N2 & N7 at WGC in 1960

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Mickey
LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
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N2 & N7 at WGC in 1960

Post by Mickey » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:00 am

A group of photographs taken by various people at different times around the Welwyn Garden City area and along the Hertford branch.

There are a nice couple of colour photographs of a N7 standing in the west siding opposite the 'Luton line platform' (formerly no.1 platform) at Welwyn Garden City in 1960 and also of a N2 on a Cole Green rubbish train coming out of the 'Hertford line back platform' (formerly no.4 platform) at Welwyn Garden City and heading northwards towards the old Hertford branch probably also taken in 1960.

http://www.hertsmemories.org.uk/content ... to-gallery

Hatfield Shed
GNR C1 4-4-2
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Re: N2 & N7 at WGC in 1960

Post by Hatfield Shed » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:21 pm

Those were a blast from the past, the circa 1960 material part of my childhood. We once went off on a family holiday 'up North' fairly early in the morning expecting a quiet run to the old A1, and only got as far as the crossing on The Ridgeway where we waited quite a while, as an N7 leaking steam all over the place struggled to restart its train of bogie sulphates headed for one of the Cole Green tip sites. The driver wasn't for stopping again having got on the move, so the last thing we saw was the fireman legging it after the train, once he had the crossing gates reopened for road traffic...

Incidentally the HCC digital archiving process is pretty impressive, When I first visited a couple of years back the work in progress was C19th Police and Court records, and one of these covered a fellow who had committed a series of systematic thefts of GNR property. I rather felt that the Judge or J.P. presiding really wanted to stretch his neck or at very least transport him to a penal colony, but had to settle for two years at hard labour. The thought did cross my mind, was the magistrate also a GNR shareholder?

Mickey
LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
Posts: 4224
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:49 am

Re: N2 & N7 at WGC in 1960

Post by Mickey » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:02 am

Hatfield Shed wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:21 pm
Those were a blast from the past, the circa 1960 material part of my childhood. We once went off on a family holiday 'up North' fairly early in the morning expecting a quiet run to the old A1, and only got as far as the crossing on The Ridgeway where we waited quite a while, as an N7 leaking steam all over the place struggled to restart its train of bogie sulphates headed for one of the Cole Green tip sites. The driver wasn't for stopping again having got on the move, so the last thing we saw was the fireman legging it after the train, once he had the crossing gates reopened for road traffic...
I remember that Ridgeway level crossing & gates quite well 50 years on although by the time I visited the level crossing around late 1966 or early 1967 there was by that time no railway traffic that went eastwards beyond the Lincoln Electrics factory sidings several hundred yards to the west of the Ridgeway level crossing even though the single line track was still there but only just because it was lifted shortly afterwards.

In GNR days there use to be a tiny single platform called Attimore Halt near to that Ridgeway level crossing.

Both the Ridgeway & Hatfield Hyde level crossing & gates (Hatfield Hyde level crossing was about a mile further to the east of the Ridgeway level crossing) were both still there as late as 1974 (they may have been there a bit longer than 1974?) although by the autumn of 1974 we had moved to another part of the town.

I still have a distinct memory of a minor road accident occurring at that level crossing around 1967 or maybe 1968 when a large van type vehicle had come down from Heronswood road and along down the Ridgeway to the level crossing where it stopped to turn right into a small nearby factory when a bloke on a motorbike who was following the van down the Ridgeway 'slammed' right into the back of the stationary van!!. The motorbike went over the road along with it's rider!!.

Mickey

Hatfield Shed
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Re: N2 & N7 at WGC in 1960

Post by Hatfield Shed » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:25 am

Don't recall the accident, but the truck will have been turning into the tar paper works, on the East side of the Ridgeway, which had at one time been rail served.

The planning of WGC made considerable use of the Hertford branch to serve industry: Dawnays Steel, ICI, the gasworks, foundry, and bakery, Norton Abrasives, Lincoln Electric, tar paper works and then the various sand and gravel extraction sites to the east of the town. Some of the industrial siding rails are still in place, I watched as concrete was poured all over one such to create part of the car park for the small office block popularly known as 'The Tin Can'.

Prompted by the first post, I have hunted out an interesting colour pic which I must send along for archive scanning to accompany those already in the Hertford branch collection. Taken from Hunter's Bridge it shows N5 69266 on the Hertford branch, with coal traders heaps and Dawnays steel stock yard in the immediate background. It is clearly full summer, and since the N5 was only at Hatfield shed for a few months in the summer of 1959, the date is pretty secure. Photographer unknown, I have never seen it in print, and acquired it accidentally by purchase of a rather nice s/h picture frame from the Boon Gallery, WGC's one time art supplies shop. And there it was behind a very amateur watercolour when I stripped it out to put the intended picture in...

Mickey
LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
Posts: 4224
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:49 am

Re: N2 & N7 at WGC in 1960

Post by Mickey » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:37 am

Hatfield Shed wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:25 am
Don't recall the accident, but the truck will have been turning into the tar paper works, on the East side of the Ridgeway, which had at one time been rail served.
I believe from looking at a map of that area during the 1950s there was a siding that served the tar paper works which was possibly a single road siding probably worked off a ground frame with a Annett's key I presume?.

We moved to that area of WGC in late 1966 and as previously mentioned the single track line of the Hertford branch was still there but not for to much longer because shortly after we moved to the area maybe during the first half of 1967 I remember the track was lifted from the approach to the Hatfield Hyde (or Holwell Hyde?) level crossing on Cole Green lane to as far west to the Lincoln Electrics sidings were a buffer stop was provided.

Actually an interesting and obscure GNR/LNER branch line was the old Hatfield-Hertford branch although there isn't that much written about it. I believe it had a few early petrol driven motor coaches that worked the branch passenger services back before the first world war but it was an early casualty of branch line closures to passengers due to the Hatfield-Hertford road running nearly parallel to it from just west of Cole Green station to Hertford.

Mickey

Hatfield Shed
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Re: N2 & N7 at WGC in 1960

Post by Hatfield Shed » Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:59 pm

Although habitually called 'Cole Green Lane' the road going East to join the Hertford Road (A414) is actually Birchall Lane at that location, and the crossing was Holwell Hyde. The crossing keeper's cottage is still there, although the road layout around it has been very much altered, and the Panshangar housing has not only come out to meet it, but will soon move on further East if current housing plans go through.

Mickey
LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
Posts: 4224
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:49 am

Re: N2 & N7 at WGC in 1960

Post by Mickey » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:41 pm

When we lived over the back from the old Hertford branch between 1966-1974 looking eastwards from our house beyond the route of the single line railway was the Black Fan road/Hertford road (A414) which ran in a south eastwards direction from Attimore Hall farm through open land towards a wooded part of the road and to the junction with 'Cole Green lane' (Birchall lane) then either continue on towards Essendon and Hertford or turn right into Cole Green lane and over the Holwell Hyde level crossing and into WGC. Then after looking beyond the Black Fan road/Hertford road there was a number of open agricultural fields and hedgerows stretching into the far distance with Panshanger aerodrome situated somewhere beyond a big woods towards the right. In 2008 I visited the area for the first time in over 30 years and was surprised to see that all that open agricultural land had been built on for residential housing!!.

As for the Hertford branch I remember quite vividly back in 1967 the sections of redundant track that had been cut into shorter lengths and were waiting to be load onto flat railway wagons at Holwell Hyde level crossing where the old crossing keepers house still stands to this day plus also I remember the level crossing gates still being there as well and as previously posted they were still there in 1974 when we left the area as was the level crossing gates at the Ridgeway level crossing.

Mickey

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