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Grantham News in the LNER and BR (Eastern Region) Magazines

Interesting extracts from the LNER and British Railways (Eastern Region) Magazines

By Mel Smith

The Great Eastern Railway Society have produced a wonderful series of DVDs recording past issues of the LNER and British Railways Magazines.  They make a very interesting read, and we at Tracks through Grantham have been searching through the many pages for articles or events that happened in and around Grantham.  As you can imagine this has been a major task, but we feel that it was well worth the effort.  When you have had time to read through these extracts yourself we are sure that you will agree! In the issues available to us The LNER Magazine covers the period from 1927 to 1947 and the corresponding British Railways Eastern Region Magazine covers the period from 1948 to 1963.  Extracts are courtesy of The Great Eastern Railway Society and, for anyone interested, full copies of the DVDs are available directly from them.

1928 - A heavy load is transported to Grantham.


We reproduce a very striking photograph taken by Mr. W. H. Turner, goods clerk, Bradford Adolphus  Street, of a girder, weighing 38 tons, and measuring 77 ft. 2 in. in length, which was recently transported by rail on a 55-ton Weltrol H. wagon, from Messrs. John Butler & Co.'s Stanningley Ironworks, Stanningley, L.N.E.R., to Grantham, for use on one of the company's own bridges. The girder measured 8 ft. 10 in. in width, and had the securing chains not been ingeniously hooked to the sides of the girder, the load would have been out of gauge. Another portion of the bridge transported at the same time is shown on the left of the picture.

(From the LNER Magazine page 45, January 1928 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1929 - Annual Meeting of Grantham Locomotive Sports Club.

Grantham Loco. Sports Club.

The annual meeting of the Grantham Locomotive Sports Club was held on May 3rd at the Springfield Inn. The balance sheet showed 99 paying members with a balance of £25 0s. 10½d. The meeting decided to take steps towards getting a permanent ground for football, cricket and running. It was also decided to form cribbage, water polo, bowls and harrier teams. The president, Mr. White, locomotive superintendent, in presenting medals to the players, complimented the committee on their work in catering for all kinds of sports. Later in the evening there was a concert at which Mrs. Mitchell acted as accompanist.

(From the LNER Magazine page 329, June 1929 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1929 - A hold up near Claypole. 

The Harrogate Pullman’s Flight. An extract from ‘On the Footplate with Stop-Watch and Note-Book’ by R. A. H. Weight.

The Pullman expresses between London and the North have, in the comparatively short period of their existence, made a name for themselves as much for their speed, fine locomotive work and punctuality, as for their comfort and service.

As an amateur enthusiast of long experience I was greatly privileged to make a couple of long-distance express footplate trips, and for my return journey to London chose the Harrogate Sunday Pullman, timed to cover the 185¾ miles from Leeds to London non-stop at an average speed of 54 m.p.h. Being familiar with the road and schedule, and accustomed to timing expresses minutely from the train, I was able, despite the unusual surroundings, to take fairly complete records of the running whilst at the same time gaining in a few hours much more practical knowledge than I had perhaps acquired theoretically during years of observation.

On a dull, rather wet Sunday afternoon I joined at Copley Hill Shed, near Leeds, one of the famous "human and mechanical trios" of the Pullman link, viz., Driver Sparshott, Fireman Waddingham and "Atlantic" 4442, all of King's Cross Shed.  Though she had been almost continuously on fast work for 18 months since last
leaving the shops, 4442 showed little sign of it, and her enthusiastic driver and fireman were busily employed in making every preparation to turn their charge out in "apple pie" order, both inside and out.

Very shortly [after passing Newark] a distant signal beneath an advance starter was sighted at danger—at the earliest possible second, of course.  Instantaneously, the driver closed the regulator, and applied the brake sufficiently to give a steady stop at the home signal if necessary.  The fireman opened the exhaust injector, and tugged at the whistle which proclaimed our disapproval in shrill tones.  The home signal dropped as we drew up to it, but only to allow us to run forward to a dead stand at the "starter".

The diminutive signal-box concerned was a level crossing post named Barnby.

We actually stood for 1½ min., but the loss of time involved was—I am sure—5 min., as the speed here would normally be over 60 m.p.h., and adverse gradients lay ahead.

When passing Claypole, we saw, shunted into the siding, a special train conveying a crane from some engineering repair work, and this was the cause of our stop at Barnby. We made some not altogether complimentary signs to the driver of the G.C. type 2-8-0, but he did not appear at all disconcerted at having been the cause of stopping a famous "Luxury Flier"!

Despite the hindrance, Grantham, on a long stretch of up grades, was passed ¼  min. early, but a further set back occurred here, as the south signal box was closed, and the distant signal appertaining thereto was left at danger [more accurately caution], as is customary on the Sabbath. The Pullman is the only regular up train on that day not booked to stop at Grantham, and it must check its speed to obey the warning of the distant arm, so instead of passing the station at well over 50 m.p.h., we eased down to less than 30. Getting going again on the continuing 1/198 5½ mile rise up to Stoke summit, 4442 worked up to 52 m.p.h., and then on the famous descent of the Stoke Bank came a thrilling flight, in the course of which a maximum speed of no less than 85 m.p.h. was sustained at Essendine, and 15 miles were run in 11½ min.!

(From the LNER Magazine pages 424-425, August 1929 (abridged), courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1929 - Memories of Ambergate.

News and Notes.

‘R.D.’ sends a photograph of a building which will soon be only a memory. It formed the warehouse at the terminal basin of the Grantham Canal owned by the L.N.E.R. Here is our correspondent's note about it:

Ambergate Wharf, Grantham, is in fact the terminal basin of the Grantham Canal, authorised in 1793.  The warehouse, of red brick, which is apparently of about that date, is now being demolished so as to enable a better approach to be made for the railway to the gas works, on what is known as the Canal Branch of the old Ambergate, Nottingham and Boston & Eastern Junction Railway, authorised in 1846.  It is a peaceful corner of our inland transport system flanked by a stable for the company's horses and an inn called 'The Blue Boat.'

(From the LNER Magazine pages 676 and 694, December 1929 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1930 - Working their way to the top of the class.

Mutual Improvement Classes. Grantham.

During the past winter the educational work of the Company was advanced a step further by the inauguration of a series of lectures in Mechanical and Power Railway Signalling and Telegraphy.  Lectures were given in London and Grantham, under the auspices of the respective education authorities, those in London being conducted by Mr. A. Moss, Indoor Assistant to the Signal and Telegraph Engineer, and at Grantham by Mr. W. Rowell, B.Sc., Science Master of the King [King's] School, assisted by Mr. C. Green of the Signal and Telegraph Department, Grantham.

Signalling Class, Grantham Mutual Improvement Society.

(From the LNER Magazine pages 397 and 398, August 1930, courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1932 - Identifying potential accident blackspots.

Be Prepared !

The superintendent of the Western Section of the Southern Area sends us an account of the following: An interesting and novel arrangement has been introduced at Grantham by Mr. Cook, the stationmaster, and Mr. Bondfield, stationmaster's clerk.  The area supervised by the stationmaster at this point is of considerable extent, involving a number of intricate points and crossings, and a plan has been drawn of the area and marked on it, in letters, is every possible point where an accident may occur. A corresponding foolscap envelope to each letter has been prepared, on the outside of which is indicated by sketch where the accident is, and what arrangements should be made to overcome it with the minimum of difficulty, whilst inside the envelope will be found the requisite single-line forms, &c., made out to deal with the particular case.  The idea, and the way it has been given effect to, reflects great credit on Mr. Cook and Mr. Bondfield, and it is hoped that other stations will be inspired to follow the Grantham plan of being ready for any emergency.

(From the LNER Magazine page 71, February 1932, courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1932 - An educational trip to a London Museum.

Mutual Improvement Classes. Grantham.

Mr. W. R. Barnes, hon. secretary, writes:

A successful season of the Grantham M.I.C. was terminated on Sunday, April 17, when a visit to London was made by some 30 members, and an interesting and instructive day was spent at the Engineering Museum at South Kensington.

