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50 Years since the end of BR Steam!


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@Phil Bullock & Poor Old Bruce

Thank you for pointing this out.

You are correct, of course. This Class 5, if it existed, would not be hauling a revenue-earning train. 

 

It would be nice to establish ​if it actually happened though, as it would still be in steam and pulling a train rather than standing dead in a shed somewhere, which was the distinction I meant. If it was working 'at Outbeck, near Lancaster' would this necessarily imply a Carnforth loco? 

 

Cheers

Trevor

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Hello everyone,

 

Fantastic pictures in this topic.  Thanks to Trevor for starting the topic on RMWeb and to everyone who has posted pictures.  Some of us only have notebooks and memories from 50 years ago.  Edit:  But found a box of old snaps 50 years later!

 

I forgot to do this last Friday, as there was a surfeit of snow in West Staffordshire.  However, perhaps better late than never!

 

Last Weekend of Steam at Buxton - March 1968

 

Fifty years ago, I lived in North East Cheshire and had a bike.  So, on March 2nd, 1968, which was to be the last day of steam operations around Buxton, and as there was only light snow on the ground, I set off over the hill to have a look.  I noted a photograph earlier in the topic of an 8F struggling near Buxworth/Chinley, which might well have been taken around the same date - http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/129814-50-years-since-the-end-of-br-steam/?p=2988940

 

Nowadays, we'd all stay at home, but it was a bright sunny day!

 

Arriving sometime around lunchtime at Buxton shed (then coded 9L), I recorded the following Stanier 8F, 2-8-0s:

 

48336, withdrawn at the side of the shed.

48424, withdrawn under what was left of the shed.  Most of the roof had gone previously.

48442 was shunting in the yard.

48471 left light engine for Stockport (Edgeley, 9B) where it was noted on the following day.

48775 worked a goods on the LNWR viaduct towards Ashbourne (probably a trip to Buxton Higher goods?)

48744 hauled a goods down the Midland line towards Millers Dale junction, which I stupidly followed for a couple of miles.

 

By early afternoon, it was becoming a lot colder; time to consider the climb out of Buxton and then the long 'free-wheel' down towards Disley followed by a few more miles of twisty country lanes.  It was flippin' cold and I was glad to get over the top in fine style and begin the easier descent.  But, not so good, as with hands near frozen to the handlebars, I made a sort of emergency stop on Long Hill (fell off in a lay-by), to get the fingers working properly again!

 

I hope this brings back memories of those happy days for others.

 

All the very best,

John.

 

PS: No damage done to the bike, just bruised leg and elbow, so a trip to 9B, 9F and 9E (Trafford Park, also closed and full of dead Fives and Eights) on the Sunday.  Then back to Skool on the Monday!

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I would just like to side track for a moment.

 

As a product of 1975, 1968 has always been the stuff of stories and pictures to me.

None more so than this thread, back end of 2016, I was discussing various bits of the north west with my father and thought i’d Number up so locos to represent this period (we grew up in Bolton).

Sadly events of 2017 went differently, my father passed in April and the months following I had to handle his estate.

 

I was hoping Hornby would take on the 1968 theme, but it seems to have passed them by, as I’ve been following this thread for months with interest, and finally this weekend I decided to catch up the job that I planned a year ago, with the help of many pictures from here, I thought i’d share some of the results the thread inspired me with..

 

48652, 75048, 45318, 45025 and 45212

 

post-20773-0-65867500-1521386199_thumb.jpeg

 

48652 was one of Bolton’s last 8f’s in mid 1968, it stood out because of its large numbers and snowplough, it was cleaned up for the 27th April MRTS railtour, and continued until June.

post-20773-0-70705300-1521386574_thumb.jpeg

Source loco was 48141 (needs aws batterybox and cylinder on order)Plough is from 45455 (trimmed - see 45318 below). I had to hack 4mm off the pony truck to get the swing without interfering with the plough. I used a white paint pen to pick out the edges of the smokebox number plate.

 

45025 famous for the Belfast Boat Express in its last days, Regular Bolton visitor..

