No.105 - Autumn
For those who like to read their organs from back to front, you will
be delighted to read the new "Robin's Ramblings" at the rear of our
magazine. The section is already known amongst your Committee as
"Robin's Back Side"
The author of ''Smalls'' is determined to overcome this challenge of
readership. Which do you prefer - Committee "Smalls" or Robin's Back
We are pleased that Robin is able to contribute to your magazine
through his Back Side. Who knows, Geoff Bambrough may soon deliver
his long awaited article on "The Worsborough Banker", promised 18
Publishing Moguls Reunite
Readers may be interested to note that Meglamaniac heavyweight
publishing moguls Neil Webster and Peter Fox are now working under
the same roof.
Our sympathies lie with Pennine member "Bo Bo" Barclay who also has
to work with them. His Walkman should prove useful to drown the
Overheard at a recent Pennine committee meeting: "If
Robin fell Into the River
Don, that would be misfortune. If anybody pulled him out, that would
be a calamity',.
Platform 5 Publishing's worker Bobo Barclay says he can visit
Installations others cannot reach. He simply rings up and says The
Lord has asked him to visit. It apparently works.
Back To Work
Tony Blair's back to work policy may have achieved the seemingly
impossible. Noted recently a clapped out van displaying the sign "Sutties"
Window Cleaners - Fully Insured - Tell. 01246 415816,,.
Our Junior Sutties last two major #temporary" forms of employment
over a 2 month period In the last 15 years were as a carrier for an
eccentric Cornish milkman, and, coincidentally, as a wringer out for
a one-armed window cleaner.
Donny On The Up
Saturday 8 August saw the start of the new football season. Ace fan
David Bladen tells us that in the local "Green Un" sports paper that
evening Doncaster Rovers were lying third in their new environment
"The Football Conference", behind Barrow and Cheltenham but above
What he failed to tell us was that no games had yet been played in
that league and placings were determined on alphabetical order.
These dizzy heights will not last
Stagecoach To China
Stagecoach has suffered a £36m paper loss on its stake in a Chinese
toll road operator. Sad, but true.
It has come to Smalls attention that Pennine member Stephen Gay has
appeared in "The Sun', newspaper where an article described him as
"the saddest person in England" for his extremely detailed
photographic collection of the former Great Central Railway.
Stephen has also recently been interviewed on BBC Radio Sheffield
and is a regular contributor to the letters column in the local
His letters make a refreshing change to the usual drivel# mainly
from OAPs thanking someone for returning their lost bus pass. Your
Treasurer, incidentally, once sent a spoof letter, which got
published, thanking the person who returned a snooker cue that he
left on a bus.
Pennine 25th Anniversary
Plans are afoot to celebrate the Pennine's 25th anniversary in 1999,
As members may know, the Royal Train Is now available for hire to
appropriate groups, to raise much needed revenue for the Family.
Your Committee will write to Buckingham Palace to ask Her Majesty
for details of charges and dates of availability. Her response
will be reported to
Our southern correspondent who for obvious reasons must remain
nameless tells us that special services are on offer at the fitness
centre under platform 2 at London's Vauxhall station. Calling cards
read "Massage" - Unhurried. Open all day. Treat yourself with being
pampered by the lovely Natalie - Vauxhall station#,.
South Worst Trains Is responsible for the station's tenants. At
least It brings a new meaning to coming late.
A sale has raised £80,000 when a 70 year old collection of tickets,
timetables, handbills and traffic notices went under the hammer.
Bachelor H.J."Pat" Patterson-Rutherford (yes, really) who died
recently aged 73 had
filled his Victorian semi in Broadstairs with 20,000 tickets
collected between the 1920's and 1997, 5000 photos, 3000 Ordnance
Survey Maps and other memorabilia.
