Backtrack Volume 35 (2021)
Published by Pendragon, Easingwold, YO61 3YS
|A2 Pacific No.60532 Blue Peter
climbs out of Dundee towards the
Tay Bridge with the 12.10 express
freight to Edinburgh Millerhill in
September 1965. (Derek Penney)
|January (Number 345)
On Shed elsewhere in Carlisle. Gavin Morrison. 4-6
Photo-feature of on shed scenes at Upperby and Canal depots (Kingmoor conidered previously): Princess Coronation No. 46225 Duchess of Gloucester (red) on 26 March 1964; two Princess Coronation Pacifics: Nos. 46256 Sir William A. Stanier FRS (very dirty red) and 46235 City of Birmingham (green) wiith many loaded coal wagons and hostel for footplate crews visible on 1 September 1963; Britannia No. 70048 The Territorial Army 1908-1958 suffering from feed water problems; ex-Works Class 5 4-6-0 No. 44906 in fully lined livery on 22 May 1961; Class 4F No. 44081 with snowplough on 6 April 1963; Canal shed with severalltypes of ex-LMS locomotives including Stanier 2-cylinder 2-6-4T No. 42634, a Jinty 3F 0-6-0T, two Fairburn 2-6-4Ts, two Horwich 2-6-0s and two Ivatt Class 4 2-6-0s; A2 class No. 60530 Sayajirao also at Canal at same time as previous 6 April 1963; and Nos. 46256 Sir William A. Stanier FRS (very clean red) at Upperby waiting to haul the RCTS Scottish Lowlander back to Crewe on 26 September 1964
Bruce Laws, .Working at Christmas. 7-12
Illustrations: O4 2-8-0 No. 6365 possibly in late 1930s; O4/8 Nos. 63800 and 63776 at Langwith Junction mpd in 1963; L1 2-6-4T No. 67780 backing stock for Grantham train into platform at Nottingham Victoria on 2 August 1962 (T.J. Edgington); K2/1 No. 61723 in BR lined black livery; Ivatt Class 4 No. 43102 shoing its ugliest features in Peterborough shed yard during 1960s; L1 No. 67758 entering Radcliffe-on-Trent with Nottingham Victoria to Grantham train; up South Yorkshireman powered by V2 No. 60820 in Nottingham Victoria with J39 No. 64832 and J6 No. 64238 on local passenger trains and another V2 No. 60815 on corridor train; L1 No. 67799 in Nottingham Victotori on passenger train in 1959; Les Beet's log book for 1961-2.
Chris Hogg. Paddle steamers in the Firth 13-16.
Illustrations: PS Galatea at speed with dark coal smoke from both funnels; PS Jupiter; PS Duchess of Fife; PS Jeannie Deans in early BR livery; PS Lucy Ashton; PS Minerva in Albert Harbour, Greenock with sailing vessel behind; PS Waverley of 1899
Jim McBride. The end of Company service. 17-22.
Like the following article this is partly a personal view of the railway near his home and a childhood journey to Portrush and a final trip from Carrickfergus to Greenisland at Easter in 1970. The Ulster Transport Authority used the Belfast to Larne railway to convey rock from a quarry at Magheramorne to the site of the M2 motorway which was intended to eliminate railways from the Province (at least Marples was not guilty of using the West Coast Main Line to build the M1). Illustrations mainly of UTA Jeep class 2-6-4T (an attractive variant of the LMS 2-6-4T species, one of which is preserved at Whitehead and used on Irish rail tours): No. 6 at York Road shed, Belfast on 28 May 1969 (colour); No. 4 leaving Whitehead with spoil train on 1 January 1968 alongside Belfast Lough (colour: J.R.L. Currie); No. 56 on spoil train alongside Belfast Lough in summer 1968; No. 4 at Magheramorne during loading operations on 6 May 1967 (George R. Mahon); No. 10 at front and No. 51 at rear between Magheramorne and Ballycarry with loaded spoil train on 16.00 to Greencastle near Oldmill Bay on 22 August 1969 (colour: David Idle); No. 4 leaving Whitehead at rear of 18.05 from Magheramorne on 22 August 1969 (colour: David Idle); unloading stone at Greencastle on 23 August 1969 (colour: David Idle); and No. 4 leaving Whitehead on 18.05 from Magheramorne on 2 July 1969 (colour: David Idle).
