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Guest Book Entries
Page 31 : Page 30
Hi Mike. Just browsing your fantastic site as
I do from time to time. Hope you don't mind me pointing out a slight identity
error. Image 'lnwrwg2270a' at Winson Green
station is captioned as a Park Royal DMU, although it is actually a predecessor
from Monument Lane, a Derby Lightweight Please keep the excellent work and it
is a great pity you are constrained by the county boundaries because the South
Staffs would be a very useful companion site !!!!
Hi Phil. Many thanks for pointing out the
error and your kind comments. I checked the image and it was wrongly captioned
so having checked with others who confirmed your correction I have now
rewritten the caption. I took the opportunity to resize the images too: from
800 pixels to 1000 pixels which I think helps. Regarding South Staffs, If I
hadn't had to resize photos to meet changing technological advances - 500
pixels, 700 pixels, 800 pixels and now 1000 pixels wide images, I might have
had the time to 'expand' but as I am still finding images to plug the holes
that are still apparent I think I will never finish the task I started 8 years
Regarding image 'smjbd7', the caption states 'Looking West towards
Fenny Compton'. Fenny Compton is East from this location. I don't know the site
well enough to know whether the compass direction or the town is incorrect, and
of course the bridge has been rebuilt since that date.
Hi Nick. Having checked the original
information which came with the photo, which stated it was to the West, I have
followed this up by checking with Andy Thomson of the SMJ and he confirms you
are indeed correct in stating my caption is wrong. I have now corrected the
captions on the web page. My thanks for pointing this out. As I never visited
the location (as with many others on the website) I have to trust the
information provided. Which makes it essential that any incorrect information
included in the captions are corrected when wrong. Best wishes Mike
Reference 'lnwrns1658', this is a good image of No 70044
from AW Flowers and as I am researching same, I noticed that the front step is
fitted, which means that the date is from between February 1956 to March 1957
when the smoke deflectors were added. In my estimation the excellent condition
of the locomotive indicates that its close to March 1956, as the only time the
engine was cleaned was in the Works.' By the way, regarding an earlier query as
to why four Britannias were allocated at Rugby from October 1962 to February
1963. Apparently they replaced four Jubilees and then were used as station
pilots, which could then replace a failed Diesel as and when required.
This is the best railway website, bar none! I
have been discovering the disused lines of Warwickshire whilst doing my job as
a delivery driver round the county since 1977. It is fantastic to see them as
they used to be, on your website.
Reference 'gcrsr33' If this view was taken in 1946 what is
the train? It appears to be LNER stock but if it is why the livery which looks
like BR's cream and carriage lake scheme not introduced until after
Steve. Thanks for pointing this out. The date
was derived from the information on the back of the photograph. I would agree
with your supposition that the coaching stock is in 'Blood and Custard' meaning
that the photograph was taken some time between 1948 and January 1950 when the
locomotive was renumbered.
Amazing website. A lot of great work
compiling and commenting on the photos of how things used to be.
Chris was very kind and made a contribution
towards the website's maintenance and running costs.
Hi Mike, As per your standing request that
slip ups be brought to your attention, when clicking on photograph 'gwrt2432', 'gwrt1039' is displayed. I trust that it will be
easy to sort out.
Regards - Gordon Snelgrove
Gordon - Thanks very much for letting me know.
It does help a lot when mistakes, missing or broken links etc are reported.
Good Evening Mike. I would ask if you are
able to help. Having looked at your excellent web site I am trying to obtain
the permission of the owners of the copyright of two of the pictures
illustrated on the website for possible inclusion in a forthcoming book. Both
pictures are on a short list of preferred photos and the publishing date is
currently scheduled for early-mid next year. I am assisting in the data
gathering and information. The two pictures in question are:-
The first is
of Streetly Station, ref:- 'mrst1139', A.
Heath Collection, and is taken around 1905-08. It is very interesting in that
it shows the new island platform and line. As yet I do not have a date for the
closure of the 'bay' but with reference to the Section Appendices it would
appear to have been OOU during the WWII. It is shown on the LMS strip dates of
the 1930s and I think even appears on an early 1950 edition (yet to be
The second is of Wydle Green Station, ref:- 'lnwrwg2337', M. Westley, taken in the late
1970's. If you are able to be of assistance it would be greatly
On another note, are you aware of a closure date for the
sidings at Water Orton? The current lines of thinking are either 17th March
1966 around when the re-modelled Bescot yards came into operation, or, in the
period from May to October 1968 as up until the Oct 1968 Working Time Table
(WTT) there was a single working 5G40 from Bescot, with a return working 5G60.
There is a possibility that this working was amended to work to Lawley St. but
as yet this is unconfirmed. What I do know is that the trip was working
throughout October 1967 using either a single Class '20' or '25'. Any thoughts
are appreciated, or, if you know a man that can? Keep up with your good work.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Kindest regards Ian Pell
I was not able help Ian regarding the photos
as I have mislaid the contacts who supplied both images. If anyone can could in
identifying the sources or, in the case of the first photograph, another
source, I would be grateful. Regarding the closure date of the sidings at Water
Orton, again I have no records so if anyone can help please help by contacting
Fantastic site. A wonderful resource and for
me the images of Great Barr station took me
straight back to the 1950s and 1960s when I spent so many hours there. One
image of the original station, long gone by my time, shows 'Station Cottages'
in the background where my best friend, the stationmaster's son lived, (John
Hi Mike. Have you seen
Birmingham New Street Station Through Time by Mark-Norton?
It has a great selection of photos covering the period from when the station
was first built to the 21st century rebuild.
Tom. Yes I have a copy and I agree with your
sentiments. Mark described the book to me as 'a local history book about a
railway station rather than a railway book', but was sure many of the pictures
will be of interest to rail fans.' One I throughly recommend. Mike
There seems to be minor problems with one or
two links to the pictures for Milcote
Regards - Mike James
Mike - Many thanks for contacting us to point
out the link errors. I have hopefully addressed them so they should now be
working. Please let us know if you spot any other broken links or errors. With
over 9000 pages its impossible for us to check manually and automated systems
need to be of a professional standard and too expensive. BTW - we will be
revisiting the station soon to add to and improve the existing images.
I have had only a brief look at your very
comprehensive site whilst looking for a particular train. My Grandfather was
accidently killed (11th February 1919) whilst inspecting the lines at Hartshill
near Atherstone. I have a copy of both the coroners report and the local
newspaper article about the accident. My interest is motivated by "Genealogy"
During the research into his life and death I have visited the location and
other railway sites to help create a more accurate picture of the time. With
this in mind the research has narrowed the date/time and location to the
information given ie .8-30 out of Manchester to London express on Tuesday 11th
of February 1919. I thought as a reminder of him I would try and find THE train
or at least the class of engine and purchase a model plus any photos there may
be. Your site has many excellent photos of trains of that period and I hoped
that someone of your group my help me to track down this particular engine or
maybe the class that would have pulled the Manchester/London Express on the
date given ? Thank you in anticipation of a reply.
Peter J Bryan
In response to Peter's enquiry the following
replies were received from members of the LNWR Society:
I can find no record of this accident in the Railway
Archive's Accident Archive, but I am not entirely clear on the location; I
presume the incident occurred on the L&NWR main line north of Nuneaton,
rather than the line which actually passed through Hartshill, which I believe
was a Midland line from Stockingford? Certainly there is no entry for Hartshill
in Ian Allan's Pre-Grouping Atlas, so it seems it had no station, but the
Accident Archive yields nothing to a search on Atherstone or Nuneaton either.
In any case it would seem the original Board of Trade accident report, which
will almost certainly record the engine involved (and the driver/fireman)
should be covered by RAIL 1053/303, although unfortunately this has not yet
been digitised so cannot currently be accessed on-line. It can, of course, be
viewed at The National Archives, or a quote can be sought for
digitising/printing (but I'm afraid I'm still recovering from the shock of the
figure I was offered last time I sought a quote for something similar).
As regards the carriages, there are Marshalling Circulars for
July 1914, Oct 1914 and Feb 1922 at NRM "Search Engine", filed at ref.
ALS4/132/C/6. I haven't yet checked what's at the LNWR Society Archive,
Kenilworth. Post-war marshalling might be very different from pre-war. Also,
the period 1919-21 was one of considerable change as the LNWR gradually
restored their services to pre-war levels. So, unless we can find a Marshalling
Circular booklet fro the right period, I would have little confidence that the
train formation was correct. In any case, the Marshalling Circular specifies
the type of carriage (Corridor composite, brake third etc) not the specific
Diagram No., so there is no certainty about which design of carriages would be
used on a specific train. Before the war there were specially-built sets on
some services, but I doubt that these arrangements survived the war. Not much
help, I know!
From Peter Spedding:
I think Hartshill box was located
north of Ashby Jct, the 1937 Crewe and South Appendix shows it as being 1 mile
1346 yards north of Ashby Jct and 2 miles 1428 yards south of Atherstone
Station box. In the early 1960s much railway ballast was worked out of the
various quarries to Nuneaton yards for dispatch all over the LMR with much
going to the modernisation sites. This doesn't help with the original query but
may be of interest.
From Philip Millard:
This incident was not an
"accident" reportable to the Board of Trade and no records of it would have
survived. It was simply a case of an employee working on the track
(legitimately) being run down by a train. Not at all uncommon in those
A schedule dated February 1920 shows that the 8.30am Manchester to
Euston was operated by Euston and Manchester No.6 set (which returned at
5.30pm). The train was formed of:-
Brake First 5611 D.126
Composite 2786 D.131
Third 173 D.264
Third 543 (8ft 6in wide)
Brake Third 7377 D.308
A mixed consist of cove and high roof stock,
and for some reason including an 8ft 6in wide vehicle. Of course, I cannot
guarantee that this set worked the 8.30am from Manchester on the day in 1919 in
question, but this is the best you are going to get. The best guess of a
locomotive would be a "Precursor" or a "George V". No possible way to say which
one. The signal cabin was named Hartshill Sidings, not just Hartshill. It was a
Type 5 with 35 levers, and in 1957 was open from 4.00am Monday to 6.00am
Philip added later:
My Marshalling Circular dated 28th April 1919
shows that the order of the carriages from Manchester was reversed from the
above, i.e. the brake-first came last in order and the brake-third was
marshalled at the leading end, and in addition a 50ft 0in corridor brake van
was included in the formation as the first vehicle. In this document the
working is shown as balanced at 7.35am ex-Euston but there appears to be no
such train. The train also conveyed three carriages (one of the
Birmingham-Liverpool-Manchester non-corridor lavatory sets) for Birmingham,
detached at Stoke.
I remember growing up in Holbrooks, Coventry
in the early seventies and being fascinated by the trains that carried the
coal. I would often disappear much to the horror of my mother who would always
find me watching the trains pass Wheelwright lane halt. As a girl all my
friends thought me odd to be so fascinated by trains, but I loved them. Being
the youngest of 7 we never had much, every Christmas I always wanted a train
set, but of course my parents could never afford it. In 2009 we moved to
Longford, Coventry on Black Horse road and I was excited to live near the
Hawkesbury lane junction, My young boys would wave to the signal man every time
we crossed the line, but this wasn't to last long as it closed and went
automatic.....just not the same. The signal box was boarded up, and only 2
weeks ago the boards went down, I have just found out it is to be
removed.....so sad, another bit of history to be gone. Just want to add I have
been thrilled just sitting here discovering the old pictures and history of the
Hawkesbury Station. Think I was born the wrong sex and in the wrong time zone
lol (laugh out loud - Ed). Just to add my wonderful hubby bought me my 1st
train set last Christmas.. I cried.....only a small one.....all we can afford
but my goodness what a joy. xx
Hi Lynn. Many thanks for sharing your memories
with us. Its not often that we get a member of the fairer sex contributing to
the guest book. We are very pleased that the old pictures have helped you to
reminisce and even more so that you finally got that train set - well done
hubby! Best wishes Mike
Invaluable site for research, keep up the
brilliant work and thank you!
I am the grandson of Harry Clarke, who used
to be in the signal box, which is now knocked down. He died in 1970 at the age
of 72, I think. Can anybody send me information on him and his old box? I can
remember pulling one of the levers for him! He used to live in Higham Lane.