Our Treasurer Is struggling to find suitable watering holes in
Sheffield, Following the destruction of The Globe "It's A Tip", a
former popular meeting place for enthusiasts, his lunchtime
refuelling point "The West Street Hotel" has been "refurbished",
renamed "Flares", a revival 70's theme bar, painted on the outside
in a style resembling a doll's house, and a price increase of 10p
per pint to boot. Needless to say, that venue is now off the list.
Who employs these half-wits to destroy public houses ?
Superfan of beleaguered Doncaster Rovers, David Bladen, tells us
that following the withdrawal of prestige sponsors "East Riding
Sacks", the club were the only one in the football league last
season without a shirt sponsor.
It Is rumoured that the goalkeeper received an individual
sponsorship from Quicksave last year, but after 113 goals were
conceded In league matches alone, and the signing of a 40 year old
keeper this season, it is unlikely this will be renewed.
on 26 August the 10.41 Portsmouth-Liverpool ran without toilet
facilities for the entire 260 mile journey. It was not until Reading
that a relief stop was made. A Virgin Rail spokesperson said
technical problems caused the toilet closure on the Virgin Rail 158
Conductor Misses Train
Rail bosses have sent a crew warning letter after a journey became a
The conductor ran out of change and as the train pulled into a
station he went to fetch some from the booking office. But a
passenger who works for a rival firm gave the driver the "go" signal
ant the train set off. A taxi was hired to pick him up but no one
could pay the £38 fare and the cabbie was given an IOU. The train
then drove through
every stop to make up lost tine.
spokesman for the Connex service between Ramsgate and London said
measures had been introduced to stop this happening again.
Aircraft Mown Off Course
Recently a Britannia Airways flight from Malaga could not land at
Cardiff International Airport because grass alongside the runway had
been cut to stop birds nesting and had blown out of bias and on to
the tarmac. There was a serious risk of the grass cuttings getting
into the jet turbines so the flight was diverted to Bristol. The
grass was cleared and the 300 passengers flown the 60 miles back to
Cardiff, adding two hours to their journey.
On a Pennine visit some years ago Robin had cause to dial directory
enquiries. Heavy breathing sounds came from the phone box. He was
then heard to say "I haven't got a pen so I'm steaming up the window
to write the number on"
Thousands of commuters on a privatised "misery line" line are to get
a week's free travel by order of the franchising director. Owners of
Chiltern Lines which run services from Marylebone to Aylesbury and
Birmingham have to offer free trips to annual and quarterly season
ticket holders and a travel-for-nothing week will be available when
season tickets expire. One in ten of its trains fail to arrive on
Chiltern also has to give full-fare refunds if trains are more than
an hour late and half the fare back If services are held up by more
than 30 minutes.
Refunds must be in cash, not travel vouchers.
The Mid-Cheshire Rail Users Association said their line from
Manchester to Northwich and Chester operated by North Western Trains
was so poor that it should be handed back to the former state-owned
British Rail which still exists in a truncated form.
Research has shown that the rail companies are now worth £10
billion more than
when they were sold off in 1996 by
the Tories. Rail operations sold out of state ownership for
£4.4billion now have a market value of around £14.5billion.
Punctuality has declined on 48 routes and improved on only 16 since
privatisation and reliability for the 25 train operators decreased
on 33 routes,
Improved on 21 and remained the same on 9.
Thames Trains, Great Western, Chiltern and Anglia's
Ipswich-Cambridge service all suffered major drops in time keeping.
Fleas Stop Train
Sunday 6 September
the 09.59 Eastbourne-Ashford
service was terminated at Hastings. our southern correspondent,
Robin Skinner tells us the woman driver refused to take the train
further due to an infestation of fleas In the driver's cab. The
Connex spokesman says they were mystery fleas and he had no idea
where they came from.
Stagecoach owned South West Trains which operates from Waterloo
made £21.1m In the last financial year. Their
Porterbrook company which leases
out rolling stock made profits of' £133m against £79m the
previous year. The Stagecoach empire was founded by the two children
of a Glasgow bus driver 18 years ago.
