What were the main events of October 1973? Jackie Stewart achieved his third Formula One World Driver's Championship, after which he retired; war was raging in the middle east; U.S. president, Richard Nixon, reluctantly released the first tapes relating to the Watergate enquiry; 'Daydreamer' David Cassidy was in the singles charts, and we were buying LPs by the likes of Rod Stewart, the Stones, Slade, the Quo, David Bowie, Roxy Music, Elton John, Yes and Led Zeppelin, often in gatefold sleeves with amazing artwork.
In the Grantham area there had been a lot of talk about a new scheme which would turn some of the former ironstone mining countryside around Buckminster and Market Overton into a local leisure amenity, including an ironstone mining museum and a railway preservation centre.
Optimism was fuelled when A3 No. 4472 Flying Scotsman arrived at Grantham station for a one night stopover before moving on to a steam depot being established at Market Overton in Rutland.
Humphrey Platts was there, and he has kindly sent us some photographs, which are real gems. They seem to capture the anticipation of a dream which, sadly, was not to be realised.
Tracks through Grantham aims to promote the use of other websites where there's interesting Grantham-related railway content. We've just added several new links to our page Links to online Photograph Albums, so why not take a look and see what's to be found elsewhere?
If you find, anywhere on this site, a link that doesn't work please drop us a note via the Contact Form here. We'll do our best to get it sorted.
The next of our regular twice-a-year get-togethers for people interested in the Tracks through Grantham project will take place in Grantham in mid-October. These are always very enjoyable occasions, an opportunity for our contributors and supporters to meet while enjoying a varied and, we hope, informative programme.
If you are already on our list of contacts you should have received a preliminary note of the date at the end of May, followed by our Newsletter early in August giving outline details. We are just beginning to distribute the programme with the usual reply form, so look out for it. Please remember to let us know if you hope to be with us.
If you're interested in attending but are not currently on our contacts list, please get in touch using the Contact Form here, and we will send you information - date, time, venue and programme - and a reply form. We need to know how many people to expect, so we cannot publish full details on the website.
Current issues of two of the monthly magazines contain some Grantham interest:
- Backtrack for August 2017 (Vol. 31, No. 8) has a 4-page feature of photographs by Derek Penney, several of which feature Grantham or locations nearby (pages 480 to 483, plus cover illustration).
- 'Great Shot!' in Steam World for August 2017 (Issue 362) has a photograph of Grantham's turntable taken in 1958 (pages 34-35). "... but there wasn't a turntable at Grantham after 1951," we hear you say. And you're right of course, but the photograph wasn't taken at Grantham. It's at Melton Constable, in Norfolk, where Grantham's 70-foot turntable was moved for further service after its foundation, on the site of the old Victorian workhouse, gave way.
Here are links to two photographs recently published by local website Grantham Matters which may interest our readers:
Humphrey Platts recently discovered another very attractive photograph, one of a series of three he took while at Barkston Station one day in the 1950s. We've just added it to his Gallery page - scroll down to the third image following the introduction.
Keeping an eye on the user statistics for Tracks Through Grantham we're used to seeing an occasional surge in interest when we publish a new page. However, around the middle of July there was a sudden spike in our viewing figures which wasn't set off by new content. It was thanks to a favourable mention on RMweb of our Railways Rediscovered pages (about the former Woolsthorpe Branch) that, for a period of three days we practically trebled our normal readership.* If you'd like to see what the RMweb contributors had to say you can find the start of the thread here.
Also recently, Richard Marshall was in touch, leaving a comment on our page The Woolsthorpe Branch Rediscovered – Part 2 and subsequently he sent us some photographs of a building which was connected with the ironstone quarries and remains standing today, near Harston. You can discover the building by scrolling down to near the bottom of this page.
(* We should clarify that the site stats do not tell us who our users are. They give the total number of views of each page per day and some indication of how those users have found Tracks through Grantham.)
Some time ago we published several black and white photographs which showed preserved A3 No. 4472 Flying Scotsman arriving at Grantham with a special train from the south, but we weren't sure when they were taken.
One of the great things about Tracks through Grantham is that when we appeal for information, whether on the website or at meetings, our questions seldom go unanswered. This has proved to be the case yet again, so we have revised the page and added further photographs in colour, which we are sure you'll enjoy.
Back in 1952 someone in charge of the GN section of BR's Eastern Region must have realised that celebrating the centenary of the opening, in July and August 1852, of the section of the main line the line which links Peterbrough and Retford through Grantham and Newark would be a very good thing to do. Coupling that with the 100th anniversary of King's Cross station in the October provided an opportunity to really go to town and organise quite a programme of events.
Starting with some photographs kindly made available by Humphrey Platts, we've put together our latest new page, which is about those events. We hope you enjoy it.
Joe Bell has sent us a photograph of his grandfather, fireman William R. 'Billy' Bell, in the time office at Grantham Loco with his driver. They are signing on for royal train duty.
Follow this link and scroll down to the last photograph on the page.
Can anyone tell us who the driver is please?