marshbrook copy

                                            Marshbrook built during 1870s. Situated between Craven Arms and Church Stretton on the GWR/L&NWR Joint line from

                                            Shrewsbury to Hereford.


Pontypool Station South b0x. GWR 1910. 163 levers

Gort signal box w/S’man P.J Cunningham. 15.5.82

No.2220 was the last of a series, numbered 2201 to 2220. 2220 was built at Swindon in 1882. I don’t know the loication. 2220 is hauling a milk train – see headcode and ‘Siphon’ behind engine. Taken in 1920 by Bill Kenning.

No.820 on Didcot shed. 18.10.20. Taken by Bill Kenning.

No.810 one of  a set of engines numbered 806 to 825, built at Swindon starting in 1873. No.810 has it original type of boiler – i.e not replaced with a ‘Belpaire’ firebox boiler as had happened to most  engines of  this vintage by the time this photo was taken, by Bill Kenning, on Didcot shed, on 22 March 1920

‘Badminton’ class 3304 ‘Oxford’ at Oxford with LSWR coaches. Birkenhead – Bournemouth train? c.1908.

Built in Sept. 1898. 6ft.8.5in. driving wheels. Re-numbered 4112 May 1927. In ‘as built’ condition.

3304 was the last of the class to lose its original boiler – in 1913 – when a Std No.2 was fitted. Thus becoming an ‘Atbara’. Some of this class received No.4 boilers carried by the 6ft 8.4in. ‘City’ class.

No.4170 ‘Charles Saunders’ 7ft. diameter driving wheels on Didcot Shed with Shedmaster Mr.Short. 22.3.20

Photo by W.L Kenning on a very miserable, grey, day.

Doreen Spackman and the driver, fireman and guard of the Savernake L.L – Marlborough L.L branch train. 1942

Savernake Low Level. S.M Millard with a smart new hat, Doreen Spackman. Porter X. 1942

Collingbourne Ducis (ex-M&SWJc.Rly) Station Staff. 1945. Station Master Rawle with old pattern GWR hat  Mrs. Vi.Brown booking clerk, Thelma Hoare, signalwoman.  Porter X. Taken by Doreen Spackman, signalwoman at Collingbourne Ducis.

Dean goods leads Armstrong goods with a heavy coal train on the Down Main at Kennington Jc. Down Loop track in foreground. c1915. All these by young Bill Kenning.

Dean goods propels empty coaches into Up Siding at Slough, seen from East signal box. c1921

2580 at Slough on Up Relief Line. Taken by Bill Kenning from East box which was on platform. c1921

2579.Kennington Jc.Up Loop or possibly drawn up onto branch. A Radley College schoolboy is on the footplate with Fireman Beenley. c.1915No.73 ‘Isis’ in Binsey Bay, Oxford with 10.33 stopper to Banbury (2, 8-wheelers) 21.5.14 (Whitsun week-end) Sun strongly shining straight into the lens from over the top of the boiler.The five pictures from here down were taken by a Radley College  schoolboy, William Lovett Kenning, with a box camera using glass plates. Negatives developed in the dormitory sink after ‘lights out’.

‘Beyer’ or ‘322’class  just past Kennington Jc on Up line, signal on the Thame branch visible. As a Beyer-Peacock design it can be seen to have a Gorton Style tender – i.e one a bit too big for the engine.
‘Sir Daniel’ class 2-2-2 express engine converted to 0-6-0 goods engine. passing Kennington Jc. 1914

Armstrong Standard Goods. coal rail tender. Llanderfel between Corwen and Bala Jc. April 1921

eadfirst’ i.e facing Down direction. Sunday p-way train. c.1914

ex-LBSCR ‘Terrier’ ‘Portishead’ about to enter Clevedon Square.19.8.33. This engine passed to the GWR as No.5 ‘Portishead’

Manning Wardle at Portishead level crossing with Guard Riddick.19.8.33

Manning Wardle on WC&P at Portishead 19.8.33

4472. Flying Scotsman with Up Flying Scotsman. York. c1932

404. York Station Pilot. c1932

6015. Newcastle – Swansea via Nottingham Banbury, Stow-on-the-Wold and Gloster. 

2744. Up Flying Scotsman. York. 15.7.32

2599. York. 15.7.322577.19.7.32 york.
2402. York. 17.8.31.

2401. City of Kingston-upon-Hull. Potter’s Bar.4.6.30

2355. York. 15.7.32

Gleneagles.  600345 ‘Lord Faringdon’ Aberdeen –  Glasgow express.