Virgin's True Colours
Confusion is deepening over the use of the InterCity name on Virgin
Rail's mainline passenger services. Virgin has repainted some of Its
carriages in InterCity livery even though it says its long-term aim
is to eliminate the brand from its routes.
Virgin is 49% owned
by fellow operator Stagecoach and the case has been considered for
dropping the Virgin name in favour of rebranding the service
Stagecoach InterCity. However Virgin has rebranded 50 trains in its
own bright red colours hoping to emphasise Virgin as a quality
The world's longest-running named train is The Irish Mail. It was
launched in 1848 and recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. In
1848 Stephenson's tubular Britannia bridge over the Menai Strait was
still unfinished so passengers and mail had to transfer to a coach
to cross Telford's suspension bridge.
Upgrade for East Coast
Railtrack has unveiled plans to upgrade the ECML to take longer,
faster and more frequent trains...suggestions include removing
bottlenecks at Welwyn and Hitchin, and flyovers could be built at
Doncaster, Newark and Peterborough to eliminate flat crossings and
remove congestion at junctions. Freight trains could be re-routed
via Lincoln and Sleaford and on to the mothballed Leamside branch
Central Trains is to take delivery of a further 20 Adtranz
Turbostars costing £48m, in addition to the 13 It ordered earlier
in the year.
The trains which will be leased from Porterbrook are to cater for
growth in passenger traffic. The first of the 13 two-car trains
ordered this year are due for delivery next year. The latest order,
for 10 two-car and 10 three-car trains is due to be delivered in
early 2000. They will be built in Derby and be used on longer
distance services such as Liverpool-Stansted Airport,
Liverpool-Norwich, Nottingham-Cardiff and Birmingham-Aberystwyth.
They will be painted in Central's new livery but the colours are
remaining secret until the trains are delivered. Bet The Lord will
find out first, perhaps by his messenger Bobo Barclay.
Going For Green
Freightliner has launched its new Class 57 locomotive
and a new corporate identity. The first of its 6 re-engined
locos was rolled-out from the Brush Traction works at Loughborough.
It has been created from a standard Class 47. It
has been repowered with a General Motors 2500hp diesel engine. The
concept gives a 20 year life extension, and the company has an
option to rebuild all of its core fleet of 50 Class 47s.
first loco, 57001 has been named Freightliner Pioneer". It carries a
green livery, different to but inspired by the original BR colour
scheme. The Freightliner name Is in large yellow lettering, with the
company's red triangle flash as a finishing touch. A Class 86
electric loco demonstrated the new colours at a staff event at Crewe
on 17 August.
may be interested to know that while the Champions of the football
Conference league gain promotion to the football league proper,
subject to suitability of ground facilities, there is relegation out
of the Conference for the bottom three clubs. Should the impossible
happen to Doncaster Rovers, they will disappear into the Unibond
Premier League, featuring clubs such as Worksop, Frickley Colliery,
Accrington Stanley and Leigh Miners Welfare.
Congratulations to GNER on their generous sponsorship at the recent
St Leger Festival at Doncaster Racecourse.
However, on another note, why did Railtrack choose the day of the
St Leger race to undertake engineering work between Scunthorpe and
Doncaster, with buses replacing the rail service?
Unconnected to the first item on this page, the Waterloo & City
underground railway, the Drain, celebrated its 100th birthday on 8
August, a month after the main station's 150th anniversary.
was the only Tube line built and run by a mainline railway - the
London & South Western - but is now part of London Underground. It
is also the Tube's shortest line with just two stations, Waterloo
1.6 mile trip under the Thames takes five minutes. Twelve million
passengers a year use It, mostly commuting to and from the City of
the early 1990's the future of the Drain was reviewed and it was
decided to revamp the line and renew the fleet. The new trains were
only the third set of stock in the line's history - the originals
were replaced in 1940 -
and differed only in detail from a new fleet for London
Underground's Central Line.
