Warwickshire Railway's Guest Book: Period 2009 to
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Hi Mike. Just browsing your fantastic
site as I do from time to time. Hope you don't mind me pointing out a slight
identity error. Image 'lnwrwg2270a' at
Winson Green station is captioned as a Park Royal DMU, although it is actually
a predecessor from Monument Lane, a Derby Lightweight Please keep the excellent
work and it is a great pity you are constrained by the county boundaries
because the South Staffs would be a very useful companion site !!!!
Hi Phil. Many thanks for pointing out the
error and your kind comments. I checked the image and it was wrongly captioned
on the original image so, having checked with others who confirmed your
correction, I have now rewritten the caption. I took the opportunity to resize
the images too: from 800 pixels to 1000 pixels which I think helps. Regarding
South Staffs, If I hadn't had to resize photos to meet changing technological
advances - 500 pixels, 700 pixels, 800 pixels and now 1000 pixels wide images,
I might have had the time to 'expand' the area covered by the website but as I
am still finding images pertaining to Warwickshire to plug the holes that are
still apparent. Its obvious to me that I will never finish the task I started 8
years ago and therefore regretfully I will not be expanding the geographical
Regarding image 'smjbd7', the caption states 'Looking West towards
Fenny Compton'. Fenny Compton is East from this location. I don't know the site
well enough to know whether the compass direction or the town is incorrect, and
of course the bridge has been rebuilt since that date.
Hi Nick. Having checked the original
information which came with the photo, which stated it was to the West, I have
followed this up by checking with Andy Thomson of the SMJ and he confirms you
are indeed correct in stating my caption is wrong. I have now corrected the
captions on the web page. My thanks for pointing this out. As I never visited
the location (as with many others on the website) I have to trust the
information provided. Which makes it essential that any incorrect information
included in the captions are corrected when wrong. Best wishes Mike
Reference 'lnwrns1658', this is a good image of No 70044
from AW Flowers and as I am researching same, I noticed that the front step is
fitted, which means that the date is from between February 1956 to March 1957
when the smoke deflectors were added. In my estimation the excellent condition
of the locomotive indicates that its close to March 1956, as the only time the
engine was cleaned was in the Works.' By the way, regarding an earlier query as
to why four Britannias were allocated at Rugby from October 1962 to February
1963. Apparently they replaced four Jubilees and then were used as station
pilots, which could then replace a failed Diesel as and when required.
This is the best railway website, bar
none! I have been discovering the disused lines of Warwickshire whilst doing my
job as a delivery driver round the county since 1977. It is fantastic to see
them as they used to be, on your website.
Reference 'gcrsr33' If this view was taken in 1946 what is
the train? It appears to be LNER stock but if it is why the livery which looks
like BR's cream and carriage lake scheme not introduced until after
Steve. Thanks for pointing this out. The
date was derived from the information on the back of the photograph. I would
agree with your supposition that the coaching stock is in 'Blood and Custard'
meaning that the photograph was taken some time between 1948 and January 1950
when the locomotive was renumbered.
Amazing website. A lot of great work
compiling and commenting on the photos of how things used to be.
Chris was very kind and made a
contribution towards the website's maintenance and running costs.
Hi Mike, As per your standing request
that slip ups be brought to your attention, when clicking on photograph 'gwrt2432', 'gwrt1039' is displayed. I trust that it will be
easy to sort out.
Regards - Gordon Snelgrove
Gordon - Thanks very much for letting me
know. It does help a lot when mistakes, missing or broken links etc are
Good Evening Mike. I would ask if you are
able to help. Having looked at your excellent web site I am trying to obtain
the permission of the owners of the copyright of two of the pictures
illustrated on the website for possible inclusion in a forthcoming book. Both
pictures are on a short list of preferred photos and the publishing date is
currently scheduled for early-mid next year. I am assisting in the data
gathering and information. The two pictures in question are:-
The first is
of Streetly Station, ref:- 'mrst1139', A.
Heath Collection, and is taken around 1905-08. It is very interesting in that
it shows the new island platform and line. As yet I do not have a date for the
closure of the 'bay' but with reference to the Section Appendices it would
appear to have been OOU during the WWII. It is shown on the LMS strip dates of
the 1930s and I think even appears on an early 1950 edition (yet to be
The second is of Wydle Green Station, ref:- 'lnwrwg2337', M. Westley, taken in the late
1970's. If you are able to be of assistance it would be greatly
On another note, are you aware of a closure date for the
sidings at Water Orton? The current lines of thinking are either 17th March
1966 around when the re-modelled Bescot yards came into operation, or, in the
period from May to October 1968 as up until the Oct 1968 Working Time Table
(WTT) there was a single working 5G40 from Bescot, with a return working 5G60.
There is a possibility that this working was amended to work to Lawley St. but
as yet this is unconfirmed. What I do know is that the trip was working
throughout October 1967 using either a single Class '20' or '25'. Any thoughts
are appreciated, or, if you know a man that can? Keep up with your good work.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Kindest regards Ian Pell
I was not able help Ian regarding the
photos as I have mislaid the contacts who supplied both images. If anyone can
could in identifying the sources or, in the case of the first photograph,
another source, I would be grateful. Regarding the closure date of the sidings
at Water Orton, again I have no records so if anyone can help please help by
Fantastic site. A wonderful resource and
for me the images of Great Barr station took
me straight back to the 1950s and 1960s when I spent so many hours there. One
image of the original station, long gone by my time, shows 'Station Cottages'
in the background where my best friend, the stationmaster's son lived, (John
Hi Mike. Have you seen
Birmingham New Street Station Through Time by Mark-Norton?
It has a great selection of photos covering the period from when the station
was first built to the 21st century rebuild.
Tom. Yes I have a copy and I agree with
your sentiments. Mark described the book to me as 'a local history book about a
railway station rather than a railway book', but was sure many of the pictures
will be of interest to rail fans.' One I throughly recommend. Mike
There seems to be minor problems with one
or two links to the pictures for Milcote
Regards - Mike James
Mike - Many thanks for contacting us to
point out the link errors. I have hopefully addressed them so they should now
be working. Please let us know if you spot any other broken links or errors.
With over 9000 pages its impossible for us to check manually and automated
systems need to be of a professional standard and too expensive. BTW - we will
be revisiting the station soon to add to and improve the existing images.
I have had only a brief look at your very
comprehensive site whilst looking for a particular train. My Grandfather was
accidently killed (11th February 1919) whilst inspecting the lines at Hartshill
near Atherstone. I have a copy of both the coroners report and the local
newspaper article about the accident. My interest is motivated by "Genealogy"
During the research into his life and death I have visited the location and
other railway sites to help create a more accurate picture of the time. With
this in mind the research has narrowed the date/time and location to the
information given ie .8-30 out of Manchester to London express on Tuesday 11th
of February 1919. I thought as a reminder of him I would try and find THE train
or at least the class of engine and purchase a model plus any photos there may
be. Your site has many excellent photos of trains of that period and I hoped
that someone of your group my help me to track down this particular engine or
maybe the class that would have pulled the Manchester/London Express on the
date given ? Thank you in anticipation of a reply.
Peter J Bryan
In response to Peter's enquiry the
following replies were received from members of the LNWR Society:
I can find no record of this accident in the Railway
Archive's Accident Archive, but I am not entirely clear on the location; I
presume the incident occurred on the L&NWR main line north of Nuneaton,
rather than the line which actually passed through Hartshill, which I believe
was a Midland line from Stockingford? Certainly there is no entry for Hartshill
in Ian Allan's Pre-Grouping Atlas, so it seems it had no station, but the
Accident Archive yields nothing to a search on Atherstone or Nuneaton either.
In any case it would seem the original Board of Trade accident report, which
will almost certainly record the engine involved (and the driver/fireman)
should be covered by RAIL 1053/303, although unfortunately this has not yet
been digitised so cannot currently be accessed on-line. It can, of course, be
viewed at The National Archives, or a quote can be sought for
digitising/printing (but I'm afraid I'm still recovering from the shock of the
figure I was offered last time I sought a quote for something similar).
As regards the carriages, there are Marshalling Circulars for
July 1914, Oct 1914 and Feb 1922 at NRM "Search Engine", filed at ref.
ALS4/132/C/6. I haven't yet checked what's at the LNWR Society Archive,
Kenilworth. Post-war marshalling might be very different from pre-war. Also,
the period 1919-21 was one of considerable change as the LNWR gradually
restored their services to pre-war levels. So, unless we can find a Marshalling
Circular booklet fro the right period, I would have little confidence that the
train formation was correct. In any case, the Marshalling Circular specifies
the type of carriage (Corridor composite, brake third etc) not the specific
Diagram No., so there is no certainty about which design of carriages would be
used on a specific train. Before the war there were specially-built sets on
some services, but I doubt that these arrangements survived the war. Not much
help, I know!
From Peter Spedding:
I think Hartshill box was located
north of Ashby Jct, the 1937 Crewe and South Appendix shows it as being 1 mile
1346 yards north of Ashby Jct and 2 miles 1428 yards south of Atherstone
Station box. In the early 1960s much railway ballast was worked out of the
various quarries to Nuneaton yards for dispatch all over the LMR with much
going to the modernisation sites. This doesn't help with the original query but
may be of interest.
From Philip Millard:
This incident was not an
"accident" reportable to the Board of Trade and no records of it would have
survived. It was simply a case of an employee working on the track
(legitimately) being run down by a train. Not at all uncommon in those
A schedule dated February 1920 shows that the 8.30am Manchester to
Euston was operated by Euston and Manchester No.6 set (which returned at
5.30pm). The train was formed of:-
Brake First 5611 D.126
Composite 2786 D.131
Third 173 D.264
Third 543 (8ft 6in wide)
Brake Third 7377 D.308
A mixed consist of cove and high roof stock,
and for some reason including an 8ft 6in wide vehicle. Of course, I cannot
guarantee that this set worked the 8.30am from Manchester on the day in 1919 in
question, but this is the best you are going to get. The best guess of a
locomotive would be a "Precursor" or a "George V". No possible way to say which
one. The signal cabin was named Hartshill Sidings, not just Hartshill. It was a
Type 5 with 35 levers, and in 1957 was open from 4.00am Monday to 6.00am
Philip added later:
My Marshalling Circular dated 28th April 1919
shows that the order of the carriages from Manchester was reversed from the
above, i.e. the brake-first came last in order and the brake-third was
marshalled at the leading end, and in addition a 50ft 0in corridor brake van
was included in the formation as the first vehicle. In this document the
working is shown as balanced at 7.35am ex-Euston but there appears to be no
such train. The train also conveyed three carriages (one of the
Birmingham-Liverpool-Manchester non-corridor lavatory sets) for Birmingham,
detached at Stoke.
I remember growing up in Holbrooks,
Coventry in the early seventies and being fascinated by the trains that carried
the coal. I would often disappear much to the horror of my mother who would
always find me watching the trains pass Wheelwright lane halt. As a girl all my
friends thought me odd to be so fascinated by trains, but I loved them. Being
the youngest of 7 we never had much, every Christmas I always wanted a train
set, but of course my parents could never afford it. In 2009 we moved to
Longford, Coventry on Black Horse road and I was excited to live near the
Hawkesbury lane junction, My young boys would wave to the signal man every time
we crossed the line, but this wasn't to last long as it closed and went
automatic.....just not the same. The signal box was boarded up, and only 2
weeks ago the boards went down, I have just found out it is to be
removed.....so sad, another bit of history to be gone. Just want to add I have
been thrilled just sitting here discovering the old pictures and history of the
Hawkesbury Station. Think I was born the wrong sex and in the wrong time zone
lol (laugh out loud - Ed). Just to add my wonderful hubby bought me my 1st
train set last Christmas.. I cried.....only a small one.....all we can afford
but my goodness what a joy. xx
Hi Lynn. Many thanks for sharing your
memories with us. Its not often that we get a member of the fairer sex
contributing to the guest book. We are very pleased that the old pictures have
helped you to reminisce and even more so that you finally got that train set -
well done hubby! Best wishes Mike
Invaluable site for research, keep up the
brilliant work and thank you!
I am the grandson of Harry Clarke, who
used to be in the signal box, which is now knocked down. He died in 1970 at the
age of 72, I think. Can anybody send me information on him and his old box? I
can remember pulling one of the levers for him! He used to live in Higham
Dave - Can you let us know which signal
box your grandad worked at. See my reference below to the UK, Railway
Employment Records, 1833-1956 facility which can be found via this
While enjoying another browse through
your fascinating site I've just noticed a misplaced photograph. Image
Inwrns2673 is definitely not at Nuneaton.
Is it at Tamworth (Low Level)?
Hi John - Yes you are absolutely correct.
Its another case of me just accepting the caption and not looking too carefully
at the photograph. The brick base to the water tower is so obvious.
A fascinating collection of archives and
photographs - thank you for the hard work. I am trying to piece together the
history of Robert Webb Pearce. He was apprenticed at Brown Marshalls & Co,
and later Chief of Drawing Office at their new Britannia Works. In 1855 he
joined East Indian Railways and set up their Carriage and Wagon Workshops (I
have his designs). I am trying to find out more about his early days in
Saltley. Any ideas who can help? I will happily pass on all info I have.
Hi Mike Thanks for your kind comments.
Regarding your query, are you aware of the UK, Railway Employment Records,
1833-1956 which can be found via this
link. Any material that you find relevant to our
website would be appreciated. The website's long term future is hopefully more
secure now that the HMRS have agreed to be custodians in the future together
with copies to be sent to local educational centres and libraries. Regards
So many thanks for the chance to relive
the days of steam. I well remember sitting at my school desk alongside the
Coundon Road station in Coventry, and watching the trial runs of the GWR
railcar (much to our teachers disgust). Again many thanks and happy thoughts
for the future of your site.
Best regards - Bernard Smith
Do you know which LNWR loco shed had the
Thanks - Geoff Reeve
A table of Shed Codes is reproduced on the
LNWR Society webb site detived from Harry Jacks article 'LNWR Engine Shed
Code' in the December 1997 edition of the society's Journal. A link to the
table is found via this
Really pleased to find this superb site.
I am modelling Monument Lane Shed circa 1957 in "OO" gauge and the pictures
have been very useful. The site is now occupied by the National Indoor Arena
which is built on "stilts" above the site of the main shed: the original
retaining walls of the site are still visible in the underground car park!
Unfortunately I cannot find any information on the Mechanical Coaling Plant and
Ash Plant built in the early 1930s the pictures offer some tantalising
glimpse's but not enough to accurately base a model on. Similarly with the
Water Softening Plant. So any information from any source on these structures
would be really appreciated.
Dear Alan. Many thanks for your kind
comments regarding the website which are now posted into the guest book.
Reference your request for information. I assume you know of the excellent book
on the shed by Tony Higgs? See
Tony was selling his book from the following address 22 Maxstoke Close,
Matchborough West, Redditch B98 0EJ. Price £11.95 plus
£1.40p&p. If you can provide any more information as you undertake
research please let us know as we would love to add it to the website. I hope
this helps. Regards Mike
Delighted to find a reference to the BSA
wagon mover in your photo collection. Our museum has recently acquired a model
from one of our 'Friends'. It is a single cylinder, four stroke, SV, cord
starter, hand start BSA industrial type engine, but have not as yet found a
model number on it as yet. In finding a suitable interpretation for it, may we
use a copy of your action photo, with a suitable credits, in any future
Tony Johnson of
In photo lnwrcll111 the loco carries the reporting
number W412, which was the 10.55 (S.O.) Blackpool North to Stechford, first
stop Wolverhampton at 14.07 then Coseley Deepfields at 14.21, Dudley Port
14.29, Smethwick 14.46, New Street 14.56 to arrive at Stechford at 15.09.
Outside the peak summer Saturdays it was extended to Coventry arriving at
15.42. The empty stock was then (I presume) worked on to Rugby hence the loco
in the photograph is carrying the lamps for empty coaching stock (ECS). All
this information relates to Summer 1959. In summer 1957 this train ran around
30 minutes later but carried the same reporting number.
Hi Robert. Thanks for correcting my
original text. Your information has now been added to the caption.
I am currently writing notes for David
Hey's collection Website, and so was looking at 70017 Arrow image 'lnwrbns_br 388, and wondered if any of your
readers know why four Britannias were allocated to Rugby from October 1962 to
February 1963? Also, Mike, on the caption you have wrongly suggested that 70017
was allocated to Southern Region for the first two years. Was at 81A until
26/5/53, then Salisbury 72B for 4 weeks only, covering for Merchant Navy loco,
then back to Old Oak Common. Keep up the excellent work my friend.
Hi Derek I do not know but will ask around
for you. Thanks for the correction which has been added to the caption credited
I have followed a link from Wikipedia
which I edit as Chevin. I have a query about Cmp Hill Station. Your page on
Camphill station suggests that "Camp Hill
Station was first opened in 1867 by the Midland Railway as 'Camp Hill &
Balsall Heath' " My understanding is that Camp Hill was first opened as the
terminus of the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway before it was extended to
Curzon Strreet. It was closed for a while and the date 1867 and the new name
refers to its reopening. Could you confirm this for me, please.
Best wishes, Jed
Hi Jed. My information is as follows: Camp
Hill station was opened as the temporary terminus for the Birmingham and
Gloucester Railway on 17th December 1840 and closed on 17th August 1841 when
the line to Curzon Street opened. It reopened on 15th November 1841. On 1st
December 1867 it was closed then reopened as Camp Hill and Balsall Heath
station. On 1st April 1904 it was renamed Camp Hill station. It closed on 27th
January 1941 as a wartime measure but never reopened. Hope this helps. See our
page listing the dates relevant to all stations
and major locations in the county. Best wishes Mike.
Dear Mike. It was only yesterday that I
happened upon Warwickshire Railways. What a superbly designed website that,
unlike many, is so easy and logical to use. My wife, Joan, spent twenty-one
years living at 'The Old Station' as everyone called it in Hampton-in-Arden.
Her mother and father moved there in the thirties, her father being a cabinet
maker working for Wyckham Blackwell's who 'leased' the former goods yard and
buildings. If it is of interest I could look back through my diaries of the
early 1960s and probably come up with some accurate datings for the final
removal of the sidings and the truncated branch line. Many engine drivers from
Saltley Shed knew of Joan's mother 'our Gladys' who, during the war would
replenish tea caddies over the fence for trains parked up in the long sidings
outside the station. There used to be an old newspaper cutting of George 6th
alighting to visit a shadow factory just north of the NEC but alas that's been
lost, as is the factory. The old bridge abutments are still in place though. We
also have (had!) a copy of the photo that Alan Smyth donated to the site.
Doctor Smyth was the village doctor, a lovely man, who used to store railway
bits and pieces under his examination couch. Many more anecdotes that can be
passed on that we would be happy for you to include as you think fit and I
could also look through my slides of that period, transfer them somehow and
send them on - the original LNW station, last steam passenger train etc. but I
need to find them all. Joan and I moved out to Cyprus in 1998 but I still miss
the sight, sound, and especially the scent of a steam train roaring past. Oh,
and a good pint of bitter. If there is anything in particular you'd like us to
try and recall let us know. My own trainspotting days commenced in 1945 at
Yours sincerely Colin & Joan
Hi Colin. Many thanks for your kind
comments, they are very much apprecoiated. We would love you to contribute any
photos, information and recollections that you or your wife can recount. Social
history is as important as technical history so please capture on paper
whatever recollections you can. I love the reference to Joan's mum during the
war. Full credit is given and with the HMRS (Historical Model Railway Society)
becoming its guardian it will be available online for many years to come.
Regarding subject matter please feel free to contribute what you can. Best
I have drawn a series of signal box
diagrams and would like to meke them available to Warwickshire Railways if they
of interest to you. I would also like to have some information re Tamworth Low
Level signal box in the 1950's
Iain of course we would welcome your
contribution and will try to help reference Tamworth. Best wishes, Mike.
