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Spotting Notes July to October 1964

On Friday 4th September 1964 Class O4/8 No. 63738 arrived at Grantham from the south with a freight train at 1.25pm and departed for the north at 3.01pm without a load.  It was based at Retford at the time.  This locomotive was built in Glasgow in 1912, so it was six years older than O4 No. 63813 illustrated in a previous section, though it had the benefit of a rebuild in 1944.

Phil Wilson’s spotting notes, predominately recording steam but with selected diesel power included, are reproduced below.  These cover the period between July and October 1964.


  • S means it was a Stopping train
  • St means Straight through
  • π  means the train terminated at Grantham
  • For the direction of travel, N or an arrow pointing downwards () is Northbound or Down
  • S or an arrow pointing upwards () is Southbound or Up

Pages 59 & 60.  Wednesday 1st July to Thursday 9th July 1964; note that Saturday July 4th is added in the top margin.

It's interesting to see that on 1st, 3rd and 6th July (and also on 10th, at the top of the next following page) the southbound evening cement empties, 4E02, was worked by different B1s but all from Ardsley shed (located between Wakefield and Leeds).  On each occasion the loco was a 'cop' for Phil.  This train would normally have been diesel hauled or, if steam, a Pacific, a V2 or a 9F:

Pages 61 & 62.  This section covers 10th to 16th July 1964.  From page 60 Phil adopts a new single column layout for his notes, allowing more space for comments.  

Northbound empty stock workings of sleeping cars could be Pacific hauled - as on 11th July with No. 60127 Wilson Worsdell; as previously on 13th June with No. 60112 St. Simon (page  57); and, as in the future, on 4th August with No. 60062 Minoru (page 74):

Pages 63 & 64.  17th to 20th July 1964.  From page 64 forward Phil begins to record the class (type) of train and the number of coaches or wagons.

Pages 65 & 66.  20th to 22nd July.

A named Ardsley B1 on the cement empties warrants a special note on the evening of 20th; an unnamed example is the final steam sighting on 22nd.  Class 15 No. D8235 seen on 21st July  may have been returning to Finsbury Park depot after main works attention; this loco was then less than four years old, but it was already nearly halfway through its operational life because work for this class of 44 locos declined rapidly in the late 1960s.

Pages 69, 70 & 71.  July 24th to 28th 1964.

All three of New England's active stud of A3s appeared within 2 hours at Grantham on the morning of Friday 24th.  On Saturday 25th Phil travels to Barkston to keep an eye on the holiday specials between the East Midlands and the Lincolnshire Coast.  On 27th it's the usual fare of mainly B1s and 9Fs at Grantham. Unusually, the New England B1 on the southbound cement empties train stops for water.

Pages 72 & 73.  July 28th to 31st.

It's another good Friday for Pacifics when four appear on 31st, although there are nearly 11 hours between first and last.  However, No. 60036 Columbo, northbound at 7.45pm, had been based in the North East since July 1963 so it would be an unusual sighting this far south.

Pages 74 & 77.  Tail end of Friday  31st July to Tuesday 11th August (pages 75 & 76 cover 8th August at Melton Junction).

Pacifics appear on empty stock and fish trains.  Around midday on Monday 10th August three diesel locos head south after works visits.  In the evening the Ardsley B1 on the regular cement empties, No. 61061, stops at Grantham with a hot axle box.  D1547 was efficiently re-assigned, and the train was on its way within 30 minutes.   At 10.20 on the morning of 11th August class 23 'Baby Deltic' No. D5908 appeared from the north with a special trial train, 3Z58.  This would be an acceptance trial from Doncaster following extensive refurbishment by the manufacturer, English Electric.

Pages 78 & 79.  Covering the afternoon of 11th to the morning of 30th August, but including some locations other than Grantham.

D5908 reappears on 12th August, continuing its trials, and returns north at 11.35.  On Sunday 30th August the Lyons Maid Zoom special, from King's Cross to York and return, stops at Grantham in both directions hauled by privately owned A3 No. 4472 Flying Scotsman.  Zoom was a popular ice lolly in the shape of a rocket.  The wrappers included collectable cards featuring historic British locomotives.

Pages 80 & 85. The afternoon of 30th August to 3rd September (pages 81 to 84 are a trip to Western Region territory at Oxford, via London King's Cross and Paddington).

Ardsley shed turned out one of their V2s for the cement empties on 30th August, and on 2nd September it's a Pacific job - No. 60131 Osprey from Leeds Neville Hill shed.  Just before 2.30pm on Thursday 3rd September Pacifics No. 60128 Bongrace and No. 60157 Great Eastern pass within three minutes on southbound coal and northbound coal empties.

