The Committee of
the Pennine Railway Society join together in wishing all our
members, their families and their friends a Happy Christmas
and Prosperous New Year. We thank you for your support and
friendship during 2013.
Membership Fee (Unchanged in 2014!)
magazine you will find a renewal of membership form and we
are pleased to announce that we are able to maintain the
annual membership fee at £6 for yet another year.
We hope you feel this continues to be excellent value for
money and look forward to you rejoining your society in
A 2014 calendar
is included with this magazine which we hope you will
welcome. The calendar shows the dates of the AGM and social
evenings in red.
The following special dates have been underlined:
Sunday 12 January – Annual General Meeting
Wednesday 7 May – The Andy Dalby Memorial Slide Competition
Wednesday 1 October – Pennine Slide Competition
Wednesday 3 December – Pennine Shield Round 2
Wednesday 17 December – Digital Image Competition
– 40th Anniversary
Our Society was
formed in 1974 and we now look forward to celebrating our
40th anniversary in 2014.
Your Committee will look at ways of celebrating this special
anniversary, and any ideas from members will be welcomed.
You will be kept informed of events via our website, the
magazine or by special mailing.
reminded of our social evenings, arranged by Robin, which
are held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month at The
Salutation, South Parade, Doncaster. The early 2014
programme is shown elsewhere in this magazine. Please note
there will not be a meeting on the first of January.
We have a private, well-appointed function room.
Non-members are also welcome to attend and a fine range of
real ales is available from the bar, along with soft drinks.
Meetings start at 8pm prompt and usually finish by 10.30pm.
Don’t be late, Wednesdays at 8, and enjoy a fine night of
Annual General Meeting
You are invited
to attend the society’s Annual General Meeting which will be
held on Sunday 11 January 2014 at 12.00 noon at our usual
venue of the Salutation in Doncaster.
This is the opportunity for you, the members, to have a say
in how you wish the society to be run and to form a plan of
events for 2014. It will also provide an opportunity to
socialise with friends you may not have seen for some time.
Any member who wishes to raise an issue is welcome to advise
this to our Chairman, Robin Skinner, or to any other
committee member, in advance of the meeting.
Inaugural Digital Image Competition
On Wednesday 18th
December 2013 the Society will hold the first competition
for member’s digital images. We encourage as many members
as possible to enter. The only criteria is that you must
have taken the picture yourself. This may be an image taken
with a digital camera but may also be a print or a slide
which you have scanned and converted into a digital image
If you cannot attend on the night you can still enter.
Each person can enter 5 images.
ALL images MUST be passed to Linda Bladen by Monday 16th
December. We cannot accept any images after that as we will
not have time to rename them and merge them randomly into
the slide show.
There are a number of ways to pass the images to Linda:
By email to
On a memory
On a DVD
camera’s memory card
sorry we cannot accept images which are already in
Powerpoint presentations. Please do not worry about the size
of the image. If it requires to be resized to show
properly, Linda will do that.
Once all the images have been saved Linda will rename them
so that they are anonymous and will arrange for them to be
shown in a random order.
The audience will judge the images on the night.
Each member of the audience will be asked to rank their top
5 images and complete a simple score sheet. You will not be
able to vote for your own images.
Each image ranked No 1 will score 5 points, No 2 will score
4 points, No 3 will score 3, No 4 will score 2 and No 5 will
score 1 point. All the points from the audience will be
added together to produce the result.
There will be prizes and trophies for first, second and
If anyone has any questions, please email your question to
All the former
international platforms at Waterloo will be back in use by
The branch from
Oxenholme to Windermere is to be electrified allowing
services from Manchester and is likely to be completed by
Ten years ago (30
July 2013) a 14 coach Eurostar test train achieved a record
speed on a British railway, reaching 334.7Km/h in the
Nashenden Valley near the Medway Viaduct. No authority had
been given to exceed 335Km/h.
Access to Forth Bridge
To mark the 125th
anniversary of the opening of the Forth Bridge, there are
plans for a visitor centre and viewing platform at North
Queensferry and a base to coordinate guided tours for groups
of up to 15 people to the top of the south tower in South
Is this one for a Pennine visit, Robin?
A new record for
traffic through the Channel Tunnel was set on Saturday 17
August, with 15,982 vehicles, including 168 coaches,
travelling in both directions between Folkestone and
Coquelles. 151 Shuttle departures were organised.
