The Cheshire Cheeser tour, Nov 83

The “Cheshire Cheeser” Tour remembered, November 1983        

 – making the tour, 251183 and 261183

Fri 25th

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!

Sat 26th

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!

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