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JIM FENTON'S
TRAINSPOTTING
OBSERVATIONS
1966/68

PAGE
1

 

Jim Fenton was a trainspotter in the sixties along with most boys of his age.
Nothing unusual in that, but unlike most "spotters" (myself included)
Jim kept meticulous records of his "spotting trips" and as he grew out of the hobby,
he placed them safely in his attic and forgot about them until he came across them recently.
Realizing that he possessed a vault of memories that would be of interest to 
railway enthusiasts, he asked me if I would be interested in publishing them on 6G.

There is so much data that it was necessary to split up the records into eleven pages for 
quicker download times and also to make it easier to read and research.

Although there is plenty of video and still photographs of steam, working in 
it's heyday, plus audio files by the likes of Peter Handford along with unlimited literature on all
aspects of the subject,  there has been a distinct dearth
of locomotive records and observations. 

The data in the following pages goes some way to redress the balance.
 
Jim Fenton travelled nationwide to motive power depots, stations and favourite locations
 by train, bicycle and car to collect and record it in such a comprehensive way. 
There is a wealth of local interest as Jim made numerous trips across North Wales
plus several visits to 6G and  spent a lot of his time "spotting" around 
Colwyn Bay and the surrounding area.

I have found the observations fascinating reading, and felt it was like a trip
 back in time to the "Glorious Years".
As I read through the records it was nice to see so many "Brits" , "class 5s" and "9F's,
but it came home to me vividly that there was no Patriots, Scots, Coronations etc,
and only a handful of "Jubs" which emphasizes what was happening to 
our steam engines during the mid to late sixties.

I would like to thank and congratulate Jim on his endeavors to put this unique data 
into this format, and for allowing us to share these fascinating records.
  
I know that site visitors will find these pages enthralling.

Geoff Poole.

**********************************************************

 

 

1966 - 1968: TRAINSPOTTING OBSERVATIONS 
by Jim Fenton

 

The recent discovery of some of my old trainspotting log books in the attic has provided an insight to what locomotives and multiple units were around in North Wales, the northwest of England and selected other locations between 1966 and 1968. I hope that you find the observations of interest and that memories come flooding back! Most data is from 1967 when I also kept a daily diary of schoolboy activities (trainspotting appeared to be my prime past time!).

 

My Top Ten most enduring rail-related memories are as follows:

 

1)     What got me interested in railways, I think, was visiting friends of my parents in Disley, near Stockport. They lived on a road with the Manchester Piccadilly – Buxton (LNWR) line at the top of the road, across the Whaley Bridge Canal and a field was the Manchester Central – Chinley (MR) line and across the Goyt Valley was the Manchester Piccadilly – New Mills/Hayfield/Chinley line (LMS). Effectively surrounded by trains morning, noon and night! Surprisingly, the location still is!!

2)     The sight that first got me ‘hooked’ on trainspotting. A misty autumnal evening in 1964 on Penrhos College footbridge in Colwyn Bay seeing an extremely work-worn Britannia class 70024 ‘Vulcan’ working hard round the curve on the Slow line (by Allen’s Repository) with a down parcels bound for Holyhead. Could anything be more impressive?

3)     A fairly still evening, with the gentle wind out of the west, sitting on Tan-y-Bryn Rd. bridge awaiting the up ‘chlorine’ loose coupled, pick-up freight (usually went through about 20.00) and hearing it begin to move out of Llandudno Junction. After what seemed an age, a huge column of smoke appeared around the corner near the electric substation in Mochdre that indicated the imminent passing of a very weary-looking 9F. The length of the train that evening was massive by North Wales standards. Awesome smoke effects! Oh, for a video camera!

4)     Sitting on the side parapet of Queens Road bridge in Llandudno Junction on a Summer Saturday eating chips from Enoch’s, followed by a couple of ‘Jubbly’s’ (a triangular frozen drink sort of thing). Brilliant!

5)     Sticking my head out of the door window of the first coach behind Britannia class 70045 ‘Lord Rowallan’ as it slipped viciously while starting from Talacre station with an up train to Chester. The noise, the smoke, wonderful!

6)     Visits to Croes Newydd shed because it always looked ‘cosy’, sited in the triangle of lines and I seemed to prefer roundhouses rather than straight sheds. That’s why I love Barrow Hill shed!

7)     Sitting on Crewe station (North end) watching 8F 48212 wheezing through with a freight from the Stoke on Trent area towards Chester.

8)     Travelling behind D117 from Chinley to Derby on the old Midland mainline through the most beautiful scenery in the Peak District.

9)     Sitting on the cab roof of a Bullied Pacific in Woodhams Scrap yard in Barry and feeling very sad about the fate of all the wonderful steam locomotives.

10) Crawling through long grass across a field on my elbows and stomach trying to ‘bunk’ Kingmoor shed, only to be met by a Transport Policeman who had seen me coming, but complemented me on my effort!!

