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Western memorys


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With all the input from members and enthisiasts helping Dapol produce what could be the western model we have all been waiting for, i call and ask members and enthusiasts to come out of the cupboards and tell us your memorys and pics of this wonderfull beast and give us a well much read.

So please lets here your storys and memorys of a muched class.

richard

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I, like many of you on this forum, will be looking forward to the release of the Dapol class 52, i remember spending 12 hours on the end of the platform at Reading on a summer saturday with notebook in hand recording sightings of these wonderful locomotives, it was not unusual to sight 45-50 of the class during the course of the day.

One of my favourite times spent chasing the "Wessies" were family holidays spent at Looe in Cornwall, my late father worked for BR at the time and i had free travel facilities, most of the time was spent away from mum & dad and my brothers as i travelled to Liskeard everyday to catch the first train which rolled in with a 52 0n the front !

I use to get to know a few of the drivers over the years and if the right one to ask was on duty i travelled on a service which departed Penzance about 2pm, the desination, i think, was Birmingham which was always booked for a pair to Plymouth where one would come off, this was done to save a light engine movement, invariably i would be "up front" to Plymouth !

I had many cab rides over the years on these loco's and they were rough riders to say the least.

I saw every member of the class, the last one being D1060 at Swindon works, unfortunatly i never recorded the Westerns on film as the old man was a tight git and wouldn't or couldn't buy a camera for me as his wages were not that great and mum was a full time housewife.

I could go on and on about my experiences with the class, but, i'll let others tell their own memories.

Brian Hawkins.

 

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One of my earliest spotting outings with my elder brother was to Reading in 1973 whilst the Westerns still held their dominance. As a young spotter anything named was a bit of a bonus; aside from a smattering of Peaks there wasn't much that sated that interest on the north side of the West Midlands at that time so they certainly had a basic allure. The styling always appealed and whenever holding a Midland Railrover card it was almost obligatory to get to New Street to see what was on the 10.XX to Padd on Platform 1, if it was a Western a trip to Leamington or Banbury would start the day's travels in earnest. From a personal perspective they'll always appear under a blue sky in my mind, especially that of 1976 as they roared through their final summer, coinciding with school holidays and excursions to the south coast.

 

Happy days.

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The summer of '76 was indeed a nice one for them to go out on. And Laira very kindly repainted one (number alas slipped from memory but the transparencies of it are somewhere not too far away which became a regular performer on the Westbury - Exeter cement for a little while; marvellous site as it headed past Fairwood Jcn towards the descending sun but an atrociously messy paint job when viewed close up.

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Thanks for your input guys and great pics that bring the memorys back.

Its only fair for me to share my memorys.

Although a western class 52 fanactic since the days i 1st see one i was actually born and throughout my life to date brought up around the eastern regoin,born hitchin/lived just outside biggleswade and now peterborough.

I have regretted since that due to this and brought up in a poor family that i did,nt see all the westerns and like some nether had a camera until 1976.

MY 1st sightings were infact on the midland my 1st D1030 at bedford midland rd 1973 followed by D1023/D1036 and D1045 at bletchley on stone workings in 1974.

It was time for a visit to paddington and on a visit there with the youth club 15th april 74 1033/1046/1066/1029/1044/1015/1001/1009 and 1067 showed up in a space off 4 hrs.

I aimed to step up my visits to london as pocket money of 2 quid got me that far.

My 1st visit to old oak 22/3/75 i saw my 1st hymeks although by then all withdrawn with 7011/7016/7017/7018/7022/7026/7028/7029 and 7093 still there.

Throughout 75/76 my visits to old oak increased and not until 76 i had my 1st western haulage with 1010 paddington-reading and had 1022 back.

I can also remember being called to the scene of the wreck off 1055 at wocester and was not a pretty sight and the 1023 running through my village on the western talisman from kings x.

Going back D1030 started a love affair and D1011 stays with me forever as still see her in mind sitting at swindon all those yrs awaiting the torch and just a few yrs earlier see her on a top link express out of paddington.

memorys.

richard.

post-10094-0-90818400-1331223692.jpg

post-10094-0-69611800-1331223716.jpg

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That's a lovely mixture of stock on the parcels at the Warren- all the Big 4 apart from the GWR.

 

 

That looks to be 4B10, 15.57 (or thereabouts) Bristol - Plymouth parcels, which was booked to convey 2 axle vans.

 

great pictures

 

edit - and if the headcodes are right

1029 is working 1B55 12.30 Padd - Paignton

1057 is working 1B65 13.30 Padd - Penzance

 

cheers

Edited by Rivercider
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Living at various time in Nottingham, Harrogate and Manchester Westerns were exotic beasts.

 

I only ever took one photo of a Western in colour, no idea which one it is, at Taunton on the way home after a student field course which had involved my only journey over what is now the West Somerset Railway.

 

post-5613-0-92536300-1331243325.jpg

 

I remember seeing the next Western, the photo taken by my father, when we were on the way to Appledore in Devon on a family holiday to stay with friends who had converted the old cinema there into a holiday home. It was the summer holiday just after I had completed my first year in the sixth form in Harrogate.

