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Old 29th August 2016, 09:45   #1
Cowley
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Default Old and new bashing trips by Cowley

Hi, not done this before but after being encouraged by others I'll give it a go .
A bit of background first then.

I first started spotting at Exeter St Davids in about 1985/1986. Around then most of the trains were BR blue/blue and grey, we had the Telecom liveried 118 DMU and also one in chocolate and cream that was seen occasionally(units P460 and B430 if I remember correctly), a few locos in original Railfreight, all the 50s bar the green Sir Edward Elgar in large logo, a few green GWR 150 liveried 47s and the start of Intercity livery appearing on HSTs, coaching stock and the odd loco.
So basically, bit by bit, colour (other than just blue everywhere) was starting to appear on the railway.
One day, after catching the bus down after school I walked onto platform 1, looked across and saw over the heads of people a set of double windscreens with white around them. Thinking for some reason there was a Hymek parked in platform 6, I walked across the bridge and discovered 50017 in brand new Network SouthEast livery and looking absolutely immaculate after being unveiled only a couple of days before.
You see in 1986 at the age of 13/14 you had to wait until the monthly magazines came out to find out the news, so I had no idea whatsoever what this all meant at the time. Soon enough though the Waterloo line was transformed with red lampposts and colourful trains!

In 1987 I got a bit bored of taking numbers and started doing more and more bashing and by 1988 I'd stopped taking numbers altogether and just concentrated on racking up miles with 47s, and these are the reasons why:

1)I like 47s. I think they look good, sound good and wear almost every livery bestowed on them better than pretty much any other class (probably because of that wonderful grill free bodyside).
2)It was a challenge to get them all. I'd had all the 50s, most of the 31/4s and most of the 33s by 1988 yet I never managed to get anywhere near all the 47s (I think I had about 300 of them in the end).
3)You could bash them on every region but also you could be taken by surprise when a very rare Eastfield loco turned up out of the blue in Exeter In large logo with the full kit of black headcodes, Westies on the side and snow ploughs. Lovely .
4)Two of my best mates were 47 bashers.

All of this is to explain why in 1991 when I had my first holiday from my first job, I mainly concentrated on 47s during my first All line rover.
That said, over the next few years I did diversify when I realised I could deny my need for the odd bit of English Electric thrash no longer (I did grow up with the sound of 50s echoing across the river) .

I don't want this to be just a list of locos, miles and headcodes so I'll try and remember a bit of what happened along the way, and having given everyone my life story, if I put another one of these on here I'll get straight on with the action!

Day 1 3/6/1991

God I was excited. I'd bought the All line (railway equivalent of Wonkas golden ticket) two weeks before with my wages and saved a bit of money for food etc too. I turned up on the evening of the 2nd at St Davids to catch 47814 down to Plymouth on 1V65 the 1105 Aberdeen to Penzance in order to position myself at Plymouth for the up midnight to Paddington, thus starting my All line at around 1230am behind 47826(one of my favourites) which I took all the way to Paddington. I hopped off this and got 47837 up to Wolverhampton on a Glasgow train, hung around for a bit before getting 87007 down to Coventry to get myself into position for the first main event of the day which was 47843 to Ashford on the 0759 Lime Street to Folkstone, I've always loved rattling through third rail territory behind a 47, if you were by an open window behind the loco you could watch people look up as something different roared through their station non stop and I found that quite exhilarating.
Off at Ashford then and back up to Victoria on a slam door unit, didn't note which one sorry! Caught the tube across to Paddington again ready for the second main event which was 47707 to Banbury on the 1757 Paddington to Banbury via High Wycombe. This was an excellent journey travelling up a beautifully engineered line that I hadn't travelled on before. Once at Banbury I caught 47707 back to Paddington via the normal Oxford route and then tubed it to Euston for the Aberdeen sleepers to Edinburgh which was 86210 City of Edinburgh and that was day 1.