Lectures have been given on every alternate Sunday since the commencement of the session in October, 1931, the subjects dealt with being: Walschaert Valve Gear, Stephenson Link Motion, Vacuum Brake, the Three-Cylinder Engine, Steam Principles and Rules, &c. We would like to extend our thanks to the following for lectures given: Mr. E. D. Trask, Mr. J. Bell (Chairman), Mr. W. Fletcher, Mr. F. Smith and Mr. A. Bradbury. There has been an improved attendance during the session, which it is hoped to continue.

(From the LNER Magazine page 346, June 1932 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1932 - Station Master's retirement.


After 41 years' service, the railway career of Mr. W. J. Tompkins, station master, Barkston, closed with his retirement on March 12. He had many moves about the G.N. Section, beginning in the Engineer's Department at Stanningley, and subsequently serving at Manchester Road, Sutton Bridge, Wisbech, Wrenthorpe, Laisterdyke, Ardsley and Grantham, mainly on signalling duties. In 1918, he was appointed station master at Wansford Road, transferring to Barkston in 1922. Mr. Tompkins has taken up his abode at Grantham among his old friends.

(From the LNER Magazine page 452, August 1932 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1932 - Making Rubber Shoes.

News and Notes.

New Factories on the L.N.E.R. — It is gratifying to learn that a German firm have just decided to take over a large factory at Grantham for the manufacture of rubber shoes; they expect to employ some 500 hands at the outset, rising to 1,500 within 12 months of opening. The Company's Industrial Agent was closely concerned in the negotiations. He has also been instrumental in bringing to a successful conclusion negotiations for the manufacture at Hull of a variety of wooden articles hitherto imported.

(From the LNER Magazine page 464, August 1932 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1933 - A mutually enjoyable meeting.

Mutual Improvement Classes. Grantham.

Mr. W. R. Barnes writes:— "I have great pleasure in reporting a meeting of the Grantham Locomen's Mutual Improvement Class, held on January 8, when we had an attendance of over 50 to hear Mr. E. Johnson, of Trafford Park, lecture on 'The Three-Cylinder Engine.'  We had present with us on this occasion our superintendent, Mr. Ker, who takes great interest in our activities and has rendered valuable assistance in the running of the class.  This is the first time we have had the pleasure of a visit from Mr. Johnson, and the class found the lecture very enjoyable and instructive. After a vote of thanks, to which Mr. Johnson suitably replied, a number of questions were asked, and very ably answered by the lecturer. We are looking forward to further visits from Mr. Johnson, and meanwhile we are doing our best to increase the membership of our class, which continues to progress."

(From the LNER Magazine page 151, March 1933 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1933 - First Aid in the field.


On September 13, whilst Sub-Ganger W. Swain was lifting a check rail, the bar slipped out from under the rail and the pointed end caught him on the left side of the throat, piercing a vein. The services of Ganger W. Bullock were immediately requisitioned, and as soon as he arrived he applied digital pressure to the bleeding wound, and maintained the action until the patient reached Grantham Hospital. Under his instructions various other measures were taken for the comfort of the patient, whose condition was considerably relieved by the prompt application of first-aid methods. Ganger Bullock has been instructor of the Grantham class for seven seasons.

(From the LNER Magazine page 623, November 1933 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1934 - Anyone for Tennis?

Tennis – Grantham.

As an appropriate finish to the above club's first season, a social and dance was held on September 20 in the Church House. A large company was present and the Club Championships were presented by Councillor J. W. Smith (Deputy Mayor) as follows : Ladies : Miss R. Lyon; runner-up, Miss E. Toseland. Gentlemen: Mr. E. Richardson; runner-up, Mr. S. Newcombe. The company were entertained by Miss Joyce Towers, Miss Davenport, and Messrs. Clay, Isley, Webb, Sharp, Batty, Smith and Buttery, with Mr. F. Pearson as accompanist.

(From the LNER Magazine page 646, November 1934 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1934 - A most worthy Award.


Congratulations to Ganger William Bullock on being awarded the Special Service Cross of the British Red Cross for exceptional first-aid service rendered on September 13, 1933, in connection with a serious accident to Sub-ganger William Swain, full details of which were published in the November Magazine of last year.

(From the LNER Magazine page 703, December 1934 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1935 - Train Indicators.

Advertising Notes.

Train Indicators. The provision of the new form of indicator, combining Train Departures with Traffic and Commercial advertisements, has recently been extended to Edinburgh (Waverley), Durham, Grantham, Lincoln, Doncaster and Grimsby, whilst other stations will shortly be similarly equipped.

(From the LNER Magazine page 384, July 1935 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1936 - Advertising on the go.

Advertising Notes.

Runabout Advertising Vans. In the December, 1934, issue (see below) a photograph was published of an experimental advertising service van. The vehicles provided for the Edinburgh and Manchester districts have proved so useful that additional vehicles will shortly be installed at Bradford, Doncaster and Grantham to cater for our increased advertising activities in these districts. The smart green and cream livery of the original vehicles will be adopted for the new vans.

(From the LNER Magazine page 8, January 1936 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1936 - A silver gift.

Permanent Way Classes. Grantham.

At the conclusion of the Permanent Way Classes held at Grantham, Mr. J. F. Mason was presented with a silver cigarette case by the members of the class. The presentation, together with a vote of thanks, was made on behalf of the members by Timekeeper T. Bullock, supported by Ganger J. W. Kirton of Bottesford. Mr. Mason thanked the class for their gift and for the good wishes accorded him for the future on leaving the Peterborough district.

(From the LNER Magazine page 301, May 1936 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1937 - Demonstration Train.

Demonstration Train for School Children. Visit to Grantham.

The visit to Grantham of a Demonstration Train for school children was inaugurated by an official ceremony on Monday, April 12. The Mayor of Grantham, Councillor A. Eatch, J.P., presided, and the demonstration was formally declared open by the Right Honourable Lord Brownlow, Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire. In a brief speech the Mayor expressed his pleasure at being able to take part in the opening and stated they all appreciated the efforts of the railway company in bringing the train to Grantham. Lord Brownlow, in his speech, entertained the audience by telling them how when he was looking through some old papers about two years ago he found one entitled " A Humble Petition to Parliament," and explained it was a petition from his family asking the Government to prevent the building of a railway as his family had spent large sums in making the neighbourhood a splendid place for a private residence. His Lordship went on to say that nowadays, however, things were different and that England would not be the country it was but for the first class railways which, judging from his experience when travelling abroad were much superior to those of other countries. Mr. H. J. Birkbeck, District Manager, Peterborough, explained the object of the demonstration and expressed thanks to Lord Brownlow and the Mayor ; also to the education authorities for allowing the children to come to the exhibition. He ventured the opinion that the time lost by the children from their class room would be well spent on this occasion. Lord Brownlow was accompanied by his daughter, the Hon. Caroline Cust, and the Hon. Mrs. Hoos ; and the Mayor by the Mayoress.

From the LNER Magazine page 337, August 1937 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society.

1937 - Top marks in First Aid.


The distribution of awards in connection with the 1936-7 Session took place on September 26. The gathering was presided over by Mr. L. C. Hutchinson, chief clerk, Goods Dept., who paid tribute to the efforts of the members and emphasised the value of first-aid work. The lecturer to the class, Dr. Hopper, then presented the awards, and endorsed the remarks made by the previous speaker. He concluded by paying tribute to the instructor, Mr. W. Bullock, who has given over 25 years' service to the movement. It should be mentioned that the class achieved 100 per cent, success in examinations. The following were the awards : Labels: W. Bullock, J. Speed, R. Bromley, W. Baldwin, H. Pearson, H. Johnston, G. Church, J. Booth, S. Fryer, A. Eldridge, J. Rawden, S. Tassell, J. Alien, W. Ogden, A. Laughton. Medallions : J. W. Drage, R. Moore. Voucher, Haythorne. Certificate: W. Dale.

(From the LNER Magazine page 664, November 1937 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1938 - Coals to Newcastle York!

York Railway Museum.

An interesting addition in the form of a truck and short section of track at one time in use for the conveyance of coal from Muston Gorse Wharf on an extension of the Grantham Canal to Belvoir Castle has been made to the exhibits at the Railway Museum, Queen Street, York. The tramway to the Castle was about two miles long and completed in 1815 by the Butterley Iron Works, who also supplied the materials.

(From the LNER Magazine page 477, August 1938 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1939 - Safe and Efficient Driving.


