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Let's forget today's bothersome restrictions on travel for a while and get out and about again in the Tracks through Grantham Tardis.
Richard's Cumming's latest highly entertaining article describes how, in 1956, the arrival of his new bike stimulated an eagerness to push the boundaries of youthful exploration well beyond the horizon of his home town of Grantham.
His first ventures were to the relatively close-at-hand surroundings of local towns and countryside, exploring rumours of unfamiliar breeds of locomotive to be seen on their native territory. Ultimately, though, the call of far-away engines with strange-sounding names (and numbers) led Richard to the uncharted lands of the West Midlands and Shropshire.
We're sure you'll enjoy travelling with Richard on trips that were inspired by an interest which took root during his earlier enjoyment of the railway scene around Grantham.
If, by way of introduction, you'd firstlike to read (or to re-read) Richard's previous accounts of Grantham-based spotting adventures, they are here:
A new addition to our Tracks through Grantham 'Diesel Era' section is another entertaining account by Steve Philpott, this time recalling several Deltic hauled trips. Using his unique blend of personal observation, with a sprinkling of technical background, Steve looks back at a selection of runs diligently recorded on the stretch of line between Grantham & Newark. These recordings were made on the King’s Cross to York / Hull semi-fast services towards the end of the Deltic fleet's BR careers. You can read more of this here
We have added some new content to our 'Diesel Era' pages, this time looking back to the late 1950s, when as part of their modernisation plan, British Railways carried out a series of main line tests with a prototype diesel electric locomotive - ‘Deltic’ which had been built by English Electric. The production fleet that followed as a result of these tests came into operation from 1961 onwards, taking over a variety of steam hauled services. They were initially numbered D9000 to D9021 and transformed express services to and from London King’s Cross along the ECML. Later they were renumbered with the class prefix - 55, but we still referred to them as 'Deltics'. Our aim here is to only provide a brief potted history of the class, thus providing a starting point for specific 'Grantham related' 'Deltic' stories that will follow in the future. You can read more here.
Edinburgh Haymarket-based A3 60100 Spearmint was a bit of a rare sight as far south as our Tracks through Grantham territory, so when the locomotive turned up in two separate stories recently sent in by Alan Wilce and Roger Bamber we were tempted to rename 60100 as Doublemint! However, having chewed it over, we decided to keep things as they were, so hopefully our two new pages in 'Spotters’ Corner' from Roger and Alan will bring a breath of fresh air for our readers.
So join 13-year-old Roger Bamber on Grantham station in 1958, having travelled by bike over the hilly A607 from Leicester. When opportunities arise to capture some Haymarket Raritieson film,Roger is ready with his camera. One of the images is a photograph that helped to determine his career.
Then join Alan Wilce in 1960. Alan arrived from Melton Mowbray in his parents' car. His records were taken with pencil and notepad rather than film and now, with his Ian Allan ABC 'Combined Volume', his memories and some archive timetables, Alan re-creates for us the excitement of a 3-hour Summer Evening Visit to Grantham in 1960 during which 60100 Spearmint made another rare appearance at the station.
We've said before that often wedon't know where the inspiration for the next new page for Tracks through Grantham will appear from. We have items 'in the pipeline' all the time but, quite regularly, someone will get in touch with a surprise discovery. Just a few weeks ago a copy of a magazine titled Locomotive Express revealed a previously unknown (to us) account of a regular day's work for a No. 1 Express Link crew at Grantham Loco in 1950.
So prepare to get grit in your hair, and organise a nice warm bath for when you get home, as we travel 326 miles in one shift with a Grantham crew on our latest page All in a Day's Work.
Above: Peascliffe Tunnel as depicted on the 1903 six-inch OS map, with the ventilation shaft indicated.
Jeff Thompson has always kept a close eye on the railway, especially in the Peascliffe area. Last Wednesday, 30th September, among the trees above the tunnel, work was taking place on the brick chimney above the ventilation shaft:
Yesterday, the smart new cover was in place:
Jeff says "All ready for Royal Ascot Ladies Day!! There's a very different sound from passing trains, but I haven't yet heard a 'Streak'."
In October 2019 we published a page of photographs taken by Colin Walker when he was a guest on the footplate of an O2 locomotive during a wintry trip from Grantham up to Highdyke Yard. The driver that day was Sam Pearce.
Sam's grandson, Chris, has recently been in touch to share some memories of his grandfather Sam - a name which, in common with at least one other driver at Grantham known as 'Sam', wasn't actually his real name as you'll discover when you turn to our latest new page.
Hello everyone. When we launched Tracks through Grantham in the summer of 2016 the focus was necessarily on the railway in the vicinity of Grantham station. Over time our scope has extended south to Stoke Summit to include Stoke Signal Box and Highdyke Yard. Our latest page covers the signal box at Great Ponton. We hope you'll find it an enjoyable and interesting read. If you'd like to send us some feedback please leave a comment.
In future we would like to include more about the station at Great Ponton, so if you have information, photographs or memories that would help to fill out its story, or you know someone who has, please get in touch, using the Contact Form on our Contact Us or Subscribe page.