The photography of L Perrin

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LNER J39 0-6-0
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Re: The photography of L Perrin

Post by Darwin4975 »

The supply of Perrin negatives would seem to be at an end as none have appeared on the market in recent months.

Here is a picture taken by Les Perrin in August 1958, of an A3 approaching Peascliffe tunnel.
60104 Peascliffe 040858.jpg
The subject is what was without doubt one of the most camera-shy pacifics based on the Eastern region, No 60104 'Solario'. At the time of this photograph the locomotive was allocated to Doncaster. Previously, in the early 1950s it had been a GC engine and in its entire existence it was shedded at Kings Cross just three times. First a 7 year stint from 1943-1950, a difficult period when the railway was very run down. The second and third spells at Kings Cross were of very short duration: six weeks in September/October 1957 and 18 days in November 1959 -following which it was sent to Doncaster and condemned. It was the first Gresley pacific to be withdrawn from normal service and was cut up immediately. It was well over a year before the next one went the same way (Flamingo in April 1961).

One can't help feeling sorry for 'Solario'. Not much in the limelight on prestigious trains it seemed to be something of a black sheep and shunned by Top Shed. (I have heard that Kings Cross held on to their best engines like limpets to a rock. They certainly kept their best V2s). Solario was fitted with a double chimney in April 1959 so will presumably have been withdrawn just 7 months later because of a serious defect to its frames. Photographs of it in double chimney form will be like the proverbial hen's teeth. Despite all of the foregoing, Solario still managed to achieve a career mileage of 1,874,150 which compares quite favourably with the 1,905,610 of 'St Simon' an A1/A3 of similar age.

It seems that sharing adjacent berths whilst under construction at Doncaster could act as a portent of ill luck. Look at what happened to No 4469 which was built alongside Mallard. Whilst No 4473 managed to avoid becoming a total write off when in service, it never came anywhere near scaling the heights of its illustrious companion No 4472.

What about the other camera shy Gresley pacifics? Of course the Carlisle ones stand out, simply because where they worked there were hardly any active photographers - but this is not true of the ECML based examples. I don't recall seeing much in the photographic record of Sir Frederick Banbury, Woolwinder, Tagalie or Ladas.
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