Gleneagles. 44253. August 1965

Greenloaning. 60009 ‘Union of South Africa’ Evening express Glasgow – Aberdeen.44998. Up fast. Greenloaning. August 1965

Greenloaning. 61160. passenger train. August 1965

Greenloaning. ‘WD’ 2-8-0 on Down goods. August 1965

70002 Geoffrey Chaucer. leaving Dunblane for Glasgow August 1965Glasgow – Oban, 45359 entering Dunblane. August 1965

Glasgow – Oban arriving Dunblane August 1965
Keadby Canal Jc. GCR signals, rear of.

Keadby Canal Jc. GCR signals, front of.

Keadby Canal Jc. left-hand portion of track diagram

Keadby Canal Junction

Keadby lifting bridge. Great Central Railway east of Doncaster


Keadby Bridge draw-slide signalling frame Great Centtal Railway east of Doncaster

Keadby Bridge interior

Keadby Bridge signal box interior. Electro-pnuematic draw-slide signal and point  operating system

Keadby Bridge colour-light

Keadby Bridge 3-aspect at ‘Caution’. ‘Line Clear’ would be indicated with the arm vertical.

Keadby Bridge 3-aspect semaphore at ‘Danger’

Seamer East 30.6.91
Seamer East 30.6.91

Seamer East 30.6.91

Sheffield (Vic) No.4 c1960

No.1907 Scarborough c.1930

No.1244. Scarborough shed yard c.1930

No. 786 Scarborough shed yard August 1930

No.724 ‘Scarborough Flyer’ 28.7.32

713 on the turntable at Scarborough. 14.8.31No.713. Scarborough  14.8.31ex-North Eastern Railway 4-6-2T. 5ft.7″ driving wheels. Intro.1911 Design by Mr.Raven. Seen here at Scarborough

LNER ‘Hunt’ class No.335 ‘Westmoreland’ on Scarborough loco.shed in 1937

A closer view of the antique ‘block instruments’. Nothing wrong with being old – they were built to last and there’s a technician available in the unlikely event of one of the failing = and if one fails. All signals that matter to train safety are locked.The interior of Saxmundham signal box. On 16.6.83 it still had the pair of Great Eastern Railway signalling instruments which had been here since signalling by the ‘block’ system was introduced back in the 1880s.The Saxmundham signalman opens and closes the gates by hand. Here is is closing them against the road for the Lowestoft train approaching..16.6.83Saxmundham station, signal box level crossing gates and tracks heading uphill, north towards Halesworth, Beccles and Lowestoft. 16.6.83This is Saxmundham station on the route  of the old Great Eastern Railway from Ipswich to Lowestoft. Before 1963  the route also went to Yarmouth and you could, at Beccle, turn left and go across country, through Bungay to the Norwich – Ipswich line. The Saxmundham signalman also controls the branch that that used to go through to Aldeburgh but now goes to Thorpemess nuclear power station. A train for Lowestoft is at the platform. 16 June 1983.The interior of Saltmarshe. 23.9.84Saltmarshe level crossing signal box north of Goole swing bridge which goes across the River Humber, south of Gilberdyke Jc., where the route from Doncaster and Goole joins the line running into Hull. I took this on 23 September 1984. It was at one time a signal box but automation has reduced it to a ground frame.34020 ‘Seaton’ at Bere Alston with the branch line to Callington behind. A BR.Standard Class 5 loco, pilots 34105 ‘Swanage’ on a Southern Region passenger train near St.Budeaux, Plymouth34082 ‘615 Squadron’ in Eastliegh works in 195035007 ‘Aberdeen Commonwealth Line’ taking water at Southampton, heading west. c196034038 ‘Lynton’ at Basingstoke c.1960Southern Railway ‘U’ class at Basingstoke. Loco shed behind wagons. c196033036 Bullied ‘Q1’ class. locoation unknown to e. I think it is the same place as 30840. Info. welcome as to where it it.Southern Railway ‘S15 class mixed traffic engine 30840. Location not know to me. Any ideas?A ‘Brittania’ pacific, with a full head of steam, attacks the Shap incline with  a vacuum braked goods train in 1966.

The Shap Incline begins a little north of  Tebay station and climbs at 1 in 75 for 4 miles to the summit in Shap cutting. From there its downhill all the way to Carlisle. The train is approaching Scout  Green signal box, about half way up the hill.Looking towards the cylinders from  the crankshaft end you can make out the tops of the eccentrics and one of the two rods driven by the eccentrics. At the end of that rod you can see the top of the expansion link, which then drive the valve to and fro by means of another rod fitted within the link. There’s a good old Tilley parafin pressure lamp hanging over the cylinder belong to the days before electric lighting was installed.

