Chris Ward's Annesley Website

Home Page
Variety on the Great Central
Complete Annesley allocation Jan.1948 - Jan.1966
Ashpit arrivals 1/11/1962 and 13/2/1964
Profile of drivers Joe Barber and Tommy Wilson
Annesley "9F's" on passenger work....
Annesley Locomotive Photo Gallery
The Annesley "running board" 31/3/64
Where are they now?
Visiting engines
Signal boxes
Annesley Locomen (and others)
Official visit to Annesley MPD. 4th March 1961
Great Central Accidents


This site is copyright Chris Ward. You may use any part of this site for any non-commercial purpose, (i.e. NOT EBAY) but if you do so, please attribute it to me and provide a link back to this site

Ashpit view 25 Jan1965.jpg

It looks like Jack Bailey's "grab" is working overtime in this view of the ashpits taken on Monday 25th January 1965. Westhouses-allocated "8F" 48286 is seen along with three "Black Fives" and a "9F"(just!)

Latest updates

New page - "Annesley "9F's" on passenger workings"


CLICK HERE to play the Annesley MPD slide show

CLICK HERE to play the 46251 slide show




Allocation in 1956 (this page)
Allocation June 1965 - closure (with departure dates)(this page)

A wonderful panoramic shot of Annesley c.November 1962. CLICK TO ENLARGE

A wonderful panoramic view of Annesley MPD (above). Far left we see the railwaymens' halt Annesley South platform 100 yards in front of Annesley South 'box. One of our (3) diesel shunters is working the no.3 pilot job, while the rows of withdrawn "O1's" in the background date the photo between September and December 1962 (before the snows came!) A "9F" is coming off the turntable while an "O4" 2-8-0 is going on shed after being disposed of. A loco crew are walking towards the Sandhouse having left their engine on the ashpits. Jack Bailey's "grab" is fighting a losing battle (as always) with the piles of ash and clinker. On the right we have the disused Coal Stage, and in the distance (extreme right) you can see Newstead GN signal box.


Annesley MPD 29 Aug 1959.jpg
29th August 1959. . See the Photo Gallery for another pic of "Q6" 0-8-0 no.63349 over on no.7 road

Annesley Motive Power Depot 5th May 1959

Click HERE to see the ultimate Annesley collection - now over 800 photos!

61857 and 45305
"K3" 2-6-0 no.61857 on the shed front

24th June 1962 sees "K3" 2-6-0 no.61857 on the shed front at Annesley. A long-time Scottish region engine, she was now shedded at Hull Dairycoates (50B). She was withdrawn six months later and cut up at Doncaster Plant in February 1963. Alongside is Willesden (1A) allocated "Black Five" no.45305 now fortunately preserved. Surely Annesley was one of the few places you could see Hull & Willesden engines side by side!


Ardsley (56B) "J39/1" 0-6-0 no.64811 stands on no.7 road waiting for her next turn of duty. This will be the 11.50 Hotchley Hill pick-up (9D14). This was driver Ralph Cumberland's regular turn. After arriving back at 18.35, she will possibly be prepared for 5D38, the 20.30 to Ardsley.  

Tony Barker
Fireman Tony Barker awaits departure for Burton in this 1963 photo.

Annesley ashpits 6th June 1926
Annesley ashpits on 6th June 1926

No.5375, the “O4” 2-8-0 on the left was shedded at Annesley from 1915 till she was requisitioned by the War Department in October 1941. On the right we have another “O4”, no.5385. In May 1944 she was rebuilt as “O1” no.63610 and was at Annesley until her premature withdrawal in January 1963. Behind no.5375 stands “Q4” 0-8-0 no.6179. Allocated to Annesley from 1924 to 1936, she was rebuilt in 1945 as a “Q1” 0-8-0 tank engine. She met her demise at Frodingham in September 1959.

69691 at Annesley MPD 24 May 1953
"N7" 0-6-2T 69651 stands on no.1 road ready for her next "Dido" working on 24 May 1953

Scroll to the bottom to add your own memories of Annesley and/or the GC.
All contributions (however small) VERY welcome!

Click to hear REAL steam!

" Sounds of Steam"

1: "A3" 4-6-2 No.60102 "Sir Frederick Banbury" accelerates the "Master Cutler" after a signal check near Princes Risborough. November 1955.
2: "A3" 4-6-2 No.60050 "Persimmon" restarts the down "South Yorkshireman" out from Aylesbury on a December evening in 1955.
3: Leicester "V2" 2-6-2 No.60831 roars through Princes Risborough with the late-running "Newspapers" on a clammy August night in 1958.

"A3 " 4-6-2 60054 "Prince of Wales" At Nottingham Victoria . (Withdrawn from 34E June 1964)

Click here to see more photographs of the ex-Great Central and Great Northern lines around Nottingham

Annesley yard shunter 1912
Annesley yard shunter 1912

Ex-"ROD" 2-8-0 no.6262 at Annesley c.1929
She was rebuilt in 1944 as "O4/8" no.63819 and withdrawn from Langwith Jct in November 1965

Click here for more photos of Annesley MPD.

