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.
Whilst 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.
The 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.