Peter Butler. Memories from a Midland main line outing.
Mixturre of a fairly recent trip from Loddington to Matlock with friends (all of whom love the railway) and earlier trips over the same route when steam was the norm abd freight was conveyed in pocket-sized wagons. The more recent trip began by car as far as Kettering where electification was in progress. The train from Kettering stopped at Market Harborough where straightening had altered the position of te platforms. On the approach to Leicester they passed Kilby Bridge where te signal box had been visited on an earlier visite with an approach along the Grand Union Canal. Beyond Leicester, passing Syston he was reminded of journeys to court a young lady who taught at Sileby and had digs in Syston: she later became his wife (this is very much travrel in the style of poet Sean O'Brien). The Red Hill tunnels reminded him that the view of the northern portals are now obscured by tree growth. Change at Nottingham fave time to note the skylight over the circulating area. The train for Matlock left from a point far removed from their arrival (must be feature of stations in places beginning "N"). They paused at Derby where there used to be much to reflect upon an evenually reached Matlock where they were greeted by an Austerity 0-6-0ST. Commend s Ellis of Leicester by Andrew Moore. Illustrations (by author): Kettering station flat milepost; Kilby Bridge signal box on 24 June 1978; Midland Railway cttages at Wigston on 24 June 1978; London Road signal box Leicester on 26 November 1983; fireman's call plunger at London Road Junction; castellated northern portals of Red Hill tunnels in 1903; Beeston station on 26 December 1972; Nottingham Midland station roof above circulating area 0n 2 July 2019.
Stephen G. Abbott. In the wake of Madge Bessemer: a review
of illegal rail closures. Part One. 26-31
Miss Margery (Madge) Bessemer was the person who found a clause in the original Act which led to the Bluebell Line being reopened and provided with a rather unusable tr ain servive until a fur tyhe Act of Pa rliament led to its closure and evantual reopening as a heritage railway: see Gibbins. This article examines train services which have been withdrawn or modified since the 1962 Transport Act and to an extent considers the new breedd of Parliamentart Trains where it is simpler for the railway managemnt to run a bare minimum service rather than to seek a formal closure. It begins with the Washington service in County Durham which used to be a part of the main line into Newcastle, but exists in a sort of limbo where iit has neither been restored to provide extra capacity into Newcastle, nor extended the Metro service out to Washington and possibly the City of Durham. The Mexborough curves provided links betwe3en the Midland Railway and the Great Central Railway, but were removed in 1965, and for a time a replecement bus service had to be provided. But the curve had to be relaid to enable Doncaster to be brought into the cross-country nettwork and to satify the ambitions of the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive. Illustrations: LNER V3 class with train of clerestory coaches at Washington station on 3 August 1948 (W.A. Camwell), Mexborough curves map; Brush Type 4 No. D1574 passing under flyover bridge at Ashendon Junction with a special train for the England versus Scotland schoolboy international football match at Wembley on 3 Apeil 1965 (Tommy Tomalin); former LMS 3FF 0-6-0T No. 47584 on freight on connecting line from Bury Bolton Street to Bury Knowsley Street on 2 February 1963 (Tay Farrell); former LNWR Renown class 4-4-0 No. 5121 Galatea at Spratton on Market Harborough to Northampton service c1928 (L,J. Thompson); Fowler 2-6-4T No. 42353 at Lamport on a Market Harborough to Northampton service; Marylebone-based four car DMU on last train special from Market Harborough to Northampton on 15 August 1981; Leeds area former railway network; Kirkby Stephen with Dales Rail service in 1975
An assortment of LNER A2 Pacifics. Derek Penney. 32-4
