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I particularly recall the tale of a manager who was staying overnight at one of the intermediate stations which was situated at the bottom of a gradient in either direction. During the night an unfitted freight suffered a break away and the errant portion of the train performed a pendulum act up and down each gradient, travelling through the station several times before finally being brought to a stand. In the morning the manager declared he hadn't realised how busy the line was at night!

Or the Portpatrick local which started slipping going up the bank one wet and windy night. The driver said to the fireman that they would have to split the train, to which the fireman replied 'Hae ye got a saw? '. They only had 1 coach on!

Jim

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David L. Smith's other book from the area, 'The Dalmellington Iron Company, its engines and men', is also well worth a read and plenty of stories of the sort of things that went on in the earlier days of railways.

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There is also 'Legends of the G&SWR in LMS days' and the articles he wrote in the G&SWRA Journal. His 'locomotives of the G&SWR' also includes human stories amongst the technical details. Amongst railway authors he is almost alone in making the railwaymen a major part of the story.

Ian.

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Anybody know the origin of the outside framed van body in this photo?

http://cumbrianrailways.zenfolio.com/p328179906/h11f95c0b#h184f9d8d

 

Jim

Jim,

 

It looks like a South Eastern Railway van to me; the external framing and four end posts fit. I'm on holiday away from my books at the moment but I will have a look when I get back. How it ended up so far from home is something of a mystery, though.

 

Steve

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I hadn't searched that far south, Steve. Thanks for illuminating us.

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Now back home, I've had a look at Southern Wagons vol. 3 and I was wrong.  Although the four end-posts are right for the SER, their covered goods had three panels either side of the door rather than the two on this vehicle.  Back to the drawing board!

 

Steve

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I hope I am not treading on other people's toes but there are some 150 pictures, mostly the Port Road, on a Dumfries and Galloway web site.

 

Regards

 

Ray

 

No toes were harmed as far as I can see!  A brilliant set there.

 

This is one of my highlights:

 

https://www.facebook.com/treelap/photos/a.203421403097237.35982.193943477378363/354131788026197/?type=1&theater

 

There are so many to choose from, the BR Type 2 presiding over demolition in '68 is quite something too.

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Good

 

Yes what a treasure trove.

 

An ex LMS 2p in '62/63 still with and Early Emblem and the old Caley 0-6-0 out at Newton Stewart with E/E and overhead warning flashes.

 

It is all quite confusing we have super countryside here that has hardly changed - except the trains are no longer there.

...

 

There are so many to choose from, the BR Type 2 presiding over demolition in '68 is quite something too.

Regards

 

Ray

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It really is poignant.  The pictures evoke such a timeless quality that it feels horribly cruel that the network was literally wiped from the map.

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I hope I am not treading on other people's toes but there are some 150 pictures, mostly the Port Road, on a Dumfries and Galloway web site.

 

Regards

 

Ray

Thank you so much Ray,

I speak as the son of a driver on the G&SWR lines in the forties and fifties, based first at Dumfries (where I was born!) and then Hurlford!

He drove on the 'Port Road' often and I was lucky enough to have a couple of footplate trips with him as a very young lad who found the traverse of the viaduct over 'The Big Water of Fleet' very scary when looking down over the cab doors of a Black5! Thanks for re-awakening the memories,

Kind regards,

Jock.

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Hello Jock

 

I bet - very exciting.   You can still walk across the viaduct - and we do.

..I was lucky enough to have a couple of footplate trips with him as a very young lad who found the traverse of the viaduct over 'The Big Water of Fleet' very scary when looking down over the cab doors of a Black5! ..
..!

Now can you imagine a young lad being allowed anywhere near the cab of a working engine - sadly no

 

Regards

 

Ray

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Thank you Silver Sidelines for the Galloway picture find.  Very useful find of the platform side of Whithorn Station which provides me with more info for my 4mm model based on this station.  

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Well said 'ardbealach', my problem is that I haven't yet found anyone on RMweb yet who can point me to images of Barleith Halt, adjacent to Hurlford shed 67B - I've got the couple from Scotrail that don't show the station itself, and the one in the LMS Engine Sheds volume on the G&SWR that has a partial view of it. I alighted there regularly while living next to it in the fifties, but for some reason (mental block or dementia?), I can't for the life of me remember what the end with access from the road bridge looks like!