In connection with an article I am
writing for my magazine Talking Tickets I have looked at your information and
photos of Snow Hill station. The impression I have received is that prior to
the 1906-12 rebuilding Snow Hill station could be accessed from both sides.
However, none of the photos or plans show whether there were separate booking
offices at the two entrances. Are you able to confirm whether on not there were
two separate booking offices. Information I have on tickets shows that there
was no indication on them of separate offices, which seem strange if there were
two offices. It may, of course, have been that the up side office only booked
for up journeys and vice versa. Have you any information on this point? I am
aware that later there was an entrance from Great Charles Street with its own
booking office, which seems likely to have been provided as part of the 1906-12
rebuilding. Can you confirm that this office was provided as part of the
rebuilding and also when it closed (presumably prior to closure of the station
Brian, Sorry for the delay. There is a
useful chapter on the history of Birmingham Snow Hill in Colin Maggs' book 'GWR
Principal Stations', now out of print, but fairly common in second hand shops.
In here it lists the Snow Hill (Up) side platform offices of the 1871
Dinning Room (leased by
First class Restaurant
Second class Restaurant
class Waiting Room
First class Ladies Room
Third class Ladies
Third class Waiting Room
Coach working Offices
Outwards Parcels Office
He states that the order on the Livery Street (Down) side was
similar, which infers another Booking Office on that side.
Charles street Booking Office was part of the rebuild see the GWR Magazine
Article of 1911 - Birmingham Snow Hill
Station - Redevelopment. As for closure of this office, I suspect it
happened in April 1963 when construction started on the Great Charles Street
section of the new Inner City Ring Road. For information Snow Hill station
became completely unstaffed from 5th May 1969. After the rebuild there was also
a third Booking Office on Platform No1 which I understand served passengers
wanting to travel on the Severn Valley Line, Worcester and South Wales via
Hereford plus stations to Birkenhead. There is a picture of this Booking Office
in Derek Harrison's book ' Birmingham Snow Hill - A First Class Return'.
Dear Mike. I think your website is the
best of its kind around and continue to enjoy the new material that appears
from time to time as well as the wealth of existing stuff. I have found an
interesting painting which I think you might like to consider adding to the
Queens Drive section of your BNS pages. I had been tagging paintings for the
Public Catalogue Foundation's project and decided to search for "Birmingham"
just in case there was anything of interest, and there was. I turned up a
painting of Great Queens Street from the Market Hall end showing the LNWR
station on the right, and the land being cleared for construction of the
Midland extension to the left. I have never seen a view like this, the link is:
Great Queens Street, Birmingham by Alfred Freeman Smith
What do you think?
Best regards - Toby Clempson
Hi Toby. Many thanks for your kind words.
We would be very interested in adding the painting to the website both on the
BNS pages as well as our art page which I assume you know of? See
This is the road after the MR station was built as seen from both ends.
Hello Mike, you seem to have the same
photo appearing twice but with different location and date details. The photos
are lnwrf132 "46446 is seen pulling out of
Foleshill station's goods yard at the head of train of oil tanks circa 1956"
and lnwrns1646 " 46446 is seen at the head
of a train of oil tank wagons in Nuneaton's marshalling yard circa 1957".
Regards - David Easthope
Hi David. Thanks for pointing out the
duplication. We are currently investigating where it was taken. It might even
be somewhere else. The footbridge seen to the right is clearly LNWR but the
building is puzzling local experts. I will let you know and update this when we
Born and bred in Daventry I remember the
last passenger train that went through - made the pages of the local paper.
Then the 8F locos with around 60 plus mineral wagons in tow. One driver let me
as a schoolboy 'drive' his loco - but only a few yards! Now I am recently
retired and about to embark on building an 00 scale model of Daventry station
and railway yard. But first is research and hence came across this site full of
invaluable information... I will be back....
Brilliant site, told me everything I
wanted to know about former stations in my area complete with photographs as
well. Thank you so much to all those who have contributed.
Wonderful site thank you for being able
to view the photos, I am a member of an art class run by age UK. With a passion
(to my limits) of mainly painting steam trains and wild life, before I found
your site I came across a photo on the net which I wanted to paint but didn't
know who to ask for permission, looking through your site and finding the
picture taken by Mr Mensing of No 44659 at New Street Station, Birmingham,
would it be possible for you to pass my details to him so I may ask.
Hi Mike. Just wanted to thank you for all
the effort you and others have put into the site. I use it primarily as a
source of enjoyment, but its many facts also make a very useful reference tool.
I am particularly enjoying the links to the video content, but confess to
having some difficulty viewing some of the BBC content, both on my I-phone and
PC, something to do with the media player selection I suspect! Again many
thanks for your efforts, I trust the small PayPal donation helps in some
Kind regards John Haden
John - Many thanks for your kind
donation. It really does help. Not just to purchase additional material but to
cover running costs too. I recently had a major programming issue with the web
authoring package - HoTMetaL Pro - and it cost £90 to resolve which uses
up a lot of pocket money. It may be an old software programme but its the only
one that I can use to generate content very quickly!
In your bibliography you cite Railways of the West Midlands
- A Chronology 1808 - 1954 but no author. It was in fact compiled by Charles or
'C A' Clinker.
Dr Paul Collins
As someone who grew up in Brownhills but
often enjoyed as part of a weekly visit on Thursdays (my fathers shops half-day
closing day) to Birmingham, I was able to enjoy train spotting at New Street on
a regular basis c. 1954-58. I noted recently that the LMS section list is
headed with the photo. of 'Crab' 2-6-0 standing at the end of the platform
adjacent to the Walsall/Wolverhampton bays. The man with in a suit with a cap
and a coat or tool-bag on his shoulder is my father William Elkin who was born
in 1907 in Wolverhampton. He worked for Gibbons the art metal and locksmith
firm and was at the time that photograph was taken was probably fitting new
bank grills/ staircase handrails etc. to one of the various businesses and
banks that Gibons fitted out at that time. The picture with my father in it is
purely con-incidental; I first spotted it in Whitehouse and Thomas's LMS 150
It is unmistakably my father partly because he always stood
slightly on the right leg as he had broken his left leg as a boy and, after
developing osteo-myelitis, his leg was only saved by years of pioneering
bone-grafting surgery just after the end of WW1. Although he retained the use
of his left leg it was always a bit gammy and gave him that very characteristic
stance that I would recognise anywhere.
Excellent web-site for this now
aging LNWR/MIDLAND/LMS enthusiast even though I spent many years as a
technology and transport museum curator in the Bristol - the heart of GWR
territory country. Still, never forgotten my first glimpses of GWR Castles and
Kings at Snow Hill in the late 50s 'though. I will make a donation to the
Hi Paul. The photo you refer to is 'lnwrbns_lms520' and is my favourite photo
too. I use it as my screen saver and it looks good on my 17 inch laptop screen.
The photographer, Arthur Flowers, was a lovely man and I used to spend many a
day at his house in the early 1980s. I moved and lost touch with Arthur and I
understand he was taken into a home. His photographic negatives are believed to
be lost but at least myself and the late Pat Whitehouse had copies of most if
not all of his collection. I am about to revisit New Street and update the
photos including increasing their size from 700 to 800 pixels wide.
Hi, my friend, many thanks for a superbly
stocked site. I'm studying GWR Kings at the moment, and having viewed image 'gwrt306' at Tyseley Shed' I can agree with 'Bill
Perrin' in stating that the location is Wolverhampton Stafford Road coaling
stage, which is remote from the shed itself, and is next to the turntable. This
is mainly because of the brick support arches, as Tyseley only had an earth
Thanks Derek. We have withdrawn the
thumbnail photograph from Tyseley Shed's page but retained the large image
linked only from the guest book.
What a fantastic site. Many thanks for
your dedication. Later this year I will start modeling in 00 gauge, a small
Lancashire town terminus on the LMS about 19th September 1947. (I was one year
old). Your photographs and text are invaluable. My donation will follow.
Are you sure about your dates? I grew up
in Kenilworth in the 1960s and I remember taking the train from
Kenilworth with my friends (no adults).
Even in that much more innocent time, I can't imagine parents letting 6 year
olds taking a train by themselves. I still remember the rather intimidating
sight of the train coming in from the Coventry end of the station, under the
Hi Andrew. Yes the date of Kenilworth
station's closure - goods traffic on 4th January 1965 and passenger traffic on
18th January 1965 - is well documented. I know that I was travelling by train
when I was very young, albeit not as young as six.
Mike, The bridge in picture 'gwrhb2226' is the same one I blew up in 1980,
Regards - John Fancote
Thank you for taking the time and trouble
to construct and maintain the Warwickshire Railways website. Although
Warwickshire is almost entirely terra incognita to me, I enjoy visiting the
website and find it very informative. May I suggest amendments to four
captions, 'gcrsc200', 'gcrsc203', 'gcrsc220', 'gcrsc221' & 'gcrsc208' and provide more information for a
fifth? Each concerns a photograph of Rugby Central.
Hi Andrew. Many thanks for your kind
comments and suggested caption changes which are now added to the website. I
must have had a bad day at the office with not noticing the Hillman Imp had a
'D' at the end because my Dad had a Hillman Minx with a C registration and I
know that his car was a 1965 model. Please feel free to provide more
information or suggest amendments. We need the website's content to be
accurate, informative, and relevant so the more sources the better.
I was thrilled to see Jurassic and her
siblings on the site. I think all four of the class are now back in the UK,
though Jurassic needs a major overhaul before she can run again at Skegness.
She still gets occasional outings into the fresh air, such as when there's a
gala day and she's still the pin up girl for all of us volunteers. I still
remember her being delivered to the original LCLR site at Humberston (price
£50) - a copy of a 1956 Daily Sketch was in the back of the bunker. The
loco dept cleaned out the ash, filled her up with water, lit the fire and a
couple of hours later, she chugged off down the line. You are wrong to state
that the Peckett saddle tanks operated by the cement works at Southam
(Jurassic, Liassic etec) were 0-4-0STs. They were 0-6-0ST, as indeed your
photos clearly show. Jurassic was sold to the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway
in 1961 for £50 (along with a Ruston 4w diesel), moving to storage when
that line closed in 1985 and then to the LCLR's new site at Skegness, which
reopened in 2009. I am looking forward to exploring the rest of your website as
these days I live in Brum and naturally find Warks railways of great
Hi there. I'm a project manager for
Centro-ITA (West Midlands Passenger Transport Authority) - we have currently
been undertaking improvements at Marston Green Rail Station to improve safety
within the bus interchange area. During our works we found what seemed to be
the remains of a Victorian era blue brink structure within the interchange -
I've only recent come across your website to find a photo of the old level
crossing and coal/coke goods yard (phot ref: lnwrmg1592) - we will get a photo taken of the
same view as it is now. In addition we are developing a further car park
expansion at Rowley Regis Station, do you happen to have any historic photo's
of this site? during our investigations we found evidence of a subway running
from this area underneath the tracks - but we cannot determine what its use was
for. Thanks for such a great website.
Kind Regards. Scott Cooper
Hi Scott Many thanks for the kind words
regarding the website. The website doesn't include Rowley Regis as it was never
part of the county of Warwickshire. Some stations from Worcestershire and
Staffordshire are included because up to 1972 Birmingham was within
Warwickshire (albeit as an independent political/economic entity) and as such
when towns and districts such as Bournville/Barnt Green were absorbed by
Birmingham in the 1920s and 1930s they became within the County's borders by
default. In other instances, such as Tamworth, the town was within the County
when the railways first arrived but was later ceded (1870s from memory) to
Robert Ferris writes, 'For information my
father was the Manager of the Shell Mex Fuel Distribution Centre in Cakemore
Road, Warley (Rowley Regis & Blackheath Station) in the 1970s. I understand
that prior to becoming a rail feed fuel distribution centre, the site was
previously a munitions store and the subway under the tracks liked the two
halves of the site. In my father's time the subway was used for fuel pipes from
the tanks located behind the up station platform to the three lorry loading
gantries in the south east of the site. This was in front of the garages (which
backed on to the motorway). The garage is the only building left on site from
that period, or at least it was the last time I travelled that way. There were
multiple fuel pipes on either side of the subway, these were lagged and with
trace heating to prevent the fuel oil getting cold. In the centre was a walkway
used for access between the two halves of the site. I have a plan of the site
dated 1975 if Scott is interested.'
We are trying to save Water Orton station
from being demolished and are looking for it to be refurbished, renovated and
listed. For more news see our website
Hi Mike. I have been looking at the
photographs on the Warwickshire railways website with interest because my great
grandfather worked at Coventry Station from 1888 to 1927. He started work on
the drays and horses and seven years later was made foreman. Attached are three
photos. The first photograph shows John
James King in the goods yard in about 1912 (date uncertain). Do you know what
building is in the background? The second photograph of JJ King in front of the horse
must have been taken quite early in his career, probably early 1890s. I don't
know the date of the third photograph
showing John James King as being the second from the right on the front row of
the group photograph. You can just see the Spencer Park footbridge in the
background. I haven't seen many pictures of individuals on your site so I'm not
sure if this is the kind of photo you are interested in.
We do like to include photos of people it
just depends on whether we are able to find any such photograph. I have added
your photos to the Coventry station page with my comments written up as
captions. If you could add more it would be great. Regarding the photo taken
circa 1912 could you scan and send a larger copy so that I can see the building
in the background. You will note from my caption that I have some doubts as to
whether it is Coventry. Many thanks Mike
Mike, regarding your photo of
Coleshill Station which you updated with
information about the Lurgi Gas Plant, as a follow up you might be interested
to know that the sidings on the right joining the down line come from Hams
Hall. Trains which were on the block between Water Orton and Washwood Heath on
the down goods line, were routed into Hams Hall from Whitacre until there was
room at Water Orton on the goods line. I trust this helps.
Hi Mike. I enjoyed browsing through your
site, particular the British Railways in WW2 films. Can you tell me where and
when they were originally broadcast?
Richard. I regret that I have no idea as I
have only linked the film from You Tube.
Dear Mike. A little time since our
previous communications; I hope I find you well. Whilst doing some research in
the History Group archives we came across the attached pictures, which I
thought could be of interest to you. They were in a scrap book dated 1965, so
would seem to fit in with the other information we have gleaned about the time
the station was named Berkswell and Balsall Common. Very happy for you to add
to your website if you deem appropriate.
Regards Dave Felthouse (Berkswell and
Balsall Common History Group)
Superb historical site. Excellent,
I am looking for any photographs taken of
Harbury Station dating 1950 to 1960s. I have a relative who is looking for a
specific photograph as his father may be on it. It would be brilliant if you
Thank you. Tracey Haynes
Hi! Very interesting site. Thanks for
your efforts. Do you have any idea of the date of
gcrcs195 showing ex-LMS 4-6-0 No 45335
crossing the Birdcage Bridge? I think I may be one of the trainspotters in the
field beyond the bridge!
Hi John. I believe that the photograph is
dated early 1960s as the bridge carrying Clifton Road has been rebuilt as part
of electrification. Hope this helps.
Great site - brings back heaps of
memories. You have a broken link causing a missing picture - 'lnwrns2705'.
I have always been fascinated by trains
having travelled on steam trains to my Gran's in Warwick every Saturday as a
child. I have found this web site a gem and have learned a lot like Maudsley
moving to Great Alne my dads friend and my
uncle worked there for many years it has filled me with nostalgia thank you so
Hello like your site. Some very nice
photos. A couple of possible errors:
1) the text below 'gwrl1860' is muddled it refers to the loco in
the picture correctly - but then goes on to discuss the cutting up of 34088
which probably ought to be with picture 'gwrl1863'
2) the text below the picture is
probably right on railway facts but the match was between Manchester united and
Southampton - Wikipedia has lots about the FA cup
Best wishes, Mike James
Mike - many thanks for pointing out the
errors which have been corrected. I must stress that we welcome people pointing
out any incorrect information or typos etc so please contact us if you see
something wrong. The error regarding the scrapping of the locomotive was my
misreading the information provided for the SR Pacifics seen at Lapworth. The
second error was because I didn't check who played who on that date. As you say
Wikipedia provided the information.
Hello Mike. I am also interested in
Bordesley Shed. I am a member of the
Broad Gauge Society
and have the two magazines you mention on your website. No 45 Spring
2001 contains an article by RS Potts with photographs and diagrams. No 47
Spring 2002 contains an article by ET Lyons with a map and diagrams. You
seem to have covered most of the points mentioned though including the staged
accident. I would be happy to send you a copies of the articles if you still
Graham - Many thanks for your kind offer
which I will certainly take you up on. Best wishes, Mike
Hi Mike. I have just visited your site
and have seen you have updated with a lot of new photographs around Rugby
Central, my special interest. Great pictures. I sent a letter to Steam Railway
magazine that was printed by them a few months ago asking the readers of that
magazine for photographs of the three special trains that ran from Southampton
to Nottingham for the 6th round FA Cup game played on Saturday 30th March 1963.
(The FA Cup games were badly delayed that year because of the severe frosts in
Dec/Jan/Feb and the Cup final itself was delayed until the end of May.) Nothing
came of that appeal, but blow me if you haven't came up trumps with the picture
of No 34042 'Dorchester' passing Rugby Central. According to my old friend
David Newmans notes for that day No 34042 was the second train to come down
from Woodford Halse, the others being first No 34054 'Lord Beaverbrook', an
unrebuilt Battle of Britain class locomotive, next was No 34042 'Dorchester', a
rebuilt West Country, and last No 34102 'Lapford', an unrebuilt West Country
class locomotive. So if you have any other photos that you cannot identify I
would be very pleased to help. The only other photograph I have seen for these
trains is on the www.sixbellsjunction.com website. The picture confirms
No 34102 'Lapford' is standing at the north end box of Nottingham Victoria. To
help you raise funds for such a great website I suggest you contact Steam
Railway with your photo and if you have any others I am sure they would be
happy to print them. For the record Southampton beat Nottingham Forest and went
on to play Manchester United at Villa Park but lost.
Kind Regards Bob Haddon
Dear Mike. The donation (to support the
website) is small recompense for the knowledge and pleasure gained from
visiting your site. I have left a small correction with regard to 'lnwrcs2158' in that the gates which the cattle
were about to pass through was to the Birmingham Corporation Cattle Market in
Montague Street. The cattle dock was in the Banbury Street sidings and also had
another access where cattle were lead toward Smithfield market via the bridge
over the canal into Fazeley Street. This bridge still exists but is not
accessible from either end or not legally should I say. I would like to track
down the originals to both lnwrcs2158 and 'lnwrcs1496' as I am doing research into
the Duddeston viaduct in an attempt to identify the construction of three
underline bridges in this same vicinity. The viaduct section in
lnwrcs2158 has long gone but included two intriguing iron beam spans
which I believe very similar to a remaining part partially hidden amongst
industrial buildings. The "toothless" gap is visible at the far end of the
market. Your website gives them both as sourced from the Public Records Office
(PRO) so I hope they are somewhere in the collections at Kew. From a high
resolution RAW scan of both I may be able to tease some more detail out.
Best regards, Graham Laucht
I will e-mail you soon.
A truly fantastic site, well done. I'm so
nostalgic for the Birmingham railway scene of the 60s. I used to sneak into
Aston Shed at lunchtime, never got caught. I rode the GWR railcars from Snow
Hill to Handsworth many times. My step-grandfather was the foreman ganger at
Aston Goods yard. Now in the USA with a OO model railway.
Hi just found your site courtesy of a
friend on the Model Railway Forum and I am looking for any pictures, track
plans, etc for Newdigate Colliery branch line which would be most grateful.
We were able to point George towards Roger
Monk and Martin Kavanagh who able to help him.
I have a picture in my collection, a
collection amassed over the last forty years that I am just getting around to
looking at what I have. Attached is a copy of the picture, a picture which I
have found on your website (see smjsa94). The
copy has slightly more detail than the one you have should you want to use it.
