60113 Great Northern about to depart Kings Cross c. 1960 – Rail Archive Stephenson
Have you ever wondered why one of the original Peppercorn class A1s is named after a geological period and another after an insurance company? Have you ever seen a Marmion or met Will Brook? Is Bongrace French for good manners and was W P Allen related to Cecil J? Here to help you answer those tricky, name-related questions is this not very handy guide, telling you all you ever wanted to know about A1 names and far, far more.
The Peppercorn class A1s had one of the most eclectic set of names of any British locomotive class. There were seven different categories in all, the largest being the thirteen that followed the noble LNER tradition of using the names of racehorses. Thankfully, this selection, each of which won at least one of the Derby, the St Leger or the Doncaster Cup, does not contain names that are ludicrous (such as Pretty Polly or Captain Cuttle) or unpronounceable (the infamous Sayajirao).
No. 60145 Saint Mungo at Heaton MPD in 1966 – John Arnott-Brown
There are six A1s named after birds, the last four, all birds of prey, having been previously attached to A4s; the names that is, not the birds. Six are named after locomotive engineers, three each from the Great Northern and North Eastern Railways, while four have the names of constituent companies of the LNER (the name of the fifth major constituent, Great Northern, having already appeared on Gresley’s first pacific, unhappily rebuilt by Edward Thompson as the prototype A1/1). To keep folk north of the border happy, ten had names drawn from the life and works of Sir Walter Scott while nine were given names associated with buildings, cities and areas of Scotland, though one of the latter also has Scott connections. Most of these nineteen names had already appeared on North British Railway locomotives. And last, or rather first, one was named after a local hero.
We have an extensive archive of historical photographs of A1s in service (such as those by Peter Townend used in the individual locomotive histories) as well as a great many other LNER subjects, many of which have never been published. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Please click on a link below for more details:
60113 Great Northern about to depart Kings Cross c. 1960 – Rail Archive Stephenson
Though designed under the LNER, No. 60114 was constructed by the infant British Railways at Doncaster in 1948 as Works No. 2031. By 4th July it was seen in the Erecting Shop nearly complete. On the 11th the un-named engine was on display for a week at a Loco and Rolling Stock exhibition at the ‘Plant’ resplendent in LNER apple green with ‘BRITISH RAILWAYS’ in block capitals on its lined tender (No. 731). It had a plain chimney. One commentator described it as looking extremely powerful. On 6th August it entered traffic from King’s Cross shed. Our first recorded sightings are on the 9th at Doncaster shed, being seen in Leeds Central station six days later, arrival from Leeds into King’s Cross (KX) at 14.40hrs on the 18th and hauling the 17.50hrs KX-Hull goods on the 20th. A brief return to its birthplace for non-classified repairs took place on the 24th; three similar visits were made in October. Sightings during the autumn were on the lower part of the East Coast Main Line: Potters Bar, Peterborough and Grantham. As the first of its class to be named, a naming ceremony was held at King’s Cross on 28th October.
No. 60114 W.P.Allen on Top Shed in April 1962 – Peter Townend
W.P. Allen was a prominent trade union official who began his railway career on the Great Northern Railway then became a member of the Railway Executive. Naming a locomotive after such a person rather than directors reflects the fact that the A1s entered service during a Labour Government’s tenure. It was the only A1 to be named for eighteen months and the only one to carry a name while in apple green. A regular working throughout November was the 13.30hrs KX – Doncaster. A series of comparative power trials with A2 No. 60539 took place in early May 1949 with No. 60114 working the 13.00hrs KX – Leeds on the 3rd and 5th plus the 09.50hrs Leeds – KX noted on the 4th and 6th. Then the trials were on the ‘Flying Scotsman’ (No. 60114’s first prestigious workings) between 10th May – 13th between the capital and Grantham (10.00hrs out with 612 tons and 16.20hrs return with 640 tons). The A1 was recorded as steaming well with good riding and very smooth drawbar pull. Another named train hauled was the Down ‘Tees-Tyne Pullman’ on 9th June. Slightly off a normal run was working the 08.05hrs Newcastle – Paignton between York and Rotherham on 2nd July. In November 1949 W.P Allen was repainted in BR express blue with lion and wheel emblem on the tender while it was in Doncaster Works for general repairs. It was one of the earlier A1s to appear in these colours; eight had been in blue before November (seven from new and one repaint) while No. 60114 was one of five to come out in blue that month (three new and two repaints).
A transfer to Copley Hill shed came on 4th June 1950. It was one of six reallocated (Nos. 60114/17/20/23/25/33) to join the half dozen already there. Duties included Harrogate to KX expresses. Around this period, the utilitarian plain chimney was replaced by the more aesthetically-pleasing lipped version. Notable workings were a Down special from KX on 17th September 1950 and the Up ‘Yorkshire Pullman’ on 17th April 1951. Repainting into BR lined green took place in August 1952. W.P.Allen was one of the later ones to be so treated; 34 had already been done and No. 60114 was one of a trio repainted that month.
A further move to Grantham on 15th February 1953 was reflected in No. 60114 hauling of the 09.10hrs ex-Lincoln train into Grantham on 22nd July that year. It had moved with Nos. 60125/44 to join the eight shedded there. A variety of work on the East Coast Main Line and linking routes ensued. Exemplifying this are: taking a KX to Newcastle train forward from its home town on 1st September; hauling the Down ‘Flying Scotsman’ into Newcastle on 17th June and 19th June 1954; and heading a passenger train from Stockton on 3rd October. A football special from KX was worked to its Newcastle destination on 8th January 1955; still in the North East no. 60114 pulled the 08.40hrs South Shields – KX on 30th July. Shorter workings took place like the 06.40hrs KX -Grantham train on 4th October 1956.
Reallocation to Doncaster took place on 2nd September 1957 to give that shed its sole A1 at the time though it was joined by several others over the next few months. Runs continued from KX – Newcastle as well as to Leeds and York/Hull, the 14.10hrs from the capital to York/Hull being a frequent turn on late 1957 and 1958. Named trains featured like ‘The Tynesider’ (Down) on 18th and 26th December 1956, the Up ‘Heart of Midlothian’ from Newcastle on 21st January 1957 and the Up ‘West Riding’ on New Year’s Eve 1958. On 11th October 1961 it was seen with ‘The White Rose’ at Hatfield. Special or additional trains were also worked by No. 60114. It arrived at KX at 20.53hrs with a train from Catterick on 15th February 1957, worked the 09.20hrs extra out of KX on Christmas Eve 1958. An example of the common practice of changing engines on the ECML is the diagram for 12th September 1959: out with the 10.45hrs KX to Peterborough and return from there with the ex-10.10hrs Edinburgh. As late as 1958 No. 60114 still carried the early BR lion on its tender.
Non-passenger workings also featured. On 20th June 1956 it ran light engine in the Down direction through Little Bytham. KX – York parcels was another turn: the 11.00hrs on 22nd November and the 20.40hrs on 1st December. After arriving with the train from Catterick on 15th February 1957 it departed KX at 23.00hrs on the parcels train to York. 12th August 1961 saw W.P.Allen steam through Doncaster on an Up fast fitted freight. On 23rd March 1963 it was observed on an Up freight at York. On 10th April it was seen hauling the Up seed potatoes goods through Newcastle at 10.30hrs.
