Oral history workshop

Fig 1: ‘Steaming Back to Kirkby’ heritage project railway heritage walk around Kirkby-in-Ashfield in conjunction with the ‘Railway Ramblers’ – 22nd August 2022. 

A Note of Thanks 

Reflections, Steaming Back to Kirkby

A note of thanks to those who came to take a walk down paths and lanes.

Along the routes where tracks once laid, through fields of green and quarry glades.

Listening to Dave, with maps in hand, imparting knowledge of where we stood.

Helping each other along the way where steam engines once thundered ‘back in the day’.

Very good!

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Fig. 2: Class 58 passing the site of Langton Colliery on a Bentinck Colliery to Ratcliffe Power Station MGR coal train in February 1994. Photo Credit: David Amos

Thanks to those who came along to help each other along the ways.

With anecdotes of what was planned to move the coal fresh mined.

From Bentinck and from Kirkby Summit pits, from deep underground.

Then hauled away in trains of trucks to places far away.

Returning ‘Empties’ to be refilled for the same route; on another day.

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Fig. 3: Steaming Back to Kirkby guided railway heritage walk on the site of the old Great Northern Leen Valley Extension line trackbed near Kirkby Summit in October 2022. 

Rambling by the railroad beds, saw remnants of those days, buried in the sands of time.

‘Shifting gear’ that moved the points, rotting sleepers lying there, they marked the line.

Still there to tell of days gone by, pointing to the past.

To give us now the briefest glimpse of engineering fading fast.

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Fig. 4: Class 20 passes Station Street level crossing at Kirkby-in-Ashfield in 1971. Viewed from the Urban Road side of the level crossings. Photo Credit – Kirkby Heritage Centre

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Fig. 5: Steaming Back to Kirkby project coordinator, David Amos, at the same location as Fig 4 on a Kirkby-in-Ashfield railway heritage walk in October 2022. 

We walked past where once stood Kirkby Midland station.

Along track beds and over bridges, we saw some deviation.

Re routed railways, changed over times, to fit new the ‘needs of man’.

Revised, renewed and some removed to meet what Beeching planned.

And tracks replaced in later years. One day we’ll understand!


Written after a day walking along some railway routes at Kirkby-in-Ashfield with the Railway Ramblers                                   


Keith Murray August 28th 2022