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jazzer

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  1. Sounds like a great day out . One of the great experiences of life is hammering through West Horndon behind a class 4 tank at 80mph with 11 on. The first loco I ever “cabbed”, aged about 5 was a Stanier tank at Southend Central. Looking forward to seeing how they do at Sheffield Exch. Shame you never went on the pier train though. One of the few electric trains that had any character ( even I liked them )! I hope you went in to see Tiger Smith on the Wall of Death in the Kursaal, or did you spend all or money on the Knock The Lady Out Bed ?
  2. My Geography teacher took us ( that is the school Railway Society ) on a day trip by train to Swindon Works, I can honestly say that that one day taught me more and had a far more enjoyable, and positive effect on my entire life than a whole term of him rattling on about the Great Artesian Basin which hasn’t benefitted me in any way whatsoever. Same goes for a single evening at the Railway Society when we had a talk by another teacher who had been an apprentice at Swindon. That had more motivation on my life than 5 years of Physics, Maths, Biology or Chemistry where I finished knowing almost nothing when I left beyond the very little I knew when I started. I have to conclude that what is wrong with the education system is not enough focus on railways!
  3. I expect if you went back in todays woke gender self identity times you would find that some of the girls don’t, some of the blokes do and the gender- neutrals concoct something on a 3-D printer in the spirit of non compliant independence.
  4. There are some really outstanding layouts on this thread but this one is right up with the best of the best. Anyone who remembers Liverpool St as it was, and the Circle Line round to Kings Cross must surely be bowled over by the way you have captured the atmosphere of it. Superb modelling.
  5. I was being slightly facetious in referring to mileage payments but nevertheless a drivers basic wage of around £9 per week in 1958 was pretty low even by the standards of the time, so overtime or mileage was an important factor. Although some enginemen had absolutely no interest in the job , I think your uncle was typical of the pride the majority took. I have a video of the Buntingford branch and all the old drivers interviewed are exactly the same and express the view that “ the job came first “ , and speak with great pride about it Even the very end of steam we see, in the majority of photographs , drivers still wearing a collar and tie under their overalls. We read of many that would keep an old pair of dirty overalls to oil up then change into a clean pair to take the mainline express out . It is a fascinating side of life which sadly seems to have disappeared.
  6. Your mine of sometimes interesting information has touched on something else now. I have often pondered why Saturday services were a bit slower. It part it would be due to heavier loads but I never thought much about line occupancy which in part it must have been. However its interesting that in 1958 even the top expresses were allowed 90 minutes or more from KX to PN on summer Saturdays. Of course in 1958 the widening and track quadrupling on the Potters Bar-Hadley Wood-Greenwood tunnel section was still not complete and apart from the top expresses and specials there were also on average around 5-6 suburbans, Peterborough, and Cambridge stoppers an hour to be taken through the congested double track section in addition things like the Scotch Goods.. By 1960 , when the new tunnels were open and the quadrupling was complete the summer Saturday non stop times from KX to PN were around 5-7 minutes quicker than 1958. In fact the 1.18 KX Bradford , following the Heart of Midlothian, was by then running on its midweek timing of 80 minutes to PN . As for your uncles Boston men , I am not surprised Boston-KX and back was their proudest duty as it was probably the one with the biggest mileage payment ! 122 miles each way !
  7. Judging by the videos you posted I suppose you envisage yourself in the “support “ group .
  8. Thanks Gilbert. I find these things fascinating and I have learned quite a lot of what Firsby Junction was like, in particular that lower picture shows what seems to be a very big goods shed for a line that apparently didn’t carry much freight so it must have seen a good deal more traffic at on point.. Secondly I had no idea that a weekday evening service to Cleethorpes would be loaded to 11 bogies plus vans, I would have thought 8 or 9. For a B1 to take something possibly we’ll in excess of 350 tons from KX to PN in an hour and 31 minutes, is an outstanding performance for a loco of that size and (presumably ) the KX crew as far as PN, only 11 minutes behind the best Pacific times. If there were thirteen coaches on a summer Saturday the train would probably be around 400 tons of more yet was still only allowed 91 minutes for the 76 miles to PN The thing that most surprised me was that although the weekday and Sunday trains were shown in the timetable as Buffet car trains the busy Summer Saturday version is shown as Second class only but no Buffet car! Rather surprisingly the 13 coach Saturday version of the train is only allowed a 4 minute stop at Firsby which hardly seems long enough to stop then pull forward half a train length then stop again, although in those days the public timetable and working timetable were often different things. The Sunday train though was back to a 7 stop .