Dave - Can you let us know which signal box
your grandad worked at. See my reference below to the UK, Railway Employment
Records, 1833-1956 facility which can be found via this
While enjoying another browse through your
fascinating site I've just noticed a misplaced photograph. Image
Inwrns2673 is definitely not at Nuneaton.
Is it at Tamworth (Low Level)?
Hi John - Yes you are absolutely correct. Its
another case of me just accepting the caption and not looking too carefully at
the photograph. The brick base to the water tower is so obvious.
A fascinating collection of archives and
photographs - thank you for the hard work. I am trying to piece together the
history of Robert Webb Pearce. He was apprenticed at Brown Marshalls & Co,
and later Chief of Drawing Office at their new Britannia Works. In 1855 he
joined East Indian Railways and set up their Carriage and Wagon Workshops (I
have his designs). I am trying to find out more about his early days in
Saltley. Any ideas who can help? I will happily pass on all info I have.
Hi Mike Thanks for your kind comments.
Regarding your query, are you aware of the UK, Railway Employment Records,
1833-1956 which can be found via this
link. Any material that you find relevant to our
website would be appreciated. The website's long term future is hopefully more
secure now that the HMRS have agreed to be custodians in the future together
with copies to be sent to local educational centres and libraries. Regards
So many thanks for the chance to relive the
days of steam. I well remember sitting at my school desk alongside the Coundon
Road station in Coventry, and watching the trial runs of the GWR railcar (much
to our teachers disgust). Again many thanks and happy thoughts for the future
of your site.
Best regards - Bernard Smith
Do you know which LNWR loco shed had the code
Thanks - Geoff Reeve
A table of Shed Codes is reproduced on the
LNWR Society webb site detived from Harry Jacks article 'LNWR Engine Shed
Code' in the December 1997 edition of the society's Journal. A link to the
table is found via this
Really pleased to find this superb site. I am
modelling Monument Lane Shed circa 1957 in "OO" gauge and the pictures have
been very useful. The site is now occupied by the National Indoor Arena which
is built on "stilts" above the site of the main shed: the original retaining
walls of the site are still visible in the underground car park! Unfortunately
I cannot find any information on the Mechanical Coaling Plant and Ash Plant
built in the early 1930s the pictures offer some tantalising glimpse's but not
enough to accurately base a model on. Similarly with the Water Softening Plant.
So any information from any source on these structures would be really
Dear Alan. Many thanks for your kind comments
regarding the website which are now posted into the guest book. Reference your
request for information. I assume you know of the excellent book on the shed by
Tony Higgs? See
Tony was selling his book from the following address 22 Maxstoke Close,
Matchborough West, Redditch B98 0EJ. Price £11.95 plus
£1.40p&p. If you can provide any more information as you undertake
research please let us know as we would love to add it to the website. I hope
this helps. Regards Mike
Delighted to find a reference to the BSA
wagon mover in your photo collection. Our museum has recently acquired a model
from one of our 'Friends'. It is a single cylinder, four stroke, SV, cord
starter, hand start BSA industrial type engine, but have not as yet found a
model number on it as yet. In finding a suitable interpretation for it, may we
use a copy of your action photo, with a suitable credits, in any future
Tony Johnson of
In photo lnwrcll111 the loco carries the reporting
number W412, which was the 10.55 (S.O.) Blackpool North to Stechford, first
stop Wolverhampton at 14.07 then Coseley Deepfields at 14.21, Dudley Port
14.29, Smethwick 14.46, New Street 14.56 to arrive at Stechford at 15.09.
Outside the peak summer Saturdays it was extended to Coventry arriving at
15.42. The empty stock was then (I presume) worked on to Rugby hence the loco
in the photograph is carrying the lamps for empty coaching stock (ECS). All
this information relates to Summer 1959. In summer 1957 this train ran around
30 minutes later but carried the same reporting number.
Hi Robert. Thanks for correcting my original
text. Your information has now been added to the caption.
I am currently writing notes for David Hey's
collection Website, and so was looking at 70017 Arrow image 'lnwrbns_br 388, and wondered if any of your
readers know why four Britannias were allocated to Rugby from October 1962 to
February 1963? Also, Mike, on the caption you have wrongly suggested that 70017
was allocated to Southern Region for the first two years. Was at 81A until
26/5/53, then Salisbury 72B for 4 weeks only, covering for Merchant Navy loco,
then back to Old Oak Common. Keep up the excellent work my friend.
Hi Derek I do not know but will ask around for
you. Thanks for the correction which has been added to the caption credited to
I have followed a link from Wikipedia which I
edit as Chevin. I have a query about Cmp Hill Station. Your page on
Camphill station suggests that "Camp Hill
Station was first opened in 1867 by the Midland Railway as 'Camp Hill &
Balsall Heath' " My understanding is that Camp Hill was first opened as the
terminus of the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway before it was extended to
Curzon Strreet. It was closed for a while and the date 1867 and the new name
refers to its reopening. Could you confirm this for me, please.
Best wishes, Jed
Hi Jed. My information is as follows: Camp
Hill station was opened as the temporary terminus for the Birmingham and
Gloucester Railway on 17th December 1840 and closed on 17th August 1841 when
the line to Curzon Street opened. It reopened on 15th November 1841. On 1st
December 1867 it was closed then reopened as Camp Hill and Balsall Heath
station. On 1st April 1904 it was renamed Camp Hill station. It closed on 27th
January 1941 as a wartime measure but never reopened. Hope this helps. See our
page listing the dates relevant to all stations
and major locations in the county. Best wishes Mike.
Dear Mike. It was only yesterday that I
happened upon Warwickshire Railways. What a superbly designed website that,
unlike many, is so easy and logical to use. My wife, Joan, spent twenty-one
years living at 'The Old Station' as everyone called it in Hampton-in-Arden.
Her mother and father moved there in the thirties, her father being a cabinet
maker working for Wyckham Blackwell's who 'leased' the former goods yard and
buildings. If it is of interest I could look back through my diaries of the
early 1960s and probably come up with some accurate datings for the final
removal of the sidings and the truncated branch line. Many engine drivers from
Saltley Shed knew of Joan's mother 'our Gladys' who, during the war would
replenish tea caddies over the fence for trains parked up in the long sidings
outside the station. There used to be an old newspaper cutting of George 6th
alighting to visit a shadow factory just north of the NEC but alas that's been
lost, as is the factory. The old bridge abutments are still in place though. We
also have (had!) a copy of the photo that Alan Smyth donated to the site.
Doctor Smyth was the village doctor, a lovely man, who used to store railway
bits and pieces under his examination couch. Many more anecdotes that can be
passed on that we would be happy for you to include as you think fit and I
could also look through my slides of that period, transfer them somehow and
send them on - the original LNW station, last steam passenger train etc. but I
need to find them all. Joan and I moved out to Cyprus in 1998 but I still miss
the sight, sound, and especially the scent of a steam train roaring past. Oh,
and a good pint of bitter. If there is anything in particular you'd like us to
try and recall let us know. My own trainspotting days commenced in 1945 at
Yours sincerely Colin & Joan Gorton
Hi Colin. Many thanks for your kind comments,
they are very much apprecoiated. We would love you to contribute any photos,
information and recollections that you or your wife can recount. Social history
is as important as technical history so please capture on paper whatever
recollections you can. I love the reference to Joan's mum during the war. Full
credit is given and with the HMRS (Historical Model Railway Society) becoming
its guardian it will be available online for many years to come. Regarding
subject matter please feel free to contribute what you can. Best wishes
I have drawn a series of signal box diagrams
and would like to meke them available to Warwickshire Railways if they of
interest to you. I would also like to have some information re Tamworth Low
Level signal box in the 1950's
Iain of course we would welcome your
contribution and will try to help reference Tamworth. Best wishes, Mike.
In connection with an article I am writing
for my magazine Talking Tickets I have looked at your information and photos of
Snow Hill station. The impression I have received is that prior to the 1906-12
rebuilding Snow Hill station could be accessed from both sides. However, none
of the photos or plans show whether there were separate booking offices at the
two entrances. Are you able to confirm whether on not there were two separate
booking offices. Information I have on tickets shows that there was no
indication on them of separate offices, which seem strange if there were two
offices. It may, of course, have been that the up side office only booked for
up journeys and vice versa. Have you any information on this point? I am aware
that later there was an entrance from Great Charles Street with its own booking
office, which seems likely to have been provided as part of the 1906-12
rebuilding. Can you confirm that this office was provided as part of the
rebuilding and also when it closed (presumably prior to closure of the station
Brian, Sorry for the delay. There is a useful
chapter on the history of Birmingham Snow Hill in Colin Maggs' book 'GWR
Principal Stations', now out of print, but fairly common in second hand shops.
In here it lists the Snow Hill (Up) side platform offices of the 1871
Dinning Room (leased by
First class Restaurant
Second class Restaurant
class Waiting Room
First class Ladies Room
Third class Ladies
Third class Waiting Room
Coach working Offices
Outwards Parcels Office
He states that the order on the Livery Street (Down) side was
similar, which infers another Booking Office on that side.
Charles street Booking Office was part of the rebuild see the GWR Magazine
Article of 1911 - Birmingham Snow Hill
Station - Redevelopment. As for closure of this office, I suspect it
happened in April 1963 when construction started on the Great Charles Street
section of the new Inner City Ring Road. For information Snow Hill station
became completely unstaffed from 5th May 1969. After the rebuild there was also
a third Booking Office on Platform No1 which I understand served passengers
wanting to travel on the Severn Valley Line, Worcester and South Wales via
Hereford plus stations to Birkenhead. There is a picture of this Booking Office
in Derek Harrison's book ' Birmingham Snow Hill - A First Class Return'.
Dear Mike. I think your website is the best
of its kind around and continue to enjoy the new material that appears from
time to time as well as the wealth of existing stuff. I have found an
interesting painting which I think you might like to consider adding to the
Queens Drive section of your BNS pages. I had been tagging paintings for the
Public Catalogue Foundation's project and decided to search for "Birmingham"
just in case there was anything of interest, and there was. I turned up a
painting of Great Queens Street from the Market Hall end showing the LNWR
station on the right, and the land being cleared for construction of the
Midland extension to the left. I have never seen a view like this, the link is:
Great Queens Street, Birmingham by Alfred Freeman Smith
What do you think?
Best regards - Toby Clempson
Hi Toby. Many thanks for your kind words. We
would be very interested in adding the painting to the website both on the BNS
pages as well as our art page which I assume you know of? See
This is the road after the MR station was built as seen from both ends.
Hello Mike, you seem to have the same photo
appearing twice but with different location and date details. The photos are
lnwrf132 "46446 is seen pulling out of
Foleshill station's goods yard at the head of train of oil tanks circa 1956"
and lnwrns1646 " 46446 is seen at the head
of a train of oil tank wagons in Nuneaton's marshalling yard circa 1957".
Regards - David Easthope
Hi David. Thanks for pointing out the
duplication. We are currently investigating where it was taken. It might even
be somewhere else. The footbridge seen to the right is clearly LNWR but the
building is puzzling local experts. I will let you know and update this when we
Born and bred in Daventry I remember the last
passenger train that went through - made the pages of the local paper. Then the
8F locos with around 60 plus mineral wagons in tow. One driver let me as a
schoolboy 'drive' his loco - but only a few yards! Now I am recently retired
and about to embark on building an 00 scale model of Daventry station and
railway yard. But first is research and hence came across this site full of
invaluable information... I will be back....
Brilliant site, told me everything I wanted
to know about former stations in my area complete with photographs as well.
Thank you so much to all those who have contributed.
Wonderful site thank you for being able to
view the photos, I am a member of an art class run by age UK. With a passion
(to my limits) of mainly painting steam trains and wild life, before I found
your site I came across a photo on the net which I wanted to paint but didn't
know who to ask for permission, looking through your site and finding the
picture taken by Mr Mensing of No 44659 at New Street Station, Birmingham,
would it be possible for you to pass my details to him so I may ask.
Hi Mike. Just wanted to thank you for all the
effort you and others have put into the site. I use it primarily as a source of
enjoyment, but its many facts also make a very useful reference tool. I am
particularly enjoying the links to the video content, but confess to having
some difficulty viewing some of the BBC content, both on my I-phone and PC,
something to do with the media player selection I suspect! Again many thanks
for your efforts, I trust the small PayPal donation helps in some way.
