Old and new bashing trips by Cowley

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by Cowley, 29 Aug 2016.

  1. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    With child fares or a young persons railcard it really was a cheap hobby considering how far you could go. The way it's so complicated now puts me off using it at times. It's that feeling that you're probably paying more than you should because you don't quite know what you're doing.
     
  2. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

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    Some excellent nostalgic reading and shots there Mr Cowley, :) looking at that ticket I notice we still travelled second and not standard class in those days.
     
  3. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Thanks Mr Bridge and yes, we knew our place :)
     
  4. Blindtraveler

    Blindtraveler Established Member

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    Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
    Wow. As a means of destressing Iv just gone all through this thread in the last 24hrs. Wouldnt it be nice if the railway were still like this now?

    Take it none of your 6 kids have any rail interest?

    Thanks for sharing
     
  5. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Ah thanks blindtraveller that's very much appreciated.
    My 14 year old can tell one locomotive class from another and comes up to galas quite often because he enjoys it and gets on well with my best friends son and nephew who also come along.
    Being honest though it's not his hobby in the same way that I was obsessed at his age and that's fine.
    Once I'd accepted that I let him move out from the cupboard under the stairs :D
     
  6. AJM580

    AJM580 Member

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    Some great photos. The Devon Rover was my ticket to ride when ever we holidayed at Dawlish Warren - which is probably why I managed to get 41 out of the 50 50s for haulage. Still need 50021 so when that falls it'll be 42/50. Love the nostalgic views of Exeter, Plymouth and Eastleigh. I remember doing 73137 on a vice-REP turn there before having the real thing (4-REP & 4-TC) to Southampton. Would have been Feb 1987 (30 years ago - arrgh)
     
  7. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    I remember having double header 73's on 4-TC's around the same time from Waterloo to Southampton and back. We had a side trip behind 33's from Southampton to Portsmouth and back. Cracking day out with my schools railway society. I was lucky to go to a school which had one!
     
    Last edited: 27 Mar 2017
  8. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Thanks for that guys. I can't get my head around it being 30 years ago either. 1987 was quite a year really. Last full year of the Peaks (apart from 106), last year of the 25s and 27s. I think there was still the occasional steam heated train in Scotland.
    Last full year of D200, the RTCs 24 and 46.
    The first Severn Valley diesel gala too.
     
  9. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Now the story can be told. East Anglia August 1987.

    We decided to head over to see Toms grandparents in Clacton towards the end of the summer holidays.
    I didn't really know the area although I had visited Liverpool Street a few times.
    What we did was get a return to London that covered us to go via any route including Bristol and we took a Salisbury bound train (a 47 on the 1105 to Brighton), where we changed onto a 33/1 and TC set up to Waterloo. We hopped onto the tube and spent a bit of time at Euston before visiting Willesden and then on to Stratford (low level) on a 2EPB to get the locos that were on shed (we bravely walked through the grotty tunnel to do this)

    We caught an EMU back to Liverpool Street and found the beast 47580 in banger blue with silver roof and black headcodes at the front of our Norwich bound train rather than the expected 86. Chuffed to bits we stood up at the front windows for the entire thrash to Colchester and boy did it go. Up there with my favourite 47 journeys for all time that one.

    At Colchester we changed onto a Jaffa cake liveried class 309 to Clacton before finding 'Peg and Stanleys' house, dinner and sleep. It had been an excellent day.

    Day 2 A 309 back to Colchester and then a very smart 86228 up to Norwich, saw a few interesting locos stabled at Ipswich.
    I apologise for the lack of numbers on this trip. I lost two of my early books years ago (it's amazing that I didn't lose all of them really) and only have complete records of 47s from around then as well as clear memories and memories that Tom and I have pieced together. I have a fairly good idea of what locos we had that week but I'm not totally definite so it's probably best just to give the overview.
    Onwards. We saw 08867 The Canary drawing in the stock for our next train which was a 31/4 on a Norwich to Birmingham service. We jumped on early when it had nearly stopped but it then carried on for a couple of coach lengths which we were quite pleased about.
    A fine bit of class 31 haulage to March was then had, where we jumped ship and headed to March depot to see some of the withdrawn locos that had been dumped there.
    We had been told that people had been arrested unscrewing bits off locos and to be careful about what we got up to, so we were, ish. ;)
    March depot was incredible. Lines and lines of recently switched off locos, mainly Peaks but also 03s, 08s, 20s, wagons, all sorts. It was a true elephants graveyard.

    After this we took a class 101 to Peterborough and then another 101 back to Ely before getting another 31/4 to Ipswich in the dark (and very noisy).
    Back to Clacton then on an 86 to Colchester and a 309 to Clacton. Again quite a day.