But just to be clear it is merely a copy I have, I have had it for years and do
not know where it was acquired from. That said your website says it is a Ken
Nunn photograph so you pretty much know it is not my work.
Best wishes Dave Ingham
Hi Dave. Many thanks for the photo which
is as you say is a much better copy. I will replace the photo in a few weeks
time. Why a few weeks? Because I realised when I visited the SMJ to look at
smjsa94 that all the photos are 700 pixels
wide and not 800 which is the latest standard. Therefore I need to upgrade the
whole route which I will action after I have completed the GWR Warwick pages,
the Coventry Loop Line and Coventry station's pages. Any other photos that you
might have would be welcome - as would any plans or information. Best wishes
Many thanks for a great website. I was a
signalman at Water Orton, Kingsbury branch & Kingsbury Station Junction
from 1955 till 1968. Your view of Coleshill station on the Birmingham to
Nuneaton line, looking towards Birmingham, shows the gas plant not part of Hams
Hall Power Station but is the Lurgi gas
plant of the West Midlands Gas Company. Therefore your wording is a bit
Hi Vic Thanks for pointing out the error.
I have now made the correction. Best wishes - Mike
Hi. I am researching Coventry Station
pre-1901 with the intention of building a layout. I have found your site very
informative, clearing up several discrepancies in my research. Its a very well
thought out site. Thanks for all your effort.
Regards Phil Bissell
Hi Phil. Glad you like the website. I will
add your comments to the guest book shortly. I started to model Coventry circa
1930s in the late 1970s which is how I started to collect the photos. I then
spread my net to other local areas and ultimately led to this website. From
memory I think you can fit the line from Warwick Road to Quinton Road in about
26-28 feet. I am due to upgrade the Coventry page in the next few weeks. If you
have any additional photos and in particular maps/layouts I would very much
appreciate a copy. Best wishes Mike
Dear fellow Enthusiasts. I am doing a
small history project with the children of my local community centre. Is it
possible to get hold of a copy of the picture in the Warwick station collection
that you have? It is picture ref; 'gwrw378a'
by Gordon Coltas. I am doing a Before and After picture display
in the community centre of local scenes. Any picture will be kept in my own
collection after the event. Thank You.
Hi Dave The image you are requesting is a
close up of 'gwrw378. My fear is that it will
not be possible to blow up the image without it becoming even more blurred. A
larger copy than a postcard from the negative might be a better option and you
would need to contact the Gordon Coltas Trust now that Gordon is no longer
alive. I don't have contact details for them (as my collection was bought from
Gordon when he was alive) so I will try to get it for you. Best wishes Mike
Please let me know if the videos on your
site are available on DVD
Hi Chris Apologies for not responding
sooner. All the videos on the website are via links to other sources. I have
none that I own. If the site I link to is YouTube (which most are) you have an
option to save them so you could make up your own DVD for free. Best wishes
Hello. I have found your website
enormously interesting and informative. I would like to know more about the
cast iron plaque that I have. It measures approximately 28cm long x 16.5cm high
x 12cm thick I presume these would have been attached to railway vehicles? Can
you please advise me over which period of time this type of plaque was used and
if possible the type of vehicle that it would have been attached to. Thank you
in advance of your help in this matter.
Robert Ferris identified the plaque as
being off a wagon or carriage built by the Birmingham Railway Carriage and
Wagon Co Ltd probably pre-1921.
I love your site. I grew up in
Warwickshire and am particularly interested in the stations near where I lived:
Stratford, Kenilworth and Knowle. At the moment I am focussing on the early
history of the East and West Junction Railway at Stratford and was interested
to see the statement that they had originally used LNWR coaches without
re-painting them. I haven't seen this before and wondered what the source is?
If you did have the time to let me know I would be most grateful,
Many thanks Matthew Cadbury
I responded to Matthew stating that
unfortunately I did not note down the source of this statement.
I am interested in the rail line between
Northfield station to Redditch on the Evesham line
Many thanks for producing these wonderful
evocative railway pictures. The photo seen in 'image gwro256' of Olton Station, showing a
'Prairie' local had particular relevance to my childhood. Can I be terribly
pedantic and point out that this train is in fact heading away from Birmingham
Snow Hill, rather than towards it? It has stopped on platform 1 and will
probably terminate at Warwick or Leamington Spa. Marvellous memories
Peter. Thanks for the kind comments and in
pointing out my error which has now been corrected. Its important that such
mistakes are identified and rectified so please keep on being pedantic. Best
wishes - Mike
Hi there. Its so nice to be able to
remember the days of steam via the photos especially my all time favorites -
the Merchant Navy Class, the West Country Class and the Battle of Britain
Class. I had the privilege to see many of those fine engines as a boy
trainspotter back in the late 1950s and 1960s and miss that era so much. Thanks
for enabling me to relive those great days.
Kind regards, Ken Weeks (Southampton)
Regarding image 'gwrl1441'. I was most interested to find this
photograph as I knew Ted Giles very well - he and his wife were good friends. I
spent many happy times with them both and when first married, we often had tea
with them, in their dining room in front of a roaring fire! Do you have a date
for the photo?
Hi Ian. I believe the photograph was taken
in the early 1950s. Ted's wearing a peaked hat that has the British Railways
insignia on it so its definitely post 1948.
Hi folks There is some stuff on my
website Rail Archive from
Gods own county, including images of original early railway documents from
1840's onwards and a few photographs as well - enjoy and copies available if
Cheers. Ian Dinmore, Curator of the Rail
Ian's site is an absolute gold mine which
I regular visit to add depth to the captions of Warwickshire Railway's.
Hi, I run a Flickr group called "Clerestory
Coaches (Railways)", and I am constantly seeking contributions of photos.
The site was originally started to support knowledge of the American Pullman
imports of the MR, but has gone world wide! However, UK stock is still only a
small proportion. Your site is a good source, but there is no 'contact us' I
can find. Thus: How can I ask for copyright permission on photos I would like
to have contributed, and Ideally it would be best for owners to contribute
through their own Flickr account, of course, else otherwise this would mean
authorising a download which would require loading with appropriate credit.
Could that be done possibly? I would not be happy to do anything without your,
or owners', agreement. Perhaps you could e-mail me to discuss.
Many thanks, Terry Browne
Great Site. May I point your members to
my Facebook Site devoted to the 'Lickey Incline and Bromsgrove MPD' Although in
Worcestershire the Lickey was close to the Warwickshire border and was always a
place to watch in the past and even now.
Alan. Its my pleasure. It was a shame the
Lickey incline wasn't in Warwickshire.
You've got some great photos on here -
well done, a lovely website.
Frank also was kind enough to make a
donation to support the web site.
You have done a wonderful job with your
website, which is very helpful for my modeling through the insights it gives on
railways landscapes, ambiances and structures of the past. Best wishes.
Marc, who lives in Compiegne, Oise in
France, kindly made a donation to support the web site.
Regarding 'lnwrk2046'. I was eight years old in 1959 and
lived in Waverley Road in one of the houses on the left. This was my
playground. Some corrections: Waverley Road, not Priory Road, is on the left -
they met at the station. Bertie Road isn't shown - it's off picture left. It
did not then join Station Rd. Another place for photography. I expect, was the
footbridge just north of the station - just visible in front of the big sheds.
Many pictures of the station, then and since, are from there. It was a open
metal bridge with wooden steps and floor - replaced a few years later (when all
the bridges were raised) by the current one. In the foreground the housing
estate is being extended.
Thanks David for the corrections and extra
information which have now been added to the website.
I was signalman at
Gibbet Hill Signal Box from 1970 until it
closed in 1972. I was very interested to see your pictures of the box and to
read the accident report. I had no idea an accident had occurred there in 1916.
I would be very interested to see if any more pictures appear of this location,
especially of the interior.
My congratulations on assembling a superb
set of photos. I have recently been re-furbishing a model railway to the late
19th/early 20th century period and have found many of your photos
Mike. Cracking website. Once logged on I
am hooked. It's great to revisit my old spotting haunts. I am a Coventry Kid
whose grandmother's houses backed onto the Coventry to Nuneaton line at Daimler
Halt and Coundon Road stations. I hope you don't mind if I make a couple of
comments concerning the text on a couple of photos.
i) 'lnwrns350' - I would suggest that the loco is
standing in the short siding situated between the DOWN FAST and DOWN SLOW at
the northern end of the station; not on the shed as stated. The date of the
photo is nearer 1950 rather than 1960 and shows the LNWR signal gantry prior to
it's replacement with a modern upper quadrant BR version. The old gantry can be
seen in photo 'lnwrns1630' and it's
replacement in photo 'lnwrns1658'.
'lnwrcov643' - The locomotive is No 41900
not No 41909 as stated. At the time of the photo, October 1960 I think, No
41902 and No 41909 were stored inside the closed Coventry MPD. I clearly
remember seeing this loco on a parcels working at Coundon Road station whilst
waiting for a Nuneaton train. I think this train did 3 possibly 4 trips a day
between Leamington Coventry and Nuneaton with the motive power being supplied
by Leamington (Milverton) MPD with No 41285 being the usual choice. I can only
assume the Ivatt was unavailable such that Leamington had to borrow No 41900 to
fill the gap.
I am researching my family tree and found
ancestors employed by Birmingham Railway Carriages as a Woodworker. His son was
then a toolmaker and engineer, later living in Newcastle. The family lived in
Booth Street, Junction Road and Kentish Road. They attended St James church and
Wattville Road School. With your site I have now made sense of all this
information. Thank you so much.
Thank you for your lovely site.
Very grateful for all you have done.
Regards, Howard (GWSG)
Howard's comments were sent at the same
time he was kind enough to donate some money.
Im not an expert but photograph 'lnwr-tam2353' seems to have wrong engine
number, and the picture date given is prior to the engine's build date. But
love your picturess. Thank you. (Albeit would be nice if a little larger).
Bill, thanks for pointing out the two
errors. The original description gave the wrong name to the number and I
blindly repeated it without checking so I am at fault. I then transposed the
last two digits of the year it was built writing 1953 instead of 1935. All is
now corrected. The size of photograph has increased since November 2006 when
the site first went live. We followed the then practice of producing images 500
pixels wide. This size was the norm in 2006 because of the small monitor
screens (which were 800 pixels wide) and the then slow download speeds. My son
Alex, who designed the website, was adamant that it was bad practice to have a
page so large that the viewer had to scroll from side to side to view the full
photograph. I always thought it was too small and a few years later I increased
the size to 700 pixels wide and it took me several years to revisit every page
and to enlarge the image. (There are some in instances where the smaller width
still exists. This is because the size seen is the only size the photo is
available to me). When Alex redesigned the website I took the opportunity to
increase the size to 800 pixels within a 1000 pixel wide page - which for 85
percent of visitors is their monitor size. There are still many images on the
website still 700 pixels wide and these are being upgraded when I revisit a
station to add new photographs. Flickr and other such sites have since adopted
1000 pixels as their standard width and to be frank I wish I had chosen this
size too as I am sure in a few years time monitors will be the same width as
mine (an 18 inch lap top screen). However as the website has currently nearly
9000 pages I have decided that it would take too long to revisit all of the
site to upgrade the size (and be very boring to do) so the image size will have
to stay as it is. You can change your monitor magnification if you want a
larger image on the screen. The photographs in the main will take some
magnification without becoming too blurred. Thanks Mike
Magnificent undertaking and a great
Bob was kind enough to donate some money.
Photographs now cost in excess of £1 each so every little helps.
Magnificently detailed photographs with
enough 'comment' on them to be interestingly enough for the layman and for the
enthusiast alike. My father was on the footplate for years, first as a fireman
and then as a driver and we lived in the railway cottages in Old Station Square
which was the site of Rugby's first station. So many of those photos bring back
happy memories. I was walking around Rugby's third station (a horrible hybrid
of old and modern) when I saw a strange 'structure' on the south side and I
took a couple of photos of it. Not knowing what it was I showed it around and
even some Railway buffers weren't quite sure what it was. Answers ranged from
'a Soweto penthouse' to a 'bomb shelter on stilts'. If you want to have a look
at it contact me at the above address and I will send it to you to put on your
site if you find it suitable. I did think it might be a water tower, but why
put a roof on it? Anyhow, hope to hear from you. PS. I have also got a photo of
the railway 'cottages' in old station square that I purchased from the local
library if you would like a copy of that as well, just ask.
Yours Brian Eite
I am in the process of checking with Brian
what the image is.
Mike. I just visited your website again
and saw updates of and around Rugby Midland station which I found moving. It
brought back memories seeing images on the monitor that were previously only in
in my head (memory). There was a row of railway houses called New Station, the
front path to which formed a photo basis for many pictures of the down line
start up point. Finally I see the row itself in some. I as a child lived in No
7. My father was a passenger train guard. I remember the goods yard behind. I
remember the house shaking as north bound evening through expresses passed by.
Yes, memories. I had a first class view of all that passed. The location is now
a two story car park as I recall. I guess everyone goes through such emotive
experiences in life with constant changes and development separating 'actuals'
from memories. Thanks. I intend to contribute (donate) later.
Alec has kindly allowed us to reproduce
several photos from his family album.
Just having a look at the pictures/video
footage on your website. I am generally interested in all railways world
I lived in Lime Grove, Tile Hill for my
first twenty-three years. I did my apprenticeship 1970 to 1974 at Curriers
Close which is just off Charter Avenue .... don't know if you'd recall that
street name. I had Tile Hill signal box for about 1 year (1975-76) so I've
particularly enjoyed the photos in around the area. I have one or two colour
slides of the box from that date but the content features other items and
people. As a schoolboy in 1960s I had the unenviable 2 week holiday job of
cleaning out residue sludge from inside the large fuel tanks in the MOBIL
siding (located off Torrington Avenue) and I had to have a break every 15
minutes as the fumes made me hallucinate .. Health & Safety eh!! LOL. An
excellent website Mike. .. long may it continue .. Best Wishes
Phil. I certainly know Curriers Close as I
lived at 16 Parkwood Lane which is also at the top of Charter Avenue. My
childhood was spent playing in the fields that became the industrial estate in
Looks like a mammoth undertaking. Love
the extended captions. Best Wishes
Mike. I was pleasantly surprised to see
the drawing of Rugby GC booking office on here! The drawing of the details of
the main span of the girder bridge also comes from the same source. The crane
in the GC yard was rated at 10 tons, nearby Lutterworth only had a 5 ton
version. The pictures of gun limbers being loaded are in Rugby yard on the
loading dock , situated at the back of the yard, the field beyond became the
site of the Unigate dairy. Barby RAOC depot was a second world war development,
construction starting in June 1943. The length of the platform at the GC
station was 500 feet as built, when the up line was looped in 1940-41 the
platform was extended, something I believe to be unique on the London
Extension. Keep up the good work !!!!!
Cheers - Tony (West)
Tony. On behalf of GC fans may I thank you
for producing the drawings of Rugby's GC station and for the extra information
given above. Mike
My primary search was for references to
the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway but it was not possible to indentify from
the immediate listing. However the considerble amount of information containe
here will certainly be of interest to members of my club. Ilford & West
Tony Spencer of
This is without doubt one of the best
constructed web sites I have visited. It is uncluttered and actually works when
you click on things whilst its contents takes me back to my child hood. My late
father was a signalman in the Lichfield and later Hazel Grove areas, whilst my
late mother was first a crossing keeper and then a station porter at Alrewas in
Staffordshire now home of the National Memorial Arboretum which the now gone
station could well serve. Amazingly the Alrewas signal box is still there and
works absolute block to Lichfield TV Jnc but that s digressing. As a
consequence I spent many hours around railways especially signal boxes and I
was always fascinated by the large signal boxes at Rugby as we passed through
on our way to London courtesy of the many privilege tickets our parents got
from BR. We spent hours at Rugby either waiting for the engine to be changed or
for our connection and the race to get a drink and back on the train is well
remembered. I am still interested in the old methods of signalling hence my
search brought me to your site which raises a question. Was there a No 6 signal
box? By the way if anyone else is interested in signalling then the Crewe
Heritage centre has a good collection with the Exeter West box running under
Hi Ron. Many thanks for your kind
comments. You might have noticed that I am in the process of updating Rugby
which, with over 400 plus images, is taking me much longer than I anticipated.
I believe that a photo of No 6 signal cabin does exist and that it was a tiny
signal cabin on the down side of the line near the Wood Street yard, near to
Rugby's No 5 cabin. It was replaced in the 1930s by extra levers in a new frame
in No 5 cabin. (LMS levers were spaced closer than in a LNWR frame therefore a
longer LMS frame would still fit within the cabin). Robert Hendry (of LMS
Stations fame etc) told Steve Weston of the LNWR Society (and who lives in
Rugby) of how the LMS replaced the frame in No 5 cabin by placing the new frame
on the opposite wall to the old one - and without having to close the signal
cabin! Steve Weston thinks that he has seen a copy of the photo in a book but
he is not too sure which one.
Thanks for the fascinating historic
content. I have a few comments regarding Coventry.
1. The Foleshill railway
did indeed connect with the Coventry-Nuneaton lane as one of your contributors
2. The Coventry loop line that served the Chrysler works was still
in use in the mid-1970's for loading ckd (completely
knockdown) car kits for shipment to Iran. The car was based on
the Hillman Hunter and was known in Iran as the Pakyan.
3. One of your
photos is labelled "Three Spires Junction looking north towards Coventry".
Looking north from there would be looking away from the centre of Coventry.
Perhaps the photo is of Humber Rd junction?
4. The offices at Gosford Green
yard appear to be the buildings still in use as offices on the junction of
Binley Rd and Phoenix Way. Maybe worth a mention.
5. I've just seen mention
of a derailment in 1904 at Albany Road. Is that different from the collapse of
the Spon End embankment, I think in 19c, that was replaced by viaduct. I've
seen a photo of it. A current driver tells me there is a severe speed limit in
that area in one direction.
A fantastic site and very informative.
The photos are excellent. For me it's evocative of my childhood in Coventry,
where I was a keen trainspotter for a few years, Many Thanks
Dear Mike, My name is Grant Regan. I'm a
member of the LNWR
George the Fifth Steam Locomotive Trust and responsible for the trust's
website and news blog. Ambitious as it may sound we aim to build a new London
& North Western George the Fifth class engine for heritage rail and
mainline use. When completed, it will be the sole representative of a 20th
century LNWR express locomotive. In addition to a significant amount of public
support garnered in the few months that the project has been public, we have
also secured considerable financial backing from an unnamed benefractor, who
has promised 5 x £10k tranches over 5 years matching fundraising from
other efforts. I would like to commend you on your site, which is without a
doubt one of the most comprehensive and detailed pictorial accounts of the
railways of Britain, let along of Warwickshire, found online. Your site is
quite evidently a labour of love, an impressive undertaking and a joy to
On behalf of the LNWR George the Fifth
Steam Locomotive Trust I would like to seek permission to use a number of
images on your site, specifically pertaining to the George the Fifth class
engines. Use would be confined to the trust's website, to newsletters posted to
members and to the Trust's Facebook page. We will of course note copyright on
the images themselves. Additionally we would like to add Warwickshire Railways
prominently to your links page and provide a thank you for the use of the
images on our blog including a write-up and link to your site. Would you kindly
advise us as to whom we should contact for the following images:
lnwrrm832, lnwrrm833, lnwrrm834, lnwrrm835, lnwrrm973, lnwrrm790, lnwrrm530, lnwr_shil2391,
lnwr_shil1231. If you or the visitors to
your website would like to hear more about our project I invite you to visit
the website or
our Facebook Page.
Kindest Regards, Grant Regan
Grant. As a member of the LNWR Society it
gives me great pleasure to provide the information that you require.
