50 Years Ago – from the Archives

In his last submission earlier this month, Paul Brunt, the Society’s archivist traced the history in pictures of Midland 4F 0-6-0 43924. As he dusts off the cobwebs of old documents, Paul has this week unearthed a couple of real gems from exactly 50 years ago and it is all systems go for the fledgling Worth Valley Railway. Paul takes up the story.

Click on the image for a clearer PDF version.

Chairmans-letter-1964Whilst working on the cataloguing of the archives for 1964 recently I came across 2 documents. One is a letter from the Chairman of the Worth Valley Railway to its general membership signalling the start of what we know today, a complete preserved branch line. The second document came with a note attached to it stating “Probably the most significant Rolling Stock meeting to date.”

It is a good time to mention that at one point on the Worth Valley Railway, the Carriage and Wagon Department and the Locomotive Department were under the single banner of the Rolling Stock Committee.

The first document I wish to showcase was written on 22nd September 1964, it states that the British Railways Board have agreed to the sell “our” line to the Society. It then goes on to state a couple of aims, which, we now know were not achieved in the timescale given in the first instance nor, in the second aim, never came about.

Rolling-Stock-1The first is a weekend service by June 1965 (finally starting some three years later in June 1968) with a full weekday service following soon after “probably in 1966”. (The talk of a full weekday service, now known as commuter services, has not yet been achieved but talk still occasionally still takes place on this subject ).

The second document is a report to Council of the Rolling Stock Sub-committee from October 1964. For ease I have scanned a copy of the original document for your perusal.  However it is interesting to note that at the time of this document it appears that (d) J72 had been disposed of and no further NER examples remained, however our line has been graced by the NELPG’s locomotive 69023.

What further gems will Paul unearth in his quest to catalogue the Railway’s wealth of archive material.Rolling-Stock-2


4 comments on “50 Years Ago – from the Archives

  1. Further to my comment above Push and Pull No. 4, page 59, states that the line from Keighley to Ingrow East closed on 28 June 1965. Looking back at those early editions there was a lot of optimism that the line would open in 1965 then 1966, but the legal formalities proved more time consuming than expected. Lots of engines started to arrive though, and there was speculation that even locos such as 46201 and 60007 might arrive!

  2. Extremely interesting. I understand that BR were running freight trains out of Keighley up Keighley bank past GN Junction to Ingrow East until the summer of 1965. Were these steam or diesel operated and did anyone take photos?

    • Must admit to my ignorance on this one David, I know BR used Platform 3 in Keighley until the mid 1970’s for stabling a DMU during a lay over period. The archives do contain 3 images from September 1965 of Ingrow East looking both uphill and downhill and all show the area massively overgrown and the buildings run down, but we all know how quick nature reclaims what she sees as rightfully hers! If anyone does have a photo or written record of these movements to Ingrow East I would love to see them myself. As it would add to the history of the Worth Valley.

      Ingrow East is the limit of my involvement with the old GN line with regards to the archives, the reason being many people of the Worth Valley could use one of the daily branch services, change at Ingrow for excursion nationwide using the old GN network.

  3. Definitely very very interesting documents ! Thank you for offering them to reading.
    Jean-Paul Masse (3103)

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