The “Cheshire Cheeser” Tour remembered, November 1983
– making the tour, 251183 and 261183
86254 0635 Euston-Wolverhampton L.Buzzard – New St (via Nor)
This was G06, our sole morning down hauled turn, often a “seven” not today.
50015 0920 Liverpool-Penzance New St-T,Meads
33012 1205 Cardiff-Portsmouth T.Meads-Bath
33046 1110 Portsmouth-Bristol Bath – T.Meads
33055 1210 Portsmouth-Cardiff T.Meads – Newport
33065 1310 Crewe-Cardiff Newport – Cardiff
33015 1720 Cardiff-Swansea Cardiff – Bridgend
A big winner for me, never had a 33 further West after this one
43169} 1730 Swansea-Padd Bridgend-Newport
Even in 83 Newport saw a constant procession of coal traffic, in constant drizzle 37290 eases up to a red peg, 251183
50018 then an unusual sight on Cardiff-Crewe crew training runs 251183
33039 1610 Portsmouth-Cardiff Newport – Cardiff
43179} 1940 Swansea-Padd Cardiff – Bristol Parkway
45130 2124 Bristol-Glas/Edin Bristol Parkway-New St
37203} 2124 Bristol-Glas/Edin Bromsgrove – Barnt Green 37241}(banking)
The Worcestershire countryside is cold and dark, the peace is then shattered by 2 x 37 banking S19 up the Lickey, much bellowing from the rear coach!
86238 2124 Bristol-Glas/Edin New St-Crewe
The “Crewe buffet overnight”-an experience!
86211 “City of Milton Keynes” at Crewe with the 0235 Crewe – Barrow, 261183. This loco was destroyed along with 86429 in the Colwich crash of 190986. 86211’s driver Eric Goode was tragically killed in the collision.
85029 2355 Glas/Edin-Bristol Crewe – New St
59341} 0745 Birmingham-Gt Malvern New St-Stourbridge Jn
Front of F & W quality tour brochure
45055 Plymouth-Liverpool Cheshire Cheeser Tour 1Z36 Stourbridge Jn- Lime St
25161} Liverpool-Plymouth Cheshire Cheeser Tour 1Z36 Liverpool – Warrington
40192 Liverpool-Plymouth Cheshire Cheeser Tour 1Z36 Warr-Crewe (via Birkenhead D)
Whistling through a grey Birkenhead docks to hooting cars, waving locals and bashers must rate as one of those truly great railtour moments for all aboard!
45055 Liverpool-Plymouth Cheshire Cheeser Tour 1Z36 Crewe shunt-middle rd farce
86240 1823 Blackpool-Euston Crewe – Milton Keynes
060 2021 Birmingham-Euston M.Keynes-L.Buzzard
The Cheshire Cheeser Tour, 261183
Tour itinerary’s, yes we ran late.
45055 arrives at Stourbridge Jn with the tour, 261183
The rare, indeed very rare 25161 prior to backing onto the tour for the all to short run to Warrington at Lime St, 261183
The common, indeed very common boilered 25042 prior to backing onto the tour with 25161 at Lime St, 251183
Cheshire Cheeser tour Summary, 261183
Waiting for the 30 late tour at Stourbridge Jn the entertainment was provided by “bubble car” M55009 toing and froing on the Stourbridge Town shuttle. Pre tour grumbles included the low rat mileage and amended route but Birkenhead docks, plus Bidston – Green Lane were extremely rare track we were told. After a rancid “Crewe Buffet overnight” myself “The Axeman”, Smudger Smith aka “the buzzard”, plus Wolverton all dosed out in the warm steam heat of 45055.
On leaving Crewe we stopped abruptly with our tail still platformed, a supervisor shouting “if you don’t keep yr heads in, we’ll cancel yer”…This was pre HSE obsession times so on us setting back we learned the real reason was our driver didn’t know the Middlewich route so a replacement driver was found, seeing us now an hour late.
At Lime St the tour atmosphere picked up, many locals piled on, 25161/25042 thrash on departure echoing off the deep walls of Lime St’s long approach was loud, very loud! 20 miles of rat thrash was our lot and in Arpley yard the quoted 40192 backed on. Some moaned that they’d had this 40 on M40 (1507 Plymouth – Manchester ex Glos) back on 110780, who cares, it’s a big ex Eastern monster!
The 40 once whistling, growling and rumbling like hard working 40’s do, took us on a circuitous route incl Frodsham-Helsby, Mickle Trafford (Chester avoider) , Bidston and the unforgettably atmospheric trundle through Birkenhead Docks incl tramway sections. The Rock Ferry photo stop was a bit of a farce as it was now dark (we were 110 late) and I think 40192 was way off the short “excursion platform” from memory.
We returned via Green Bank and Middlewich and the tour buzz dipped a bit when the booked loco change at Crewe took place in the middle road! With the tour almost 2 hours down many people had last train connections to make for the North. We all used the train for tours back then you know!.
To their credit F & W got the train platformed once 45055 was back on and we leapt for a can home but still the memory of that big blue 40,with its long rake of Mk I’s whistling through Birkenhead docks in the dusky light to great surprise and acclaim from all …unforgettable!
Any more “Cheshire Cheeser” memories to add?, a 40192 tour image would be very welcome!