mandag 14. februar 2011

The Last Year of Bashing 1985

My last year of bashing, and I suspect that by numbers, this was probably the single biggest year of retirals I dare say.

Why? Well the only dinosaurs were falling since 1979: 24s, 55s, 44s, 46s etc. Now the 40s were to go and boilered services to stop.

Also I feel my day was up. I had taken up cycling and venture scouts and kept an interest in mountain walking. Girls too, who had been a bigger thing in 1982 actually.

The social side of bashing was going down hill: all the bitter little rat bashers slagging the 40s ..etc. The top men didn't bother much to speak to us, and the gen also seemed to dry up a bit.

All and all I grew out of it, but I had one last big bang: the cambrians. More to the point, the first day of the cambrians under decent power!

Almost thirty years on I find the older me looks back and says, yeah a bit of a thrash, some great cameraderie and I got to see most of the UK. A sense of freedom, a taste for logistics, talking to strangers all the time, statyin out of trouble. Egalitarianism, which was brought out most of all by the range of people turning out for the first Cambrians: trashy scousers in pork pie hats, public school boys, scots, taffs, londoners, skinheads ( well at least one notable Fred the skin head)

The older me looks back and thinks he could have spent his time more productively: studied to be a doctor or a computer nerd, been a pro rugby player, done the cross country running to get into the marines, climbed all the Munro mountains, made some other "list of achievements" which other people might respect.

But the real me knows, if I landed back in 1978 then I would become a die hard fan of English Electric Locomotives.

One I do Remember : 40 118 over Settle-Carlisle 5th January 1985

January 1985. Forties are due to be gone by the summer. 37/4s are on the way, and also there are rumours of units after them. Steaming days, a charming anachronism by 1972 let alone the 1980s, were numbered as ETH stock would take over. Already the WHL had many dual heat stock including a couple of Mrk IIs.

So how do we start 1985 then?

Transcard up the west highland line?

Nope, family rail card, with "Rupert" at the helm of ticketing to York for me, Reidy, dobbie, carlisle and possible Tunes to make the 6 people split IIRC.

I called up the train crew office at Carlisle and the loco rostered for the week was a bloody 47/0 or/ 4, but the gen was it would be steam with 16 wheels. Right enough, after an electric duff, an 86, we were treated to 16 wheels and 16 pipes of glory both ways, with top notch steam heat.

Despite the short day, it being almost dark on arrival at Leeds, the sun was out at Carlisle making it crisp with a warm expectation of the boiler on the 40. Suprisingly for a saturday, the southbound 10:40 Carlisle - Leeds has maybe only one coach of four or five filled with enthusiasts.

Phot's taken, nose a little overexposed in the winter sun with the Fujica at f1.7, we were off. A quite lively run was made south over, with a larger gang of neds and tweed jacket pseuds coming on at Skipton. There it took off like a well healed thirty seven in the snow flurries and got well underway for a drab arrival at Leeds.

For some reason we shot up to York, probably because Leeds in 1985 was a rough place. York by 1985 was losing any appeal, being wagon, duff, ped and on ly the odd 40 left. After you have seen 55002 static once, and miss its roar, then you can't be bothered again. We didn't have time for the museum. Back on another wagon / 1 and off . This time of course, the whole nation of 40 bashers are out because you could really count the saturdays left for forty bashing on one hand by then.

Once crowd coming on at Skipton with a monster carry out attracted Brian Reids Scorn and I ruined some poor sods recording. We got a compo, being on nice and early, which was coach two: near enough for thrash at any bridge or tunnel to be fantastic.

The 40 really lifted her skirts and ran that saturday evening and showed what EE could deliver.
A big crowd at Carlisle, probably buggered for anything but an overnight back to Yorkshire via Manchester. And it was over. I think this was my second last 40.

As a last touch of nostalgia we got a roarer up the line, which I think limped into Carstairs to be replaced by a leccie duff. ( this was the third or more roarer failure over Beattock northwards, we had since 1982)

We knew it was a big day then, and we put it behind us with pride and nostalgia.

09:10:00 Glasgow C Carlise 86217
10:40:00 Carlisle Leeds 40118
14:00:00 Leeds York 45124
14:53:00 York Leeds 45116
15:55:00 Leeds Carlise 40118
20:50:00 Carlisle Carstairs 81002

Glasgow C 86233

By this time we were all maybe starting to meet girls of all things, and take up other hobbies apart from fondling. We didn't like the idea much of 37/4s and with the forties going, then we kind of knew that this day was our last classic steam heat day of 5 years of a misspent youth.

However, 1985 prove to be another classic year and maybe the biggest turn out year for members of the thrashier d6700 class!

This was my last year bashing and I am glad I put a stop to it to go off to healthier pursuits. If I had a time machine, then I would do more bashing.....

Bashing Class 37s 1st Dec 1984

01.12.1984 Trannie restricted area maybe

09:06:00 Home Arrochar 37033
09:45:00 Arrochar Glasgow QS 37184
12:20:00 Glasgow QS (Oban) Crianlarich 37191
14:15:00 Crianlarich Glasgow QS 37033
16:50:00 Glasgow QS Crianlarich 37112
19:xx Crianlarich Arrochar 37191
19:45:00 Arrochar Ardlui 37033
20:01:00 Ardlui Home 37027

Well all very hum drum, while I dare say that many readers would give their right arm to have done this little lot of ED boilered syphons las saturday.

A bit of a trip I just don't quite remember: i remember going over Sloch just a couple of overnight times, and at Kyle just once in the winter, and this must have been it. Pretty unremarkable, I wonder if 033 was on a Dundee train or a Perth: units had been displaced by several more locohauled in 84 -85 and this was down to "perth man" in control. 37s were regulars.

7 to 8th Dec 1984 Mini Freedom of Scotland

02:50:00 Home Glasgow QS 37026

23:30:00 Glasgow QS Perth 47546

Inverness 47614
06:55:00 Inverness Kyle-of-Loch Alsh 37260
11:10:00 Kyle-of-Loch Alsh Inverness 37260
14:32:00 Inverness Aberdeen 47012
17:05:00 Aberdeen Perth 47522
19:13:00 Perth Glasgow QS 37039
20:59:00 Glasgow QS low level Home 303
Back to more of the mundane WHL; But 37 265 was a bit large IIRC. I think it was NB by then.

19th Dec 1984 Trannie

09:06:00 Home
Arrochar 37051
09:45:00 Arrochar Glasgow QS 37265 (012 had failed,dead on train)
12:20:00 Glasgow QS (Oban) Crianlarich 27052
14:15:00 Crianlarich Home 37051

27th Dec 1984 Trannie ( WHL train times an hour or more late)

10:3x Home Garelochhead 37033
10.xx Garelochhead Glasgow QS 37090
12:20:00 Glasgow QS (Oban) Helensburgh Upper 37184
14:54:00 Helensbugh Central Glasgow QS Low Level 303
16:50:00 Glasgow QS Crianlarich 37051
19:xx Crianlarich Home

Once again, from above, a boring day, but maybe a line in the book for an itinerant 37090 which was probably GD allocated iirc, but later moved up to ED.