In a year of 50th anniversaries which have so far included the arrival of the first rolling stock and founding of the Vintage Carriages Trust, one 50th anniversary nearly passed un-noticed. On the 5th June 1965, with stock having arrived only a few months earlier, the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway operated its first ever passenger train, although it was a far cry from the 6 coach Keighley – Oxenhope trains that regularly make the journey up and down the Valley today. It would be another 3 years before regular passenger trains returned to the Valley.
Formed of Lancashire & Yorkshire 0-4-0ST 51218 and the Southern Railway ‘Matchboard’ coach no. 3554, the Railway offered rides out of Haworth Yard, under Bridge 26 and a short distance along Haworth loop in conditions that today would give any self respecting Safety Officer a heart attack. A few photographs survive of the day courtesy of Chris Bray and F. W. Smith and show not only enthusiastic men but wives and girl friends with children of all sizes queuing for a ride and swarming all over the tracks of Haworth Yard.
A small but insignificant step for which we are eternally grateful 50 years on.
Queue for the train in Haworth Yard
Waiting in Haworth Yard
Steaming out of Haworth Yard …
… and return
Passing under Bridge 26
957 (52044), 1247 and 4744 stand silent awaiting their turn on another day.
On the same day photographer Martin S. Welch was in the Highlands of Scotland and by chance took this photograph of BR Class 20 D8031 at Kittybrewster Shed, Aberdeen complete with tablet catcher and snowplough. It would be many years before this locomotive was withdrawn and avoided the cutters torch by being preserved on the KWVR; today operational with its later numbering of 20 031.
As part of a year of celebrations, January 10th saw humble contractors locomotive ‘Sir Berkeley’ (built in 1891 by Manning Wardle of Leeds) in service with Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway Tri-composite carriage no 176 (built in 1876) and Southern Railway Brake Corridor Third no 3554 (built in July 1924 by the Metropolitan Carriage, Wagon & Finance Company for the Southern Railway). The Vintage Carriages Trust ran three Ingrow – Keighley specials to mark the arrival of these 2 coaches in 1965, the first passenger vehicles to arrive on the line. Continue reading
On the 19th January 1965 Manning Wardle 0-6-0 saddle tank, ‘Sir Berkeley’ was delivered by road to Haworth, to be followed in the first months of 1965 by the first two coaches for the nascent Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. These two vehicles arrived at Keighley by rail and were stored in what is now Keighley Station car park but, back then, were sidings serving the adjacent station.
All three are now part of our Vintage Carriages Trust’s collection and will be in action on Saturday 10th January 2015 with 3 members’ shuttles between Ingrow and Keighley in celebration of these arrivals and the resultant founding of the Vintage Carriages Trust in the same year, set up to safeguard the future of antique and vintage rolling stock for future generations.
For full details of the day’s events, click HERE. Continue reading