December 2017 - Ken Horan, "My Swansong"
It was a great pleasure to welcome Ken Horan once again to Burton, this time to present his “Swansong”. Ken has had a life-long enthusiasm for steam on the railways – so much so that he began his career on the railways in Sheffield working as a fireman and, better still, he took his camera with him. This enabled him to take photographs in locations denied to most of us.
Let’s now look at some of the highlights of his show. He started off with three examples of a highly regarded class of locomotive for Ken, these being the Black 5 class, and so we viewed 45073 and his favourite engine of the class 44888. Next we saw a young Ken in the cab of 45428. Whilst on holiday, he was so keen that he went to Scotland to see A4s in action and volunteered to fire 600311 ‘Golden Plover’ from Glasgow to Perth! Illustrations followed of Barrow Hill depot and Canklow, the latter featuring an Austerity or, as Ken said, a Canklow Pacific! He then sang the praises of the 9F class of loco-motives and it was these engines that were Ken’s favourite during his firing days. A slide of 46152 appeared taken in the sidings at Stourton and then Ken revealed that he’d actually fired ‘Flying Scotsman’, but only from Sheffield Midland Station across to Victoria. Diesels were not completely ignored and 25278 was shown with a crushed cab end – “look what happens when you press too hard with the cleaning brush!” quipped Ken.
When steam came to an end, he found himself at Tinsley diesel depot and he absolutely hated it but stuck it out until 1973. A scene in the snow illustrated one of his days there. Then it was back to steam shots of Jubilees 45567, 45697 and 45593 – the latter being the last Jubilee Ken fired in BR service. We then viewed scenes inside Holbeck shed and Hull Dairycoates, the latter being “chock full” of Austerities collected around the turntable. Then, for Ken, a melancholy shot of five out of seven withdrawn Coronation Pacifics at Crewe North. The foreman there told him that despite all of them being in good condition, he had been instructed to take them out of traffic and to have the con-rods cut through so that they could never work again. Ken described it as “an absolutely criminal act.” Four Southern slides taken at Eastleigh appeared next. Then is was off to Tebay at 04.00. (Funnily enough when this reporter visited the shed, it was also at exactly the same unearthly hour!) The Manchester area was then visited sheds at Newton Heath, Bolton, Heaton Mersey, Rose Grove and Stockport Edgeley. A nice human touch was the slide of the tea ladies at Manchester Victoria – at that time two teas and two biscuits cost 1s & 2d! November 1965 found Ken as the second man in DP2 and then with the end of steam in the UK it was across the Channel with his friend Ted Parker. Boulogne shed and a week in Austria proved to be the subjects with the latter still being 99% steam. Prior to the interval we were taken to Barry Docks scrap yard.
Then it was to the U.S.A. where our presenter was at Victorville with a freight train hauled by four locos with another three on the back. Other trains carried containers which were double-stacked: all trains were of immense length. China was visited with atmospheric shed shots, bitterly cold industrial locations and Oxenhope said Ken! Well, there were oxen in the shot, so who could argue? Back in the U.K. was preserved steam with a good variety of it on the main line. Thus on the Settle & Carlisle line with the ‘Duke’, a Jubilee, 6233 and a pair of Black 5s were seen . Various Russ Hillier Charters at Barrow Hill were shown. The streamlined Duchess was captured out on the main line, but hauled by a Class 47. An interesting shot was the A1 loco on a low loader actually on the A1 road. Then Ken wound things up with a few more personal items from the “good old days.” Thus we witnessed his last trip on a 9F with a Class 25 on the front which neither he nor his driver wanted and so it was “dispensed with”. At Nine Elms he appeared with 34006 ‘Bude’ and so it was that in 1973 he departed from Tinsley, but his very last duty was to fire 45596 ‘Bahamas’ on her first main line run.
Ken drew the evening to a close with himself on 44888 and of course firing her. Great shots laced with terrific humour – thanks Ken.
November 2017 - David Wright, "Building a small brewery wharf railway - Part 2"
David started by showing the small assembled gathering photographs of a group of buildings that used to be at Horninglow. He then demon-strated, using DAS modelling clay, how to form a paved area. First, cheap PVA was brushed on to the base and Das clay was then added. His advice was to keep the fingers wet to thin and spread the clay out. Once this was dry, David used a scalpel with a pointed end to draw lines across (tip: keep your finger at the side of the blade to guide it). He then used an old toothbrush to clear away the debris. Sand paper could then be used to remove any rough edges. To achieve the desired finish, Halfords grey primer paint was sprayed on which was then dry brushed using oil paints. David stated that a similar finish could also be achieved using weathering powders. For painting ash ballast, David used oil paints from “The Range”. His chosen colours were: Payne’s Grey (PG), raw umber (RU), yellow ochre (Naples yellow), and titanium white. First, he put in some turps, added his main paint (PG) with half the amount of (RU) and added smidges of the other colours. This was then applied using a large brush. David then moved on to a canal surface. He had previously applied mounting board on top of the plywood. To apply the colours suitable for water this time he used acrylic paints. Again PG was the chosen main colour with yellow ochre and yellow dabs added. Finally the surface could be dry brushed using a Filbert brush with a rounded edge prior to using the paints listed above. Windsor & Newton picture varnish, again from “The Range”, was then applied - three coats were recommended. After the last coat, the brush could be used to apply a stipple. A wide brush was the suggested tool, kept specifically for this purpose.
