Journal Contents 2008

Issue no. 37 — Summer 2008

Cover photograph : John Edginton captured No. 58100 on 31 August 1958 as it drifted light down the incline in a photograph that again gives emphasis to its massive appearance. This photograph shows the locomotive in service during the latter days of its life. We are fortunate in being able to publish (p.14–19) in this issue a sequence of photographs that show its being built in 1919/20. Peter Witts has written an introduction to this and detailed captions for the photographs. The booklet from which the photographs came is in the Roy F. Burrows collection at the Midland Railway Study Centre. Further information by Peter Witts on the cover photograph is at the bottom of p.13.

Back cover : This poster, dated August 18th 1890, advertised the opening of the Doe Lea Extension branch of the Midland Railway. Glynn Waite refers to it in his article that deals with the complexities of the Midland’s passenger services between Chesterfield and Mansfield. The Midland ran three Mondays to Fridays services via the Doe Lea Extension line. That was also the case on Saturdays, though in later years services were enhanced on that day. [Glynn Waite collection]

Issue no. 38 — Autumn 2008

Cover photograph : This photograph, rich in fascinating Midland Railway detail, was taken at Lancaster Green Ayre station some time after 1908. The photographer was standing between the lines to Morecambe that can be seen curving off to the left and about to cross the Lune viaduct near where the camera was. This was a nine-chain curve, necessitating the check rails. The line straight ahead of the train, past Lancaster North signal box with the signal-man looking out of the window, would take it on the steeply graded (1 in 89 maximum) single track to Lancaster Castle station. The structures for supporting the catenary and the catenary itself that supported the electric power lines can be clearly seen. It looks as though the whole complement of station staff had turned out for the picture. The train standing at the station was of the standard composition, with the motor car (in this case, the Westinghouse unit, No. 2236, with the pantograph) flanked by two of the driving trailers. One can see, looking towards the train, the driver behind the glass of the right hand window of the leading trailer. If anyone knows anything about the staff pictured here, I would be delighted to hear from them. [Roy F. Burrows Trust, No. 60807: MR Study Centre/Kidderminster Railway Museum]

Back cover : This is the cover of a brochure issued in July 1898 by the Midland Railway to potential passengers from Liverpool or Manchester to London. They would have travelled through the Peak District on their journey; hence the company’s claim of having the “Pictureque Route”. The brochure was a tourist timetable, attractively produced on quality paper. The Midland was, at that time, strongly pursuing the potentially profitable traffic from the Atlantic liner trade that docked at Liverpool. [Roy F. Burrows Trust, No. 18020: MR Study Centre]

Issue no. 39 — Winter 2008

Cover photograph : Our cover photograph comes from the collection of Midland Railway postcards assembled over the years by John Alsop. John, working with Roy Burrows, has recently made available copies of these at the Midland Railway Study Centre. There are four in John’s collection that depict work going on for the Midland electrification of the Lancaster, Morecambe and Heysham lines and the subsequent rebuilding of Greyhound viaduct. The article on page 10, and the centre spread are based on them. The cover photograph was taken at the same time, possibly by the same photographer.

The charming image on the cover shows a three-car Siemens set at Platform 3 of Morecambe station at the end of 1908, the year that the lines were electrified. The leading driving trailer car was No. 2241. Unfortunately, it is not possible to read the numbers of the motor car and the other trailer. Both bow collectors on the motor car were up, and the wind deflectors for each can be seen in the photograph. The ladies ready to board the train were dressed in warm winter clothing, and had clearly spent some money on it. At the time, Morecambe was a place where the wealthy came to spend their leisure time. Other passengers included a bowler-hatted man behind the women, and an elderly gentleman in a naval cap.

The train guard appears to have been unlocking the door of the carriage for the waiting passengers to enter. Whilst this was happening and the picture was taken, someone behind the ladies moved to form the shadowy figure there. The young man in the cloth cap and working clothes with a cane under his arm was probably a passenger. His confident stance is rather appealing. [Roy F. Burrows Trust, No. 67824: John Alsop collection]

Back cover : The date (1869) of this form letter about debenture loans makes it unusually interesting. The Midland Railway was financially very extended at that time. The London extension was in place, but it had hardly had time to generate significant new revenue, whilst the Midland Grand Hotel was still being built. The expensive Chesterfield and Sheffield line was under way, and the cripplingly expensive Settle and Carlisle line had just started. Even though the Midland Railway Company was experienced in riding financial trouble, they needed unprecedented amounts of cash. This letter was part of the essential money-raising activity of the time.

Mr. J. Williams, the Secretary of the Midland Railway had written to a Mr. William Simpson of Malton, in reply to his enquiry about loans to the Midland Railway Company. The hand-written note in the right hand margin refers to the (Little) North Western Company (leased in perpetuity to the Midland), and Williams offered debentures against its security giving similar rates of return to the higher Midland debentures.

The reverse of this document says “North Eastern Railway Co, Circulars of Letters” It has, I presume, come from a collection of similar documents put together by a clerk in the North Eastern Company. I have no idea why they did so. [Ian Howard collection]