 

Many locomotives observed during day trips were not accurately located geographically, but those ‘in the know’ will be able to track the journey by the types and specific numbers of locomotives recorded (especially shunting locomotives). It could be considered a ‘detective game’. The more you look into it, the clearer some journey’s become! For example, on trips to or via Crewe, the recording of EM1(Bo-Bo) or EM2(Co-Co) locomotives indicates the train passing the sidings at Crewe Electric Shed opposite Crewe Works. Another piece of detective work is to determine the London termini from the locomotives/EMU’s recorded. I certainly have enjoyed recalling day trips. Reference to the annual Locoshed Books will assist reconstruction of many trips.

 

With grandparents living in Blackpool, in hindsight, I was given a wonderful opportunity to regularly visit the last bastions of steam in the northwest between 1966 and 1968. Following the demise of steam in August 1968, interest in number collection diminished. My love of railways, however, continues to this day but it’s not the same!

 

Unlocated observations in the 1967 diary refer to Colwyn Bay. Most of the records of locomotives at Colwyn Bay were observed from Penrhos College footbridge or Tan-y-Bryn Road bridge. Only very selected records of specific locomotives were recorded, however, at these locations. The locomotives recorded as ‘shunting’ at Colwyn Bay were in the late afternoon, after school. Most of the ‘off shed’ records at Llandudno Junction were made from Queens Road bridge.

 

Complete locospotting logs of selected days out are given below, but without specific locations of many observations. It provides, however, a taste of what was! Trainspottings logs are recorded consecutively in columns not rows.

 

Days in 1967 marked with an asterisk(*) have a full locomotive/multiple unit log below.

 

1967 Diary

January 1967.

1st            Visited Blackpool North shed (10B)*

5th             Saw 73144 & D5078

8th             Visited Wolverhampton High Level station

10th           Visited Stockport (9B) and Reddish (9C) sheds *

12th           Saw D5141 and D251

13th            Saw D5078

14th            Visited Crewe (5A & 5B). Saw D1956 & D1957. Copped 70016 & D381 *

17th            Saw D1861 & D5073

18th            Saw D5075. 48060 shunting

20th            Saw D1620 & 90645

23rd            Saw 48509. 48373 shunting

24th            Saw D376 & 45056

25th            Saw D5076 & 48073

26th            Saw D5073

27th            Saw 92083. 73159 shunting

28th            Visited Trafford Park (9E), Patricroft (9H) & Newton Heath (9D). Copped 104 out of 253 locomotives *

 

February 1967.

4th            Visited Warrington shed (8B). Saw D8193 & D8194 (ex Vulcan Foundry) *

5th            Visited Blackpool North shed (10B). Saw D3007 *

17th          Saw D5076 & 48258

 

March 1967.

11th            Visited Llandudno Jct. and shed (6G) Saw D5144, D5073 & D1806 (on freight)

14th            Saw D1951, D225 & D1843

15th            Saw D1805

16th            Saw D1803 & M56106

17th            Saw D1801

18th            Visited Warrington shed (8B) *

21st            Visited Newport and Cardiff*. Copped 143 out of 228

25th            Visited Llandudno Jct. and shed (6G) Saw D5077 & D5087. D298 was derailed 
on points on the shed, but re-railed with jacks.

29th            Visited Crewe Works. Copped 65 out of 324 locomotives*

31st            Visited Warrington shed (8B)*

 

April 1967.

1st            Visited Preston station and Lostock Hall shed (10D)*. Saw 60007

3rd            Visited Warrington shed (8B)*

4th            Saw D5001

6th            Saw D5006. D5140 shunting

7th            D5080 shunting

8th            Visited Reddish shed (9C) and Crewe station/sheds (5A & 5B)*. Saw 45593 and D8306 + D8307 (ex Crewe Works)

11th     D5144 shunting

12th     D5084 shunting

13th     D5087 shunting

14th     D5075 shunting

15th     Visited Llandudno Jct. and shed (6G) Saw D5075 & D5080

17th     D5057 shunting

18th     D5093 shunting

20th     D5060 shunting

21st      D5060 shunting. Visited Lostock Hall (10D)*

22nd     Visited Rose Grove shed (10F)*

23rd      Visited Blackpool North station & shed (10B) plus Blackpool South station*. 
Rode on 45375 while on turntable at North shed

24th     D5081 shunting

25th     D5085 shunting

26th     D5057 shunting

27th     D5073 shunting

28th     D5093 shunting

29th     Saw D224, 48304 & D1829

 

May 1967

1st        D5075 shunting

3rd       D5091 shunting

4th       Saw D1852, D1829, D5085, D5140 & 48012

5th       Saw M56153

8th       Visited Buxton shed (9L)*

9th       Visited Nottingham station*. Copped 62 out of 117

11th     D5008 shunting

12th     D5079 shunting

15th     D5143 shunting

16th     D5087 shunting

17th     Saw D1806, D1854 & D1906. D5143 shunting

18th     D5141 shunting

19th     Saw D214, D1802. D5013 shunting

20th     Saw D1962

22nd    D5076 shunting

23rd     Saw D1940. D5010 shunting

24th     D5006 shunting

25th     D5003 shunting

27th     Saw D7587, D7595 & D1688 (on freight)

29th     Saw D1722 & D5086

31st      Saw D1687, D5080, D1849, D5003, D5013 & D2605. D5058 shunting

 

June 1967.