Next year the subject will be buildings for the models. Thanks to David and also to Dave Richards who skilfully filmed David in action so we could all view the action on the large screen.
November 2017 - Les Nixon, “55 Years of railway photography: Part 4"
Les provided a show with real variety and started off on his “home patch” Edale with a Class 40, (or Tat as I knew them), and at the same location a DMU in the snow. After brief foray on the West Coast Line in 1964 with steam this was followed by preserved steam in the U.S.A. with Les revealing that he’d visited 54 countries during his lifetime. An industrial interlude dated back to 1972 with the last steam loco built by Hunslet for Java being the subject. Moving on to infrastructure, the subject matter proved to be an array of signals as they used to be at Blackpool and at St. Pancras. A quick slip back in time took us to a location near Retford to view 60111 ‘Enterprise’. After a view of Tinsley depot in 1965, Les stated that hardly anything railway-related now survives in this area. A trip back in the time machine to Les’s student days in around Southampton we saw 30862 ‘Lord Collingwood’ leaving the docks. Back to the edge of the Peak District saw us at Gowhole in snowy February 1968 with three locos on view – two 8Fs and a Black 5. Still with snow as the theme we ended the first half with two 8Fs at Buxton Shed.
The second half also featured an 8F, on this occasion travelling over the bridge at Heaton Mersey, a scene totally obliterated today. Moving further back in time to 1957, Les’s personal motive power was a motorbike and on this trip he captured Clan 72007 ‘Clan Mackintosh’ and a very dirty 9F. Les’s verdict was that it was in the best “camel s- - - & sand livery.” A visit to Bradford Forster Square with his wife led to him musing on how take an interesting photograph. Her response was: “Don’t bother!” A standard class 75 seen in 1968 was framed by the doors of Skipton shed – by then the shed had closed and its tracks removed. On this theme he urged us to take photographs of today’s railways because what we take for granted today will soon be history. Several shots of steam in B.R. days took us to the end of the show where we viewed a Q6 in the wilderness near to Consett in 1964 and a view of Cockshute shed in Stoke. “Did anybody bother visiting this place?” was the query. “Yes, I did.” I admitted! Then, sadly, we saw a Black 5 towing a 2-6-0 for scrap at Dillicar. On to 1962 where we looked at 34061 ‘73 Squadron’ with part of its cladding missing after appearing to have been on fire. A night shot taken on 29th December 1967 on the last evening at Tebay shed was followed, touchingly, by a sunset photograph.
With that, Les’s presentation drew to a close. As ever, it was a wonderful evening of quality photography.
October 2017 - Paul Chancellor, "A fifth Colour-Railway journey"
Again it was a great pleasure to welcome Paul Chancellor from Colour-Rail for his annual visit. First he gave a quick resume of his company: it has 80,000 images to view and an update takes place on the 15th of every month. The show was divided into eight parts with the first being dedicated to South Wales.
THE CARDIFF AREA: This included the small GWR tank loco 1340 ‘Trojan’ at Cardiff East Dock which had local connections being based at Old Netherseal Colliery and later at a paper works in Tamworth. There was a nice shot of 70020 ‘Mercury’ at Canton, an unusual visitor to Cardiff General in the shape of 46169 ‘The Boy Scout’, locos in store at the East Dock Shed plus and diesel selection.
PETERBOROUGH: Here we viewed GN No. 1 in a rare colour photograph from 1938. Moving on 20 years with 60800 ‘Green Arrow’ headed through, appropriately on goods, and a further goods working had a grotty N2 69513 in charge. A Scot, 46155 ‘The Lancer’, was in extremely clean condition, possibly on an enthusiasts’ special. Finally, 89001 was depicted in Inter City Livery.
CARLISLE: The year was 1958 and 46221 ‘Queen Elizabeth’ was ready to hand over to another member of the class. 1965 and 72006 ‘Clan Mackenzie’ was handling a goods train whilst in 1963 Burton Jubilee 45557 ‘New Brunswick’ was fairly clean and handling the 08.05 Birmingham service. Another freight service had the rare combination of 70041 ‘Sir John Moore’ and D5707 with the Co-Bo leading! Lastly, a Trevor Owen master piece depicted an overall view of Kingmoor Shed.