Day2 4/6/1991

I'd gone to try and catch a 26 on the Fife circle as they'd been frequently standing in for 47s on the 0607 Edinburgh to Edinburgh outer circle trains. Alas no joy as 47604 did the honours, I took it anyway (another thing about bashing 47s, you were rarely disappointed), some new track for me too. The rest of the day was taken up bashing meaty Scottish 47s, I got 47617 to Berwick, 47595 and 47616 before doing 47595 up to Inverness ready to catch the sleeper back down to Crewe which was 47593 and then 87004 from Edinburgh.

Day3 5/6/1991

Yawn. 47853 Crewe to Coventry(need sleep) on the 0528 Stockport to Poole to get the Holyhead train(0635 from Euston)which arrived behind 86419, 47520 replaced this at Crewe for the run out to Holyhead but to be honest I spent the entire journey snoring and dribbling in a corner after severe sleep deprivation. Did enjoy the journey back though, semaphores everywhere, nice scenery, lovely.
I caught a Pacer from Crewe to Manchester Piccadilly and somehow got to Victoria (can't remember how though), ready to see what was on the club trains, I was going to do 37431 to Southport as it was new track (I still haven't been there) but sitting in one of the other platforms was 31132 in shabby original Railfreight on the 1714 to Blackpool North, I couldn't really turn this down so I got the 37 in the book by getting it to Salford Central and picked the 31 up from there 8 minutes later, had an excellent run out to Blackpool, head out the window, not another basher in sight before doing a fill in move to Preston on a Pacer for 47525 back to Blackpool on which I had a strange and uncomfortable experience when a couple in my coach thought they had the coach to themselves, I wrote about it on a thread about having a whole carriage to yourself but I've no idea how to link it and it's probably best forgotten about. I never looked at 47525 the same way again though.
After this I headed back to Crewe via Manchester, picking up 47845 along the way to get myself into position for another trip on the sleepers to Aberdeen, starting off with 86236,

Day 4 6/6/1991

and ending with 47636 in Aberdeen. I then headed all the way to Exeter on the one train, this being 1V59 The 0900 Aberdeen to Penzance behind 47616 to Edinburgh then 86253 to Birmingham and finally 47822. I slept for most of it and I think I must have gone back to mums for a shower as according to my book the next move was a late HST down to Newton Abbot ready for.

Day 5 7/6/1991

The up midnight again! What a useful train. 47820 now to Paddington and then a run to Cardiff and back behind 47631 on a train made up of 1st class compartment MK2s, nearly empty and a comfy sleep, this time with some friends out bashing too (I had to break the news to them though that I was going to try and get some 20s this week and they just looked confused).
I spent the day bashing the Oxford to Paddington trains and got 47579,47716,47853 and 47705 before getting myself into position for my first ever loco out of St Pancras which was 47478 (another favourite in banger blue with silver roof) on the 1804 St Pancras to Derby all the way to Derby.
I'd actually booked a BnB in Sheffield for the night as I wanted to get the 20s to Skegness the next day for the entire journey so I caught an HST there found my room and arranged a wake up call and a taxi for the morning, the landlady, bless her, made me sandwiches for the next day.

Day 6 8/6/1991

The train left at 6:30, the second time they woke me, with a taxi already waiting outside was 6:10, Cue much swearing and tripping over of shoes and bags etc. The taxi driver put his foot down and I made it just in time.
It was 20058 and 20087 the common (to some) RTC pair, this was good in a way because I had a compartment in the 2nd coach in a declassified BFK to myself for the entire and very sunny journey. Absolute heaven and the only time I ever had 20s on the mainline.
I got 47476 out of Skegness on the 1021 Sheffield to Leeds to Doncaster before going to Sheffield, then York, Birmingham New Street and eventually Oxford and picking up 47833,47456,47810 and 47818 on the way. 47521 took me back to Reading (47521 was my machine, although I liked it best in blue) and I finished the day with a speedy 125 home.

So there you have it, 6 days of bashing in 1991. But what about the 7th day?
I don't know!
My book seems to say that I was out doing a Devon rover the weekend before but I can't work out where the extra day went. Had I had enough? Did Sunday just seem a bit unappealing after all the excitement or did I just not write down what I'd done (unlikely back then).
I can only assume I wimped out and after getting home just couldn't get up the next day (this is ringing a bell actually).
Who knows? It's 25 years ago now and although 1991 wasn't the time of Westerns, 40s and Deltics it was still pretty good and you could still cover vast amounts of the country on loco hauled trains. It was pretty cheap too.

