The Ribble Pilot The Journal of The Ribble Steam Railway - Issue No.47
Do NOT PRINT See “Cover” attachment
Progress shunting bitumen tanks directly into the LTD works, (Lancashire Tar Distilleries as it was still back then, before becoming Total). C. Steven Brindley
Do NOT PRINT See â€œCoverâ€? attachment
Ribble Pilot 47 (Spring 2017) Now Pay Attention! A New Year has started and the number one (in fact two and three as well) thing that the Ribble Steam Railway needs is YOU! Every edition of the Ribble Pilot magazine has usually got mentions of how you can get involved and it might not need very much agility, strength or skill. We have so many opportunities for you to get involved that we would need several pages to list them all. We have started 2017 by outwardly looking for more people to get involved and keep in mind that just a few hours here and there could be a great help on certain days throughout the year. Our team of Luke, Lou and Karl â€˜Liveâ€™ on BBC Radio Lancashire talking about volunteering at the RSR with John Gilmour.
We have been invited to contribute to the story of Lancashire in 70 objects. After a public vote on our Facebook page between Local Totems, The Preston Pendolino, the story of bananas on the docks and an original section of 1825 track. The public went 'bananas' for Bananas.
Hopefully we will bring you a trifle more news in the next issue!!!
Front Cover: James Sutcliffe
By Popular request, we are bringing back a favourite for 2017 - Classic Cars & Vehicles Event on Fathers Day June 18 2017 - The Father's Day Classic Car event started in 2008 and has been held annually ever since (except for 2016) - If you have a vehicle or a Car Club that would like to attend please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org Classic Cars, Lorries, Vans, Motorbikes all welcome.
FROM THE SECRETARY SPRING 2017 2016 is now behind us and ended with seven successful days of Santa trains which carried a total of 6449 passengers. When we fixed the dates for 2016 we decided to run the trains on each weekend in December and then the last Monday before Christmas as in previous years. However it later became apparent that many local schools were still in their term time that day and so an extra effort was required from our front of house team to make sure the trains were sold out. Feedback from our customers was overwhelmingly good and the online ticketing system seems to be performing well. It has since been decided at a wide ranging review that in 2017 we will run the Santa event on 8 days spread over the first 3 December weekends and then Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd December. We will not be running on Christmas Eve as it was felt this was putting an unfair burden on our staff and volunteers with people needing the day for their Christmas/family preparations. We will also amend the train timetable slightly from that used in previous years to add 5 minutes to each train to give more time per trip for the onboard crews to clear the trains of rubbish and do the necessary cleaning. By and large we managed to run fairly punctually at Santa 2016 but it was very tight each trip in terms of being ready to get the passengers on board and depart. The new timings will also make it easier for Mr Santa himself to sit down and get a short break. For the 2016 event we had help with the staffing from a local scout group but more significantly from our friends at the Poulton & Wyre Railway who provided an enormous help every day as Santa's elves marshalling all of the presents on the train. A big thank you to them and also to all those who assisted in the event which accounts for over Âź of our annual visitors.
As regards the other traffic on the Railway our freight services remained busy with levels of bitumen being brought in and for the second year in a row a bonus was received for carrying extra traffic we carried above that specified in our haulage contract with Total Bitumen. Passenger traffic however was more muted with visitor figures about 500 down on 2015. The actual passengers carried figure fell further which suggests some visitors spent last time on site and took fewer trips than in recent years. That may be linked to problems that we had staffing the cafĂŠ in 2016 and so we need to refocus on that area in the year ahead and our retail manager Karl Latham has that in hand. In total we carried 24,555 passengers over the year. Looking forward as I have said for some years in these pages obviously as regards attracting the public by publicizing us is a group effort so anyone who can put out leaflets or posters would be a help. We are always looking at new and different options and for example one of our younger volunteers Luke Ryan was recently interviewed on the local radio to encourage more people to join in as volunteers.
We have however had some recent free PR when "Roy Cropper" a regular character in "Coronation Street" told the audience that he wanted to build a model of our line. Fame at last! As well as visitors and passengers we or rather I also collate the figures for the hours worked by our volunteers for our annual return that goes to the HRA and ORR each March. In 2016 our volunteers worked approximately 33,000 hours. That was a slight drop on 2015 but the museum/front of house team saw a much bigger drop probably linked to departure of some regular volunteers. We are looking to recruit more volunteers in our front of house team this year (as we are always elsewhere on the "operating" side) and so if that is something you would like to help with please contact our retail manager Karl Latham.
In terms of working in the cafĂŠ for example, training is provided. As regards ongoing projects in the last issue I related that we had after many delays completed the legalities with Total Bitumen to gain part of their lorry park to lay an access track into the new building that was erected for ourselves and the Furness Railway Trust. As planned a contractor carried out the alterations to the lorry park first which included a new fence being erected. Volunteers and staff then carried out the laying of the track and at the time of writing that work is largely complete meaning the final work to finish the building itself is within reach. As ever there are always many other things on the jobs list waiting to be completed! As 2016 came to a close two of our directors Ken Mahaffey & Frank Masson decided for personal reasons to stand down as members of the Board. We don't expect to lose them completely as volunteers and Frank has promised he will still be hounding passengers for their tickets on the train this year as our regular TTI. Obviously our thanks go to both for their efforts and also to Ken's wife Eunice as a stalwart of running the buffet car. 2016 was also a year with several issues which have caused us to plan improvements to the way we induct new volunteers. A handbook is in the course of preparation of our relevant policies that we have as a result of our museum accreditation so that all our members have access to everything in one document that they will get when they join. It's important that members realise that even comments said or things done outside the railway can be seen to reflect on us as an organization and we all should take care in that regard. Finally one sad event has been the death recently of Chrissie Sinclair who was the mainstay of the museum shop in the early years of the railway. We obviously pass on our best wishes to her husband Peter who will be familiar to many as a driver on the miniature railway and who himself was also in the early years a major helper in running the shop and the cafĂŠ as well as a time as our membership secretary.
Time to say Thankyou as two of our senior board members have stepped down. Both Ken Mahffey and Frank Masson have ended their board duties, one to pursue and enjoy retirement and one as he has moved home away from the area. Ken will be making the odd appearance in the Control Tower whilst Frank has promised a few duties in the main season as Ticket Inspector and checking on the quality of our cake supplies ! (Ed - sorry Frank if youâ€™ve had another whack off the missus). We look forward to seeing them both in 2017.
Down the line 2017 with the first bitumen tanker train of the year, hauled by 60095 with the 6M32/6E32 working on the 11th January. Photo from Mark Gill. If you follow Modern Traction and want to find out more about the workings, you may be interested in our special Facebook page which covers all the latest operations: facebook.com/prestonribblerail/
Mike Bailey March 2017.
Notes & News
Meet the Ribbles The Ribble Railway Family
From the Chairman. 2016 ended on a high, with excellent comments and sold out attendance for our seven days of Santa, very many thanks to all the regulars who helped out to make it most memorable, everything seemed to go well, from on-line booking to actual train operations. In addition to thanking our regular volunteers for their efforts during the whole year, I would also like to thank the Scouts and The Poulton & Wyre members for their contributions, particularly over the Santa period. For 2017 Santa’s, we are reverting to eight days operation, without four consecutive days. We have a big list of objectives for the year, which I outlined at the AGM in 2016, some are like to do, some are need to do. To the list we have added a display to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the closure of the Whittingham Railway, which will feature St Monans as Gradwell together with the restored North London Coach owned by The Furness Railway Trust and a display created by Maisy Davies via Lancaster University. The Travelling Post Office coach acquired in 2016 will be repainted and go on display in the Museum at some stage in 2017, together with the restored Class 47 Diesel Loco cab which will be equipped with a simulator for visitor participation, for both young & old. The theory behind enhancing the Museum interpretation is to increase visitor satisfaction, which should lead to longer dwell time with potentially increases to shop, café & buffet car income. Going back to the list, there are some items which will be completed during 2017, and sadly some which will be deferred, and there are probably certain tasks which we will complete which aren't even on the list. To help during 2017, please volunteer on as many days as you can, we always need more volunteers, and a few new volunteers join during most years, if you know someone who might be interested, give 'em a push in our direction please, the more the merrier. Again very many thanks for your time and efforts in 2016, it is most appreciated and here's to more of the same in 2017. Dave Watkins
You will have seen Mr. Ribble around the railway. He will soon be joined by Mrs. Ribble, (who has been in hiding), and the two more recently created “Ribble Railway Children”.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Ribble have been designed with historical costumes, guided by Terri our Assistant Curator. Mrs. Ribble is a ticket collector. Mr. Ribble is a guard. We wanted the little Ribble Railway children to be more contemporary and fun to talk our young families and school visitors. We hope you like their attire, complete with converse trainers but no Apple watches! In the coming months you will start to see these cute little characters appearing round the museum on new children’s display panels and in the shop and café. We hope to boost merchandise sales and make the museum displays more attractive to our younger visitors. They have yet to be named and ideas are welcome. We may even ask our young families for creative ideas on potential names and a family story in the coming months. Lou and Karl.
60th Anniversary of closure: Whittingham Hospital Railway The Whittingham Hospital Railway (W.H.R.) was a private light railway operated by Lancashire County Council to serve Whittingham lunatic asylum. Opened in 1889, it carried goods and passengers between Grimsargh on the Preston and Longridge Railway and the hospital grounds. It closed to all traffic in 1957. The asylum was built in 1873 and enlarged in 1879 to accommodate 2895 patients. Before becoming the hospital, it was the long-time residence of the Waring family. The house was built in 1869 by Cooper and Tullis of Preston, to the designs of Henry Littler for £338,000. In the early days of the hospital, all supplies, including coal and provisions, had to be transported by horse and cart from Preston – a distance of 7 miles (11 km) – or from Longridge at the terminus of the Preston and Longridge Railway some 3 1/2 miles (5.6 km) distant. The cartage was expensive; permanently staffed with a stud of horses and vehicles. In 1884, the significant costs of this operation prompted the authorities to consider building a railway between the hospital and the village of Grimsargh 2 miles (3.2 km) to the southeast.
The railway had two substantially built stations, one at each terminus, the one at Grimsargh being diagonally opposite the level crossing from the mainline station. This station had the only run-around loop on the railway and a connection with the Preston and Longridge branch facing in the direction of Longridge. Two sidings were also provided. The station at Whittingham Hospital was of brick and corrugated iron construction which sported an overall glass roof above its single wooden platform and track. Access was by the
means of steps as the station was situated on a high embankment.