Eight motor lorry drivers attached to this depot have been awarded diplomas of the ‘Safety-First’ Association for safe driving during the year 1938. The men concerned were G. W. Barber, F. Cartwright, R. Crunkhorn, E. Garland, J. Gibson, J. S. Lyon, A. Musson and H. West. In congratulating them, Mr. H. J. Birkbeck, District Manager, Peterborough, remarked that their efficiency was , in addition, good advertisement for the Company, for to know that they could be relied upon went a long way towards getting business.

(From the LNER Magazine page 536, September 1939 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1940 - Time to sit down after 38 years' service.


On December 21 a presentation was made at Grantham Station to Mr. Walter Drury, passenger carriage shunter, who officially retired on November 29, 1939, after 38 years' service. The presentation, which took the form of a fireside chair, was made by Mr. H. Gardner, stationmaster, who expressed his appreciation for the excellent manner in which he had carried out his duties, and also stated that, although he had actually retired, he was back in harness again and doing his job well as one of the temporary porters, owing to shortage of staff. Inspector Buttery also expressed appreciation of the manner in which Mr. Drury had carried out his duties, and wished him health and happiness.

(From the LNER Magazine page 57, February 1940 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1940 - 25 years in the Goods Department.


At Grantham Goods on January 23, Mr. H. Gardner, goods agent, presented some bank notes to Loader F. C. Clarke, to mark the occasion of his retirement. Mr. Gardner paid tribute to the work and worth of Loader Clarke, during his 25 years in the Goods Department and expressed the best wishes of all members of the staff towards him and his family for the future. Mr. Lee, chief clerk, Supervisory Foreman S. Morris, and others added their tributes, to which Mr. Clarke suitably replied. Loader Clarke started at Grantham as a casual goods porter in 1914, and served later as appointed goods porter and finally as loader. Prior to his service on the railway he worked at Ruston & Hornsby's. Like several others who have retired recently, Loader Clarke has been re-engaged owing to the national emergency.

(From the LNER Magazine page 96, February 1940 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1940 - Two retire but start work again the next day.


On February 12, Mr. Gardner, Stationmaster, Grantham, made retirement presentations to Goods Guard Ash and Porter Prince, the former receiving a gold watch and the latter a fireside chair. Among those present who also paid tribute were Messrs. Scrimshire, Harmston, Searle, Dobney and Selby. Mr. Ash started as a lad messenger in London in 1889 and later became a mounted messenger which entailed collecting invoices from the London Depots for night despatch to the North by the mail trains. He next went to Grantham as a number taker, afterwards occupying the positions of point-holder, shunter, yard foreman and finally goods guard. Mr. Prince has served at Grantham since 1901. Both have been re-engaged for still further service owing to shortage of staff.

(From the LNER Magazine page 163, May 1940 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1940 - 42 years at Grantham.


After 48 years' service, 42 of which he spent at Grantham passenger guard Dexter retired on May 16 and was subsequently presented with a fireside chair by Mr. Gardner, stationmaster, who was supported by Inspector Darmon, Guard Wakefield, Guard Harmston (Peterboro') and Guard White (York). Several warm tributes were paid.

(From the LNER Magazine page 232, July 1940 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1942 - Goods Department united.


On March 2, in the presence of representatives of many departments, Mr. Gardner, stationmaster, presented a canteen of cutlery to Mrs. Butler (nee Roberts), of Goods Department, Grantham, to mark the occasion of her marriage on February 18 to Driver C. H. Butler, R.A., also of the Goods Department.

(From the LNER Magazine page 96, May 1942 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1942 - Keep time and carry on.


At Grantham Station, on November 12, Goods Guard William Knott was presented with a silver watch to mark his having reached the age of retirement. Mr. H. Gardner, Stationmaster, in making the presentation on behalf of the staff, referred to Mr. Knott's abilities as a railwayman, and said he was pleased that he would continue to serve the Company in these difficult times. Inspector Buttery and other members of the staff also conveyed their good wishes.

(From the LNER Magazine page 16, July 1942 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1942 - A wedding gift clock.


On April 27, Mrs. Bottomley (nee Williams), of the Goods Office, Grantham, was presented with a clock to mark the occasion of her recent marriage. The gift was handed over by Mr. H. Gardner, stationmaster and goods agent, on behalf of the staff. Others who spoke were Mrs. Butler, Mr. Morris, Miss Whitfield, Mr. Selby and Miss Lancaster.

(From the LNER Magazine page 156, August 1942 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1942 - 50 years plus on the railway.


On the occasion of his retirement from the position of signalman at Grantham, Mr. A. Chalkley was handed a wristlet watch by Mr. H. Gardner, stationmaster, who spoke highly of the retiring signalman's merits and congratulated him on his length of service, which exceeded 50 years. Mr. Chalkley has been local secretary of the N.U.R. approved section insurance scheme and served on the Grantham Town Council from 1919 to 1931, in addition to his many other social activities. All the members of the staff who spoke at the presentation wished Mr. Chalkley and his family a long and happy life.

(From the LNER Magazine page 196, October 1942 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1942 - Extended Season Ticket.

Sixty Years of Travel with a Season Ticket.

A little way beyond the point where the Nottingham Branch parts company with the main line, just north of Grantham, there is a fine old Georgian house standing back from the railway, partly hidden by trees. This is the home of Mr. Vincent Hemery, who for many years travelled by train to London on business, and has held a first class season ticket since 1879. His first season ticket was taken out between Barnet and King's Cross, but in 1889, he moved to Grantham, and since that year has held a season ticket between Grantham and London, and in more recent years from Melton Mowbray to London, right up to the beginning of 1939. Although he may not have held a season ticket as long as some records commented upon in recent issues of the Magazine, he must have travelled many more miles, for he made the journey from Grantham to King's Cross several times a week, a distance of 105 miles in each direction. For the last few years he took out a season ticket, but did not use it, and was very reluctant to give it up, because he felt it was like parting with an old friend. Although now in his 83rd year, he still takes a keen interest in railways, and if you happen to meet him he will tell you of the exploits of the famous drivers who used to man the Grantham engines, of the thrilling runs behind Stirling ‘Eight-footers’ Ivatt ‘Atlantics’ and in more recent years Gresley ‘Pacifics’ He made many friends amongst his fellow passengers, and even to this day he makes a point of going down to the line to wave to an old friend of his from Darlington, who travels every Tuesday on the 12.45 p.m. from King's Cross. Mr. Hemery must have seen many changes on the old Great Northern, and more recently on the London North Eastern. No longer do the Stirling engines, with their large driving wheels and domeless boilers race past with their light trains, the Ivatt ‘Atlantics’ have been reduced to secondary duties and the original Gresley ‘Pacifics’ have, in turn, been followed by the blue ‘Streamliners’ hauling trains of twenty coaches or more. Perhaps some day he may see electric trains gliding along the main line, but whether the trains be steam or electrically hauled, it is good to know that an old friend of the railway looks on with kindly interest from his home amongst the trees.

(From the LNER Magazine page 200, October 1942 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1943 - Passenger Greetings.

A 'Welcome' at Grantham.

The ‘hello girl’ is no longer exclusively claimed by the telephone exchange. She greets us on the railway platforms of war-time Britain, and a heart-warming welcome it often is. I walked on to the platform at Grantham on a depressing night recently, and was hailed by the loud-speakers with a cheery ‘Hullo, passengers! It was a friendly hello, and I felt better for it. This certainly seems to be one wartime job in which women are showing peculiarly apt qualities. Some of those masculine announcements from the railway loudspeaker in peacetime had a husky, fog-horn pitch which did not always get across. But there is far more in this than mere clarity. My announcer of Grantham railway platform might so easily have lapsed into a deadening monotone through constant repetition. Instead, a welcoming smile shone through her words. From The Yorkshire Post.

(From the LNER Magazine page 59, March 1943 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1944 - Light Refreshments.

What the LN.E.R. is doing.

To extend light refreshment facilities on station platforms and lessen congestion in refreshment rooms, the L.N.E.R. is providing tea bars at some of its main line stations. Two have already been installed at Peterborough and Doncaster, on the down platforms in both cases, and others will soon be provided on the platforms at these stations, and on both platforms at Grantham. The tea bars have been designed and equipped for rapid service and their construction contains a large proportion of asbestos sheeting, both corrugated and glazed.

