Tag Archives: Heartbeat

Cows ‘n’ Clag

The roast beef of Olde England utterly unconcerned by the passing of the noisy smoke belching beast; mulching is way more important! Enjoy the grass guys it won’t be long before you’re on the plate – sadly for you it’ll be the dinner plate and not the footplate.

You can just see the first hint of autumn colour in the tree tops and the gone to seed Rose Bay Willow Herb – aka ‘railway lupins’ on the embankment. Another week from now and the clocks go back – it really will feel like autumn, getting dark at 4 o’clock. Before you know it it will be Santa trains and the mince pie specials. However, before that there’s a bit of a do on the East Lancs, next week, and then two Caley engines and some Caley coaches at the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway from 2nd to 4th November. The Strathspey Railway’s 0-6-0 No.828 is the guest engine and Bo’ness’ own, fresh from overhaul, No.419 will be back in action. She was steamed and run for the first time, last week. It will, according to the B&KR, be the first time these two Caley engines have been together, in preservation.  A braw mornin’ wi’ loadsa sunshine would be nice too!

In the photo No.76079 is climbing past Esk valley, shortly after leaving Grosmont, with a train for Pickering.

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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The Three Gricers

Bursting into the light at Beckhole, Schools Class 4-4-0 No.926 Repton is at the head of the 13:37 Grosmont – Goathland freight. Strangely, because of the pattern of No.926’s exhaust it almost looks as though the little narrow gauge engine, visiting from the Talyllyn Railway, No.6 Douglas, is acting as a banker: she’s actually on a flat wagon as part of the goods set. Sticking with strange and visiting engines; Ex-GWR 2-8-0 ‘heavy freight’ No.2857, visiting from the Severn Valley Railway, didn’t do one turn on the goods during the public timetable of the gala. In fact the bulk of the goods turns were completed by No.926 Repton.

I wonder what the ‘Public’ schools would have thought about an engine with their name on it being used to haul goods trucks, and one a cattle truck at that. I say this because when the engines were being built and named, during the early 1930s, at least one Public school objected to having their named attached to an engine;  No. 923 Uppingham  was renamed Bradfield after the school complained.

 

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.

The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway will still be available on Amazon – Below, is the link to it.

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

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Only a minor leak

Today’s photo from the NYMR’s autumn gala  shows Ex-NER 0-6-0  Class P3, LNER Class J27, No.2392 / BR No.65894 with a pretty decent freight working including a fish van, milk tank, cattle wagon, oil tank, and a narrow gauge engine on a flat wagon, in the train. No.65894  is doing her best to recreate steam’s final days  in the North-East with steam oozing everywhere from the front end.

Before you ask – I have no idea what the significance of the Blue Star is. However, there will be more from the NYMR gala later this week;  and a reminder that the first part of my memories of life on the footplate in the 1960s is now available, in print, or as an Ebook, which at £1.99 has to be a bargin.

Here’s the link to Part I : https://read.amazon.co.uk/kp/embed?linkCode=kpd&ref_=k4w_oembed_gOoNjfwj3yip64&asin=B07HMKTWMT&tag=kpembed-20&amazonDeviceType=A2CLFWBIMVSE9N&from=Bookcard&preview=inline

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.

The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway will still be available on Amazon – Below, is the link to it.

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

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Stanier’s 5

Now in LMS livery and looking very smart, Class 5 4-6-0 No.5428 is about to cross over the Goathland – Pickering road at Moorgates, close to the summit of the climb from Grosmont. With any locomotive engineer there is, understandably, a tendency to concentrate attention on their express engine designs. In Stanier’s case this is his Cornonation Class Pacifics and to a lesser extent his Princess Class. However, for my money his most succesfull locomotive was the one pictured here.

The Black 5 proved to be robust, reliable, a good steamer and loved by the crews who worked on them, myself included. They are well proportioned and uncluttered in their outline and, when called upon, had a fair turn of speed too.  I have seen timing logs of them deputising for A4s on the ‘Saint Mungo’ from Glasgow to Aberdeen and, to within seconds, keeping time. Their performances on some of the last steam services in the North West were the stuff of legend – the Belfast Boat Express became their star turn, in its latter days.

I can’t speak for others but, I’m looking forward to seeing a pair of them double-heading the ‘Citadel’ from Manchester to Carlisle and back on the 8th & 10th of next month.  I did work on the 5s between Leeds and Manchester and Leeds to Morecambe and you can read about my time on them in part 1 of my memories of  being a fireman in the last years of steam – here’s the link.

