Tag Archives: WWII

War Effort

One of a batch 90 engines, built by LIMA in 1945, USATC No.5820 was shipped directly to liberated France and eventually became Polish Railways Tr. 203.474. It was said at the time, 1942 – 45, that the American GIs were ‘over sexed, over paid, and over here’. I don’t know about that but, what I do know is that 398 of these American engines were allocated to the ‘Big Four’ with 50 of them going  to the LMS.

Whether the S160s ever worked through Keighley or up the Worth valley I cannot say. The engines which were sent to Britain were shipped to South Wales and taken, intially, to Ebbw Jct. for dispersal to the other members of the Big Four, and some to storage in preparation for the D-day landings. Some of the early arrivals went to Doncaster for completion and running in on the ECML. The LNER eventually had 168 on the books, the GWR 178, and the Southern just 6.

Built to be ‘expendable’ the S160s did have their problems. From a footplateman’s perspective having only one gauge glass, and that of a an unfamiliar type, which was less than 100% reliable, wasn’t a good thing. During the first year of their deployment there were 3 boiler explosions due to low levels of water in the boiler creating a sudden crown sheet collapse; and a GWR fireman was killed in one of them.

To the right of ‘Big Jim’ is Ex-S&DJR  Class 7F 2-8-0 No.53808 an engine which would, almost certainly, have played a role in WWII, on the S&D. During the war a hospital train was stationed at Templecombe, it was kept in a state of readiness to evacuate injured and wounded from the South coast ports to military hospitals. And, when Templecombe itself was bombed, it was used to treat the casualties; five railwaymen and eight passengers died in the attack.

The photo, taken at this year’s K&WVR Winter Gala, shows ‘Big Jim’, banked by Ex-Taff Vale Railway 0-6-2T No.85, pulling away from Keighley with the ‘demo’ goods train.

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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Tea and buns Worth

43924damloopI always knew them as ‘Derby Fours’ and I know some folk called them ‘Duck Sixes’, but one of my old railway pals, an Ex-Manningham fireman, later a driver at Gateshead, always referred to these engines as ‘night fighters’; the reason why escapes me. Sadly, he’s no longer with us so I can’t ask him to refresh my memory. ( If any one reading this knows the answer – please do tell.)

Speaking of ‘night fighters’, during WWII the LMS introduced ‘Iron Rations’ – the iron rations consisted of spoonfuls of tea and sugar for men who were stranded, by enemy air raids, away from their home depots. However, these rations weren’t  a generous offer, in the ‘Dunkirk spirit’,  made by th LMS to their footplate crew – they charged for them and turned a profit; about 300% on the tea and over 1300% on the sugar, which I’m sure left a bad taste. (Source: J A Carter, Chairman, Willesden  LDC 1941, Locomotive Journal)

In the Pullman coaches, behind No.43924, the passengers are, no doubt, enjoying ‘cream teas’ and in somewhat different circumstances, no iron rations for them. I have to admit I’ve enjoyed a ‘cream tea’ myself, on the K&WVR, riding in the ‘Old Gentleman’s coach’ – great fun.

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

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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Arms race

no2tokenexAn odd choice of title, you might think, though there are  signal arms in the foreground and the outstretched arms of driver and signalman in the background. However, there are some rather interesting connections between armaments, the locomotive at the head of the train, No.2, and with the Tanfield railway’s decision to preserve and safeguard the area’s industrial locomotive building history.

No.2, built by Hawthorn Leslie, in 1911, was originally sold to Keighley Gas works, where she remained until around 1940. Just after the outbreak of WWII No.2 was in the employ of the Ministry of Supply and being used  at the Royal Ordnance Factory at Drungans, Kirkcudbrightshire.  Along with Hawthorn Leslie, another of the major locomotive building companies on Tyneside was Armstrong Whitworth who, amongst others, built a substantial number, (327), of Stanier’s Black 5s for the LMS.  Tanfield don’t have any Black 5s but the do have a 1933 vintage Armstrong Whitworth diesel – also numbered 2

Armstrong, had more than just locomotive building in their portfolio they were also major suppliers of ships and armaments. Such was their ‘fame’ in the armaments business, that their breach loading gun re-equipped the British Army after the Crimean War.  The Chairman, Sir W G Armstrong, entertained leading world figures and politicians in his home, with arms and armaments, undoubtedly, on the agenda. His home ‘Cragside’, the first in Britain to be lit entirely by electricity – hydro-electricity at that, is now open to the public.

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

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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50 Sheds of Grey

60103rawten

Old Jack Frost’s cold fingers hold land and water in their grip, as the Country’s “most famous locomotive”, No.60103 Flying Scotsman, runs round her train, at Rawtenstall, on the very edge of the Pennines. This was weekend two of the Flying Circus, sorry, Flying Scotsman spectacular. The ‘great and good’ with their press pack entourage may have departed homewards,  but of devotees there was no shortage, packed trains, crowded platforms, swathes of camera totting photographers all along the lineside – paid testament to that.

There was very much a flavour of the moment, I thought, with this photograph, a bleak scene, in bleak times. At Summerseats, just a few miles down the line, the Christmas floods swept a 200 year old pub away, part of the road through the village is still closed. Flying Scotsman’s wartime austerity paint job gives an all too grim reminder of the current ‘austerity’. The livery may have helped to make  locomotives less visible as a target during WWII, it certainly made Flying Scotsman look a lot more like an industrial product than the work of art she appears – when pictured, in her LNER glory days, hauling the Flying Scotsman.

The balloon water tank, in matching grey, makes an austere accessory to the scene. It reminded me of my first winter on the railway, that of 62/3, a very severe winter as I recall,  when I seemed to spend weeks, keeping braziers burning, to stop the water columns from freezing up at my first SHED 55C.

If you’ve enjoyed my photographs and blog, you might enjoy my book “Gricing: The Real story of the Railway Children”

These are some of the totally unsolicited comments from people who have 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’. – and from another ‘satisfied’ reader’ – ‘ I was given what I believe to be your book called Gricing the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!’

This is the link to my book “Gricing: The Real Story of the Railway Children.  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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