2-6-0s which were used on the ‘Stainmore route’, on both passenger and coal traffic. However, during the summer it was not unknown for them to take holiday makers from Tyneside to the Lancashire resorts.

I mentioned the World Cup because there’s a connection – West Auckland is the home of the First World Cup the Sir Thomas Lipton  Trophy; which was won ‘outright’ by the amatuer side West Auckland Town FC in 1911. Founded in 1893, the players were mainly local miners – they were up against teams put out by the Swiss, Italian, and German FAs, the English FA had declined to nominate a side – and the rest, as they say, is history. West Auckland Town FC are, unlike the mines and No. 76038, still going and playing in the Northern League.

The Stainmore route, which closed for pasenger traffic in 1962 and to goods in 1974, now has  a heritage line based at the former Kirkby Stephen East station. They recently won awards for their restoration of the NER water tower and crane at Kirkby Stephen but, more importantly they have secured Lottery funding to restore LNER J21 0-6-0 No.65033 to working order, for use on the line.

There is another connection between the Stainmore route and preservation which I will cover in a later posting.

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:

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