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Simon Lee

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  1. Photos on the various Facebook Pacer groups show the car moved by road today was minus both drivers side and secondmans side windscreens missing, hence the road move. If the Worksop ones move under own power to Booths, will be quite unusual, though back in steam days, l did see a couple of moves into Hull Seven section hauled by "live" steam locos which were then screwed down and left to join the dead locos they had bought with them.
  2. Anyone with an interest in Deltics is likely to have come across Bob, who sadly died suddenly this morning 1/12/2019. Bob worked at the Plant and was a prolific photographer, mainly of Deltics but also of other East Coast traction in the 70s and 80s. He was also very active in the early days of the DPS. Bob was one if lifes good guys. RIP
  3. Mike Higson of the Roundhouse Harrow and Smokebox Kingston shops, was one of the first to write his memoirs,"London Midland Fireman" around the time Steam in the Blood was published, I found both excellent reads. After that there was Mendips Engineman and Footplate over the Mendips by Peter Smith again I enjoyed those very much. Sadly other than footplatemen, there are very few of other grades memories, Harold Gasson became a signalman and that is covered in the latter part of his trilogy "Signalling days", also a signaller in the Manchester area did a book on his experiences.
  4. Interesting that the various German enthusiast FB pages have also had to ask a select few not to speculate on the cause. It's not just an UK trait
  5. Milton had a flow of chalk powder up to the mid 80s this was in 4 wheel French "Nords" as they were known. There was similar traffic to Crewe Gresty Lane (IIRC) end user was Croxton and Garry. Seem to remember an occasional flow of wine to Milton as well and they tried white goods as well once, but it seemed the terminal was destined to be totally under used, at least from a Continental traffic point of view.
  6. At that time we had flows of car windscreens and wine from Italy for Cowley FD via the Train Ferry. Would imagine that is one or the other or both flows. As mentioned above the VIX vans were out of service internationally by the mid 80s, their last work was Groupage from Stratford LIFT to Basle.
  7. Somewhere in my collection are 2 BR publications issues to staff regarding transport of cattle. One entitled "Customers can complain, Cattle can't" is a very comprehensive guide for staff covering the exact detail of movements and a whole host of what to do when, type instructions. I will try to find this and post some images.
  8. Outside Dollands Moor where the 25kv OHL started, the precise point being the country end of Saltwood tunnel,there were signs indicating where the source of the power came from ie 25kv BR or 25kv ET. As there was a finite number of drivers involved, there was no specific trackside notice to remind drivers that the third rail was ending, there was however a large concrete block each side of the line just clear of Continental junction the sole purpose of these being to remove any collector shoes that had not been raised in time before the units passed on to ET infrastructure.
  9. I dont think BR turned against freight as such, it was more a reaction to the changing world with changes in living habits, external industrial disputes and closures, and the introduction of the 38 ton lorry. I worked in Railfreight from 1981 until I retired in 2015, firstly at Dover on Trainferry ops, then Dollands Moor tunnel ops and finally Doncaster in control for EWS/DB. Early 80s there was a lot of wagon load traffic came from Europe, and was distributed via Speedlink, and then via the local trip networks from the hub yards. Whilst under BR as a whole costs were, l guess, not fully realised or allocated to a particular flow of traffic. Having said that locally costs in the Dover /Ashford were kept on quite a tight reign. If you consider say household coal, we had a small flow from Midlands/South Wales to Ashford, but as more and more people went over to central heating that flow naturally came to an end. In the last months the biggest user was the army for the camps at Ashford and Lydd. Other strange flows were 2 wagons of shoes every couple of months from Italy to Leeds. Wagons of furniture Yugoslavia to Canterbury, Aylesbury and Wellingborough. In the run up to shadow privatisation a lot of these flows must have been examined for cost/profits and gradually these dropped away and finished. Canterbury for example there was a Senior Railman who shunted the freight services and did the the unit shunts/attachments. The booking clerk took care of the paperwork, when NSE came along their services were suddenly only available at a price. As another example of loss of traffic, once the 38 ton lorry became firmly established Transfesa, who sent lots of wagons of perishables both to Paddock Wood and to North of England fruit markets, started to tranship wagons into artics at the French ports, for final delivery to the markets in the UK that saved both money for them and time, depending on the destination. Hope the above is of some interest/use.
  10. Just back from holiday hence delayed reply. Thinking back it may have been early summer 1990, BR ran specials steam hauled between Crewe and Holyhead. On one of the days a gentleman videoing from a door window was killed after coming into contact with a bridge somewhere close to the mainland side of the bridge. That was the time when video cameras were the size of a small suitcase. I went on one of the later trips hauled by 60009 masquerading as Osprey, and leaflets were handed to all passengers and stewards were in full window police mode. IIRC there,was a period of bars on droplight windows of the Railtour set owned by Inter City it caused quite a furore at the time. Will look through my files to see if l can find anymore info.
  11. Yes they are pigeon baskets. They were still used in East Yorkshire until the early 80's maybe longer but I had moved on by then. We had on railman who hated the birds, he would always release them under the overall roof at Beverley in the hope that they would not make it home. As well as greyhounds we once had 2 parrots in cages on transfer from a Tyneside pub to a pub in Hull, othey had quite a colourful vocabulary which kept us entertained waiting for the owners to collect them. On the subject of loaded coffins, deceased railwaymen could be bought home by train either FOC or at a reduced rate. Whilst working at Dover we had several bodies bought back from Spain, usually unfortunate souls who had passed away on holiday.
  12. Slight amendment to the previous post, the train was actually 6S73 1053 Dover Town - Mossend, the loco arrived Dover off 6O50 0150 Severn Tunnel Jn to Dover. 6V40 was the 0840 Dover - Acton. I started at Dover in the TOPS in September 1981, and remember producing lists for both services, the S73 having a gross train weight of 1090 tonnes, whereas all 33 hauled trains were 910 tonnes all up.
  13. A few years before your proposed timescale, but gives a flavour of the formation and environment. Chants Ave to the rear of the train, where St Ninians Walk runs alongside the embankment Ella Street coal yard behind the photographer
  14. Interesting concept, I lived next to Top Line in the 60s and 70s. I have long had dreams of modelling the line with the assumption of the Abercrombie plan being carried out after WW2 and Cannon Street taking over from Paragon. What sort of time period are you looking at ?
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