BOURNEMOUTH: Here we saw another unusual double-headed pairing in 1953 in the shape of 10202 and “U” 31623 and in the same year shots of a Black 5 and a V2 were on loan to the Southern whilst the Merchant Navy Class had checks on their axles. 10 000 was in action in 1954 and a shed view depicted an M7, a W.C., and a “U”. Somerset & Dorset 53807 arrived at Bournemouth Central on a rail tour for the Home Counties Association. At this point Paul’s last slide of the half announced “It was time for tea!” – Well, beer in Burton’s case!
BIRMINGHAM NEW STREET: Back to 1955 and a Jubilee with a double chimney in the shape of 45742 ‘Connaught’ had charge of the “Midlander”. 1957 and 17B’s 42896 was viewed, as was Coronation Class 46240 ‘City of Coventry’ and a 1961 view of 46125 ‘3rd Carabinier’ with a Class 105 DMU in the picture for good measure. More Scots in the shape of 46160 ‘Queen Victoria’s Rifleman’, (a loco shot), with 46169 again but this time on a short parcels train. Finally, 46235 ‘City of Birmingham’ was shown on its way to the museum.
EDINBURGH: Here there were some really classics with 2001 ‘Cock O’ The North’ and at Haymarket 2002 ‘Earl Marischal’. The latter shed had a nice line up of 60052, 60116 and 60529, but a rarer shed was the DMU depot at Leith where, much to the annoyance of the local Transport Policeman, Paul had a permit! 60532 ‘Blue Peter’ and Class 24s were on view at St. Margaret’s Shed.
LEEDS & BRADFORD: At Holbeck Shed in 1958, single and double chimney Black 5s 44755 and 44757 were side by side for comparison. 45659 ‘Drake’ was on the “Thames Clyde Express”. Time for a couple of interior round house shots featured five locos round the turn table, (1962) with six locos around the table in a 1963 view inside Holbeck. 46115 ‘Scots Guardsman’, with a yellow stripe, was at Bradford in 1965 and DP2 was also in the same city.
WERE YOU THERE? As the question suggests, lots of spotters were in view. Thus, in 1957 48318 was admired at Lichfield, a rather dirty 46228 ‘Duchess of Rutland’ and the admiring “oiks” sported duffle bags. 46157 ‘The Royal Artilleryman’ had the locals at Lancaster touching the tender. Finally two Scots, one being 46160 again were the subject of rapt attention.
Paul amused us with lots of light-hearted quips and kept the audience on its toes by getting us to guess the year of some of the photographs.
September 2017 - Chris Banks, "Engine sheds - Part 11: Stourbridge to Truro and many others in between"
Once again it was time to welcome “Shed Master” Chris along with his son John with the penultimate show regarding former steam engine sheds. Our tour enabled us to visit 17!
STOURBRIDGE: This was a single unit round house shed that opened in 1926 to replace a 4 road building. It was coded 84F and 2C and closed July 1966. A shot of a Grange started the show off and 4147 with missing wheels was also illustrated.
STRANRAER: This comprised two separate buildings with the G.& S.W. and The Caledonian each having their own sheds side by side. It had a unique coaling plant and was illustrated in a general view by Ken Fairey. Chris told us that 54508, withdrawn in 1959, was still there in 1963!
SUNDERLAND: Illustrated with a general view with 63395 prominent and an inside shot showed three J27s grouped around the turntable. It closed to steam in September 1967, but remained open to service diesels. 65894 was “bulled up” ready for sale and 90009 had a red backed number plate.
SWANSEA DANYGRAIG: Situated at the eastern end of Swansea docks and had an all tank engine allocation. 1145, one of six built by Avonside featured.
SWANSEA LANDORE: 14 Castles were allocated here with 5074 ‘Hampton’ illustrating it. An early closure to steam and converted to diesel servicing.
SWANSEA VICTORIA: Also known as Paxton Street, this was an L.M.S depot, but was later transferred to the Western. 58889 with two Super “D’s” and 42304 featured.
SWINDON: A key shed with nine straight roads and a turntable at the back and also another unique coaling stage. Another feature at the rear in 1960 was lines of stored Pannier Tanks. A surprise here was 53808 inside whilst out on the yard engines illustrated included 1000, 6000, (May 62), 7037 ‘Swindon’, (allocated there for much of its life), 7022, 46251 and 61039 ‘Steinbok’. However in my view over 30 slides used to demonstrate the depot was a few too many!
TEBAY: A modern shed and three Fowler tanks ready for banking duties featured. Stanier and Fairburn tanks took over and these in turn were replaced by Standard 4 M.T’s including 75024.
TEMPLECOMBE: And so to the S. & D. – the usual allocation here was around 15 locos. 53804 and 40537 were included in the picture selection.