Kind regards John Haden
John - Many thanks for your kind donation. It
really does help. Not just to purchase additional material but to cover running
costs too. I recently had a major programming issue with the web authoring
package - HoTMetaL Pro - and it cost £90 to resolve which uses up a lot
of pocket money. It may be an old software programme but its the only one that
I can use to generate content very quickly!
In your bibliography you cite Railways of the West Midlands
- A Chronology 1808 - 1954 but no author. It was in fact compiled by Charles or
'C A' Clinker.
Dr Paul Collins
As someone who grew up in Brownhills but
often enjoyed as part of a weekly visit on Thursdays (my fathers shops half-day
closing day) to Birmingham, I was able to enjoy train spotting at New Street on
a regular basis c. 1954-58. I noted recently that the LMS section list is
headed with the photo. of 'Crab' 2-6-0 standing at the end of the platform
adjacent to the Walsall/Wolverhampton bays. The man with in a suit with a cap
and a coat or tool-bag on his shoulder is my father William Elkin who was born
in 1907 in Wolverhampton. He worked for Gibbons the art metal and locksmith
firm and was at the time that photograph was taken was probably fitting new
bank grills/ staircase handrails etc. to one of the various businesses and
banks that Gibons fitted out at that time. The picture with my father in it is
purely con-incidental; I first spotted it in Whitehouse and Thomas's LMS 150
It is unmistakably my father partly because he always stood
slightly on the right leg as he had broken his left leg as a boy and, after
developing osteo-myelitis, his leg was only saved by years of pioneering
bone-grafting surgery just after the end of WW1. Although he retained the use
of his left leg it was always a bit gammy and gave him that very characteristic
stance that I would recognise anywhere.
Excellent web-site for this now
aging LNWR/MIDLAND/LMS enthusiast even though I spent many years as a
technology and transport museum curator in the Bristol - the heart of GWR
territory country. Still, never forgotten my first glimpses of GWR Castles and
Kings at Snow Hill in the late 50s 'though. I will make a donation to the
Hi Paul. The photo you refer to is 'lnwrbns_lms520' and is my favourite photo
too. I use it as my screen saver and it looks good on my 17 inch laptop screen.
The photographer, Arthur Flowers, was a lovely man and I used to spend many a
day at his house in the early 1980s. I moved and lost touch with Arthur and I
understand he was taken into a home. His photographic negatives are believed to
be lost but at least myself and the late Pat Whitehouse had copies of most if
not all of his collection. I am about to revisit New Street and update the
photos including increasing their size from 700 to 800 pixels wide.
Hi, my friend, many thanks for a superbly
stocked site. I'm studying GWR Kings at the moment, and having viewed image 'gwrt306' at Tyseley Shed' I can agree with 'Bill
Perrin' in stating that the location is Wolverhampton Stafford Road coaling
stage, which is remote from the shed itself, and is next to the turntable. This
is mainly because of the brick support arches, as Tyseley only had an earth
Thanks Derek. We have withdrawn the thumbnail
photograph from Tyseley Shed's page but retained the large image linked only
from the guest book.
What a fantastic site. Many thanks for your
dedication. Later this year I will start modeling in 00 gauge, a small
Lancashire town terminus on the LMS about 19th September 1947. (I was one year
old). Your photographs and text are invaluable. My donation will follow.
Are you sure about your dates? I grew up in
Kenilworth in the 1960s and I remember taking the train from
Kenilworth with my friends (no adults).
Even in that much more innocent time, I can't imagine parents letting 6 year
olds taking a train by themselves. I still remember the rather intimidating
sight of the train coming in from the Coventry end of the station, under the
Hi Andrew. Yes the date of Kenilworth
station's closure - goods traffic on 4th January 1965 and passenger traffic on
18th January 1965 - is well documented. I know that I was travelling by train
when I was very young, albeit not as young as six.
Mike, The bridge in picture 'gwrhb2226' is the same one I blew up in 1980,
Regards - John Fancote
Thank you for taking the time and trouble to
construct and maintain the Warwickshire Railways website. Although Warwickshire
is almost entirely terra incognita to me, I enjoy visiting the website and find
it very informative. May I suggest amendments to four captions, 'gcrsc200', 'gcrsc203', 'gcrsc220', 'gcrsc221' & 'gcrsc208' and provide more information for a
fifth? Each concerns a photograph of Rugby Central.
Hi Andrew. Many thanks for your kind comments
and suggested caption changes which are now added to the website. I must have
had a bad day at the office with not noticing the Hillman Imp had a 'D' at the
end because my Dad had a Hillman Minx with a C registration and I know that his
car was a 1965 model. Please feel free to provide more information or suggest
amendments. We need the website's content to be accurate, informative, and
relevant so the more sources the better.
I was thrilled to see Jurassic and her
siblings on the site. I think all four of the class are now back in the UK,
though Jurassic needs a major overhaul before she can run again at Skegness.
She still gets occasional outings into the fresh air, such as when there's a
gala day and she's still the pin up girl for all of us volunteers. I still
remember her being delivered to the original LCLR site at Humberston (price
£50) - a copy of a 1956 Daily Sketch was in the back of the bunker. The
loco dept cleaned out the ash, filled her up with water, lit the fire and a
couple of hours later, she chugged off down the line. You are wrong to state
that the Peckett saddle tanks operated by the cement works at Southam
(Jurassic, Liassic etec) were 0-4-0STs. They were 0-6-0ST, as indeed your
photos clearly show. Jurassic was sold to the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway
in 1961 for £50 (along with a Ruston 4w diesel), moving to storage when
that line closed in 1985 and then to the LCLR's new site at Skegness, which
reopened in 2009. I am looking forward to exploring the rest of your website as
these days I live in Brum and naturally find Warks railways of great
Hi there. I'm a project manager for
Centro-ITA (West Midlands Passenger Transport Authority) - we have currently
been undertaking improvements at Marston Green Rail Station to improve safety
within the bus interchange area. During our works we found what seemed to be
the remains of a Victorian era blue brink structure within the interchange -
I've only recent come across your website to find a photo of the old level
crossing and coal/coke goods yard (phot ref: lnwrmg1592) - we will get a photo taken of the
same view as it is now. In addition we are developing a further car park
expansion at Rowley Regis Station, do you happen to have any historic photo's
of this site? during our investigations we found evidence of a subway running
from this area underneath the tracks - but we cannot determine what its use was
for. Thanks for such a great website.
Kind Regards. Scott Cooper
Hi Scott Many thanks for the kind words
regarding the website. The website doesn't include Rowley Regis as it was never
part of the county of Warwickshire. Some stations from Worcestershire and
Staffordshire are included because up to 1972 Birmingham was within
Warwickshire (albeit as an independent political/economic entity) and as such
when towns and districts such as Bournville/Barnt Green were absorbed by
Birmingham in the 1920s and 1930s they became within the County's borders by
default. In other instances, such as Tamworth, the town was within the County
when the railways first arrived but was later ceded (1870s from memory) to
Robert Ferris writes, 'For information my
father was the Manager of the Shell Mex Fuel Distribution Centre in Cakemore
Road, Warley (Rowley Regis & Blackheath Station) in the 1970s. I understand
that prior to becoming a rail feed fuel distribution centre, the site was
previously a munitions store and the subway under the tracks liked the two
halves of the site. In my father's time the subway was used for fuel pipes from
the tanks located behind the up station platform to the three lorry loading
gantries in the south east of the site. This was in front of the garages (which
backed on to the motorway). The garage is the only building left on site from
that period, or at least it was the last time I travelled that way. There were
multiple fuel pipes on either side of the subway, these were lagged and with
trace heating to prevent the fuel oil getting cold. In the centre was a walkway
used for access between the two halves of the site. I have a plan of the site
dated 1975 if Scott is interested.'
We are trying to save Water Orton station
from being demolished and are looking for it to be refurbished, renovated and
listed. For more news see our website
Hi Mike. I have been looking at the
photographs on the Warwickshire railways website with interest because my great
grandfather worked at Coventry Station from 1888 to 1927. He started work on
the drays and horses and seven years later was made foreman. Attached are three
photos. The first photograph shows John
James King in the goods yard in about 1912 (date uncertain). Do you know what
building is in the background? The second photograph of JJ King in front of the horse
must have been taken quite early in his career, probably early 1890s. I don't
know the date of the third photograph
showing John James King as being the second from the right on the front row of
the group photograph. You can just see the Spencer Park footbridge in the
background. I haven't seen many pictures of individuals on your site so I'm not
sure if this is the kind of photo you are interested in.
We do like to include photos of people it just
depends on whether we are able to find any such photograph. I have added your
photos to the Coventry station page with my comments written up as captions. If
you could add more it would be great. Regarding the photo taken circa 1912
could you scan and send a larger copy so that I can see the building in the
background. You will note from my caption that I have some doubts as to whether
it is Coventry. Many thanks Mike
Mike, regarding your photo of
Coleshill Station which you updated with
information about the Lurgi Gas Plant, as a follow up you might be interested
to know that the sidings on the right joining the down line come from Hams
Hall. Trains which were on the block between Water Orton and Washwood Heath on
the down goods line, were routed into Hams Hall from Whitacre until there was
room at Water Orton on the goods line. I trust this helps.
Hi Mike. I enjoyed browsing through your
site, particular the British Railways in WW2 films. Can you tell me where and
when they were originally broadcast?
Richard. I regret that I have no idea as I
have only linked the film from You Tube.
Dear Mike. A little time since our previous
communications; I hope I find you well. Whilst doing some research in the
History Group archives we came across the attached pictures, which I thought
could be of interest to you. They were in a scrap book dated 1965, so would
seem to fit in with the other information we have gleaned about the time the
station was named Berkswell and Balsall Common. Very happy for you to add to
your website if you deem appropriate.
Regards Dave Felthouse (Berkswell and Balsall
Common History Group)
Superb historical site. Excellent, extremely
I am looking for any photographs taken of
Harbury Station dating 1950 to 1960s. I have a relative who is looking for a
specific photograph as his father may be on it. It would be brilliant if you
Thank you. Tracey Haynes
Hi! Very interesting site. Thanks for your
efforts. Do you have any idea of the date of gcrcs195 showing ex-LMS 4-6-0 No 45335 crossing
the Birdcage Bridge? I think I may be one of the trainspotters in the field
beyond the bridge!
Hi John. I believe that the photograph is
dated early 1960s as the bridge carrying Clifton Road has been rebuilt as part
of electrification. Hope this helps.
Great site - brings back heaps of memories.
You have a broken link causing a missing picture - 'lnwrns2705'.
I have always been fascinated by trains
having travelled on steam trains to my Gran's in Warwick every Saturday as a
child. I have found this web site a gem and have learned a lot like Maudsley
moving to Great Alne my dads friend and my
uncle worked there for many years it has filled me with nostalgia thank you so
Hello like your site. Some very nice photos.
A couple of possible errors:
1) the text below 'gwrl1860' is muddled it refers to the loco in
the picture correctly - but then goes on to discuss the cutting up of 34088
which probably ought to be with picture 'gwrl1863'
2) the text below the picture is
probably right on railway facts but the match was between Manchester united and
Southampton - Wikipedia has lots about the FA cup
Best wishes, Mike James
Mike - many thanks for pointing out the errors
which have been corrected. I must stress that we welcome people pointing out
any incorrect information or typos etc so please contact us if you see
something wrong. The error regarding the scrapping of the locomotive was my
misreading the information provided for the SR Pacifics seen at Lapworth. The
second error was because I didn't check who played who on that date. As you say
Wikipedia provided the information.
Hello Mike. I am also interested in Bordesley
Shed. I am a member of the
Broad Gauge Society
and have the two magazines you mention on your website. No 45 Spring
2001 contains an article by RS Potts with photographs and diagrams. No 47
Spring 2002 contains an article by ET Lyons with a map and diagrams. You
seem to have covered most of the points mentioned though including the staged
accident. I would be happy to send you a copies of the articles if you still
Graham - Many thanks for your kind offer which
I will certainly take you up on. Best wishes, Mike
Hi Mike. I have just visited your site and
have seen you have updated with a lot of new photographs around Rugby Central,
my special interest. Great pictures. I sent a letter to Steam Railway magazine
that was printed by them a few months ago asking the readers of that magazine
for photographs of the three special trains that ran from Southampton to
Nottingham for the 6th round FA Cup game played on Saturday 30th March 1963.
