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  2. Let’s get ready to rumble! It’s race day and it's the new season - bring it on! The booking list is updated on our website; 14 action packed races; some of the biggest and best stars of the Sport are heading to King’s Lynn for battle. The arena has great viewing all around (plenty of under cover viewing too!), FREE on site and overflow parking, disabled viewing, licensed bars, food outlets and other great facilities. Tickets available from the Box office from 3:15pm, cash and card accepted. Safe travels, we hope to see you there.
  3. ❗ Save Save Save - advance tickets online until 10am ❗ Advance tickets are online until 10am for tonight's action, save now and purchase; remember kids 11 and under go free when booked online. Don't miss tonight's action - over 150 cars scheduled. https://www.stockcar-racing.co.uk/
  4. Hi there folks. Welcome to episode 8. Last time I mentioned we would have two main features but I have decided to keep the second one for the last episode in two weeks time as they are both in the same area. In this one: Section 1: F2 World Final meeting at Nutts Corner. Section 2: In Out and About we see how far we can get through the disused Burdale Tunnel. Section 3: Odds and Ends: The 2023 Leyland Gathering at Quainton Section 1: Before we cross the Irish Sea here are a few pics from the F2 meetings over here in the three weeks prior: Taunton – Monday 14th August 2023 Following the damage to his car from the St Day fixture the day before JP raced the Lauren Stack (928) car at this meeting It proved to be a good’un netting Jon the Final victory Some aggro in the ORCi Stock Rods with David Philp Jnr being followed in! Bristol – Sunday 27th August 2023 Spotted in the car park was this 21yr old Vauxhall hearse A good night’s sleep guaranteed! Weston-Super-Mare’s Dave Rudall Winsford’s Mike Kingston Jnr Josh Walton a long way from his north-east base Another different one for Jon Palmer to race this week - Justin Albrecht’s car Paul Moss - The 2023 track champ’s car for sale Taunton – Monday 28th August 2023 Ryan Croucher made his debut Ben Borthwick was not seen a lot in 2023 but he did secure the English Open Championship at sister track St Day two weeks previously A good crowd Not a good meeting for Charlie Fisher Nutts Corner – F2 World Final – Saturday 2nd September 2023 – 70 cars The following words are from the meeting programme: This is an historic event being the first World Final held outside mainland UK. The promoter Ian Thompson had long campaigned to bring the sport’s major event to Northern Ireland. It was a big ask given the distances, the need for boats, planes and automobiles to carry a considerable number of fans and drivers from all parts of the UK and indeed mainland Europe and further. The hosting nation have long brought colour and atmosphere to the mainland so it was rightly deserved that they got their own day on the ‘World’ stage. This part of the UK is ingrained in the DNA fabric of BriSCA F2 for close on 60 years. At one time the list of venues hosting BriSCAF2 stock car racing was impressive. However, it was regrettable a few years ago that Ballymena closed its doors as improvements there for football precluded the continuance of stock car racing. We go back more years to Aghadowey, a venue that still exists, Portadown, Dunmore Park and Bangor to name but some that celebrated the sport at its height and of course Nutts Corner which at one time also experimented with a separate shale track. In recent years Ian Thompson Junior has joined his father in the promoting reins consistently pushing the awareness sometimes against the tide as Nutts Corner sadly remains the last bastion of BriSCA F2 over here and that in itself is a challenge. It is a fast track with wide sweeping bends similar to a slightly bigger Newton Abbot The 1972 World Champ’s car was on display As was Eddie Finnegan’s 1977 Ballymena winner The WF grid lined up after receiving their trophy mementos - Gordon up first. The front row Charlie Guinchard Luke Wrench Liam Rennie Kay Lenssen Gavin Fegan James Rygor The 880 team bring the car to the grid Jack Witts JP comes to the grid Shea Fegan One of the Netherlands’ contingent was Bram Leenhouts The Bekkers’ team had a four-legged tyre warmer present The defending champ enters the arena Dave was in a relaxed mood All was looking good up front The grid comes to the flag After a couple of rolling laps the green flag was waved and Moodie set off at a rapid pace from his pursuers. Luke Wrench blocked Charlie Guinchard to stop him moving across in the first turn. A big pile up involving Craig Wallace, Chris Burgoyne and others followed which brought out the red flags. The restart was a copy of the original start as Gordon shot away. Guinchy was closer this time but could not make contact with the 7’s rear end as they entered turn 1. As the laps went by Moodie eased away a little until a caution closed the pack up. On this restart Guinchard was quicker away and made contact with the 7 car. Moodie rode out the hit though and pulled clear. This was the tone for the race with the only real change being Matt Stoneman moving through the field into 3rd. He now had Guinchy in his sights At the halfway stage Gordon was well clear and increasing his lead. However, it was not his just yet. Nearing race end Stoneman fired the 183 car hard into turn 1 with both hitting the fence. Although this was a challenge for position it was also a payback hit from the Taunton Ben Fund race earlier in the year. The 183 car continued along the back straight losing a wheel in turn 3 just as Moodie took the one to go board. With Gordon entering turn 3 for the last time a yellow flag was called which set up a one lap dash for the 2023 World Final! The line up was 7 from 3, then NI918, 560 and 24. Gordon made another blinder of a start and he was clear around turns 1 & 2. Into turn 3 Rennie tried for a last bender but was too far back. He had suffered a gear selector problem at the restart so may have made contact without this. He didn’t miss by much though bouncing off the wall in the process. The Flying Fifer took the flag and a well deserved victory. 3 & NI918 followed him over the line with 24 having a great drive to take 4th from the back of the grid. Congratulations to Gordon on his fourth world crown. He was by the far the fastest man on the day. Result: 7 3 NI918 24 560 B96 968 992 801 578 213 100 Sunday pit scene: Did you know that Micky was also a master baker? Mick Whittle came over the water with his stunner Gordon wasted no time in fitting the gold wing The 2023 World Champ on parade Saturday’s Final was run on Sunday following a serious road accident outside the stadium the night before which required the track medics and led to the abandonment of the meeting. Jessica Smith was left stranded mid-turn after a big hit from Shea Fegan The Irish Championship race saw Craig Wallace have this spectacular crash with Jack Morrow (Pic by Anthony Jenkins) Jason McDonald was also in the wars Awaiting the restart Next time around it would all kick off between these two As well as taking on the Fegans Guinchy put Wittsy in the fence with a monster of a hit. Jack expresses his views on the matter. The heavily re-arranged 880 car is carried off 16 damage Lewis Burgoyne was a fellow Scot with repairs to do Porta power on NI918 The 880 pit drew a crowd to see if any parts of the car were NOT damaged The car needed forklifting on to the trailer It had been a very entertaining weekend for sure! More pics in the gallery Andy Smith's weekend report: WF weekend report part 1. The dust has now settled on what was a superb F2 stockcar World Final over at Nutts Corner Northern Ireland. We set off last Wednesday evening for the long 9 ish hour journey to the Port of Cairnryan Scotland. The journey was easy enough as there were 3 of us sharing the driving although I must admit that upon entering Scotland the 99 more miles on a winding A road were a bit tiring. We sailed over on the Thursday morning and arrived in Belfast to truly awful weather hoping that wasn’t a sign of how the weekend would be. We needn’t have worried as by Friday afternoon all the bad stuff cleared. Once we got settled on the campsite near the track, around 1/2 hour out of Belfast up a really big mountain, me Lisa and the girls taxied down into Belfast to meet up with Team Fisher 315. Take us to the best pub that sells the best Guinness was the order and it didn’t disappoint. We had a great day drinking, eating and laughing. Just what was needed before the serious stuff. Friday was practice day so we headed to the track arriving early afternoon. Upon arrival the pits were already filling up with the many visiting drivers, most of whom like us had never seen the place before. The stadium although basic was well presented and the track looked a good stockcar track. It looked a bit rough but fast and not so wide with an unforgiving concrete wall. I sensed there was going to be some damage! Practice didn’t start well. Both girls last time out in Holland had experienced steering problems and we had bought a lot of new stuff and spent considerable time to try and cure it but Jessica’s was still playing up. Ok in pits but when under load was kicking out. We spent a while swapping even more stuff but to no avail and it was spoiling her runs. Just as we are seriously head scratching Rebecca came off with the same problem developing. FFS! Anyhow, we eventually found something and finally cured Jessica’s. What do they say about the simple things first . We altered the exact same thing on Rebecca’s and bingo both seemed cured but we’d wasted a lot of time. The rest of the practice went “just OK”. Although the girls were getting used to the track neither were fully happy. Jess was quick enough but the car was loose mid turn and despite trying quite a few things we never quite cured it. Rebecca’s car seemed inconsistent in the brake department. We messed around a bit with pads and stuff but the balance still seemed to shift throughout a run and was off putting. So come the end we’d had plenty of time tbh but we weren’t quite there so we’d have to give it some thought and adjust some things overnight. Luckily both girls would have further practice sessions on Saturday. Jess wouldn’t have long though as her timed session was for World Final qualifiers only and with the pre-race scrutineering being much more in depth than usual all the cars had to be done quite early in the day as they were going to form a dummy grid on the track before the meeting started. This is a nice idea and has become a regular feature of the WF in recent years. They open the track to the fans for the “Grid Walk “ where they can chat to the drivers and have photos taken, collect autographs etc. It makes the qualified drivers feel that bit more special as well as being great for the fans especially the kids . Incidentally it’s not a new thing. I remember back in 2008 at the Ipswich WF (which I won by the way ) they did similar although as I remember the promoter of the event squeezed the pips shall we say by charging the fans extra for the privilege! After a few changes Saturday morning Jess went out and yet again the car wasn’t too great and we were running out of time as we were being called to scrutineering. We made a big swing at a change and she would have to hope for the best in the WF. We had done some bracket alterations on Rebecca’s in the hope it would solve her re- occurring brake issues and it seemed to make it a lot better and by the end of the practice she was happy enough. Once the Grid Walk was over the WF cars inc. Jessica’s were pushed off the track into “Parc Ferme” where they couldn’t be touched until they rolled out for the Big Race parade which was scheduled for Race 5. It was now time for the meeting to start with the “Last Chance” race where all of the unsuccessful semi-finalists, along with the local Irish drivers who weren’t directly seeded in would go bunched grid to fight for 6 spots on the back of the WF grid. Rebecca was 3rd row outside. Not the best position in a bunched grid where a big push was inevitable. Could she do it and create history by having both sisters on the WF grid for the first time. This had been hyped quite a bit by the promotional arms of the sport and did put added pressure on her. We would see and find out in Part 2 Part 2 You didn’t have to wait too long . So 1st race up of the evening was The Last Chance. Unfortunately this couldn’t have gone much worse. As the green dropped Rebecca was totally boxed in on the outside down the home straight. As they came into turn 1 she saw a slight gap and gunned it around the outside. She so nearly got away with it just getting tagged on the back corner, turning her round and she got battered by the pack, ending up stranded in the middle of the track. A huge disappointment for her as she really couldn’t have done anything else. She was all OK but will have to try again next year. As this was an extra race we had to get to it to mend it as she was in the supporting heat. There was suspension damage to both front corners (a theme that would continue) and the rear bumper was wrapped around into the wheel. With some help from several other teams we just managed to get her out and we were thankful they held the gate. Our next door neighbour’s, the Bradford Ministox team were kind enough to let us use their welder but we were so rushed I made the call to send her out without a back bumper stay which was risky but better than straight to what would be a very busy consolation. She came in a steady 7th. The car was a bit lame but she was straight through to the meeting final Back in the pits I set to finishing mending the damage and adjusting all the hastily repaired front end bits back to summat like correct. I just managed to get trackside to see our Jess enter the arena with her introduction getting a huge cheer from the big crowd followed by an equally appreciative parade lap. I believe people really commended her efforts to get on the grid. There’s a reason it’s been a full 30 years since Sarah Bowden was the last female driver to do this, that’s because it’s a seriously hard task. I’ve always told my girls they are the same weight in a stockcar as any man so go out there and do it. However, it’s not the same. The physical challenges are much greater to overcome for the females and all the current girls out there holding their own in stockcar racing deserve immense respect and credit . So that reception was enough for me . I have to say at this point what a great atmosphere I thought there was about the place. The announcer was on point and the sound system really good. The flame throwers on the middle were great and the whole choreography of the intros with all the cars lined up opposite the entrance herring bone style was brilliant (take a bow Mr Blackwell). It must have been cool for Dave Polley to come out last in front of that! Onto the race then and Sarah had travelled over to watch and came up to Jess to give her a pep talk (class that, thanks Sarah ) Her advice was just keep going and finish! Well I think she listened because after the green dropped all hell broke loose into turn 1 just behind the first 2 rows who had gotten away clean. They all piled in and Jess backed off early and managed to weave her way through undamaged and a complete restart was called. I think around 8 cars were out so on the restart she was bumped up to row 10 inside from 13. The next restart they got away clean and Jess was too cautious really and dropped a couple of places as it was busy but got up to speed eventually. A few laps in and she couldn’t avoid a spinning car but made sure she hit it correctly and not on the wheels so it didn’t slow her massively. She got going again but by then Gordon 7 was coming around to lap her so she backed off and moved over so as not to hold him up. She finally then found some rhythm and spent the next probably 4 laps circulating between Gordon and Guinch 183 in 2nd place. He was hitting everything he came across hard maybe to get a yellow I dunno but as he slowly caught Jess I hoped she wasn’t going to cop it. She didn’t and she let the lead pack through and carried on an untroubled race to the finish but finish she did. She was outside the top 10 but half the field didn’t make it and she did thus becoming the first female driver ever to do so in the 60 year history of the sport. I was so proud of her especially as the car hasn’t been great lately and the rubbish she’s had to put up with this year meaning her confidence and morale wasn’t exactly high. So this meant she was in the consolation and from the word go I could see she had gained confidence. By now it was dark and the floodlights although sufficient weren’t great but boy did it make the cars look fast. I know she’s dropped to yellow and she should be winning from there but she had local yellow grader Declan McFerran on her tail the whole race and she never put a foot wrong to eventually ease away to victory. The crowd loved it and just to win a race on WF night is special So both girls lined up together for the first time for the feature final of the night. At this point the night took a down turn when as the cars were on the track it became apparent a serious incident had occurred outside the stadium. The track paramedics were in attendance so unfortunately the meeting was abandoned. Such a shame but unavoidable. The decision was made to run the final first race up on the Sunday as an extra race. Onto Sunday then and what a race for us the final turned out to be. Talk about it all come crashing down! Both girls set off clean and it wasn’t long before they were in 1st and 2nd with Rebecca leading the way and going along nicely. As the laps ticked on Rebecca was getting faster and began pulling away from her sister. After more spring changes overnight her car was really fast. 2 weeks ago in Holland she was in the same position but lost it through being to cautious with back markers. Well she learned from it because this time she leathered them out of the way at every opportunity wasting no time. It was great to watch and as the boards were out she was away and it was as good as in the bag. Her sister was hanging on well in 3rd when with 3 to go just as some oil went down 4th place hit Jess sending her hard into the wall, bouncing straight out into the middle of the track with no steering. She tried to move but couldn’t. She didn’t want the yellow but rightly they threw it as she was in a bad place. I couldn’t believe it. 2 to go when one of my girls had it in the bag only for it to be stopped for the other! So 2 lap restart it was and all the back markers removed so she had a train of blues and reds behind her. Chances are she’d be shoved out and drop like a stone but she did great. She got dropped down to 4th but got herself back up to 2nd just being pipped over the line and finishing on the podium in 3rd. Boy was she going to be fuming back in the pits! So that was technically WF night over and all in all it was a great night for our team. History was made but i couldn’t help but rue Rebecca’s luck in that final. It was an excellent meeting spoilt a little by it not being completed on the night but big credit to Ian Thompson and his team for putting a show on. A superb World Champion in Gordon Moodie 7. As I’ve said before the way the guy races oozes class and yet again he beats all before him. A massive well done from us. Also, I have to give a mention to the guy who finished 3rd. The young Irishman Shea Fegan 918. Now in the run up to this World Final people were disrespecting the Irish drivers saying they weren’t good enough, they can’t race when there is loads of cars as their scene is a little down right now. Now I don’t like disrespect to drivers in anyway so I was so pleased for him to shut the critics up and put it on the podium. He also won the meeting final sticking Jess in along the way to get the yellow but I know he didn’t mean it to turn out that way. He’s good pals with the girls. He was driver of the day for me So I’m gonna leave it there for now. I will try and give a run down soon on the Sunday’s events but we are all off to Northampton tomorrow for the F1 world where we will be cheering on The Wild Child to retain his title. Might see you there Section 2: Out and About – Burdale Tunnel We’re heading to North Yorkshire for our main event folks. Our location Burdale Tunnel A railway between Malton & Driffield was first proposed in 1845 as the Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Hull Direct Railway but within days it became the less cumbersome Malton & Driffield Junction Railway. The line of the railway It was clear from the outset that the line would only prove successful if it opened after the completion of the Thirsk – Malton line