From the Engine Shed directory 1947:

"The shed is on the East Side of the Great Northern Leen Valley Branch (closed to passenger traffic) about two and a half miles north of Hucknall. At this point the L.M.S. Nottingham - Mansfield, the Leen Valley Branch, and the G.C. Main lines are running parallel. The actual position of the shed is 53.04.20N; 01.12.50W - ANNESLEY"

I first started being interested in trains (i.e.trainspotting) around 1952. (I know that it was about this time, because one of the first "namers" I saw was "B1" 4-6-0 no.61029 "Chamois" and it was transferred from Sheffield Darnall (41A) to St.Margarets (64A) in September 1953.
The two other most memorable locos at that time were "B1" no.61066 (which we knew was going to be named "Battle of Hastings"!) and the "Dido" "C12" tank no.67363
I was seven years old, and used to walk from my home at 27 Abbots Rd, Beauvale Estate all the way down Wood Lane, to Hucknall National Junior School.

As I crossed the bridge over the GC I used to wait at around 08.30 for the "Master Cutler" on its southbound journey to London Marylebone. It was usually headed by one of Leicester's (38C) "A3"s, nos. 60049 "Galtee More", 60052 "Prince Palatine", 60054 "Prince of Wales", 60102 " Sir Frederick Banbury", 60104 "Solario" and 60107 "Royal Lancer". If no "A3" was available, it would be hauled by a "V2".
 I would then wait for the "twenty to niner", 07.32 Leicester Central to Manchester London Rd (arr.11.15),usually headed by a "V2" 2-6-0. Then it was run like mad to get to school before assembly at 08.55!
All my available spare time was spent on the fence outside Hucknall Central Station - I'm sure it never rained in those far-off days!

My old "stamping ground"....Hucknall Central.

Three views of my trainspotting "patch". (below left) "A5"4-6-2T 69803 departs from Hucknall Central with a Sheffield Vic - Nottingham Vic local c.1956.
(below centre) "D11"4-4-0 62661 "Gerard Powys Dewhurst" lifts her safety valves as she awaits departure with a Sunday working in 1958.
(below right) "B1" 4-6-0 61008 "Kudu" approaches with a Marylebone-Manchester express in 1957.

69803 Hucknall Central

62661 at Hucknall Central 1958.jpg

61008 app.Hucknall Central

My Railway Career
(Memories of an Annesley fireman)

After passing my 11-plus,as a pupil of Carlton-Le-Willows (Nottingham) Grammar School, I was expected to leave school at 16+ having taken my G.C.E’s. Not bloody likely! I begged and pleaded with my mother to send a letter to the headmaster asking for my release on my fifteenth birthday. I suspect he was only too glad to oblige! The only things I was interested in, were girls, sports and rock ’n’ roll. The only job I ever wanted to do was to be an engine driver (didn’t we all!), so after an brief interview with Mr. Ede, the Shedmaster, and a subsequent medical at Derby, I started my working life at Annesley ( coded 16D,-ex 38B) at 08.00 on January 11th 1960.

A 1957 view. Note the "A5" 4-6-2 tank on the slip road.

Prior to "Midlandisation" in April 1958, Annesley's allocation was strictly LNER engines. "O1" 2-8-0's worked the Woodford service, "K3" 2-6-0's including 61856, 61975 and 61980 handled the mixed traffic and passenger workings, together with "B1" 4-6-0's 61063, 61066 and 61209. 

Note all the "O1's" ready for their next Woodford turn.

91980 and 90252 at Annesley in 1954

Annesley MPD allocation in 1956

63854 stands on the shed front
Thirty of the Thomson "O1's" were ousted from Annesley during 1957 with the arrival of an equal number of "9F's", which took over the fast freights to Woodford and more besides. At the end of 1962, under "Midlandisation", the remainder were condemned and replaced by Stanier "8F's"

Ex-GC "Pom-Pom" 0-6-0 no.64386 is backing wagons on to the coaling stage in this c.1956 photo.

Class "J11" 0-6-0 "Pom-Pom" no.64386 (above) was a Staveley (38D) resident at Nationalisation. She came to Annesley in August 1955 where she stayed till May 1957. She then went to Immingham (40B) from where she was withdrawn in September 1962. She was cut up at Gorton "Tank" three months later.

61063 stands on the "slip" road. 24th May 1953

"B1" 4-6-0 no.61063 (above) was shedded at Annesley from 1949 - 1959. She then went to Leicester (GC), Neasden, and then to Woodford. February 1962 saw her placed in store at Leicester. She was broken up at Darlington works in October of that year.
"K3" 2-6-0 no.61856 (below) was an Annesley resident from 1955 to 1959. She then moved to Ardsley (56B) from where she was withdrawn in December 1962. She was cut up one month later at Doncaster works.

61856 stands on no.1 road on 28th April 1957.

Annesley MPD Allocation in January1960

Annesley M.P.D. c.1963/4

Ex LMR 2-6-2 Push & Pull Tanks:  41280, 41320

The class "2" tanks weren't solely used on the "Dido"! - here we have 41280 working an RCTS special on 10th September 1960 
At Nottingham Queens Walk Goods sidings

On the Gotham branch

At Gotham sidings transferring from the open wagons
Ex-LMR 2-6-0 "Crabs":  42769 42784 42847 42872 42897

"Crab" 2-6-0 no.42784 waits to go off shed on 22nd May 1959


Newly-arrived "Black Five" 45116 stands proudly on no.1 road, ready for her next London job.

"Black Five" 4-6-0's:   44932 45116 (above) 45223 45234 (below) 45450

"Black Five" 4-6-0 no.45234 stands on the slip road. 1965. (Wdn. from 9D Sept 1967)

4th April 1954

"O1" 2-8-0 no.63865 propels a brake van towards Annesley North Junction. January 1962

Ex-Great Central "J11" 0-6-0's:  64375, 64420

"Pom-Pom" no.64420 is leaving the shed on her way to another pilot job in this photo taken 24/8/58

Ex-LNER "J39" 0-6-0's:  64739, 64798, 64955

64798, 64739 and 64955 in store for the winter.1958

Five years later, only three types of steam engine remained on Annesley's books; ex-LMS 5MT's and 8F's, and BR 9F's:

"Black Fives":
44665 44717 44835 44847 44848 44932 44984 45215 45234 45301 45333 45334 45335 45342 45346 45406 45416 45450.

