I’m afraid that my memory is lacking at this point; but at some time in the summer of 1968, and flush with cash earned from farm work in the school holidays, I took the plunge and bought a colour film. In my grandiose schemes I had never intended to take black and white photos at all, but the dire financial situation forced me into it.

The colour results were just as poor in quality as the b&w, which is probably why I reverted to the cheaper alternative for the Dawlish holiday.

However, colour (to me) always looks the part from a railway point of view – and so, despite the lack of any sharpness and detail, here they are.


class 08 parcels heck 1968.jpg

The local pick-up goods was a strange affair. For a few years it ran from Boston to Gosberton via Sleaford in the morning as 8J59, and back in the afternoon as 8J79. It was an 03 duty at times, but if the loadings were more than a few vans, an 08 was substituted. On this occasion, I am not sure of the reason for so many parcels vans. Maybe there was an imbalance in workings?



class 31 up goods heck 1968.jpg

Later in the day came the Lincoln Holmes Yard to Boston Goods service or 7J39. This is the return working as 8J19 heading towards Sleaford; but at times the Working Timetable (WTT) shows it extended to Mansfield Concentration Sidings as 7G91. The ER freight timetable appeared to be very flexible. This train was almost always a class 31 duty, although on rare occasions a 37 appeared.



class 20s up goods  heck 1968.jpg

Adding to the evening ‘excitement’ was 7E71 from Colwick to Boston Goods. Once again, here is the return working 7M82. This train was mostly a class 25 working, but occasionally produced a pair of 20s as seen here on very lightweight train. Boston Docks imported a lot of timber from Scandinavia, and on those occasions this train would be quite heavily loaded.



cl114 unit heckington 1968.jpg

The class 114 2-car dmu on a local passenger service from Grantham to Boston approaches Heckington station.


class 31 down goods b ped 1968.jpg

A little further south on the GN&GE, a 31 passes under my favourite spotting location – which we called Burton Bridge – with a freight from Whitemoor yards. Many hundreds of hours were spent here in the 1960s.



class 47 up flyash b ped 1968.jpg

Looking in the opposite direction, we see a class 47 with a fly-ash train. This is probably 4C56 the 0836 SO Westburton to Fletton due past this point at about 1020.



class 47 b ped 1968.jpg

Another 47 (or possibly 48, they were regulars on Whitemoor to Warsop Junction coal empties), but this time I have taken the arty-farty shot. This arch of the bridge came in very handy if it rained.



class 31 up boc tanks b ped 1968.jpg

I have yet to find this train in the WTTs. Tank trains were unusual on this route, and although the evening light is fading fast, I probably only risked this because of the rarity. The mgr barrier wagon suggests these are not brand new empty tanks for delivery.



class 31 up goods b ped 1968.jpg

Another class 31 with what might be 7E17, the 0225 from Tees Yard to Whitemoor. Sometimes these trains ran very late, but they often conveyed a lot of steel products.



class 31 b ped 1968.jpg

I can’t find 8J29 in the WTT, although not knowing the date I may not have the right one – or the supplements. I assume it is a Whitemoor to Lincoln service, and as class 8 it is going to drop off, or pick up, wagons on the way maybe at Sleaford. It is difficult to tell what is in the open wagons, house bricks from Fletton were carried this way; but as the load appears to project above the wagon sides, I would plump for timber.

On days such as this with gaps between trains, it was usual to laze around in the sunshine and almost complete silence; with only the sound of a distant tractor and a couple of hovering skylarks for company. Idyllic.