Ex Bolton Gasworks 4wVBT Sentinel 'Gradwell' 1957
The first locomotive purchased by the W.H.R. was an 0-4-0 saddle-tank (works number 304) built by Andrew Barclay & Sons Co. in 1888 at their Caledonia Works, Kilmarnock. The original locomotive was fitted with outside cylinders gave good service until 1947 when it was scrapped. A further Barclay locomotive (works number 1024) arrived in 1904 becoming No. 2. It sported a 0-4-2 wheel arrangement with identical cylinders to engine No. 1, and 4 ft 1 in (1.24 m) wheels. This locomotive worked until 1952 when it was also scrapped. With the scrapping of No. 1 just following the Second World War, new steam locomotives were only available on four year lead times, therefore a second-hand engine was acquired in 1947 from the Southern Railway at a cost of £750. This was a William Stroudley 0-4-2 D1 Tank and was named James Fryers in honour of the Chairman of the Hospital Management Committee. The engine was originally built for the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway in 1886. Numbered 357, it carried the name Riddlesdown. In Southern Railway service it bore the number 2357. Serious boiler defects in 1956 curtailed its working career and the engine met the scrap-man that year when it proved beyond economic repair. Before scrapping, it was the sole surviving member of its class. A further locomotive was thus required and a 100 hp (75 kW) Sentinel shunter, named Gradwell, was acquired from Bolton gas works. It worked for only 18 months before the line was closed. The Ribble Steam Railway will be using Sentinel St.Monans as W.H.R. ‘Gradwell’ as part of a special exhibition to mark the anniversary.
Steaming along nicely (September 11, 2016 - Steve Stokes)
Furness Railway Trust News The winter months, with reduced distractions from the operation of locomotives, have enabled considerable progress to be made on a number of fronts. There was a dust free period enforced in the shed during the latter part of January and early February whilst the exterior of the RMB was treated to its fresh coat of red and cream paint in readiness for joining the RSR coaching fleet later this year. All went to plan and some final re-plating by John Dixon and painting of the body at the east end of the coach around the corridor connection will see this aspect of the project complete. There then remains the task of finishing the re-installation of panelling inside the vehicle, particularly in the toilet and buffet areas, in readiness for a heavy clean to remove all traces of dirt and dust; Mike Rigg has already made good progress in this respect whilst Paul Newton has been finishing off the new gas compartment door. Sorting out the interior will not be a two minute job and will require the evacuation of a considerable amount of kit (paint cans, tools and other miscellaneous paraphernalia) that has been stored in the RMB during the erection of the shed. New shelves are being erected by David Rimmer in the former first class North London Railway coach body to accommodate this equipment whilst longer term storage is arranged. Another job that will need to be completed is the renewal of some of the floor covering where repairs to the floor have been made during the overhaul process. So, although the RMB looks pretty well finished from the outside, there is still some serious work to be done before the job can be declared finished.
Tim Owen applies undercoat paint to the RMB on the 18th January 2017. Photo: Mike Rigg
Howard Fletcher runs a die nut down Calibanâ€™s cylinder cover threads on the 28th January 2017
The strip down of Peckett 0-4-0ST Caliban's frames has been completed and it is intended shortly to lift them in order to release the wheels. All the components that have been removed have been cleaned up and freed off where necessary before receiving a coat of red oxide primer. The frames themselves have been subject to treatment from a needle gun and countless cup wire brushes in order to remove the build up of rust and flaking paint. These tasks have kept Adrian Tomkinson, Fred Jones and Roger Benbow occupied for some months. Some of the running board was beyond repair and has been removed. New plate is in the process of being drilled prior to fitting. Howard Fletcher has joined the gang and has been working on four new cast brass lubrication boxes which required machining and drilling. One of the next tasks will be to remove the life expired smokebox and to conduct a full NDT of the boiler and firebox. A source of patterns has been located which will assist the job of replacing the brasses and cab fittings which were stolen whilst the engine was in store at Carnforth. All the superheater flues and smoke tubes have now been removed from the boiler of GWR 4-6-0 No. 4979 Wootton Hall and a set of crinolines, which enables the boiler cladding to be attached to the boiler and firebox outside of the insulation, has been fabricated. A new water collection chamber, which will hang under the tender tank when it is built, has also been manufactured. The water to feed the injectors passes through the chamber which contains filters which prevent foreign bodies from affecting the performance of the injectors. Two left hand valve eccentric rods have recently been acquired and a pair for the right hand side is still sought. The three new lubrication valves which supply oil to the cylinders and regulator have arrived after being machined and are now attached to the smokebox. Thanks go to Bill Norcross for machining up various other items for the locomotive.
Fred Jones working beneath Calibanâ€™s running board.
Alan Middleton drills holes in the new running board plate for Caliban on the 1st March 2017
Steady progress is still being made on Fowler 0-4-0DM Fluff by the diesel gang of Alan Ogden, Ben Masson and Anthony Jolly. An engine lift is now required to enable significant further progress to be made on the project to restore the locomotive to running order. Adrian Tomkinson applies paint to Calibanâ€™s frames on the 15th February
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Outside the shed a new point has been laid to enable rolling stock to enter road four without the necessity for a slew of the track. This single sentence hides the significant amount of administrative and physical work that has been expended on this particular project. First of all a lease on land occupied by Total had to be sought and the necessary permissions granted and legal paperwork exchanged between the relevant parties. The boundary fence and kerbs on the adjacent lorry park had to be moved, which was undertaken relatively speedily by the RSR's contractor, Pyes. This left the task of assembling the elements of the point (thanks go to Ed Tatham and Russell Walker here) and laying the ballast and timber which was undertaken by a combination of volunteers and full time staff. The levelling and ballasting outside and also of road four in the shed have now been completed and further levelling of road three is required before a concrete floor can be laid between the tracks in the shed. All the Trust's operational locomotives have enjoyed winter breaks of varying lengths. Furness Railway No. 20 was first back in action, on the 18th and 19th February, but not before Alan Middleton and Brian Goodfellow had given the locomotive a spruce up earlier in the month. Likewise, Keith Brewer, Fred Jones and George Fletcher have been giving GWR 0-6-2T No. 5643 some TLC at Embsay. 5643's ejector ring failed through corrosion at Christmas and short term repairs were conducted to see it through a steaming on New Year's Day. A new ejector ring and associated elbow have been ordered from the Severn Valley Railway and are currently being cast prior to the necessary machining. 'Austerity' 0-6-0ST Cumbria is due to have its annual cold examination and subsequent steam test with the boiler surveyor in March. Some work is also taking place to refurbish one of the clacks and the big ends are due to have some attention before Cumbria re-enters service at The Battlefield Line at Easter. All three locomotives have had their contracts renewed at Locomotion, Shildon, Embsay and The Battlefield Line respectively for 2017. As ever, on behalf of the trustees of the Furness Railway Trust I wish to thank the many members at Preston who have assisted in any way in the progress made over the winter months. Tim Owen
George Fletcher removing tubes from Wooton Hallâ€™s boiler on the 28th December 2016. Photo Adrian Tomkinson
Mike Rigg cleans one of the RMBâ€™s windows after painting on 22nd February 2017
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Since the new FRT building was completed, we've been looking into connecting up the two roads inside the shed to the main line. As many of you may know, one line was easily connected as there was already one siding on the northern side of the Ribble Rail shed. This had been used to get all the FRT stock in their building, although to get stock on to the outer (northern most) rail meant we had to slew the track inside the shed. This was the method used to get, amongst others, Wootton Hall into the position it now resides. However slewing the track every time we wanted to position any stock on this siding was never a long term solution.
As can hopefully be deduced from the attached plan the problem was where to build a turnout which would provide access to both roads of the shed, with the Total Fina lorry park fence being only 9 metres away from, and directly opposite, the shed door. We had discussed this subject prior to the building being erected and there were only two realistic possibilities. The much preferred option was to try and get a triangle of land off Total. The other option being to start a turnout approx. 10 metres away from the doors, but this would obviously mean that the majority of the turnout would be inside the shed, which would waste a lot of indoor space. It would also mean we wouldn't be able to have a middle stanchion, which in turn would mean we would need a very wide roller shutter door. Having sounded out Total, we were reasonably confident that they would allow us to take a triangle of land. Therefore the shed was erected with a centre stanchion and two separate roller shutter doors, and negotiations proceeded to acquire the land. The negotiations took far longer than anticipated, and is a story in itself, but the lease for the extra triangle of land was
finally signed towards the fourth quarter of 2016. The terms of the lease stipulated that the work including laying the track had to be completed within 6 months.
We had previously sought quotes from two different firms to dig out the section of the lorry park and put a new fence line in. There was a lot more to it than that but that's the basis of the quotes. The quotes were very similar both being around ÂŁ10,000. We chose Pyes Contractors of Longridge who have done a few quite major track jobs for us already, and having been 'primed' that the signing of the lease was imminent, they started work on site almost immediately. This was late October, early November time. Prior to them starting work we had removed the two 60' panels that led into the FRT shed. This allowed Pyes to get on with the work without having any rails in the way. A photo of the state of progress as at 10/11/16 is above. The door on the left just in picture is the end of the Ribble Rail shed and the other two doors are the FRT building. Pyes were waiting to source some similar chain link fencing to what already existed but had otherwise completed their work. Without going in to too much detail, we had already identified a crossing and a pair of switches and together with approx. 30 new timbers the turnout was constructed during December and January. We used a 7 and a half crossing and 'B' switches. Once the turnout was constructed we then laid concrete sleepers and rails in order to connect with the two roads of the shed. The whole section was then levelled and ballasted and the finished product looks pretty good. Invaluable help was supplied primarily by Russ Walker with sterling contributions by various others including the Ribble Rail staff. Ed Tatham.
See photos opposite to view the work.
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Skewing and Slewing
Finally, the completed rails into the FRT shed. (All photos: Ed Tatham)
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‘Waleswood’ Restoration A quick progress report on Hudswell Clark 'Waleswood' from member Colin Stott. New smoke box and saddle tank arrived in December 2016. The loco is being restored at Ironstone Railway, Northampton. Waleswood” is a standard gauge 0-4-0 Saddle tank locomotive built as Works No. 750 by Hudswell Clark and Company Limited in Leeds in 1906 and was used by the company in advertisements to shopwindow its products. She was based at Steamport Southport, where many of our exhibits were original based before that site closed in 1999 and we moved to Preston.
You can follow the restoration and contact Colin via their Facebook page www.facebook.com/Hudswell.Clark.750.Waleswood/
L&Y ‘Pug’ Two "Pugs" have survived into preservation, both through the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Trust. L&YR No. 19 (LMS No. 11243), built in 1910, was sold by the LMS into industry in 1931 and was acquired by the Trust from the United Glass Bottle Manufacturers Ltd. at Charlton in 1967. It was found to be in poor mechanical condition and was later placed on static display pending overhaul, most recently at the Ribble Steam Railway.