 

 

post-20773-0-20900100-1521386691_thumb.jpeg

From an R3299 trainset with 5156 and 3 coaches, rivet tender from a 48773 model... this set is a bargain at Hattons.. includes 3 superdetailed lms coaches as well as the superdetailed loco. This one has Gibson pony wheels fitted.. the others will follow suit.

post-20773-0-96010700-1521387674_thumb.jpeg

 

 

45318, one of Bolton’s last 5’s and ran to the last day in Aug 1968..

 

 

post-20773-0-56044500-1521386774_thumb.jpeg

 

Source loco was 45455, which donated its plough (trimmed to fit) to 48652 above.

 

75048 Carnforth last 4MTs ...

 

post-20773-0-59824100-1521387037_thumb.jpeg

Source loco was 75062 (it was also a late Carnforth 4MT, but I’ve got one).

 

45212 the last 5,

 

post-20773-0-37667000-1521387110_thumb.jpeg

Took some liberties on this one, the pictures on the site mostly show it unlined, but with red smokebox door, in preservation in 1968 it quickly looked like this with lining.

Source loco was 45253 body, and rivet tender/chassis from 44694.

 

Still got jobs to do, got awsboxes/ cylinders on order, as have a smokebox door handles for one, vac pipes etc... but the thread gave me impetuous to do this... and the wheels ....post-20773-0-43465700-1521387461_thumb.jpeg

 

Cheers guys, back to topic.

Edited by adb968008
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Nice locos there. Bolton shed had a green Standard 5 towards the end - 73014 subject of a Bachman model.

 

 

32-504_1.jpg

 

 

 

I have one, a Hattons bargain a few years ago. I was going to "Patricroftize" her but when I found out she was a Bolton loco and green till her withdrawal in 1967she stayed as is.

 

http://www.railuk.info/members/steam/getsteam.php?row_id=21532

 

I use her on the occasional "enthusiast special" complete with LCGB headcode.

 

Brit15

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Makes me wonder if everyone who worked on steam has now retired, when was the last person who worked on steam still working on the railway? What age could you leave school then? Even then it would be pushing it considering how little was left in the last few years, wouldn't have made much sense starting an apprentice learning how to look after steam locos.

The last of the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) drivers Jimmy Donnelly sadly passed away in the last few days at age 87. Here he is 10 years ago re visiting the flootplate of 186. Picture by Charles Friel.

 

RIP Jimmy. You were a gentleman.

 

post-158-0-40267400-1521393893.jpg

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Nice locos there. Bolton shed had a green Standard 5 towards the end - 73014 subject of a Bachman model.

 

 

32-504_1.jpg

 

 

 

I have one, a Hattons bargain a few years ago. I was going to "Patricroftize" her but when I found out she was a Bolton loco and green till her withdrawal in 1967she stayed as is.

 

http://www.railuk.info/members/steam/getsteam.php?row_id=21532

 

I use her on the occasional "enthusiast special" complete with LCGB headcode.

 

Brit15

Bolton’s fared well with rtr models, 48773, 45377, 44871, 73069, 45156, 44781, 44313, 1189 and the WD in Green are all at some point Bolton residents modelled in rtr form, in the right livery if not the right shed code.

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I would just like to side track for a moment.

 

As a product of 1975, 1968 has always been the stuff of stories and pictures to me.

None more so than this thread, back end of 2016, I was discussing various bits of the north west with my father and thought i’d Number up so locos to represent this period (we grew up in Bolton).

Sadly events of 2017 went differently, my father passed in April and the months following I had to handle his estate.

 

I was hoping Hornby would take on the 1968 theme, but it seems to have passed them by, as I’ve been following this thread for months with interest, and finally this weekend I decided to catch up the job that I planned a year ago, with the help of many pictures from here, I thought i’d share some of the results the thread inspired me with..

