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Today we’ve suffered another dull and dismal day in the Pennines. The Calder valley’s been coated in cloud with just a rare glimpse of sunshine to tease us. I’m so glad that I got out to capture the autumn colours last week as the weather’s never been the same since and now most have the leaves have fallen.

I’ve not minded too much as my day’s been spent working at home in the warm with the heating on and the cat for company. This past few days I’ve been trying to make a dent in the 1000s of slides I need to scan, which has been an interesting trip down memory lane (see this blog). Now I’ve nipped out for a walk and a pint before resuming the scanning. Here’s the view across the valley as I walked up to the Big 6.

Normal service will be resumed tomorrow as I’ll be making my way to Lincoln as I’ve a press event on Friday morning. Siemens are showing off their new railway bogie overhaul facility, so expect a blog over the weekend.

In the meantime, here’s a couple of the pictures I’ve been scanning. They tell two stories. One’s the changing face of the railways, the other is the changes in London.

05497. 47283. 47187. Wandsworth Rd. 15.3.1996crop

On the 15th March 1996 two old BR built Class 47 diesels cover South London in diesel exhaust as they power through Wandsworth Rd station. The locomotives were heading for the Channel Tunnel freight yard at Dollands Moor. Operated by a BR break off company called Railfreight Distribution they were used to move freight trains to/from the channel tunnel. They operated in pairs just in case one broke down so they’d be less likely to block the busy commuter routes across the home counties. The skyline behind them has changed completely. The old gasometer was demolished several years ago and the whole area as far as Battersea power station is being covered in high-rise housing. I really should go back to get a comparison shot soon.

05491. 33025. 3011. Wandsworth Rd. 15.3.1996crop

The same day a Eurostar service from Waterloo international passes Wandsworth Rd on its way to the Channel tunnel. These trains operated over the ‘classic’ network until High Speed 1 was built into a revamped St Pancras station in 2007, 12 years later. It’s passing an old BR Class 33 diesel locomotive. These were built especially for the old Southern region of British Railways and were a familiar sight in the area from 1960 until the last ones were withdrawn a few years after this picture was taken.

Right, we’ve both popped up to the Moorcock Inn for a midweek treat. Can you guess which two dishes we’ve chosen?


We’re back at home. Dawn’s relaxing in front of the TV and I’m finishing off scanning the next batch of slides as I won’t have chance these next few days. The temperatures really starting to drop, so the central heating’s been cranked up a bit.