Cover photo: Luckily for us Mr. Nicholls of nearby East Twerton decided, at the turn of the 20th century, to record this scene at Kelston for Saltford — a little known station on the line from Mangotsfield to Bath. In the photograph we can see the Station Master in his characteristic long coat and cap with braid but no sign of the usual porters, indicating that, along with the permanent way men, this was probably a Sunday. The chairs are inside keyed and fishplates and bolts are spaced out in the clean ballast. The lady (who could be the staion master’s wife) and her two small children appear to be in their ‘Sunday Best.’ As the man lounging on the seat is in his boots, perhaps he has arrived on the bicycle leaning against the wall. Behind him is an enamel sign for Bristol-made soda waters. Obviously there are keen gardeners here with added pots and window boxes, the latter bearing the station name. Everyone except the station master is fixed on the camera. Perhaps his bowed head reflects his dealings with the residents of Kelston Park — or is he dreaming of a move to a larger station and the house that goes with it? Further notes about the station, including comments on the signalling arrangements, can be found on page 18. [Photograph via Mick King; notes by Peter Witts]
Back cover: Most people are aware that the Midland Railway held an annual ball in the Railway Institute at Derby. However, that building did not open until 1894. As will be seen, earlier Balls were held in the Royal Drill Hall. As dancing did not commence until 9 o'clock, what arrangements were made at the end of the event for those who had been granted passes for the occaision?
Cover photo: At a time when every schoolboy dreamed of becoming an engine driver, image the joy of the young lad pictured on No. 2972. The locomotive on which he proudly stands was originally No. 1204, one of the first batch of 120 of Samuel Johnson’s goods engines built in 1875 and 1876. The plate of its maker, Beyer Peacock, has been replaced by one stating ‘Boiler New Derby 1902.’ In 1880 the locomotive was as Manchester, but by 1892 had been transferred to Wellingborough. It was moved to Carlisle about 1919, havinf been replaced by the new Fowler class 4s. After further shed changes it was renumbered 22972 in 1934 but was withdrawn during the same year. The photograph was probably taken at Wellingborough about 1910. Three foremen (titles on their caps) and two shunters are standing in front of the engine. The shapeless uniforms will be noted, though the corduroy of the shunters would have been more comfortable than the heavy cloth worn by their superiors. [G. Waite collection; notes by Peter Witts]
Back cover: St. Andrews Church in Derby was known as ‘the railwayman’s church.’ This appeal from the new incumbent, the Reverend Melville H. Scott, to the shareholders of the Midland Railway in 1872 highlights some severe financial difficulties from the building of the church.
Cover photo: An essential part of single line working was the exchange of the electric train tablet. Here we find the fireman and signalman ready for the handover at Redditch Gas Works Siding signalbox.The train, hauled by a Johnson 0-6-0, will soon be in Redditch Station. The first carriage is of interest, being one of a design of four-wheeled 26ft brake thirds of 1878 that utilised material from a cancelled order for 58ft bogie carriages. By the time this photograph was taken — c.1903-1907 — these vehicles had long been duplicated, and it had probably been added for strengthening purposes. The wagons alongside the train are standing on the liner connected to the gas works, which is behind the photographer. Just round the corner, also on the right hand side, is the single road engine shed, whilst the building to the left is one of the many needle works that were the principal industry of the town. [photo J. Alsop collection; notes by Pter Witts]
Back cover: The Midland Railway produced some attractive brochures to publicise its facilities. This one, giving details of trains from St. Pancras in January 1913, is no exception. The brochure contains a map of Landon’s electric railways and their connections with the Midland, the times of the omnibus services between St. Pancras, Charing Cross, Victoria and Waterloo, and a summary of services and fares to selected destinations. Interestingly, the details are in alphabetic sequence rather than line order. Although there are footnotes, it s difficult to determine whether each service is a through one, or the passenger has to change en route. Thus, the 4.50am from St. Pancras, which we know conveyed coaches for Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds, is shown in alphabetic sequence to arrive at Matlock at 8.37, Nottingham at 7.48, Perth at 6.20 and Sheffield at 8.55. Although the column heading shows ‘a.m.’, the arrival in Perth is clearly not the same morning. [L. Knighton collection]