which was being promoted by George Hudson’s York & North Midland Railway (YNMR). John Birkinshaw and Alfred Dickens (younger brother of Charles Dickens) were appointed to build the line; Birkinshaw had previous experience in railway engineering and was a pupil of Robert Stephenson. The 20 mile Malton & Driffield Junction Railway received its Act on 26th June 1846 and although the route was quickly surveyed it was decided to delay construction until work had started on the Thirsk line. By 1847 there was no progress on the Thirsk line so work started at the southern end of the M&DR and on the Burdale Tunnel which was just under a mile in length and the only major engineering feature on the line. The company quickly ran into financial difficulty as the ‘railway mania’ that had been gripping the country was in decline and share capital proved difficult to find with predicted costs already exceeded. Construction was suspended once sufficient work had been done on the tunnel to prevent flooding. By 1849, the M&DR were verging on bankruptcy and the company approached YNMR Chairman George Hudson for finance. Hudson had previously bought £40,000 worth of unauthorised M&DR shares but was in financial difficulty himself by this time and was unable to help; he was soon forced to resign as chairman of the YNMR. Work on the line restarted in 1850 with savings being made on the construction by shortening the route by running at a higher level with steeper gradients and downgrading the line to single track throughout (the southern portal of the tunnel had been built for two tracks but the northern portal was only wide enough for one) which meant that the original plan to use the line as a trunk route between Hull and Newcastle would have to be abandoned. Work on the Thirsk to Malton line had still not started despite promises to build the line and it was suggested that the M&DR should take over construction but, instead, a writ was served on the Newcastle & Berwick Railway, now responsible for building the line to force them to start work. A new Thirsk & Malton Railway Bill was put before parliament and on 18th October 1851 construction finally started. Progress on the two lines was now rapid and they were both completed in 1853 and officially opened on 19th May. The first train carrying shareholders and invited guests covered both lines running from Pilmoor (the junction with the York – Darlington main line) through Malton to Driffield and then back to Malton. Following the official opening there was a Board of Trade inspection that required some changes which were quickly made with the line opening to passenger traffic on 1st June 1853 with intermediate stations at Settrington, North Grimston, Wharram, Burdale, Fimber (later Sledmere & Fimber) Wetwang and Garton. It was planned that the T & M line should open on the same day but this was delayed following objections by the Board of Trade and the line opened on 7th June or shortly after that date. From the outset, the line was worked by the York & North Midland Railway who amalgamated with the York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway and the Leeds Northern Railway on 31st July 1854 to form the North Eastern Railway. The M&DR also applied to join the new company which it did on 28th October 1854 with one director out of a total of 17 NER board members. The new line left the Scarborough line 1/4 east of Malton running parallel on double tracks for a further 1/4 of a mile before branching to the east to reach Scarborough Junction, the junction with the Thirsk & Malton line. From this point the line was single track, with a rarely used passing place at Wharram, to a junction with the Hull – Bridlington branch of the YNMR 1/4 mile south of Driffield station. All the stations were provided with single short low platforms which were raised in the c. mid 1890s. The passenger service, known locally as the ‘Malton Dodger’, remained much the same throughout the line’s life with three daily return trips from Malton with a fourth train being added during some seasons, and additional trains to cater for market days at Malton and Driffield; there was also a daily pick-up goods train from Malton. The journey time was between 50 – 60 minutes with most trains consisting of two carriages hauled by a small tank engine from the Malton shed. Occasionally horse boxes and carriage trucks (flat trucks for the conveyance of carriages for the local gentry) were attached to passenger trains. Between the wars there were some additional scenic excursions where the trains stopped longer at some of the stations for passengers to view the station gardens. In later years the line was sometimes used by holiday specials from Scotland and the North East serving Scarborough (requiring a double reversal at Malton) and Butlin’s Filey Holiday Camp. Regular coal trains served coal drops located at each of the stations and livestock trains ran when required, usually on market days. Initially most of the freight traffic was agricultural including manure and fertilisers inbound, arable crops outbound. Sometime in the 1800s a small limestone quarry at Settrington generated business, this quarry closed around the turn of the century. Later the quarry trade became important, the first big quarry to ship limestone was at North Grimston; by the mid 1920s this quarry was shipping about 28,000 tons of limestone per annum. The owners of North Grimston later moved their operation to Burdale. The next quarry to open was at Wharram and this generated a significant output of chalk during the 1920s. Wharram quarry closed in the early 1930s but a little later re-opened under new management but at a greatly reduced output. The final big quarry, and the largest of them all, was at Burdale. This opened in 1925 but the operation was much less mechanised than Wharram. The output of Burdale peaked in the late 40s/early 50s with annual shipments of about 50,000 tons. Burdale Quarry Passenger traffic was at its peak just before WW1 but the M&DR always remained one of the less profitable lines on the NER. After WW1 the line came under the control of the London & North Eastern Railway under the general grouping on 1st January 1923. Fares immediately rose and passenger numbers began to suffer as buses reached the Yorkshire Wolds in 1924. Buses ran right into village centres while many of the stations were sited some distance from the villages they served. The General Strike of 1926 and the coal shortage that followed further damaged the railway with an emergency service of two daily trains running between Driffield and Malton and it wasn’t long before local station closures were announced due to increasing road competition. Intermediate stations between Scarborough and York were closed on 22nd September 1930 leaving only Malton and Seamer open. The Malton – Gilling service was next to go, closing to passengers on 1st January 1931. Surprisingly the Malton & Driffield line survived these early cuts, perhaps because there was no suitable parallel road. Road competition also affected agricultural freight traffic although all the stations closed to passenger traffic remained open for freight and the Malton & Driffield was actually at its busiest between the wars carrying stone from the local quarries. During WW2, the line was regularly used by troop trains and for transporting munitions to the many airfields in the East Riding and at one time sentries were posted at both ends of the Burdale tunnel to prevent sabotage. All station signage was removed in 1940. The railways were nationalised on 1st January 1948 with the M&DR coming under the control of British Railways North Eastern Region. Initially the pre-war service of three daily passenger trains and a pick-up goods train was reinstated. For the first time the line was used regularly by long distance passenger trains with the resumption of the summer Saturday holiday trains from the north east and Scotland but with the ever increasing popularity of road transport this was to be short lived and the passenger service was withdrawn from 5th June 1950 with the last train running on 3rd June; this train was packed. The line was temporarily reopened to passengers between 12-16th February 1953 due to bad weather. Potential customers were informed of the opening on the previous evening’s news. It is not known if all the stations were used. The line remained open for freight and passenger excursions but the pick-up goods service was reduced to Tuesdays and Thursdays with a short running to Sledmere & Fimber on Saturdays. The platforms at some of the stations were shortened to serve the goods trains. Despite Burdale quarry reaching its peak after the war, it closed in 1955 with the loss of the last regular freight traffic on the line. With the quarry closure it was no longer necessary to keep the line open although in the hard winter of 1957/8 when much of the Wolds were cut off by snow a special passenger and goods service was again introduced over the line. Two enthusiasts’ specials ran in 1957, the first on 02/06/57 and organised by the Branch Line Society, and the second being organised by the RCTS and running on 23/06/57. Final closure came on 20th October 1958 although the last goods train ran on 16th October, the very last train along the line running on 18th October. Most of the track was lifted shortly after closure and sold for scrap with the exception of a short stub left at Malton to provide access to the bacon factory at Norton and to serve the Thirsk & Malton line until 10th August 1964. At the Driffield end, the double track section from Driffield West was still in use for trains to/from the Market Weighton direction until 14th June 1965. This tunnel through the Wolds is 140 yards longer than originally planned, falling short of a mile by just 16 yards. In 1845 it was anticipated that the tunnel would be through dry chalk; in the event 2/3rds of it where through severely unstable shale. Work started in 1847 from its southern end and working faces either side of four construction shafts but in a little over a year only 150 yards had been cut. Difficulties were experienced with flooding and rockfalls. The southern end was constructed as an elaborate (and huge) double track portal with magnificent stone work. The width for double track continues for around 30 yards. The northern end is of a much plainer (although practical) red brick construction and built only for single track. The tunnel bore shrinks 30 yards beyond the entrance but opens out again at several locations. Eight 9-foot diameter shafts were eventually dug to aid construction, three being retained for ventilation purposes. The tunnel’s operational history was chequered. On 21st August 1866, a labourer fell from a carriage as it headed south through the bore. He survived, albeit with serious injuries to his face, head and elbow. After receiving pain relief in Malton, he was taken to Driffield Cottage Hospital where doctors amputated his arm. A guard smashed his head on a bridge at the northern end whilst riding on the tender. Soon after closure, several stories exist of people driving, biking and even walking through the tunnel. There are even stories of tiddlywinks being played half-way through. The game being lit by the headlights of cars. To prevent this kind of activity the tunnel was bricked up at both ends to prevent people entering in July 1961. In the late Seventies, a collapse occurred just north of the tunnel’s second ventilation shaft – around half-a-mile in. The mid-80s saw another fall block the tunnel towards its southern end, creating a sealed section in the middle. Flooding and landslips were commonplace, and even today, the entire area around the Wharram end is totally waterlogged. After long periods of rainfall, water levels in the tunnel can reach depths of 12 feet. (Credit to Nick Catford for the above information) The pics: The track bed can be seen heading past Burdale Quarry to the tunnel which is in the left corner. The green expanse curving to the right is Fairy Dale. Notice the two platelayers huts on the hillside. On a 1914 map Tunnel Cottage is shown A number of years ago - A family walking along the track bed. Burdale tunnel is in the distance with Tunnel Cottage visible in the middle of the picture. The plate layers huts can also be seen on the hillside to the right. Burdale quarry is to the right behind the camera. Still there today Fairy Dale A chalk spoil tip The tunnel comes into view The tunnel had a hut just outside of each of its portals. This one is on the southern side and has long since disappeared The remains of the hut today A RCTS Railtour special leaves the southern portal of the tunnel Disused but with the rails still in situ The southern portal is finally bricked up In 2023 Built to last We’re in The last bit of natural light for a while An open tunnel drain has a good flow of water through it The tunnel roof castings have survived Stone and brick construction. Notice how the tunnel bore decreases further in. Blue engineering brick and the remains of two porcelain insulators Looking up one of the ventilation shafts Further along another work of art Unfortunately it is not long before we come to the start of the collapse Massive pieces of the tunnel lining have broken away We are soon left with a total separation of the brick lining Moving further through there are numerous fractures in the tunnel roof This is the limit of our pass through. It is only a crawl from here and if this lot comes down we are all done for! Back outside now looking south from the portal We’ll make our way north through Tunnel Plantation which is over the top of the tunnel. There are the air shafts to see here. The first has a grille over the top of the small tower This lower one has been capped with concrete The next one is fenced off for good reason The vent shaft has dropped into the void below as we are above the collapsed section at this point. A thin covering of overgrowth and tree cover conceals a drop into the abyss. At the north portal. After heavy rain water rises to the height of the yellow label on the door and pours into the tunnel through the missing brick. A tender first 64947 on a goods run on the final approach to the north portal of Burdale Tunnel In 1954, three J39s, numbered 64867, 64928 and 64947 were allocated to Malton Shed. These were chiefly employed on the Burdale to Malton, and Malton to Thirsk goods trains conveying stone for use at various blast furnaces in the Middlesbrough area. The west end of Malton engine shed in 1955, with BR J39 64867 outside and 64928 inside The track bed curves away to the north. This resembles a canal in winter with water up to the top of the banks. The northern portal and hut can be clearly seen in this superb photo With the railway gone it was up to the local bus service to move people around. Seen heading for Malton in NBC days, 1973 Bristol LH6L United 1558 is near the end of its life. It was withdrawn and scrapped in September 1982, just nine years old. We leave the tunnel behind now and head for our second location which is only minutes away. We’ll have a look at that next time. Odds and Ends The Leyland Gathering 2023 The annual gathering of all things Leyland took place at the Buckingham Railway Centre, Quainton. Here are the photos from a great day: Leyland Tiger PS1 new in April 1949 London Transport 1936 Leyland Cub SKPZ2 Park Royal RC18F New to London Transport for interstation use with fleet number C111 in what used to be called an ‘observation coach’ style. UOU 419H Leyland Panther Fleet Number: 419 Year: 1970 Chassis: Leyland Panther PSUR1A/1R Engine: Leyland 0.680 Body: Plaxton Derwent B52F The last of the three Leyland Panthers bought by King Alfred Motor Services in 1970 for £7,300 each. It operated with Hants and Dorset following the demise of King Alfred Motor Services in April 1973 until withdrawal in 1980. Sold to Rees and Williams of Tycroes, south Wales, 419 was eventually bought by the Friends of King Alfred Buses in 1988 and returned to King Alfred livery. RTW185 was delivered new in 1949 to London Transport's Putney Bridge Garage. In May 1950 it took part in the Nottinghill Gate Test to establish whether RTWs, due to their 6 inch extra width would be suitable for use in Central London. In 1965 it ceased passenger service and became a driver training vehicle at Holloway, Muswell Hill, and finally Clapton. It covered at least one million miles whilst in service. It was the last RTW to be owned by LT. South Notts 82 (82 SVO), a Leyland-badged Albion Lowlander. The first of five Northern Counties-bodied Lowlander LR3s that the Gotham-based independent — part owned by Barton — bought for its services into Nottingham city centre, it was built in 1963. They marked a stepping stone between its purchase of lowbridge side sunken gangway doubledeckers and its first rear-engined Atlanteans. The Lowlander was a lowheight version of the Leyland Titan PD3, built at the Albion Motors works in Glasgow mainly but not exclusively for the Scottish Bus Group. The LR3 combined a synchromesh gearbox with leaf suspension. The immaculate Knowles fleet The livery now 1984 Leyland Atlantean/Northern Counties 1989 Leyland Olympian ECW Leyland Titan H44/24D - 9/1982 New to London Transport (T567) 1929 Leyland Lioness coach was new to White Rose Motor Company of Rhyl North Wales . In 1939 it was bricked up in a tunnel in Jersey to prevent it being used during the German Occupation . It has never been fully restored, only repainted and a few new parts added such as the fold down roof and seating. Leyland Leopard / Marshall Maidstone & District New to Maidstone & District 7/1972 as 3456 East Kent 1948 Leyland Tiger PS1/1 Park Royal C32R South African Express Locomotive 'Janice'. Built in 1954 by the North British Locomotive Company in Glasgow. They were amongst the most technically advanced and powerful steam locomotives ever built in this country. 'Janice' regularly hauled the luxurious Blue Train across South Africa until the late 1970s. CO/CP Stock - This unit consists of converted O stock car 53028 (originally 13028), trailer 013063 and converted P motor car 54233 (originally 14233) that had the most varied life, having been famously rebuilt from two war-damaged cars. These cars would have served the Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City and District Lines during the type’s 43-year service on London Underground. Class 115 DMU Egyptian National Railway Steam Rail car run on Bunker Oil rather than coal - It is one of only ten units built by Sentinel and Metro-Cammell in Birmingham in 1951 Built by Hunslet in 1964 this was the last standard gauge locomotive built in this country for the home market. The loco was part of the South Yorkshire NCB fleet and was sent to Cadeby Main Colliery, Conisborough. The track bed heading north The Brill Tramway Locomotive - One of two built in 1872 by Aveling & Porter of Rochester. It was used on the Wotton Tramway between Quainton Road and Brill. It was adapted from a road traction engine and had a chain drive and flywheel. This 'accident crane' as it was known originally was built by Cowans Sheldon of Carlisle in 1914 and spent most of its life in Harrow goods yard. 'Beattie' was built in 1874 by Beyer Peacock and was one of 85 locos built to serve suburban trains out of Waterloo. 'Hilsea' - The locomotive was built in 1961, one of the last made by Ruston & Hornby of Lincoln. It is fitted with a Ruston 4VPH engine which is started by compressed air from a donkey engine. It spent its life working for British Gas at Hilsea Gasworks near Portsmouth. It is a standard 20ton locomotive and was used to move, separate and unload tanks of naphtha gas. Gas would arrive in 20 ton trucks from the Esso plant at Fawley on the edge of the New Forest. Hibberd diesel shunter A 1961 built Ruston & Hornsby diesel shunter. It was originally ordered by the MOD and was based at Bramley A 1959 Ruston & Hornsby shunter. It worked at a cement works shunting wagons of coal brought in from the Nottinghamshire collieries via the exchange sidings on the branch line between Luton and Dunstable. It would also have marshalled wagons of Presflo Cement ready to be hauled away by British Railways. Homeward bound There were some quality vehicles on display at this event 👍 In the last one for this off season next time we will be definitely going here:
  5. Results and report from St Austell 6th September 1955. Results and report from St Austell 28th August 1956. Results and report from St Austell 11th September 1956. Results and report from St Austell 2nd July 1957. Results and report from St Austell 30th July 1957. Results and report from St Austell 6th August 1957. Results and report from St Austell 13th August 1957. Results and report from St Austell 20th August 1957. Results and report from St Austell 1st October 1957.
