INTRODUCTION BY DAVID HEY
The compilation of this website would not be possible without the wonderful support from contributors and well wishers - railwaymen and enthusiasts alike - all of whom shared a small boy's passion for trains and railways. Some boys fulfilled their lifetime's dream of becoming enginemen - men like Jim Carter for instance, whose superb collection of steam photos taken during his 27 years in the footplate grade are unparalleled.
Born in 1937, Jim was spotting engine numbers from an early age; he can vividly recall the changing face of Britain's railways in the North-west of England during childhood when the 'Big Four' railway companies were nationalised in 1948. He can recall the excitement of leaving school and starting work for British Railways as an engine cleaner at Sutton Oak shed in 1953.
Within two years, however, the British Transport Commission announced its Modernisation Programme, the emphasis of which was to replace steam with modern diesels and electric traction, and very soon the demise of steam began gathering momentum at an alarming rate. However, despite the new-fangled diesels began making major inroads, Jim - an enthusiast through and through - continued to capture the everyday goings-on around him with his camera.
For the rest of us, there was only one hobby to speak of during those less-worldly days. Before mobile phones and computer games became mainstream, train spotting continued to capture the hearts of thousands of boys; it was the most popular of pastimes that embraced every emotion from great joy and elation to deep despair and unfulfilled hopes.
By the mid-Sixties, however, with all signs of steam's departure only a few years away, it suddenly became a race against time as uncontrollable as the wildest edge of obsession. It was no longer a case of boys being bitten by the spotting bug. It had developed into a full-blown epidemic!----But precious little was known about the scale of dedication except for those working on the railway; men like Jim, who witnessed first-hand the kamikaze invasions by small boys of engine sheds in search of 'cops'. Indeed whilst most nostalgia websites idealise past decades like the Sixties, this site would rather tell it how it really was, and the truth is that many railwaymen like Jim - a committed steam man to the end - hated diesels with a vengeance...boring, square boxes on wheels, he called them!
It wasn't until the next generation of spotters came along that the pessimistic attitude towards diesels began to change. With hindsight the new generation probably wondered what all the fuss was about...after all, a good many of them were too young to have witnessed the heydays of steam and so they had no idea what had gone before. Instead all they saw was a rundown railway operated by scruffy steam locos eking out their lives in a deplorable state whereas the sparkling new diesels were racing around like demented greyhounds on crack expressess. Even the most steadfast of steam enginemen like Jim had to finally concede that diesels such as the Peaks, Whistlers, Deltics, Westerns and Warships - had soul and character after all!
(Above) The footplate of a speeding steam locomotive was not for the faint-hearted, but like most enginemen, Jim was as fit as a butcher's dog during his firing days! Here he poses for the camera in the cab of a 'Black 5' at Manchester Exchange. (Left) Jim passed out for driving steam locomotives in August 1962, by which time I suspect he had a secret yearning of becoming a professional photographer too - and to his credit, he actually achieved both, for he will always be known as the 'Footplate Cameraman' with several books to his name: 'Working Steam' by Viking Publications; 'Footplate Cameraman' published by Ian Allan; 'London Midland Steam In The North-West' published by D Bradford Barton and 'The Colour of Steam' pubished by Atlantic, plus he was a regular contributor to the monthly railway magazines, including the 'Railway World' seen here (left) as Jim poses on the footplate of Rebuilt 'Patriot' class No 45512 Bunsen alongside Tom Jones, one of the best drivers that Jim ever worked with...
(Above-Below) From Jim the footplateman to Jim the enthusiast! Another photo of 45512, this time speeding through Winwick Junction with a 'down' freight - it is a classic example of a panning shot, and just one of many succesful attempts by Jim to break away from the traditional three-quarter views adopted by most cameramen. (Below) In retirement Jim was an avid collector of model locomotives, but with limited space he didn't have a working layout, preferring instead to display his collection of 'OO' models in a diorama of a shed scene...not unlike Crewe North on a busy day! Jim acquired several '0' gauge models over the years including, not surprisingly, a couple of 'Duchesess'.
Nowadays, of course, the First Generation diesels are revered in much the same way as the rank and file of steam they displaced, and so when BR's aging steam fleet finally disappeared from the scene the next generation of young spotters stepped up to the line in the pursuit of loco numbers.
Okay, critics might argue that writing a personal account of bunking sheds and chasing 'cops' is seldom illuminating or remarkable because all you are doing is regurgitating old anecdotes, which, by the very nature of the hobby, are exactly the same as everyone else's. Wrong! Everyone has a different story to tell - which brings me to Chris Carter's memories of his late father, 'Footplate Cameraman', Jim Carter.
Sadly, Jim passed away on the 14th February 2011 after a long illness, and although he has now gone to that great engine shed in the sky (5A if Jim had his way) there is no doubt that his memory will live on forever, for no words can express how big an influence on the railway fraternity Jim has been, and will always be, I'm sure, for Jim's superb railway photos touched the lives of many people.
However, little is known about Jim's dedication to photographing diesels, which is why Chris proposed a page of his dad's diesel photographs in his memory, and judging from the photos he has chosen I'm sure he will do his dad proud.
I'm pleased that Chris picked this site, because Jim was a one off...not only was he a good mate he was a fantastic photographer whom I first met during the early 1980s on the embankment overlooking Marsden's reverse curves at the Yorkshire end of Standedge Tunnel. In fact, meeting Jim had a huge impact on me; I mention this on the homepage, but what I omitted to say is that a young 13 year-old Chris was with him too, and so it seemed only appropriate that Chris and I should meet up at Marsden some thirty-odd years later to get the wheels in motion. This is the first part of Chris's very personal tribute to his dad...
(Above right) Chris and his dad at York Depot. The story of their encounter with the railway police is featured at the bottom of the page. (Left) Looking suspiciously like three extras from the BBC's long-running series 'Last of the Summer Wine' Jim (centre) is accompanied by his good mates Jack Lees and John Slater while on location at Ribblehead to photograph a S&C steam special.
(Right-Below) At the height of his 'Footplate Cameraman' pursuits perhaps Jim's most visited photo locations were the stations at Exchange and Victoria, Manchester, since both were accessible to him during his time at Patricroft Loco. Here he photographs the doyen of the 'Royal Scot' class No 46100, sporting its impressive commemorative nameplates, whilst awaiting departure from Exchange station in the late Fifties, and on the last day of BR steam operation he was at Victoria to photograph Britannia Pacific No 70013 Oliver Cromwell hauling the infamous '15 Guinea Special' on 11th August 1968. By this time, No 46100 (withdrawn in October 1962) had become a non-working exhibit at Butlins Holiday Camp in Skegness, and there were only five working steam locos left, made up of three Black 5s Nos 44781, 44871, 45110; a solitary 8F No 48448 and, of course, the last working Britannia No 70013. Of course, Jim had right of entry to places that the rest of us could only dream of and his elevated view of 70013's departure gives us a good idea of what the scene at Manchester Victoria was like on the last day of regular BR steam; in the background the platform is crammed with thousands of enthusiasts paying homage to 'Black 5s' Nos 44871 and 44894 and Britannia class 70013, whereas only scant attention is paid to the Class 45 and 25 diesels. Indeed no level-headed enthusiast on 11th August 1968 could have envisaged that a diesel loco would be worshipped with all the fanaticism of its steam predecessor, but fast-forward a few years and the demise of the first generation main line diesels has led to a new wave of enthusiasts lamenting the loss of their favourite diesel class.
