Gresley Observer: the Journal of the Gresley Society

Much of the earlier material published in The Gresley Observer has been condensed into: A Gresley Anthology; edited by Geoffrey Hughes (Editor). The contents of other material in the Gresley Observer follows an analysis of the Anthology.


Silver Link at King's Cross in September 1935. Cover photo
The original recessed draw hook shows up well in this picture, the streamlined casing protruding about If t in front of the buffer beam. The first four engines were built like this, but after a fatal accident at King's Cross due to limited clearance buffering-up to stock, a longer draw hook and buffers were fitted to all later engines. The first four were also subsequently modified.

The Streamline Trains
Memories of the Gresley Streamliners. Eric Neve. 2-9.
Captures the excitement of seeing the 2509 Silver Link departing King's Cross on the 7.10 am to Cambridge on 14 September 1935, and on several other mundane journeys before  the arrival of the return trial run with the Silver Jubilee train on 27 September when Gresley exclaimed "112 mile/h" to waiting press men. Describes the performance of all the streamlined trains, such as the rare engine failures where non-streamlined Pacifics and Atlantics attempted to maintain the exacting schedules.

Locomotive working with the Streamliners. John F. Clay 11-18.
Timekeeping, especially by the Silver Jubilee was excellent. The Coronation was a more difficult task: the train was heavier and the demand for electricity was higher. On some southbound journeys the locomotives ran out of fuel. Author wonders why Kylchap double chimney locomotives were not allocated to this service. The down West Riding Limited was more difficult to schedule.

'The Silver Jubilee' — a day to remember. Michael Joyce 19-20.
Account of journey by 15 years old office boy on up Silver Jubilee from Darlington in 1936.

The anonymous years. David Lowther. 21
Use of streamlined trains post-WW2: rumours of reintroduction of the Silver Jubilee were unfounded. The stock was used, but the restaurant cars were wihdrawn when cooking by electricity was abandoned. The Fife Coast Express was the sole train to exploit the stock. The FO 5.37 Manchester Exchange to Newcastle in August 1962 was one of the final workings. The illus. of 60047 Donovan hauling the Silver Jubilee triplutet restaurant car was cropped such that the relevant cars were lost.

Pacific Locomotive Development
How good were the original Gresley Pacifies? John F. Clay. 25-6.
Before being equipped with long lap valves performance was often poor except in relationship to haulage capacity. Cost of conversion was £150-190 per locomotive and coal consumption was reduced from 50 to 40 lb per mile. It would have been very costly to convert the Raven Pacifics.

Early runs with the original Pacifies. Eric Neve 27
Argues that performance varied with drivers - some failed to work on full regulator. Examines the quality of the drivers and locomotives selected for the exchanges with the Castle class. Argues that overall performance was better than sometimes stated.

Gresley Pacifies and Super-Pacifics. Norman Newsome. 31-5.
Credits Bert Spencer with redesigning the valve gear with long travel valves. Cites Dow's British steam horses (page 110 et seq) as source of excellent descriptions of the high speed test runs and of the inaugural run on the Silver Jubilee.

Examining the piston valves of a 'Castle'. Terry Miller. 35.
Only considers the feasibility of removong, measuring and replacing the piston valves on a Castle: gives no indication as to whether this was done.

The 'Green Arrows'
The early years of the 'Green Arrows'. Eric Neve. 37-40.
Allocations and workings; excellent work on express passenger trains, including on the streamliners; haulage of very large trains during WW2.

Maintenance of the 'Green Arrows' in service. Terry Miller. 41-2.
Smokebox ash was the cause of damage to the vulnerable pin joints in the conjugated valve gear. Excellent boilers, but steaming was damaged when fitted with self-cleaning fireboxes.

Memories of No. 866. Bert Collins. 43
A young, inexperience fireman working an unfitted freight from Ferme Park to Peterborough with Driver [Bill] W. Gilbey of Hornsey on 60866. Gilbey was an ex-Top Shed man and was mentioned in Nocks Locomotives of Sir Nigel Gresley (page 78) when a fireman. Also memories of Joe Holland who was killed in an accident at King's Cross.

Self-cleaning smokeboxes on the V2s. Bill Harvey. 45.
Alterations at suggestion of S.O. Ell improved steaming with self-cleaning screens (alterations to size and position of chimney choke). Improvements to grate suggested by Horace Bussey (ex-MGNN man and District Boiler Foreman),

The 'Green Arrow' derailments. Michael Joyce. 47

LNER Managers have their say
Sir Nigel Gresley: a personal recollection. J.F. Harrison. 51

Salad days in steam. T.C.B. Miller. 59

Recollections of some lesser LNER Locomotives. G.F. Fiennes. 67

LNER Experiences
The driver's story: Charlie Peachey. J.M. Craig . 71

A personal account of 'The Silver Jubilee' trial run. Arthur Taylor. 76

Memories of Colwick. Sid Checkley. 77

The badger's back. Michael Joyce. 83

Some LNER Tank engines
Shunting engines at Colwick. Sid Checkley.  87

N2 footplate memories. Bert Collins. 89

Memories of the King's Cross N2s. F.C. Fowler. 97

The V1 and V3 2-6-2Ts. Eric Neve. 101

© Wild Swan Publications Ltd. and The Gresley Society 1994 Wild Swan Publications Ltd.

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