David A Flitcroft
In the summer of 1957 or 58 The family holiday was taken during Oldham Wakes at Newquay in Cornwall. We travelled down to Newquay on a holiday extra train which left Oldham Clegg Street on the Friday evening. Power was provided by a'black five' probably from Newton Heath shed. The train ran via the former Oldham, Ashton and Guide Bridge route to Stockport and then via Crewe to Shrewsbury. I don't remember passing through Crewe station so we may have gone via the avoiding lines. Progress was rather leisurely and after arrival at Shrewsbury we stood at the platform for at least an hour, watching the station clock pass midnight in the process. The lengthy stop gave the chance for a good look at 'Royal Scot' No 46134 The Cheshire Regiment which was simmering gently in the adjacent bay. Some of the time may have been spent changing engines for an opportunity for a spell of head out of the window observation as we approached Bristol showed an ex Great Western 'Hall' on the front end. The route from Shrewsbury was via Hereford and Pontypool Road, but I don't remember a significant stop long enough for an engine change at either of those on the way down.The route through Bristol was via Dr. Day's Junction and North Somerset Junction, past the back of Bath Road shed to rejoin the main line to the south west having avoided passing through Temple Meads station. The route taken from then on was the former Great Western line via Taunton, Newton Abbot and Exeter to Plymouth, where we stopped and changed engines for a similar 'hall' By now it was daylight and it was here that I took my first ever railway photograph, through the open carriage window, using Dad's Box Brownie 627.
And this is it, 4967 Shirenewton Hall waits to head west at Plymouth North Road station.
Our route now took us through south Devon as far as Par
where we left the main line for the Newquay branch, arriving at the destination
some thirteen hours after leaving Oldham.
At odd times during the holiday I managed to borrow the camera and took the following shots.
This is 'Grange' 4-6-0 No. 6832 Brockton Grange waiting to leave Newquay with a weekday train. If I remember correctly it was the Newquay portion of the 'Cornish Riviera Express' certainly the coaches seem to be carrying destination Boards
2-6-0 No 6357 shunts in the staion yard.
'Hall' 4-6-0 No 6996 Blackwell Hall heads for Par with empty stock.
And I didn't take another photograph of any kind until 1960.