A short family break in Blackpool in early September 1961, gave the opportunity for some North of England rail travel and trainspotting. Had I known that in the very near future, a considerable proportion of the Blackpool tramway system would vanish, perhaps our plans would have been different. But having travelled from Birmingham to Blackpool by rail, my brother and myself devised an itinerary that included Blackpool shed, a trip to Carlisle, and an evening football match between Blackpool and West Ham United.
BIRMINGHAM to BLACKPOOL: 4th SEPTEMBER 1961
Our outward journey on 4th September involved 45599 Bechuanaland from Birmingham to Stafford, English Electric type 4 no D297 Stafford to Crewe, Black 5 no 45237 Crewe to Preston, and 2-6-4T no 42652 from Preston to Blackpool South.
Locomotives of interest seen on the journey included 45670 Howard of Effingham, 46256 Sir William A Stanier FRS, 45544 (un named Patriot), 45669 Fisher, 45567 South Australia, 45617 Mauritius, 45722 Defence, 45680 Camperdown, 46161 Kings Own, 45705 Seahorse, 45584 North West Frontier, and 45661 Jervis.
In the late afternoon, we caught a tram from our South Promenade hotel as far as the Manchester Hotel, walked down Rigby Road, under the Railway bridge, turned right, and there we were beside Blackpool South shed.
BLACKPOOL SHED (24E) 4th SEPTEMBER 1961
45559 British Columbia 45642 Boscawen
45571 South Africa 45661 Vernon
45574 India 45689 Ajax
45580 Burma 45705 Seahorse
44733 44894 45312 42705 42148 42625
44745 44947 45336 42783 42296 42657
44778 45101 45435
BLACKPOOL to CARLISLE: 5th SEPTEMBER 1961
Our day started on the 9.00am Blackpool Central to Liverpool Exchange, upon which we travelled to Preston. The loco was Black 5 no 44767. We arrived at Preston at 9.44am. For our trip to Carlisle we had a choice of Jubilee 45628 Somaliland on the Manchester to Glasgow, due out 10.26am, or the following Liverpool to Glasgow, Rebuilt Scot no 46102 Black Watch, due out 10.32am. They were side by side.
No contest, we chose 46102.
CARLISLE STATION: 12.30pm to 4.05pm: 5th SEPTEMBER 1961
46102 Black Watch called 12.32/12.38 on the 9.30am Liverpool to Glasgow (11)
D26 called 1.17/1.24 on the 10.35am Leeds City to Glasgow (11)
45371 departed 1.25pm on Parcels/Vans
60089 Felstead departed 1.28pm on the 1.26pm Carlisle-Edinburgh Waverley (6+v)
45737 Atlas called 1.39/1.46pm on the 9.25am Crewe/Manchester to Aberdeen (12)
D316 passed 2.24pm on the down Royal Scot (8)
45138 arrived 2.25pm on the 11.55am Hellifield to Carlisle (3+8m)
46121 Highland Light Infantry departed 2.50pm on the 2.50pm Carlisle to Glasgow (4)
45363 departed 3.01pm on a Carlisle to Stranrear service (3)
60090 Grand Parade departed 3.22pm on a service to Edinburgh Waverley (4)
46253 City of St Albans called 3.40/3.46pm on the 11.15am Birmingham to Glasgow (2v+9)
44763 called 4.00/4.08 pm on the 11.25am Birmingham to Edinburgh (7+7v)
D31 called 4.13/4.17 on the down Waverley (9)
46223 Princess Alice arrived 12.30pm on the 10.10am Glasgow to Euston (11+3v)
46240 City of Coventry departed 12.40pm on the 10.10am Glasgow to Euston (11+3v)
D20 called 12.46/1.08pm on the 10.05am Up Waverley (9)
72007 Clan Mackintosh arrived 1.05pm on the 9.00am Perth to Euston (9) Loco change
D9 departed 1.13pm on the 9.00am Perth to Euston (9)
45716 Swiftsure called 1.13/1.21 on the 11.00am Glasgow to Liverpool (11)
70050 Firth of Clyde called 1.24/1.30pm on a Glasgow to Manchester service (7)
44955 arrived 1.39pm on a Edinburgh to Manchester service (11) Loco change
45655 Keith departed 1.48pm on a Edinburgh to Manchester service (11)
72006 Clan Mackenzie arrived 2.55pm on Empty stock working (5)
60068 Sir Visto arrived 2.58pm on the 12.05pm Edinburgh Waverley to Carlisle (4)
D307 called 3.19/3.22pm on the up Mid-Day Scot (8)
46226 Duchess of Norfolk arrived 3.51pm on a Perth to Euston service (14+2v) Loco change
D2 departed 4.02pm on a Perth to Euston service (14+2v)
46227 Duchess of Devonshire called 4.06/4.18pm on the 1.45pm Glasgow to Liverpool (10)
CARLISLE to BLACKPOOL: 5th SEPTEMBER 1961
We returned to Preston with 46227 Duchess of Devonshire on the 1.45pm Glasgow to Liverpool Exchange. An extremely unusual working for a Stanier pacific. D2 on the preceding Perth to Euston service failed near to Carnforth, and we stood for 65 minutes at Burton & Holme whilst things were sorted out. So we were not into Preston until 7.52pm, 82 mins late. We returned to Blackpool behind Black 5 no 45078, arriving rather later than we envisaged. Nevertheless a fascinating day. Wouldn’t it be splendid to do it again. So we did.
