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Westbury was our regular spotting venue from about 1973 through to about 78 when we discovered the joys of bear and girls, particularly the 'triangle' where the Salisbury and Cary lines forked with the avoiding line making up the third side. We had a large field, a lake, a stream you could build dams on and trains on all three sides - bliss.

Jerry

So you were one of those .............kids were you ........

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Wow! I take it you were forever gallantly saving the latter from the former...

 

Oops, that was a bit Freudian - I think I meant bare, or maybe beer!!

 

Jerry

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So you were one of those .............kids were you ........

 

Yep.......still am!

 

Jerry

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But no longer my worry (writing as a former Westbury area railway person)

 

I hope I didn't give you any trouble back then. We did get told to b......r off a few times whist bunking the shed but on the whole I don't think we were too bad.

As a former Westbury man I wonder if yu could shed any light on this http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/32689-warminster-in-the-70s/page__fromsearch__1

 

I was at school in Warminster with Mel Gould and Chris Miles, both their dads were railwaymen at Westbury, Mr Gould in particular I remember seeing regularly driving Westerns, there were a few others but the names escape me now.

 

Jerry

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Incidentally many years ago I bought a vinyl LP, Westerns, Diesel Hydraulics on the western region in 1974. An Argo record in full, glorious stereo !! I still have it,

 

Me too, and I still have mine, though sadly not played it for many years now. Brilliant on full volume! As it wasn't music to them (well, it was to me), god knows what the neighbours thought!

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It's amazing how many old cars there used to be in those days. No, I'm not being daft - I mean cars that were, even then, 10-20 years old. At a quick glance, the Escort MkII just this side of the sideways Viva looks as if it must've been brand new, but virtually everything else looks a lot older. And is that half a Datsun Cherry at the very bottom of the photo?

 

That not a MkII escort, looks too small for that. I'm sure it's a Singer Chamois (sporty Hillman Imp).

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Westbury was our regular spotting venue from about 1973 through to about 78 when we discovered the joys of bear and girls...

And I (wilfully) misread it as bear grylls. Let's not go there.

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That not a MkII escort, looks too small for that. I'm sure it's a Singer Chamois (sporty Hillman Imp).

That made me look a bit closer, and you're almost certainly right. In that case, it pushes the likely date of the photo back at least 5 years, to the very early 70s at the latest - the OP may be able to shed more light - and so my comment about old cars isn't quite so valid.

 

Sorry about that - you may all now return to enjoying the Westerns. I know I am!

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That made me look a bit closer, and you're almost certainly right. In that case, it pushes the likely date of the photo back at least 5 years, to the very early 70s at the latest - the OP may be able to shed more light - and so my comment about old cars isn't quite so valid.

 

Sorry about that - you may all now return to enjoying the Westerns. I know I am!

western with badly parked car is 15th june 1974...

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Well Westerns are the spark that lit my lifetime interest in railways, My great aunt used to take me and my brother to Highbridge station in the 1960s to watch the trains, I went in fear and trepidation as I was terrified of these huge monsters roaring past - especially the big and small red diesels. I used to categorise locos then by their colour, red, blue and green. Guess what the big red ones were!

 

Later in the 1970s I was told an enthralling story by my friend of this class of diesels being phased out by BR, and how awesome they were. Around 1973/4 I started spotting largely to see the remaining 52s- alas the first few including Buccaneer, Princess and Enterprise had already gone. From 73 to the very end, I saw them on almost a daily basis, and could even lying in bed pick out the drone of those mighty Maybachs in the middle of the night. The passage of the Westerns from living breathing monsters to the Swindon dump was my first real education that things constantly change and we are bystanders, powerless to stop progress. There are some poignant moments, especially one gloomy March midweek day in 1975 when I witnessed D1005 hauling stripped sisters D1029 Legionnaire and D1044 Duchess through Temple Meads, en route from Laira to Swindon. Just the previous summer I'd had great memories of seeing the bulk of the class in service, sadly to say our farewells at Swindon in 1975/6. I particularly can remember the sorry state of D1065 and one particular summer day in 1976 with her struggling up Patchway bank as a banker for the Danygraig-Stratford Freightliner with apparently just one engine working.

 

During that period I only had a few haulages with a Western up front, invariably with us window hanging soaking up the noise vibration and diesel fumes. Then of course the end in February 1977, and I can well remember the empty feeling when the Western Tribute rail tour passed through Bristol, in the full knowledge that we would never see a Western in service again.

 

I've only seen a few in preservation, but D1015 when passing through Bristol or the South Hams always provides enough impetus for me to go out and see her. Long may she run, it's extremely evocative seeing and hearing the drama of a 52 in full chat approaching. a memory of a well-spent childhood chasing by far my favourite loco class.

