Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Crowds Flock to See the Bittern at Par.

Photograph. Andrew Carey

A first for the blog and I'm sad to say I missed it! We met up with Roger at Par on Sunday afternoon who advised me that there was a Bittern from the Mallard Class at Par Station and he had been there with Andrew Carey only a few minutes earlier. We headed over to the station, but unfortunately missed it. I could still smell it though! Many thanks to Andrew Carey for sending in a picture of this classic steam train. (for more of Andrew's images see: www.andrewcareyphotography.co.uk) It was very good to meet you Andrew. Hope to see you again soon.


  1. Trevor - Think you'll find Bittern was Class A4 Pacific not Mallard Class. Mallard was a more famous engine in the 35 strong fleet of streamlined A4's a class that also contained Union of South Africa and my personal favourite - Sir Nigel Gresley.

  2. Yes of course you are right Simon. I knew that but Angie wrote it out and of course she does not have railway history...unlike me..who use to run around Stafford Road Shed (84a) and Oxley Sidings (84B) every morning before school. Most weekends were spent at Crewe usually with a visit to the works and the massive Crewe South (5B) shed which was up there with the likes of Stratford in London which was huge and a hell of a walk. Trainspotting was my life and I can honestly say the happiest days of my life.
    Thanks for pointing it out as it did escape my attention.

  3. No problem at all. 9F's on the long drag provide one of my favourite scenario's and the Somerset and Dorset also provides me with much intrest. Steam photography by the likes of Eric Treacy cannot be beaten really by anyone in any subject. Most evocative and a photographer years ahead of his time.

  4. The 9F’s were a superb long distance freight train…they were first introduced in 1954 and scrapped in the early 1960’s so hardly having time to repay the costs of building and technology .
    Although I spent most mornings running around Stafford Road Shed…a haven for the GWR Kings and Castles…my first love was the LMS region trains. Top of these was the Princess Coronation Class (IMO the finest Pacific ever built.) along with the Princess Royal Class .These were often to be seen flashing through Crewe Station with a top express. I remember a bell was sounded warning that a non stopping Express was imminent and in those days I could hear it.
    The local Railway Society arranged shed visits and trips to some of the lesser known sheds….. to cop the old Pannier Tankers and Shunters that hardly ever ventured forth but were confined to yard duties….as well as the big mainline depots, so giving one the cheap option of walking around legally . It was on one of these trips up North that the driver got hopelessly lost and the schedule was thrown to the wind. It was dark when we got to Mexborough Shed (41F) but we all eagerly clambered out and rushed across coal bunkers into the shed like a bunch of banshees then much grimier proceeded to do a repeat at Sheffield.
    On another trip around the South Wales Sheds I had the great fortune to complete my GWR Brittania’s when visiting Cardiff (88A) . Lo and behold the four of them were on shed …a great day indeed.
    Now you would be far too young to have had the pleasure of all the dirt, grease, smoke and grime which was part and parcel of bunking a shed. No matter how they try ..and they do try hard on the SVR…they can never reproduce it as it was. As a early teenager I had the run of Stafford Road each morning and even was encouraged by the workers at the shed. Only occasionally did we fall fowl of the Railway Police and that was generally at Crewe South Shed when often hundreds of train spotters were wandering around the 150 + locomotives .Nothing serious just ..”This is Railway Property …clear off!”
    Probably then it was only because of some top brass in the vicinity .

    Now the reason I loved it more than Birding .
    I saw a Jay in the garden yesterday and also again today. Now, I have no idea if it was the same bird as the day before.
    With Steam Locomotives they were all individuals and you knew straight away if you had seen it before or not as they were all numbered and the majority of the larger ones ..named as well.

    I have always thought that one day the old Trains Illustrated Magazines from the first in 1946 up till 1961 would become collectors items. I have only about a dozen months to collect to complete the whole 159 issues between those dates. The first one is of course very rare and expensive and I am still waiting to purchase it if it becomes available.


free counters Fatbirder's Top 500 Birding Websites