(The FA Cup games were badly delayed that year because of the severe frosts in
Dec/Jan/Feb and the Cup final itself was delayed until the end of May.) Nothing
came of that appeal, but blow me if you haven't came up trumps with the picture
of No 34042 'Dorchester' passing Rugby Central. According to my old friend
David Newmans notes for that day No 34042 was the second train to come down
from Woodford Halse, the others being first No 34054 'Lord Beaverbrook', an
unrebuilt Battle of Britain class locomotive, next was No 34042 'Dorchester', a
rebuilt West Country, and last No 34102 'Lapford', an unrebuilt West Country
class locomotive. So if you have any other photos that you cannot identify I
would be very pleased to help. The only other photograph I have seen for these
trains is on the www.sixbellsjunction.com website. The picture confirms
No 34102 'Lapford' is standing at the north end box of Nottingham Victoria. To
help you raise funds for such a great website I suggest you contact Steam
Railway with your photo and if you have any others I am sure they would be
happy to print them. For the record Southampton beat Nottingham Forest and went
on to play Manchester United at Villa Park but lost.
Kind Regards Bob Haddon
Dear Mike. The donation (to support the
website) is small recompense for the knowledge and pleasure gained from
visiting your site. I have left a small correction with regard to 'lnwrcs2158' in that the gates which the cattle
were about to pass through was to the Birmingham Corporation Cattle Market in
Montague Street. The cattle dock was in the Banbury Street sidings and also had
another access where cattle were lead toward Smithfield market via the bridge
over the canal into Fazeley Street. This bridge still exists but is not
accessible from either end or not legally should I say. I would like to track
down the originals to both lnwrcs2158 and 'lnwrcs1496' as I am doing research into
the Duddeston viaduct in an attempt to identify the construction of three
underline bridges in this same vicinity. The viaduct section in
lnwrcs2158 has long gone but included two intriguing iron beam spans
which I believe very similar to a remaining part partially hidden amongst
industrial buildings. The "toothless" gap is visible at the far end of the
market. Your website gives them both as sourced from the Public Records Office
(PRO) so I hope they are somewhere in the collections at Kew. From a high
resolution RAW scan of both I may be able to tease some more detail out.
Best regards, Graham Laucht
I will e-mail you soon.
A truly fantastic site, well done. I'm so
nostalgic for the Birmingham railway scene of the 60s. I used to sneak into
Aston Shed at lunchtime, never got caught. I rode the GWR railcars from Snow
Hill to Handsworth many times. My step-grandfather was the foreman ganger at
Aston Goods yard. Now in the USA with a OO model railway.
Hi just found your site courtesy of a friend
on the Model Railway Forum and I am looking for any pictures, track plans, etc
for Newdigate Colliery branch line which would be most grateful.
We were able to point George towards Roger
Monk and Martin Kavanagh who able to help him.
I have a picture in my collection, a
collection amassed over the last forty years that I am just getting around to
looking at what I have. Attached is a copy of the picture, a picture which I
have found on your website (see smjsa94). The
copy has slightly more detail than the one you have should you want to use it.
But just to be clear it is merely a copy I have, I have had it for years and do
not know where it was acquired from. That said your website says it is a Ken
Nunn photograph so you pretty much know it is not my work.
Best wishes Dave Ingham
Hi Dave. Many thanks for the photo which is as
you say is a much better copy. I will replace the photo in a few weeks time.
Why a few weeks? Because I realised when I visited the SMJ to look at
smjsa94 that all the photos are 700 pixels
wide and not 800 which is the latest standard. Therefore I need to upgrade the
whole route which I will action after I have completed the GWR Warwick pages,
the Coventry Loop Line and Coventry station's pages. Any other photos that you
might have would be welcome - as would any plans or information. Best wishes
Many thanks for a great website. I was a
signalman at Water Orton, Kingsbury branch & Kingsbury Station Junction
from 1955 till 1968. Your view of Coleshill station on the Birmingham to
Nuneaton line, looking towards Birmingham, shows the gas plant not part of Hams
Hall Power Station but is the Lurgi gas
plant of the West Midlands Gas Company. Therefore your wording is a bit
Hi Vic Thanks for pointing out the error. I
have now made the correction. Best wishes - Mike
Hi. I am researching Coventry Station
pre-1901 with the intention of building a layout. I have found your site very
informative, clearing up several discrepancies in my research. Its a very well
thought out site. Thanks for all your effort.
Regards Phil Bissell
Hi Phil. Glad you like the website. I will add
your comments to the guest book shortly. I started to model Coventry circa
1930s in the late 1970s which is how I started to collect the photos. I then
spread my net to other local areas and ultimately led to this website. From
memory I think you can fit the line from Warwick Road to Quinton Road in about
26-28 feet. I am due to upgrade the Coventry page in the next few weeks. If you
have any additional photos and in particular maps/layouts I would very much
appreciate a copy. Best wishes Mike
Dear fellow Enthusiasts. I am doing a small
history project with the children of my local community centre. Is it possible
to get hold of a copy of the picture in the Warwick station collection that you
have? It is picture ref; 'gwrw378a' by Gordon
Coltas. I am doing a Before and After picture display in the
community centre of local scenes. Any picture will be kept in my own collection
after the event. Thank You.
Hi Dave The image you are requesting is a
close up of 'gwrw378. My fear is that it will
not be possible to blow up the image without it becoming even more blurred. A
larger copy than a postcard from the negative might be a better option and you
would need to contact the Gordon Coltas Trust now that Gordon is no longer
alive. I don't have contact details for them (as my collection was bought from
Gordon when he was alive) so I will try to get it for you. Best wishes Mike
Please let me know if the videos on your site
are available on DVD
Hi Chris Apologies for not responding sooner.
All the videos on the website are via links to other sources. I have none that
I own. If the site I link to is YouTube (which most are) you have an option to
save them so you could make up your own DVD for free. Best wishes Mike
Hello. I have found your website enormously
interesting and informative. I would like to know more about the cast iron
plaque that I have. It measures approximately 28cm long x 16.5cm high x 12cm
thick I presume these would have been attached to railway vehicles? Can you
please advise me over which period of time this type of plaque was used and if
possible the type of vehicle that it would have been attached to. Thank you in
advance of your help in this matter.
Robert Ferris identified the plaque as being
off a wagon or carriage built by the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Co
Ltd probably pre-1921.
I love your site. I grew up in Warwickshire
and am particularly interested in the stations near where I lived: Stratford,
Kenilworth and Knowle. At the moment I am focussing on the early history of the
East and West Junction Railway at Stratford and was interested to see the
statement that they had originally used LNWR coaches without re-painting them.
I haven't seen this before and wondered what the source is? If you did have the
time to let me know I would be most grateful,
Many thanks Matthew Cadbury
I responded to Matthew stating that
unfortunately I did not note down the source of this statement.
I am interested in the rail line between
Northfield station to Redditch on the Evesham line
Many thanks for producing these wonderful
evocative railway pictures. The photo seen in 'image gwro256' of Olton Station, showing a
'Prairie' local had particular relevance to my childhood. Can I be terribly
pedantic and point out that this train is in fact heading away from Birmingham
Snow Hill, rather than towards it? It has stopped on platform 1 and will
probably terminate at Warwick or Leamington Spa. Marvellous memories
Peter. Thanks for the kind comments and in
pointing out my error which has now been corrected. Its important that such
mistakes are identified and rectified so please keep on being pedantic. Best
wishes - Mike
Hi there. Its so nice to be able to remember
the days of steam via the photos especially my all time favorites - the
Merchant Navy Class, the West Country Class and the Battle of Britain Class. I
had the privilege to see many of those fine engines as a boy trainspotter back
in the late 1950s and 1960s and miss that era so much. Thanks for enabling me
to relive those great days.
Kind regards, Ken Weeks (Southampton)
Regarding image 'gwrl1441'. I was most interested to find this
photograph as I knew Ted Giles very well - he and his wife were good friends. I
spent many happy times with them both and when first married, we often had tea
with them, in their dining room in front of a roaring fire! Do you have a date
for the photo?
Hi Ian. I believe the photograph was taken in
the early 1950s. Ted's wearing a peaked hat that has the British Railways
insignia on it so its definitely post 1948.
Hi folks There is some stuff on my website
Rail Archive from Gods own
county, including images of original early railway documents from 1840's
onwards and a few photographs as well - enjoy and copies available if wanted.
Cheers. Ian Dinmore, Curator of the Rail
Ian's site is an absolute gold mine which I
regular visit to add depth to the captions of Warwickshire Railway's.
Hi, I run a Flickr group called "Clerestory
Coaches (Railways)", and I am constantly seeking contributions of photos.
The site was originally started to support knowledge of the American Pullman
imports of the MR, but has gone world wide! However, UK stock is still only a
small proportion. Your site is a good source, but there is no 'contact us' I
can find. Thus: How can I ask for copyright permission on photos I would like
to have contributed, and Ideally it would be best for owners to contribute
through their own Flickr account, of course, else otherwise this would mean
authorising a download which would require loading with appropriate credit.
Could that be done possibly? I would not be happy to do anything without your,
or owners', agreement. Perhaps you could e-mail me to discuss.
Many thanks, Terry Browne
Great Site. May I point your members to my
Facebook Site devoted to the 'Lickey Incline and Bromsgrove MPD' Although in
Worcestershire the Lickey was close to the Warwickshire border and was always a
place to watch in the past and even now.
Alan. Its my pleasure. It was a shame the
Lickey incline wasn't in Warwickshire.
You've got some great photos on here - well
done, a lovely website.
Frank also was kind enough to make a donation
to support the web site.
You have done a wonderful job with your
website, which is very helpful for my modeling through the insights it gives on
railways landscapes, ambiances and structures of the past. Best wishes.
Marc, who lives in Compiegne, Oise in France,
kindly made a donation to support the web site.
Regarding 'lnwrk2046'. I was eight years old in 1959 and
lived in Waverley Road in one of the houses on the left. This was my
playground. Some corrections: Waverley Road, not Priory Road, is on the left -
they met at the station. Bertie Road isn't shown - it's off picture left. It
did not then join Station Rd. Another place for photography. I expect, was the
footbridge just north of the station - just visible in front of the big sheds.
Many pictures of the station, then and since, are from there. It was a open
metal bridge with wooden steps and floor - replaced a few years later (when all
the bridges were raised) by the current one. In the foreground the housing
estate is being extended.
Thanks David for the corrections and extra
information which have now been added to the website.
I was signalman at
Gibbet Hill Signal Box from 1970 until it
closed in 1972. I was very interested to see your pictures of the box and to
read the accident report. I had no idea an accident had occurred there in 1916.
I would be very interested to see if any more pictures appear of this location,
especially of the interior.
My congratulations on assembling a superb set
of photos. I have recently been re-furbishing a model railway to the late
19th/early 20th century period and have found many of your photos
Mike. Cracking website. Once logged on I am
hooked. It's great to revisit my old spotting haunts. I am a Coventry Kid whose
grandmother's houses backed onto the Coventry to Nuneaton line at Daimler Halt
and Coundon Road stations. I hope you don't mind if I make a couple of comments
concerning the text on a couple of photos.
i) 'lnwrns350' - I would suggest that the loco is
standing in the short siding situated between the DOWN FAST and DOWN SLOW at
the northern end of the station; not on the shed as stated. The date of the
photo is nearer 1950 rather than 1960 and shows the LNWR signal gantry prior to
it's replacement with a modern upper quadrant BR version. The old gantry can be
seen in photo 'lnwrns1630' and it's
replacement in photo 'lnwrns1658'.
'lnwrcov643' - The locomotive is No 41900
not No 41909 as stated. At the time of the photo, October 1960 I think, No
41902 and No 41909 were stored inside the closed Coventry MPD. I clearly
remember seeing this loco on a parcels working at Coundon Road station whilst
waiting for a Nuneaton train. I think this train did 3 possibly 4 trips a day
between Leamington Coventry and Nuneaton with the motive power being supplied
by Leamington (Milverton) MPD with No 41285 being the usual choice. I can only
assume the Ivatt was unavailable such that Leamington had to borrow No 41900 to
fill the gap.
I am researching my family tree and found
ancestors employed by Birmingham Railway Carriages as a Woodworker. His son was
then a toolmaker and engineer, later living in Newcastle. The family lived in
Booth Street, Junction Road and Kentish Road. They attended St James church and
Wattville Road School. With your site I have now made sense of all this
information. Thank you so much.