Passenger train diversions saw No. 60114 going via Cambridge instead of the ECML on 8th May 1960 while on 31st July the route via Bishop Auckland was used instead of the Darlington – Durham section of the main line. Several unusual workings were made later in the locomotive’s life, on 29th July 1961 it headed a Lincoln – Blackpool special through Doncaster. Blackpool was certainly reached on 28th September 1963 with a Gainsborough MRS special – no doubt for the illuminations. More unusual was seeing No. 60114 at Leicester Central on 1X46, a Women’s Institute special from Mexborough to Beaconsfield (for a trip to Bekonscot model village) and return. It went further afield on 7th July 1964 on a Sheffield – Cardiff then Worcester special but it failed and was under repair at Worcester shed until 7th August before being worked back to the ECML from Birmingham on the 11.41hrs 1N72 extra to Newcastle.
Even into the last year or two of its life W.P.Allen hauled named trains. It arrived at KX with the Up ‘Yorkshire Pullman’ on 4th April 1963 and the Down ‘Flying Scotsman’ was brought by No. 60114 into Newcastle on 18th February 1964. On 4th April it passed through Grantham on the ‘Tees-Tyne Pullman’, deputising for a diesel – a not uncommon practice for A1s during that period. Its last recorded ‘namer’ was the same train on 20th April. W.P.Allen’s last recorded passenger train was a Down troop special on 11th September but parcels and goods trains continued to be worked. Newcastle was reached at 15.00hrs on a Down parcels from York on 13th December 1964 while on Christmas Eve it brought the 07.33hrs Aberdeen – KX parcels into York – the final logging of No. 60114 hauling a train; the day before it had worked the 10.20hrs Dringhouses – Tyne Yard goods.
Withdrawal came on Boxing Day 1964, being the 22nd or 23rd member of the class to go along with No. 60158. It was still lying at Doncaster shed on 24th January 1965. On 3rd March it had moved, now lying withdrawn at Chater’s Bank, Gateshead. On the 9th it was seen being towed through Newcastle by B1 No. 61035 en route to Hughes Bolckow scrapyard in Blyth, Northumberland.
During its life No. 60114 was to carry eight different boilers. As the first of the class it had lasted longer than many others and its active life of sixteen years and four months was more than a year above the class average. The rush to dieselise shortened No. 60114’s lifespan but it had given very good service as the pioneer of an illustrious class.
This history was compiled by Phil Champion based on a database compiled by Tommy Knox and with reference to the RCTS book ‘Locomotives of the LNER Part 2A’ as background
The second Peppercorn A1 to be constructed at Doncaster works (No. 2032), No. 60115 entered service on 3rd September 1948. This was almost a month after the class leader but from Gateshead shed rather than King’s Cross. Livery was LNER apple green with black and white lining and ‘BRITISH RAILWAYS’ written on the tender (No. 733). The first recorded sighting was at West Hartlepool on the 22nd. Its first reported train was the inaugural up 09:00hrs ‘Tees Tyne Pullman’ and return five days later; it did these workings alone for a month. The un-named A1 with its plain chimney could be found along the length of the East Coast Main Line. On 5th November it hauled the 05:48hrs Newcastle to Edinburgh train. Another named train hauled by No. 60115 in these early days was the up ‘Flying Scotsman’ from Edinburgh on 10th January 1949. Its haulage of a down goods was observed at New Southgate on 11th May. Three days later found no. 60115 on a York to Grantham passenger working. King’s Cross was reached frequently; for example on both 7th and 8th March 1950 it arrived there at 13:35hrs and departed with the 17:35hrs train.
Changes came in the early 1950s. Repainting into BR express blue was done in June 1950. With 13 A1s having being repainted before June and 12 others having appeared in blue from new, No. 60115, as second in the class, was in the middle for blue paint when it was one of three done that month. Also in June it was named, probably while at Doncaster Works for general repairs which included the repainting; this was becoming the usual practice. While No. 60114 had run around for a year and a half as the sole named A1 BR had come under pressure, according to Willie Yeadon, to incur the cost of the nameplates for the rest of the class. No. 60115 was one of three to receive names in June as the 7th, 8th and 9thclass members named. Like certain others A1s it was named after a character in Sir Walter Scott’s ‘Waverley’ novels. Literary sources show that Meg Merrilies was an “unusually tall, mysterious gypsy fortune-teller” with an “apparently supernatural ability to influence events.” She was based on a real 18th century gypsy. Though evicted from the Bertram lands in the novel she remained loyal to the family and much of the novel’s plot depended on her actions. Around this time the Flaman speed recorder fitted from new was removed as with the other 19 A1s so fitted. A lipped chimney replaced the plain version. In September 1952 No. 60115 became the 41st A1 to be repainted into BR green livery.
No. 60115 Meg Merrilies at Belle Isle with the 15:10hrs to Newcastle in July 1958 – Peter Townend
A variety of traffic was recorded. Express passenger work included the down six coach ‘Heart of Midlothian’ seen passing through Three Counties on 6th June 1951, the up ‘Tees Tyne Pullman’ on 15th and 16th December 1952, the up ‘Night Scotsman’ into the capital at 06:20hrs on 5th April 1954, the up ‘Flying Scotsman’ from Edinburgh to Newcastle ten days later and the up ‘Aberdonian’ into King’s Cross on 20th September 1955. Other important turns were the Newcastle to Hull special on 5th July 1952, the Delaval to Holloway ecs with 11 coaches on 2nd November 1950 and the 13:45hrs Carlisle to Edinburgh on 28th October 1953. Meg Merrilies was seen heading north with passenger trains around the Durham coast on 28th March 1953 (train ex-Liverpool) and 18th April. Special workings along the Waverley route at Riccarton Junction were seen on 28th and 29th October. Non passenger work featured, like the 19:20hrs Aberdeen to Edinburgh goods on 18th December 1952, the London to Peterborough coal empties on 17th November 1954 and the York to Edinburgh parcels from Newcastle twice in early 1955.
No. 60115 had six different boilers during its life. The fourth, from September 1956 to May 1958, was a (Thompson) Diagram 117 boiler. These were identical to the (Peppercorn) Diagram 118 boilers fitted to the A1s when new except for the round dome which was placed further forward, the thicker barrel plates and a 7 cwt. increase in weight. Sixteen A1s carried these at various times between 1955 and 1963; No. 60115 was the third to be so fitted. The later BR crest was applied to the tender in May 1958 after works attention. Again, being the second in the class did not make No. 60115 the second to be so treated – in fact in this case it was one of the last as at least 40 others had the new crest applied earlier.
The second half of the 1950s continued with main line passenger work. At various times between 1956 and 1960 Meg Merrilies worked these named trains a number of times each: ‘The North Briton’, ‘The Heart of Midlothian’, ‘The Night Scotsman’, ‘The Talisman’, ‘The Flying Scotsman’, ‘The Tees Tyne Pullman’ and ‘The Aberdonian’. Examples include the up ‘Heart of Midlothian’ from Newcastle on 28th January 1956, the up ‘Flying Scotsman’ noted both from and into Newcastle on a number of occasions, the down ‘North Briton’ from Newcastle, the 22:15hrs ‘Night Scotsman’ from King’s Cross on five occasions in December 1956, plus the up ‘Talisman’ taking over at Newcastle to run to King’s Cross on 28th August 1958. Most workings appeared to be south from Newcastle but with some trips further north to Edinburgh. It also worked the up overnight train ‘The Tynesider’ into King’s Cross several times in late 1958 and early 1959. Other work included the York to Edinburgh parcels from Newcastle at 11:50hrs on 3rd January and 25th February 1956. More prestigious was being at the front of the Royal Train when it was stabled overnight between Picton and Hordon on 27th May 1960.