"8F'"s: 48037 48057 48079 48141 48166 48168 48142 48293 48304 48324 48363 48378 48661.

92011 92013 92014 92030 92031 92032 92033 92043 92067 92068 92069 92071 92072 92073 92074 92075 92083 92087 92088 92090 92091 92092 92093 92094 92095 92096 92113 92132 92154.

Diesel Shunters D3859 D3860 D3861

Total: 64

Partial closure in June 1965 left Annesley with just 21 engines, with many of these in store.
They are listed here, with there final departure dates:

18 June 1965 - four days after (partial) closure!

Copyright Colin Swainson Oct 1965
Four "Black 5's" stand on the shed front. Three months later Annesley closed completely.

44846 Jul-65
45334 Jul-65
45335 Jul-65
45416 Jul-65
48057 Jul-65
92071 Jul-65
92091 Jul-65
48142 Aug-65
48378 Aug-65
92011 Aug-65
44665 Oct-65
44835 Oct-65
44847 Oct-65
45190 Oct-65
45333 Oct-65
45406 Oct-65
44848 Dec-65
44932 Dec-65
44984 Dec-65
92096 Dec-65


Annesley Motive Power Depot finally closed on January 3rd 1966


Express Passenger Engines

Class "6P" and "7P" locomotives allocated to Annesley in the 'sixties are as follows:

"Britannia" 4-6-2's

(click to enlarge)
Note the brackets for the "Golden Arrow" on the smoke deflector

70014 "Iron Duke" (above)
70015 "Apollo"
70048 "The Territorial Army 1908-1958"
70049 "Solway Firth" (below)
All June - October 1962


Firemen "Nobby" Clark and Brian Orange are making a shunting movement with 70049

Photo copyright Tony Parker
Willesden (1A) "Britannia" 4-6-2 no.70031 "Byron" at Annesley 8/9/63

"Patriot" 4-6-0's

45529 "Stephenson" Oct.1963 to Jan.1964

Fireman Pete Bradbury and Shunter Gordon Langholm
"Rebuilt Patriot" 4-6-0 45530 "Sir Frank Ree" (1A) ready to work the 17.15 to London.10th Oct 1963

45522 "Prestatyn" stand under the "legs" in this undated view.

"Jubilee" 4-6-0's

45626 "Seychelles" Nov.1962 to Jan.1963
45735 "Comet" Oct.1963 to Sept.1964

"Royal Scot" 4-6-0's


The Royal Scots came to Annesley in 1962 initially to replace our four Britannias and to work the diverted Manchester-Euston sleeper. Needless to say, we got all the clapped-out ones from other depots. Most drivers would have preferred a Black Five, and we borrowed V2's at every opportunity! 


46143 "The South Staffordshire Regiment" was at Annesley from September 1962 to December 1963. An extremely rare visitor in the background is Hereford (85C) "Standard 5" no.73096.

46101 "Royal Scots Grey" 1/63 to 8/63
46111 "Royal Fusilier" 1/63 to 9/63
46112 "Sherwood Forester" 6/62 to 5/64
46114 "Coldstream Guardsman" 9/63 to 9/63
46122 "Royal Ulster Rifleman" 12/62 to 10/64
46125 "3rd Carabinier" 9/63 to 9/64
46126 " Royal Army Service Corps" 11/62 to 9/63
46143 "South Staffordshire Regiment" (above) 9/62 to 12/63
46153 " The Royal Dragoon" 9/62 to 12/62
46156 " South Wales Borderer"10/63 to 10/64
46158 "The Loyal Regiment" 9/62 to 10/63
46163 "Civil Service Rifleman" 1/63 to 8/64
46165 "The Ranger (12th London Regt.)" 2/64 to 11/64
46167 "The Hertfordshire Regiment" 9/63 to 5/64
46169 "The Boy Scout" 1/63 to 6/63

Copyright M.Castledine
46165 "The Ranger (12th London Regt..)" passes New Basford with the ecs for the 17.15 to Marylebone

Cleaning Days

On arrival at the Loco Depot I was kitted out with overalls and grease top cap and introduced to Fred Lees, the Chargehand cleaner. To say Fred was surprised to see me was an understatement! I was the first cleaner he had seen since Annesley was taken under the Midland Region's wing in 1958. Fred was also in charge of the labouring force, and I was introduced to Shed Labourers Rueben Taylor (ex-driver aged 73), Johnny Holmes (Fred's general dogsbody) and Ben Sills, toilet attendant. He then sent me over to the canteen, presided over by Mrs. Harper, while he decided what to do with me!

Driver Reuben Taylor is with "B1" 4-6-0 no.61066 in this early 'fifties photo.

