David A Flitcroft
!963 was quite a momentous year for me. GCE 'A' level examinations loomed large on the horizon, as did college applications/interviews etc. Photographically the Voigtlander Vito 1 continued to disappoint, and to make matters worse most negatives from most of the year have been lost, so the images here have mostly been scanned from rather poor prints.
This shot was taken around about Easter time 70012 Rising Star in very dirty condition is leaving Platform 3 at Manchester Exchange with a special 3Z32, which if I remember rightly was a troop train. I have no idea where it came from nor to where it was going.
The following two shots were taken during the summer holiday at Royton Junction, on the line from Oldham Mumps to Rochdale via Shaw.'Black Five' 44812 heads away towards Rochdale with a pick-up goods. During this summer holiday, and the next few, I worked in the Tay Mill in the background, the former cotton mill was used at this time for cotton storage and I earned some money towards living expenses by moving bales of cotton from place to place on a hand truck.The Royton branch turned off between the trucks in the background and the Tay mill
The mill in the background of the next shot was, I believe, occupied by an electronics firm. The mill was destroyed by fire a short time later. These old cotton mills with their floors soaked with oil from the machinery tended to burn very well once a fire got going.
44818 heads away towards Shaw.
In September of 1963 I took up a teacher training course at Loughborough. For the first year of the course I was in a Hall of residence at Quorn. The next three shots were taken to the east of Quorn on the former great Central main line, on the now preserved section, near Quorn and Woodhouse station.
9F 2-10-0 92231 heads north with a mixed freight.
Standard class 5 4-6-0 No 73032 has an express for Nottingham
Another 9F No 92043 heads for Loughborough with a train of coal empties.
The former Midland Railway main line ran to the west of Quorn and Barrow upon Soar was within walking distance and offered more trains.
As far as I know this is my only shot of a 4F in BR service. No 44162 heads north wih a mixed freight having just passed through Barrow on Soar station, or more correctly just passed behind the station as the platforms served the up and down main lines.
9F 2-10-0 92123 heads south on the up main with a heavy coal train.
I was by this time very disatisfied with my camera's performance and on my way back to Hall would pause by the camera shop in Baxtergate. I eventually spotted a camera I could afford - a 35mm Taron PR, a 35mm with a coupled rangefinder, at a bargain price. It had a 45mm f2.8 lens which proved to be a great improvement over my previous cameras.
One of the first shots with the Taron taken on a grey November afternoon. 92055 on the up slow near Barrow with another heavy coal train. Most of my train pictures in the first six months of 1964 were to be taken within a mile of this point.