Birmingham Tram Remembered.
tram No. 11 has been repainted in the old Birmingham tram
livery to commemorate 60 years of the scrapping of the first
by the 19 franchise operators show passenger journeys in
2012-13 as 1.502 billion. The Office of Rail Regulation
says 1.286 billion. The difference depends on whether you
use journeys originating in each “Government Office Region”
or the “Lennon” database (the higher since a journey
involving more than one operator is counted each time).
Two new depots
for the Desiro City Thameslink fleet are to be built at
Hornsey and Three Bridges.
The Thameslink /
Great Northern and Southern contracts are to merge by July
2015 to create a super-franchise in the London and South
East Commuter area, from Bedford / Peterborough / Cambridge
to the Sussex coast via central London and East Croydon.
Derby is to build a further 116 EMU vehicles for Southern,
to be used on the Thameslink route from 2015 to enable some
of the present fleet to be cascaded to newly electrified
No – not the
Pennine Committee! Buildings given Grade II listed status
include New Street station signalbox in Birmingham’s Brunel
Street and Bournemouth’s Yellow Bus Garage.
Eurostar’s ECML Bid
partnership with Keolis is to bid for the ECML franchise.
Both are majority owned by SNCF. The bid is an attempt by
Eurostar to diversify its business with DB set to launch
cross-channel services by the end of 2015.
Eurostar will add routes to the Swiss Alps, Provence and
Amsterdam in readiness for competition from Deutsche Bahn.
Great Anglia is
trialling battery power on a Class 379. In 1958 Derby
Lightweight DMU Sc79998/9 was battery powered and used on
the Aberdeen – Ballater line! It is now stored on the Royal
The SR Motor Luggage vans used on Boat Trains and other
services could also run on batteries.
National Express Enters Germany
NX has been
awarded two franchises to succeed DB on services between
Krefeld, Cologne, Bonn, Wuppertal and Munster from December
2015. They have also been shortlisted to operate Berlin’s
derided Ringbahn line.
NX already operates a road coach network in Germany under
the City2City brand.
Track is being
laid in the Canal Tunnels, built 2004-6 as part of the St
Pancras International work, to connect the MML with the
ECML, to extend the Thameslink Programme.
Southern Class 377s
The first of
Southern’s new fleet of 26 five-car Electrostars, being
built by Bombardier at Derby, has entered service.
Work is to start
on electrifying the line between Walsall, Cannock and
Rugeley Trent Valley.
Network Rail is
planning to replace the Imperial mile, chain and yards with
the metric system in a gradual process. Traditional
mileposts will be replaced by new location markers at
intervals of 500m or 1Km.
The first of
TPE’s new Class 350/4 DESIRO EMUs for the Manchester Airport
/ Scotland route arrived via the Channel Tunnel during the
1st week of November. 350401 is at present in a white base
livery awaiting the application of TPE vinyls and is
expected to take over crew training duties on the WCML from
the present on loan LM 350/2 soon. The 350s are booked to
take over most duties from the 185 DMU's over the winter
timetable period on completion of the new electrification
work on the Chat Moss line.
Pennine Slide Competition
The Pennine Slide
Competition, held at The Salutation on 2 October, was this
year judged by Rhys Jones (last year’s winner). A total of
49 high quality slides were entered and the result was as
1st Tony Caddick 57308 with 390004 waiting
to work the 14.38 Holyhead to Euston on 9 July 2011 (see
2nd Andy Barclay Class 08 shunter no. 402D
ANNABEL at Goonbarrow Junction
3rd Glen Williamson 55002/9/19 at Woodhouse en
route to the East Lancs Diesel Gala in 2012 (see calendar)
Congratulations those above, thanks to all who entered and
to Rhys for judging.
A weekend in
Blackpool, over the first weekend of the busy half term
school holiday week (26-27/10), saw “B” fleet Balloons 700
and 719 in rare action on daytime specials between Pleasure
Beach and Little Bispham. Illuminations tours on the
Saturday evening saw the three illuminated cars in action
helped out by Bolton 66, Blackpool standard 147, heritage
balloon 717 and Brush car 631. All 16 Flexity cars saw some
action at some point over the weekend and were usually
crush-loaded with 001 out on prom specials on Saturday
afternoon to try and cope with the heavy loadings. The
illuminations ended on Sunday 10th November with the winter
timetable now in operation.