Class B7 'Pug' 0-4-0 Saddletank No.19, Built in 1910, No. 19 later became LMS number 11243 and was sold in 1931 to John Mowlem for use on a major contract at Southampton Docks where she was named ‘Bassett’. Four years later the locomotive was moved to London, re-named ‘Prince’ and operated at the Charlton works of United Glass Bottle Manufacturers Ltd. Weighing just over 21 tons and a short wheelbase, Pugs were the ideal choice for shunting duties on docksides and yards where they could easily negotiate tight radius curved track. Acquired in 1969 following 38 years of industrial service after sale by the LMS as 11243. A trial steaming at Haworth showed that extensive work was required, so 19 became at static exhibit, first at Oxenhope and subsequently at ‘Steamport Southport’, the former L&Y shed. When our organisation relocated to the Ribble Steam Railway at Preston 19 also relocated and is currently on public display there, restored to exhibition condition. Sponsorship is sought for restoration of this locomotive. http://www.lyrtrust.org.uk/
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Saturday 1st July, 1972
Eugene Wheelwright asked “Who remembers that ‘fantastic Saturday’, the Birkenhead Docker No.3 with Lucy and Efficient jointly run by LLPG and WRC. There are some more photos in the archives on www.facebook.com/steamport/ and it was also featured in a Railway Magazine. Has anyone got any more that we might feature?
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Spotlight On Our Spring Steam Gala Guest Loco
The oldest working Peckett 'Whitehead' as seen outside the shed at Steamport Southport in the mid 1980's - Photo by Gary Severn
at Cwmbran, Monmouthshire, where it was renamed Whitehead and shared duties with another Peckett saddle tank No.1448 of 1917 named Hill. Here, the two locos shunted within the wireworks and took their trains the short distance to the GWR exchange sidings to the north of the site. In 1944, whilst at Cwmbran, Whitehead received a new boiler. By the 1950’s, Whitehead (the company) had become involved in brick production at their Llandowlais brickworks located to the south of the Oakfield wireworks. With rail connection between the two sites, it became the task of the two Peckett locos to transport coal to the brickworks. By the end of 1966, the two Pecketts, which had been working in recent years on the basis of six months on, six months off, finally became redundant and Hill was broken up on site.
Peckett 0-4-0ST No. 1163 Whitehead On the 15th of December 1908, another industrial tank locomotive rolled off the production line at the Peckett & Sons’ Atlas Works in Bristol. Built to Pecketts’ M5 design and carrying the works number 1163 and the name of its new owners, Cefnstylle, the loco was dispatched to the Cefnstylle Colliery Company’s site at Gowerton, north of Swansea. Although in South Wales, the colliery stood adjacent to a branch of the London and North Western Railway. In 1913, the colliery changed ownership and all assets became the property of the Cefngoleu Colliery Company. In 1914, the colliery and its assets changed hands again, this time becoming the property of Berthlwyd Colliery Ltd. At some time whilst based at Gowerton, 1163 Cefnstylle was loaned to the Swansea Harbour Trust and worked at Swansea Docks, eventually returning to the colliery at Gowerton. By 1921, Cefnstylle was due an overhaul and was sent back to Pecketts for the work to be undertaken. Upon returning to Gowerton, 1163 was renamed Cefngoleu. In 1922 however, Cefngoleu Colliery closed down and 1163 and another loco based at the colliery were put into store, probably at the Berthlwyd Slant Colliery which was owned by the same company and located about 1 mile further along the LNWR line. Fourteen years later, 1163 was removed from store and sold for the sum of £745 to the Whitehead, Hill & Company’s Oakfield Wireworks
Whitehead was more fortunate and was purchased for preservation by a Mr Buncombe who had made his living by hiring out steam rollers to the local council from his garage in Highbridge, Somerset. It was to this garage that Whitehead was taken in January, 1967, having travelled from Wales over the then new Severn road bridge. The planned restoration by Mr Buncombe didn’t materialise and by 1971, the loco was sold again. This time to a consortium of Great Western Society (Taunton Branch) members who took it to their unloading point in Taunton’s freight concentration yard, from where it was towed by a 350hp diesel shunter along the West of England main line
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through Taunton station to its new home. Here, it was completely stripped down, overhauled and returned to steam. With the occupation of Minehead station and yard by the West Somerset Railway in 1976, Whitehead moved to the WSR and is remembered for hauling a train transporting a signal box over most of the railway. After a few years of operation, Whitehead was again up for sale. In November, 1982 it was bought privately and taken to 27C – Southport MPD – (also known as Steamport) where it was stored out of use until 1990 when restoration eventually started – and lasted for six years.
Whitehead steamed at Southport on a few occasions before moving to Preston Docks for the annual Marina Festival in 1997. Before its return to 27C, it took part in the Lancashire Evening Post’s Fun Day at their offices at Fullwood, north of Preston, where it was steamed whilst still on the low-loader. Back at Southport, with the days now numbered for the old ex-Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway engine shed, steamings were occasional with the final “Goodbye 27C” event on 29th November, 1997. With Steamport now closed to the public and all vehicles stored awaiting transfer to the Ribble Steam Railway, 1163 left in 1998 for pastures new. May, 1998 to June, 1999 saw it in regular operation at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. Then following an appearance at the summer Barrow Hill Steam Galas in July, 1999, it finally made its way to its present home at the Midland Railway – Butterley.
Liveries and Names; When 1163, arrived at Butterley, it was painted in mid-green and retained the full back cab sheet, which it acquired during its industrial life. A few months later, the back sheet was removed and 1163 received a repaint into brunswick green. Now fitted with GWR style numberplates in recognition of its time working at Swansea Docks, it remained in this livery until early 2006. During this time, it carried no less than four names: Cefnstylle was carried usually when it was not in steam; During Days Out With Thomas events, it became Taffy; it transformed into Rudolph when operating during the Christmas period and its last industrial name Whitehead was carried at all other times. In early, 2006, with the completion of 3F 47327 as an operational Thomas still some time away, the Midland’s management made a request for 1163 to be transformed into an operational Percy for four days (over two weekends), whilst 3F 47357 would become a static Thomas. And so 1163 appeared fully licensed as the famous No. 6 in its very bright green livery. A few weeks later 1163 returned to traffic with its new coat of black paint, smokebox numberplate and BR style mixed traffic lining which it carried until being withdrawn for its ten year overhaul at the end of 2006. This was a ‘how it might have been’ livery had it stayed at Swansea Docks. On return to traffic in 2011, it appeared back in unlined brunswick green but carrying its Peckett worksplates on its cabsides once again. This is how it remains today.
The oldest working Peckett 1163 'Whitehead' (www.facebook.com/1163whitehead/)
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Blasts From The Past
Andrew Barclay 1598 'Efficient' taken during a photo charter at the now closed BSC Shelton steelworks at Etruria, Stoke-on-trent 09/04/00. (c. John Eyres)
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NCB Lothian Area No. 20, Andrew Barclay 0-6-0ST, Wks. no. 1833 of 1924, is pictured at the site of Lady Victoria Colliery, Newtongrange, Midlothian. The site is located alongside the former Waverley railway line, which has recently been reopened to Galashiels and Tweedbank. Lady Victoria Colliery has now been redeveloped as the Scottish Mining museum. (Photo: Laurie Mulrine)
North British 27653/1957 at BICC's site at Prescot outside Liverpool.
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Preston’s former public tramways. With the recent announcement of the start of trials for a new tramway for Preston, it may be of interest to look into Preston’s trams of times gone by.
The main company for all the stabling for the duration of the horse drawn tramways was W. Harding & Co. Ltd. Livery Stables, originally located at the summit of Fishergate Hill, opposite the railway station. Harding’s subsequently moved to the former Post Office building on Fishergate in 1902 when their premises, along with two hotels were demolished to make way for the railway bridge extension.
Horse drawn tram at the bottom of Fishergate Hill. 31 December 1903
Departure of the first electric tram in service on Lancaster Road Preston. 7 June 1904
Horse drawn tramways were in force in Preston from 1879 and were a very successful form of public transport in their time. The main drawbacks of using horses was the necessary feeding and watering of them and of course the stabling during non-working times. Also, not least, was the inevitable waste the horses left behind in the streets which, in that period would have been somewhat of a tremendous pollution, although one would imagine that gardeners would not have complained!
In 1904 the horse drawn tram system had come to an end and was superseded by the electric overhead trolley system, the first car being run on 7 June 1904. The contractors for the work involved in the electrification of the tramways, including the cars, permanent way, overhead equipment and generating plant were Dick, Kerr and Co., of Preston. The power station on Holmrook Road, adjacent to the Deepdale Road Tram Depot, was erected by a Mr. T. B. Garnett and the chimney-stack was built by T. Croft and Sons.
Deepdale Bus Depot which, in earlier days, was the former Tram Depot W. Harding & Co. Ltd. Livery Stables Fishergate, Preston 1895
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At that time in 1904, Preston Corporation had 30 double deck cars and by 1912 four new single cars were added. The routes initially were to Sharoe Green Lane (via North Road), Sharoe Green Lane (via Deepdale Road, Farringdon Park, Ashton, Penwortham and Ribbleton.
The final tram to depart from Fulwood Preston. December 15th 1935 Fatalities - Despite the relatively slow speeds involved, both systems claimed several victims during their years of operation: On Saturday May 26th 1888 the Preston Chronicle reported that a child aged 16 months was ran over and killed by the 5:45 horse drawn tram car from Preston. The accident occurred at the junction of Hull Street and Tulketh Road. The child was later identified as the daughter of Mr. Thomas Wilkinson Boot & Shoemaker of 25 Tulketh Road. Another fatality took place on October 11th 1920. The Lancashire Daily post reported the following: "Shortly after four o'clock on Saturday after-noon, James Livingstone., aged 5 of 20 Shuttle-street, Preston, was knocked down by a tram-car in Ribbleton Lane. The driver noticed two small boys sitting on the kerb-stone near the corner of Shuttle-street, and one of them suddenly darted into the road, as if to pick something up. Although the car was pulled up within its own length by the electric brake, the child was pinned under the guard. The front of the car was jacked up, and the boy released in less than two minutes. A motor cyclist took him in a sidecar to the Infirmary where he succumbed to his injuries about 7:30 last evening".
Preston Corporation Tram No. 28 c. 1933 Preston Corporation Tram No.22, 1934.
On 15 December 1935, the final tram to depart from Fulwood made its way to the town for the very last journey which signalled the end of the Preston tramways for good â€Śor maybe not quite for good! Many thanks goes out to the Preston Digital Archive for use of their images in this article.