  9. According to Wikipedia all three platforms were 220 yards long , which would be about 12 coaches, if that is the correct length. You would know better than me the make composition of the Cleethorpes express in 1958 but I doubt whether it would be more than 8or 9 coaches which would comfortably fit in a 220yards platform. The station was said to be at its peak in the 1920’s . So I wonder whether either the platforms were lengthened at some stage (possibly WW2) or train lengths shortened as traffic dropped off , and as in so many other cases nobody told the time tabling side, so nothing was changed. Interestingly the 1960 timetable seems to allow a few extra minutes ( usually 4 or 5 ) for trains stopping at Huntingdon but as the station has been substantially rebuilt since then we don’t know the reason. The only certainty in all this is that we are all quite mad in discussing why a train stopped for a certain time at a long since closed station 62 years ago !
  10. That’s a bit harsh Clive. I am sure he was referring to Sir William Stanier’s lovely 6P5F 4-6-0’s, although the video may have inspired those of lower moral standing to think of Fowler’s Patriot 45519 “Lady Godiva “
  11. I agree. In addition, to your points the first ones were designed and built under the very strict costs constraints of WW2 and had to operate on the poor quality coal of the era. Of course it has to be remembered that the B17’ s also got a bit rough when the mileage increased. I think the rough riding aspect of the B1’s probably got a a bit exaggerated. A two cylinder 4-6-0 is always likely to be more uncomfortable than a 3 cylinder 4-6-0.
  12. Even among the Down trains the Cleethorpes seems to have had a longer stop than most . So back to my first point if If was a genuine operational reason that was so significant that it was written into the daily time table what was it ? I can understand a few passengers wanting the Skeggey connection but that would only need the branch train to be held. I presume any news papers would go on the later express or perhaps a morning newspaper train. As you said it was a slower pace of life then and it just intrigues me what would require a long stop at that time of the evening? We will never know of course but it’s just part of the railway operation that fascinates me.
  13. I had overlooked the Skegness connection , but I think we will never know the real answer. However I’ve checked the connections an curiously both the Cleethorpes Express and the Skeggy connection were both timed to arrive at 7.04 and leave at 7.10 so waiting for connections wouldn’t be the reason. However , whatever the reason was it still doesn’t explain the other long stops on the journey, especially when one considers something like the ACE was only allowed five minutes at Salisbury to take on 4000 gallons of water, detach a coach and have a wheel tapper do his work. Life certainly was a slower pace in the 1950’s but so was management. The BTC was known to be top heavy in bureaucracy and Sir Brian Robertson was a military man rather than either a railway man or an economist and it was , of course only when Beeching came along that the railways began to change the outdated practices designed for a previous era including timetables. I actually wanted to go onto the railways doing timetables when I left school but with hindsight I’m glad I didn’t ! However, none of this detracts from my original point that B1’s were great looking, super locos .
  14. As I big fan of the B1’s the really is nothing more to ask as far as I am concerned, except perhaps a time machine. Few random thoughts though that I hope will be of interest to some. The B1’ s were normally allowed 10 minutes longer non stop KX- Peterborough than the best Pacific timings ( 90 minutes against 80 minutes over the 76.25 miles) . I seem to recall reading somewhere that a B1 could match a Pacific as far as Hatfield or Hitchin but the Pacific’s were far better after that. After a six minute stop at PN this train still had another 81 miles to go would take almost another two and half hours to get to Cleethorpes , calling at Spalding , Boston, Firsby , Alford, Louth and Grimsby and would spend a total of almost half an hour in station time on top of the six minutes it had already spent in Peterborough, thus adding around 35 minutes to actual travelling time. What would it be carrying for a dead-and-alive place like Firsby, for example , that would require a six minute stop ? I wonder whether these long stops are a bit like some of the long stops on parts of the Southern Region for example, where time was allowed decades earlier to load/ unload things like milk churns but it didn’t occur to anyone to take them out of the timetable when no longer necessary. Anyway , the loco and stock in the picture seems very likely to have been the return of the 6.40am Grimsby - KX Buffet car express, and if so a round trip of 308 miles in a day is pretty good utilisation for a narrow fire box 4-6-0.
  15. Tommy Emmanuel - Blue Moon - YouTube Sorry the video doesnt seem to be embedding . Worth googling if you are interested . he plays all four parts, drums bass, rhythm and lead on one guitar amazing
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