About an hour later Fred appeared and sent me to the stores to get a bucket of paraffin and some ”washed rags” (you could have as many of these as you liked, but only one white rag for polishing), and to clean all the cab numbers of the Annesley engines that were on shed.
I was told I could do this all week and, so long as I kept out of the way, I could go more or less anywhere and do almost anything I liked! All this for the princely sum of £3 17s 6d per week!
After my first (and only) week cleaning, as the eldest hand (and only) cleaner, Fred told me I would now be labouring, and I was given charge of sweeping roads 1, 2 and 3 as far as the water columns at the end of the shed front. I was convinced that I was on my way to my first million! The labourers' rate of pay was £8 8s 0d per week - this was as much as my dad earned at Hucknall No.2 colliery, and all my mates were earning about £3 a week!
Around three months later I was joined by Graham Bucknall, (sadly killed at the age of 16 riding a high-powered motorbike), Joe Gibbon (the last I heard, he was at Shirebrook Diesel depot), and Pat Jarvis (latterly still working on the preserved G.C. at Loughborough). As they were all over the age of 16, they were soon passed out for firing - It didn't bother me as I knew that, as the eldest hand, as soon as I was sixteen I would always get firing turns, (and promotion through the links), before them.

Click to enlarge

Firing Days

Saturday, December 10th 1960.. The great day had arrived! My sixteenth birthday and my first firing turn. I would like to tell you the story of how I was called upon at the last moment to fire the York - Bournemouth express, hauled by a V2 2-6-2 from Annesley South Junction because the Sheffield Darnall (41A) fireman had gone sick. I'd like to, but it would be a load of rubbish!
Actually, I was booked on at 22.55, P&D (Preparation and Disposal) with Driver Tommy Small. (At Annesley, we always booked on at five to, or twenty five past the hour. This was the arrival time of the Railway Bus from Bulwell (via Hucknall), where the majority of the staff lived.)
As I’d spent most of the past eleven months (unofficially) learning the ropes, this didn't present a problem to me. We were allowed One and a half hours to Dispose (put away) an engine, and the same amount of time to Prepare (get ready) one, so when George Clack, the Running Foreman, came in the mess room and said to Tommy, "92073 - put away and get ready for the 03.05 Woodford" off we went up to the ashpits. Tommy started oiling up while I started cleaning the fire. This was not a difficult job on the 9F's as they were fitted with rocker bars. After cleaning the fire, we backed down to the water column, which was adjacent to the Sand house. Filling the sandboxes and the Tender Tank were done at the same time. We then turned the engine and berthed it on No.6 road, after making sure all the lamps were trimmed, 200lb of Steam, three quarters of a glass of water, both injectors working, and no faults to report. This was about an hour and twenty minutes after being given the job! Two more engines to put away, and one to get ready, and Tommy was off to Kirkby on his pushbike. I was on the 04.00 Railway Bus back home, (and to bed!)
A first year Fireman's rate of pay was £9.3s 0d per week. This was for your first 287 firing turns. So, for my five hours actual work, I was getting eight hours at time and a half! Sheer bliss - being paid a man’s wage for something I would have done for nothing. (Well, nearly!)

Photo from the Roy Warhurst collection.
92095 backs down from the ashpits.Note the BR1G tender she received from 92008 on 5th September 1964

92095 backs down from the ashpits followed by an "austerity" 

Photo by M.Castledine
45333 and 44665 on11th Sept 1965. Both withdrawn from Newton Heath (9E) 6/66 & 3/68 respectively

During the first month or so, my forays on the main line were limited to (1) travelling to Bulwell Common on the railway bus, to relieve crews of "runners" whose eight hours were up. If down trains were "on the block" in Annesley Yard, It could possibly take another two hours before they got home. Not all drivers believed in as much overtime as possible! and (2) Relieving runners at Annesley South Junction and taking them onward to local collieries.

ABOVE & BELOW - 92092 passing Annesley North Junction with empties.


Having changed crews at Annesley South ,.......
....this down "runner" is approaching Annesley Tunnel with empties for New Hucknall

(incidentally, the term "runners" was used together with "windcutters" to describe the Annesley to Woodford "out and home" service, "windcutters" dating from pre-war days!
My first "proper" main line trip came in February 1961. I was booked with driver George Thompson, 13.55 Spare.I was just brewing our first can of tea of the day, when in came Running Foreman
Lol Crampton and said,"63886 (below) (an ex-L.N.E.R. O1 2-8-0) is on the shed front, she's all ready - Special to Wichnor" So off we went into the down yard, and backed on to our train of coke for Wichnor Junction, south of Burton (on the despised Midland Railway)
I don't remember a great deal about that trip. Like most of our O1';s the engine steamed perfectly, she lifted the safety valves (a sin!) when coasting over the Midland, across Bennerley Viaduct (now a listed structure), and we rolled into Wichnor Junction on time. I remember feeling ten feet tall, waving to the trainspotters on Burton Station. (Not many ex - L.N.E.R.engines went through the station, most workings by ourselves and Colwick men terminated in the G.N. goods yard at Hawkin's Lane, north of the station).

Annesley "O1" 2-8-0 no.63886 coasts through Burton station on 7th June 1961

After the guard uncoupled, we went tender - first back to Hawkins Lane where we had our "snap". After about an hour's break, we watered and turned the engine and returned light to Annesley. Little did we know that by the end of 1962, all our "O1's" would be withdrawn en masse and replaced by ex-LMS "8F" 2-8-0's!

The GN servicing facilities at Hawkin's Lane consisted of a water tank, water column & turntable!

Recently ex-works Class "O1" 2-8-0 no. 63789 at Annesley MPD. 30th August 1959

This 1959 view shows "O1" 2-8-0 no.63591 on a "top-link" job - the 10.17 Leicester pick-up goods!

Photo by M.Castledine
"O1" 2-8-0's nos.63752, 63817 and 63869 stand withdrawn on the "coal stacks" road. 28/10/62.


