Holiday Snaps

Holiday Snaps

Dear Brian,

Do you remember, it must have been just after the war, when you and I, both train spotters of course, went on holiday to the Midlands?  You may recall camping on the farm just outside the little market town of Glendon.

Do you remember the day we spent on the Glendon Valley Tramway, the narrow gauge railway?

Well, I hadn’t been back to Glendon since then, but I happened to be in Northamptonshire in 1956, or was it ’55?  Anyhow, about that time.

I took the opportunity to go back to Glendon.  I was rummaging through some boxes recently and came across some old photographs I had taken on that return visit.

So I thought I would drop you a line and enclose a few snaps.  Inevitably there have been some changes since we first went there.

Glendon station, for example, is no longer a terminus.  It’s still just as busy, what with the local market, industry and of course the shoppers heading off to thcounty town, some 15 miles distance.

Being a through station, there are a lot more trains than when we visited.

Oh yes, the engine shed has gone.  Do you remember it was adjacent to the station, and we spent a pleasant half hour wandering round the shed on that day?

When I went, it was market day and I decided to take a trip on the railway for old time’s sake.  I had the opportunity to see the new development at Glendon Wharf.  It was now possible to make a circular trip by changing trains.

It was about the same time of the year as when we went.  Just as hot, late summer, and harvest time.  I was a little disappointed to see the coaching stock had not been upgraded.  Hauled by the Baldwin locomotive, it was still a train of ex-quarry workers coaches.  Fortunately, I was the only person in my ‘shed on wheels’ and at least I could lean out of the window and take some photos along the way.

The train left half an hour late.  Nothing changes!  Do you remember, after leaving the station (based on Corris) there was a goods shed and market on the left, and on the right the flour mill, timber yard and warehouses?  Well, they are still there.  As is the old garage on the left with its one petrol pump.

Shortly after leaving the station there is a track off to the right disappearing into a tunnel.  I can’t remember where that went to.  The line however curves away to the left, through the cutting and into farm land.  The farm on the right, where we camped, is still there.  They were busy with the harvest as the train passed by.  Do you remember the cream teas?

The line crosses a small valley before passing a Victorian factory.  I didn’t remember this at all.  I seem to remember there was a farm there, but perhaps I’m wrong.  You may have a better memory than me.

Again, my memory fails me, since the line now passes through exchange sidings, linking in with the standard gauge railway (LNWR).  The train then passed the new location for the engine shed (it looked similar to the one we saw at Glendon!)  There were a lot more locomotives than when we visited.  Mainly ex industrial/quarry engines, they all appeared to be in reasonable condition.

I decided to leave the train at the next halt and have a wander round.  I was told it was only five minutes’ walk to the canal basin.  New to me, the basin though obviously of Victorian origin, was a bustling area linked to the exchange sidings.  It also had a standard gauge spur running along the quayside.  I don’t know how we had missed this on our earlier visit.

On the hillside above the canal it appeared that some development was taking place.  I’ll have to leave going there for my next visit.

Time was getting on, so I decided to catch the next train to Glendon on the new circular route, approaching the station from the north, passing through a new tunnel and over a ‘lifting bridge’.

I had had a good day.  It brought back happy memories of our holiday all those years ago.  I hope the enclosed snaps will remind you, and also show you the new developments on the Glendon line.

Keep in touch,

Kind regards,


P.S. Do you remember those two girls we met? Better not go there, eh?

John Mileson

February 2015

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