Prototype PhilH's BR Photographs from circa1959

Discussion in 'Gallery' started by PhilH, 16 January 2021.

  1. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    I first started taking railway photographs in 1958 or 1959 using my fathers old Kodak camera with folding bellows front and a sugar cube viewfinder perched on top. Results were to say the least mixed and I hadn't got into the habit of recording exactly where and when I used it. They were taken on 120 size negatives and in the absence of exact dates I've labelled them all as "c1959". I got my own 35mm camera in 1960 but it wasn't until 1962 that I started recording exact dates, so some of those photos are dated rather vaguely "c1960" or "c1961".

    Despite living alongside the North Wales main line I had little interest in it, much preferring branch and secondary lines. One particular favourite was the Bala to Blaenau Ffestiniog line, and several trips were made over it. Other lines covered were mainly in North Wales, Mid Wales and Welsh Border Areas, and many of the trips were made with a school friend during the summer holidays.

    Some of these photos have been posted previously on another forum several years ago, but have been re-edited to hopefully give some slight improvement, and many others are published here for the first time.

    So to start a few photos on the Cambrian Coast Line taken on several visits, working south from Afonwen.

    1. BR Afonwen 14081962B © PGH.jpg

    42446 on a Bangor train at Afonwen in August 1962

    2. BR Afonwen LF113B © PGH.jpg

    80087 taking water at Afonwen c1959​

    3 BR Portmadoc 330B © PGH (3).jpg

    2214 with a short goods train arriving at Portmadoc on a very wet day in 1960​

    4 BR Portmadoc 0331BB © PGH.jpg

    6333 arriving at Portmadoc on the same day in 1960​

    5 BR Portmadoc 332BB © PGH (2).jpg

    Last edited: 19 June 2021
  2. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    7. BR Minffordd LF 115B © PGH.jpg

    A rather blurry 4547 (?) arriving at Minffordd Station c1959

    9 Penrhyn LF117BB © PGH.jpg

    Penrhyndeudraeth - the tablet catcher and its lamp c1959

    10 Dyffryn LF119BB © PGH.jpg

    Dyffryn Ardudwy Station c1959

    11. BR Barmouth LF120B © PGH.jpg

    2264 leaving Barmouth on a southbound train c1959

    12. BR Barmouth LF121B © PGH.jpg

    4575 approaching Barmouth with the Barmouth Viaduct visible in the right distance,
    My travelling companion stands on a wall to the left peering down into his box camera.

    13. BR Aberdovey Signal Box 14081962B © PGH.jpg

    Aberdovey Signal Box in August 1962

    Last edited: 19 June 2021
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  3. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    14. BR Moat Lane Junction 1481962B © PGH.jpg

    7801 at Moat Lane Junction in August 1962

    15. BR Newtown 8029B © PGH.jpg

    75033 on the down Cambrian Coast Express at Newtown on 25th February 1967.
    This loco worked the last up steam hauled CCE a few days later on 4th March 1967.

    16 BR Newtown 8030BB © PGH.jpg

    75033 leaves Newtown, blowing off vigorously

    17. BR Welshpool 13041963B © PGH.jpg
    7819 at Welshpool on a northbound train in April 1963. In the distance a Standard shunts an oil tank wagon and a flat loaded with farm machinery.​
    Last edited: 19 June 2021
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  4. 76043

    76043 Western Thunderer

    Thank for these, especially the colour shots.
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  5. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    Yes Larry, and with a modern digital camera and video. It always amazes me how few photographs I took, considering how much there was to see which would have been worth recording. However for a schoolboy relying on pocket money the cost of film developing and printing was a consideration plus the cost of train fares to actually get there.

    As an example in August 1960 I travelled from North Wales to Ludlow and walked the full length of the Ludlow & Clee Hill Railway to Clee Hill Quarry, but only came back with one reasonably useable photo, although I also recorded the complete track plan which seemed just as important at the time.

    Bitterley Yard 0323B © PGH.jpg

    The photo was taken at Bitterley Yard, but unfortunately I didn't record the number of the loco and its not clear enough on the photo. By that date the incline was out of use with stone being brought down by road and loaded into BR wagons at the wharf formally used by the Titterstone Clee narrow gauge system in Bitterley Yard. On the right of the photo next to the lamp is the incline brake wagon which was attached to the cable.
    Last edited: 19 June 2021
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  6. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    Thanks for all the likes, if interest continues we might be here a while :).

    LT #2 THOMAS LORD 0434BB.jpg

    London Transport No.2 THOMAS LORD photographed in August 1961
    Unfortunately I didn't record the exact location, but in the foreground is a station platform and I think there was a double line and I was standing on the opposite platform. Its unusual perhaps that the siding on which the loco is standing is higher than the main running lines.
    Last edited: 19 June 2021
  7. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    On 18th April 1962 I travelled from the North Wales Coast to Denbigh and Ruthin via a roundabout route via Chester, just 10 days before the Chester to Ruthin line was closed to passengers on the 28th of that month. It was a miserable dull wet day, the mood not helped by trapping my thumb when closing the carriage door at Mold Station.

