Tag Archives: Mayflower

The Mayflower

In 1620 The Mayflower carried ‘Puritans’ from Plymouth to North America; in 1957 British Railways named a Kingswear – Paddington passenger service ”The Mayflower”. Being of a certain generation, and political persuasion, whenever I hear of the ‘Mayflower’ I’m reminded of the lyrics to Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream, ‘I was riding on the Mayflower When I thought I spied some land, I yelled for Captain Arab, I have you understand, Who came running to the deck, Said, “Boys, forget the whale, Look on over yonder, Cut the engines, Change the sail.’ (C) B.Dylan

I took the photograph at one of the Llangollen Railway galas when No.1306 was one of the guest engines, she also carried the ‘Yorkshire Pullman’ head board on one of her runs, a service, unlike the Mayflower, for which there was just an outside possibility she might have hauled, at some point in her BR life. The B1s wouldn’t normally see service on the Yorkshire Pullman but, all kinds of engines may be pressed into service in the event of a failure, or possibly as a pilot engine – stranger things have happened.

In July 1948, during the 1948 Locomotive Exchange Trials, a B1 did work over the former GWR route between Plymouth and Bristol and on one memorable occasion in the early 60s I rode behind one from Bristol to Burton – upon – Trent, where it failed with a hot box and was replaced by a passing ‘Peak’. The failure was a real shame as the crew seemed to be enjoying themselves doing their best to make up time on a late departure from Bristol.

The photo shows B1 Class 4-6-0 No.(6)1306 departing from Berwyn station on the Llangollen Railway.

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

Please like & share:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

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.

Please like & share:
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather