Tag Archives: Harrogate Sunday Pullman


No.34092 City of Wells probably did haul the Golden Arrow,  the ‘Arrer’ as the ‘cockneys’ called it, but not hauling that coaching stock, the Golden Arrow was a Pullman service. I know there’s a Pullman train running around the Surrey hills but, what I’d love to see is a gala where not only do guest engines appear but, guest rolling stock too. It would be wonderful to recreate the Yorkshire Pullman and Harrogate Sunday Pullman, as well as the Bournemouth Belle and Golden Arrow, with appropriate motive power for each one. A whole weekend of gourmet Pullman dining and wining on board a 7 or 8  coach set of, all original, Pullman coaches. Maybe all the special events being planned for the various 2018 anniversaries is just the time to do this.

I’m not well up on my vintage rolling stock but, if it were possible, it would, I think, make a wonderful gala if there were sufficient rolling stock to run only pre-Grouping coaches with  appropriate motive power in matching liveries – an 1870 to 1920 weekend.

Early in 1963 I moved from Leeds to be made fireman at Stewarts Lane, the ancestral home of the engines booked to work the Golden Arrow. What I didn’t know was that practically all the steam workings at Stewarts Lane had finished, or that my little over 1 year of seniority would place me in No.1 link.

Sadly, the place was a bit like a morgue and the only steam I saw was a couple of BR 2-6-4 Class 4 tanks and a similar number of Maunsell moguls. There were a couple of trips up to North Pole Jct. with inter-regional freights, and the highlight a Saturday morning passenger service from Tunbridge Wells to London Bridge. The nearest I got to the Golden Arrow was using a dart to break up clinker, cleaning fires, on a P&D turn. And No.34092 City of Wells, pictured at Burrs on the East Lancashire Railway, is one of a little over a handful of ‘light’ Pacifics I didn’t get to work on before they were withdrawn.

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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The last of Morayshire

62712kenneilb&cedit2On the weekend the clocks went back it was time to put No.62712 Morayshire back in the box, her ten year ticket has run its course and now she’s ‘in the queue’.  For a variety of reasons, mostly associated with the lottery of which engines ended up in which scrapyards, locomotives of the former LNER and it constituent companies fared rather badly in terms of surviving classes and numbers. No. 62712 Morayshire, the only member of the  D49 class, survived, because she was sold to Slateford Laundry, in Edinburgh, for use as a stationary boiler.

For me the D49s will always be associated with Burley Park and the Leeds – Harrogate services, of the period 1955 – 60. In 1960 Starbeck had 10 on the books and Neville Hill, (Leeds), had 6 – all of them were ‘Hunts’. They were, in the main, responsible for the local passenger workings in the late 1950s, but they also saw turns on the Harrogate Sunday Pullman and the Queen of Scots, on occasion.

Trains, north bound from Leeds, are on a gradient of 1 in 100 as they pass the park and can be heard well before they can be seen.  More than enough time to get from the swings and roundabouts to the railings track-side, or the footbridge which crossed the line, giving local residents access to the park, to watch and record the passing.  Strangely, when I took the photo I was thinking, here I am 60 years on still standing by the railings track-side, watching and recording the passing.

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’. 


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It’s not Yorkshire and it’s not a Pullman


The Leeds and Bradford business traffic was an important consideration for the Great Northern and later the London & North Eastern Railway. Fast comfortable trains departed Leeds and Bradford to take ‘people’ to ‘town’ in time to do ‘business’ before getting them back to Yorkshire in time for G&Ts. In 1935 the Yorkshire Pullman, which had portions for Halifax, Bradford, and Hull, left Leeds central Station at 11.14am, arriving in Kings Cross at 2.40pm. The down train left Kings Cross at 4.45pm arriving in Leeds at 8.13 pm,  the  Hull portion, which detached at Doncaster,  arrived at 8.15 pm.

One of my old school chums went to work, stewarding, on the Pullmans, when he left school.  I enjoyed a couple of free dinners on the Yorkshire Pullman, traveling back to Leeds to see the folks, when I was working at Nine Elms MPD, during the early 60s, thanks to this particular ‘old school tie’. The Yorkshire Pullman wasn’t the only London – Yorkshire Pullman service, the Spa town of Harrogate had the Harrogate Sunday Pullman, which ran during the 1950s and 60s and included a Bradford portion.  The Queen of Scots, also a Pullman service,  which commenced in May 1928, running between Kings Cross and Glasgow Queen Street also called at Leeds and Harrogate, en route.

The photograph shows B1 class 4-6-0 No.1306, now named Mayflower, sans Pullman coaches, approaching Berwyn Station, on the Llangollen Railway, with a Llangollen – Carrog service, before the new extension to Corwen opened.

Check out Sunday’s post, for a very special anniversary.

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