Oral history workshop

Grantham Station, 15th August 2023. 

Trainspotting Tribulations Part 5: A Flying Fox and a pain in the a**e!: Grantham station revisited.

During mid August 2023, fellow rail enthusiast, Geoff Chapman, and I did an East Midlands rail-tour on a three in seven days East Midlands rail-rover ticket. One of the days out included a return to Grantham station which Geoff and I visited in 1965 as young train-spotters. At the time Geoff would have been around twelve and I was eight. Along with Retford, Tuxford and Newark, Grantham was a popular train-spotting location for Kirkby lads in the 1960’s.

Robin Hood Line

Nottingham Victoria station in the 1960’s. Photo Credit – unknown

To get to Grantham we travelled on the 84 Trent bus service from Kirkby-in-Ashfield to Huntington Street bus station at Nottingham and then it was a quick nip over to Nottingham Victoria station for the diesel multiple unit (DMU) to Grantham. They ran from the bay platforms at the southern end of the station. When Victoria closed, the Grantham service was moved to Nottingham Midland.

Robin Hood Line

A3 Flying Fox at Grantham station. Photo Credit – Colin Walker 

Steam could still be seen at Nottingham Victoria in 1965 and I recall seeing B1 No. 61248 Geoffrey Gibbs whilst sat waiting for the DMU to depart. However, it was at Grantham where the highlight of the day happened. In the distance, a steam train on the down line could be seen approaching Grantham station. It was 60106 Flying Fox on a mixed goods train and it was the last A3 class in service on British Railways (BR). At the time it was allocated to New England loco sheds at Peterborough, Grantham loco sheds having closed in 1964. Just as it entered the station, a Deltic on an up express passed and obscured our view.

Robin Hood Line

One of the old station trolley’s which a young David Amos ended up coming a cropper on!  Photo Credit: NRM York

That wasn’t the end of events as later that day when we parked ourselves on one of the old BR trolleys which frequented railway stations at the time. Trainspotters always used these if they could to camp out for the day on the end of a platform. I ended up with a splinter in the backside and had the indignity of a BR member of staff pulling it out with a pair of pliers in one of the offices!

Robin Hood Line

Geoff Chapman in the Whistle Stop micro pub at Grantham station, 15th August 2023

On our return to Grantham Station in August 2023 we stopped off for a pint in the Whistle Stop micro-pub on platform 1. Being a railway heritage themed pub there were all sorts of rail memorabilia all over the place. As we sat down for our pints of ale, I alerted Geoff to a framed photo of a steam loco at the back of him. It was 60106 Flying Fox!

Blog by David Amos 

Postedby SBK Admin – 17th December 2023

Robin Hood Line

Geoff Chapman in the Whistle Stop micro pub with the framed photo of 60106 Flying Fox in the background. 

Robin Hood Line

Railway heritage mural at Grantham station, 15th August 2023.