THORNABY: A new shed built in 1958 at a cost of £1,250,000 pounds. It replaced several other sheds in the area and finally closed its doors to modern traction in July 2009. It was built to accommodate steam with ready conversion to diesel servicing. 90369 was in a woeful state inside the depot whilst in contrast was 63388 15 days after overhaul at Darlington, Q7 63460 was a visitor from Tyne Dock.
THORNTON JUNCTION: Then back to Scotland - here the illustrations included: K4 61993 ‘Loch Long’, D30 62442 ‘Simon Glover’ and, in store, D11 62686 ‘The Fiery Cross’. 65288 & 65345 were kept especially for use in Dr. Finlay’s Casebook and, thanks to the BBC, were the last steam locos in service in Scotland.
THREE BRIDGES: At last to the Southern with K 32351 and Q1 33015 featured. Taken on the 6th May 1961 was the later to be preserved M7 30053.
TILBURY: Only one shot here and that was 80070. When Plaistow closed the allocation here went from 12 to 41!
THURSO: A single road, stone built building sufficed here for 40150, it was a sub-shed to Wick.
TONBRIDGE: Yet another depot with a unique coaling stage and slides of 31329, 31410 and 31760 were shown.
TREHERBERT: One slide only, a general view with a Pannier Tank, but with seven others inside the shed.
TRURO: A 3 road shed illustrated by 1007 ‘County of Brecknock’ and the last slide was 6836 ‘Estevarney Grange’.
Chris started with a Grange and finished with one!
August 2017 - Adam Crick, "Railways today - Part 2"
It was a pleasure to host our own Society member Adam Crick for another session of his favourite shots. Adam explained that his photographic influences came from two contrasting sources - Keith Pirt and Colin Gifford. As expected he started his show locally with Castle class 5043 at Burton station followed by some classic diesel photographs sporting a wide variety of liveries. Being the proud owner of a Morris Minor, Adam took great delight in including this vehicle in his composition with 60103 ‘Flying Scotsman’ passing by in the background. Next he took us to the Burton-Leicester line and featured a tube stock move with Pannier Tanks bursting out of Gresley Tunnel and a reflection shot in the River Trent of Stapenhill Viaduct with a train passing over of course!
It was then down to Chasewater for the tribute day to the Burton Breweries system. A visit to Shackerstone on the Battlefield Line followed where the T9 30120, 3802 and the diesel bubble car took turns to grace the screen. Staying in Leicestershire, we were next transported to Adam’s favourite preserved line, the Great Central, and there we were treated to the M7 in the snow and then on other occasions the 04, 46521, 34007, 3850, 30541, 48305, 6023 and a Peak diesel.
It was then time to move further afield with visits to Foxfield, Cheddleton and an extended interlude at Peak Forest. Then it was on to Bury via the tram system to the East Lancs Railway before going across to the K&WVR for a lovely photograph of the Super D in the snow. Steam and diesel featured on the Settle & Carlisle line before Adam took us to the North York Moors system. His visit was timed to coincide with the laying of narrow gauge track through the pedestrian access to the loco shed so that the little loco ‘Britomart’ could be used. The first half drew to a close with a session on the Isle of Man thanks to a David Williams charter over four days in 2015. The final slide of the half was entitled “Beer time: end of part 1”, most appropriate.
After the beer break it was down south to Cornwall with Adam using his other classic form of transport, an M.G. sports car to get there. He started in Penzance, visited the relatively new preservation site at Truthall on the former Helston branch before sampling the St Ives branch and taking photographic opportunities at Hayle and Truro. An astonishing sight was a mainline H.S.T. unit cautiously wending its way over heavily overgrown grass to Newquay. Of course whilst down there, Adam showed us views at the Lappa Valley Railway and the Bodmin & Wenford. The Looe Branch came next and he was delighted to capture not only the Class 70 freight working, but also in the background he got an H.S.T. working over the distant viaduct. Adam then revealed that he had risen at three in the morning to travel from Bodmin in order to get the photograph he wanted of the Saltash Bridge! Naturally a sojourn in Devon took place with visits to the South Devon, the Paignton & Dartmouth Railways and the Okehampton project. Dawlish of course featured and better still it was 46100 ‘Royal Scot’ that was shown racing by. Moving a little closer to home, Adam then called in at the West Somerset line and, rather appropriately, captured Warship diesel ‘Greyhound’ in undercoat grey livery!
A couple of steam shots were included with Black 5 44871 at Bath and Castle 5043 passing Sidney Gardens. A special trip was made so that Adam could photograph the last workings of the bubble car unit on the Princes Risborough – Aylesbury line. Sunday visits to see the Shakespeare Express enabled us to view both the Castle and the Hall in action. The Severn Valley diesel gala was illustrated before a Welsh interlude with action included on the Talyllyn, Festiniog, and Welsh Highland narrow gauge lines along with standard gauge at Llangollen and the Dean Forest. Adam closed with a tribute to the recent Bulleid Gala on the Swanage Railway.