  6. Official Livestream - Be there live, or watch it live! Nothing beats being trackside and the sight and sound of being there, but if you can’t make it, the stream will feature a multi camera view and live commentary from the team that brought you Premier Sports footage and the team who have brought our previous live streams! Any companies wishing to sponsor the Stream and have their logo/company name in the broadcast, please get in touch! Be wary of any fake links that are posted – we will endeavour to clear these off of our channels as quick as we can. The link to the official stream is here: https://www.247.tv/live/ovalracing/video/1214927-brisca-f2-stock-car-world-championship-qr-aaron-patch-memorial-2l-stock-car-charlene-kingston-memorial-1300-stock-cars-saturday-2nd-mar-2024-5-00pm Sign up now and watch live from £12.99, or £14.99 and donate £2 to the driver of the day fund!
  7. There are 82 BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, 40 2L Saloon Stock Cars and 37 1300cc Stock Cars booked in to race. The full meeting preview is available on our website Remember kids 11 and under go free when tickets are booked online. https://www.stockcar-racing.co.uk/
  8. Trackstar F1 Stock Car White & Yellow Championship and Eric Graveling Memorial It’s not long now before F1 Stock Cars return to King’s Lynn and we are once again proud to host the first meeting of the season on Saturday 16 March (5pm). We are looking forward to a great turnout of cars with plenty of enthusiasm for the 2024 season in all quarters. As is tradition the meeting will host the Trackstar White & Yellow Championship with the grid being based on drivers’ performances in the White & Yellow races. This race will also double up as the Eric Graveling Memorial and our thanks go to Sara-Jayne Smith and the rest of Eric’s family for their generous sponsorship of this race which will see the winner take home Eric’s Number in winnings - £315! The grid for this race is below; White Tops Row 1 Daniel Brooke (548) Jonathan Davison (469) Row 2 Matt Abdy (359) Nathan Harrison (299) Row 3 Mark Balmer (163) Trevor Queenan (336) Row 4 Craig Smith (407) Jack Prosser (566) Row 5 Harley Halton (414) Ian Bond (431) Row 6 Craig McLoughlin (115) Louis Goodwin (295) Row 7 Karl Whiteman (303) Billy Queenan (360) Row 8 Thomas Andrews (453) Andrew Yull (590) Row 9 Karl Mosley (582) Yellow Tops Row 10 Chris Brocksopp (338) Marc Clayton (499) Row 11 Russell Cooper (415) Colin Goodswen (372) Row 12 Wilie Skoyles Jnr (541) Richard Woods (268) Row 13 Mick Haworth (235) Geoff Nickolls (215) Row 14 William Adams (545) Lewis Galer (78) Row 15 Nigel Harrhy (45) Peter Hobbs (108) Row 16 Henry Robson (67) Jake Harrhy (345) Row 17 Mickey Randall (172) Oliver Wadsworth (31) Row 18 Lenny Smith (185) Ben Howard (544) Row 19 Callum Thornton (368) Ricky Wilson (502) Row 20 Timothy Parry (261) Martin Ford (369) Row 21 Sam Mee (450) John Adams (145) Row 22 Rob Plant (364) Daz Kitson (532) Blue Tops Row 23 Casey Englestone (120) The payout for this race is below; This race will pay £50 to the leader on each lap and £315 £150, £100, £75, £50, £50, £50, £50 to the first eight drivers home.
  9. Earlier
  10. Let’s get ready to rumble…the Stock Car season will roar into life with our traditional Stock Car opener, Saturday 2nd March, with the F2 Stock Cars WCQR and Aaron Patch memorial race, 2L Stock Cars Charlene Kingston Memorial & 1300cc Stock Cars. This is always a brilliant meeting and kicks off what will be another sensational season in 2024 at King's Lynn. New Season, New Cars, New Paint. . . over 150 cars! Let's go racing! There are 78 BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, 39 2L Saloon Stock Cars and 38 1300cc Stock Cars booked in to race. The full list is available on our website. Stock Car Racing is Magic …70 years and STILL Thrill Of The Century! Thrills, spills, racing, crashing and bumping the opposition out the way; is all part of the spectacle! Kids 11 and under go free when tickets are booked online. Advance tickets online now. https://www.stockcar-racing.co.uk/
  11. Yes the car is staying in the UK and hopefully back on track this year
  12. Hi there folks. Welcome to episode 7. In this one: Section 1: F2s at Posterholt, the Semi’s from Bristol, and damage at St Day. Section 2: In Out and About we take a look at Jumbles Quarry. Section 3: Odds and Ends: Blackpool Transport Spot and Riverside. Section 1: Posterholt – Sunday 30th July 2023 – 16 cars A few pics from Posterholt which is in the Dutch province of Limburg: The view from turn 4 and from turn 1 Wide corners A very neat and tidy venue She was singing Wim’s song. He was getting his car set up to win the Golden Helmet Final later that day. Jan Bekkers Giel Kubben Laura Vervuurt A mint Freightliner Peter Tegelbeckers Johan Ots Stan Coenen Bram Leenhouts Justin Albrecht The next race gridded up whilst the current one was running. It made for a speedy turnaround. Bjorn Donkers Rik Maessen won Heats 1 & 2 Laura alongside the Peeters' bus Luc Ottenheym Johan Swinkels Toon Schut The track is in a very rural area F2 Semi-Finals at Bristol – Sunday August 6th 2023 – 71 cars Whilst some withdrawals were to be expected owing to an unfamiliar surface, disciplinary suspensions, and no interest in funding a trip over to the WF in Ireland this was still a good turn out. It was a warm and dry day which was a plus up in the Mendip Hills. Two young guns in the Smith pit An engine change for JP after practice: Before the first semi there was a heat for non-qualifiers which white top Jamie Cocks (856) led from start to finish. Ht 1: 856 605 925 676 121 976 97 762 746 22 Following the drafting in of the reserves Semi-Final 1 lined up as below: 7 968 560 578 915 16 647 24 184 324 210 387 501 890 419 674 127 390 47 315 454 12 795 9 100 542 475 926 The 7 car made a good start but behind a huge pile up took Micky Brennan and others out before the race had got going: Following the caution period Gordon was away and led from Luke Wrench. These two settled into a good pace up front with Craig Wallace and Chris Burgoyne in the next two spots. Further back Jessica Smith was attempting to become the first lady for 30 years to qualify for a WF. She made it into the top 10 and then out again. She continued to battle to the end and was rewarded with an eventual 9th place finish. The top four finished in the same positions as earlier followed over the line by Matt Stoneman, Jamie Jones, Paul Rice and Jon Palmer. Result: 7 560 16 647 127 915 890 24 390 100 The top 3 wait for post-race checks Semi 2 183 3 880 903 776 801 992 226 844 213 980 461 783 618 979 931 588 464 975 736 191 435 482 325 547 895 285 728 This second race was a lot closer. Charlie Guinchard led away from Liam Rennie who kept the 183 car in his sights. At around halfway Liam made it past but Charlie retaliated with a hard hit and set sail to the victory. Jack Witts and Dan Roots were behind these two with James Rygor making rapid inroads to pass them both within a few laps. Guinchy reeled off the remaining laps to take the victory from Rennie and Rygor. A great drive from young Caiden Morrison from the back of the grid netted him 10th place. Result: 183 3 783 880 992 776 980 801 226 285 Following this were two Consolations. The first was won by Rebecca Smith. This was her first win at the Bristol track and went some way to help her disappointment and not joining her sister on the WF grid. Gary Walker led the second race for most of the way until being overhauled by Craig Driscoll towards the end. 34 of the 38 qualifiers lined up for the Final and as tradition dictates the first WF qualifier home would win the inside line for their semi. Lots of hard hitting actioned followed with Chris Burgoyne making a rapid start and continuing to the victory. The win put Gordon Moodie on pole for the WF. Another class drive from Caiden Morrison saw him finish 2nd from the back of the grid. A 20 car grid formed up for the GN which Matt Stoneman dominated to take the win from Caiden Morrison who rounded out his day in fine style. It had been a great afternoon and with plenty of cars and nice weather Bristol is always a delight to visit. Remaining results: Consolation 1: 931 979 9 578 844 736 547 235 746 325 Consolation 2: 12 821 542 213 97 47 184 315 501 895 Final: 647 285 127 560 880 3 979 7 801 183 GN: 127 285 390 783 3 926 801 184 880 47 More pics in the gallery. Andy Smith’s report: “Well the Semi Finals for the BriSCA F2s are done and dusted and we arrived back home close to midnight last night after a rubbish journey back from Bristol. Chris Rea wasn’t wrong when he referred to the M25 as the “Road to Hell”! As a bit of a backdrop to the semis I can say that as a team we weren’t exactly brimming with confidence. As already stated both girls were well back on the grid on row 9 outside. As is usual lately we travelled down to Bristol the night before as to go on race day would have meant leaving at 5am so we find it better to set off the night before. We were there early in the queue which gave us ample time to get both cars unloaded and beat the rush to get scrutineered and all ready for the start of practice. Rebecca: Last time out at Bristol a fortnight ago we were very disappointed with the car. We had been to Taunton the night before and changed tons of stuff to try and get it round in the wet so tbh we lost the car a bit for Bristol. We tried all day to cure understeer but never got the right balance. Although disappointed Rebecca was mature and her attitude was as we spent all day learning what not to do we will go back home and make it better. And so she did. She has been in the garage almost every night and with my guidance she had done lots of work on the car with regards maintenance and adjustment. It was time well spent as she got right up to speed by the end of practice. I’m told she was 13th quickest overall and just 1/10th off the fastest which considering her equipment isn’t “premier league” was excellent tbh. Jessica: Her build up to the semis hasn’t been good at all. She has had damage upon damage and her last 3 meetings has seen her car and body take a right pounding so this coupled with being on the receiving end of let’s diplomatically say some “unsavoury” behaviour at the tracks left her at a real low ebb. She decided to have a week or two away from the stockcar to clear her head and heal her body a bit but got back in the garage to prep the car in time for the weekend. She also was happy with the car but I will be honest I did wonder how she would drive in the semi considering where her confidence levels were. I would soon find out as her semi was first up. I needn’t have worried as after probably the toughest run for various reasons she’s had since stepping into a race car some 12 years ago she totally smashed it and showed them what she is made of After a cracking start she avoided the carnage brilliantly to get up to 10th after just one lap but a pile up led to a total restart. Next time around she was just as good pulling herself into the top ten again in the first few laps before she got pushed out and dropped back a few. By this time every car in the top ten transfer spots was fast and she needed to push on and make up a couple of places. In what was around 15 laps of high speed racing she was head down and clawed herself back in eventually finishing 9th and into her first WF. Also being the first female to achieve qualification for 30 years. Magic Next up it was Rebecca’s turn and I suppose her sister’s result in a way put even more pressure on her to match it. But she has always coped really well in the Minis with big race pressure so I had no worries in that department. Because she knew she now had the pace I reckon the strategy was to keep the wheels on early on, avoid the inevitable crashes and race her way in after that. Similar to Jess really. Well it didn’t quite pan out. Unbelievably the race ran completely clean with just one retirement which meant getting a top ten from so far back on the grid with such fast cars throughout the field was not possible. She raced well after a bad start where she simply couldn’t get to the inside, she passed quite a few cars but couldn’t make it into the 10. She was hugely disappointed. So the Consolation for Rebecca where she dusted off her disappointment well and won reasonably comfortably. Her first win at Bristol which is an achievement in itself. Come the Final and Rebecca was at the rear of the yellows and was coming through nice. However, she spun a car out which actually cost her as it caused a major pile up so when they yellowed it she had the red top train right on her back bumper. Jess got caught up in it so on the restart she was right at the back. Rebecca got shoved out and they all came through so in no time she was toward the rear racing her sister. For 3 or 4 laps they were trading paint and I did think we were going to have a hard journey home at one point but they settled down and raced well with good speed but both finished outside the top ten. Come the last race Jess had the bit between her teeth and made a very good start. She had a really good race coming home an excellent 3rd getting the better of a few really good drivers and ending what had been an excellent day for her. Rebecca was going well just behind Jess but picked up suspension damage in a tussle and had to retire so ending a day with a winners trophy but overall a bit disappointed. But if there’s one thing to come out of it she worked hard to get her car on the pace and that she was. Her car is considerably behind Jessica’s in terms of cost and therefore potential performance and because of this she sometimes suffers with reliability which frustrates her, but she bounces back well and one day hopefully she can get together a bit better equipment to show what she can do more. So I suppose we have to try and put together an Ireland trip now. Geographically it’s a fair old run for us. There’s the Venray weekend in a couple of weeks that the girls were really keen to do but we decided to see what happened yesterday. Tbh to do both overseas weekends so close would be too much of a strain on their racing budget unless they could raise some additional sponsorship to go towards the travel costs. As things stand at the minute it looks like we will be choosing the Ireland trip which is as it’s a lot further away. Jess is on the grid and she has to take her place. It’s a tough one as it sells Rebecca a bit short as she’d probably rather do Holland but if she goes to Ireland she has at least got one more chance to get in as there’s a last chance race on the night which she is eligible to enter. We will see, not 100% sure where the girls will be racing next but on the whole as a family a good day yesterday Bye for now and thankyou from Lisa and myself to all who back the girls to continue going out showing the boys what they are made of ” At Taunton the next evening I spent a very enjoyable meeting chatting with these three F2 stars of the past: Kevin Stack (628), Ian King (804) and Rod Avon (600). 13th Aug was unlucky for some at a very damaging St Day meeting: A stuck throttle on the 24 car sent Jon into the turn 3 fence hard Jon felt that one! "Is that your mate over there Tom?" It's Bad Boy Chiller Crew Section 2: Out and About to Jumbles Quarry We are in the Forest of Bowland folks to have a look at the remarkable resident that remains in Jumbles Quarry. Just below the red arrow you can see a body of water known as Stocks Reservoir. The reservoir for fresh drinking water was built by the Fylde water company and is the only reservoir lying within the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The quarry owes its existence to this reservoir which is near Slaidburn in Lancashire. Later we’ll explore from the Cross of Greet Bridge to the quarry but first let’s take a look back at the origins of the reservoir: The Dalehead Valley in the Forest of Bowland was once homing to a thriving community and village. Now the luscious greenery is flooded with water, making up the Stocks Reservoir at the head of the Hodder Valley. The reservoir that is today home to fly fishing clubs, mountain bikers and weekend ramblers, is all that is left of Stocks-in-Bowland, the village that was abandoned during the 1920s and 1930s as the Fylde Water Board began construction of a dam across the upper Hodder. The construction of the dam on the Stocks embankment Stocks began its life in the high Medieval period when it was just a small hamlet to the north of Slaidburn, first recorded in 1246. It was comprised of little more than two farmsteads and would not grow until the explosion of commerce and European-wide trade in the 1600s. It was in this century that the scattered farms grew into more of a settlement, with an inn, a post office, a blacksmith and a general store added to the valley. The Inn, called The New Inn became a central focus to Stocks. It was a rarity to have a settlement anywhere in England that was first serviced by a pub before anyone thought of building a church. Some would say that the people of Stocks just had their priorities right. St James’ Church was finally added to the settlement in 1852 before a school was constructed in 1873, followed by a vicarage two years later. These new additions were set 262yds to the north of the original settlement along the line of the road towards the dispersed farms which sprang up in the 19th Century. If the village had been allowed to develop then these separate centres may have merged into a strong settlement but that dream never became reality. Stocks-in-Bowland in the 1920s By the 1900s the hamlet was at the centre of the Dalehead community. The scattered farms and hamlets across the region came to Stocks using the inn (now called The Travellers Rest), praying in the church, and sending their children to the school. The water board began surveying the area in 1910. By 1912 an act was passed in Parliament empowering the board to compulsorily purchase the land in the proposed water catchment area changing the future of Stocks forever. The Travellers Rest In 1915 the board began to purchase buildings in the village including the wheelwright’s shop before taking over the Traveller's Rest. In 1919 they completed the purchase of the whole village. Without enough cash to fight the case legally the villagers were forced to move abandoning their farms and settling elsewhere. The Dalehead schoolmaster with his children Construction work did not begin until 1921 and took another 11 years to complete. It completely changed the face of the entire region. These works included the reconstruction of over five miles of road from Long Preston which could carry heavy traffic. Before work could start on the dam, a village to house 300 - 400 men and their families had to be built, which when complete had its own water supply, sewerage scheme, electricity supply, hospital, canteen, cinema and a recreation hall. Other necessary buildings included offices, joiner’s shops, engine sheds, blacksmith’s and fitter’s shops, and a power house. At the peak of the building over 500 men worked there with the standard wage being £2.25 a week. After board and lodging most of the workmen spent their money on beer, though spirts were banned. If anybody got too drunk they were put in the 'cooler' for the night which was a covered railway wagon. Graham Johnson said in 1976,'The town that grew up at Hollins.....may have been the last word in industrial relations in the 20's,but by todays counterparts...would have mistaken it for a Siberian work camp....The men of Stocks thought themselves lucky to have a cinema showing silent films, a canteen selling anything from a packet of pins to a side of beef, a recreation room with billiards, and limited cottage accommodation for wives and families.' Sadly, the construction village is now long gone, all that remains to be seen are the derelict hospital, dam and the causeway. The following ten photos were kindly forwarded to me by Duck: Three pics of the hospital An aerial shot showing the hospital and Hollins village remains. The road that runs from top to bottom is the old road that ran through Hollins. The hospital is bottom right in the trees, the foundations are on the right of the picture. There are more on the left of the road but they are not clearly seen. The reservoir in drought conditions: A brick from the Claughton Manor Brick Company. This was one of a number of brickworks near Lancaster. The works is operated by Forterra and is also served by the last aerial ropeway in Britain. For moving men and materials, a 3 foot gauge railway was constructed. Steam engines hauled building material between the railhead and the water board depot adjacent to Long Preston railway station. This five mile long 'main line' threw off numerous branches to quarries and borrow pits for fill totalling another thirteen miles and cost the Fylde Water Board £90,000. Upon completion, the railway was dismantled and forgotten. Two views of the Stocks Reservoir Railway with Jumbles Quarry arrowed The Dalehead smithy St James’ Church was dismantled and re-erected half a mile away with the graveyard exhumed and the inhabitants reburied. The church and the vicarage in Dalehead Some 344 acres of the valley were flooded in total giving us the lush green valley today