Tag Archives: Tyneside

The tiny tank engine

This tiny little Ex-NER  H Class 0-4-0, No.1310, is photographed at Moor Road, at the end of the Balm Road branch, on the Middleton Railway. Designed by T W Wordsell in 1888 twenty-four were built, nineteen at Gateshead and the rest at Darlington with the last one being built in 1923 by the LNER. No 1310 was constructed in 1891 withdrawn in 1931 and sold to Robert Frazer & Sons. No.1310 was then sold to Pelaw Main Collieries and became part of the NCB in 1949, who renumbered her 63. In 1965, No.1310 was bought by the Steam Power Trust, and has been at the Middleton Railway pretty much ever since.

I know from my stats that these blogs have been viewed in over 130 countries and that over a ten day period, last month, every single one of them was seen by someone, or some group, in South Korea, which was odd. I will still be taking photographs and my portfolio can be seen here:  https://www.picfair.com/users/dropgrate

I will still be continuing to write; the last three parts of “In Memory”, my footplate memoire, will be appearing in 2019, with Part III planned for February and Parts IV and V at roughly 2 or 3 month intervals. Part II is available now, in print or as an ebook, at:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Memory-Part-II-David-Wilson/dp/1731324022/

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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Only a minor leak

Today’s photo from the NYMR’s autumn gala  shows Ex-NER 0-6-0  Class P3, LNER Class J27, No.2392 / BR No.65894 with a pretty decent freight working including a fish van, milk tank, cattle wagon, oil tank, and a narrow gauge engine on a flat wagon, in the train. No.65894  is doing her best to recreate steam’s final days  in the North-East with steam oozing everywhere from the front end.

Before you ask – I have no idea what the significance of the Blue Star is. However, there will be more from the NYMR gala later this week;  and a reminder that the first part of my memories of life on the footplate in the 1960s is now available, in print, or as an Ebook, which at £1.99 has to be a bargin.

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

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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100 not out

Fresh from overhaul, and 100 years old in November, Ex-NER T2, later LNER Q6, No.63395 is waiting for the road before making a run up the line, light engine, to Darnholme and back. This was just the second day moving under her own steam since the completion of her 10 year overhaul. In a few days time she will be heading to the Severn Valley Railway to be a part of their Autumn gala, returning in time to star in the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s own autumn gala at the end of this month. Where she will be joined by the Severn Valley Railway ‘heavy goods engine’ 2-8-0 No. 2857, also 100 years old.

No.63395 is a Vincent Raven development of a design by Wilson Worsdell, the designer of the original T class 0-8-0 for the North Eastern Railway. One hundred and twenty of the T2 / Q6s were built between 1913 and 1921 and they survived more or less unaltered until the very end of BR steam, No.63395 was withdrawn in September 1967. When so few locomotives of the former LNER companies survived the end of steam it is a near miracle that one of them was an 0-8-0 goods engine with its origins in World War 1.

Some of you might be interested to know that my book, Railway Tales, about my own footplate work during the last years of BR steam, is now available as an ebook here’s the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Railway-Tales-C-D-Wilson-ebook/dp/B07H38XV1V/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536155603&sr=1-2&keywords=railway+tales+ebook

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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Sunny day train to Sunniside

Andrews House Station on the Tanfield Railway – it might look old, with its stone walls and flagged platform edges but, it was constructed between 1987 and 1989 by the Tanfield Railway. The locomotive, on the other hand, was built in 1911, by Hawthorn Leslie at their Forth Banks Works in Newcastle. She was supplied new to Keighley Gasworks, where she was given the No.2, which she retains.

The wooden bodied Victorian coaches really do give you some idea of what it was like to travel to work or to the shops over one of the colliery railways. One of these colliery railways was close by the Tanfield Railway; the South Shields, Marsden, and Whitburn Colliery Railway, known to many as the ‘Marsden Rattler’. Originally open for the conveyance of miners, coal and spoil, by popular demand it began carrying paying passengers, ‘officially’, in 1888 and was still running as late as 1953.

Some of you might be interested to know that my book, Railway Tales, about my own footplate work during the last years of BR steam, is now available as an ebook here’s the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Railway-Tales-C-D-Wilson-ebook/dp/B07H38XV1V/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536155603&sr=1-2&keywords=railway+tales+ebook

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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Coach window

The East Coast Main Line, well sort of. All the ingredients are there Ex-NER fixtures and fittings, an Ex-LNER A4, 1950s rolling stock and it does go to the coast. It could almost be the Elizabethan streaking south through Northumberland. This isn’t the only fantasy though, as this particular location is to be found in Harry Potter movies and TV series, Heartbeat. It is the view from the window of a poll winning bus service too; The four times daily, route 840 from Leeds to Whitby, which won the title of Britain’s most scenic route earlier this year.

The idea that a line from Leeds to Whitby via York and Malton might provide a scenic attraction for visitors from around the world seemed strangely absent when the section of line from Rillington Jct to Whitby was closed.  Like the other East Coast line; the one that ran through Staithes, Sandsend, Whitby, Robin Hoods Bay and on to Scarborough which closed in 1965. This route was unquestionably a tricky one in winter when sea mist made visibility poor and the rails wet – but from Easter to October – well that’s a different kettle of fish.

