45330 Oldham Mumps 4th May 1968

British Railways 1968


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45330 Oldham Mumps 4th May 1968

My first photograph of an operating steam engine out on the line - I had taken one in a scrap line a couple of months earlier and out of steam on shed a week earlier. I came very late to railway enthusiasm, almost too late for British Railways steam! The 1847 Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Mumps station was closed in 2009 and even the Metrolink tram stop on the same location has since closed. The tram now heads down Union Street in the town centre.

Stockport Edgeley Engine shed 28th April 1968

A Sunday afternoon visit to the loco shed a week before the end of steam. Not that I knew that at the time. Stanier 8F 2-8-0 48745 by the coaling conveyor belt was withdrawn when the shed closed.

Todmorden West Yorkshire 1st August 1968

The last steam banker on British Railways. 8F 2-8-0 48519 prepares to run forward onto the rear of a diesel-hauled train of coal empties to bank it up to Copy Pit summit.

Newton Heath Manchester 21st June 1968

Deep inside Newton Heath steam shed 8F 48529 simmers in the shadows.

Todmorden - Copy Pit 1st August 1968

The last steam banker on British Railways, Stanier 8F 2-8-0 48519 of Rose Grove, prepares to buffer up to a freight train to bank it on the climb from Stansfield Hall to Copy Pit summit. My life-long interest in railways really started not far from here while eating fish and chips one evening in April 1968 when I heard the banker (without knowing what it was) thrashing up the hill in the darkness. A bit late in the day because steam ended on BR 4 months later.

Manchester Victoria station Lancashire 8th June 1968

Black 5 4-6-0 45420 bursts from under Cheetham Hill Road overbridge at the east end of Manchester Victoria station drawing a parcels train from platform 4 while acting as station pilot. I only just managed to see and photograph the fag end of British Railways steam in the northwest before it all went in August 1968.

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Lostock Hall Preston Lancashire 1st August 1968

Ivatt 4MT 2-6-0 43106 darkens the skies over Lancashire while filling its tender from the archaic looking water column. Her blower is hard on to lift the smoke & get up steam ready to depart the shed for the Severn Valley Railway at Bridgenorth and a new life in preservation. The only life Stanier 8F 48476 can look forward to is a short one before withdrawal in 3 days time & scrapping in December 1968. Although on this day there were two other Ivatt 4s on Lostock Hall shed this is the only one to survive & in fact now is the only one of its class in existence.

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Newton Heath Manchester Lancashire 29th June 1968

Cabside number Stanier Black 5 4-6-0 44845, built at Crewe in 1944. I am contemplating the last day of steam at Newton Heath & the fact that the filthy cab won't ever be cleaned again. I don't think that left hand window has ever been cleaned! This engine still had 50psi of steam in its boiler but by the end of the day would be cold & ready for its last journey to the scrapyard.

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Todmorden/Burnley Copy Pit, 1st August 1968

The End of Steam on British Railways. A few days before the end at Copy Pit signal box , between Burnley and Todmorden. LMS Stanier 8F 2-8-0 48519 had just banked a diesel hauled freight westwards from Todmorden. There is only one Brownie b/w photo of its progress because my 35mm film had run out. This shot is taken at the summit of the climb after the freight had dropped away down to Burnley off to the right. The mountainous nature of this part of the Pennines is obvious in the background. I had taken a day off from working in the labour pool at Lysaughts steelworks in Scunthorpe, borrowed my dad's car & drove for hours from South Yorkshire over the Pennines - no M62 in those days - & caught this banker before visiting Rose grove and Lostock Hall sheds. A reboot of an early posting to celebrate Happy Fence Friday while we can't upload any new images! Have a great weekend and stay safe.
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