I really appreciate all the efforts to
develop this invaluable record. I recently visited Marton, where my
great-grandfather Noah Hedges was the second station master. I found his
gravesite in Marton village, but was looking around for the railway and asked a
local who told me it had long since gone. To see the picture of the station
masters house was wonderful. His son travelled to Australia and that is where I
Thanks so much. Philippa Hedges
Penns Station. As a primary school boy in
the late 1950s I visited Penns by bike from Erdington more than once. I recall
it as unstaffed, reached from the road bridge, with crisscross chestnut palings
down the slope. One of the locked rooms was full of the (oil?) lamps shown in
one photo, all covered in dust but left in peace, not in pieces as they would
be today. Most mysterious to a ten year-old child.
Great site you have here. I have a Flickr
account which has a substantial set showing recent images of the remains of the
Great Central Railway between Leicester and Brackley.
You can view GCR pics in Warwickshire
Leamington-Weedon pics here
Rugby-Leamington pics here
I have a photo of a
bridge at Shrewley, on the GWR main line,
north of Hatton, being demolished using explosives in the 1980's. I can email a
copy to you.
John also kindly made a donation to our
appeal which we will use to purchase more photos and maps.
I started my apprenticeship in May 1957
at Tyseley works as a fitter & turner. I have just been looking at the
images on your website of the work space , benches, etc. Memories come flooding
back. Names too came back. Sid the crane driver, Jack Harris fitter, Ted
Burford fitter. My transfer to the new diesel shops took me into a whole new
world of modern engineering. More names come to mind, Jimmy Nightingale, Joe
Preston, Lloyd King - all fitters. Tom Whittaker and Gerald Clapham, both
apprentices. I recently met Gerald for the first time in 50 years, and hope to
contact Tom soon. It has been quite a pleasant visit to your site. Please keep
up the good work.
Alan Hughes, Forest of Dean,
What a fabulous site! I spent my
childhood and teen years around Saltley Depot, Bromford sidings and Adderley
Park watching all the railway activity. If pocket money allowed, a ride to
Wolverhampton and a walk to GWR sheds along canal towpaths or a trip to
Tamworth to join the masses of other spotters watching the main line. I started
work at Metro Cam in Saltley in 1962. Your site is a gold mine - thank you.
Mike kindly made a donation to our appeal
to support Warwickshire Railways. We will use the money to purchase copies of
historical Ordnance Survey maps.
Looking at the new photos of
Berkswell Station, reminds me, that when BR
rebuilt the Up platform some years ago, we built a temporary platform on the
site of the original one. Had no idea that it had one there before.
Wonderful site, have spent two hours on
here tonight, only about 1% covered so far. Very nostalgic, very good, very
sad, and very informative. Keep up the good work, this site will now go to the
top of the list, alongside the
Weston Clevedon &
Fantastic website. I have shown my dad
(ex 21A fireman) the photo's and recollections of Alan Pratt. Should Alan wish
to get in contact please feel free to pass on my email address.
Thanks again - Ian Hooper
I have contacted Ian and passed on Alan's
address. Ian's Dad has also agreed to talk to me about his experiences so
hopefully they too can be added to the website.
Thanks for this very interesting site and
lots of amazing photos. I live in Australia but have memories of railways in
Warwickshire from my childhood (1980s) and later working life. I've walked some
of the Leamington Spa to Rugby trackbed and often wondered what the LMS station
at Leamington looked like; now I know, from your photos and also my recently
purchased print 'Bright Intervals' by Barry Freeman. My most vivid memories of
the area are from sitting in the front seats of a Diesel Mechanical Unit, where
you could see into the Driver's cab and the track ahead, while enjoying the
ride up through Warwick and Hatton to Moor Street, on Saturdays during the
school holidays, when visiting Grandma. These journeys to 'Brum' stood me in
good stead in the 1990s when I joined British Rail and 'learned the road' as a
Secondman and Guard, working such trains as the Bromford tanks and Freightliner
services to Lawley St. As traincrews, we whiled away the hours of our 'meal
breaks' at Saltley depot, the former sheds long gone and replaced by a scrap
yard, an oily loco fuel point and the dank remnants of once thriving mess
facilities. Websites like this remind me that whilst I'm not old enough to
remember the days of steam, I've seen its remains and appreciated first hand,
the railways of Warwickshire. I'd be happy to contribute some stories about my
railway experiences in the area between 1992 and 2004. Perhaps not the era this
website is about, but a reflection on what's changed maybe.
Thanks - Joe Hosking.
Dear Sir, I have recently, been in touch
with some acquaintances in South Africa re carrying MF tractors on trains on
Sandstone Heritage Railways. I referred the above photo to them as it showed
clearly the 'correct' way used to tie the tractors down. They, Sandstone
Heritage, would like to be able to use the photo solely for the purpose of
their work in the preservation of railway and farm machinery and I ask you if
this would be possible. Alternatively you could contact Joanne who is employed
by Sandstone in the UK.
Thanking you for your attention Bernard
I am researching the history of St
Mary's church, Moseley which is right by the former Moseley Station (1867 -
1941) and I was interested in Andy Docherty's comment:'.... objections from the
nearby St Mary's Church regarding the spoiling of the landscape, noise, etc .
.' I shall be very grateful if you will put me in touch with Mr Docherty in
order to ascertain the source of this information.
Many thanks - Rob Brown
Excellent site. Keep up the good
Your site is at once wonderful and sad,
because it reminds me so powerfully of what used to be. My contribution to the
pedantry is concerned with picture 'mrf471a'
of Five Ways. I think that the 'strengthened steel plate' referred to is in
fact the end of the water tank shown clearly in the other photos. There seems
to be no clue in any of the shots as to how people accessed the east side
platform. In fact one of them shows two staircases down to the west side!
Phil. Many thanks for your kind comments
regarding the site. Your sentiments are mine too. Thanks too for pointing out
the error in my original description. I have now suitably amended the text. I
too have looked closely at the photos and I fail to see where the steps might
have been. Logic says that they might have ran from the two abutments to the
right of the road bridge which are about 3 to 4 feet apart. It would be
symmetrical to the steps on the up platform albeit they are off a corner of the
street. However the brickwork looks original with no sign of in filling. I
trust that you will continue to contribute to correcting any errors. As I
repeatedly state - to maintain the accuracy of the site comments such as yours
are very necessary and welcome.
Hi! I just thought I'd add an update on
my previous posting below regarding the Platform 7 sign that used to hang above that
iconic destination point at Birmingham Snow Hill from the 1950s until its
demolition. This is now on display hanging from the roof of 'The Engine House'
at Highley on the Severn Valley Railway. So anyone who remembers standing
beneath it all those years ago may do so once more.
Bob - Many thanks for letting us know. We
understand that it is because of your generosity that the sign is on display to
the public. On behalf of many people may Robert and I say thank you.
I've recently bought the old Dunchurch
Railway Station and wondered if anyone has any old photographs? It would be
great to see what the gardens, yard and the front of the house looked like.
Thanks - Andrew 07760777100
Love your website and will almost
certainly be talking to you again about research matters if that's all right
Regards Lucy Cheney
Dear Sirs. I have three photographs of
the derailment at Henley in Arden 24th June 1911 when the "Mafeking" was sent
onto the wrong line by a signalman's error. These are official photorgraphs
from the Engineers office Paddington Photographic Dept despatched on 28.6.1911
to John Gordon Hogg who I know was a GWR employee. I believe he was a
stationmaster but do not know if he was ever at Henley in Arden but I believe
that he was at one time stationmaster at a statiion in Wales. These came into
my possession via John Gordon Hogg's family, notably his daughter Marjorie
Gordon Hogg who later lived in Barnstaple, North Devon. Please advise whether
you are interested in them or whether they may have any value to collectors.
Regards AR Summers, Berrynarbor, North
I am researching information relating to
my grandfathers career as a locomotive driver and have found some information
on your site very useful. My grandfather was Alfred John Smith and was noted
for being the driver on the last Weedon-Leamington branch line which closed in
Anthony James Lloyd
Have spent several hours enjoying this
wonderful site. Incredible collection of history supported with great
Alderminster Railway Station did a
station ever exist? I live near ALDERMASTON in BERKSHIRE The wooden railway
station buildings here were demolished in mistake for Alderminster so they say,
but I think that was wishful thinking, unless you or your colleges know
Hi All. Regarding Archibald Cook and his
George Medal award for bravery. We wish to thank all for all the help and
abundance of information which we are still sifting through. A sincere thank to
R A Walford for his contribution. However just to report that whilst
researching his history we have found out that his medal has been stolen. May
we ask everyone to help by keeping a look out for it. It will be easy to
recognise as it will have his name around the edge.
Kind regards David & Margaret
Hi. I love your site. Really well put
together and what a wealth of fascinating text and superb photographs. Can you
tell me if volume four of Richard Fosters Birmingham New Street series was ever
Regards Nick Stanbra
Hi Nick Thanks for the kind comments. I do
not know why but Richard never published the final book of the set. I can only
assume it wasn't a commercial although that is surprising. If it wasn't
achieving the level of sales it might have been too scholarly with two many
parts (and therefore too expensive) for most people. It might also have been
published too soon as detailed books are more prevalent today and publishing
costs more competitive with new technology and printing abroad. Regards
Hi Guys Just wanted to say that your
wonderful site has stirred many memories of the 'old Snow Hill' that I recall
as a lad of seven when it sadly closed and then so terribly allowed to rot
away! You may be interested to learn that I have ownership of the iconic black
platform '7' sign that so many Kings, Castles, Halls and Manors used to sit
beneath. This is hopefully to be displayed to the public very soon, if you
would like details of where I will gladly answer your enquiry.
All the best - Bob Morris
Bob. Thank you for sharing your memories
of Snow Hill and kind words about the website. I would be very interested to
know where the platform number sign will be displayed. For information, we have
started a 'Friends of Warwickshire Railways' Facebook site. By chance
the profile picture that Mike chose for the Facebook site is a delightful
painting of 'The Cornishman' drawing into Platform No 7 at Snow Hill, with the
black sign that you have in a prominent position. We thought you might like to
take a look. Regards Robert
Hi. Will you be getting a "Twitter"
account now you are on Facebook?
I think my leg is being gently pulled.
Using Facebook was suggested to me by Pete Waterman (who by the way has kindly
agreed to be Patron of Friends of Warwickshire Railways). He also suggested
that we subscribe to a 'YouTube' account too. Both of these Social Networks
offer for free features that Warwickshire Railways cannot provide because the
software I use is 14 years old, HoTMetaL Pro having been bought out by
Dreamweaver in 1997. The 'YouTube' facility would allow me to pursue my dream
of adding geographically relevant historical videos. Not only is the technology
'free' but the cost of the band width used by people viewing the video would be
too. I currently bear all of the costs I cannot afford to increase this
Examining the webstats is very revealing. In January 2012, a
total of 15,595 visitors were recorded of which 8,896 were unique. The total
number of pages visited was 86,626 with 823,477 hits being recorded. Over 1000
visitors spent between 30 and 60 minutes, nearly 800 visited for 15 to 30
minutes whilst another 2500 spent between 2 minutes and 15 minutes visiting the
site. The page receiving the largest number of visitors is the 'Guest Book'
(2275), followed by the 'Home Page' (1662) and then the 'What's New' (808)
page. In January, of the top 25 pages visited only Saltley Shed and Washwood
Heath Sidings were listed in January's 'What's New' section. The majority of
the other top 25 pages visited were either major railway centres (New Street,
Snow Hill, Rugby, etc) or they were routes - Banbury to Wolverhampton, Rugby to
Wolverhampton, etc. These pages tend to feature every month with the number of
visitors to each of these pages being approximately 200-250. A total of 7022
pages were visited with most only receiving low double figures. What this tells
me is that most visitors prefer to read comments or stories by others and
mainly look at locations they are interested in and not just those that has
been updated. Therefore the combined number of people interested in the
smaller updates could be greater than the number looking at a major upgraded
Given the number of visits to the website in January - 15,595
with 8896 being unique with 2275 reading this page - the number of people who
leave comments in the Guest Book is almost non existent as numbers often fail
to reach double figures. The phenomena of poor interaction and engagement by
audiences is well documented and is typical in other activities too - in both
the virtual and real worlds. It would appear from the number of members joining
Social Network sites (of all ages, not just young people) that the ability for
Facebook et al to allow different types of responses - Like, Dislike, Tag,
Become a Friend which require different levels of effort - promotes a better
level of engagement. Other features such as its ability to notify 'friends' of
the changes made to the page will hopefully promote more people to visit or
return to the website. It is hoped that more comments will flow as a result of
having a Facebook page which will in turn promote more activity by visitors.
From my point of view it would be nice to receive more comments and inputs than
we do at present.
Finally, the Facebook page allows us to feature
sections most probably missed. Many visitors apparently hadn't realised the
website included a 'Rail Art' section. Therefore I am hoping that Facebook will
help us to reach a wider and younger audience as well as provide a better level
of service and interaction. In the long term for the site to become
self-sustainable it must be seen as an attractive proposition to any
organisation that we invite to look after it, otherwise one day - hopefully
long into the future - when the hosting costs should be renewed, it will
Like the Facebook page. Signed up
Great pictures as ever. Regarding
Tamworth Station: lnwr_tam2351. I think
it might be a Class 24 rather than 33. I'm not an expert on these things but
the grill pattern looks like a Class 24. Keep up the good work, very inspiring
for my Kenilworth model railway.
Mark. Many thanks for you kind words and
the correction which is essential for ensuring the site is accurate.
Your picture of the LNER 04 locomotive in
image 'gcct3' at Catesby Tunnel mouth says that
it an ex-NER 2-8-0. It is an ex-GC 2-8-0 as the NER never built any 2-8-0s.
Ex-NER locomotive were regularly seen on the GC London Extension. Normally they
were B16 4-6-0s on the York-Woodford fitted freights.
Chris. Many thanks for the correction not
least because you have shown me that I need to upgrade and update the entire
GCR/LNER section of the website. I am nearly finished on upgrading the MR
routes around the B&DJR and Water Orton to Walsall and will start on the
Wonderful site which seems to be growing
and a steady rate, and is always worthy of browse for something fresh. I keep
staring through that bridge hole at Great Barr station, just hoping to find
some images of Bescot have been tacked on - fruitless I know as we would be
venturing into Staffordshire then !!! Talking of Great Barr, I have a minor
niggle over the caption of 'lnwrgb2285'
photograph. I suggest the train isn't passing through the station - it is
actually a trip locomotive shunting Hamstead colliery sidings. If you look
closely you'll see the loco lamp above the tender buffer, the fireman looking
back towards Hamstead, and the smoke pouring vertically out the chimney,
suggesting the engine is more or less stationary. Lovely work - very
Thanks for your efforts. Phil Bartlett
Phil - Thanks both for the compliments and
for the correction which I have now made to the page.
Fabulous site. Full of information and
images to stir up the memories. What are your plans to ensure your website
doesn't just disappear one day?
Great website. I note that you mention
limited resources in some of your responses. Have you considered asking for
donations? Keep up the good work.
The two e-mails above prompted some
thought and discussion between Robert Ferris and myself. Having given it some
serious consideration we are going to set up a Friends of Warwickshire Railways
group and try to create a means of attracting sponsorship etc. The long term
survival of the website is dependent upon both funding and people. Funding is
needed not only to defer its running costs but to provide the tools (see below)
to make it better plus creating the option of adding other services such as
video streaming (I have always wanted to stream related video images from the
website). Who will take responsibility for the website has yet to be decided.
Would the Friends of Warwickshire Railways group be the most appropriate or
should we look for either an existing public or voluntary organisation with a
proven history and track record?
Hi. Really interesting site, and I am
enjoying "exploring" around Coventry. Unfortunately, there is a missing link on
the 2nd photo on the
Coventry Gasworks page. Hope this is
a small bit of help to improve the site.
Keith. It certainly has helped. With
approximately 7000 pages on the website and not having the expensive tools to
check for broken links etc we have to rely on visitors to advise if links
Hi I wonder if you can help I am trying
to find out and obtain the official closure date for HOCKLEY HALL &
WHATELEY COLLIERIES & BRICKWORKS CO LTD I know that this company was taken
over by Kingsbury Collieries around 1900 but I can't find out any closure dates
for Hockley Hall or Whateley Collieries. My hobby is collecting Brass Embossed
Colliery Lamp Checks these were used by the miners when they went down the pit
they are a brass disc with the name of the colliery on them Any help you can
give mer on the subject would be very much appreciated.
Kind Regards Peter Wall
Hi Peter. I believe that Roger Monk of the
IRS has answered this question for you.
Again many congratulations on your site.
Fully support the idea of contributions to preserve it if necessary. By the
way, the rare photo of Soho Pool for which the thumbnail is
lnwrsoho2280 defaults to a larger picture
of lnwrsohord1518 when clicked on. Shame
as this is the only photo of the Pool goods yard in railway days that I have
John. I have now restored the link.
Unfortunately its a very poor image but as you say photos of the goods station
are just not around, hence including a 1980s image too.
Hello I a committee member of Welford
& Weston Local History Society. We are looking at the possibility of a
Speaker for an evening talk regarding Binton Station and also Milcote Station
if possible which are in our locality. Do you offer this sort of meeting. It
would at our Memorial Hall in Welford on Avon. We would be looking at a date
between August and November. If this is not feasible could you recommend anyone
outside of your Society. I look forward to hearing from you.
Regards Bob Brown
Great Site. I am compiling a shot history
on the restaurant cars BR Southern region 1955-1965 on which I worked 1958-1963
Several of the
Albany Road photos in the Nuneaton
-Leamington section show a major derailment without giving a date which was I
believe 1904. Also there are several references to the Coventry -Leamington
line which should either read Coventry - Nuneaton or Nuneaton- Leamington.
John. Thanks for the correction which has
now been made
Love your site, and the fantastic job you
Cheers - Rory O'Connor
Full credit to everyone involved with
this most informative website which also works very efficiently. A lot of hard
work must go into running a site as comprehensive as this and I am extremely
grateful for having the opportunity to rekindle memories of train spotting days
50 years ago in some of the areas covered.
Thanks to all. John Griffiths
Hello Mike. Congratulations on your
excellent website which I have recently "discovered" thanks to a friend. I
found the photos of Longdon Road on the Moreton-in-the-Marsh to
Shipston-on-Stour line particularly interesting as my auntie (my fathers
sister) and uncle were the crossing keepers in the early 1950s. My parents used
to take myself and my sister to stay at the cottage a trip involving
three buses from Tile Hill and taking what seemed like several hours to a five
year old. Obviously, the passenger trains had ceased many years previously but
the goods trains used to stop to drop off water in huge churns at the cottage
as it was not on the mains. The train drivers often gave my sister and I rides
on the footplate or in the guards van for a mile or so before stopping to let
us off and we walked back to the cottage. Happy, happy days and your photos
brought the memories flooding back. As you probably know, the cottage has now
been incorporated into a large complex involving three or four dwellings, all
of which, presumably are on the mains!
I have only just seen your website
today!! Fantastic. Why it is particularly relevant to me is that I was born in
the Radford district of Coventry in 1940 and became fascinated with railways
and later a dreaded trainspotter. My local station was Foleshill and I also
passed Daimler Halt usually on the bus every day. Even so the GWR was my
favourite railway company. Your site enables me to visit many sites around
Warwickshire that were familiar to me and you have brought me many happy
memories! Thank you.
I would like to congatulate you on a
wonderful site which has given me hours of enjoyment, revisiting the past.
Well done and thanks. Paul Orme
Dear Mike. What an excellent web site
this is. I am not into minutiae detail of factual accuracy like some experts.
For me it does what it says on the tin.
Julian Randall DOB 20/12/1956 so sadly
missed out on the golden age of steamremembered having my 'collar felt'
by some BR employee at the age of 11 at Nuneaton shed in 1967 the last few
months of steam!
