Petrol-driven Gresley A4?.

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Mickey

Petrol-driven Gresley A4?.

Post by Mickey » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:33 am

It's not what your thinking?. Anyone who is from London or more particularly from North London and is not younger then 45 years old may well have visited Alexandra palace (or as it's better known by north londoner's as Ally Pally which is not far from the LNER main line at Wood Green) back in the late '60s or early '70s?. If they did they may just remember the narrow gauge railway that ran around the outside of the large boating lake with it's station platform and engine shed and the locomotive that was used to pull the train of carriages around the boating lake?. The locomotive that was used to pull the train was non other than a scaled down replica of a green painted British Railways Gresley A4 that i was told was petrol fired by someone ten years ago but maybe it was driven by another means?. I visited Alexandra palace in the early '90s and unsurprisingly the narrow gauge railway was long gone i was told that it had closed and the track was lifted back in the mid/late '70s? so i was wondering if anyone remembers this narrow guage railway and it's replica green British Railways Gresley A4 locomotive?. Micky
Last edited by Mickey on Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Petrol-fired Gresley A4?.

Post by Flamingo » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:08 am

I have vague memories of Ally Pally in the 1950s including seeing trains in the BR station behind the building. We probably did ride the miniature railway, but I can't remember the motive power. However many years later around 1980 I saw a green petrol powered A4 outline loco on the miniature railway at Southport. Could that have come from the AP line I wonder?

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Re: Petrol-fired Gresley A4?.

Post by manna » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:27 am

G'Day Gents
Remember the 'Ally Pally' A4 very well, would have been about 16" gauge, or seem that to me in the early 60's. Used to run every weekend and school holidays (in summer) and if you got off the 233 bus from Wood Green you had to walk through the 'Fair' and cross the level crossing to get to the lake. As you crossed the level crossing and looked left there was a miniature 'Nissen' hut with tracks, this was the loco shed, to your right there was the station, the last time I went there (mid 70's) it was all gone except for the loco shed' that was full of lawn mowers?? If you walked past the loco shed and kept going through the woods you would come to the old GN Alexander Palace station booking office, which is STILL there'
I think that is where I got my passion for old railway lines, use to walk along the old branch line around Muswell Hill and Highgate woods, great days.
Wonder where the loco went??
manna

PS, you can just make out the old palace railway on Google earth
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Mickey

Re: Petrol-fired Gresley A4?.

Post by Mickey » Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:20 am

Great response guy's. I wonder if that replica green A4 in Southport could have been the same loco that was at Ally Pally?. I remember seeing that A4 in the summer of 1964 when on a very hot summers afternoon my parents took me up to Ally Pally on a visit that i can still recall 46 years on!. Good description of Ally Pally manna it brought back memories of that visit, i also recall that there was a 'signal gantry' that spanned over the line coming out of the engine shed aswell!. The base of the station patform is still there (well it was in the early '90s) being used for a cafeteria and a boat house but if one walked around the back of those two buildings one could still see the brick work of the old station platform that those two buildings are sitting on. Even as late as the summer of 1964 it was still just about possible to see the odd 'steamer' going up or down the main line looking down from Ally Pally towards Wood Green and along the line to Hornsey. I don't know if one would have seen an A4 but one mite have been lucky and seen the 'odd A3' that had worked south into Kings Cross. Micky

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Re: Petrol-fired Gresley A4?.

Post by Flamingo » Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:37 am

I wouldn't call the Southport 'A4' a replica, it was more a somewhat freelance interpretation of the A4 shape with the wedge front end and chimney, but from what Manna said about the gauge of the Ally Pally one 16 inch would be about right. Maybe I even took a slide of it but it would take some finding after all these years.

I found this link about the Southport line, but sorry it looks as if the "A4" was built locally and did not come from AP:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakeside_Miniature_Railway

Manna mentioned the 233 bus, yes I remember those too, we caught them from near Wood Green tube station, red single deckers (LT Q class I think). Later on that route ran from Northumberland Park to AP as the W8, still single deckers but pay as you board and no conductor.

Always a good view from AP hill across London, you could see the main line from Hornsey as it passed Waterworks sidings but it was too far away to see any loco numbers.

Fond memories of AP, I even took my final degree exams in the big hall there. My brother says they still have an annual model railway show there.

Mickey

Re: Petrol-fired Gresley A4?.