 

48652, 75048, 45318, 45025 and 45212

 

attachicon.gif3C295944-82D4-46BA-BF8F-50CD8422FCF0.jpeg

 

48652 was one of Bolton’s last 8f’s in mid 1968, it stood out because of its large numbers and snowplough, it was cleaned up for the 27th April MRTS railtour, and continued until June.

attachicon.gif5D9ED82A-F9F2-4281-942A-15BA1C1ECDD7.jpeg

Source loco was 48141 (needs aws batterybox and cylinder on order)Plough is from 45455 (trimmed - see 45318 below). I had to hack 4mm off the pony truck to get the swing without interfering with the plough. I used a white paint pen to pick out the edges of the smokebox number plate.

 

45025 famous for the Belfast Boat Express in its last days, Regular Bolton visitor..

 

 

attachicon.gifF74377F6-875B-45C8-B1D7-78FF543A3CFF.jpeg

From an R3299 trainset with 5156 and 3 coaches, rivet tender from a 48773 model... this set is a bargain at Hattons.. includes 3 superdetailed lms coaches as well as the superdetailed loco. This one has Gibson pony wheels fitted.. the others will follow suit.

attachicon.gif8CC3E351-1976-4CB1-AD41-7112EA0AC089.jpeg

 

 

45318, one of Bolton’s last 5’s and ran to the last day in Aug 1968..

 

 

attachicon.gif86FA9400-07B8-4B42-8D8C-04E6FD3D2B38.jpeg

 

Source loco was 45455, which donated its plough (trimmed to fit) to 48652 above.

 

75048 Carnforth last 4MTs ...

 

attachicon.gifAA50D04A-A08D-4177-8F6C-93EF07A9902B.jpeg

Source loco was 75062 (it was also a late Carnforth 4MT, but I’ve got one).

 

45212 the last 5,

 

attachicon.gif3263E34F-B86B-46B5-88EB-7EFF4873B8D2.jpeg

Took some liberties on this one, the pictures on the site mostly show it unlined, but with red smokebox door, in preservation in 1968 it quickly looked like this with lining.

Source loco was 45253 body, and rivet tender/chassis from 44694.

 

Still got jobs to do, got awsboxes/ cylinders on order, as have a smokebox door handles for one, vac pipes etc... but the thread gave me impetuous to do this... and the wheels ....attachicon.gifF3AD5A0E-84E7-4706-9628-E6736E39903A.jpeg

 

Cheers guys, back to topic.

 

Brilliant! I'm pleased this thread has been a bit of an inspiration to some modellers, rather than just a chance for some of us 'oldies' to reminiss remmenis​ talk about the 'old days'! The correct size bogie wheels certainly make a difference, don't they? 

 

I've got a couple of '1968' models myself, acquired many years ago before the 50th anniversary was even thought about i.e. 44871 (Hornby) and 73069 (Bachmann).

I've got several other 'Black Fives' - must get round to altering identities to match some of my Final Year photos.

 

Kind regards

Trevor

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I do like the models of 1968. However I would like to share another little story connected with that time 50 years ago.

 

Nearly 10 years ago we had a relatively new young minister at our church. One Sunday she started her sermon with the question."I bet that no one here can tell me exactly what they were doing 40 years ago today. My hand shot up and she said " It must be something to do with train Jamie" I replied " I was at Blea Moor watching the last BR steam train." It was of course 11th August.

 

Jamie

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I've tried to check if this group has been linked to already, but can't see that it has. (If it has already been linked, apologies.)

 

https://www.flickr.com/groups/[email protected]/

 

This is a Flickr group specifically for photos taken in 1968. While it's mostly steam, the description says that pictures of 'modern traction' are equally as welcome, and there are quite a few. 

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I've tried to check if this group has been linked to already, but can't see that it has. (If it has already been linked, apologies.)

 

https://www.flickr.com/groups/[email protected]/

 

This is a Flickr group specifically for photos taken in 1968. While it's mostly steam, the description says that pictures of 'modern traction' are equally as welcome, and there are quite a few. 

 

Good morning, excellent selection of photos; thanks for posting address! Andy

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I've tried to check if this group has been linked to already, but can't see that it has. (If it has already been linked, apologies.)