Not all the "O1"'s were withdrawn in November 1962! On 29th August 1964, a Staveley (41H) example waits her turn under the Annesley coaling plant before returning home. In June 1965 she was transferred to Langwith (41J) but withdrawn a month later

Writing this reminded me of one of the most important lessons I learned in my early cleaning days. George and my pal Passed Cleaner Joe Gibbon were having a brew in the cab of a “Standard” (ex-L.N.E.R. J39) on No.7 Road. I climbed up to join them, and in the course of some light hearted conversation, I spat on the floor. Shock! Horror! George said “Chris, you never, ever, do that on the footplate! Remember - cleanliness is next to godliness!” That motto stayed with me all through my firing days, and I can proudly say that my footplates were always spotless.

I would now like to list a few of my experiences with the many different types of engine that came on to the G.C.

Ex L.M.S. 2-6-2 Tanks

ex-LMS 2-6-2 tank 41280 has just been lit up for the next "Dido" working. (Wdn from 15C, Dec 1962)

Two of these (41280 & 41320) were shedded at 16D for working the “Dido” Push & Pull workman’s train from Bulwell to Annesley. Occasionally, as a Cleaner, I used to travel to work on the Dido instead of the Railway bus. I always rode on the footplate though, as a) It was more fun, and b) It was a damn sight cleaner than in the non-corridor coaches. Standard 2-6-2 Tanks 84007 & 84027 replaced these two engines. Apart from Shed work, I never fired on any of these engines, as by the time I reached the “Dido” Link (No 5 Link was always referred to as this), Annesley’s only “named” train had ceased to run. (see a rare photo of “9F” 92093 (!) on the Dido when both tanks were unavailable)("Dido" page)

Photo by M.Castledine
ex-BR 2-6-2 T 84007 in store: 13th Jan 1963. Withdrawn from Wellingborough (15B) one year later.

Ex L.M.S. 2-6-0 (43xxx)

ex-LM "4MT" no.43065 enters Nottm.Vic. 25/8/64. 8 months later she was cut up. (Wdn from 40E 1/65)

Although none of this class were ever allocated to Annesley, I fired them on the Queens Walk Goods Pilot turn. If you were to look in your Ian Allan A B C you would see that Annesley had two sub-sheds, Nottingham Victoria and Kirkby Bentinck. Colwick provided the engines for the ˜Vic Passenger Pilot, Gotham Pilot, and the aforementioned Goods Pilot. The six drivers signed on at Nottingham, but the firing vacancies (advertised every month) remained unfilled. It fell upon Annesley's passed cleaners and spare link firemen to do these demanding tasks.

What a “doddle”! We were allowed ninety minutes each way travelling time, and on the Goods Pilot I would spend half the shift in the shunter’s cabin playing cards, a couple of hours mashing tea and eating and the other two pottering up and down the yard with Driver Sid Jones. If I was working my Rest Day, that would be 8 hours at time and a half, and 3 hours at time and three quarters - Seventeen and a quarter hours pay! The fact that Colwick always put their most run-down engines on this job didn’t really matter. As a passed cleaner, I occasionaly had an ex -Great Northern “A” engine (L.N.E.R. J6 0-6-0) no.64219 on this turn. You had to take two steps with each shovelful of coal to put it in the firebox! God knows how Leicester men used to get from Belgrave Road to Skegness on these old Crates.
We also had Colwick "J50" 0-6-0T no.68927 a few times. another relic from Great Northern days!

"J6" 0-6-0 no. 64248 (40E) on the Gotham Pilot turn. 4/3/58 . (Wdn from 40F Boston, March 1959)

3628 (64267) Nottm Vic1937.jpg
3628 (64267) on a "Skeggy" 1937

© Kidderminster Railway Museum
Shed pilot "J50" 0-6-0T No.68896 is on the slip road looking slightly the worse for wear. 30/10/56

A rarity! - an ex-GN 0-6-0T with a 16D shedplate!
Ex-Works at Annesley in 1958!. She was transferred back to the GN section in Dec. of that year

From Ron Bishop, an ex-Colwick (38A) fireman:

"I joined the railway as a cleaner aged 16 in May 1949 at Colwick MP Depot (38A). The legal minimum age then to be employed in or around a 'loco' being 16. After serving just over a year as cleaner I was passed out for firing duties and spent another 6 months or so in this capacity before being made Fireman proper. In those early days of firing, through lack of strength and technique due to inexperience, I favoured my chances of successful trips with ex G.C. engines as all that was needed to get them to 'gas' was to stand there and keep dolloping coal into the firebox. How I feared having to 'get her to stand round' when we had an ex G.N. engine, especially an 'A' engine. I recall that one day I was moaning to my regular mate Driver Bob Fearn that G.N. engines were 'deaf and dumb', in particular, ruddy 'A' engines. He replied that there was nothing wrong with the engines, it was me that couldn't fire 'em and that as for good engine, you'd never find a better one than an 'A' engine and in his opinion, they had the finest 'front-end' of any engine. Bob was sincere in these remarks by which time and experience on my behalf did prove the point.