I have spent a most enjoyable hour or so
wandering through the wealth of info available. It's a boon to anyone even
remotely interested in railways and associated infrastructure as well as those
interested in modelling. The photographs have an air that could never be picked
up from simply reading, no matter how informative the book. Who could know what
mucky places those goods yards were without a picture that says more than a
thousand words might. Thank you for this wonderful site and the obvious effort
you've put into it.
Mike, 'I've read your pages on
Bordesley station with interest. The first
time I remember using the station was in 1968 as an 8 year old. It was just
before the current layout. This what I believe - The entrance wasn't the
current one it was to left (if facing towards Small Heath}. You went in and
turned right to get to the stairs. In front of you was a ticket office - which
even then had been closed. Soon after the entrance was bricked up. At the
bottom of the stairs you can see where the way to the ticket office
Are my memories correct? I guess the ticket office is still
behind the bricks.
Great site. Brings back many memories of
watching trains at Hockley as a child. I lived at the back of Pitsford Street
and your photos and articles have brought back many memories. I also remember
New Street and Snow Hill Stations. Thanks for the memories.
Thanks again for your great site. Brian
Thought you might like to know that the
link at the foot of image lnwr_oldmil1445a to the original
article, fails with the usual "error 404". Trying to help, not just
Regards, John Gledhill
John. Corrections and error reporting are
not only very welcome but essential if we wish to grow the site's reputation as
a resource of value. With some 7000 pages the time has long gone where I can
check to see the links are working. Links to external sites are a problem
because if their website no longer exists or if they move the page or download
then the link is broken forever until reported. Free tools to look for broken
links do not work on such large sites as this and professional tools are far
too expensive for my wallet. In this instance I can no longer find on their
website the report on the Leek Wooton accident. In recognition of this problem,
I am now copying the information (after acknowledging the source) and placing
the information within my own pages.
Hi Mike. You may remember that I
contacted you some while ago regarding my Grandfather (Ernest Kilby) being
Station Master at both Alcester and Studley during his career with The Midland
Railway. I have just seen the Posed Photograph 'mra462' and am pretty sure that my grandfather is
in fact the gentleman on the left of the picture. As this was taken in circa
1910, he would have been a relatively young man (30+?) where the gentleman
sitting centre looks to me to be much closer to late 50s or early 60s. I lived
with my Grandparents in Crooks Lane, Studley in the middle 50s for about a year
and Grandad Kilby was retired then, although he was still very active and had
his allotment on the embankment on the Astwood side of the station, I used to
go there with him.
Just as an aside, my wife and I went to
Studley Station a couple of weeks ago, just to see the old place and really to
see if it was still in some reasonable state of repair, I am delighted to say
that the present owners, Mr & Mrs Poole, have maintained it to a very high
standard and retained much of the original featurework such as the Station
Master door leading I think into what is now their lounge, the original
tiled flooring in the Ticket Office area, original brass light switches etc. it
was an absolute delight to see the effort put in to retain the old place in
it's original form. They were most helpful and really kind in showing us around
some of the old station house and where the platform used to be. We took
photographs of the building and Mr Poole also allowed us to take photographs of
some of the old photographs he has managed to collect. When I can find the time
to edit them, I will send the best to you, although some are fairly poor
Hope this is of some interest.
Best regards Mike Boote
Mike. Thanks for the correction and for
the information. I would be very interested in the old photos. Not being a book
we can accommodate poor quality photographs - its the history that's important.
We cannot go back and take another!
Hi Mike. I'd just been looking to see
what your updates have been and I noticed that you'd done some work on the
Sutton Coldfield pages. If you remember I'd sent you a copy of a
picture of my Great Grandfather who was
Station Master there but unfortunately you'd put him on the Sutton Town page.
Still any chance of giving him a transfer? Still a brilliant site.
Cheers, Paul Rivitt
Paul. My sincere apologies. Now actioned.
Circumstances stopped me from making the correction immediately and then my
failing memory did the rest. I urge anyone who has been in contact with me but
have had no response - or if I have failed to do something promised - to
contact me again. At my age I appreciate the nudge.
Hi. I just read the item on Snow Hill,
the ramp going down to Great Charles Street used for parcels was also used as a
car park for staff. My brother-in-law worked for the NCL and kept a Morris 8
van down there. His dad was a driver for the Lord Mayor of Birmingham. They
cleaned his limousine down there too. In 1964 he gave me the Morris 8 but as I
was too young to drive. it stayed there just going rotten because it was very
wet and damp under the platforms. Thanks for the memories.
Mike. Hi, enjoyed very much looking over
the Website, but there is an inaccuracy on the text for
lnwrlave1380a which has a comment
regarding S.E Collieries I believe that this should be S.E Collier
as they were the largest brick makers in Reading and who supplied the bricks
for the town hall. Here is the Reading museum leaflet on them. It would fit
with the rest of the text on the wagon relating to brick and tile manufacture.
Once again great site.
Just looking for more info on the
Stratford Tramway & I came across this cornucopia of information, photo's
& film. Fantastic. Please keep up the good work.
I am the great grandson of Robert
Hatfield - one time stationmaster of Clifton Mill Station, Clifton on Dunsmore,
Warks from about 1880 to 1894. I have a photograph of the station platform
taken from the station house end showing the platforms and buildings and a
couple of the staff working there (probably Richard Mewis and John White). It
is a somewhat distance shot so the features of the men are not discernable. My
grandfather Oliver John Hatfield and one of his sisters stand on the platform
along with their father Robert in about 1890. I also have a head and shoulders
photo of Robert in his stationmaster's uniform at about the same time. Would
you like copies for your collection? Incidentally, my brother saved the
photograph from being thrown onto a bonfire by a distant relative in whose
possession it was!!! Looking on the 1891 census forms there are upwards of 36
staff working on the railway living in Vicarage Hill, Clifton - I don't imagine
they are all employed at Clifton Mill although if they were working in Rugby
they would be living there in those days, as my great grandfather moved to
Rugby in 1894 to work there on the railway until his death in 1903 from
Neil. We would love to have a copy if that
is possible. Best wishes - Mike
Hello, was browsing your excellent
website looking for a specific piece of information. I realise it might be a
bit out of the period you cover, but hopefully you or a contact will know when
Kings Norton station was renamed Kings Norton for Cotteridge? I have tried
various railway contacts and have not yet discovered the answer. And no website
I have looked at so far mentions the change which only occurred in very recent
years, As evidenced by your website, it was never called that before in its
Hope to hear from you, thanks, Stephen
Hi Mike. Love the site, have done for
several years. Still trying to rebuild my photo galleries following the demise
of Fotopic - using Zenfolio, One is "Coventry in Photographs", a section of which features the
remains of lines around the city - working on it now. Just looked at your site,
must take issue with the caption to Three Spires Junction:
lnwr_3spires2090. This is not looking
towards Foleshill Station, but towards Foleshill Gas Works, from Lythalls Lane
bridge Foleshill Station is a distance to the south of this point.
Cheers Cliff Jones
Cliff. Thanks for both the comments and
the correction. I have to say your own website is extremely fascinating.
Hello Mike. As a small boy I spent many
happy times around Small Heath, Tyseley, Bordesley and Snow Hill. Your
wonderful archive is extremely evocative and brings back the sight and sound of
those years as if it was only yesterday.
Well done! Chris
I am desperate to find the history of the
Great Western Hotel at Deppers Bridge or maybe it would come under Harbury. The
now restaurant looks a very imposing building with a history. Any advice
please. Nothing at the Warwicks record office.
Hi June. I cannot immediately find any
railway reference to the Great Western Hotel at Deppers Bridge. In my view
there would be no obvious reason for the GWR to build a hotel at Deppers
Bridge. I may be wrong but my guess is that there is no connection other than
the hostelry, like many others across the country, was named after a railway
company associated with the area. I suggest that you inspect large scale
Ordnance Survey maps or similar as these can often show names and even internal
configurations (rooms etc) of buildings which the public access. Census records
would give names of occupants and their occupation which would help to
determine whether they worked for the railway. The local council, parish church
and county records office should all be able to help. Best wishes in your
search. Regards Mike
Book Review -
The Branch Lines of Warwickshire by
A new feature for the site is reviewing
books on the county's railway history considered of merit.
I was sorting out my very old photographs
and came across a couple from when I was a fireman at Tyseley in 1952-1953
prior to doing National Service. I stayed in the Army, got married & had a
family so have never been back. Given the opportunity I shall try to visit
before it is to late.
Very comprehensive website which has much
of interest even for those of us whose interests are far beyond the bounds of
Warwickshire. Would you like to include a link to our main website as above
under your list of Line Societies. The
Association is the line society for the Furness Railway and all other
companies in Cumbria and North Lancashire. See also our photographic website at
Hi an interesting read found while I was
doing some research. If you would like any copies of documents from the
Rail Archive for
the site please let me know - they are free.
Regards - Ian Dinmore
Ian. Many thanks for your kind comment and
offer. I am well aware of your website's collection of photographs and railway
documents. Visitors might be interested to know that the Rail Archive library
aims to provide a resource which is free if using the low resolution copies of
images. As with all website authors and web masters including myself, Ian would
appreciate an acknowledgment of the source if used on any media. Mike
Dear Sir. My name is Herman Koerts and I
live in the Netherlands. I have always had something with trains since my
father bought his first train from TrixExpress in 1956 or 1957. This interest
diminished around 1964 but was rekindled in 1983 when I visited the NRM in
York. Mallard was on display without it's streamline cladding but King George V
made the most impact; making me a GWR fan from that moment on.
I have just stumbled across your
Warwickshire Railways website while I was searching for information on the
Achilles Class. I came to the part of the old Henley in Arden station while
looking around. This station got my interest in 1994 when I got a copy of the
Great Western Railway Journal No 11. You will probably have it yourself too. It
was love at first sight and I started to work my way through the photos to try
to make drawings to build a model of the building and part of its surroundings
but failed in the attempt. In 2002 I found by cheer luck the address of the
Henley in Arden Heritage Centre where a real friendly gentleman helped me with
My problem is however (still) the
Platform side of the building; I don't have a proper picture to see exactly how
this part was constructed. I know from the photo in the GWR journal that the
wall is build (how do I describe this...) partly into the structure. This left
some space; covered by the roof for shelter. I know there were at least two
benches there. There should also be (I guess) more doors and Windows as I can
see in the pictures I have. Unfortunately any attempt to get more information
ended there. Unfortunately the Photo of the old station on your Website (the
same as in the magazine) does not give away many more clues than I already
The Gentlemen at the Heritage centre
sent me two scans of the station; the quality is not great due to the equipment
he had to use but of great interest (I think). He told me they came from a book
but I can't remember which book it was. I digitized the scans and used these to
learn more details. They are under copy right of course so you can't publish
them but they are interesting to see; despite the quality. It is always
possible you already know them of course but you never know...
I have a question; do you know about or
have any other pictures of the Platform side of the station building? A
floor-plan would also be great. If so please let me know; I would really
Kind Regards, Herman Koerts
Herman. I need to find some plans and maps
for other stations so I will look for ypu too. Regards - Mike
I have steam pictures from around
Coventry, Nuneaton, Rugby and Leamington from my trainspotting days in the
1960's - would they be of interest to you?
Patrick - All photos are very welcome. If
possible would you kindly scan them at 300 dpi which allows me to maximium
flexibility in editing the photograph. Many thanks - Mike
My interest is mainly GWR 1923-39 and I
am finding the website fascinating, and a source of inspiration in modelling a
representation of Hockley Goods in 4mm scale for the Model Rail and RMWEB 2011
Challenge. Have linked this site a couple of times in my account of progress in
this project. Thanks for the effort you put in.
Don. Many thanks for the positive comments
regarding the website. With regard to Hockley (and all points north of Snow
Hill) I will be revisiting the site soon to upgrade the quality of images etc.
Excellent tour with real atmospheric
ambiance. Just a minor carp the Castle No
4088 at Moreton-in-Marsh should be Dartmouth Castle not Darlington.
Hi Allen. Thanks for the kind remarks and
Reference: gwrim594 on the Long Marston/MOD depot page. I
fear this photo has been printed from the wrong side, since the caption
describes everything as being on the LEFT HAND SIDE. However . . . the
photograph clearly shows everything on the RIGHT HAND SIDE. Have to say though
I love the whole site. Nuneaton, where I grew up with Weddington fields on the
WCML we could see the Ashby lines, Abbey to and from Birmingham and Leics . . .
the area of the soon to be built Nuneaton North Chord.
Whoops! Another instance where my brain
failed to fully engage so I would recognise my left from right. As you guessed,
the photograph is indeed correct so the error is all mine. All sorted now. Any
comments on errors spotted or reports of broken link are very welcome as it
helps to improve the website. Thanks too for the kind comments about the
website - its most appreciated. Mike
Hello Mike. What a fantastic site you
have created. Looking at some of the photo's bring back a lot of memories for
me as a former Stafford Road 84a and Oxley 84b fireman. May I point out one
possible mistake in a photo ref 'gwrt306' of
King Class locomotive No 6006 'King George I' which is shown to have been taken
on Tyseley shed. I don't think this could have been taken at Tyseley. The coal
stage shown in the background of the loco is not of the design of Tyseley's
coal stage. I think this photo was taken either at Stafford Road or Old Oak
Common Keep up the great work you are doing, it's fascinating.
Yours Sincerely - Bill Perrin
Many thanks Bill for your kind words and
more importantly correcting my error. As I only visited part of the county's
network and only from 1958 onwards (being born in 1948) I do have to rely on
third hand material. Therefore its great when people can either add extra
information or correct it. I have deleted the image from the Tyseley page
although I have left the larger image linked to the guest book.
Dear Sir, I recently found a picture (see
image 'gwrls191') on your site which was of
great interest to me as it showed a part of Leamington Spa from the thirties,
(GWR Routes-Banbury to Wolverhampton-GWR Period Locomotives) the description
though for this photo is I believe wrong. It says that the engine is about to
cross the High street/Bath street/ Clemens street bridge before arriving at
Leamington station. Having looked at the picture and comparing it with a street
map of nineteen twenty three and visiting the area myself I believe the picture
to show the engine crossing the bridge over Lower Avenue the last bridge before
the station it self (there are six bridges in this area one crossing the
Warwick to Napton canal by Ashgrove place now replaced by part of a light
industrial estate another crossing Althorpe street the next crosses Court
street followed by the High/Bath/Clemens street junction another crosses over
Bath place and finally the last one crossing Lower Avenue.) The buildings which
can be seen to the right of the picture are on High street (north side and only
the far building exists today) and the buildings that can be seen between the
Signal Box and the set of signals are of the rear of Bath street (west side). I
would imagine that the picture was taken from the old hand cart path which and
still does run up to the platform from the car park and taxi rank. The
description that Bath street was a continuation of the Parade is also
misleading as Bath street was in existence before the Parade. I hope this will
be of some use to you.
Yours sincerely - Alan Orton.
Many thanks Alan for correcting my error.
As I state above I only visited part of the county's network as a young
trainspotter and that was only for a brief ten year period. Therefore I do have
to rely on third hand material. Therefore its great when people can either add
extra information or correct it. I have added your information to the caption
and credited the text to you.
We now live at 2 Station Cottages,
(Broadwell), used to be Stockton...we would love to know more of the history of
our home, such as who lived here before us etc etc. We have some old photos,
but would like all we can get. Hope you can help.
Clare and Ian Cowley
Hi Clare and Ian. My information on the
station is very much limited to published accounts or information and
photographs that people are kind enough to send to me. The obvious places to
look are Parish Records of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Church records too for
same plus Christenings. The annual census for the years 1901 through to 1951.
From these records you might be able to determine the names of the families
living in your property from which you could use to track down descendants who
might be able to give you more information. Hope this helps. Please keep us
informed and any information that you might collect would be useful to add to
the site - credited to you of course. Best of luck - Mike
Bournville Model Railway Club
We are at present working model of
Bournville Engine Shed in N gauge and are about to start work on a 00 gauge
layout. New members are always welcome and if you are interested on joining or
would like anymore information please ring: 0121 478 2587 Barrie Hoverd,
Chairman, Bournville Model Railway Club, or email email@example.com
Bournville Model Railway Club.
I grew up in Lapworth during the 50's
& was very familiar with Lapworth Station, Dad was a signalman there for a
few years & my brother & I used to be allowed to go on Sundays (not a
lot of traffic) we were allowed to pull the detonator handles as they were the
only ones we could move. The brass was kept immaculate & woe betide us if
we touched any brass without the yellow duster to keep finger prints off. We
also got to ride on the footplate of engines that came from B'ham & turned
around on the 3rd line.
Fascinating website thank you - Diana
Congratulations on an excellent site. A
few comments. Some of your caption statements about loco allocations,
withdrawals and disposals suffer from reference to the Peter Hands books,
although you presumably have nothing else to go by so it is to be expected that
many are not quite right or completely wrong. One ought to be able to trust
railway researchers. Sadly, in respect of matters like allocations, withdrawals
and disposals, almost no original research has been carried out by authors and
publishers. They simply reprint what was in contemporary Society magazines or
in the Peter Hands books, many of them not even acknowledging their sources. I
readily acknowledge that much of what is written about withdrawals and
disposals is not incorrect, but believe me, more often than not that is only
because the datings are so vague!
As I usually try to point out to anyone
relying on dubious data, most of what has been published has its origins in the
Hands books, and that gentleman examined not one official record during his
"research". Indeed, if you have followed the 'HSBT' articles by Roger Butcher
in the Railway Magazine, you will have read that we have concrete evidence
(including an acknowledgment from the author himself) that around 3000
disposals were literally made up by an acquaintance of the author's! Of the
remainder, almost every date of disposal is the result of guesswork by the
Richard - Many thanks for supplying the
corrections to the photographs which I have now updated. I have to confess that
I have undertaken little 'empirical research' myself in populating the website
being reliant upon the work of others. I see my role as an editor insofar I
make available the work of others through the Warwickshire Railways website. I
trust this is evident to visitors to the website.
Your efforts are greatly appreciated by
this Yank. I have a keen interest in UK rails. Sites like yours are
Thank You Allen Jeffries
Absolutely first-rate site. It is well
constructed and extremely easy to navigate. It provides an unequalled depth of
archival information for historians and Modellers alike-quite literally hours
of enjoyable browsing.
Found your site whilst doing some
research for a walk along the Harborne branch line. I now know what to look out
for there but will definitely be returning to seek out some more walks and just
to see what the places I've heard of once looked like. Many thanks for creating
this excellent site.
Hi Alan - Many thanks for the kind words
which are now in the guest book. BTW I have a number of other photos which I
hope to add to the site in a few months. I am working my way up the Gloucester
to New St route currently at Kings Norton. After I complete this and the West
Suburban line Harborne is next. Regards Mike
Dear Sir. Reference photograph
lnwrns1686. Described as Ex-LMS
2-6-4T 4MT No 42331 is seen at the head of a Leicester Railway Society special
on the return leg to Leicester on 30th December 1961. I have recently
been researching this rail tour and have great doubts about this photograph
being the train described, based on the following facts:
- Rail tour ticket was printed Leicester (London Road) to
Rugby (Midland) and back.
- On 30 December 1961 Britain was covered with a thick
blanket of snow resulting in 33 football matches cancelled and no matches were
played in the Midlands.
- Photo of No 42331 at Broughton Astley Station in deep
snow, with head board and train reporting number.
- Why is the train at Nuneaton?
- No snow visible in photo
- No headboard or train number.
- Front coupling hanging down, not on drawbar hook as other
I may be wrong, but the facts seem
stacked against this being the LRS Rail tour.
Best wishes, Vic Smith
Hi Vic. Many thanks for your observations
and comments - it all helps to build a more accurate picture of the county's
history. Based on the information you have supplied I too would agree that the
caption is incorrect. To be frank its some time since I added the photo to the
site and created the caption so I cannot say who supplied the information. Its
too precise to be one of my own rambling contributions. Again my thanks for the
correction. Best wishes. Mike
Hi Mike - The plates of Lady Godiva can
now be viewed at the Herbert Museum and are properly displayed.
