Tag Archives: North Yorkshire Moors

Under the hopper

80135coaltowersadd

Hello, and welcome to 2015. This year the first two, standard gauge, lines to begin operation using volunteers will reach 55 – the Middleton and Bluebell Railways started their new incarnations in 1960. One was a genuinely historic piece of railway, in a less than pretty part of town, the other a scenic route through rural Sussex, two themes, the scenic and the historic, which loom large in a great many aspects of heritage railways and their connections with the wider public and enthusiast alike – though for very different reasons.

In those fifty five years an industry has grown up, there are fewer hare-brained schemes, more, lots more, health and safety – the driver on 80135 is wearing hi-vis overalls, not quite the ‘old steam days’ image. Industry of another sort has grown up too, the railway preservation industry. This industry involves everyone from Chinese workers making plastic models of Thomas the Tank Engine, to British heavy industry, casting cylinders, driving wheels, and cutting the frame plates for new build locomotives, such as No.60163 Tornado, or the P2 which is just getting underway.

The larger heritage railway undertakings employ paid staff, utilise out side contractors, some sub-contract engineering work, in their own workshops, for other heritage lines or act as wholesaler, supplying stock for the ‘station shop’. I haven’t even mentioned the things like public liability insurance, infrastructure maintenance, or film and television work.  Local shops, cafes, hotels and B&Bs, printers who print the membership mags, flyers, and posters, caterers who stock the buffet and buffet cars, post cards and greeting cards, jigsaws, mugs, tea towels, souvenirs of every ilk, all this trade and industry from those lads with a trolley and a hare-brained idea!

Well done guy’s – from the muck of the railways tha’s made a lorra brass, for a great many people!!

In the photograph Standard Class 4MTT No.80135 is about to ‘take coal’ one of the dirtier railway jobs, believe me, the coal dust gets to places you didn’t know there were places!

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Spaceship Enterprise

92214passadd

If you look closely, you will see that the crew of the goods train, in the loop, are stood on the tender photographing the departing 9F, a quasi selfie? In yesterday’s post I mentioned signs and signals, there are more signs and signals in this post. The extenuated points of the finnials on the splendid signal gantry, York 21 on the mile post, the catch points in the loop, points camera and shoots.

The signs were all ill omens when the 9Fs were being built. The British Railways Modernisation plan was published almost at the same time as they were being constructed and then Ernest Marples, aka ‘Minister for Motorways’, was made Transport Secretary. (Marples was part and parcel of Marples – Ridgeway who built parts of the M1 motorway and Hammersmith flyover, amongst other things.) The last 9F to be built at Swindon came out in fully lined BR passenger green livery,  with a copper capped chimney, and named ‘Evening Star’ – another sign, another nail in the coffin of steam locomotion.

Several of the 9Fs survived into preservation, the artist David Sheperd, saved No. 92203 on her withdrawal, and gave her the name Black Prince. Paint, or rather the livery being carried by No. 92214  is something of a talking point, currently, and in the recent past. At present No.92214 is in lined green BR passenger livery, fictitious, naturally, prior to this current paint job she has been in lined black livery and named ‘Cock O’ the North’, equally fictitious. Fortunately, she is none of the foregoing in this photograph, no lines, no name, and black!

 

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Grosmont Action

92214grosmontxingedit1

On a fine spring day in the heart of ‘Heartbeat’ country, BR Standard Class 4MTT No. 80135 sits, simmering, in the bay platform, as BR Standard Class 9F 92214 steams through Grosmont with the lunchtime goods for Goathland. The driver of 92214 is just about to take the token from the Grosmont Crossing bobby and on the platforms, and in the viewing area, dozens of photographers are about to push the shutter release – just as I was.

It could, almost, be the last days of BR steam, circa 1964/5,  well apart from the bobby wearing a hi-vis vest and the all too shiny appearance of the locomotives. Once the goods had cleared station limits No.80135 would leave the bay, cross over to the down platform and be ready to haul the next passenger service to Pickering once, No.92214 and her train were safely tucked up in Goathland sidings.

The Class 4MTT, ‘standard 4 tanks’ were in fairly regular use over this very route during the last years of its existence, as a part of the national network, though I doubt that the 9Fs were, certainly not with any regularity. A few miles north of Grosmont, on the Tyne, the 9Fs did put in some very heavy work on the Tyne Dock – Consett iron ore trains, and a number were specially fitted with air pumps, to work the automatic doors on the hoppers. Consett steel works is now the home of Phileaus Fogg’s snack making business – but a few of the 9Fs, aka ‘spaceships’, still survive.

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Radio Railway Signals

44806istedit

You’ve heard of radio waves and, no doubt, semaphore signals -well this is a recreation of one the ‘Cambrian Radio Cruise’ rail tours of the 1950s, and a distant signal, in a field, far, far, away. Well a long way from my house anyway.

The original ‘Cambrian Railway Cruise’ was a circular tour of North Wales, made by travelling in steam hauled trains, often comprised of an unusual assortment of rolling stock, from former ‘Club Cars’, once the pride and joy of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway’s ‘Executive’ service between Blackpool and Manchester, to an  observation car formerly part of the Devon Belle stock. The Land cruises began, at the time of the ‘Festival of Britain’, in 1951 and the first to operate was named ‘The Festival Land Cruise’. By the early sixties the tours were all but finished when putative ‘modernisation’, with its line closures and passenger service withdrawls, had broken the circular route.