with little sign that the thriving Stocks-in-Bowland ever existed. Speeches from the inauguration ceremony attended by HRH Prince George Stocks Reservoir Opening First water passes through the compensation pipe. 1932 Annual rainfall here is about 5 feet and when full the reservoir covers an area of about 475 acres, the equivalent of 500 football pitches. Full, the reservoir holds up to 2.5 billion gallons of water, collected continuously from the 9300 acres of surrounding land. After treatment, the water from Stocks goes mainly to the Fylde area of Lancashire. Now let’s see what remains today: We start at Cross of Greet Bridge: It is in a very remote area In the opposite direction This location above is the highest point from Tatham Fells to Slaidburn and is known as “Cross of Greet” or “Top of t’Cross”. There is no cross, just a large boulder with a shallow square hole in its top. It stands on the Lune-Ribble watershed and marked the county boundary with Yorkshire’s West Riding until 1974, when the Slaidburn area became part of Lancashire. This view shows Stocks reservoir and Pendle Hill in the distance. It is usually asserted that a stone cross once stood here and fitted into the square hole in the boulder. However, the hole looks too shallow to have supported a cross. But was it once deeper, and might the top of the base have been broken off? Could it be that the stone had nothing to do with the cross? The latter view is held by some, who suggest that the boulder is a “Plague Stone”, and its hole a basin. In times past, there was a superstition that washing money in a Plague Stone would protect the traveller against catching disease in the new territory beyond. The bridge crosses the River Hodder of which the upper reaches of the river feed the reservoir. The Hodder also flows under the Cromwell Bridge sixteen miles south Although built in 1561-2, it is named after the great general as his 8000 strong army crossed it in 1648 on his way from Skipton to meet the royalist Scots at Preston. It is a narrow bridge and the cavalry would pass no more than two abreast at a push and infantry no more than three. Legend says that Oliver dismantled the parapets which so hindered the troops' movement. We’ll be walking from the Cross of Greet Bridge following the trackbed of the old 3ft gauge mineral railway across the moors north-west to the quarry. At the bottom of the map is a watercourse called Near Costy Clough which the line crossed over. A photo from 1977 showing the rails over Near Costy Clough The same scene today Looking back to Cross of Greet with Catlow Farm in the far distance Approaching an old fox bield This was an old fox trap, or fox bield. It has partially collapsed and been filled in. A bait of food was suspended on a plank over the hole and when the fox walked out to reach it, he would overbalance and fall in. The nature of the enclosure implied that he couldn't escape so suffered his demise after one final meal! It is all uphill to the quarry A solitary piece of rail stands sentinel to what once was In 1977 In 2023 A point frog Back in 1977 the runround loop track was visible. This is on the approach to Far Costy Clough. There was a trestle bridge to cross over here but even back then it had long gone. This branch line became one of the busiest sections of railway during the Stocks construction. It was certainly the stiffest section to work in view of its gradients which were mostly in favour of loads but with two or three short steep pitches against the load. A typical train comprised a steam locomotive and eight or ten wagons of stone. The 40hp Simplex internal combustion locomotive from the dam works was occasionally pressed into service on the branch when dry weather created an excessive fire hazard on this fell section. A covered wagon was run daily over the line to convey men to and from the quarry. After the Stocks and District Farmers’ Ball held in the cinema at Hollins village usually on the Friday night in January nearest the full moon a train was run part way to Jumbles for participants from outlying farms. However, in a particularly harsh winter it was quicker to walk as the rails were iced up. Arrowed is our location at Far Costy Clough Hanging rails It is amazing how nature has completely buried the rails in the years since 1977 The track curves towards the old quarry. The majority from Cross of Greet was removed for scrap in the 1980s. Some lengths as here remain where they weren't easily accessible. The trackbed has turned into a small stream Part of the runround loop comes into view Complete with sleepers. Nature is slowly encroaching however. Still hanging on against the march of time. Climbing away from the trackbed to a high position the quarry and the jewel in its crown come into view. Stone for culvert arches and elsewhere in the works was obtained from the quarry which was opened out high up above the reservoir site. The quarry also provided stone for the construction of the dam and was connected to it by the three foot narrow gauge railway. This transported aggregate and facing stone four and a half miles to the Stocks reservoir construction site. Stone for aggregate was first exposed here in September 1925 and larger stones were being quarried by March 1926. The Jumbles quarry steam crane has sat hidden away in this valley in the Forest of Bowland for 100 years It is a Smiths of Rodley steam crane and is a wonderful piece of Edwardian engineering Thomas Smith & Sons (Rodley) Ltd were formed in 1918. The firm originating in the village of Rodley, Leeds in Yorkshire. They were a builder of steam cranes for railways and quarries before going on to build diesel engined excavators and cranes, and eventually lorry mounted lattice jib cranes. The company history started in 1820 when a firm of millwrights was started by Jeremiah Balmforth, David Smith, and Jeremiah Booth in the village of Rodley. The company progressed to making stone cutting machinery & winches. By 1840 most of the equipment being made was cranes. These being of various capacities from 1/2 ton to 10 ton hand operated machines. They built their first steam crane in 1860. By 1861 David Smith’s son Thomas had taken control. The company was run as a partnership with his sons till he died in 1902, with the sons incorporating the company in 1918, as Thomas Smith & Sons (Rodley) Ltd. Early Developments: 1887 Built their first ever excavator, a steam crane fitted with a shovel attachment. 1887-1893 Contract to supply 5 & 10 ton steam cranes to the Manchester Ship Canal builders. 1894 Built their first ever electric crane. 1900 Built a trencher machine designed by Jubb from Manchester which was added on to a 3 ton steam crane. The company built several truck mounted cranes based on cranecarriers from Atkinson, AWD, Foden and Leyland. In 1978 they were taken over by the NEI group who owned a number of related engineering and construction machinery businesses. The 1980s recession forced the closure and disposal of a number of them. This ran on a short length of standard gauge track and was used for loading trains of eight to ten wagons with gritstone Leftovers of stone show the scars of blasting apart. This has the drill hole where explosives would have been inserted. A piece that has been split with the drill holes visible Hardly any photos of the quarry being worked exist. This shows a steam navvy getting earthfill from the reservoir bed. The loco is OGDEN which was used extensively at Jumbles. OGDEN An 0-4-0 side tank by W G Bagnall of 1905. After Stocks it was sold to Derby Corporation in Sept 1932. Two years later passed to William Twigg of Matlock for £90. The other loco used was FYLDE. This 0-4-0 side tank was by Peckett of 1924. It was ordered in May 1924, and delivered in August 1924 at a cost of £920. Sold to Derby in Sept 1932, and after various owners was left lying beside G.W.R works at Caerphilly. It left South Wales in 1943 and worked for the Consett Iron Company at Butsfield quarry in County Durham until broken up on site in 1951. An incident of interest occurred on the 28th April 1927 when the Andrew Barclay four-coupled locomotive BICKERSTAFFE was derailed and finished half-submerged in water. The loco was at the head of a full complement of loaded tip wagons and was on a descending gradient on the dam wall. The rearmost wagon derailed, tilted, and progressively dragged the others into the water along with the locomotive. The driver and his mate jumped clear as the whole lot fell down the 25ft drop. The loco’s fall was cushioned to some degree by its own wagons going down before it! A rare burst of sunlight illuminates its magnificence: On completion of the reservoir the quarry was abandoned. Apart from the cylinders which have been removed, the crane is remarkably intact, probably due to the remote and inaccessible location. That completes our look at this industrial gem. Section 3 Odds and Ends: Blackpool Transport Spot: Blackpool Tramway Extension & Holiday Inn Both are well on the way to completion and scheduled to open in 2024. The £22m extension forms part of the Talbot Gateway regeneration project around Blackpool North railway station. The new tramway leaves the promenade at North Pier to travel along Talbot Road to Blackpool North Station. A new sign has now gone up for the North Station Tram Stop. The new hotel and italian restaurant are hoping to open next month. The tramway will need a bit of "testing" and training, and as yet there is no definite day for starting service operation. There has been some rail cleaning/grinding done very recently effectively to remove surface corrosion of the tracks to ensure return electrical flow. When complete, the new Holiday Inn hotel will stand where Wilko once used to be. The tramway extension will run from the promenade to the tram stop sited at the side of the new underpass to Blackpool North Station. Connections from tram to train with a bright, modern entrance into the station. Tramlines being laid in Talbot Road And this is the ‘turnout’ created from the promenade lines when they were laid 6 years ago. Blackpool Tramway extension on 31.10.18 On Monday 4 July 2022 - test trams Heading towards central Blackpool now: Rigby road depot is still closed off to the public at the present time Work has now been completed on Balloon 700 and Bolton 66 so the engineering team have now moved onto the next tram which is Railcoach 631: Old advertising boards on the paint shop wall A Peep into the Past: Balloon 700 at Tower in March 1997 on its first test run following overhaul and restoration to an approximation of its wartime appearance. Jubilee 762 passes by on a scheduled service to Fleetwood. 681+671 pull up at Warley Road on 30/10/10. This set was probably the hardest pair of trams to travel on during 2010. Always last resort after a reactivation during September for the illuminations. Sadly, that evening the set had an electrical fault that sent the set in. 673+683 were also out that day and it was the ultimate day of service for both twin sets in Blackpool. Thankfully the motor car is displayed in the attractive all over cream livery at the St Helens "North West Museum of Road Transport" The Blackpool team worked their magic on 706 to create the stunner below: 706 - Princess Alice at Bispham The official launch of repainted Twin car set 672+682, now once again carrying the original (pre 1968) numbers 272+T2, took place at the Pleasure Beach on 14th September 2012: Representatives of Blackpool Council and Blackpool Transport do the honours Twin car set 272+T2 depart Starr Gate depot on an "empty stock" move back to Rigby Road depot on 14th March 2014 The two currently remaining operational Balloon cars, 700 and 717, are seen together at the Pleasure Beach over 30 years ago in May 1993. Coronation car 304 Pleasure Beach 6-11-2010 North Pier 27-6-2010 Preston Riverside Progress is the sister loco to Enterprise and has worked on the docks since her arrival in 1968. The loco was purchased in 2002 and since that point has become one of the main shunters being used on a regular basis for moving items in and around the shed. In addition running the regular works trains that have been required to maintain the railway. Here at Ribble Steam Railway they’re well known for celebrating the large collection of industrial steam and heritage diesel locomotives but have three extremely important locomotives which work tirelessly to keep Preston’s Dockside traditions alive. These locomotives arrived in the North-West 50 years ago in a period of great social and economic change. Brought in to replace some nine steam locomotives, one of which survives in the form of the Lakeside & Haverthwaite’s ‘Princess’, these stalwart like characters are responsible for keeping bitumen trains rolling and the employment of four full-time operational employees. These characters, of course, are Ribble Rail’s three diesel shunters, built by Sentinel, and aptly named ‘PROGRESS, ENTERPRISE & ENERGY’. Sentinel, with their Rolls Royce engine suppliers turned out diesels for dying industries in the 1960s and are now represented in higher quantities by heritage railways than their industrial counterparts. Bitumen Trains The Story So Far: The 6M32 (loaded) and 6E32 (empty) bitumen trains between Lindsey Oil Refinery and Preston Docks always attract attention as they cross the country from coast to coast – not least because it is one of the few regular freight workings over the Copy Pit line. Just two days before Christmas 2004 the mothballed Preston Docks branch saw the return of regular rail freight operations after a nine year absence in the form of a 10 year contract to move 110,000 tonnes of bitumen a year from Total’s Lindsey Oil Refinery in North Lincolnshire to Preston’s (ex-Lanfina) facility for tar production. Damage to an overbridge on the branch in 1995 initially looked like it had brought the curtain down on the 149-year-old rail service to the docks with the bitumen tankers diverted to the Total (ex-Kelbit) site on the Haydock branch, near Ashton-in-Makerfield. Happily, 1999 saw trains head back to the redeveloped remains of the once extensive Preston Docks rail system in the form of the Ribble Steam Railway (RSR), which was formed from the ashes of the Steamport Southport group. Significant repairs to the line followed over the next few years, including replacement of the busy level crossing on Strand Road with automatic half barriers, a new pipeline gantry over Leeward Road, and unloading equipment to connect the Total refinery after it had been severed from the railway. Four years later, in 2003, the first of two trials ran on September 29 as EWS machine No. 66084 brought a loaded set of TEAs from Lindsey. This test train was not without its problems, with the GM Type 5 struggling on the infamous 1-in-29 incline from the exchange sidings up to Preston station resulting in Class 60s being diagrammed to power the heavy 1400 tonne trains when services restarted the following year. The load had proved difficult in BR days, with double-headed Class 31s and 37s mixing it with Class 47s in the 1980s on the heavier workings. The much more capable Class 56s took over in the early 1990s and continued after the changeover on Ashton services right up to the end of operations on the Haydock branch. A second trial took place on October 1, 2003, with No. 60012 providing the power for a set of the VTG-owned bogie bitumen tankers between Wigan Springs Branch and Preston Docks. Final approval to run freight trains was provided in August 2004. A series of route learning locos then visited the branch, and who could forget the surprising visit of Ian Riley ‘Tractor’ No. 37197 with fire-damaged Corradia No.175008 to the docks for onward road movement in November 2004. However, it was the turn of Brush heavy hauler No.60026 to kick-start Preston Docks’ rail-freight renaissance on December 23. Unfortunately, things did not go quite to plan, with malfunctioning discharge equipment resulting in the diversion of the loaded tanks to Ashton-in-Makerfield after Nos. 60088 (Mainline Freight grey) and 60091 (Trainload Coal) were sent to recover the motley collection of TEAs six days later. The return of bitumen trains to the docks had been intended to replace the services to Ashton, which was closed the following year and taken over by Hanson Aggregates. The service from North Lincolnshire quickly settled down to a two or three times weekly operation, operating as a loaded 6M32 westbound train and a corresponding 6E32 return, the latter powering its way over the Copy Pit route during daylight hours with a photographer-friendly departure in the morning. On the Preston Docks branch, Ribble Rail, a subsidiary of the RSR, worked the loaded set of 14 TEAs in two portions over the 1.5 miles A trip is made from the small bank of exchange sidings to the refinery (the siding can only accommodate seven wagons), having left the discharged vehicles for the Colas (previously DB Schenker and EWS) locomotive to collect. This approach ensures a fast turnaround time for the main line engine of less than an hour. Ribble Steam Railway-based Bagnall 0-6-0ST No. 2680 Courageous made its first ‘light engine’ test runs in the yard at Preston Riverside on 29th Jan 2014, becoming the first locomotive to return to steam in that year. The locomotive is now in regular service on the line. It has undergone a lengthy restoration by its current owner from near-derelict condition. The locomotive was built by W G Bagnall at its works in Stafford, emerging in 1942 as the first member of the Company’s standard 16” class of 0-6-0STs, it was immediately shipped to the Birchenwood Gas and Coke Co works near Stoke-on-Trent and put to work, being named Birchenwood No. 4 upon its arrival. In fact, such was the speed of its despatch from the Bagnall site that there was no time for official works photographs of the locomotive to be taken. Works photographs in fact show locomotive No. 2682 ‘Princess’ helping to perpetuate the myth that the latter was the class prototype. No. 2680 worked at Birchenwood until its closure in May 1973, becoming the last locomotive to work at the site. It was initially purchased for preservation by Sir William McAlpine and moved to Market Overton, but little work was done and it was sold once more, moving to the North Norfolk Railway, where it was dismantled for an overhaul that never took place. Several more changes of ownership took place and the locomotive’s condition gradually deteriorated, with many parts being lost in the intervening years. When the current owner acquired the locomotive in February 2009 most of the cab fittings were missing, together with almost all the external pipework and a myriad of other components. Many of these have had to be manufactured from scratch or acquired from other sources, adding significantly to the workload. Nevertheless, a small but dedicated team, led by No. 2680’s owner rebuilt the locomotive from a condition akin to that of an ex-Barry wreck to a pristine working machine within five years. Seven examples of the Bagnall standard 16” class were based on the Preston Corporation system at the Albert Edward Dock, which at the height of operations in the 1950s comprised some 26 miles of track. The locomotives include the aforementioned No. 2682 Princess, delivered in 1942, along with Nos. 2838 Energy, 2839 Perseverance, 2840 Enterprise, 2891 Progress, 2892 Courageous and 2893 Conqueror, all of which arrived on the system between 1946 and 1948. Steam ended on the dock in 1968, and three new Rolls Royce powered Sentinel 4wDM shunters, Nos. 10281, 10282 and 10283, arrived to replace the seven Bagnalls. The Sentinels were given the names of some of the withdrawn steam locomotives, becoming Energy, Enterprise and Progress respectively. With No. 2680 now having a long-term home at the Ribble Steam Railway, which operates on the last surviving part of the former Preston Dock system, a decision was taken to finish the locomotive in the guise of one of the six lost Preston Bagnalls, and when it emerged from the workshops it bore a pair of newly-cast Courageous nameplates, together with a pair of tank-side ladders identical to those fitted to its namesake. Soon to follow was the chimney-top ‘halo’ type spark arrestor, while the correct pattern of steam-heat equipment has also been fitted. A boon to heritage passenger operation, steam heating apparatus was originally employed on the locomotives to heat Geest banana vans to assist with the ripening process after the crop had been unloaded at the dock. Another great YouTube channel is WELDERFABBER. 3 years ago a crack welder escaped from the steel fabrication game to the underground Leyland based Hurt plant hire company! Today still wanted by every firm in the UK he survives in the Fox Group as WELDERFABBER! If you have a problem, if no-one else can help & if you can find him maybe you can hire the Baz team !! Next time: There is a double main feature where we visit two abandoned sites within a short distance of each other:
  13. Local adverts for Whip Chicken Farm 2nd October 1955 and 16th October 1955. Local press story about Norman Bowden. Photo from Long Eaton 10th June 1961. Photos of Brian Anderson . Some photos of Aldershot from the 1950s. Full programme from St Austell 20th August 1957. Photo of Pete Burns from 1955.
