The Flying Scotsman visits Stockton

The Flying Scotsman on a visit to Stockton, taken at the station showing the overall roof, now long gone sadly, in April 1966. I was very fortunate in those days to have a permit for taking pictures at the lineside and still only a teenager so I did not get into trouble with that policeman on the platform.

Photo and details courtesy of Garth McLean

22 thoughts on “The Flying Scotsman visits Stockton

  1. This was the ‘Flying Scotsman Anniversary Special’ and it ran on April 16th 1966, the third Anniversary of its purchase from BR by Alan Pegler. Starting at Northallerton the route was Stockton, Sunderland, Newcastle, Berwick, Edinburgh, and over the Forth Bridge to Inverkeithing. Return route was back to Edinburgh then the Waverley route via Hawick to Carlisle, Hexham, Newcastle, Durham and Northallerton. Outward departure from Northallerton was 08.05 and the booked time at Stockton was 08.31/08.33, so if on time, that is when the picture was taken. Information from the ‘Six Bells Junction’ website which holds a mass of information on special trains and rail tours.
    It was indeed wonderful to spend days standing on the footbridge and watching the trains in and out of the station north end during my annual visit to Stockton in the school summer holidays, particularly the expresses which would be hauled by a Pacific or a V2. There were through trains to Kings Cross, Colchester and Liverpool as I recall, the latter I was lucky enough to travel on from and to home in Warrington.

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    • Living a tad south of Stockton station immediately north of the “cut-and-cover” Yarm tunnel above the town, I remember nearly every one of these trains, David. Certainly the express workings you mentioned – and many such expresses headed by various A3/A2/A1 classes ( q.v. my spotters’ notebooks) were stopped at the Northbound signal sited almost below our house No. 12 Newlands Road and these powerful locos made SUCH energetic starts (lots of slips) – yet also the “ten-past-twelve” to Leeds (worked by one of the “Hunt” class) and the long parcels train that followed the Colchester train. More local workings were to/from Whitby, West Hartlepool and Northallerton.
      Who these days would remember the “pick-up” that shunted a few wagons through the tunnel for the tiny Yarm goods yard most mornings? This was ALWAYS BR Standard Class ‘2’ No. 78015 of Northallerton’s small shed. L1 No. 67777 (the “flying sevens”) sometimes worked by.
      Just before I burst into tears (again!), there were Sunday “Diversions” off the East Coast Main Line. Enter the A4 “Streamliners” in all their 1950s glory… Even ‘Walter K. Whigham’ was resplendent. (Ah well, back to the wine…)

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      • Lovely to hear your recollections Colin, to be honest in later years I ventured further than the station. When I was about thirteen my uncle (John Doughty, who was a keen cyclist and member of the Stockton Wheelers) built me a bike mostly from parts he had lying around the house (!) so I could venture further. One place I liked to go to was the over-bridge on Aislaby Road at Yarm, listening to a Pacific climb the bank towards Picton was quite something. By the time I was fifteen and the last of my Summer visits to Stockton, I would cycle to Darlington, but the days at Stockton were more interesting. I think the A3s were (and still are ) my favourite loco before fitting of double chimney and smoke deflectors. I built one like that in ‘0’ gauge a couple of years ago, 60076 ‘Galopin’, and with the original Great Northern coal rail tender.
        I also remember the ‘flying sevens’ that you mention, I think it mainly worked the Saltburn to Darlington trains but may also have been on the Newcastle-Middlesbrough service before the DMUs took over.
        Yarm was at one time one of the places I fancied modelling, until you get the plans out an realise what space you would need, and wonder where you would put the viaduct……

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        • Hi David; cheers. I knew the Yarm station bridge well. When about nine, it was my plan to walk right across from Up to Down side on the OUTSIDE of the Down face of that bridge – along the sandstone slabs and holding the copers! Needless to say my courage failed me once the grass bank receded behind me… I did prefer Darlington to Stockton to see A3s, etc. and went there on a number of summer evenings shortly before it all finished. (A3s also remain my favourites and I have very many models of these – instance 60093 “Coronach”, the 12C Carlisle Canal “lifer”!
          A VERY early Stockton memory (Ca. 1953): shortly after my sister was born (1952), mam took us to Stockton from Eaglescliffe (G5 haulage almost certain in those far-off days!). The pram went across to the town side via the lift subway and when it arrived on the Up side, it was noted that a dirty aquarium tank had been placed onto the pram…) I still remember mam’s rage at this.
          Would LOVE to see a shot of your “0” gauge A3 by the way.

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        • Wow – such ‘in extremis’ performances through a station (and the Argo Transacord EP “Gresley Pacifics” received one long-gone Christmas) were EXACTLY why I started recording them!
          And to think that even in the 1950s, seeing at Eaglescliffe No. 60028 (of Kings Cross) – despite her cleanliness, grace and immense power – was considered even by budding enthusiasts to be absolutely nothing special… (Thank Heavens for the preservation movement.)