DIESEL CAMERAMAN JIM CARTER - PART ONE by Chris Carter
Dad's earliest memories of main line diesels were through a camera lens when he visited the West Coast Main Line to photograph 'Coronation' Pacific turns. During the early 1960s, English Electric Type 4 diesels were taking over the top-link jobs which had been the preserve of William Stanier's Pacifics for 25 years, and there were many times when he had gone out in good lighting conditions to shoot the various prestige steam-hauled jobs, only to find a diesel in charge. At first, being disappointed, he would let the train pass without releasing the shutter. In steam days he had never turned out to photograph diesels...he only shot them because he didn't want to return home empty handed!
(Below) A classic example of Jim's work...in July 1960 a newly-built EE Co Type 4 No D286 destined for the ER has been despatched from the Vulcan Foundry to Doncaster Works for acceptance trials prior to entering service. As the loco approaches Manchester Exchange, in July 1960, a Stanier Black 5 No 45370 awaits departure with the 1.30 Manchester-Llandudno - but not without the fireman, cameraman Jim!
(Above-Below) Following the success of the pilot scheme Type 4s D200-D209, a further 190 locomotives D210-D399 were ordered, all built at Vulcan Foundry except for a batch of twenty Nos D305-D324 built at the Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns works in Darlington. Finally, Nos D369-84 arrived in 1961/62. The BTC's original specification for headcode disc displays to be incorporated on the nose end was used on Nos D200-324. The four discs could be used in various combinations to indicate the type of train being worked, and EE Type 4 No D224 (later to be named Lucania) is displaying the standard locomotive headlamp code - in this case two discs above the bufferbeam - symbolising an express passenger train; a legacy of steam days. The early Type 4s were also fitted with a front end ladder, used by servicing staff to gain access to the two hinged hatches on top of the nose.
(Above-Right-Below) One of Jim's favourite photo locations was the deep sandstone cutting between the tunnels southwest of Chester General, used by all London Midland and Western Region trains bound for North Wales. His primary objective was to photograph steam, in particular one of the 'Duchess' workings, but with the arrival of the EE Type 4s the odds of that happening were slimmer by the day. Following on from D324, the aged disc displays were abandoned in favour of four-character headcode boxes on either side of the nose on D325-D344, which later gave way to a centrally positioned headcode panel on D345-D399 after the gangway doors were abandoned. In the above shot the split-type route indicator boxes of EE Type 4 No D342 displays 3K1K, possibly empty coaching stock. (Right) Jim knew the 09.20 Crewe-Holyhead express was a regular turn for the Stanier Pacifics, and his patience was rewarding with this fine shot of 46256 Sir William Stanier FRS emerging from the tunnel into the sunlight. (Below) During their early years, the EE Co Type 4s gave a good account of themselves, proving to be a sturdy and reliable machine on express passenger services. They required little attention, except for a fundamental design flaw that manifested itself on the 1Co-Co1 bogies. As the bogies had only primary suspension, body support prevented the bogies adjusting to inequalities in track, and a combination of hard-riding and vibrations caused flashovers to develop in the six-pole traction motor at high speed. Looking more like a St Trinian's Girls School outing, the split headcoade boxes of Type 4 D336 display 1D44 which tells us that it is the 12.08 Crewe to Llandudno during the summer 1963, though this train could start at Euston when required. Judging by the external condition, however, No D336 looks to have been recently outshopped from Crewe Works and the train is also a revenue-earning running-in turn.
(Above-Below) Another of Jim's favourite locations was the the stretch of WCML just north of Wigan North Western station which involved a stiff climb for northbound trains. In between photographing Duchesses at this same spot (seen elsewhere on this site) Jim took this colour photo of an unidentified EE Type 4 in its pleasing BR standard green livery, with a light grey shoulder band along the bodyside below the roof-mounted filter louvres. (Below) In the 1962 summer timetable, the centre headcode of D384 displays 1L31, the 16.15 Manchester Exchange-Preston, which was a portion for the 16.35 Liverpool Exchange-Glasgow, headcode 1S76. The locomotive working the Manchester portion worked through to Glasgow.
(Above-Below) For over two decades the North Wales Coast main line reverberated to EE Co 16-cylinder engines, the Holyhead-Euston expresses being one of the long-established Class 40 domains. 'The Irish Mail' was one of the LMRs longest-serving titled trains which operated between London Euston and Holyhead to connect with sailings to Ireland. During the final years of steam haulage, the express was usually worked by one of Holyhead's five 'Britannia' Pacifics until the arrival of the EE Co machines. No D288 heads the 'down' train out of Chester while an unidentified member passes the same spot on the same working another day...two entirely different compositionsby the master craftsman...
(Above-Below Right) The delightful setting of the Lune Valley with its backdrop of Fells was a wonderful place to while away the hours taking railway photographs. Here EE Type 4 D373 heads the 10.55 Birmingham New Street-Glasgow Central. (Below Right) Surprisingly the EE Type 4s reign on the Anglo-Scottish service north of Crewe was not greatly affected by the more powerful 2,750hp Brush Type 4s, even though the extra 750hp made all the difference, particularly in the northern hills where speeds of 50mph could be regularly maintained on the climb over Shap. It was a significant improvement on the EE Type 4s which laboured at crawling pace over the summit. However the London Midland Region preferred reliability and familiarity in the maintenance of their EE Co machines, and it was not until the arrival of the EE Co D400s in 1968 that the Class 40s reign was seriously affected north of Crewe.
There was a time when every small boy dreamed of driving a steam engine. This was certainly the case with my dad, whose lifetime love of steam locomotives began at a very early age, spending all his spare time at local stations spotting trains with his brother, my Uncle Colin.
Dad's obsession with railways continued at school where he was more interested in the view he had of Sutton Oak (8G) shed yard from the classroom window than learning the three 'Rs' - many a time he was in trouble for not paying attention to lessons in class! He once said tongue in cheek that his ambition to become a brain surgeon didn't cut the mustard with the careers teacher at school and so he ended up working for BR instead!