Thank you for your lovely site.
Very grateful for all you have done.
Regards, Howard (GWSG)
Howard's comments were sent at the same time
he was kind enough to donate some money.
Im not an expert but photograph 'lnwr-tam2353' seems to have wrong engine
number, and the picture date given is prior to the engine's build date. But
love your picturess. Thank you. (Albeit would be nice if a little larger).
Bill, thanks for pointing out the two errors.
The original description gave the wrong name to the number and I blindly
repeated it without checking so I am at fault. I then transposed the last two
digits of the year it was built writing 1953 instead of 1935. All is now
corrected. The size of photograph has increased since November 2006 when the
site first went live. We followed the then practice of producing images 500
pixels wide. This size was the norm in 2006 because of the small monitor
screens (which were 800 pixels wide) and the then slow download speeds. My son
Alex, who designed the website, was adamant that it was bad practice to have a
page so large that the viewer had to scroll from side to side to view the full
photograph. I always thought it was too small and a few years later I increased
the size to 700 pixels wide and it took me several years to revisit every page
and to enlarge the image. (There are some in instances where the smaller width
still exists. This is because the size seen is the only size the photo is
available to me). When Alex redesigned the website I took the opportunity to
increase the size to 800 pixels within a 1000 pixel wide page - which for 85
percent of visitors is their monitor size. There are still many images on the
website still 700 pixels wide and these are being upgraded when I revisit a
station to add new photographs. Flickr and other such sites have since adopted
1000 pixels as their standard width and to be frank I wish I had chosen this
size too as I am sure in a few years time monitors will be the same width as
mine (an 18 inch lap top screen). However as the website has currently nearly
9000 pages I have decided that it would take too long to revisit all of the
site to upgrade the size (and be very boring to do) so the image size will have
to stay as it is. You can change your monitor magnification if you want a
larger image on the screen. The photographs in the main will take some
magnification without becoming too blurred. Thanks Mike
Magnificent undertaking and a great
Bob was kind enough to donate some money.
Photographs now cost in excess of £1 each so every little helps.
Magnificently detailed photographs with
enough 'comment' on them to be interestingly enough for the layman and for the
enthusiast alike. My father was on the footplate for years, first as a fireman
and then as a driver and we lived in the railway cottages in Old Station Square
which was the site of Rugby's first station. So many of those photos bring back
happy memories. I was walking around Rugby's third station (a horrible hybrid
of old and modern) when I saw a strange 'structure' on the south side and I
took a couple of photos of it. Not knowing what it was I showed it around and
even some Railway buffers weren't quite sure what it was. Answers ranged from
'a Soweto penthouse' to a 'bomb shelter on stilts'. If you want to have a look
at it contact me at the above address and I will send it to you to put on your
site if you find it suitable. I did think it might be a water tower, but why
put a roof on it? Anyhow, hope to hear from you. PS. I have also got a photo of
the railway 'cottages' in old station square that I purchased from the local
library if you would like a copy of that as well, just ask.
Yours Brian Eite
I am in the process of checking with Brian
what the image is.
Mike. I just visited your website again and
saw updates of and around Rugby Midland station which I found moving. It
brought back memories seeing images on the monitor that were previously only in
in my head (memory). There was a row of railway houses called New Station, the
front path to which formed a photo basis for many pictures of the down line
start up point. Finally I see the row itself in some. I as a child lived in No
7. My father was a passenger train guard. I remember the goods yard behind. I
remember the house shaking as north bound evening through expresses passed by.
Yes, memories. I had a first class view of all that passed. The location is now
a two story car park as I recall. I guess everyone goes through such emotive
experiences in life with constant changes and development separating 'actuals'
from memories. Thanks. I intend to contribute (donate) later.
Alec has kindly allowed us to reproduce
several photos from his family album.
Just having a look at the pictures/video
footage on your website. I am generally interested in all railways world
I lived in Lime Grove, Tile Hill for my first
twenty-three years. I did my apprenticeship 1970 to 1974 at Curriers Close
which is just off Charter Avenue .... don't know if you'd recall that street
name. I had Tile Hill signal box for about 1 year (1975-76) so I've
particularly enjoyed the photos in around the area. I have one or two colour
slides of the box from that date but the content features other items and
people. As a schoolboy in 1960s I had the unenviable 2 week holiday job of
cleaning out residue sludge from inside the large fuel tanks in the MOBIL
siding (located off Torrington Avenue) and I had to have a break every 15
minutes as the fumes made me hallucinate .. Health & Safety eh!! LOL. An
excellent website Mike. .. long may it continue .. Best Wishes
Phil. I certainly know Curriers Close as I
lived at 16 Parkwood Lane which is also at the top of Charter Avenue. My
childhood was spent playing in the fields that became the industrial estate in
Looks like a mammoth undertaking. Love the
extended captions. Best Wishes
Mike. I was pleasantly surprised to see the
drawing of Rugby GC booking office on here! The drawing of the details of the
main span of the girder bridge also comes from the same source. The crane in
the GC yard was rated at 10 tons, nearby Lutterworth only had a 5 ton version.
The pictures of gun limbers being loaded are in Rugby yard on the loading dock
, situated at the back of the yard, the field beyond became the site of the
Unigate dairy. Barby RAOC depot was a second world war development,
construction starting in June 1943. The length of the platform at the GC
station was 500 feet as built, when the up line was looped in 1940-41 the
platform was extended, something I believe to be unique on the London
Extension. Keep up the good work !!!!!
Cheers - Tony (West)
Tony. On behalf of GC fans may I thank you for
producing the drawings of Rugby's GC station and for the extra information
given above. Mike
My primary search was for references to the
Lynton & Barnstaple Railway but it was not possible to indentify from the
immediate listing. However the considerble amount of information containe here
will certainly be of interest to members of my club. Ilford & West Essex
Tony Spencer of
This is without doubt one of the best
constructed web sites I have visited. It is uncluttered and actually works when
you click on things whilst its contents takes me back to my child hood. My late
father was a signalman in the Lichfield and later Hazel Grove areas, whilst my
late mother was first a crossing keeper and then a station porter at Alrewas in
Staffordshire now home of the National Memorial Arboretum which the now gone
station could well serve. Amazingly the Alrewas signal box is still there and
works absolute block to Lichfield TV Jnc but that s digressing. As a
consequence I spent many hours around railways especially signal boxes and I
was always fascinated by the large signal boxes at Rugby as we passed through
on our way to London courtesy of the many privilege tickets our parents got
from BR. We spent hours at Rugby either waiting for the engine to be changed or
for our connection and the race to get a drink and back on the train is well
remembered. I am still interested in the old methods of signalling hence my
search brought me to your site which raises a question. Was there a No 6 signal
box? By the way if anyone else is interested in signalling then the Crewe
Heritage centre has a good collection with the Exeter West box running under
Hi Ron. Many thanks for your kind comments.
You might have noticed that I am in the process of updating Rugby which, with
over 400 plus images, is taking me much longer than I anticipated. I believe
that a photo of No 6 signal cabin does exist and that it was a tiny signal
cabin on the down side of the line near the Wood Street yard, near to Rugby's
No 5 cabin. It was replaced in the 1930s by extra levers in a new frame in No 5
cabin. (LMS levers were spaced closer than in a LNWR frame therefore a longer
LMS frame would still fit within the cabin). Robert Hendry (of LMS Stations
fame etc) told Steve Weston of the LNWR Society (and who lives in Rugby) of how
the LMS replaced the frame in No 5 cabin by placing the new frame on the
opposite wall to the old one - and without having to close the signal cabin!
Steve Weston thinks that he has seen a copy of the photo in a book but he is
not too sure which one.
Thanks for the fascinating historic content.
I have a few comments regarding Coventry.
1. The Foleshill railway did
indeed connect with the Coventry-Nuneaton lane as one of your contributors
2. The Coventry loop line that served the Chrysler works was still
in use in the mid-1970's for loading ckd (completely
knockdown) car kits for shipment to Iran. The car was based on
the Hillman Hunter and was known in Iran as the Pakyan.
3. One of your
photos is labelled "Three Spires Junction looking north towards Coventry".
Looking north from there would be looking away from the centre of Coventry.
Perhaps the photo is of Humber Rd junction?
4. The offices at Gosford Green
yard appear to be the buildings still in use as offices on the junction of
Binley Rd and Phoenix Way. Maybe worth a mention.
5. I've just seen mention
of a derailment in 1904 at Albany Road. Is that different from the collapse of
the Spon End embankment, I think in 19c, that was replaced by viaduct. I've
seen a photo of it. A current driver tells me there is a severe speed limit in
that area in one direction.
A fantastic site and very informative. The
photos are excellent. For me it's evocative of my childhood in Coventry, where
I was a keen trainspotter for a few years, Many Thanks
Dear Mike, My name is Grant Regan. I'm a
member of the LNWR
George the Fifth Steam Locomotive Trust and responsible for the trust's
website and news blog. Ambitious as it may sound we aim to build a new London
& North Western George the Fifth class engine for heritage rail and
mainline use. When completed, it will be the sole representative of a 20th
century LNWR express locomotive. In addition to a significant amount of public
support garnered in the few months that the project has been public, we have
also secured considerable financial backing from an unnamed benefractor, who
has promised 5 x £10k tranches over 5 years matching fundraising from
other efforts. I would like to commend you on your site, which is without a
doubt one of the most comprehensive and detailed pictorial accounts of the
railways of Britain, let along of Warwickshire, found online. Your site is
quite evidently a labour of love, an impressive undertaking and a joy to
On behalf of the LNWR George the Fifth Steam
Locomotive Trust I would like to seek permission to use a number of images on
your site, specifically pertaining to the George the Fifth class engines. Use
would be confined to the trust's website, to newsletters posted to members and
to the Trust's Facebook page. We will of course note copyright on the images
themselves. Additionally we would like to add Warwickshire Railways prominently
to your links page and provide a thank you for the use of the images on our
blog including a write-up and link to your site. Would you kindly advise us as
to whom we should contact for the following images:
lnwrrm832, lnwrrm833, lnwrrm834, lnwrrm835, lnwrrm973, lnwrrm790, lnwrrm530, lnwr_shil2391,
lnwr_shil1231. If you or the visitors to
your website would like to hear more about our project I invite you to visit
the website or
our Facebook Page.
Kindest Regards, Grant Regan
Grant. As a member of the LNWR Society it
gives me great pleasure to provide the information that you require.
I really appreciate all the efforts to
develop this invaluable record. I recently visited Marton, where my
great-grandfather Noah Hedges was the second station master. I found his
gravesite in Marton village, but was looking around for the railway and asked a
local who told me it had long since gone. To see the picture of the station
masters house was wonderful. His son travelled to Australia and that is where I
Thanks so much. Philippa Hedges
Penns Station. As a primary school boy in the
late 1950s I visited Penns by bike from Erdington more than once. I recall it
as unstaffed, reached from the road bridge, with crisscross chestnut palings
down the slope. One of the locked rooms was full of the (oil?) lamps shown in
one photo, all covered in dust but left in peace, not in pieces as they would
be today. Most mysterious to a ten year-old child.
Great site you have here. I have a Flickr
account which has a substantial set showing recent images of the remains of the
Great Central Railway between Leicester and Brackley.
You can view GCR pics in Warwickshire
Leamington-Weedon pics here
Rugby-Leamington pics here
I have a photo of a
bridge at Shrewley, on the GWR main line,
north of Hatton, being demolished using explosives in the 1980s. I can email a
copy to you.
John also kindly made a donation to our appeal
which we will use to purchase more photos and maps.
I started my apprenticeship in May 1957 at
Tyseley works as a fitter & turner. I have just been looking at the images
on your website of the work space , benches, etc. Memories come flooding back.
Names too came back. Sid the crane driver, Jack Harris fitter, Ted Burford
fitter. My transfer to the new diesel shops took me into a whole new world of
modern engineering. More names come to mind, Jimmy Nightingale, Joe Preston,
Lloyd King - all fitters. Tom Whittaker and Gerald Clapham, both apprentices. I
recently met Gerald for the first time in 50 years, and hope to contact Tom
soon. It has been quite a pleasant visit to your site. Please keep up the good
Alan Hughes, Forest of Dean,
What a fabulous site! I spent my childhood
and teen years around Saltley Depot, Bromford sidings and Adderley Park
watching all the railway activity. If pocket money allowed, a ride to
Wolverhampton and a walk to GWR sheds along canal towpaths or a trip to
Tamworth to join the masses of other spotters watching the main line. I started
work at Metro Cam in Saltley in 1962. Your site is a gold mine - thank you.