  14. Stock Car Racing is Magic …70 years and STILL Thrill Of The Century! Thrills, spills, racing, crashing and bumping the opposition out the way; is all part of the game and spectacle! The big and brutal F1 Stock Cars, loud and proud Stock Car action will start their 2024 season right here. Racing alongside the superb bumper-antics of the 2L Saloon Stock Cars and the awesome National MiniStox . . a great night of Stock Cars, not to be missed. As seen on Top Gear in 2022! Noise, colour, smell, friends, family and . . . awesome Short Oval Motorsport. It really has to be seen live to be believed. Event and driver booking details will be available closer to the time, the Spectator gate will open from 3pm, first race 5pm. The arena boasts great viewing all around (plenty of under cover viewing too!), FREE on site and overflow parking, disabled viewing, licensed bars, ample food outlets and other great facilities. Help the Drivers who Entertain you by donating voluntarily to the bonus fund when buying advance tickets and that will be awarded to the drivers with the most votes! Please do not park on the main road outside the Arena on race days; this is causing issues with traffic and resulting in a number of complaints. There is an onsite car park and an overflow parking field. Car parking at King’s Lynn is provided free of charge, please do use this. We would also to like ask everyone to be considerate of our neighbouring Industrial area and to park respectfully if using that space. Advance tickets are not necessary, but are recommended and cheaper than at the box office and are available now - remember kids 11 and under go free when booked in advance https://www.stockcar-racing.co.uk/ Lets get ready to rumble! Action packed entertainment for family and friends at the Adrian Flux Arena.
  15. Im interested in what items you might have left.please message me cheers Dave
  16. There was 5 made, the ones you have listed.
  17. Hi there folks. Welcome to episode 6. In this one: Section 1: The F2 Bill Batten Tribute Weekend from Taunton Section 2: In Out and About we visit Aldwych Underground Station Section 3: Odds and Ends: Blackpool Transport Spot, Keep on Truckin' from Gaydon. Section 1: Taunton – Saturday 15th July 2023 - 68 cars & Sunday 16th July 2023 - 59 cars The 500th BriSCA F2 stock car meeting at Smeatharpe in July 2022 was staged in honour of the late Bill Batten who had been taken from us in the June. A promise was made that in 2023 there would be a full tribute weekend. Here we are, we have arrived at Remembering The Master. A superb programme for the weekend full of articles and photos in honour of Bill Included with the programme was this fabulous photo booklet. It is a collection of pictures from a lifetime of stock car racing. Here are a selection with credits at the end: 4 Over the course of the weekend there was a whole host of prizes, bonuses, and outstanding trophies to be raced for. Despite the conditions looking favourable before the meeting the heavy rain forecasted duly arrived later on New gates and fencing have been installed around the pits Saturday began with a pre-meeting Master’s Champions Challenge. This featured the following eight drivers: 183, NI467, 560, 647, 667, 783, NI918 & NI998. They were split into two groups of four to race in two Semi-Finals. Each driver drew their grid position. The races were a four lap shoot-out with a clutch start. The winner and runner up advanced to the Final with third and fourth placed finishers eliminated. The Semi winners did a coin toss to determine the front row grid positions for the Final with the runners up doing likewise for row two. Again, the race was a clutch start of four laps with a £500 winner takes all prize. Semi Final 1 had NI467, 647, 183 and 783 on the grid. Rygor got to the front first with Guinchy pushing past Burgoyne to finish in the 2nd qualifying place. The second Semi Final had some hard-hitting action right from the start. As Graham Fegan moved ahead Luke Wrench was fenced hard by Shea Fegan leaving the 560 car out of the race. Timmy Farrell had also helped with Wrench’s exit and he took advantage to claim the runner’s up spot. Rygor made a fast start in the big money showdown as the remaining contenders fought amongst themselves even though there was nothing on the line for the runner’s up spot. With the trio delaying each other Guinchard cue balled Fegan into Farrell whose race ended against the turn four plating. The unchallenged 783 car hot-footed it to the cash prize. Farrell hitched a lift on the back of the 183 machine. The Champions Challenge had been a hugely entertaining event. Richard Kaleta interviews Timmy after the Final. In the pits were a display of Bill’s cars: Mike James was racing the Dave Sansom car The Master’s Parade preceded the meeting proper and featured four cars with each reflecting a different stage of Batten’s career. The cars were followed on foot by family, friends and the F2 drivers in attendance. The racing got underway with the annual Ben Fund Ladies Charity Trophy race won by Maddison Gilmour (3) after early leader Charlotte Bate (161) had tangled with Chelsea Flegg (572). The main programme format followed an unusual pattern based on roof grades. Heat one featured all white graders with 18 gridding. Lewis Burgoyne (547) spun the leader out to claim the victory on his track debut. Heat two for the yellow graders came to an early stop with Jack Prosser (844) hanging off the fence. A 475/454 tangle Julian Coombes (828) led but was disqualified after the rear wheel guard came astray. Ritchie Andrews (605) took the win. Heat three for the blues included Justin Fisher (35) making his first appearance of the season, and Mike James (717) who was racing for the first time since 2006. Both drivers were making a rare appearance in tribute to their racing friend of old. Jessica Smith (390) and Dan Fallows (581) collided on the pit bend as Kieran Bradford (27) lapped all the runners up to ninth place to take a dominant win. The fourth heat doubled up as the Benevolent Fund Trophy and for the first time in many years featured an all star and superstar line up with the exception of the defending champ Paul Rice (890). The race set off at a rapid pace until an incident on the pit bend resulted in Northern Irish father and son duo Graham and Shea Fegan becoming locked together. The damage to Shea’s car was such that he did not race again over the weekend. Paul Rice pulled off with front and rear punctures after also becoming mixed up in the incident. Aaron Vaight (184) led the restart but was hampered by tailenders with Sam Weston (468) lurking in second. Vaight was pushed wide by back-marking Steven Gilbert (542) which allowed Weston to attack the rear bumper of the 184 car at the next corner. Vaight fought back to retake the lead but with Gilbert, Farrell, Paul Moss (979) and Tristan Claydon (210) surrounding them they fell back into the range of Guinchard and Liam Rennie (3). Vaight dived at Weston into turn 1 and both slid sideways towards the fence. 183 dived up the inside of both to take the lead and the victory. The damaged Fegan cars Three further heats followed to the more traditional mixed grid line up. The points from these would be combined with the previous four races to set the qualifiers for the Final. The forecasted heavy rain was falling by the time the fifth heat gridded. Jack Bunter (728) led for the majority of the race until passed by Rennie and Luke Johnson (194) in the closing stages. The amount of water on the track saw Dale Moon literally cruise to victory in heat six. Fallows took the seventh and last heat. Dan Roots (776) and Aidan McFerran (467) tangled in the pit corner during the race. Jamie Jones (915) won the Consolation which saw Weston and Ryan Gardiner (454) hit the fence hard in turn 3. The Final was for the 641 Ray Tyldesley Trophy and the action commenced right from the off with Jamie Cocks (856) bouncing off the pit bend fence, and Matt Stoneman (127) being pushed sideways down the home straight. Neil Hooper (676) rammed the marker tyres at the end of the home straight. Fallows drove extremely well on the wet track to move into a race winning lead finishing ahead of Rennie. Results: Ht 1: 547 303 728 259 856 762 53 359 141 222 Ht 2: 605 931 194 460 736 903 232 533 525 97 Ht 3: 27 676 975 315 895 960 35 161 717 NOF Ht 4/Ben Fund: 183 3 N1924 647 560 302 776 24 127 NI467 Ht 5: 3 194 728 127 53 35 844 390 460 915 Ht 6: 302 783 960 359 542 232 NI924 856 667 736 Ht 7: 581 605 980 931 895 533 303 24 184 828 Consolation: 915 776 161 667 NI998 184 First 6 to the Final 641 Trophy Final: 581 3 728 302 895 183 127 194 980 783 Day two of this Speedweekend saw the weather conditions still unfavourable although the majority of the racing was in the dry. Porta power pre-meeting on the 717 car The Music Man enjoyed the weekend No racing for Shea today Sponsorship money resulted in £167 to every race winner. In heat one Dayne Pritlove (540) made a quick getaway and was soon lapping the tail enders. Fallows and Moon looked as though they were going to reel him in until backmarkers slowed their progress. Dayne took a popular win. Heat two was in a similar vein with another white top making great strides at the front. This time it was Phil Mann’s turn (53) to lap the field which included such as Jon Palmer (24). Jack Prosser (844) eventually caught and passed Mann with both lapping Palmer for a second time. Palmer became aggravated with James Lindsay (572) and pushed him towards and around the fence into turn one. Prosser took the win. Another white grader in the shape of Jack Bunter (728 led heat three for many laps until Liam Rennie (3) swept past for the victory as in yesterday’s heat 5. The Consolation had Weston and Graham Fegan tangle on the exit of turn two. As the 998 car was dragging itself to the infield a further collision followed with Kieran Cocks (290) who then cannoned into the marker tyres at the end of the home straight. Julian Coombes (828) moved into the lead as Jessica Smith (390) spun in turn four. She rejoined behind the race leader and they both traded hits and position with Coombes unaware that the 390 car was a lap down. A closing stage yellow flag period allowed Leah Sealy (475) to close up into second place behind Coombes. At the restart Julian held off the last-bender from Leah to take the victory. The Final gridded 34 cars and ‘Hey Jude’ was played in readiness for the Master’s Trophy. Jack Morrow (NI924) was an early retirement hitting the fence hard in turn 1. Continuing the white top leading theme of the afternoon Daz Purdy (259) held on up front until Luke Johnson (194) took over. Fallows gave chase and moved past Johnson only for the 194 car to retake the lead. Over a number of laps the pair continued to swap places while third placed Adam Pearce (460) kept them within range. Fallows hit the front to lead the last lap and with Johnson and Pearce line astern the three stormed into the last bend. Dan rode out the hit and took the victory winning the £667 first prize and stunning trophy. Fallows was overjoyed with his weekend and the presentation that followed. There was a gathering of F2 greats from the West Country as support to Bill’s family and friends. Dan savours the congratulations Richard interviews Dan with Crispen alongside The second and third placemen join the Batten family, friends, and a who’s who of West Country F2 drivers on the victory lap. How many can you name? The GN featured a first prize of £167, plus £152 from Mick Sworder. The race brought the curtain down on a very busy and enjoyable weekend. The start saw crashes at both ends of the track with most of the star men piling in. Weston, Stoneman and Rennie were three who all tangled as a result. Jamie Ward-Scott (881) shot off into the lead at the restart and it was a couple of laps to go before Neil Hooper (676) began to close in. Ward-Scott could not hold off the flying Hooper and it was a nostalgic winner that capped the weekend off. The Saloons had a new driver on Sunday. In the beer-tent the previous evening Kevin Stack (ex-F2 628) was celebrating his 73rd birthday. Ian Govier (28) decided that he would book Kevin in for the next day’s meeting and he could use his car. Stack joined the 32 car grid for the Bill Batten Tribute Trophy with some drivers less than a third of his age! He was also due to go on holiday the next day so his family members were hoping he kept out of trouble! Kevin had a spin in one of his races but enjoyed himself no end. All smiles from the Smeatharpe Stadium legend after the Saloon experience The hardest part was getting in and out. Family members are on hand to watch him do it. A smiling Garry Hooper (ex-686) had witnessed Kevin successfully exit the car! A great weekend for Dan to share with his son Goodbye from Bill Results: Ht 1: 540 581 302 194 183 960 560 359 525 NI924 Ht 2: 844 53 980 776 325 460 533 141 390 184 Ht 3: 3 728 895 605 127 161 35 315 542 979 Consolation: 828 475 667 467 881 First 5 to the Final The Master’s Trophy Final: 581 194 460 736 259 183 3 960 667 728 GN: 676 881 126 24 980 127 27 540 161 776 This year’s tribute weekend More pics in the gallery. From Facebook here is Andy Smith’s report of the weekend: Well, the cricket highlights are boring so think I will take time now to fill you all in with our exploits of the weekend just gone to get it all bang up to date After a late finishing Skegness last Thursday with Rebecca we arrived back home at going on for 3am. Friday was going to be a very busy day for me as both girls were at work all day and we wanted to leave Friday evening as the long journey down to Taunton involves several traffic black spots and it’s much easier at night. So, I had to unload Rebecca’s car, check her over, change the diff, and change a bit of set up to suit the little Taunton track which is very different to Skeggy. Then I had to finish mending Jessica’s car from the big crashes the previous weekend at the Skegness UK which meant finishing welding up the back bumper, remove the gearbox change ratios and refit/repair the wing, change the springs, set up and scale, sort all the weekends wheels and tyres out (24 in total for both cars covering all conditions)and make up a spare bumper section. Then swap the single trailer to the double trailer and load up both cars, all the wheels and tyres, and spares and tools in the van!! The girls got home from work around 6 and by 8 we were on the road fully loaded eventually arriving at the track at 1am quite tired. We were one of the first in the pits Saturday morning. It makes the day a lot easier as we can get a parking spot much nearer the track. Easier on my dodgy knees lol. With it being the Bill Batten celebration weekend as the day went on it seemed quite a special atmosphere. The car count was very high with many drivers making the extra special effort to be there. It was especially nice to see Bill’s great friend and ex F1 and F2 superstar Mike James back behind the wheel for a one off at the ripe old age of 69. Good on you Jamesy There were also 4 of Bill’s old cars on display, each one of them restored to perfection and a real credit to those involved. Practice was wet throughout and both girls seemed reasonably happy. The final run was the only dry one and they were both happy enough wet or dry. The meeting began with a special champions challenge event which was a series of knockout short 4 car sprint races for ex champions from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It was quite an entertaining affair with plenty of bumper work. Next up was the ladies race. We were due to have Adam Rubery 700’s wife Lauren out in Jessica’s car but after Adams unfortunate accident at Skegness weekend he wasn’t well enough to travel. Such a shame for Lauren as she was really excited about it. Maybe next year and Get Well Soon Adam Right onto the meeting proper and the format was different as every heat was for each grade followed by more heats with all grades, then a consolation and feature final. Rebecca was in the yellows only heat and after an awkward first few laps from a bad starting spot she settled down and looked the fastest on the track to me, eventually coming home 2nd. Jessica in her heat struggled with a badly locking RF brake which was a puzzle. It was snatching randomly and sending her wide. She just got used to driving around it when she got taken out and into the wall by a driver who I think thought it was her who’d whacked him wide the corner before when it was actually someone else. Our Jess just snuck up the inside. Ah well happens quite a lot does that. After their first 2 heats the heavens well and truly opened and from then on it was a wet night. Rebecca did quite well in her 2nd heat although the car wasn’t great she was driving the outside line well coming in I think in 4th. It’s quite comical watching them in the wet at Taunton. The nature of the flat concrete surface creates 2 totally different lines. One following tight to the kerb even down the straights, the other basically running the wall all the way round. The latter is probably 30% longer in distance but equally as fast. Strange to watch! Jessica chose the lower line in her wet heat but wasn’t making great speed. The car was lazy on the front end and she didn’t place so had to run the consolation. The track was greasy rather than wet and tbh she was really struggling for grip. Our wet tyres are on very skinny wheels which weren’t seeming to work without standing water. Ideally you need to have more of an intermediate option. We know this but with us having to carry double everything we simply don’t have the number of rims nor the room to carry this option so both girls are compromised in these conditions. We know it but it is what it is and we have to run with what we have. So just Rebecca in the final and she did OK but as explained I don’t feel we were able to run the ideal wheel/tyre combo and she finished still on the lead lap but just outside the top 10. So that was the end of the racing so it was time for another ace BBQ. This time Lisa and Jamie 915’s mum Helen had joined forces and we had a right old feed. Spot on Onto Sunday and it chucked it down so the heats were on a very wet track. Jessica got a steady 9th which didn’t transfer her so yet another consolation. Rebecca’s car was awful. We’d tried something a bit different from the night before with it being wet again but she went backwards. Not a happy bunny when she came off! But as all places from both days counted she was straight into the final anyway. By the time of the consolation the track had dried sufficiently for a dry set up. Jess was going well in the early traffic when someone cue balled another car into her just as she was rotating the centre of the bend thus turning her around. Just wrong place wrong time. She can’t cut a break lately. She got going again and she had the speed and passed plenty of cars but didn’t manage to qualify. She was pretty fed up to say the least. Onto the final for the Batten Memorial trophy and a cool £667 to win which was Billy’s racing number. It was bone dry by now and Rebecca fancied her chances. She set off OK but lost too much time the first 5 laps with another yellow slowing her down by whacking her every corner. I could tell she was getting fed up and she let him by and stuck him in. She should have done this 2 laps earlier as the leading 2 yellows had gone by then. Anyhow she then got her head down and set about reeling them in. She was very quick and was up to 4th and catching with the top 3 slowing each other down . With 4 to go just as I thought she was going to get a top 3 and maybe a shot at the win if they kept battling up front she dived onto the centre. The engine had stopped. Back in the pits she was gutted. The top end of the engine had broken. Probably due