Tag Archives: Swansea Mails

Yes we have no bananas

45596millblkwhitThere were a few Jubilees allocated to Farnley Jct., when I signed on there as a cleaner, in 1962; No.45708 Resolution, No.45695 Minotaur,  and No.45581 Bihar & Orrisa, painted in a shade of Apple green, not the usual Brunswick, carried by her sisters. Strangely, the coach behind the engine, in this photograph, is in a shade of apple green and cream and carries the wording ‘West Highland Line’,  which isn’t quite where it was taken. The location is alongside the Worth, adjacent to Ingrow Mill,   a scene which, sadly, no longer exists, like No.45581 Bihar & Orissa. No.45596 Bahamas, on the other hand, is now well on the way to  a return to traffic; after many years out of service as an ‘exhibit’.

I have vague memories of a very clean No.45596 Bahamas turning up at Farnley Jct., possibly from working the Swansea – York mails, which was a turn the Farnley Jubilees, and crews, worked from Leeds City Station to Stockport. I’m not sure if the diagram took the engine beyond Stockport, but that was where the Farnley crew finished their bit of the working. It was on the Swansea – York mails that, No.45695 Minotaur, came to grief one night in 1962, she ploughed into a herd of cattle – yours truly got the job of cleaning the remains from the undersides and middle motion, not a nice way to start your day I can tell you.

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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Postman Pat?

34039mails

Two of the depots I worked at had mail train duties on the roster, Farnley Junction men worked the Leeds – Stockport section of the York – Swansea Mails and at Nine Elms they worked the 21.20 Weymouth Mails, between Waterloo and Southampton. I never fired on the York – Swansea Mails but, I did, from time to time, clean the engines which worked the train. The 21.20 Weymouth Mails is a very different story and one which will be told, in full, later this year.

Some mail trains, also known, by the traveling public, as milk trains, were late night departures that crawled through the darkened countryside from one, dimly-lit, one eyed station to the next. Each stop being accompanied by the loading and unloading of barrows filled with mail bags and or milk churns, often both, before doors slammed, whistles blew, and the whole circus chugged off to the next performance 15 or 20 miles further down the line.

One such train took me on my first ever trip to London, without adult supervision. The train left Leeds City Station at 22.15, if I remember, though it might have been a little later than that, and arrived in London St.Pancras around 6 ish the next morning. There was a special excursion ticket available on this train which, at the time, made it the cheapest way to do a round trip Leeds to London. It gave you a whole day to bash round the London sheds before setting off home and falling asleep as you chugged along, at a leisurely  pace, ‘back up t’ north’

I’m sure that today, if 3 or 4 fourteen year old boys were to take an overnight train from Leeds to London and spend the following day trespassing on railway property, the parents of said boys would be charged with child abuse and the kids put in care – hey ho!

Scanned from one of my slides, the photograph shows the TPO pulling out of Loughborough Central Station, on the Great Central Railway, sometime prior to the completion of the twin track project. The locomotive, Ex-SR  West Country Class 4-6-2 No.34039 Boscastle, is an engine I worked on many times, and, in all probability, on a mail train.

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

 

Please like & share:
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