 

https://www.flickr.com/groups/[email protected]/

 

This is a Flickr group specifically for photos taken in 1968. While it's mostly steam, the description says that pictures of 'modern traction' are equally as welcome, and there are quite a few. 

 

 

Ok, I'll own up - I started the group mainly to garner reference photos for a layout I'd love to get round to making!   :angel:

Edited by 37255
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What about freight trains? They earned revenue, of course. And there certainly were steam-hauled freights running on Saturday 3rd August as well. I don't remember seeing any myself, (certainly didn't photograph any) but the published lists in various magazines over the years, usually in issues commemorating 1968, seem to imply that they had all reached their destinations prior to the exploits of 45212 and 45318 that evening and therefore they don't confuse the issue of the 'last runs'. Unless anyone knows differently? And just which was the final steam-hauled freight?

 

 

 

 

 

I'm replying to my own post here, just to update it. This will not be news to many people, but for completeness it is worth mentioning it would seem that the final steam-hauled freight on BR ran on Saturday 3rd August 1968 - a Heysham-Carnforth van train headed by 75019. This is confirmed by several sources and photographs do appear on a number of sites.

 

Trevor

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2nd August Ive seen many pictures of this (well photographed working from Ulverston to Carnforth) with 75048.. looked in pretty good nick.

 

Michaeldelz's Favorite Flickr photos | Picssr

 

url

 

The World's most recently posted photos of 1968 and carnforth ...

 

(note in the top one and bottom one the smokebox door handle positions... whilst it was listed as the same day, someone's been in the smokebox).

 

 

meanwhile the image of 75019 at Heysham is also dated August 2nd..

Flickriver: Photoset 'BR Steam Pre-1969' by Gricer1946

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There are still four months to go until the actual '50th Anniversary' in August and I think it would be a shame if this thread died the death before then, so here are a few more of mine to try and kick-start it again(!)

 

attachicon.gif (2091a) 70013 nr Guide Bridge station 01-06-68 (T Ermel).jpg

A classic example of bad timing? As we approached Guide Bridge (I am happy to be corrected on the location) an overtaking emu is just about to obscure an EM1 electric loco with what appears to be a coal train heading in the opposite direction. Photographed from the 'Grand Scottish Tour No 5' headed by 70013 on 1st June 1968. At Guide Bridge the 'Brit' would be replaced with another EM1, No E26052 Nestor, for the run through Woodhead Tunnel to Sheffield Victoria and return 

 

attachicon.gif(895a) 45342+44709+45134+D5151 Carnforth 20-7-68 (Trevor Ermel) .jpg

Line up at Carnforth shed on 20th July 1968 comprises 45342, 44709, 45134 and D5151 

 

attachicon.gif(701bS) 44806 Preston 2-8-68 (Trevor Ermel) .jpg

44806 at Preston on 2nd August 1968, looking north. The now-demolished 'East Lancs' side of the station is on the right. The chap on the left appears to be making a tape recording, judging by the lead from his bag to his hand (no, it's not a hair on the negative(!))

 

Any more, anyone?

 

Trevor

Same picture from a different angle appeared earlier in the thread..

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/129814-50-years-since-the-end-of-br-steam/?p=3012924

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There are still four months to go until the actual '50th Anniversary' in August and I think it would be a shame if this thread died the death before then, so here are a few more of mine to try and kick-start it again(!)

 

 

 

I hope it doesn't die a death, I've got some spotting notes to add on the relevant days if that's an acceptable direction for the thread to go in?

 

Mike.

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@adb

I actually took three pics of 44806 on that occasion, but it's only now when I check the original 35mm negs that I can put them in the correct sequence. The top view uploaded earlier today was taken first and it actually shows the train reversing towards me (or possibly standing, prior to doing so), rather than running 'wrong line' through the station.

 

The second one was taken very shortly afterwards, even though the lighting has changed (a passing cloud, presumably) and is shown here. The loco is in reverse gear and is backing away to the south, with the fireman (presumably) looking back along the tender.

