The Girvan Gathering, July 85

The “Girvan Gathering or “What are you doing here?”

Thanks to “TC” for the memories

Joining the railway in the Spring of 1985 saw a change in my bashing habits. Instead of being out most weekends I now had to work two weekends out of three. I did have the valuable B.R. Boxes and a long weekend (early finish Thursday to late start on a Tuesday) every third week.

On my first long weekend I did the Euston – Stranraer on the Thursday night and was rewarded with 20125 as the pilot engine into Stranraer. I decided to give it another go on my next long weekend which started after early turn on Thursday 18th July.

After work I headed north with 45104, picking up 47086 (vice a 31/4) at Leicester. 47354 and an EMU from Coventry to Rugby put me in place for 1S06 21.10 Euston – Stranraer northwards. 81020 produced on 1S06 and very soon I was comfy and fast asleep, probably the result of the previous 7 days getting up around 5am.

I don’t remember anything until I was woken up by another basher. I was not pleased as I had planned to go to Stranraer, however we had lost a fair bit of time and our loco (47571) was very sick with the pilot engine 20171, doing most of the work. We were not going to make Stranraer for the 07.30 Glasgow back out, so the move was to bail at Girvan. Grateful for the tip off, I got my stuff together as we rolled into Girvan.

I got out of one coach and as I turned round I heard a less than friendly voice bark “Oi, what you doing here?” I t was Driver Phil, and he looked as fresh as I did after a night on the cushions. He had been up in Scotland the day before and had come south to Carlisle to make the Euston – Stranraer.

After exchanging the usual pleasantries, we listened as 20171 made slow and noisy progress away from Girvan with a sickly 47571 and its train. I would imagine there were about 15 or so bashers who had done the same move, and our next move now was the 06.38 Girvan – Glasgow DMU.

This part of the story regularly gets told, but the next part doesn’t as I have just been researching it. I never used to write down the DMU’s I had, the book was for loco’s only, so when I decided to re-write my moves to include gen on other “bits”, one call I made was to find out what the DMU was. The next call was along the lines of “what did you do on the Friday then?”

We both bailed off the DMU at Ayr, going forward to Glasgow with 47475 on the 07.45 Ayr – Euston. At some point before we got to Glasgow, we were given some “gen”, the highlight being 25190 out on the 07.30 Glasgow – Carlisle and 12.40 Carlisle – Glasgow.

Glasgow at 08.46, and we go our separate ways, I was after the 09.00 shove across to Edinburgh for 27020 and 27042 were both out. It was a bit of a farce getting into Edinburgh as 27008 which itself was dragging a DMU expired just as it was going over the junction by Princes Street Gardens. Luckily 47419 was just behind us running in light engine, as it was soon on the back to push us out the way.

Phil on the other hand didn’t need the 27’s but did need 37263 on the 10.05 Glasgow – Inverness, which he did to Perth for 47156 back. We met up again for 47485 on the 13.45 Glasgow – Carlisle for the +1 at Kilmarnock for 25190 back, which worked out alright and we were back in Glasgow around 15.10. Again we split up, I was after the 15.30 shove back across to Edinburgh for the rather large 37272 (which became 37431 a few months later) Phil didn’t need this, but did need 37103 which was on the 15.45 Glasgow – Carlisle, so a move back to Barrhead was on the cards. 37103 was dud for me, scored a few weeks earlier on a Friday evening relief train.

Very happy with what I scored that day, although hindsight can often give you a kicking. Rail-Gen archive has 25089 listed as doing the 17.40 Carlisle – Glasgow that day, so an evening bash of 25190 for 25089 back would have been possible!

We met up again later that evening, we had decided to head south on the 23.30 (or 23.40) still not sure to this day, relief train to Euston, which was booked to be dragged from Preston to Manchester, and put us into Birmingham for around 06.30.  I remember the train being fairly empty, a compartment easily being obtained for the night. 81003 did the roaring for the night with 45138 being a surprise on the drag.

I wonder who else has bumped into mates, miles from home, without any knowledge that they would be there?

My moves for the day:

Friday 19th July 1985

47571              21.10 (PN) Euston – Stranraer                         (Carlisle – Girvan)

20171              21.10 (PN) Euston – Stranraer                         (Ayr – Girvan, pilot to 47571)

DMU               06.38 Girvan – Glasgow                                  (Girvan – Ayr, vehicles 52028+59785+52000)

47475             07.45 Ayr – Euston                                         (Ayr – Glasgow)

47703              09.00 Glasgow QS – Edinburgh                    (Glasgow QS – Haymarket)

27008              Unknown DMU failure                   (Haymarket – Princes St. Gardens, failed)

47419              Unknown DMU failure                    (Princes St. Gardens – Edinburgh, pushing 27008)

27020              10.15 Edinburgh – Dundee                              (Edinburgh – Kirkcaldy)         

27042              10.30 Dundee – Edinburgh                              (Kirkcaldy – Edinburgh)

47703             12.00 Edinburgh – Glasgow QS                      Edinburgh – Glasgow QS)

47485             13.45 Glasgow – Carlisle                                 (Glasgow – Kilmarnock)

25190              12.40 Carlisle – Glasgow                                 (Kilmarnock – Glasgow)         

47715              15.30 Glasgow QS – Edinburgh                      (Glasgow QS – Haymarket)

37272              16.10 Edinburgh – Carstairs                            (Haymarket – Carstairs)

                        (Portion for 16.15 Glasgow – Liverpool)         

86251              07.17 Harwich PQ – Glasgow                          (Carstairs – Glasgow)

47703             19.00 Glasgow QS – Edinburgh                      (Glasgow QS – Edinburgh)

47526              18.20 Carstairs – Aberdeen                              (Edinburgh – Haymarket)

                        (Portion off 07.30 Penzance – Glasgow)         

47302              16.30 Inverness – Edinburgh                           (Haymarket – Edinburgh)

47716              21.00 Edinburgh – Glasgow QS                      (Edinburgh – Haymarket)       

47703             22.00 Edinburgh – Glasgow QS                      (Haymarket – Glasgow QS)

81003             23.30 Glasgow – Euston (Relief)                     (Glasgow – Preston)


47526 running around an hour late

Phot spot

 81003 featured in TC’s return South, heres 81003 at Abington with 5M20 empty vans on February 10th 1984. A Glenn Jones phot

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