Bob Balchin's been in touch about a fascinating collection of stories which might help to entertain us when we run out of - or get fed up with - DIY and gardening tasks etc. Called Real Railway Tales, it's a compilation of about 60 short accounts of railway people, places and incidents contributed from across the country and edited by two men who can each draw upon extensive careers on the railway.
Here's a description:
Running a railway is a complex business, constantly throwing up drama, misadventure and the unexpected. Geoff Body and Bill Parker have collated a rich selection of railwaymen's memories and anecdotes to create an enjoyable book of escapades and mishaps, illustrating the daily obstacles faced on the railways, from handling the new Eurostar to train catering, nights on the Tay Bridge to rail 'traffic cops', and from mystery derailments to track subsidence. However interesting the infrastructure of the large and varied railway business may be, the real heart of this great industry lies in its people, the complex jobs they occupy and the dedicated way in which they carry them out.
For us on Tracks through Grantham there's a story called Highdyke, describing the operation of the ironstone branch from Stainby and Sproxton, and another titled The Denton Branch.
About half the book, including the Highdyke chapter, can be accessed on the internet here. To see the rest you would need to either purchase or borrow a copy. Options include a buying Kindle version. The original paperback edition is currently available from several online second-hand booksellers.
Brian Maddison recently sent us three photographs he took during the construction of the extension at the south end of Grantham's Platform 4, about 30 years ago. You can find them on a new page here.
Tom Boustead's journey in photographs between Highdyke and Hougham has proved to be one of the most popular launches of a new page in the history of Tracks through Grantham. We're grateful to everyone who has left a comment on the site or has been in touch by email with feedback - it's all been very positive. Tom is responding to comments on the page individually as time allows, so please look back at the page from time to time.
We've also been busy updating and revising some of our older pages to improve or add detail, or to add new information and images that have come to light. One that's been through the shops for an intermediate overhaul and a freshen up is Turntables and Triangles, the story of locomotive turning at Grantham - now revised and improved!
Even the fairly recently published Fresh Fish Daily! page has been 'in works' for an upgrade, including links to two great photographs of Aberdeen to London express fish trains in the Edinburgh area.
If you've time on your hands waiting for 'the new normal' to kick in, here's a suggestion. To browse, and maybe purchase, photographs taken at Grantham, or at any other location, the following may interest you (listed in alphabetical order):
Try using 'Grantham', 'Barkston', 'Highdyke', 'Honnington' etc. in the search box.
(We have no commercial association with any of the above.)
Please stay safe everyone.
Mel and John
We introduce the crew, their O2 locomotive and a short but intensively used section of the East Coast Main Line as we ride on the footplate with Colin Walker between Grantham South and Highdyke. Travel back to a winter's day in the early 1960s to join them on our latest new page here.