Grantham pix in Autumn '61 or Spring '62 - but on what date?

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61070
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Grantham pix in Autumn '61 or Spring '62 - but on what date?

Post by 61070 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:25 am

A few weeks ago I put up a couple of my father's photos (a) because I thought folk out there would be interested and (b) because I needed some information about them for cataloguing purposes. I found out more than I'd ever hoped for and someone asked for more - so here we go again.

This is a sequence of pictures which were all taken on the same glorious autumn evening in 1961 or spring evening in 1962, but I don't know the date. Can you guys help me to pin it down?

The facts are as follows:

Location – Grantham

Year: 1961, Autumn or 1962, Spring

Day of the week: has to be a Thursday (Dad only ever visited Grantham on Thursday afternoons as he was a shopkeeper, and Thursday was our local 'half-day').

Possible dates:
• Given the angle of the sun, and assuming that the Tees-Tyne Pullman was running pretty much to time (around 6:35pm passing Grantham?), it has to be before the end of British Summer Time in 1961 (29th Oct) or after the start of BST in 1962 (25th March).
• This can be narrowed down further, as I've been in touch with the Met. Office who've kindly provided me with a summary of the weather conditions on Thursday evenings from late March to mid-May 1962. It looks like April 12th is the front runner on that score.
• I've yet to get weather data for Thursdays in autumn 1961.

That's as far as I've been able to go. Does anyone have access to records of locomotive diagrams, observation/spotting records or other data which might either (a) confirm a Thursday in autumn 1961, or 12th April 1962, as the date or (b) disprove them or (c) suggest other dates that generally fit with the above criteria?

In order of taking, the pictures show:
60002 Sir Murrough Wilson (52A) – down fully fitted express freight (Class 4) [passing]
61394 (34A) – up fully fitted express freight (Class 4) [passing - ?]
60003 Andrew K. McCosh (34A) – down Tees-Tyne Pullman [passing]
90059 (36C) and 61251 Oliver Bury (34F) on shed
60014 Silver Link (34A) – up express passenger [calling]

From other shots there is evidence that the following were on the shed on the same evening: 60872, 63961 (there were many others, but these are the only two locos that can be idetified in addition to 90059 and 61251).

I'd be very grateful for people's views and observations. If the two fast freights and the stopping passenger service can be identified that would be a real bonus. Over to you.
Last edited by 61070 on Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Photos taken at Grantham in Spring 1962 - but on what date?

Post by stembok » Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:30 am

The man who may be able to help is Tommy Knox who has an enormous database of LNER Pacific workings from 1922-66. He can be contacted at tommy@lner-pacifics.me.uk . Tommy is most helpful and will I am sure help if he is able. Interesting photos. Looks like 60002 could be on 4S04 K/X - Niddrie Class C ,given the approximate time .The two King's Cross A4s have burnished buffers and in the case of 60014 a burnished front coupling which were usually done by 34A for special workings -so perhaps a clue here as to the approximate date. Also by spring 62 the down Tees-Tyne Pullman was a regular diesel working, so 60003 was possibly deputising. The B1 61394 may be on the 15. 40? Hull -K/X fish, train 581 a regular King's Cross B1 diagram
Last edited by stembok on Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Grantham pix in Autumn '61 or Spring '62 - but on what date?

Post by 61070 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:20 pm

Many thanks Stembok. I will certainly email Tommy on this, just as soon as I've investigated another line of thought re. the date - see below.

I have revised my thinking on the year/season. I now have a feeling that it's equally as likely to be autumn 1961 as spring 1962. All the rest of my Father's photos at Grantham, colour and b/w, were definitely taken from summer 1962 onward. I know that this sequence of shots is the earliest of all, and I had assumed that they were taken in the spring of 1962. However the trees in the far distance (visible on a high res scan) look too heavy with leaf for early spring. There are other reasons why I now believe that a Thursday in October 1961 is a possibilty. I've just edited my original post to reflect this.

I've attached a 'blow-up' of the wagons behind the B1 - they look like fish vans to me, so thanks for the suggestion of the Hull-King's Cross fish train.

There's a photo by Keith Pirt published in a recent edition of Steam Days (March 2009, p157) of 60003 on the Tees-Tyne Pullman with burnished buffers, coupling hook and cylinder covers, credited as taken in August 1961. In my Dad's photo 60003 does in fact have its coupling hook burnished, and also its cylinder covers - perhaps not evident from the low res image uploaded. They did a lovely job at 34A.

Thanks again for your thoughts.

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Re: Grantham pix in Autumn '61 or Spring '62 - but on what date?

Post by stembok » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:22 am

Hi 61070: It had crossed my mind that an earlier date might possibly be more appropriate. In summer 1961 34A provided power for a number of royal workings ,hence the special attention to presentation. 60003 worked a Royal train from Corby in ,I think, June (19th) of that year and there was of course the Duke of Kent's wedding at York June 8th which involved 60003, 60015,60028, and 60014 as standby at King's Cross. Burnished buffers required continual attention as of course other engines buffered up to them etc. Also, alhough Pacifics did appear on the down Tees -Tyne in 1962 it was usually consistently diesel hauled by this time. In summer 1961, though I believe booked for diesel haulage, it was, very often, a 34A A4. Hope this may help.