 

post-24907-0-85385900-1522705348_thumb.jpg

44806 at Preston on 2nd August 1968

 

The previous photo you refer to was the third one taken (uploaded on 22nd January) and shows the train returning north under the signal gantry, after the sun has come out again. 

 

@Enterprisingwestern

I'm sure we would love to see your notes - this thread is not restricted to photographs. We have already had several interesting anecdotes.

 

Cheers

Trevor

 

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@Enterprisingwestern

I'm sure we would love to see your notes - this thread is not restricted to photographs. We have already had several interesting anecdotes.

 

Cheers

Trevor

 

 

Seconded!

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I just had this pic scanned last month in time to go on the 'This Day In History' thread, but here it is again, on this thread as well:

 

post-24907-0-15851900-1522779090_thumb.jpg

45203 at Manchester Victoria station on 16th March 1968

 

Trevor

 

PS I have to ask - was the 'cut-out' (I think that's what it is) in the steam pipe cover above the cylinder rare on 'Black Fives'? I can't say that I've seen many (or even any) others like it.

 

Edited to pose the question re the steam pipe

Edited by Trev52A
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As I was only 3 at the time(!) I'm afraid that I don't have any 1967 photos etc to add but I am hugely enjoying hose photos that have been posted on this thread so far. However, may I be permitted to highlight that the latest Railway Modeller (out today) does have a Shap 1967 theme due to the presence of two articles written by ... ahem ... your truly :sungum:

 

post-16151-0-13538400-1523548428.jpg

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@adb

I actually took three pics of 44806 on that occasion, but it's only now when I check the original 35mm negs that I can put them in the correct sequence. The top view uploaded earlier today was taken first and it actually shows the train reversing towards me (or possibly standing, prior to doing so), rather than running 'wrong line' through the station.

 

The second one was taken very shortly afterwards, even though the lighting has changed (a passing cloud, presumably) and is shown here. The loco is in reverse gear and is backing away to the south, with the fireman (presumably) looking back along the tender.

 

attachicon.gif(2074a) 44806 Preston 02-08-68 (T Ermel) .jpg

44806 at Preston on 2nd August 1968

 

The previous photo you refer to was the third one taken (uploaded on 22nd January) and shows the train returning north under the signal gantry, after the sun has come out again. 

 

@Enterprisingwestern

I'm sure we would love to see your notes - this thread is not restricted to photographs. We have already had several interesting anecdotes.

 

Cheers

Trevor

 

Hi Trevor,

 

I'm replying to your picture of Stanier Five No. 44806, because I really like this shot and it brings back memories of the night of August 1st, 1968.  I spent a few hours around midnight and the early hours of August 2nd sitting in the cab with the crew and somewhere I have a battered pencil sketch looking along the boiler.  It was scribbled around 2am, whilst 44806 was engaged on station pilot duties.  Later we caught the train up to Carnforth, arriving on shed about 05:30 hours.

 

Memories of Speke Junction in April 1968

 

Unfortunately, some of us only have a few notes from the time and have to try and paint some pictures with words.  Looking back fifty years ago today (the week after Easter in 1968), I see that I went to Speke Junction shed (8C) for the third and last time on 17th April 1968. 

 

On the previous occasions, I'd been accompanied by my school-mate, Peter and the first time was an atrociously cold, damp and foggy day, the 19th February 1968.  We stood at the boarded crossing entrance to the shed for the better part of half an hour, whilst a Black Five struggled to lift its train from Garston Docks around the curve of the triangle (in which the shed was situated) and onwards towards Edge Hill.  Luckily, the photographer, Colin Gifford, was at Edge Hill sorting sidings that day and took a photograph of the locomotive arriving.  It is picture 8, in the album 'Each a Glimpse', 44906 (8A) shrouded in steam in the gloom of the fog-bound reception sidings.

 

I'd only just acquired a Phillips cassette recorder and I think it was the first time I'd ever tried to use it.  Anyway, we heard a locomotive in the fog, somewhere way down to our right beginning the climb from Garston Docks; maybe a mile away?  I turned my new little machine on, but to get the needles to move I had to turn it up to near full.  The engine had started away in the distance (bark . . .  bark . . bark . .  bark . . bark . bark) and then slipped violently to a standstill.