Many was the time that I worked the Seaside Excursions, 11 on equal to 365 tons, sometimes from Leicester Belgrave Road with various classes of loco' i.e. B1; K3; J39;
but if we had a K2 'Ragtimer' or better still; an 'A' engine, I was pleased as punch.
My Dad was an ex G.C.R. man, started his career at Nottingham Queens Walk loco,(pictured below) then moving to Annesley when Queens walk closed in the early '20. Eventually he became a Driver there. My Dad had a morbid fear of G.N. engines and definitely didn't like to hear me say that one wasn't a fireman on the G.C., they were muck carters! Apparently, a vast difference was made to the engines performance by the way the eccentrics were placed, i.e. 'open' or 'closed', one system made for good starting, the other for better speed. With G.N. engines... they needed notching-up well whereas G.C. engines needed to be well down the rack. A G.C.engine in the hands of an ex G.C. Driver was great, but by the same rule one had to see the performance of a G.N. engine being driven and fired by G.N. blokes to see them at their best. No word of a lie... I simply think there was no engine to better an
'A' engine. I should imagine they were one of the most economical class of loco's anywhere, either for fuel costs or in maintenance. With a stopping passenger of 3/4 'hat-boxes' leaving Nott'm Vic' for Grantham, a thin red fire to start off with then 6 level shovelfuls round the box leaving every station would maintain 170lbs pressure and a boiler full of water all the way. I once proved this to a Driver Danny Barker who I fired for. One more point I must make is the fact that Colwick Loco' got their coal supplies from Gedling Colliery... Coal! It was more like asbestos, what rubbish".

Nottingham (Queens Walk) Motive Power Depot
The earthworks to this long-closed depot were still visible in 1964

Nottingham Victoria Passenger Pilot was much the same, with a run-down B1 going in and out of Mansfield Road tunnel, shunting coaching stock and parcels vans for a couple of hours per shift. (even less on nights!)
Only once did we get the call to replace an ailing engine. A return Skegness to Derby Friargate job came in about half an hour down, with the engine priming badly. We swapped engines, giving them 61299 (
below), and taking the cripple back to Colwick light engine. We didn’t tell the Colwick men that the engine they were taking wasn’t much better!

July 1961 sees "B1" 4-6-0 no.61299 on Notts Vic Passenger Pilot.

My favourite driver on this turn was Ted Wills. Ted was an ex Tebay (11D) man, who came to “The Vic” for promotion. I think Ted still thought that he was banking trains up Shap! Every move we made was full regulator & cut-off. There were two regular main line turns for the “Vic” men, to keep their route knowledge up to date .They were the 5.55 am all stations to Sheffield on Monday, and the 10.40 stopper to Grantham on Thursday. I once worked this turn with Driver McDonald with a B1 instead of the usual L1 tank. He frightened me to death on the return journey by flicking the catch out of the reversing lever, sending it in to full cut-off, (with a wide open regulator!) between Radcliffe and Netherfield.

61264 (now preserved) stands in the bay on Passenger Pilot duty.

"Black Fives"

45450 working the 06.20 Daybrook pick-up.23/12/64
Driver Jack Jordan & Fireman Chris Ward pose at Leen Valley Junction

At last - the only decent type of Midland engine! Even the most biased of Annesley men would admit to them being nearly as good as a B1! We worked them on everything, from pick - up goods like the 06.30 Daybrook, to the Manchester - London sleeper, which we worked as far as Leicester when it was diverted from the ex - L.N.W. lines during electrification. When reminiscing, you tend only to remember the exceptional trips (good and bad!). I never had a Black Five remotely shy for steam. On my first trip on the sleeper with Driver Tommy Howlett, No. 45116, one of our own engines behaved impeccably, with 220 lb. of steam and three quarters of a glass of water all the way, and a right time arrival at Leicester…… My second trip, with a borrowed “Scot” was a bit more memorable! (More of that later!)


Photo by M.Castledine
5MT 4-6-0 no.45190 facing north. Withdrawn from Heaton Mersey (9F) in May 1968.

One depot that always maintained an excellent stud of "Black Fives" was was 8C Speke Junction (Liverpool). We used to work a special parcels train which ran from Liverpool to London for about three weeks, twice a year. This working was always hauled by an 8C engine, and it conveyed Littlewoods Catalogues (Spring & Winter issues). I worked this train quite a few times with my (favourite) regular mate, Jack Jordan. We used to book on at 19.25, quickly read the notices and catch the same Railway Bus back to Bulwell. After two pints in the B.R.S.A. we would then catch the Corporation bus to the Midland Station. We then travelled on the only “express” on the Lincoln to Derby route, the “Tamworth Mails” leaving at 21.05 (always hauled by a Stanier 2-6-4 tank) to Derby, and on to Stoke on Trent by D.M.U. Two more quick pints before closing time then feet up for another hour. Another great job! We worked back over the ex -G.N. line via Egginton Junction and Derby Friargate to be relieved by a set of our own men at Nottm Vic. We would then get a lift back on a “Runner” to Annesley, Jack getting off at Bulwell, and myself at Hucknall. (Sending the Driver’s ticket up with the crew of the “Runner”, pinched us another half hour!) Twice we had a “Caprotti” Black Five on this job. I personally found them to be no better than their sisters.
I remember one trip, when I was firing to Cis Bailey, we were working the Mondays only 05.50 Annesley - Sheffield Class"D" goods. We were the first train northbound out of Annesley yard with Newton Heath allocated no.45076. Cis's method of driving was to wind the reverser back as far as possible as soon as we were under way. Unfortunately as soon as we entered Annnesley tunnel, we slipped...and slipped...and slipped to a standstill. After what seemed like hours stuck in the choking, red-hot, sulphorous atmosphere,(but was probably only 5 minutes!) Cis managed to get her moving again, and off we went on our merry way to Sheffield.

Annesley's 44932 (now preserved) takes water at Bulwell Common while working the Basford pilot turn.


The only "Jubilees" allocated to Annesley were 45626 "Seychelles" from November 1962 to January 1963, and 45735 "Comet" from October 1963 to her withdrawal in October 1964.