The first of
Midland Metros new trams, fleet number 17, arrived at the
Wednesbury depot in October. The first of 20 Spanish built
CAF URBOS 3 models to replace the original T69 cars is
expected to enter service next year after a period of
testing. The first new tram rails on the extension from
Birmingham Snow hill, the present terminus, through the city
centre to New Street were laid during November and is
scheduled to open in 2015.
extension to open, the section from Droylsden to
Ashton-under Lyne, saw its first service cars on Wednesday
9th October. Testing has also started on the extension from
Rochdale station to the town centre terminus but as yet no
opening date has been announced. The latest new M5000 tram
to arrive at Queen’s Road depot was 3075 on 2nd November.
T68 car 1021 became the 19th of the old fleet to be
withdrawn on 5th November after suffering a fault in service
and the necessary repairs not being authorised.
Nottingham’s new ALSTOM CITADIS cars have now been delivered
to the Wilkinson Street depot, the latest around 29th
October. The first, fleet number 216, arrived on 10th
September and was unveiled to the press 3 days later. The
new cars are expected to enter service in spring 2014 and
should all be in traffic when the system is extended late
At long last the
end seems to be in sight and the wonderful prospect of trams
running down Princes Street comes ever closer. If all goes
to plan Tuesday 19th November should see the OHL energised
between Bankhead tramstop and York Place meaning that the
entire length of the line will go live for the first time.
Hopefully testing can then commence although with the busy
Christmas shopping season and Hogmanay celebrations fast
approaching perhaps we may have to wait until the new year!
by Paul Slater
to the rails at Christmas 1981, as I didn’t fancy using my
car in the atrocious weather conditions. I was going to
visit my parents in Northamptonshire, and they had arranged
to meet me off the train at Huntingdon.
I finished work at one o’clock on Christmas Eve, and trudged
through the deep snow and slush down to Lea Road station at
Gainsborough. The Sheffield train which I would use as far
as Retford was late, as I expected, delayed by the Cambridge
- Doncaster train with which it connected at Lincoln. Quite
a crowd of us were standing around under the awning at Lea
Road, grumbling at the weather, British Rail, and life in
general. The station was quite Siberian in appearance,
tracks and platforms and surrounding country alike all deep
in snow. An extremely grimy train came in and departed for
Lincoln, and at last the distant signal jerked up for the
When that had gone, the number of waiting passengers was
much reduced. Before long, the signal was up again, the
platform bell rang, and the Sheffield train came in. It was
not the usual DMU, but a Class 31 hauling old steam-heated
carriages; the heat was well on, and clouds of vapour
issuing from under the train condensed on the windows to
block the views of the whited-out landscape en route to
At Retford, the through lines were closed and half buried in
snow, so all trains had to crawl past on the platform lines.
I ate the refreshment room’s last sandwich, and many of us
were glad of a warming cup of tea. An announcement that the
London train would be late was greeted with good-natured
derision. I couldn’t deny that Retford station, blanketed
in snow, had a certain bleak beauty. At last our train
arrived, not an HST, but a Class 47 pulling an
inadequate-looking rake of old carriages, oozing steam.
There were no seats left and no buffet car, I soon found,
but at least it was transport. A group of us congregated in
the vestibule by the doors, having realised it was hopeless
to try and find a seat, and then the train moved off.
I up-ended my small suitcase on the floor close by the door,
and decided that to use it as a makeshift seat was the best
I could do for what promised to be a not very comfortable
journey. I knew that at the next stop Newark, the platform
would be on the right-hand side, so I settled down by the
left-hand door, out of people’s way. I had a good view of
the snowy countryside as we sped southwards, and I amused
myself by seeing how many landmarks I could recognise, and
by remembering the times I had passed this way in pleasanter
conditions. The steam heat did not seem to reach the
vestibule, and an icy draught found its way round the edges
of the door; but by keeping on all my thick outdoor clothes,
I stayed warm enough.
At Newark, two southbound HST's overtook us while we stood
at the platform, then our signal light turned green and we
were off again. I had my head out of the window in the
bitterly cold air as we jerked over the points on to the
main line, and saw the connecting train for Lincoln waiting
in a siding. Now I shifted my improvised seat over to the
right-hand door, so I would be clear of people getting in
and out on the left-hand side at Grantham and Peterborough.
At each stop more people got on, so the train became even
more overcrowded. A gentleman bound for London kept us
entertained with humorous tales and anecdotes from Grantham
onwards, while outside the windows the dusk began to fall
and the dismal afternoon became gradually bluer and darker.
