Journal 39 — Winter 2008

Table of Contents

  • Derby ‘A’ Box — Part 1: Basic Operation / By Garth Ponsonby
  • Midland Electrification: Men at Work / By Ian Howard
  • Accident at Shefford, 1899 / By Andrew Surry
  • Locomotive Aesthetics / By Jack Braithwaite
  • Unusual Train Working from Gloucester / By Ian Howard
  • Items from the Study Centre — 3 : Specification for Engine Factory, Bromsgrove Station / By Roy Burrows
  • Chapel Milton Viaducts / By Ian Howard
  • Query Corner
  • Comments on Items in Previous Journals
  • Front cover

    Front cover

    Our cover photograph comes from the collection of Midland Railway postcards assembled over the years by John Alsop. John, working with Roy Burrows, has recently made available copies of these at the Midland Railway Study Centre. There are four in John’s collection that depict work going on for the Midland electrification of the Lancaster, Morecambe and Heysham lines and the subsequent rebuilding of Greyhound viaduct. The article on page 10, and the centre spread are based on them. The cover photograph was taken at the same time, possibly by the same photographer.

    The charming image on the cover shows a three-car Siemens set at Platform 3 of Morecambe station at the end of 1908, the year that the lines were electrified. The leading driving trailer car was No. 2241. Unfortunately, it is not possible to read the numbers of the motor car and the other trailer. Both bow collectors on the motor car were up, and the wind deflectors for each can be seen in the photograph. The ladies ready to board the train were dressed in warm winter clothing, and had clearly spent some money on it. At the time, Morecambe was a place where the wealthy came to spend their leisure time. Other passengers included a bowler-hatted man behind the women, and an elderly gentleman in a naval cap.

    The train guard appears to have been unlocking the door of the carriage for the waiting passengers to enter. Whilst this was happening and the picture was taken, someone behind the ladies moved to form the shadowy figure there. The young man in the cloth cap and working clothes with a cane under his arm was probably a passenger. His confident stance is rather appealing.

    [Roy F. Burrows Trust, No. 67824: John Alsop collection]

  • Rear cover

    Rear cover

    The date (1869) of this form letter about debenture loans makes it unusually interesting. The Midland Railway was financially very extended at that time. The London extension was in place, but it had hardly had time to generate significant new revenue, whilst the Midland Grand Hotel was still being built. The expensive Chesterfield and Sheffield line was under way, and the cripplingly expensive Settle and Carlisle line had just started. Even though the Midland Railway Company was experienced in riding financial trouble, they needed unprecedented amounts of cash. This letter was part of the essential money-raising activity of the time.

    Mr. J. Williams, the Secretary of the Midland Railway had written to a Mr. William Simpson of Malton, in reply to his enquiry about loans to the Midland Railway Company. The hand-written note in the right hand margin refers to the (Little) North Western Company (leased in perpetuity to the Midland), and Williams offered debentures against its security giving similar rates of return to the higher Midland debentures.

    The reverse of this document says “North Eastern Railway Co, Circulars of Letters” It has, I presume, come from a collection of similar documents put together by a clerk in the North Eastern Company. I have no idea why they did so.

    [Ian Howard collection]