Colour photo-feature: Thompson reduction of former magnificant Gresley P2 No. 60503 Lord President to A2/2 on express near Grantham in 1959; A2/3 No. 60519 Honeyway on Haymarket shed in August 1958; Peppercorn class A2 No. 60532 Blue Peter (with double chimney & multiple valve reulator on Dundee engine shed in 1965; No. 60535 Hornets Beauty with single chimney in ex-Works condition leaving Retford on a northbound express; A2/3 No. 60500 Edward Thompson leaving Grantham on a northbound evening express; A2 No. 60530 Sayajirao on 18.15 Glasgow Buchanan Street to Dundee express on Kinbuck bank on 30 August 1965; A2 No. 60533 Happy Knight on up express south of Retford
Topsyturvy at Turvey. 35
Colour photo-feature of accident at Turvey when an 8F 2-8-0 No. 48616 hauling wagons loaded with track panels collided with empty coaching stock on the Bedford to Northampton line on 17 June 1960. The 8F crew lept to safety. The two photogeaphs show cleaning up operations by two steam cranes one of which survives on the KWVR
Mike Fenton. The Calne branch - Part One. 36-41
The Calne branch by G. Tanner (the author had been na clerk in the Calne booking office) started Fenton's interest in the line which KPJ travelled over once during his National Service period at Aldershot. The Calne Ralilway was conceived by C. & T. Harris to ease the problem of supplies which were beyond the abilities of the long abandoned Wilts & Berks Canal. George Harris, son of the pork processor's firm was on the board of the railway. The broad gauge Calne Railway received its Act on 15 May 1860 and opened on 3 November 1863 following more than one inspection by Henry Tyler. Thomas Henly, the chairman of the railway had to travel to Scotlnd to pursuade Tyler to make the third inspection. Motive power in the broad gauge period included the Sun class 6ft 6in single saddle tanks (2-2-2ST), probably incuding Javelin; 2-4-0ST 5ft 0in saddle tanks converted from tender engines and the Metropolitan class of 6ft 0in condensing tanks. Fenton is uncertain about the precise motive power. Some consideration was given to extending to Marlborough, but this would have involved steep gradients and a tunnel. Bus services were run by the Great Western to Marlborough. The Royal Air Force used to provide considereable passenger traffic. Illustrations: Calne station & engine shed c1900; map; steam railmotoor (railcar) No. 21 with vast number of staff at Calne; 850 class 0-6-0ST No. 853 alongside Calne signal box with signalman Arthur Gabb c1910; Calne station c1908 with station master Arthur Wynn Lloyd, milk cans and GWR Milnes-Daimler bus AX 120 on service to Marlborough; steam railmotoor (railcar) No. 19 at Stanley Bridge Halte; advertisement for Calne to Marlborough bus service; G.F. Bird side elevation drawing of 2-2-2ST of rebuilt Sun class; GWR Thornycroft bus AV 5108 in Calne station forecourt on Marlborough High Street service with Driver Johnny Dawes in 1930; C.T. Harris boxes of pork sausages and lard being loaded into Siphon C vans at Calne with Ewart Ponting in picture in late 1920s; 14XX No. 1454 paiunted green at Calne in February 1957 with driver Tom Newman and fireman Fred Weeks photographed by Kenneth Leech
Michael S. Welch. A flash of Southern Electric.
Colour photo-feature with an excellence still to be achieved in the vastly more expensive Southern Way. Photographs taken by John Hayward. 6 PUL No. 3010 on 12.00 Victoria to Brighton passing Battersea Park station on 2 June 1965; 4 SUB No. 4107 on Victoria to Epsom Downs service via Selhurst and rebuilt light Pacific on Surrey Rambler railtour at West Croydon station on 5 June 1966; 6 PUL No. 3041 on Locomotive Club of Great Britain trip to Brighton on 24 April 1966 (leading motor coach was experimental motor coach No. S311001S built by BRCW in 1931 with straight sides and panelling which covered the solebars; Co-Co electric locomotive No. 20002 at Victota on Royal Train to Tattemham Corner on Derby Day 4 June 1956; Brighton Belle Unit No. 3053 on arrival at Brighton on 2 March 1969.