Be that as it may, no school leaver was happier with his lot than my 15 year-old dad when he started work as an engine cleaner at Sutton Oak sheds, St Helens in 1952. Having got one foot firmly on the ladder, he was determined that nothing would stop him from achieving his goal of driving main line expresses.
I was talking to my Uncle Glen, who was some 6 years younger than dad, and he clearly remembers being taken on the footplate during visits to shunting yards. He also recalls helping dad revise for his fireman and driver tests. Dad gave him an instruction manual and asked him to repeatedly fire off questions at him. One question the family always remember was - What is steam?----Well, it must have worked because dad started at the bottom and worked his way up through the ranks, moving to Widnes, Patricroft and Newton Heath, and all throughout his career he photographed the everyday activity of the railway around him.---Indeed what is so remarkable about dad's photos is that his cameras were archaic by today's digital standards; he started out with a Kodak Brownie then graduated to a Kodak Sterling with bellows and a 1/60sec top speed shutter. This was followed by a new Ensign Autorange with a shutter speed of 1/400sec and f3.8 lens, which cost him the princely sum of £15 - more than a week's wages! It goes to show that dad's commitment to steam railway photography was very real; the camera fitted firmly into his pocket and went everywhere with him. Later he treated himself to a Rollieflex then a Canon and Olympus cameras with a variety of lenses, and finally a Mamiya 645 - now we're talking serious money here!
(Above-Below) As this page deals with Jim's diesel photographs what better example of his handiwork as a footplate cameraman than the shot above of a Craven Class 105 in the cavernous cutting between Edge Hill and Lime Street station, Liverpool. (Below) A fine panning shot of EE Co Type 4 No D216 Campania heading a Euston-Barrow-Workington express. The EE locomotives Nos D210-D235 were named after ships operated by the companies Cunard Line, Elder Dempster Lines, and Canadian Pacific Steamships, which were associated with sailings to the port of Liverpool. D216 was named after the Cunard Steamship Line's RMS Campania, which was the largest and fastest passenger liner afloat when she entered service in 1893.
(Above-Below) During the Fifties, British Railways made great strides with the introduction of named trains and the fitting of headboards to locomotives. The standard pattern keystone-shaped headboards had polished Gill Sans lettering mounted on a black background (later red was adopted by the LMR and blue by the ER). By 1956, however, the LMR took full advantage of BR's leniency towards the uniformity of designs and came up with the distinctive 'Royal Scot' and 'Caledonian' headboards. EE Type D305 heads through Eccles station with the diverted southbound express due to closure of the WCML following a collison at Warrington in August 1962...modellers: note the white roofs of the coaching stock. (Below) The Anglo-Scottish 'Caledonian' appeared in the timetable on 17th June 1957, as successor to the 'Coronation Scot', which was withdrawn at the outbreak of war and not restored. Although headboards were designed for steam locomotives, they sat just as well on the nose of the EE Co Type 4 diesels. Here an unidentified Type 4 heads the southbound Caledonian at Warrington...my thanks to Vic Smith for identifying the location.
(Above-Below) EE Type 4 No D333 heads the 1A27 09.45 Blackpool-Euston at Warrington. (Below) Another WCML diversion, this time due to electrification work, shows EE Co Type 4 No D334 heading a Glasgow-Euston train towards Castleton Junction in Manchester. Southbound traffic came off the WCML at Springs Branch Junction and travelled via Eccles Junction, Ordsal Lane and Piccadilly to rejoin the WCML at Crewe.
(Above-Left-Below) For many years the Western Division of the LMR had to operate under the baleful influence of modernisation. The nature of engineering work required for WCML electrification included the lifting of road bridges, or lowering of track level to obtain the neccessary clearance for the overhead catenary. The WCML from Euston to Crewe required work on 78% of the 904 bridges concerned, whilst on the 44 mile between Crewe and Manchester, 82% of the bridges had to be rebuilt. Inevitably, the phase of modernisation involved prolonged disruption of train services. With Class 2P 4-4-0 No 40671 on the left EE Type D215 (later to be named 'Aquitania' at Crewe Works in May 1962) departs Manchester Exchange with the 'up' Manchester-Euston 'Mancunian', diverted from Manchester London Road station due to electrification work. (Left) During the early Sixties engines still carried titled train headboards and carriages had side boards mounted at cantrail height to identify the train, but within a few years such extravagances were soon disappear from Britain's railways and most of the named trains were named only in the timetable. Here EE Type 4 No D321 heads the southbound 'Mid-day Scot' through Wigan. (Below) EE Co Type 4 No D231- later to be named Sylvania - heads empty coaching stock of the 'Comet' express through Manchester Exchange for Ordsal Lane carriage sidings. This was another train diverted to Victoria due to modernisation of Manchester London Road (later to be named Piccadilly) in readiness for electrification.
(Above-Below Left) During the early days of dieselisation, the EE Co Type 4s will always be associated with the West Coast route, often struggling with 13 coaches on the drawbar and hammering the locomotive with a load for which it was not designed, yet they put in sterling service. Across the country, BR's Eastern Region was allocated the second batch of production Type 4s Nos D237-D259 between October 1959 and February 1960. The majority of the EE Co machines were fitted with a Stones-Vapor train heating boiler, except for Nos D260-D267 and D287-D304 which had Clayton types. An early investigation into electric train heating (ETH) led to newly-built No D255 (one of the ER's allocation) being handed over to the LMR at Derby where it was fitted with an auxiliary generator to supply electric train heating. No D255 was then transferred to Crewe for trials on the WCML to Carlisle. Although valuable experience was gained from the ETH experiment, the auxiliary generator was subsequently removed, and the fleet of EE Co Type 4s remained steam heat only throughout their careers. (Left) EE Type 4 D216 Campania passes Scout Green box on the climb to Shap summit.
(Above-Below) Prettier than an oil painting! This classic JRC shot of Stanier Pacific No 46257 City of Salford storming Shap bank at Greenholme would grace any Art Gallery let alone a living room. (Below) One of the anomalies about photographing diesels or electric traction is the sense that they are standing still, yet one can almost hear 16-cylinders of EE Co engines bellowing out as No D382 struggles up the 1 in 75 climb to Shap summit at Greenholme with the 10.00 Euston-Perth express.
(Above-Below) The LMR took delivery of its initial batch of EE Co's Type 4s Nos D210-D236 between May and November 1959. Nos D267-9/87-344 followed in 1960/61, with D305-24 coming from the Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn works in Darlington. This included D306, which entered traffic in October 1960 based at Crewe North, and is seen here heading a Euston-Carlisle express through the Lune Gorge in the mid-Sixties. (Below) Fast-forward to the 1980s and unusually, despite the BRB's strict guidelines in its new Corporate Identity scheme, D306 was renumbered 40106 but still retained its original Brunswick Green livery throughout its career, which made it a popular loco during the Rail-blue era for hauling charter specials. Following withdrawal in April 1983, the loco was preserved and in keeping with LMR's naming policy for its allocation of EE Co machines 40106 was named 'Atlantic Conveyor' after the Cunard cargo ship sunk during the Falklands War. Here, 40106, 25195 and 25161 were photographed by Jim at Chester General.
