Oral history workshop

Fig 1: Inside Kirkby shed on 7th March 1965. This photo was actually the first one I took with my newly acquired second-hand Ilford Sportsman camera (described later on in Part 11). Inside the original steam shed, the wall on the left housed the doorway  which led to the foreman’s office. That’s where I would go to ask permission to look round, unless I’d decided to “bunk” the shed (go round without asking permission)! Not sure why I chose such a difficult subject for my first photo – it might have been that 92239 was an unusual visitor, allocated at that time to York shed (50A). Photo Credit: Malcolm Rush

Youthful Days – Part 7

In Youthful Days Part 7 Malcolm Rush recounts some of his visits to Kirkby and Annesley loco sheds and local sledging activities.

Digital audio recorder
Fig 2: This map illustrates the railways through Kirkby-in-Ashfield and shows (by red circles) the three railway stations which served the town. The map also show the location of Piggy’s bend, the scene of our sledging activities. More on that
in Fig 3. 
The first station to shut was Kirkby-in-Ashfield Central on the former Mansfield Railway line. Next was the Kirkby Bentinck station on the former Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway line. The last one to close was Kirkby-in-Ashfield East station on the former Midland Railway line. The reopened station on the Robin Hood Line is situated on the former Great Northern Railway line.
Digital audio recorder
Fig 3: In 2009 this is me having one last sit on the sledge which we used to whizz down Piggy’s bend on the snow. The sledge survived until 2009 although it hadn’t been used since the 1960s. It seemed a shame to get rid of the sledge but, to be honest in the modern environment, the power and speed of the sledge could cause nasty injuries (and resulting legal action!) if anyone got in the way. Photo Credit: Janet Rush
Marked on the map (Fig 2) is Piggy’s bend, our sledging run – this ties in well with the snowy weather conditions seen in the photo of the B1 at Kirkby Bentinck station (Fig 6 in Part 6). The sledge was used by my brother and me and was a substantial wooden build with metal runners. It was a fast sledge and easily took you from top to bottom of the hill. Although it was very powerful, I can’t remember any accidents. Possibly the local sledgers were aware of its capabilities and kept out of the way.

Without snow I also recall the Piggy’s bend area being used to roll me down inside a rubber tyre. That “run” was at 90 degrees to the sledging run and featured a step change drop in height. That certainly rattled your brain a bit!! I don’t know the size of the tyre but I do recall, after persuasion, that I was able to curl myself up inside before being set in motion by my brother Gordon and friend Stuart.

Digital audio recorder

Fig 4: This view of Kirkby-in-Ashfield shed was taken in March 1965 and shows the two shed buildings. The left hand one was used for steam and, at this time, the right hand one housed the Brush Type 4 diesels. Houses on Low Moor Road can be seen on the left. Photo Credit: Bill Wright (Barking Bill)

Local loco sheds I frequently visited were Kirkby-in-Ashfield and Annesley. These visits were usually made on a Sunday afternoon. The loco sheds at Kirkby-in-Ashfield more often than not housed a predictable group of engines such as Stanier 8F 2-8-0, Fowler 4F 0-6-0, B.R. Standard 9F 2-10-0 and Fairburn 2-6-4T, whereas at Annesley surprises kept cropping up. Unexpected visitors there included “Coronation” Class 4-6-2 No. 46251 ‘City of Nottingham’, “Hall” Class 4-6-0 No. 7922 ‘Salford Hall’ and B.R. Standard 9F 2-10-0 No. 92220 ‘Evening Star’

