Adventures with my stick

Adventures with my stick, a leisurely ramble around my railway landscape, in words and pictures.

An unexpected trip down to Leeds, on Sunday, gave me the chance to pop in to the Middleton Railway, and, as luck would have it, it was their Autumn Gala with trains operating on the Balm Road branch, so here are a few shots from the event.

Recently overhauled, Brookes No. 1, crossing Tulip Street en-route to Moor Road. You’d never guess this was in the middle of an industrial estate, Matthew Murray gets underway after running round her train. Slough Estates No.3, banked by Matthew Murray, about to cross Tulip Street, just after a heavy shower.

Not been here for a while – so from the high drama of the Cumbrian fells it’s more local fare today. Paid a visit to the Tanfield Railway with my good lady and grand-daughter, they picked brambles, which we had in an apple and bramble crumble, for tea, whilst I took a couple of photos of Ex-Keighley Gas Works No.2, pottering about the line.

No.2 trundles by Marley Hill box and the driver collects the token for the Andrews House – Sunniside section as she passes. In amongst the weeds No.2 pulls away from Bobbgins crossing heading towards Andrews House. With a well loaded train, No.2 passes the photographer, her exhaust all but invisible, on what was, despite the cloud, quite a warm afternoon.

Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge” ‘Those that, at a distance, resemble flies’ – a long view of No.46115 Scots Guardsman close to the summit of Aisgill

Sir Tom – photographed on an all too brief visit to the Threlkeld Quarry museum – gala at the end of July – ‘I’ll be back’ On a day out at the NYMR I photographed No.44806, passing Esk Valley cottages, at the start of the long climb onto the moors at Goathland.

No.2 trundles through Causey Woods, site of the 1727 Causey Arch, on Mothering Sunday.

Heading for Sunniside, No.2 chases her shadow.

No.2’s fireman keeps a keen eye on the road ahead as she leaves Andrews House.

Adventures with my stick, a leisurely ramble around the railway landscape, in words and pictures. Sir Cecil A Cochrane is pulling away from Marley Hill sidings, with the empty stock, for the stick’s first day out  on the Tanfield Railway, others will surely follow.

Next, we find ourselves in a field, between Haworth and Oxenhope, the heart of Bronte land – a steamy romantic novel with a plucky little tank engine, snow on the hills, and a man in hi-viz on the footplate – how did he get here. It could, just as easily, be a tale of an Englishman, a Scotsman and a Welshman, go to Yorkshire. The engine was built by Neilson Reid, in Glasgow, for the Taff Vale Railway in Wales, and was restored to operating condition in England.

This weekend the stick is visiting the GCR Winter Gala where another Southern Railway locomotive, Q class 0-6-0 No.30541 will be the star guest. It is 50 years, this year, since steam ended on the Southern Region of British Railways taking with it a little bit of my own footplate history. I don’t know if I actually worked on No.30541, but I did work on this class of engine, on engineers trains and on the Chessie goods turn, a run up to the Charrington’s coal depot right by Chessington Zoo. Pics from the sticks outing will appear next week.

Sadly, due to the inclement weather the trip to the GCR never materialised. However, all was not lost and on Sunday, the sun was shining on my local line, so the stick and I had an hour photographing with  a gas works loco – no not a GWR engine, Ex-Keighley Gas Works 0-4-0ST No.2. The photos tell there own little story,  and we begin, as all good journeys do with a little bit of preparation before setting out.

After being given a good rub down with some oily rags No.2 is ready to face her audience.

Gleaming like a new pin, hissing steam all over the place No.2 rolls past me and goes off shed to collect her train.

Still with the taps open, and safety valves sizzling No.2 rolls back onto her train in Marley Hill sidings.

ECS in tow and No.2 pulls out of the sidings heading for Andrews House station in readiness for the first train of the day, the 10:30 departure for Sunniside and East Tanfield.

With the frost still very much in evidence, No.2 sits, sizzling, in Andrews House station waiting for the road and the right away.

On a mixed kind of day No.3 Twizell, with a ‘mixed’ train , has just passed Bobgins crossing heading towards Andrews House with the delayed 13.49 East Tanfield – Sunniside service. I haven’t previously tried this spot, I’ll be back when there’s some better light.

As with the previous photo a new location and one I’ll try again when the light is better. It might be as early as next weekend, when the Tanfield Railway are running coal and passenger services – let’s hope the sun shines.

A misty morning at Selside, as the first of the Plandampf service between Skipton & Appleby, looms into view – hauled by No.60163 Tornado and hauling a train of Northern rail liveried stock, behind the blood and custard support coach – the mist hides the horrendous colour clash!!

On Sunday it was the Tanfield Railway’s ‘on the waggon’ event, naturally I popped along to enjoy the proceedings. Here are a couple of shots from the day, more  to follow. Above, No, 2 prepares to depart with the 10.30 for Sunnide. Below, the final preparations for that departure, as coal and what are taken on board, whilst the Black Labrador watches and his owner chats with the driver.

Below, is No.3 Twizell, easing away from Andrews House with the first of the day’s goods train services. On the left, a photographer with his tripod all set up, is ready to record the scene whilst on the other platform a woman sits nursing a small child.

for a selction of my recent images available to licence, please follow the link below:

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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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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