Works attention was undertaken at Gateshead but with visits to Doncaster Works for general repairs. However the day after a special to Hull in July 1952, No. 60115 was under repair at Dairycoates shed. On 30th November 1960 Meg Merrilies was transferred to Copley Hill shed. While some new turns ensued such as the 1E15 17:20hrs (Suns) Leeds to King’s Cross on 23rd July 1961, it still found its way back to the North East, being serviced at Gateshead on 4th November. Trips into Newcastle included the 17:35hrs from King’s Cross on 12th March 1962, an up parcels on 16th June and the up ‘Queen of Scots’ from Newcastle on 25th August. Another named train hauled was the up ‘Yorkshire Pullman’ on 21st July 1962. A Great Yarmouth to Leeds passenger train on 4th August saw No. 60115 at Lincoln then a Leeds to Norwich run a week later saw it pass there again. Worthy of note was the 18:50hrs King’s Cross to Cleethorpes on 15th September. Our last sightings of No. 60115 in service are on 20th October 1962 with the 09:20hrs down ‘White Rose’ and the 16:28hrs Doncaster to King’s Cross which arrived at 19:49hrs. With rapid dieselisation, Meg Merrilies was withdrawn from Ardesley shed on 12th November – the same day as No. 60135, so making them the 4th and 5th A1s to be withdrawn. On 2nd December it was seen withdrawn at Wakefield shed. The end came on 24th May 1963 as Meg Merrilies entered Doncaster Works for cutting up. With a service life of 14 years 2 months No. 60115 lasted a year less than the class average due to the onset of dieselisation.
This history was compiled by Phil Champion based on a database compiled by Tommy Knox and with reference to the RCTS book ‘Locomotives of the LNER Part 2A’ as background.
The third of Peppercorn’s A1s, No. 60116, was seen under construction at Doncaster Works on 9th August 1948 as Works No. 2033. With class production now speeding up it was one of a pair to appear that month. The unnamed No. 60116 emerged with LNER green livery with black and white lining but with ‘BRITISH RAILWAYS’ on the tender. The characteristic early A1 plain chimney was fitted as it was believed that it would not disturb the airflow through the smoke deflectors. It was noted at Doncaster on 7th September and entry into traffic was from Heaton shed on 8th October. Early workings naturally featured the North East with sightings at Newcastle and Darlington. The first trains recorded were the up 09.00hrs ‘Tees Tyne Pullman’ and down return from 8th – 12th November plus a few more runs the following week and on New Year’s Eve. Other workings included the Newcastle to Liverpool up train noted leaving Stockton at 11:15hrs on 1st and 25th April 1949 with 12 and 11 coaches respectively. Another Pullman hauled by No. 60116 was the down ‘Queen of Scots’ from Leeds to Newcastle on 6th May. Five times No. 60116 was logged on the up ‘Northumbrian’ between November 1950 and July 1951; that on 24th May working into King’s Cross while 25th July’s run from Newcastle included the ‘Coronation’ restaurant car. Rosters included runs to Edinburgh Waverley, it being noted there on 31st July 1950 and it was seen on Haymarket shed on 13th September then 14th January 1951. Most sightings though were at Newcastle and King’s Cross or stations in between. Normal overhauls were done at Doncaster; however on 17th October 1950, No. 60116 visited Darlington for weighing.
Changes to 60116’s appearance came in the early 1950s. Repainting into BR express passenger blue was accomplished in March 1950, making it one of the first members of the class to be so treated. A lipped chimney replaced the plain one, improving the aesthetic appearance. May 1951 saw 60116 named after a character from one of Sir Walter Scott’s “Waverley” novels. Hal o’ the Wynd is an alternative name for Henry Gow (Gow is the Gaelic equivalent of Smith) in “The Fair Maid of Perth.” He was a squat but powerfully built, prosperous blacksmith in Perth who was “known to Highland and Lowland as the best armourer that ever made sword and the truest soldier that ever drew one.” The word ‘Wynd’ (pronounced ‘Wined’) refers to a back street or alley. Although third in the class it was the 42nd A1 to be named. It has been commented that the choice of name was superb as 60116 patrolled the Borders! During 1950/51 the Flaman speed recorder fitted from new was removed as with the other 19 A1s so equipped. In August 1952 loco and tender were repainted in BR green. Hal o’ the Wynd had its smokebox numberplate and nameplate transposed because of difficulty in fitting train headboards. The numberplate was moved down over the upper door hinge and the lamp iron lowered. This modification was applied to the rest of the class as they went through the works.
No. 60116 Hal o’the Wynd runs light engine thro’ Peterborough North in 1955 – Peter Townend
Work in the 1950s seemed to comprise chiefly the East Coast Main Line. ‘The Heart of Midlothian’ seems to have been a favourite for Hal o’ the Wynd with logs for 1952/3 and especially 1955/6. Often these were the up working taken forward from Newcastle but also the down train from Peterborough to Newcastle. Also hauled were the down ‘Queen of Scots’ like the 8th October 1951 run from Leeds to Newcastle, the up ‘Tynesider’ from Newcastle on 3rd January 1954 and the down ‘North Briton’ from Newcastle on 11th April 1955. From October 1955 to June 1956 No. 60116 could often be found on ‘The Norseman’ (Saturdays only) from King’s Cross to Tyne Commission Quay though it is likely that the Pacific was taken off at Newcastle. At 06:40hrs on 17th September 1957 found Hal o’ the Wynd arriving at King’s Cross with the up ‘Night Scotsman’. Less auspicious was No. 60116 failing on 28th December 1954 with the 08:00hrs Newcastle to King’s Cross at Peterborough with V2 No. 60866 taking the train forward – though it was seen back in use that afternoon passing Retford with the 14:00hrs ex-King’s Cross to Edinburgh. Many times between 1957 and 1960 but particularly in 1958 No. 60116 brought the up ‘Queen of Scots’ into Newcastle though a few times in 1959 it was seen bringing the train from Edinburgh into Newcastle. While unnamed trains between London and Tyneside were pulled there were runs via the Durham coast such as the 07:53hrs Sunderland to King’s Cross on 24th November 1954.
Other duties, however, appeared. These included the afternoon 13:26hrs ex-Carlisle on the Waverley route on 14th August 1953. Goods trains on the main line were rostered through the decade, ones on 10th October 1953 and the following 3rd July being seen in County Durham as well as one in York on 27th April 1957. The 10:15hrs York to Great Yarmouth run was double-headed by No. 60116 and B1 No. 61338 as far as Doncaster on 18th April 1953. The East Coast section of cross-country trains were pulled like the afternoon Birmingham train recorded at Low Fell on 8th May 1954 or trains into Yorkshire like the 11:15hrs Newcastle to Leeds observed three times between February and May. Casual light repairs could be at Doncaster as on 10th August but they were also carried out at Gateshead Works on 20th October. A double-header with No. 60126 Sir Vincent Raven was noted on 16th June 1956 with the 13.03hrs Newcastle to Birmingham. Double-heading with A2 60511 Airborne on the 08:05hrs Birmingham to Newcastle occurred from York on 27thSeptember 1957. Two months later the emblem on the tender was changed to the later BR crest. Workings in Scotland were customary for North East A1s, two noted in this period were the 14:05hrs Edinburgh to Perth on 5th July 1958 and the 09:30hrs from Glasgow to King’s Cross on Sunday 28th February 1960 as far as Newcastle.