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Above: 'Courageous' ready for a Santa departure, Sunday 4th Dec 2016 (Dave Manley) Below: Sentinel shunter 'Progress' on the morning of 13/12/2016 (Ian Roberts)
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Above: Boilers line-up in the workshop, top to bottom are - Niddrie, Windle and North West Gas Board, 4th December 2016 (Dave Manley) Below: â€˜Courageousâ€™ takes a minute out whilst Santa does his stuff at the Exchange sidings, Sunday 4th Dec 2016 (Gary Severn)
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Steam Loco Stock List Andrew Barclay 1147/1908 'John Howe' Andrew Barclay 1598/1918 'Efficient' Andrew Barclay 1833/1924 'Niddrie' Andrew Barclay 1865/1926 'Alexander' Andrew Barclay 1950/1928 'Heysham No.2' Andrew Barclay 1969/1929 'JN Derbyshire' Andrew Barclay 2343/1953 'British Gypsum No4' Andrew Barclay 880/1902 0-4-0CT 'Glenfield No1' Avonside 1568/1909 'Lucy' Avonside 1810/1918 'M.D.H.B. No. 26' Avonside 1883/1922 Bagnall 2680/1942 'Courageous' Borrows 48/1906 'The King' Borrows 53/1909 'Windle' BR Ivatt 46441/1950 *Furness Railway No.20 (FRT) Grant Ritchie 272/1894 *GWR 0-6-2T 5643 (FRT) GWR 4-6-0 4979 Wootton Hall (FRT) Hawthorn Leslie 3931/1938 No.21 'Linda' Hunslet 1954/1939 'Kinsley' Hunslet 2890 0-6-0 'Douglas' Hunslet 3155/1944 'Walkden' Hunslet 3696/1950 'Respite' Hunslet 3793/1953 'Shropshire' Hunslet 3855/1955 'Glasshoughton No.4' *Hunslet WD194/1953 ‘Cumbria’ (FRT) *L&Y Aspinall 1300/12322-1896 L&Y Pug 1097/1910 ‘No.19' (L&Y Trust) LNWR Ramsbottom 1439/1865 (NRM) Peckett 737/1899 'Daphne' (Not Viewable) Peckett 1636/1924 'Fonmon' Peckett 1925/1937 'Caliban' (FRT) Peckett 1935/1937 'Hornet' Peckett 1999/1941 'North Western Gas Board' Peckett 2003/1941 'John Blenkinsop' (MRT) RSH 7485/1948 'Agecroft No.2' Sentinel 8024/1929 'Gasbag' Sentinel 9373/1947 'St Monans' USA 0-6-0T No.30072 / 1943 * Denotes currently offsite / on loan
Grant Richie 272 visited the NRM, York for Christmas (Photos: Anthony Coulls)
Sizzling Sausages on the shovel. Bet they tasted good on the footplate of Grant Richie during the chill of the winter day.
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Diesel Loco Stock List Diesel, Electric & Battery locomotives. BR Class 03 03189/1960 BR Class 03 D2148/1960 BR Class 05 D2595/1959 BR Class 14 D9539/1965 Diesel Railbus - 79960/1958 English Electric EE2098/1955 '671' English Electric EE788/1930 English Electric VF2160/D350/1956 '663' Fowler 0-4-0DM 21999/1937 "Fluff" (FRT) Fowler 4160001/1952 'Persil' Greenwood Batley 2000/1945 'Greenbat' Howard 965/1930 'Hotto' Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0 DM D629 'Sparky' Hudswell Clarke 1031/1956 'Margaret' Hudswell Clarke D628/1943 'Mighty Atom' North British 27653/1957 BICC Sentinel 10226/1965 'Energy' ex MSC DH23 Sentinel 10282/1968 'Enterprise' Sentinel 10283/1968 'Progress' Thomas Hill 160V/1966 'Stanlow No. 4' Yorkshire 2677/1960 D2870 Permaquip Ballast Packer No.74030/BP036 Permaquip TRAMM 98404/1990/91 Taylor-Hubbard Diesel-Electric 7.5ton crane No.81201
MAR 25/26 DIESEL GALA APR 1/2 STEAM GALA APR 14/15/16/17 EASTER APR 29/30 MAY 1 FRIENDLY ENGINES MAY 6/7 STEAM MAY 13/14 STEAM MAY 20/21 STEAM MAY 27/28/29 TEDDY BEARS JUN 3/4 STEAM JUN 10/11 STEAM JUN 17/18 STEAM (18 'WHEELS' FATHER'S DAY) JUN 24/25 STEAM JUL 1/2 STEAM JUL 8/9 STEAM JUL 15/16 STEAM JUL 22/23 STEAM JUL 29/30 TRAM EVENT
———————————————————————— DIESEL LOCO MILEAGES 2016. ENTERPRISE 553 RAILBUS 398 PROGRESS 311 D9539 307 D2148 278 ENERGY 230 STANLOW 172 D2595 157 NS 663 94 TOTAL MILEAGE 2500 (2015 MILAGE 2681)
AUG 5/6 STEAM AUG 12/13 STEAM AUG 19/20 STEAM AUG 26/27/28 FRIENDLY ENGINES SEP 2/3 STEAM SEP 9/10 STEAM GALA SEP 16/17 STEAM SEP 23/24 STEAM SEP 30/OCT 1 DIESEL GALA
RAILBUS Ran 192 miles at Llangollen. D9539 Covered at Peak Rail not known. Thanks to Mike MacArthur for this regular annual update of the Diesel Fleet.
OCT 28/29 SPOOKY TRAINS DEC 2/3/9/10/16/17/23 SANTA
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Santa Special, 4th December 2016 (Ian Roberts)
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Above: Diesels line up in the shed yard, Nov 24 2016, (Ade Tomkinson) Below: NS663 seen working a freight train near the swing bridge on Preston Dock in October 2016 (Kevin Delaney)
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The Fall and Rise of The Class 60
Photos taken at Procor when the bodies for the 60's were being built, 1989
The Class 60 arose from the arrival, and subsequent success, of the Class 59 locomotive. With a haulage capacity and reliability superior to the Class 31, 37 and 47 locomotives in sector service at the time, Trainload Petroleum, Metals, Construction and Coal were prompted to lobby for a new UK designed locomotive to match it. British Rail Board eventually secured the necessary treasury funding and following a difficult procurement process, the contract was finally awarded to Brush Electrical Machines of Loughborough on May 17, 1988 for 100 locomotives. Brush’s design incorporated many features from the Class 59’s specification, as well as their own Sepex traction control system, tested on the Class 58, to improve adhesion. The Class 60s were geared for a maximum speed of 62 mph, the power units being eight cylinder, 145 litre Blackstone 8MB275T diesel traction engines built by Mirrlees at their Stockport works, delivering a maximum power output of 3,100hp at 1000rpm.
The bodyshell, shared with the Class 92 locomotives, was of a monocoque, stressed skin construction with diagonal trusses, the external bodywork providing support for the internal components and all were built by Procor (UK) of Wakefield.
The first locomotive was handed over to Railfreight on time, in June 1989, but extensive teething problems (many involving computer software), meant that it took sixteen months before the first of the Class were accepted and nearly four years to introduce all 100 of the Class 60 locomotives to service. By the time the Class 60 fleet entered service, Trainload’s Sector businesses had given way to “shadow” privatisation and the formation, in 1994, of Loadhaul, Transrail and Mainline Freight with the Class 60 fleet split equally between them. English, Welsh and Scottish Railway bought the whole Class 60 fleet as part of British Railway’s privatisation, reallocating the entire Class 60 fleet to Toton as a cost cutting measure and to pool common parts. By 2003/4, a number of locomotives were stored as surplus to operational requirements.
In 2007 EWS became part of DB Schenker and at the end of October 2010, the entire Class 60 fleet was mothballed, with the exception of 60040 The Territorial Army Centenary and 60074 Teenage
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Cancer Trust. By the end of 2011, two more locomotives were returned to service, followed by an announcement that twenty one further Class 60s were to be overhauled in 2012, this being completed by the end of 2013. In June 2014, Colas Rail purchased ten locomotives and by February 2016 there were twenty four operational locomotives.
Colas Class 60's 002, 021, 026, 047, 056, 076, 085, 087, 095, 096
Many of Colas Class 60’s have become regulars on the Preston Dock working of Bitumen Tankers from Lindsey Oil Refinery. One in particular is 60087.........
The first Class 60 to appear in the Colas yellow and orange livery was 60087. Built at Brush Traction in December 2003 with the works no.989, locomotive 60087 was named as ‘Slioch’ to December 2003, before then being renamed ‘Barry Needham’ from May 2004, the only Class 60 to have its original name transferred to another class member (locomotive 60069). At a ceremony at Long Marston in June 2014, 60087 was renamed once more, as ‘CLIC Sargent’ - Colas celebrate their 10th Birthday in September this year, 2017.
Colas Rail is a rail freight company, formerly known as Seco Rail. In January 2008, Colas merged its Seco Rail operations with its other rail subsidiary AMEC-Spie, under the new operating name of Colas Rail, and also acquired the Plant division of Carillion Rail which was included in the new group. In 2007, it took charge of the Kronospan timber flow from Carlisle to Chirk. This was previously in the hands of AMEC-Spie and subsequently became Colas' first regular freight contract, run by hired-in locomotives. Also in 2007, it purchased three Class 47 diesel locomotives from EWS. All three were overhauled at Eastleigh Works and in September 2007, commenced operating railhead treatment trains in South West England for Network Rail. In late 2008, it commenced operating steel trains from Immingham to Washwood Heath with Class 56s hired from Hanson Traction. In 2009, it commenced a further steel flow from Burton upon Trent to Dollands Moor using its own Class 47s. In late 2009, Colas leased four Class 66s (66841–66844) that had last been used by Advenza Freight. These were joined by 66845 that had last been used by Direct Rail Services. Following their owners concluding a deal to lease all five to GB Railfreight, it purchased five (66846– 66850) that had previously been used by Freightliner. This coincided with Colas entering the UK coal haulage market. In 2012, Colas purchased four Class 56s. By January 2014, it had purchased 11. In 2012, 86701 was briefly operated on a trial service on the West Coast Main Line hauling former First Great Western Motorail wagons. In May 2012, Colas purchased the Pullman Rail rolling stock maintenance business in Cardiff. In April 2013, Colas formed a joint venture with the Go-Ahead Group to bid for the concession to operate the Docklands Light Railway but later withdrew. In November 2013, it placed an order for 10 Class 70s. At the same time it purchased four Class 37s. In 2014, Colas purchased 10 Class 60s from DB Schenker with an option to purchase a further 10. In 2015, it commenced operating infrastructure trains for Network Rail. To operate these a further four Class 37s were purchased. It also owns and operates a mixed fleet of on-track plant for maintenance operations. http://bit.ly/2l0ib7f
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The Manchester “Club” Trains A Famous Train of the LMS Such are the modest dimensions of these islands on which we live that most of our biggest cities are within tolerably easy reach of the sea. The result is that very many commercial people took advantage of this accessibility by carrying on their business in their respective cities, but living at the seaside. This is a habit that the railway companies, not unnaturally, liked to encourage, for it meant a considerably longer journey, and therefore a proportionately higher season ticket rate, than if the same people were run merely to and from the city suburbs. The business Mancunian had a fine stretch of coast from which to choose. His favourite seaside places of residence were Blackpool, with its outlying suburbs of Lytham and St. Anne’s, and Southport. Rhyl, Colwyn Bay and Llandudno also claim their share of this daily city-coast traffic, and even Morecambe and the lakeside resort of Windermere are not too distant. The whole of this traffic was dealt with at the two adjacent stations of Victoria, once the headquarters of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and of the Western “B” Division of the LMS system, and Exchange, the one-time property of the late London and North Western Railway. Work connected the two terminals directly together, and when finished one of the remarkable features of the joint station was a continuous platform of the enormous length of 2,196 ft. Woe betide the unfortunate seaside resident who arrived at the station at the last minute to find his coast-bound train at the opposite end of this platform from the one he expected!