Regards Barry McGrory
Glad to hear it. The plates deserve much
better treatment than was the case in the late 1970s. The then museum
authorities didn't seem to value them.
Hi First of all can I say how interesting
your site is, I have spent many a time going through the pages. This is a long
shot question, but do you have any photos of Langley Green station on the
Stourbridge to Birmingham Snow Hill line in steam days.
I pointed Chris to Roger Carpenter, Lens
of Sutton Association and Kidderminster Railway Museum's Photographic Archive
(see Sources of Photographs. Please remember
when writing to suppliers that they sell photos around having to work and have
a family life so they may take a little longer than you would like. Don't
forget the Stamped Address Envelope.
Hello. On the Warwickshire Railways page
for Stratford-upon-Avon GWR's station, it says several times the "Evesham Road
station". Is this right? The current station, which is the one I think the text
is talking about, is on Alcester Road, which several of the photo captions
confirms. The Evesham Road is some way away from the station, and the line used
to cross it where the large roundabout to Seven Meadows Road is now sited -
where Evesham Road Halte and the signal boxes were (now a cycle path). Or was
there an earlier Evesham Road station as well? May I just say what an excellent
site you have there - its great for doing "then and now" type comparisons
whilst out and about on the rail network today.
Yours Intrigued - Jon Knight
Hi Jon. Clearly I got my Evesham Road and
Alcester Road mixed up. Many thanks for both the correction and the kind
remarks. Regards Mike
My Grandfather, William Frost, nickname
Snowy was stationed at Saltley. Passed down the family we were told that he was
the first driver to take the Flying Scotsman out of New Street Station. Is this
possible? My Dad was based at Monument Lane and was a fireman then driver for
41 years. I am very proud of them both. Thank you for your website.
Thank you Sandra. The Flying Scotsman was
both a train and a locomotive with both operated by the LNER who were based on
the East Coast mainline. For information about the train seehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Scotsman_%28train%29.
The Flying Scotsman locomotive, which has been preserved, was also based on the
East Coast mainline although in BR days it was for many years in the 1950s
allocated to Leicester Central shed. Based on the Great Central line it was in
charge of services running from Nottingham Victoria to London Marylebone via
Leicester Central and return.
Whether your Grandfather was the first
driver to take the lying Scotsman out of New Street I cannot say for definite.
In my opinion its highly unlikely as the locomotive was not based in the region
and and the enthusiast
specials that it headed in the region would be driven by crews from the its
home shed. However, whenever a foreign engine ran over routes its crew would be
unfamiliar with then a local driver, who knew the road, would be on the
footplate. If the Flying Scotsman ever visited New Street, and I cannot verify
this, then its possible your Grandfather acted as the pilot and as such whilst
he wasn't the driver he would be the person in charge of the train. I hope this
helps - Mike
Great site very interesting. Wondered if
anyone can shed any light on Monument Lane Depot/Station, why was it so called
when Monument Lane seemed to be no where near the location.
Dave - In his book 'Monument Lane Loco
Shed' Tony Higgs states that its a mystery as to why Monument Lane station and
shed were so named. Monument Lane was sited over half a mile away from the site
which actually lay alongside St Vincent Street and Sheepcote Street. Tony
writes that in 1878 Monument Lane later became Monument Road but neither the
station nor the engine shed had their name changed to suit. I noted from his
book that when first mooted the shed was initially identified as the 'Crescent'
but within a month it had been named Monument Lane. Therefore my guess is that
Monument Lane was the nearest thoroughfare of consequence and therefore the
shed and station was so named. St Vincent Street and Sheepcote were probably
built later or if they were in existence they were not of any note. Mike
I was at the time perusing the record for
the account of the 1955 derailment of Gresley 2-6-2 60828 at Barby (which I
found - I had also visited the actual site of the accident as the recovery
operation was in progress), but there is so much to see that my interest
inevitably wandered on. For interest here is an image of the same loco, 60828, seen approaching
Rugby with a down freight on 11 April 1963.
I regret to inform you that Geoffrey
Kingscott has passed away. He was diagnosed with cancer last October and died
peacefully at home in Sawley on Wednesday 2nd March 2011.
Geoffery was a well known author being
responsible for some of the books in the Lost Railways series of which 'Lost
Railways of Warwickshire' was his final book. He will be greatly missed by his
friends, family and colleagues.
Dear Mike. It is a very long time since
you and I met when I use to frequent Modellers World back in the early 1980's.
Barry fired many of us with enthusiasm for the hobby and I started producing
turned brass parts for his 'O' Gauge range moving on to run my own hobby
business, Ultima Models. Thirty years on I now work for Bachmann as a Design
Engineer. One of our Graphics team came across your website and advised I
should have a look. I use to live close to Three Spires Junction and I can see
you are limited on images taken at this location. Re-calling I had some old
images stashed away which are starting to fade I have had them scanned to help
preserve them. Most were taken in 1971 when I was learning to work with B&W
film and a few are by my late father. I have attached a few to see if you are
Regards, Colin Allbright, Bachmann Europe
Many thanks for the old photos of
Solihull Station. I've been thinking of doing something similar for many years
before the information was lost forever but you have now saved me the work. The
photos are priceless. The Solihull signalbox nameplate is now in the Thinktank
Nice site, lots of memories. Regarding
photograph mrcgy698, this was 58283 at Harborne Station, not Central Goods. The
factory in the background was Chad Valley Toys. 58271 was on the other end,
with the different reporting number board, and the SLS headboard. Seehttp://www.sixbellsjunction.co.uk/50s/590530sl.html
Charles. Many thanks for the correction
which I have to say had been pointed out to me previously but I had failed to
correct. I have a number of new photos of Harborne to add and thought that by
now I would have been working on the Harbourne line. I promise to action this
My grandfather was a driver on the
Midland Railway between the wars starting work in Sheffield at a steel works.
He went out to Argentina when they were starting their railways and later the
family moved to Stockingford. So I was thrilled to find your photo of the
station there, as far as I remember a somewhat draughty place. All the best,
I'll be back.
I would like to ask you a question about
Flecknoe Station. You say that the station closed to passenger traffic in 1952
but that there was a school service that ran from Warwick to Flecknoe in the
mornings and afternoons until passenger services were withdrawn in 1958. Did
this service still continue to Flecknoe after 1952 or did it terminate at
Napton & Stockton Station after Flecknoe was closed. I've always been
interested in this line when I was a youngster in the early 1970s some friends
and I walked the whole length of it on two separate occasions we lived in Rugby
so we walked down the old Great Central to where the lines crossed each other
near Braunston and then got on to the line there.
The trackbed was still negotiable but all
the lines stations had been dismantled until you got to Long Itchington where
the line was still being used for cement traffic. A friend I use to work with
told me that on one occasion in the early sixties when the West Coast Main Line
was being electrified his train from Euston to Rugby was rerouted along there.
On another occasion around 1987 after the cement traffic had finished I visited
the line at Long Itchington and came across some Irish navvies ripping up the
track I found this rather ironic as it was probably their ancestors that built
Yours sincerely Graham Cox
Hi Graham. I cannot answer your specific
question relating to the school service as I do not have the information to
hand. However the withdrawal of a regular passenger service may not have
prevented the school service from running if passenger trains were still
scheduled to stop at other stations on the line. There are numerous instances
of workmen trains running without these being included in standard timetables.
The route Rugby to Leamington to Birmingham (via the Kenilworth to Berkswell
branch) was indeed used as an alternative route during electrification as was
the Coventry to Nuneaton route (see Pete Squire's entry below). Regards
Dear Mr Musson I'm researching the
history of the Warwick Fire Brigade, with a view to producing a web site
history of the Brigade, and I wondered if you knew the whereabouts of a photo
or illustration of the original GWR station that was situated in the Coventry
Road. I believe it was built in the 1850s. As you may know, the station was
destroyed by fire on 19th May 1894, and a new station was constructed in its
place. I attach a scan of an Edwardian postcard which shows the new station,
which you can add to your site if you wish. If you are able to help, or point
me in the right direction, I would be most grateful.
Sincerely Derek Parsons
Derek - Many thanks for the photograph
which is now on the website awaiting a caption by my colleague Robert Ferris. I
had not realised that the station was rebuilt because the original had been
damaged by fire. I will see if there are any photographs of the original
station to be found and will keep you up to date with my efforts. Regards
I have just "bumped into" your website,
excellent. I have quite a number of photo's taken by my late father John Gain
in the 40s & 50s. I will sort out some & you may like to use them. Be
Graham - I look forward to seeing any
photos that you may kindly offer to add to the website. Best wishes Mike.
I am after many years trying to build my
model railway. I have decide to base it on a Warwickshire station, most likely
Leamington Ave or Coventry. I am trying to collate some old photo's and site
plans, my buildings may not be accurate but I hope to emulate the basic lay
out. Many thanks for your website.
Pete Eden (Wellesbourne). Warwickshire
born and bred.
Hi Pete. It was always my ambition to
build a scale model of Coventry station which I started but never got beyond
the tracklaying stage. I think you will find that the layout will be over 30
feet long and that you will need to provide a non-prototypical scenic break
near to the shed. Leamington Avenue would be simpler but there again its close
proximity to the GWR station does in my opinion require this too to be included
in any layout. If I was to model a LNWR station then I think I would try Tile
Hill station or Berkswell as both had express services passing through combined
with a goods service. Berkswell obviously has the Kenilworth branch to add some
variety of traffic. Best wishes - Mike
Hi Mike. - I have really enjoyed looking
at your site. I grew up in the early 60s around Stoke in Coventry. I went to
watch the sky blues play at Highfield Road one afternoon and can clearly
remember being more interested in the steam emanating from the Coventry loop
line around Gosford Green than the football. I can also remember walking down
to the footbridge at Gosford Green with my grandad and watching for movement in
the signal box to tell us something was on its way!!! As I grew older the steam
disappeared to be replaced by diesels predominantly on car trains to either
Gosford Green or Bell Green. I have some quite good records of these and some
pictures it is just a matter of finding them! There was another siding
on this loop line up by Barras Heath that served the fruit and veg market there
it was visible from the Burlington Road overbridge and sometimes in the
late afternoon banana vans would arrive hauled by a Class 25.
Some other good reference books which
include some info on the area (and other places you cover) include:- LNWR
Branch lines by Geoffrey Hurst (ISBN 0947796169) includes good signal box
shots on the line; John Boynton's London and Birmingham Railway between
Birmingham and Coventry (ISBN 0952224879); British Railways Past and
Present No5 has a cracking photo of an 8F at Foleshill, also in Branch
Lines of Warwickshire by Colin Maggs (ISBN 0750903171). Lastly the
Signalling Record Society's Layout and Plans Volume 11 has some great
plans to bring back old memories. I was lucky enough to spend a little time in
Gibbet Hill box on the Leamington line whilst young a box I have been
unable to find a photo of! When I find my records and pictures I will drop you
a line (includes a class 37 at Gosford Green on the day the wires were down on
the WCML and Westerns were running through Coventry to Paddington (also photos
somewhere). I will also drop some notes on the guest book shortly.
Thanks, Pete Squire
Thanks for letting me surf around the
LMS. As a locomotive fireman at Rugby '2A' from 1953 to 1963 it gave me great
pleasure to to look at some of the old stations, some that no longer exist.
good luck, and thanks again. PS: would love to find more pictures of the
testing station at Rugby.
Mike - So would I. For some reason I have
had little luck in finding much information on the Testing station. Regards
What a fantastic resource! I was
searching for "platform mounted signal cabins", hoping to justify placing one
on my single line branch model. Perfect. I wonder if there are sister sites for
Hi George. I understand there are some
'county' websites but they do not enjoy the wealth of photos thatwe have.
Hello Mike, we are a number of modelers
in the Birmingham area that have decided to to start a model club in the south
of the city. Having chosen on the name of Bournville Model Railway Club we
thought a model of Bournville shed would make a good start with you web site
being an inspiration to a number of our members (the flattery touch). We would
like to include a couple of pictures uploaded from your site on a flyer we will
be placing in a local model shop and local libraries. If we need permission to
use the photos will you please let us know who and how we need to get in touch
with the owners. I have enclosed a copy of the proposed flyer. Thank you for
Chris Barker, Bournville Model Railway
Hi Chris. May I wish you all of the best
luck in starting your new club. Once you have formly launched the club I would
be most willing to promote it on the relevant webpage. As you know I have sent
you the contact information in order to obtain permission from the owners of
the photographs. Best wishes Mike.
Dear Mike. Thank you for providing such a
wonderful resource. You and your fellow contributors are to be warmly
congratulated. I grew up in Warwickshire, from Brummie parents though we moved
to Earlswood before WWII. So I know first hand many of the places you have
documented, including the original Snow Hill and New Street Stations.
Unfortunately I never owned a camera otherwise what wonderful photos I could
have taken to add to your rich resource! I do remember standing at the Up end
of New Street, before the demolition and looking across the LNWR tracks. This
platform end was the favorite among trainspotters. I also remember asking an
older trainspotter why we never saw any LMS Pacifics in New Street. I remember
his reply, he suggested that they had found the Worcester Street tunnel too
tight. In fact there was a story going around that it was City of Birmingham
that actually got stuck in the approach tunnel. Personally I have always
doubted this but wondered if you had ever heard the same?
With my very best regards, Paul
Hi Paul. I never heard that story myself
and whilst it was very tight in Worcester Street tunnel it did not prevent LMS
Pacifics from entering New Street as can be seen from
It is true that very few were evident at New Street but I suspect that this was
due to them being rostered on much longer and heavier services (Liverpool and
Carlisle) than those found at New Street. Regards Mike.
Found your site whilst browsing the net
for information on Private Owner Wagons during the Christmas break. Got carried
away browsing through all the images on the site, but did find a lot of
interesting photos with Private Owner wagons in them, thought not possible to
read all the detail on any of them due to pixel size. But I will be contacting
the credited supplier to obtain photo quality prints, I know some of them
personally. I am particularly interested in Private Owner wagons from a railway
modelling aspect, primarily those of the Midlands.
I was also interested in the Images of
Monument Lane Shed & Station, as these were my local trainspotting
locations during school years. If only I'd had a camera then. There is a minor
error with the Caption to Image 'lnwrmlsh1508', listed under Monument Lane
Station, it should be under the Shed. The locomotive has, has the caption
states just left the New Street Tunnel, and the Shed is immediately on the left
has the train leaves the tunnel, ie. the Shed is immediately on the right of
the loco looking at the photo. Still looking for a photo of the Station from
the road. I'll be returning to browse this site on many occasion. Keep up the
excellent job you are doing on this task.
David J. Hudson
For somebody that never knew steam on the
main lines this is a wonderful glimpse into a special time in transport
history. Thanks for all the hard work and time you have put into this amazing
site. Not to mention the porthole it provides in a part of England that my
family came from; a delight to view from my home in Canada.
Just found your site. I was fireman at
Saltley from 1946 until 1953 minus 2 years on National Service. I have a photo
of Black 5 44747 at New Street if you are interested. Keep up the good
I have now done some work on my new NWL
section and have pasted a link to it below. There is more to do, including some
interior shots of Henley box taken by one of the signallers on the day that it
was demolished and I hope to put these up over the coming few days, but you can
get a feel for the past 20 odd years from what is currently there. See
Kind regards Peter Tandy
Peter - Thanks for sharing your photos of
the signal box at Henley just prior to its demolition. Regards Mike
A fascinating site with many photos of
things I repaired, or sadly, removed in my 28 years with the British Rail Civil
Engineering Department. We completely refurbished the central section of Rugby
station roof a few years before they decided to remove it completely, and I
have spent many shifts in Kilsby tunnel. I understand it was dug from both
ends, and in both directions from the two large air shafts. Digging from one of
the shafts met an underground river, drowning many men, and delaying the tunnel
build until after the railway was opened. People and goods were transferred
around the gap by horse and carriage. One of the castellated towers at a large
shaft suffered serious damage in the October 1987 storm, and we rebuilt the
top, with advice from English Heritage, as they are listed buildings. The
painting of Kilsby Tunnel is one of the many small ventilation shafts, the
large ones have a diameter greater than the tunnel width. There was a story
that they are 60' diameter to allow rails to be turned, and it's not true. You
don't need to rotate a rail to use the other side, you just swap right and left
rails, quite apart from which, when it was built the rails weren't 60'
Fantastic, very informative, a good
Hi. At the turn of the 20th century my
great uncle was a engine driver for the L.M.S. I am trying to research him as I
work on the railway as a track inspector. I was wondering if you could help.
His name was Arthur Holland, I think he drove engines in the Birmingham area
from around 1910 to ? This is all I know and would be over the moon if you
could shed some light on my search.
Thank you Paul Riley
I came across your site whilst I was
looking for a photo of an Ivatt Mogul running in reverse with a passenger
train, and your site provides such a photo (Ref mra134 Ivatt at Alcester). It is a good photo too.
What is the copyright position on this photo? I act as a sub-editor for the
journal issued by the Hornby Railway Collectors' Association (HRCA), which is
an Association of enthusiasts who own and run old Hornby Trains. We are
non-profit-making organisation, run by volunteers. I am thinking of asking the
Editor of our Journal to include this photo in an article that I am in the
process of sub-editing. Are there any copyright problems that I ought to know
about? Would be enough simply to acknowledge the source of the photo, or would
I need to do more than that? If I am 'cleared' to use it, is it available as a
denser, higher-quality image? Thank you for your help in this matter.
I put Robert in touch with someone who
could supply the photograph.
There have not been any updates since the
end of July. I am concerned that the webmaster has become ill. If so I wish you
a speedy recovery and I hope that you can continue to contribute to this fine
Barry Purslow (EX Birmingham now in
I am pleased to report that its the amount
of work I am having to do at the moment which is stopping me from populating
the website. I work for an Regional Development Agency focused on trying to
improve the ICT regional supplier industry. The annual conference & awards
being held in November have coincided with the closure of the RDA by the
government so I am trying to do my job in parallel with trying to launch a new
business. I appreciate your kind words both about the website and my health. By
the way - I have been working on Kings Heath
station and its now complete.
Absolutly wonderful and top of the line
with details. Keep up the fantastic work.
I came across your website by accident,
but am entirely bowled over by the quality and quantity(!) of content. I can
easily see me spending many hours just browsing the atmospheric and educational
photos you display - and all for free! A brilliant site, well done indeed.
Very interesting site, superb photos. My
grandparents lived either side of main line bridge in Albany road Coventry, so
I know the area well. Excellent work. Thanks.
Wonderful photos that bring back a lot of
Love your web site. I will be back to
continue looking at all the great information you have and the historical,
well-captioned pictures. Only wish there was a site like this for Notts &
Derbys. Thanks for all your work on keeping this up.
What a truly wonderful site! It has given
me hours of pleasure already as well as many modelling ideas. Keep up the good
work - it is very appreciated.
I've just discovered your website. I was
brought up in Leicester and my father and I visited Nuneaton a number of times
in the early 1960s. Your pictures are a fantastic resource that I will come
back to often. Are you looking for more photos for the site? I do have some
good quality shots taken by my father at Nuneaton on those trips. One
correction if I may - the following photograph is at Leicester (London Road),
not Nuneaton. BR Standard No 70014 is hauling 'The Palatine' and is entering
the station from the north.
Cheers for now, John Clayson
Hi John. Many thanks for the correction -
the photo is now deleted. Regarding the offer of some photos they were superb
and are now on the website. See 'lnwr_tam2103', 'lnwrns2104' and 'lnwrns2105'.
I came across your website by accident,
but am entirely bowled over by the quality and quantity(!) of content. I can
easily see me spending many hours just browsing the atmospheric and educational
photos you display - and all for free! A brilliant site, well done indeed.
