hawarden

The Master Cutler

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        Aspley park:.  No need to apologise. I wasn't having a go at you, rather encouraging you to jog my memory with your records.

 Being more to do with any future conversations. If your records contradict my memory, I'm happy for you to put me right.

       Your comments about Dominion of Canada are interesting, as when Flying Scotsman was allocated to Leicester she also had a reputation of being a poor performer for that very same reason. From what I can gather, the A3's were well liked by G.C. Train crews.

      August 1957 saw the last ones returned to the East Coast, as the assassins took over in January 1958.

      A possible reason for her visit to Colwick that night, may have been to take parts for a Kings Cross/Grantham locomotive under maintenance. A normal way would have been to send parts on an over night freight, but if the locomotive under repair was urgently required, a light engine running direct to Colwick would have been quicker.

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Another possible reason for No 10 being there may have been to work the Colwick - Kings Cross  freight which ran nightly  in the week in those days. It was usually a job for  an A1, so No 10 would have been a more than suitable substitute.

And it was the influx of the then almost new A1s which made the A3s available for the GC.  In the early 50s, there was a 35% increase in services from Kings Cross on the ECML with most trains needing the most powerful locos.  The A3s were no longer that  so several went to Neasden or Leicester. to work the Marylebone - Manchesters through Nottingham Victoria and Sheffield.  They were in poor condition and continually under repair.  So much so that  some drivers preferred to drive B1s!   

But gradually they were brought upto standard and, of course, as soon as any were performing efficiently again  the ECML wanted them back.  'Sansovino' was recalled by Grantham and 'Pretty Polly' went to Doncaster in exchange for a dishevelled 'Scotsman.'  Leicester  Central looked after the famous loco for four years before all the A3s were back on the main line.   It  might have been for longer had the threat of the London Midland Region not loomed over the future of the old GCR.   Eastern Region were not likely to let any of their Pacifics fall into 'enemy' hands and so they were transferred to ECML sheds.  Most of them were overhauled, virtually rebuilt,  and emerged from the works in top condition for a glorious finale. 

 

 

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One of my earliest pre-spotting memories is of climbing to the top of the concrete slopes off station pad, alongside Basford and Bulwell station, to see Prince Palatine, in blue, as it was turned on the triangle with the GC. I guess it was around 1953.

 

 

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      Should have thought of that possibility, I believe that's how Woodcock returned home. Am sure most of the G.C.'s A3 's were transferred to Grantham. The last six certainly were, ironically these were apparently all good performers. Am too young to remember any of them working on the G.C. Have seen about 4/5 A3's on Colwick. I think the last time was one standing behind Locomotive Terrace, in steam, unfortunately I was on the footbridge which allowed people to cross the lines leading into the L.N.W. Shed. The loco had its tender facing me and was too far away anyway. Somewhat annoying at the time. Bit of a pattern here, me being unable to identify loco's.

 

   Unfortunately I never saw an A3 in blue livery, think the last one was Solario, (at least of those on the G.C.) Did see an A4 in blue, which am sure was Golden Eagle, to be honest, I actually preferred the blue livery.

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12 hours ago, ValuerJim said:

One of my earliest pre-spotting memories is of climbing to the top of the concrete slopes off station pad, alongside Basford and Bulwell station, to see Prin...

 

Oh how I wish I'd seen that...  I used to walk alongside there all the time, but a few years later....

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11 hours ago, Dark Angel said:

   

Unfortunately I never saw an A3 in blue livery, think the last one was Solario, (at least of those on the G.C.) Did see an A4 in blue, which am sure was Golden Eagle, to be honest, I actually preferred the blue livery.

Solario was the first A3 to be scrapped. I am told it was never a good loco. Unfortunately I don't remember ever seeing any of them 'in service' although I probably have.

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I'm old enough (just) to remember seeing steam locos, including standing on the famous footbridge in Victoria station and being surrounded by smoke.

 

But all the steam locos I remember were a dirty black colour. I know they were being run down with little maintenance in those days, but I don't recall ever seeing one in any of the various colours I've seen in photos. 

 

Some of the pastel shades I've seen seem to be unbelievably inappropriate for something oily and greasy and mechanical.

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In reply to yours CT., when people talk about steam days and what they saw as a nipper, they usually refer to " The Golden age of steam", with a certain amount of nostalgia ( no pun intended). To my humble opinion, today is the Golden Age. Locos are better looked after and cared for. The surviving ones that is. Just look at the Heritage railways, there is always somebody polishing or painting, to keep them up to scratch.

Blubell Railway, just up the road from me, is always busy, even in these unprecedented times there are some blokes out with a paint brush or polishing rag nuturing these Leviathans of steam! Good luck and God bless 'em, I say.

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I suspect they are better looked after because the staff are enthusiasts and work for next to nothing. I sure some would even pay for the privilege.

 

I can remember being on that bridge CT and the smell of the smoke, loved it but can't for the life of me remember what I was doing there. Occasionally I'd buy a platform ticket and have a go one the coin crushing machine, even spent a penny or two on the laughing policeman. Anybody remember him?

 

 

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You mention the smell of smoke Brew. When I joined Tonbridge model engineering society in 1988, the smell of smoke and hot oil brought memories back. We ran 5" and 3 1/2" gauge steam locos on an elevated track. The firing up and stoking the little fires was pure nostalgia. 'Er indoors used to say " He's never happy unless he's  covered in grease and coal dust". Anybody remember the elevated track off Valley road, near City hospital?

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I remember that track, Beekay. It was there until quite late on, into the 80s I seem to recall. How about a short line in the old Central Market in the 1950s, or have I dreamed that?

