Early in August a website contact form arrived from David Page who enquired, "If you would like some reminiscences of a lifelong steam enthusiast from c.1950 onwards, including a few photos from the early 1960s to the present day, please feel free to contact me."
The very pleasing result is our latest new page, simply titled Grantham!, which connects David's earliest experiences of the railway at Grantham, in the early 1950s, with his enjoyment of 21st century main line steam.
The story begins with the memories of a young lad who in the early 1950s travelled by train from Nottingham to stay with an aunt and uncle. Recollections include an A1, Kittiwake, in BR blue livery speeding north with a Pullman service; David also records his disappointment when the aunt and uncle moved away and he could, at least for the time being, no longer visit and enjoy the excitement of east coast expresses.
We look back at some local news items which illuminate the wavering relationship between loco spotters and the railway authorities at Grantham during the 1950s.
Happily, in the early 1960s David's relatives moved back to the town and he describes his reacquaintance with the Grantham railway scene. Now he had a camera and a growing interest in photography, and also a feeling that he should try to make his own personal record of the last few years of east coast steam. His endeavours extended to taking photographs from the windswept and chilly station platforms early in February 1963, in the midst of the UK's record-breaking arctic winter.
The early 1960s may have been the finale, but there has been a curtain call. The narrative and photographs extend into the age of digital imaging. The page concludes with three superb pictures of northbound specials taken by David at Belton Lane. They are hauled by A3 No. 60103 Flying Scotsman, A4 No. 4464 Bittern and A1 No. 60163 Tornado …and the A1 was in early BR blue, just as Kittiwake had been bedecked some six decades before.
The new page is in our Spotters' Corner section; the link above will take you directly to it.