Observations in the early 1960s feature servicing at Gateshead shed with stabling at Heaton or York. Along with most A1s a Smith-Stone speed recorder was fitted. ‘The Northumbrian’ was worked a number of times in 1960/1 both down trains into Newcastle and up trains from that city. Durham coast workings still sometimes featured like No. 60116 hauling the Sunderland to King’s Cross on 29th April 1960 as far as Grantham, arriving there at 11:30hrs, returning on the down ‘Tees Thames Pullman’. Before reallocation, other named trains featured. On 13th June Hal o’ the Wynd hauled the 1E14 ‘Queen of Scots’ into Newcastle. Three days later it powered the down Anglo-Scottish Car Carrier from there to Edinburgh. Special or unusual workings featured No. 60116, one being an ECML diversion past Lincoln on 22nd January 1961. While additional King’s Cross to Newcastle or Edinburgh trains were rostered for No. 60116 in 1961/2 it also brought the 09:55hrs Whitley Bay to Glasgow into Newcastle on 7th July 1962. Off its usual track were the up ‘White Rose’ on 6th September 1961 and a down pigeon special from Dringhouses on 5th July 1962. As always throughout its life, goods trains were worked like the coke train from Newcastle to Carlisle on 18th October 1960.
The last of No. 60116’s eight boilers was fitted in June 1962 and this lasted until its withdrawal. It was one of the Thompson Diagram 117 boilers notable for having the dome fitted further forward and for having thicker barrel plates. After 14 years shedded at Heaton No. 60116 was one of ten A1s reallocated from there to Tweedmouth – right in the Border country – for goods and regular passenger work. The latter included the car carrier and the ‘Queen of Scots. Local trains such as the 07:28hrs 2G85 Berwick to Newcastle feature. Goods and parcels trains featured in 1962. A Class F freight from Heaton to Thornaby was logged at Newcastle at 14:50hrs on 12th June. Nine and eleven days later No. 60116 left Newcastle at 15:05hrs with an additional afternoon parcels to Edinburgh. Early 1963 parcels workings included Newcastle (originating at York) to Edinburgh and Berwick to Newcastle. Of note is a down excursion from Newcastle at 10:40hrs on 16th May. Ten days later it had worked further north as it was seen in Perth shed yard in steam. Running from Carlisle happened on 17th, 19th and 21st June when it took the Euston to Perth train forward. A seed potato train was recorded with No. 60116 on 22nd and 25th November. Though based at Tweedmouth, servicing was frequently carried out at Gateshead with a visit to Heaton also noted. An undated sighting is of Hal o’ the Wynd passing south through Seaburn on the Sunderland line one morning in 1963.
Trains recorded in 1964 were mostly in the North East. They include the 2G85 Berwick to Newcastle and return, 8S57 and a down passenger from Newcastle on 20th May though passenger runs featured much less with more reliance on goods trains, 21 being recorded this year. They range from heading north past Alnmouth, York to Tyne Yard freights, a down minerals through Newcastle, Tyne Yard to Millerhill and 6S49 Carlisle to Niddrie West. An exception was 14th February ’s duty of 14:42hrs Corstophine to Edinburgh then 15:30hrs south to Berwick and again on 14th March. One parcels noted was the 10:40hrs Newcastle to Leeds on 25th September. Reallocation to Gateshead came on 18th October. The last recorded workings of No. 60116 were on 24th October when it was seen on Darlington shed at 04:30hrs before pulling a down Class F York to Low Fell goods after which it went to Gateshead shed. Withdrawal from traffic of this magnificently-named locomotive came eight months later on 14th June 1965 though it had been removed from Gateshead shed to Tyne Dock shed for storage on March 11th. It had last been seen in steam on 28th February in Gateshead shed yard. With a service life of 16 years 8 months it lasted a year and a half longer than the class average. In fact it was among the ten longest surviving A1s. Sold for scrap to Hughes, Bolckow of Blyth, Northumberland the following month, it was towed by Q6 No. 63366 on the morning of 4th August to its final destination. It was last seen there on 27th August. A sad end for a hardworking North East engine which patrolled its Border homeland well for nearly 17 years, while still giving a good account of itself over the rest of the LNER system in between.
This history was compiled by Phil Champion based on a database compiled by Tommy Knox and with reference to the RCTS book “Locomotives of the LNER Part 2A” as background.
Footnote: Brothers David and Philip Champion saw No. 60116 Hal o’ the Wynd a number of times in the early 1960s when on locospotting trips to Newcastle, Heaton and Seaburn which gave rise to the cry, “Not Hal o’ the Wynd again!!!” Only years later did they realise what they now missed, and No. 60116 became their favourite A1! It was particularly the memory of this locomotive, together with other inspiring members of the class, which prompted them to get involved in the A1 project at a very early stage in 1990. David devised the financial plan under which No. 60163 Tornado was built and later became Chairman for eight years. Philip became Editor of the in-house magazine for 11 years.
First recorded in Doncaster Works erecting shop on August 31st 1948 works no.2034 was the fourth of Arthur Peppercorn’s A1s. 60117 entered service on October 22nd, as one of four class members allocated to Grantham. Its original appearance featured a plain chimney, apple-green LNER-style livery with black and white lining plus “BRITISH RAILWAYS” in white on the tender. Its first recorded sightings in operation were on November 8th as light engine at Doncaster and twelve days later when it hauled a train through Grantham. Its first named train was on June 25th 1949 when after bringing in a train from Newcastle into Kings Cross at 3.35 pm it departed several hours later with the down “Aberdonian.” Observations in its first two years include the GN and NE sections of the main line like Grantham on March 27th 1949 and its shed on May 14th, Ferryhill on August 29th, Heaton Junction on December 5th and York on March 18th 1950. The first note of 60117 on non-passenger trains was when it took an up goods past Welwyn Garden City on March 3rd 1950.
60117 Bois Roussel with 60033 Seagull and 60108 Gay Crusader in 1959 – Peter Townend
Transfer to Copley Hill shed at Leeds took place on June 4th 1950 though it had entered Doncaster Works for general repairs on May 16th which were completed on July 6th. There 60117 was named Bois Roussel after the 1938 Derby winner – in the fine tradition of naming its express locomotives after racehorses – one of 13 A1s to be so named. Bois Roussel was a champion racehorse named after its breeding farm Hares du Bois-Roussel in Normandy, France. The Derby was only its second race; the jockey then was Charlie Elliott. With nine class members already named, 60117 was one of seven more to be named that July. In the same month its express status was demonstrated further with repainting in BR blue. Enhancing Bois Roussel’s appearance was a change to a lipped chimney. In common with other A1s, the Flaman speed recorder was removed. Naturally, most workings were between west Yorkshire and the capital as on August 5th when it hauled a train between Retford and Leeds Central or June 27th 1951 when it worked a Bradford to Kings Cross train. Pullmans featured too with five sightings of Bois Roussel on the up “Yorkshire Pullman” between August 1950 and October 1951, the “Harrogate Sunday Pullman” on September 9th 1951 and the 12.00 noon down “Queen of Scots” from Kings Cross 20 days later. However, it could still work to the North East, being seen in Newcastle on March 27th 1951. Repainting of A1s into lined BR green was well under way; in November 60117 was one of three painted after eight other A1s had been so treated in the previous three months.
Bois Roussel reverted to Grantham’s allocation on May 18th 1952. A week later it was seen on the down “Flying Scotsman” past York. After seven months 60117 returned to Copley Hill on February 15th 1953. The first recorded working after this was an additional Kings Cross to Leeds on April 3rd. Its first recorded parcels train was the early morning up parcels into Kings Cross on May 23rd. Along with other class members, the Hudd system of Automatic Train control was fitted. The mid-fifties brought the transposition of smokebox numberplate and handrail pioneered by 60116 to assist in fitting train headboards. Bois Roussel indeed hauled a number of named expresses: the “Harrogate Sunday Pullman” on May 31st 1953 which was diverted via Spalding; the up “West Riding” on July 30th; the “Queen of Scots” recorded many times in 1953/55-57, especially the up train hauled daily from February 7th -12th 1955; the down train of that Pullman from Leeds to Newcastle on April 28th 1955 returning with the up “North Briton”; and the up “Bradford Flyer” in 1954 and 1956. As well as ordinary trains between Kings Cross such as the 11.43 am, 1.18, 2.34, 3.40 and 6.15 pm down trains between September 1956 and Jauary 1957, 60117 powered other trains. It helped with trans-Pennine trains like the 9.00 am ex-Liverpool taken forward from Leeds to Newcastle on April 24th 1955. When it took the 9.00 am ex Liverpool train forward from Leeds to Newcastle two days later it returned with the 4.15 pm Newcastle to Liverpool train via the Durham coast piloted by ‘Hunt’ D49 62752 The Atherstone from Ripon. On the 29th it worked the 8.55 am Newcastle to Liverpool train taking on D20 (ex NER Class ‘R’) 4-4-0 62395 as pilot from Ripon.
