One important aspect of my sojourn at Barnt Green signalbox not touched upon until now was the method of transport I used to get to and from my mother’s house in Shirley, a distance of approximately ten miles as the crow flies (assuming it was sober!) most of which was fairly flat apart from one section which was up hill and down dale including a stretch that had a 1 in 6 incline.
49cc Raleigh Runabout moped 1963
Since June 1963 I had been the proud owner, from new, of a 49cc Raleigh Runabout moped (175 miles to the gallon!) at a cost of £50.00 (£1.00 a week on the never‑never) and many a shed‑bashing trip was made on this trusty steed. All went well until the summer of 1964, when, horror of horrors, it broke down and had to be sent away to the manufacturer in Nottingham leaving me with the awful prospect of either having to walk to Barnt Green or travelling via the rail routes of Shirley to Birmingham (Moor Street) and onwards from Birmingham (New Street), a tedious and time‑consuming exercise.
However, salvation was at hand in the shape of a bicycle, loaned to me by my signalman Gordon and initially I was pleased as punch, but when I first saw it my spirits dropped to a new low – not only was it ancient but it was a ladies bike and in those days no self‑respecting bloke rode one of those, but as ‘beggars‑cannot‑be‑choosers’ I had to swallow my pride (and taunts) and utilised it for several weeks until the moped was repaired.
GWR 9400 Class 0‑6‑0PT No. 8405 (85D Bromsgrove)
Enjoys a break from its banking duties up the Lickey Incline and takes the slow line at Barnt Green with a pick‑up goods train from Worcester.
Photograph by Peter Hands
Returning to the railway scene by now I was a dab hand at operating the bell codes and pulling levers, both of which were most enjoyable and as the summer weeks progressed passenger excursions and holiday traffic increased most of which was still entrusted to steam: LMS Jubilees were still to the fore along with ‘Black Fives,’ supplemented by LNER B1’s and on one occasion a BR Class 9F was employed.
GWR Hall Class 4‑6‑0 No. 6912
Helmster Hall, of 88A Cardiff East Dock, labours up the Lickey Incline with a partially fitted freight on 13th April 1963.
Photograph by Peter Hands
LMS, LNER, BR, WD and GWR locomotives recorded in July were as follows:
LMS: Jubilee Class 4‑6‑0’s – passenger and express freights.
No. 45674 Duncan(V26) – 2E Saltley.
No. 45653 Barham – 9D Newton Heath.
Nos.45561 Saskatchewan(V31), 45611 Hong Kong, 45622 Nyasaland and 45670 Howard of Effingham – all from 16C Derby.
Nos.45598 Basutoland and 45641 Sandwich(N27) – both from 16F Burton.
Nos. 45564 New South Wales, 45597 Barbados, 45602 British Honduras(N84), 45608 Gibraltar(V40), 45626 Seychelles(V40) and 45675 Hardy – all from 55A Leeds (Holbeck).
No. 45716 Swiftsure – 56A Wakefield.
Other LMS types – expresses and freights.
Class 6P5F (Stanier) 2‑6‑0 No. 42957 (2F Bescot – V78) and 42970 (5E Nuneaton). Class 4F 0‑6‑0’s Nos. 43949 (2E Saltley), 44045 (85B Gloucester – Horton Road) and 44226 (2E Saltley). Class 5 4‑6‑0’s Nos. 44682 (6A Chester), 44691 (2E Saltley), 44765 (5A Crewe – North – V31), 44775 (2E Saltley – M77), 44777 (2E Saltley), 44804 (16C Derby – N27), 44863 (1F Rugby – V06), 45059 (16F Burton), 45207 (55D Royston), 45269 (9E Trafford Park – V19) and 45464 (16F Burton). Class 8F 2‑8‑0’s Nos. 48103 (16C Derby), 48268 (8B Warrington), 48339 (2E Saltley), 48415 (2A Tyseley), 48551 (5B Crewe – South), 48600 (16G Westhouses), 48610 (1E Bletchley), 48629 (2E Saltley), 48655 (6B Mold Junction), 48674 (2F Bescot), 48691 (8H Birkenhead), 48698 (16A Toton), 48707 (82F Bath Green Park) and 48722 (8C Speke Junction).
LNER – all on holiday passenger traffic.
B1 Class 4‑6‑0’s Nos. 61051(V23), 61153(V10 + N48), 61315(N79 – twice), 61327(V48) and 61370(N79) – all based at 41D Canklow.
BR – passenger and freights.
Class 5 4‑6‑0’s Nos. 73010 (1G Woodford Halse – V11), 73012 (82E Bristol Barrow Road) and 73037 (82E Bristol Barrow Road) plus Class 9F 2‑10‑0 No. 92227 (2D Banbury – E10).
BR – freights.
Class 9F 2‑10‑0’s Nos. 92058 (15A Leicester – Midland), 92070 (15A Leicester – Midland), 92100 (15C Kettering), 92159 (16E Kirkby), 92164 (2E Saltley), 92209 (88A Cardiff East Dock), 92213 (2D Banbury), 92215 (2A Tyseley), 92219 (88A Cardiff East Dock), 92220 Evening Star (88A Cardiff East Dock), 92231 (50A York), 92237 (88A Cardiff East Dock), 92238 (82E Bristol Barrow Road), 92243 (88A Cardiff East Dock), 92248 (82E Bristol Barrow Road) and 92250 (86E Severn Tunnel Junction).
GWR – freights.
Grange Class 4‑6‑0 No. 6845 Paviland Grange – 2A Tyseley.
Hall Class 4‑6‑0 No. 6917 Oldlands Hall – 2B Oxley.
Grange Class 4‑6‑0’s Nos. 6806 Blackwell Grange and 6878 Longford Grange– both from 85A Worcester.
Hall Class 4‑6‑0’s Nos. 4958 Priory Hall, 4985 Allesley Hall, 5936 Oakley Hall, 5979 Cruckton Hall, 6942 Eshton Hall and 6957 Norcliffe Hall plus Modified Hall Class 4‑6‑0’s Nos. 6985 Parwick Hall and 6993 Arthog Hall – all from 85B Gloucester (Horton Road).
9400 Class 0‑6‑0PT’s Nos. 8403 and 8405 – both from 85D Bromsgrove.
Hall Class 4‑6‑0 No. 5939 Tangley Hall – 86B Newport (Ebbw Junction).
Grange Class 4‑6‑0 No. 6872 Crawley Grange – 86E Severn Tunnel Junction.
Hall Class 4‑6‑0 No. 6932 Burwarton Hall and Modified Hall Class 4‑6‑0 No. 7913 Little Wyrley Hall – both from 87A Neath.
Grange Class 4‑6‑0 No. 6837 Forthampton Grange – 87F Llanelly.
2800 Class 2‑8‑0’s Nos. 3837 and 3856 – Grange Class 4‑6‑0’s Nos. 6826 Nannerth Grange and 6859 Yiewsley Grange – Hall Class 4‑6‑0’s Nos. 6931 Aldborough Hall, 6944 Fledborough Hall and 6958 Oxburgh Hall – Modified Hall Class 4‑6‑0’s Nos. 6984 Owsden Hall, 6987 Shervington Hall along with 7927 Willington Hall – all from 88A Cardiff East Dock.
(Strangely enough there were no recorded sightings of GWR types from 82E Bristol Barrow Road during July.)
So there we have it, a wide selection of steam power on view at Barnt Green during July 1964 from depots as far apart as Bath to Manchester, Birkenhead to Bletchley and Llanelly to York.
To be continued.