Rob Langham. Coals from Newcastle. Part Two, 44-7.
Part 1 see Volume 34 page 636. In 1901 eight-coupled locomotives were introduced: the T and T1 classes; the former having piston valves, the latter slide, which were foiund to burn less coal. These were intended to haul sixty lloaded hoppers, but could manage more. An experiment conducted at Tyne Dock in 1901 one hauled a load of 1326 tons, 559 yards long. A visit to the USA in 1901 by senior officers led to the introduction of longer train and larger hoppers including the P7 which could carry 20 tons. Modified buffing gear was designed for the P7 hoppers used on rope worked inclines. 12606 wagons of this type were in service at the Grouping. 32-ton and 40-ton hoppers built by external companies were used to move coal from Ashington Colliery to Blyth. In 1903 British coal consumption was estimated at 167 million tons, of which 32 million was for domestic use. The P3 0-6-0 (later J27) was described by Ken Hoole as a large boiler on wheels with the minimum of valves, cylinders and cranks to impart motion. In 1910 the NER moved 38 million tons of coal, more than any other railway (the Midland moved 26.5 million). Raven modified thr 0-8-0 design with a larger boiler and revertted to piston valves and instigated the scheme to electrify between Shildon and Newport, but World War I limited progress. He also introduced the T3 three cylinder 0-8-0. Langham also mentions that Arthur Stamer took control of locomotive during Raven's absence on Governmnet work during WW1 and in that time was involved in the design of the S3 class three-cylinder 4-6-0 and in the Government's quest to standardize locomotive design: see Much ado about nothing, Illustrations: T2 0-8-0 hauling empty P7 20-ton hoppers between Stanley and Annfield Plain in snow (colour painting: Beamish Museum); T1 0-8-0 No. 211`8 (had been sent to France in 1917); Morrison Pit, Annfield Plain showing P6 15 ton and P7 20-ton hoppers c1916; H class 0-4-0T on coal staithe with teemers and strimmers; T2 class 0-8-0 No. 1247; T1 class No. 772 passing Cowton with a down train of coke empties on 15 May 1920 (William Rogerson); electric locomotive No. 4 with a coal train at Aycliffe on 24 August 1923 (William Rogerson); P3 0-6-0 No. 1025; T3 three cylindrer 0-8-0 No. 901 passing Cowton with coal train on 19 June 1920 (William Rogerson)
Steve Leyland. Railway observations from a Selside winter. Part 1
Text is built around train register acquired from Selside signal box covering the period late 1950s/early 1960s when the transition from steam to diesel was about to take place. Illustrations: World War II of thee people on veranda at Selside signal box (signalman, mechanic and lady); Britannia No. 70029 Shooting Star with mineral wagons northg of Horton-in-Ribblesdale with 12.55 Stouron to Carlisle freight on 18 April 1967 (colour: Gavin Morrison); same train as previous at Ribblehead photographer as previous; 9F 2-10-0 No. 92118 on northbound freight passing Selside signal box on 5 August 1967 (Bob Clarke); Jubilee No. 45593 Kolhapur on relief to down Thames-Clyde Express between Selside and Ribblehead on 12 August 1967 (colour: Gavin Morrison); view from cab of A4 No. 60023 Golden Eagle hauling RCTS Three Summits tour from Leeds to Carlisle on 30 June 1963 (colour: Gavin Morrison); former Franco-Crosti 9F No. 92021 climbing towards Ribblehead with 12.55 Stouron to Carlisle freight on 5 August 1967 (colour: Gavin Morrison).
Mike G. Fell. Stoke Station and its Station Masters.
Part Two. 53-9.
