St Neot's ....1948

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Masdraw
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St Neot's ....1948

Post by Masdraw » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:39 pm

I've recently found a handful (about 20) old prints amongst my late father's photographs which might be of some e interest to users of this forum. They were taken by a Mr Joe Doncaster at St Neot's in, I suspect, May 1948....at least I am certain of that month because two of the photos are of the locomotives involved in the exchanges of that year. Mr Doncaster was not a railway enthusiast as far as I recall, even with a name like that, but was interested in photography, and was a member of the St Neot's Camera Club. He worked in the Goods Office at the station, and when my father was working there in the early 1960's he gave him a handful of prints that he had taken back in 1948, as my father was certainly not shy about his interest in steam. I think that he may have been trying out a new camera or something similar, as I have no recollection of my father ever mentioning any further photographs.
The quality isn't brilliant and they were in their original form in some sort of colour, so perhaps he was experimenting with colour film that he was developing and printing himself. Some I have left in colour, others I have converted to black and white as the colours are rather odd.

Anyway, I shall post them here and would welcome any comments. My own knowledge is quite scanty, so I will not take offence at any corrections of observations that I might make. I have rather enjoyed looking at them, as photographs taken at St Neot's seem to be quite rare, it was, of course, where I first went trainspotting in the early 1960's, but by the time I was able to go out and about on my own steam had virtually disappeared.

The first is of K1/1 1997 'Maccailin Mor'. I was surprised to find that she was shedded at New England between October 1947 and November 1949 before heading off back to Scotland.
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52D
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Re: St Neot's ....1948

Post by 52D » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:14 pm

lovely shot of a lovely loco. only thing to improve this classes looks would be a Gresley style double curve on the footplate.
Hi interested in the area served by 52D. also researching colliery wagonways from same area.

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Re: St Neot's ....1948

Post by R. pike » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:55 pm

Nice picture. An important detail in shot is the guard rail over the shunting signal. These were placed to stop ropes snagging during horse shunting.

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Re: St Neot's ....1948

Post by StevieG » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:07 am

R. pike wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:55 pm
Nice picture. An important detail in shot is the guard rail over the shunting signal. These were placed to stop ropes snagging during horse shunting.
Thanks for that pointer R. pike. I hadn't spotted that feature.
Now also seeing a few ribbed strips in the ground just behind that dolly : Some sort of footholds for shunters during their duties perhaps? (slightly reminiscent of semi - circles of footholds for pushing canal lock gates round.)
BZOH

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Mickey
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Re: St Neot's ....1948

Post by Mickey » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:22 am

R. pike wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:55 pm
Nice picture. An important detail in shot is the guard rail over the shunting signal. These were placed to stop ropes snagging during horse shunting.
Well spotted. If that ground signal in the photograph had still been at St Neots during the 1970-75 era I probably would have seen it?.

The loco is in very light steam and appears to be stationary?.

Mickey

Masdraw
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Re: St Neot's ....1948

Post by Masdraw » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:59 pm

Mickey wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:22 am
R. pike wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:55 pm
Nice picture. An important detail in shot is the guard rail over the shunting signal. These were placed to stop ropes snagging during horse shunting.
Well spotted. If that ground signal in the photograph had still been at St Neots during the 1970-75 era I probably would have seen it?.

The loco is in very light steam and appears to be stationary?.

Mickey
I would never have guessed the information regarding the guard rail and the use of horses!
In the book 'The Secret Life of St Neot's Station' (by John Slack) it states that
two horses were required during the First World War but only one after. Directly quoting the book: 'These magnifcent Shire horses were used until 1960 at St. Neot's and the final' Charlie' (as they were called) is believed by locals to be the last working shunting horse on the Eastern region of BR.He was transferred to Newmarket station for a few years until his final job was to shunt his own horse-box, which was used to carry him to glorious retirement to a sanctuary at Clare Hall in Somerset'. The story also relates that the horse took himself back to the stables at the Station Hotel at the end of each working day, first visiting the public bar window, tap on it with his head and wait for a customary pint of ale to be brought out to him!

As far as the loco, I wonder whether this photo (and others that I will put up) show the loco on the 'pick-up' goods which I vaguely remember. Perhaps someone could confirm that it ran from Hitchin to New England calling at each station (Biggleswade, Sandy, St. Neot's and Huntingdon)?

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Re: St Neot's ....1948

Post by Masdraw » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:08 pm

105 - 'Victor Wild', a Kings Cross loco, appears to be stationary outside the Goods office. I wonder whether it had failed and whether the chap staring at the motion is a fitter of some description. In early July 1948 she was renumbered to 60105.
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Masdraw
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Re: St Neot's ....1948

Post by Masdraw » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:11 pm

21 'Wild Swan' on the Up fast line. I think that the train was stationary, or moving very slowly, at the time as, judging by some of the other photographs, Mr Doncaster's camera wasn't good enough at this time to take pictures at speed.
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strang steel
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Re: St Neot's ....1948

Post by strang steel » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:52 pm

Wow!