Mike kindly made a donation to our appeal to
support Warwickshire Railways. We will use the money to purchase copies of
historical Ordnance Survey maps.
Looking at the new photos of
Berkswell Station, reminds me, that when BR
rebuilt the Up platform some years ago, we built a temporary platform on the
site of the original one. Had no idea that it had one there before.
Wonderful site, have spent two hours on here
tonight, only about 1% covered so far. Very nostalgic, very good, very sad, and
very informative. Keep up the good work, this site will now go to the top of
the list, alongside the Weston Clevedon & Portishead Railway.
Fantastic website. I have shown my dad (ex
21A fireman) the photo's and recollections of Alan Pratt. Should Alan wish to
get in contact please feel free to pass on my email address.
Thanks again - Ian Hooper
I have contacted Ian and passed on Alan's
address. Ian's Dad has also agreed to talk to me about his experiences so
hopefully they too can be added to the website.
Thanks for this very interesting site and
lots of amazing photos. I live in Australia but have memories of railways in
Warwickshire from my childhood (1980s) and later working life. I've walked some
of the Leamington Spa to Rugby trackbed and often wondered what the LMS station
at Leamington looked like; now I know, from your photos and also my recently
purchased print 'Bright Intervals' by Barry Freeman. My most vivid memories of
the area are from sitting in the front seats of a Diesel Mechanical Unit, where
you could see into the Driver's cab and the track ahead, while enjoying the
ride up through Warwick and Hatton to Moor Street, on Saturdays during the
school holidays, when visiting Grandma. These journeys to 'Brum' stood me in
good stead in the 1990s when I joined British Rail and 'learned the road' as a
Secondman and Guard, working such trains as the Bromford tanks and Freightliner
services to Lawley St. As traincrews, we whiled away the hours of our 'meal
breaks' at Saltley depot, the former sheds long gone and replaced by a scrap
yard, an oily loco fuel point and the dank remnants of once thriving mess
facilities. Websites like this remind me that whilst I'm not old enough to
remember the days of steam, I've seen its remains and appreciated first hand,
the railways of Warwickshire. I'd be happy to contribute some stories about my
railway experiences in the area between 1992 and 2004. Perhaps not the era this
website is about, but a reflection on what's changed maybe.
Thanks - Joe Hosking.
Dear Sir, I have recently, been in touch with
some acquaintances in South Africa re carrying MF tractors on trains on
Sandstone Heritage Railways. I referred the above photo to them as it showed
clearly the 'correct' way used to tie the tractors down. They, Sandstone
Heritage, would like to be able to use the photo solely for the purpose of
their work in the preservation of railway and farm machinery and I ask you if
this would be possible. Alternatively you could contact Joanne who is employed
by Sandstone in the UK.
Thanking you for your attention Bernard
I am researching the history of St Mary's
church, Moseley which is right by the former Moseley Station (1867 - 1941) and
I was interested in Andy Docherty's comment:'.... objections from the nearby St
Mary's Church regarding the spoiling of the landscape, noise, etc . .' I shall
be very grateful if you will put me in touch with Mr Docherty in order to
ascertain the source of this information.
Many thanks - Rob Brown
Excellent site. Keep up the good work.
Your site is at once wonderful and sad,
because it reminds me so powerfully of what used to be. My contribution to the
pedantry is concerned with picture 'mrf471a'
of Five Ways. I think that the 'strengthened steel plate' referred to is in
fact the end of the water tank shown clearly in the other photos. There seems
to be no clue in any of the shots as to how people accessed the east side
platform. In fact one of them shows two staircases down to the west side!
Phil. Many thanks for your kind comments
regarding the site. Your sentiments are mine too. Thanks too for pointing out
the error in my original description. I have now suitably amended the text. I
too have looked closely at the photos and I fail to see where the steps might
have been. Logic says that they might have ran from the two abutments to the
right of the road bridge which are about 3 to 4 feet apart. It would be
symmetrical to the steps on the up platform albeit they are off a corner of the
street. However the brickwork looks original with no sign of in filling. I
trust that you will continue to contribute to correcting any errors. As I
repeatedly state - to maintain the accuracy of the site comments such as yours
are very necessary and welcome.
Hi! I just thought I'd add an update on my
previous posting below regarding the Platform
7 sign that used to hang above that iconic destination point at Birmingham
Snow Hill from the 1950s until its demolition. This is now on display hanging
from the roof of 'The Engine House' at Highley on the Severn Valley Railway. So
anyone who remembers standing beneath it all those years ago may do so once
Bob - Many thanks for letting us know. We
understand that it is because of your generosity that the sign is on display to
the public. On behalf of many people may Robert and I say thank you.
I've recently bought the old Dunchurch
Railway Station and wondered if anyone has any old photographs? It would be
great to see what the gardens, yard and the front of the house looked like.
Thanks - Andrew 07760777100
Love your website and will almost certainly
be talking to you again about research matters if that's all right with
Regards Lucy Cheney
Dear Sirs. I have three photographs of the
derailment at Henley in Arden 24th June 1911 when the "Mafeking" was sent onto
the wrong line by a signalman's error. These are official photorgraphs from the
Engineers office Paddington Photographic Dept despatched on 28.6.1911 to John
Gordon Hogg who I know was a GWR employee. I believe he was a stationmaster but
do not know if he was ever at Henley in Arden but I believe that he was at one
time stationmaster at a statiion in Wales. These came into my possession via
John Gordon Hogg's family, notably his daughter Marjorie Gordon Hogg who later
lived in Barnstaple, North Devon. Please advise whether you are interested in
them or whether they may have any value to collectors.
Regards AR Summers, Berrynarbor, North
I am researching information relating to my
grandfathers career as a locomotive driver and have found some information on
your site very useful. My grandfather was Alfred John Smith and was noted for
being the driver on the last Weedon-Leamington branch line which closed in
Anthony James Lloyd
Have spent several hours enjoying this
wonderful site. Incredible collection of history supported with great
Alderminster Railway Station did a station
ever exist? I live near ALDERMASTON in BERKSHIRE The wooden railway station
buildings here were demolished in mistake for Alderminster so they say, but I
think that was wishful thinking, unless you or your colleges know
Hi All. Regarding Archibald Cook and his
George Medal award for bravery. We wish to thank all for all the help and
abundance of information which we are still sifting through. A sincere thank to
R A Walford for his contribution. However just to report that whilst
researching his history we have found out that his medal has been stolen. May
we ask everyone to help by keeping a look out for it. It will be easy to
recognise as it will have his name around the edge.
Kind regards David & Margaret
Hi. I love your site. Really well put
together and what a wealth of fascinating text and superb photographs. Can you
tell me if volume four of Richard Fosters Birmingham New Street series was ever
Regards Nick Stanbra
Hi Nick Thanks for the kind comments. I do not
know why but Richard never published the final book of the set. I can only
assume it wasn't a commercial although that is surprising. If it wasn't
achieving the level of sales it might have been too scholarly with two many
parts (and therefore too expensive) for most people. It might also have been
published too soon as detailed books are more prevalent today and publishing
costs more competitive with new technology and printing abroad. Regards
Hi Guys Just wanted to say that your
wonderful site has stirred many memories of the 'old Snow Hill' that I recall
as a lad of seven when it sadly closed and then so terribly allowed to rot
away! You may be interested to learn that I have ownership of the iconic black
platform '7' sign that so many Kings, Castles, Halls and Manors used to sit
beneath. This is hopefully to be displayed to the public very soon, if you
would like details of where I will gladly answer your enquiry.
All the best - Bob Morris
Bob. Thank you for sharing your memories of
Snow Hill and kind words about the website. I would be very interested to know
where the platform number sign will be displayed. For information, we have
started a 'Friends of Warwickshire Railways' Facebook site. By chance
the profile picture that Mike chose for the Facebook site is a delightful
painting of 'The Cornishman' drawing into Platform No 7 at Snow Hill, with the
black sign that you have in a prominent position. We thought you might like to
take a look. Regards Robert
Hi. Will you be getting a "Twitter" account
now you are on Facebook?
I think my leg is being gently pulled. Using
Facebook was suggested to me by Pete Waterman (who by the way has kindly agreed
to be Patron of Friends of Warwickshire Railways). He also suggested that we
subscribe to a 'YouTube' account too. Both of these Social Networks offer for
free features that Warwickshire Railways cannot provide because the software I
use is 14 years old, HoTMetaL Pro having been bought out by Dreamweaver in
1997. The 'YouTube' facility would allow me to pursue my dream of adding
geographically relevant historical videos. Not only is the technology 'free'
but the cost of the band width used by people viewing the video would be too. I
currently bear all of the costs I cannot afford to increase this
Examining the webstats is very revealing. In January 2012, a
total of 15,595 visitors were recorded of which 8,896 were unique. The total
number of pages visited was 86,626 with 823,477 hits being recorded. Over 1000
visitors spent between 30 and 60 minutes, nearly 800 visited for 15 to 30
minutes whilst another 2500 spent between 2 minutes and 15 minutes visiting the
site. The page receiving the largest number of visitors is the 'Guest Book'
(2275), followed by the 'Home Page' (1662) and then the 'What's New' (808)
page. In January, of the top 25 pages visited only Saltley Shed and Washwood
Heath Sidings were listed in January's 'What's New' section. The majority of
the other top 25 pages visited were either major railway centres (New Street,
Snow Hill, Rugby, etc) or they were routes - Banbury to Wolverhampton, Rugby to
Wolverhampton, etc. These pages tend to feature every month with the number of
visitors to each of these pages being approximately 200-250. A total of 7022
pages were visited with most only receiving low double figures. What this tells
me is that most visitors prefer to read comments or stories by others and
mainly look at locations they are interested in and not just those that has
been updated. Therefore the combined number of people interested in the
smaller updates could be greater than the number looking at a major upgraded
Given the number of visits to the website in January - 15,595
with 8896 being unique with 2275 reading this page - the number of people who
leave comments in the Guest Book is almost non existent as numbers often fail
to reach double figures. The phenomena of poor interaction and engagement by
audiences is well documented and is typical in other activities too - in both
the virtual and real worlds. It would appear from the number of members joining
Social Network sites (of all ages, not just young people) that the ability for
Facebook et al to allow different types of responses - Like, Dislike, Tag,
Become a Friend which require different levels of effort - promotes a better
level of engagement. Other features such as its ability to notify 'friends' of
the changes made to the page will hopefully promote more people to visit or
return to the website. It is hoped that more comments will flow as a result of
having a Facebook page which will in turn promote more activity by visitors.
From my point of view it would be nice to receive more comments and inputs than
we do at present.
Finally, the Facebook page allows us to feature
sections most probably missed. Many visitors apparently hadn't realised the
website included a 'Rail Art' section. Therefore I am hoping that Facebook will
help us to reach a wider and younger audience as well as provide a better level
of service and interaction. In the long term for the site to become
self-sustainable it must be seen as an attractive proposition to any
organisation that we invite to look after it, otherwise one day - hopefully
long into the future - when the hosting costs should be renewed, it will
Like the Facebook page. Signed up
Great pictures as ever. Regarding Tamworth
Station: lnwr_tam2351. I think it might
be a Class 24 rather than 33. I'm not an expert on these things but the grill
pattern looks like a Class 24. Keep up the good work, very inspiring for my
Kenilworth model railway.
Mark. Many thanks for you kind words and the
correction which is essential for ensuring the site is accurate.
Your picture of the LNER 04 locomotive in
image 'gcct3' at Catesby Tunnel mouth says that
it an ex-NER 2-8-0. It is an ex-GC 2-8-0 as the NER never built any 2-8-0s.
Ex-NER locomotive were regularly seen on the GC London Extension. Normally they
were B16 4-6-0s on the York-Woodford fitted freights.
