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The Great Eastern Railway Society has produced a series of DVDs recording past issues of the LNER and British Railways (Eastern) Magazines. They make a very interesting read and as such we thought that it would be a great idea to track down articles and events that happened in and around Grantham. You can read more here.

Of great interest to all railway enthusiasts. We would like to let you know that the 'Grantham Railway Society' (GRS) will be holding another meeting in the town on Monday 17th October 2022. Non-members are very welcome! Here are the details of the programme:-

At Tracks through Grantham we've been discussing how we might 'do our bit' to mark the close of the modern Elizabethan era.

It was in 1953 that the world's longest regular non-stop train service was retitled The Elizabethan to mark the coronation of the new monarch, HM Queen Elizabeth II.  Since we heard Richard Cumming's presentation Steam on The Elizabethan 1953-1961 at our meeting in October 2021 it's been on our minds to feature The Elizabethan on our website.  Now seems an opportune moment to realise this aim.

So we've gathered together photographs of The Elizabethan train service in the Grantham area from our website image library for a new page called At the Dawn of a New Era: ‘The Elizabethan’ in and around Grantham.  We think it’s an appropriate gesture and we hope you agree.

You can find the new page here, in our website's Traffic and Trains section.

All the best,

John Clayson and Mel Smith

Of great interest to all railway enthusiasts. We would like to let you know that the 'Grantham Railway Society' (GRS) will be holding another meeting in the town on Monday 19th September 2022. Non-members are very welcome! Here are the details of the programme:-

 

Above: The northbound 'Elizabethan' express from London King's Cross to Edinburgh Waverley, hauled by Haymarket A4 No. 60031 'Golden Plover' on Saturday* 14 June 1958.
© Photograph by Roger Bamber

Roger Bamber

We've been saddened to hear that our contributor Roger Bamber passed away on Sunday 11th September, aged 78.

Roger grew up in Leicester and as a boy he made several visits to Grantham station, usually cycling over the hilly A607 via Melton Mowbray.   He became a celebrated professional photographer and photojournalist whose work appeared in many national newspapers and magazines.  Roger won dozens of awards, most notably the British Press Photographer of the Year twice and News Photographer of the Year twice also.

Two years ago Roger got in touch with Tracks through Grantham from his home in Brighton to offer some of his earliest memories and photographs.  They are on our page Haymarket Rarities - captured with a plastic camera.

Several tributes to Roger and his career have appeared on the internet.  In one of them, for the Brighton paper The Argus, his wife Shan says, "Roger loved steam trains, one of the reasons he came to Sussex was for the Bluebell Railway but he ended up in Brighton and decided it was the 'best place in the world' and that's why he stayed."

There's an appreciation of Roger Bamber, illustrating the range of his work, on The Guardian website here.


Tracks through Grantham meeting, October 2022

Just a reminder about this event, which was the subject of a post circulated on Wednesday 31st August.  If you intend to join us please don't forget to let us know.


A Recently Updated Website Page

Gonerby Siding Signal Box

  • Back in March we published a new page about the box at Gonerby after Malcolm Rush told us about his visit there in January 1967 in the company of Grantham Station Manager Alec Wise.  Malcolm told us that Gonerby was the only box, of 184 that he visited, where the operator was a signalwoman.  This set us on the trail of trying to find out who this lady was.

A number of people helped, and we soon identified that she was Mrs Carter, the wife of signalman Albert Carter at Grantham South.  Then, a few weeks ago, an email arrived from George Watson who, as a boy, used to visit Gonerby box.

To read George's fascinating account go to our Gonerby Siding Signal Box page and scroll down just over halfway, to the heading Bett Carter: signalwoman at Gonerby Siding.


Recent features of interest

We keep an eye open elsewhere for items of Grantham area railway interest.  Here are some we've seen recently.


The Facebook Group Rail Thing - REAL Trainspotting (1945-1968)

Please note that the links to Facebook from this section only work if you are logged in to Facebook.

