Tag Archives: No.42765

Hillhouse Goods

After my first firing turn on the late shift station pilot, my next outing was a much more enticing prospect – a very early morning turn, and a run with a fitted goods from Copley Hill Goods to Hillhouse Yard in Huddersfield. Passed cleaners, generally, got all the turns that were ‘unsociable’; really early mornings and late afternoons where you were finishing at 2 and 3 in the morning – those were the jobs they copped for. I didn’t care, I was being let loose with a real train, not chugging up and down in station limits.

The journey is around 18 miles from Copley Hill, it begins with a climb  to the middle of Morley tunnel a dip down through Dewsbury and then rising again, from Ravensthorpe, all the way to Huddersfield. I’d ridden out over the route before but, now I was the fireman it was a whole new ball game. Our engine was one of Farnley’s allocation of Crabs, I no longer have my old note books, so I can’t tell you which of them it was. What I can tell you is that I seriously over fired and we were sat in Hillhouse Yard, at about 5 / 5.30 a.m. with the boiler full to the whistle and blowing-off. I wasn’t popular with the locals, I’m guessing.

I didn’t have a photo of a Crab with a goods working, but I did have this one, from a while ago, when the ‘Crab’ was in her British Railways livery. She is pictured here crossing the Irwell, at Summerseats, with an early morning Bury – Rawrenstall service.

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

 

 

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Vintage LMS

We had a handful of these engines on the allocation at 55C Farnley Jct., at the start of the 1960s, when I was a cleaner / passed cleaner there; it wasn’t often we cleaned them though. There was a pecking order when it came to keeping the depot’s engines clean, first the Jubilees, followed by the Black 5s and the Ivatt 2-6-2Ts on station pilot duties and then, if there was nothing else, the Crabs would get a quick flick round with a paraffin soaked rag and some waste.

Despite its size, Farnley, at the beginning 1962, had just  two cleaners, myself and a lad called John Turner, there was also a small compliment of passed cleaners.The passed cleaners hated being back on the shed with a rag in their hands, and on cleaners pay, unless they’d got their turns in. It was rare for there to be more than four or five of us. The Jubilees worked forward the Newcastle – Liverpool and York  – Swansea services, taking over at Leeds City station from the V2s and A3s which worked the trains in from the North. The Black 5s regularly double-headed the Red Bank vans.

Much of the work performed by the Crabs was freight and parcels work and my first firing turn on one was with a goods, from Copley Hill Goods to Hillhouse Yard, in Huddersfield, in the wee small hours. There’s a nearly, might have been, in this tale too. The loco in the photo is No.13065 / 42765 and,  of the Crabs allocated to Farnley Jct, when I was there, one was No. 42766 and another was No. 42865, neither of them made it, sadly.

No.13065 is pictured, with a train of 1930s vintage LMS stock, climbing Eardington Bank on the Severn Valley Railway during the ‘Season Finale Gala’

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

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