Tuesday, 20 March 2012

blast from the past

Something a bit different this time.........
I've been spending a bit of time away from the Works over the past few weeks and this has involved overnight stays in hotels. I often take something to read with me and found a very ancient copy of Modern Railways dating back to November 1964 in my case. Reading old magazines provides sobering lessons in how massively things can change in a relatively short time, and how true it is that today's news is tomorrow's chip paper.

Still, here are some gems plucked from this magazine that are relevant to a follower of the Works

Firstly the front cover. This has a split image ( black and white of course) of a close up of Bulleid valve gear from 35011 General Steam Navigation (Eastleigh built) over a BR Mk4 motor bogie with shoegear, as fitted to myriads of Southern region stock. Whats interesting is that even in 1964 there were rivetted repairs along the bottom of the Mk1 steel body.

Skimming the pages I found an advert for "Go Ahead Brush", trumpeting their new type 4 diesels. We've got a couple of them on the Works at present undergoing overhaul.

There's a big article about the electrification of the Bournemouth services and news of Cardiff Canton diesel depot opening. Sadly approval for abandonement of the lines between Scarborough and Whitby and Taunton - Ilfracombe also appears in the issue.

However things get relevant to Eastleigh again on page 351 where there is a picture of a new BRMk2 coach at Dover Marine forming the up Golden Arrow. I now own one of these coaches in the shape of former Serco Test Car 6, which lives at the Works.
Then on page 365 is a picture of LSWR B4 Granville sat in the Erecting Shop, having been restored back to LSWR condition for display at Butlins.

In the motive power pages, the last 2 W class tanks have been withdrawn and a convoy of withdrawn locos is being towed to Stratford Works, including ex Southern locos Lord Nelson, Cheltenham and Sir Lamiel, all of which have returned to us over the past few years.

The Workshop section reports that 306 EMUS from Shenfield ( I worked on these as an apprentice) are arriving at Eastleigh for overhaul. However on the steam front the Works is reported to only be overhauling Bulleids and BR standards, including former Crosti boilered 9f 92028.

The thing that strikes me about the magazine is how informative it manages to be, despite the simplicity of its layout and imaging. Modern magazines could learn from it.

Still its been a pleasant excursion to a different age. Eastleigh Works had 42 years of managed decline to put up with before we could start the fightback.
And whilst we won't ever be able to turn the clock back to the heady days of the Beatles and bowler hats, we can at least report that the Works is once again doing varied and interesting work, like that reported in MR's November 1964s edition