Tag Archives: Settle & Carlisle

56 years ago today

56 years ago today I began work with BR, at a shed, where I cleaned and fired engines just like the one in this photo. Unfortunately none of them survived ‘the great purge’. However, one that did survive was a fairly frequent visitor, when she was based at Stockport, No.45596 Bahamas; one of a handful of the Jubilee Class which were fitted with a double chimney.

Like the engine this photograph, No. 45690 Leander, No.45596 Bahamas is soon to be back in action, after lengthy overhaul. Just as some of my very first associations were with the Jubilees so were some of my last. There were very few passenger turns at Wakefield, where I ended my BR service, apart from a few jobs working the Bradford portions of London – Leeds services from Wakefield Westgate to Bradford Exchange, the only others, at the time, were ‘excursions’ for Rugby / Football matches and trips to the seaside.

My very last trip on a Jubilee was with a trip to Blackpool and back with a train load of miners, the details of which were the subject of an earlier post. Sadly, none of the engines I worked on at Farnley and at Wakefield survived, however, a goodly number of those I worked on at Nine Elms did; and a week on Friday I hope to see one of them, No.35018 British India Line, having a run over the S&C. I haven’t seen her in the flesh since she was withdrawn, over 50 years ago – quite looking forward to Friday 20th. My BR days migh have ended in 1968 but my attachment to those dim and distant days did not.

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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A little patch of blue

A patch of blue sky illuminates the slopes of  Pen-y-Ghent as Stanier Pacific No.46233 Duchess of Sutherland, with Saturday’s Cumbrian Mountain Express, passes Selside. I learned my skills as a fireman on Stanier’s Black 5s and Jubilees and for many summers, during the 1950s, I spent two weeks by the West Coast Main Line watching these beauties hurtling by on the Mid-Day Scot, Royal Scot, and the Caledonian. Some were Green and some Red, the Red ones always seemed ‘special’, just because they were Red.

Later, during my railway career, I did work as a fireman on express trains hauled by Pacifics; Bulleid’s version on the Southern Region between Waterloo – Bournemouth and Salisbury, even to Exeter and back, on one memorable occasion. I was the fireman on the 1st East Devon Rail Tour which was booked to run Non-stop from Waterloo to Yeovil and repeat this on the return leg. The round trip, including the journey from the shed up to Waterloo was some 350 miles – not a bad day’s work. The tour ran on 28th February 1965 and our engine was No.35022 Holland America Line, chosen because it was paired with a 6000 gallon tender, which we’d need to run the 122 and a bit miles to and from Yeovil without stopping.

I worked on over twenty different classes of engine, though sadly never a Duchess – and, of all the classes I didn’t have a go on the one  I would have loved to  fire would have been a Duchess  on the WCML – Crewe – Perth maybe!!

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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Selside Tornado

Saint Valentine’s day, and the steam, rail car replacement service, on the S&C, makes its debut. Like a great many others I went to see the first of the North bound runs, on which the engine is chimney first.

What a difference a hundred yards make – looming out of the mist A1 class 4-6-2 No.60163 Tornado with the morning run, of the Northern Rail / A1 Steam Locomotive Trust Plandampf, between Skipton and Appleby. The saving grace, if there is one, is it tones down the livery on the Northern Rail stock and I’ve managed not to get the Box on the other end.

In between the approach shot and this passing shot is another day, seemingly. Possibly another century, as it could be 1950 with that early livery and the Carmine and Cream stock /No.60163 Tornado’s support coach – in my dreams!!

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

or: To celebrate the author’s up coming 70th birthday, you could grab yourself an eBook  copy of “Gricing, The Real Story of the Railway Children”, for just £2.99  – offer ends 13 / 03/ 2017.

This is the link to Amazon for your copy:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B011D1WBWY

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