Sorry to hi-Jack your thread, hope it doesn't make you too Mad McCann!

Kind regards,

Jock.

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Or the Portpatrick local which started slipping going up the bank one wet and windy night. The driver said to the fireman that they would have to split the train, to which the fireman replied 'Hae ye got a saw? '. They only had 1 coach on!

Jim

..also the single coach last train home from Mauchline to Catrine on a Saturday night with everyone on board the worse for wear including the crew who stopped for a blow up..one coach remember..and fell asleep to reawaken Sunday morning with the fire all but out..

or the 'foreign' driver when he reported to the signalman that the lamp must have blown out as the distant was unlit was told that it hadn't had a  'gless' in it for years!

 

Great book even if some of the stories are probably just that.

 

Dave.

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Evening All,

Sorry Mr McCann sir, but I'm just catching up after a period of illness.

Dave(vital spark), I do agree with you about some of the stories in what was a most entertaining read, some of them would appear to be just that as you say. Any stories about 'Mad McCann are almost certainly true as my father actually knew the man. Dad was not allowed to join up for WW2, and he was promoted in view of his age and fitness whilst at Dumfries shed. The war accelerated his career and he regularly did the Carlisle to Glasgow road, via the Nith valley, as well as the Beattock one. He often also did the Carlisle to Stranraer duty (see my post above!). It has suddenly occurred to me that, as the son of a driver on the ex-G&SWR lines throughout the forties and fifties, all his 'stories' are liable to die with me! Dad passed away over eight years ago, and I have terminal cancer so perhaps I should commit as many as possible to paper before the inevitable. Such tales as when shunting a train load of bombs out of Ardeer with a Black5, when the shunter managed to wrongly set the points and waved him on, only for several of the wagons to break through the buffers on the short spur he had been wrongly placed in, tipping their load down the bank and into a field. Dad thought it hilarious that the shunter, obviously convinced that there was about to be an almighty explosion, ran for a couple of miles at a speed that Chris Chataway finally reached some years later. He obviously hadn't had the training that my father had undergone at the munitions plant as he didn't realise that they were fairly harmless without fuses! Just one of many - perhaps I should get them to the G&SWR association of which I'm a member!

Hope this thread continues to develop, and the modeller whose brainchild it is, manages to gather the modelling information he requires!

Kind regards,

Jock

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..also the single coach last train home from Mauchline to Catrine on a Saturday night with everyone on board the worse for wear including the crew who stopped for a blow up..one coach remember..and fell asleep to reawaken Sunday morning with the fire all but out..

or the 'foreign' driver when he reported to the signalman that the lamp must have blown out as the distant was unlit was told that it hadn't had a 'gless' in it for years!

 

Great book even if some of the stories are probably just that.

 

Dave.

By the way Dave (vitalspark), I was lucky enough to see the specially converted 'Puffer' that was used as the 'Vital Spark' in the filming of the 'Tales of Para Handy' TV series. Pretty obvious as the rear hold bulkhead had been cut away to facilitate filming within the confined space of the iconic Clyde steamer! It was laid up in Troon harbour when I paid a nostalgic visit there in the early seventies! I believe the vessel still exists and according to 'Wiki', stands on the slipway at Crinan, awaiting restorations.

Great choice of nickname for your avatar!

Kind regards,

Jock.

Edited by Jock67B

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Hello Jock.

 

Sorry to hear of your situation - apologies if I've overlooked that in the past.

 

It would be great if you could record some of your father's stories.  Or of operating practices around Dumfries etc.  I would be particularly interested if there is anything about Kirkcudbright, but anything would be of benefit.  On here might be a start?

 

Regards,

26power

.