In 1994, as
one of the first moves in the privatisation process, BR sold the
line to London Underground for one pound.
Glenda Jackson the transport minister and actress# ceremonially
laid one of the first sections of the tram track for the extension
of Manchester's Metrolink to Salford Quays and Eccles on 6 August.
Britain's first new train maintenance depot since rail
privatisation is being built in a joint deal between Railtrack
Midlands and Central Trains. The £3m Soho depot, which is being
constructed alongside the Birmingham-Wolverhampton line in only 20
weeks, Is one of a series of developments by Central Trains aimed at
Increasing train reliability,
will save more than 300,000 miles of empty stock movements each year
and make an extra electric train available for service in the West
Midlands every day, When It opens in January Central Trains Class
310 and 323 electric
units will no longer have to be sent up to 90 miles every day for maintenance
at Longsight or Bletchley, Other projects Include a new maintenance
depot at Nottingham for the new Turbostars on order, and major
refurbishment at the diesel maintenance depot at Tyseley.
Illustrated or Brill for
short, caters for the Railway enthusiast who lives for the days of
pre-nationalisation and perhaps only the first fifteen or so years of
British Railways. It's not just steam but it is obviously dominated
by it. Brill has
articles on the 1930's, the War Years, early Nationalisation and the
1950's and all that it brought,- again it is pure nostalgia.
Actually I believe it is more than nostalgia with the glory of steam
Vol. 8 No. 1
the October Edition has articles on Britain's New Railway Part
One the early years, the first in a series of articles dominated by
the 1955 modernisation plan. Thirties File is a series of
photographs- this month the frontages of two LNER stations in
February 1933 are featured. Norwich and Cambridge War report looks
at pictures of Whitby bombed in 1940. In Forum a photo feature
illustrates Blaneau Festiniog in 1951 and Glasgow in the early
1960's. The history and operation of the North Cornwall Railway are
explored. The smoke which was deposited over Hornsey and the levels
of soot in the atmosphere are indicated around the Hornsey loco in
the early 1950's.
Brill is primarily
about steam however associated aspects of the railway are discussed
such as Civil Engineering, Marketing, Wagon Control and many other
aspects which contributed to the running of the railways in the
thirty or so years around World War Two. It successfully recreates
the atmosphere of the bygone age of steam but the is somewhat 'black
and white' very much like its slogan
'You'll remember those black and white days'.
Verdict - a good
read with some real atmospherics !
Illustrated is published monthly by The Irwell Press priced at £2.75
Subscriptions are interpretation £16.50 for six issues or £33 for
All meetings are
held at the Corporation Brewery Taps Cleveland Street, Doncaster
commencing at 20.00hrs.
Wednesday November 4th 1998.
Wednesday October 7th 1998.
Competition. Judged by Derek Porter. Bring your four best slides -
Wednesday October 21st 1998.
John Wragg. A
friend of the Society from Sheffield will be showing some of his
Retired local newspaper photographer shows us some gems from his
wide slide and film collection.
November 18th 1998.
December 2nd 1998.
Alan Dolby- yes,
he's back again
Members slides and
'Bring along your own 'DIY' night.
one-Wednesday December 2nd 1998.
Photographic Society Club 197 Sheffield University.
December 10th 1998
Dore Locomotive Society
Attercliffe Common Sheffield.
(subject to confirmation)
Railway Society Corporation Brewery Taps 16th December
Grand Film Show
Introduced by Rob Foxon
Special programme of rare archive films to commemorate the 150th
Anniversary of the Great Northern Railway in Lincoln
Featuring steam on the East Coast Main Line, the Railways of
building at Ruston's in 1953!
Plus a 60th Anniversary
tribute to Mallard, the fastest steam locomotive in the World!
7.30pm Friday 16th
Tickets from the Tourist
Tel: 01522 579055
Tickets: £4.50 -
Lincoln City Council - Keeping Lincoln's Railway Heritage Alive!