Of the two stations, Victoria was considerably the larger. Its accommodation was greatly increased
early in the present century, when a new terminal portion, with 10 platforms, was added on the south side for the use of the trains to and from the Oldham, Stalybridge and Bury directions. There were then 17 platforms, of which 11 were terminal, and 6 were through from one end of the station to the other. A singular feature of the working was the manner in which trains to and from the east end of Exchange Station pass through the centre of Victoria, between Nos. 11 and 12 platforms, over relief tracks not provided with platforms; the same lines were used by freight trains that require to pass through Victoria. An ingenious part of the equipment at Victoria was the overhead luggage carrier, which ran right across the station just under the roof. It was electrically worked, and the operator, who had a precarious perch below the carrier, was able, by suitable hoisting tackle, to lower his capacious luggage basket on any platform and, when it had been filled, to lift it and whisk it away to any part of the station required, without delay and with a minimum of effort.
Exchange station was on a much smaller scale and had only five platforms. It was No. 3 at Exchange, coupled with No. 11 at Victoria, that made the 2,196 ft platform, but by means of suitable crossovers it will was able to accommodate two or three trains simultaneously. So the two stations had between them 22 platforms, and when united made one of the largest stations in the country, though from the point of view of compactness the combination could hardly bear comparison with, say, Waterloo terminus in London. Shortly after four o’clock in the afternoon businessmen would go into Exchange Station, for the departure of the first of the “club” trains. What was a “club” train?. A considerable number of years ago certain Blackpool residents formed a kind of travelling club, and requested the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway authorities to provide them with a saloon coach in which they might travel together in a comfortably “clubbable” fashion. The railway people fell in with the idea, and the “club” saloon was duly included in the formation of the chosen Manchester-bound express in the morning, and a down evening express leaving shortly after 5 p.m.
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Since then on all the chief residential expresses between Manchester and Blackpool and Manchester and Southport very fine open corridor coaches had come into use, and the trains were made up thus from end to end. The club members were assured of privacy for their journey. The same idea had been taken up by residents at Llandudno and at Windermere, to both of which popular resorts club saloons were run.
For the working of the train, which consisted of 10 up-to-date bogie vehicles, amply provided with lavatory accommodation but non-corridor, the engine attached was originally one of the handy North Western “Prince of Wales” type 4-6-0’s. Despite their moderate weight of 66 tons, apart from tender, the “Princes” had shown themselves capable of a great variety of passenger work, even up to and including fast and heavy passenger expresses, and their scope was best illustrated by the nickname “Maid-of-all-Work”. With a load of 300 tons like this, over what was throughout an easy road, the “Prince” experienced no difficulties. Three “Claughtons” had been transferred to Llandudno Junction for the purpose of working the train. At 5.52 p.m. Prestatyn was reached, having covered the 66½ miles from Exchange in 82 minutes. Over the rest of the journey stops were made at Rhyl, Abergele, Colwyn Bay and Llandudno Junction, and by 6.43 p.m. the Llandudno “club” train is at rest in Llandudno, 87¾ miles from Manchester.
Blackpool Club Train. The actual “club” trains were the 4.30 p.m. from Exchange to Llandudno, the 5.5 p.m. from Exchange to Windermere, and the 5.10 p.m. from Victoria to Blackpool; but the 5 p.m. from Victoria to Southport and the 4.55 and 5.2 p.m. from the same station to Blackpool also had sufficient of a “club” character to be included. The collection of coast- bound expresses leaving Victoria in this 15 minutes was indeed remarkable, and still more so was the character of the passengers, as from two-thirds to four-fifths of the coaches provided on each of these trains were first-class. The first of these expresses to be away was the 4.30 p.m. from Exchange to the North Wales coast. At one time it was timed at a rather higher speed than it became, as only 48 minutes were allowed for the 40 miles between Manchester and Chester and 34 minutes for the 30 miles on to Rhyl, which, with a four-minute halt at Chester, meant 86 minutes from Manchester to Rhyl. Eventually, with no stop at Chester and a one-minute-halt at Prestatyn instead, the same journey needed 90 minutes. In earlier days the departure time was 4.55 p.m, but it became 25 minutes earlier, and an additional express left at 4.40 p.m. for the same direction, making calls at Warrington and Chester.
Well before this time the Blackpool and Southport “club ” trains had finished their shorter journeys. Of these the 4.55 p.m. was usually the lightest, eight corridor coaches, two of which were destined for Fleetwood, sufficing for the greater part of the year. The engine usually was to be one of the fine Horwich-built four-cylinder 4-6-0’s of “Class 8”, many of which worked on these coast services. For an engine of such power, a train of some 215 tare tons - with passengers not more than 230 tons or so - is but a featherweight, despite the difficult character of the journey. By comparison with the journey just mentioned, this one includes a number of very heavy gradients, as well as severe speed restrictions at various points. Over the extraordinarily sinuous section of line from Manchester through Salford to the “Windsor Bridge No. 3” Junction at Pendleton speed was
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gained, in preparation for the stiff climb past the station bearing the singular name of “Irlams-o’-th’-Height”, up to Pendlebury. This was for two miles at 1 in 99, and would bring down the speed to about 30 or 35 m.p.h. After this there followed some sharp undulations, notably a steeply-graded dip on to the troughs at Walkden, and 2 miles of falling grades also to Atherton, at between 1 in 232 and 106; but of these, owing to constant trouble with subsidences caused by colliery workings underneath, the driver was unable to take full advantage. Then came a bad slack for the junction at Dobb’s Brow, where the train left the Liverpool line and turned northward. This first 12 miles occupied 19 minutes. It then ran over a short spur line that carried it across to the Preston line proper, from which it diverged at Pendleton. It was presumably to ease the congestion of the latter route, which had but two tracks, that the majority of the Blackpool expresses were booked to take the much harder four-track route through Atherton. The Hilton House spur, which was tremendously steep, rising for 1½ miles at between 1 in 51 and 74, and for another three-quarter mile at 1 in 204, avoided Bolton, and brought you back to the Preston line at Blackrod, whence it ran on through Chorley to a junction with the West Coast main line at Euxton, After slackening severely here, to 25 m.p.h, a few more miles of downhill running prepare it for the even worse slowing through Preston, which was passed at 20 m.p.h. in 44 minutes from leaving Victoria, 29¾ miles distant. After the steep pull out of Preston the difficulties of the engine are at an end, as there is little in the way of grades from there on to Blackpool. After eight miles of four-track line, over which a further set of track-troughs, near Salwick, enables the engine to pick up an additional supply of water, it approached Kirkham Junction at high speed. From here three routes are available to Blackpool, and it is interesting to note that all three were used in succession by the 4.55, 5.02 and 5.10 p.m. trains. Curving to the right, taking the northernmost, to the Talbot Road Station, on the north side of Blackpool. The 5.02 will take the central route, direct to Waterloo Road and from there into the Central Station. This is both the shortest in distance and the most recent in construction, but as it serves Blackpool only, and none of the outlying towns, its use (with the
this 5.02 p.m. express) is confined to special and excursion trains. Then comes the 5.10 p.m, which follows the southernmost route into Blackpool, curving round in a great loop to reach Lytham, Ansdell and St. Anne’s on the way to Waterloo Road and Central Station. For the 14½& miles from Preston to Poulton the 4.55 p.m. express was allowed 17 min, and its first stop, 44¼ miles from Manchester, 61 minutes after starting. Here the two through coaches for Fleetwood are detached from the rear, and with six coaches left it passed on to Bispham, where a brief stop was made, and Talbot Road, arriving at 6.6 p.m. It covered a total distance of 47¼ miles, and the comparative slowness of the running must be put down to the difficulties of the route.
Between the 4.55 and 5.2 Blackpool expresses there comes the 5 p.m. Southport express. This was a considerably heavier train, the winter formation amounting to 11 open corridor coaches, often expanded in summer to 12 or 13. This also was usually a “Class 8” 4-6-0 turn, it was reported that Train Spotters were greatly astonished to see the train go out of Victoria on one day with a Midland 4-4-0 compound in charge. Over such gradients as those between Manchester and Wigan, this 300-ton train was a tremendous load for a compound, and it makes you wonder how the engine fared on Pendlebury bank. The Southport express followed close on the wheels of the 4.55 to Blackpool, passing Dobb’s Brow Junction five minutes later, at 5.19 p.m; but no reduction of speed was needed here, as the Southport train took the straight line on to Hindley, where it diverged from the Liverpool line to the left to get through Wigan. The passage through Wigan, which was approached by extremely sharp curves, must not be made at more than 30 m.p.h. and, with such a load as this, 27 minutes from Manchester proved to be none too great an
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allowance for the distance of only 16¼ miles. Rising grades follow to Gathurst, but after that all is plain sailing, and there is a fine straight stretch across the level marches of West Lancashire slightly in favour of the engine, which enables a speed of over 60 an hour to be maintained for some miles, especially if any time has been lost on the congested and difficult earlier stages of the run. St. Luke’s, 32½ miles from Manchester, is reached in 47 minutes, and the main station at Chapel Street, ¾-mile further, at 5.51 p.m.
