Tag Archives: Metropolitan Railway

Not Metroland

metro-no.1

Scanned from an old print, the photograph shows Metropolitan Railway E Class 0-4-4T No.1, along with a pair of matching Metropolitan Railway carriages, in a location, a mill(ion) miles from Home counties suburbia, metaphorically speaking. The building behind the engine is Ingrow Mill, once upon a time it spun fine worsted for natty, city gent’s, suits – today, it’s an apartment building.

No.1 was built at Neasden, in 1896, a location well known to the readers of Private Eye and devotees of the legendary soccer manager Ron Knee, aged 59. The carriages, in No.1’s train, were built either side of WWI, Ingrow worsted mill dates to the 1820s, the first section of the Metropolitan Railway, between Paddington and Farringdon Street, opened to the public in January 1863. The Metropolitan Railway, the first underground railway in the World, was the brain child of Charles Pearson, sadly, Pearson died just months before the railway was opened to the public – one can scarcely imagine London without an Underground.

After the Metropolitan Railway extension opened, (‘Metroland’), in stages between 1869 and 1897, one could take tea with an heiress in St.John’s Wood, before travelling to Aylesbury and enjoying a duck, for supper….. Ilkla moor bhat ‘at ne’er saw ducks the like o’ they in Aylesbury – heiresses were thin on t’ ground an awl. (The actual Ilkley Moor is just a mile or two over the hill, the one closest to the main mill building, that is.)

Metropolitan No.1 is usually resident at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, at Quainton Rd. Station, her two coaches are part of the Vintage Carriage Trust’s collection. The VCT have a museum adjacent to Ingrow Station, on the K&WVR, and a fine collection of other vintage carriages and  associated exhibits, small and large can be found there.

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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P & D

metro-no.1shed

This is where the romance of railways begins to wear a little thin, no waving bystanders, no rythmic clickety click, clikety clack, no scenery rolling by, just dirty toil. The methods of fire cleaning varied widely, the easiest was those engines fitted with rocking grates, the most unpleasant was the ‘paddle out’. The paddle is a metal shovel, with a handle which can be anything from four to eight foot and more in length, depending on the size of firebox being cleaned.

It doesn’t require any great leap of imagination to envisage the effort required and the issues involved in drawing this red hot,  metal shovel, full of smouldering clinker, out through the firehole,  before turning it, through 90 degrees, within the confines of the cab, and ejecting the clinker via the cab door. Back breaking, finger burning work on the fire, would be followed by the equally joyous task of emptying the smoke box, as we see the fireman doing in this photograph. If that hadn’t ‘made your day’, next up was raking out the ash pans, which involved getting into the pit, like the one under the engine here, then, crouched over because of the lack of space, you take a long metal rake and drag all the ash, and the still smoking and smouldering small clinker, from the ash pans, into the pit; a week on a P&D shift was not for the faint hearted.

Metropolitan No.1 is photographed in the shed yard at Haworth MPD on the K&WVR, she is normally resident at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre based at Quainton Road, once a part of the former Metropolitan Railway.

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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Shunting with the Pug

pugshunt

Yesterday’s post was about an 0-4-0ST with connections to Durham miners,  a black sheep in the Lambton family, and Beamish. Today’s 0-4-0ST has connections of a different kind – hanging around on the side of docks or loitering in factory sidings was what the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway built them for – and from 1891 until 1964 that is what members of this class did, in Goole, Hull, Liverpool, and Salford. Post Nationalisation they searched out new docks and wharves to ply their trade, in Swansea, Bristol and Bangor.

Affectionately known to many as ‘Pugs’, these are such chumbly little engines that I have a model of one, made from coal, on the shelf next to my desk. In the photograph, a scan from one of my slides, No.51218 is dragging the former Metropolitan Railway coaches out of the sidings alongside the Vintage Carriages Trust Museum at Ingrow. Unlike the other surviving Pug L&YR No.19, which was sold on by the LMSR in 1931, No.51218 remained in, LMS and British Railways service until 1964, when she was withdrawn, from her final allocation to 87A Neath MPD, before being sold and moved to the K&WVR in 1965.

Currently in the queue for overhaul, at Haworth Works, hopefully it won’t be too long before she is, once again, rattling up and down the line at the K&WVR.

If you've enjoyed this post, please feel free to share with friends, rail fans, or railway groups.

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You might also enjoy my ebook 'Gricing' the sales of which help to keep this blog running.

http://www.amazon.com/Gricing-real-story-Railway-Children-ebook/dp/B00ML0QYK2

or for British readers.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-real-story-Railway-Children-ebook/dp/B00ML0QYK2
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‘Mr. Perks’

1744oakstn

The Railway Children’s station, Oakworth, on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, is the scene in this photograph of N2 Class 0-6-2T No.1744 / 4744 aka BR No.69523. The Kings Cross destination board is entirely appropriate, as the principal duties for these engines were suburban services in and out of Kings Cross. The large pipes coming from either side of the smokebox are part of the condensing apparatus, fitted to these engines. The fitting of the condensing equipment made it possible for them to work into the tunnels on the Metropolitan Railway, as the exhaust steam could be fed back into the top of the tanks, instead of filling the tunnels and stations.

Over a hundred of these engines were constructed, No.1744, herself, was constructed in 1921 shortly before the Grouping which saw the Great Northern Railway become a constituent of the London North Eastern Railway, in 1923. No.1744 was rescued by the Gresley Society, in 1963, and arrived on the fledgling K&WVR in 1965. No.1744 is no longer a resident at the K&WVR – on this occasion she was making a guest appearance, to commemorate that she was one of the ‘pioneer’ engines on the line. Today, No. 1744 can usually be found at work on the Great Central Railway, between Loughborough Central and Leicester North.

Today’s Christmas connection is that like the ‘Polar Express’, and ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’, the ‘family classic’ ‘The Railway Children’ usually makes a guest appearance in the Christmas TV listings. I’ll get my coat – and paint white lines around my coal stack now – ho, ho, ho!

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