THE MAGAZINE OF THE PENNINE RAILWAY
No. 101 Autumn
The future programme of social evenings at the Corporation Brewery
Taps, Doncaster for Autumn 1997 is shown below. Meetings start at
20.00 hrs and all are welcome.
Wednesday l5 October "Rancid" John Law. Slide show.
Wednesday 5 November Graham Wade, from the Lincoln Railway Society,
"Railways in Transition - Sights of the 60s".
Wednesday 19 November Pennine Shield quiz competition
Wednesday 5 December Robin Havenhand. Slide show.
Wednesday 17 December Eeevility Night. Fun slides
PENNINE SHIELD - AWAY MATCHES
Our away matches in the Pennine Shield quiz competition are as
Wednesday l2 November at the Commercial Hotel, Carbrook, Sheffield -
hosted by the Great Central Railway Society.
Thursday 27 November at the Commercial Hotel, Carbrook, Sheffield -
hosted by the Dore Loco Group
Wednesday 5 December at Club l97 - Sheffield, hosted by SYRPS.
The Pennine Railway Society AGM will be held on Sunday 11 January
1998 at the Corporation Brewery Taps, Doncaster, commencing at 12
This gives you, the members, to comment on the running of the
Society. It also gives members the opportunity to buy a drink for
working Committee members, and also for our President, Geoff
Your attendance at the AGM is appreciated by the Committee.
The Teletubbies cult following has led to a number of our members
wishing to be addressed by a different name. Details are as follows;
PAUL SUTTON now wishes to be known as GAA GAA
JOHN SANDERSON now wishes to be known as LAA GAA
BARRY "HAROLD" MARSHALL, local scrap merchant tells us he is a
bellytubby and wished to be known as DRINKY WINKY
Ex-member NORMAN BOLLAND (1965 rep of the year) has formed a society
CHRIS TYAS, larger than life Security Officer wishes to be known as
Magazine Editor David Bladen's son Alex has recently had the dubious
distinction of being both a ball-boy and a mascot at Doncaster
It is rumoured that as a ball-boy he was positioned inside the
Rovers net to prevent wear and tear to the Rovers' keepers back from
to continually bend down retrieving the ball. (Rovers lost 0-5
Pennine's Fashion Correspondent, Paul Sutton, tells us that the rail
company, Connex South Central, has banned its women employees from
wearing black bras.
In addition, guards and ticket collectors employed by the
French-owned company say they have become the butt of passengers'
being forced to wear new colourful outfits.
They claim their blue hats adorned with striking yellow braid prompt
a string of jokes along the lines of "Where's your parrot? or Which
one is Long John Silver?"
South Worst Trains, which in February had to cancel up to 40
services a day after making 70 drivers redundant has offered staff
inducements of up to £l500 a week to sacrifice part of their summer
holidays. SWT said it was offering the cash to cover "a holiday
abnormality over the next few weeks".
IN A 3D CUP
Supermodel Helena Christensen turns and says "This bra feels
so good" in a talking 3D bra advert, recently unveiled.
But the £2m 7ft-tall hologram has been banned from one shopping
centre for being too raunchy.
The Playtex hologram - activated by hand movement from male passers
by-is the first of its kind in the world.
It was at London's Liverpool Street and Waterloo stations for a week
before moving across the country.
Thanks to our Fashion Correspondent Paul "GAA GAA" Sutton for this
Blea Moor signalbox, close to Ribblehead Viaduct on the scenic
Settle-Carlisle route has no running water supply. Water for the
delivered by train.
On one occasion during August water had not been delivered. The
signalman wanted a cup of tee, so shut the box as two trains were
and drove 10 miles home for a cuppa.
The 09.47 Leeds-Carlisle, with no refreshments on hoard, was delayed
75 minutes. The problem was resolved when his relief arrived early
for his shift end re-opened the line. The signalman faces
disciplinary action from Railtrack.
FISHNET STOCKINGS OFF
Paul Sutton gives us further details of Connex South Central's
fashion edict. Women station staff are banned from wearing fishnet
and red stilettos to work. Women ticket clerks have been told to
stick to navy or black court shoes and navy or neutral tights.
Men have been told to keep any tattoos covered, shave off designer
stubble and wear the company-issued belt. Jewellery must be kept to
a minimum and multiple earrings and body studs ere not allowed.
Information is in the Company's fashion leaflet "What's in, What's
Hot; What's Out, What's Not".
This should all help trains run on time!!
TO DOUBLE AS GUARDS
A rail company wants commuters to double as part-time guards on
their way to work and back. They would hop off trains at stations,
announcements, check that the doors are closed and give e signal to
For their trouble, they'd get blue uniforms with peaked caps, free
travel and hourly pay of £5.25. Great Eastern Railway is offering
rush-hour jobs on slam-door trains between Liverpool Street and the
Essex towns of Clacton, Harwich and Walton. Greet Eastern's
commercial chief, Mike Turner came up with the "work to work" idea
after seeing a similar operation in Hong Kong. Seems ideal for
PARIS SLEEPER LINE SCRAPPED
A plan to run luxury Sleeper trains to Paris from Scotland, Wales,
Manchester and the West Country has been dropped as "not viable".
Women have been turned off replica shirts of Sheffield Wednesday.
The supporters club secretary says of the shirts sponsored by
Sanderson "Having SANDERSON all over your bust is not for me"
Magazine 101 September 1997
Welcome to the Autumn 1997 edition of Trans Pennine.