(Above-Below) No D233 was the first Type 4 allocated to Holyhead for crew training in November 1959, and by the Spring of the following year the EE Co machines became a regular sight on the North Wales Coast line. On 30th June 1969, No D233 Empress of England was entrusted with ferrying guests for HRH Prince of Wales's investiture at Caernarfon Castle. The ensemble is seen passing Chester (Below) D223 heads the 'up' Welshman' at Chester. This Euston-North Wales service had portions connecting with Portmadoc, Pwllheli and Llandudno.
(Above-Right) Jim's unashamed adulation for all things Stanier, particularly the 'Duchesses' is well know by rail enthusiasts, and this excellent panning shot of 46256 Sir William Stanier, FRS with the coal pusher at work is a good example of his skill as a cameraman. (Below Right) And here's a small part of Jim's collection at home...a true enthusiast who put together a veritable mini National Railway Museum of books and models which he displayed around his living room.
It was a very sad day for a 'Duchess' fanatic like my dad when the class was ousted from main line expresses by Type 4s on the WCML. Not surprisingly, on the eve of working the first leg of the RCTS's 'Scottish Lowlander' Railtour from Crewe to Carlisle, he was at Crewe North shed to photograph the last working Stanier Pacific No 46256 Sir William Stanier, FRS on on September 25th 1964.
On the back of the photo he writes - 'This was the last time I photographed a 'Coronation' Pacific at North Shed. In 1964, English Electric Type 4s were hauling most West Coast passenger trains, but diesels were known to fail, which left Crewe men struggling with second-hand 'Britannias' whilst the 'Duchesses' were being towed away to the scrap yards with years of good hard work still left in them. Some were out-shopped from Crewe Works and put into store at 5A awaiting disposal. But why weren't they used in a similar fashion as the A4s on the ER?'
I'm sure the majority will share dad's sentiments, for it is hard to understand why the LMR could find so little work for their still serviceable 'Coronations' when the operating department valued their coal pushing tenders in overhead electrified areas as an insurance against train crews attempting to climb into the tender to trim the coal forward.
(Above right-Below) How tidy is your House? Psychologists say that men are programmed to collect things from an early age; that our Achilles' heel is a passion for old postage stamps, Dinky Toys, Matchbox toys, football programmes, birds' eggs, cigarette cards, bubble gum cards and favourite old comics from childhood. This compulsion to hoard things is an inherent part of a boy's genetic makeup that continues well into retirement, by which time you have (hopefully) acquired a sizeable disposable income to spend on memorabilia. Over the years Jim's collection has manifested into a veritable Aladdin's cave, though the general consensus of opinion of my own collection is that it's more like a Steptoe's junk yard! My daughters think I'm mad, but then the female of the species can never fathom out the male psyche; in their eyes anyone who collects worthless old railway photos at the bottom of a wardrobe makes them a shameful object of derision, yet no mention is made of the dozens of moth-eaten frocks and shoes piled up at the bottom of theirs. Nor can they explain their extraordinary fetish for saving old handbags stinking of stale perfume...no, I don't get it either. The impenetrable enigma of the female mind is far too complex to figure out...in my view, men are far more level-headed...yes, even rail enthusiasts who have an enduring fondness for trains. Jim's collection was a classic example...he kept it in perfect order and loved every minute of it!
(Below) Sleeves rolled up, plenty of elbow grease and spit 'n' polish...Jim wanted to make sure Sir William Stanier FRS looked his best at Crewe North on the eve of his final run on the WCML to Carlisle...
(Above- Below Left) After being relieved of express passenger duties by the new EE Co Type 4 diesels, the Duchesses were relegated to less demanding tasks, though a parcels working could, at least, provide a load worthy of a Class 8 Pacific. Here, No 46225 Duchess of Gloucester (one of 18 Duchesses withdrawn in September 1964) heads an 'up' train over Dillicar troughs just south of Tebay. (Below Left) In the opposite direction 'Black 5' No 45126 skims over the troughs at the head of a northbound train. The Lune Valley and Shap Fell were favourite locations for Jim, which doesn't surprise me. Having spent time there myself photographing trains, I found it a beautiful spot on a fine day, though I must admit that my results pale into insignificance compared to Jim's handiwork...
Although dad belatedly began to enjoy the cleaner working conditions that came with driving diesels, he still day-dreamed of a return to steam days. Perhaps the conditions on the footplate of a speeding steam locomotive was enough to induce swaying of alarming proportions to the uninitiated, but compared to the new fleet of complicated diesels (when a minor electrical failure might bring the job to a complete stop) with a little imagination and a universal spanner - the coal pick - a fireman could coax a steam loco into limping home and living another day!
But dad was under no illusions that steam was finished. By the early Sixties, the more powerful diesel electrics had taken over the asylum and it was little wonder that an unprecedented number of involuntary collisions with station buffers occurred at the end of much faster than average runs!
The long delay in electrifying the WCML north of Crewe meant that the operating department had to make do with its underpowered Type 4 diesel fleet, which was hardly in keeping with the performances put up by the blue electrics south of Crewe. Still the sturdy EE Co machines became the mainstay of LMR's passenger services, ousting in the process the 'Coronation' Pacifics from main line duty.
The decision to scrap the Class 8 Stanier engines aroused the indignation of a good many drivers who then found themselves saddled with a batch of second-hand Class 7MT 'Britannias'.
(Below) Jim made no bones about the fact that he didn't like the 'Britannias', however given their recent construction and the poor conditions to be found at steam sheds in the mid-Sixties it came as no surprise that the BR 7MTs were the last Pacifics to survive in BR service. The early bird catches the worm, they say - and Jim's early morning shot of No 70028 Royal Star skimming over Dillicar water troughs with an 'up' freight was well worth the effort.
(Above) The last EE Type to be named after ocean liners sailing into the Port of Liverpool was D235 (later TOPS Class 40035) which received the Elster Dempster Line's 'Apapa' name at Crewe Works in May 1963.
In the 'Railway World' issue May 1998, my dad writes candidly about his conversion to the English Electric Type 4 diesels...
'At first I didn't like the diesels for obvious reasons...they were replacing the 'Duchesses'. After the passing of BR steam in 1968, I found myself driving them, but did not really accept them as a locoman until the summer of 1971...
