The last one falls…..!
This hobby has many different facets but perhaps its principally about collecting. Now this collecting for most of us started with collecting train numbers, this then spread to collecting locos for haulage, collecting locos for photographs or the currently popular “station scratching” where you attempt to do a train off every station in the land…!
Part One – Spotting last ones falling
Clearing your Westerns
On Wednesday August 29th 1973 i copped D1063 Western Monitor on 1C43 1115 Padd – Cardiff service for sight which left me just D1015 to clear the class. By 1973 Western withdrawals had begun and the worry as 1974 progressed that i may not see D1015 Western Champion ever! I’d cover the Leagrave stone as often as i could, umpteen trips to Paddington and Temple Meads when visiting my grandparents in Somerset.
As seen from my spotting book i spent much of Sunday April 14th 1974 at Temple Meads. It was an interesting day with 33205 a rare visitor and a winning gronk in 08089. On the Western front just 1062 Western Courier and 1055 Western Advocate were seen but on asking several enthusiasts had seen D1015 earlier saying “shes gone to Weymouth”. Well half an hour before i had to leave a Western came in on a terminating service and , yes it was D1015, to say i was pleased was an understatement..
1015 was eventually preserved and memories of April 74 soon return on seeing this fine machine again!
Clearing your 47’s for sight
On June 18th 1977 on a “Yorkshire Ranger” mainly chasing 40’s i was pleased to observe required for sight 47374 outside York shed. This left me just 47337 to clear all 508 of the 47s and being a Midland 47 i half expected to see her through Luton.. By 1978 i was much more of a basher my days of recording everything were over but on Friday January 27th on a dark Newport evening between leaps i viewed 47337 passing on the salt train to Baglan Bay. I was in disbelief having to check with other enthusiasts it was 47337, i had finally cleared my 47s for sight!
I met up with 47337 again at Basingstoke bashing the old girl to Winchester on 1O07 0910 Birmingham – Weymouth holiday train on August 28th 1982. 47337 later became reengined as 57602 so in a way the personal legend of 47337 lives on…!
Clearing your “Peaks”
Spending half your youth at Luton station with visits to London and Hitchin soon saw most 45/46’s spotted during 1969-71. Trips on Football specials and SBLC depot visits soon saw all the class 44’s in the book. By late 1971 i was down to just needing D177 (later 46040) but she eluded me during long spells linesiding at Luton and Hitchin. Conversation with some Hitchin spotters about her in the Summer of 72 said “you’ll have to go to Derby Works to see her”.
As August progressed and Derby Works Open Day got nearer more spotters confirmed she was still in the works, But the nagging pains of doubt grew by the Open Day Itself as three of us headed North on peak 124 on August 26th 1972. On arrival at Derby some hours before the Open day opened i saw her on the display roads outside visible from the station,,,an immaculate ex works 177…No wild cheering just a quiet satisfaction, i’d cleared my “Peaks”.
177 at Derby Works Open Day on August 26th 1972. (photographer not known as yet)
177 was renumbered 46040 in Feb 74 and i was lucky enough to have 46040 for haulage 3 times. My last haulage behind her was from Cheltenham to Temple Meads on the 1640 Leeds – Bristol on March 11th 1978. 46040 was withdrawn quite early for a 46 in Dec 1980. She was cut by May 82 and the legend of 177 was finally over.
Coming next Part Two the last one falls in Bashing.
Any more last loco tales to share with us??