Guest Book: Page 30
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Dear Sir. Reference photograph
lnwrns1686. Described as Ex-LMS
2-6-4T 4MT No 42331 is seen at the head of a Leicester Railway Society special
on the return leg to Leicester on 30th December 1961. I have recently
been researching this rail tour and have great doubts about this photograph
being the train described, based on the following facts:
- Rail tour ticket was printed Leicester (London Road) to
Rugby (Midland) and back.
- On 30 December 1961 Britain was covered with a thick
blanket of snow resulting in 33 football matches cancelled and no matches were
played in the Midlands.
- Photo of No 42331 at
Broughton Astley Station in deep snow, with head board and
train reporting number.
- Why is the train at Nuneaton?
- No snow visible in photo
- No headboard or train number.
- Front coupling hanging down, not on drawbar hook as other
I may be wrong, but the facts seem
stacked against this being the LRS Rail tour.
Best wishes, Vic Smith
Hi Vic. Many thanks for your observations
and comments - it all helps to build a more accurate picture of the county's
history. Based on the information you have supplied I too would agree that the
caption is incorrect. To be frank its some time since I added the photo to the
site and created the caption so I cannot say who supplied the information. Its
too precise to be one of my own rambling contributions. Again my thanks for the
correction. Best wishes. Mike
Hi Mike - The plates of Lady Godiva can
now be viewed at the Herbert Museum and are properly displayed.
Regards Barry McGrory
Glad to hear it. The plates deserve much
better treatment than was the case in the late 1970s. The then museum
authorities didn't seem to value them.
Hi First of all can I say how interesting
your site is, I have spent many a time going through the pages. This is a long
shot question, but do you have any photos of Langley Green station on the
Stourbridge to Birmingham Snow Hill line in steam days.
I pointed Chris to Roger Carpenter, Lens
of Sutton Association and Kidderminster Railway Museum's Photographic Archive
(see Sources of Photographs. Please remember
when writing to suppliers that they sell photos around having to work and have
a family life so they may take a little longer than you would like. Don't
forget the Stamped Address Envelope.
Hello. On the Warwickshire Railways page
for Stratford-upon-Avon GWR's station, it says several times the "Evesham Road
station". Is this right? The current station, which is the one I think the text
is talking about, is on Alcester Road, which several of the photo captions
confirms. The Evesham Road is some way away from the station, and the line used
to cross it where the large roundabout to Seven Meadows Road is now sited -
where Evesham Road Halte and the signal boxes were (now a cycle path). Or was
there an earlier Evesham Road station as well? May I just say what an excellent
site you have there - its great for doing "then and now" type comparisons
whilst out and about on the rail network today.
Yours Intrigued - Jon Knight
Hi Jon. Clearly I got my Evesham Road and
Alcester Road mixed up. Many thanks for both the correction and the kind
remarks. Regards Mike
My Grandfather, William Frost, nickname
Snowy was stationed at Saltley. Passed down the family we were told that he was
the first driver to take the Flying Scotsman out of New Street Station. Is this
possible? My Dad was based at Monument Lane and was a fireman then driver for
41 years. I am very proud of them both. Thank you for your website.
Thank you Sandra. The Flying Scotsman was
both a train and a locomotive with both operated by the LNER who were based on
the East Coast mainline. For information about the train seehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Scotsman_%28train%29.
The Flying Scotsman locomotive, which has been preserved, was also based on the
East Coast mainline although in BR days it was for many years in the 1950s
allocated to Leicester Central shed. Based on the Great Central line it was in
charge of services running from Nottingham Victoria to London Marylebone via
Leicester Central and return.
Whether your Grandfather was the first
driver to take the lying Scotsman out of New Street I cannot say for definite.
In my opinion its highly unlikely as the locomotive was not based in the region
and and the enthusiast
specials that it headed in the region would be driven by crews from the its
home shed. However, whenever a foreign engine ran over routes its crew would be
unfamiliar with then a local driver, who knew the road, would be on the
footplate. If the Flying Scotsman ever visited New Street, and I cannot verify
this, then its possible your Grandfather acted as the pilot and as such whilst
he wasn't the driver he would be the person in charge of the train. I hope this
helps - Mike
Great site very interesting. Wondered if
anyone can shed any light on Monument Lane Depot/Station, why was it so called
when Monument Lane seemed to be no where near the location.