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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Oiling up Puffing Billy

A lovely sunny day at Beamish open air museum, yesterday, and I was there early enough to catch this young footplateman oiling up Puffing Billy; in readiness for her day hauling museum visitors along the ‘Pockerley Waggon Way’. The original Puffing Billy, this one is a ‘replica’, was, in 1813,  the white heat of the technological revolution – the invention of the age. It took 125 years to get from this beam engine, mounted on wooden frames, and driving through a cog mechanism to the 126mph of No.4468 Mallard, in 1938. When compared with the speed of change since 1938, it seems as though progress moved at a snails pace for much of those 125 years.

In the 80 years since Mallard’s epic run, the steam locomotive is no longer powering the railway network, we’ve landed men on the moon, cure folks ailments with gene therapy, enjoy the benefits of a mobile phone network, 60″ plasma screen colour TV, and of course computing, the internet, and on line shopping for every conceivable item from anywhere on the planet.  That’s quite some change in the span of one lifetime. And, of course, it ain’t over yet folks!!

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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Fully Loaded

A lone figure watches as Ex-Keighley Gasworks No.2 pulls out of Andrews House Station with the delayed 11:50 departure for Sunniside, earlier today. Appearances, however, can be very deceptive, all four coaches were packed to the rafters. The railway have been offering ‘kids travel for a quid’ during August and there were a few young families enjoying the day out but, they were well outnumbered by the comfortably retired, on this trip anyway.

What always amazes me is that 50 years have passed since regular steam hauled services finished and yet droves of people turn out, on a Thursday, to go for a trundle behind a steam engine. 50 years ago they couldn’t wait to see the back of them – and now they don’t seem to be able to get enough of them. People are a fickle lot!!

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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Summer Special

July only – enjoy Gricing for less. From July 1st to 31st the Ebook version of Gricing is on special offer at just £3.99

Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children-ebook/dp/B011D1WBWY/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

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The Leg Ends of Industry

This weekend was the Tanfield Railway’s Legends of Industry Gala and, on Sunday morning, the two visiting engines, Ex-CEGB, Dunston Power Station RSH 0-4-0ST No.15 and former NCB No.2 Durham Area, (Lambton Railway),  Hunslet ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST No.60, are side by side at Andrews House Station.

No.15 was built in Newcastle and spent her entire working life there, in Dunston Power Station. No.60 was built in Leeds, in 1948, and was the first new locomotive supplied to the recently created NCB Durham Area No.2. In 1962 she was fitted with a mechanical stoker, removed in 1967,  at the Lambton workshops before she went to Dawdon Colliery; where she remained, until being withdrawn in 1974 and moved, eventually, to the Strathspey Railway at Aviemore.

Between turns, No.60 stands alongside No.20 outside Marley Hill shed; this 1850s engine shed, still doing what it was built for, is having repairs to the gable end and new doors have been fitted, all the work being carried out by the volunteers. Down at East Tanfield a brand new carriage shed is taking shape; and all the new track work associated with it has also been done by the volunteers. And all this is going on whilst organising and running the gala – everything from stringing up the bunting to handing out Flyers, transporting engines across the country, ensuring a goodly supply of tea and buns for the visitors and directing traffic in the car park, (well done to Colin Fish for this little chore).

No.60 arriving at East Tanfield earlier in the week – the NCB lettering on the tanks was just another of those little jobs on the ‘to do list’ before the gala began. TV crews covered the arrival and the gala with a nice little piece being shown on the local news, in which yours truly was to be seen, though I had no idea I was!

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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It’s all gone a bit mono

It’s a very cold and frosty morning at Andrews House Station on the Tanfield Railway and, after taking on coal and water, 0-4-0ST Sir Cecil A Cochrane, is backing down onto her train. It was all so much simpler back then when everything was in black and white;  there was no crime, politicians were honest, schoolboys wore short trousers, National Service made men of us and people stood for the National Anthem. There are a thousand variations on these rose tinted pictures of the past. In many ways this hankering for the ‘good olde days’ is what brings visitors to the railways and puts the coal in the firebox, so to speak.

On the coldest days and bleakest winter mornings people drag themselves from warm comfortable beds, travel for miles, sometimes many miles, wrestle with fire irons,  and / or injectors, shovel coal, take water, (freezing cold water), and face the icy blasts when running bunker first, and all to recreate what you see here – in minute loving detail.

Tanfield with its little industrial engines and tiny wooden bodied coaches may be a far cry from topping Shap, on the footplate of the Duchess, with 12 on but, it is the same spirit of preservation which motivates the volunteers. Several times over the past few days I have been party to discussions about volunteers, how vital they are, how many are ‘gentlemen of a certain age’ and the need to draw in younger volunteers if the presnt levels of activity are to be maintained. And, as part of this discourse, the question of how the transmission of the skills and knowledge, of  more than 150 years  of railway operating practices, had long been the cinderella of preservation.

The generation, of which I am a part, are the last of the BR steam footplatemen – we were firemen to drivers who had been footplatemen during the Great Depression and WWII and they had learned their skills and knowledge from men who worked on the footplate in Victoria’s reign. Unless more effort is put into gathering, recording, and putting to use, these vast reserves of knowledge and skills, they are in danger of being lost – for good, or should that be for bad?

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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