    Day 3. We headed back to Liverpool Street and then onto Paddington for a 47 to Westbury in order to get a 33 from there to Bristol, so far so good.
    A couple of older friends had shown us a slightly naughty trick with a BR toilet roll a few days before and in our exuberant youth we decided to emulate this at the back of a class 33 hauled train on the way to Bristol. I'm not proud of this and we were only 14 you have to remember.
    The thing to do was to put a finger from each hand in the toilet roll and make a hand toilet roll holder, hold it out of the window (one on each side of the rear door of the rear carriage), let the wind catch it so that the oh so strong toilet paper unwinds faster and faster until you have two streamers the length of around a hundred feet wafting along behind the train.
    It looked brilliant. Right up until the moment the guard caught us and told us we were to be arrested upon arrival at Bristol Temple Meads.
    Now clearly this was not going to go down well with our parents and would probably put an end to our travelling freedoms. A plan was needed.
    When we arrived at Bradford on Avon we waited for the optimum moment of the guard blowing his whistle and waving the right away to the driver. Just as the train started moving we opened the rear door, jumped off, slammed the door behind us (did the guard see and have a wry chuckle to himself?), ran up a bank and out onto a road like we were being pursued by the hounds of hell.
    We somehow got a bus back to Westbury with what little money we had between us and dared to go onto the station to check train times to Exeter. We had about an hour and a half to wait so we hid in a bush near the bridge and scurried down to jump on a 125 at the last minute convinced by now that they'd have our descriptions circulated.
    The first person we walked into was Toms mum (my step mum) walking back from the buffet! She's no fool and knew something was up but didn't press us for details thankfully. We slunk off to another part of the train and calmed ourselves down. :)

    Not many photos this time but film was expensive for a 14 year old and getting them processed even more so. They didn't always come out properly either and you had no way of knowing how good they were until you got them back from the chemist. It's so different today of course but then the variety of trains turning up in unusual places is much reduced...

    1 - An 86 heading for London stops at Colchester while we're waiting for our Norwich train.
    2 - March depot, a huge line of Peaks that hadn't been there long, many had probably been switched off a few weeks before. There were still some running on the mainline though.
    3 - 45013 and 03112 with a strange couple fiddling around with the 03, he obviously didn't get the memo that said leave things alone.
     

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  10. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

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    Mr Cowley, it has to be said you have a great talent in your writings, once again a most enjoyable and humorous read with bags of nostalgia, I only wish I could translate my bashing trips in a similar style.
     
  11. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Well thanks very much Mr Bridge. I feel I've gone off on a bit of an old farts nostalgia trip this last couple of weeks but it's been fun reminiscing and filling in the details.
    I've got two left to do from this little lot and then I suppose I'd better get with the moment :)
    By the way I'd love to hear about some of your trips, they'd be full of some very interesting stuff I know that.
     
  12. Ash Bridge

    Ash Bridge Established Member

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    Yes, this is becoming rather like the nursing home residents corner of UK Rail Forums these days :lol:

    I would hope that when I can get to properly scan some of my slides from the 1970s/80s/90s and locate my old notebooks I will then piece together some trips from the past and hopefully not bore you and the others to death whilst doing so. ;)
     
  13. AJM580

    AJM580 Member

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    Brilliant stuff, you're right that 1987 was a decent year not only was there the stuff you mentioned but also there was a couple of cracking open days at Crown Point where 08869 was named and also Basingstoke where they got virtually one of each mainline class lined up in order. Throw in D200 on the Marches line and a last fling on Peaks out of New Street, the opening of Crewe Heritage Centre and it was a decent year for me
     
  14. fishquinn

    fishquinn Established Member Quizmaster

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    47580 is one hell of an excellent brush, so it pleased me to see that it had made an appearance.

    You're not the only ones to have done that toilet roll trick back in the '80s - dad's seen it a few times. Lucky that you managed to get away too - mean guard picking on a couple of 14 year olds ;)
     
  15. 55013

    55013 Established Member

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    Great stuff.
    I remember the D200 tour well - The "Desert Songster".
    I did it with my brother who has no interest in trains.
    He took along a carrier bag full of car magazines to read whilst I was flapping.
    It started at Preston and we boarded at Manchester Victoria, the 40 then worked round to Stockport and from there up the WCML to Mitre Bridge Junction before heading to Kensington Olympia where it came off, running light to Waterloo via a reversal at Clapham Junction.
    The tour, meanwhile, had 73117 and 73119 from Olympia to Waterloo via Hounslow.
    After that 40122 worked through to Exeter where I believe we had a break whilst she had a much needed drink.
    Then it was up to Reading, a run round, then via Oxford to the Midlands and back to its destination.
    What a tour!