The second half of the 1950s and into 1960/1 continued much as before with general Leeds to Kings Cross runs. In both directions it now hauled “The White Rose” as well as the “West Riding”, “Yorkshire Pullman” and “Harrogate Sunday Pullman”. Frequent appearances continued to be made at the head of the “Queen of Scots”. During these years of good, steady work Bois Roussel’s appearance changed with the application of the later BR crest in April 1958 during overhaul at Doncaster Works. Special trains were hauled too: one from Hull to Kings Cross arriving at 4.16 pm on April 7th 1958 with an up special seen going through New Southgate on July 6th. A sign of the times was 60117 taking a return school special at 7.45 pm from Kings Cross to Grantham. A visit to new territory was when the 8.25 am Leeds to Kings Cross on October 22nd 1958 was diverted via Ely. More ECML diversions into 1960 brought 60117 to Lincoln twice and on May 28th 1960 even to Cambridge.
More variety of work was recorded in the early 1960s. July 29th 1961 found a one-off working of the down “Tees Thames Pullman”. A shorter turn was the the 8.35 am Peterborough to Kings Cross a year earlier on July 30th. The overnight sleeper was hauled into the capital on November 28th 1962. Goods trains noted were through Newcastle on January 6th 1962 and York on February 2nd 1963. The early evening Kings Cross to York parcels was pulled by 60117 a number of times during 1963, usually after coming up to the capital on a passenger turn from Leeds. Other passenger work in 1963 included the 2G85 Berwick – Newcastle stopping train of February 22nd and the 1A08 down Anglo-Scottish Car Carrier from the capital to Newcastle on May 30th. Working the down “Queen of Scots” into Newcastle on July 13th was further north than usual for 60117 and this train; in fact it is our last record of a train this Pacific hauled more than any other. A less common destination was the 9.58 am to Great Yarmouth from Leeds on July 23rd.
Fewer records remain of the latter part of 60117’s life. There is a mixture of passenger work from Leeds, specials -an up extra seen at Newark on March 14th 1964 and named trains like the “Yorkshire Pullman” from Leeds on April 24th. A transfer to Ardesley shed came on September 6th 1964, followed by a move to Gateshead on December 6th with a return to Ardesley on the following January 3rd. While at Gateshead it had travelled around to new destinations for the A1s. December 16th saw it on the 1V45 Newcastle to Bristol as far as Derby; next morning it returned on the 2.40 Sheffield to York parcels after which it went on York shed then on the 18th it took the Newcastle to Bristol train from York to Derby. On the 21st it took a down parcels at 3.07 pm from Newcastle and on Christmas Eve it was there at 11.31 am on an up Class 6 (express) goods. Bois Roussel’s last recorded working, from Ardesley, was the 6.03 pm Leeds to Kings Cross on January 5th 1965. Withdrawal from traffic was on June 21st 1965. Six days later it was seen lying at Ardesley shed. A final journey to Tyneside was necessary as 60117 had been sold in August to Clayton & Davie of Dunston for scrap.
During its life 60117 carried six Diagram 118 boilers. It was one of the ten longest-lasting A1s. After pounding the English section of the ECML and the spur to west Yorkshire (with a particular leaning towards the latter) for nearly 16 years there would doutless have been a lot more life left in Bois Roussel had dieselisation not been rushed through so quickly. A racehorse by name and, with its named expresses, a racehorse by nature!
This history was compiled by Phil Champion based on a database compiled by Tommy Knox and with reference to the RCTS book “Locomotives of the LNER Part 2A” as background.
The fifth of Peppercorn’s A1s, 60118 was built at Doncaster as works No. 2035. It was one of a pair to emerge in November 1948. On the 12th it entered service from Copley Hill shed resplendent in LNER apple green with black and white lining, “BRITISH RAILWAYS” on the tender and with a plain chimney. Number 60118 was one of five A1s to enter service from this shed when new. Its workings were between Yorkshire and London. The first recorded train was the up “Yorkshire Pullman” on August 4th 1949. Repainting into BR express blue came when it visited Doncaster Works for general repairs in May 1950. Eleven A1s had already been so painted; 60118 was one of a batch to be repainted that month. On July 13th 60118 was named Archibald Sturrock at Doncaster after the early Great Northern Railway locomotive superintendent whose tenure was from 1850 to 1866. In previous months nine A1s had been named but 60118 was one of no less than seven named in July. Several detail changes took place about this time; the fitting of a lipped chimney, the removal of the Flaman speed recorder which was driven off the right-hand coupling pin and the fitting of the Hudd system of ATC – one of 12 A1s fitted. Workings noted show 60118 at Hull on March 23rd 1951 and leaving Stockton two days later at 6.13 p.m. with the 12 coach Newcastle – Manchester train. As well as its home shed it was also noted at Ardsley on February 18th 1951.
Another change in appearance came in January 1952 when it was one of four repainted into BR green; although was fifth in the class, another 18 had previously been repainted. In September 1953 60118 was prepared for the Doncaster Works centenary exhibition. Through the 1950s Archibald Sturrock continued to stride between Yorkshire and the capital. Named trains included the up “Bradford Flyer” in 1954 and 1956, the “Queen of Scots” on February 2nd 1954 when it failed at Peterborough, the down 12.00 noon departure from Kings Cross on October 20th 1956 and the 11.50 down train on July 11th 1959. Other workings noted include the 12.20 p.m. down “Northumbrian” on January 23rd 1957, the down “Aberdonian” nine days later and the 11.40 a.m. up “Yorkshire Pullman” on July 4th with a return working on the 5.52 p.m. down “West Riding”. Other mainline trains hauled in 1956/7 were the 7.50 a.m. kings Cross – Newcastle / Leeds returning into the capital at 7.58 p.m. with a train from Glasgow, the 3.40 and 6.15 p.m. from the Cross to Leeds. The latter two trains were usually balancing workings of the Leeds / Hull trains which had arrived at 11.43 a.m. and 2.34 p.m. respectively. Trains from Wakefield featured with an arrival in London at 1.30 a.m. Arrivals at the Cross at 10.09 p.m. with a Newcastle / Bradford train were noted a number of times in May and June 1957. As well as passenger work, freight work was also noted with 60118 passing through Newark with the 5.55 a.m. New England to Worksop goods on November 22nd 1956. In the mid-1950s the smokebox numberplate and handrail were transposed. Archibald Sturrock was one of the first a1s to receive the later BR crest on its tender in 1957. A working away from the usual haunts must have occurred for 60118 to be sighted on Cambridge shed on November 19th 1958.