Chris. Many thanks for the correction not
least because you have shown me that I need to upgrade and update the entire
GCR/LNER section of the website. I am nearly finished on upgrading the MR
routes around the B&DJR and Water Orton to Walsall and will start on the
Wonderful site which seems to be growing and
a steady rate, and is always worthy of browse for something fresh. I keep
staring through that bridge hole at Great Barr station, just hoping to find
some images of Bescot have been tacked on - fruitless I know as we would be
venturing into Staffordshire then !!! Talking of Great Barr, I have a minor
niggle over the caption of 'lnwrgb2285'
photograph. I suggest the train isn't passing through the station - it is
actually a trip locomotive shunting Hamstead colliery sidings. If you look
closely you'll see the loco lamp above the tender buffer, the fireman looking
back towards Hamstead, and the smoke pouring vertically out the chimney,
suggesting the engine is more or less stationary. Lovely work - very
Thanks for your efforts. Phil Bartlett
Phil - Thanks both for the compliments and for
the correction which I have now made to the page.
Fabulous site. Full of information and images
to stir up the memories. What are your plans to ensure your website doesn't
just disappear one day?
Great website. I note that you mention
limited resources in some of your responses. Have you considered asking for
donations? Keep up the good work.
The two e-mails above prompted some thought
and discussion between Robert Ferris and myself. Having given it some serious
consideration we are going to set up a Friends of Warwickshire Railways group
and try to create a means of attracting sponsorship etc. The long term survival
of the website is dependent upon both funding and people. Funding is needed not
only to defer its running costs but to provide the tools (see below) to make it
better plus creating the option of adding other services such as video
streaming (I have always wanted to stream related video images from the
website). Who will take responsibility for the website has yet to be decided.
Would the Friends of Warwickshire Railways group be the most appropriate or
should we look for either an existing public or voluntary organisation with a
proven history and track record?
Hi. Really interesting site, and I am
enjoying "exploring" around Coventry. Unfortunately, there is a missing link on
the 2nd photo on the
Coventry Gasworks page. Hope this is
a small bit of help to improve the site.
Keith. It certainly has helped. With
approximately 7000 pages on the website and not having the expensive tools to
check for broken links etc we have to rely on visitors to advise if links
Hi I wonder if you can help I am trying to
find out and obtain the official closure date for HOCKLEY HALL & WHATELEY
COLLIERIES & BRICKWORKS CO LTD I know that this company was taken over by
Kingsbury Collieries around 1900 but I can't find out any closure dates for
Hockley Hall or Whateley Collieries. My hobby is collecting Brass Embossed
Colliery Lamp Checks these were used by the miners when they went down the pit
they are a brass disc with the name of the colliery on them Any help you can
give mer on the subject would be very much appreciated.
Kind Regards Peter Wall
Hi Peter. I believe that Roger Monk of the IRS
has answered this question for you.
Again many congratulations on your site.
Fully support the idea of contributions to preserve it if necessary. By the
way, the rare photo of Soho Pool for which the thumbnail is
lnwrsoho2280 defaults to a larger picture
of lnwrsohord1518 when clicked on. Shame
as this is the only photo of the Pool goods yard in railway days that I have
John. I have now restored the link.
Unfortunately its a very poor image but as you say photos of the goods station
are just not around, hence including a 1980s image too.
Hello I a committee member of Welford &
Weston Local History Society. We are looking at the possibility of a Speaker
for an evening talk regarding Binton Station and also Milcote Station if
possible which are in our locality. Do you offer this sort of meeting. It would
at our Memorial Hall in Welford on Avon. We would be looking at a date between
August and November. If this is not feasible could you recommend anyone outside
of your Society. I look forward to hearing from you.
Regards Bob Brown
Great Site. I am compiling a shot history on
the restaurant cars BR Southern region 1955-1965 on which I worked 1958-1963
Several of the
Albany Road photos in the Nuneaton
-Leamington section show a major derailment without giving a date which was I
believe 1904. Also there are several references to the Coventry -Leamington
line which should either read Coventry - Nuneaton or Nuneaton- Leamington.
John. Thanks for the correction which has now
Love your site, and the fantastic job you are
Cheers - Rory O'Connor
Full credit to everyone involved with this
most informative website which also works very efficiently. A lot of hard work
must go into running a site as comprehensive as this and I am extremely
grateful for having the opportunity to rekindle memories of train spotting days
50 years ago in some of the areas covered.
Thanks to all. John Griffiths
Hello Mike. Congratulations on your excellent
website which I have recently "discovered" thanks to a friend. I found the
photos of Longdon Road on the Moreton-in-the-Marsh to Shipston-on-Stour line
particularly interesting as my auntie (my fathers sister) and uncle were
the crossing keepers in the early 1950s. My parents used to take myself and my
sister to stay at the cottage a trip involving three buses from Tile
Hill and taking what seemed like several hours to a five year old. Obviously,
the passenger trains had ceased many years previously but the goods trains used
to stop to drop off water in huge churns at the cottage as it was not on the
mains. The train drivers often gave my sister and I rides on the footplate or
in the guards van for a mile or so before stopping to let us off and we walked
back to the cottage. Happy, happy days and your photos brought the memories
flooding back. As you probably know, the cottage has now been incorporated into
a large complex involving three or four dwellings, all of which, presumably are
on the mains!
I have only just seen your website today!!
Fantastic. Why it is particularly relevant to me is that I was born in the
Radford district of Coventry in 1940 and became fascinated with railways and
later a dreaded trainspotter. My local station was Foleshill and I also passed
Daimler Halt usually on the bus every day. Even so the GWR was my favourite
railway company. Your site enables me to visit many sites around Warwickshire
that were familiar to me and you have brought me many happy memories! Thank
I would like to congatulate you on a
wonderful site which has given me hours of enjoyment, revisiting the past.
Well done and thanks. Paul Orme
Dear Mike. What an excellent web site this
is. I am not into minutiae detail of factual accuracy like some experts. For me
it does what it says on the tin.
Julian Randall DOB 20/12/1956 so sadly missed
out on the golden age of steamremembered having my 'collar felt' by some
BR employee at the age of 11 at Nuneaton shed in 1967 the last few months of
I have spent a most enjoyable hour or so
wandering through the wealth of info available. It's a boon to anyone even
remotely interested in railways and associated infrastructure as well as those
interested in modelling. The photographs have an air that could never be picked
up from simply reading, no matter how informative the book. Who could know what
mucky places those goods yards were without a picture that says more than a
thousand words might. Thank you for this wonderful site and the obvious effort
you've put into it.
Mike, 'I've read your pages on
Bordesley station with interest. The first
time I remember using the station was in 1968 as an 8 year old. It was just
before the current layout. This what I believe - The entrance wasn't the
current one it was to left (if facing towards Small Heath}. You went in and
turned right to get to the stairs. In front of you was a ticket office - which
even then had been closed. Soon after the entrance was bricked up. At the
bottom of the stairs you can see where the way to the ticket office
Are my memories correct? I guess the ticket office is still
behind the bricks.
Great site. Brings back many memories of
watching trains at Hockley as a child. I lived at the back of Pitsford Street
and your photos and articles have brought back many memories. I also remember
New Street and Snow Hill Stations. Thanks for the memories.
Thanks again for your great site. Brian
Thought you might like to know that the link
at the foot of image lnwr_oldmil1445a
to the original article, fails with the usual "error 404". Trying to help, not
Regards, John Gledhill
John. Corrections and error reporting are not
only very welcome but essential if we wish to grow the site's reputation as a
resource of value. With some 7000 pages the time has long gone where I can
check to see the links are working. Links to external sites are a problem
because if their website no longer exists or if they move the page or download
then the link is broken forever until reported. Free tools to look for broken
links do not work on such large sites as this and professional tools are far
too expensive for my wallet. In this instance I can no longer find on their
website the report on the Leek Wooton accident. In recognition of this problem,
I am now copying the information (after acknowledging the source) and placing
the information within my own pages.
Hi Mike. You may remember that I contacted
you some while ago regarding my Grandfather (Ernest Kilby) being Station Master
at both Alcester and Studley during his career with The Midland Railway. I have
just seen the Posed Photograph 'mra462'
and am pretty sure that my grandfather is in fact the gentleman on the left of
the picture. As this was taken in circa 1910, he would have been a relatively
young man (30+?) where the gentleman sitting centre looks to me to be much
closer to late 50s or early 60s. I lived with my Grandparents in Crooks Lane,
Studley in the middle 50s for about a year and Grandad Kilby was retired then,
although he was still very active and had his allotment on the embankment on
the Astwood side of the station, I used to go there with him.
Just as an aside, my wife and I went to
Studley Station a couple of weeks ago, just to see the old place and really to
see if it was still in some reasonable state of repair, I am delighted to say
that the present owners, Mr & Mrs Poole, have maintained it to a very high
standard and retained much of the original featurework such as the Station
Master door leading I think into what is now their lounge, the original
tiled flooring in the Ticket Office area, original brass light switches etc. it
was an absolute delight to see the effort put in to retain the old place in
it's original form. They were most helpful and really kind in showing us around
some of the old station house and where the platform used to be. We took
photographs of the building and Mr Poole also allowed us to take photographs of
some of the old photographs he has managed to collect. When I can find the time
to edit them, I will send the best to you, although some are fairly poor
Hope this is of some interest.
Best regards Mike Boote
Mike. Thanks for the correction and for the
information. I would be very interested in the old photos. Not being a book we
can accommodate poor quality photographs - its the history that's important. We
cannot go back and take another!
Hi Mike. I'd just been looking to see what
your updates have been and I noticed that you'd done some work on the Sutton
Coldfield pages. If you remember I'd sent you a copy of a
picture of my Great Grandfather who was
Station Master there but unfortunately you'd put him on the Sutton Town page.
Still any chance of giving him a transfer? Still a brilliant site.
Cheers, Paul Rivitt
Paul. My sincere apologies. Now actioned.
Circumstances stopped me from making the correction immediately and then my
failing memory did the rest. I urge anyone who has been in contact with me but
have had no response - or if I have failed to do something promised - to
contact me again. At my age I appreciate the nudge.
Hi. I just read the item on Snow Hill, the
ramp going down to Great Charles Street used for parcels was also used as a car
park for staff. My brother-in-law worked for the NCL and kept a Morris 8 van
down there. His dad was a driver for the Lord Mayor of Birmingham. They cleaned
his limousine down there too. In 1964 he gave me the Morris 8 but as I was too
young to drive. it stayed there just going rotten because it was very wet and
damp under the platforms. Thanks for the memories.
Mike. Hi, enjoyed very much looking over the
Website, but there is an inaccuracy on the text for
lnwrlave1380a which has a comment
regarding S.E Collieries I believe that this should be S.E Collier
as they were the largest brick makers in Reading and who supplied the bricks
for the town hall. Here is the Reading museum leaflet on them. It would fit
with the rest of the text on the wagon relating to brick and tile manufacture.
Once again great site.
Just looking for more info on the Stratford
Tramway & I came across this cornucopia of information, photo's & film.
Fantastic. Please keep up the good work.
I am the great grandson of Robert Hatfield -
one time stationmaster of Clifton Mill Station, Clifton on Dunsmore, Warks from
about 1880 to 1894. I have a photograph of the station platform taken from the
station house end showing the platforms and buildings and a couple of the staff
working there (probably Richard Mewis and John White). It is a somewhat
distance shot so the features of the men are not discernable. My grandfather
Oliver John Hatfield and one of his sisters stand on the platform along with
their father Robert in about 1890. I also have a head and shoulders photo of
Robert in his stationmaster's uniform at about the same time. Would you like
copies for your collection? Incidentally, my brother saved the photograph from
being thrown onto a bonfire by a distant relative in whose possession it was!!!
Looking on the 1891 census forms there are upwards of 36 staff working on the
railway living in Vicarage Hill, Clifton - I don't imagine they are all
employed at Clifton Mill although if they were working in Rugby they would be
living there in those days, as my great grandfather moved to Rugby in 1894 to
work there on the railway until his death in 1903 from Influenza.
Neil. We would love to have a copy if that is
possible. Best wishes - Mike
Hello, was browsing your excellent website
looking for a specific piece of information. I realise it might be a bit out of
the period you cover, but hopefully you or a contact will know when Kings
Norton station was renamed Kings Norton for Cotteridge? I have tried various
railway contacts and have not yet discovered the answer. And no website I have
looked at so far mentions the change which only occurred in very recent years,
As evidenced by your website, it was never called that before in its long
Hope to hear from you, thanks, Stephen
Hi Mike. Love the site, have done for several
years. Still trying to rebuild my photo galleries following the demise of
Fotopic - using Zenfolio, One is "Coventry in Photographs", a section of which features the
remains of lines around the city - working on it now. Just looked at your site,
must take issue with the caption to Three Spires Junction:
lnwr_3spires2090. This is not looking
towards Foleshill Station, but towards Foleshill Gas Works, from Lythalls Lane
bridge Foleshill Station is a distance to the south of this point.