Continued from Volume 34. William Woolgarr was the first sstation master at Stoke. He was baptised in Wimbledon in 1815 and joined the NSR as Station Inspector in 1849. Fell describes several legal actions against him following his promotion to station master culminating in his dismissal in 1861. John Hand succeeded him in October 1874. He had been born in Aston near Pipe Gate on 31 March 1844 and was employed by NSR for nearly sixty years as porter, guard and foreman porter. He was appointed station master at Stoke in October 1874.. Arthur Carr Pennington succeeded him on 2 June 1919. He joined the NSR in 1883 and in 1896 became station master at Trentham, having possibly held a similar position at Marchington. On 2 June 1919 he succeeded John Hand at Stoke and retained the position after the Grouping, but became unwell in 1925 and was moved to Trent on 22 May, but died there on 17 August 1925. He was buried at Hanley Cemetry on 20 August 1925. William Arthur Soden (1878-1958) beacme station master at Stoke in 1929. He had joined the LNWR in November 1893; became station master at Shilton on 1 March 1903; then held similar positions at Narborough from 1909 and Bushey from 1912 before moving to Leek and Leek Brook in March 1928. In 1929 he was moved to be station master at Stoke and then moved to Leicester in 1931 and to Carlisle in 1932 where he remained until his death on 6 May 1956. Born 1871; died 1947. Lawrence Palmer Briggs (1871-1947) joined the Midland Railway as a gateboy at Denby on 1 March 1866, and eventually became station master at Melton Mowbray, Lancaster and Trent In 1925 the LMS moved him to Stoke, but on 24 June 1929 he was moved to Nottingham where he retired on 21 July 1934. Charles Fitzherbert Bill (1843-1915) promoted the Leek & Manifold Light Railway and was appointed a Director of the NSR in 1898. He was MP for Leek from 1892 to 1906. Douglas Harold Day (1888-1964) became station master under the LMS. He had joined the Midland Railway at Derby in 1903. He served in 8th King's Irish Hussars during WW1. In 1916 he was commissioned and eventually became a captain in the Royal Engineers. Prior to coming to Stoke he had been station master at Gloucester Eastgate (presumably) from October 1928. He served at Stoke until his retirement in 1962. At Stoke he was followed by Ralph William Masters (1892-1972), who had moved from a similar position in Macclesfield. . Illustrations: Josiah Wedgwood statue facing staion facade with horse drawn cabs; G class 4-4-0 No. 86 leaving Stoke with through working from Derby Midland to Llandudno which included through Great Northern coaches from Grantham in 1910; poster advertisement for through coaches to Blackpool; staff group photograph in LMS period taken betweeen 1924 and 1934;; North Stafford Hotel frontage after restoration on 21 October 1931; poster for North Stafford Hotel featuring Wedgwood black Portland ware vase; C class 0-6-4T LMS No. 2040 in Stoke station (William Henry Whitworth); Platform 1 in BR period; rebuilt Scot No. 46121 Highland Light Infantry, City of Glasgow Regiment on down The Lancastrian on 7 May 1960; station frontage on 16 November 2004 (colour)
Between Swansea Victoria and Pontardulais. John White. 60-1.