to overrevving as she was fairly motoring. So just the GN left for Jess which lasted all of 1/2 lap. She was on the back of the blues, the reds again jumped it and she got piled into the fence by all the reds pushing like idiots into the first bend. She was tractored off with minor damage but hurt her leg. She has taken more damage and injury in the last few months than I can remember and it’s not nice to see. So as I write this myself and Rebecca have come in from the garage. We’ve done every night so far on her car. For the first time I’ve left her to strip the engine. She’s got the cylinder head off herself, I’ve mended it and she’s put it all back together. We’ve had it running tonight so all seems good and all being well me and Rebecca will be back down to Taunton this Saturday followed by Bristol Sunday. Let’s see if we can get car and driver dialled in there for the semis in a few weeks time. Well I’ve given you enough reading this week but we are now bang up to date. Let’s see how this weekend goes. Thanks as always to all the sponsors without whose financial help the girls simply couldn’t do all these meetings doing their very best to keep the Smith name alive Take care All Section 2: Before we have a look at this week’s we just need to go back to Threlkeld’s Askham Hall: Here is a pic of the loco in service. Avonside 1772 at William Pit, Whitehaven in August 1971 (Pic credit to Gordon Elgar) Going Underground at Aldwych – The end of the line The disused Tube stations of London have often been thought of as mysterious places, holding secrets and memories of London’s forgotten life and work underground. It is rare for the public to enter these shadowy spaces. Many people do not know they exist, and others are left imagining what goes on in the dark and deserted tunnels and platforms of Tube stations past. Aldwych is a place of mystery and is known as ‘the secret station’. The station was closed to passengers in 1994 but was already something of a museum piece. Throughout its existence, Aldwych has been a Tube curiosity, a twig at the end of a branch off the Piccadilly line. Since first opening in 1907 it has never been heavily used as originally intended yet the station and tunnels have been extraordinarily useful to London in exceptional circumstances. Aldwych station has provided shelter for Londoners during the Blitz, secure wartime storage for valuable artworks, an ideal space for emergency planning and practice on the Tube and a unique backdrop for film and TV productions. None of this was envisaged a century ago, but here at Aldwych these aspects turned out to be as important and significant as running the underground railway. The Piccadilly line was one of three new Tube railways under central London completed in 1906/7 by the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL). The UERL was a holding company created by American entrepreneur Charles Tyson Yerkes, who had made a fortune building and electrifying urban rail and tram lines in Chicago. His business methods were dubious but Yerkes succeeded where others had failed to give London an impressive, modern rapid transit system. Construction started on 21 October 1905 with demolition of the Royal Strand Theatre which occupied the site. Opened as Strand station on 30 November 1907. The Piccadilly line was created by the merger of two separate Tube projects. They were linked at Holborn to create the Great Northern, Piccadilly & Brompton Railway (GNP&BR), which was opened between Hammersmith and Finsbury Park in 1906. This left a short spur from Holborn to Aldwych, the southern terminus of one of the Tubes as originally planned, which was opened in 1907. The station was called Strand at that time but was renamed Aldwych in 1915 when the nearest station on the Northern line (then the Charing Cross Euston & Hampstead Railway) at Charing Cross became Strand (later renamed Charing Cross in 1979). The external entrances of the station are still very visible. The station was built on a block of land between the Strand and Surrey Street with an entrance in each. Both entrances had ‘Piccadilly Tube’ on their facades when the station opened. Not long afterwards, these were changed to ‘Piccadilly RLY’ as the UERL disliked the word ‘Tube’. The station exit in Surrey Street shortly before opening with the Piccadilly Tube tiles – 1907 The old name still survives to this day on a blocked up entrance A small piece of tiling can be seen from outside the closed off entrance Part of the original name can still be seen in the tiling on the disused eastern platform You can also see a short section of original track which has wooden sleepers and an early design of insulators under the two conductor rails Fearing that the station would be little used economy was sought during construction. Only one set of stairs and passages to the platforms were completed. 4 Only about half the platform area (at the south end where the short trains would stop) were tiled The remaining passages were left incomplete and never opened, all passengers using what would have been the exit passages to access platforms or lifts The completed sections of platform tilework included a number of rendered lower panels, in common with several of the later stations. These would be used for posters and the lack of tiling would not show. Some of the surviving tilework has been covered up by experimental finishes. You can still see examples of Edwardian tilework at several stations on the Underground, such as Covent Garden and Russell Square, which have been modernised in recent years but retain the original decoration. Timber poster boards around the station are the original ones from 1907 The UERL Tube stations of 1906/7 are very distinctive and all follow the same basic design. Architect Leslie Green came up with a standard look which made his stations easy to recognise in the street. Each building is on a load-bearing steel frame which made it strong enough to take the weight of the lift-winding equipment on the mezzanine floor, and potential office development above. This was an American innovation found in only a few London buildings at the time, such as the Ritz Hotel in Piccadilly, and was the structural basis for high rise skyscraper development first pioneered in Chicago. Other stations designed by Leslie Green include Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Camden Town, Hampstead, Oxford Circus and Elephant & Castle. They have street frontages in dark red glazed brick and terracotta supplied by the Leeds Fireclay Company The Leeds Fireclay Company, headquartered in Wortley, Leeds, had several divisions making various related products including bricks, glazed bricks, sanitary ware, faience and even, at one time, art pottery. The company was founded in 1889 as an amalgamation of several concerns - including the Burmantofts Fireclay Company who had been responsible for the external elevations of most London tube stations built in 1906/7 to the designs of Leslie Green, architect, and the ox-blood colour faience used is still a trademark feature of the Underground. Many Edwardian and mid-twentieth century buildings used Leeds products, including their 'Marmo' artificial marble finishes. The company petered out in post-WW2 years, formally closing in c1957. Although the branch always had two tunnels and twin platforms at either end, it was normally operated with a single two-car train as a shuttle service using the western tunnel only. It was never very crowded, even in rush hours. The eastern platform at Aldwych was not used at all for train services from about 1914. Soon afterwards, when German bombing raids on London began during the First World War this disused platform was converted into an emergency store for 300 paintings from the National Gallery. Tube stations were not official civilian shelters at this time but thousands of people did take temporary shelter at Aldwych and other deep stations when raids were at their heaviest in 1917. Low weekend usage gave Aldwych the doubtful privilege of being the first station to be closed every Sunday from 8 April 1917. Tube services returned to normal when the war ended in 1918 but by 1922 the light use of Aldwych led to the closure of the station booking office. Miniature ticket booths were then built into both lift cars, which meant a liftman could issue and collect tickets as well as operating the lift. Staffing was kept to a bare minimum and the Aldwych shuttle continued to run uneventfully. By the late 1930s another war with Germany looked increasingly likely as Hitler’s Nazi regime adopted an aggressive foreign policy. Official estimates suggested that this time thousands of Londoners would be killed by air raids in the opening days of a full-scale European war, when long range modern bomber aircraft could be used. The threat of poison gas attacks heightened public fears, as did newsreel footage of German and Italian air raids on urban centres in Spain in 1937–1938. The British government and the London County Council introduced a series of Air Raid Precaution (ARP) measures as war threatened, but these preparations did not include building suitable deep shelters for the civilian population. There were official concerns that if Londoners were encouraged to use Tube stations as public air raid shelters in time of war, they might refuse to come up again. Morale would collapse and the city’s transport system could be paralysed. Britain declared war on Germany in September 1939, but the strategy of systematic air attacks on British cities did not begin until a year later on 7th September 1940. Tube sheltering was still officially discouraged but working-class Londoners who had been bombed out of their homes in the East End took matters into their own hands. They effectively invaded the Tubes and forced a change of policy on the Government. After a month of devastating air raids Churchill’s newly appointed Home Secretary, Herbert Morrison, announced in October 1940 that Tube stations would be organised as shelters ‘insofar as it does not interfere with the transport of London’s workers. By this time well over 100,000 Londoners were flooding into the deep Tube stations for shelter every night. Aldwych had already been proposed as a suitable Tube shelter because the station could be closed to passengers without affecting the rest of the Underground. The disused platform and tunnel were allocated to the V&A and British Museum as deep storage under pre-war air raid precaution (ARP) plans in 1938. Both museums moved thousands of valuable artworks and artefacts into storage at Aldwych in 1939/40, including the Elgin Marbles. The museum store was full by March 1940, six months before the Blitz began, but at this stage no underground space at Aldwych was allocated to shelter people. On 21st September 1940 the Tube service on the Aldwych branch was suspended. The rest of Aldwych station and the second rail tunnel were hurriedly converted into a public shelter. This opened on 22nd October managed by wardens on behalf of Westminster City Council. There were worries that as the Strand area was mainly an office and theatre district with few local residents the shelter might not be needed. In fact, it was heavily used straight away and often became overcrowded as the bombing raids continued every night that autumn. Signs like this were placed at the station entrance to let people know the shelter was full so only those with valid tickets could enter - 1941 The Strand entrance in 1925 showing its prewar appearance Strand entrance to Aldwych in 1943 with wartime baffle wall as added protection for the shelter against bomb blast At first conditions were very basic. Shelterers bedded down wherever they could and few, if any, toilet facilities were provided at platform level where there was no water supply or mains drainage. Eyewitness accounts vividly recall the stench and discomfort in those early weeks. Up to 300 people were sleeping on the platform or between the rails. Gradually conditions improved, with the installation of proper three-tier metal bunks by November, chemical toilets, and a ticketing system to control numbers. By early 1941 the Aldwych shelter could accommodate 1,500 people. There was soon a first aid post, a canteen, and even a library service below ground. Entertainments were introduced, beginning with a special show featuring popular music stars George Formby and Geraldo and his band, which was broadcast by the BBC Many people went to work every day but spent their nights in the Tube. Regular shelterers also organised their own leisure activities, which at Aldwych included a religious service every Sunday evening. Life below ground in the Tube shelters became better organised, though it was never comfortable. Mass Observation, the social study organisation, reported that ‘for the first time in many hundreds of years civilised families conducted the whole of their leisure and domestic lives in full view of each other...most of these people were not merely sheltering in the Tubes; they were living there.’ This went on for weeks and months. Despite, or perhaps because of these intimate circumstances, a real community spirit developed between many of the people forced to live together in the shelters. One pregnant woman became so attached to her subterranean home that she had to be ordered out of the shelter and to hospital by doctors. She had hoped to give birth underground and name her baby ‘Aldwych’! Although you could not hear bombs dropping above from a Tube station platform, even the deep tunnels were not entirely safe. Aldwych was never damaged by high explosives, but elsewhere shelterers were killed and injured in nine separate bomb incidents when Tube stations received direct hits. There were several fatalities below ground at Balham and Bounds Green stations in October 1940, and at Bank in January 1941. At Aldwych, as at most of the other stations, the number of regular shelterers was much smaller by 1943, when the Blitz had ended. It rose again when the V1 ‘doodlebug’ flying bombs and later V2 rockets hit London in 1944/5. The public shelter was closed when the war in Europe ended in May 1945, though train services on the Aldwych branch were not restored until July 1946. The museum store in the disused tunnel was maintained for many years after the war and was apparently still one quarter full in 1955. The Elgin Marbles had been moved back to the British Museum in 1948, but were not put on public display until 1962. Part of the rope and pulley system used to lower and raise the Elgin Marbles onto and off the escalator platform The second platform at Aldwych found a new post-war use when London Transport created full scale mock-ups of future station designs, starting with proposals for the new Victoria line in the 1960s There are still some posters on the eastern platform from the early 1970s, including one advertising BEA, which must pre-date the merger of BOAC and BEA in 1974 to create British Airways (BA) Further along the platform is some experimental tiling in a design used to refurbish Piccadilly Circus station in the 1980s The Aldwych shuttle in 1958, a two-car unit of standard Tube stock From June 1958 the line began operating only in rush hours as off-peak traffic was almost non-existent. The line was considered for extension to Waterloo on many occasions throughout its history but due to financial limitations and lack of demand this extension never came to anything. The Aldwych branch was never well patronised. Before the time of its closure only 450 people were using the branch each day. It was eventually closed in 1994 when the original 1907 lifts at Aldwych needed urgent replacement and the cost could not be justified. By this time the loss-making service was costing London Underground £150,000 a year, which represented a subsidy of £2.73 on every passenger journey. The single line to the western platform is still operational and connected to the rest of the system at Holborn. Even before closure the Aldwych branch had been used for filming work, which could be undertaken without disrupting passengers during the lengthy periods when the station was closed. Since closure this activity was made even easier and Aldwych has been used for many film and TV productions, often disguised as other stations on the Tube. Its other function is as a training facility for the Underground’s Emergency Response Unit. Western platform of Strand/Aldwych station. The train is 1970s Northern Line stock, used for London Underground training exercises. Films featuring Aldwych Underground station include: Superman 4 (1986), Atonement (2007), V for Vendetta (2005), The Edge of Love (2008), 28 Weeks Later (2007), The Deep Blue Sea (2011), The Imitation Game (2014). Darkest Hour (2017). TV programmes featuring Aldwych Underground station include: Sherlock, Mr Selfridge. The station will however always be most remembered for making everyone want to be that Firestarter, that twisted Firestarter. In 1996, the late Keith Flint proclaimed that he was a trouble starter and a punkin' instigator as he was beamed onto our TVs in black and white. He went on to tell you how he was a Firestarter, and not just any Firestarter, no, he was a twisted Firestarter. The Prodigy's 1996 Firestarter is one of the band's biggest songs, with one of the most iconic music videos the world has ever seen. Anyone who hears the guitar riffs at the beginning is undeniably transported into the video headbanging away in the disused London Underground tunnel. The tunnel used in the video The base of this lift shaft was also in the video One of three lift shafts dug by hand. Three shafts were dug for six trapezium-shaped lifts, but only this one was fitted out. The lifts were secured at the top of the shaft after the station closed in 1994. The remaining lifts An interconnecting door between the two compartments Stylish columns and pillars Posters remain: Future extensions to the underground The ticket office It’s time to make your way out folks Section 3 - Odds and Ends Blackpool Transport Spot Sunday 26th November: We had the Illuminated Frigate 736 out for a Private Hire for the Branch Line Society, a complete system tour including rare moves over track not normally available to the public and reverse running! The car, sadly, did not last long and broke down at Bispham, only 15 minutes into the tour. This saw the main running line blocked and LRT trams take the centre track, heading northbound, for a short while. Balloon 700 replaced 736 for most of the day, until itself gave up the ghost towards the end of the day. 717 was used to take tour passengers from Starr Gate to Manchester Square, before the car went on to Illuminations tour duty. Thursday 21st - Saturday 23rd December: The LRT tram service was suspended on the Thursday evening, due to extreme weather. This continued through to Saturday, until end of service. We had a booking for an annual Christmas tram tour on Saturday 30th December 2023. It featured Illuminated Frigate 736 and Balloon 700. A limited choice, this year, owing to the circumstances surrounding Rigby Road depot. With 736 and 700 being housed at Starr Gate depot, these were the only options! The Western Train 733+734 was initially requested, but due to a fault with the tram, 'HMS Blackpool' took its place. With trams starting and finishing their duties at Starr Gate, this gave the opportunity to begin and end the tour on South Promenade. 