BLACKPOOL to CARLISLE: 7th SEPTEMBER 1961
This time our run round the coast on the 9.00am from Blackpool Central was with a Caprotti Black 5, no 44743, a Bank Hall (27A) engine. At Preston, a huge dilemma faced us. Side by side were Polmadie Scot no 46104 Scottish Borderer on the Manchester to Glasgow, and 72002 Clan Campbell on the Liverpool to Glasgow. What a choice. Another gleaming 66A Polmadie Scot, or a Clan pacific, a class that we had never travelled behind.
72002 won the day, with some misgiving. I had read that the Clans were modest (putting it politely) performers, and so it proved. With an 11 coach train, we struggled up Grayrigg, and stopped for a banker at Shap. So we were not into Carlisle until 12.29pm, 10 minutes late. On the journey we saw 46248 City of Leeds, 45635 Tobago, 45729 Furious, and 45713 Renown.
This time we decided to spend less time on Carlisle station, and make for Kingmoor.
CARLISLE : 12.30pm to 4.10pm: 7th SEPTEMBER 1961
Northbound services of interest were the 1.26pm Carlisle to Edinburgh Waverley, with 60068 Sir Visto, the 9.25am Crewe to Aberdeen, 72005 Clan MacGregor taking over from an English Electric type 4 diesel. And 46222 Queen Mary, working north on the 2.50pm Carlisle to Glasgow stopping service. Southbound, 46230 Duchess Buccleuch gave way to 46248 on the 10.10am Glasgow to Euston. 72007 arrived on the 9.00am Perth to Euston, giving way to an English Electric type 4.72000Clan Buchanon worked the11.00am Glasgow to Liverpool, 46140 The Kings Royal Rifle Corps the following Glasgow to Manchester, and 60099 Call Boy the 12.05pm from Edinburgh Waverley.
We headed for Kingmoor Shed , where we knew that we unlikely to obtain permission to go round, but worked on the principle that whilst we were walking to the foreman’s office, to ask, we would see a fair amount in the process. It worked, for we actually noted 23 numbers before being told “no”. And in view were the then stored Stanier pacifics, 46201 Princess Elizabeth and 46210 Lady Patricia. The only other named loco we saw was 72009 Clan Stewart. But it was well worth the trip. Strangely I cannot recall whether we walked or bused.
CARLISLE to BLACKPOOL: 7th SEPTEMBER 1961
So it was back into Carlisle in good time to catch the 1.45pm Glasgow to Liverpool service. What would be working it this time. Hopefully a Polmadie Scot. No such luck. Another Clan, this time 72001 Clan Cameron. With very generous schedules as far as Lancaster and a load of 10 coaches, the loco held it’s own, though 31 mph up to Shap was hardly inspiring. But on the Lancaster to Preston section, with a 25 minute schedule for the 21 miles , 72001 never exceeded 63 mph, and dropped three minutes.
So my conclusion of the Clan class was that they were indeed poor machines. I could never really understand why they were ever built.
On the return journey, we saw 46125 3rd Caribinier, 46133 The Green Howards, 46109 Royal Engineer, 45696 Arethusa, 45584 North West Frontier, 45710 Irresistible, and 45507 Royal Tank Corps.
And another Black 5 run to Blackpool concluded another excellent day.
BLACKPOOL to BIRMINGHAM: 8th SEPTEMBER 1961
Friday was going home day, and we had decided on the 9.55am Blackpool Central to Crewe service, where we would have a snack and a drink, before continuing back to Birmingham on the 11.40am Liverpool to Birmingham.
The plan worked well. Black 5 no 45205 took us to Crewe punctually, and Unrebuilt Patriot no 45547 took us on to Birmingham, arriving a few minutes late following signal checks either side of Stafford.
My notes of what we saw on the return journey have unfortunately been lost…….