Dave - In his book 'Monument Lane Loco
Shed' Tony Higgs states that its a mystery as to why Monument Lane station and
shed were so named. Monument Lane was sited over half a mile away from the site
which actually lay alongside St Vincent Street and Sheepcote Street. Tony
writes that in 1878 Monument Lane later became Monument Road but neither the
station nor the engine shed had their name changed to suit. I noted from his
book that when first mooted the shed was initially identified as the 'Crescent'
but within a month it had been named Monument Lane. Therefore my guess is that
Monument Lane was the nearest thoroughfare of consequence and therefore the
shed and station was so named. St Vincent Street and Sheepcote were probably
built later or if they were in existence they were not of any note. Mike
I was at the time perusing the record for
the account of the 1955 derailment of Gresley 2-6-2 60828 at Barby (which I
found - I had also visited the actual site of the accident as the recovery
operation was in progress), but there is so much to see that my interest
inevitably wandered on. For interest here is an image of the same loco, 60828, seen approaching
Rugby with a down freight on 11 April 1963.
I regret to inform you that Geoffrey
Kingscott has passed away. He was diagnosed with cancer last October and died
peacefully at home in Sawley on Wednesday 2nd March 2011.
Geoffery was a well known author being
responsible for some of the books in the Lost Railways series of which 'Lost
Railways of Warwickshire' was his final book. He will be greatly missed by his
friends, family and colleagues.
Dear Mike. It is a very long time since
you and I met when I use to frequent Modellers World back in the early 1980's.
Barry fired many of us with enthusiasm for the hobby and I started producing
turned brass parts for his 'O' Gauge range moving on to run my own hobby
business, Ultima Models. Thirty years on I now work for Bachmann as a Design
Engineer. One of our Graphics team came across your website and advised I
should have a look. I use to live close to Three Spires Junction and I can see
you are limited on images taken at this location. Re-calling I had some old
images stashed away which are starting to fade I have had them scanned to help
preserve them. Most were taken in 1971 when I was learning to work with B&W
film and a few are by my late father. I have attached a few to see if you are
Regards, Colin Allbright, Bachmann Europe
Many thanks for the old photos of
Solihull Station. I've been thinking of doing something similar for many years
before the information was lost forever but you have now saved me the work. The
photos are priceless. The Solihull signalbox nameplate is now in the Thinktank
Nice site, lots of memories. Regarding
photograph mrcgy698, this was 58283 at Harborne Station, not Central Goods. The
factory in the background was Chad Valley Toys. 58271 was on the other end,
with the different reporting number board, and the SLS headboard. Seehttp://www.sixbellsjunction.co.uk/50s/590530sl.html
Charles. Many thanks for the correction
which I have to say had been pointed out to me previously but I had failed to
correct. I have a number of new photos of Harborne to add and thought that by
now I would have been working on the Harbourne line. I promise to action this
My grandfather was a driver on the
Midland Railway between the wars starting work in Sheffield at a steel works.
He went out to Argentina when they were starting their railways and later the
family moved to Stockingford. So I was thrilled to find your photo of the
station there, as far as I remember a somewhat draughty place. All the best,
I'll be back.
I would like to ask you a question about
Flecknoe Station. You say that the station closed to passenger traffic in 1952
but that there was a school service that ran from Warwick to Flecknoe in the
mornings and afternoons until passenger services were withdrawn in 1958. Did
this service still continue to Flecknoe after 1952 or did it terminate at
Napton & Stockton Station after Flecknoe was closed. I've always been
interested in this line when I was a youngster in the early 1970s some friends
and I walked the whole length of it on two separate occasions we lived in Rugby
so we walked down the old Great Central to where the lines crossed each other
near Braunston and then got on to the line there.
The trackbed was still negotiable but all
the lines stations had been dismantled until you got to Long Itchington where
the line was still being used for cement traffic. A friend I use to work with
told me that on one occasion in the early sixties when the West Coast Main Line
was being electrified his train from Euston to Rugby was rerouted along there.
On another occasion around 1987 after the cement traffic had finished I visited
the line at Long Itchington and came across some Irish navvies ripping up the
track I found this rather ironic as it was probably their ancestors that built
Yours sincerely Graham Cox
Hi Graham. I cannot answer your specific
question relating to the school service as I do not have the information to
hand. However the withdrawal of a regular passenger service may not have
prevented the school service from running if passenger trains were still
scheduled to stop at other stations on the line. There are numerous instances
of workmen trains running without these being included in standard timetables.
The route Rugby to Leamington to Birmingham (via the Kenilworth to Berkswell
branch) was indeed used as an alternative route during electrification as was
the Coventry to Nuneaton route (see Pete Squire's entry below). Regards
Dear Mr Musson I'm researching the
history of the Warwick Fire Brigade, with a view to producing a web site
history of the Brigade, and I wondered if you knew the whereabouts of a photo
or illustration of the original GWR station that was situated in the Coventry
Road. I believe it was built in the 1850s. As you may know, the station was
destroyed by fire on 19th May 1894, and a new station was constructed in its
place. I attach a scan of an Edwardian postcard which shows the new station,
which you can add to your site if you wish. If you are able to help, or point
me in the right direction, I would be most grateful.
Sincerely Derek Parsons
Derek - Many thanks for the photograph
which is now on the website awaiting a caption by my colleague Robert Ferris. I
had not realised that the station was rebuilt because the original had been
damaged by fire. I will see if there are any photographs of the original
station to be found and will keep you up to date with my efforts. Regards
I have just "bumped into" your website,
excellent. I have quite a number of photo's taken by my late father John Gain
in the 40s & 50s. I will sort out some & you may like to use them. Be
Graham - I look forward to seeing any
photos that you may kindly offer to add to the website. Best wishes Mike.
I am after many years trying to build my
model railway. I have decide to base it on a Warwickshire station, most likely
Leamington Ave or Coventry. I am trying to collate some old photo's and site
plans, my buildings may not be accurate but I hope to emulate the basic lay
out. Many thanks for your website.
Pete Eden (Wellesbourne). Warwickshire
born and bred.
Hi Pete. It was always my ambition to
build a scale model of Coventry station which I started but never got beyond
the tracklaying stage. I think you will find that the layout will be over 30
feet long and that you will need to provide a non-prototypical scenic break
near to the shed. Leamington Avenue would be simpler but there again its close
proximity to the GWR station does in my opinion require this too to be included
in any layout. If I was to model a LNWR station then I think I would try Tile
Hill station or Berkswell as both had express services passing through combined
with a goods service. Berkswell obviously has the Kenilworth branch to add some
variety of traffic. Best wishes - Mike
Hi Mike. - I have really enjoyed looking
at your site. I grew up in the early 60s around Stoke in Coventry. I went to
watch the sky blues play at Highfield Road one afternoon and can clearly
remember being more interested in the steam emanating from the Coventry loop
line around Gosford Green than the football. I can also remember walking down
to the footbridge at Gosford Green with my grandad and watching for movement in
the signal box to tell us something was on its way!!! As I grew older the steam
disappeared to be replaced by diesels predominantly on car trains to either
Gosford Green or Bell Green. I have some quite good records of these and some
pictures it is just a matter of finding them! There was another siding
on this loop line up by Barras Heath that served the fruit and veg market there
it was visible from the Burlington Road overbridge and sometimes in the
late afternoon banana vans would arrive hauled by a Class 25.
Some other good reference books which
include some info on the area (and other places you cover) include:- LNWR
Branch lines by Geoffrey Hurst (ISBN 0947796169) includes good signal box
shots on the line; John Boynton's London and Birmingham Railway between
Birmingham and Coventry (ISBN 0952224879); British Railways Past and
Present No5 has a cracking photo of an 8F at Foleshill, also in Branch
Lines of Warwickshire by Colin Maggs (ISBN 0750903171). Lastly the
Signalling Record Society's Layout and Plans Volume 11 has some great
plans to bring back old memories. I was lucky enough to spend a little time in
Gibbet Hill box on the Leamington line whilst young a box I have been
unable to find a photo of! When I find my records and pictures I will drop you
a line (includes a class 37 at Gosford Green on the day the wires were down on
the WCML and Westerns were running through Coventry to Paddington (also photos
somewhere). I will also drop some notes on the guest book shortly.
Thanks, Pete Squire
Thanks for letting me surf around the
LMS. As a locomotive fireman at Rugby '2A' from 1953 to 1963 it gave me great
pleasure to to look at some of the old stations, some that no longer exist.
good luck, and thanks again. PS: would love to find more pictures of the
testing station at Rugby.
Mike - So would I. For some reason I have
had little luck in finding much information on the Testing station. Regards
What a fantastic resource! I was
searching for "platform mounted signal cabins", hoping to justify placing one
on my single line branch model. Perfect. I wonder if there are sister sites for
Hi George. I understand there are some
'county' websites but they do not enjoy the wealth of photos thatwe have.
Hello Mike, we are a number of modelers
in the Birmingham area that have decided to to start a model club in the south
of the city. Having chosen on the name of Bournville Model Railway Club we
thought a model of Bournville shed would make a good start with you web site
being an inspiration to a number of our members (the flattery touch). We would
like to include a couple of pictures uploaded from your site on a flyer we will
be placing in a local model shop and local libraries. If we need permission to
use the photos will you please let us know who and how we need to get in touch
with the owners. I have enclosed a copy of the proposed flyer. Thank you for
Chris Barker, Bournville Model Railway
Hi Chris. May I wish you all of the best
luck in starting your new club. Once you have formly launched the club I would
be most willing to promote it on the relevant webpage. As you know I have sent
you the contact information in order to obtain permission from the owners of
the photographs. Best wishes Mike.
Dear Mike. Thank you for providing such a
wonderful resource. You and your fellow contributors are to be warmly
congratulated. I grew up in Warwickshire, from Brummie parents though we moved
to Earlswood before WWII. So I know first hand many of the places you have
documented, including the original Snow Hill and New Street Stations.
Unfortunately I never owned a camera otherwise what wonderful photos I could
have taken to add to your rich resource! I do remember standing at the Up end
of New Street, before the demolition and looking across the LNWR tracks. This
platform end was the favorite among trainspotters. I also remember asking an
older trainspotter why we never saw any LMS Pacifics in New Street. I remember
his reply, he suggested that they had found the Worcester Street tunnel too
tight. In fact there was a story going around that it was City of Birmingham
that actually got stuck in the approach tunnel. Personally I have always
doubted this but wondered if you had ever heard the same?
With my very best regards, Paul
Hi Paul. I never heard that story myself
and whilst it was very tight in Worcester Street tunnel it did not prevent LMS
Pacifics from entering New Street as can be seen from
It is true that very few were evident at New Street but I suspect that this was
due to them being rostered on much longer and heavier services (Liverpool and
Carlisle) than those found at New Street. Regards Mike.
Found your site whilst browsing the net
for information on Private Owner Wagons during the Christmas break. Got carried
away browsing through all the images on the site, but did find a lot of
interesting photos with Private Owner wagons in them, thought not possible to
read all the detail on any of them due to pixel size. But I will be contacting
the credited supplier to obtain photo quality prints, I know some of them
personally. I am particularly interested in Private Owner wagons from a railway
modelling aspect, primarily those of the Midlands.
I was also interested in the Images of
Monument Lane Shed & Station, as these were my local trainspotting
locations during school years. If only I'd had a camera then. There is a minor
error with the Caption to Image 'lnwrmlsh1508', listed under Monument Lane
Station, it should be under the Shed. The locomotive has, has the caption
states just left the New Street Tunnel, and the Shed is immediately on the left
has the train leaves the tunnel, ie. the Shed is immediately on the right of
the loco looking at the photo. Still looking for a photo of the Station from
the road. I'll be returning to browse this site on many occasion. Keep up the
excellent job you are doing on this task.
David J. Hudson
For somebody that never knew steam on the
main lines this is a wonderful glimpse into a special time in transport
history. Thanks for all the hard work and time you have put into this amazing
site. Not to mention the porthole it provides in a part of England that my
family came from; a delight to view from my home in Canada.
Just found your site. I was fireman at
Saltley from 1946 until 1953 minus 2 years on National Service. I have a photo
of Black 5 44747 at New Street if you are interested. Keep up the good
I have now done some work on my new NWL
section and have pasted a link to it below. There is more to do, including some
interior shots of Henley box taken by one of the signallers on the day that it
was demolished and I hope to put these up over the coming few days, but you can
get a feel for the past 20 odd years from what is currently there. See
Kind regards Peter Tandy
Peter - Thanks for sharing your photos of
the signal box at Henley just prior to its demolition. Regards Mike
A fascinating site with many photos of
things I repaired, or sadly, removed in my 28 years with the British Rail Civil
Engineering Department. We completely refurbished the central section of Rugby
station roof a few years before they decided to remove it completely, and I
have spent many shifts in Kilsby tunnel. I understand it was dug from both
ends, and in both directions from the two large air shafts. Digging from one of
the shafts met an underground river, drowning many men, and delaying the tunnel
build until after the railway was opened. People and goods were transferred
around the gap by horse and carriage. One of the castellated towers at a large
shaft suffered serious damage in the October 1987 storm, and we rebuilt the
top, with advice from English Heritage, as they are listed buildings. The
painting of Kilsby Tunnel is one of the many small ventilation shafts, the
large ones have a diameter greater than the tunnel width. There was a story
that they are 60' diameter to allow rails to be turned, and it's not true. You
don't need to rotate a rail to use the other side, you just swap right and left
rails, quite apart from which, when it was built the rails weren't 60'
Fantastic, very informative, a good
Hi. At the turn of the 20th century my
great uncle was a engine driver for the L.M.S. I am trying to research him as I
work on the railway as a track inspector. I was wondering if you could help.
His name was Arthur Holland, I think he drove engines in the Birmingham area
from around 1910 to ? This is all I know and would be over the moon if you
could shed some light on my search.
Thank you Paul Riley
I came across your site whilst I was
looking for a photo of an Ivatt Mogul running in reverse with a passenger
train, and your site provides such a photo (Ref mra134 Ivatt at Alcester). It is a good photo too.
What is the copyright position on this photo? I act as a sub-editor for the
journal issued by the Hornby Railway Collectors' Association (HRCA), which is
an Association of enthusiasts who own and run old Hornby Trains. We are
non-profit-making organisation, run by volunteers. I am thinking of asking the
Editor of our Journal to include this photo in an article that I am in the
process of sub-editing. Are there any copyright problems that I ought to know
about? Would be enough simply to acknowledge the source of the photo, or would
I need to do more than that? If I am 'cleared' to use it, is it available as a
denser, higher-quality image? Thank you for your help in this matter.
I put Robert in touch with someone who
could supply the photograph.
There have not been any updates since the
end of July. I am concerned that the webmaster has become ill. If so I wish you
a speedy recovery and I hope that you can continue to contribute to this fine
Barry Purslow (EX Birmingham now in
I am pleased to report that its the amount
of work I am having to do at the moment which is stopping me from populating
the website. I work for an Regional Development Agency focused on trying to
improve the ICT regional supplier industry. The annual conference & awards
being held in November have coincided with the closure of the RDA by the
government so I am trying to do my job in parallel with trying to launch a new
business. I appreciate your kind words both about the website and my health. By
the way - I have been working on Kings Heath
station and its now complete.
Absolutly wonderful and top of the line
with details. Keep up the fantastic work.
I came across your website by accident,
but am entirely bowled over by the quality and quantity(!) of content. I can
easily see me spending many hours just browsing the atmospheric and educational
photos you display - and all for free! A brilliant site, well done indeed.
Very interesting site, superb photos. My
grandparents lived either side of main line bridge in Albany road Coventry, so
I know the area well. Excellent work. Thanks.
Wonderful photos that bring back a lot of
Love your web site. I will be back to
continue looking at all the great information you have and the historical,
well-captioned pictures. Only wish there was a site like this for Notts &
Derbys. Thanks for all your work on keeping this up.
What a truly wonderful site! It has given
me hours of pleasure already as well as many modelling ideas. Keep up the good
work - it is very appreciated.
I've just discovered your website. I was
brought up in Leicester and my father and I visited Nuneaton a number of times
in the early 1960s. Your pictures are a fantastic resource that I will come
back to often. Are you looking for more photos for the site? I do have some
good quality shots taken by my father at Nuneaton on those trips. One
correction if I may - the following photograph is at Leicester (London Road),
not Nuneaton. BR Standard No 70014 is hauling 'The Palatine' and is entering
the station from the north.
Cheers for now, John Clayson
Hi John. Many thanks for the correction -
the photo is now deleted. Regarding the offer of some photos they were superb
and are now on the website. See 'lnwr_tam2103', 'lnwrns2104' and 'lnwrns2105'.
