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Phil,

Hello!

Have a look at Dick Manton's Flickr site (Gricer1946), he has 5 good pictures of 75027 - 1 at Oxenholme on the bank engine duty and 4 on the Grassington train when the engine was in good external 'nick'. I've found a nice picture taken by L A Nixon in the October 1968 issue of the RCTS' 'Railway Observer' of the engine on the Grassington duty with the loco in the same condition as the 4 pictures mentioned above, it is dated 21st June 1968. I've also found a photo on the web (by Colin Garratt?) dated 17th June 1968 of the engine on Arnside viaduct with a long freight train heading towards Carnforth but I can't find anything about it working after the railtour on the 28th July 1968.

Regards Tony Jenkinson (from Morecambe)

 

Many thanks Tony

 

Some wonderful photos in there - not only of 75027. And funnily enough theres a shot of her on Grassington branch traffic in the Steam Days I looked at in Smiths today...

 

See she is missing her smokebox door number plate in the Oxenholme picture which fits with the suggestion she subsequently acquired a home made one although 75027/s was rather better than those on the Caprotti 5s at Patricroft

 

Phil

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OK, so in anticipation of the big day tomorrow, here is my only picture contribution on this wonderful thread.

 

Yes - I was there! Albeit nobbut a little lad of 4. I can remember it - but didn't have a camera of my own(!) However...

 

post-16151-0-79797600-1533916443_thumb.jpg

I believe I am on this picture! This is a crummy version of Colin Gifford's take on 11th Aug 1968 and, whilst you can hopefully make out that this is indeed 1T57 at Ribblehead, of more interest to me is the group on the left. My Dad has camera in action (he was taking cine film), whilst my Mum clutches on to my younger brother (no doubt complaining about the cold wind). I appear to be sitting down in front of my Mum!

 

I can just about remember the event. I recall that, after the train had passed, we didn't rush straight back to the car. Asking where Dad had disappeared to, I was advised that he had gone to see the loco take water. My infant mind conjured up an image of someone aiming the bag of the water column at the tender as the loco passed by! I do believe that it did indeed stop at Blea Moor for a top up (anyone confirm that?).

 

I have no recollection of the two 'fives' heading south. Years later I asked my Dad about that and he said that he simply couldn't face it - seeing the very last train, so speak. I think that was one of the realities of 11th August 1968, folks genuinely upset that it really was 'the end'.

 

post-16151-0-78063300-1533917556_thumb.jpg

Of course, no-one could have known then what the ensuing 50 years would hold. A strong sense of history lured me back to Ribblehead 10 years ago this very day for the 40th year recreation of 1T57, which ran on 10th August 2008 (a day early!) and the weather conditions were pretty similar! This is my picture this time - note the wind whipping the Brit's exhaust away, almost exactly as it did in 1968!

 

Tomorrow, I shall venture out to this hallowed ground again. There are likely to be diesels about (fire risk) and it might well rain (ironically) but I want to be there. It's scheduled to be 45690 doing the northbound passage of the viaduct; 70013's mainline ticket has expired but she is scheduled to be in action at the GCR's 'end of steam' event so I'm planning to pop in there in the afternoon … en route to a model celebration of 1938(!) But that is a different story.

Edited by LNER4479
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@ LNER4479

 

Fabulous!

 

I wish I had more pictures (obviously taken by someone else - did we have 'selfies' back then?) with me on them - to prove I was there, so to speak. 

 

Best wishes

Trevor

Edited by Trev52A
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What made it even worse was the notorious "steam ban" imposed by BR on the running of all steam locomotives on its tracks other than Flying Scotsman.  This really rubbed salt into the wounds.  It wasn't until October 1971 that it was lifted.  For more information see:

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/63440-when-was-the-steam-ban-lifted/

 

https://preservedbritishsteamlocomotives.com/steam-on-the-main-line-the-return/

 

Chris Turnbull

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Good morning all on the anniversary of that fateful day, 11th August 1968.  Where has the intervening 50 years gone.   As mentioned before I was on holiday, aged 15 and awaiting the little postcard with my O level results on.   I can't remember whether I went to chapel that morning but I do remember that my mother had arranged for the son of a friend to take me up to Ribblehead, 12 miles away.   He collected me in his van and off we went.   Ribblehead was a seething mass of people and vehicles and after we found somewhere to park we walked up under the viaduct and took our places in that long photo line that appears in the photo that Graham (LNER4479) showed.   To my eyes there seemed to be hundreds of us in that line.   I must appear somewhere in someone's photo.  

 

I did have a camera, an Ilford Sportsman, loaded with 35mm Black and White film but there was a mark on the lens that I couldn't get off.  

 

Eventually Cromwell and it's train appeared and seemed to me to be crawling over the viaduct and not making much effort at all.   The driver, IIRC, gave a half hearted toot on the whistle and the train went on.   No water stop at Blea Moor though.   All in all a bit of an anti climax to me eyes.   I did take some photos but have never printed them.   The negs are somewhere in a packing box in the shed and I really will have to try and find them and scan them.