If what I was told is right, all this wonderful engineering is lying beneath a demolished roof and piles of bricks – probably in quite good condition and waiting to be resurrected.The high pressure cylinder is nearest my camera with sight-feed lubricator standing in front. The low pressure cylinder beyond, double the size of the high pressure cylinder.There is a box-like casing on the side of  latter – this is the covering for the ‘valve chest’. The eccentrics drive a sliding valve within this letting steam in and out of the cylinder. You can see a tube projecting from the casing within that is the valve rod, supporting the valve as it slide to and fro.The “Freddie Boots” engine. Low pressure side. The connecting rod drives a shaft on which are placed:1. the eccentrics operating the steam valves; 2. the driving gear onto the large gear; 3. the massive flywheel. The main gear turns a shaft that operates to water pumps.Looking across the engine room. The engine that, in the other picture, Freedie Boots was standing by, is the one nearest the camera. The engines were 2-cylinder compounds. One smaller diameter cylinder taking higher pressure steam and when that steam had done its work in that cylinder it was fed as exhaust at a lower pressure into the much larger diameter cylinder where, though at a lower pressure it culd still do useful work because the area of the piston it was working on was so much larger. That’s ‘compounding’. You can see the low pressure cylinder clearly on the engine on the far side of the room.Freddie Boots, electrician from Swindon Works ‘E’ shop with the steam engine , one of a pair, that pumped water from the wells, here at Kemble, Gloucestershire, to Swindon railway factory 15 miles away. These steam engines had been superceded by electric motors and Freddie’s job was to inspect these and mend them if necessary. When he had done that he would give these steam engines a wipe over and some oil. The steam engines were occasionally worked so that, if the electric motors failed the old engines could be brought into use. The original boilers supply the engines had been taken away and when the engines were given a bit of exercise a locomotive steam engine was sent from Swindon.  Its whistle was unscrewed and a specially made  hose pipe was screwed into the socket and steam then went to the stationary engines. So I was told. The engines were house in a  large brick-built engine-house situated  a 50 yards on the Gloucester side of Kemble station between and below the embankments of the main line to Gloucester and the branch line to Tetbury. The building was demolished and, so I was told, the engines were still inside. Over the rubble earth was spread.7906 ‘Fron Hall’ passing Challow signal box with the morning, Swansea – Paddington Pullman sometime in 1963. Grim, grey day. I took this whilst on duty  in the box. The proper train was the blue and white, streamlined “Blue Pullman” twin diesels, one at each end but this failed at Swansea. The traditional, wooden, Pullman coaches were substituted hauled by a “Western” class diesel. That failed, 4 miles east of Swindon, at Marston East box. 7906 was in the Up Goods Loop with a freight. The fire and water in the boiler unprepared for speed. 7906 came past me at 45/50, the driver nursing the engine while his fireman got the fire right for a fast run. They let rip from Didcot and made a fast run to Paddington.Adrian, aged 21, Class 2 signalman at 63-lever Challow signal box in 1962Witham (Somerset) signal box from the top of a 16-ton stone carrying wagon, lkg., west on the downside of the London – Westbury – Plymouth main lineWitham (Somerset) signal box with Adrian and his railway enthusiast mother at the window. 1974The Foreman of the Uffington track gang helps the driver of 1010 ‘County of Caernarvon’ to lift the decorative headboard into position watched by the Guard of the Faringdon branch train and two train spotters. The tender of 7034 is behind.

7034 Ince Castle failed with broken valve rings and is standing out of the way on the run-round loop of the Faringdon branch at Uffington.March 1962

5904 Kelham Hall has had its piston valves removed for ring replacement. Swindon shed 1962

This  wooden gantry was erected in 1942 to carry Exeter West signal box – right background – Up Main Starting signals.

From left to right the arms route to: Engine shed; Goods Line; Platforms 6,5,4. The Distant signal arms belong to Middle box. The left-hand and right-hand arms are ‘Fixed at Caution’ the central Distant arm is controlled from Middle box and worked by an electric motor. Below the Distant arms are the ‘Calling-on’ or ‘Warning’ arms.

This is the Gatehampton water filtration plant. Water from the River Thames – seen through the central tree – is chalky /muddy and must be cleaned before it is fed to the storage tank about 400 yards east along the line, near the bridge to Combe Lodge. From there is flows to the locomotive water pick-up troughs.  The troughs are usually known as ‘Goring troughs’ but actually they are close to the village of Basildon.This view taken in 1963

Gas turbine 1800 has brought the 10.45 Paddington ‘Merchant Venturer’ into Bristol T.M and is now making its way t the Bath Road loco depot. No.7823 ‘Hook Norton Manor’ has taken the train over for the final leg to Weston-super-Mare. A large crowd on train spotters. We were all young then! 1955