Following the fortunes of the 5.2 and 5.10 p.m. Blackpool trains. The former had an eight-coach formation of the very latest LMS open corridor stock, and was generally hauled by a 4-4-0 Midland compound. To save clashing with the Southport train, it was taken over the right hand, or “fast” lines from Victoria to Windsor Bridge No. 3 Junction, and from there over the old main line to Preston via Bolton. This was a mile further than the Atherton route, but the gradients are much easier, the average of the rise from Pendleton to Bolton being about 1 in 200. The chief obstacle was the long and severe slowing through Bolton, to 20 m.p.h. The timing is very easy, however, 20 minutes being allowed to clear Bolton, 10¾ miles; 47 minutes to Preston, 30¾ miles; 71 minutes to the stop at Waterloo Road and 76 minutes to Blackpool Central. The 5.10 p.m. - the real Blackpool “club” train was another of heavy formation, being generally made up to 10 corridor cars and the club saloon, but expanding to 13 vehicles in the summer season. This is an almost invariable “Class 8” 4-6 -0 turn of duty. Following the Southport express to Dobb’s Brow Junction, which was passed at 5.30 p.m, the 5.10 carries on over the very steep Hilton House spur, pursuing the same route as the 4.55 p.m. coast bound train to Blackrod, Chorley, Preston and Kirkham. Preston was
passed at 5.57 p.m, Kirkham at 6.9 p.m; and the first stop was made at Lytham, 43½ miles from Victoria, at 6.17 p.m. Like all the Blackpool and Southport trains, this express had been decelerated from its earlier running times. At one period Lytham was reached in the even hour from Manchester, but the much heavier corridor rolling stock then in use, with its more limited seating accommodation in proportion to weight, was doubtless in part responsible. After making stops at Ansdell, St. Anne’s and Waterloo Road, the “club” train rolled into Blackpool Central at 6.40 p.m, exactly 90 minutes after starting, having covered a total distance of 51 miles. There is one “club” train left to mention - the Windermere express leaving Exchange at 5.5 p.m. This express completed one of four leaving Exchange and Victoria in the 10 minutes between 4.55 and 5.5 p.m, all running to or through Preston and each one getting there by a different route. The 4.55 p.m. out of Victoria went by Atherton, as we have seen, and the 5.2 by Bolton; the 5 p.m. Glasgow express out of Exchange took the longest route - 33 miles - through Eccles, Tyldesley and Wigan (North Western), where it was combined with the second part of the 1.30 p.m. “ Mid-day Scot" out of Euston; while the 5.5 p.m. to Windermere, in order to get in front of the Glasgow train, took the “Lancashire Union” line from Bickershaw to Standish, over a route which was one of the only two passenger trains in the day to patronise, through Whelley. Another most singular fact is that this last route involves the use of over half-a-mile of London and North Eastern metals, between Strangeways East and Amberswood East junctions. How many travellers of the time knew that it was possible to travel over the LNER on the way from Manchester to Windermere?
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The Windermere train provided a very easy locomotive working. It was usually entrusted to a Midland compound, but occasionally to a 4-6-0 “Prince”. Four non-corridor coaches made up the formation, with the “club” saloon on the rear. The route followed was slack-infested and very heavily graded throughout to Preston, the worst pitch being at 1 in 67 up near Whelley. The 32½ miles to Preston required an allowance of 55 minutes, the Windermere train arriving just two minutes after the 5.10 p.m. Blackpool “club” train had passed through. At Preston, through Liverpool coaches were added, and after a halt of five minutes, a level run followrd over the 21 miles to Lancaster, allowed 26 minutes. A brief sight of the sea was obtained at Hest Bank, and then the Windermere “club” train carried on through the important junctions of Carnforth and Oxenholme without stopping, making Kendal, 21¼ miles from Lancaster, half-an-hour later. It was just 2¼ hours after leaving Manchester Exchange that the train puts in an appearance at Windermere, having travelled 83 miles. In the opposite direction it made a faster trip, cutting off the odd quarter, and completing its journey from Windermere to Manchester in two hours.
One point that cannot fail to be noted in connection with the trains whose working is described in this article is the amazing complexity of the London, Midland and Scottish system in Lancashire. We have just seen how four expresses left two adjacent Manchester stations for Preston within 10 minutes of each other, each one following a different course. The 5 p.m. Southport express and the 5 o’clock from Exchange to Glasgow, again, often run for considerable distances in sight of one another on their journey to or through the two neighbouring stations at Wigan. It must be remembered, however, that this complexity arose partly from the fact that two systems once independent had now been amalgamated. As is the case in many other parts of the country, had the grouping of the railways taken place at an earlier date, it is probable that many such routes, built purely for competitive purposes, would never have come into being. The money thus spent could often have been put to far better use in the doubling and improvement of previously existing lines. But these unnecessarily ramified tracks, all of which had to be staffed and maintained, constituted not the least of the problems which our great railways had to face, in their struggle towards more economical working. Possibly the necessity for strict economy in railway working eventually meant some of the alternative routes were closed.
4-6-0 LMS Express Locomotive, “Prince of Wales” Class. [From The Meccano Magazine, April 1928] Article re-edited from Railway Wonders of the World. www.railwaywondersoftheworld.com/
Looking east along platform 3 at Manchester Exchange in 1960. Since 1924 platform 3 had formed a continuous link between Exchange and Manchester Victoria.
The magazine Railway Wonders of the World, Published by the Amalgamated Press, Railway Wonders of the World appeared in 50 weekly instalments from 1st February 1935 through to 10th January 1936. A vast range of subjects was covered. The complete work was designed to be bound in two hardback volumes which are still readily available. Others chose to retain the weekly parts with their attractive colour covers. Today the weekly parts are more difficult to obtain but do appear from time to time.
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Preston’s railway vicar who spends life on the line Reverend Richard Cook is the railway chaplain for the North West and is always on the move. He’s been riding the railways for 12 years to conduct services at stations in Manchester, Liverpool and further afield. Rev Cook is part of the Railway Mission, a group of specially trained people who offer friendship and a listening ear to anyone connected to the UK’s railways. If you’ve ever seen a remembrance service or carol concert taking place in a station, there’s a good chance you’ve seen Rev Cook in action.
For Richard, the railway is in his blood, starting out in 1978 and working right up until 2004 when a leg injury spelled the end of his career. He had studied theology at London Bible College and in 2001 was ordained in the Fellowship of Evangelical Ministries. When he came to the crossroads in his life he believes God was waiting with another plan. He said: “It was one of those times in life, when you really are at a crossroads, filled with uncertainty about the future; the railway was all I’d known and there I was, without a plan and ready to take a leap of faith. “On 4th June 2004 I finished my career as a train guard and the next day I began my new vocation as a railway chaplain, little did I know that it was all part of God’s grand plan.” A significant part of Rev Richard’s role on the railway is comforting bereaved families who have lost loved ones on the railway, being there for them he insists is a ‘great privilege’. He said: “Sometimes it’s all about sitting in silence with the person and just listening when they feel like speaking. I’ve always believed that
it’s just the odd word you need to say to let them know you’re there. We are here to say it’s ok to hurt – it hurts because you’re human.” But he’s also there for the transport police officers, the train drivers, the guards, anyone traumatised by what they have witnessed or who needs that shoulder to cry on in a time of great difficulty. In 2007, he was a pivotal source of comfort and support for those involved in the Greyrigg train derailment in Cumbria which claimed one life and left many injured. Last year he was highly commended in the Chief Constable’s commendation community engagement of the year category for ‘his very human interaction between the pastoral community of the railway network and the next of kin left coping with the most acute personal tragedy.’
Remembrance service to the Preston Pals Day to day most of Rev Richard’s time is spent visiting every manned station, rail depot and BTP station in the region (his parish as he refers to it) where he connects with his parishioners. He says: “Sometimes, it’s a kind of therapy for staff and officers if they feel they can talk about something they otherwise might not have shared, other times we might just have a catch up over a brew; I’m guided by whatever they need from me. “My life as a rail chaplain is a blessing – my only regret is not coming to it sooner, I enjoy it that much – I genuinely feel it is a privilege.” Richard Cook - Serving the North West of England “I’m known to some as the Flying Vicar, as I’m usually dashing about on trains to meet as many folks as I can. I’m often in my robes for services of celebration, commemoration and remembrance on the railways, but I’m equally happy chatting with staff over a brew in my rugby shirt and chinos.” http://www.railwaymission.org/meet-the-team/
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provided, chiefly at inland beauty spots. The following year, two other railway companies followed suit: the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, with what it originally called "caravans", and the Great Western Railway which called them "camp coaches". In 1935 they were introduced on the Southern Railway and on the L.M.S. Northern Counties Committee in Northern Ireland. In the same year the L.N.E.R. introduced a touring camping coach. As a result of World War II, the facility was not made available after the 1940 season and many of the vehicles were used as temporary accommodation for railway staff or others in connection with the war effort. The Southern Railway reintroduced coaches at some sites in 1947, but their large-scale return came under British Railways ownership in 1952. In 1960 some sites started to receive conversions from Pullman lounge cars. The sites at which larger numbers of coaches were located tended to be on the west coast including Abergele in North Wales, and, in Lancashire, Heysham (pre-war), Squires Gate in Blackpool, and Hest Bank.
Camping coaches were offered by many railway companies in the United Kingdom as accommodation for holiday makers in rural or coastal areas. The coaches were old passenger vehicles no longer suitable for use in trains, which were converted to provide basic sleeping and living space at static locations. Many of the coaches would be removed from their stations in the winter and overhauled at the railway's workshops ready to be returned in the spring, being placed on sidings. The local railway staff looked after the coaches as part of their duties. The charges for the use of these coaches were designed to require groups of people to travel by train to the stations where they were situated; they were also encouraged to make use of the railway to travel around the area during their holiday. They were first introduced by the London and North Eastern Railway in July 1933, when there was a great deal of popular enthusiasm in the urban population for hiking and camping as holiday activities. Initially ten vehicles were
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The number of camping coaches offered for hire declined from the mid-1960s as other forms of holidays became more popular, the condition of the vehicles deteriorated, and the number of staffed stations at which they could be sited decreased. The last were offered to the public by the London Midland Region of British Railways in 1971, although some were retained for many years after this for railway staff to hire for their holidays at Dawlish Warren in Devon and Marazion in Cornwall.
Locations in 1957 This list shows the locations of camping coaches in a typical year - 1957 - but the locations used did vary over time. Eastern Region 6-berth coaches: Corton, Felixstowe Pier, Hopton, Lowestoft North, Mundesley, Oulton Broad South North Eastern Region 4-berth coaches: Robin Hood's Bay, Scalby 6-berth coaches: Cloughton, Bolton Abbey, Goathland, Kettleness, Ravenscar, Sandsend, Sandsend (East Row), Stainton Dale, Staithes Scottish Region 6-Berth coaches: Aboyne, Aberdour, Aberfeldy, Aberlady, Appin, Arisaig, Benderloch, Burghead, Carnoustie, Carr Bridge, Eddleston, Elie, Fairlie High, Fortrose, Glenfinnan, Gullane, Kentallen, Kingussie, Loch Awe, Lochmaben, Lundin Links, Monifieth, Morar, Plockton, Portressie, St Combs, St Monance, Strathyre, Strome Ferry, Tyndrum Lower, West Kilbride Southern Region 6-berth coaches: Amberley, Bere Ferrers, Combpyne, Corfe Castle, East Budleigh, Hinton Admiral, Littleham, Lyndhurst Road, Martin Mill, Newton Poppleford, Sandling for Hythe, Sway, Tipton St John, Woodbury Road, Wool, Wrafton London Midland Region 6-berth coaches: Aber, Abergele, Bakewell, Bassenthwaite Lake, Betws-y-Coed, Squires Gate (Blackpool), Coniston, Darley Dale, Glan Conway, Grange-over-Sands, Lakeside (Windermere), Llanberis, Rhuddlan, Seascale, Silloth
A few heritage railways and private companies have now taken to offering camping coaches at select locations. While ideal for railway enthusiasts, they are also marketed to the general public. Current locations are Bere Ferrers, Devon / Blue Anchor, Somerset / Cloughton, North Yorkshire / Coalport, Shropshire / Dawlish Warren, Devon / Ebberston, Allerston, North Yorkshire / Glenfinnan, Highland / Goathland, North Yorkshire / Hayle, Cornwall / Levisham, North Yorkshire / Petworth, West Sussex / Ravenglass, Cumbria / Rogart, Highland / St Germans, Cornwall.
