Steam engines in Shrewsbury during the 1960s

“In this video we take a look at movements around Shrewsbury Station in the mid 1960s as steam was coming to an end. All credits for this video must go to Michael Clemens of B&R Videos who once again kindly gave me permission to use these clips that were filmed by his late father Jim Clemens, who did such a superb job recording these scenes which were taken from the DVD Steaming Through Shropshire Pt 1. Enjoy.”

Video can be found in youtube under “1960’s trains at Shrewsbury”.
Now given my Dad drove these engines, you can bet I spent the whole 12 minutes 42 seconds looking for him, but the focus here is the engines and the only thing you can make out about the drivers are the pale blue denim jackets.
Other surprises is that the black engines and the maroon carriages don’t always sparkle and it was a bit dirtier than I’d been led to believe. (And check out the recent visit of a steam engine to Salop.)
They also seemed very comfortable reversing – in this video seemingly more than going forward.
You sense that diesels were smoother as well as cleaner (look out for the cab videos), although I sometimes wondered if they’d kept steam for Wales, whether it might have sustained an interest for tourists. Sometimes.

BR steam engine 34052 at Shrewsbury railway station

Arriving at Salop, as I was waiting for a train to Brum, this BR steam engine arrived, pulling a Pullman collection of carriages.  
A tad emotional cos my Dad was a locomotive engineer, though starting with the LMS part of BR, and serving from Salop, I think it is unlikely he would have driven this engine. (Advice welcome.). 

From wikipedia – 
“Steam locomotives that comprised the Bulleid light pacifics, the West Country and Battle of Britain classes of locomotives that ran on the British Southern Railway network …”

Fuller res photos available.

Per Rail portrays Nottingham in 1913

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A book from Edwardian times comprising of a series of articles on cities and towns along the Great Central Line, with 4 pages on Nottingham’s history and the offices, platforms and yards of the freight operations along Queens Walk.
Scans of the pages are available.  Interesting insights into the industries of “Nottingham – the Capital of the Lace World”.

Rail fares protest

Joined the nationwide RMT protest on rail fares increases at Nottingham Midland station.
Rail fares have gone up on average by 3.4% when wages haven’t.
Did 4 media interviews and concentrated on the £2,000 million bail-out given to Richard Branson and David Soutar – multi-millionaires who wanted a better deal on a franchise already agreed on East Coast Main Line – which has been run by the public sector for a surplus.
Repeated Tom Watson MP’s complaints about the Conservative Transport Secretary staying low and silent, who it turns out wasn’t available until late in the day (for interviews by mobile phone from Qatar).
Thatcher’s promise on cheaper fares has not been upheld – nowhere close in fact – but when privatisation started, weird things happened like a big step increase in investment and drivers wages.  All to be overshadowed by the collapse in the network when “corner guage cracking was rediscovered.
In calling for a return to public owenership, have got to watch out for railways being starved by central government again.

Ilkeston railway station is open

After 50 years, Ilkeston is back on the map.


Holding the Notts County Council Transport policies and programme for 1996/97, which included aims for a railway station in Ilkeston (2 in fact).
The new station is very near to Awsworth in Nottinghamshire, where Lisa is standing for Notts County Council in Stapleford and Broxtowe.


On the 10:46 to Nottingham, talked with a Mum, Gran and daughter from Ilkeston on the way back.
It was the daughter’s first trip on a train.
Mum said the bus trip could take 30 minutes to Nottingham, so perhaps 12 minutes quicker, but a much smoother journey.

A train operator spokesperson said journeys from the station to Nottingham should hopefully sell themselves – cos of the time gains and avoidance of congestion.

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Meanwhile bumped into Steve Calvert who I met in the Summer of 1993 (I was a new County Councillor) to explore how we could get railways stations for Ilkeston (yep stations, we wanted a north and south, for a town that once had 4!)
They didn’t listen then, they’re half-listening now.
But 24 years for a simple railway station is another reminder of how difficult railway development outside of London and the South-East is.
And we wanted a suburban rail network for Nottingham.