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Re: Grantham pix in Autumn '61 or Spring '62 - but on what date?

Post by stembok » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:27 am

Just a further thought 61070. Is there any sign of electrification warning badges on 60014? There is not one on the r/h front. I have, hwever a photo of '14' taken by Gavin Morrison at Abbots Ripton and dated 21/7/61 and in that she is carrying the flashes, though it is on the left hand (driver's) side. 60003 and 61394 appear to have the badges, but not apparently 60002 of Gateshead.

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Re: Grantham pix in Autumn '61 or Spring '62 - but on what date?

Post by 61070 » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:38 pm

Thanks for your further thoughts on this Stembok.

Your electrification warning badge observation is interesting! Yes, they are present on 60003 (driver's side) and on the B1. Not present on 60002 (driver's side). Now 60014. There isn't one on the fireman's side in the photo, but I'm pretty sure that a badge had once been fitted, but that it has been removed or has fallen off. On the attached blow-up can you see traces of what appear to be the fixings? I think that's what the marks just inside the lining could be, although one of them appears not to be quite 'square' with the other three.

Having looked at sunset times for 1962 I've abandoned October and am now thinking late August (Thursdays 23rd or 30th) or early September (6th or 13th). I'm going to get weather records for those days from the Met Office and see where that gets me, then hopefully on to Tommy Knox as you suggest.

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Re: Grantham pix in Autumn '61 or Spring '62 - but on what date?

Post by stembok » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:40 am

61070: It apears from your 'blow up' that '14' has lost her badge on the r/h side front, as the holes for the pop rivets can be discerned. 34a did tend to place the badges inside the lining on the brunswick green other sheds varied slightly.
60014 was employed by 34A on The Elizabethan in the late July early August period until 10/8 /61 so I think that you can rule this period out. She was also employed on the non-stop 19-26/8/61. The summer timetable for 1961 finished on Sunday 10/9/61 and the Tees -Tyne appeared to go over to regular diesel haulage from this time, though there might be the occasional steam substitution. It did apparently revert to steam haulage for a short spell, but at the end of the year. I saw the down TTP three times in the week from Monday 4/9/61 with 60029, 60007 and 60030 seen. The latter I have noted -if this is correct - as being Thursday the 7th of September,1961. Tommy can retrieve information on his data base by loco, by date or by trains worked -in this case the TTP and may be your quickest bet. Good luck, let us know how you get on.
Last edited by stembok on Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Grantham pix in Autumn '61 or Spring '62 - but on what date?

Post by 61070 » Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:20 pm

Thanks again Stembok - very useful backgound. As you hint I have messed up on days and dates, having looked at the 1962 calendar again instead of 1961 (my mind has somehow become stuck in that rut).

To correct this then, the likely dates to consider in 1961 seem to be Thursdays August 17th, 24th and 31st, and Sept 7th and 14th. You've eliminated Sept 7th, which would have seemed unlikely from my perspective too as it was my Mum's birthday, so it probably would not have been wise for Dad to have cleared off to Grantham with his camera that afternoon! From your information Sept 14th also seems unlikely as it's after the end of the summer timetable.

I think I'll email Tommy this weekend.

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Re: Grantham pix in Autumn '61 or Spring '62 - but on what date?

Post by 61070 » Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:19 pm

I emailed Tommy Knox last thing on Friday, and by Saturday evening he'd replied to confirm the date of the group of photos as Thursday 31st August 1961. Fantastic!

For info. here's the main part of Tommy's response:

As you say the clue is 60003 on the Dn Tees Tyne Pullman. The date is the 31st August 1961. With regard to Silver Link it would have been on a Newcastle - Kings Cross as on the previous day it worked the famous Kings Cross - Niddrie fast gds to Newcastle and the diagram would have sent it back to London on the 31st. 60002 was on the Dn Talisman on the 30th but I have no information on what it worked on the 31st.

I'm very grateful for your help Stembok, and thanks also to everyone who's given this some thought. I'm attaching for general interest a shot taken the same evening which I think is quite an evocative photo of the shed yard at Grantham. Locos identifiable are 90059, 63961 and 60872. There's a pacific on main line pilot/standby on the right, but too far away to identify.

I have questions relating to other photos, so I'm sure I'll be back with more soon.

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Re: Grantham pix in Autumn '61 or Spring '62 - but on what date?

Post by stembok » Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:39 pm

Excellent result 61070. I'll pretty sure, given the time, and the train's make up that 60002 is on the down 'scotch goods' 4S04 K/X Niddrie, approx 15.05 from K/X Goods. It should have been a 34A engine as it was a 34A lodging turn engine and crew through to Newcastle, returning on a morning express the next day and I wonder if 60002 had deputised for a K/X engine on an up train the previous day, or overnight 30th/31st.

