Tag Archives: Southern Railway

Time running and time passing

In less than two weeks Steam Age Daydreams will close – there are over 600 blogs and even more photographs on the web site – check them out before they all disappear into the ether. However, before they do I’m hoping to get to the GCR’s Last Hurrah event this weekend, so there may be a few fresh posts next week.

Part II of “In Memory”, the memoire of my  footplate days, is now available to download as an ebook – the paper back version will be available very shortly. The link to Part II is below. And below that is a link to Part I in case you haven’t read it yet.

I will still be passing my time photographing steam locomotives and for those of you who have enjoyed reading the Blog – I will be continuing to write, Part II of ‘In Memory’ is available now and parts III, IV and V will follow at intervals in the New Year.

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

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Moorgates Mogul

No.76079, aka the Pocket Rocket, about to cross the Goathland – Pickering road at Moorgates could be a sight straight out of the 1960s. Quite a lot of these engines found their way onto the Southern Region with allocations at Eastleigh, Bournemouth, and Salisbury, where headcode discs rather than lamps would have been carried; just as they are in this picture.

Suprisingly, given their numbers, I don’t recall ever having worked on one during my time at Nine Elms. I do however, recall a tale going round the messroom of one being pressed into service to replace a failed Merchant Navy on the ‘up’ Belle. The thing to bear in mind when considering messroom rumours is that they are frequently embellished in the telling and retelling.  Speaking of messroom tales and rumours, Part II of my footplate memories will be coming out later this month, if you haven’t read Part I you will find a link below.

Just as the lights went out on my railway career they will very soon be going out on Steam Age Daydreams too.

I will still be passing my time photographing steam locomotives and for those of you who have enjoyed reading the Blog – I will be continuing to write, Part II of ‘In Memory’ will be available before the end of the month with parts III, IV and V to follow at intervals in the New Year. If you’ve enjoyed my photographs the Steam Age Daydreams 2019 Calendar is now on sale on eBay – here’s the link: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/302936132284

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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Up ‘ill ‘n’ darn dale

In the 1960s, as a 15 year old, I learned how to fire steam locomotives working on Black 5s going from Leeds to Manchester and back.  This was very much an uphill and down dale route – which ever way you went you climbed the Pennines and then ran down the other side. A favourite turn, to take a ride out on, was the Red Bank vans, always double-headed, and often two of Farnley’s Black 5s.

There are two main line runs coming up which both remind me of my time on the footplate. The first, this Saturday, is the ‘Citadel’ booked for double-headed Black 5s and working from Manchester to Carlisle via the S&C, crossing and recrossing the Pennines. The second run is next month’s ‘Pennine Moors Explorer’ which reminds me of my time at Wakefield in the final days of steam and working over Copy Pit with wheezing clanking Dubdees and train loads of coal, returning whence we came with the empties.

The Pennine Moors Explorer might even be hauled by an engine I actually worked on whilst I was a fireman at Nine Elms – No.34046 Braunton, which would be wonderful to see, and hear, it’s quite a pull from Todmorden through Cornholme and Portsmouth and on up to Copy Pit summit where, with the coal trains, we would have to stop and pin down wagon brakes for the long roll down to Gannow Junction.

Just as the lights went out on my railway career they will very soon be going out on Steam Age Daydreams too.

I will still be passing my time photographing steam locomotives and for those of you who have enjoyed reading the Blog – I will be continuing to write, Part II of ‘In Memory’ will be available before the end of the month with parts III, IV and V to follow at intervals in the New Year. If you’ve enjoyed my photographs the Steam Age Daydreams 2019 Calendar is now on sale on eBay – here’s the link: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/302936132284

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 2019 Calendar is now on sale here’s the link:  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/302936132284

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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Moorland Landscape

I’ve been coming here, to the North Yorkshire Moors, for over 35 years now. I’ve seen an awful lot of engines come and go, some I even worked on when they were still in BR stock; engines like the soon to return 34101 Hartland and the S15 No. (30)825 and the not so lucky 30841, which is gone but not forgotten.