Black & white photo-feature: BR Class 5 4-6-0 No. 73036 at Swansea Victoria with 18.25 to Shrewsbury on 19 May 1964; 57XX 0-6-0PT No. 9675 at Gorseinon station on 12.10 from Swansea Victoria on 29 July 1963; BR Class 4 2-6-4T No. 80134 entering Pontardulais wth 14.40 Swansea Victoria to Shrewsbury on 29 July 1963; No. 5609 0-6-2T with sincle coach forming 16.15 service from Swansea Victoria to Pontardulais at Mumbles Road on 16 September 1963; 57XX 0-6-0PT No. 9675 at sand covered Swansea Bay station with 14.40 Swansea Victoria to Shrewsbury on 23 May 1964; BR Class 5 4-6-0 No. 73036 leaving Swansea Victoria on 1 in 40 bank with 18.25 to Shrewsbury on 19 May 1964. (notes use of express headlamps on Shrewsbury services)
Readers' Forum. 62
That sinking feeling. Leonard
Many thanks to Mr. Sadler for the article in the November issue outlining the negotiations between BR and the NCB over mining in South Yorkshire. For someone who lived through the times described, it makes fascinating reading to hear of the wrangling which went on between the two nationalised industries. All that we, the public, were made aware of was that an agreement had been reached. This, from Railway World for August 1972 (doubtless reflecting a BR press release), was typical: "An agreement between British Railways and the National Coal Board has secured the future of Inter-City speeds in the area of the West Riding bounded by Wakefield and Burton Salmon in the north and Mexborough in the south." (The news item then goes on to detail the service alterations that would take place in May 1973.) Mr. Sadler does well to set both nationalised industries in their wider political and economic contexts too.
What the author doesn't mention, possibly because it was not considered relevant to his narrative, is that services had already undergone one diversion, because of the effects of mining subsidence, prior to 1973. The traditio~al route for York-Sheffield express services was down the full length of the S&K (using the article's abbreviations) from Burton Salmon to Wath Road Junction, while Leeds-Sheffield services used the NML (as defined on the map) from Normanton through Cudworth to Wath Road Junction. From October 1968 Leeds-Sheffield services were diverted off the NML and took the West Riding and Grimsby Joint route (WR), ie the former Great Northern Leeds to Doncaster main line, through Wakefield, as far as Moorthorpe, where the WR crossed the S&K. Here they joined the S&K for the journey to Sheffield. From a commercial point-of-view, this had the advantage of now giving Wakefleld passengers through service to Bristol and the West Country as well as to the East Midlands. At Moorthorpe, the 1968 diversions meant upgrading for passenger use (again) the three- quarters-of-a-mile mile spur from South Kirkby Junction which had last seen regular passenger services in World War I. Passenger use of the South Kirkby Junction to Moorthorpe Junction spur has had a chequered history: commenced in July 1879 with the opening of the S&K, it ceased in October 1893. Restarted in May 1903, it ceased again in April 1918, according to David Joy in A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain, Vol.8. lt recommenced, as noted, in October 1968 but stopped again in May 1973 as the article makes clear. Finally, passenger trains returned in October 1982, as our author mentions towards the end of the article, and have stayed, to this day. I wonder, did the NCB contribute towards the 1968 upgrade of this piece of infrastructure or were they as hard-nosed as ever?
Another point that is not made clear in our author's account, I feel, is that the 1973 diversions did not divert (return) all services to all of the NML York-Sheffield Class 1 services did indeed take the line as shown in salmon pink on the map in its entirety. However, rather than return to their pre-October '68 route via Methley and Normanton, Leeds-Sheffield expresses were kept on the WR as far as Wakefleld so as to be able to serve that city. In order to then reach the NML they had to meander around Wakefleld somewhat. The route is described in the caption to the picture on p596. On the map, it involved using the line shown in black just to the right of the words 'Wakefleld Westgate', in order to move from the blue to the salmon pink. After October 1982 and the return of these trains to the WR then the S&K south from Moorthorpe, the 'Wakefleld wander' (to coin a phrase) was eliminated.
After October 1982 the NML, once the mighty Midland Railway's main line to Scotland, was left to wither and die. Local passenger services south of Goose Hill Junction at Normanton had been withdrawn on 1st January 1968, even before the first removal of the expresses, and never returned. As the article says, investment in modernisation was not forthcoming and in 1987, as freight traffic slowly dwindled, the through route south of Cud worth, to Wath Road Junction, was severed. Remaining colliery traffic disappeared in the 1990s and today all that remains is a seven-mile 'long siding' from Crofton, on the outskirts of Wakefleld, to the glassworks at Monk Bretton.
