19th September 2019 · “The Work of Bill Ashcroft”

Presenter: Mike Taylor

The new season of meetings began in September when Mike Taylor from Burnley presented a digitised selection of photographs taken by the late Bill Ashcroft, who was a well-known face around the northern railway scene in the 50’s and 60’s who organised numerous RCTS tours in the North West.

Splendid black and white images were to illustrate a journey originating at Preston, which was to be the focal point of the material. Many were the pictures of Scots, Coronations, Patriots and Britannia’s that abounded at either the station or the motive power depot.

Initially the journey took an easterly route around East Lancashire taking in Farington Junction and Lostock Hall shed where activity at each location was shown in some detail. Travelling northwards along the West Coast main line to Lancaster where, in addition to the regular main line locomotives, the locations brought images of the Morecambe electrics thus adding to the variation of motive mower. Carnforth was to be seen in pre-electrification days and also those of the present West Coast Railway Company where the sheds were once sited. Meandering off the beaten track took the audience through to Hellifield where images of the depot recalled all of what was once on offer at this, the most easterly point of the presentation. Interesting steam day pictures of the ex L&Y Horwich workshops, were in evidence whilst Aintree and Liverpool Exchange featured as the western extremity of the show. Overall a most wide ranging array of Midland Region motive power was, naturally, to be seen. However in paying respect to the photographer, as an RCTS tour enthusiast/organiser, a section of illustrations was devoted to the Tyne-Solway rail tour (a West Riding venture) which featured 60131 ‘Osprey’ as the centrepiece locomotive.