(From the LNER Magazine page 42, March 1944 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1946 - Notes to Treasure.

On December 29, Mrs. Tear (formerly Miss Majorie Graham), of the Goods Department, Grantham, was presented with a wallet of Treasury notes, to mark the occasion of her marriage to Mr. Jim Tear, also of the Goods Department, now in the R.A.F. The gift was handed over by Mr Gardner, goods agent and stationmaster, on behalf of the staff. Others who spoke were Mr. Selby, Mr. H. Holloway, Miss Whitfield, Miss Drury, Foreman Chambers and Miss Brooke.

(From the LNER Magazine page 68, March 1946 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1946 - Safe Driving Awards.


At Grantham on March 25, Mr. Fitzherbert Wright, L.N.E.R. Director, presented awards gained in the 1944 Safe Driving Competition. Mr. J. M. Fleming, District Goods & Passenger Manager, Peterborough, and Mr. H. Gardner, Stationmaster, Grantham, were also present. Congratulating the men on their good driving Mr. Fitzherbert Wright remarked that the certificates showed that the men were carrying out their job in an admirable way. The men driving vehicles had a very important role to play. They probably saw more of the Railway Company's customers than anyone else and really acted as ambassadors. The Chairman also added his tribute and associated himself with the expression of thanks to Mr. Fitzherbert Wright, voiced on behalf of the drivers by Mr. J. Gibson. The awards were : Bar to Silver Medal. J. S. Lyon, G. T. Ancliffe, H. West. Silver Medal. N. F. Brown. Diplomas. G. W. Carratt, J. Gibson, A. F. Musson, T. E. Ramsden, E. Garland (Exemption A).

(From the LNER Magazine page 146, June 1946 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1947 - Grantham Steam Crane at Arlesey.

Timber Loading.

Although we are, according to the publicists, well on the way to a ‘Plastic' age, timber has not lost its high priority in the railway scheme of reconstruction, and Arlesey in Bedfordshire, being the centre of a well-wooded area, has, since October 10, 1943, when the first load of timber left its sidings destined for the L.N.E.R. works at Doncaster and Darlington, been heavily committed to the L.N.E.R. post-war reconstructive plan. Until recently, owing to various reasons, loading has always taken place on Sundays, and the Grantham steam crane, with a lifting capacity of 15 tons, has been in use at Arlesey. When this has not been available, other cranes have been utilised, including cranes from Stratford and Hitchin, and even hand cranes have been drawn into the effort. With Arlesey yard full of tree trunks and Grantham steam crane not available, arrangements were made for a mobile crane to be despatched from Marylebone Goods, and to expedite the removal of accumulated tree trunks it will be in use daily.

(From the LNER Magazine page 100, May 1947 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1947 - A hold up at Barkston.


Mr. K. Hoole, The School House, Sancton, York, writes : " To leave York two minutes late, have two bad signal stops and a special stop to change engines and then to arrive at King's Cross only 22 minutes late is no mean feat and Driver Fred Smith, of York, is to be complimented on the performance he put up on the 9.38 a.m. from York on June 2, with type V.2 2.6.2 No. 839 (old 4810). Leaving York at 9.40 a.m. Doncaster was passed at 10.20 a.m. and Newark at 10.57 a.m., and it looked as though the arrival at Peterborough, the first stop, would be some minutes early. However, the train was brought to a stand by signals at Barkston and when he got the road, Driver Smith had difficulty in starting on the gradient of 1 in 200 : altogether 5 minutes had elapsed before the train was on the move again. Before this check, Driver Smith had been considering getting a fresh engine at Grantham as the tender of No. 839 was almost empty of coal, but he decided he could reach Peterborough. However, whilst held by the signal he had a quick look round the engine and found a tender bearing running hot and so on restarting and passing Barkston signalbox he whistled for  another engine. The train was brought to a stand outside Grantham for another two minutes and finally got into Grantham station at 11.25 a.m. Type A.4 No. 28 (old 4487) was quickly substituted and the train was away again at 11.30 a.m., reaching Peterborough at 12.05 p.m.—only 17 minutes late'. Here type A.3 No. 90 (old 2744), with a Southern Area crew, came on and dropped 5 minutes to King's Cross, making the arrival 22 minutes late. Considering this was a heavy East Coast main-line train and not a high-speed lightweight service the performance is one of the most notable the writer has noticed on the main line for some time."

(From the LNER Magazine page 149, July 1947 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1949 - Quick thinking at Barrowby averts a disaster.

Awards to the staff for gallantry.

On December 8, Mr. G. A. Musgrave, Motive Power Superintendent, Western Section, Eastern Region, presented an award to Driver Palmer of Grantham locomotive depot. Driver Palmer was in charge of a down ironstone train on August 31 last (1939) and when passing Barrowby Road signal box near Grantham noticed that a collision was imminent between the 11.30 p.m. up parcels train from Edinburgh and the rear of an up empty ironstone train from Frodingham. He sounded emergency signals on his whistle, and so warned the guard of the empty ironstone train to leave his brake van before it was completely demolished by the impact of the collision.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 31, February 1949 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1949 - Something's burning in the Kitchen.

Awards to the Staff for Gallantry.

Whilst examining at Grantham Passenger Station the 1.45 p.m. Up Express train Edinburgh to King's Cross on March 4, Thomas Gordon Bellamy, carriage examiner, on approaching kitchen car No. 1943, smelt something like wood burning, and on closely investigating this discovered the floor boards directly under the north end anthracite stove well alight. He immediately obtained fire extinguishers and was successful in extinguishing the fire. The discovery and prompt action taken undoubtedly prevented more serious damage being done and possibly more delay to the train dealing with the situation at a later stage of the fire. The commendable part played by Bellamy has been recognised by the presentation of a pipe.

Carriage Examiner W. S. Hill, Peterborough North, had finished examining the coaches of a Down Special Express train at Peterborough North Passenger station on February 27 when he noticed a broken driving spring on the Engine No.60089. He promptly notified the driver, with the result that the train was carefully worked to Grantham where as a consequence of examiner Hill's alertness another engine had been prepared to take the train forward without delay. The commendable part played by Hill has been suitably recognised by the presentation of a cash award.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 187, July 1949 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1950 - Error at Newark.

Courtesy is Appreciated.

A lady passenger writes:  On April 10th I was travelling on the 3.51 p.m. train from Leeds to Grantham, by mistake I alighted at Newark and did not realise my error until the train had left. On explaining my position and the fact that my husband was waiting at Grantham Station with the car to meet me, the ticket collector took me to the S.M.'s office where they got into telephonic communication with my husband at Grantham, so that he could proceed to Newark to pick me up. Kindly convey my thanks and appreciation to the staff concerned.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 71, May 1950 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1950 - Arrest at Grantham.

Commendable Acts by Eastern Region Staff.

We are Pleased to report the following brief accounts of meritorious acts on the part of Eastern Region staff which have been appropriately rewarded by the Railway Executive: Passengers on a train from King's Cross to Grantham were very concerned when a man, purporting to possess a gun, confronted them on the journey. A fellow passenger hearing a woman's scream coming from the opposite end of the corridor, investigated and tackled the offender who was taken to the Guard's brake. On arrival at Essendine the Station Master telephoned the facts of the case to the Police at Grantham, in consequence of which the man was apprehended when the train arrived there A fight ensued in which Porters J. W. Moore and I. H. Mackay gave valuable assistance before the man was handcuffed. The man concerned was eventually tried and sentenced to two months imprisonment for assaulting the constable; fined £1 for obstructing and £1 for using threatening language in a carriage.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 86, June 1950 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1950 - Down your Way.

Grantham is one of the most famous coaching towns in history. Situated on the great north road, 105 miles from London, it is proud of its two ancient coaching inns, the "Angel" and the "George." The "Angel" is one of the few medieval inns of England; the gateway is said to be older than the remainder of the building which is fifteenth century and replaced the original building. The actual origin of the "Angel" is unknown but it is recorded that King John held court there in 1213 and there is little doubt that it was in the present building that Richard III signed the death warrant of the Duke of Buckingham in 1483. The "George" is an outstanding example of eighteenth century architecture but its history goes back to at least the fifteenth century when it is recorded as the guest house of the neighbouring monastery. A link with the famous Novelist The "George" is featured in the pages of Nicholas Nickleby, probably because Charles Dickens stayed there in 1838 on his way to the north to investigate the conditions of boarding schools for boys of that era, when the story of Nicholas was taking shape.