The early 1960s opened with a generally similar pattern of working. Of note is that on May 1st and 8th it was on ECML diverted traffic via Cambridge. On September 9th 60118 was failed at Barkston on the 6.12 p.m. Kings Cross – Leeds, being replaced at Newark by WD 90131 running tender first. Other named trains were the “White Rose” on April 29th 1960, the 3.40 p.m. up “Harrogate Sunday Pullman” of June 25th 1961 and the 4.40 p.m. down “Tyne-Tees Pullman” on August 5th. A rare sighting at Newcastle followed by servicing on Gateshead shed was recorded on August 25th 1962. During the early 1960s a Smith-Stone speed recorder, driven off the left rear driving wheel was fitted. Several parcels workings from Kings Cross featured in late 1962 and early 1963; 6.26 p.m. to Hull with nine coaches on August 30th 1962, 2.55 p.m. to Leeds with 11 vehicles on September 1st and the 3N10 6.28 p.m. to York noted on three occasions. Also the 3B21 Newcastle – York parcels was hauled on January 23rd 1963.
60118 Archibald Sturrock, spare engine at Darlington Top Bank in 1964 – Michael Denholm
After many years based at Copley Hill, 60118 moved twice in the last years of its life. A transfer to Ardsley heralded a wider sphere of operations. As well as pulling 38 vans on the 4N09 Kings Cross – Ardsely on February 22nd 1963, Archibald Sturrock worked the 8.15 a.m. goods ex Millerhill past Riccarton Junction on the Waverley route on July 16th. Twelve days later it was re-allocated to Neville Hill shed, one of five A1s transferred to substitute foe diesels on Leeds – Newcastle trains as well as covering Holbeck turns to Glasgow via the Settle and Carlisle line. Examples of the former are the 1S37 Leeds – Glasgow into Newcastle (from where, after servicing at Gateshead shed, it powered the 1S51 ex Hull forward to Edinburgh) on August 10th; instances of the latter include taking forward the Marylebone to Glasgow car sleeper from Leeds on August 28th and hauling both the down and then the up CTAC Leeds – Carlisle to Leeds on June 27th 1964. It was now often recorded on Gateshead shed for servicing although a trip south on July 26th saw it on New England shed. An evocative image of 60118’s power from this period is heading down Beattock with ecs after the Glasgow Fair holiday on August 1st. After visiting Doncaster Works for repairs for many years, in September it entered Darlington Works, emerging nearly a fortnight later after casual light repairs including attention to a fractured cylinder. The end came for 60118 on withdrawal on October 4th 1965. Throughout its life this west Yorkshire-based locomotive only had five boilers, all to Peppercorn’s Diagram 118. In the following month it was sold to T. W. Ward of Beighton for scrap.
This history was compiled by Phil Champion based on a database compiled by Tommy Knox and with reference to the RCTS book “Locomotives of the LNER Part 2A” as background
Emerging from Doncaster Works along with 60118 in November 1948 (Works No. 2036), this sixth A1 was resplendent in the customary apple green LNER livery with black and white lining plus the words “BRITISH RAILWAYS” on the tender. Its plain chimney was perhaps not as elegant as the rest of the locomotive. One of five A1s to be allocated initially to Cropley Hill, it entered service on the 26th. The first recorded working was passing Doncaster on December 21st with the 9.50 a.m. Leeds to Kings Cross passenger. Number 60119’s travels include the south and middle sections of the East Coast Main Line: On June 1st it was noted at Darlington while on the following Christmas Eve it was derailed at Kings Cross when backing onto the down “Queen of Scots”. Although the sixth A1 it was further down the queue to go into the new BR express blue livery with black and white lining and the early lion and wheel emblem on the tender; when repainted in June 1950 it was one of four to be repainted that month although a further 16 had previously appeared in the new colours. About this time the Hudd ATC system was fitted but the Flaman speed recorder was removed. Naming took place in July, one of four that month but 16 A1s had been named before then. Like its numerical predecessor, 60119 was named to commemorate an eminent GNR locomotive superintendent whose tenure was three decades (1866 to 1895). In fact the name Patrick Stirling was an appropriate choice for that engineer was best remembered for his ‘Single’ – the epitome of nineteenth century elegance combined with power; in the A1s we have a twentieth century version of those same qualities.
Most of Patrick Stirling’s early life was spent between west Yorkshire and London. Named trains hauled included the up “Yorkshire Pullman” followed by the down 3.45 p.m. “West Riding” on July 5th 1952. An ordinary working recorded was leaving Doncaster at 3.03 p.m. on July 2nd 1953 with a Kings Cross to Leeds train. A repaint into the Brunswick green livery with orange and black lining came in February 1952; nearly half the class had been repainted by then. The plain chimney was replaced by the more attractive lipped version.
60119 at Ganwick with the up “Yorkshire Pullman” 5th July ’52 – John P. Wilson / RAS
Reallocation to Grantham occurred on December 18th 1955. Workings featured trains both down the main line and into Yorkshire. Four times between New Year’s Eve 1955 and January 7th 1956 60119 departed Newcastle at 12.55 p.m. with a Glasgow to Kings Cross train; the same working is recorded in subsequent months. On March 30th 1956 Patrick Stirling arrived at Newcastle for the Tyne Commission Quay at 2.49 p.m. with a boat train from the capital and returned from Newcastle with the up “Heart of Midlothian”. The 10.20 p.m. from the Cross to Edinburgh and the 10.20 a.m. train to Leeds were each noted a number of times in the last four months of 1956. A more local working was the 6.45 a.m. to Grantham from the capital on December 29th. The 3.10 p.m. to Newcastle was noted seven times in the first 17 days of 1957 while on April 20th 60119 hauled the down “Flying Scotsman” into Newcastle. In common with the other A1s. the smokebox numberplate and handrail were transposed. The later BR crest was applied to the tender in August 1957.
A transfer to Kings Cross took place in September. Observations made concern the east coast route; The down “Flying Scotsman” hauled into Newcastle on September 21st and the up train from Newcastle but failing at Durham on June 4th 1958. Photos from this period show an AWS plate fitted to the front bogie and a protector plate below the bufferbeam.
Yet another transfer for this increasingly nomadic Pacific was to Doncaster on August 3rd. Observations are mainly between that town and the capital although it was noted on June 14th 1959 with 13 coaches on a Leeds to Kings Cross train. As the 1960s unfolded non-passenger work was increasingly seen. Examples include passing Peterborough on August 20th 1960 with 11 vehicles on the up mail. Goods feature with a down freight at Grantham on April 21st 1962 and the 3E22 Aberdeen to kings Cross fish hauled from Newcastle on January 2nd 1963 as a return working to the 1A12 boat train from the capital for Tyne Commission Quay. Rosters were truly a mix of passenger and non-passenger workings. Named trains included the “Queen of Scots” from the Cross on January 8th and arriving with the up “Master Cutler” 13 days later. Other trains noted in June were the 6.12 p.m. departures to Leeds. Of note is that 60119 was stand-by engine at Doncaster on January 13th and station pilot there on June 14th.
The final trains recorded were the 3S46 York to Edinburgh parcels arriving in Newcastle on December 21st 1963 and the 10.00 a.m. York to Edinburgh on January 18th in 1964 which failed at Darlington. Throughout its life spent largely on the southern and central sections of the main line Patrick Stirling had carried seven boilers. Withdrawal came on May 31st 1964 with disposal to Cox & Danks, Wadsley Bridge in August for scrap.
This history was compiled by Phil Champion based on a database compiled by Tommy Knox and with reference to the RCTS book “Locomotives of the LNER Part 2A” as background
The seventh of Arthur Peppercorn’s A1s, 60120 emerged from Doncaster as Works No. 2037 in December 1948 – the first of a trio to emerge that month. Resplendent in the customary LNER-style apple green with white and black lining but with its owner’s name in white block capitals on the tender sides, it entered service from Kings Cross shed (34A) on the 12th. It was the second A1 to be allocated to ‘Top Shed’ when new and was to be followed by another six over the following year. The first reported sightings were at Cambridge ten days later then at West Hartlepool on the 30th. The first visit back to its birthplace cam on January 23rd 1950 from where it emerged on March 31st after general repairs. Now it was in BR express passenger blue. Already four A1s had been repainted and No, 60120 was one of three more to be done that month. Naming came in May. Just two had been named before then but Kittiwake was one of a quartet so embellished that month. Only half a dozen A1s were called after birds. Nevertheless this choice of topic for naming maintained a fine LNER tradition. Around this period the Flaman speed recorder was removed and a lipped chimney replaced the plain original.
