Tag Archives: 46233 Duchess of Sutherland

Lanky Duchess

This is the last time I saw a Duchess on the East Lancashire Railway, No.46229 Duchess of Hamilton, in green and before they put the streamlining back on. It was so long ago this is a scan from a 35mm slide, not a digital shot. Hopefully, this weekend I will be seeing her class mate, No.46233 Duchess of Sutherland, at this very spot or somewhere close by.

I fired on Class 8P Pacifics on the Southern, including, on one occasion, a Waterloo – Exeter – Waterloo trip with No.35022 Holland America Line, on the RCTS’ East Devon Rail Tour, in February 1965. This is a not too disimilar milage to that worked by the crews on the Non-stop Euston – Glasgow runs, made by LMS men in the 1930s, with Stanier’s Pacifics. At least on my Exeter and back trip I had a break, the Camden / Polmadie men had no such luxury.

Having said all that I would have loved to have a go firing one of the ‘Duchesses’ on a Crewe – Perth or Euston – Carlisle. Generally speaking it is the engine driver who receives all the kudos, especially on fast or special runs; however, it is the fireman who makes these fast or special runs possible. ‘No steam – No show!!

Above is the link to Part I of my memories of footplate life in the 1960s. The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway is still  available on Amazon – Below, is the link to that work.

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

Steam Age Daydreams began in 2014 and since then over 600 blogs have appeared on all manner of railway topics.  They are all still available to read in the ‘Archive’ section. I am writing this to let you all know that when the existing webhosting contract expires in December there are, currently, no plans to renew it – Steam Age Daydreams will cease.

 

 

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Semi on the fast

In those far off 1950s, and early 1960s, school summer holidays I was lucky enough to be able to spend a couple of weeks, during some of them, beside the West Coast main line at Rugby. Rugby has a long railway history which includes not only the famous testing plant and the works of British Thomson Houston Co. but, in the very early days, a notorious local Publican doubled as an engine driver for the London & Birmingham Railway /London North Western Railway. Having two jobs isn’t a new phenomena, though I’m sure being a publican and an engine driver might raise a few eyebrows, rather than glasses, in today’s ‘health and safety gorn mad’ culture.

Rugby, for me, was approaching Nirvana, no school, and a constant a procession of Scots, Jubes, Pates / Baby Scots, Brits and Semis was only the half of it. We were being given a taste of what was coming with Nos 10000 and 10001 making an appearance from time to time; and there was no shortage of freight workings either. The goods workings provided us with an eclectic mixture of Stanier 8F and Black 5s, Derby 4s and former LNWR ‘Coffee pots’, Bowen-Cooke’s 0-8-0 G1 / G2 goods engines; all ably supported by the clanking of the Dubdees and sundry tank engines both ancient and modern. Like so many other things from the 1950s and 60s, it didn’t last.

Today only the echoes and shadows remain – No.46233 Duchess of Sutherland is doing her best to bring back those halcyon summers as she heads towards Wakefield with a Liverpool / Scarborough working in July 2013.

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

“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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Black 5 – Blackford

44871BlackfordThis year’s GB IX tour has not been without its trials and tribulations, the engine in the photograph, No.44871, set off to work her turn and promptly broke a radius rod. It was little short of miraculous that the organisers, support crew, and others, managed to repair the damaged rod and get her back in action, to take any part in the tour, let alone work from Bristol to Grange – over – Sands and then tackle the very demanding route from Edinburgh to Inverness via Perth and the Highland mainline, with its daunting climbs of Druimuachdar  and Slochd.

No.45407 was, originally, booked to double head with No.44871,  however, No.44871 was not alone in her efforts, the exhaust, somewhat fortuitously, is obscuring the diesel assistance in the rear.  In this photograph No.44871 has just passed Blackford, and rather less fortuitously, the signal box is also obscured by the exhaust – you win some, you lose some. Speaking of winning some and losing some, the locos which were booked, at one stage or other, to work the GB IX tour and didn’t make it include, Nos. 34046 Braunton, 34067 Tangmere, 45407, 46115 Scots Guardsman, 46233 Duchess of Sutherland, 70000 Britannia, and 70013 Oliver Cromwell, which is quite a list.

No.44871 as well as hauling the Bristol to Grange – over – Sands leg is also working the Inverness – Thurso and Inverness – Kyle of Loch Alsh trips before working back over the Highland main line and on to  Mossend, where she will be replaced by No.45699 Galatea for the journey to Oxenhome.  Presumably No.44871 will then head off to Fort William, where she is rostered to work her share of the Jacobite services from Fort William to Mallaig and back. Phew!

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

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!

Please like & share:
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