One happy customer commented – ‘Just read part 1 Enjoyed it – a lot.’

Here’s the link to Part I : https://read.amazon.co.uk/kp/embed?linkCode=kpd&ref_=k4w_oembed_gOoNjfwj3yip64&asin=B07HMKTWMT&tag=kpembed-20&amazonDeviceType=A2CLFWBIMVSE9N&from=Bookcard&preview=inline

 

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A hill to climb

Friday morning at the North Yorksire Moors Railway’s Gala, and the 10:24 departure from Grosmont climbs towards Goathland summit. Visiting Bulleid ‘Light’ Pacific No.34081 92 Squadron, decorated with RAF flags, really does look the part with the blood and custards.

Not quite the same as being the fireman on one thrashing up to MP31 with 12 on but, probably the next best thing. Speaking of ‘thrashing up to MP31’, the first instalment of my footplate memories is out now. Part II will be available before Christmas; it  tells the story of my first year at Nine Elms as a fireman on  these magnificent beasts, on the metals of the former LSWR main lines to the West of England and the Dorset coast, in  1963.

Here’s the link to Part I : https://read.amazon.co.uk/kp/embed?linkCode=kpd&ref_=k4w_oembed_gOoNjfwj3yip64&asin=B07HMKTWMT&tag=kpembed-20&amazonDeviceType=A2CLFWBIMVSE9N&from=Bookcard&preview=inline

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Smoke signals

Battle of Britain Class Pacific, No.34081 92 Squadron, after starring in last autumn’s Great Central Railway Gala, will be gracing the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Gala this year and I’m looking forward to hearing  that wonderful exhaust note as she is put to the test on the 1:49. Even when it was me who was doing the firing I loved to hear them when the rockets were flying at 35% cut-off and full regulator.

There were, and for all I know there still are, some drivers who consider this to be ‘thrashing’ the engine – I beg to differ. You can really feel the power when they are being ‘driven’ along and often, if you’ve got your fire and firing right, they would sit on the red line mile after mile and the minute they were eased the safety valves would lift – with a roar! I worked with drivers who wouldn’t even attempt to make up time lost on a temporary p-way slack, even when they had all the power and steam to do so with ease. ‘You start rushing about and they’ll have you rushing around all the time’ was a common refrain. There may have been some truth in that; as when bonus workings were introduced this was exactly what happened – I just caught the very back end of bonus working at Wakefield – but that’s a tale for another day.

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.

The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway will still be available on Amazon – Below, is the link to it.

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

 

 

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Hammer & sickle?

The chaps in the hi-viz may look like a couple of photographers who lost a lens cap; they had, however, been making a new ramshakle fence to repair and add to the old ramshakle fence and were in the business of packing up their kit.  I’m no expert in these matters but, the dry stone walls have been in place for decades, if not centuries, surely it would, in the long run, be better to properly repair the dry stone walls and be rid of the ramshakle bits of timber nailed together.

Things like this always remind me  of a silent film I watched some years ago. The whole thing was filmed from the window of an apartment block in St. Petersburg, Russia, outside was a hole in the road which workmen came and patched up, badly. They repeatedly kept doing the same thing, each time the hole / patch was a little larger; no one ever checked to see why this was continuing to happen. Then, one fine morning the hole erupted sending steam and boiling water high into the air. The cause of the hole was a leaking steam pipe; the local power station provided the flats with central heating and the supply pipe burst. The road was now impassable and no one had any heating – I’m sure there’s a moral in there somewhere.

I know a hole in the road in St.Petersburg is a long way from Moorgates on the North Yorkshire moors but I’m sure you get my drift – and ‘steam’ was involved – !!!

PS Back in the first decade of the 19th Century the Tsar of Russia travelled from St. Petersburg, to Britain and visited the Brandlings Colliery Railway, in Leeds, where he saw, and ‘marvelled at’, Murray & Blenkinsops ‘steam locomotives’ at work on the railway. Some years later, in the 1830s, the Russians bought an engine from Timothy Hackworth’s engine works in Shildon. It was shipped to Russia accompanyed by John Wesley Hackworth, Hackworth’s son, who, it is alleged, taught the Tsar himself how to drive the locomotive.

Some of you might be interested to know that my book, Railway Tales, about my own footplate work during the last years of BR steam, is now available as an ebook here’s the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Railway-Tales-C-D-Wilson-ebook/dp/B07H38XV1V/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536155603&sr=1-2&keywords=railway+tales+ebook

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.