I was working a coal train from Ince Moss, Wigan, to Chaddington Power Station at Oldham on a single-manned job hauled by an EE Co Type 4. On the line between Manchester Victoria and Thorpe's Bridge is a bank engine section, but on this occasion I had the maximum load for a single engine.
The train was about halfway through Queen's Tunnel, east of Cheetham Hill Sidings, on a warm summer's day. My sleeves were rolled up and I had the cab window open listening to the 16 cylinders of the 2,000hp locomotive echoing from the tunnel roof. I experienced a flashback to what it had been like on similar hot summer days when shovelling coal into the firebox of a 'Super D' 0-8-0 or a 'Black 5', being showered with hot ash blasting back off the tunnel roof and as a result choking half to death on the fumes! I thought to myself; not half-bad this Type 4, it could do anything a black 5' could do....no back-breaking work with the shovel, no messing about with cab sheets in bad weather, getting your legs roasted while the top half of your body was frozen stiff...
Yes, the more I thought about it, the more I began to accept the NewOrder...'
(Below) EE Type 4 D217 Carinthia heads a northbound train through the Lune Gorge.
(Above) A pair of new 'Peaks' D29 and D12 head light engine for Holbeck shed. In the background, the scheme to modernise Leeds City station, combining rail facilities at Leeds Central, is well underway. The trackwork at the western approach to Leeds was replanned to accommodate the newly-installed link from Whitehall Junction enabling Doncaster and Kings Cross traffic access to the new station. On the left can be seen the entrance to the former MR Wellington Street Station.
Dad worked for almost 30 years in the footplate grade, starting first as a cleaner, then moving onto firing and ultimately driving a wide variety of locomotives, both steam and diesel - and throughout all his time on the footplate his trusty camera was always close at hand.
But make no mistake, when working the main line steam jobs, he was first and foremost an engineman, spending most of his time with two hands on the shovel, operating injectors, dragging the coal down, reducing the size with a coal pick to fit into the firebox, operating the water scoop, putting the bag in, hooking on and off and looking out for signals etc, and so the photo opportunities were few and far between.
Dad regularly fired on the Liverpool-Newcastle jobs between Manchester and Leeds. After hooking off at Leeds the loco had to be turned on the man-powered turntable which took up most of the time, though it gave him the opportunity to photograph trains coming and going...A3s, B1s, Jubilees, Scots and Patriots etc and more often than not with a smoke affect arranged! In those days, the scheme to modernise Leeds City station was getting underway. The trackwork at the western approach was replanned to accommodate the newly-installed link from Whitehall Junction enabling Doncaster and Kings Cross traffic access to the new station, and allowing the closure of Central station in 1967.
(Below) Fairburn 2-6-4T No 42072 heads the Bradford portion of an express from St Pancras out of Leeds Midland. For operational reasons the North Eastern Region adopted a policy of using tank engines between Leeds and Bradford to avoid the untidy operation of reversal at both terminus stations.
(Above-Below) Another occasion at Leeds Jim captures EE Type No D285 sporting a stencilled train reporting number N580 on its nose as it heads an interesting collection of articulated coaching stock through Leeds during a driver training run to Appleby.Prior to the introduction of 'Peak' class Type 4 diesels on the Anglo-Scottish expresses north of Leeds, BR introduced an intensive crew training programme over the Settle-Carlisle, involving train crewmen at Leeds Holbeck. Before diesel facilities were made available at Holbeck, a pair of BR Sulzer Type 4s Nos D11 and D14 were allocated temporarily to Leeds Neville Hill for the purpose. On occasions, however, EE Co Type 4 power was borrowed for crew-training north of Leeds. (Below) Fast-forward a few years and Jim photographed 'Peak' class D185 heading the 1M 62 (08.42 Newcastle-Liverpool Lime Street) out of Leeds.
(Above-Below) We move briefly to the mid-late 1970s, by which time the new Leeds station is finished, the former MR Wellington Street station has become a parcels area and the 'Peaks' - now sporting the BRB's Corporate Identity overall blue livery with full yellow ends - are still going strong on the Northeast Southwest passenger services. (Below) From the start of the 1961 summer timetable, BR employed the 'Peak' class Type 4s on the NE-SW Inter-Regional serive between Newcastle, York to Birmingham, Bristol and the West Country. Here an unidentified Peak heads along the seawall at Teignmouth.
(Above-below) Back in 1962, EE Type 4 No D229 - later to be named Saxonia in March 1963 - heads a Euston express through Edge Hill. At the end of 1961 big changes were underway on Merseyside -with completion of the new power signalling box at Edge Hill, colour light signalling was continuous from Whitmore, nine miles south of Crewe, to Manchester Piccadilly and Liverpool where substantial track layout modifications were carried out in the vicinity of Edge Hill and Lime Street, including the rearrangement of running lines from pairing of 'fast' and 'slow' lines to reduce the conflicting train paths from Crewe and Manchester. The new Edge Hill box replaced three mechanical boxes and the former Wavertree Junction signal box on the Crewe route, though some things had changed little on the motive power front from LNWR days. (Left) G2a Class 'Super D' No 49323 (super for superheated) poses for Jim at Edge Hill.
Photo opportunities were no better for my dad at Liverpool, because after hooking off at Lime Street station, the pilot would drag the train off, and after being released from the platform the next move was to work a train of empty stock to Edge Hill carriage sidings. The rest of the time was spent emptying the smokebox, cleaning the fire, coaling, watering and turning the engine. Then, and only then, did he find time, light permitting, to take photographs, hoping there was a 'Duchess' or two in residence on shed. However, things were about to change...it wasn't long after the EE Type 4s arrived on the LMR, that it was decided a paltry 2,000hp machine, being closely equivalent to a Class 7P 'Britannia' steam locomotive, did not meet the most onerous requirements of the heavy, fast trains previously worked by the Stanier Pacifics. Despite a Type 4's lack of power, however, if one looks at the comparable performances of steam and diesel traction, then diesels were able to show a marked reduction in operating costs which gave them the edge over steam. Although the diesel drawbar pull power on the EE Type was not much better than that which could be exerted from a Class 7P steam loco at full power, such a performance by steam would have demanded an unlimited supply of top grade coal, plus a rate of firing well beyond the sustained effort of a single fireman.
(Right) Type 4 No D305 and 'Coronation' class No 46241 City of Edinburgh stand side by side at Edge Hill shed. With Type 4 haulage predominant on the WCML, and electrification proceeding steadily south of Crewe, the London Midland Region could find little suitable work for their still serviceable Pacifics, although they valued their coal pushing tenders in overhead electrified areas as an insurance against train crews attempting to climb into tenders to trim the coal forward. The entire 'Coronation' class had gone by October 1964. No prizes for guessing who swapped headboards!