Hi Mike. I must say how great it was to
find your site! I was born a stones throw from Monument Lane railway in
Shakespeare Road and it formed most of my childhood, I spent many happy hours
train spotting there in fact it was my childhood! The only regret I have is
that I do not have my Train spotters books they would be worth a fortune now!
the engine shed and other pictures are intriguing because they were my playing
ground, in fact me and my chums at the time were always being told to "get off
the railway" I have a good knowledge of the area and lived there until my
family were rehoused in the slum clearance programme of the sixties, In one
'photo of the carriage works there is a shot of a saw mill which later became
part of Frank Moseley's garage, dealing with Armstrong Siddley motor cars! I
worked there from 1957 to 1963, my favorite train was Polyphemus which was G W
R 55678 Jubilee class, I saw this loco all the time shunting and such at the
local shed, there was a significant storage capacity at 3F (Monument Lane) and
why I didn't become a railway man I shall never know! I could write a book of
my experiences in Ladywood during my time there! but that's another story!
Very interesting to see the pictures of
Kenilworth. A sad state of affairs today.
Mike - have just come across your site. I
bought a reproduction of the 1899 / 1901 OS map for my area (Ilmington) and was
Googling to learn more about the Moreton to Stratford upon Avon Tramway and the
branch to Shipston-on-Stour, so I was really pleased to find all the
information and photographs on your excellent site, and equally pleased to look
at Kenilworth where I was brought up. It prompted me that somewhere, I have
some photos of Kenilworth Station circa 1970 that were given to me by the late
Walter Whiteman who ran his business from the station site - they stem from a
school project which I managed to persuade my teachers to permit as a rail
enthusiast! Thank you, great site.
Mike. I must begin by saying a huge thank
you for the Warwickshire Railways site; I'm a Coventrian now living in Cardiff
and it so takes me back. I was educated at Bablake and lived not that far from
the Coventry loop line both of which have always fascinated me. As your sit
proves, the Warwick railway scene was amazing, where else could you see three
of the big four. I always think to have seen A3s on the GCR, Kings on the GWR
and Duchesses on the WCML must have really been something-oh, I was born far
too late! Anyhow just in case they are of interest I was photographing in the
70s and early 80s and took slides on Kodachrome of Newdigate's Sidings box just
before (and I do mean just before!) closure and demolition. When these were
taken, the Newdigates colliery branch had already been lifted. I was also
extremely fortunate to cadge a footplate ride from Marton to Southam cement
works and back and was able to capture this on slides too. I'm enclosing a
couple of scans to see if they are of interest. If you would like to see more,
please let me know. I appreciate they are relatively recent but in another
sense they are ancient history now. Just like those Class 25 that trolled up
and down past the windows of my Bablake classrooms for years those rakes of 16
ton minerals that went on for ever! Very best wishes and many thanks again.
Hello, excellent site, as a kid I grew up
opposite the railway at Willenhall, Coventry. Witnessing the electrification
and demise of steam. Is it possible to advise me of the following, a) The last
steam workings through Coventry. b) Any contacts you may have re photos in the
area of that period 1965 - 67.
Regards, Alistair Durham.
The Casserley photo at Bournville ref 'mrb18' shows a STOP sign on the wall at the
entrance to the shed. I would like to know the exact wording of this sign - can
you assist please? Alternatively have you a good resolution copy I can purchase
in order to enlarge the section with the sign? Photo ref 'mrb685' shows the position of the sign following
removal at closure of the shed.
Kind Regards - Robin Whittle
Robin - I have sent you a close up of the
sign but it is too indistinct to help much. The photo was scanned at 300 pixels
so it is the best image possible. I have copied John Dews into this email as
John has written many off the captions on the shed and he might be able to help
you further. All the best - Mike
Great site. I am attempting to create a
model of the GWR (set 1935-9) around Hatton. I lived at Lapworth in the
Seventies and recall the ex-GWR locos climbing Hatton Bank on Sunday afternoon
specials. Good memories.
Hi Mike. Just browsing through your site
I noted the comment regarding image 'lnwrmg1593' at Marston Green as to why so many
people were about. I don't know if there was anything special going on but I
remember visiting Marson Green as a child many times during the period 1954-60.
That particular day was a Saturday and if the weather was fine it was a popular
walk from Birmingham out via the playing fields to the station. I always
remember lots of train spotters whenever I went too. In those days there would
have been a lot of pedestrian traffic and quite a number would gather at the
gates or if they were 'brave' use the footbridge. The passage of any train
seemed exciting in those days. As kids we might play on the field to the south
of the station and then rush for the bridge when word came that a train was
due. My memory was that road traffic wasn't at all heavy even by the standards
of the time so it wouldn't have been at all unusual for people to 'man' the
Best regards - Jim Shaw
Hi Jim - Many thanks for sharing your
memories of Marston Green. As I lived near to Tile Hill station in the 1950s
and 1960s I too can remember how little road traffic there was at times and how
most of us either walked or rode on our bicycles. The weather seemed much
warmer and sunnier then!!
I have been going through this excellent
site for a few days. When I was at Dunsmore Boys School in the 1960's I had a
school friend Bill Brown whose father Bob worked on the railway. The station
masters house at Clifton Mill station on the Rugby-Market Harborough line just
outside Rugby was the family home. I visited Clifton Mill box many times as my
mum's cousin Charlie was a relieve signalman in the Rugby area and could be
seen working in many boxes around the area. The large pipe or chimney in
picture lnwrclift1568a next to the box
is from memory a breather pipe for the sewers. These pipes were also known as
Bob - Thanks for the information and
memories. It all helps to provide visitors to the site with accurate
information as well as making interesting reading. If you have any other
information or reminiscences please do not hesitate to let me know.
Can anyone help please ? colour slide
required of "Halls" 4901 and 5915 to complete a colour pictorial record of all
member of the "Hall" class except for 4911 which doesn't count!
Thanks Alan Sainty -
Hi Alan. My suggestion would be to contact
either Colour Rail or the Kidderminster Railway Museum. Both have extensive
records of locomotives in both black and white photographs and slides. You
might also wish to consider contacting the on-line GWR group at Yahoo. Regards
Wonderful website, I am fascinated by
Shipston on Stour. Sadly when I click on 'gwrss1003' I get another view, is it just my
wires crossed? Some track diagrams seem to show 3-way points at the entrance to
the goods sidings, but these photos clearly show two separate sets of right
hand points. Does anyone know if the track layout was altered at some stage,
perhaps when the loading dock was built? Keep up the brilliant work.
Hi Adam. Many thanks for the kind comments
and for pointing out the insertion of the wrong link. If you spot any otrhers
please let me know. Regards Mike
Mike - May I correct the caption on your
images - Inrwcov_gas1478 and
Inrwcov_gas1478a. The location is
the Longford Generating Station of the Coventry Corporation Electricity
Department and not Coventry Gasworks at Foleshill as stated. The locomotive
shown is Coventry Corporation Electrical Department No 1 built by Andrew
Barclay (Works Number 1942) in 1929. My negative shows the engine in slightly
cleaner condition in 1946 with the owner's name and number quite legible on the
Best wishes John Hyde
Hi John - Many thanks for the correction.
(Visitors might be interested to know that John has an extensive collection of
photographic negatives not just from within the county but from across the
country. See 'photosuppliers' which list
John's contact details). Regards Mike
Hello I have just been looking at image
'lnwrcll107', and just thought I would let
you know that this is not an Alvis car. Although it is very similar to an Alvis
TD21. I'm not sure which make of car it is, but as I work for Red Triangle in
Kenilworth who took over the servicing of Alvis cars from 1968 to the present
day, I am confident that it is not an Alvis. P.S. Very good site, keep up the
good work, especially the Coventry loop line, which I remember from my
Many Thanks - Frank Moseley
Hi Mike, just found your site, great
browsing. the caption to image 'lnwrcll107'
mentions an Alvis car body. This looks to me more like a Humber Hawk of the
Yours - Hugh Evans
Amazing that the same error should be
spotted and reported within 24 hours of each other. My thanks to both Frank and
Hugh for pointing out the error and Hugh for the correct description. I suppose
the answer should have been obvious insofar that the Rootes Group were shipping
bodies via the yard to Linwood in Scotland in the 1960s and were most likely to
have used the facility.
A thoroughly inspirational website. I am
too young to remember steam, but many of the locations are familiar and it is
fascinating to see how things looked in the past. It has inspired me to build a
model railway layout based around Kenilworth. Between this wonderful site and
Robin Leach's books I have more than enough reference material to keep me going
for years. Congratulations and keep up the good work.
Mike - Enjoyed the site which I found
whilst doing some railway research. Might I suggest that the photograph: Rugby
Station: lnwrrm732, is in fact Jubilee 45673
Keppel (not 45573 Newfoundland) as it appears to have a very small
Good luck, Vic Smith
Vic - Many thanks for the correction and
A hugely interesting and enjoyable site,
even to a dyed in the wool 'Swedie'. I think I will spend a lot more time in
the future just browsing! By the way - there is a broken link in the Alcester
section 'alcester_gwr.htm'. The first
image, referred to as 'mra453' actually tries to load 'gwra435'. I have tried a
couple of different things to get it to load and I think it should actually
point to 'mra453.htm'.
Graham - Many thanks for the kind words,
especially from someone who is a GWR enthusiast! Thanks too for pointing out
the broken link. I think it must have occurred when I revamped the GWR part of
the site - hopefully I have now fixed the problem. However it did make me
realise that I needed to upgrade the MR section of
Alcester station, so that was Bank Holiday
Sunday gone. If you see any others please let me know.
May I congratulate all involved in
putting together a highly entertaining package for us old ultra-mature railways
enthusiasts. I could go on but, suffice it to say, I can not find on any other
geographic allocation capable of producing such an enthralling package. Hasn't
Lancs or Yorks or even the South- East come up with anything comparable.
Best Regards - Paul Longhurst
Paul wrote an article in Issue 214, April
2005, Steam World 'An Old Boy Reminiscences'. Steam World did not use even 10%
of the photographs submitted, and he would like to find them a home - Paul
describes them as a mixed-bag of appreciation photographs of steam. My advice
to anyone wishing to find a home for their collection depends on whether they
are the photographer or where they own the copyright compared to just having
collected photographs taken by others - as in my case. If the former and a
little extra income would help then you could consider loaning the negatives to
Roger Carpenter or someone similar in return for a percentage of the sale of
prints. If however you wish to donate them then you should consider the HMRS,
RCTS, Kidderminster Railway Museum or a society. All of the organisations I
have named will make the photographs available to enthusiasts at very
reasonable rates whereas the NRM or other public sector organisations often
charge ten times as much and therefore few people will be able to benefit from
your foresight to have taken the photographs.
What a wonderful website. Brings back
many memories of days spent at Rugby and Shilton. So informative many of the
scenes I had forgotten but thanks to all the hard work and effort they are
fresh in the memory. Problem is that once on this website I don't want to come
off it. Seeing old locos like 41902 and 41909 takes me back to the days of the
1950s when short cab rides were not beyond a friendly driver. How those days
were taken for granted, nothing was ever going to replace steam, something else
I got wrong. Please keep up the excellent work.
Hi. I spent a whole afternoon and part of
the evening browsing through your web site, and as others have stated, it most
certainly brought back many memories of my younger life spent in the midlands.
I was born in Birmingham in the mid 1930s, I lived and worked there until early
1970 when I finally moved south to Dorset. I was absolutely enthralled with
what I found, to such a degree that it has inspired me to do something I have
always wanted to do for many years now. That something, is to fine scale model
Birmingham New Street Railway Station circa 1938. The information your web site
exhibits is most informative and the photo's are delight to observe. Although
one particular picture did bring tears to my eyes, however , that is a personal
matter and I shall not go into it any further. Thank you for such an
entertaining afternoon, I will most certainly keep an eye on your web site from
time to time.
I do have one question though, and that
is can you possibly tell me where I might get a full size copy of one of your
images? The image in question is 'lnwrbns_str1310' the 1950 layout plan of
Birmingham New Street station, as this will then be the initial basis of my
modelling. Needless to say I need as large a size of this drawing image as I
can get in order to be able to accurately scale from it. A further point, if
the drawing is taken from a book, would you be kind enough to let me know which
book so that I may be able to trace the original source drawing to obtain a
large copy for scaling purposes. Thank you so very much.
Kindest regards, Brian Nicholls.
Brian - I am very pleased that you enjoyed
the photographs and are inspired enough to build a layout of New Street in the
1950s. I trust you have plenty of time on your hands! The plan is not accurate
enough to use it for scaling if you want a perfect representation of the
station but if its only to capture the look and feel it should be good enough.
I will contact you via your email. You should refer to the excellent books on
Birmingham New Street Station by Richard Foster and an article by Mike Hitches
in British Railways Illustrated Volume 2 No 5 June-July 1993 published by
Irwell Press. If still available try their back order facility on 01525 861888.
Let us know how you get on with the layout.
Following my response to the above email
Brian wrote the following:
Hi Mike, Thank you kindly for the prompt
response and included information. As you say the image copy may or may not be
large enough to accurately scale from however, as they say, every little helps.
I will investigate further into the information you have provided. My intention
is to produce an accurately scaled working model of the station in what is
referred to as P4 Fine Scale Gauge, which is scaled at 4mm to 1ft. I will keep
you posted from time to time on the progress of the modelling, perhaps even
send a few photos. However, as you may conclude, I am at the research and
planning stage at this time. Clearly it is not a five minute job and is going
to take some time before any recognisable form emerges. Who knows one day it
may be exhibited! Bye the way, a fellow called Jim Smith-Wright whose web site
may be found at p4newstreet.com has modelled a very fine example of this
station in its current modern state (electrification and all), and his
attention to detail is very admirable. I have spoken to Jim and he stated that
he new little of the older station (prior to the 1964 re-construction) but has
kindly offered some drawings and information on certain parts of the station
that have remained, relatively speaking, as was. Incidentally, if I come across
any interesting information or photos during my research I will keep you in
mind and pass on to you what I can. Finally I would like to say again, that I
really did enjoy your web site, and I sincerely hope it will flourish and go on
for many years to come.
Kindest regards, Brian Nicholls.
Hi. Just been having a look at some
photos, and can clarify a couple of points. Photo 'lnwrrm850'. The bridge in the distance is
Clifton Rd bridge (275). However the lines from the left are: Up Northampton
Goods, Up Northampton, Up Fast. Down Peterborough, Down Northampton (both at
higher level). Down fast coming out of the hole, and the Down Goods extreme
right. The signal on the right of the picture on the gantry reads off the Down
Peterborough, This signal, along with two other colour light signals off the
Down Northampton and Down Fast which are out of view, replaced the massive
gantry provided by the GCR at Rugby South. Photo lnwrrm888. This photo shows the up platform
line (Up Slow), and siding 6 under the roof. The Up fast line (commonly known
as the Up Through) is to the right of the roof supporting columns. Siding 6 was
known as the 'Up Pilot', and in later years usually held a Black 5 which was
for shunting duties, and to assist trains that were in trouble. There was a
similar siding, the Down Pilot (Siding 4) at the North end of the Down
platform. Another Black 5 would be kept there for shunting and standby
Hope this info clarifies. Andy Taylor.
Operations Manager South. West Coast Railways.
I can only offer my congratulations to
all those involved in creating this site. I'm in the process of researching my
first large model-railway layout and I find it wonderfully comprehensive with
regards to information both written and visual. It's a great resource and
enjoyable to peruse just for enjoyment. I especially like the idea of links
along the route to stations and sheds etc.. Do you have anywhere that viewers
can offer contributions to it's upkeep? I'd be happy to donate a few pounds to
Regards, Kevin Riches
Kevin - Many thanks for both the kind
comments and offer of financial support. Because 'Powweb', who host the site,
do not charge a lot for their hosting service - despite it having more than
6500 pages - I am able to finance the cost myself. However as retirement looms
- possibly enforced within a year after the election as I am a contractor in
the public sector - I might have to look for financial contributions. At the
moment what would help is identifying sources of information and photographs on
the Coventry to Nuneaton line and most routes out of Birmingham towards
Tamworth and Lichfield. Books which contain photographers names and information
on the stations on these routes are very rare indeed. Mike
A superb site, the two Jubilees on
Coventry shed in the 1960s solved a 45 year old mystery for me! Arthur Flowers
and I corresponded in the early 1980s and he kindly sent me copies of his
Birstall photos for exhibition at my library. His and all the rest of the
photographs are excellent.
Ken - I am pleased you like the site and
that its helped to solve a mystery for you. Arthur was a gentlemen of the old
school very helpful to me. For about a year I was fortunate enough to work in
Foleshill near to where he lived and spent many a pleasurable hour listening to
his stories and looking at his photographs. He was taken into care by the
council some years later and I have no idea as to what happened to his
negatives. Someone said his sister might have them but that's speculation. I
thought Pat Whitehouse was going to be the beneficiary but apparently not. At
least some of us have prints as testament to his photography.
The web site links will allow me to
research GWR in the West Midlands. From my first look I'm going to enjoy
Mike - I hope you make use of the
Bibliography too as there are a number of journals and books that will
Hi, I enjoy your great site, my special
area of interest is the Monument Lane/Harborne Junction part of the Stour
Valley line. I was wondering if you have access to all of Peter Shoesmiths
photos? As he seems to have taken many in this seemingly overlooked area. If
you do have any photographs of this area other than those already posted I
would be grateful if you could let me know on the given email address.
Kind regards Peter Quigley
Peter - I have some of Peter Shoesmith's
photographs but not necessarily of the Monument Lane/Harborne route. I have a
number of interesting photographs yet to upload on the Harbourne Line which I
hope to do soon. I am just completing the Stratford on Avon to Pebworth section
of the GWR's line to Honeybourne after which I will be returning to the
Leamington to Coventry line (just three locations) followed by revisiting the
lines emanating from Birmingham.
Hi Mike - You may or may not be able to
help. My wife's grandfather (Archibald Cook ) was a driver of a LMS train
during WW2 where by acts of bravery driving his train full of munitions he was
awarded the George medal. I have attached the London Gazette with the story for
your perusal (pasted below - Mike). I am in the process of trying to locate
records of this incident, Including which train he was driving at the time, the
route etc. Eventually we would dearly love to obtain a copy of his service
records. So if you can help us with any of the above or put us on to others
that may help we would be appreciated.
The following appeared in the
London Gazette on Friday 18th December 1942
Awarded the George
Medal: Archibald Cook, Engine Driver, London, Midland and Scottish
Railway Company. George Herbert Simkiss, Fireman, London, Midland and Scottish
Awarded the British Empire Medal (Civil Division):
Richard Edward Barrett, Kitchen Porter, Birmingham. George Carter,
Warden, Civil Defence Wardens Service, Birmingham. William Eric Deakin,
Machinist, Birmingham. Henry Jacob Harrison, Length Ganger, London, Midland and
Scottish Railway Company.
Incendiary bombs set fire to a train which
was carrying high explosives. Driver Cook brought it to a standstill but could
not extinguish the flames. He decided to isolate the burning van and, with the
help of Simkiss, uncoupled it and drew the front portion of the train forward.
It was then found that a second vehicle in the rear portion was on fire and
Simkiss isolated this also. Carter, Deakin and Barrett, although they were
warned of the contents of the wagons and understood the danger, rendered every
possible assistance to prevent the fire from spreading. It was eventually
brought under control by the National Fire Service, and it was then found that
boxes of explosive would have to be unloaded. Carter and Deakin helped to pull
open the door of one of the vans.
As it opened, flames and smoke were
emitted from the interior of the truck and Carter, Deakin and Barrett sustained
burns to the face and eyes, and all three had to go to a first aid post. Ganger
Harrison entered another van and threw out boxes on to the line. Whilst so
doing, one of these fell and pinned him down by the leg but, with help, he
freed himself and continued to work until the van was emptied. The lines were
blocked with heaped up boxes of explosive and Harrison, though wet through by
water from the hoses and suffering from an injured leg and burnt hands,
continued to work alone for thirteen hours to clear the lines and allow traffic
to proceed. All the men showed great courage and devotion to duty.