The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway will still be available on Amazon – Below, is the link to it.

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

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Teak Five

Take 5 was a big hit for Dave Brubeck and there’s a wondereful reggae version too, by Val Bennet . I’m quite a fan of Jamaican music and there are a couple a ‘train songs’ I really, really, like one is ‘Draw Your Brakes’ by Scotty and another is ‘Stop that train’ by Keith & Tex both the same rythmn but quite different. There’s also a wonderful instrumental version by the legendary guitar player Ernest Ranglin.

There are, of course, lots of songs and tunes with a railway theme or title from work songs of the American railroads, like, ‘Drill ye tarriers drill’ to jail house ballards such as Johnny Cash’s ‘Orange Blossom Special’. Blues, skiffle, rock ‘n’ roll, they’ve all got their railway numbers. And speaking of Blossom didn’t they name 46521 ‘Blossom’ for some dreary TV sitcom – nasty. Anyway, moving along, it’s just over a week away from the NYMR gala which will have engines from each of the Big Four and BR in action – looking forward to seeing No.34081 92 Squadron on this same stretch of 1:49 – and that will be a tune to savour. I do enjoy the sound of a Bulleid being worked hard – reminds me of my own time on their footplates!!

Some of you might be interested to know that my book, Railway Tales, about my own footplate work during the last years of BR steam, is now available as an ebook here’s the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Railway-Tales-C-D-Wilson-ebook/dp/B07H38XV1V/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536155603&sr=1-2&keywords=railway+tales+ebook

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.

The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway will still be available on Amazon – Below, is the link to it.

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

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Not so sacred cows

Given the lexical legerdemain practiced by advertisers and politicians alike, the railway preservation movement missed a trick when it comes to ‘ environmental considerations’ – they should have claimed to be water powered. Lots of pictures of fluffy clouds of white exhaust – and, just as ‘Basil’ wasn’t to, ‘mention the war’, say nothing of the oxides of Nitrogen, Sulphur, and Carbon, nor the fine particles of ash.

The fireman on No.76079 had just been putting a few rounds on when I took this shot – he was definitely hitting the right spots. The location is Esk Valley about half a mile into the 15 minute slog up to Goathland  from Grosmont.  The most testing section is the almost three miles at 1:49, which  they are already on, it eases slightly as you enter Goathland station which is on a gradient of 1:138 and the summit is a further 2 miles with sections of 1:90, and 1:100 and a tiny stretch at 1:171. The line twists and snakes its way up the valley and this only makes the climb harder. It is a real test of engine and crew and if you chuck in a wet rail when the weather’s bad and you have a really demanding piece of work for both driver and fireman.

The cows – well they, apparently, couldn’t care less, but don’t mention burgers!!

Some of you might be interested to know that my book, Railway Tales, about my own footplate work during the last years of BR steam, is now available as an ebook here’s the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Railway-Tales-C-D-Wilson-ebook/dp/B07H38XV1V/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536155603&sr=1-2&keywords=railway+tales+ebook

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.

The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway will still be available on Amazon – Below, is the link to it.

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

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100 not out

Fresh from overhaul, and 100 years old in November, Ex-NER T2, later LNER Q6, No.63395 is waiting for the road before making a run up the line, light engine, to Darnholme and back. This was just the second day moving under her own steam since the completion of her 10 year overhaul. In a few days time she will be heading to the Severn Valley Railway to be a part of their Autumn gala, returning in time to star in the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s own autumn gala at the end of this month. Where she will be joined by the Severn Valley Railway ‘heavy goods engine’ 2-8-0 No. 2857, also 100 years old.

No.63395 is a Vincent Raven development of a design by Wilson Worsdell, the designer of the original T class 0-8-0 for the North Eastern Railway. One hundred and twenty of the T2 / Q6s were built between 1913 and 1921 and they survived more or less unaltered until the very end of BR steam, No.63395 was withdrawn in September 1967. When so few locomotives of the former LNER companies survived the end of steam it is a near miracle that one of them was an 0-8-0 goods engine with its origins in World War 1.

Some of you might be interested to know that my book, Railway Tales, about my own footplate work during the last years of BR steam, is now available as an ebook here’s the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Railway-Tales-C-D-Wilson-ebook/dp/B07H38XV1V/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536155603&sr=1-2&keywords=railway+tales+ebook

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.

The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway will still be available on Amazon – Below, is the link to it.

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

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