736 arrived at Harrow Place, on a rather rainy day, at 11:33 approx., and picked up passengers just south of the LRT platform, to meet with the safety regulations. Once all were on board, the tram set off for Little Bispham. A rotation of the loop and the tour headed for Starr Gate, taking in the wash road and compound, at the depot. From here we headed for Fleetwood, calling at Cabin for photos. Once at the Ferry, passengers disembarked for a short break, and the tram sat on the outer loop. After this break, the tram moved round to Pharos Street stop and loaded passengers for the run to Harrow Place, and for 736 to run empty back to depot before commencing Tours of The Illuminations later! Light refreshments of hot Sausage and Cheese & Onion rolls, Mince pies and biscuits were served on board. Frigate 736 stopped at Cabin for photos. It had stopped raining by then but was still very windy. Arriving at Bold St, Fleetwood The second half of the tour picked up at Harrow Place at approx. 16:05 with Balloon 700. This time, loading passengers on the platform, with 700 having the modified doorways, allowing platform loading. Once all were on board the tram set off for Bispham reversing here and heading for Starr Gate as part of a tour of the Illuminations. Once at Starr Gate 700 entered the compound via the wash road, and then traversed Road 4, as an on-the-day surprise! Once out of the depot the tour made its way to Foxhall to turn. It was on this journey that chocolates were given out to passengers! It's not a Christmas tour without chocolates! Unfortunately, owing to problem with the points at Foxhall, 700 had to continue to North Pier, to turn, as did Balloon 717 in front of us, whilst it was on its way to commence Illuminations tours! Once back at Pleasure Beach 700 overtook 717, via the outer loop, and then made its way to Bispham. A run to Cleveleys was curtailed, due to late running, from the earlier issues at Foxhall. Once at Bispham, 700 reversed and headed for Harrow Place to conclude the tour, before running empty back to depot. Last stop Pleasure Beach Balloon 717 passing Sandhurst Avenue on a glorious late autumn evening A Peep into the Past with Blackpool Transport Let’s delve into the archives here at Blackpool: F.A. Cup 1st Round – FLEETWOOD TOWN v BLACKPOOL – Saturday November 22nd 1980. After several weeks of negotiations between the Football Association, the Police (not the well-known trio of musicians!) and Blackpool Football Club, Fleetwood Town agreed to play this match at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool. Naturally the tramway system was to play a major part in transporting the Fleetwood supporters to the match. The Transport Department offered to lower the tram fares and special souvenir tickets were issued – 1500 adult returns at 80p, and 1000 half fare tickets for juveniles. These were to be distributed by the Evening Gazette through their outlets in the Fleetwood and Cleveleys area. For publicity, Fleetwood Town F.C. hired the ‘Dreadnought’ and the team were photographed on the twin staircases with the destination showing FOOTBALL GROUND. Unfortunately, when the great day arrived, few of the special tickets had been sold and only four of the intended ten double deck balloon trams ran as ‘football specials’ (Nos.701, 702, 712, 713). Another two (Nos.710 & 711) were on stand-by in the depot. At 13:00 hours the first ‘football specials’ since October 1961 left Fleetwood Ferry with ‘PLEASURE BEACH’ on the indicator with many heads and scarves out of the windows, heading for Blackpool. It seemed quite a strange sight – a line of double deck trams on a deserted Central Promenade in the middle of November. After unloading passengers at St. Chads Road, the trams returned to Rigby Road Depot for a short break. For the return journey, the same four trams lined up on the outer loop at the Pleasure Beach, and after the Fleetwood service car had departed at 16-45, they left, headed by 701, then 713, 702 and 712 bringing up the rear. Sadly, one of the trams had a bottle thrown through an upper deck window by rival supporters walking near the track at Central Pier. Two buses, 324 and 514, on service 14 also had missiles thrown through several windows as they travelled along Talbot Road. Three youths who had been drinking spirits were taken off a service 14 bus when it passed Thornton Police Station. There had been disturbances on the upper deck resulting in £48 worth of damage. Final Score: Fleetwood Town 0 Blackpool 4 Damaged Trams 1 Damaged Buses 3 By 1990, OMO car 10 had carried its Bispham & Cleveleys Kitchens livery for six seasons and was starting to look a little faded. The advert remained on Car 10 until its withdrawal from service in November 1992. 10 is stabled on the middle line at Bispham whilst employed on specials, which by this time had become the usual work for the remaining OMO cars when not required for Fleetwood service. Having looked increasingly tatty since their last repaints in the early 1970s, 1990 marked something of a turning point for the Boats as several cars received welcome repaints over the course of the previous winter. Other workshop attention included the fitting of toughened glass windscreens in place of the plastic examples which had become badly scratched and discoloured since being fitted in the late 1950s. Looking superb in the same red and white livery applied to BT’s Routemaster buses, 604 awaits custom at Fleetwood Ferry on a busy market day in July 1990. 623 returned to use in the spring of 1990 upon the completion of a major overhaul wearing this bland looking all over advert livery for ICI. 623’s season and its ICI advert were cut short when the car suffered major fire damage in the autumn of 1990. 623 leaves the Pleasure Beach for Bispham in April 1990 on the day it returned to use. Repainted Twin Car set 671/681 made a welcome appearance on the Promenade looking immaculate on Good Friday. However, it was the 13th April and unfortunately the set split in two at Talbot Square whilst heading for the Cabin due to a fractured Willison coupling and had to be towed to the depot. In the early part of 1990, Balloon car 707 passed through the Paint Shop where it received this bright advert for Pontins, around the same time a similar scheme was also applied to one of BT’s Routemaster buses. The tram retained this livery until being sidelined at the end of the 1993 season to undergo what turned out to be a protracted major overhaul, only returning to use on the promenade in July 1998 complete with its controversial restyled flat ends. The plain dark blue ends of Embassy advert liveried Centenary cars 642 & 642 were soon relieved by the addition of white paint in an effort to make both cars more noticeable. There had been some concerns as to just how visible both cars were when operating at night, especially along the Tramroad and the street track adjacent to Metropole Hotel. Shortly after being released from the Paint Shop, 643 with unrelieved blue ends passes 1980s liveried Balloon 704 at Bispham. The remarkable, perhaps unique sight of seven OMO cars bunched together at Thornton Gate. Prominent in this view is Car 2, its twisted body is clearly showing the rigours of intensive use. It was amongst the first of its type to be withdrawn after last seeing service early in 1985. The derailment of Engineering car 753 at the entrance points to Thornton Gate Yard resulted in the remarkable assembly of seven OMO cars pictured in the earlier view. Once the disgraced works car had been returned to the rails OMO car 3 squeezes past whilst heading for the Cabin where it will return north to slot back into its correct place in the timetable. Brush car 622’s livery for Blackpool Zoo which was applied in 1975 is one of the more memorable adverts applied to a Blackpool tram. 622 is seen on South Promenade near Alexander Road. Traditionally, driving training was undertaken in the winter months, and for several years Brush car 637 was invariably deployed on such duties, it is seen here in Hopton Road. Another Brush car seeing winter use in 1980 was 632 which was loaned to the Permanent Way department to tow the rail crane whilst usual Permanent Way car 624 was temporarily out of use. 632 is seen here at the Cabin. Ribble 704 (BRN 853), a 1948 Leyland PS1/1, fitted with a 31-seat coach body constructed by H.V. Burlingham Ltd. No. 704 is pictured on Lytham Road, Blackpool, having left the Coliseum Omnibus Station on service J7 bound for Huddersfield. The J7 was a ‘Yorkshire Pool’ service, operated jointly by Ribble, West Yorkshire Road Car Company, Yorkshire Traction, Yorkshire Woollen and Hebble. Listed as a Blackpool to Doncaster through service, no. 704 may be operating as a ‘duplicate’ or just as a short working. Two views that demonstrate the level of work undertaken by the Fylde Transport Trust to restore derelict works car 753 to its former glory as Standard 143: As a works (engineering/department) car it had a diesel engine fitted in 1958 so it could run independently of the overhead line. This engine caught fire in 1990, forcing the withdrawal of the tram. The work included a new underframe and replacement top deck cover. The overhaul of the bogies and motors was undertaken by Blackpool Transport as our contribution towards the project. Sadly, despite the relaunch of the restored 143 almost five years ago, it has yet to run in Heritage service as it requires attention to a failed motor. It is hoped that this work can be prioritised during 2024, so that this beautiful tram can finally be seen out and about on the tramway. Keep on Truckin’ Some stunners and beauties on show at the Retro Truck Show at Gaydon – Sunday 10th September 2023: Next time: Desolate moorland With an industrial secret
  18. Stoxnet Awards 2023 Driver of the Year 1st Tom Harris (8 win) 2nd Sam Brigg (4 wins) 3rd Tied - 217,515,408,16,55 (2 wins each) Track of the Year (Average RR Scores) 1st Skegness 8.51 2nd Mildenhall 8.10 3rd Kings Lynn 7.63 4th Bradford 7.46 5th Sheffield 6.87 Meeting of the Year 1st Skegness 6th May 9.071 2nd Bradford 28th July 9.064 3rd Skegness 8th July 8.711 4th Skegness 18th November 8.705 5th Skegness 8th October 8.641 Congratulations and well done to all, and here's to a great season 2024.
  19. Hi there folks. Welcome to episode 5. In this one: Section 1: A visit to the Burgoyne garage. Section 2: In Out and About we visit Threlkeld Quarry Section 3: Odds and Ends: A few pics of the London trolleybuses, plus a derailment on the Blackpool Tramway. Section 1: The Burgoyne Garage Last October on a trip to Cowdenbeath for the Saloon Stock Car Superbowl weekend i called in to see Ernie Burgoyne at the garage in Airth, Falkirk. The site is split between Ernie with the car recovery, breakdown and MOTs, and by Harry and Jock on accident repair and car sales. Ernie is a workaholic and is in the garage most of the week from early to late unless away racing of course. The day began in the break-room with a nice warming Scottish brew and a chat with the lads. On the wall were the garage rules Steven has bought this Sierra Cosworth as a restoration project There are a number of vehicles awaiting restoration by Ernie when he “gets around to it” as he says. ERF with a Gardner 150 Albion Another ERF This cab was originally fitted to Steven’s transporter After Ernie had worked his magic this beauty was created A 2008 MAN recovery truck ….and a 2005 version Chris’ 2002 World Championship winning car. This is on Ernie’s list for bringing back to life. A twenty-year-old crew-cabbed Renault 42ACA14 with some bumpers requiring repairs The race shop Lewis’ (son of Chris) old ORCi Mini Lewis preps his F2 for that evening’s Cowdie The ex-Laura Dawson (54) car Chris’ tar car. He had already left early for the National Series round at Northampton. Chassis jig A panel display from an earlier car The World Champ’s laurel Chris’ diff bench The previous tar car Another fleet member in the shape of a MAN TGL 12.180 Steven’s car is in the vehicle workshop. This car debuted in May 2023. A new ORCi Mini in build for Charlie Burgoyne A busy workshop Another project for Ernie is the restoration of this sixty-four year old Rover 3 Litre: Into the office next There are many trophies on display …and press cuttings: A very proud Ernie in front of a full trophy cabinet Ernie has plenty of trophies from his Saloon days The 2021 F2 World Championship Trophy The site as it was. Ernie has gained a big increase in area by expanding into the field on the left. Industry awards Ernie took time out to show me around the area. This local landmark is the Airth Pineapple. The magnificent pineapple is an extremely realistic representation in stone of the fruit and was erected by John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore in the second half of the 18th century. He acquired the lands of Elphinstone in 1754 and the name Dunmore was transferred from his family estates in Perthshire. Sometime after this the walled garden was constructed and in 1761 the Italian style portico on which the pineapple now sits was constructed. The pineapple was added after the Earl returned from a spell in America as Governor of New York and Virginia, around 1777. Pineapples were certainly grown here, and the sustained heat required for the process was obtained by cavity wall heating, organic heat from tanners bark and manure, and through south facing, sloping glass panels which were still there in photographs from the early 20th century. By the 1950s the whole area was much neglected but was restored by the Landmark Trust. It was a great few hours spent with such welcoming and friendly folk 👍 At Cowdie over the weekend the rebuilt Saloon Stock Car of Bob Jones (151) was unveiled: Bob was one of the all-time greats of the sport and brought the car out part way through 1991 and in 1992 he went on to win the Scottish National Points title and the Scottish Championship before being sold after that year’s Superbowl. The car went to Northern Ireland in 1993 and had a couple of owners before disappearing. The car was spotted lying in an apple orchard and was probably going to be scrapped. It was purchased in 2014 by Brian Houston for restoration. The car had to be lengthened back and front as it had been shortened but the rest of the work was mainly bodywork. The car still has Bob’s seat in it and everything else is pretty much original. Section 2: Out and About at Threlkeld Quarry Within the Northern Lake District there is an old micro-granite quarry which is home to a unique collection of excavators and quarry machinery. There is also a narrow gauge mineral railway which runs into an inner quarry. The quarry was opened in the 1860s and by the 1870s was supplying railway ballast to the Penrith-Keswick line. Initial output was a few hundred tons a year but by 1894 this had risen to 80,000 tons to satisfy demand. The stone was used by the Manchester Corporation Waterworks for their Thirlmere scheme, for railway ballast for the Crewe-Carlisle line, for roadstone, kerbing, and for facing buildings with dressed stone. The Threlkeld concrete flagstones were used in many Northern towns. To keep up with demand more quarry faces had to be opened up. The railway now operated by steam locomotives was extended first to Spion Kop quarry, and then to Bram Crag quarry further along St. John’s in the Vale, and down to the main line at the adjoining Threlkeld railway station. The quarry was closed in 1937. However, it re-opened in 1949 after complete modernisation to begin its second lease of life. The quarry closed again in 1982 and lay dormant until 1992 when the Lakeland Mines and Quarries Trust negotiated a lease on the site. Across the Lake District there are many small ancient quarries. These represent a time when the extraction of stone was for dry-stone wall building. Three granite quarries in the area included Shap Pink Quarry started in 1868. Its building blocks were highly prized for engineering works such as Waterloo Bridge in London and Southampton Docks. Sandstone extraction at Grange Quarry supplied stone to build Liverpool Cathedral, with Stoneraise providing stone blocks for bridges over the M6. Graphite from Seathwaite was very pure, the best in the world, and during the reign of George the 3rd was more valuable than lead, copper, or iron. Tungsten from the Carrock Mine was in great demand during the two World Wars for armour plating, steel, and munitions. Many Cumbrian mines contained barium sulphate which became highly desirable in paint, and a filler for cloth and paper. More recently its characteristic of being opaque to x-rays and other harmful rays means it is added to concrete for radiation shields and hospital installations. Nowadays this industrial past has given way to the tourism industry with the Lake District receiving over 18 million visitors a year. Onto the pics: The view from the quarry edge The old access road The Blencathra fell top forms the backdrop to this photo This beauty is our guide for the day and came to meet me The old weighbridge One of Pooley’s There were a number of well-known names of weighing machines and apparatus throughout Britain. One English maker was Henry Pooley & Son of Albion Foundry, Liverpool. The company was founded around 1790 to make scale beams and continued in business into the second half of the twentieth century. It became the biggest manufacturer of weighing machines in its time. Their range and diversity was extensive. In 1877 the company described itself as “patentees and manufacturers of every description of weighing apparatus for railways, ironworks, collieries, etc. A few years later in 1880 this description was “patentees and manufacturers of every description of weighing apparatus for agricultural purposes &c”. By 1884 the wide range of sectors which the company made weighing machines for was: “every description of weighing apparatus for railways, iron works, engineers, collieries, mills, warehouses, farms &c”. In later years by 1913 it was a maker of “every description of weighing machines and scales”. An Advance roller Wallis and Steevens Ltd., agricultural implement makers and dealers, was founded by Arthur Wallis, grandson of Richard Wallis of Richard Wallis and Sons, a Basingstoke merchant company. Two views of their premises Arthur Wallis opened his first ironworks at Station Hill, Basingstoke in 1847 and entered the steam engineering business, producing portable engines, small stationary engines and threshing machines. Subsequently the company specialised in self-moving engines: traction engines, steam tractors, steam wagons and road rollers. From the 1920s onwards the company increasingly concentrated on the manufacture of its Advance series of road rollers, and shifted away from steam to the production of diesel and petrol motor rollers. The company also acted as an agent for other agricultural manufacturers including David Brown Tractors until 1953 and Massey Ferguson until 1976 and had showrooms on Reading Road, Station Hill, Basingstoke where it displayed and sold a range of agricultural machinery. During 1966-1967 Wallis and Steevens Ltd. moved to a new works at the Daneshill Industrial Estate, Reading Road, Basingstoke. Although the mid 1970s saw a brief return to profit, the company ceased trading in 1981 after incurring considerable losses, compounded by a sharp decline in new orders. Its wholly-owned subsidiary AJB Engineers was sold in the same year to Belcher Brothers Investments Ltd and its road roller and sprayer business was taken over by BSP International Foundations Ltd., part of the Tex Holdings PLC group of companies. A 1962 Ruston-Bucyrus 10-RB Pile-Driver This was used to drive piles for St. Mary’s Tunnel near Waverley Station in Edinburgh. Fordson A Broadbent's Blake Stonebreaker Broadbent’s were based at the Phoenix Ironworks on Tame Street Stalybridge. Their main product was stonebreakers for the quarry industry. The photos from the mid-50s show their one and only "Mobile" stone breaker being prepared for delivery. When the trailer reached Woolley Bridge one of the wheels fell off!! A major job to get the trailer moving again: An Edwards Truefold folding machine Ruston Bucyrus 17RB Made in Lincoln in 1938. 