Enemy--^aircraft were operating, a heavy anti-aircraft barrage was in progress
at the time and the men were fully aware of the danger from the explosives to
which they were exposed.
Kind Regards David & Margaret Young
(Maiden name Cook)
David and Margaret. A really wonderful
story of bravery on the home front by people just going about their everyday
business. I will contact a number of people that might be able to help but
hopefully if anyone reading your request can help with any information then if
they send it to me I will certainly forward it on to you. If you do find out
more please let us know as I would love to put your grandfather's story on the
website. Best wishes Mike.
Colin from the Birmingham On-line Forum
replied, 'The incident is recorded in the book Heroes of the Birmingham Air
raids by Michael Minton :- At about 1:45am Thursday 30th July Driver Cook ,
Fireman Simkiss and Guard James Reynolds arrived at goods yard ..proceeding
from Bordesley Junction toward Lawley Street...and shortly after passing
Coventry Road Bridge two wagons were hit by incendiary bombs There follows a
detailed report and includes a picture of Harrison, Cook and Simkiss. It also
mentions that details were taken from the book Heroes of Road and Rail by
George C Curnock'.
I hope the following will be of help.
When I was a boy in the 1940s & 1950s I lived near the
Coventry Loop line. In the 1940s I
lived near the Bell Green good yard and from my bedroom I could watch the
shunting engines working there. I recall there being various 0-6-0s and 0-8-0s,
being used as the main engines. During the war, when Coventry was being
subjected to regular bombings, I remember seeing a train going regularly along
the line with a large anti-aircraft gun mounted on a long flat wagon. I think
it was being used to defend the large factories in the area, (e.g. Alfred
Herbert, Morris Engines, etc.). During the above time I recall that every
lunchtime, a small freight train used to leave the Bell Green yard and head to
Gosford Green yard. On route it would stop at the Morris Engines factory to
shunt wagons into the factory and collect wagons from there. The Morris factory
had a small 0-4-0 diesel to marshal the wagons around the factory. There would
also be a pickup and exchange of wagons at this stop from sidings on the other
side of the main line which were used by the Royal Ordinance factory. Their
factory was about half a mile from the main line and they had a spur line from
the sidings to the factory. There main motive power was provided by a small
0-4-0 steam tank engine. If I recall correctly the line went right through the
factory, across the Stoney Stanton Road, via a level crossing, to a large scrap
yard at Priestly Bridge. I think that the line may have continued to Courtaulds
factory, and perhaps link up with the Coventry Nuneaton line near
Foleshill Station. After this round of shunting the freight train continued
onto Gosford Green Yard. I am sorry if the above is a bit vague but it is now
my memory trying to drag back events from 60 years ago!
R A Walford
Many thanks for sharing your memories of
both the the war and immediate post-war period, the latter when I was wearing
short trousers. Vague or not they are still very interesting and unless someone
like you commits pen to paper, they will be lost forever. Best wishes Mike
Great website with plenty of foresight.
Keep up the good work it is appreciated.
Many thanks for the excellent site. I
spent many a happy hour on the Trent Valley Line and The Wolverhampton to Rugby
route in the late 1940s and the 1950s and the photographs, some of which I had
never seen before, were a real nostalgia trip. Just one observation regarding
print 'lnwrbw536' taken at Brandon and
Wolston. The locomotive cannot be either Phoenix or Comet, or indeed any of the
rebuilt Patriots, but is one of the Scots as only these had the small footsteps
on the front of the inside cylinder cover. Also, the gap between the top of the
cover and the bottom of the smokebox was less on the Scots than it was on the
other two classes. Hope I have won the 'anorak of the month award, but this is
the way we could recognise a Scot from a distance when we were spotting at
Rugeley TV. Many thanks for the fine site.
Regards Pete Kibble
Many thanks for the corrections to the two
photographs. The photos are in print as being Rebuilds of Jubilees and Patriots
but I cannot blame this error on others as I should have made the same
observations as you did. 'Anoraks' are much abused people today. There is
nothing wrong in trying to get something right for the sake of accuracy which
is how we stop dumbing down to the lowest common dominator. If you see any more
please let me know.
Mike. The unidentified 4-2-2 at Somerset
Road 'mrsr27' on your excellent Warwickshire
Railways site is one of the piston valve 115 series with the distinctive front
end framing (similar to the 60 class 4-4-0s) Nos 126-8/30-1 built in 1899 were
based at sheds on the west road so this engine would be from this batch. The
headlamp code is that used by the Midland for express trains before the
introduction of the RCH codes on 1/2/1903. From the composition of the rolling
stock I would put the date around 1899-1900. I will check through the other
Midland related images to see what I can add.
Peter Witts Information Officer Midland
Peter - Many thanks for the information on
the photograph and your offer to add other information to other photographs on
the website. It all helps to make the website a better resource for
enthusiasts, historians and anyone interested in the railway heritage of the
county which has now long disappeared.
An excellent site with great
contributions both photos and captions. I am particularly interested in north
of Birmingham and would like to see more contributions of Bescot, South
Staffs., Walsall, Cannock Line etc, if possible. Keep up the good work.
Mike - Many thanks for the kind comments
on the website. Unfortunately I am going to have to disappoint you regarding
adding more contributions of Bescot, South Staffs., Walsall, Cannock Line etc.
I believe that Great Barr is the last station in Warwickshire nearest to the
area that interests you. I still have several years of work ahead to revisit
sections completed several years ago. They need to be upgraded with larger and
clearer photos and better captions plus I need to add many new photos of other
stations. The task is therefore too great for me to extend the remit of the
website to go beyond the border of the County of Warwickshire.
Hi! Some friends of mine have recently
taken over the Coventry Arms (formerly the Railway Inn) in Rugby Road,
Leamington and have asked me if I could provide any photos or information about
Milverton Station. I have selected 2 nice ones
lnwrwar_stn1408 from your site and
would like to know if I could obtain any copies of these two pictures to be
displayed on the wall of the pub. I am quite willing to pay for these and think
it would be nice to obtain permission from the owner of the pictures before we
use them. Can you help in any way? I think this is a wonderful website and
never tire of looking at it. I live in Leamington but work in Alcester and
Stratford so have used the site for research on many occasions.
Thanks - Mick Chapman
Mick - For some reason I haven't recorded
the source of the photographs so I will have to find the postcards to check.
Memory says that they are from Real Photos which I think have been purchased by
one of the Railway Magazine publishers or by the NRM who are much more
expensive compared to the KRM, Lens of Sutton, Roger Carpenter etc. You maybe
interested to know that after I have completed the North Warwickshire line (I
am currently starting Stratford on Avon working southwards) I will be starting
at Warwick Milverton to work my way towards Coventry.
A great site with lots of fantastic
images. I have one very (very) minor bit of useful (useless?) information which
you might want to add. The wooden platform at 'Berkswell and Balsall Common'
was still there and still in use as late as 1984. I don't know if it is still
there. I doubt it. But it was definitely there then, in 1984. I know because I
slipped on it in the freezing fog one night and got a sprain for my trouble!
There's a bit of local history for you...
Great to see the photos of Alcester
station. I can remember going with my father, John, to pick up coal from the
station goods yard in the fifties! Shovelled by hand into sacks!
It would seem that the gentleman 2nd from
the right, back row in image 'lnwrrm885'
could very well be my great grandfather Sam(uel) Collier (born 1850). He worked
his way up from the bottom to be a station inspector at Rugby. Due to retire
just before the outbreak of the First World War he was asked to stay on until
the end of hostilities. Eventually dying in the 1920s. There was an obituary in
the Rugby Advertiser and a portrait photo in his inspectors cap. The photo
alongside the previously mentioned one also appears to have him in its midst .
. but a lot younger then! An interesting number of photos and information of
Rugby where I was born and grew up . . now in Australia
Maurice A. Collier
First of all Mike can I please say thank
you. I was born in 1979 and am now 30 years old so I have missed out on all the
memories of railways long since disappeared from the Warwickshire towns,
villages and countryside I thought I knew so well. I grew up in Warwick and now
live in Rugby. I work in Leamington Spa and as part of my job tour the county
every week now trying to spot details from your collection of pictures. If I'm
honest then I've never really had an interest in trains, and the trains are not
the draw, for me, to your web site. Its more of the way of life the railways
had, the buildings that have been lost and trying to plan out the original
locations and routes with Google Earth. I also feel huge disappointment over
the losses Dr Beeching brought to this and other counties. I know it would
never happen but I would love to see all the lost railways re-instated around
Warwickshire in order to ease the traffic on today's roads. I sure it gets
harder and harder to find new material for the website so good luck with that.
Please feel proud that it brings enjoyment to thousands.
Thanks again. - Paul Carey
Paul - Many thanks for giving us the view
of the website from someone too young to have seen steam railways in the
county. I agree with you that railways are more than just the trains. In many
ways it was the infrastructure and social history that attracted me to building
Fascinating and inspiring! Please keep up
this good work.
Canon Ian Shelton
Thanks for your hard work in putting this
site together. As an Ex Brummie brought up in Tyseley where I was a keen
trainspotter, but living in Bolton, Lancashire since 1957 Your site is a Gold
mine of info as I'm 2 years into building a OO gauge layout based on Tyseley
and Stratford on Avon. I'm now beginning to replace kit buildings by scratch
models to improve accuracy, so your photos are very helpful. Well Done.
Colin - Thanks for the kind words which
are now in the guest book. You will have noted that currently I am working my
way down from Tyseley to Stratford on Avon station so you will be pleased to
know that I have a lot of photographs to add for Stratford on Avon station
including aerial shots. Did you know that the Stratford on Avon versus
Stratford upon Avon debate is still continued to this day? The district council
is Stratford on Avon whilst the town council is Stratford upon Avon. So in GWR
days you could travel by train to Stratford upon Avon and get off at Stratford
on Avon station and then cross the town to get on the former SMJ now LMS
service at Stratford Old Town.
The Warwickshire website is so good and
so near-definitive I wish we could have similar ones for other counties. If any
web-savvy person wants to do one for any other Midlands county I would be glad
to help with info and research.
Dear Mike. I love exploring your
Warwickshire Railways site and recently looked at your Birmingham Central Goods
Yard photos. It made me recall taking a shot of the offices to the yard in
October 1964 just before they were demolished to make way for the inner ring
road scheme. After much rummaging in the attic I've found it and attach
herewith (see image 'mrcgy691'). On the map
shown on your site you will note there is a little triangle of land at the east
end of Holliday Street where it joins Suffolk Street. The offices were located
on this triangle with roads on all three sides. The building in the background
is the former Central Grammar School then housing the Matthew Boulton Technical
College. I shot the film to record buildings about to be lost with the
redevelopment of the city centre and there are some of New Street Station,
Queens Hotel and Snow Hill (none particularly brilliant) but I will copy and
forward if you would like to see them.
I think your website is great. Of special
interest to myself is the information on the North Warwickshire Line as I grew
up in Earlswood, went to school in Henley and college in Stratford in the
1980s. My friend's dad was a train driver on the route and used to let me sit
in the cab if I got on his train, which was awesome! Not sure if you could do
that now though. Thanks for a great informative website.
Thanks- love this site- especially the
stuff round Leamington, GWR and LMS as I live in Leamington. Born 1970, these
photos all pre-date me, so some 'then and now' comparisons would be nice!
Hi Steve. Many thanks for the kind
comments regarding the site. I am afraid that if I added the 'now' aspect to
the site I would not stand a chance of completing the 'then' side of
warwickshirerailways. If you want a 'now' version you should visit Andy
Doherty's http://www.railaroundbirmingham.co.uk/ which provides
modern images of most of the stations on this site as well adding others from
the north of the West Midlands.
Good morning I am interested in
purchasing a book which explains the origins and the demise of the railway
lines/stations around the Rugby/Warwickshire area before/after Dr Beeching
closed them down in the 1960s e.g. The Great Central Railways now a nature
reserve where people walk/cycle/walk their dogs.. I wonder if you could point
me in the right direction for the above? Many thanks in advance.
Patricia - Your timing is absolutely
perfect as I have recently received a copy of Geoffrey Kingscott's book 'Lost
Railways of Warwickshire' published by Countryside Books (ISBN
976-1-84674-174-6) and retailed at £11.99.
Part of the 'Lost Railway
Series' its Geoffrey's fourth book in the series and despite his fulsome credit
to www.warwickshirerailways.com I had very little involvement in this
invaluable source of information. Its a perfect compliment to my website
because Geoffrey's book is not the normal 'before and after' photo format
frequently seen, its a well researched book that provides a good understanding
of the development of each route and the stations along the line.
complaint is that publisher was too narrow in their definition of the county of
Warwickshire so we have another book covering the parts of Warwickshire
swallowed up by the now defunct county of West Midlands. This book 'Lost
Railways of Birmingham & The West Midlands' is written by Terry Moors
(ISBN: 9781846741098) and retails at £10.99. I have yet to see a copy of
Terry Moors' book.
If you visit their website
www.countrysidebooks.co.uk, the discount they offer on
their on-line orders can cover the cost of post and packing if the two books
I have just visited your website. I have
recently bought the Colour-Rail business
mentioned on the site and thus the contact details have changed. We also now
have B&W material back to 1900 and sell prints and downloads as well as
Paul - May I wish you all the success for
the future as your taking over the Colour Rail business ensures that this
invaluable resource is still available. What I really like now is that I can
peruse your website and see what I am buying rather than hope a description
accurately portrays the composition of the image. The fact that you also supply
black and white photographs and other subjects too makes it a real bonus.
Congratulations on an excellent and
interesting website. As a Coventry kid who spent his formative years alongside
the Coventry to Nuneaton line may I be permitted to make some observations
about two of the photographs featuring Coventry shed. Image 'lnwrcov654' is of, I believe, No 40002 and not
No 40032 as stated in the text. Fowler 3MT No 40032 was fitted with condensing
equipment and spent most of its' BR life at Kentish Town. The locomotive in the
picture is not fitted with the equipment and No 40002, which was never fitted,
was a Warwick locomotive in early BR days. May I also point out that image 'lnwrcov659' which shows locomotive No 48526
inside Coventry shed may have been taken at Rugby and not Coventry as the
caption suggests. Keep up the good work.
Best regards, Phil King
Phil - Many thanks for the kind comments.
Upon closer examination of the two photographs I can confirm that you are
indeed correct on both accounts. I have corrected the description of No 40002
and have moved No 48526 to the Rugby shed pages.
I was very interested to find this site
as my grandfather, Mr E Kilby, was Stationmaster at Studley for many years, my
mother grew up in the station house. I have a couple of pictures of the station
while he was active, and as a child, spent many hours with Grampy Kilby on the
allotments that used to be on the embankment. Further history of my family is
that my Grandfather on my Fathers side was the carpenter at Coughton Court,
where my father grew up.
Best regards Mike Boote
I am an amatuer film maker, making a film
of the Market Harborough to Northampton railway. I have located a photograph of
Lamport Station in a book and it is credited to 'Lens of Sutton' but I cannot
locate it on your site. Is this (or any other pictures of this line)
Thanks - Colin Sullivan
Colin - Lampton does not fall within the
county of Warwickshire so its not on my website. Your best bet is to contact
Lens of Sutton or
Roger Carpenter as they will have access to
the photograph you require and possibly others of the station. Best of luck
with the film. Regards Mike
Found your pages on Stonebridge Railway
very interesting, having walked part of route. Your website is excellent. You
mention a bridge failure at 'Packwood' on the
Hampton in Arden station page.
I believe this should read 'Packington'. Packwood is several miles away near
Hi Noel - Many thanks for spotting the
typo it should have said Packington.
A wonderful website, and one I visit
regularly - many thanks. I would like to advise a small error in one of the
captions, as follows: Under LMS, Trent Valley Railway. in Part 3 of the
Lineside views, the third photo by G Coltas, ref: 'lnwr tt1218'. The caption reads Town Thoms as
a location, but should read Town Thorns cutting. Again many thanks for hours of
Hi Roger - Many thanks for your kind
comments and for pointing out my error. I obviously read the 'r and n' as a 'm'
on the reverse of the photograph.
Mike. Thanks for the photos on the Snow
Hill page. There are photographs which I have never seen many examples of
before such as the 3900 class and some of the 4-4-0s.
Peter A Montarlot
Excellent site and photos! However one
small quibble. Hawthorns Halt was not one of the original stations along
the line to Wolverhampton as it was opened on 25th December 1931. And no, this
is not a mistake! At that time football matches were played on Christmas Day
and some trains ran. As the whole purpose of the Hawthorns Halt was to cater
for match day traffic, and as West Bromwich played Birmingham City that day, it
makes sense. (The return match was on Boxing Day) I do wonder though, how many
other stations opened on the 25th December? Information from Main Line to
Metro, by John Boynton, Mid England Publishing
Thanks Tony for pointing out my mistake
which I had taken from a book on Snow Hill. Its now been deleted from the list
of statioons opened with the line to Wolverhampton.
Excellent website.It brings the memories
all flooding back. PS On the Snow Hill section photo gwrbsh1246 is wronly
Dave - Many thanks for pointing out my
error (I had left the previous photos caption on the thumnail) and for your
Hello Mike, I for one appreciate your
efforts to bring such decent pictures to a wider audience, please continue.
Thank you, Graham Beare
For a historian of canal and railway
goods traffic this website is wonderful because it looks at the whole life of
the railway. Many sites focus on locos or prestige trains, or on individual
wagons. This one sees the railway in the round and is very well presented. A
good innovation would be to enable all the photos of a particular location to
be viewed sequentially instead of having to go back to select the next
Thanks for all your hard work, mike. Your
site is a treasure!
Hello Mike, Your site is the best I've
seen. A really good effort of research and planning and dedication. It is very
kind of you to devote so much time to your Warwickshire Archive. I think that
the crediting of DS Barrie for some of the Shipston-on-Stour branch
pictures is an error - they were supplied by me and were from Dr. Jack
Hollick's negatives. All those marked DS Barrie should be credited to
Dr or J Hollick. I have three views of 46251 at Snow Hill in June 1964 -
are these of interest to you? I can also provide some views of the Warwickshire
SMJ including Fenny, EHLR, Stratford and Broom Junction. I have views of the
signalling at Leamington north end but towards the end - horrible LMR signals I
think I have a view of the Great Alne station from the road approach, Lilbourne
appears to be in Warwickshire - just.
Best wishes. Adrian Vaughan
Extremely good website. Particularly
interested in pictures of the old Coventry station. Brought back memories.
Mr Musson: Your warwickshirerailways
website incorporates a splendid selection of very fine photographs. Thank you
for making it available to a huge audience. May I question the text
accompanying photograph 'gwrs1017' (part of
your Solihull collection), which you say shows a train on the up slow line. If
my memory is correct, the picture will have been taken from Streetsbrook Road
bridge, looking towards Leamington. The fast lines are on the left and the slow
on the right. The train is therefore on a fast line. I hope that my observation
is correct and helpful to you.
Regards John Greenway Billericay,
Many thanks for the kind comments and the
correction to the caption which is now updated. Observations such as your helps
to ensure that the website is as accurate as possible. If you see any others or
can add to the text please do not hesitate to let me know. My knowledge of most
lines in the county are very limited so I rely on others to flesh out my brief
A splendid and enjoyable site and a good
source for reference. Photo's bring back a flood of good memories. I plan to
model the North Warwickshire Line at Shirley. I had track plans of Shirley
& Hall Green but they have been lost or mislaid so my search goes on.
Enjoyed the nostalgia as I was a fireman
at Monument Lane between 1956 to 1959 after which I then moved to Saltley where
I remained until 1993.
Frank J Carter
What a superb site which has brought back
many memories and pictures of some of Aston shed's 'Black 5s'.
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