In the hills south of Grantham the scene had a real wintry
splendour, but I remember feeling glad that we didn’t have
such a thoroughly White Christmas every year! I noticed the
occasional car feeling its way cautiously along a snow-bound
country road, and was suite grateful for the train: crowded,
uncomfortable, hungry and barely heated might be my ride,
but at least I didn’t have to worry about driving!
Eventually we arrived at Peterborough. At the opposite
platform stood the Harwich boat train, composed like mine of
old steam-heated carriages; steam poured from both trains
into the glow of the platform lights, and if I didn’t look
at the diesel locomotives, it was quite like old times! We
were away before the boat train. It was by now almost dark,
and I could pick out no landmarks outside until I recognised
the lights of Alconbury aerodrome and knew that I was nearly
at journey’s end. I felt the brakes come on as the first
lights of Huntingdon appeared out of the darkness, and when
the train had slowed well down, I went across to the other
door and slid down the window. The signal was yellow, and
the direction indicator was lit to show we were indeed being
switched on to the platform line. I made sure I had my
luggage, gloves and ticket. Christmas was here!
(A Ghost story for Christmas)
by Chris Tyas
Christmas Eve and Martin had booked on for his shift at the
depot and picked up his van. He was now parked up at bridge
31 on the line from Hull to Doncaster; this was to be a big
job replacing the whole bridge section before having the
line reopened by the morning of December 27th. He was the
first to arrive at the site and was unloading his tools when
he thought he saw someone on the bridge, he climbed up the
steps up the embankment to have a look to see who was there,
but there was not a soul in sight. As he was heading back
down to his van to continue unloading his tools he could see
some of the other vans arriving and totally forgot about
what he thought he had seen.
Martin and his mate Neil were cutting the cast iron bridge
sections using the oxy propane cutting gear, and out of the
corner of his eye he saw someone stumbling across the track
as if they had had an accident of some sort. Martin turned
off the burning torch and went to see if he could help as he
was a first aider but when he got to where he had seen the
person yet again there was no one to be seen, so he went to
see the person in charge of the job to see if he knew who
had been involved in an accident, but he looked at Martin in
bemusement and said that no one had reported as having an
accident to him.
When he got back to where he was working he told Neil about
what he had thought he had seen but Neil said he had not
seen anything. They carried on working until it was break
time and they headed down to their vans for a brew and a
sandwich. Martin was having a little snooze when he thought
he could here shouting coming from up on the bridge, he
could also see that there was people on the bridge some
helping others who looked to be injured. Martin rushed up
the steps to see what he could do to help but when he got up
onto the bridge yet again there was no one to be seen.
This was starting to bother him as he knew he couldn’t be
seeing things, as he was walking back down the steps to his
van he ran in to Robin who was an old time railwayman who
was nearing retirement age. Martin told Robin what he
thought he had seen.
Right said Robin you won’t remember what happened at this
bridge on Christmas Eve 1957, no said Martin what did
happen. It was just after 11 o’clock when the last
passenger train of the day from Doncaster to Hull was
approaching the bridge at the same time there was an
unfitted freight from Dairycoates to Belmont Yard coming in
the opposite direction, what the driver of the freight
didn’t know was that one of his trailing wagons was off the
road and bouncing along on the sleepers, but when it got
onto the bridge the wagon deflected off the parapet and
deflected onto the opposite line and into the path of the
passenger train which was just running onto the bridge. The
passenger train was derailed with the engine and first coach
going down the embankment with the rest of the train
derailed on the bridge.
The driver and fireman of the passenger train were killed
along with 17 passengers, there were also many other
passengers injured of which 2 more would die later of their
injuries in hospital. So my friend I think what you have
seen tonight could be the ghosts of the crash saying their
last goodbyes to the old bridge.
