David A Flitcroft
Railway Photography


30th December 1961

It's Saturday 30th December 1961and very cold, the Ilford Sportsman records 'Patriot' No 45517 heading the 10.30 Liverpool Exchange to York via the ex L&Y main line, approaching Moston on the climb away from Manchester. From the following Monday 1st January 1962 the great majority of passenger services over the Calder Valley route were to be formed of three car BRCW class 110 three-car dmu's. The dmu's were faster and avoided the need to divide/combine Leeds and Bradford portions at Low Moor.All services now ran via Halifax and reversed at Bradford. A good number of 2-6-4 tanks, Crabs and Black Fives lost their jobs! And the dmu's didn't seem to provide the same spectacle somehow.


In even worse weather the equivalent service on January 1st 1962 formed by 2 Class 110 sets.

'Crab' 42820 followed heading for Rochdale. I walked a couple of hundred yards to Moston station and caught the train into Manchester Victoria.Where it was so gloomy I only took one shot.

An English Electric type 4, later class 40, takes the through line through Victoria heading for platform 3 at exchange with a newcastle to Liverpool express that has worked via Huddersfield. Not much to look at but my earliest surviving diesel loco shot..

For a while the 'Sportsman' soldiered on but a film transport problem materialised and it was replaced by a folding Voigtlander Vito 1, which seemed in good condition and of a better specification. Sadly it never performed at all up to expectations, with hindsight I suspect that a previous owner had carried out some amateur maintainance to the lens and hhad not re-assembled it correctly. Most images taken with it were much less good than I had hoped most negatives of which are amogst those that are lost. The pictures below were all taken with the Vito and are reproduced from scans of rathe worse for wear prints. They were all taken around Slattocks, between Middleton Junction and Castleton. I lived at the time in Chadderton and I'd get to Slattocks by cycling along the towpath of the Rochdale Canal.


Ex WD 2-8-0 handled most of the freight over the Calder Valley route, here 90713 on the left and 90219 do the honours.


Here, more unusually 'Black Five' 44817 heads for Yorkshire and sister engine 45073 hurries down the hill towards Manchester with the Newton Heath breakdown train.


The modern bridge over the canal was built at the side of the original, the girders of which were left in place and can just be made out below the new over which 90345 trundles towards Manchester. 90337 has just crossed the bridge and clanks towrads Rochdale. A considerable extension to the embankment had to constructed to allow the tracks to be slewed.

Horwich Crab 2-6-0 42814 runs light engine towards Rochdale.