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Happy New Year!

From John D


Steam Railways Preservation in the 1980s & 1990s, December 1993, 34027 ‘Taw Valley’, ‘Flying Scotsman’

Steam Railways Preservation in the 1980s & 1990s, December 1993, 34027 ‘Taw Valley’, ‘Flying Scotsman’

Steam Railways Preservation in the 1980s & 1990s
December 1993

34027 ‘Taw Valley’

It is now possible to confirm ‘Taw Valley’ will head ‘The Swansong’ out of Waterloo for Yeovil Junction and return on February 19th 1994.
Publicity literature is now available for interested passengers and can be obtained from the ‘34027 Locomotive Group’.
Some three hundred and eighty passengers on the Weymouth to Waterloo run expressed an interest in this later operation and each should have received written details by now.
The confirmed departure time is ‘about’ 9.00am out of Waterloo.

Taw Valley

Stay on the right side of the fence – 34027 Group plea

The 34027 Locomotive Group have appealed to ‘gricers’ not to wreck their history making ‘South Western Swan Song’ excursion of electrified third rail metals in the New Year.
‘We are calling on all enthusiasts who may be put to watch or photograph this historic event to stay off the lineside and all places which could constitute trespass,’ explained ‘Taw Valley’ spokesman Brian Cooke.
‘We consider the real danger will be from the general public who may not realise the dangers and all enthusiasts are asked to demonstrate their responsibility and stay on the right side of the fence while speaking out if they see anyone doing anything wrong.’ ‘The dangers to life and limb are obvious, but the dangers to the continued running of steam on the main line are also very real.’

2015 – 34027 currently at Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway – overhaul at an advanced stage.

Engineers to the rescue

5 - Flying Scotsman 60103

5 TextPaul Crooks
‘Flying Scotsman’ was in trouble again – this time at its Birmingham Railway Museum resting place.

The world famous Gresley Pacific was failed after a cross head on the main piston came loose.
To the rescue came engineers Dowding and Mills who machined the taper of the offending piston, built it up with chrome metal spray and then machined it back to size for fitting. ‘The operation didn’t affect our very popular driver training course programme as all the work was done on non-operational days,’ explained a spokesman for Tyseley.

Flying Scotsman at GCR

2015 – Scotsman restoration update

We anticipate that the restoration work to return iconic locomotive Flying Scotsman to steam will be completed in 2015, after a milestone moment in the project was safely passed this month. Read the latest statement about progress, or view the recent images from the workshop.

Steam Railways Preservation in the 1980s & 1990s, December 1993, A1 Pacific 60163 – ‘Tornado’

Steam Railways Preservation in the 1980s & 1990s, December 1993, A1 Pacific 60163 – ‘Tornado’

Steam Railways Preservation in the 1980s & 1990s

December 1993

A1 Pacific 60163 – ‘Tornado’


New A1 frames on schedule for March

Doncaster link is historic

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, the registered charity which is building the new ex-LNER Class A1 Pacific 60163, today confirmed that it is on track to lay the frames of the new steam locomotive in Doncaster in March 1994 – the first new mainline steam locomotive to be built in Britain since 1960.
David Champion, Project Manager, A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented:
‘Thanks to the tremendous help that we have received from Doncaster Council
since we signed our partnership agreement with them in July of this year and the boost that this gave to our project teams, we have continued to attract large numbers of new covenantors.
The Trust is therefore delighted to be able to announce that the frames of 60163 will be laid in March next year – which puts us firmly on track for completing the locomotive on schedule for the 50th Anniversary of the completion of the first of the class in 1998.
More than 25 of the original 49 A1 locomotives were built in Doncaster with the remaining 23 built in Darlington. They were designed by Arthur H. Peppercorn, the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) but were not built until 1948-9, after the nationalisation of the railways.
The A1s were the last of the East Coast mainline’s series of thoroughbred express passenger steam locomotives – a tradition which included the Stirling Singles, the Ivatt Atlantics and the Gresley Pacifics. Examples of all of these Doncaster-built locomotives have been saved for preservation, except the Peppercorn A1s which were scrapped following the dieselisation of the railways in the 1960s, with the last, 60145 ‘Saint Mungo’, going in 1966.

