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Countdown to July 9th: 10/2 to 9/3

Discussion in 'Bullhead Memories' started by Big Al, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    In celebration of the end of Southern Steam anniversary here is the next set of personal snippets of action - good and not so good - that were taking place for me 50 years ago.
    • Feb 10: A rare event. No tsrs or checks between Southampton and Bournemouth. So it was a classic 'two hour style' dash behind 35013 in 31½ minutes with a right time arrival - also rare!
    • Feb 19: Sunday travel - engineering works - ugh! There's arguably little point in bothering unless you get diverted via the Mid Hants or in my case, run the slow line from Waterloo. 56 through Clapham Junction with Clan Line was worth the effort. (The psr on the slow is higher than on the fast)
    • Feb 21: A forgettable 79 minutes 'non-stop' from Southampton to Basingstoke with 73020 to include a fifteen minute wait at Weston trying to raise steam. The loco was taken off at Basingstoke.
    • Feb 24: Paid the supplement to travel on the Belle and was rewarded, some would say, with an unrebuilt light pacific 34006, rather than a Merchant Navy. The load was 9 Pullmans plus two BGVs so not a light train. Unchecked, apart from three tsrs but all a bit pedestrian, only managing to exceed 70 through Winchester. I watched the train reverse about a coach length at Southampton in order to try and restart. The resulting 'snatch' would have done little to help the serving of after lunch drinks, I suspect.
    • March 5: Nothing on the main line but a rail tour around Surrey. How else are you going to get a Bulleid Pacific on the District Line through Southfields? And we did it twice!
    • March 7: A Gordon Hooper classic with 35013 on the 1030 ex Waterloo. Following a tsr at Wimbledon and a signal failure at Raynes Park that stopped us for half a minute we were already seven down by Hampton Court Junction. We then ran the 51 miles to Winchester Junction in 45 minutes. As we were late, Woking let us fly through at 71 but we then accelerated up to MP31, going over the top at 73. We would have been through Winchester in a little over 70 minutes but the stopper off the Mid Hants was ahead of us. Nevertheless we managed a Southampton arrival close to right time.

      I waited for Gordon to come back on the 1652 arrival and was not disappointed. We had my favourite - 35007 - and despite a nine minutes late departure, a two minute signal stop at Eastleigh and a tsr at Weybridge, we were spot on time at Waterloo. 88 minutes running time or 79 net.
     
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  2. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    I've not come across the name Gordon Hooper before, was he a Nine Elms man or do you mean Gordon Porter?
     
  3. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    If you do not know about Gordon Hooper then your education is incomplete.
    Go to: http://svsfilm.com/nineelms/men.htm and scroll down the alphabetical list for a picture of the man.
    He is the one who (allegedly ;)) went passed Wallers Ash at 100+ with 35005.
     
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  4. Johnb

    Johnb Nat Pres stalwart

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    The top men at the Elms were always Messrs Hooker, Porter and Burridge, odd that that name isn't known to me or maybe it was but it's 50 year's ago now. Thanks for the link
     
  5. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    I'll leave @gricerdon to discuss with you who were the top men at Nine Elms. The ones you mention are certainly on the list but Reuben Hendicott also comes to mind. There are others although I have to say that near the end there were many who were 'top' from the point of view of managing their locos under not the most ideal of circumstances.
     
  6. 30567

    30567 Part of the furniture Friend

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    So many great photos of the locomen in the Nine Elms Loco rogues gallery, some by Bryan Benn. One which caught my eye is of Messrs Hooper and Hendicott aboard 35007 at Waterloo.

    Pure nostalgia Al! If you could bottle it you'd be on to something.
     

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