Pennine Observer Notes
at Doncaster have been:
67005, 67020 Standby
66037, 66728 Intermodal
66556, 66563/66505 Freightliners
66605 Empty limestone
66007, 66118, 66194 Light engines
66021, 66044, 66547, 66551, 66557, 66710,
66732, 66739, 66743 Coal
18 31233 pw. train
66021, 66525, 66798 Coal
66140 Goods train
66169, 66193 in yards
08724, 67021, 67024 in sidings near station
19 67021, 67024 Standby
66137, 66749 Light engines
60013, 66727 Departmental
66102, 66733 Intermodal
19 66418, 66954 Freightliners
37259/37607 Top & Tail test train
31233 Test train
66118, 66413, 66547, 66613 Coal
10 67005 Dragging a failed East Coast set
66420, 66534 Freightliners
66056, 66745 Intermodal
47760/57314 ECS. to Ely
66727, 67015 Light engines
66170, 66197, 66506, 66557, 66560, 66733,
66516, 66420 Freightliners
66130, 66717 Intermodal
60007, 66710 Departmental
60071, 66199, 66140 Light engines
67021 dragging 91105 into Wabtec
66070, 66118, 66520, 66536, 66596, 66619,
24 67022 Standby
66571, 66572 Freightliners
66428 Stabled under Balby Bridge
66199, 66708 Intermodal
66125, 67016 Light engines
66151, 66712 Departmental
66012, 66066, 66111, 66507, 66539, 66557,
66566, 66587, 66727, 66728, 66742 Coal
66604 Empty limestone
31 67024 Standby
66503, 66541 Freightliners
66115, 66739 Intermodal
66145/186, 66712, 66154 Departmental
66057, 66099 Light engines
66552, 66554, 66005, 66107, 66709, 66714 Coal
67024, 67027 Stand bys
66418, 66542 Freightliners
66177, 66745 Intermodal
66199, 66712, 66192/66108 Departmental
66119 RHTT wagons
66087, 66176, 66507, 66539, 66616, 66714,
66731, 66742 Coal
sightings on the Gainsborough – Barnetby line have been:
coal trains unless stated otherwise)
66092, 66213, 66154 on oil train
66181, 66213, 66743
66013, 66017, 66181, 66213
66017 on oil train
66213, 66739, 66743
66088, 66169, 66706
12 66047, 66706
13 66021, 66706
14 66021, 66238
16 66021, 66069, 66705, 66706
19 66069, 66084
23 66024, 66122, 66171, 66711
24 66024, 66548, 66706, 66711
26 66006, 66021, 66197, 66706, 66711
27 66006, 66091, 66706
66095, 66192, 66197, 66250, 66704, 66746
66530+66539 on pw. train
10 66730 on pw. train
16 66705, 66727
18 66113, 66705
21 66174, 66727, 66742
22 66043, 66727, 66742
recent sightings have been:
17 66213 on steel train at Eaton Lane Crossing
18 66165 light engine at Retford
66069 on coal train at Retford
17 66164 on Tilcon train at Hull
67027 on Thunderbird duties at Darlington
23 66534 on container train at Stow Park
25 66213 on Tilcon train at Hull
26 60062 on iron ore train and 66018, 66116 and
66619 on coal trains at Barnetby
27 66739 at Potters Selby
29 66215 on Tilcon train at Hull
56303, 56311, 20304, 20305 at York station
30 70006 on freight at Sheffield
display in the yard just south of Grantham station on the
weekend 7/8 September were 4468 MALLARD, 55019 and 56311 as
part of the Mallard 75 celebration.
used on Peterborough / Doncaster drags were:
67005/91105 12.35 KX/Leeds
67022/91xxx 12.45 Leeds/KX
12 67022/91121 12.35 KX/Leeds
67027/91113 16.05 Leeds/KX
noted at York on 31 October were 56311, 66951, 66585, 66509,
20309, 20304 and 20305.
Preserved electric blue 86259 “LES ROSS” was a wonderful
sight storming through Doncaster on 2 November hauling the
Virgin “Pretendolino” set on a KX / Newcastle footex. It is
to be hoped the Chelsea supporters enjoyed the rare monster
for haulage as there team suffered a 2-0 defeat.
amazing sight at Mexborough on a dark/wet Bonfire Night was
D1015 WESTERN CHAMPION on a long heavy train of continuous
welded rail. Subsequent searches on the web confirmed that
the “Wizzo” was on hire to GBRF and the working was 4M10
Scunthorpe / Wellingborough. I was going to say this must
qualify as the most outrageous working of the year but
reports now suggest the beast may be on hire for a longer
sightings at Stafford have been:
12 57304, 86627 Route learning
90048, 66952/66507/66505/70016 Light engines
66174, 66430, 66431 Intermodal
37218/37606 with one flask
66121, 66200, 92002 Cars
66517, 66538, 66542,
66564, 66589, 86609/86613, 90016, 90041, 90046, 90047,
92032, 66558/70008 Freightliners
26 57311 Route learning
66001, 66044, 66422, 66423, 66433, 92010,
66413, 66727 Departmental
92011 Light engine
66025, 66139, 66193, 90018 Cars
66418, 66517, 66538/70018, 66543, 66562,
66592, 66598, 70019, 86622/86613, 90041, 90045,
noted at Edinburgh on 5 September were 67024 Thunderbird,
90024/036 stabled, 67009 17.08 Fife circle.