Finally, the article mentions the Newcastle-Bristol 'mail train', which also conveyed sleeping cars and seated accomodation, and which remained on the S&K after May 1973. It is noted that it stopped at Pontefract Baghill to pick up mail traffic. This reminds me that, in connection with this train, a DMU would run from Selby to Pontefract each evening. By the late 1960s, this was the only daily passenger service over the connection from Gascoigne Wood to Milford Junction. At Selby bags of mail would be transferred from the 20.37 Hull-Leeds, itself one of the few loco-hauled trains on this route (because of the volume of mail and parcels which it conveyed), to the DMU for transfer once again at Pontefract to the NE-SW TPO. I have quite a strong memory still of using this connection on a journey with our school railway society, at the end of December 1968, from Hull to Barry no prizes for guessing what we went there for!
That sinking feeling. Stephen G.
Mr. Sadler's article (November) gives the most detailed explanation I have read for the 1970s reroutings of NE-SW trains, which were puzzling at the time. Leeds-Sheffield fast trains were diverted away from the North Midland Line (NML) twice, as from 1 May 1967 they had been routed via the spur from South Kirkby Junction to Moorthorpe presumably to serve Wakefleld, which they continued to do when rerouted via Oakenshaw in 1973. From 7 October 1968 the NML from Goose Hill to Wath Road Junctions was closed to passenger trains, and a few residual services serving Normanton (running thence non-stop to Rotherham) were routed via the Turner's Lane Junction-Calder Bridge Junction spur outside Wakefield. These trains ceased from 2 October 1972, except for an 04.33 departure from Sheffield not withdrawn until 1 March 1976 following statutory closure procedures for the Turner's Lane spur.
The NML from Goose Hiil to Wath Road is a rare example of complete closure of a four track main line; the only remnant is a single line south from Oakenshaw serving a glass factory at Monk Bretton, trains of sand running from Middleton Towers in Norfolk.
From road unto rail. John
Following on from Setphen G. Abbot's letter regarding railbuses, they were part and parcel of the Modernisation Plan of 1955 that covered a variety of such passenger- carrying stock for use that was, for not a few of them, experimental in the sense they were to prove successful or otherwise either in creation or be the saviour of whatever services they found themselves on. Mention of 'bubble cars' is somewhat apposite in regard to the Scottish Region whereby in order to act as a stand-by for the tardy performance of the railbus(es) operating, mainly, the Ayr-Kilmarnock services, Gloucester single unit No. 55000 was sent to Ayr from Reading in the spring of 1967 with us despatching, a swap being necessary, MetCam trailer No.59543.
In passing, I thought at the time, what would that WR depot do with it as it had no such build to use it with although around eight or nine years later some half-a-dozen full MetCam triples followed on from us to Reading. I have no note of the use of No. 55000 in its allotted task but others of its kind followed on in subsequent years to the Scottish Region to augment the formations of other DMU sets.
Book Reviews 62
The Lancashire, Derbyshire & East Coast Railway
Chesterfield to Langwith Junction, the Beighton Branch and Sheffield
District Railway. Chris Booth, Fonthill. 160 pp. Rreviewed by
And for those who look carefully at the spine of this book they will see a figure '1' indicting that this is actually only half of the offering and that, in due course, 'Volume Two will cover the remaining section to Pyewipe Junction, along with the Mansfleld Railway connection'. If a railway never quite managed to 'do what it said on the tin' then it was the LD&EC. Being a late-orner on the railway scene, whilst it certainly served the coalfields of north Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, outlets to salt water in Lancashire or on the Lincolnshire coast remained the stuff of dreams and what it proposed to do in driving its line over the Peak District would have given John Ruskin apoplexy! So Chesterfield to Lincoln it remained and this enthusiastic study covers the western portion of the 'system' from Chesterfield (Market Place) as far east as Langwith Junction.
A lively and well-illustrated opening chapter describes the route of the 'main line' and outlines the history thereof; seek here for information on such diverse topics as the 1948 Stephenson Exhibition at Chesterfield, collieries and colliery branches, the infamous Bolsover Tunnel, passenger services and the eventual closure of the line.