 

post-5613-0-26175900-1331243328.jpg

 

The last photo, again one of Dad's, is of a Western on Bill McAlpine's special. My father was there as he managed the business at Sewstern which did the sectioning of Ellerman Lines for the NRM as well as managing the line owned by Buckminster Estates used by Flying Scotsman and Pendennis Castle (among others) to get from their then base at Market Overton to thejunction with the ECML at High Dyke. So at the time he knew Bill McAlpine and others well.

 

post-5613-0-42081900-1331243330.jpg

 

David

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I like the one of 1029 at Dawlish; as much for the road vehicles as anything else. The driver of the white Viva is anticipating the Smart by a few decades...

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?

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DaveF - regarding the MFYE Western at Taunton, I can narrow it down to four of the six Swindon built machines which carried that livery at the time of your excellent photo, namely 1001, 1008, 1012 and 1016.... checking your shot against other published pics suggests to me it could be 1016, although I'm not 100% certain of it.

 

1002 also wore MFYE but didn't receive this livery until October '69 so we can rule it out. Likewise 1025 can also be ruled out as it did not have headboard clips.

 

HTH

 

;)

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When I were a little lad we went on our summer holiday to Padstow in Cornwall, travelling (wonderfully) by Southern Region steam hauled train from Waterloo. We started to see the new order of diesels when stopping at Exeter St Davids for an engine change, (rebuilt MN or original/rebuilt WC/BB off, always an unrebuilt WC/MN on) when western region expresses would be stopping there also. I had a few Warships (which we were never to travel behind) and Westerns copped in my Ian Allen book.

1964 was the last time we travelled on the ACE, after which it was withdrawn. No more main line steam until preservation days.

We travelled twice more to Cornwall by train, in 1965 and 1966. 1965 saw us go to Exeter from Paddington on a maroon Western hauled train (maroon stock) then over the North Cornwall line by DMU.

1966 involved travelling to Bodmin Road then up the branch to Wadebridge and then Padstow, again by DMU. We had a maroon Western to Exeter then double headed class 22s took the Penzance bound train to drop us off at Bodmin road. On the return trip, one Maroon Western took the train all the way from Bodmin Rd to Paddington.

 

So it was the always steam Southern, where you'd see anything from a newly rebuilt WC to a Beattie well tank, giving way to the new order Western diesel hydraulics. Think we finished the diesel trips without breaking down but those early diesels had a bad press for unreliability. However, at the time I thought that technically, a twin engined loco with the intriguing Maybach "tunnel" engines where the crankshaft bearings were bigger than the crankshaft, was fascinating engineering, even if they had displaced those beautiful Great Western express locos.

 

That was it for rail journyings to Cornwall until the days of railtours but that's another story.

 

I'd "spotted" various Westerns, Warships, Hymeks and 22s but I can't now from my saved notebooks work out which Westerns we actually travelled behind. But they were quite an experience, with their high-revving engines, different from the low revving Sultzer 47s and English Electric powered locos that I would become familiar with in my early commuting days.

 

Had one last run behind a Western in 1971 coming back from a trip to Oxford. I didn't have much interest in railways then due to cars and so on, and steam had gone and not yet started to come back for railtours. However, I picked it up again in the mid 1970s when I saw several 52s on their last days near Cranmore. This was on a rail tour to the East Somerset railway. The train had been pulled by a 31 but near Cranmore we had a chance of being pulled by a 52 for the last bit of the journey. Umfortunately, the railtour organisers couldn't fit their home-made head board on the Western so that loco was turned down - sadly, because it would have been a good chance for a last run.

 

But the best time was the early to mid sixties when the WR were still pushing the hydraulic concept hard. So, if you remember listening to "Teen Scene" or "Light Night Extra" on your transistor radio, the early Western era will bring back 1965 or thereabouts, with steam sadly just about gone. I await my Maroon Dapol loco with interest.

 

Bill

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My first ride behind a Western was 13 July 1965, D1000 Western Enterprise herself, then in desert sand, from Kemble to Swindon, then D1028 Western Hussar Swindon to Bath Spa. We were on holiday in the Cotswolds, and my elder brother and I wanted to "do" the Somerset & Dorset. For the record Bath Green Park to Evercreech Jcn was 80096 & 76057 returned us to Bath. D1063 Western Monitor took us to Swindon & D7001 home to Kemble - a journey never to be repeated.

 

Living in Wigan, hydraulics were thin on the ground (like non existent), and my next memory was 15 July 1967, on Holiday near Hereford, D1011 Western Thunderer took us from Newport to Cardiff, same loco, same day took us from Bridgend to Cardiff. My last run was 27 July 1974. Reading to Paddington behind an immaculately clean 1026 Western centurion

 

Fantastic machines with a deep, purposefull engine note, as per these 2 youtube clips

 

 

Bit slippy on one engine

 

 

But she gets away.

 

 

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, and quick google brought this up. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.

 

http://continuo.wordpress.com/2009/06/page/2/

 

I have 2 Limas, one red, one green and a very old blue Trix (Vanguard I think). Westerns - they killed off steam, but you have to love em !!

