13th January 2020 · ‘Steam In and Around York – Part 2’

Presenter: Chris Nettleton

A fair sized attendance was present at Wellingborough Castle Museum on Monday, 13th January. The subject was Chris Nettleton’s presentation of ”Steam in and around York, Part 2”. As every enthusiast worth his salt would know, York had always been, and is still well remembered, as one of the places to go for steam. That this is an understatement can be borne out by the staggering number of different classes of steam locomotives on view, covering the eighty years or so to the end of regular British Railways steam in the late 1960s. There were black and white pictures, colour transparencies, colour film, both enthusiast led and official.

We started with views of the many varieties of locomotives and trains to be seen regularly in the earliest days of the 20th century, and as time wore on, we were shown the variety, as well as the increase in size, of the locomotives and trains, not only of the parent North Eastern Railway, but later the London & North Eastern Railway, and the arrival of British Railways. Chris pointed out that York of the LNER was similarly placed in the echelon of, (with a nod towards the well remembered “TI” of Ian Allan fame) “Resorts for railfans”, to Carlisle of the LMSR. I would suggest that the LMS was better represented at York than was the LNER at Carlisle.

There is not space to list what “went through” York on Monday, but the importance of, and the status of the area, including both York North shed (50A) and the less well known York south shed could be seen and appreciated. The shot of an LMS Beyer Garratt at York off a working from Wellingborough to Cargo Fleet would once have brought a louder murmur from the audience than it did today. An official film of the movement of a transformer through the York area showed what the railway system was capable of, even if much of it was thrust upon it by the “Common Carrier” label.

This was an excellent presentation, with a gentle hand on the reg; no apology is given for the lack of engine numbers seen, but I suggest that Chris’s presentation would be better viewed in the flesh, rather than reading about it. The old dream of imagining seeing 45660 (22A) parked on York loco alongside 60005 (52A) could be relived, with any amount of different number combinations!