Digital audio recorder
Stanier Class 8F 2-8-0 No. 48673 seen inside Kirkby-in-Ashfield shed on 30th March 1965. A Kirkby engine between 1958 and 1967, the scene is inside the newer 2 road shed which, when the Brush Type 4 diesels appeared, was their home. Intended, I believe, to give the new diesels a cleaner environment. The older 3 road shed attached to the right is where, normally, the steam engines were. On Sundays the steam engines stood quietly with their fires extinguished. I can still, though, recall the smells which were present – not live steam but the oily, metal aromas which were so much a part of my Sunday jaunts around the shed. Photo Credit: Bill Wright (Barking Bill)
Digital audio recorder
Fig 6: Stanier Class 8F 2-8-0 No. 48313 (a Derby engine,16C, at that time) stands in Kirkby-in-Ashfield shed yard on 30th March 1965, with the coaling towers visible in the background. Photo Credit: Bill Wright (Barking Bill)
Digital audio recorder
Fig 7: When visiting Annesley the shed was approached first by crossing the ex. Great Northern Railway Leen Valley line adjacent to the closed Newstead station. This is the view, on 29th August 1964, looking south showing the signalbox and an ex. G.N. somersault signal. Annesley shed can be seen in the middle left of the picture. After crossing the railway a cinder path led to the shed and it is from this path that the first glimpses of the engines could be savoured. Photo Credit: Chris Ward’s Annesley Fireman Website
Digital audio recorder
Fig 8: Although this is not exactly the view from the cinder path, it is the general area which I would see. This scene, on Sunday 28th March 1965, shows some BR Standard 2-10-0, Black 5 4-6-0 and Stanier 8F 2-8-0 locos. Photo Credit: Bill Wright (Barking Bill). Compare the scene with my photo next……….
Digital audio recorder
Fig 9: …….. my photo is a sad comparison to Bill’s. I took it on Sunday 4th July 1965 – just after the partial closure of Annesley shed which happened on 14th June 1965. Photo Credit: Malcolm Rush. Colourised version
Digital audio recorder
Fig 10: This was a major cop for me – seeing No. 46251 ‘City of Nottingham’ at Annesley shed on 8th May 1964. The engine was there prior to working an RCTS railtour from Nottingham to Swindon and she was a fine sight in her gleaming BR maroon livery. 9F 2-10-0 No. 92094 can be seen in the background. Photo Credit: Chris Ward’s Annesley Fireman Website
Digital audio recorder
Fig 11: My B&W photo of ‘City of Nottingham’ doesn’t do justice to what I saw that day. However, my pal Ian Rogers can be seen proudly cabbing 46251! Photo Credit: Malcolm Rush.
Digital audio recorder

Fig 12: Class 9F 2-10-0 No. 92220 ‘Evening Star’ heads south out of Annesley Yard, passing Annesley South Junction signal box on 15th August 1964. Photo Credit: Malcolm Rush – Colourised version. 

This was another major “cop” for me as ‘Evening Star’ was the last steam locomotive built by British Railways in 1960. She was allocated to the Western Region so seeing her at Annesley was a big surprise for me. Such was my excitement that I raced back on my bike to my home at Kirkby to fetch my brother Gordon. Unbeknown to me, though, Gordon had already seen the engine, on one of his spotting trips to Swindon (Gordon, being 4 years older than me, was able to join the local Elizabethan Railway Society and go with them on official visits to various Sheds and Works around the country). However, he did come back with me to Annesley and we only just got back in time to see ‘Evening Star’ powering out of the Yard. I took this photo on what I called my soapbox camera – it was one I got free by collecting some coupons from some soap powder boxes. The quality wasn’t particularly striking and I think I only used it for a few months. (I used the same camera for my photo of 46251 ‘City of Nottingham’) Photo Credit: Malcolm Rush. Colourised version
Digital audio recorder
Fig 13: Annesley Ashpit arrivals page for 15th August 1964 shows 92220 as arriving on the ashpit at 12.40. All engines coming onto the shed went via the ashpits. Note the Pilot diesel shunter entry further on – it had to be booked in and the driver was then told where to berth it.
The Driver of 92220 was Gordon Cave, who also disposed of the loco. He would have relieved it at Bulwell, just prior to me seeing it at Annesley South Junction. Information and Photo Credit: Chris Ward
Digital audio recorder

Fig 14: My spotting log book showing, on 8th May 1964, that I copped 46251 ‘City of Nottingham’ at Annesley. Photo Credit: Malcolm Rush

Digital audio recorder
Fig 15: My spotting log showing, on 15th August 1964, that I copped 92220 ‘Evening Star’. Photo Credit: Malcolm Rush
Digital audio recorder
Digital audio recorder
Fig 16: I was clearly keen to share my news about copping 92220 ‘Evening Star’. This is a letter I later received from Alexander and Iain, who lived at Musselburgh, Scotland. I met them on the occasions they visited relatives at Kirkby. “Old Harry” was one of the Kirkby-in-Ashfield (East) station porters and Alexander and Iain used to spend some time with Harry as he discharged his station duties. Photo Credit: Malcolm Rush

Blog by Malcom Rush

Posted by SB2K Admin – 12th September 2023