Wednesday, February 20, 2019
APPEAL LAUNCHED FOR BRIGG RAILWAY PICTURES OF THE PAST
The interest generated by last weekend's return of trains along the iconic Brigg line - suspended since summer 2018 due to industrial action - has brought local railway memories flooding back, and has promoted us to launch an appeal for pictures of the past.
As a boy in the mid-1960s we enjoyed an evening film show in a British Railways Travelling Cinema Coach, parked in a siding behind the station. The fact they showed transport films will come as no surprise. Does anyone else remember attending this free show?
On our way to early evening choir practices at St John's Church during the lighter months of the year we would make a detour to Brigg station to watch the fish train from Grimsby coming through. If 'The Fish' was running late, a mad dash to get to the church on time would follow!
Brigg trainspotters in the mid-1960s thought they had a bit of a rough deal compared with the bounty enjoyed by fellow followers of this hobby in Barnetby. The fact that three lines merged near the railway village tripled the number of locos on view.
But Brigg still had passenger trains seven days a week back then, with regular freight train passing through and the pick-up goods calling to shunt the town's sidings.
Rusty steam age survivors seen during 1964/5 were mostly WD 2-8-0 'Austerity' engines or B1 4-6-0s, with a few British Railways 9F 2-10-0s.
Very few pictures of steam engines in Brigg between 1955 and 1965/6 have been placed in the public domain since internet use became widespread. And that's a real pity.
We are confident that a number of people living locally will have images of interest tucked away at home - perhaps taken by older family members or even themselves in their youth.
So today we are appealing for anyone with train treasures tucked away to let us know, in the hope they can be copied and shared online, preserving them for future years.
Views of Brigg station, and others in the district, will be just as welcome, together with lineside pictures and those featuring railway workers.
We are also keen to see pictures that have survived of Brigg Sugar Factory's internal railway network and the shunting locos that worked there.
The factory tracks connected with British Railways at Scawby Brook, where there was a small signalbox (Brigg Siding).
It would also be good to pinpoint when Brigg saw its last British Rail steam-hauled train (excepting preserved locos like The Flying Scotsman).
We think it was probably early in 1966, but can anyone come up with a definite date?
Shunting wagons in sidings was still undertaken at Elsham during the 1960s by a loco sent from Scunthorpe, and this decade saw the closure of North Kelsey and Howsham stations.
In August 1965 we were fortunate to enjoy a ride on Frodingham-based B1 steam loco No 61127 when it shunted the Singleton Birch limeworks sidings at Melton Ross.
This duty was known to railway workers as The Melton Ross Pilot, and after steam's demise was left in the capable hands of English Electric Type 1 diesels (later known as Class 20s). A few of these are still running and have visited northern Lincolnshire in recent years on weed-killing trains.
Other diesel survivors in 2019 include what 1960s trainspotters knew as Brush Type 4s (Class 47s), Brush Type 2s (Class 31s), Co-Co Type 3s (Class 37s) and 350cc diesel shunters (Class 08s).
If you know of any Brigg area diesel pictures from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, and are willing to share them, they will also be very welcome.
People with ORIGINAL pictures of local railway scenes from past decades are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org giving brief details. We'll get back to you.
For copyright reasons we can't consider pictures copied from books or magazines.
PICTURED ABOVE: A preserved B1 4-6-0 crossing Cadney Bridge, Brigg, with an enthusiasts' special.