    I was also on the "Valiant Thunderer", as was 45135 of this parish.
    Another great tour.
    There were four of us in our party and we started from Manchester Piccadilly, with 47805 working to Bristol where the 50s took over.
    50008 was leading to Paignton and it was when they ran round in the yard that the speedo problem on 50015 was discovered.
    The locos then swapped round so that 50008 could lead to Newton Abbot, where a run round with 50015 leading was obviously permitted.

    When 37142 was added it was well off the platform so this was the best shot I could manage:
    [​IMG]50015_1991.11.23_6_Plymouth_& 37142 by Phil Wood, on Flickr

    The three locos came off at Par and 50033 took us to Newquay before 8 and 15 worked to Plymouth (with Thunderer now leading, of course).
    A convoluted shunt then saw 50033 put inside the others for triple fifty haulage to Temple Meads.
    50008 and 50015 were due to be withdrawn then and emotions were running high at Bristol, someone started to sing "Swing low sweet chariot", a few people joined in but it soon fizzled out :)
    After that it was the anti-climax of 47819 back to Piccadilly.
    For the record, I was 24.

    Moving on, I love the shot of 50032.
    It was a bit cleaner when I photted it at Reading fifteen months earlier:
    [​IMG]50032_1989.04.14_Reading by Phil Wood, on Flickr

    Happy days, thanks for bringing up some great memories.
     
    Last edited: 2 Apr 2017
  16. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    I'm reading all these tales and just so jealous it's unreal!
     
  17. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Thanks guys and thanks to 55013 for your memories and the photos. That must have been some day out on D200. The 40s were almost mythical beasts to us down here, there was in the early 80s a freight train that got to Riverside yard (oil from Ellesmere Port maybe?) that a few times featured a class 25/40 double header but I never saw it.
    I always liked the fact that D200 earned its keep when it wasn't doing tours, I'd have loved to gone over the S&C behind it on a service train.
     
    Last edited: 3 Apr 2017
  18. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Nottingham and Crewe 1987.

    I've got a bit of time off today, I've got two more trips from around 1987 to do so I'll start with this one.

    We did this trip at the beginning of the summer holidays and it was with some excitement that we caught the chocolate and cream 142 (Skipper not Pacer mind) from Topsham into Exeter passing the little industrial shunter in the coal yard at Exmouth Junction and then dropping down into St David's and peering over to the sheds to see if there was anything interesting about (of course there wasn't, just 08s, 31s, 33s, 47s and 50s :lol:).
    What we'd decided to do was break our journey north a few times to get some different locos in.
    The first was 47451 on the 0730 Penzance to Edinburgh, we took this to Bristol and on the way passed a couple more interesting shunters that were part of daily life back then. Firstly the yellow 97652 which although allocated to Reading seemed to spend quite a bit of time around Taunton in those days, the other one was the 03 D2133 that lived at the British Cellophane works at Bridgewater, D2133 is now at the West Somerset railway.
    We arrived at Bristol and checked out what was on shed, I seem to remember seeing a Peak amongst other things but our attention was taken by a very clean large logo 37426 which had just arrived on a Cardiff - Portsmouth train, we asked the driver for a look in the cab and he obliged while the shunter uncoupled the loco (a 33 had been attached at the other end).
    From Bristol we took 47615 up to Cheltenham to see a friend of Toms for a bit and then behind 47539 to Birmingham to spend a few hours spotting and waiting for something good to take up to Derby.
    While at Birmingham we saw plenty of AC electrics etc and we hadn't been there long before 45104 (complete with wooden replacement nameplates) rolled in on a train going north. We were torn between catching this and spending a bit more time at New Street. We took a gamble and stayed at New Street for another hour and by good fortune 45145 turned up on the train we were catching.
    We had the front windows in the mk1s to ourselves on the way to Derby and even now I can remember the thrash well.
    Tom grabbed a couple of shots of the Peak at Derby and we saw a pair of 20s and a 58 MGRs plus some other interesting stuff before we headed to Nottingham on a new fangled 150.
    We were picked up by my older cousins in Nottingham in my uncles Maestro (remember them?), my cousin Ian then proceeded to try and race every car he could off the lights and occasionally won too, my other cousin Chris just sat there looking embarrassed :).