Evening All,
Sorry Mr McCann sir, but I'm just catching up after a period of illness.
Dave(vital spark), I do agree with you about some of the stories in what was a most entertaining read, some of them would appear to be just that as you say. Any stories about 'Mad McCann are almost certainly true as my father actually knew the man. Dad was not allowed to join up for WW2, and he was promoted in view of his age and fitness whilst at Dumfries shed. The war accelerated his career and he regularly did the Carlisle to Glasgow road, via the Nith valley, as well as the Beattock one. He often also did the Carlisle to Stranraer duty (see my post above!). It has suddenly occurred to me that, as the son of a driver on the ex-G&SWR lines throughout the forties and fifties, all his 'stories' are liable to die with me! Dad passed away over eight years ago, and I have terminal cancer so perhaps I should commit as many as possible to paper before the inevitable. Such tales as when shunting a train load of bombs out of Ardeer with a Black5, when the shunter managed to wrongly set the points and waved him on, only for several of the wagons to break through the buffers on the short spur he had been wrongly placed in, tipping their load down the bank and into a field. Dad thought it hilarious that the shunter, obviously convinced that there was about to be an almighty explosion, ran for a couple of miles at a speed that Chris Chataway finally reached some years later. He obviously hadn't had the training that my father had undergone at the munitions plant as he didn't realise that they were fairly harmless without fuses! Just one of many - perhaps I should get them to the G&SWR association of which I'm a member!
Hope this thread continues to develop, and the modeller whose brainchild it is, manages to gather the modelling information he requires!
Kind regards,
Jock

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Evening All,

Sorry Mr McCann sir, but I'm just catching up after a period of illness.

Dave(vital spark), I do agree with you about some of the stories in what was a most entertaining read, some of them would appear to be just that as you say. Any stories about 'Mad McCann are almost certainly true as my father actually knew the man. Dad was not allowed to join up for WW2, and he was promoted in view of his age and fitness whilst at Dumfries shed. The war accelerated his career and he regularly did the Carlisle to Glasgow road, via the Nith valley, as well as the Beattock one. He often also did the Carlisle to Stranraer duty (see my post above!). It has suddenly occurred to me that, as the son of a driver on the ex-G&SWR lines throughout the forties and fifties, all his 'stories' are liable to die with me! Dad passed away over eight years ago, and I have terminal cancer so perhaps I should commit as many as possible to paper before the inevitable. Such tales as when shunting a train load of bombs out of Ardeer with a Black5, when the shunter managed to wrongly set the points and waved him on, only for several of the wagons to break through the buffers on the short spur he had been wrongly placed in, tipping their load down the bank and into a field. Dad thought it hilarious that the shunter, obviously convinced that there was about to be an almighty explosion, ran for a couple of miles at a speed that Chris Chataway finally reached some years later. He obviously hadn't had the training that my father had undergone at the munitions plant as he didn't realise that they were fairly harmless without fuses! Just one of many - perhaps I should get them to the G&SWR association of which I'm a member!

Hope this thread continues to develop, and the modeller whose brainchild it is, manages to gather the modelling information he requires!

Kind regards,

Jock

Hi Jock,

Good to hear from you again. Yes please for your stories, the Sou West newsletter is alway looking out for relevant stories of the G&SW. Davie Smith di a book on the LMS era as well as his original 'Tales' so some from the BR period would be very interesting.

Regards,

Ian.

PS I'm writing this while having a cup of tea during a break in building a Black 5 which will be 45160 of Ayr shed and sometime driven by the original Mad McCann!

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By the way Dave (vitalspark), I was lucky enough to see the specially converted 'Puffer' that was used as the 'Vital Spark' in the filming of the 'Tales of Para Handy' TV series. Pretty obvious as the rear hold bulkhead had been cut away to facilitate filming within the confined space of the iconic Clyde steamer! It was laid up in Troon harbour when I paid a nostalgic visit there in the early seventies! I believe the vessel still exists and according to 'Wiki', stands on the slipway at Crinan, awaiting restorations.

Great choice of nickname for your avatar!

Kind regards,

Jock.

Thanks for that Jock appreciate your comments.

I am a 'spark' to trade and still at it plus a big fan of the Para handy Tales and their memorable quotes..like Para Handy breaking the news gently to Dan McPhail that he wasn't invited to a wedding that the rest were attending and saying..'put it this way Dan..there are only three wedding invitations and one of them is not for you'..brilliant.

On anther forum I occasionally visit I use the name 'Electric Scot'..Vitalspark had been blagged already!

On things G&SW I agree it is poorly represented in modelling terms which is remarkable as it ticks all the boxes ..dramatic scenery including viaducts..beautiful country stations and goods yards and part from local services the option to run 3 coach trains behind Pacifics..even sleeper services.

It has probably just about to be discovered and about to explode on to the circuit! 

I travelled on the Port road only once as a 10year old from Dumfries to Newton Stewart.

We were staying at Galloway House near Garlieston courtesy of the Glasgow Corporation education dept..residential weeks away were a new thing then and our school linked up with a couple of others and we were all shipped down from the city for some fresh air..