The original train tours were often hauled by Ivatt class 3MT 2-6-0s and later by the BR  Standard Class 4 75xxx series 4-6-0s. The locomotive in the photograph  is one of the surviving Stanier Class 5MT 4-6-0s, No. 44806. When this photograph was taken No.44806 was one of the ‘resident’ engines at work on the Llangollen Railway, she is now to be found across the other side of the country working on the North Yorkshire Moors.

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

Below are some totally unsolicited comments from people who have read  Gricing:

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HAVE YOU GOT YOUR COPY YET?

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What’s in a name?

61306darn

The first of Thompson’s B1s rolled off the production line during WWII and their construction continued well into Nationalisation. The first 40  of the class were given the names of species of Antelope and No.(6)1005 received the name Bongo – being class B1 they became known, affectionately, as Bongoes. Most of the rest of the class remained un-named except for a small number given the names of former Directors of the LNER. The final engine to be named, in 1951, No.61379 was called Mayflower, neither an antelope, nor a director.

No. 61379 was given the name Mayflower along with a plaque commemorating the ties between the towns of Boston, Lincolnshire, and Boston, Massachusetts, and the friendship between the USA and the British Commonwealth.

Jump forward a few  decades  to the days of heritage railways and preservation and the saving from scrap of No.61306, one of the many members of the class, over 400 were built, never to be given a name. The engine’s new owners decided to paint their engine in Apple green livery and give her the name Mayflower – a somewhat less than accurate restoration for an engine which was never named, nor painted Apple green. However, it may not be authentic, but I think you’ll agree that with it’s rake of blood  &  custard coaches it does make a fine sight working over a route which did see this class in action during their working lives under British Railways ownership.

Lately No.61306 has changed hands and is now in the charge of the A1 Locomotive Trust and is based on the North Norfolk Railway, another area of the country were this class saw active duty with British Railways.

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Into the storm

62005&45407intostorm

An almost classic combination of engines, and a splash of light under a glowering sky, as K1 class 2-6-0 No.62005 and Stanier’s mixed traffic masterpiece the ‘Black 5’ No. 45407 head towards Fen Bog with a Grosmont – Pickering service. There’s a nice contrast too with the shiny black paint of the K1 and the slightly work worn look of the Black 5.

Later in the year both engines made their way to an even more dramatic piece of railway, the Fort William – Mallaig line where they were in use on the Jacobite service.

The K1s were a development of Gresley’s K4s via Thompson and Peppercorn and were introduced in 1949, the year after Nationalisation. Designated 5P6F they were equally at home on freight or passenger work and 70 were built, for British Railways, by the North British Locomotive Co. They saw service over practically all the former LNER routes from the Yorkshire dales to the Scottish Highlands and the sole survivor, No.62005 ended her days as a stationary boiler at an ICI plant on Tees-side. It was this piece of fortune which saved her from the cutters long enough to be bought, initially as spares for the K4 No.61994 The Great Marquess, before being donated to NELPG who are now her custodians.

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A genuinely unique survivor

Sir W.A.Stanier’s mixed traffic classic the ‘Black 5′ was one of the best loved and most versatile locomotives ever to run on British Railways, there were, at one time, 842 of them. However, only one of them was ever built with outside Stephenson’s link motion – and here she is No.44767, now named, possibly ironically, George Stephenson. No. 44767 was built the same year as I was, (1947), though she looks in better fettle!

The photograph was taken at one of the most photogenic locations on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Darnholme about 1/2 mile east of Goathland – the mythic Aidensfield of TV series Heartbeat fame.No. 44767 has spent much of here life in preservation, working on the NYMR, though she did have a spell out on the main line, some years ago now.

The driver has the sanders on which accounts for the steam at ground level, but the action is all at the chimney top as she blasts her way round the curve on the 1/49 climb up to Goathland – a fairly stiff test for both engine and crew.

via A genuinely unique survivor.

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:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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A genuinely unique survivor

44767portraitedit1

Sir W.A.Stanier’s mixed traffic classic the ‘Black 5’ was one of the best loved and most versatile locomotives ever to run on British Railways, there were, at one time, 842 of them. However, only one of them was ever built with outside Stephenson’s link motion – and here she is No.44767, now named, possibly ironically, George Stephenson. No. 44767 was built the same year as I was, (1947), though she looks in better fettle!

The photograph was taken at one of the most photogenic locations on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Darnholme about 1/2 mile east of Goathland – the mythic Aidensfield of TV series Heartbeat fame. No. 44767 has spent much of here life in preservation, working on the NYMR, though she did have a spell out on the main line, some years ago now.

The driver has the sanders on which accounts for the steam at ground level, but the action is all at the chimney top as she blasts her way round the curve on the 1/49 climb up to Goathland – a fairly stiff test for both engine and crew.

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A dirty job but someone has to do it

blk-whtsmokebox

As we all enjoy the beautiful images of steam at work in a whole gamut of settings, shades, and locations it is as well to remember that not everything associated with the operation of steam locomotives is picturesque – some of it is downright dirty, like this task being undertaken here.

Cleaning out the smokebox char is one of the most unpleasant jobs the fireman has to undertake. It’s hot and a little noisy too, the fine ash blows about everywhere, it gets in your eyes, ears, and yes up your nose and down your throat. I cleaned a great many a smokeboxes during my own time on the steam driven railway and I don’t envy today’s volunteers doing this job. The locomotive in the photo, Ex-Southern Railway 4-6-2 No.34101 Hartland, is a locomotive I worked on and one upon which I did this very task, during my time at 70A Nine Elms. In this photograph, the location is  Grosmont MPD on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, not the natural home for a Bulleid Pacific.

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:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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

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‘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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