Do any members out there speak Klingon? I just wondered, as it seems
to be a prerequisite if you want to read the concourse information
board at Doncaster station these days. As I write these notes in
early September, the board has been in need of repair for about
seven weeks. Letters and numerals are missing, or don't show the
correct information. At first it was quite amusing - the 07.07
departure went from Loods
to St Mineras instead of Leeds to St Pancras, and if the departure
times were showing in the wrong column, the 07.15 arrival from
Cleethorpes was 717 minutes late on its onward journey to Manchester
But the situation has now got past the amusing stage. I'm a railway
enthusiast and have a fair idea of what trains go where, and at what
time. But other passengers may not be so fortunate. A regular scene
at the station nowadays, is passengers, often elderly, looking
totally baffled as they try to make sense of the gibberish on the
wall in front of them. It can be argued that other means of
information, such as announcements, monitors and timetables, are
available, but if you are hard of hearing or partially-sighted.
these may not be of much use.
No attempt seems to have been made to rectify the situation, in
fact, if the conversations I have overheard during my travels are
anything to go by, nobody knows whose responsibility it is to have
the thing repaired?
And now, the digital clock on platform 4 has joined in the fun! It
does nothing for the image of the railways or the town, and needs to
be sorted out- and quickly!
A ride on the Central Wales Line
by Paul Slater
I was at Craven Arms in good time to catch the 10.50 Shrewsbury -
Swansea on 20 June 1983 for my first ride on the Central Wales line.
The station. now only an unstaffed halt, had obviously seen better
days, and a weed-grown expanse of waste ground showed where there
once had been extensive sidings. A "33" came and went with a Crewe -
Cardiff train, then shortly afterwards the splitting signal was
down, the signalman announced the Swansea train over the
loudspeakers, and a two-car DMU, moderately well filled. came
cautiously over the crossover into the
platform. I got in. there was a delay while the train crew attended
to the ground frame at the end of the platform, then the DMU was
away, curving sharply away from the Hereford main line to head
westwards towards Wales.
I bought a day-return to Llandovery from the guard. The smaller
stations on the Central Wales line are all request stops. My train
passed the first one, Broome, but called at the second and third,
Hoptonheath and Bucknell. Hoptonheath still had an old red LMS
nameboard, and I was interested to see the old station buildings and
massive stone-built goods shed there and at many other Central Wales
line stations, still in
use, but not for railway purposes.
This stretch of line through the picturesque hills of south
Shropshire had originally been double-track, and some of the
stations still kept their disused second platform. At Knighton we
crossed the Welsh border, then headed up the Teme valley. Soon the
line began to climb steeply into the foothills of Radnor Forest
giving fine views. We passed Knucklas station, and the village was
glimpsed below as we crossed the massive, castellated viaduct. The
line twisted and turned into the hills. In the sunshine, with white
may blossom visible all around, this upland country was less bleak
than I had imagined. We passed the first major summit in a tunnel,
stopped at the remote Llangunllo station, then we were off downhill.
Soon speed was up to 70mph - I could see the speedometer in the rear
driving cab - and on such a curving line such velocity was
exhilarating in the extreme. Llanbister Road station hurtled by,
then at last we were in more level country and slowing for a stop at
The main hills of Radnor Forest were from here easily visible to the
south-east. The stretch of line through the hills from Knighton had
been built as single track, but now, in a valley, we were on former
double-track again. A family party sitting near me got off at the
next station, Pen-y-bont. Both platforms here - the derelict one,
and the one still in use - had old nameboards in black and yellow.
Soon the first signals since Craven Arms appeared. the line doubled
to form a passing loop, and we came to a halt just outside
Llandridnod Wells, the biggest station on the line. Here, as at
other stations on the Central Wales line, I saw warning signs in
Welsh and English. At some stations I also saw old notices in
Western Region brown.
From Llandridnod Wells the single track led on across the heart of
Wales. through undulating green farmland with high hills all around.
At Builth Road I looked for the remains of the former engine-shed, a
sub-depot of 846 Shrewsbury, and of the ex-Cambrian branch from Moat
Lane Junction to Brecon, which once passed underneath the Central
Wales line, making a two-level station; but there was not much left
to see. We stopped at Llangammarch Wells, there was a passing loop_
a London and North Western Railway signalbox, some Western Region
lower-quadrant semaphores, and an influx of passengers. The line now
led into more open country, to the second major summit. I had
decided to travel this section as far as Llandovery, rather than get
off at Llandrindod Wells or Llanwrtyd Wells, although I would have
only a short break before catching the 12.27 Swansea - Shrewsbury
back to Craven Arms. We passed through the tunnel at the summit,
then dropped downhill through spectacular scenery, over an
impressive viaduct and into forests to the little halt at Cynghordy,
and then into Llandovery, where I got off the train. I had just
forty minutes before the train back to Craven Arms left; the 10.50
from Shrewsbury would meet the 12.27 from Swansea at Llandeilo. The
Station Hotel just across the road was conveniently placed for a
quick lunch. The 12.27 was just pulling into the far platform as I
went onto the station, and after taking a photograph I quickly got
into the last carriage of the nearly empty three-car DMU. In a
moment we were off, past the derelict-looking signalbox which
carried the name Llandovery Ground Frame. The train paused at
Cynghordy, then made its way to the summit, while I imagined a steam
train labouring upgrade through these hills. I never saw steam on
the Central Wales line, and I have seen few photographs taken on
this route. An American lady was photographing the scenery from the
DMU, while from the next window I looked ahead and snapped first the
viaduct and then the approach to the tunnel, with green hills
looming overhead. The train which left Llandovery at 16.10, which I
would have had to catch had I missed the one I was travelling on,
would meet a westbound train at Llandrindod Wells, but the 12.27
from Swansea was not scheduled to meet any train before Craven Arms,
and the loops at Llanwrtyd and Llandrindod were both empty. This
train missed some of the stations at which the 10.50 from Shrewsbury
had stopped at, but it called at Garth and Knucklas which the
westbound train had missed. In this direction, Llanbister Road and
Llangunllo Road were passed slowly, on the long climb into the
Radnorshire hills, and I had time to admire the masses of
may-blossom on the west side of the summit. Then came the rapid
descent to Knighton, interrupted by the stop at Knucklas, the
village clustered photogenically in the sunshine below the viaduct.
