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No. 60129 Guy Mannering

The Edinburgh University Library website tells us that Guy, an enthusiastic amateur astrologer, after whom the Walter Scott novel is named, predicted the future of the newborn ‘hero’ of the book and was later his colonel when he enlisted in the army in India in adulthood. The novel was an immediate success, the 1815 first edition selling out on the first day. The name paints a picture of an upstanding, resolute man, and if it can give a persona to a locomotive (and the steam engine has been called ‘a living machine’) then this was one to be reckoned with. With such a name and a number of sightings this became a favourite A1 seen from the platforms of Newcastle Central.

No. 60129 was ordered in November 1945; the last of six in Engine Order No.383, and the last of the initial Doncaster batch of 16 A1s. As Doncaster Works No. 2046, it was the only one turned out in June 1949 (Darlington completed Nos. 60150/1 that month) and was noted complete at the Works on the 11th and 12th.

It moved to York shed as part of its allocation of six A1s, joining Nos. 60121/38/40/41 with No. 60153 arriving a couple of months later. Resplendent in BR express blue with blue, broad black and narrow white lining, double white lines on the outside cylinders and a lion straddling the wheel on the tender side, the plain-chimneyed No. 60129 entered service on 15th June. Most work was on the NER part of the Main Line with some workings by the Durham coast. The first sighting was at Newcastle on 21st June; it was then seen hauling the 10:05hrs King’s Cross-Glasgow into Newcastle on 20th July, passing Stockton with nine carriages at 13:43hrs with the Liverpool-Newcastle train on 18th August and five days later taking the 12:15hrs Newcastle-York via the coast.  After three months it was transferred to Gateshead to join No. 60151 which had earlier moved from Heaton. Eight days later, on 12th September, No. 60129 hauled what seems to be its first named train, the up ‘Tees-Tyne Pullman’. Not surprisingly, there were many sightings of it at Newcastle that winter. On 18th March 1950 it was seen at Edinburgh Waverley, on 22nd April it was on Haymarket shed. On 5th May the locomotive was stopped at Gateshead Works for a ‘Light Casual’ repair and was next seen on the up ‘Flying Scotsman’ from Newcastle-Grantham on 17th May. Double-heading with Class B1 No. 61237 on the Delaval-Holloway ECS, No. 60129 was seen passing through Stockton with 13 coaches and one six-wheeler on 30th May then with No. 61069 and seven coaches, three six-wheelers and four four-wheeled vehicles on 2nd June (the B1s were added merely for a positioning move) and noted passing Barnet on 14th August.

Naming as Guy Mannering took place in November, along with No. 60128, presumably when it was undergoing heavy intermediate repairs at Doncaster Works, having been called in on 11th October.  Not long after naming a lipped, cast chimney was fitted.  The ‘Flying Scotsman’ was again worked from Newcastle on 24th March 1951 while on 15th May Guy Mannering took it into King’s Cross.  No. 60129 made a further visit to Doncaster  on 28th January, during the course of which it acquired boiler No. 29814. No. 60129 was one of a trio repainted into BR green with orange and black lining in February before its release from ‘The Plant’.  Another call at Doncaster from 1st June saw it leave with boiler No. 29800 on 8th July.  Sightings at Edinburgh predominated but it hauled the down ‘Heart of Midlothian’ from Peterborough to Newcastle on 18th July 1953. Earlier that year it was one of 10 A1s hurriedly fitted with a modified form of Automatic Train Control after the Harrow disaster. A prestigious working came on 12th September when Guy Mannering hauled the down Royal Train into Doncaster then later took it back south. Travelling further, No. 60129 departed Dundee with its portion of the up ‘Heart of Midlothian’ on 16th April 1954 while on 2nd December it arrived at King’s Cross at 11:25hrs from Leeds. On October 5th the locomotive again visited ‘The Plant’ to be fitted with boiler No. 29862 and having the smokebox numberplate and handrail transposed in a similar manner to No. 60116.