1/2 cu.ft bucket dragline fitted with a Ruston Hornsby 4cyl V.R.O oil engine. Worked for the River Board in South Wales. Purchased by Gibbons Sand & Gravel in the late 40s to work at a gravel pit near Boston, Lincs. Parked up when the crankshaft broke in 1978. The water tower and coal pile One of the engine sheds The shed is in this old photo Looking down the incline which is to the right of the chimney in the above pic The line ends at the buffer stops at the far end The second shed The line heads to the inner quarry A section of narrow gauge line underground Aveling Barford The Brown Glutton stonebreaker – What a great name! A portal to another world An old lime kiln Avonside Engine Co Works No 1772- Askham Hall 0-4-0ST This locomotive was built by Avonside Engine Company in 1917 and was originally named Sella Park. It was renamed Askham Hall after being rebuilt by Hawthorn Leslie in 1935. Its working life was based in West Cumbria at the Solway Colliery at Workington, Whitehaven Harbour, and William Pit. In 1971 it moved from Workington to Whitehaven over BR track. It worked for a few more months at Whitehaven until a landslide severed the Howgill Brake incline from Haig Colliery. It became spare to diesel traction as one locomotive was able to handle the harbour lines. Askham Hall was steamed again in 1975 when it was donated to Copeland Borough Council. After spending time at the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway, and the Haig Colliery Museum it was then moved to Threlkeld although in unrestored condition. R.H. Neal & Co Limited were an early crane manufacturer as well as other original machinery based in Grantham, Lincolnshire and were taken over by Coles Cranes in 1959. The company's most famous product to most people was the Pelican Loader used in coal yards. A common machine that was seen on street works & sewers before modern hydraulic excavators became common place for lifting was the portable crane. Company history RH NEAL & COMPANY LIMITED, its original full name, were designers and manufacturers of early machinery that originally started in a small factory based at Ealing in London starting around 1926. Their machines were basic models aimed for the agriculture and construction industries as well as railway wagons. The original NEAL models were little more than early patented petrol-engined trenchers and site dumpers mostly based on 1930s tractors parts. Later, Neal developed an early new model that resembled a four wheeled platform with a driver’s cab and a pair of winches attached to a long steel jib that was an instant success for many firms that worked in pipes and sewer cleaning/maintenance services across the UK. It was light, very easy to operate and was towable by a small tractor or truck. This new model was one of their biggest-selling machines of the early days during the 1930s-1940s. The firm purchased larger premises in Dysart Road at Grantham in 1937 for the manufacture of cranes. Soon after came their first entirely developed yard cranes for lightwork, and heavier mobile cranes still using petrol driven car engines of which they all became a very common site in factories, stockyards, warehouses and construction sites. From the 1950s their famous new model was probably the well known Pelican Loader used in coal yards. This could be bought with a choice of both an improved Ford petrol car engine or a more common Fordson Diesel tractor running gear. By this time all the agricultural side of the business was abandoned in favour of the new Neal Pelican Loader that was selling like hotcakes and the entire production was carried alongside the new Neal mobile crane and yard crane models. The firm was very active for the next 20 years with a small original yard crane model range before more modern hydraulic excavators arrived after the 1970s. After Coles Cranes Limited acquired the RH Neal & Co Ltd only standard mobile cranes and crawler cranes were developed and manufactured under a NEAL reduced model range. The Neal name was used up until 1970 when it was re-named under the Coles Cranes brand. RH Neal & Co Limited closed in 1985 but the premises, some selected models, and the factory were gradually taken over by Coles Cranes Limited. This Aveling was well buried Photo-bomber 😄 The loco is named after Sir Thomas Callender whose British Insulated Callender Cables (BICC) had a huge works where the saddle tank loco moved goods. Near to Threlkeld is Broughton Moor which was a NATO munitions dump where a 3 feet gauge railway moved huge battleship shells and other explosives around “The Dump” as it was known. When The Dump was decommissioned Ian Hartland bought the 3ft gauge track for use at Threlkeld because in its working life the quarry had an extensive narrow gauge railway. The loco Sir Tom was 3ft 6in so Ian cut the axle to reduce the gauge – no small matter. Fortunately, Ian had also collected the heavy-duty machinery that was required to do the job. A lot of the big machines were belt driven. A proper workshop. The industrial smell in here was magnificent! The name ‘Herbert’ is woven into the fabric of modern Coventry. As well as being a key player in the development of the industrial city Sir Alfred Herbert was at the forefront of Coventry’s war effort in both world wars and became one of its greatest and most loved philanthropists during a difficult time for the city. Alfred Herbert was born in Leicester in 1866. To start his career he became an apprentice at Joseph Jessop’s Engineering Company before becoming the manager of machine tools manufacturer Coles & Matthews in Coventry three years later. After Matthews retired the following year Alfred Herbert and William Hubbard a school friend and fellow apprentice at Jessops bought the company. In 1894 Herbert bought out Hubbard and Alfred Herbert Ltd was incorporated. By 1914 Herbert’s machine tools manufacturing company had 2000 employees, one of the biggest employers and most successful businesses in Coventry. An aerial view of the Edgwick works Alfred Herbert Limited had grown to become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of machine tools by the outbreak of the First World War. Due to its well-developed industries the city of Coventry was well placed to play a central role in the country’s war effort. Coventry companies such as Maudslay, Daimler and Standard made vehicles and aircraft, and Riley and Humber also produced shells and bombs. Alfred was made controller of machine tools for the Ministry of Munitions in 1915, work for which he was knighted. Above Sir Alfred’s great talent as an engineer he was probably an even greater manager and leader of men, and treated every man as an equal. He would go down onto the works floor at all hours and especially on the night shift, cigarette in hand, chat to whoever was there. The interior of the works Sir Alfred never formally retired working up until the end of his life. He died at the age of 90 in May 1957. 1911 - Fredrick Parker established his business inside a single railway arch located in Leicester, UK 1926 - The business relocated to an 18 acre site 1950-70 – Parker employed over 1400 to meet demand This 12 ton ‘Full Circle’ Crane Navvy was built in 1909 and was rescued from a flooded chalk pit The firm started as Burton & Proctor, who were founded in Lincoln as millwrights and implement manufacturers in 1840. Robert Ruston became a partner in 1857 and the firm changed name to Ruston, Proctor & Co. and grew rapidly to become a major agricultural engineering firm. They merged with the established firm of Richard Hornsby & Sons from Grantham in 1918 to form Ruston Hornsby Ltd. Ruston's were primarily steam engineers. Portable, stationary and traction engines, boilers, and associated engineering products, such as winding gear, shafts and pulleys. Threshing machines, clover hullers, corn mills, maize shellers and pumps for steam power were also made. As well as engines for agriculture Ruston's made railway locomotives and equipment for mining and industry. These interests led the firm to expand into electrical and diesel engineering (which the successor business of Ruston Gas Turbines grew from before being taken over). They were one of the first to manufacture steam powered excavating machinery – in the 1880s producing the Dunbar & Ruston’s steam navvy Excavator. In 1930 after building machines under licence for several years the Excavator Division was merged with Bucyrus-Erie in the UK to form Ruston-Bucyrus based in Lincoln. The firm later became RB Lincoln in 1985 after Bucyrus-Erie's UK operations were separated out to form Bucyrus Europe which became Bucyrus International in 1996 following restructuring. RB Lincoln became RB International which later collapsed. A Euclid dump truck EUCLID, INC., was one of the world's leading firms in the manufacture of off-highway, earthmoving, and hauling equipment. The company began in 1926 as part of the Euclid Crane & Hoist Co., a firm founded by Geo. Armington in 1909. In 1931 Armington's son Arthur took over a small shop adjoining Euclid Crane at 1368 Chardon Rd in EUCLID and incorporated Euclid Crane & Hoist's off-highway division as a separate firm, the Euclid Rd Machinery Co. Beginning with 300 employees the company produced as many as 20 15-ton trucks per month for the construction and mining industries. Euclid tripled its production during World War II and continued to prosper in the postwar period. In 1946 it built a new plant at E. 222nd St. and St. Clair; bought another nearby plant 3 years later; and gained an international reputation for quality equipment. When General Motors acquired the firm for $20 million in 1953, Euclid Rd was a $33 million business with 1,600 employees turning out 170 trucks per month—over half the nation's off-highway dump trucks. As a GM division Euclid continued to develop larger types of equipment. However, GM was forced to dispose of its Euclid plant as the result of an antitrust suit and sold it to the WHITE MOTOR CO. in 1968. Reorganized as Euclid, Inc., the firm remained profitable under White but suffered from the financial difficulties of its parent company in the 1970s. In 1977 White Motor Corp. sold the company to Daimler-Benz of West Germany giving Euclid a new source of capital and a means to continue its expansion into new markets. Despite gaining some new plants in several foreign markets, Euclid's business faltered during the recession of the early 1980s and Daimler-Benz sold Euclid, Inc. to a construction equipment firm, Clark Michigan Co., a subsidiary of Clark Equipment Co. in 1984. Clark closed the St. Clair Ave. plant at the beginning of 1985, selling it to LINCOLN ELECTRIC CO. in 1988. Despite the sale of the St. Clair Ave plant Euclid then part of VME Industries North America (a joint venture of Volvo and Clark Michigan) maintained offices in the newly refurbished technical center across the street from its former plant. The next decade brought still further change to Euclid's operations as the company became known as Euclid-Hitachi Heavy Equipment Inc in Jan 1994. Although Euclid-Hitachi would continue to employ nearly 120 engineers and administrators in Cleveland it was clear that decisions would continue to be made elsewhere. In 2001 Euclid-Hitachi became a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. At the end of 2003 company officials announced that the company's name would be changed to the Hitachi Construction Truck Manufacturing Co. and that over the next two years all North American operations would be consolidated to its facility in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. A Muir Hill 10B dump truck Muir Hill (Engineers) Ltd was a general engineering company based at Old Trafford, Manchester. It was established in the early 1920s and specialised in products to expand the use of the Fordson tractor which in the pre-war days included sprung road wheels, bucket loaders, simple rail locomotives, and in particular in the 1930s they developed the dumper truck. Later they built high horse power tractors. The Consolidated Pneumatic Tool Company was a successful engineering works in Scotland, exporting widely internationally. The works were established in Fraserburgh through the encouragement of the MP for East Aberdeenshire. A decline in the fishing industry in the late 19th century led to an abundance of labour for the works. The original works occupied 25,000 sq ft and manufactured pneumatic riveting hammers and drills. The company exported internationally and provided the hammers for the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the rock-drills widely used in South African minefields. The company rapidly expanded in the inter-war years by diversifying into work for the munitions industry. It played a significant role in WW2 in the manufacturing of military equipment including the fuel pumps and booster controls for the Rolls Royce Merlin engines used in Spitfires. The spare parts area Some abandoned open wagons A Pioneer road roller A Ruston-Bucyrus 38-RB face shovel and 22-RB dragline ....and a 54-RB A belt driven stone breaker Our guide adds scale of size to the Ruston-Bucyrus 110RB Face shovel: The 110RB is a 154 ton electric face shovel running off a large 3.3 Kv supply from a generator set. It was moved to the site in May 2006 from Castle Cements Ribblesdale quarry by Heanor Haulage Ltd a firm that specialises in moving oversize loads such as excavators. Set of points at the bottom of the incline. This is taken from the location of the arrow in the pic below. Derelict rock processing structure. The chute at the top still visible. Some more disused wagons A small battery powered loco Bucyrus Erie 'Transit Crane' comprising of a Harnischfeger Corporation (P&H) Model 150 6 x 4 crane truck chassis with Bucyrus Erie Crane - Ex Royal Navy 7835RN Mobile Crane A good example of a mobile stone breaker Another area of the workshops Hunslet 50hp 0-4-0 DM 1945 This is one of only two known 2 foot gauge survivors of this type of locomotive. It is powered by a 50 horse power Gardner 4L2 engine. It was owned by the National Coal Board and came from the South Yorkshire area. It was retrieved from underground prior to the colliery closing having stood while it had acquired a foot of coal dust on the bonnet! This loco has been altered to make it more suitable for passenger trains. This included a larger cab with better visibility. A secondary quarry known as Hilltop was linked to Threlkeld (both arrowed). It was connected by a narrow gauge industrial railway (arrowed) The track bed of the railway as it is now The abandoned Hilltop quarry Some long disused gear remains That completes our look around this unique site set amongst the stunning Lakeland landscape. Odds and Ends A few photos of the London Trolley Buses The trolleybus played a vital, although short-lived role in the story of London’s transport system. From its introduction in the 1930s as a new and exciting form of transport to Londoners the trolleybus served the capital well until the early 1960s. They had replaced the north London trams before the war and but for the hostilities would have prevailed south of the river too. The tram and trolleybus department had been a separate entity until it was merged with Central Buses in 1950. The trolleybus fleet retained livery differences from the bus fleet with the extra cream band and black lining out. The road beneath the railway at Kingston Station was always susceptible to flooding. An extreme case is depicted here on 13th April 1937 when the water was deep enough for swimmers to brave it! Two of the B2 class are crossing Beresford Square in Woolwich making their way to the terminus at the Free Ferry. The blinds of both 100 and 103 have already been turned for the return journeys. These short-wheelbase 60 seaters were already proving inadequate for these routes and would soon be replaced by newer 70-seat vehicles. The date is 28th February 1936. The twenty-five vehicles of the E3 class were AECs with Park Royal bodywork. Numerically the first, No.629, was also the first to be delivered in February 1937. It has been moved into the open by the Park Royal tractor and stands behind East Kent JG 8237 which was a Leyland TD4. The trolleybus has yet to have its poles, number plates and wheel trims added. The body was destroyed in a raid at West Ham in 1944 and the vehicle was subsequently rebodied. Apart from the rebodied examples all of the class were withdrawn by the end of 1956. The London Passenger Transport Board was always keen to experiment and in 1963 work began on a new trolleybus with a front exit which would have been controlled by the driver. It was to be of a chassisless construction and the body was to be built at Charlton Works. The vehicle became X4 class No.754. This view shows the vehicle after it had been partly panelled. The work was completed and the vehicle handed over on 1st March 1937. It worked its whole life from Finchley Depot. It is 6th June 1937 and trolleybus 622 has been chosen to make a ceremonial run from the West Ham depot to the Greengate. It was driven on batteries but with the poles up on the wires. As first constructed for trolleybuses overhead provision was additionally made at Greengate Junction, West Ham for tram operation and accounts for the additional east/west running wires. Of particular interest is the centre wire arrangement whereby trolleybuses running to and from the depot were required to swing trolley poles. The tram wires were removed with the conversion of the London to Barking route in 1940. Hackney depot is well on the way to becoming a trolleybus depot. The assembled workers remove the tram lines in preparation for the new intake of K class trolleybuses one of which can be seen in the background. Blackpool Transport Spot We had a derailment on the tramway on January 11th after a car left the road and collided with a Flexity heading south to Starr Gate: As far as we can gather the car driver had a medical situation occur at the wheel. This short video shows the re-railing. A reverse move was enough to drop one wheel-set back into place but the other was resting on top of the rail-head. A half-moon wedge was placed on the track and the tram was edged forward up and over the wedge which dropped the wheel back in place. The wedge was not as easy to get back out though! In the bus garage: A Chinesium electric bus on trial - Yutong ZK6128BEVG-E12. Other than this interloper it is a great line up! More crash damage caused by an inattentive car driver Next time: In the main feature we're back in London Transport territory as we go below the streets once again:
  20. Very prompt delivery. Thank you Just spent a few hours looking and reading cover to cover - Thank You
  21. A photographic record of the 2023 stock car season, but from a different angle, not the racing. Instead it’s a behind the scenes look at the season, what goes on in the pits, in the garages and workshops, and looking trackside at the people that allow the sport to happen. Visiting numerous drivers in their workshops, workplaces, transporters and even a wedding to bring you this unique view on this season. This book is A5 with 400 pages, packed with over 1,000 photos and ‘spotlights’ on key moments, people and teams with a foreword by star driver Paul Hines. Details and ordering information at https://www.stoxbooks.co.uk
  22. Hi Big Dunc, Not sure how many there were, my records show, I have Cronshaw, Harrison, Wild Wolf, Smiler and Stu Smith. PM me your details and I will get the ones you want in the post. Clive
  23. I have the original yellow one and the silver undated one, they are both yours if you want them both. Must admit that has not made much space in the loft. Send me a pm with your address and I will post them to you
  24. a copy of wildbill to wildcat perchance?. I've never read it
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