1st        D5075 shunting

2nd      Saw D1939, D5005 & D5011

3rd       Visited Llandudno Jct. and shed (6G). Saw D2955. Visited Warrington shed (8B) in afternoon*

4th       Visited Blackpool North shed (10B) and Lostock Hall shed (10D)*

5th       Saw D2954 in short, down mixed freight pulled by D5086. D5058 shunting

6th       Saw D1622

7th       Saw D225 and D236. D5007 shunting

9th       Saw D5000. D5073 shunting

10th     Visited Old Oak Common (81A), Finsbury Park (34G) and Hither Green (73C) sheds*

12th     D5058 shunting

13th     D5007 shunting

14th     D5091 shunting

15th     Saw D1621 and D1580. D5004 shunting

16th     Saw D1993, D5073 and D222

17th     Saw D67 on special

19th     Saw D5074

20th     Saw D1965. D5008 shunting

22nd    Saw D220. D5074 shunting

23rd     Saw D1965. D5081 shunting

24th     Visited Llandudno Jct. and shed (6G)*. Saw D5002, D7540, D387 and D1955

26th     D5073 shunting

27th     Saw D1848 and D227. D5013 shunting. Saw first (up) Freightliner

29th     D5009 shunting

 

July 1967.

1st         Visited York (50A)*. Copped 177 out of 298.

4th        Saw D1587 and D5021. D5073 shunting

6th        Saw D1962 and D5288

7th        Saw D1929, D5008 and D5020 plus some Western Region multiple units.

8th       Visited Llandudno Jct. and shed (6G) Travelled behind D378 (down) and D7627 (up). Saw D5000, D5089, D5294 and D7626

11th     Saw D1634, D1805 and D258

15th     Visited Hull Dairycoats shed (50B) and Leeds Holbeck shed (55A)(partially!)*. Copped 133 out of 330

22nd     Saw D5005, D5072, D5228, D7574, D7630 and D350

26th      Visited Crewe (5A & 5B). Copped 10 out of 242

29th      Visited Preston. Saw 9 Britannia class passing through the station

31st       Visited Lostock Hall shed (10D)

 

August 1967.

2nd      Saw 92014

5th       Saw D5030, D5187, D388 and D7629

7th       Saw D5027

12th     Saw D5012, D5028, D7511 and D7523

19th     Saw D5036, D7582, D352 and D7609

21st      Saw D5049

26th     Visited Derby Works Open Day and Toton shed (16A)(partially!)*. Saw D207, D209, D1661 and D361 at Crewe. Copped 93 out of 257

 

September 1967.

2nd       Visited Preston from Blackpool North. Pulled by 44971. Saw D7637, D6812, D1782 and 48381

4th        Purchased Runabout Ticket for 25 shillings! Visited Carlisle and Annan. Saw D8500 – D8504.Visited Carlisle Upperby shed (12B)*

5th       Visited Carlisle station and Workington shed (12D)*. Saw 70039

6th       Visited Carlisle and Skipton*. Pulled by D31 from Carlisle to Skipton. Visited Carnforth shed (10A). Saw D400 and 92071. Copped 42 out of 177

7th        Visited Carlisle Kingmoor shed (12A)(partially!)*. Saw 70037, D5349 and D6841. Copped 20 out of 120

8th       Returned home from Blackpool via Carlisle and Crewe*! Copped 19 out of 170

14th     Saw D206

15th     Saw D206, D1712 and M50398

16th     Visited Northwich (8E), Bolton (9K), Newton Heath (9D) and Trafford Park (9E) sheds*. Copped 58 out of 249

28th     D5027 shunting

30th     Saw D5033, D5047 and D5059

 

October 1967.

21st      Visited Lostock Hall shed (10D)*. Saw 44985

22nd     Visited Blackpool North shed (10B)*. Saw D1541

26th      D5031 shunting

28th      Visited Birmingham New Street, Tyseley shed (2A) and Saltney shed (2E)(partially!) sheds*. Copped 78 out of 295

 

November 1967

6th        Visited Liverpool Edge Hill shed (8A)*.

 

December 1967.

13th     Saw D320

30th     Saw D5048

[END OF PAGE 1]

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