 

During the wait I'd started chatting to two guys from London who were standing near us.   They said that they were going to head on to Mallerstang to see the southbound working.   After Cromwell had passed they offered to take me with them and so I said goodbye to my lift home and headed off in the other guy's car, going north via Denthead and the coal road towards Garsdale and Ais Gill.    

 

The road over Ais Gill was one long traffic jam with cars parked both sides of the road for what seemed like miles but we managed to get through and ended up at the south end of Birkett Tunnel where the Mallerstang embankment starts above the ruins of Pendragon Castle.

 

The wait seemed to go on for ever.  One of the guys had a Nagra reel to reel tape recorder and the other had his camera.   We positioned ourselves near the end of the cutting near an overbridge.   Whilst we were waiting there were several diversions from the WCML which seemed, to my memories to be hauled by class 50's, or D400's as I knew them. I think at least one was double headed and they went past at a good pace on the final climb to Ais Gill.

 

Finally the two Black Fives burst out of the tunnel and rushed past us, looking more like a pair of mobile volcanos than locomotives. They were really going for it and seemed to be going a lot faster than the class 50's.   David P Morgan's comment about the Mohawk quoted above, "All the implications of the Book of Revelation" comes to mind.   What a sight and sound it was and to my mind was a far more fitting way for steam to go out, than Cromwell's poor effort earlier.  

 

Well, when we had come back down to earth the two guys offered to take me part of the way home and they headed for the M6 junction at Kirby Lonsdale.   The road took us up over Birkett Tunnel and we had a clear view down the upper Eden Valley with the line along the eastern slopes of Wild Boar fell.   My memory is that every banking and cutting was on fire.   What a fitting way to go in a hail of fire and brimstone and not with a whimper.  

 

I got dropped at the motorway junction and then hitch hiked home.   Full of emotions but broken hearted.   For two years I even stopped trainspotting as it had no real interest for me.   I was still interested in transport and even organised a private trolleybus tour of the Bradford system and a tour of Crewe works, but railways were not the same.

 

However the genes cannot be denied and in 1971 I did several long train journeys to attend interviews for University and arranging, what would now be called a gap year. I got bored and started jotting down numbers.  Fortunately that hobby has stayed with me and has often been my solace when I need time to think.   I've kept the hobby up and am very grateful for it. 

 

I'm just glad that I saw proper working steam at an impressionable age and hope that this account is of interest.

 

I have tried to find a detailed log of the southbound run with 44871 and 44781 and the best I can find is one that shows it was late at Appleby but was ahead of time at Ais Gill.  My estimate of it's speed going south would have put it in the mid to high 70's.

 

Two footnotes.

1.   On 11/8/2008 our minister at church started her sermon with the rhetorical question, "I bet that no one here can remember exactly what they were doing 40 years ago today"  My hand shot up and Jane said " I bet it's to do with trains" Yes I replied "I was at Blea Moor photographing the last steam train"

 

2. A few years ago I went into Wakefield to work on my layout and as I got near the club rooms I saw a Black 5 heading north into Westgate with a Scarborough Spa Express. It was 44871 (If that's the one that survived). I turned the car and found a spot just north of the station overlooking the line near Balne Lane.  it was a clear and still summer evening.  The driver made a very good job of the slow and difficult northbound getaway, over the crossover onto the down main. Those first few deep chuffs stirred me to the core and I was suddenly back in 1968. The train gradually gathered speed and I was able to listen to that beautiful music for well over 5 minutes as the train headed towards Outwood.   I realised that I hadn't seen the loco since that fateful day in 1968. Another fabulous memory.

 

Jamie

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Attached, a couple of photos from the fateful day, fifty years ago. Aged sixteen, my dad drove me, my mother and a family friend to Aisgill. Frustration with the number of people milling around soon gave way to a decision to make the pictures about the crowd as much as the train.

 

Wow!  Can you imagine the reaction of Network Rail and the media if everyone was on the tracks like that today?

 

Chris Turnbull

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Don't forget also DaveF's excellent thread which contains many photos of standards on the Grassington branch. You can even play 'guess the colour'!

Can someone point me to a (reliable) source for Standard Class loco liveries?  Std 4 and 5 especially - one day I want to renumber my Mainline 75001 but so many period photos are B&W so it is difficult to tell which locos were green (and some were so filthy it was no clearer in colour).

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Wow!  Can you imagine the reaction of Network Rail and the media if everyone was on the tracks like that today?

 

Chris Turnbull

Hi Chris

 

Looking at the photo there is a geezer in a hi vis vest so I take it he is part of the crowd control and a copper with a megaphone.

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Hi Chris

 

Looking at the photo there is a geezer in a hi vis vest so I take it he is part of the crowd control and a copper with a megaphone.

 

Yes, I saw the chap in the hi-vis but not the copper with the megaphone.  I still can't see this being allowed today though.  Too much trouble for Network Rail I think.

