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Sunday, 27 April 2014

Tank Colours Wrong ?????

It is splendid to get feed-back to Blog entries - but one seldom does.   The last posting about seeing 60009 pass by obviously set one viewer's mind reflecting on the Brunswick green colour of the streaks.   He takes me to task for getting the colours of the tank wrong  (see comments to the last Blog entry).  He may be right.

My main source for the colours was 'Midland Style' and scholarly advice from Roy Burrows of the Midland Railway Trust.   Dr John Disney even went to the British Library to research the colours.  We are pretty sure we got it right but the puzzle was to decide where the red, green and cream went on the various parts of the tank plates and the water cranes.   We only had black and white photographs to go on.

But we did have the evidence of the old paint on the tank itself - sufficiently convincing for the Conservation Officer - himself a railway buff.   Here is one of the hundreds of pictures I took before work started:

click to enlarge

Green, red and cream it certainly was - before it was all covered in grey sometime.   Happily the grey wore off sufficiently to reveal the colours below.   The clearly visible letters L. and R. are a mystery.  Left and Right are obvious possibilities but other panels had other letters on them - one was a Q I remember.   The fact that the R. is upside down suggests it was painted before that panel was put in place.

Could it have been a re-used tank from another railway whose colours were green, red and cream?   If so, which railway?   Indeed, was it another railway?   These Braithwaite tanks were used in other industries too.

Anyway, if anybody wants to paint it the correct colours they are welcome to have a go.   I still have the gondola, the climbing gear and the hard hat!   The hairy-scary ladder is still there.   The job took about six months of almost constant work, admittedly including a lot of surface preparation.   The six months were interrupted when the wind got strong enough to blow the paint from the brush!   I reckoned that was God telling me to go and do something else for the day.

The colour combination is very pleasing indeed - but it may not be Midland Railway colours.   I did learn that water towers were part of the locomotive department.   The towers plans are signed off by Samuel Waite Johnson - the MR's locomotive superintendent. 

Anybody else have views on the colour scheme?

Thursday, 24 April 2014

60009 Flies By

On the tank roof today in glorious sunshine doing a bit of carpentry when there was the unmistakable wail of an A4's whistle coming from the south.

click to enlarge
A4 Pacific 60009 Union of South Africa plus its support coach sped through Settle station heading for Carlisle and I had a grandstand view all to myself.   What an absolute privilege.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014


For a number of reasons I have taken to wearing wellies recently.    Suitable for dog walking purposes, no laces to tie and they go nicely with my scruffy outerwear in the rural idyll that is Settle.   I don't wear them all the time you understand.   I change out of them for the evening when I do get changed into smart casual or thereabouts.

Today, Pat brought me down to earth with a bump.   "You're turning into Compo, you know".

   I had to try to be smart for most of my police career and it is a great joy to relax a bit on that particular front.   As a young constable at training school I was always in trouble for having less than shiny boots.   The punishment was 'Nine o'clock parade' in full uniform.  My boots were still not shiny and it did not seem to matter too much at 9 pm.   I reasoned that I spent less time on occasional nine o'clock parades than I would have done bulling my boots each day.   I don't suppose they bother about such things these days.  I was ahead of my time I guess.   My most glorious hour at Police Training Centre Pannal Ash was when the drill sergeant (yes really) stamped his foot in demonstration of how some idiotic drill manoeuvre should be done. The entire accumulation of Kiwi black boot polish from countless hours of spit and polish fell off his toecap and rolled inelegantly across the parade ground.   His cry of 'Faaaaaaakin' hell' may have been heard on the outskirts of Harrogate.

Think Police Academy Lieutenant Harris:

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Our Super Train

Here is our mega-train at Leeds at the end of its passenger carrying day - though they still had to get back to Carlisle via York and Newcastle.
click to enlarge

These two mighty great engines were at the front and a third was at the back!   What a sound they made echoing round the Dales.   I doubt a passenger train has ever had so much power attached to it - and it all came for free, so appealing to the rail industry was the event - the saving of he S&C from closure.   Normally these engines haul heavy freight, push snow ploughs or propel nuclear fuel and other such nastiness around.  They sure look and sound the part.   DRS had even painted the buffers silver for the occasion, bless them.

Video of our train - sound on!

A Weekend to Remember

11th April was the precise 25th Anniversary of the announcement that the Settle-Carlisle Railway would not close.  To mark the event an amazing train of nine carriages hauled by three locomotives went from Leeds to Carlisle and back carrying 600 or so people - about 200 of them were involved in either saving the line or ensuring its subsequent success.   Guest of honour was Michael Portillo - Transport Minister at the time of the line's reprieve.   This was the amazing scene at Settle Station when the train stopped here.   Flags were flying and the church bells were ringing.
click to enlarge
Just three days before this amazing sight a social media appeal was put out to parents and children in Settle to turn up at the station at 11am and for children to bring with them red clothing to wave at the train - in Railway Children style.   This was the staggering result.   Even the sun shone.

I was the commentator on the train and had no idea how great or small the response would be so I told our 600 passengers to look out and wave to the children at Settle, more in hope than expectation of attendance. The Settle schools were on holiday so organised attendance was not possible.

Settle and its children rose to the occasion in style.   The children,who could be forgiven for taking their railway line for granted, will now be in no doubt that it was once at risk of almost certain closure.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Growing Old is Inevitable: Growing Up is Optional

Went to Carlisle today and three experiences underlined anno domini.

First, I had my eyes tested.  20:20 perfect (with glasses) and no change since last time - good.

Next, on SWMBO's orders I had my hearing tested.   This followed a number of "You don't listen, that's half your trouble" incidents.   Besides wondering what the other half of 'my trouble' is I agreed to a hearing test.   To my delight my hearing is perfect, with a slight dip in the range of listening to consonants.   Ball back in SWMBO's court to speak more clearly.   The day was getting even better.

Finally, I treated myself to a pair of decent secateurs:
The lady at the check-out at TKMaxx looked at the secateurs, then at me.   "Are your eighteen?" she demanded to know.   I could have kissed her.   My day was complete.

Monday, 7 April 2014


Blogs - sorts of internet diaries - enable comparisons and I had quite forgotten how dire the coal wagon was:
click to enlarge


As George Clarke would say, "Unbelievable"