Knighton was once the site of another sub- shed of Shrewsbury.
Finally, there was an uninterrupted run through the Shropshire hills
until I got off at Craven Arms and went to my car. It was the end of
an enjoyable journey.
To meet your Waterloo
Malcolm Bell Malcolm wrote this poem some years ago to help his
daughter with her homework
They stand immobile, open-eyed
In silent supplication
A mixture of the human race
Each with their own vocation
Their faces raised to Heaven above?
No look of adoration
They seek a sign from Him above
To animate their station
A minute passes minute
They are joined by more and more
Their bodies, ever closer
Obliterate the floor
As close as man and wife abed
Yet no words pass between them
Each one jealous of their space
Their own precious diadem
They stand there without motion
Before them lies the gap
Yet no one dares move forward
Into this toothless trap
This chasm beckons those who wait
Attendants either side
Yet no sign is forthcoming
To bridge this gap so wide
Banker, builder, typist, clerk
From each and every station
They stare aloft, with but one thought
To seek life's destination
The tall, the short, the fat, the thin
Of yellow, black or white
Not caring for their neighbours needs
In the oncoming flight
Then life bursts upwards in their eyes
As shutters roll and tap
And spells out words of knowledge
To send them to the gap
The sign stills on its message
They read along the line
The 18.10 for Uxbridge
Will leave from platform nine
A thousand bodies move as one
As if by magnets drawn
Like homing pigeons taking flight
To reach their own platform
For now there is no chivalry
Just push and pull and barge
The prize at stake, a window seat
For the victor of the charge
No magic potion needed here
Just a daily railway ride
Turns the mildest Doctor Jekyll
To an evil Mister Hyde
There are a few, a saner few
Who use a little brain
Stay put beside the public bar
And take a later train!
And as for those unworldly souls
Who arrive against this tide
They shall receive no mercy here
Washed roughly to one side
For just a fleeting moment now
No faces seek the sky
Then hundreds come to take their place
Each with their heads held high
And yet at home these zombies
Are paragons of good taste
Although you would not think it
To see them in such haste
Take pity on these people
For their whole worlds exists
Just for the coming weekend
When they get plastered, drunk or ?
The Pennine Quiz No.91
Lancastrians may have a problem with this quiz, as a lot of the
questions are to do with Yorkshire. Never mind!
Many thanks to Ian for setting the quiz. Answers to the
editor, please, by November 7th.
1) Name 43157
2) What was the number of GWR 'Burton Agnes Hall' ?
3) What have 61656 and 43053 in common?
4) Where is Winterbulee Tunnel ?
5) What is Church Fenton station booking hall now used as ?
6) Where is Potters Grange Junction ?
7) On which branch line was Thongs Bridge station ?
8) Between which stations was Newmarket Silkstone Colliery ?
9) For what purpose is the former NER roundhouse at Holbeck, Leeds,
now used ?
10) Which was the last loco fuelled at Holbeck depot ?
11) On what date did Holbeck depot (MR) open ?
12) Between which stations was Runtlings Lane Junction?
13) How many arches has the viaduct south of Wakefield Westgate
14) On what date did Nostell station close to goods ?
15) How many passenger trains per day, Monday to Friday, served
Wakefield Kirkgate in the winter 1994/95 timetable ?
16) On what date did 4472 'Flying Scotsman' have its first run in
17) How many locos did Doncaster Works build ?
18) What was the date of the re-naming ceremony of 60532 'Blue
Peter', by Val, Peter and John from the TV programme?
19) On what date was 47522 named 'Doncaster Enterprise' ?
20) What was the job of the present President of the Middleton
Railway, before retiring ?
21) On what date did the first Stanedge Tunnel open ?
22)On what date did Beeston station (South Leeds) close to
23) Which colliery was near to Outwood station ?
24) Which Yorkshire town had stations called Court House and
25) What is the length in yards of Morley Tunnel ?
Pennine Quiz No.90 the answers!
1) 60013 Oliver Cromwell
2) 87034/92017 (William) Shakespeare
3) 60044 Ailsa Craig
4) 7029 Clun Castle
5) 4468/60022 Mallard
6) 44767/87101 (George) Stephenson
7) 86239 L S Lowry
8) 86311/411/611 Airey Neave
9) 92001 Victor Hugo
10) 91004/43155 Red Arrows
11) 73123/206 Gatwick Express
12) 60068 Charles Darwin
13) 5029 Nunney Castle
14) 92012 Thomas Hardie
15) 91029 Queen Elizabeth II
16) 87025 County of Cheshire
17) 45596 Bahamas
18) 60050 Roseberry Topping
19) 70000/87004 Britannia
20) 60029 Ben Nevis
21) 92015 D H Lawrence
22) ' 34039 Boscastle
23) 60026 William Caxton
24) 92022 Charles Dickens
25) 6000 King George V
26) 86259 Peter Pan
27) 60532 Blue Peter
28) 60080 Kinder Scout
29) 92004 Jane Austen
30) 60042 Dunkery Beacon
Winner overall was Ken King, with Malcolm Bell,
John Dewing, and Ian Shenton gaining joint second
Well done, gentlemen and thanks again to Paul Slater for setting the
the Papers say!