Western Region 8-berth coaches: Aberayron, Aberdovey, Abererch, Arthog, Barmouth Junction, Blue Anchor, Borth, Bow Street, Buckfastleigh, Carrog, Cheddar, Chudleigh, Congesbury, Dawlish Warren, Dolgelly, Duffryn Ardudwy, Fairbourne, Ferryside, Fowey, Gara Bridge, Kerne Bridge, Lavernock, Limpley Stoke, Llwyngwril, Loddiswell, Lustleigh, Luxulyan, Manorbier, Marazion, Penally, Perranwell, Saundersfoot, St Agnes, St Erth, Shepherds, Shiplake, Stogumber, Sully, Symonds Yat, Talsarnau, Tintern, Wargrave, Winscombe, Yealmpton.
Maybe RSR would benefit having a Camping Coach (Ed - Sorry Alan !)
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Fleetwood-Knott End Ferries
The port of Fleetwood was developed from 1830, and early ferries which ran across the River Wyre were powered by oar and sail. In 1841, the Croft family organised a ferry service, running from the beaches on either side of the river. The first meeting to propose a steam Fleetwood-Knott End ferry service was held in 1851, but is was not until 1892 that the Fleetwood Improvement Commissioners reached agreement with the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway to build a ferry jetty at Fleetwood. Agreement was then made with the local landowner to gain access at Knott End. The Ferry Committee of the Improvement Act District of Fleetwood (predecessors of the Fleetwood Urban District Council - UDC) assumed responsibility for the ferries in 1893, but leased the operation to local operators, initially Newsham & Myerscroft. In 1894, a steam launch Nelson was being used for the ferry. From 1895-98, the Croft family regained control of the ferries.
The Croft family again tendered for the service in 1898, but the decision was taken that the council should run its own ferries, and the steamer Onward, plus sailing vessels Quail and Nymph, were bought from the Crofts.
However, members of the Croft family were subsequently appointed as Ferry Manager, Captain, engineer, deck hands and general assistant for the new concern. Onward could carry 117 passengers, and she was soon joined by the Progress, which could carry 140 passengers and was built locally by John Gibson. In July 1901, a furthJohn Gibson. Onward was sold for use at Chatham. A new addition was the Bourne May.
In 1925 the famous Wyresdale arrived, which became the primary vessel for over thirty years. The smaller Pilling assisted with off-peak services. Wyresdale was 54 gross tons and 63 feet long, and steam reciprocating machinery powered twin screws. She was built by James Robertson of Fleetwood. In 1935 she was joined by the slightly smaller motor vessel Lunevale (62 feet long, 46 gross tons), and in 1941 the small Caldervale (30 feet, 23 gross tons) replaced the Pilling. Wyresdale suffered a tragic boiler explosion in 1957, and three people were killed. I believed her scrapped at the time, but some years later discovered her again at Glasson Dock. She had been used for excursions at Morecambe, fitted with new diesel engines.
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Caldervale at Knott End, with IOMSPCo's Manxman at the Railway Pier.
In 1966, the ferry Viking 66 was built by Charles Martin at Rockferry, and she maintained the service for many years. The council chartered local boats when she was not available. For a number of years, Viking 66 was joined by the larger Wyre Lady, which had previously served on the River Clyde. By the mid-1980s, Wyre Lady had gone, and Viking 66 was run by Bird's Sea Fishing, later CAS Birds and Bay Boating Company. Most of their boats were open fishing launches, but by 1995 they had the excursion vessel Lady Victoria Belle, which had a small cabin and upper deck. She operated trips on the river and along the coast. The Knott End ferry was generally operated by the Wonder at this period. The late 1990s and early 2000s were turbulent times for the ferry, with a succession of operators running the service (usually summer only), including Wyre Boat Survives, and Swift Offshore Services (with the Wyre Princess). The service was suspended in 2001, and the local excursion operators appear to have disappeared too. By 2003, the service had restarted with Wyre Waste Management, using the ferry Harvester. The service operated from April 7th to October 31st in 2004, with a half hourly service between 8am and 6pm. The service is funded by both Lancashire County Council and Wyre Borough Council. Discussions c on t in u e d in 2004 on whether to upgrade the vessel and jetties for all-year service.
Viking 66 was stolen late at night by a love-sick drunk who wanted to visit his girlfriend in Ireland. He ran aground a few miles away, after the local lifeboat and a police helicopter were mustered. He made his own way ashore and was arrested ! The Wyre Lady was a large, impressive vessel built in 1938 by Dennyâ€™s of Dumbarton as the Ashton for operation as a railway passenger ferry on the River Clyde. She was particularly well known on the Largs to Millport run. During the Second World War she was a naval tender and often serviced the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth in their roles as troop ships. Wyre Lady was a disaster, the crew would moan on her lack of power, she was totally unsuited to the Wyre, with its strong current. She had a plaque saying she was at Dunkirk !
Wyre Rose as delivered in 2005
Bay Queen - Bird's Sea Fishing/Bay Boating Company Bourne May - Fleetwood UDC Caldervale - Fleetwood UDC Harvester - Wyre Waste Management Lady Victoria Belle - Bay Boating Company Lunevale - Fleetwood UDC Onward - Fleetwood UDC Princess Anne - Bird's Sea Fishing/Bay Boating Company Progress - Fleetwood UDC Viking 66 - Fleetwood UDC Wonder - Bird's Sea Fishing/Bay Boating Company Wyresdale - Fleetwood UDC Wyre Angler - Bird's Sea Fishing/Bay Boating Company Wyre Lady - Fleetwood UDC Wyre Rose - Fleetwood UDC
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M.V. Druid at Preston
The hulk of the recently salvaged (c.1962) Druid is seen lying on the north bank of the Ribble just downstream from the Penwortham Bridge. Strand Road is just out of view to the right. The Druid foundered in the River estuary on August 22nd 1962 with the sad loss of three of her crew.
Don't be confused by this view, in 1980, she was not broken up at Wards - She is abutting Wards yard in this view, lying on the Diversion Quay and alongside the Port of Preston buoy storage area next to the coal conveyor.
Image courtesy of The Lancashire Evening Post www.lep.co.uk The ill fated Druid at launch, Papendracht, Holland 1959. The flat landscape surrounding the shipyard did not allow for a conventional gravity launch, hence the crane assist.
It was common practice to remove tarps and boards when coming into Preston to load coal, ready to load once under the hoist. The wind was a westerly force 8 and rough water from Nelson Buoy to the bar. Approaching the bar with the following sea she suddenly broached, came broadside and capsized. She rolled and came upright again facing seaward and foundered. The stability of the DRUID has often been discussed and past crew members testified to her being 'tender' when light. The Lytham St. Anne's lifeboat was the SARAH TOWNSEND PORRITT, alerted by the Coastguard were away in 12 minutes. Already on the scene was the Preston No.1 pilot cutter ST. ANNE who picked up one man and the Valley helicopter and the Wharton helicopter picked up the crew members. MV Druid's name is still painted on the dock wall where she used to berth. c. www.shipsnostalgia.com
"Bridget C" photographed in the 1980's lying in Preston Dock, after its commercial closure. Built in Holland as the "Druid", for Scottish owners, she was declared a constructive total loss after foundering in the Ribble in 1962. Bought by Preston Corporation it served for some years as a "navigation barge" moored off Lytham. With the closure of Preston it was bought and renamed "Bridget C". The new owner had planned to sail to the Mediterranean, with his vessel equipped as a mobile maintenance workshop serving the yacht fraternity. His dreams were never realised and she became a "live aboard" vessel remaining within the Irish Sea. Her days finally came to an end at Penrhyn. The "tulip" at her mast head gives away her Dutch pedigree. Mr Billy Fisher, who bought this vessel, had an engineering firm on the docks, its actually named after his wife. Bridget C set sail to the Isle of Man but struggled to reach port due to strong winds. However, after many amendments including a new propeller she was able to make better progress. The ship was sold as a floating workshop to an engineer who wanted her for a workshop in Penrhyn which is why she ended up there. Bill Fisher died in 2006. c.Preston Digital Archives
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Preston Hauliers - Part 1 Haulage contractor John Goodier & Son, was an old Preston company but now gone... They were based at 1 Goodier Street, New Hall Lane, Preston. PR1 5NZ until the company dissolved.
Walter Edmundson Ford Thames Trader six wheeler.
A Goodier lorry, seen when new, a Atkinson Defender.
This new Defender was exhibited at the RHA Tipcon event at the Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool, 1972
A range of rigid eight-wheeled chassis, plated at 26, 28 or 30 tons gross, was launched by Atkinson Vehicles Ltd in 1971, designed to take advantage of the relaxed weights proposed by the DoE at the time. A prototype of the 28-130-ton eight-wheeler, a tipper weighing 9 tons 18cwt unladen, had already been built and had been in service with a Preston haulier, Goodier and Sons Ltd, for several weeks after launch. Remote ZF power-assisted steering gear gave an unusually tight lock on the 28 and 30-ton gross Atkinsons.