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Yes BK, took my eldest for a ride on it (Valley rd) 40ish years ago. One time when we took a ride it stopped half way round and we had to get off because it had set fire to the long grass within the enclosure. 

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        Solario was the first to be withdrawn due to a cracked mainframe. Late 1959. The cull didn't start until 1961. However, Prince Palatine was the last to be withdrawn, January 1966. Ending her days in Scotland with a few others.

        Quite a few A 3's were fitted with A4 boilers, wonder if someone forgot to reduce the boiler pressure?

        Pure speculation on my part.

        It seems the loss of A 4's from Grantham coincided with A3's transferred from the G.C. arriving.

 

      Post war, the railway companies were in a mess, thanks to the war effort and no investment, hence nationalisation, the start of a downward spiral. More later when I have a bit more time.

 

     Wrong place, but anyone know what's happened to Fly? Not posted since last November. Is he O.K?

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Thanks for the link CT. I read all the posts and found them very interesting. As a resident for nearly 10 years, off Valley road, opposite the park, I  can remember a few occasions when the whole field flooded after heavy rain. If memory serves correct, on the park from Mansfield road end, it was grassland, then a putting green was put in.

Then it was a children's play area. I recall seeing it all under water at times. That brought one up to the 5 ways island at Edward's lane. The other side was bowling greens, grass tennis courts and finishing with the mini  railway. One noteable  memory about that stretch of Valley road from Hucknall road to Mansfield road was the undulating camber due to tree roots pushing up, ( still like that now). When our youngest lad couldn't get to sleep, I got the car out and we would ride up and down that stretch. Being disabled, the poor lad didn't have a lot going for him but he loved to ride over the bumps. It soon settled him and he would nod off , laughing himself .to sleep. Apologies for boring you.

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I remember the one on Valley Road. It finally ceased because of constant vandalism with no support from either police or city council. They now run at Ruddington and are the Nottingham Society of Model and Experimental Engineers.

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Concerning colours on steam engines...  I was only really a proper 'spotter' for a few years and was never an expert.

 

Most of what came through the GC and Midland was very firmly in BR black, with the red and cream lining visible if you were lucky.

 

I definitely recall Green Arrow (V2) being..err..green.. as it came through Boowul Common. Not the biggest. or the most powerful. but I always thught that V2s were the most beautifuly proportioned and 'clean' looking locomotives.  Lovely things. Very occasional A3s too.  The Brits which hauled the daily..or twice daily fish trains were green.  Memorably, I saw Great Western 'City of Truro'  through Boowul Common on its way to York ..early 60s I suppose.. also green, with the trademark GWR brass funnel and nameplate.

 

On occasional trips to London we'd see many more GWR locos. all green and brass.

 

I don't recall ever seeing a Southern Railways steam locomotive anywhere.. though I've seen a few preserved ones since.

 

I saw green A4s at Grantham.  Never a blue one.  The only Blue locos I ever saw were the short lived Midland Pullman DRCs and much later deisel types (47?)

The original Diesels around Nottm were the 'Peaks'. were they type 40? can't remember..).. but they were green.

 

Red?  Only ever recall seeing Coronation Class 'Sir William Stanier F.R.S'..at a Derby open day.. along with the Midland Compound 1000.. also red.

 

I really do get quite depressed thinking about all that was quietly destroyed as a result of Beeching.

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9 hours ago, Beekay said:

Apologies for boring you.

 

Not remotely boring BK.  I recall the area well from the 1950s onwards.

 

You may be interested in this.:

 

 

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Cheers Col., had a look back and it was fascinating. More like reading a book, than a few different posts. You jolted my memory too, I'd forgotten the name of the water source, " Day Brook". It came out of a culvert at the end of the field next to Mansfield road. When it overflowed, it would exit that culvert like a giant hosepipe! Funny though, all those years ago and never gave it a second thought. Had a look on Google Earth at our old house, the changes are amazing.

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The Day Brook would seem to start from the top of Mapperley Plains. It does emerge along the playground beside Arno Vale Rd. but then is ducted underground at Arno Vale School and remains underground under Thackery’s  Lane emerging once again onto Valley Rd. Rec. I think ultimately it runs into the River Leen  in Basford. I’m sure it can be followed on Google Earth. I remember it well from childhood days when we lived in Woodthorpe. We used to play under the bridge by the Five Ways pub.

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Ignore this clanger!!!!!!

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Back to Dark Angels' knowledge of the A3's and 4's, I used to watch the "streaks"  blasting down the ECML, through Temple Hirst. There was one of those A4's that visibly lurched side to side on its front bogie. It didn't look safe and must have been stressing a lot of chassis parts up (as well as the track ! ) . That must have been around 1958 '59. I once read something about that fault and that it was quite rare. 

Is this something known about ?

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55 minutes ago, Beekay said:

Ignore this clanger!!!!!!

This is what I was trying to add...20200513-101542.jpg

On model railways...This is a picture of my late son driving a 5" gauge 0.4.0 Diesel shunter at Tonbridge MES, back in 1989. The fella on the back was his test examiner, to see if he was competent to carry passengers.( Sadly he passed away, 6 months after this photo was taken). My son was 22 yrs.

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When I was at Mellish in 50’s/60’s I caught the train from Daybrook to Basford North. Some mornings we would walk from the station via what we called the ‘Cutler Way’. We followed a path from the station that came out up some steps onto Park Rd. That joined up with St.Alban’s Rd. where we could see the Master Cutler as it came through the bridge over Kersall Drive. It was a long way round but we just managed to get to  school before the bell rang.

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