Another 'Private Eye Special'!
As may be imagined, recent events have meant that there hasn’t
been a great deal about railways in the press lately. Happily,
Private Eye continues to go its own way , so we start with a snippet
from the 'Signal Failures' column.
Rail Safety up the Junction
Private rail businesses are sneering at safety regulations
introduced after the Clapham Junction accident, which killed 35
people in 1988.
One reason why rail transport is much safer than road is that over
many decades there has been a continuous refining of safety
procedures. Privatisation interrupted all that. Now some of the
companies believe they are immune to accidents.
Last month, it was revealed that Stagecoach-owned South West Trains
(which now operates the services involved in the 1988 crash) was
pressing its drivers to work for six weeks with only three rest
days. Overworking of safety-critical personnel was one of the
problems which emerged in the Clapham Junction inquiry, but that
does not worry SWT. "This is no different to Marks and Spencer
asking staff to do more
hours during a busy period," a spokeswoman said. Evidently she does
not appreciate that a tired driver can potentially kill and injure
members of the public (especially as the post-Clapham recommendation
of automatic train protection has been ignored) whereas the
possibility of being overcharged for an M&S prawn sandwich has no
such implications. The spokeswoman is not alone. By seriously asking
drivers to work 13-day fortnights, senior SWT managers have shown
they equate train driving with selling underpants. They are also
flouting recommendation 18 of the Clapham Junction report, which
states that no individual should work excessive overtime.
Stagecoach bus drivers have no such problems, as their hours are
restricted by law. Anyone familiar with Stagecoach's history will
know that the company is adept at exploiting any regulatory
loopholes it finds. Now it will use the lack of constraints on
train-driving hours to cover for the continuing effects of its
famous cock-up over redundancies. Such constraints were not needed
previously because British Rail was generally a conscientious
employer. Perhaps they are needed now that the greed and cynicism on
which the Stagecoach empire was built have infiltrated the rail
Stagecoach, through SWT and Porterbrook train leasing, owns and
operates many old carriages of the same weak design that contributed
to the high death toll at Clapham Junction. The report stressed that
all carriages of this type must be strengthened or replaced before
1998. Privatisation took precedence over safety. and now the
Health and Safety Executive is planning to set an over-generous
second deadline of 2007. By then some of these trains will be 50
years old. The HSE has devised and rigidly enforced all kinds of
stupid safety rules for the railways, such as banning train services
from stations where the platform is shorter than the train or, after
dusk stations which have no lighting (forcing travellers to use road
transport, where the safety risks are much higher). Now the HSE is
jibbing out of a directive which would actually make travel safer.
If the privatised railway was desperately short of cash, the HSE's
soft attitude might be tolerable. As it is, public subsidy to the
railways has doubled, partly so that Porterbrook and the other train
leasing companies can rake in vast profits Yet the number of new
trains on order is pathetic compared with quantity of safety- risk
carriages in service.
Railtrack, too, has forgotten the lessons of Clapham Junction. In
June a Virgin Rail express train near Coventry was given a signal to
continue straight ahead, but was switched into a siding. Fortunately
the siding was empty at the time. Railtrack's investigations
indicated that engineering contractors had incorrectly connected the
wires to the signal and the point giving access to the siding.
Crossed wires were the cause of the Clapham Junction accident and
the subsequent report recommended new procedures to ensure this
danger would not arise again. Railtrack has forgotten not only BR's
experience but also its own; less than two years ago a train crash
occurred at Chingford, Essex, because Railtrack contractors had
incorrectly wired signalling equipment.
Privatisation has brought to the railways a number of money-focused
managers who believe they can cock a snook at a safety culture built
on more than a century of running railways. Sadly, it will take
another serious accident to teach them the lessons BR had learned
the hard way before privatisation.
From the 'Street of Shame' column comes the following snippet:-
Guardian columnist Mark Lawson savaged the rail service offered on
the Virgin West Coast line in a recent article. The carriages
remained “juddering dust traps" and the catering was "staleIy the
Virgin boss Richard Branson retaliated with a letter to the editor,
pointing out that Virgin had only "been running the service for 15
weeks" and "change does not happen overnight".
Furthermore, wrote the tycoon, the Guardian should be sympathetic to
his difficulties; after all, they had taken over the Observer
two-and-a-half years ago and the public still hadn't seen any
Unfortunately the paper was forced to cut the last point for reasons
by David Bladen
(That refers to
the counties visited by the way, not my personal habits!!)
aeroplanes, I'm afraid! I had begun to wonder how people might feel
about another aviation-biased article in 'Trans Pennine", that was
until I opened Septembers issue of Railway Magazine and found two
pictures of aircraft in there! Now, if it's good enough for the
The occasion, this time, was the Royal International Air Tattoo at
Fairford in Gloucestershire, on the weekend of the 19/20th of July.