(Above-Inset Right) EE Type 4 D323 passes Ordsall Lane Carriage Sidings with a Liverpool-Newcastle express. (Right) In his day, Jim was a remarkable photographer who wasn't afraid to push the boundries to see how far he could go. It's such a shame he didn't have time to develop his skills as an artist, for there is no doubt he would have taken railway art to a whole new level; one can only imagine the pictures he could have painted - a Jim Carter oil on canvas? Oh, if only...but mercifully we have his photographs to go on, many of which beggar belief. This elevated panning shot of Rebuilt Patriot class 45526 is a case in point.
Dad's best chances of taking photographs were on the freight links, since the pace was much slower involving long periods of standing around in various sidings. With time on his hands - and partly to relieve the boredom - he made the best of a bad job with his camera...and I'm happy that he did, because the shots he took of the early diesels are valued on a par with those he took of steam!
Within a few years of dieselisation, however, the railway scene was about to radically change - the Beeching cuts, the introduction of AWS, colour light signalling and air braked trains - all of which provided fewer opportunities for dad because in his photographer's eye it somehow looked less attractive. But then the shots that he did take of diesels are a poignant reminder ofthe way things were: the industrial backdrop, the sidings full of loose-fitted freight wagons and the vast array of semaphore signals of the former 'Big Four' railway companies.
(Above-Below) Click on this super-wide image of Jim's cropped panning shot of 45526. (Below) This splendid example of a gantry carrying early-pattern Great Western lower quadrant signals was conveniently located for Jim to frame the exit of EE Type 4 No D335 from Chester General with a train from Manchester Victoria to Bangor. The most notable features of GWR signals were swan-neck spectacles, and the signal arms were constructed of enamelled steel, ribbed along the edges for rigidity. Lurking beneath Hoole Road bridge in the background is an unidentified 'Castle' class sporting chalked 1E68 characters on the smokebox door from a previous working; the loco is waiting to back onto a train brought into one of the bays 1, 2 or 3 from Woodside.
(Above-Right) English Electric Type 4 No D379 heads through Winwick Junction near Warrington with the 10.00 Euston-Perth. On the right, BR Class 9F No 92054 - one of a batch of BR Standard Class 9Fs built at Crewe between 1955-56 - waits at aged semaphore signals (a familiar sight north of Crewe during the 1960s). No 92054 was delivered to Toton shed in September 1955; the same year that the British Transport Commission announced the Modernisation Plan - the emphasis of which was to replace steam with diesel and electric traction. As a consequence, some of the BR Standard classes lasted only a short time in service, whereas this EE Co Type 4, No D379, introduced to traffic in February 1962, survived for almost twenty years. It was by no means the longest-serving member of the class, but it clearly illustrates the longevity of the fleet which was a remarkable achievement indeed. (Right) Unidentified EE Type 4 heads the 1L35...? through Warrington and (below) we have a super-wide image of an unidentified EE Type heading fifteen bogies on the 1A33...? at Warrington. Click on image once and then again to see a full-width image.
A TRIP TO BANGOR
One day I accompanied dad on a trip to Manchester to get some negatives printed for one of his books. We dropped the negatives off with his pal at the Manchester Evening News, then after a spell of shopping in town - he treated me to the latest Jam single, 'Down In The Tube Station At Midnight'- we headed off to Manchester Victoria for an hour or so of train spotting. I should have known there was something funny going on because he had his train driver's gear on, but being a naive elevenyear-old I hadn't twigged!
Our first port of call was the British Staff Association Club (BRSA) at Manchester Victoria for a bite to eat - our favourite pie, peas and gravy. It was absolutely excellent in there, proper northern fare. Dad had a few sherbets (beers) exchanging banter with his mates whilst I sat absorbing the grown-up ambience across the table; the BRSA was so full of wise-cracking characters telling the tale and the funniest jokes...a laugh a minute as they say. It has to be one of the most atmospheric places I've ever visited and the times I spent there with dad will live long in my memory.
After a while we headed for the end of Platform 3 on Victoria station to take a few photos and do a bit of spotting when a Peak rolled in at the head of a Scarborough-Bangor service. The driver leaned out and shouted - 'Alright, Jim lad!'
It was one of dad's pals from Newton Heath, who invited us to join him in the cab. This gave me the chance to 'cab' of one of my favourite diesel locos, unaware that I was in for a big surprise and my day out with dad was about to turn into much more...
The whistle blew and he said - 'Do you fancy going to Bangor?'
'Are you kidding?' I replied.
I couldn't believe it!
Only the day before I had been playing with my '00' gauge train set, driving a Mainline green-liveried Peak class, City of Manchester, and now here I was sitting in the cab of a real 'Peak' pulling out of Manchester Victoria on British Rail's very own layout. This was the stuff of dreams!
Very soon we were and heading towards Salford and flying past things that I have only ever seen from the top deck of a No 26 bus before. As we accelerated towards Astley Moss, it seemed very strange to me, for having been born and raised only a stone's throw away in Leigh, this was familiar territory (I did a lot of my spotting there) and so to suddenly find myself rattling through Astley Moss in the cab of a Peak class gave me a completely new perspective of the Manchester-Liverpool line. I could only gaze ahead in a daze thinking I was Casey Jones, and at one point I did wonder what the passengers would have made of a school kid driving the loco! Now I'm not suggesting for one minute that I did...I'll let you draw your own conclusions. Needless to say I had to duck down every time we went past a signal box or station so nobody saw me!
The next thing I knew we were heading through the tunnels at Chester with the windows open - now that's a sound that you won't forget in a hurry! Then we were out on the Welsh Coast, flying all the way to Bangor, by which time I was in a complete daze, and in my childlike imagination I had somehow become a fully-fledged engineman just like dad.
After pulling into Bangor we had just enough time to enjoy our butties whilst the Peak was coupled up for the return trip to Manchester. Before the train was due to leave we took some cracking photos, then in no time at all we were back in the cab, the whistle blew and we were heading along the coast at what seemed like lightning speed. It wasn't long before we were passing one of my dad's favourite photo locations - the tunnels at Chester - only this time there was another Peak heading our way. The noise from both Peaks passing inside the bore was just superb. By the time we were clear of Chester General my note book was chock-full of numbers and I was still in a daze all the way to another favourite location of dad's...Winwick Junction which, because of its proximity to Leigh, was perhaps the spot that he most regularly visited with his camera. I spent a lot of time at Winwick with dad and it seemed only fitting that his ashes should be spread there since he loved the place so much. I still visit the place to while away the odd hour or two...and see that he's okay.