and Charter Trains
seen on railtours and charters have been:
10 (“Cathedrals Express”) 60163 Tornado, 66172
26 (“Links and Loops Tracker Railtour”) 47746,
working at the Peak Rail Mixed Traffic Gala on 21 September
were 14901, 31270, D8 and industrial loco 3883 Lord Phil.
Giving brake van rides at Rowsley were 06003, PWM654, 09001,
03113 and D2139.
used at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Steam Gala on 27
September were 6046, 75029, 60007, 92214, 29 and D5061.
working at the Keighley and Worth Valley Autumn Steam Gala
on 12 October were 1501, 7812, 4160, 45305, 43924, 1054 and
1704 giving brake van rides at Ingrow.
only a short report from when I visited Luxor station on the
31st October. Trains are still not running to Cairo, buses
are running as replacements, not good, sounds like England!
But they are running south to Aswan. The first class
coaches with A/C are not used: only what I would call 2nd
class are used on the trains to Aswan. They have normal
seating, but quite a few windows have broken glass in them.
The trains of 10 coaches are packed to the gunnels. The
local trains are 3rd class, but have a 2nd class coach in
the train making it 5 coach, naturally most passengers try
to get a seat in it, the 3rd class have seating along the
sides of the coach, but they are very basic formed plastic
type. I had no trouble getting on the station, visiting the
signal box, and shed in that way nothing has changed from
earlier in the year. I had a great welcome from the guys in
the signal box, “Sit down have a chi”, so a nice cup of
Egyptian tea was enjoyed while we chatted, exchanging cigs
and showing them photos of Egyptian locos. Later while
taking a photo of the loco on the local train to Esna I met
its driver, again I was made most welcome by following him
to the cab, this was just before 14.00 when the train is due
to depart. We had the usual chat and chi, photos of me at
the controls etc. Not realising the time 14.00 was on us
and the peg had dropped. Asked the driver how long before
we get back, he said 6 hours, so it was a quick Shukran and
climb down to the ballast as it departed. Wonderful stuff.
I have a great idea, what about a Pennine trip? Locos
noted:- 3169 Aswan train, 3101 Quena train, 3865 Esna train,
Station pilot 3944, on shed 2160, 3982, 3884, 3970, 2103.
That is 1 (66), 3 EMD's, 1 Adtranz. My friend Jeff is
staying with us at the moment, he is enjoying seeing the
tombs and temples, with him being a spotter in steam days I
thought a visit to the station would be good. We visited
yesterday (November 10) while the ladies did their usual
thing shopping. He was amazed with the station being so
busy the trains packed as I mentioned, and the No of boxes
tied up with string that the passengers were carrying. He
had the same welcome from the signal box “Have a chi” which
we did, and photos taken of him posing as a signalman with
the levers. The frame is British we think from the late
1800s still working fine. The train from Aswan came in with
a crew change outside the box, we observed as kids jumped on
and off from the open doors in the train as it departed.
Best regards Steve.
Pennine Quiz No. 154
the tunnels between the stations on the following routes:
1 Dunblane – Bridge of Allan
2 Haltwhistle – Bardon Hill
3 Worcester - Droitwich Spa
4 Tiverton Parkway - Taunton
5 Dalton - Ulverston
6 Leatherhead - Dorking
7 Blair Atholl - Pitlochry
8 Newmarket - Kennett
9 Denby Dale - Penistone
10 Edale - Chinley
11 Grantham - Newark
12 Peterborough - Grantham
13 Dore - Grindleford
14 Retford - Gainsborough
15 Marsden - Greenfield
16 Pilning - Caldicot
17 Fishguard Harbour – Clarbeston Road
18 Ribblehead - Dent
19 Dumfries - Sanquhar
20 Anniesland - Westerton
21 Castle Cary - Taunton
22 Gillingham - Templecombe
23 Petersfield - Rowlands Castle
24 Dent - Garsdale
25 Settle - Horton-in-Ribblesdale
26 Walsall - Bloxwich
27 Dundee – Broughty Ferry
28 Churston - Kingswear
29 Kidderminster - Bewdley
30 Micheldever - Winchester
Pennine Quiz No. 153
1 Irchester Junction
2 Staveley Ironworks
4 Hull & Barnsley / Great Central Joint
6 Langley Mill
8 Kettering Junction
10 Oakley Junction
11 Sun Inn
12 H.E. Bates
14 Ravenstone Wood Junction
15 National Railway Museum, York
16 Great Central, Great Northern, Lancashire &
Yorkshire and North Eastern
17 Wath Road Junction
18 Wooden bridges at Huntingdon and St. Ives
20 Coaley Junction - Dursley
21 Great Central and Great Northern
22 It was struck by a barge
23 Great Western
24 North Eastern
25 Railway Inn
Congratulations to the winner – Ken King.