Public transport was again the order of the day, but the distance
meant a day-trip was not viable and I would have to spend a night
away. Swindon is the nearest mainline station to Fairford, but
during the air-show weekend, accommodation in the town is as hard to
come by as a magazine article by the Chairman! (Sorry about that
Robin, but you @ promised). Reading was the next choice, and having
stayed in the town a number of times before, I knew there would be
something in the way of bed-and breakfast available. The journey to
Reading would also give me a chance to travel on stretches of line I
had not used for a few years and, of course, re-visit one or two old
haunts while I was there! Friday, the 18th of July, dawned cold and
cloudy in Doncaster. The forecast for the weekend was hot and sunny
so I had made the decision not to take a coat, but as I sat
shivering on the platform, that decision was beginning to look a
little hasty. Happily, the shivers did not last too long, as the
08.09 service to Bristol arrived punctually, with 43102 and 43122 in
charge. I found a seat and settled down to experience for the first
time what Virgin Cross Country had to offer. In terms of new
experiences, not a lot! The HST set was unrefurbished, and the only
visible difference was the green uniform of the conductor. One thing
that was irritatingly apparent, however, was an increase in the
number and length of the on-board announcements. The impression I
formed is that Virgin Trains have tried to adopt the style of their
airline counterparts. but on-aircraft announcements are usually only
made once, and usually by someone who knows how to speak into a
microphone! The journey itself was uneventful, and arrival in the
Stygian gloom of Birmingham New Street, where I would change trains.
was four minutes early.
Scott of the
Antarctic wrote in his final diary: "Great God! This is an awful
place!" I can‘t help feeling he was thinking about New Street
station when he penned those words! If there is a more confusing and
gloomy station on the rail system, I have yet to go there. The next
stop on my journey was to be the airport. (Now there's a surprise)
Turkmenistan Airlines have recently started a service to Birmingham
from Ashgabad and Delhi, and I wanted to photograph the Boeing 757
which would be operating the flight. The train I had planned to
catch was running some thirty minutes late, so I made my way to the
'London Shuttle' platform and was very pleasantly surprised to find
I would have EWS-liveried 86261 for the 10.15 run to Birmingham
International. A bit of a bonus! Once again, I cursed the gloom of
New Street, as the loco was parked "in the dark". Oh for a flash-gun
in my bag!. The run to International took about ten minutes and,
after pausing to photograph 86261 in daylight, I caught the free
shuttle-bus which has replaced the Maglev link to the terminal.
Readers who are not remotely interested in aviation may like to skip
the next few paragraphs! If you are still with me, have an hour to
spare at International, and fancy a change from looking at trains,
please read on. There are two dedicated viewing areas at the
airport. One is the purpose-built gallery inside the terminal, for
which a 50p entry charge is made. The gallery overlooks the main
apron and has an exhibition area, shop (I always hide my credit
cards before entry!), toilets, and vending machines for drinks and
snacks. The floor of the gallery also has sections of raised
flooring so that wheelchair users can get a better view. The only
drawback with the gallery is that it is behind tinted glass which
can pose problems for photographers. I spent half an hour here
checking on departure and arrival times and having a snack. The
other viewing point, which was the one I went to, to take
photographs, is a grassed area adjacent to the long-term car park,
about five-minutes walk from the terminal. Entry is free, benches
and tables are provided, but the toilets are only open at weekends
and catering is limited to a burger van, again only at weekends. The
main advantage of the outside area is that it is next to the taxiway
and the sun, on the days it deigns to come out, is behind you.
Photographers will have to contend with the obligatory chain-link
fence, but this can be overcome. I now had just over an hour to wait
before the 757 was due to depart, which would then give me time to
make the 13.16 train from International to Reading. The weather was
still cold and cloudy and again I wished I'd brought a coat, but I
felt I would survive an hour or so. However, (yes, you've guessed
it!) things did not go to plan. Over sixty minutes had elapsed, but
there was no sign of movement at the parking stand. A fellow
enthusiast, who had been monitoring his scanner, told me that the
flight had been delayed by forty minutes because of a technical
problem. Why me, Lord? As things turned out, the delay turned out to
be about twenty minutes, but it still meant I would miss the 13.16.
Having secured my photographs, I decided to treat myself to a pint
in the pub in the terminal. I'm usually not wild about pubs in
airports, but this one is not too bad. Shakespeare's Bar (pity about
the name, though) turned out to be an open-plan, comfortable
lounge-bar, serving hand-pulled beers from the Whitbread portfolio.
The Boddingtons Bitter was very drinkable, although a touch pricey
at £1.69 a pint. Cooked food is also served. and a large, hot
chip-butty went down a treat. The only problem with the place is you
can't see the aeroplanes! OK, railway readers can come in again now!
I made my way back to the station to await the 14.16 to Reading, and
was quite surprised to see a few people on the opposite platform
with cameras and camcorders. My curiosity was soon answered as, in
the distance, the 14.16 appeared with a class 37 on the front. This
turned out to be 37023, resplendent in Mainline-blue livery. Only
after snatching a quick picture and dashing to get on the train, did
I notice 31420 tucked behind the 37. Now this was most definitely a
bonus! As can be expected, the coaches were wedged with enthusiasts,
many talking into mobile phones. Having fought my way to the back of
the train, I found there were still a couple of seats available!