Leaving the West Coast Main Line we passed through Earlstown onto the Manchester-Liverpool line which always felt like home to us since it was the closest line to where we lived. As we headed over Astley Moss an unmistakable loco came dashing towards us - a Deltic on a Newcastle-Liverpool train; it rattled our loco as it passed, giving me another moment not to forget in a hurry, not least of all because dad took a picture of it. When we arrived back in Manchester, he asked - 'What did you think about that?'
'Just brilliant!' I replied.
And it was brilliant...I dreamt about 'Peaks' for weeks afterwards. In fact, my day trip to Bangor is still etched in my memory even though it happened more than thirty-odd years ago...
(Above-Right-Below) As the transition from steam to diesels got into its stride, the enterprising English Electric Company became the only manufacturer to have designed and built diesel locomotives to meet the requirements of all five BR power classes - Class 20, 'Baby Deltics' (in the Type 2 power range), Class 37, Class 40 and the Class 55 fleet. The company also supplied more than half of the diesel fleet. Comparisons are odious, they say, but the featureless 'box-like' shape of BR's new diesels were nowhere near as photogenic as our erstwhile old friend, the steam locomotive - or in Jim's case, the 'Duchesses' - hence the majority of opportunities that came to photograph the new diesels were shunned by steam railway photographers. Perhaps there was little of interest in the steam department at Edge Hill shed that prompted Jim to take this shot of D303 sporting a 'Shamrock' headboard that day. (Right) Introduced in 1959, the EE Co's candidate for the Type 2 power range turned out to be one of the pilot scheme's biggest failures. When the rationalisation of the diesel fleet was announced, the ten troublesome 1,100hp 'Baby Deltics' Nos D5900-D5909 based at Finsbury Park for Kings Cross outer suburban services, were one of the first to be withdrawn. The availability of the class was marred by recurring failures of their Napier T9 29 power units. Despite undergoing a costly engine refurbishing programme at the EE Co works, they never quite lived up to their more illustrious cousins in the company's diesel range and the entire class was withdrawn by March 1971. EE Co Type 3 No D6790 hauls No D5901 past Patricroft shed Manchester enroute from the company's works at Newton in Willows to Doncaster Plant for acceptance trials. (Below) Fresh out of the box, EE Type 4 D289 heads past Manchester Exchange from the company's works to Doncaster.
(Above-Below) Railway photography has become a notoriously subjective matter over the years. The time-honoured three-quarter shots handed down by our peers from old steam days is the standard that most have followed, but with the absence of a smoke effect, diesel photography is definitely more challenging. For example, what's the point of setting a fast shutter speed to freeze the action of a diesel locomotive, when all you end up with is a photo of a speeding train that looks as if it's standing still? In these shots of English Electric Type 4s skimming over Dillicar water troughs in Westmorland, Jim has somehow managed to set new standards of excellence in diesel photography. With water vapour streaming from the raised scoop, EE Type 4 D339 heads the 1M27 09.30 Glasgow central-Liverpool Exchange through the Lune Gorge. Jim's photos of water troughs take us back to the days before the introduction of electrical train heating, and the English Electric Type 4 fleet was equipped with auxiliary water boilers to provide steam heating for passenger coaching stock. As the locomotives were primarily intended for long non-stop runs such as Anglo-Scottish expresses they were fitted with water scoops to replenish their steam heat boilers on the move from water troughs between the rails. The task was to pick-up enough water at speed, therefore lineside indicators in the shape of a white rectangular board with a black 'X' marking (illuminated at night) were provided In order to assist train crewmen determine when the scoop should be lowered at the start of the trough section...as seen at Hest Bank troughs (above). On occasions crewmen misjudged the correct levels and overfilled the tank, resulting in a spectacular spray of excess water cascading back along the train - as a consequence, some luckless passengers in the first coach might find themselves getting a good drenching, especially during the summer months when the carriage window was open! (Below) Another classic JRC shot, this time showing the scoop being dipped to replenish the water tank of an EE Type 4 heading a northbound express.
(Above) Whatever one's personal opinions are towards the soulless appearance of diesels, the Deltic fleet must rank as being one of the most handsome designs to appear on BR. Their impressive bodyline gave them an altogether aristocratic. Jim took this shot of No D9005 enroute from the Vulcan Foundry at Newton le Willows to Doncaster Works on 25th May 1961. The loco was allocated to Gateshead Depot (52A) which eventually had a compliment of six Deltics Nos D9002/5/8/11/14/17, the last one entering traffic on November 5th 1961. No D9005 was named 'The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire' - a Regimental name not previously carried by a locomotive - at a ceremony held at York on 8th September 1963. As a footnote, ex-Patricroft engineman, Tony Thompson worked for many years with Jim at 26F, and on hearing he had passed away, writes: 'Jim was a good man whom I had the utmost respect. Jim was more than just a locoman, he was an enthusiast. His photos stir up a lot of memories for me. Agecroft, Patricroft and Crew will live in my life forever. The driver in the photo looks like Jack Williams, especially with those highly polished boots! I only took one Deltic from Vulcan as 2nd man. We delivered the loco as far as Leeds where we were relieved by Doncaster men. What I liked about the Vulcan job is that we were given a tour of the works, then lunch before heading off to Leeds...'
(Below) In the days before top lamp irons were fitted to the nose end, named-train headboards were mounted on a bracket that slipped into two front-end slots below the headcode display panel. In view of the curvature limitations of the prototype Deltic, the EE's production Type 5s had a bogie design with a shorter wheelbase using fabricated frames in common with the EE Co Type 3s which were on the production line at the time. It was discovered that the Type 3 bogies were subject to fracturing, resulting in the fitting of modified bogies incorporating steel frames. Here, No D9001 St Paddy - the first of the class to be delivered - returns to the Vulcan Foundry with sister engine No D9004 for attention. The pair was photographed passing Cross Lane Station, Salford. Despite the bogie problem delaying the production schedule, by September 1961 thirteen Deltics were available, and at the beginning of the winter schedules the Class A4s were displaced from the premier ECML expresses and more frequently to be found on Kings Cross-West Riding duties. It was the beginning of the end of the A4s reign.
(Above-Below) The rail layout at York has changed considerably over the years with a forest of catenary support masts and inevitable track rationalisation, one notable example being the removal of main lines through the station, yet York still retains an air of railway grandeur. A BR Standard 'Britannia' Class 7MT is held at signals on the goods avoiding line as Gresley's Class A4 No 60033 Seagull heads a soutbound express through Holgate Junction. In the middle distance above the engine can be seen the conical roof of York South roundhouse which closed in 1961 and the historic building was demolished a year later. (Below) Class 47 No 47406 is caught in the light and shade beneath the great arched roof awaiting the right away with a southbound train.