Cheers Cliff Jones
Cliff. Thanks for both the comments and the
correction. I have to say your own website is extremely fascinating. Regards
Hello Mike. As a small boy I spent many happy
times around Small Heath, Tyseley, Bordesley and Snow Hill. Your wonderful
archive is extremely evocative and brings back the sight and sound of those
years as if it was only yesterday.
Well done! Chris
I am desperate to find the history of the
Great Western Hotel at Deppers Bridge or maybe it would come under Harbury. The
now restaurant looks a very imposing building with a history. Any advice
please. Nothing at the Warwicks record office.
Hi June. I cannot immediately find any railway
reference to the Great Western Hotel at Deppers Bridge. In my view there would
be no obvious reason for the GWR to build a hotel at Deppers Bridge. I may be
wrong but my guess is that there is no connection other than the hostelry, like
many others across the country, was named after a railway company associated
with the area. I suggest that you inspect large scale Ordnance Survey maps or
similar as these can often show names and even internal configurations (rooms
etc) of buildings which the public access. Census records would give names of
occupants and their occupation which would help to determine whether they
worked for the railway. The local council, parish church and county records
office should all be able to help. Best wishes in your search. Regards Mike
Book Review -
The Branch Lines of Warwickshire by
A new feature for the site is reviewing books
on the county's railway history considered of merit.
I was sorting out my very old photographs and
came across a couple from when I was a fireman at Tyseley in 1952-1953 prior to
doing National Service. I stayed in the Army, got married & had a family so
have never been back. Given the opportunity I shall try to visit before it is
Very comprehensive website which has much of
interest even for those of us whose interests are far beyond the bounds of
Warwickshire. Would you like to include a link to our main website as above
under your list of Line Societies. The
Association is the line society for the Furness Railway and all other
companies in Cumbria and North Lancashire. See also our photographic website at
Hi an interesting read found while I was
doing some research. If you would like any copies of documents from the
Rail Archive for
the site please let me know - they are free.
Regards - Ian Dinmore
Ian. Many thanks for your kind comment and
offer. I am well aware of your website's collection of photographs and railway
documents. Visitors might be interested to know that the Rail Archive library
aims to provide a resource which is free if using the low resolution copies of
images. As with all website authors and web masters including myself, Ian would
appreciate an acknowledgment of the source if used on any media. Mike
Dear Sir. My name is Herman Koerts and I live
in the Netherlands. I have always had something with trains since my father
bought his first train from TrixExpress in 1956 or 1957. This interest
diminished around 1964 but was rekindled in 1983 when I visited the NRM in
York. Mallard was on display without it's streamline cladding but King George V
made the most impact; making me a GWR fan from that moment on.
I have just stumbled across your Warwickshire
Railways website while I was searching for information on the Achilles Class. I
came to the part of the old Henley in Arden station while looking around. This
station got my interest in 1994 when I got a copy of the Great Western Railway
Journal No 11. You will probably have it yourself too. It was love at first
sight and I started to work my way through the photos to try to make drawings
to build a model of the building and part of its surroundings but failed in the
attempt. In 2002 I found by cheer luck the address of the Henley in Arden
Heritage Centre where a real friendly gentleman helped me with more
My problem is however (still) the Platform
side of the building; I don't have a proper picture to see exactly how this
part was constructed. I know from the photo in the GWR journal that the wall is
build (how do I describe this...) partly into the structure. This left some
space; covered by the roof for shelter. I know there were at least two benches
there. There should also be (I guess) more doors and Windows as I can see in
the pictures I have. Unfortunately any attempt to get more information ended
there. Unfortunately the Photo of the old station on your Website (the same as
in the magazine) does not give away many more clues than I already know.
The Gentlemen at the Heritage centre sent me
two scans of the station; the quality is not great due to the equipment he had
to use but of great interest (I think). He told me they came from a book but I
can't remember which book it was. I digitized the scans and used these to learn
more details. They are under copy right of course so you can't publish them but
they are interesting to see; despite the quality. It is always possible you
already know them of course but you never know...
I have a question; do you know about or have
any other pictures of the Platform side of the station building? A floor-plan
would also be great. If so please let me know; I would really appreciate
Kind Regards, Herman Koerts
Herman. I need to find some plans and maps for
other stations so I will look for ypu too. Regards - Mike
I have steam pictures from around Coventry,
Nuneaton, Rugby and Leamington from my trainspotting days in the 1960's - would
they be of interest to you?
Patrick - All photos are very welcome. If
possible would you kindly scan them at 300 dpi which allows me to maximium
flexibility in editing the photograph. Many thanks - Mike
My interest is mainly GWR 1923-39 and I am
finding the website fascinating, and a source of inspiration in modelling a
representation of Hockley Goods in 4mm scale for the Model Rail and RMWEB 2011
Challenge. Have linked this site a couple of times in my account of progress in
this project. Thanks for the effort you put in.
Don. Many thanks for the positive comments
regarding the website. With regard to Hockley (and all points north of Snow
Hill) I will be revisiting the site soon to upgrade the quality of images etc.
Excellent tour with real atmospheric
ambiance. Just a minor carp the Castle No
4088 at Moreton-in-Marsh should be Dartmouth Castle not Darlington.
Hi Allen. Thanks for the kind remarks and the
Reference: gwrim594 on the Long Marston/MOD depot page. I
fear this photo has been printed from the wrong side, since the caption
describes everything as being on the LEFT HAND SIDE. However . . . the
photograph clearly shows everything on the RIGHT HAND SIDE. Have to say though
I love the whole site. Nuneaton, where I grew up with Weddington fields on the
WCML we could see the Ashby lines, Abbey to and from Birmingham and Leics . . .
the area of the soon to be built Nuneaton North Chord.
Whoops! Another instance where my brain failed
to fully engage so I would recognise my left from right. As you guessed, the
photograph is indeed correct so the error is all mine. All sorted now. Any
comments on errors spotted or reports of broken link are very welcome as it
helps to improve the website. Thanks too for the kind comments about the
website - its most appreciated. Mike
Hello Mike. What a fantastic site you have
created. Looking at some of the photo's bring back a lot of memories for me as
a former Stafford Road 84a and Oxley 84b fireman. May I point out one possible
mistake in a photo ref 'gwrt306' of King Class
locomotive No 6006 'King George I' which is shown to have been taken on Tyseley
shed. I don't think this could have been taken at Tyseley. The coal stage shown
in the background of the loco is not of the design of Tyseley's coal stage. I
think this photo was taken either at Stafford Road or Old Oak Common Keep up
the great work you are doing, it's fascinating.
Yours Sincerely - Bill Perrin
Many thanks Bill for your kind words and more
importantly correcting my error. As I only visited part of the county's network
and only from 1958 onwards (being born in 1948) I do have to rely on third hand
material. Therefore its great when people can either add extra information or
correct it. I have deleted the image from the Tyseley page although I have left
the larger image linked to the guest book.
Dear Sir, I recently found a picture (see
image 'gwrls191') on your site which was of
great interest to me as it showed a part of Leamington Spa from the thirties,
(GWR Routes-Banbury to Wolverhampton-GWR Period Locomotives) the description
though for this photo is I believe wrong. It says that the engine is about to
cross the High street/Bath street/ Clemens street bridge before arriving at
Leamington station. Having looked at the picture and comparing it with a street
map of nineteen twenty three and visiting the area myself I believe the picture
to show the engine crossing the bridge over Lower Avenue the last bridge before
the station it self (there are six bridges in this area one crossing the
Warwick to Napton canal by Ashgrove place now replaced by part of a light
industrial estate another crossing Althorpe street the next crosses Court
street followed by the High/Bath/Clemens street junction another crosses over
Bath place and finally the last one crossing Lower Avenue.) The buildings which
can be seen to the right of the picture are on High street (north side and only
the far building exists today) and the buildings that can be seen between the
Signal Box and the set of signals are of the rear of Bath street (west side). I
would imagine that the picture was taken from the old hand cart path which and
still does run up to the platform from the car park and taxi rank. The
description that Bath street was a continuation of the Parade is also
misleading as Bath street was in existence before the Parade. I hope this will
be of some use to you.
Yours sincerely - Alan Orton.
Many thanks Alan for correcting my error. As I
state above I only visited part of the county's network as a young trainspotter
and that was only for a brief ten year period. Therefore I do have to rely on
third hand material. Therefore its great when people can either add extra
information or correct it. I have added your information to the caption and
credited the text to you.
We now live at 2 Station Cottages,
(Broadwell), used to be Stockton...we would love to know more of the history of
our home, such as who lived here before us etc etc. We have some old photos,
but would like all we can get. Hope you can help.
Clare and Ian Cowley
Hi Clare and Ian. My information on the
station is very much limited to published accounts or information and
photographs that people are kind enough to send to me. The obvious places to
look are Parish Records of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Church records too for
same plus Christenings. The annual census for the years 1901 through to 1951.
From these records you might be able to determine the names of the families
living in your property from which you could use to track down descendants who
might be able to give you more information. Hope this helps. Please keep us
informed and any information that you might collect would be useful to add to
the site - credited to you of course. Best of luck - Mike
Bournville Model Railway Club
We are at present working model of Bournville
Engine Shed in N gauge and are about to start work on a 00 gauge layout. New
members are always welcome and if you are interested on joining or would like
anymore information please ring: 0121 478 2587 Barrie Hoverd, Chairman,
Bournville Model Railway Club, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
Bournville Model Railway Club.
I grew up in Lapworth during the 50's &
was very familiar with Lapworth Station, Dad was a signalman there for a few
years & my brother & I used to be allowed to go on Sundays (not a lot
of traffic) we were allowed to pull the detonator handles as they were the only
ones we could move. The brass was kept immaculate & woe betide us if we
touched any brass without the yellow duster to keep finger prints off. We also
got to ride on the footplate of engines that came from B'ham & turned
around on the 3rd line.
Fascinating website thank you - Diana Lovatt.
Congratulations on an excellent site. A few
comments. Some of your caption statements about loco allocations, withdrawals
and disposals suffer from reference to the Peter Hands books, although you
presumably have nothing else to go by so it is to be expected that many are not
quite right or completely wrong. One ought to be able to trust railway
researchers. Sadly, in respect of matters like allocations, withdrawals and
disposals, almost no original research has been carried out by authors and
publishers. They simply reprint what was in contemporary Society magazines or
in the Peter Hands books, many of them not even acknowledging their sources. I
readily acknowledge that much of what is written about withdrawals and
disposals is not incorrect, but believe me, more often than not that is only
because the datings are so vague!
As I usually try to point out to anyone
relying on dubious data, most of what has been published has its origins in the
Hands books, and that gentleman examined not one official record during his
"research". Indeed, if you have followed the 'HSBT' articles by Roger Butcher
in the Railway Magazine, you will have read that we have concrete evidence
(including an acknowledgment from the author himself) that around 3000
disposals were literally made up by an acquaintance of the author's! Of the
remainder, almost every date of disposal is the result of guesswork by the
Richard - Many thanks for supplying the
corrections to the photographs which I have now updated. I have to confess that
I have undertaken little 'empirical research' myself in populating the website
being reliant upon the work of others. I see my role as an editor insofar I
make available the work of others through the Warwickshire Railways website. I
trust this is evident to visitors to the website.
Your efforts are greatly appreciated by this
Yank. I have a keen interest in UK rails. Sites like yours are enjoyable.
Thank You Allen Jeffries
Absolutely first-rate site. It is well
constructed and extremely easy to navigate. It provides an unequalled depth of
archival information for historians and Modellers alike-quite literally hours
of enjoyable browsing.
Found your site whilst doing some research
for a walk along the Harborne branch line. I now know what to look out for
there but will definitely be returning to seek out some more walks and just to
see what the places I've heard of once looked like. Many thanks for creating
this excellent site.
Hi Alan - Many thanks for the kind words which
are now in the guest book. BTW I have a number of other photos which I hope to
add to the site in a few months. I am working my way up the Gloucester to New
St route currently at Kings Norton. After I complete this and the West Suburban
line Harborne is next. Regards Mike
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