The full list of locos travelled behind (some more than once):

20058
20087 = 2

31132 = 1

37431 = 1

47456
47476
47478
47520
47521
47525
47579
47593
47595
47604
47616
47617
47631
47636

47705
47707
47716

47810
47814
47818
47820
47822
47826
47833
47837
47843
47845
47853 = 28

86210
86236
86253
86419 = 4

87004
87007 = 2

38 locos, 6 different classes.
Phew. If anyone's managed to get to the end of this then well done.
Next time though I might just write up one of the day trips...

Thanks for reading.

Last edited by Cowley; 19th September 2016 at 21:12.
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Old 29th August 2016, 11:46   #2
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Hellfire! I absolutely love 47s myself so it was excellent to read! Some very familiar numbers in there from stuff my dad did and I've had a few of them for haulage myself! You must have been shattered to not do the Sunday though!
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Old 29th August 2016, 12:07   #3
Cowley
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Hellfire! I absolutely love 47s myself so it was excellent to read! Some very familiar numbers in there from stuff my dad did and I've had a few of them for haulage myself! You must have been shattered to not do the Sunday though!
Thanks for that. Yeah I can't really think of any reasonable excuse for not doing the Sunday (tiredness is weakness ), looking back now I wonder if one of my objectives was to get as many 47/4s as I could because down here most stuff apart from Summer Saturdays was 47/8 powered and perhaps having work the next day and having a good haul of locos by the time I got back was enough.
I'd run up the road in a giant chicken costume to do that Sunday now of course. Maybe a day on the Sea Wall, maybe a trip behind a 50 on the Waterloo, I wonder if there were any 33s out that day?
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Old 29th August 2016, 12:34   #4
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You can't say no to a class 47, great looking locomotives!
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Old 29th August 2016, 13:36   #5
Cowley
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You can't say no to a class 47, great looking locomotives!
Too right, and sit on the exhaust side for the best noise...
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Old 29th August 2016, 14:03   #6
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Never liked the 47's, were too common and boring to me, grew up Birmingham, best were 37's, 20's, 33's, 31's, 55's, 58's, all had on service trains, liked the 85's and 87's for electric thrash.
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Old 29th August 2016, 17:03   #7
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Lots of loco haulage throughout the UK
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Old 29th August 2016, 19:23   #8
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Brilliant stuff.
I don't know if any 33s were out on Sunday the 9th, but there were at least two on the Saturday.
On that day, as you were up in Yorkshire, a group of us had driven down from there to Basingstoke and amongst several 50s (50007/50018/50027/50033/50046 & 50048) we had 33113 and 33114, probably on Salisbury turns although I can't say for certain.
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Old 29th August 2016, 20:25   #9
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Brilliant stuff.
I don't know if any 33s were out on Sunday the 9th, but there were at least two on the Saturday.
On that day, as you were up in Yorkshire, a group of us had driven down from there to Basingstoke and amongst several 50s (50007/50018/50027/50033/50046 & 50048) we had 33113 and 33114, probably on Salisbury turns although I can't say for certain.
That's interesting. According to my old book the last 33 I had was 33101, I had it on the 1st to Axminster (50027 back ) and then on the 5th to Feniton (108 unit back), I also had 33002 just before Christmas to Yeovil. I didn't do much local bashing after July as I got involved with the Mid Hants volunteering and didn't really go out until early 92. 33s were excellent on the Mule though, trying to keep up with 50 timings.
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Old 29th August 2016, 21:35   #10
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Mr Cowley you can definitely stay. Absolute cracking read that and after a couple of paragraphs you had my eyes as wide as saucers, cant honestly think why? Its a bloody long time since I heard the phrase, banger blue, Its still my fave livery for the 47s, although I have a soft spot for the two tone railfreight grey and the ScotRail too. This era was either very close to or was me calling time away from the rails. So Im very intrigued here.