 

Silence in the thick damp fog, then lots of hissing and the driver tries again (bark . . . bark . . . bark . . bark), followed by another bout of terrible slipping.  Silence again and then another repeat performance.  Time and time again the engine attempted to get the train on the move on the gradient.  Every time it was moving the train a little closer towards the lower junction before losing its feet on the greasy rail.  As it approaches the boarded crossing, occasionally we heard the deep bellow of its Stanier hooter, warning shed staff clocking on or off that it's not too far away from the entrance to the shed.

 

Eventually it's upon the curve right by us and the front end of one of Stanier's best pokes out of the swirling thick fog as it creeps towards the crossing.  And then as it drew level with the crossing, the locomotive loses grip on the greasy rails yet again.  The noise was absolutely deafening.  A crescendo of power, with the exhaust rocketing skywards, connecting and coupling rods furiously clanking and flailing, and the six foot driving wheels spinning around right in front of us.  'Hells flippin' bells' happening less than ten feet away!  The needles on the recorder were pushed hard against the stops.  Then, with regulator shut, there was an eerie hissing, groaning and creaking as tons and tons of very hot metal subsided to dead stand.

 

The driver nodded as the heat from the engine surged around us.  More hissing and then another attempt to move the train a little further towards the upper junction on the main line to Edge Hill.  As the tender disappeared into the fog, the train of four wheel vans noisily bounced, squealed, banged and clattered along over the crossing timbers.  After a couple more bouts of slipping the Five eventually made it onto the main line and struggled on towards Liverpool. However, even as the exhaust faded into the distance, it was still making very hard work of the task, leaving us with ears ringing and 50 year  memories.

 

We easily bunked the shed in the fog: 15 Stanier Fives, 7 Eights (four of which were Heaton Mersey's) and 14 Nines (ten of which were withdrawn and all from Birkenhead shed, closed in November 1967).  A surprise on this foggy day was Britannia, 70024, stopped here at Speke in December, when Carlisle Kingmoor was closed and awaiting towing to the breakers' yard.  Speke also had a locomotive dump, a little further away from the shed yard, where another 17 9F 2-10-0s, withdrawn from Birkenhead (8H), Warrington Dallam (8B) and Speke (8C) were rubbing buffers with 14 more Fives and 5 Eights.

 

We returned to Speke on the 9th April, to find many of the Nines had been towed away from the dump and their places taken by more life-expired Fives.  It was surprising to see so many visiting locomotives from Stockport in the running shed on this Tuesday afternoon and 45395 from Carnforth (10A).

 

My last visit was on Wednesday 17th April 1968, with Peter and my old friend Frank, who had borrowed his Dad's motor.  It was a fine sunny day, so we climbed the ashplant, to look down upon 70024 'Vulcan' for the last time and the usual collection of Fives, Eights and Nines. 

 

On the running shed were: 8 Fives, including 44663 (9F) and 45200 (9B), 13 Eights, nine of which were from Heaton Mersey!  plus 7 Nines, including 92077 down from Carnforth (10A).  Lots of withdrawn engines were scattered around and in the dump; 19 Fives, including the heroic 44906 from February, 9 eights and 8 Nines, including the last Crosti-boilered example that I recorded, 92024.  On the February visit there had been six examples of this unusual type of locomotive present.

 

Apparently one of the drivers, gave me a run up and down the yard on 92218 and this was the day upon which Frank took the photograph which I use for my Avatar.  I wish I had that double-breasted reefer styled jacket now, although I'd probably still look a twit in it.

 

Happy Days, More from the last weekend at Stockport and the Belfast Boat Express to come.

 

All the very best,

John.

 

PS: Apologies for tense shifts!

Edit:  Adding this link to an earlier reply I made to an earlier series of Trevor's super photos. in another section of RMweb (mainly so I can remember where it was!) http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/380-on-this-day-in-history/?p=3095080

 

Thanks again Trevor for starting this topic.

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