 

Chris Turnbull

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I know exactly what I was doing 50 years ago today, and I was quite happy to be doing it. 

 

Things were bad enough with the end of BR steam, but to charge an extortionate 15 guineas (which was almost as much as my Dad earned in a week back then) for the 11th August trip was (to me anyway) just BR taking the mickey. I'm sure that now (with a healthy dose of rose-tinting and nostalgia) the folk who were on board can look back and believe they had their money's worth. 

 

Like jamie92208, I almost gave up any interest in railways in 1968 (and actually did 12 months later when I read that the hydraulics, which had contributed to the downfall of ex-GWR steam locos, were themselves slated for early withdrawal). 

 

So, on Sunday Aug 11th 1968 I was sitting on the beach at Dawlish for a few hours in an effort to be as far away as I could from the sadness of the last rites. I think I saw the news coverage on the telly later. 

 

 

instead of 44781, 44871 and 70013 - I saw;

 

 

W50865 W50921 W51307 W51322 W51351 W51388 W51571 W51584 W55029 W59474

 

D803 D804 D812 D821 D823 D849 D852 D864 D868 D869 D870

 

D1014 D1016 D1021 D1040 D1049 D1071

 

D1653 D1911 D1926 D1940

 

D6310 D6311 D6334

 

D7044

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Different people, different viewpoints. To me it was the end of an era, and a part of my life for all its, at that time, sixteen years. I couldn't just let it pass without witnessing it and being involved in some way.

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The end for me was the one week North West railrover ticket, ending with the last Sunday at Carnforth shed (photos in link below). No 15 guinea special for me. 1969 was my last year at school, that summer was spent chasing steam at Bickershaw and Walkden. Starting work that September I could now afford trips to London, Grantham, Newcastle etc chasing diesel exotica (Finsbury Park = exotic !!!!!).

 

Around 1972 we moved house, I dismantled my TT layout and went OO in our new house, my trainspotting pals moved away also, so I stopped spotting and photographing (except for a spell in the mid 80's - but everything of interest had gone by 1986).  I had the occasional day out by train (I still do) but the magic has long gone.

 

I've never been without a model railway since 1959 though - the flame lives on a little.

 

Wonderful days never to be repeated.

 

Brit15

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Different people, different viewpoints. To me it was the end of an era, and a part of my life for all its, at that time, sixteen years. I couldn't just let it pass without witnessing it and being involved in some way.

I think I'd already experienced the end of steam around Oxford and the WR as the end of an era that for me began as a three and four year old in my grandfather's signalbox just before he retired. As a teenager I'd misspent  very wisely spent many afternoons and most of my pocket money to experience the final years of steam in my part of the country and I did see the last scheduled steam train out of Paddngton (the 16.15 to Banbury on 11th June 1965 at Bicester) but once the evil Hymeks and slightly less evil Westerns had taken over that did feel like the end of the story. I didn't feel any real ambition to hunt down surviving steam in the north or, with one or two exception, in Europe. I could have experienced steam for several more years abroad or in industry and occasionally did but only really in passing. 

 

I don't think then that any of us could have dared believe that quite so many British steam locos would be preserved 

Edited by Pacific231G
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I had no idea that there was anything happening up in the north west (I was eight), but I do remember sitting down at home to watch the BBC documentary about 4472's non-stop run to Edinburgh in May 1968. I believe it was first shown on 11 August, so at least I know where I was on the fateful day!

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I know exactly what I was doing 50 years ago today, and I was quite happy to be doing it. 

 

Things were bad enough with the end of BR steam, but to charge an extortionate 15 guineas (which was almost as much as my Dad earned in a week back then) for the 11th August trip was (to me anyway) just BR taking the mickey. I'm sure that now (with a healthy dose of rose-tinting and nostalgia) the folk who were on board can look back and believe they had their money's worth. 

 

Like jamie92208, I almost gave up any interest in railways in 1968 (and actually did 12 months later when I read that the hydraulics, which had contributed to the downfall of ex-GWR steam locos, were themselves slated for early withdrawal). 

 

So, on Sunday Aug 11th 1968 I was sitting on the beach at Dawlish for a few hours in an effort to be as far away as I could from the sadness of the last rites. I think I saw the news coverage on the telly later. 

 

 

instead of 44781, 44871 and 70013 - I saw;

 

 

W50865 W50921 W51307 W51322 W51351 W51388 W51571 W51584 W55029 W59474

 

D803 D804 D812 D821 D823 D849 D852 D864 D868 D869 D870

 

D1014 D1016 D1021 D1040 D1049 D1071

 

D1653 D1911 D1926 D1940

 

D6310 D6311 D6334

 

D7044

 

If you told that to the kids today they wouldn't believe you.

 

Mike.

With apologies to The Four Yorkshiremen.

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How many Black fives were operating yesterday, 45212 and 45157 were working the Jacobites, 44871 was on the main line as described above, any more?

 

Jim

45157 ?

 

It’s been resurrected ?

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