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  2. Regarding Stockton station (and it’s very possible indeed I may have commented before, so please bear with – bear with…), there was an original Stockton and Darlington Railway coach on a plinth on the Up (‘London’) platform. Can anyone remember it? It was located near the bay platform(s?) at the north end and if you climbed up surreptitiously, you could see the deeply cushioned interior. This coach was removed by a “breakdown” crane Ca. 1970, gingerly lifting between the tie rods beneath the arch and eventually down onto a rail wagon. (Likely went to York Railway Museum.) I recall taking some Super8 film although it’s unlikely my old projector still works after such time.

    These days of course, the station or working area would be cordoned-off from the public (I was the only spectator there I believe) and you’d almost certainly be hassled by police and other unhelpful railway staff… By then working on BR anyway, I simply kept a commonsense distance clear of the crane and of course the suspended load “Good old boys” doing the slinging and working on the crane – BR “one big family” then! Can anyone recall the water-cranes provided for the steam locos on Stockton station’s platforms? The sturdy leather “bags” emptied into big tanks that often had a few large goldfish within. These cranes or “water columns” and the overflow tanks survived in working order well after the demise of steam. Unsure about how the fish were fed – by signalmen perhaps? Anyone know???

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    • Colin, I remember the railway coach that you mentioned that stood on Stockton station platform. There used to be a railway museum at Darlington and I think the above mentioned coach was transferred to that museum rather than the National Museum at York.

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      • Thanks for this George; I certainly never knew that. A much shorter “hop” on the well-wagon then… Oh, to view my old cine-films! Wonder. Where would this coach be now?

        When visiting the West Somerset Railway’s Washford station, the “Somerset & Dorset Railway” site only a few years ago, a basically similar, rather larger 6-wheeler coach was undergoing complete restoration – all to an incredible standard. I was shown around the site more than once during their painstaking work. The paintwork was “ultramarine”(?) blue, the seats very plush and deep – the type you’d just “sink into”.

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        • Hello

          I may be able to help with your 8mm film, I am currently transferring some cine film to DVD for a family member, I have got everything set up and running, I can do your copying for you if you wish, you may also be interested in a video of the 100th railway celebrations in 1925, I also have about 5000 scans of postcards of steam locomotives from the Victorian era up to the end of steam, I have cleaned up about 1200 of them which you are welcome to.

          You can contact me here: billinghamlad@gmail.com

          Bruce

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    • Colin you mentioned the good old boys i worked with the 51L breakdown crew later there was many minor jobs all over the north east the big job was the derailment at Morpeth the type 47 fliped over carreared forward therefore ended up well away from the mane line we could not get the crane to it so it was all jack work two foot jacks were used and others the problem was the ground was so soft soon as the weight came on the jacks they were sinking so many times they were reset the Thornaby crew got the done sorry jumping of the subject again but i hope it provokes some comment

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      • Really interesting comments here… I still recall plenty from those distant days of my very misguided youth when at our Thornaby office (that large wooden hut at the Tees Yard end of the station), Peter. Will try and ‘dig-up’ more from this fading memory over Christmas and report back.

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  3. Excellent shot there, Garth! I went to school with “Maccer” from 1960-65; we were in the Grangefield Railway Society. A few might know that from 1964 right until a couple of years ago (the last tape made when t”Scotsman” visited the West Somerset Railway where from 2015-18 I was Track Engineer and had once to get ‘down-and-dirty’ with her to make a special inspection of her tender wheels at Minehead (in front of hundreds on the platform). A TINY “non-defect” was present. The crew also let me “cab” her – a first). Instead of a camera, my long-pressured parents later bought me a Philips portable tape recorder and I then recorded and logged a great number of steam engines working in extremis. On the day of Garth’s master shot I was likely a bit further along at Norton South Junction – the top of Stockton Bank. I think t”Scotsman” later returned south via Darlington (easy to check of course) and the recording was not so good. However, such brilliant days, those…

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  4. When I was at school in the early 60s we got a train non-stop from Stockton to Kings Cross. Now most of the trains are non-stop on their way past!

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  5. Those were the days when Stockton was accomplished in almost everything including shopping and being able to get the train. It was a pleasure to talk about Stockton and work in the place.

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  6. I remember the roof and the steam trains – I recall my mother pointing towards them and encouraging me to remember the sight of them – because they were due to be gone soon!

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      • This could well be true Peter: the initial 450 psi Boiler Pressure on the W1 was rather more than Gresley’s initial 180psi on his A1 (later A3 ) Class. (All on t’internet of course.) I can still recall A1-A4 and the vociferous V2s blowing off at York in the 1950s – these classes working northbound trains from platform often stopping with the massive canopy and if they blew off, unsuspecting passengers opposite on platform 8 – several tracks over – often received an impromptu downpour falling on them – as I once witnessed – even on a long-gone summer’s day. Stockton’s overall roof would have been lower than York’s and directly above any loco with such a high BP, a few dislodged panes were likely. An early boss with a penchant for steam once declared to me (that): “They (the forces of the blast from the chimney against anything directly above such as an overbridge) can knock the skin off a rice-pudd’n you know!”

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