 

Neil

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The Singer Chamois... pushes the likely date of the photo back at least 5 years, to the very early 70s at the latest - the OP may be able to shed more light - and so my comment about old cars isn't quite so valid.
western with badly parked car is 15th june 1974...

Ah - thank you very much for the confirmation!

Edited by Steve K

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western with badly parked car is 15th june 1974...

 

Ah, so how much was the parking ticket back then? ;)

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Another request.

Anyone else recall the westerns on the the westbury-leagrave/wolverton stone workings.

photos most welcome around bletchley/bedford area as some of them at luton have been found.

Westerns i believed run this sevice alongside named 47s for a good 4yrs and D1048 was the last in january 77.but photos seem to be like golddust.

richard.

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Another request.

Anyone else recall the westerns on the the westbury-leagrave/wolverton stone workings.

photos most welcome around bletchley/bedford area as some of them at luton have been found.

Westerns i believed run this sevice alongside named 47s for a good 4yrs and D1048 was the last in january 77.but photos seem to be like golddust.

richard.

Only at the originating end - not quite what you want of course, sorry.

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I saw them several times at Bletchley and Wolverton but alas didn't have a camera at the time. Often saw them at Wolverton from passing AM10 units on the way to Euston. One or two even got as far as Northampton and ran round before departing south again.

 

Western memories can often be triggered off by something else... take Captain Kernow's thread on the Honeybourne line for instance, I can't look at those photographs without thinking of Western Viceroy taking the 1Z28 railtour along the line on it's way from Plymouth to Derby in March '75. I went out to see it that day courtesy of my mate and his Dad in their old Wolseley 1.5, we managed to catch it twice thanks to some spirited driving, first at Cheltenham Racecourse and again between Toddington and Broadway. Although Westerns weren't really that common on the route (at least not on through trains anyway) but 1052 looked right at home and sounded wonderful. They were more common on the southern half of the line during Cheltenham Gold Cup week, dumping their passengers at Racecourse station then taking the empty stock to Toddington or Worcester via Honeybourne, returning south again later in the day. They shared these turns with Hymeks and 47s, but alas I've never seen any evidence of a Warship on the race specials (I live in hope, and apologies for wandering off topic slighty... it's very easy to do when talking about hydraulics!).

 

Come on Dapol, your country needs you!

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Western memories can often be triggered off by something else...

 

Very much so Nidge - talk about the resignalling/change of signalling control on the Salisbury-Exeter line and the connection from Yeovil Pen Mill reminded me of going round there once on a diversion behind a 1000 (I've got the pics somewhere but they didn't come to light in a recent search - I wonder if they might be transparencies?).

 

And that reminds me of another occasion of such diversions when a coach derailed at Taunton blocking most running lines and I shot off to pen Mill (by car) to 'superintend' the running of diversions in liason with the supervisor at the Junction (who basically regulated the single lines on the Salisbury - Exeter). Anyway for reasons not now entirely clear we had to back the first diverted down train out of Pen Mill onto the single line towards Castle Cary and the Old Oak Driver wouldn't move until I'd shown him chapter and verse for such a move in the General Appendix. Not only was he on a 1000 but more than 10 years earlier he had given me my first ever (illegal of course) cab ride in one (D1008 I think) when shunting stock on one of the through London trains at my local branch terminus, and I do have a photo of him on that, back in 1963. And that was the evening I learnt what that 'Tooth On Tooth' test button was really there for ;)

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Briiliant thread!

 

As a former Brummie Wessies like Hymeks and Warships were definitely in the 'exotic' category in the 1960's and 70's. My first Western was 1044 Duchess seen at Barnt Green (about 3 miles north of Blackwell, top of Lickey Incline) on a Saturday on a goods train in about 1970 with my (then) kid brother!

I only ever had 1040 Western Queen for haulage in about 1971 when to round off a memorable day at Worcester (saw 6 Warships which were used for Padd-Worcester/Hereford trains and cabbed Hymek 7000!) we stormed the said Lickey Bank back to BNS on 1M22 - see below!

However, we were treated to a diet of almost a daily Wessie for a long period in the early 1970's with '!M22' (Plymouth-Manchester?) which passed us at Longbridge about 1530 and then returned south after servicing at Saltley about 1900. A couple of the braver of us used to 'bunk off' final lessons at school to see 1M22 and report to the gang which Wessie was on the train so we could decide whether to go out to 'cop' the return, even in the dark!

As mentioned by other correspondents, Reading was a 'hot spot' for Wessies (not Class 52's!) and I saw 66 of the locos with the vast majority seen on 2 trips there. I'm sure I would have 'classed' them but aged 16 ran away to sea in 1974! Hence I missed the final run down and was not really interested in 'train spotting' although I always checked what was on the front when travelling to ports to join ships through the rest of the 70's and 80's!

