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The spots we spotted at


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Throughout the 60/70's and early 80's and probably for many years before this there were particular locations we all visited and as groups of teenagers enjoyed watching the power go by. Big stations like Kings X platform 8 (north end) or the West end of Temple Meads were always busy.Have readers got memories of the slightly more off beat locations we did as it would be interesting to see just how many there were!

 

for starters

 

"Old Oak Pill Box" - we all sat on a pill box in the triangle of lines between the GW main line and the Park Royal line, a tube line ran underneath and the North london line was just behind us , very busy spot!

 

Hitchin station did not welcome us "spotters" like many stations at the time , so we all congrgated at the "shed". This was a precarious wooden bike shed just South of the station on the main line on the Down side. Often 10 of us or more spent hours there watching the deltics go past

 

any more spots to share?

 

NR www.leightonlogs.org

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Eastleigh for me in the mid 1970s.

 

A healthy mix of EMUs and DEMUs on the mainline, inter-regional passenger Liverpool/Manchester/Newcastle to Bournemouth, freight to/from Eastleigh yard, container trains to Millbrook and Southampton Maritime, tank wagons from Fawley and stone trains to Botley.

 

A walk along Campbell Road to peer at whatever was visible on Eastleigh Shed through the chain link perimeter fencing.

 

Plus during the school summer holiday if you got the day right (Tuesdays when I regularly visited I believe) you could get an escorted visit in the afternoon around Eastleigh Works.

 

All thoroughly enjoyed with your mates and accompanied by jam sandwiches, a bag of crisps and a tin of warm coke.

 

Happy memories.

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My Dad's back garden.

 

Just 50 yards from the Sleaford-Skegness line.

 

Not Crewe or Reading I know, but in the early 1960s there were a steady procession of iron ore trains to/from Frodingham, and on Summer weekends there were up to 15 excursions to Skegness or Mablethorpe.

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First or Second Slip, between Llanelli and Pwll, or the bridge next to Llandeilo Junction 'box. In those days (late '60s/early '70s) there was a steady procession of freight trains, and a sparse passenger service. The last time I was in the vicinity, the passenger service seemed to have a half-hourly frequency, but freight was non-existent.

Later (1975/6), it would be the embankment of the old Midland line at Narroways Junction, at the bottom of Ashley Down bank; the last summer of the Hymeks (1975), then the swansong of the Westerns.

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Leaning our bikes up against the low concrete wall at the bottom of Railway Terrace in Rugby, just north of the station, or if we were really brave, sitting on top of the blue brick wall that was just a few feet away from the old Down Goods Loop...

 

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Or just wandering around the huge island platform trying to take it all in with my Dad's Kodak Instamatic...

 

post-7638-0-69745800-1343208596_thumb.jpg

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50s and early 60s - Tamworth

 

Loads of cross-country passenger and freight on high level. All those fast ex-Euston expresses on the low level (and some clanky LNWR 7fs!)

 

Keith

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Reading General - west end of No.5 where it was cut back and the pilot line crossed through to the line out of No.7 bay and the east end of No.5 where you could see the Southern as well, ok if the numbers were clean! And round to reading West to see what is nowadays called the 'Cross Country' service with a Bulleid Light Pacific then walk back to the General doing the shed on the way.

 

Then get a bit more adventurous (and save a bit of pocket money) and off to Basingstoke to take post on top of that big galvanised steel bin on the east end of the Down Slow platform - a big day out (until one started bunking London sheds).

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manchester piccadilly platform 9 york south end of platforms and the end of saddleworth viaduct for me summer saturday specails from yorks to northwales class 40s on a rake of mark ones with paeks and the odd deltic on the peninnes fantastic stufft

oh and out the windows of saddleworth school especialy during maths with mr needham who ran the school rail club used to stop the lesson when the 13.05 from lime street mustered a Deltic

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Absolutely with you on the Rugby locations but that was much later when I was a PSI at the TA Centre. My well-spent youth was on either LeicesterRoad bridge overlooking the south end of Nuneaton TV, down on the old marshaling yard alongside the avoiding line or perched on a bike in Weddy fields. When I got around a bit more then on a Brute at the Nuneaton end of BNS or on the bridge at Kingsbury Junction with TMS on the trannie

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Evenings and school lunch breaks spent at Uphill Junction, west of Weston-super-Mare 1975-77,

we kept a note of passing times, type of train and headcodes displayed.

I have recently found some of my old notebooks.

 

cheers

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Oldham Clegg Street 1949 or 50....L&Y 0-6-0 Saddletank with British Railways on its tank hauling a mixed goods, L&Y 3F 0-6-0s shunting in the yard above the station, Fowler and Stanier 2-6-4T's on passenger work on the Oldham Loop through the adjacent Central Station, Fowler 0-8-0 also in yard, and Fowler 2-6-2T with LMS on sides simmering on the 'Delph Donkey'. Very parocial.

 

Alighting in Oldham Bay at Greenfield and looking at the newly painted Fowler 2-6-2T. Royal Scots, Jubilees, Black Fives, Crabs, Fowler 0-8-0s on long coal trains passing the through platforms. 4½d in old money childrens return ticket.

 

York and all things (well mostly) ex LNER with all the Gresley and Peppercorn Pacifics, B16's and whatever. Even saw an early Deltic turn (Alycidon) when they were brandnew.

 

Kings Cross with all one would have expected in 1960 plus Thompson Pacifics, my fav's at the time.