There’s also the possibilty I worked on the engine in the picture too, No.(4)5428 was a Holbeck engine at one time and I had a couple of months at the depot after moving back North from Nine Elms.  I did a variety of turns during those few weeks including some passenger work and my first,  last, and only turn  on a B1. My first shed, Farnley Jct., had already closed and so had Copley Hill with work from both depots now being done from Holbeck. My trip with the B1 was a former Copley Hill turn – Cleethorpes and back with a stopper.

The turn I might well have worked with No.(4)5428 was a teatime departure from Leeds City to Morecambe calling at, if memory serves, Keighley, Skipton, and then all stations on the little North Western. We travelled home passenger after beign relieved at, as I recall, Bare Lane, so we could make the last DMU back to Leeds.

No.(4)5428 is pictured at Moorgates during the recent NYMR autumn gala event.

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

Part II of In Memory is now available and here’s the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Memory-Part-II-C-Wilson-ebook/dp/B07KJQ94BD/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1542361240&sr=8-1&keywords=in+memory+part+II

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 at the beginning of December there are, currently, no plans to renew it – Steam Age Daydreams will cease.

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The Trialist

Seventy years ago this engine, No.35018 British India Line, was one of three Merchant Navies involved the 1948 Locomotive Exchanges, the others were 35017 Belgian Marine and 35019 French Line CGT, all engines I worked on with some regularity in 1963, 64, and 65.  I am currently writing Part II of In Memory, (A biography of my railway life and times.), which covers my brief spell at Stewarts Lane and my early months at Nine Elms, including my first encounter with  a driver who was, himself, a fireman in those 1948 Exchanges.

No.35018 British India Line did her turns not on ‘foreign’ metals but, on her home turf, hauling the Atlantic Coast Express, in each direction, on the 3rd & 4th of June 1948. By coincidence she was also the first of the class to be rebuilt, in February 1956, with conventional Walschaerts motion and the air smoothed casing removed, the form she is in here. She was also one of the early withdrawals being taken out of service in August 1964 before being sent to Woodhams scrapyard, in Barry, in the December.

I have quite a few timing logs of runs with Merchant Navies on which I was the fireman, including runs with No.35017 Belgian Marine and No.35019 French Lines CGT, sadly not of 35018 though. So if anyone out there reading this has a log of 35018, made between May 1963 & August 1964, with Fireman Wilson – I would love to see them.

No.35018 British India Line is pictured crossing Lunds viaduct, just beyond Garsdale, with the Pendle Dalesman, on a somewhat ‘grey’ day.

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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Not a sunny interval

On today’s Dalesman the 8F, or loco to be confirmed, turned out to be 35018 British India Line, seen here approaching Lunds viaduct, between Garsdale and Aisgill.  Not that I’m complaining about the engine, far from it; I was delighted to hear BIL’s whistle and not the 8Fs – if only the sun had shone!

Fortunately there are a few more chances to get some sunlight and steam on the S&C in the coming weeks – watch this space, as they say. Off to see something completely different tomorrow; the colliery railway at Beamish. At least it’s only a 15 minute drive – if the sun goes out!!

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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Blue Fish

Blue Fish isn’t some new internet business it’s the third van back, the one framed neatly by the lineside TPO apperatus.  Insulfish vans came in blue or  a grey white and fish trains were run ‘fast fitted’. On the East Coast the fish trains out of Aberdeen became the stuff of ‘legend’ and the Robinson Class 8 4-6-0s of the GCR were known throughout their working lives as ‘fish engines’. In the last days of steam on the WCML it was not unheard of to see the fish train in the hands of a Duchess.

My own experience of fish train working, circa 1966, was from Hull Docks to Healy Mills and our ‘Duchess’ was one of Wakefields finest Dubdees. My experience with the class 5 BR standards, like the one pictured, was mostly with passenger workings between Waterloo and points West. However, I did work several van trains from Southampton docks to Nine Elms goods with them, usually when the Union Castle line boats came in loaded with bananas.

Several years ago now I wrote a piece for the magazine Steam Days, all about working one of these ‘banana’ trains and, rather foolishly, eating green bananas. There’s a shortend version in the archives – ‘Bananas to the Beat’, if you want to read more.

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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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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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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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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