Not that we’ve been doing much festering today – even if we didn’t set foot outside the front door until 15:30. Dawn’s been busy working from home, trying to clear her desk ready for our new Zealand trip. I’ve been equally occupied with paperwork and scanning old slides. So, here’s a look at the results of my scanning labours.

The pictures I’ve been scanning today are from the Crewe locomotive works open day in August 1996. Even in those days, the works was a shadow of its former self. It still employed a few thousand people, but nothing like the 25,000 of its heyday. Even so, it was an interesting place to visit – especially as the railways were in the early days of privatisation. The works was full of withdrawn or stored locomotives kept as a source of spares or awaited scrapping as well as various locomotives being overhauled or repaired after accidents (a far more common occurrence then than now).

You can find all 62 pictures in this gallery, but here’s a few tasters.

05971. 47466. Crewe works open day. 17.8. crop

47466 is one of a long line of withdrawn Class 47s at the works (47439 is to its left) . Many of them were cut up in March the next year by contractors MRJ Phillips. The parcels and passenger work they’d been used for had been in decline for several years. 466 had been withdrawn as long ago as December 1991. Notice how faded the BR blue paintwork is on the loco compared to a 47473 on the right. 

06006. 08921. Crewe works open day. 17.8crop

The colour of things to come…08921 was being overhauled and repainted in the new livery of privatised company EW&S. Some components for the overhaul would have come from classmates dumped in the yard outside.

06030. Inside the bogie shop. Crewe works open day. 17.8crop

Inside the bogie overhaul shop, work that was gradually drying up as less and less locomotives were being used on the national network and modern equipment didn’t need as much maintenance.

06118. 08849. Stored. Crewe works open day. 17.8crop

08849 was one of a long line of stored or withdrawn shunters present at Crewe.  Once over a thousand strong and ubiquitous across the network, these locomotives had been in decline for decades as local goods yards and the need for shunters was far less.

05992. 86604. Crewe Works. 17.8.96.

86604 freshly overhauled and repainted in Freightliner livery. Who could have predicted then that this locomotive would still be working for (the now privatised)  Freightliner in 2018, 53 years after they were built!