Transfer to Copley Hill shed came on June 4th. Workings settled down to trains between west Yorkshire and London. Again, it was one of three to be repainted in the same month; this time in BR green with the early emblem on the tender, in October 1951. Four others had been repainted earlier. Kittiwake’s first recorded train in this guise was the 7.50 a.m. from Leeds to Kings Cross on February 10th 1953. The up “Yorkshire Pullman” of November 15th 1955 is the first recorded named train. The down “Queen of Scots” was noted several times in October and November 1956. Between then and January the following year a number of Kings Cross – Leeds trains were logged with the most common being the 3.40 p.m. In May 1957 the later style of tender crest was applied. The “White Rose” was worked at various times in the second half of 1959. Of note was June 20th when Kittiwake hauled the 9.10 a.m. down “White Rose” and returned to the capital on the 11.00 a.m. “Queen of Scots”. The only other named train for 60120 was the down 5.52 p.m. “West Riding” on August 1st which followed its 11.15 a.m. of the up “Yorkshire Pullman”.
60120 Kittiwake with a northbound train – late June 1962 – John Clayson
The 1960s show a wider range of work. West Yorkshire was still the main focus as exemplified by a round trip from Bradford to the capital on April 29th 1960 and the 10.37 a.m. Harrogate – Kings Cross on July 23rd. A less common was the 8.55 a.m. from Filey to Newcastle on June 18th. Several sightings on Tyneside now appear. A number of times between 1960 and 1962 Kittiwake was serviced at Gateshead shed (52A). On October 14th 1961 it hauled the 8.05 a.m. ex-Birmingham into its destination of Newcastle and departed later with an up class C express goods – the first non-passenger logging for 60120. April 14th 1962 saw Kittiwake work the additional 12.00 noon passenger Kings Cross – Newcastle, be serviced at 52A then leave Newcastle on the 10.25 p.m. departure. Other workings of note that year concerning the Tyneside city are; arriving with the down Anglo-Scottish Car Carrier on September 1st; coming in on the 24th at 5.52 p.m. with the 1F50 Scarborough – Glasgow; and leaving the next day with the 1E14 “Queen of Scots”. Other non-passenger work was the 6.28 p.m. Kings Cross – York parcels of May 15th and June 13th 1963. An unusual visit was to Lincoln shed on July 6th. A Smith-Stone speed recorder was fitted during this period.
The final stage in 60120’s life came with a transfer to 50A (York) on September 8th 1963. Most sightings now were along the ECML. For example, the 1A79 Edinburgh – Kings Cross was taken forward from Newcastle on September 17th while 60120 was seen in the same city with the 3S46 York – Edinburgh parcels on October 8th. Three days before the latter Kittiwake was observed at St. Margarets shed in Edinburgh. After October 25th’s haulage of the 4E01 Millerhill – Kings Cross goods from Newcastle and subsequent stabling on York shed, the final three workings noted were parcels. However, the final one was back in its old west Yorkshire territory when 60120 was seen at Mirfield on a York parcels on January 7th 1964. No. 60120 was withdrawn due to damage sustained in a collison with the rear of an up freight train stopped for examination at North Otterington (Nr Northallerton) on the ECML in the early hours of 16th January,1964. The A1 was running south light engine at the time. Along with 60153, Kittiwake had the fewest boilers in its lifetime with only four. Entry into Darlington Works was for scrapping which took place on January 28th.
This history was compiled by Phil Champion based on a database compiled by Tommy Knox and with reference to the RCTS book “Locomotives of the LNER Part 2A” as background. Extra information from T.D. Whittaker
60121, Doncaster Works No. 2038, was the eighth A1 to be built there but the fifteenth to enter service for British Railways. It was first noted being moved from the erecting shop to the paint shop on December 7th 1948. Entering traffic from York shed 15 days later it proved to be one of a trio which remained shedded at 50A all their working lives. Livery was the customary LNER apple green with black and white lining with the owner’s name on the tender in white block capitals. The mere 17 years which 60121 was allowed to work were generally spent along the main line between Kings Cross and Newcastle. On New Year’s Eve it was noted at Darlington but no further details are available. However, on January 15th 1949 it hauled the 10.05 a.m. Kings Cross – Aberdeen as far as York. The first non-passenger working logged was the York – Sheffield parcels on December 19th. One frequent train seems to have been the 1.38 p.m. Leeds – Newcastle observed leaving Stockton a number of times between February 1959 and January 1951; loads varied from 5 or 7 bogie coaches in winter to 9 or 10 in summer. Naming took place in the same month as a repaint into BR express passenger blue, May 1950. Although 60121’s name, Silurian, may have geological connotations it was one of 13 A1s to follow the fine LNER tradition of being named after racehorses. Silurian was the name of the 1923 Doncaster Cup winner owned by Lord Derby; it was also placed second in the St. Leger for 1922. Only two class members had been named so far and 60121 was one of a quartet named that month. Already eight A1s had received blue paint and Silurian was one of a further five so treated. Around this time the Flaman speed recorder fitted from new was removed and the plain chimney replaced by the lipped version.
Named trains featured early in 60121’s career. The up “Scarborough Flyer” was hauled on June 5th 1950, the up “Capitals” from Newcastle to Kings Cross on July 18th 1951 and the down “Flying Scotsman” with 12 bogies into Newcastle on September 6th. Special workings included a football special into the capital on February 2nd 1952. Curiously Silurian was noted ‘dead’ on York’s ex-LMS shed on April 12th. Runs between York and kings Cross were made as evidenced by a number of 8.00 a.m. KX – York noted that August and in July 1953. Workings in the opposite direction were made such as the 2.58 p.m. ex-Darlington to Newcastle on February 28th 1953. Haulage of the down “Elizabethan” from Grantham to Edinburgh on July 24th 1954 was probably one of several occasions when A1s deputised for failed A4s. Newcastle was the destination for a number of trains like the 4.20 p.m. arrival from Liverpool on February 5th 1955 and the 3.25 p.m. arrival of the Colchester train recorded a number of times between April 1955 and June 1956. More named trains include bringing the down “North Briton” into Newcastle on November 26th 1955 then leaving with the up “Queen of Scots”. The autumn and winter of 1956 saw many runs on the 8.20 a.m. Kings Cross – York/Hull. Other workings featured a number of times were the 7.50 a.m. from the capital to Newcastle/Bradford and the 1.18 p.m. from the ‘Cross’ to Leeds. That year ended with the midday down “Queen of Scots” from London just as 1957’s first day featured the same working. Transposition of the smokebox numberplate and handrail was made around this period.
The replacement of 60121’s tender emblem by the later BR crest came in April 1957. Main line work continued as normal with sightings at Kings Cross, Newcastle and York shed plus servicing many times at Gateshead (52A). A Sunday diversion was made from the main line through Lincoln on April 10th 1960. Periodic visits were made to Doncaster Works for repairs as they had been since new. A Smith-Stone speedometer was fitted to a trailing coupled wheel. March 1962 found Silurian on a Hull – Kings Cross hockey special on the 10th and the 12.56 p.m. Newcastle – Birmingham a week later. Named expresses featured less than in its earlier days but the up afternoon “Talisman” was taken from York to Doncaster on May 30th.