I remember sitting on the crossing gates at Isle of Whithorn..but no trains..when we visited St Ninians.

'Mad McCann' who posted this thread is part of our small group who are currently putting together another large Scottish exhibition layout to follow up Alloa but its based on a location a few miles further north firmly in Caley territory!

Individual members are also building fine scale EM layouts within the club so perhaps mr MMc..you might want a corner allocated to your goodself to recreate the G&SW?

Regarding your post re your health Jock I am sorry to hear of your problems but regardless of this you obviously have much to offer as regards your Dads memoirs.

You do need to jot these things down as they come to you and pass them on to share.

My own dad who passed away in 2010 worked for the mod during the war and was an electrician working on warships usually on the Clyde..patching them up after encounters with the enemy and fitting degaussing equipment etc.

He told me many stories including when they worked round the clock to refit the Ohio one of two new fast Texaco tankers borrowed from the US because they were able to maintain a much higher speed than anything we had here and therefore would hopefully have a better chance with their naval escorts of reaching and  liberating Malta.

They duplicated generation equipment and many other systems on the ship which was its saviour as after taking many hits from ariel attack it eventually limped into Malta on back up power with its cargo of aviation fuel for the Spitfires based there.

The liberation of Malta is a famous story and a film was made of the event but it was great to hear it from someone who was there..there were also many other often hilarious stories as you can imagine but I failed to record most of these and I regret it.

We look forward to more of your dads anecdotes Jock…get scribbling!

 

Dave 

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Thanks Dave,

I hope to be feeling better soon, after a recent large blast of radiotherapy as palliative pain control - sadly it produces some really serious pain for up to four weeks after treatment, and that was two weeks ago. I'm consuming lots of Oramorph at the moment and so very tired much of the time but if Mad McCann is happy, I'll get some of the tales written down when I can.

What a weird coincidence that you should mention the Tanker 'Ohio' as I watched a programme on the History channel only last week about the air defence of Malta, and the said tanker featured heavily, carrying as it did, aviation fuel for the brave souls with their Spitfires that did their utmost to keep the German bombers at bay. What remarkable courage the Merchant Navy crew demonstrated, sailing on what was effectively a huge bomb! Your dad must have been quite some time working on the patch up job, judging by the state it was in when it reached Valetta harbour!

Thank you for the kind words, and thank you too to Ian (I'll definitely try to get something printed for the G&SWR association newsletter) and 26power (member of the Dumfries and District Model Railway Club, town of my birth!).

Kind regards,

Jock.

Edited by Jock67B

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Thanks Dave,

I hope to be feeling better soon, after a recent large blast of radiotherapy as palliative pain control - sadly it produces some really serious pain for up to four weeks after treatment, and that was two weeks ago. I'm consuming lots of Oramorph at the moment and so very tired much of the time but if Mad McCann is happy, I'll get some of the tales written down when I can.

What a weird coincidence that you should mention the Tanker 'Ohio' as I watched a programme on the History channel only last week about the air defence of Malta, and the said tanker featured heavily, carrying as it did, aviation fuel for the brave souls with their Spitfires that did their utmost to keep the German bombers at bay. What remarkable courage the Merchant Navy crew demonstrated, sailing on what was effectively a huge bomb! Your dad must have been quite some time working on the patch up job, judging by the state it was in when it reached Valetta harbour!

Thank you for the kind words, and thank you too to Ian (I'll definitely try to get something printed for the G&SWR association newsletter) and 26power (member of the Dumfries and District Model Railway Club, town of my birth!).

Kind regards,

Jock.

Thanks for all that Jock and I hope you are feeling better soon.

We are exhibiting at SECC this Feb so hope to see you fit and well there.

Dave.

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I've been a poor steward on here of late, lads, so thanks for keeping the fire banked up. Sorry how things have panned out, Jock, but please keep the anecdotes flowing to paper - we all appreciate these personal recollections and they are part of the legend of the route.

Incidentally, folks; the latest True Line from the Caley Association has an extended and rather excellent feature on the PPW. A fair few images from Jack Kernahan on it that I haven't seen before. It's quite intriguing to think that here on the thread we have a near direct connection with the man behind my psuedonym!

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Astonishing in this day and age to think that a line closure would dominate the entire front page of a paper in the way this story does in the photo. I guess it's an indication of the strength of local feeling.

 

Dave.

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