My 1960/61 Locoshed Book has one of these engines, No.60133 Pommern, on the front cover. In one of those weird little twists of synchronicity, the photo shows her on the coal stage at Copley Hill, a very tough shed to bunk, it was also her home depot. In that 1960/61 edition, Copley Hill has 10 A1s on the allocation, they are Nos. 60117 /8/20/23/30/31/33/34/41 and 60148. In the 50s and early 60s they were the workhorses of the Leeds – London services from Central Station, in Leeds.
The Reverend Eric Treacy was rather fond of photographing the A1s as they departed from Central station and, in my view, some of his best photos of them were taken there. Back then these engines were our ‘local nags’, we used to hope that we’d get one of the Kings Cross or Gateshead ones. The Doncaster based ones were pretty regular visitors, I particularly remember Nos. 60119 and 22 – what would we give now to see 10 or more of them on a regular basis, never mind 10 even 5 would be nirvana, well close anyway. I travelled behind all of the Copley Hill allocation, and probably a few of the others too, at one time or another, on outings to spend the day spotting at Doncaster, or when we went to Lowestoft for our holidays.
Right at this moment No.60163 Tornado is working on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, where she will be in service until Sunday. Then, next week, she heads off, like me, to the Severn Valley to make a guest appearance at the Severn Valley Railway Spring gala, alongside No.8572 and NYMR based No.1264 – in her shiny new LNER guise.
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: