Cromptons through the great storm, Oct 87

Remembering the great storm, 16th October  1987

We all have a few memories of that great storm, I am still astounded that

Despite it’s hurricane severity the wires stayed up locally, even at Ledburn!

I like most of us were in bed that night Heres a report from our intrepid basher TC

who was bashing Hanktons that night…Read on and enjoy!!!

When i finished my late shift on tuesday 14.10.1987,

I had no idea what I was about to get myself into. I

was off until the friday morning, so decided on two

days out on the bash. This was 24 hours before the

1987 storm.

  I made my way up to London, not really sure where I

was going to go. Scotland wasn’t really an option with

work on the friday, so I headed for the southern where

there was still a couple of reasonable overnight

moves.I got to Waterloo around 22.30 and found 33208

on the front of the 22.52. 33’s were a favourite of

mine, so I settled on the following move:

  33208 22.52  Waterloo – Weymouth

              (Waterloo – Eastleigh)

  33101 22.52  Waterloo – Weymouth

              (Eastleigh – Southampton)

  At Southampton I could have headed back towards

London with the 22.38 from Weymouth, but the booked power

forward from Eastleigh put me off!

  33031 01.55  Southampton – Bristol TM


  33057 05.00  Bristol TM – Yeovil Pen Mill


  33057 06.55  Yeovil Pen Mill – Bristol TM


  Back at Bristol around 08.30, 33011 was spied coming

off Bath Road. this was a rare low mileage one for me,

so a trip to Portsmouth was called for. At Portsmouth

33008 backed on for the return.

  33011 08.00  Cardiff – Portsmouth Hbr

              (Bristol TM – Portsmouth Hbr)

  33008 12.10  Portsmouth Hbr – Cardiff

              (Portsmouth Hbf – Bristol TM)

  Bristol at 14.45, with plenty of 33’s on Bath Road,

my train got a 47 forward to Cardiff. I decided to

stay put for a bit. One train I had been after a 33 on

was the 16.15 to Weymouth, which was a Bath road

“chuck out”. today my luck held when 33015 produced,

in the past I have seen 31’s and 47’s on this, even a


  33015 16.15  Bristol TM – Weymouth


  This was new track for me beyond Yeovil Pen Mill. At

Weymouth I decided against going back with it as the

19.35 to Bristol, but headed towards Bournemouth with

33101 pushing a “TC” unit as the 18.54 to London.

This was also new track for me to Bournemouth. I

stayed on the train as far as Southampton. To get in

position for an overnight, I headed to Salisbury.

  33023 20.25  Portsmouth Hbf – Cardiff

              (Southampton – Salisbury)

  After some food and a couple of beers, I got on the

21.45 Bristol – Southampton. This train ran via Romsey

and Eastleigh to approach Southampton from the London

direction, due in Southampton around midnight. It then

formed the 01.55 back to Bristol. If you were lucky,

the guard would leave you alone as well.

  33027 21.45  Bristol TM – Southampton

              (Salisbury – Southampton)

  33027 01.55  Southampton – Bristol TM

              (Southampton – Bath)

  My quote to home the next evening was “I knew there

was something wrong when I woke up and saw daylight

through the window!” The 01.55 was due in Bristol at

04.30. I had slept since about 23.30 the previous

evening, looked at my watch, it was about 07.30, I

hadn’t got a clue where we were, only that we were

stopped. I got up, had a look outside, and thought we

were somewhere just outside Westbury.

  During the storm (which I had slept through), loads

of trees had been uprooted, many blocking railway

lines, one very narrowly missing our train. We

eventually moved and got as far as Bath. Still with no

real idea of the amount of damage, I got off the

train, just as 33013 ran in going the other way.

  I soon realised I had a big problem. The line south

of Westbury was shut, the line into Paddington was

shut, as was the Southampton – Waterloo line. I stayed

with 33013, as you couldn’t plan any moves. I also

wasn’t sure how I would get home.

  I did 33013 to Westbury, back to Bristol and then to

Southampton. There was still no London trains, so I

headed back to Bristol with it. By now there was a

service running through to Reading, so I left my 33’s

and decided to head towards London. During the journey

it was announced that the train would go through to

Paddington, so I eventually got home middle of the


  Watching the news that night, you could see the

damage caused by the storm.

  TC’s “Storm machine” 33027 storming out of “Bas” in much better weather a few years earlier with that top “Hankton” train the 1010 Waterloo-Salisbury, 280882

Many thanks to TC for this fascinating report

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