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1968 Fifty years on.

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by NOTFORME_99, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. NOTFORME_99

    NOTFORME_99 New Member

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    S1o the preservation era has reached 50 plus
    That is longer than BR and the big 4 put together. ( 1968 - 50 = 1918 )

    Only locos of pre 1918 vintage have longer lives pre-preservation
    and the numbers decline with every passing year.

    Perhaps time to concentrate on the history of the preservation era
    as it is becoming more important than events pre 1968 ?
     
  2. Why "more important"?
     
  3. 3855

    3855 Member

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    why not, this weekend at the ELR is Thomas weekend who'd have thought back in the day such a thing could happen 50 years after the end of BR steam?
     
  4. 26D_M

    26D_M Well-Known Member

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    Certainly a contrast to how ELR commemorated the 25th anniversary, by holding a month long festival of steam, unmatched since. Perhaps a Thomas event is an apt way to illustrate the evolution of heritage railways.
     
  5. 3855

    3855 Member

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    certainly more profitable than the 1993 event!
     
  6. twr12

    twr12 Member

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    Some locos; eg 30053, have been owned by a single preservation society for longer than any of the previous owners.
    In the case of 30053: LSWR, Southern, BR, Steamtown USA, Southern Repatriation & Drummond Locomotives.
     
  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Indeed. To quote another example, Wainwright P class No. 323 was owned by the SE&CR for 13 years; SR for 25 years; BR for 12 years and the Bluebell Railway for 58 years, or rather more than half its life.

    Where I query the OP's original statement is in wondering about the significance of 1968 as somehow defining the start of the "preservation era".
    • Individual locos were preserved (in the sense of being retained for historical rather than operational reasons) at least back to the 1860s ("Rocket" entered what is now the Science Museum in about 1862)
    • Locos were preserved by private organisations at least back to the 1920s ("Gladstone", preserved by the SLS in 1927)
    • Operational railways were run by preservationists as an attraction from 1951 (Talyllyn, narrow gauge) and on the standard gauge from 1960 (Bluebell, Middleton)
    By contrast, there was plenty of working steam in industrial settings well past 1968.

    So "Preservation" clearly has an interesting history worth celebrating, but 1968 seems not to have much specific relevance in the story, and certainly doesn;t mark any kind of "start date".

    Tom
     
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  8. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    when you think the Bluebell started in 1960, I think we should be celebrating what preservation has achieved rather than the date when the last fires on BR were dropped , yes we can put on 68 events, only because we, as a movement have kept steam alive in preservation and now back on those same metals over which steam as a main provider of motive power died those 50 years ago, steam on the mainline would have not have happened again had it not been for preservationists buying these old relics, paying to restore them, and showing the modern railway, there is still a market for tourist market steam tours
     
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  9. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you to a point. Tom (I very rarely disagree with your pearls of wisdom!) but 1968 did mark the end of being able to buy locos straight from BR into preservation. No more wandering round Rose Grove, Lostock Hall or Carnforth to choose the best Black Five (and no doubt end up with a generous helping of spares into the bargain.) After that, only industry and London Transport (i.e., the Panniers) could offer you a working steam loco.

    1968 also saw the first departure from Barry Scrapyard. 4F no. 43924 left for Yorkshire in September of that year, barely a month after the running of 1T57. Given how dependent so many lines are on ex-Barry locos, I would say that this is another reason to regard 1968 as significant in preservation history
     
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  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I've probably over-egged the case for effect, but my point was that preservation didn't start in 1968, it is merely one year during which some things of significance happened. As you say, it changed the loco availability picture, but you could equally argue that periods in the 1970s / 1980s had an equally transformative effect on availability of cheap, ready-to-run rolling stock. Equally significant to the later development of the preservation movement; just a slightly less definitive cut-off date.

    Tom
     
  11. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    The significant date in 1968 was not August 11 but August 3rd. It was the last day you could go to a BR ticket office and buy an ordinary ticket and travel by a steam hauled train in the regular timetable, the 21.25 Preston - Liverpool Exchange and it was also the last day that a freight train was steam hauled although I don't know the working involved.
     
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  12. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

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    You are arguing about different things. The last mainline steam in August 1968 was the end of an era and was clear cut. At the time we thought we would never see it again. The start of steam running in preservation has no clear starting date but is nonetheless important. However, in August 1968 many of us who had been chasing around NW England had no interest in preserved lines. Not long after IT57 I visited the KWVR and was not impressed. I didn't visit another preserved line, the Bluebell, for a decade. I know better now.
     
  13. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    I think we all continued our hobby in different ways, I became a volunteer at the Dart Valley Railway but left and joined the SVR when the men in suits took over and tried to turn it into something different. There was a sort of pioneering spirit then and we all felt the world was against us, all grown men playing trains The biggest objector to the SVR reopening was Shropshire Country Council.

    For a mainline steam fix it was Germany where the rundown was undertaken in a much more disciplined manner, no clapped out locomotives or semi derelict sypteam sheds over there
     
  14. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    50 years ago today I had the choice of charging around the NW chasing the end of steam specials or travelling on the Bahamas Loco Society train from Stockport to Carnforth. I chose the latter but as we were the first in and the last out of Carnforth I did manage to photograph the LCGB train.Here are a selection from a sad but memorable day.

    45156 Stockport 04-08-18.jpg 45156 Stockport 03-08-68.jpg 45156 Carnforth 03-08-68.jpg 48773 44781 Carnforth 4-8-68.jpg 2 45390 & 45025 Carnforth 03-08-68.jpg 45390 & 45025 Carnforth 03-08-68.jpg 45156 Carnforth 4-08-68.jpg 45156 Carnforth 04-08-68.jpg 45156 Blackburn 04-08-68.jpg
     
  15. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Nice selection John but it pains me to see them as the hobby changed for ever in August '68.
     
  16. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    NOne of us knew what we would do after that but I got involved in preservation and for my steam fixes it was West Germany
     
  17. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Still at school in '68 but did get to see some German steam on a school exchange at Easter '69.
     
  18. jsm8b

    jsm8b Part of the furniture

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    Yes it did, but what has been achieved in the last half century is nothing short of miraculous.

    True the main line operations these days are far from what most of us would wish them to be but if in August 1968 someone had said that just under 50 years later I could see five steam hauled crossings of the Forth Bridge on a single day, or that a few months later Lancaster station would see the same number of trains pass through with a loco in steam, or even that there would be new steam locos being built who among us would have believed it possible.

    John's pictures are a reminder of what our hobby lost in 1968, though for me still at school the hiatus of the last few weeks passed me by even though I lived not too far away and my last live steam loco seen in Warrington was in April 68.
    I moved on to industrials while it lasted, saw real steam in France and Italy on a school holiday in 1970 and was at Carnforth in September 1972 for the first public trains to Barrow.

    What we have in 2018 may not be perfect but it's far more than we had any right to expect in August 1968.
     
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  19. 73129

    73129 Member

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    When did steam finish in West Germany.

    Cheers
     
  20. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Autumn 1977.
     

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