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This page is mainly dedicated to 60022 MALLARD when she passed through my home town of Sowerby Bridge in September of 1961 when she hauled the Northern Rubber Special from Retford to Blackpool.  

On Tour with me

Around Yorkshire

 

60021 wild swan

ABOVE :

This photograph was taken at Leeds Central 1961 and is A4 class 60021 Wild Swan about to depart on a Leeds to London ( Kings Cross ) Express. Wild Swan was a regular visitor to Leeds at this time, and the photo was taken by my good friend Roy.

From my base in Sowerby Bridge, up here in what used to be the West Riding of Yorkshire, myself and my friends travelled to all the regions of British Railways in search of the magic cop, we would obtain permits from Crewe, Swindon, and Doncaster, to visit their works, sleep on Stations and trains, as we roamed the rails with our Railrover tickets, and I still have mine to this day from 1963 which covered the whole of the Western Region, and that was a big area to cover but we managed to get round all the big sheds and some of the more remote ones, what a great and memorable adventure it was for us.

One of my most happy memories was when 60022 MALLARD passed through our small town on her way to Blackpool from Retford with the NORTHERN RUBBER SPECIAL seen here below passing the signal box at Sowerby Bridge Station September 1961

My mates and myself used to sit in this signalbox with the signalman on early winter mornings around 04:00 as we waited for the train to Manchester, there was a grand coke pot belly fire always on the go and a cup of tea to keep us warm.

 

Watch the last shot at the end of this video (Above) and see the Duchess pass this exact spot as Mallard some 51 years ago !

We used to have trains with romantic names like the Flying Scotsman or the Cheltenham Flyer, but nowadays trains no longer fly.

Where did the romance of the railways go ?

Due to the politics and curriculum of the era, and having failed my eleven plus, this accounted for my narrow education at school.So, how did I put that little problem right then ? well, thanks to my train spotting days, I can safely say..it was that which gave me a further education, coupled with curiosity, I had a need to find out what more lay behind the name on the loco, and it really was amazing what I picked up.

We were also very lucky to have a fine locomotive shed which was coded 56E Sowerby Bridge in the North Eastern region of B.R.

 

The route through our little town was mostly a heavy freight route across the Pennines from Manchester to Leeds, but we had our fair share of the glamour too with the holiday excursions to the West and East coasts during the summer.

Our adjacent line which ran parallel over on the Huddersfield line tended to see more named action than us, but we had the good stuff too and a lot of my old friends were shedded down at Leeds Holbeck, Low Moor, and Mirfield, which were only a bike ride away.

The double header would come through every afternoon ex- Newcastle to Manchester and if we were fast enough we could run down to the valley after school had finished and catch the magic as it passed under the little cattle bridge as she headed towards the Luddendenfoot water troughs, it was always a big thrill to stand on the bridge as the thick smoke and steam of two screaming steam engines as they passed under you at speed, and there was always two interesting locos to be seen, usually a Royal Scot and a Patriot or two Jubilees, the highlight of the day for me and my mates.

I was very lucky to catch this particular time in history as B.R were in full transition from steam to Diesel, so steam locomotives were constantly being withdrawn and sent to the scrapyard, we had to be quick to catch what we did at the time..so here are a few of what me and my mates captured in time, on cellulose, in and around our area and beyond.

From Sowerby Bridge to Sacramento.... !

14/03/2009

It's funny where you end up in life, and on the way,

this was just one of my fantastic journeys which I encountered.

I did not have to venture too far for this one.

Myself and my best mate Selwyn had attended our weekly visit to the local cubs meeting and were still in our uniforms when we went along to Sowerby Bridge Station for one of the biggest events to happen in our young lives, when we eventually got onto the platform we found that what looked like half the town (including the local press) turned out to await this almost magical event which was about to occur, and fortunately for us all, on this wonderful saturday morning, my friend Paul Holt was on hand with his little camera to capture this moment, most boys, and some girls I might add were very keen to see this iconic loco actually stop in our little town and take on water.

So I gratefully acknowledge Paul accordingly for these wonderful photographs of which I have been the caretaker of for many years now and as time goes by they become even more historically valuable.

Mallard steam

BELOW :

More of The Mighty MALLARD at Sowerby Bridge September 1961

mallard mallard

 

Above: Stopping off to replenish her mighty water tanks at Sowerby Bridge on route to Blackpool on the Northern Rubber Special of September 1961. Not surprisingly surrounded by adoring fans. And the one on the right above is one for the DMU fans, an early DMU arrives at Sowerby Bridge bound for the east coast.

Below : More of Mallard as she takes on water at Sowerby Bridge in September 1961

mallard

THE MAGIC OF MALLARD AT SOWERBY BRIDGE IN SEPTEMBER OF 1961

mallard from side

I travelled all over as a young schoolboy train spotter, and in the early sixties, this was a very popular thing amongst young boys, technology handn't raised it's head at this period in time, so we did not have the pleasure of computers / mobile phones / or any other electronic gadgetry to play around with, so I reckon you could say, it was a simple pleasure indeed.

Well for me at least, I can say it was educational also, I learned a lot from the places I travelled to and the names that the engines had, they always invoked curiosity, which led to the education bit.

PUT THE KETTLE ON AND TAKE A LOOK AT MY VIDEO,TAKEN IN VARIOUS LOCATIONS

IN AND AROUND WEST AND NORTH YORKSHIRE

 

The Train Now Arriving below:

This loco was the first Duchess I saw as a lad of 13 at Preston station 1961

Picture courtesy of Birmingham Science Museum

city of birmingham

Definitely not the end of the line..

MANY THANKS FOR VISITING MY STEAMRAIL PAGE I HOPE YOU HAVE ENJOYED WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN, PLEASE CALL BACK ANYTIME, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH IF YOU HAVE ANY PHOTOS OR FILM OF THE DERBYSHIRE RAILTOUR ON 12 JULY 1964, I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THEM.

I WENT ON THIS TOUR AS A LAD OF 15 BUT AS TIME PASSED BY THE PICTURES I TOOK WERE MISSLAID AND LOST FOREVER.

MY HERO JOHNNY CASH WAS A STEAM MAN

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