Adam’s sheer enthusiasm for railways really shone through coupled with his top class photography with real variety - truly “Railways Today”.
July 2017 - Peter Triggs, "Railways in the West Country covering Somerset, Devon and Cornwall
It was a pleasure to welcome Peter Triggs for his first visit to Burton Railway Society. Peter’s slide show and talk covered the counties of Somerset, Devon and Cornwall with modern day images and as he put it: “some old stuff”. He set the scene with units at work and quickly moved on to the East Somerset preserved set-up followed by archive material on the S&D with 43216 at Evercreech Junction. We then moved to the Yeovil area with 5525 “swimming” at Langford West in the floods. The Adams Radial Tank 30592 graced Combe Pine Halt, whilst other locations in the area include Seaton Junction, Colyton, and Seaton. 34034 'Honiton' illustrated Exmouth Junction and Z 30955 was on banking duty in Exeter. Moving to Peter's home territory, Taunton, 'County of Leicester' put in an appearance alongside Dukedog 9016, whilst 9757 was on station pilot duty. One particular graphic picture showed 6028 'King George V1' in crashed condition. Peter described how for many years he was a volunteer on the West Somerset Railway working mainly at Crowcombe. He also spoke about part of his working life in the coal business and how he’d bought coal from our local pits at Church Gresley, Measham, Moira and Cadley Hill. The first half finished with a slide of a scantily dressed young lady at the tea bar at Dawlish!
The second half commenced with another photograph of the same young lady. Indeed Peter made sure his audience was awake by including various similar shots throughout his show. This, peppered with the handing out of sweets to members who answered his questions correctly, went down very well indeed. Other Devon scenes featured Newton Abbot and of course the Paignton – Kingswear and South Devon Railways. The latter included a shot of Thomas the Tank Engine! A quick scurry was made down the Plymouth to Gunnislake Branch and then it was time to enter Cornwall. Here Peter had various illustrations of the Liskard & Looe branch, the Bodmin preserved railway and Wadebridge with Beatty well tanks of course. Newquay, Hayle Docks, the Falmouth Line and St Ives were all illustrated before we finished at the end of the line with a slide of 67022 at Penzance on a parcels train. All in all we enjoyed a most pleasant evening.
June 2017 - The Annual Fun Quiz set by Chris Eaton & Dave Hook
A sign of the times is just how quickly it seems before our Annual Fun Quiz is here again. Messrs Chris Eaton & Dave Hook took it in turn to ask each round of questions and it was good to welcome our visitors from Leicester. Eight teams of four took part with names of participants for each team being drawn out of the hat, (or box in this case). Scores ranged from 115 -160 with the questions ranging from fairly easy to very testing. Below is listed the titles of the rounds with a sample question from each.
Round 1: Railway Roundabout and of course one of the answers in this round just had to be Pat Whitehouse and John Adams.
Round 2: Named Trains with question 1 being between which places did the Devonian run? Answer: Bradford – Paignton.
Round 3: (From here the teams could select to play the joker on the round of their choice to earn double oints). This round was: LMS News Headlines: and the name and number of the Princess with the male sounding name was 46207 ‘Princess Arthur of Connaught’.
Round 4: Railway Colours: so the colours of the overhead electrification warning plaques were red and white.
Rounds 5 & 6 were photographic puzzles. Five was a set of 8 black & white station photographs with the location of each having to be identified. So the B.R. Standard Class 4 with a castle on a hill in the background was Harlech. In Round 6, the photos were in colour and were taken in the National Railway Museum in 2017. Bits of various locos were shown and required identification, one being the copper pipe work of ‘Evening Star’.
Round 7: Trainspotting Days, so how much was an Ian Allan Combined Volume in 1965? The answer was 12/6d.
Round 8: A Day at the Races and this included a town with a race course featured on an A3 – answer Doncaster.
Round 9: What’s in a Name? Thus which two classes of diesels had examples named Sister Dora? The answers required being, Classes 31 & 37.
Round 10: Britannia Names – this Britannia could use something provided by 70017 - well being named ‘Arrow’ so Robin Hood fitted the bill nicely.
Then it was time to finish off with Last Man Standing and Nearest the Bull. Each member of the first three teams received cash prizes and a can of Marston’s ale. Those in the team that finished last each also got a can of beer. It’s a shame that we can’t get more members to take part because it isn’t “Mastermind” and it’s also a lot of fun. Those taking part also got a free drink each, so it was a great value night out.