Another famous inn is "The Beehive" with a living sign; a beehive that is lodged in a tree facing the door of the inn. The origin of the living sign is not known but it has been coupled by the poet with St. Wulfram's Parish Church in the quotation: "Grantham, two rarities are thine! A lofty steeple and a living sign" The parish church of St. Wulfram is one of the finest medieval churches in the kingdom with a spire 281 ft. of early English design. The church contains many examples of medieval architecture including a chained library.

Railways bring Industries.

Grantham to-day is a thriving town and an important engineering and agricultural centre lying on the main line railway route from London (King's Cross) to Scotland, with branches to Nottingham and the west, Lincoln, Boston and the east connecting with all parts of Lincolnshire. The main line was opened from Peterborough (Werrington Junction) to Retford for freight traffic on the 15 July, 1852, and for passenger traffic on August 1 of that year. Prior to this, the erstwhile Great Northern Main Line circulated via Boston, Lincoln and Retford to Doncaster.

The East Coast route was thus established and has been the scene of many famous runs and records. Here was the track of the historical races to the north in 1888 and on this route the "Flying Scotsman," probably the most renowned train in the world, has blazed the trail since 1862. Immediately south of Grantham the world's record speed of 126 miles per hour was attained by "Mallard" on 3 July, 1938, a record which has not been broken. "Mallard" was designed by the late Sir Nigel Gresley. The industries of Grantham include engineering, boilermaking, steam rollers, tractors and agricultural implements, and flour mills in addition to furniture making, upholstery and many other trades. In 1904 a War Office prize of £1,000 for a military tractor was won by the Grantham firm of Richard Hornsby and subsequently the machine was fitted with caterpillar tracks; the forerunner of the 'tanks.'

A railway tragedy over 40 years ago.

A serious railway accident occurred at Grantham on 19 September, 1906 when one of the night expresses, booked to stop there, failed to do so and as the track was set for the Nottingham Branch line, the express became derailed at the junction points, many of the coaches and the engine falling down the embankment; 14 lives were lost. Many theories have been advanced as the reason for the driver failing to stop at Grantham but the real cause is still a mystery as both the driver and fireman were killed as also was an inspector who travelled on the footplate.

The story of Grantham cannot be closed without reference to the Grammar School, known as the King's School. It was founded in 1528 by the Bishop of Winchester and the foundation was given a continuous charter by Edward VI in 1553. Many notable scholars have passed through the school, the most famous being Sir Isaac Newton. Dr. Wand, the present Bishop of London, and Mr. C. K. Bird our Chief Regional Officer also studied there.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 120, August 1950 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

Commendable Acts by Eastern Region Staff.

Passenger Guard D. J. Crowder, King's Cross, whilst working the No. 45 whilst working the No. 45 Up 12.5 p.m. Express Passenger train, Newcastle to King's Cross on 5 June, 1950, noticed the rear brakevan in which he was travelling make a severe lurch, and upon looking out of the brakevan window observed the rails of the Up line to be out of alignment. Crowder brought his train to a stand, at approximately 3.28 p.m. after it had passed Hougham Up Main starting signal and walked back to the Hougham Signal Box, reporting to the signalman that the road about half a mile north of Hougham was unsafe. A ballast train was sent from Claypole at 3.48 p.m. over the Up Road to inspect, and it was found that the road was buckled and required four new rails. The ballast train left for Grantham immediately for new material and single line working over the Down Main line was instituted at 5.29 p.m. by the Claypole Station Master with No. 68 Down Express.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 135, September 1950 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1951 - A Glorious Half-century of Service.

If  'performance' is the word which explains what is almost a fantastic human attachment to locomotives, one does not have far to look for evidence of outstanding accomplishment in the case of Ivatt Atlantics. Mr. H. A. Ivatt, Locomotive Superintendent to the Great Northern Railway from 1896 1911, broke away from tradition when he built Britain's first Atlantic, No. 990, in 1898. The type soon achieved a high reputation for speed and reliability, and proved eminently suited to meet the changing conditions of that time. A total of 22 such locomotives were built in the next five years, and then Mr. Ivatt brought out a large-boilered edition in engine No. 251. The boiler of this measured 5 feet 6 inches in diameter and contained several other innovations of an unusual character, but the wisdom of such changes soon became apparent as the Atlantics performed excellent service in handling the fastest trains on the East Coast route. Altogether 92 of these remarkable large-boilered engines were placed into service and when, later, it became necessary to bring in the more powerful Pacifies, the Atlantics continued to perform phenomenal feats of haulage. During the first World War, they handled with ease and expedition immensely long trains out of all proportion to their relatively low tractive effort, and many stories are told of their unusual capabilities. One, such, concerns large Atlantic No. 1442 which, when engaged as station pilot at King's Cross one day in June 1916, was requisitioned at short notice to work a special train to link up with Lord Kitchener's special being held at York for important despatches which had been left behind. With a light load of two bogies, No. 1442 left King's Cross at 6.56 p.m., passed Hatfield at 7.16, Kitchen 7.28, Sandy 7.38, Huntingdon 7.51, Peterborough 8.6 and arrived at Grantham at 8.37, covering the 105.4 miles in 101 minutes an average speed of 62.5 miles per hour throughout. It was then detached and Ivatt 4-4-0, No. 57, took the train on to York. Again, in August 1936, Atlantic No. 4404 had to take over, in an emergency, at Grantham, the working of the 1.20 p.m. express from King's Cross. The train was made up of no fewer than 17 vehicles, with a total weight of 585 tons. Her limited adhesion weight naturally made the start somewhat difficult, but once on the move, she actually gained six minutes between Newark and Selby, passed Brayton Junction (67 i miles) in just over 67 minutes, and completed the 82.7 miles from Grantham to York, start to stop in 87 minutes 40 seconds. Shortly after this, Atlantic No. 4452 actually took over the Silver Jubilee train, in an emergency, at Doncaster and brought it to King's Cross, a distance of 156 miles in 139 minutes, at an average speed of 67.3 miles per hour. There are many more recent examples of the reliability and capabilities of Atlantics. One which has been awaiting an opportunity for publication in this edition of the Magazine concerns the grand old veteran which is the subject of this story. It came to me, via the Railway Executive Editor, in a letter from an enthusiast, Mr. H. N. A. Shelton of Cambridge, and read: I had some supreme luck this week, when I went to Grantham on Tuesday catching the 10.15 a.m. from Peterborough. The V.2 locomotive failed with a faulty connecting rod at Grantham, and nothing was available except the one remaining "Atlantic" C.I, No. 62822. I and another enthusiast therefore decided to take the opportunity to see what a veteran of 45 years could do. We travelled behind her as far as Peterborough. I took accurate times with a stopwatch, and enclose a copy of the log which I thought might be of interest. It is not possible, in the limited space available, to set out details furnished by Mr. Shelton in his log, but it is interesting to note that with a rather heavy train consisting of 15 bogies, including heavy restaurant cars and fully loaded with passengers, the train reached Retford only 27 minutes behind time. Despite a late start from Grantham, throughout the whole run of No. 62882 from Grantham to Leeds, all the time lost was accounted for by speed restrictions due to engineering work, no time being lost in the running. One could go on indefinitely if it were not for space limitations. Sufficient now to draw the curtain and say that the memory of these wonderful locomotives and their famous designer will live wherever there are railways.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 9, January 1951 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1951 - Lincolnshire's Ore Mines.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 138, August 1951 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1951 - Grantham First-Aid Pioneer Dies.

A familiar Great Gonerby figure, Mr. William Bullock, passed away at Hill View Hospital, Grantham, after being confined to bed for only a few days. A lifelong resident of the village, his chief interest outside his work as a railway platelayer was the British Red Cross Society, in which he was prominent. He was one of the five founder-members of No. 11 men's detachment in 1911, and after war service as a R.A.M.C. sergeant in France and Italy completed 24 years in the Red Cross. Mr. Bullock was the first local member to receive the Red Cross home nursing medallion, and also held the highest award in the service for live-saving. During the tragic railway accident at Barkston some years before the war Mr. Bullock administered first aid to a Mr. Swain, of Barkston, and saved his life, and for his resourcefulness he was awarded the B.R.C.S. medal. He retired from active membership of the detachment some years ago, and was made an honorary life member. He held the Society's 15 years medal and bar for 20 years efficient service. Mr. Bullock was also the pioneer of the railway ambulance class at Grantham, and was the first man to receive the L.N.E.R. gold medal for 15 years efficient service. Grantham Journal.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 144, August 1951 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1952 - Guard and Mayor.