This Ford Thames Trader six wheeler Reg No 292 XTJ, operated by Walter Edmundson of Preston, is seen here on Lodge Street in Preston as the driver takes time out for a photograph. Note the Bedford J Series delivering Coca Cola. Since this photograph was taken in 1961 the whole area has been totally redeveloped into an industrial area and is unrecognisable. The building at the bottom of the street on the right was the original premises of Chris Miller Ltd. Walter Edmundson started trading in Preston as a timber merchant during the 1920's. His first venture into Road Haulage was with the acquisition of Mitchell Bros of Darwen, but this was short-lived, due to the Nationalisation of Road Haulage in 1948. In 1955, with John Edmundson now having joined his father in the business, they re-entered the road haulage industry in a very small way and purchased an operating base in Preston. Preston Dock was at its peak of success at this period in time and Walter Edmundson Limited became Preston agents for Companies servicing Northern and Southern Ireland with the handling of ships from Larne, Belfast, Dublin & Waterford. Edmundson's represented in Preston companies such as Northern Ireland Eggs Ltd., Ulster Ferry Transport Ltd and Jenkinson & Archer Ltd.,(J.& A. Line of Dublin) who later became part of the George Bell (Bell-Line) empire. Preston dock, at this time was said to be busier than both Liverpool & Manchester ports. By the mid 1960's there came a call for bigger and faster vessels to serve Ireland, and preferably from non-tidal ports and as a result Preston lost out to Liverpool & Fleetwood, and the ever increasing popularity of the Scottish ports at the top end of the M6. During the late 1960's the Isle of man became embraced in this new method of handling cargo so Ronagency (Shipping) Ltd., Walter Edmundson Ltd and a few small private investors formed Manx Line, and purchased M.V Monte Castillo from Navier Aznar of Spain. She was refitted in Leith emerging as the Manx Viking and this seaborne operation became embroiled in the massive organisation that was known as Sealink. Sealink eventually acquired Manx Line, itself becoming a part of Sea Containers empire shortly afterwards. Sealink was later privatised, and merged with Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. Ltd. Still very much in business today Edmundson Haulage are owned by Manx Independent Carriers of Isle of Man and are now based at 8 Prospect Place, Prescot Road, East Pimbo Estate, Skelmersdale and operating a large fleet.
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Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge Opening. The Transporter Bridge opened on the 17th October 1911. HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught was the guest of honour for the opening ceremony. A transporter bridge is a type of movable bridge that carries a gondola across a river. The bridge usually consists of a framework of steel girders spanning the river or waterway to be crossed, but instead of a roadway or railway lines built on a deck spanning the gap, a platform or "gondola" is suspended by steel cables from a moveable trolley running across the top of the span on a track. The trolley moves across the span taking with it the gondola, onto which are loaded the passengers and vehicles. The transporter bridge is a rare type of bridge, with fewer than two dozen built all over the world. Only eight operate today. The idea of transporter bridges were born out of the need to cross rivers or waterways were it was inconvenient or too expensive to build conventional high -level bridges with sufficient navigable headroom to allow tall ships to pass. The concept was first mooted in 1872 when Charles Smith, Manager of the Hartlepool Iron Works, proposed a scheme to construct a transporter bridge across the River Tees to the Middlesbrough Corporation. He called it a "bridge ferry". However the scheme was not pursued and it would not be until another twenty years that the idea of transporter bridges to carry traffic across a river would be considered useful. The first transporter bridge, Vizcaya Bridge was built in Portugalete, Spain, in 1893, and is still in regular daily use. The design from Alberto Palacio inspired others to attempt similar structures. The idea came about in locations where it was seen as impractical to build long approach ramps that would be required to reach a high span, and in places where ferries are not easily able to cross. Because transporter bridges can carry only a limited load, the idea was little used after the rise of the automobile.
The first such bridge built in France, the 1898 Rouen bridge crossing the Seine, was destroyed by the French army to slow down German troops in World War II. Transporter bridges were popular in France, where five were erected and another partially completed. The Rochefort-Martrou Transporter Bridge, built in 1900 in Rochefort, is still used today during the summers. The United Kingdom has four transporter bridges, though Warrington Transporter Bridge is disused and the modern Royal Victoria Dock Bridge, though designed with the potential to be used as a transporter bridge, has so far only been used as a high-level footbridge. The Newport Transporter Bridge, built in 1906 across the River Usk in Newport, and the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge, built in 1911 across river Tees, are the two transporter bridges in the U.K. that are still in operation.
The worldâ€™s first transporter bridge Vizcaya Bridge in Bilbao, Spain.
In the United States, two such bridges were built. The first was the Aerial Bridge built in Duluth, Minnesota in 1905, although the city had originally planned to build a vertical lift bridge at the site. The transporter design was used for about 25 years before the structure was reconfigured to lift a central span in 1930. The second American transporter bridge was different from other
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designs and partially resembled gondola lifts used in mountainous regions. The Sky Ride was part of the 1933â€“34 Chicago World's Fair, it was taken down after standing for just two years. However, it was the longest bridge of this type ever built at the time.
The Aerial Bridge built in Duluth, Minnesota, circa 1908.
Two historic transporter bridges survived in Germany. A unique example is the bridge at Rendsburg, from 1913 which is two bridges in one: A railroad link crosses high above on the top span, and the suspended ferry carries traffic on the valley floor. The bridge at Osten is four years older and was the first transporter bridge in Germany.
Widnes-Runcorn Transporter Bridge, Built: 1905
The Runcorn-Widnes Transporter Bridge crossed the river Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal linking the towns of Runcorn and Widnes. It was completed in 1905 and was Britain's first transporter bridge and the largest of its type ever built in the world. It continued in use until 1961 when it was replaced by a through arch bridge, which is now known as the Silver Jubilee Bridge. The transporter bridge was then demolished.
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What Have Our Visitors been saying? “Lovely family activity” This is a very friendly activity and run by great people. The children can ask all sorts of questions and who can resist a ride on a steam train. It was a great afternoon out and good value for money. “Steamy Affair” Took our granddaughter for the Santa special and we all had a fabulous experience. The parking was easy and as we boarded we were shown to our reserved seats. Of course we had the Christmas treats like mince pies and short bread - juice for the young ones and sherry for the older ones! We joined in the carols expertly sung by the choir. Oh yes, our granddaughter did get a present from Santa. “Santa Special” We visited at the beginning of December 2016 for the Santa Special, we arranged the visit to coincide with meeting my husbands grandparents who live in Blackburn so they could see our 18 month old as they wouldn't see him over Christmas. We travelled down from Kendal, Cumbria and were not disappointed. There were 7 of us all together (myself, my husband, our little boy, my husbands parents and his grandparents) the price we paid for the tickets was really reasonable for the service we received. The engine house was dressed up for Christmas and there was plenty for little ones (and big ones) to look at and do. When the train had arrived into the station we boarded and sat in our reserved seats, we were served juice, sherry, mince pies and biscuits whilst being entertained by some 'elves' singing Christmas songs before the big man himself made his way through the carriages making time for each and every child and passing over an age related present. The train ride was approx 40mins to and hour and then after you could look round the engine shed again. There is a small cafe on site but we didn't go in as it was quite busy. We will definitely be going back for another visit in the spring when the railway reopens.
“Absolutely amazing time on the train. It was loved by the whole family! (I think grandparents loved it most) we went not knowing what to expect and my word, it was a trip worth so much more than they charge. You are greeted with a mince pie/biscuits and a sherry or juice for the kiddies. You get live entertainment for singing the golden oldies like jingle bells which the kids love and so did I. Then you get to meet the REAL Father Christmas! It wasn't just some geezer dressed up....he's the real deal!! The presents the kids get are outstanding. They aren't your usual cheap ones, They are carefully thought out and genuinely expensive. The staff are amazing and so, so friendly. Thank you so much for such a fantastic day!! The effort you put in was thoroughly recognised by us and can't wait to come again. Left a donation in the box, spreading the Christmas spirit. Thank you once again. ***All those involved, both on the frontline and in whatever support capacity should be very proud.
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Membership Application 2017 *Annual Membership runs 1st January to 31st December Full Name: .............................................................................................................................
Town/City: ....................................................................................................................................... Postcode: .......................................................................................................................................
Email: ................................................................................ Tel: .................................................................................... Mobile: .............................................................................. Date of Birth / Age at next birthday ............................... Membership Type: Adult (Annual) - £15 / Adult (3 Years) - £40 Family (2 + 2) - £30 Adult (Life) - £150 / Adult (Senior) - £90 Cheques are payable to "Ribble Steam Railway"
(Cash/Card transactions can be made via the Museum Shop)
Send your completed form together with your cheque and a stamped self addressed envelope to: RSR Membership Secretary, 34 Tag Croft, Ingol, Preston, PR2 7AQ
Gift Aid - The Ribble Steam Railway can use Gift Aid as a tax relief on monies donated. If you are a UK tax payer and are willing for us to use your membership subscription as a gift aid donation, please x here ............. You can use this form for renewals.
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RIBBLE STEAM RAILWAY LIMITED (A company limited by guarantee)
2017 RSR Membership is valid until December 2017 - Membership rates have remained the same for the fifth year running.
Registered Address - 3 Lincoln Drive, Liverpool, L10 3LJ Company Number-1112880 / Charity Number-507266 Vat Number-703965428 Chairman - David Watkins
Please include a stamped, self-addressed envelope in all communications.
Membership rates for 2017 (Applicable to December 31st 2017) Adults £15 (3 year offer £40)
Company Secretary - Michael Bailey
Directors:Michael Bailey, Matthew Burke, Matthew Darbyshire, Wilfred Helliwell, Dave Manley, Christopher Mills, Edward Tatham, Alan Vernon, Russell Walker, David Watkins
Family £30 (Children under 16 must be accompanied by parent / guardian at all times) Company Officers including those of Ribble Rail Ltd:-
Adult Life £150 Senior Life £90
Chairman & Finance Director - David Watkins
2017 Quick & Easy Membership
Company Secretary - Michael Bailey
Send your completed form * together with your cheque and a stamped self addressed envelope to:
Membership Secretary / Magazine editor - Chris Mills Operating - Russell Walker, David Billington Diesel locomotives - Matthew Burke
RSR Membership Secretary, 34 Tag Croft, Ingol, Preston, PR2 7AQ
Steam locomotives - Russell Walker Carriage & Wagon - Alan Vernon
Cheques should be made payable to ‘Ribble Steam Railway’
Train guards - Matthew Darbyshire
Your new 2017 card will be sent by return within 7 days (or as soon as humanly possible !)
Permanent Way - Edward Tatham
All volunteers need to be fully paid up RSR Members.
Staff health & safety representative - Jason Finerty
Health & Safety - Michael Bailey
Marketing, Publicity & Advertising - Chris Mills, Ken Philcox
If you're simply wanting to visit the site and enjoy a train ride, your membership also entitles you to half price admission on most operating days, on production of your membership card. On some special events this facility may be restricted. Life members enjoy free admission at all times, except Santa Special Weekends (this latter restriction applies to all classes of membership).
Front Of House Departments - Karl Latham Buffet Car - Chris Mills, Karl Latham Website / Social Media - Chris Mills, Matt Burke, General Enquiries Email: email@example.com Phone: (01772) 728800 (Answer phone out of hours)
Members also receive 3 issues of 'The Ribble Pilot Magazine' per year.
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See “Cover” attachment
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A shot of 56095 with empty bitumen and fuel tanks still working from the old exchange sidings. c. Steven Brindley
Do NOT PRINT
See “Cover” attachment
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RSR Publications © RSR 2017 Ribble Pilot is printed by latcreative, 197 Tulketh Brow, Ashton, Preston PR2 2JD
Do NOT PRINT
Journal of the Ribble Steam Railway, Preston, Lancashire. Spring 2017 Edition.