Went to Clapham Jn yesterday, first time since the “incident”..
Place is back to normal, 5-6 pm saturday afternoon, Chelsea fans streaming through one side, surreygirls streaming home from a thameside chardonney afternoon on the other. Trains loaded to standing.. its like August 2019.
SES have gone.
indeed there was very few staff around, even platform despatch staff are absent, only thing that stood out was that almost every retailer is shut (or gone out of business).. it was like the 1990’s.. even got an Intercity Swallow 47 too..
Good way to end the day catching a few 66’s on Ballasts, LSL 47s and 37254, after chasing all the other tours around the south yesterday.
In 1970 I did a tour to West Germany, Czechoslovakia and Austria and it was the Czech bit that I found unfriendly towards railway enthusiasts, as you might imagine just two years after the Russian invasion. As soon as I got off the train at Cheb I was ordered back on again whilst visas etc were inspected. When I was eventually allowed off I found my train to Chomoutov, hauled by a big 475 class 4-8-0. I did get a couple of photos but a soldier with a gun came up to me and indicated I should put my camera away. Traveling through the country I was careful with the camera and I found the larger stations were the best as the soldiers couldn't be everywhere. I did discover that besides a gun every soldier carried a bottle opener for opening bottles of Pilsner Urquell.
In 1986 I was in Magdeburg, East Germany and went for a ride behind a class 50 2-10-0 to Altengrabow. When I got there I found it was in the middle of a Russian army base and again I was told to put my camera away. I did get some photos though, including one with a Russian officer on it. I suspect there were some missiles pointing at the UK not far away.
Ive found Russians quite hospitable about photography, I got to a Russian AFB in Moscow 20+ years back, and got a guided tour (it was a pre-arranged visit, just me and interpreter, with the base commanders approval), but still photography wasnt an issue, though they chose where I went, and the route, which wasnt always the most direct. I did see soldiers accomodation, curtains were largely made of uniforms washed (or unwashed) hanging around with toilets being totally exposed pits at the ends of the alleys, in a weird way the layout it reminded me of Butlins chalets with their dual floored accomodation.
Reading this thread just makes me think that there's a lot of jobsworths wanting to spoil harmless fun. Like Sm5 above I've had some great experiences abroad, including an Israeli AFB where we ended up sitting in F-16s after little overt checks, naturally they'll have checked us out covertly, but it was just weird to be ticked off for spotting at Clapham Junction on my way home!
Interesting read indeed. I don’t recall any incidents of being told to move on or asked to leave any station for spotting / bashing / taking photos etc. Perhaps I was just lucky.
This includes long hours festering at Derby waiting for something interesting to arrive on summer Saturdays. Days spotting at Grantham, Tamworth and Crewe in my pre bashing days armed with my Zorki 4.
Chesterfield was a station I only visited in my bashing days and always whilst on an East Midlands Ranger ticket. I used to avoid travelling north from Derby for quite some time as the fare to Sheffield was disproportionately bigger than going to New Street and there was a distinct probability of encountering a golden gripper. So good chance of only getting one journey in and possibly difficult questions about being on a child’s ticket etc. So Chesterfield was somewhere I tended not to stay at for very long.
I can remember problems arriving at Kings Cross behind a Deltic in their last weeks with large numbers of spotters on the platforms and staff being rather fractious.