Numerous 'Eastern' railwaymen, besides covering their normal duties loyally and efficiently, manage to attain the highest grade in civic life and responsibility. The recent retirement of Passenger Guard W. Goodliffe of Grantham is a typical example of such exemplary service in both spheres. Mr. Goodliffe joined the G.N.R. in 1905 at Louth and afterwards occupied positions as Junior Numbertaker, Porter, Parcels Porter and Passenger Guard. Alderman W. Goodliffe Over 30 years ago he was elected to the Grantham Borough Council and served as its Deputy Mayor during the years 1931, 1932 and 1933. Mr. Goodliffe is still an Alderman and Justice of Peace for the Grantham Borough and, reverting to his railway associations, it is of interest to record that his father was a permanent-way inspector; that he married an engine driver's daughter; that two of his brothers were in the railway service and his daughter and sister married railwaymen.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 125, July 1952 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1953 - Driver's retirement on 3rd January 1953 after 52 years service.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 71, April 1953 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1953 - Time Savers.

Good performances by enginemen rarely gain publicity, chiefly because they occur in the course of day-to-day duty, but the following instances of lost time being made up by enginemen of the Peterborough district are worthy of mention. On March 4, the 10.5 a.m. express from King's Cross to Glasgow was unavoidably late in starting, but Peterborough Driver Hales and Fireman Molsher with A.I class locomotive No. 60143 succeeded in achieving a 4 minutes early arrival at Peterborough. Again, on March 1, due to a mechanical defect, A.3 class Pacific locomotive No. 60110 had to be taken off the 7.0 p.m. King's Cross to Grantham express at Hitchin, 22 minutes delay had already occurred, but the enginemen succeeded in working the train forward to Grantham with a much less powerful engine, B.I class 61090, without losing any more time. The men concerned in this case were Driver Clayton and Fireman Ballaam, both of Grantham depot.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 91, May 1953 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1953 - World record driver.

Memories of July 1938 were recalled by the death at the beginning of April of ex Driver Joseph Duddington. He died in retirement, at the age of 76, at Dunscroft, near Doncaster. On the 3 July 1938, Driver Duddington was in charge of the streamlined L.N.E.R. Pacific locomotive No. 4468 (now 60022) Mallard, when the world's speed record for steam locomotives was broken. With a seven coach train, weighing 240 tons, a maximum speed of 126 m.p.h. was attained between Grantham and Peterborough; a distance of five miles between these points was covered at an average speed of 120.4 m.p.h. Driver Duddington's daughter, Marjorie, said in an interview afterwards, that her father was too nervous to drive the family car. "Mother and I drive, but it scares Dad" she said, "He says it is not like a railway!" Driver Duddington retired eleven years ago after fifty years' railway service. During the whole of his service he had only one accident, when a parcels train he was driving ran into a landslide near Grantham and was derailed. No one was hurt.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 111, June 1953 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1953 - Turntable on the move.

Around the M. P. Depots.

At Melton Constable a reconditioned turntable formerly at Grantham has been installed and is now in use. This turntable, which is 70 ft. diameter, is a big improvement on the old one which was only 47 ft. and incapable of turning the Class 4 M.T. 2-6-0 locomotives or B.I2 4-6-0's which work over this section of the line.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 180, September 1953 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1954 - Lost Ring.

Eyes on Potatoes.

An interesting incident illustrating the efficiency, co-operation and honesty which mark railway service has been brought to our notice by Mr. S. Thompson, Transit Clerk at the District Commercial Superintendent's office, Peterborough.

Whilst engaged in loading a truck of stock feed potatoes at Grantham station recently, the farmer concerned had the misfortune to lose a valuable gold signet ring among the potatoes. The potatoes were loaded loose, and the District Commercial Superintendent, Peterborough, sent an urgent communication to the District Traffic Superintendent, Southern Region, Exeter Central, asking for a careful search to be made when the truck was unloaded at Newton Poppleford. The Station Master there supervised the unloading and the ring was located by Motor Driver Evans of Exeter, embedded in a potato. Steps were immediately taken to return it to the owner at Grantham. Whilst occurrences of this nature are fortunately rare, it is nevertheless pleasing to record the circumstances of the prompt action taken and the successful "find" which, incidentally, has been generously rewarded by the appreciative owner of the ring.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 25, February 1954 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1954 - Motive Power Survey.

Peterborough M.P. District.

Continuing with the survey of centres of Motive Power interest in the Eastern Area, that at Peterborough ranks as one of the most important. The main loco, depots in this district are Peterborough (New England), Grantham, the former L.M.S.R. shed at Peterborough (Spital Bridge), together with small sub-depots at Spalding and Stamford. Both Peterborough and Grantham are important changeover points for locomotives working the East Coast main line Express trains. This can be briefly explained as follows: many express trains from Scotland and North East England are worked down to Grantham, and in some cases Peterborough, by North Eastern Region engines and men who then turn round and work similar expresses northwards, leaving Eastern Region engines and men to work to and from King's Cross. It must be pointed out however that both New England and Grantham engines and men do work a number of trains to and from the North Eastern Area. Peterborough district engines and men are concerned with part of the workings of the following famous express trains: The Flying Scotsman, The Heart of Midlothian, The Aberdonian, The Northumbrian and The Tynesider. On the freight side, mention must be made of the iron ore mined at Stainby and Sproxton and forwarded from High Dyke near Grantham, to Frodingham, Lincolnshire, where there are large steel mills. This traffic is intensive and is handled by Grantham Class 02 heavy freight locomotives, special steel hopper wagons being used to carry the iron ore. Between New England and Ferme Park, Hornsey, there is a considerable volume of coal traffic which is hauled by Class W.D. 2-8-0 freight locomotives from New England depot. Turning to locomotives, at New England depot one interesting fact is that all four variations of Class A.2. Pacific locomotives are to be found, viz: A.2 designed by A. H. Peppercorn, A.2/1. original Thompson design with V.2 boiler, A. 2/2. Thompson rebuild of Gresley P.2 Class, and A.2/3 second Thompson design with large boiler; respectively, the following locomotives are representatives of these classes, Nos. 60533 Happy Knight, 60508 Duke of Rothesay, 60504 Mons Meg and 60500 Edward Thompson. A large number of Class V.2 locomotives are allocated to New England for express freight workings and Class B.I engines are used for secondary passenger trains. Grantham depot is primarily a passenger one, its stud of locomotives including a number of Class A.I and A.3 Pacific locomotives for express working and Class B.I2 4-6-0's for local passenger trains. A particularly famous locomotive at present stationed at Grantham is Class A.3 Pacific No. 60103 Flying Scotsman. The first Gresley Pacific ex: G.N. 1470 now 60113 Great Northern, which was rebuilt by Edward Thompson as a prototype for his Class A.I Pacifies, is also to be seen at Grantham, together with the first A.I proper, No. 60114 W. P. Allen. At all depots in the district carriage shunting and local freight shunting duties are carried out by Class J.52 and C.I2 locomotives.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 88, May 1954 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1954 - Goalkeeper saves the day.

Central Area Football Final.

Grantham 2, Colwick 1 A brilliant display by Grantham Goalkeeper P. Orrey was a feature of this game which was played on April 30 in torrential rain. Grantham took the lead in 25 minutes through Outside Right J. Slater and, shortly after the interval, went further ahead from a free kick. Colwick's only goal did not come until ten minutes before the final whistle when they scored during a goalmouth scramble. The Cup and medals were presented by Mr. H. R. Gomersall, District Motive Power Superintendent, Peterborough.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 135, July 1954 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1954 - A Royal night out at Leadenham.

Royal Journey.