I came across your website by accident,
but am entirely bowled over by the quality and quantity(!) of content. I can
easily see me spending many hours just browsing the atmospheric and educational
photos you display - and all for free! A brilliant site, well done indeed.
Hi Mike. I must say how great it was to
find your site! I was born a stones throw from Monument Lane railway in
Shakespeare Road and it formed most of my childhood, I spent many happy hours
train spotting there in fact it was my childhood! The only regret I have is
that I do not have my Train spotters books they would be worth a fortune now!
the engine shed and other pictures are intriguing because they were my playing
ground, in fact me and my chums at the time were always being told to "get off
the railway" I have a good knowledge of the area and lived there until my
family were rehoused in the slum clearance programme of the sixties, In one
'photo of the carriage works there is a shot of a saw mill which later became
part of Frank Moseley's garage, dealing with Armstrong Siddley motor cars! I
worked there from 1957 to 1963, my favorite train was Polyphemus which was G W
R 55678 Jubilee class, I saw this loco all the time shunting and such at the
local shed, there was a significant storage capacity at 3F (Monument Lane) and
why I didn't become a railway man I shall never know! I could write a book of
my experiences in Ladywood during my time there! but that's another story!
Very interesting to see the pictures of
Kenilworth. A sad state of affairs today.
Mike - have just come across your site. I
bought a reproduction of the 1899 / 1901 OS map for my area (Ilmington) and was
Googling to learn more about the Moreton to Stratford upon Avon Tramway and the
branch to Shipston-on-Stour, so I was really pleased to find all the
information and photographs on your excellent site, and equally pleased to look
at Kenilworth where I was brought up. It prompted me that somewhere, I have
some photos of Kenilworth Station circa 1970 that were given to me by the late
Walter Whiteman who ran his business from the station site - they stem from a
school project which I managed to persuade my teachers to permit as a rail
enthusiast! Thank you, great site.
Mike. I must begin by saying a huge thank
you for the Warwickshire Railways site; I'm a Coventrian now living in Cardiff
and it so takes me back. I was educated at Bablake and lived not that far from
the Coventry loop line both of which have always fascinated me. As your sit
proves, the Warwick railway scene was amazing, where else could you see three
of the big four. I always think to have seen A3s on the GCR, Kings on the GWR
and Duchesses on the WCML must have really been something-oh, I was born far
too late! Anyhow just in case they are of interest I was photographing in the
70s and early 80s and took slides on Kodachrome of Newdigate's Sidings box just
before (and I do mean just before!) closure and demolition. When these were
taken, the Newdigates colliery branch had already been lifted. I was also
extremely fortunate to cadge a footplate ride from Marton to Southam cement
works and back and was able to capture this on slides too. I'm enclosing a
couple of scans to see if they are of interest. If you would like to see more,
please let me know. I appreciate they are relatively recent but in another
sense they are ancient history now. Just like those Class 25 that trolled up
and down past the windows of my Bablake classrooms for years those rakes of 16
ton minerals that went on for ever! Very best wishes and many thanks again.
Hello, excellent site, as a kid I grew up
opposite the railway at Willenhall, Coventry. Witnessing the electrification
and demise of steam. Is it possible to advise me of the following, a) The last
steam workings through Coventry. b) Any contacts you may have re photos in the
area of that period 1965 - 67.
Regards, Alistair Durham.
The Casserley photo at Bournville ref 'mrb18' shows a STOP sign on the wall at the
entrance to the shed. I would like to know the exact wording of this sign - can
you assist please? Alternatively have you a good resolution copy I can purchase
in order to enlarge the section with the sign? Photo ref 'mrb685' shows the position of the sign following
removal at closure of the shed.
Kind Regards - Robin Whittle
Robin - I have sent you a close up of the
sign but it is too indistinct to help much. The photo was scanned at 300 pixels
so it is the best image possible. I have copied John Dews into this email as
John has written many off the captions on the shed and he might be able to help
you further. All the best - Mike
Great site. I am attempting to create a
model of the GWR (set 1935-9) around Hatton. I lived at Lapworth in the
Seventies and recall the ex-GWR locos climbing Hatton Bank on Sunday afternoon
specials. Good memories.
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