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Re: Grantham pix in Autumn '61 or Spring '62 - but on what date?

Post by giner » Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:48 am

Great pics, 61070! Your dad was a master with a camera. Thanks for sharing.

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Re: Grantham pix in Autumn '61 or Spring '62 - but on what date?

Post by stembok » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:45 am

61070: Have been having a think about the photograph of 60014 on a southbound express, which it is assumed -re: Tommy's information - has worked up from Newcastle. This seems - by the numbers on the slides -to have been the last photo in your Dad's series? I wonder if the train is the up Heart of Midlothian arriving Grantham at 19.06? How might the available light affect this? I frequently saw a 34A Pacific on the up 'diner' ( H of M ) in summer 61. The engineman at the front of '14' seems to be lighting the headlamps and there are a couple up on the tender perhaps trimming coal forward for the run to London, as the Heart of Midlothian changed crews at Grantham at this time.

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Re: Grantham pix in Autumn '61 or Spring '62 - but on what date?

Post by 61070 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:51 pm

Yes, Stembok, it was the final slide of the day - unless he took others and discarded them. Dad set himself quite high standards, and I know that he didn't keep slides which failed to meet them. The 31st August 1961 sequence runs from frame 9A to frame 20A (the latter is 60014), but 11A, 12A, 15A and 16A are missing; there could have been a 21A and beyond (or possibly an 8A and before).

Sunset on 31st August 1961 was 19:55 BST, so if The Heart of Midlothian was on time at 19:06 this could certainly be it. The sun was certainly pretty low in the sky judging by the shadow of the locomotive on the wall of the office building on platform 2.

It's interesting that you should say that the crew was changed on this train at Grantham at this time. One of the things that I enjoy about the Silver Link photo is how it shows men on the steam railway working as a team. One of the drivers, I assume (by his stance he appears to be an older man), is lighting the headlamps; there are two men on the tender bringing coal forward (whether these are cleaners from the shed [who, I'm told, often did this duty at Grantham], the relieving crew or the men being relieved I can't say - what do you think would be the practice at this time?). Finally, we see the fireman wiping the glass screen at his side of the cab so he can help to keep a lookout for signals as dusk falls - see attached detail.

By the way I'm fascinated by the terms you guys are using when describing named trains, such as 'the diner' for The Heart of Midlothian and 'The Non-Stop' (for The Elizabethan, I think). I take it that these are the names by which such services were referred to by railway staff, and maybe they go back to the '30s or earlier despite changes to their 'official' names?

Thanks for your comment, giner. I enjoy sharing them, just as Dad did when he gave slide shows years ago (and I carried his gear!). Luckily he didn't overdo it and cause them to fade. I've had to do a little bit of digital colour enhancement to get them looking their best, but Kodachrome is good film and it lasts.

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Re: Grantham pix in Autumn '61 or Spring '62 - but on what date?

Post by stembok » Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:16 am

61070: At least one of the men on the tender appears to be an older man so perhap these are the men whom have brought the train in from Newcastle wanting to hand over in good order, particularly if handing over to men from their own shed. Shovelling some coal forward helped the relieving fireman, as when the coal got well back in the tender it meant double handling -bringing coal forward and then actually firing it. Mind you, this assistance did not always happen! If the crew to be relieved made a sharp exit then it could be a sign of trouble or idleness on someone's part! I believe that the Grantham men worked to Newcastle on the 09.00 from King's Cross and regained Grantham on the up Heart of Midlothian. By the time of the photographs Grantham's days were numbered. One of the depot's main reasons for existence since GN days had always been the re-engining of trains on the ECML and with more through working and the onset of dieselisation the depot was facing closure. It closed 9/63.
As you say some railwaymen's terms for trains probably go back into the mists of antiquity. The terms could vary, for example, I've heard the morning services to and from Glasgow referred to as the 'junior scotsman' by some men as it followed the Flying Scotsman, but some of the Gateshead men used to refer to it as the 'second scotsman'.

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Re: Grantham pix in Autumn '61 or Spring '62 - but on what date?

Post by 61070 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:36 pm

Thanks. I'm in touch with some retired Grantham drivers and other former railwaymen, so it's just possible they may recognise some of these men, especially the one whose face is most visible. The images are very indistinct, but if you've worked with people for years, lived in the same community and maybe are related to them or to their families it can be remarkable how they can be brought to mind with just the vaguest of visual clues.

Meantime I will add the possibility of the up Heart of Midlothian / 'Diner' to my info about this slide.

I've just bought the April edition of 'British Railways Illustrated' and, on page 284 in relation to a 1953 photo of a V2-hauled evening up Fish train from Hull, one of the captions reads, 'Later this turn was taken over by a King's Cross B1 as a lodging turn to Hull and for some years 61393 and 61394 were fixtures on this duty...' This appears to confirm your suggestion, Stembok, that in the photo above 61394 was indeed on this train. Remarkable how these bits of information turn up.

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