Named trains hauled during the next couple of years included occasional runs noted at Newcastle on the up ‘Flying Scotsman’, ‘Queen of Scots’, ‘Tees-Tyne Pullman’ plus the down ‘North Briton’. The first recorded non-passenger working was the York-Edinburgh parcels from Newcastle on 24th September 1955. Following an overhaul at Doncaster from 11th April to 16th May which included attaching boiler No. 29836 the first goods turns recorded were the Colwick-KX goods on 6th November 1956 and 1st January 1957, an up fish at Little Benton on 25th June 1957 followed by the 00:10hrs Aberdeen-Edinburgh goods on 8th October after working the 18:45hrs passenger from Waverley the previous day – the later BR crest had been applied to the tender in July 1958.  Guy Mannering was back at Doncaster for a ‘General’ at the end of October which found it leaving with a Diagram 117 boiler (No. 29779) at the end of November. In contrast to some of its previous turns, 2nd August 1958 had No. 60129 hauling the ‘Cambridge Buffet Express’ from Cambridge to King’s Cross while a fortnight later it double-headed ‘Britannia’ class No. 70035 on the 12:05hrs Newcastle-Colchester from York. More ‘namers’ hauled were ‘The Talisman’ (‘up’ morning) from Newcastle on 6th April 1959 and a couple more times in the following nine months plus the down ‘Night Scotsman’ from King’s Cross on 18th February 1960, interrupted by a ‘General’ at ‘The Plant’ during August when a Diagram 118 boiler (No. 29828) replaced the 117 pattern one. Going even further afield in 1960 were an up special from Aberdeen-Edinburgh on 4th January and the 14:15hrs Glasgow-Perth of 10th September.

Guy Mannering leaves York with ‘Britannia’ No. 70035 on 16th August 1958 – Peter Townend

After 11 years No. 60129 moved across the river to Heaton in September 1960 just as Nos. 60124/32/37/42/47/ 51/55 were similarly transferred. Workings continued along the Main Line including odd forays on ‘The Northumbrian’ and ‘The Tees Tyne Pullman’. Following a a ‘General ‘ overhaul in February and March which included the fitting of boiler No. 29780 (another Diagram 117 boiler) some more unusual trips were noted; in 1961 it was stand-by loco at York on 8th June for the Royal Train; it ran via Lincoln on an ECML diversion on 5th November; and on 28th December it hauled the 12:00hrs Edinburgh-Carlisle via the Waverley route. A mixture of workings characterised 1962 ranging from arrival at KX on 3rd March; pulling the 15:30hrs Edinburgh-Berwick a fortnight later; bringing the up CTAC passenger special into Newcastle on 16th June ; and hauling an up goods past Longhoughton (Northumberland) on 7th July.  With Heaton’s nine A1s move to Tweedmouth, Guy Mannering duly transferred in September 1962 for use on a mixture of goods and regular passenger trains plus covering for diesel failures on expresses. Typical of these was No. 60129 seen on the 2G85 07:28hrs Berwick-Newcastle stopping train. Uncommon was the sight of No. 60129 seen at Newcastle on the morning of 19th December towing V2s Nos. 60818/36/44 southbound probably on a positioning move. Expresses hauled included the Down ‘Aberdonian’ from Newcastle to Edinburgh on 12th April.  Three days later it departed the granite city with the 18:25hrs extra for KX.  Clearly of importance to some was the arrival at Newcastle with the up Class C pigeons on 10th June.  No. 60129 received its last general overhaul at Darlington, the works there having taken over responsibility for the A1s, during an extended visit from 25th September until 7th December which saw the Diagram 117 boiler changed for a Diagram 118 example, No. 29870.

With a lamp gaping, No. 60129 leaves Alnmouth on the 16:30hrs Newcastle-Berwick on 21st May 1964 – Michael Denholm

A move back to Gateshead beckoned in December 1964, meeting other A1s moved from Tweedmouth and Ardesley. These are reputed to have been active on special goods trains but there are no specific records of this for No. 60129. On 11th March 1965 it moved back to Tweedmouth for storage where it was seen until 13th June. Next month it was reinstated at York. By this time it was grubby and missing worksplates and nameplates. Workings included the arrival into Newcastle of the 1N74 from Great Yarmouth on 23rd July, then coming off York shed the next day to pull the 3S46 parcels from York to Edinburgh and an up passenger at Darlington on 20th August. Exactly a month later it worked a Down unfitted goods into Newcastle. It was towed through that city on 7th October, being withdrawn from traffic four days later; one of nine taken out of service that month. This twilight period of No. 60129’s life closed on 4th December when Brush Type 4 D1536 was seen towing it through Peterborough, en route to R.A.King at Norwich to be the only A1 scrapped at that yard.

With its chimney sacked over, No. 60129 is stored at Tyne Dock – Dick Manton

With a working life of some 16 years No. 60129 lasted a year longer than the average for the rest of the class. It is 40 years since it has gone but the memory of this competent, impressively named machine lives on!

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.  Revised and updated by Graham Langer, May 2020.