    3 BR Denbigh 0714BB.jpg

    Denbigh Station, view looking south with the 2 coach Ruthin train at the far end of the platform. The substantial station building with its spire was originally the headquarters of the Vale of Clwyd Railway, the first railway to reach Denbigh from a junction with the Chester & Holyhead line at Foryd, near Rhyl.

    4 BR Ruthin 0715BB.jpg

    75014 running round its train at Ruthin Station

    5 BR Ruthin 0716BB.jpg

    Ruthin Station with 75014

    6. BR Denbigh 0717B.jpg

    42288 at Denbigh on the return Chester train

    Last edited: 19 June 2021
  8. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    That's good, because it is a wonderful opportunity for some of us to either make up for missed opportunities, or to see what was never possible to see for ourselves.

    Can you please bear in mind though I have to have a one hour break most days around 7pm for supper and a few domestic essentials. :thumbs:
    eastsidepilot, 3 LINK and simond like this.
  9. Engineer

    Engineer Active Member

    Post 7: No. 2, the first of the fully new-build locos, is at the buffers of the south end headshunt for Neasden Yard. This is alongside Neasden station.
    Excellent images, thanks.
    Last edited: 17 January 2021
  10. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer


    It's Neasden and Thomas Lord is on the headshunt. You would have been standing on the Jubilee (ex Bakerloo) southbound platform in the afternoon. The platform face you can see is the Met southbound line - although Met trains did not stop there (and still don't today) at the time the photo was taken. The A406 North Circular Road Bridge would be to the left.
    Rob Pulham, 3 LINK, PhilH and 2 others like this.
  11. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    Engineer and Yorkshire Dave - Many Thanks for the information, nice to know exactly where I was !

    On 25th April 1962 I travelled from Wellington to Much Wenlock in a single unit railcar and then from Buildwas Junction down the Severn Valley line as far as Bewdley.

    1 Much Wenlock 0732BB.jpg

    The railcar on arrival at Much Wenlock station. The station seating is a little unusual !

    2 Much Wenlock 0733BB.jpg

    The station building was quite an attractive and complicated structure

    3 Much Wenlock 0734BB.jpg
    Much Wenlock goods yard with the loco shed in the centre. The former line to Craven Arms passed the yard on the far side of the shed. There's quite a variety of different sheds on the left.​

    4 Buildwas 0736BB.jpg
    Goods train from Much Wenlock at Buildwas Junction water tank. The Much Wenlock platform was at a higher level than the Severn Valley line platforms, the line to Shrewsbury being just visible on the far right next to the access road to the station. The nearest sign reads - Much Wenlock train one way/ Wellington train the other, the sign beyond is the station nameboard and reads - Buildwas Junction change here for Severn Valley Lines. Note also the gradient board fixed to the fence.​

    5 Buildwas 0802BB.jpg
    Buildwas Junction station from the Severn Valley platform, view towards Bridgenorth. The Much Wenlock platform is above the wall behind the station building, the previous photo being taken from just opposite the right hand rear corner. Note the CEGB steel wagons in the sidings, Ironbridge Power Station was on the opposite side of the Severn Valley line off the photo to the left.

    6 P 1990 6009BB © PGH.jpg
    On a later visit in March 1966 one of Ironbridge Power Stations three Peckett 0-4-0STs - Peckett 1990 of 1940 a Class W6 - was in use. Under the grime you can just about make out the makers original lined green livery. Its now preserved on the Telford Steam Railway. Note the improvised coaling stage - the mineral wagon door propped on an oil drum. (couldn't resist slipping in an industrial !)​
    Last edited: 20 June 2021
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  12. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    On to the Severn Valley.

    7 Bridgenorth 0803BB.jpg

    Bridgenorth Station with the southbound train crossing ex GWR railcar W26

    8 Bewdley 0804BB.jpg
    Bewdley Station, somewhat more deserted than you would find it today, that is when trains are actually running. The train was headed by a Standard
    2-6-2T, but I didn't get the number.

    9 Bewdley 0806BB.jpg

    Tenbury Wells train arriving at Bewdley. I regret never managing a trip on that line, which closed to passengers later in 1962​

    10 Bewdley 0807BB.jpg

    4175 on southbound goods train arriving at Bewdley
    Last edited: 1 September 2021
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  13. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    I was looking for pictures of Much Wenlock station to ascertain the purpose of the curved c/i roofed building opposite the loco shed in your shot, and came across an early view showing a seemingly much more overgrown station!

    Stock Photo - Railway Station, Much Wenlock, near Bridgnorth, Shropshire, England. Wenlock Railway Co 1904

    In almost all cases, early pictures show much less vegetation - but the greenery taking over the station building (built 1866?) make the view look much later than your 1962 shot albeit your picture shows mature pines (that are perhaps offspring of those in the 1904 view) behind the platform fence line.

