Diesels in the Peak District – Phil Lockwood & Enid Vincent

MEETING REPORT 10th May 2023


60095 approaching Dove Holes Tunnel at Chapel-en-le-Frith with 6H57 the Ashburys to Dowlow empty MEA wagons on 23 Jan 2007. Image credit Phil Lockwood 


For our final meeting of the season in May, we welcomed back branch stalwarts Phil Lockwood & Enid Vincent, with their presentation ‘Diesels in the Peak District’.  Pleasingly therefore, we were very much on home ground in the Peak District National Park.  The excellent slides covered four distinct areas (1) Grindleford to Romiley (the Hope Valley line), (2) New Mills south junction to Buxton, (3) Buxton to Peak Forest & Chapel-en-le Frith & finally (4) Buxton to Hindlow.  The time period covered was from 1975 to 2022, with a corresponding array of diesel-electrics and DMU’s in evidence.  It would have been easier to quote those classes which were not seen!  However, we saw on associated duties classes 08, 20, 25, 31, 33, 37, 40, 45, 47, 50, 56, 60, 66, 67, 70, 101, 123, 124, 142, 150, 156, 158 & 185.  A particular focus was the still heavy and vibrant stone traffic from the Peak Forest area, and its required infrastructure – Dove Holes, Tunstead, Hindlow etc.  Also, in great detail the Hope Cement Works, which opened in 1929, and is now operated by Breedon, and having an output of around 1.5m tonnes per annum.  This operation of course creates important and significant traffic for the Hope Valley line and elsewhere.  In total contrast, one slide showed the sad sight of two withdrawn cl. 76 (LNER/BR EM1) Bo+Bo electric locomotives waiting to be towed away by a diesel-electric locomotive to their final resting home!  RIP.  In some respects the varied railway scenes were subordinate to the magnificent and stunning scenery of the Peak District.  Phil and Enid must have been intrepid walkers and climbers to obtain such exquisite photography, often in very challenging landscapes and inclement weather!  A presentation of the highest order.