    The next day we were driven down to the Great Central railway with my Aunty Sylvia and her son Chris, we did a return trip on the line behind 6990 Witherslack Hall and had a look around the sheds. My cousin Chris and his family live at Quorn now so I get to visit him and the line frequently.
    On the way back Chris asked us if we wanted to visit Toton and said he'd looked on the map and knew how to get near it. We were then dropped off around the back of some housing estate and left to get on with it for a couple of hours while they went shopping. After climbing through broken fences and undergrowth we stumbled upon the scrap line which featured a line of 45s plus 25080 and 46023 (spare loco for the nuclear flask test), a very similar scene to March depot later in the year although some of these were pretty derelict and had obviously been there a long time. I think they were pretty much all 45/0s too (including 45001) and there was a fire damaged one as well as a dented one.
    We walked down to the depot after this and got close enough to get a few numbers, in the compound was 45017, 25908 and a virtually new 58050 which was I think on test because it was fitted with some kind of different system to the other 58s (was it Sepex?).
    After this we headed back for our lift before getting a good nights sleep in for the next day.
    The next day we headed to Crewe on more of the newish class 150s.
    What could you say about Crewe back then? Well it was Mecca really. Electrics everywhere, so many different classes to see and action happening constantly. We went to the recently opened Crewe Railway Age and I can't really remember what was there now, I think D1041 Western Prince was there and I remember watching the trains go by, we also saw the brand new 89001 go by on a test train which caused an almighty amount of froth on our part.
    Back to Nottingham in the dark and picked up by my cousin Jane this time.
    The next day we retraced our steps back to Exeter including 47663 from Derby to Birmingham (47818 in new money), this being a weekday now we didn't see any 45s on passenger services but a few weeks later 45145 unusually appeared on shed at Exeter and we had a look around it while it was there.

    Photos:
    1 - 45145 after arrival at Derby, we got off and a load of bashers got on, presumably they'd taken 45104 earlier and come back down for 145.
    2 - 45145 leaving Derby
    3 - A very clean and new looking 58050 in the compound at Toton still going through the testing program. I'm not sure if it actually worked in these colours or if it was repainted into triple grey before going into service, does anyone else know?
    4 - I've plundered this photo from the net (by 47604) just to show the scrap line, Toton was fascinating with abandoned bits of hump shunting infrastructure everywhere etc.
    Now of course you'd be looking at a line of 60s...
     

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    Last edited: 3 Apr 2017
  19. 55013

    55013 Established Member

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    Great stuff as usual, it sure takes me back.
    Interesting to see you had 45104, one of just seven ETH Peaks that I never had.
    Nice to see 25080 getting a mention and featuring in a photo :)
     
  20. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Last one of this lot then is the Basingstoke rail day 27th September 1987, as mentioned a few posts ago by AJM580. This was quite a line up it has to be said.
    Many classes were represented, some preserved, some still active and some recently withdrawn.
    These were the ones that I definitely remember:
    20s - 20030 and 20064 (the green pair)
    24 - 97201
    25 - 25244 (now rotting away at the KESR I think)
    27 - 27059
    31 - 31268 in red stripe Railfreight
    33 - 33008 on display and 33027 parked with an Intercity class 73 on the other side of the mainline (33s were also working the Waterloo to Salisbury trains)
    35 - D7018
    37 - 37116 in non standard Stratford version of large logo livery and running shuttles to Andover and back with D200 I think.
    40s - 40013 on display and 40122 running past on shuttles
    44 - 44004
    45 - 45060
    46 - 97403
    47 - 47581 original NSE (plus others passing through on Poole trains)
    50s - none on display but plenty passing by on Exeter trains
    55 - 55022
    56 - A Railfreight liveried one, can't remember which though?
    58 - 58005
    Was there a 59 too? I'm not sure
    77 - 27002 'Electra' recently returned from The Netherlands
    86401 in NSE.
    Also 2 BIL 2090 and 4 SUB 4732 were operating Woking to Basingstoke shuttles.

    I went up in the car with my dad while my stepbrother Tom had somehow wangled a flight in a Cessna from Eastleigh airport courtesy of a friend of his dads (jammy git :lol:).
    Dad and I wondered around looking at the exhibits for a while not realising that Tom had flown right over the top of us (and also over Eastleigh depot and the Mid Hants).
    In the evening there was a mini railtour behind D200 that we had tickets for and this went via Southampton, Romsey and the curve at Laverstock Junction, then back onto the LSWR mainline for a blast back to Basingstoke.
    It was a great day out and here's some photos:

    1 to 6 are the various exhibits on display with 45060 (D100) running alongside them.
    7 - Biggles buzzing 34105 Swanage near Ropley on the Mid Hants.
    8 and 9 - Overhead shots of Basingstoke rail day taken by Tom
    10 - Eastleigh depot from above also taken by Tom, plenty of 33s and Thumper units on shed and also 25181 which became a fixture after failing on a railtour at least a year before at Andover and being eventually dumped at Eastleigh never to work again.
    Once again and I know he'll read this at some point. Thanks Tom, I suppose I'd better give you your photos back now :).
     

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