Never saw a maroon or a green Wessie and our family holidays were to North Devon not to the south of the county so missed out on their 'stamping ground' along the coast which was sort of made up with a period at college in Plymouth in the mid-80's when I saw their replacements in action along the sea walls.

I only have one very poor Instamatic print of 1037, Empress at Exeter which I won't even attempt to scan seeing the excellent images of these iconic locos on this site.

The pulse still races at galas when I hear a Maybach and the excellent videos on this site still make the neck hairs stand up taking me back over 40 years.

Cheers, Andy

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I just had to return to this thread...and add to it,

Growing up in Bristol as a kid, and within cycling distance of the triangle of lines at Patchway/Parkway/Filton Westerns were seen almost every day until the very end. Although I've mentioned in other threads and old incarnations of RMweb the regular Western workings, here they are again. By 1974 passenger turns to South Wales were rare, but the 1C63 arriving at Parkway in the early evening were regular 52 diagrams. They were almost omnipresent in Stoke Gifford yard on Stone trains, growling away before spirited departures on trains of Empty or loaded MSVs to Northampton or Tytherington. The 6M53 St Blazey-Stoke on Trent clay liner had a 52 on it about 50% of the time, as did the return empty working the 6V53. Many other times though they turned up on Passenger trains to/from Birmingham and a plethora of unrecorded (unfortunately) freight workings, with that glorious mix of vacuum braked and unbraked wagon load stock in bauxite grey/rust liveries.

 

Mr Fray Bentos's excellent Flickr site has pics of Westerns around the "Parkway triangle" and their appearance in the past ten years made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. We must have been stood side by side at some point! One shot of one climbing Patchway bank is excellent. I remember that on still summer evenings sat on embankments East of Parkway, you could hear Maybachs approaching up that bank a full five minutes before they broke cover. Fray also has a shot of a Western at what we called "Winterbourne bridge" at a spot where you could legally get almost trackside by climbing an embankment. Seeing Westerns here at point blank range was pretty hair raising. At that particular spot in the summer holidays of 1974/5 we used to get there at 0630 with bottles of tizer and sandwiches and watch the Westerns, hymeks (in 74 at least) peaks, brush 4s etc whizz by. Misspent childhood? Won't have any of it- what is the equivalent memories for kids today?

Edited by Downendian
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Mr Fray Bentos's excellent Flickr site has pics of Westerns around the "Parkway triangle" and their appearance in the past ten years made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. We must have been stood side by side at some point! One shot of one climbing Patchway bank is excellent. I remember that on a still summer evenings sat on embankments East of Parkway, you could hear Maybachs approaching up that bank a full five minutes before they broke cover. Fray also has a shot of a Western at what we called "Winterbourne bridge" at a spot where you could legally get almost trackside by climbing an embankment. Seeing Westerns here at point blank range was pretty hair raising. At that particular spot in the summer holidays of 1974/5 we used to get there at 0630 with bottles of tizer and sandwiches and watch the Westerns, hymeks (in 74 at least) peaks, brush 4s etc whizz by. Misspent childhood? Won't have any of it- what is the equivalent memories for kids today?

 

Ditto all of the above, substituting the 'triangle' at Westbury for that at Patchway. Great memories - I think we must be of an age as they say.

 

Jerry

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Ditto all of the above, substituting the 'triangle' at Westbury for that at Patchway. Great memories - I think we must be of an age as they say.

Jerry

Trouble is I'm even older Jerry when you think I was working at Westbury at that time and you were but a mere stripling :senile:

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we discovered the joys of bear and girls, particularly the 'triangle'

That's DEFINITELY a Freudian slip!!!

Sorry Jerry, I couldn't resist!

 

Thanks everyone for sharing your memories - I lived in either Derby or abroad during these great times, my dad was also very tight and non-supportive of my interest, so while the 'Westerns' were around - I was too young and too poor to go chasing them!

So, my best memory of them is one day when a mate and me set off for the Severn Valley Railway (the class 59 was a recently introduced guest loco!) and we rode behind hydraulics all day. The highlight was one trip top & tailed by Westerns - superb stuff!

Thanks too to Dapol for helping bring them to life again.

John E.

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Paignton station whilst on holiday  in the 60`s-70`s was pure bliss for a young lad.

i can remember walking down the main street with my parents, then asking Dad if i could run back to the station

every time the crossing bell rung .

The smell and sound of any wezzie & warship was just intoxicating.

That lazy exhaust rolling down there body side will never leave me.

Just a little of topic though, can any one remember Warship D829 Magpie

with the sticker above the nameplate ,from the television program of the same name.

I remember standing at the side of Magpie, looking at the sticker

having seen it only a short time before on the said program.

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