May 2017 : Stephen Gay, "Railways in a Cornish landscape - Tamar to Truro"
It was good to welcome Stephen Gay back for his fifth visit to talk to members of BRS. Stephen started us off deep in the Cornish Landscape with several slides of Bude. These included the remains of the Bude Beach Tramway which was last used in 1942. We then had a laugh at modern road sign directing travellers to Camelford Station, only one problem, it had closed 50 years ago! It was then time to include some trains in the show and where better than an HST on Brunel’s Bridge over the Tamar. Nearby by, Brunel was depicted on a pub sign in Saltash. Next it was to the Looe Branch and Stephen being Stephen chose to join a service at Coombe Junction Halt. According to the conductor he was the first passenger to be picked up there for 3 months! Stephen then showed slides and gave a commentary on each station on the line. Then he next chose the longest and busiest branch in Cornwall - the line to Newquay. This location was once served by a line from another direction and part of this is used by the Lappa Valley narrow gauge railway so a quick detour was made to illustrate it. It wasn’t long before we were in Truro and so we were taken down the track to Falmouth, pausing to look at the Perranwell Viaduct. This was originally broad gauge with remains of the wide piers showing up well alongside the “new”.
Stephen knew from his research that an accident had happened on the Redruth – Chacewater Railway on 16 March 1899. Sadly one person on a train was killed and Stephen had the shock of his life when he investigated the church yard to find the grave of the victim. This was because the man who died was also called “Stephen Gay!”
Off next to Hayle and he most ably “framed” the slide of the HST with palm trees. Of course he had to visit the line from St. Erth to St. Ives and so Lelant Saltings and Carbis Bay stations were depicted en-route. St. Ives station was portrayed from a very artistic point of view. It was taken from inside a phone box with seagulls in the composition as well. He then entertained us with a poem entitled “A Few Lines From St. Ives”. Finally we ended up at Penzance and Stephen took the opportunity to remind us of the Penlee life boat disaster in 1981.
It is always a pleasure to welcome Stephen, his slides are thoughtfully composed, depict delightful scenery and not taken until the sun light is just right. This often involves hours of waiting around or, more often than not, a return visit. His commentary is superb and he always makes me laugh when he finds himself having to take up an unusual position to get his photograph and he says: “I felt a ‘rate’ tea-cake!” This often involves him standing in water up to his knees, no doubt much to the amusement of those passing by. But none of this happens by accident and is down to thorough research before starting on his journeys. And of course we mustn’t forget his poetry.
April 2017 : Ian Krause, "All’s not lost, but most of it is"
What an intriguing title for Ian’s second visit to BRS. But it could have been entitled “Much of what used to be there on the railways is no longer there”. However, because the photos he was showing had been taken widely over the UK, Turkey and Spain he described how things and places had changed since the 1960s and 70s rather than show ‘after’ pictures.
Ian prefaced his presentation by stating that he had never been into colour photography as he had found that black and white suited him and had not let him down as certain colour films had. But he demonstrated that he was not against technical advancement by saying that his first three pictures would probably be better if they had been taken digitally.
Unfortunately the slides for his first session - taken in the UK in the early 1960s - needed a great deal of manual effort by Andy Colson who did an excellent job to get them accepted by the projector. Ian’s initial coverage was in the north of England including Dent Head Viaduct, Shap and Tebay and included some lesser known freight lines. Shots of an 8F going through Appleby, the 3 Dales Rail Tour and a withdrawn loco brought back into service and then quickly retired again when it failed to perform adequately were also shown. Holbeck was one of Ian’s favourite sheds and he had a 1967 photo taken there. He then moved down south with shots of Waterloo taken from a block of flats – not the safest place to be ,he said – and he mused over the extent of changes in the sky-line in that area of the capital.
Despite all the trials and tribulations suffered by Ian in Turkey (filthy train seating and toilets, a forced haircut, attacks by locals on a train, and a brush with a huge cockroach) this was my favourite section. The scenery was stunning and provided fitting backgrounds for the wide variety of locos he encountered there. Surprisingly, despite the awfully slow journey times, drivers and firemen seemed to take a pride in their charges. However, Ian did witness a signalman close down his box (with one train clearly in view) and spent five minutes in prayer before releasing the train. Over eight days, Ian and his travelling companions seemed to have covered most, if not all, parts of the country.
Then came the Spanish section – plenty of clag here without having to ask for it. As in Turkey there was a good selection of locomotives from various sources including a lone 8F which Ian thought had probably found its way back home by now. But wasted investment into railway construction was a theme covered here. The first example was where two lines were constructed running in parallel and with different gauges. The second was introduced by a slide of a train making a trial run along a high embankment on a long distance line. This had been constructed with political support from General Franco. However, there was a fatal omission in the planning process – no account had been taken of the clearance required to install catenary on a line with so many tunnels and bridges. So, what do you do then – you build another line! Ian asked us to spot the loco in a huge worked-out quarry with very many levels. No one did because the scale made it look like a small mark. And the loco was probably destined to remain there as a result of its isolated position.