DSCF1891The photos of the completed loco were taken at the Severn Valley Railway in 2009

60145 'Saint Mungo' - Heaton MPD, 1966 - John Arnott-Brown

Saint Mungo was seen on York shed daily until 20th May; from the next day it was noted minus chimney but on 19th June it was finally withdrawn. It lay at York shed and by 1st August was minus its tender. Despite an attempt by the late Geoff Drury to save it, sale for scrap to A. Draper of Hull came that month though cutting up didn’t start until 26th September.

Saint Mungo, the last A1, had survived 60124 by three months. Its lifespan of 17 years 3 months was considerably longer than the A1 average of 15 years 2 months. It had seven boilers in its life. However, all is not lost. A nameplate can be seen, fittingly, in Glasgow Transport Museum. Several years into the 1990s the photo, supplied by Drapers, of Saint Mungo’s scrapping was used by The A1 Trust to inspire people to covenant to build the 50th A1, 60163.


A Different Canal – The Royal Military Canal

A Different Canal

The Royal Military Canal


The Royal Military Canal is a canal running for 28 miles (45 km) between Seabrook near Folkestone and Cliff End near Hastings, following the old cliff line bordering Romney Marsh, which was constructed as a defence against the possible invasion of England during the Napoleonic Wars.


Despite the fact that the canal never saw military action, it was used to try to control smuggling from Romney Marsh. Guard houses were constructed at each bridge along its length. This met with limited success because of corrupt guards. Although a barge service was established from Hythe to Rye, the canal was abandoned in 1877 and leased to the Lords of the Level of Romney Marsh.


There is a public footpath running the entire length of the canal. The path makes an excellent long distance walk and is part of the longer 262km Saxon Shore Way. Aside from being historically significant in its own right, the path passes by numerous WW2 pillboxes and unusual acoustic mirrors, the historic cinque port towns of Hythe, Winchelsea and Rye, the 12th century St Rumwold’s church, as well as Lympne and Camber castles. The walk is generally flat and can be broken evenly into two sections of 22km with Ham Street in the centre.


The canal is also an important environmental site. The Environment Agency is the navigation authority and uses the waterway to manage water levels on Romney Marsh and Walland Marsh. It is important for fish and other wildlife, including kingfishers, dragonflies and marsh frogs, and it passes through several Sites of Special Scientific Interest.



All photographs taken in Hythe

Canal News, Waterways Recovery Group

Canal News

Waterways Recovery Group

2011_0702 Ellie

The Inland Waterways Association Logo

WRGie Newsletter – December 2014

Dear All,

Wow what a year for the Waterway Recovery Group! WRG volunteers have spent over 40,000 hours in 2014 restoring canals, planning Canal Camps, going on weekend digs, attending festivals, teaching junior Navvies how to bricklay & drive diggers, printing WRG’s magazine …and discussing crazy fundraising ideas over a beer or two!

We’ve worked on 21 restoration sites this year from Driffield Navigation in the North East to Somersetshire Coal Canal in the South West.

Hear what some of our volunteers got up to this summer… mud seems to feature quite a lot in 2014!

“A keen interest in water and boats led me to WRG Canal Camps all offering many different challenges. This summer I spent a week in thigh deep-mud at Bowbridge Lock on the Cotswold Canals, as well two weeks on the Lancaster Canal driving dumpers and using a brushcutter. Last year it was tree extraction on the Cromford Canal, and bank restoration and fence mending on the Basingstoke Canal, – and of course the bonfires, there are always jobs for us at every level of interest.  I use my existing skills, learn new ones, and enjoy working with people with a wide range of ages and backgrounds. It is a real change from my usual week! – Susan, aged 71, from Scotland
“I volunteered for a week at Bowbridge Lock on the Cotswold Canals in August, to complete the residential part of my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. There was a mix of people volunteering; several like myself were DofErs, with a few ‘old hands’, some of whom had been working on the canals since before I was born! Unlikely though it may seem, one of my favourite parts of the week was the frequent involvement with copious quantities of mud and the things lurking in it! Besides that, there was a surprising but wonderful sense of camaraderie and friendship, which transformed what was essentially a week of moderate labour into a thoroughly enjoyable (although still fairly gruelling!) experience. I will definitely be returning for another camp when next I can and would recommend that anyone else considering it should go for it wholeheartedly.” – Will, aged 19, from Devon