In connection with the visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh to the West Riding of Yorkshire on Wednesday, October 27, a special train composed of the former L.M.S.R. Royal Train hauled by Class A.4 locomotive No. 60026 Miles Beevor departed from King's Cross station at 11.10 p.m. on Tuesday, October 26, in charge of a King's Cross crew. The train travelled as far as Leadenham (Lincolnshire), where it remained through the night. Early the following morning the Royal Train left Leadenham, en route to Barnsley (Exchange), again hauled by locomotive No. 60026 as far as Retford, with Grantham enginemen in charge. From Retford to Barnsley the train was double headed with two class B.I locomotives Nos. 61248 Geoffrey Gibbs and 61250 A. Harold Bibby both allocated to Doncaster depot, and Doncaster enginemen on the footplate. The remaining portion of the Royal journey was under the jurisdiction of the London Midland Region.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 235, December 1954 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1955 - Train crew to the rescue.

All Worry Dispelled.

Towards the end of 1954, I, with my infant daughter, were passengers on the Northumbrian, joining the train at Darlington at 10.52 a.m. I am disabled and as this was the first journey I had ever undertaken unescorted, I must admit that I was in a somewhat nervous state. This condition of mind was not diminished on discovering that I had left my child's ticket, and my handbag containing most of my money with the people who had seen me on to the train. However the train crew and restaurant car staff were the epitome of kindness and courtesy, and did everything in their power to allay my fears. So successfully did they accomplish this, that my journey became one of the most comfortable I have ever experienced. At Grantham a message was brought to me to the effect that my daughter's ticket had been handed in at Darlington, so that any worries I may have had left were completely dispelled. I would therefore like to place on record my appreciation of the service given by British Railways. Further, I would appreciate it if you could convey my sincere thanks to the train crew and restaurant car staff for their consideration, helpfulness and assistance to me.

(Mrs.) June A. W. Adams. 27 Palgrave Avenue, Southall, Middlesex.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 8, January 1955 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1955 - Oh Mr Porter.

One for Grantham.

In reply to your paragraph 'Courtesy needed on railway' as a regular traveller from Leeds to Grantham I find Grantham porters and restaurant staff set a good example. When one has two children, a pram and a case, and is not in a position to give a tip, one is bound to notice at which stations help is given. Grantham does not need any lessons in courtesy. Yorkshire Evening Post.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 32, February 1955 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1955 - Boilersmith and Clerk to the rescue.

Meritorious First Aid Awards.

The well-intentioned, but inexperienced attention of nearby colleagues might have had serious consequences for Assistant Lineman Mr. J. H. Callow of Grantham when he was injured in an accident last September. But, fortunately, Boilersmith's Assistant Mr. G. Church and Clerk Mr. A. W. Washbourne, both of the Motive Power department, Grantham, quickly responded to a call for skilled assistance. Mr. Callow, who was suffering from a compound fracture of the femur, had been hit by a platform barrow and he was thrown across the track against a wall, after a down Pullman express had struck the barrow as it stood on the platform foul of the train. For excellent first aid treatment rendered under difficult circumstances, both Mr. Church and Mr. Washbourne were awarded Meritorious First Aid Certificates by Mr. E. D. Trask, Motive Power Superintendent at Hamilton House, Liverpool Street on January 17.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 59, March 1955 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1955 - All's well that ends well.


May I thank you, your staff and Ticket Inspector Sharpe of Grantham for the kindness and help given to me while a passenger on the 10.40a.m. train from Newcastle on Tyne to King's Cross on Sunday December 5. I was due to fly from London Airport that night for Sydney, Australia, it was one of those days when nothing seems to go right and due to the failure of a taxi I did not reach Newcastle in time for the 7.0 a.m. train as intended and was left no alternative but to travel by the 10.40 a.m. train, which you may remember ran very late that day. The time I was supposed to report to the airline terminus arrived and the train was still far from London. My chances of catching my plane seemed hopeless, and it was then I told my troubles to Ticket Inspector Sharpe. From that time on the British Railways took charge and thanks to their efforts and those of the airport staff of B.O.A.C. the impossible was achieved and I was ready to board the plane at two minutes to seven, the plane was due to take off at 7.0 p.m. When I tell you that my wife and I spent a major part of our savings on the flight in order to spend our first Christmas and second wedding anniversary together, you will appreciate my relief on boarding that plane.

Norman C. Revitt. 29, Harrow Road, Stanmore, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 48, March 1955 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1955 - Improvements at Grantham.

Around the Branches.

Grantham. The Club premises for the Grantham Branch came into use during June. All members are delighted with the appearance of the converted canteen and are anxious to enrol new members to ensure the greatest benefit from the facility. Enrolment forms may be obtained from the Secretary, Mr. Pretty, Blacksmith, Motive Power department, Grantham.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 156, August 1955 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1955 - A Fisherman's tale.

Regional Angling Championships.

The Regional Angling Championships were held on Sunday October 2 in the South Forty Foot Drain between Swineshead and Hubberts Bridge, when over 500 anglers took part in an excellent day's sport. There were teams from Bury St. Edmunds, Colwick, Doncaster, Grantham, Lincoln, Mexborough, Newark, Peterborough, Retford, Rotherham, Sheffield, Wath and Worksop. The Regional Angling Committee are indebted to the Chief Commercial Manager and the Chief Operating Superintendent for the Special train arrangements and sleeping car facilities which were made available at Grantham.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 214, November 1955 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1955 - B.R.S.A. Opening.

Grantham's Big Day.

On Monday evening, October 10, a spacious and well-equipped hall to serve as club premises for Grantham Branch members was formally opened by Mr. E. D. Trask, Motive Power Superintendent, Eastern Region. A gathering of over 300 was presided over by Mr. J. A. Richardson, Chairman of the Branch, and with him on the platform were Alderman L. Audus, Mayor of Grantham and his wife the Lady Mayoress, Officials of Eastern Region headquarters and departments and Officials of the Grantham Branch, B.R.S.A. After the Mayor had extended civic greetings, the assembly was addressed by Mr. W. O. Gay, Chief of Police, B.T.C. Eastern Area, who emphasised the point that no enterprise could flourish unless its roots were sound. He was sure that at Grantham the foundations had been solidly set and that good progress would inevitably result. Mr. A. L. Crewe, Assistant Regional Establishment and Staff Officer, Eastern Region, also spoke and outlined the rapid progress made by the Staff Association. Today, he said, there were 38 Branches comprising a membership of 14,000. Short speeches were made by Branch officials before Mr. Trask told the audience of his former associations with Grantham. It was almost like coming home, he added, and he certainly seemed to be very happy on this evening amongst old friends. Unveiling a commemorative plaque to mark the formal opening, Mr. Trask delighted the gathering with jibes at the ‘remote control’ method which had been devised. However, the gadget worked perfectly and we hope to prove this with a photograph to be published in the next issue of the Magazine. Incidentally, it was revealed during the proceedings that membership of Grantham Branch had more than doubled itself in the past five months and now stood at well over 300.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 215, November 1955 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1956 - An evening at the Flicks.

Free Film Shows.

During March and April a series of evening film shows will be given to staff and their families at many places throughout the Eastern Region. The programmes, lasting 1 ½ to 2 hours, will consist of several interesting films on a wide variety of subjects, and, when available, a current edition of the newsreel.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 45, March 1956 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1956 - A Hard-Headed View.

All Goods are ‘Urgent’

Mr. S. Thompson, Grantham, E R, a district office transit clerk for many years, writes:  The sentiments expressed by The Man on the Line in the October Magazine under the heading ' A Hard-Headed View,' are unfortunately very true. We shall do no good until or unless it can be impressed upon each and every one of us directly concerned with the movement of traffic (commercial, operating, and loco staff alike), that every consignment of goods, coal or livestock handed to us is of an URGENT nature. The sooner all concerned appreciate this simple truth and act accordingly, the better it will be for the revenue and the good name of British Railways.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page iii, December 1956 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1957 - HM Queen Elizabeth bestows honours.

Birthday Honours List.

We have much pleasure in recording that in Her Majesty the Queen's Birthday Honours List this year the Rt Hon Henry Willink, Member of the Eastern Area Board, received a Baronetcy, and our General Manager, Mr C. K. Bird, became a Companion of the Order of the British Empire. Mr W. C. Burford, Engine Driver, Grantham, was awarded the British Empire Medal.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 207, August 1957 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1957 - Football and Domino Champions.