A chapter on the Beighton branch covers more access to collieries and a link up with the Midland 'Old Road' at Beighton. The Sheffield District Railway was a matter of running powers and discreet piece of LDEC track to give access to the City's Pond Street (now Midland?) station. Both these chapters are thoroughly illustrated, the amount of heavy civil engineering required for a late arrival on the railway scene and mining subsidence is apparent and amidst the frequent coal trains exotic services such as the Belper to Cleethorpes holiday special- what route did that take to get on to the Beighton branch? occasionally appear. 'Locos, Depots and Works' is a feast of largely LD&EC and LNER steam whilst the chapter on Signalling gives interesting detail of a number of the larger signal boxes.
The final chapter provides sharp focus to a major civil engineering project undertaken in 1974. Bridge No.37, which carried the LD&EC over the Midland Worksop to Mansfleld near Shirebrook was life-expired and, rather than replace it, it was decided to link the two lines by the construction of a chord line. These works are colourfully illustrated in a series of fine photographs although the picture of a Class 66 diesel en route from Thorsby Colliery to West Burton power station in 2014 is a poignant reminder of how quickly things change!
In no respect is this book a detailed 'academic' study of the line in question but it succeeds as an engaging and enthusiastic look at (part of one of our more obscure and less-considered main line railways.
Railways, ports and resorts of Morecambe Bay including
the Ulverston Canal. Gordon Biddle, Railway & Canal Historical
Society. Softback, 64 pp.Reviewed by DWM *****.
This slim, elegant volume does exactly what would be expected of a publication by the Railway & Canal Historical Society covering, as it does, highways and byways of its nominated area, in this case the north west of 'mainland' Lancashire and that detached part of the county remembered from the Home Service weather forecast as the Furness District. Two of the ports considered, Barrow and Heysham, are self-explanatory and transport enthusiasts will be familiar with Ulverston and its Canal, but Milnthorpe, Greenodd, Penny Bridge and Hest Bank? These lesser-known towns and villages around The Bay represent the period when trade and industry was growing but before the facility of transport by canal or rail was available and coastal shipping remained particularly important.
Commodities such as Coniston copper, haematite, slate and Lakeland wool went out through these small ports whilst coal, for growing towns such as Kendal, along with cloth, corn and oats were imported. Both Greenodd and Penny Bridge were apparently building ships long before the idea caught on at their neighbour, Barrow! The two resorts featured are popular Morecambe and the more genteel Grange-aver-Sands.
The book has a brief introductory chapter with a useful delineation of what actually constitutes a 'port' and a concluding section on crossing the estuaries by the viaducts over the Kent and the Leven. The closed Bela Viaduct, on the Furness Railway's link from Arnside to the West Coast Main Line at Hincaster, features as a splendid double-page photograph. The eight, short chapters of the book conform to pattern. In each there is an outline of developments in each location supported by an excellent collection of photographs historical and contemporary, black and white and colour.
The pictures themselves range from a powerful study, on the cover, of the preserved Flying Scotsman with a little help from Sir Nigel Gresley crossing the viaduct at Arnside, to the canal basin at Ulverston, the shipbreaker's yard at Morecambe, the Morecambe electrics, Furness Railway tenements at Barrow and the boat train leaving Heysham with a Midland 2-4-0 at the head. There is a useful index and a comprehensive bibliography.
In itself the book is an excellent 'primer' to the growth of transport in the area which it covers; it left your reviewer already hoping for an expanded second edition! But in the meantime the current volume comes well recommended and, whilst driving through the 'South Lakeland Peninsulas' on his way to play trains at Ravenglass when we are all back to 'normal', your reviewer is now going to see Greenodd and Penny Bridge in an entirely different light. Shipbuilding and slavery indeed!
Dashing through the snow. David Lawrence. rear cover
43XX No. 6372 with a Barnstaple to Taunton train in early 1963