Helluva lot of 47s, some ole classics in there 47478 especially, being from the North East, anything with a silver roof caused constenstion with me. I take it 47579, 47716, 47705 and 47707, were in NSE Livery by then?Never had a shove in the South. My time with them was spent either returning to Scotland or between Edinburgh, Glasgow or Perth.

Good move on the 37 and 31 too. Done a couple of moves on the 20s from Leicester in the mid to late 80s, the afternoon turns were always rammed with cranks from far n wide, as well as the locals.

Look forward to more nostalgic bashing memoirs.
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Old 29th August 2016, 22:19   #11
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Helluva lot of 47s, some ole classics in there 47478 especially, being from the North East, anything with a silver roof caused constenstion with me. I take it 47579, 47716, 47705 and 47707, were in NSE Livery by then?Never had a shove in the South. My time with them was spent either returning to Scotland or between Edinburgh, Glasgow or Perth.

Good move on the 37 and 31 too. Done a couple of moves on the 20s from Leicester in the mid to late 80s, the afternoon turns were always rammed with cranks from far n wide, as well as the locals.

Look forward to more nostalgic bashing memoirs.
Thanks for your kind words and for everyone elses encouragement too. Yes 47579, 47705, 47707 and 47716 were I think all in NSE by then.
It's funny looking back now and remembering, once I started writing it all came flooding back. I probably would never have relived this if it wasn't for joining the forum. So glad I stopped lurking and got involved.
I'll probably do a few more when I get time, got a couple more All lines and a first trip to Scotland in 1988.
Unfortunately I don't have my original spotting book and I lost one of my bashing books along the way, although I do have some records plus some clear memories.

Oh and the soundtrack on the old Sony Walkman in 1991? Guns and Roses, Metallica that kind of thing. Maybe that's why I didn't get much sleep actually.
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Old 30th August 2016, 05:49   #12
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That's interesting. According to my old book the last 33 I had was 33101, I had it on the 1st to Axminster (50027 back ) and then on the 5th to Feniton (108 unit back), I also had 33002 just before Christmas to Yeovil. I didn't do much local bashing after July as I got involved with the Mid Hants volunteering and didn't really go out until early 92. 33s were excellent on the Mule though, trying to keep up with 50 timings.
Living in Yorkshire meant 33s and 50s were a bit exotic for us
The last I had on a service train were 33102 & 33116 together, from Salisbury to Basingstoke on the 25th of August '91 and then the day after from Waterloo to Salisbury.
The next Crompton's I sampled were 33030, 33051 and 33207 on the "Multiple Marauder" railtour nearly five years later (10/08/96).
I love reminiscing!
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Old 30th August 2016, 18:13   #13
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Yeah we all love a good ole reminisce. Theres more than a few worth checking out on here. Carlisle, Crewe, Edinburgh Waverley, Glasgow Central and Queen St were familiar haunts to my mates and I, then ofcourse the variation was simply awesome in the mid 80s.

Did anyone do the S&C jaunts at a weekend, where they'd put the rarer locos out. I know they put 26s and 56s on, along with Trans Pennine liveried 47475 inside, for the ETH. I only managed to get 56030 myself but that was an awesome day experiencing a grid tackle the 47, plus a fully loaded train(a good 90% were cranks too) up the S&C. D200 was always a good bet over the S&C them days too, Add in the 27's on the Sou Western, normally taken to Dumfries, the sparkys over Shap and occasionally the odd Rat over the Tyne Valley dragging dead 101s, was always the perfect way to end the day, even more so when the 143s were pulled. Loco there and back. Folk moaning to shut the windows, as we were window hanging, not that we ever listened.Sheer bliss

Nowt wrong with your music taste then, the Guns never did come close, to repeating a follow up, of a similar ferocity as the Appetite for Destruction album. Ramones were a constant fixture on my walkman then and still are.
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Old 30th August 2016, 19:53   #14
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The S & C specials?
It may surprise you to learn I did them all
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Old 30th August 2016, 20:20   #15
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The S & C specials?
It may surprise you to learn I did them all
Not really Phil Im not, Id have been more shocked if you hadnt.

Out of curiosity, don't suppose you've got the lists for them by any chance?
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