Because of the time lost in the first section, Ian had to hurry the last section showing slides in Great Britain. He included some late-60s and early-70s fellow photographers including Paul Riley. We saw top-and-tailed trains and early steam on the main line in the 1970s which included “Flying Scotsman”
Ian gave an entertaining commentary without using any notes - unfortunately for this reporter who had hoped to use them for this report. Despite the initial problems with the projection, Ian remained professional. We enjoyed his photography and he seemed to enjoy the evening as well.
March 2017 : Bryan Holland, "Ramblings with a new camera in 1962"
We were pleased to welcome Bryan Holland for the premier of this show. He was accompanied by Michael Chapman who provided the technical assistance in assembling the programme. The “new camera” concerned was an Ilford Sportsman Vario 35mm, which together with the case, cost an “eye-watering” £14–11s–6d: quite an investment for Bryan whose pay then was only £6 a week!
The photographic year in question started on 24 February with three exposures at the favoured local spot of the shed yard at Leicester. Bryan described his efforts as “train spotting record shots.” His photographic record had lain undisturbed in a suitcase for 55 years and had never been seen before! A few shots taken up in the north-east came next and then it was the much waited for, local material. Coalville on 15 April 1962 was the first port of call with 58163 and a sister loco stored in a siding at the side of the station. Next to Overseal with a panoramic view of the shed and yard, with six locos were in view – 44552, 44538, 44528, 44124, 43991 and 8F 48694. Arriving in Burton and in time to record 48143 drifting by before attention shifted to the shed environment. First was Reidinger Crab 42829 - his main reason for the visit. Other locos photographed were: 43793 (in store), 44871 with 45561 ‘Saskatchewan’, 45532 ‘Illustrious’, 45575 ‘Madras’, and 45648 ‘Wemyss’. All in all, Bryan recorded in his notebook 13 Jubilees and one Patriot (if my memory serves me right the Patriot had been sent down from Derby to be placed in store).
Staying local, it was off to Derby to visit the works and shed. S & D loco 53808 was recorded inside the works and 46153 ‘The Royal Dragoon’ was captured on the shed yard. Moving to Spondon we viewed 42543 standing silently in the scrap sidings. Heading up north, Oxenholme and Tebay & Carlisle Upperby were the target sheds. At the latter, 45540, 70004 and 46255 appeared on the screen before us. On 27 May, Bryan was off to Oxford and Swindon prior to a holiday in Devon. There he visited Newton Abbot and Exeter with 34002 ‘Salisbury’ captured by Exeter West signal box before moving on to view both Exeter sheds. The first half drew to a close at the works open day at Derby with 46151 ‘The Royal Horse Guardsman’ passing by on the main line. Whilst, on show, were 44739, 42174, 46500, 70048 and 46256.
The second half and it was back to the Leicester area for an all-day session at Aylestone with a B1 and a Britannia 70010 being photographed. The following Saturday Bryan turned up at Leicester Central shed and was able to photograph a B16 inside the depot and a Hall passing by on the main line. The little-used line from Belgrave Road was the subject on the final Saturday of the weekend both to photograph and travel on. B1 61177 was inside the station and, en route, Thurnby box and station were captured with the well known railway photographer Colin Walker standing on the platform. Carrying on down the line we viewed Thurnby Tunnel, Melton Mowbray station, Bottesford south junction and shots all the way to and at Skegness. In September, York was the chosen destination, but with brief interludes on the way at Nottingham Victoria and Sheffield Victoria.
At the end of the month, Banbury was visited with a King in store on the shed and awaiting scrap, whilst sadly the last King in service, 6018, passed through Leamington light engine on its way to Swindon for scrap. Finally in December it was off to Grantham with N2 69535 ready for the scrap yard and photographs taken of classes: K1, A2, 02, L1, A1 and A3 which included 60056 ‘Centenary’ and 60109 ‘Hermit’. Signs of things to come included Deltic D9000, but 60028 and 60021 appeared, with the final scene on the night being 60025 ‘Falcon’.
A superb train spotting record and we all enjoyed being transported back to 1962. An offer to return on a future date was gladly accepted.
February 2017 : Dave Richards & Karl Jauncey, “PSOV 2016"
By tradition we always welcome Dave and Karl to Burton in February and so let’s look at some of the highlights. 46100 ‘Royal Scot’ appeared in the opening credits and then in several locations in North Wales including pacing footage at Mochdre. Over on the Settle & Carlisle, 44871 and 45407 made a tremendous noise and scattered the sheep. A1 ‘Tornado’ appeared wearing a coat of early B.R. green. Of course ‘Flying Scotsman’ had to be featured and in this case there were shots made from inside and out of the cab. Modern 91 electrics overtook and flew past and at both Doncaster and York platforms space was at a premium as spectators gathered to enjoy the view.
