On Tuesday December 22nd 1964 I was working the 17:30 departure from Waterloo, as far as Southampton, with West Country Class No 34097 Holsworthy, the load was 12 for 435 tons. On the day the run was marred by two signal checks at Surbiton and Hook, where we stood for almost 10 minutes. The shift finished, at Waterloo, after working back with the 20:58 Ex- Southampton, around 23.30. I had one more trip to do, on the Wednesday, before trying to get back to Leeds, for Christmas with the folks, on the 24th. In the event I went to Kings Cross in my overalls and rode home in the back cab, a Deltic, and I swear my ears are still ringing!!
My first Christmas on the railway was a rather different affair, it was the winter of 1962 – 63, a bitterly cold winter with heavy snowfalls, I spent a lot of time keeping braziers alight and water columns unfrozen, with the odd snowball fight thrown in.
Whatever you are doing this Christmas I hope it’s a good one. Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all.
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:
Until New Year the eBook edition of Gricing is on offer at just £3:95, that’s a whole book for less than a monthly mag.