Page 86.  Wrapping up Thursday 3rd September and on to Friday 4th.

On 3rd September the fourth Pacific of the day passes just after 5.30pm.  On 4th there's an Ardsley V2 on the cement empties.

At 3,54pm on Thursday 3rd September 1964 class 9F No. 92187 drifts south on the goods line in Spittlegate cutting with a coal train from the Nottinghamshire pits.
Photograph taken by Phil Wilson

Pages 90 & 91.  Sunday 6th September to the morning of Wednesday 9th.

On 7th it's mainly 9Fs but later in the day A3 No. 60062 Minoru dashes past with steel train 7E23 and V2 No. 60923 appears on the cement empties 4E02.  On Tuesday 8th at midday class 4MT No. 43105 brings an inspection saloon from the south, returning at 3.14pm.  Just before 10am on 9th class 37 No. D6942 appears, brand new and on trial.  No. 60062 appears again with a 12-coach empty stock working.

Pages 92 & 93.  Winding up 9th September through to late afternoon on 11th.

The second Pacific to appear on 9th September was A1 No. 60114 W.P. Allen - see Phil's photograph below.  On Thursday 10th September Phil was still making notes at close to 10pm, well after darkness had fallen.  An A1 was seen on an Up passenger train at 9.56 but he was unable to identify it.

At 1.30pm on Wednesday 9th September 1964 class A1 No. 60114 'W.P. Allen' arrived on a freight train and was stabled on the locomotive siding.
Photograph taken by Phil Wilson

Pages 94 & 95.  The early evening of Friday 11th September to Friday 18th.

Phil's final sighting on 11th was a named B1, 61013 Topi, on the cement empties at 7.44pm.  The following day at 8.46pm an A3 passed through.  Phil was unable to identify its number, but he noted that it had the LNER type of tender (i.e. without coal rails).  On 16th and 17th Down parcels train 3N09 was in the hands of Gateshead's A3 Pacific No. 60080 Dick Turpin.  This train appears to have had a longish stop at Grantham, departing at 6.40pm.  On 18th No. 60085 Manna, also a Gateshead engine, was on the train.

Pages 96 & 97.  Monday 21st September to Friday 2nd October.

On 21st 23rd 25th, 30th September Ardsley V2 No. 60923 makes more appearances on the cement empties.  Pacifics seem to be rationed to one a day, at best.

Pages 98 & 99.  Thursday 1st to Wednesday 14th October.

The first weekend of October brought workings by Pacifics on two specials:

  • Saturday 3rd:  No. 4472 Flying Scotsman southbound at 8.5pm with the returning Ian Allan Darlington Marquess railtour;
  • Sunday 4th:  Britannia No. 70020 Mercury stopped at 11.30am northbound, and passed through at 5.31pm returning southbound, on the Home Counties Railway Society's York Special.  This tour had been advertised for London Midland Region 'Princess Coronation' loco haulage (No. 46257 Sir William A. Stanier F.R.S. was named in advertising 'if available'), but the Britannia was substituted because No. 46257 had been withdrawn the previous month.

The following Wednesday, 7th October, A3 No. 60112 St. Simon arrived from the south just after 6pm.  Phil takes some photos and is invited into its cab.  A little over 2 hours later 60112 was called into action on the main line, replacing a Brush diesel loco on train 1A48, the 6:12pm King's Cross to York, departing at 8.36pm.

On Saturday 10th October two V2s follow each other southbound: No. 60929 at 7.14pm on the regular steel train and our old friend No. 60923 at 7.39 on the cement empties.

On the evening of 14th October Phil has a touch of 'trainspotter's misfortune' when the number of a Pacific on 'the fish' was hidden from sight by an Austerity-hauled coal empties train heading in the opposite direction.

Pages 100 & 101.  Thursday 15th October to Saturday 24th October.

No Pacifics or V2s appeared while Phil was around until...

On Saturday 24th A4 No. 60009 Union of South Africa appeared at 6.35pm on the return leg of the R.C.T.S. / Stephenson Locomotive Society Jubilee Requiem railtour, which ran from King's Cross to Newcastle and back in recognition of the demise of the A4 Pacifics over the route.  It was the last booked steam-hauled train from London King's Cross and, therefore, a very appropriate point at which to conclude.

Back to Phil Wilson’s Trainspotting Days at Grantham.

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