1.  Patrick Clay is posting photographs taken in the Grantham area and elsewhere by his father, John F. Clay.  Follow this link to find the Grantham area pictures, or go to the group on Facebook here and search ('search this group') for 'Patrick Clay Grantham'.

John F. Clay wrote the Foreword of Rev. A. C. Cawston's  book LNER Steam at Grantham, in which he says that as a schoolboy photographer in the 1930s he met Arthur Cawston and Thomas Hepburn on the platforms at Grantham.   In his Introduction to the same book Cawston tells us that John Clay was, for many years, a schoolmaster at Grantham.  John F. Clay's photographs have appeared in a number of books and periodicals, and he wrote an article about Grantham's railway heritage in The Railway Observer.

2.  Our regular contributor Richard Cumming has penned an absorbing account  of a visit to his Uncle Arthur on Merseyside in 1955.  Written in the same style as his popular articles for Tracks through Grantham (they're in our Spotters' Corner section), there's plenty of railway interest plus such things as his impressions of the docks and of attending Anfield to watch Liverpool FC.

Titled A train spotting holiday in Liverpool in 1955, Richard's essay can be downloaded as a Word document called 'Liverpool Holiday.docx' from here.


The Grantham Matters website:

In the past 3 months this local history website has published a few items of railway interest:


Steam World magazine:

In the current issue of Steam World is an item which might interest Tracks though Grantham subscribers:

September 2022 (Issue 423):

  • pages 26 and 27 is a photo feature titled East Coast Main Line Moments.  It's a selection of four colour photographs by Noel Ingram, prolific recorder of traffic on the East Coast Main Line between Grantham and Peterborough in the early 1960s.

Remember that you’re very welcome to stay in touch with us…

via the Tracks through Grantham website:

  • for feedback on a specific page, use the 'Comment' box under 'Leave a Reply', which appears at the bottom of most pages;
  • otherwise, use the general Contact Form found here.

All the best,

John & Mel


 

Although 'Tracks through Grantham' focuses on the railway in and around the local area, we often get enquiries from people who have a general interest in all aspects of the wider railway scene. With that in mind we would like to let you know that the 'Grantham Railway Society' (GRS) hold regular meetings in the town and present a very interesting variety of programmes for railway enthusiasts. Here's their current schedule for 2022. Look out for the GRS 2023 programme when it is released later in the year.

Our next get-together for people interested in Tracks through Grantham takes place in Grantham in mid-October.  These events are an opportunity to meet for a few hours to enjoy a varied and, we hope, enjoyable and informative programme.  Our meetings are usually held twice a year, in April and October, but owing to personal circumstances we were unable to arrange one last spring.

If you are already on our list of email and postal contacts you should recently have received the programme and invitation.  Please remember to let us know if you hope to be with us.

If you're interested in attending but have not received a programme please get in touch, using the Contact Form here.  We will add you to our list of contacts and send an invitation which includes date, time, venue and programme.  We don't publish these details on the website because we and our host venue need to know how many people to expect.

It's time for our second selection of photographs taken exactly 60 years ago on one of a series of visits to Grantham station by my father and me.

The Tracks through Grantham time machine takes us back to Thursday 16th August 1962.  Go to the Sixty Years and Counting header page and scroll down to the link.

John Clayson

We're publishing some new pages of photographs taken at Grantham in the early 1960s.  Each group of pictures was taken on a visit made to the station by my father and me on a Thursday afternoon, and it will appear in a new page on or around the 60th anniversary of the trip.  The time span is between August 1961 and July 1964.  Our visits took place between spring and autumn, on 19 occasions in total.

The photos will be added to the Grantham Railway Galleries section of our website.  To find the first group, from Thursday 12th July 1962, go to the header page and scroll down to the link.

On the header page, with the note of each new group of pictures, there will be an invitation to look out for the next group.

We hope you enjoy the photos as they appear.

John Clayson