Tag Archives: Nationalisation

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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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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Autumnal Hall

Everything’s gone to seed and the leaves are turning – the season of mellow fruitfulness has descended and the autumn gala season is in full swing. This is the scene on Sunday last, at the Great Central Railway’s Autumn Gala, as No.6990 Witherslack Hall romps along the Quorn straight with a train for Leicester North.

The gala was also a celebration of the 1948 Locomotive Exchange Trials in which, No.6990 Witherslack Hall was not only a participant, she worked trains over this very line during the trials. On 24th June she worked from Marylebone to Manchester Central with the North Eastern Railway Dynamometer Car added to the train. She worked back to London on the 25th; again with the NER dynamometer car in the train.

Just as there are those who see the trials as little more than a publicity stunt for the newly formed British Railways, there are no shortages of those who see the closure of the Great Central as not only folly but, as the result  little more than  political skullduggery.  When 35005 Canadian Pacific returned to steam on the GCR; I had lunch with the MD of CP Europe – who, as a company, had just spent £2 million on a study into the feasability of reopening the GCR between Rugby and London – it wasn’t.

Still musn’t grumble we wouldn’t have the joys of main line steam on a heritage line!!

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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Bongo on the mins

‘Who’s Oliver Bury’, I heard someone ask. He was Oliver Robert Hawke Bury, who was born in 1861 and died in 1946, before No.1251 was named in his honour. His first major railway posting was as CME for the Great Western Railway of Brazil. Bury began his railway life as an apprentice, under William Adams on the LSWR, in 1879 before emigrating to South America in 1892. Bury returned  to the UK in 1902 to take up the post of General Manager of the Great Northern.; eventually becoming a member of the Board of Directors on the LNER.

No1251 Oliver Bury, aka No.1264 / 61264, was the LNER entry in the 1948 Locomotive Exchange Trials. No.1251 Oliver Bury hauled the test train over the Midland route from St.Pancras to Manchester and return on the 15th and 18th of June 1948 and ran from Plymouth to Bristol on the 7th of July.

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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Going off shed

The Great Central Railway autumn gala; Loughborough loco at 08:30 and the shed yard is a hive of activity. No. 70013 Oliver Cromewll, now in the last months of her boiler ticket, rolls towards the water column. Tank filled, she will run light to Rothley Brook and work the TPO set back to Loughborough.  A few minutes early the 9F had  gone off shed and was sat in the platform at Loughborough, waiting for the road, before moving off engine and van, also to Rothley Brook sidings.

The little BR mogul, No.78018, is already moving off shed, she was to have run down to Rothley Brook coupled to the LMS version, No.46521, but, for reasons unknown, No.46521 followed around fifeteen or twenty minutes later.  During the day I was listening to some chap telling us that there are plans to replace the existing Loughborough shed, a pretty basic corrugated affair, with a brick built engine shed of a more ‘traditional’ style MPD. Sounds nice and, as I understand that the present structure will have to move because of the reunification with the GCR (North), when the work on bridging the Midland Main Line is complete, it might well happen sooner rather than later.

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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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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