Even from the rear of the train, the noise from the two locos, both
working hard, was extraordinary and the run to Reading can best be
described as exhilarating. The route was lined with photographers,
doubtless alerted by those mobile phones on the train. At Reading I
joined the throng in a dash through the subway to the other
platform, to photograph the train before the locos were uncoupled,
then made my way to what I thought was the station exit. If, like
me, you haven't been to Reading station for a while, boy, are you in
for a surprise! The old booking office has been turned into a pub,
and has been replaced by a sizeable shopping mall, which just
happens to have a ticket office in there somewhere. I wanted to
confirm the time of tomorrow's train to Swindon, but immediately hit
one of the infuriating aspects of privatisation - trying to work out
who operated the train and where their timetable was. Eventually, I
tracked down Great Western's board and the details required, then
made my way to the tourist information office, pausing only to snap
one of Reading Mainline's Routemasters. Beast! (Sorry, Gerry!) The
tourist office operate a bed-booking service - for a £2 charge they
will phone various hotels and guest- houses to find a room for you,
the fee is then deducted by the hotel. After a couple of calls, I
was told a room was available at Dittisham Guest House on Tilehurst
Road, just over a mile from the town centre. The weather by now was
warm and sunny, so I decided to walk. Big mistake! The map provided
by the tourist office did not show that the route was uphill all the
way, and on reaching the guest-house I was very hot and sweaty, and
definitely glad I didn‘t bring a coat! What was really annoying was
that as I reached the gates of the house, a Routemaster shot past on
a regular service to Tilehurst. Why me, Lord? An hour later, after a
cooling shower and a bite to eat, my good humour had been restored
and it was time for a wander around. The walk into the town centre
was much more enjoyable, it being a pleasant summer's evening and
what’s more, downhill! I decided to head for the station and
investigate the old booking hall. This has been turned into the
Three Guineas, and the place was a major disappointment. I should
have realised, from the large gentlemen standing by the door, that
this was not going to be the place for a quiet drink. Inside, it was
noisy and scruffy and the bank of handpumps which I had glimpsed
through the window earlier, turned out to be mostly for show, with
only Brakespear's bitter available. The one redeeming feature of the
pub is the large collection of old railway photos which adorn the
walls. Surprisingly, my half-pint of beer turned out to be quite
good but after that it was time to go. If the Government does carry
out its plan to crack-down on under-age drinking and alcopops, it
could do worse than start here! It was now time to do some proper
research! The next port of call was the Bugle on Friar Street. To
reach the pub, cross the road outside the station, walk down Station
Road, then turn right into Friar Street. I had visited the Bugle
before and remembered it as a slightly down-at-heel, two-roomed
place, friendly and popular, and I was relieved to find that not a
lot had changed, despite the pub nestling amongst a host of
newly-converted cafe bars. Courage Best Bitter and Directors were
available and my pint of bitter was definitely drinkable. To get to
the next venue, turn right out of the Bugle, retrace your steps
along Friar Street then turn right into Victoria Street. After 100
yards, turn right into Broad Street and you will find the Hobgoblin
just on the right. The pub is one of a chain of about 30 similar
establishments in the south. This particular place is a
beer-spotters paradise, with six beers on hand pump and a wide range
of foreign bottled-beers. A blackboard outside the pub proudly
proclaims the number of different beers that have been sold - 1615
at the time of my visit. inside, there is a large wooden- floored
bar area and a small back room which is not for the claustrophobic,
as the seating consists of a row of "confessionals“_ The pub was
very busy, but the service was good and my pint of Oakham Wheat Beer
was excellent. The clientele was also varied - CAMRA T-shirts,
beards and beer-bellies (and that was just the women!) jostled with
people in suits and evening wear. The GBG describes the Hobgoblin as
being popular with "scoopers, gricers, twitchers, fanzines and
oglers", though nobody at the pub could tell me what a "scooper"
was. Answers to the Editor on a postcard please! Altogether a
smashing place! Our next venue is about ten minutes walk away. Turn
right out of the Hobgoblin and continue along Broad Street and onto
Oxford Road. After crossing the ring road, turn right into the Eaton
Place shopping precinct and once through the precinct, you will find
the Butler on Chatham Street. The Butler is one of Fuller's of
Chiswick‘s pubs and used to belong to a wine merchant who also
bottled Guinness on the site. inside, it has undergone some changes
since I was last there. The pub now has a U- shaped bar and wooden
floorboards, but the beer, Fullers Chiswick Bitter, London Pride and
ESB, happily remains of the same high quality. The beer garden does
not have a lot to commend it visually, consisting as it does of
three tables next to a dual carriageway, with a superb view of the
fly-over into the adjacent multi-storey car park, but it was a very
pleasant place to be on a warm evening, as I sat drinking beer and
watching aeroplanes flying over on their way into Heathrow. It was
now time for me to be heading back to the guest-house. There was one
last visit to be made en- route, the Horse and Jockey on Castle
Hill. This is quite a way from the station but is worth the journey.
lf you visit Reading during the day, Reading Mainline Routemasters on
service 'E' stop outside the pub, as do several of Reading Buses
services. From the Butler, retrace your steps through the precinct,
cross Oxford Road, then go down Zinzan Street, continue along into
Carey Street, which joins Castle Hill by the pub. internally, the
pub is a bit of a mish-mash, consisting of a large, single room,
with a high green-painted ceiling supported by metal columns and a
small bar decorated with plastic bricks! The many CAMRA awards on
the walls, however, are for the quality of the beer, not the
architecture. Four beers were on sale, and the two I tried.
