No. 60138 was one of 23 Darlington-built A1s under issue ¼ and December 1948 brought eight new class members, three from Doncaster and five, including No. 60138, from Darlington. There were already 12 class members in service so it was completed about a third of the way through the class programme. The locomotive, with tender 758 and boiler No. 3928, was turned out in apple green with black and white lining and ‘BRITISH RAILWAYS’ on the tender. As with all Darlington A1s, when new, the numerals and lettering were in old gold rather than the light cream of the Doncaster built examples. It was new to York North shed (YK) and was one of the initial allocation of six there. What was notable was that along with No. 60121 Silurian and No. 60153 Flamboyant it remained York-allocated all through its service. While it was noted at Darlington that Christmas Eve its first recorded train was the seven coach Newcastle-York passenger which left Stockton at 13:32hrs.
Following a ‘Light Casual’ at Doncaster, No. 60138 was one of the earliest A1s to appear in blue with black and white lining, leaving the works on 27th September. Four had emerged in this colour scheme from new but in 1949 No. 60138 was the first to be repainted from apple green. During August and September 1950 the locomotive was again recalled to Doncaster, this time for its first general overhaul which included its first boiler renewal with boiler No. 29801 fitted. It was named at the same time, one of a trio that month, although 20 A1s had already been named. Boswell was one of thirteen named after racehorses, Boswell having won the 1936 St. Leger. Most of the locmomotive’s running was between the North East and the capital. On 3rd October 1950 Boswell left King’s Cross with an express passenger train. A regular run seen a number of times between December and October 1951 was calling in at Stockton at 13:38hrs or 13:33hrs with a Leeds-Newcastle working. Loads were usually five or six coaches but eight were pulled on 29th December. On 9th February it had a lunchtime Stockton call with the nine coach Newcastle-York train. Its first recorded named train was the down ‘Northumbrian’ brought into York on 19th January 1952. Boswell spent April of that year at ‘The Plant’ undergoing another ‘General’ and left carrying boiler No. 29817 and BR express passenger green, lined black and orange, repainted half way through the class with 29 already in BR green.
York did not have any top-class passenger work and diagrams mainly covered turns to Newcastle and back via Darlington although its allocation of A1s did cover locomotive failures and some specials. Later York acquired a regular through turn to London in the morning with the locomotive concerned returning on a parcels train shortly after 19:00hrs, a duty on which No. 60138 became a frequent performer. Football specials also featured, one into King’s Cross on 3rd May 1952 while another on 19th February 1955 took it to new territory in Nottingham. The period was interrupted by general overhauls at Doncaster during July 1953 (boiler No. 29812 fitted) and March 1955 (boiler No. 10636). Other workings of note were the up ‘Northumbrian’ of 26th February 1955 and leaving Leeds at 17:30hrs with the Scarborough train on 13th April. Over the next couple of years it was noted many times being serviced on Gateshead shed. Boswell was seen bringing trains from Liverpool and Colchester into Newcastle but no doubt it took over the trains late in the journey. Between November 1956 and January 1957 A1 workings shifted slightly south and No. 60138 was recorded some 20 times on the 08:20hrs King’s Cross-York/Hull plus the 17:00hrs King’s Cross-Peterborough on 29th December.
The later BR crest was applied in June 1957 following another general repair at Doncaster which included the replacement of its boiler with No. 29833. A rare trip to Scotland came when just a day after being seen at Peterborough when it hauled a Glasgow-Edinburgh ECS on 27th July. It was soon working back in the North East then on 10th December left King’s Cross with the 10:20hrs to Leeds. Boswell spent most of April 1959 at ‘The Plant’ having a general overhaul which included the addition of boiler No. 29819 and once back on duty workings of note were the down ‘Queen of Scots’ into Newcastle on 22nd May 1959 and the down morning ‘Talisman’ from King’s Cross-Newcastle. It appeared in Cambridge on 8th May 1960 on the diverted 16:35hrs King’s Cross-York express passenger. On 9th July 1960 it arrived in Scarborough at 14:12hrs with a train from Newcastle then worked light engine back to York to turn (the Scarborough turntable was too short for an A1). Boswell was seen on a Class C goods for York Dringhouses in the summer of 1960 in a shabby condition, leaking steam as it tackled the gradient south of Durham. In fact, photos of Boswell during the early 1960s show it in a dirty condition even when on a turn such as the down ‘White Rose’ of 8th June 1961, York clearly took less care of their charges than, say, Haymarket.
A reasonably clean Boswell at York on 1st July 1961 – Mike Mountford
Christmas 1961 was spent at Doncaster having its final ‘General’ and getting its last boiler, No. 29816, fitted and during 1962 a mix of different workings were seen, goods and parcels and passenger. On 15th September (and again on 5th October) No. 60138 was seen on the 7S02 Gainsborough-Uphall cement at Newcastle while on the 19th, at 12:15hrs, it passed through there with the up BP tanks. 21st September found it at Newcastle with the Dover car carrier. At 13:07hrs on 8th October it was seen with just a brake van. Four days later it was on a ‘namer’, bringing the down ‘Heart of Midlothian’ into the Tyneside city. The mix of work was exemplified by leaving Tyneside with the up seed potatoes on 12th November then returning with the down ‘Heart of Midlothian’ from York to Newcastle. The York-Newcastle parcels was hauled by Boswell several times in November and December.
No. 60138 at Doncaster on 21st August 1962 – Richard Greenwood
The mix of work went into 1963 between the North East and the capital. Passenger trains included the ‘North Briton’ being pulled into Newcastle on 22nd January, hauling a down express through Huntingdon on 24th February and bringing the 1A10 ex-King’s Cross into Newcastle which a Gresley tank would take forward onto the Tyne Commission Quay, goods trains were the 15:00hrs Heaton-Thornaby Class F on 22nd February and bringing in the ex-Millerhill goods into King’s Cross on 20th September.
An undated image of Boswell in the roundhouse at York – Bill Reed
The last recorded workings of No. 60138 are passenger runs, the down 1A08 ‘Anglo-Scottish Car Carrier’ was taken forward from Newcastle on 15th May 1964 though No. 60138 was seen later light engine at 18:04hrs going onto Gateshead shed. A York-Newcastle passenger featured on 18th May with 15th August running the other way. A working which attracted the attention of enthusiasts at Birmingham New Street was its arrival on the 09:20hrs Newcastle-Bristol on 24th October. On 2nd March 1965 Boswell took the 3S46 York-Edinburgh parcels forward from Newcastle. It was seen travelling up light engine at Newcastle on 9th March and 18th June 1965. It was seen at York station on 16th August then on the 30th on York shed.
No. 60138 carried seven boilers, the class average, all to diagram 118. By September 1965 the name and worksplates had been removed and withdrawal came on 4th October, one of ten A1s withdrawn that month, leaving just three in traffic. Boswell had lasted sixteen years ten months, a good deal longer than the class average of 15 years 2½ months. Sale for scrap at T.W. Ward came in November 1965.
A sad and neglected Boswell at York in 1965 – Roger Bastin
This history was compiled by Phil Champion based on the RCTS book ‘Locomotives of the LNER Part 2A’, a database supplied by Tommy Knox of the Gresley Society, ‘The Power of the A1s’ by Gavin Morrison and various published photographs. Revised and updated by Graham Langer, June 2020.