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We've just received a new photograph for our page about the railways in Grantham during World War 2.  It shows porter and ticket collector Irene Bradford (née Clarke) on the station platform with three colleagues.  We could do with help identifying two of the people in the photograph.

Click here and scroll to about halfway down the page.

John Clayson

First a very warm welcome if you've recently become a subscriber to Tracks through Grantham, and this is your first message introducing a new article.

It's a dream for many of us - speeding along the East Coast Main Line in the wake of a streamlined steam locomotive of the 1930s, performing exactly the way its designers and builders intended.  In 2013 Steve Philpott did just that.  He was on board one of three special trains which were authorised to run up to 90 mph to mark the 75th anniversary of world record holder A4 pacific Mallard's unequalled 126 mph achieved in July 1938.

We've spoken to people who, as a passenger or on the footplate, have 'done the ton' or more with steam down Stoke Bank in the 1950s and early 1960s.  Such speeds, while not called for by the timetable, were attained in 'normal service' by willing crews with double-chimney A3s and the post-war A1s, as well as A4s - as Roy Vinter describes.  However, 90+ mph with steam in the 21st century had been, for many of us, unthinkable.

That there were three successful 90 mph runs in 2013 is a tribute to many people; some who dared to believe that it could and should happen, and others who had the professional standing to convince those in the railway industry who needed to be persuaded that a well-maintained steam locomotive, in skilled hands, could still be relied upon to deliver a high speed run in complete safety.

So let Steve take you through the build-up to his 'big day'.  The anticipation, the disappointments and, finally, the thrill of charging through Grantham station 'with 11 [coaches] on' at top side of 75 mph, all but maintaining that momentum up to Stoke summit in preparation for what was to come... STREAK!

First, a very warm welcome to recent new Subscribers.  Thank you for joining.

If you'd like to see all the messages we've sent over recent months to publicise new content just go to the 'News' page - use the menu at the top of every page - and you'll find them there, in chronological order.  Each message has links to the new page it's announcing.

A great thing about our project being online is that it's possible to make room for more material as it arrives.  We're really grateful to contributors, regular and new, for generously continuing to send us photographs, memories and information.

If you've discovered something which would complement one of our pages, or will shed new light on an aspect of the railway at Grantham, or is simply well worth sharing with likeminded people, please get in touch using the contact form on the 'Contact Us or Subscribe' page which is accessible direct from the main menu.

In the last few weeks new photographs have been slotted into existing pages as follows:


Damaging air raids, tea bars for weary travellers, three tragic accidents caused by wartime circumstances and a Grantham railwayman's exemplary naval gunnery on a converted Grimsby trawler.  Read how the railwaymen and women of Grantham met the challenges of keeping traffic on the move and defending Britain during World War 2 in our new page The Railway at Grantham in Wartime, 1939-1945.