The football team won the championship of the 2nd division also the final of the Hospital Cup. The football section held their dinner in the club room, together with the members of the ladies dart team who were invited to attend this function. Mr N. Maclean, Station Master, was chairman and Mr R. M. Shand, Station Master, Leeds Central, replied for the guests. The ladies domino team have won the league championship.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 222, August 1957 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1958 - Grantham Inspection.

Eastern Area Board Visits.

The Eastern Area Board completed their programme of tours of inspection for 1957 with a strenuous two day visit on 19 and 20 November to Retford, Gainsborough, Barnetby, Scunthorpe, Lincoln, Newark and Grantham. At all these places a variety of installations were inspected, including station buildings, goods sheds and yards and motive power depots, and it gave the Board much pleasure to meet at each point representatives of the staff of various departments and numerous members of the supervisory Staff.

Fitter C. J. Pearce, Driver J. Perkins and Driver G. Waltham share a joke with Sir Reginald and members of the Area Board at Grantham.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 7 & 8, January 1958 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1958 - Just in time for the boat.

Keep up the good work!

‘Due to the magnificent efforts of your booking office staff who went to great trouble to reorganise my boat train reservations and inter-station travel in London, I was able to reach Dover in time to catch the originally planned boat’ wrote Wing Commander MacDonald to Station Master, Grantham, after being in danger of missing a connection for Paris at Victoria.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 38, February 1958 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1958 - Aveling Barford.

Earth-movers by rail.

Aveling Barford Limited of Grantham, world-famous makers of earthmoving equipment, have secured from the Argentine Government an order for 170 10-ton 115 h p graders. This is the largest order for this type of machinery ever placed in Great Britain and represents both a triumph for British enterprise against stiff competition from other countries and an important milestone in this firm's intensive drive to capture a substantial share of the Latin American market. A special train left Grantham recently conveying 22 of these monster machines - used mainly to make roads - to the London Docks. This is the largest consignment ever despatched by the firm and to mark the occasion, the locomotive which hauled the train had a special headboard painted in the firm's colours, bearing the legend ‘Aveling Barford - Export Drive’.

On their way to the Argentine - a train load of 10-ton graders begins its journey to the docks.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 155, June 1958 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1958 - Luggage in Advance. 

Letter to ‘The Man on the Line’

Mr P. Wood, of Grantham, a retired Goods Agent, has had some very satisfactory experiences of Luggage in Advance. This is the sort of service we can't give too much of to all our customers! Mr Wood writes: "On Saturday, 31 May, a package of P L A was collected from the address at which I had been staying in Eastbourne and was delivered to me in Grantham about 12.30 pm on Monday, 2 June. "On Saturday, 28 June, I handed in a package of P L A at Lowestoft Central station at 9.30 am and said to the clerk, 'Shall I get this about Tuesday?' In a most cheerful manner he replied, Tuesday? No, you should get it on Monday.' 'But without my making any enquiry or request my case was delivered at 3.45 pm the same day - which speaks for itself!'

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 240, September 1958 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1959 - B.R.S.A. goes from strength to strength.


During the past few years this branch has gone from strength to strength and in order to facilitate all the activities, an extension of their branch premises was applied for and authorised. This development scheme, which has recently been completed, comprises a games room and what is considered to be one of the finest lounges in the Region. The club has provided new furniture throughout the building. It is hoped in the near future that the committee will be in a position to provide a small pavilion and bowling green on the land at the rear of these premises.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 20, January 1959 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1959 - A thank you letter.

Letters of Appreciation.

Elderly people, and those with physical disabilities always receive sympathetic help from station and train staffs, and Mrs Agar of Mansfield was no exception. She writes: What willing and courteous help I was given by men of your staff when I travelled to Sutton-on-Sea last Monday and returned to Nottingham Victoria last Thursday. I am a cripple and have great difficulty in getting about, but the guards and porters made my journeys as easy as possible for me. At Grantham, I only had five minutes to cross over to the platform where the Nottingham train left, but although I had made no previous arrangements, the porter got a wheelchair and wheeled me round and so I was not exhausted and caught the connection comfortably.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 114, April 1959 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1961 - A clean sweep down under.

Export to Australia. 

Nearly 6,000 Hotpoint washing machines were loaded aboard special trains at Grantham recently for conveyance to the London Docks en route to Australia. Our photograph shows one of the specials leaving Grantham.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 165, June 1961 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1961 - B.R.S.A. new sports facilities.

New Facilities at Grantham.

A new bowling green and two hard tennis courts at Grantham branch were officially opened on Sunday, 16 April, by Councillor W. A. Ogden, Mayor Elect of Grantham, who is a long-standing member of the Association, being employed as a signalman in Grantham North box. To mark the occasion, Lincoln branch were represented by 35 members and friends. After the opening game, the president's team, consisting of Mr F. C. Richardson (president), Mr H. Hewitt (Goods Agent), Councillor Ogden, Mr G. Bott (vice-president) versus the chairman's team, represented by Mr G. Needham (chairman), Mr A. E. Bottomley (secretary), Mr P. Shelbourne (assistant secretary) and Mr A. Watson (treasurer), Grantham branch played the Lincoln branch. There was also a tennis match between the two branches. The bowls section has this year joined the Grantham Bowling Association for the first time and four of their representatives - Messrs J. Rudkin, C. L. Burch, S. Groves and W. Smith - were also present. The Grantham branch has a strong bowls section and will be competing in the league this year. Some 75 guests sat down to tea in the clubhouse and afterwards a bowls drive was organised. The enjoyable day ended with a concert.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 218, July 1961 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1962 - B.R.S.A. Produce and Flowers.


The fourth annual Horticultural show was held at Grantham on Sunday, 16 September, when 210 entries were received - this was an increase over previous years and gives encouragement to the organisers for future occasions. Winners are as follows: most points in show - H. M. Parker; best bloom in show - H. M. Parker; best vase of dahlias - J. Chappell. The produce and flowers were auctioned at the conclusion of the show by Messrs A. Moore and R. Walton.

Dr W. E. Shewell-Cooper examining one of the exhibits at the recent Staff' Association Horticultural Show held at Grantham.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 353, June 1962 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1962 - Sleeping Car at Grantham.

Angling News.

The Regional Freshwater Angling Championship will be taking place on Sunday 7 October 1962 along a stretch of the South Forty Drain, Swineshead commencing as near 11 a m as possible. Special train arrangements, as in previous years, will be made and anglers from the southern half of the Region will be catered for by the provision of a sleeping car stationed at Grantham on the Saturday. It is hoped all anglers will support this competition and make sure their entry forms, duly completed, are in Mr M. J. M Chilton's hands at 3 Platt Street, Sheffield, by 16 September. Entry forms can be obtained from all branch secretaries or the General Secretary.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 293, September 1962 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1963 - Football rumours.


If rumours are to be relied on it would seem that Malcolm Taylor, a member of the Grantham branch and centre half for the Region last year, is raising the interest of Peterborough United. Whilst we do not wish to lose this most promising young player we wish him the very best in the furtherance of his football career.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 23, January 1963 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

1963 - 86,000 miles of safe driving.

Safe Driving Awards – Grantham.

Grantham motor drivers with a total of over 86,000 miles were congratulated on their achievements when they were presented with their safe driving awards by Superintendent T. F. Travis at Grantham police headquarters. The recipients were: Messrs H. West, 24 years' star bar; G. T. Ancliffe, 23 years' star bar; T. E. Ramsden, 20 years' brooch; T. Mableson, seven years' bar; R. S. Laughton, five years' medal; J. C. Hill, two years' diploma; and W. H. Ward, one year diploma.

(From the British Railways Magazine (Eastern Region) page 46, February 1963 Courtesy of the Great Eastern Railway Society)

The above Grantham related notes were selected from articles originally published in the LNER & British Railways (Eastern) Magazines. How the world has changed! Searching through some of the other pages in these two fascinating nostalgic periodicals, we've also discovered many shorter references to key events that took place in the everyday working lives of those who worked on the railway at Grantham.

Can you help?

As a follow on project we hope to record those shorter key events too, thereby creating a further historical section covering Grantham area personnel. This will include, for example, details of their job title and the work that they dutifully carried out. Of course many ordinary people have not been recorded in the pages of the magazines, so maybe you can help with our next project? If you knew or remember someone who worked on the railway within the Grantham area, in any capacity, then please do get in touch, we would love to hear about them.

Mel Smith

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