Let's forget today's bothersome restrictions on travel for a while and get out and about again in the Tracks through Grantham Tardis.
Richard's Cumming's latest highly entertaining article describes how, in 1956, the arrival of his new bike stimulated an eagerness to push the boundaries of youthful exploration well beyond the horizon of his home town of Grantham.
His first ventures were to the relatively close-at-hand surroundings of local towns and countryside, exploring rumours of unfamiliar breeds of locomotive to be seen on their native territory. Ultimately, though, the call of far-away engines with strange-sounding names (and numbers) led Richard to the uncharted lands of the West Midlands and Shropshire.
We're sure you'll enjoy travelling with Richard on trips that were inspired by an interest which took root during his earlier enjoyment of the railway scene around Grantham.
If, by way of introduction, you'd first like to read (or to re-read) Richard's previous accounts of Grantham-based spotting adventures, they are here:
There's a link at the end of the first page to take you forward to the next, and then on to the new article.
Or you can go straight to the new page, in which case why not dust off that old bike and get pedalling out of lockdown to share the excitement of Richard and his friends in Train Spotting Bicycle Trips away from Grantham.
(…and don't worry, he'll wait for us to catch up on the hills.)
Edinburgh Haymarket-based A3 60100 Spearmint was a bit of a rare sight as far south as our Tracks through Grantham territory, so when the locomotive turned up in two separate stories recently sent in by Alan Wilce and Roger Bamber we were tempted to rename 60100 as Doublemint! However, having chewed it over, we decided to keep things as they were, so hopefully our two new pages in 'Spotters’ Corner' from Roger and Alan will bring a breath of fresh air for our readers.
So join 13-year-old Roger Bamber on Grantham station in 1958, having travelled by bike over the hilly A607 from Leicester. When opportunities arise to capture some Haymarket Rarities on film, Roger is ready with his camera. One of the images is a photograph that helped to determine his career.
Then join Alan Wilce in 1960. Alan arrived from Melton Mowbray in his parents' car. His records were taken with pencil and notepad rather than film and now, with his Ian Allan ABC 'Combined Volume', his memories and some archive timetables, Alan re-creates for us the excitement of a 3-hour Summer Evening Visit to Grantham in 1960 during which 60100 Spearmint made another rare appearance at the station.
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
Bob has recently been in touch with an enquiry.
I know I am clutching at straws but here goes! In the early '60s my friend and I used to travel from Leicester to Grantham trainspotting. They are fondly remembered days. We used to walk to a road bridge, climb up the slope at the side and sit on the fence at the top. The sheds were close by on our left with the main line in front. I think the road was the route through Grantham to the east coast.
Is it possible that one of your members may have a photo showing either the bridge with a loco beyond or above, or maybe a picture of spotters at the location?
Any help much appreciated.
Exchanging a few emails, and with clues picked up from Mike Bacon's page in Spotters' Corner, we worked out that the bridge over Springfield Road was a perfect match. Bob kindly filled in a little more background, and we had the nucleus of our latest page: How we discovered Springfield Road Bridge.
One of the pleasures of developing the content of Tracks through Grantham is that sometimes we don't know where the material for our next new page is going to come from ... but we can be sure that something will always show up! So if you have a memory or a query and have been thinking about sending it, don't hold back any longer!