“Canal Camp life was the most interesting part of my experience because everybody was friendly and nice to me! From the beginning I didn’t feel different because I didn’t understand everything, to the contrary, everybody always asked me if I understood what the leader said and they were always ready to help me. I loved the camp because I had the opportunity to get to know more about the UK people, their habits, hear different accents and discover the wonderful British countryside!”– Angela, aged 48, from Italy
“I started my time with WRG a number of years ago when I was looking for a relaxing break from work; little did I know that from that first camp in the Cotswolds I would end up running my own Canal Camps!  For the last couple of years I have been heavily involved with the Chesterfield Canal, at Staveley Town Basin, where we have been building a brand new lock from scratch. As a Canal Camp leader the role can be a challenging one, it’s not always easy looking after 17 complete strangers, often with a variety of languages, then throw in unfamiliar words, and the scene is set for an interesting, but very rewarding week. If you’re looking for a new challenge, want to learn new skills or just want to increase your circle of friends, I would thoroughly recommend a WRG Camp!– Steve, aged 42, from West Midlands

We are busy planning the 2015 Canal Camps – if you’d like to receive a brochure please email with your name and address.  Our first Canal Camps of 2015 is on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation (14th-21st February) with Bob Crow & Bob Coles leading the camp … then at Easter we head to Bowbridge Lock (28th March-4th April/ 4th-11th April) on the Cotswold Canals. Find out more here.

Happy Christmas from the WRG Head Office Team.

See you in 2015!

Jen & Amber

Some Early Lines, Old Railway Companies, Aberdeen & Turriff Railway, Aberlady, Gullane & North Berwick Railway

Some Early Lines

Old Railway Companies

turriff_railway_station_1900__sTurriff Railway Station c1900 (Gammie).

Aberdeen & Turriff Railway

This was the new title, taken on 19 April 1859, of what had been incorporated as the Banff, Mcduff & Turriff Junction Railway. Its line opened to Gellymill, a farm 1 mile south of Mcduff, on 4 June 1860. The Company was consolidated into the Great North of Scotland Railway by an Act of 30 July, with effect from 1 August.

The Banff, Macduff and Turriff Junction Railway connected the Aberdeenshire town of Turriff with the Great North of Scotland Railway’s (GNSR) main line at Inveramsay. A separate company, the Banff, Macduff and Turriff Extension Railway, built extension to a station called Banff and Macduff. The junction railway, together with the junction station at Inveramsay, opened on 5 September 1857 and the extension opened on 4 June 1860.[1] Both railways were absorbed by the Great North of Scotland Railway on 1 August 1866,[2] and the line was extended 1⁄2-mile (0.80 km) to a new Macduff station in 1872.[3]

Following the grouping in 1923, the line became part of London and North Eastern Railway and was nationalised, becoming part of British Railways. The Macduff branch closed to passengers on 1 October 1951, completely to the north of Turiff on 1 August 1961 and the remaining line on 3 January 1966.[4]

Macduff station, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Photographed prior to WW 2
Original date circa 1900 Author Unknown (scanned from a postcard by Mike Cooper)
Licensing w:en:Creative Commons attribution share alike This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Aberlady, Gullane & North Berwick Railway

Incorporated on 24 August 1893, this line was intended to foster North Berwick as a holiday and golfing resort, but in the event got no further than Gullane (4¾ miles), a railway-owned mini-bus covering the last miles. Opened on 1 April 1898, it was taken over by the North British Railway by an Act of 6 August 1900.  It was connected to the Main Line at Longniddry.

Aberlady Station

Aberlady Station Text