Lots of action followed from 46233 and 46100 on Shap whilst the latter appeared on the Cumbrian Coast line. On this occasion some BRS members were enjoying the action from their reserved compartment. The return journey from Carlisle featured more cab action as the loco tore down Shap. 46100 and 45699 should have crossed each other on the Cumbrian section, but by some bizarre reason, the Jubilee wasn’t allowed on the train because of alleged gauging problems and so was replaced by a West Coast class 47. This was even more annoying because the camera was perfectly placed to record the occasion. The tour of Great Britain number 9 showed 46100 again both in Cornwall and with whistle wailing as it drew into Temple Meads. Next it was 45699 and this time it was allowed on the Cumbrian coast route. Your reviewer remembers this loco as the most common Jubilee to appear through Burton in steam days. 44871 took the train around Scotland and ‘Leander’ 5690 brought the train back down south.
The second part opened with action on the Hope Valley Line whilst 60103 took its turn to tackle Shap. 5043 “flew the flag” for the Great Western, - it was “A revelation to see what it could do,” commented Dave. On 7th August, 46233 appeared in Cornwall and this is believed to have been the first ever visit by a member of this class in the Duchy. Moving to September, it was the turn of ‘Princess Elizabeth’ to visit Cornwall and be seen on Brunel’s Tamar Bridge. Moving up to Scotland again, the ex-Burton Black 5 drifted over the Forth Bridge. Further north still, Ben and Dave Collier provided the footage of the “Jacobite” with Dave, (aged 68), climbing like a mountain to get a wonderful distance shot. Fireworks for November were provided by Pannier tank 9466 storming up the Lickey in the dark with sparks flying. A further shot in the dark was provided by 44871 and 45407 in tandem as they passed the huge Shrewsbury signal box. Finally it was off to Wales for footage on the Welsh Marches.
As always, the high standards of P.S.O.V. were maintained: with their great planning and brilliant camera work, our grateful thanks go to Dave and Karl and the other cameramen who contributed.
January 2017 : Peter & Sarah Berry, "The Robert Whitfield Collection - U.K. steam 1948 - 1958"
All the images we saw were taken by the late Robert Whitfield who hailed from Manchester. All were black-and-white and were beautifully crisp and clear. There were some rare treasures including 46242 on the inaugural “Caledonia Express” and Royal Scot 46151 in un-rebuilt condition. Sadly Robert had not identified any of the locations where he took his photographs. To Peter, some were obvious and others were educated guess work, his main interest being the former LMS. In his interpretation of the images, Peter displayed a wonderful sense of humour and so provoked a lively, but good humoured banter: particularly when he declared his allegiance to the former G.W. system. (Somebody in the audience muttered that it was the Gas Works Railway!) It wasn’t all LMS though and the occasional B1, County and H16 tank crept in. Lord Nelson class 30854 featured Robert’s young son Colin by the side of it and he also appeared in many other compositions. Peter drew our attention to the detail in each photograph and praised the way Robert had sought out the best locations for the light. It became a standing joke when Peter commented: “note the rods are down!” This was certainly a speciality of Mr. Whitfield’s photographs. Peter also revealed his interest in the railwayana auctions and interjected several little snippets regarding name plates sold at auction.
Now let me pick out some particular highlights starting with 6202 in turbo-motive form with views of this iconic beast. He also captured it during the short period it ran in rebuilt form as 46202 four Princess Anne£££. The location in this case was Liverpool Lime Street and 25 days later it was smashed beyond repair. Getting up to date, relatively speaking, the new at the time, blue Deltic made an impressive appearance on “The Shamrock” express. Similarly the LMS twins 10000 & 10001 were captured in action. I, of course, appreciated the image of 6100 ‘Royal Scot’ at Crewe surrounded by loads of admirers. Then there was a rare view of a Crosti-boilered locomotive in original condition with plenty of smoke issuing from behind its single smoke deflector. He also captured two shots of 46243 ‘City of Lancaster’ in streamlined condition - this being the last Stanier Pacific to be rebuilt.
Peter related that each image took around half-an-hour to clean up and digitally scan ready for today’s audience, but in the case of 65143, the photograph was torn in half and it took two hours to digitally sew back together. Sad to report that Robert in later life suffered a break down and destroyed the negatives and all Peter’s work was done by working from small printed photographs. Also sad to relate was that Robert’s son, Colin, had also passed on so all the more reason for us to be thankful that Peter took on the rescue task with regard to the collection.
The one colour photograph that was shown featured Robert Whitfield himself - standing on Black 5 45327. We were informed that Robert’s favourite loco was 45292. This was the first Black 5 to go into B.R. livery. It was painted to an exhibition finish in LNWR blackberry black and even the tender frames were lined out. Robert even owned the smoke box number plate in the late 1960s.
Thank you Peter for saving the photos and for the time spent in scanning the images, thus enabling us all to enjoy the lovely crisp photos and with “the rods down!” This was a brilliant way to start the New Year off for all our members, a truly memorable show.