LMS Route: Trent Valley Line
LMS Route: Nuneaton to Leamington (LNWR)
LMS Route: Nuneaton to Birmingham (MR)
Nuneaton Shed: lnwrnsh348
Looking towards the exit of Nuneaton shed with the branch
line to Coventry on the left and Nuneaton No 1 Signal Box in the background. In
the foreground ex-LMS 0-6-0T Jinty No 47594 is shunting locomotive coal wagons
to the coaling plant, its 75 ton bunker needing regular topping up. Built by WG
Bagnall in September 1928 No 47594 remained in service until July 1964 when it
was withdrawn from Edge Hill shed in Liverpool to be scrapped during September
1964 by Maden & McKee of Stanley in Liverpool.
Peter Lee writes on the NLHG website, 'Classic
trainspotting days remembered at Nuneaton shed. For those who can remember
hanging out as school kids by the scout hut at the bottom of Glebe Road.
Coventry line to the left, Nuneaton No 1 signal box in the
background. A rake of carriages. Nuneaton's shed pilot Class 3F 0-6-0T No 47594
was allocated to Nuneaton until April 1959. The shed pilot was used to shunt
locos around the shed yard, or in this case position coal wagons into place for
coaling locos during their turn around on the shed. Sometimes 47594 would be
used for shunting in the north end goods yard.
The concrete cabin to the right of the picture was the
Enginemen's "Bothy". The cabin was used for a "brew up" during rest periods and
"snap time". An iron kettle was kept boiling 24 hours a day so that the
enginemen could brew tea on demand. The stove being fired up 24 hours a day as
well and the heat gave the "Bothy" a fairly "fetid" atmosphere especially in
summer. One old engine driver, Ray Smith, remembers calling in there one day
for a brew up found the cabin filled with enginemen having their refreshment.
Ray had a filthy cold and in the process of sneezing put half the men in the
"Bothy" "on the box". He was given the nickname "Virus" after that episode.
Most railwaymen had a nickname, I guess it made it easier to check on who was
where. "Where's 'Virus' today, Oh, he's on the Tamworth tripper", that sort of
thing, and if he was on the Tamworth his day would have been interjected with a
trip to the Albert or Lord Redesdale pubs, a favourite interlude for railwaymen
on the Trent Valley trippers.
The former position of the turntable stood in the gap in
the tracks just beyond the "Bothy". It was removed from the front of the shed
to the back during the war to ease pressure on releasing engines from the yard.
By going onto the turntable at the rear of the shed they could move off over
the loop line at the back of the shed. War time conditions resulted in
increased numbers of engines using the shed facilities and this led to frequent
blockages (engines in the wrong position prior to release, for example).
Where the trainspotters are standing on the piece of raised
ground on the left was an iron fence which fenced off a cinder path which led
from there down to the station. This enabled railwaymen to walk back to the
station. I remember running down this cinder path which was hardly wide enough
for two men to pass as a kid (I guess I was trespassing). When electrification
arrived installing the overhead gantries impinged on this path and instead of
scrapping the fencing it seems to have been pushed back to the boundary of the
houses and retained. In later years it was either replaced or covered with
British Rail standard palisade fencing and on my frequent weekly visits to
London always look out to see if I can get a glimpse of that old iron fence
still trapped between the modern stuff and the garden walls as I pass by on the
train. It brings back so many memories of my train spotting days in the good
old days of steam.
The Glebe Road trainspotting viewing point was an all year
round location for us as we had the whole galaxy of main line, Leicester line,
Coventry line and the loco shed to entertain us, but in the summer we would go
out to Ashby Junction and spot there as it was a nice bike ride, and we could
see what was going on over the Abbey Street and Ashby lines as well. But there
is no doubt this was our favourite place. Another memory is going to the
grocers shop on the corner of Wheat Street and King Edward Road and buying a
frozen "Jubbly". This was a triangular block of frozen orange juice which you
could suck on and it lasted for miles. The problem was after an hour of sucking
this orange ice block, your lips and face was liberally smeared with orange
juice and this resulted in a good flanelling from our Mams when we got home.
Photograph Alan Cook Collection courtesy of Nuneaton
Local History Group.