From 1962, no doubt due to increasing dieselisation, 60121 came increasingly to be used on non-passenger turns. First indications of this were a down goods seen at Newcastle on May 19th 1962 and the 8.20 p.m. Kings Cross – Park Lane goods. Various types of goods trains were hauled; the up seed potatoes seen at Newcastle at 2.25 p.m. on November 30th, the 7F70 up Shell tanks on January 18th 1963 with the up BP tanks 1t 11.00 six days later. Parcels featured too with the additional down parcels into Newcastle on December 18th 1962 and the up parcels noted at Brancepeth on the Bishop Auckland – Durham diversion line on October 18th 1963. There were still passenger workings though, like December 5th 1962’s 1V47 4.05 p.m. Newcastle – Bristol, the extra 1.35 p.m. ex-Kings Cross into Newcastle four days before Christmas or the arrival into Newcastle with the 1S31 York to Edinburgh on January 25th 1963 then being put on the 1V47 departure from Newcastle for Bristol. One special summer working was on Saturday August 17th 1963 when Silurian brought the 8.55 a.m. Filey – Glasgow as far as Newcastle for returning holiday campers, then took forward the ex-Glasgow train to its Scarborough destination before returning light engine tender-first to York.
60121 Silurian at Platform 10 Newcastle Central May 21 1964 – Michael Denholm
The last two years of 60121’s life continued with a similar mix of traffic. Passenger trains from different locations appeared although 60121 presumably just hauled them on their final legs; 1V67 from Manchester on December 13th 1963, April 10th and May 22nd 1964; arriving at 5.25 p.m. on July 4th that year with the train from Lowestoft; and bringing in the train from Bournemouth on June 25th 1965. We know that it pulled the ex-Liverpool train from York to Newcastle on February 27th 1965. The stopping 2G85 Newcastle – Berwick was run on June 1st 1964. Silurian’s final named express on record was the 1A37 up “Northumbrian” on March 3rd 1965. Goods trains included a down pigeons at Newcastle on the following January 12th. While the Bournemouth train referred to earlier is our last detailed log, we know that 60121 reached Edinburgh again as it was observed at St. Margarets shed (64A) on July 3rd and 17th. The final observation for Silurian was, appropriately, at its home shed on August 30th.
Withdrawal from service came on October 4th 1965. 60121 had carried seven boilers in its time. Silurian was one of the first A1s to be built and one of the last ones to survive. Already 36 had been withdrawn and 60121 was one of 10 to go that month. Scrapping took place at T. W. Ward, Killamarsh in November. Its racehorse name was certainly appropriate for much of its work speeding along the East Coast Main Line.
This history was compiled by Phil Champion based on a database compiled by Tommy Knox and with reference to the RCTS book “Locomotives of the LNER Part 2A” as background
One of eight A1s to emerge in December 1948, 60122, as Doncaster Works No. 2039, was the ninth to come from “The Plant” but the 19th to enter service. The first report of it was in the Erecting Shop on the 7th with the boiler mounted but wheels not fitted. The 21st found the locomotive seen running trials at St. James Bridge, Doncaster. On Christmas Eve 60122 entered service from Kings Cross shed. Livery for this plain-chimneyed A1 was the then customary LNER apple green with black and white lining with white block capitals used for the owner’s name on the tender. A Flaman speed recorder was fitted. Apart from visits to Doncaster for repairs the first observation in service was at Cambridge on February 1st 1949. The first train logged was the 10.25 a.m. Kings Cross to Harrogate on June 27th followed by an up express from Grantham the same day. No. 60122 worked between the capital and west Yorkshire and also to the North East. Named trains hauled included the “White Rose” on August 27th 1949 and the up “Tees – Tyne Pullman” on July 26th two years later. On August 12th 1950 it pulled an up express from Newcastle along the Durham coast route.
A repaint into BR express blue had been done that May along with three other class members making them the ninth to twelfth A1s so re-liveried. Naming as Curlew took place in July, one of half a dozen A1s to follow the fine LNER tradition of being called after birds. Altogether seven A1s were named that month. Usually the nameplates were fitted at Doncaster Works during overhaul but 60122 was one of a pair to have the plates sent on and later fitted by Top Shed. It was about this time that the Flaman speed recorder was removed and a lipped chimney replaced the plain one. Curlew was among the first A1s to be fitted with the Hudd system of Automatic Train Control. Two consecutive days in October found it logged hauling the Delaval – Holloway ECS through Stockton; on the 16th with 11 bogie coaches and the 17th with 8 bogie vehicles, 1 six-wheeler and two four wheelers.
Re-allocation to Grantham took place on September 9th 1951. The area of operation stayed the same. An additional Sunderland – Kings Cross train with 12 bogie coaches was seen leaving Stockton at 8.53 a.m. on May 31st 1952. Named expresses included the down “Flying Scotsman” which failed at Durham on February 28th that year. This working was hauled by a Grantham engine from its home town to Newcastle. Other “namers” were the down “Aberdonian” from the capital on June 30th and July 17th plus the down “Scarborough Flyer” on July 19th. Curlew was one of a pair of A1s repainted in BR lined passenger green in October – well down the list as 38 of the class had been repainted before either of them. A transfer to Copley Hill was made in October 1953, affecting the sphere of operations little. The up “Bradford Flyer” was noted on April 15th 1954. During the previous month 60122 and 60126 had exchanged tender Nos. 740 and 745 during general repairs.
60122 Curlew on Grantham shed, May 1953 – Peter Townend
A return to Grantham shed was made on August 28th 1955. Workings continued to Leeds and the North East. Both the up and down “Flying Scotsman” were seen hauled into Newcastle four times between March an June 1956. From September to the follwing January Curlew hauled the following trains a number of times; 3.10 p.m. and 5.35 p.m. Kings Cross – Newcastle; 8.20 a.m. Kings Cross – Edinburgh; and the 10.20.a.m. Leeds from the capital. Shorter runs were the 5.50 and 6.45 a.m. Kings Cross – Grantham. The 5.50 on Boxing Day was followed by an additional Kings Cross – Hull. Few records exist of 60122 on non-passenger trains; one is the 11.00 p.m. Kings Cross – York parcels on January 7th 1957. The smokebox numberplate and handrail were transposed. In July the later BR crest was applied to the tender.
A return to its original shed came on September 15th 1957. A less usual working was the 6.05 a.m. Kings Cross – Cambridge. On November 11th 1958 the 5.30 p.m. from Peterborough to the capital was hauled to Hitchin before stabling on Hitchin shed. Re-allocation to Doncaster came on April 5th 1959. Sightings continued in west Yorkshire and Newcastle with servicing on Gateshead shed. Sightings of Curlew in Lincoln were possible on January 8th 1961 and November 11th because of Sunday ECML diversions. Other workings of note were the Sunday 1.40 p.m. 1A43 Sunderland – Kings Cross into the capital on July 9th 1961 and the Kings Cross – Huddersfiel of the following February 7th. An interesting diagram on September 13th, 20th and 21st 1961 was the 1A12 Kings Cross – Newcastle (for the Tyne Commission Quay) returning with the 3E22 up fish train. These are the only recorded goods workings for 60122. Curlew’s last logged train was a “namer”, the up” Harrogate Sunday Pullman” of November 11th 1962.
Withdrawal from service was on December 17th 1962. The final sighting was on January 13th in Doncaster Works yard where it was cut up. During its life, 60122 had carried seven different boilers. Curlew’s 14 years of service on the East Coast was less than the A1 average of 15 years 2 and a half months although five class members had even shorter working lives. Even though it was amongst the first half of the A1s to be built 60122 was just the sixth to be taken out of service at a time when increasing dieselisation was taking away its work.