Grainstore Gold and Archers Village Bitter (half-pints, I had to be
up early in the morning), were both spot on. The regulars in here
are racing daft. Copies of the Sporting Life are available and the
notice board contains details of regular coach trips to race
meetings. Our Treasurer would love it - now, if only we could wean
him off lager! Saturday morning turned out bright and sunny. I'd had
a good night's sleep, a decent breakfast and now stood at Reading
station waiting for the 07.39 to Swindon. The GW-liveried HST set
looked splendid in the sunshine, as it arrived punctually at the
platform. I didn‘t get too much of a chance to appreciate the
internal decor as the train was wedged and I stood in the vestibule
for the 35-minute journey to Swindon. Once at Swindon, it was a case
of follow the crowds to the bus station where Thamesdown Transport
had assembled a fleet of buses for the onward journey to Fairford.
routes had been designated, away from
the main roads, through the many picturesque villages
in the area, and the top deck of a bus was the ideal
vantage point from which to view the beautiful
countryside. The villagers of Hannington must not get
many double-deck buses passing through, judging by
the amazed reaction of a man who opened his
upstairs bedroom curtains to be greeted by a load of
people waving at him from the top deck of a bus!
The show itself lived up to its reputation as the biggest
display in Europe. lf you want to see a line up of
aircraft, more than a mile in length, then Fairford is the
place to go. I had planned to return to Doncaster on the Saturday
night, however, some of the aircraft I
wanted to see were not scheduled to fly until late in
the day and, after a phone call to the guest house to
confirm the room was still available, I decided to stay
an extra night in Reading. It would also give me an
opportunity to have a wander around Swindon on the
way back to Reading.
Most of Swindon‘s GBG-listed pubs are a fair way
from the station, in the Old Town area, however, there
is one, the Glue Pot in Emlyn Square, a short walk
from the station, in the heart of Brunel's Railway
Village. To reach it, turn right out of the station and
Emlyn Square is about 250 yards on the left, past the
site of Swindon Works. As I walked along, I found it
hard to imagine that where once stood one of this
country's largest railway works, there was now a
'business park and retail outlet opportunity' - How times
The Glue Pot is a grade 2 listed building and, like
most other buildings in the Railway Village, is
constructed from Bath stone, which gives a very 'solid'
look to the place. Once inside, two things stand out,
the very deep plain-glass windows and the high-backed wooden seating. The beer's not bad, either.
The pub is the brewery tap for Archer‘s Brewery and
Village Bitter, Best Bitter and Golden Best were on
There are two other pubs in Emlyn Square, the
Bakers Arms and the Cricketers. The Bakers Arms,
an Arkells’ house, was closed at the time of my visit,
which was a pity as this pub has passed into Pennine
Many years ago, when it was still possible to visit
railway establishments, the society had a trip to
Swindon Works. After an overnight Deltic to London, a
class 50 out to Swindon and a tour of the works and
scrap lines, the party retired to the Bakers for lunch.
One dentally-challenged member became a touch
tired and emotional (well, who wouldn't after a Deltic
and a 50) and began to wave his sausages in Tony
Caddick's direction and shouting, "Thothidges, Tony,
thothidges!". Our gallant membership secretary, never
one to flinch in the face of adversity, silenced the
miscreant with that immortal riposte; "Shurrup an' get
thee dinner etten." Oh, happy days!
The Cricketers, an Ushers pub, was open but the
bright neon lights and loud music dissuaded me from
entering. This is possibly just as well, as I later found
out that the pub is very popular with Swindon‘s gay
community! So, it was back to the Glue Pot for
another pint or two, before returning to Reading and a
night-cap in the Horse and Jockey.
Another good night's sleep and another breakfast that
would give your doctor a coronary if he saw you eating
it, then it was time to bid farewell to Reading and start
the journey home. Sadly for me, that's Airshow season
over with until next year. In the meantime, I promise
to try not to mention aeroplanes in the next article!
Noted at Barnetby, between 12.30 and 16.00 on the
4th of June were:- 37220/803,
059/070/090/098. At Moorthorpe on the 7th, 47853
headed the 09.00 Poole - York, 47759 was in charge
of the "Royal Scotsman", 47157 passed through on a
Freightliner and 56093 was noted at the head of a
To Lincoln, where on the 10th, 37350+60003 and
60027 were observed passing through the station
whilst working oil trains.
Eaton Lane crossing, near Retford, on the 21st, saw
56048 heading a freight train, 89001 worked the 14.30
KX - Leeds and 91011/012 were noted on express
duties. On the 24th, 37220 was on a PW train, 47209
hauled a Freightliner and expresses were in the care
Back to Lincoln, where on the 30th, 56044 and 60003
hauled oil trains and 56006 worked through light-engine. On the 4th of July, 60099 was in charge of an
oil train and 60050 worked through light-engine.
Barnetby, again, where on the 9th of July,
60003/023/067/099 were noted between 13.30 and
47828 was noted at York on the 13th waiting to work a
service to New Street. 47826 was also sighted working
a Derby - Newcastle service.
At Eaton Lane on the 15th, 89001 headed the 19.37
Bradford - KX, 86254 was noted on a parcels train,
47152 was on the front of a Freightliner, 56120
headed a goods train and 31308+31554 worked
through light-engine, whilst on the 22nd 47209 headed
a Freightliner, 60099 hauled a coal train, 86208 was in
charge of a parcels train and 89001was again on the
19.37 Bradford - KX.
37708 and 37194 were noted heading freight trains
through Wakefield Kirkgate on the 19th and 47810
was noted at York having worked in on a service from
More oil trains at Lincoln, on the 25th, when
60003/023/040 were noted on such duties. Looking
slightly ahead into August, 60001/002/024 did the
honours on the 5th, with 60019/026 in action on the
A further afternoon session at Barnetby, on the 30th of
July, produced 37684, 56022/043/084/114, 60002/003/006/023/027/100. The following day, 47807 was noted
at York having worked in from Birmingham, before
returning south with a Poole service.