    Can't find any info on that building so far.
    P.S. Just found an 1868 (!) photo of the station here: All aboard for the final days of Wenlock railway station
    Last edited: 17 January 2021
  14. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    If you follow Osgood's second link to the Shropshire Star article, it shows that the station became derelict after closure of the line and was later restored as a private residence.

    I wasn't seriously suggesting that the deckchairs were provided for the use of passengers !!!!
    eastsidepilot likes this.
  15. hrmspaul

    hrmspaul Western Thunderer

    Those CEGB tipplers continued to be used for nearly another 20 years. Paul Bartlett's Photographs | CEGB 21ton coal tipplers (

  16. 76043

    76043 Western Thunderer

    Great to see pics of the SVR before preservation.

    Thank you
  17. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    I visited the Wrexham to Ellesmere line three times in 1962. twice in April and then on the 8th September 1962, the last day of service prior to the official closure date of 10th September. On the 8th September the normal one coach auto train was increased to two coaches. Photos are posted working south from Wrexham to Ellesmere.

    1 Wrexham 0819BB.jpg

    1432 at Wrexham Central with a Wrexham-Bidston line DMU in one of the bay platforms behind

    2 Wrexham 0808BB.jpg

    1432 at Wrexham Central on the 11.55am train to Ellesmere

    3 Wrexham 1016BB.jpg

    Train from Ellesmere arriving at Wrexham Central over the roof tops, with the tower of St.Giles Church in the background

    4 Hightown 1014BB.jpg

    1432 on an Ellesmere train just after leaving Hightown Halt on the outskirts of Wrexham.
    Hightown Siding in the right foreground served a factory.​

    5 Kingsmill Viaduct 101B.jpg
    1432 on an Ellesmere train crossing Kings Mill Viaduct. The viaduct piers were provided wide enough to accommodate an additional track like most of the infrastructure along the line.

    Last edited: 20 June 2021
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  18. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    8 Marchwiel 1007BB.jpg

    Marchwiel Signal Box

    9 Marchwiel 1008BB.jpg

    Marchwiel Station - view towards Wrexham

    10 Marchwiel 1009BB.jpg

    1458 at Marchwiel on an Ellesmere train

    7 Marchwiel 1010BB.jpg

    3789 approaches Marchwiel with a brakevan from the Wrexham direction

    11 Marchwiel 1011BB.jpg

    3789 at Marchwiel. After collecting several empty mineral wagons from the goods yard.... ..……

    12 Marchwiel 1012BB.jpg departed in the direction of Ellesmere

    Last edited: 20 June 2021
  19. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    To the south of Marchwiel a branch left the Wrexham to Ellesmere line to serve a Royal Ordnance Factory which began production in 1940. The ROF occupied a large area, no doubt to minimise damage in case of an air attack, and the internal railway system provided to build it and then serve it extended for a distance of about 4 miles from the junction. After the war the site was developed as an industrial estate, the railway being retained to serve the new factories. By 1960 rail traffic had ceased apart from the first ¾ mile to Maelor Gas Works worked by BR. In 1965 the track to the gas works was renewed, the remainder of the estate railway being removed shortly after. A notable event was the experimental working of a 9F with a block oil train to the gas works in July 1966. The following 4 photos were taken in 1967.

    13 ROF 8317BB.jpg
    View of the junction with the Wrexham Trading Estate Railway from an overbridge. The Wrexham to Ellesmere line diverges to the right, by then extending only as far as the Cadbury's Siding at Pickhill. The Trading Estate line diverges left. A solitary oil tank wagon sits in the loop on the latter line - top left of photo.

    14 ROF 8313BB.jpg
    Freshly ballasted track about halfway along the loop line. The area on the right was once occupied by more tracks used to exchange traffic between the ROF and the Wrexham to Ellesmere line.

    15 ROF 8312BB.jpg

    One of the former platforms used for the ROF internal passenger service

    16 ROF 8311BB.jpg

    The then terminus of the line at Maelor Gas Works
    Back to the Wrexham Ellesmere line in 1962​

    17 Sesswick 1006BB.jpg

    Sesswick Halt - view towards Wrexham

    18 Pickhill 1005BB.jpg

    Pickhill Halt - view towards Ellesmere. The siding serving Cadbury's creamery branches off beyond the overbridge​
    Last edited: 20 June 2021
  20. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    19 Dee Bridge 1004BB.jpg

    The line's major engineering work, the Dee Bridge with 1458 on a Wrexham train

    20 Dee Bridge 1003BB.jpg

    The Pearson & Knowles makers plate on the Dee Bridge

    21 Bangor on Dee 09A36BB.jpg

    Bangor-on-Dee Station - view towards Wrexham

    22 Bangor on Dee 0809BB.jpg

    Bangor-on-Dee station building

    23 Bangor on Dee 09A35BB.jpg
    Bangor-on-Dee signal box

    24 Bangor on Dee 09A34BB.jpg

    1458 leaving Bangor-on Dee on an Ellesmere train

    Last edited: 20 June 2021
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