 

Brit15

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Cracking videos, the wheel slip sequence is very interesting - guess as each bogie is powered by a different engine, controlling slip must have been a bit difficult. And great exhaust note. Nice to hear it again.

Remember a friend running a Trix Western on a rake of maroon coaches on his layout years ago, looked just the part (though there are high hopes for the Dapol model, of course...)

 

Bill

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I still have that westerns record made by 2 members of a pop group and a classic.

In my records of the summer 75 i remember the day it snowed for about 5 seconds and was again at old oak common in which played host to 1013/1069/1011/1063/1072/1012/1026/1022 and 1070 and hymek 7029 was still there.

On all my visits to old oak in 75 D1026 was seen on every visit and alas on my 1st visit to swindon works may 76 was there having her fuel tanks dropped and sadly 1027 was being cut and 1050 just had cabs left.D1054 made up for the sadness of that day with haulage back to london.

westerns on the line dump that day 24th may 76 were.

1030/1046/1047/1016/1057/1064/1025/1012/1040/1027cut/1069/1059/1055/1026/1067/1006/1050cabs/1031/1003/1035/1011and 1034.

richard.

Edited by D1030western musketeer
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I managed to record seeing all the Westerns bar 1045.

My earliest spotting memories include a number of summer saturdays at Exeter St Davids about 1970, and sunday lunchtime visits to St Davids stabling point.

Also a memorable week spent staying in the caravan site at the Exeter end of Dawlish Warren station, hydraulic heaven.

We also sometimes went to Paignton, and picknicked in the park near Goodrington Carriage sidings, I was always fascinated by the mixture of blue/grey and maroon stock working in and out of the sidings.

My earliest spotting book was the one with the Warship passing Sydney Gardens on the front cover.

After the family moved to Weston in 1971, although we used the train for holidays and days out, I did not take many numbers or notes until 1975 so missed

out on much of the hydraulic rundown.

I never went on any Western railtours, and took very few, very poor pictures on my Box Brownie.

 

However in 1976/7 while still studying at 6th form I made a weekly evening trip to Yatton, always a 50 hauled up on a Weston - Padd service.

Coming back however was the best bit, catching the 21.20 Bristol - Plymouth which seemed to be formed of BCK, SK and a number of various vans.

Bath Road would turn out anything for the job, 25/31/45/46/47/52, often a Western, and I have about 15 marked off for haulage, many from this journey.

The passenger accomodation always seemed to be full, of Sailors and their kitbags on the way to Plymouth (Devonport).

As a result I would stand for the short journey, in the corridor or vestibule end.

In the summer the journey was noisy as all the windows were open and the corridor connections would be rattling away,

in the winter the steam heating always seemed to be leaking all over the place, marvellous memories.

 

cheers

Edited by Rivercider
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My first Western haulage was September 1969 from Paington to Teignmouth behind 1054 Governor. She was in maroon with small yellow warning panels hauling an all maroon rake of MK1's. I was 6, and it was the start of a passion that lasts still to this day. I only have one photo of a western in service, 1043 at Teignmouth in 1975 while on holiday. We missed the last summer of westerns as we had to go on holiday somewhere else that year. All these photo's of westerns on the sea wall bring back so many happy memories. And everyone says the 70's were such bad years. Somehow, I just can't agree. For me, it was a golden age and one I very much wish was still with us.

 

 

 

1043 in July 1975

 

 

1015 at Swindon in 1980

 

 

1015 in 2007

Edited by Andy1963
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Sadly i regret that i lossed some photos of westerns in service during a move in 1983.

I have only 1005/1010 and 1053 to show aswell as small prints of westerns at swindon scrap yard so your memorys of westerns and pics are a wait in gold and am still after all these years still hunting a shot of a 52 at either bedford or bletchley my 1st sightings of them.

One memory and still heard 2day was my day spent at bletchley.

Spotters were much in view and a shout came out Wizzo.We could here twin maybachs but no western.The sound was getting louder and then 10mins later all eyes turned to the london end up on the flyover and there she was a raffer grubby looking D1045 western viscount going over to wolverton on stone.Those maybachs still can be heard in my ears today and worth a note that 1045 was withdrawn a week later.D1036 and D1023 also turned up that day but the sight and sound of D1045 has stuck with me all these years and so thats why i still search for any photos of westerns in the area.

richard.

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The summer of '76 was indeed a nice one for them to go out on. And Laira very kindly repainted one (number alas slipped from memory but the transparencies of it are somewhere not too far away which became a regular performer on the Westbury - Exeter cement for a little while; marvellous site as it headed past Fairwood Jcn towards the descending sun but an atrociously messy paint job when viewed close up.

 

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. The Wessies were our firm favourites either tearing around the avoiding line or roaring up the bank toward Upton Scudamore with a stone train. I remember how dismissive we were of the Hoovers (50's) when they arrived from the west coast mainline as it spelt the end for the Westerns.

Having moved back to the area a few years ago I occasionally go to the triangle with the dogs and the 66's going up the bank with Mendip stone is still thrilling but not quite the same........

 

Jerry

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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...

 

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

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