Post by Mickey » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:03 pm

It sounds like the A4 in Southport isn't the same A4 that was at Ally Pally?. What i can remember of the A4 at Ally Pally was that it was very detailed and 'sleek looking' and was lined out and painted in brunswick green with a BR emblem on it's tender. Great views from Ally Pally looking down towards the GN/LNER main line one could follow a train from Hornsey station down the main line to Wood Green No1 s/box and going up road towards Hornsey. Yes there are still model railway exhibitions held at Ally Pally once a years i believe. Micky

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Re: Petrol-fired Gresley A4?.

Post by mr B » Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:16 pm

Pesky southerners, the Southport lococs where built by Barlows , I think there built five Southport have one Saltburn have one and Windmill farm have one ..this one has been to Ravenglass in the past. Could the Ally Pally one also be one of the Barlow built ones, also it was a Fordson tractor engine via electric generator.

Mr B .. Local to Saltburn Miniature Railway.

Ps the Windmill Farm one is ex Butlins.

Mickey

Re: Petrol-fired Gresley A4?.

Post by Mickey » Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:40 pm

I had a look at a picture of one of those Barlows replica A4s?. No comment. Micky

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Re: Petrol-fired Gresley A4?.

Post by Bryan » Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:34 pm

I used to be around that line all the time in the early 70s.
Barlows had his works just out of centre of town, he also built some of the stock used on the Pier railway.
The "Silver Belle" springs to mind some still in use at the West Lancs light railway at Tarleton.

Another railway using similar stock was the Blackpool pleasure beach railway, could the loco have come from there?

Just remembered the Scarborough North Bay line as well.
Last edited by Bryan on Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Petrol-fired Gresley A4?.

Post by mr B » Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:59 pm

Image (8).jpg

Princess Anne from the Windmill Farm Railway, during a visit to La'al Ratty, seen parked up at Ravenglass station.
Sister locos include...
The above loco was built for Buttlins at Skegness.
Prince Charles delivered new and still at Saltburn Miniature Railway.
Prince Charles delivered new to Southport Miniature Railway.
Duke of Edinburgh Delivered new to Southport Miniature Railway.
All the above locos built by Barlows Southport circa 1951/3.

Mr B ..Friend of La'al Ratty.

ps... Ravenglass have in the past re-furbished Blackpools locos, 2 foot 3inch gauge ?

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Re: Petrol-fired Gresley A4?.

Post by manna » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:26 pm

G'Day Gents
That A4 don't ring any bells.

Remember the single deckers at 'Ally Pally' but do you remember the roadway being lowered on station road, to get the double deckers under the Palace Gates branch!! that would have been about 1959-60, then a couple of years later they shut the branch, and took the bridge out, still a big dip in the road today,Doh!!
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Re: Petrol-fired Gresley A4?.

Post by kudu » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:58 am

I remember the railway and its A4 very well, as I made numerous trips. You got two clockwise circuits of the lake. Don't know the fare, though.

Mickey

Re: Petrol-fired Gresley A4?.

Post by Mickey » Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:32 am

Maybe i was seeing that A4 at Ally Pally through 'childs eyes' but the A4 that i recall seeing looked pretty damn near a detailed replica!. It looked more sleeker looking that thoughs 'Barlows A4 locos' although having said that it was back in 1964 when i saw it!. Micky

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Re: Petrol-fired Gresley A4?.

Post by manna » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:49 pm

G'Day Gents
The fare was sixpence (a tanner)
My uncle was a keen fisherman in those days and 'Ally Pally' was the closest lake to his home in Hornsey, one summers day he was up there, baited his line and cast out, a duck saw the bait hit the water and went for it, before my uncle tried to pull it out of the way, but the duck got it, the tug on the line was enough to frighten the duck which promptly took off, with my uncle still hanging onto his rod and the duck weaving all over the sky trying to escape, in the end he grabbed his fishing knife and cut the line, but the duck took his float, weights, etc. We always think of it as the one that got away???
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Re: Petrol-fired Gresley A4?.

Post by mr B » Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:24 pm

Micky wrote:Maybe i was seeing that A4 at Ally Pally through 'childs eyes' but the A4 that i recall seeing looked pretty damn near a detailed replica!. It looked more sleeker looking that thoughs 'Barlows A4 locos' although having said that it was back in 1964 when i saw it!. Micky

The Barlow locos were all the same shape (!) but, different shapes, the running plate for one, some locos had side rods, Prince Charles at Saltburn for one, the Windmill farm loco has axle box's. Perhaps your all getting Manna's duck mixed up with with a certain A4 !!!

Mr B ..

p.s .. Now Saltburn have ex Cleathorpe's Flying Scotsman maybee it will take some strain of the ageing Prince Charles.

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