like to thank the following for their generous contributions
to this issue: Linda Bladen, Tony Caddick, John Dewing, Ken
King, Steve Payne, John Sanderson, Robin Skinner, Paul
Slater, and Chris Tyas.
Spring 2014 issue of Trans Pennine is due for publication on
Wednesday 19th March would contributors please let the
coordinator have their information by no later than
Wednesday 19th February. If you can, please email your
If you are posting your contributions, it would help if you
could post it in instalments and not leave it all to the
last day – THANK YOU.
introduced the nation to a railway and Post Office
institution in a ground-breaking fashion. Simon Stabler
looks at the details behind a revolution in documentary
Travelling Post Office, flashing through the night between
London and Glasgow, was filmed for the Night Mail -
one of the GPO Film Unit's most memorable productions.
It told the story of the men and equipment involved and
received its premiere at the newly opened Arts Theatre,
Cambridge in February, 1936. This was one of the first
documentaries to use drama, dialogue and characterisation,
and certainly appealed to a commercial audience with Pat
Jackson - the film's production assistant and unaccredited
narrator - amazed that “they're actually enjoying it”.
The highlight of the 24 minute documentary is in the closing
scenes, where W.H Auden's famous verse - which begins, ‘This
is the Night Mail crossing the border. Bringing the cheque
and the postal order’ - is performed by Stuart Legge
over music by Benjamin Britten. Despite later success,
Auden and Britten were poorly paid with the latter
remembering how he had to “help rig lights. And hold
cameras. And cut films. And fix sound effects. All for £3
a week.” Finances dictated that Britten could only use five
musicians, however he rose to the challenge with his
hand-picked quintet, conducting a score that, like Auden's
verse, mimicked the rhythm of the train, earning him a bonus
of £13 10s.
Scriptwriter Basil Wright received a co-director credit for
working on a handful of scenes but it was Harry Watt who did
most of the work, directing the filming inside the train, on
the sorting van studio set, on location and on the outside
of the train itself, which led to some hairy moments.
Pat Jackson recalled how the London, Midland and Scottish
Railway (LMS), whose locomotive 6115 Scots Guardsman
hauled the train, supplied the film crew with a ‘ganger’ who
carried a red flag and had ‘a whistle permanently between
his teeth which he blew with monotonous regularity’.
Despite this approach to safety, Jackson had a near miss
when he climbed onto the engine's tender with a reflector
board to provide cameraman Jonah Jones with sufficient light
to film on the footplate. Travelling at approximately 40
miles an hour, not only did Jackson have trouble maintaining
a foothold but had the reflector torn out of his hands by a
bridge that the train passed under, narrowly avoiding a
on the move
first TPO was a converted horsebox with a few wooden shelves
for sorting letters that ran on the Grand Junction Railway
between Birmingham and Liverpool. Introduced in January,
1838, its success meant that a purpose built coach was put
into operation within a year.
Shortly after operations began, a trial of equipment
designed to drop and pick up mailbags while the train was
moving, took place. It was so successful, that a similar
system continued to be used until 1971 and can be seen in
operation in Night Mail in a shot achieved by a
cameraman hanging out of the window, held by his legs, as
the train went 100 miles an hour.
In 1986, to celebrate the original film's 50th anniversary,
TVS produced Night Mail II. Featuring an updated
poem by Blake Morrison, the new film covered the collection,
sorting and distribution of post by road, rail and air.
Two years later, on Christmas Day, 1988, British Rail
launched its ‘concerto’ advert with Tom Courtenay performing
another update to Auden's verse, acknowledging that ‘the
passenger train is full of commuters, bound for the office
to work in computers’.