(Above-Below) Back in the days when the Class 55s were the mainstay of ECML services, Jim photographed one in each direction passing through York. By the middle of 1981, all the Haymarket, Gateshead and Finsbury Park allocation had been transferred to York where they ended their days in January 1982. Following the introduction of full IC125 service on the ECML the diesel running shed at York was closed to all but minor maintenance at the end of 1981 and the shed now forms part of the NRM's annexe storage building.
A VISIT TO YORK DEPOT
Having spoken to Chris about the choice of photos this page, there were three shots in particular that he liked - 'I wanted to save these until last since they bring back many happy memories. When dad was alive we had so many good times togetheand the day that these pictures were taken was one of the best. The Deltics have always been my favourite diesel and still are, however out of 22 members in the class the elusive 55013 Black Watch was the only one that I hadn't ticked off my list.
Still it wasn't from a want of trying. Having travelled all over the country, for one reason or another 55013 somehow managed to escape me, which drove me mad, especially since the Class 55s were coming to an end. At the beginning of the Eighties, the realisation that they wouldn't be around forever was a sad time for all Deltic fans.
Chris is harking back to days when the introduction of the IC125s began making major inroads on Anglo-Scottish services, and in May 1979 eight Haymarket and six Gateshead Deltics were transferred to York, followed in June 1981 by the Finsbury Park allocation. Therefore York was the place to go for spotting the rank and file of Deltics, but time was quickly running out for the class; the last Deltic-powered BR service took place in January 1982, then following the introduction of full IC125 service on the ECML the diesel running shed at York was closed to all but minor maintenance at the end of 1981. In many ways, Chris can reconcile himself with the fact that he was lucky to have been around to witness it.
He agrees wholeheartedly - 'We started the day at the crack of dawn and caught a train from Manchester Victoria to York which at the time was a fantastic place in the 80s. On arrival at York, dad said he was going off to take some photos around the depot leaving me to do some spotting on the station. I was more than happy to do this as there was always the chance I might see Black Watch...'
So why didn't Jim take you with him? I would have thought it'd be the first thing he'd do...
Chris paused momentarily then grinned - 'I suppose he was making sure the coast was clear! Dad promised to take me around the depot later on, and so the next hour went by in the blink of an eye. When he returned, he had a big smile on his face. He knew all along that I was desperate to 'cop' 55013 - and so off we went off to the depot, trespassing vest on (high visibilty vest) and me brimming over with excitement. For an impressionable 11 year-old, being taken into places where I wasn't supposed to be was a great thrill, though I must say he was always mindful of safety and being a retired engineman took great care to prevent any mishaps.
When we got into the depot, dad pointed out a Deltic standing idle in the workshop. I couldn't believe my eyes - there it was: the Black Watch! I was all over it like a bad rash. I was in the cabs, engine room and taking loads of photos of this amazing loco and it didn't disappoint. Whilst dad continued taking photos I wandered off into the depot yard to see what else was there. I was in train spotting heaven sitting in the cab of a class 47 when a football special from Newcastle stopped opposite the depot; it was full of railway police - and there's me sitting in the cab with no one else around. The next thing I knew six railway police were clambering across the tracks in my direction; a bit excessive for one eleven year old, if you ask me - but I had obviously been spotted and ended up joining the club of 'having your collar felt' as dad used to put it. He always said that you weren't a Carter unless you've been arrested by the railway police!'
Now why doesn't that surprise me! I recall Jim saying something similar to me a few years back; we'd been planning a book about his life as a railway photographer, or rather I was urging Jim to write something more about his footplate cameraman days; we even decided on a title 'The Jim Carter Collection', but sadly it never got off the ground.
However I was curious to find out what happened when Chris was arrested by the railway police?
'Well, my feet didn't touch the ground all the way back to York station, but after being grilled by the police my dad finally came to the rescue. Of course, being an adult he ended up carrying the can! Still it was a brilliant day at York which finished off on a high! As we were waiting to board the York-Liverpool train for the journey home, a Deltic coupled up to the front.
This was the stuff of dreams, I thought - and if you have ever been on a train hauled by a Deltic over the Pennines you'll know what I mean. We climbed into the first carriage and opened as many windows as possible; the roar from a hard-working Napier engine is one of the best sounds in the world, especially on the Standedge route and we had a brilliant time on the way back to Manchester. On the journey dad was telling me all kinds of stories about his time on the footplate along this same route during steam days, just brilliant. A month later we reported to Piccadilly station in Manchester and given a good ticking off by the Chief Constable, but it was nothing compared to what was waiting at home...
Mum wasn't best pleased and following a heated discussion dad was coerced into 'taking the rap' but he just smiled then winked at me, and everything was okay...'
With a face poignantly reminiscent of his father, Chris said finally - 'When I look back on those days I spent with dad it always makes me smile and his photos bring back fond memories of him since he passed away...
Before closing this first page, I must thank Geoff Burch of SR Enginemen Remember fame for kindly scanning some of Jim's medium-format negatives for Chris...it really started the ball rolling. I must also thank Andy Sparks, Editor of the CFPS's 'Whistler' magazine and John Stephens (CFPS Chairman) for their encouragement and help in identifying some of the various headcodes in Jim's early diesel photos. And, of course, my special thanks to Chris for entrusting me with the task of assembling this personal tribute page to his dad. Indeed it seems most appropriate that the Class Forty Preservation Society's 'Whistler' magazine is featuring some of Jim's photos in their Spring 2012 edition. The fact is, Jim made no bones about the fact that he didn't like the diesels, and it wasn't until he began driving them that he started to appreciate them as a locoman. He particularly liked the EE Type 4 (Class 40) which could do anything a 'Black 5' could do without any back-breaking shovelling coal into a firebox, no messing about with cab sheets in bad weather, getting your legs roasted while the top half of your body was frozen stiff - 'Aye, they're not half-bad them Type 4s,' he used to say, which, coming from a 'steam nut' like Jim, is saying something belive me! Click on link to the excellent CFPS website...I just know Jim would firmly approve.
GREAT NEWS! CHRIS HAS LAUNCHED HIS OWN WEBSITE DEDICATED TO HIS DAD
CLICK ON IMAGE BELOW
NOW THAT YOU HAVE A MEASURE OF JIM, WHY NOT VISIT HIS ORIGINAL 'RAIL CAMERMAN' PAGE (above left) AND CHRIS CARTER'S SECOND 'DIESEL CAMERMAN' PAGE IN TRIBUTE TO HIS DAD (above right). CLICK ON LINKS ABOVE.
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Ever since Jim's railway photos first appeared on this site, a lot of people have expressed interest in his work. A number of Jim's railway photographs are now available from www.rail-online.co.uk. This on-line railway photographic library is well worth a visit. Over the next few months more than a thousand of Jim's photos will be added. Click here to visit the site. Please note I am not affiliated with the sale of Jim's photos in any way, merely passing on a contact address