Colour photos from the late 1940s. What a wonderful find. I have impossible dreams about finding collections such as this by chance.

Maybe Mr Doncaster had received a payment (de-mob perhaps?) had bought a new camera with the money and decided to splurge some more on a colour film or two?

Whatever the reason, we should be thankful for the folk who chose to spend their hard earned cash on recording the scenes from 70 years ago.
John

Masdraw
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Re: St Neot's ....1948

Post by Masdraw » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:52 pm

No 22 'Mallard' on an up train. Again, is it stationary? Would an A4 haul a train that called at St. Neot's? Hardly likely unless it was returning south...I do recall a 'Deltic' on the first up train of the day on some suburban stock in 1968 and A3's were common on the 08h13 (I think) King's Cross in the early '60's. I can just about recall that.
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Re: St Neot's ....1948

Post by Hatfield Shed » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:11 pm

Carrying stopping passenger headlamp, as also Wild Swan. The pacifics were typically put on an undemanding turn after overhaul to run a hundred miles or thereabouts before resuming fast service, and Mallard looks very clean, undented and unstained which might suggest just ex-works.

From a little later in BR's custody of Doncaster's pacifics, there's a splendid picture of a sparkling 'Merlin' on a class H through goods (slow but not mineral) running in turn. Any suitably routed train not going that fast would do...

Masdraw
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Re: St Neot's ....1948

Post by Masdraw » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:41 pm

Hatfield Shed wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:11 pm
Carrying stopping passenger headlamp, as also Wild Swan. The pacifics were typically put on an undemanding turn after overhaul to run a hundred miles or thereabouts before resuming fast service, and Mallard looks very clean, undented and unstained which might suggest just ex-works.

From a little later in BR's custody of Doncaster's pacifics, there's a splendid picture of a sparkling 'Merlin' on a class H through goods (slow but not mineral) running in turn. Any suitably routed train not going that fast would do...
Yes, of course, that would make sense, presumably then the A4's would have worked Doncaster - Peterborough on a similar working, as i imagine that the stoppers at St. Neot's would have originated at Peterborough.

Another photo...perhaps this unidentified A3 was doing something similar, although I think that it is on a down goods, if my memory of the signals is correct.
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ArthurK
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Re: St Neot's ....1948

Post by ArthurK » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:06 am

Masdraw wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:39 pm
I've recently found a handful (about 20) old prints amongst my late father's photographs which might be of some e interest to users of this forum. They were taken by a Mr Joe Doncaster at St Neot's in, I suspect, May 1948....at least I am certain of that month because two of the photos are of the locomotives involved in the exchanges of that year. Mr Doncaster was not a railway enthusiast as far as I recall, even with a name like that, but was interested in photography, and was a member of the St Neot's Camera Club. He worked in the Goods Office at the station, and when my father was working there in the early 1960's he gave him a handful of prints that he had taken back in 1948, as my father was certainly not shy about his interest in steam. I think that he may have been trying out a new camera or something similar, as I have no recollection of my father ever mentioning any further photographs.
The quality isn't brilliant and they were in their original form in some sort of colour, so perhaps he was experimenting with colour film that he was developing and printing himself. Some I have left in colour, others I have converted to black and white as the colours are rather odd.

Anyway, I shall post them here and would welcome any comments. My own knowledge is quite scanty, so I will not take offence at any corrections of observations that I might make. I have rather enjoyed looking at them, as photographs taken at St Neot's seem to be quite rare, it was, of course, where I first went trainspotting in the early 1960's, but by the time I was able to go out and about on my own steam had virtually disappeared.

The first is of K1/1 1997 'Maccailin Mor'. I was surprised to find that she was shedded at New England between October 1947 and November 1949 before heading off back to Scotland.
K1/1 3445 'Maccailin Mor' being the first of the proposed new standard class was moved from shed to shed to establish its usefulness in various areas of the LNER. Blaydon was chosen for one of these trials (it remained for just two months) and when the new build began after Nationalisation that shed quickly received 62021-62030. Other sheds in the Northeast and elsewhere got batches of 10 or more.
The prototype L1 9000 was moved around in a similar way before the main build started.

ArthurK

Masdraw
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Re: St Neot's ....1948

Post by Masdraw » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:08 pm

K3 on the up fast...probably either 61825 or 61828, both were New England engines at the time
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Re: St Neot's ....1948

Post by Masdraw » Thu May 31, 2018 1:05 pm

With my rudimentary knowledge I thought that this loco was a J6, however, as the cognoscenti will realise, it is, according to Rail Uk, a J3. it was attached to Hitchin shed at this time (w/d June 1952) and would have in all likelihood arrived at St. Neot's on the daily pick-up goods.
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