37332 was noted heading a freight working through
Huddersfield on the 1st of August. Later that day,
47849 was noted at York, 59206 was sighted at
Ferryhill and 47727 was the standby engine at
Newcastle. This loco was later called into action to
rescue a freight train which had failed at Ferryhill,
leading to delays of up to 1% hours on services
between Newcastle and York. The identity of the loco
which had failed is not known.
47276+47313+47810 were noted passing light-engine
through Sheffield on the 8th of August.
On the 16th of the month, 90022 was observed at
Doncaster on the 20.15 Leeds - KX. Unfortunately, this
train was being delayed because of problems with so-called “football supporters", and was still in the station
with a strong police presence, when your correspondent
left at 21.30.
Ellesmere Port is not a location that features
frequently in this column, but on June 15th, 60002 was
noted in sidings there. The following day, 37386/686
were noted in Buxton depot and 08915, 37047, 56120
were in the depot at Peak Forest.
Clay Cross on the 5th of July saw 47323 on a
Freightliner, 56006 on a goods train and 58046 was in
charge of an oil train.
A member visiting Toton on the 19th noted:- 60047 on
a stone train, 58017 on a coal train, 56066 on a freight working,
08495 in the yard, 08441/516/528/594/607/723/773/829, 20119/154/177, 31 149/165/186/191/271/405/459/461/551/552/558, 37048/111/137/188/
241/255/258/343/402/716/905/906, 45015, 47294/341/462, 56013/023/122, 58002/033/049, 60079 in the
294/531/547 on the scrap lines.
Peak Forest on August 2nd saw 37054/222,
56031/047, 60004/058/070/077 in the depot.
Noted at Birmingham operating passenger workings
on the 8th were:-47305 (15.10 Manchester - Poole)
/525/584/763/767/777/806/825/831/840/849, 86206/212/222/240/242/248/255/256, 87005/008/031/032.
The following day, 37678+417 were employed instead
of the usual class 47 on the 08.56 New Street -
Ramsgate and 13.48 return working
Locos operating North Wales Coast workings on the
16th of August were:-
37415 09.57 Stockport - Holyhead
37426 10.22 Bangor - Crewe
37425 11.22 Bangor - Crewe
37418 13.24 Holyhead - Stockport
37414 14.54 Holyhead - Crewe
37420 16.17 Crewe - Bangor
47806 was observed heading into Liverpool Lime
Street (on time!) on the 12.02 Paignton Liverpool
instead of the booked class 86.
The "Worksop Devonian" railtour took 58035/037 for a
blast and a day at the seaside from Worksop to
Paignton and return, on the 26th of July.
holiday trains noted that day were:-
47817 10.33 Paignton - Manchester
47844 12.02 Paignton - Liverpool (ex-works 'Virgin'
47827 09.17 Manchester- Paignton
47851 15.01 Paignton - Glasgow
The 06.54 Ashford - Victoria service came to grief on
arrival at its destination on the 25th of June. when
EMU 3553 collided with the buffers. 10 passengers
were injured. 73114 was noted shortly afterwards,
ready to pull the train away.
An observer who braved Wandsworth Road on the
2nd of July, noted the following:-
33019 on a ballast train
33046 on a departmental train
47237+47335+92009+92011+92007 on a Freightliner
(our correspondent assumes that the 92s were being
worked back to Wembley, to save on light-engine
47060 on 4086, the 08.16 Crewe - Grain Freightliner
47033 on the 09.52 Dagenham - Dollands Moor Ford
58037 on the 10.19 Angerstein - Bardon Hill empty
'Bardon' hopper train
37371+37677 on Purley - Salfords Cliffe empty 'Brett'
60043 on 10.14 Hothfield - Southall Yard empty 'ARC'
37708 on a freight working
73103/106/117/130/131, 33202 light engines, plus
The 12th of July saw the first class 92-hauled
passenger train, when 92030 and 92038 took part in
the itinerary of the “Dungeness Pebbledasher" railtour.
The tour originated at Finsbury Park with 37688 and
37402 'top and tailing' on the freight-only Dungeness
branch. 47761 returned the tour from Wembley International to Finsbury Park.
The Llangollen Railway had 4806 ‘Magpie', 76079
'Castell Dinas Bran" and D8142 working trains
between Llangollen and Carrog, on the 15th of June.
50002 'Superb' was observed earning its keep on the
Paignton and Dartmouth Railway on the 26th of July.
'Diesel Day' on the K&WVR on the 2nd of August, had
the following locos working:- D0226 'Vulcan', D5209,
D8031, along with "kettle" 75078. An evening "Beerex"
train ran with D23 'Merlin' and D2311.
Many thanks to Tony Caddick, John Dewing, Ken
King, John Reader and Paul Slater for their
Forthcoming meetings at the Taps (20.00 start) are as
Wednesday 1 October 1997
The Annual Pennine Slide Contest
Chris Theaker is Judge Dread - enter or else!
Wednesday 18 October 1997
To be confirmed
Wednesday 5 November 1997
To be confirmed
Wednesday 19 November 1997
Pennine Shield - see below
Wednesday 3 December 1997
To be confirmed
Wednesday 20 December 1997
Confirmed dates for the Pennine Shield are as
Wednesday 12 November 1997,
Commercial Hotel, Carbrook - GCRS
Wednesday 19 November 1997
Corporation Brewery Taps, Doncaster - Pennine
Thursday 27 November 1997
Commercial Hotel, Carbrook - DLG
Wednesday 3 December 1997
Club 197. Sheffield - SYPRC
The next edition of Trans Pennine will be
produced in December. l would like to get the
magazine in good time for Christmas, so please
have all contributions to the editor by November