45735 "Comet" at Annesley MPD 29th August 1964

45626 "Seychelles" pictured at York

A Millhouses "Jubilee" and an Ardsley "B1"
45600 "Bermuda" and 61173 stand on no.1 road on 8th September 1963

Photo copyright Tony Parker
"Jubilee" 4-6-0 "Hawkins" (17B) has just dropped down from the ashpits on a dull evening in 1962.

Photo By M.Castledine
45562 "Alberta" passes through New Basford with the Poole-Bradford express in 1964

Nottingham Victoria 29th August 1964
Fireman George Hunt looks back as 45735 "Comet" departs with the Mablethorpe - Leicester .

The only time I fired a “Jubilee”, was when I was booked with Driver Stan Taylor for a week in October 1962. We were rostered on the 23.40 Annesley-Woodford. Stan was an excellent mate to be with, and every night he let me drive the return "Runner" back to Annesley. However, this was a No.2 (Passenger) Link working, and on Saturday 21st, we were rostered to return with the "Newspapers" the crack G.C. train of the time. We'd encountered patchy fog all the way up, and were twenty minutes down on arrival at Woodford. After we had dashed over to Woodford station, we found out that the "Papers" was running half an hour late, so we had a little more time to eat our food. On being told that our train was passing Culworth Junction, we went on to the platform ready to relieve the Woodford men. Through the fog loomed No.45639 "Raleigh", (a stranger to the G.C). As the crew got off, the fireman said "She's a good ‘un, mate", - and she was! Apart from the fact that I couldn't sit down due to the rough riding, (Stan wasn't letting me drive this one!) She steamed like a dream! And would you believe it - both injectors actually worked! (You will have gathered by now, that the injectors on Midland engines were unreliable) Going up Shawell bank between Lutterworth and Rugby, the 3 cylinder "Jubilee roar" from the chimney top was fantastic. While I was clinging on for dear life going down Ashby bank, on passing Whetstone Stan shouted that we were doing 89 miles an hour! This was the fastest I ever went in my railway career. We arrived in Nottingham Victoria having taken 22 minutes for the 23 miles from Leicester Central, start to stop!

Below is a photo of 45639 taken the previous day, working the 11.15 Nottingham - Marylebone parcels.

45639 "Raleigh" climbs Ashby bank with the 11.15 Marylebone parcels on 20th October 1962

"Royal Scots"

In 1962/63 we had the misfortune to "acquire" some of the "crème de la crème" of the hated L.M.S. Yes, you've guessed - the famous "Royal Scots" together with “Rebuilt Patriot” 45529 "Stephenson" and “Rebuilt Jubilee” 45735 "Comet". They were supposed to be for the Manchester to Euston "Sleeper", diverted to Marylebone over the GC due to the Euston electrification, and the Marylebone semi - fasts, but we were quite happy with the Black Fives, even though it was pushing it a bit with "eleven on" on the Sleeper.

The "Patriot" was immediately relegated to local freight and pick - up work. We soldiered on with the "Scots", but they were poor tools. Apart from being impossibly rough riders,they were often in trouble with inexperienced firemen, due to the long narrow firebox.
My first contact with a "Scot" was about nine months before they came to the G.C. I was in the Relief Link at the time, and was booked with my regular mate Jack, on the 06.20 all stations (including Rushcliffe Halt!) to Marylebone, which we worked as far as Woodford. After three days with Black Fives, we arrived at work as usual at 04.25 on the Thursday to be given 46163 "Civil Service Rifleman". This was about eighteen months before it was transferred to Annesley, (during which time its condition had deteriorated considerably). Anyway, given the fact that we only had five coaches on, and that this train was allowed over four hours to get to Marylebone, the only difficult part about it was to stop the safety valves lifting!

"Royal Scot" 4-6-0 46101 formerly "Royal Scots Grey" stands outside the shed shunter's cabin.

46215 at Annesley MPD

46122 at "The 'Vic" a few days after her transfer to Annesley. (still wearing her 12A shedplate!)

However, my next trip on a "Scot" was a little bit different. As I mentioned earlier, I was with driver Tommy Howlett on the Manchester-Marylebone Sleeper. Tommy was a veritable mine of information about non-railway matters – he showed me where Charles Peace the murderer used to live, (opposite Darnall Station) and where Lady Chatterley did all her shenanikins (over to the right passing Heath station, near Sutton Scarsdale Hall) But I digress………After two trouble free days with Black Fives, we booked on as usual, to be greeted by Running Foreman Lol Crampton with the words "Reginald Maudling (the then Chancellor of the Exchequer) is on the train tonight, don't be ******* late!" We had a borrowed "Scot" 46155 "The Lancer", and a tender full of best passenger coal. When we arrived at the 'Vic, we were again informed that the Right Honourable Gentleman was on the train, and that it was (unusually) running to time. In it came, hauled by the usual E.E. Type 4, and ten minutes later, we were away. Crossing the Trent, Tommy had her wound back to 25% cut - off and full regulator. I was firing "text book" style (eight shovelfuls at a time, waiting for the smoke to clear at the chimney top, then another eight). Passing East Leake, the needle was just off the red mark, with the exhaust injector on, and the water in the top of the glass. On clearing Barnston Summit, Tommy eased the regulator for the drop down to Loughborough. Immediately, she started to blow off, and I went over to put the live steam injector on. The bloody thing wouldn't work. As Tommy applied the brakes to slow down through Loughborough Station, the exhaust injector blew off as well. We came to a stand at Quorn 'box with the safety valves roaring and a quarter of a glass of water! The prospect of throwing out the white - hot fire was not very pleasant! Just as the water was in the "bottom nut" we finally got the live steam injector to work and eventually limped into Leicester twenty-five minutes down. I don't suppose Mr. Maudling even turned in his sleep! As we limped on to Leicester MPD, we could hear the Cockneys roaring up Ashby bank with the replacement Black Five they'd been given. Trust this to be the only time we were late all week!

