Oral history workshop

Fig 7: Crewe South shed on the school trip with BR Standard 9F 2-10-0 No. 92023, one of the batch of ten 9Fs which were built using the Italian Franco-Crosti system with the aim of producing a 20% saving in coal consumption. This saving didn’t materialise and, between 1959 and 1962, all of the Crostis had been converted back to conventional operation. 92023 had been transferred from Carlisle Kingmoor shed to Birkenhead on 10th July 1965, some 10 days before I took this photo. Behind 92023 is a Hudswell-Clarke 204 bhp 0-6-0 diesel shunter (D2500 – D2509), they were all allocated to Birkenhead at this time. Photo Credit: Malcolm Rush.

Youthful Days – Part 12b

In Youthful Days Part 12b Malcolm Rush visually continues his story about a school trip to Crewe and “Crostis”.

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Fig 8: No. 92023 has now moved off shed with the diesel shunter in tow. On the right is No. 70027 “Rising Star”. Photo Credit: Malcolm Rush. Colourised version

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Fig 9: No. 92023 takes its charge along the Crewe station avoiding line, no doubt returning the diesel shunter back to Birkenhead, perhaps after receiving some Works attention. Photo Credit: Malcolm Rush. Colourised version

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Fig 10: I saw 9 of the 10 Crostis during my spotting years (I missed out on 92029). I saw 5 of them at various times during 1964 at Kirkby-in-Ashfield and Annesley sheds. This great photo of No. 92026 was taken at Kirkby shed on 6th July 1964. Photo Credit: Alan Walker

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Fig 11: I did take one photo of No. 92026 during 1964 at Kirkby shed but the result wasn’t good! Because a lamp post was at the front of the loco I took the shot looking from the tender. Unfortunately, the wide-angle lens of my Brownie 127 camera exaggerated the proportions of the tender, something I’ve been unable to correct using the tools on Adobe Photoshop. Photo Credit: Malcolm Rush. Colourised version

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Fig 12: This chart shows the Crosti allocation to Kirkby-in-Ashfield and Annesley sheds, along with my local sightings.

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Fig 13: No 92026 seen here departing Kirkby Summit Sidings with the Crosti system operating in 1955. In this form the front chimney was only used for lighting up purposes. I have read that there was a plan to move the Crostis away from Wellingborough to Annesley and Woodford and fit them with mechanical stokers for use on the fast GC freights. That plan disappeared after a time.  Photo Credit: Frank Ashley.

No. 92026 was actually the first Crosti to be converted back to conventional operation with the removal of the preheater in September 1959. On page 68 of “The Book of the 9F 2-10-0s” by Richard Derry it is written that, after conversion to conventional operation, they became 8Fs – “.. it took three years for the rest to be plucked from rust and decay to be converted to an 8F version of the 9F. There is some confusion though; they still carried 9F on the cab sides!” I have seen many social media posts which say the opposite and that they were still classified as 9F. I offer both versions to you.

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Fig 14: Regularly, at Sherwood Hall, a school photo was taken. On this extract of the 1967 version, I’ve highlighted Mr Cooke (left) and myself (right). Photo Credit: Malcolm Rush Collection

The photo extract in Fig 14 is part of a panoramic print I have and has been used because the image ratio of the whole photo doesn’t lend itself to be published on this website.

The photo taking process was an ingenious set-up. We would be arranged in an appropriate curve and a panoramic camera would be started, pointed to one side, then it would automatically pan around to the other side. It was said that, if you were on the end where the camera started moving from, a brazen boy could run behind the group to the other end and thus appear twice on the photo. I don’t recall, however, ever seeing this put into practice!

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Fig 15a: A zoomed image showing Mr Cooke. Photo Credit: Malcolm Rush Collection.

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Fig 15b: A zoomed image showing me. Photo Credit: Malcolm Rush collection

In 1965 the decline of steam was accelerating fast and my interest in “pure” train spotting waned. Before long, my life’s journey was additionally beckoning in new directions and so my initial Youthful Days ebbed away.

However, other aspects of railways were arousing my curiosity – signal boxes and signalling operations.

So it was, on 3rd July 1965, that I paid my first visit to a working Signal Box. Fittingly, it was Kirkby South Junction. That started a period of over 2 years where my quest was to visit as many Signal Boxes as I could and draw their Box Track Diagrams. Delving into signalling proved to be a fascinating dimension to my railway interests and soon was occupying much of my spare time. That aspect is outside the scope for this article. I have, though, completed a Web based Project to upload my diagrams into three flickr Albums. Included are other diagrams and plans, along with history, dates, photos and other relevant additional information.

You can view the flickr Albums via the links below:

ALBUM  Vol 1 https://www.flickr.com/photos/192151030@N08/51594036067/in/album-72157720026838836/

ALBUM Vol 2 https://www.flickr.com/photos/192151030@N08/51952902690/in/album-72177720297516818/

ALBUM Vol 3  https://www.flickr.com/photos/192151030@N08/52396783950/in/album-72177720302523142/

Alternatively, there is a full Index of clickable links to all the operational Signal Boxes I visited here https://www.flickr.com/photos/192151030@N08/53377014424/in/album-72177720313153415/

This Part 12 concludes the individual parts of  “Youthful Days”. I do, though, intend to finish this series of blogs with two Appendices. One will show a miscellany of my 1960s railway photos taken at Kirkby-in-Ashfield, along with two of my hand drawn railway maps of Kirkby-in-Ashfield.

The other will feature images and videos to celebrate how, after a gap of 18 years, steam made a comeback through Kirkby-in-Ashfield.

Malcolm Rush.

1st edition 1983.

Revised and updated May 2009

Abridged and revised edition produced for the Steaming Back to Kirkby web site, 2023/2024

Posted by SB2K Admin – 7th March 2024


“The Book of the 9F 2-10-0s” by Richard Derry