1966 and all that fifty years ago stuff – no doubt we’ll be served up a load of old guff about World Cups. 1966 was the year the WCML leccy opened to Liverpool and Manchester and Camberwick Green, (Trumpton), began, on the telly. Barclays Bank introduced the Barclaycard, the spy George Blake escaped from Wormwood Scrubs and ‘Buster’ Edwards was arrested, for his part in the Great Train Robbery, of 1963. Me, I was firing engines, which looked just like this one, over the Pennines, with train loads of coal.
Like many of you I’ve watched, with a mixture of incredulity and amazement, the scenes of the return to operational service of No.60103 Flying Scotsman, the crowds, the suicidal trespassers and the world’s media. A couple of nights ago I watched the BBC’s 30 minute documentary on the subject, could have been worse, but that’s a matter of taste. It took me back to those final days at Wakefield, heading out of Healy Mills Yard, slogging through Calderdale and over Copy Pit; there were no crowds, no media frenzy, just work stained and clanking old war horses like the one above. 50 years ago railways were a very different place, the frenzy was one of destruction, rip it up, shut it down, burn the bridges wreck the stations – and we all know what happened next.
For anyone interested, I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, on many levels, 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: ‘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!