”Coronation” Class 4-6-2



The only time I am aware of that a "Coronation" worked on the G.C. was on Saturday May 9 1964, when 46251 “City of Nottingham” hauled an R.C.T.S. railtour from Nottingham to Swindon. Driver Eddie Foley and Fireman Arthur Gibson worked this train as far as Woodford. It was the only time I ever saw them wear regulation "greasetop" hats! - Eddie usually wore a flat cap, and Arthur a beret. This was obviously because Inspector Weevins was accompanying them!

Eddie Foley


The "Pacific" arrived on shed at 3.35 pm on Thursday 7th May, and the next day was spent getting her ready for the job in hand. However, as management didn't trust ex-LMS engines 100% (and after the "Royal Scots" fiasco, who could blame them!) at 11.30 pm on Friday 8th May, "V2" 2-6-2 No.60847 "St.Peter's School, York A.D.627" was prepared as standby engine!

Standby engine no.60847 "St Peters School York.A.D.627


Copyright J F Henton
Driver Eddie Foley and Inspector Weevins are chatting prior to departure.

It was Arthur Gibson incidentally, who gave me my first trip to Woodford. It was in March 1961, and I was 13.55 P & D. Now on this turn, Annesley 'Loco was so busy in the afternoon, that it was not unusual to be back on the Railway Bus at Six o'clock, or even Half past Five. Arthur was in No. 3 Link at the time, and was booked on the 14.30 Bulwell - Woodford. Walking down the cinder track to the 'Loco on the Tuesday, he asked me if I wanted to swap turns for the rest of the week. After two seconds hesitation I agreed, and so on the Wednesday I climbed aboard 92010 for my first trip on a "Runner". This was the first time I'd been with Driver Jack Jordan, and we hit it off straight away. Now Jack was "well in" with Horace, the List Clerk, and it was no coincidence that when I was made a Registered Fireman, I moved into the No. 6 Relief Link as his regular mate.

Ex-LMS "8F" 2-8-0s

Autumn 1962 brought about the biggest change of motive power at Annesley since the “9F” revolution in 1957. All our “O1” 2-8-0’s were taken out of service and replaced by ex-LMS class”8F” 2-8-0’s.

48303 at Annesley MPD. 28th March 1965

While on paper this seemed a fair swap, in practice (as usual) Annesley got the worse of the deal!
One would think that the “8F”, being the more modern locomotive, would be vastly superior to the ex-Great Central “O4” rebuilds. No way! When cleaning the fire on an “O1”, the fireman could whip out four of the firebars, push the clinker through and have the firebars back in less than half an hour. Not so with the “8F”s! the firebars were twice the length and weight. This, together with a longer firebox made the fireman’s job much more arduous.

48727 with driver Les Pollard at Annesley MPD 1963

Whilst once under way they could pull as well as the "O1's", they were less sure-footed, heavier on coal and water, less comfortable, had less reliable injectors and also poorer braking power! However, they were vacuum fitted, so they could be used on fitted freights. In practice though, this seldom happened. We used them on the Stanton Ironworks diagrams, and all the local workings, Colliery jobs etc.

63806 at Annesley MPD in June 1962

June 1962 sees one of Annesley's "O1" 2-8-0's 63806 (above), recently ex-works. Sad to think that only four months later she would be withdrawn from service!

photo copyright M.Castledine
28th October 1962 sees "O1" 2-8-0s 63752, 63817 & 63869 waiting the call to the scrapyard.

The same engines taken from the opposite viewpoint (on the coal stacks)

Ex-LMS "8F" 2-8-0 no.48356 stands outside the Shed Shunters cabin in May 1965.

One job we had was relieving the 13.40 ex-Silverhill Colliery at Newstead (GN) and working onward to Stanton, arriving at 17.16. 22nd November 1963 saw Driver Wallace Walker and myself working this train. We arrived at Stanton on time, disposed of our empties, and were sat having our "snap" when the head shunter came out and told us that U.S. President, John F Kennedy had been assasinated!

12th March 1965. Copyright M.Castledine
48141 (still in mid-gear!) has got the road for the 16.25 Newstead (ex-Silverhill) - Stanton

My final two "8F" turns before leaving Annesley for Toton in 1965 were both with 48293. Sunday 21st February saw me on a Kimberley Ballast working with Cis Bailey, and three days before I left I was with Pete Harrison on the 06.50 Staveley job.

To be continued.............


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Compare this photo with (below) the one of 61804 taken just seven years earlier!

"K3" 61804 has just come off the ashpits. She was withdrawn from Woodford (2F) in March 1962

Sunday 2nd June 1957
Frodingham (36C) O4/6 2-8-0 no.63906 outside the shed shunters cabin. withdrawn from 36C Jan.1965

63886 stands out of use awaiting repair in this undated shot

63902 stands awaiting disposal

Allocated to Annesley from nationalisation to Nov.1960, She was withdrawn from Woodford in July 1962

.....and now the demolition men have moved in!
October 1966 - the ashpit cabin is a pile of rubble.

The view across the shed front towards the coaling plant.

Annesley MPD shortly after closure on 3rd January 1966

Another depressing view of a closed Annesley MPD



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