 

Chinley Station, a delightful location and on Co-op Bridge with Stanier 2-8-0s labouring up the 1 in 90.

 

Newton (Hyde) in early 1950s steam days with express passenger trains in teak and blood & custard, C13 4-4-2Ts and J10's etc on local passenger, the mighty GC 2-8-0s on endless trains of coal.

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Acton Main Line for me. The island platform was better because we got a decent view of the cross-London freights arriving at the east end of the yard, powered in 1958/59 by the first Class 20s. Another viewpoint was the hard standing alongside Acton House, a block of flats. There were railings designed to prevent access to the gently sloping cutting alongside platform 1 but I was a skinny kid in those days!

 

My grandparents lived in Barry. Their house overlooked the Vale of Glamorgan line which runs in cutting on the other side or the road but the better vista by far was of the Barry Island branch and its constant procession of excursions.

 

Chris

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In the early Sixties, for me it was Number 8 Platform at Bletchley Station where my Fathers Office was located. If not there, I was on the Station Pilot 47500 / 47521 or D3795 / D3796. The Shedmaster was non too pleased, but the Station Master was ok about it!!

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I come from Ipswich but when I was a schoolboy in the early 90's my parents and I used to have a weeks holiday in york most years and the one place I can remember was always under the bridge at holgate. Back then there used to be half a dozen people there most evenings and the area was only protected by 1 metal railing at waist height. The barrier didnt even go round past what I assume were once fuel tank sidings so if you wanted you could quite easily go down onto the ballast - not that anyone ever did. Me and my Dad would be there most evenings after our days out.

For day trips from home a tour of London stations, a trip down to Reading or across to Derby were the more regular jaunts during the long summer holidays.

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Earliest spotting location - when I was about 8 years old (summer 1961), between Chalkwell and Leigh on Sea on the LTS line where a very convenient footpath runs between the railway and the seafront. My parents would relax & look out to sea, while I faced inland to watch the procession of lots of lovely 2-6-4Ts - anything else was a real surprise, although I think I did see a couple of Black 5s on corridor stock (holiday specials?) and once, a 4F!

1966/67 - Waterloo platform 10; Bulleids, Standard 4s & 5s - and yet more 2-6-4Ts!

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In Romford at the end of Junction Road, off Eastern Road.

 

Up the ramp to the footbridge and stand on the wall holding the railings. This was 1958-1962 area steam then changeover to diesel. I was 8 in 1958. Then I discovered 'plane spotting and went there less often, then girls - even less often!

 

We saw Britannias on the Liverpool St. to Norwich services, "Footballers", "Antelopes" and then Class 40, 37, 47, 15, 20 in green.

 

Happy days! :)

 

Edit: Google map link didn't work, omitted.

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1950s - East Leake (Great Central) and Barkston

 

Early 1960s - Grantham, Derby or wherever was near where I was sailing.

 

Later 1960s - Harrogate Stray - I could just see the line from my bedroom. Also York, Dent, Skipton

 

Also anywhere on my flickr site.

 

David

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Behind Bletchley signal box in the late 60's until BR put a fence up to stop us getting round there, in fact my first memory is of a class 40 at Bletchley and a DMU coming from Oxford before the concrete flyover was built or at least finished and used. The disused engine shed was still south of the station then. After this, our father started taking us to a bridge over the WCML on the road between Old Bradwell and Loughton, it was known to us as Loughton bridge. We went most Friday evenings in the summer and usually spotted 20 trains in an hour. In those days, the bridge was in the middle of no where and few cars came past. Today, it is in the middle of Milton Keynes and carries the V4 across the WCML and is very busy. There's nowhere to stop now, and nothing much worth watching anyway. Some Friday evenings, Father would take us down to Euston on the old AM10 stopping service from Wolverton. In those days, they did an evening ticket (after 4) for 25p return adult and 12.5p return for a child. Once at Euston, we would either run round to Euston Square and get the Hammersmith and City line (It was just part of the Metropolitan line then) to Paddington or Royal Oak to see some Westerns, or occasionally we would walk down to Kings Cross to see some Deltics. I always preferred Paddington myself, and was lucky enough to cab 1073 one evening just before it ran out light after the train it had arrived with left the platform. The screaming tin boxes out of Euston were always such a let down after a couple of hours at Paddington, but I always had a soft spot for 87's, probably because I remember them being built. Happy days, much missed.

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South end of P3 at Preston. Sitting on the frame and binoculars resting on the ladder of the signal for P3a trying to ID the class of sparky , 87, 86 or 81-85, coming in from the south, or the relative excitement of a 37 or Peak on the summer Saturday Sheffield-Blackpool.

 

 

Cheers,

Mick

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Cambridge - Chesterton Junction. Also the Cattle Market/south end of the station, as I went to the High School just over the way on Hills road.

Many summer evenings, taken to the ECML by my Grandad. Offord, Sandy, Abbotts Ripton, Holme etc.

Day trips to Peterboro North, Bletchley, (sometimes going on to Oxford for the remaining steam ride to Banbury),

Bike rides to Huntingdon, Sandy.

 

Stewart

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Various London termini using the power of Travelcard in the late 80s, the aforementioned P1 at KX definately being a haunt, St Pancras in it's 'Goth gloom', plus old favourites like Stratford and Acton Mainline, plus the lure of bunking the likes of Old Oak Common, racing 50s and Veps between Waterloo and Clapham...

 

Occasional day trips away for the likes of open days, or random long distance trips to try and cop some distant power such as London-Edinburgh-Glasgow-London as a day trip...

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