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THE WESTERN WAY Western Steam in the Sixties


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A personal colour odyssey by an author captivated by steam, like most of

us, at an early, highly impressionable age and in his case the introduction

was grander than most – the Royal Train passing through Henley-in-Arden

in April 1950 headed, memorably by two Castles.

The inevitable induction into the local band of platform enders followed,

then trips by bicycle to sheds and other centres and finally steam tours as

pocket money came to be bolstered by paper round cash.

Sympathetic parents helped, as a lively text reveals: I recall an occasion

when I was in Bristol with my mother for some reason I cannot now

remember but I badgered her to let me visit Bath Road engine shed. I

must have been about twelve and the foreman arranged for someone to

show me round but told my mother that it was considered to be bad luck

for women to be in the shed. Whether or not this was a joke, she sat in the

mess nursing a mug of engineman’s tea while I noted down the numbers

of the sixty or so locomotives present. It was her one and only shed visit!

Subsequent maturity and possession of a decent camera allowed a rich

harvest of colour portraits of many aspects of Western Region steam

working in the 1960s, from filthy lumbering 2-8-0s, to fussing pannier tanks

and gleaming Kings and Castles.

Earn Reward Points: 1

Earn Discount: £0.20

Product Code: IPN655

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