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RAIL REPORTS 2010

 
 

BACK OF THE NETWORK

England scores.  Then loses 4-1 to Germany

  

   Departure, arrival and changing stations and haulage in bold.


 STATION  DEPART  NOTES

   

TUESDAY 22 JUNE 2010

 
 
 CHELTENHAM  1142
C 04 A
While waiting for 221 122 ( formerly "Dr Who" ) to take me to Manchester I noted 220 033 departing for Bristol Temple Meads at 1125, First Great Western's 158 749 departing for Brighton at 1131 and the same company's 150 266 Swindon bound at 1140.  Also present was Arriva's 158 819.
 
 
BIRMINGHAM NEW ST   170 501, 220 017, 390 013
WOLVERHAMPTON  390 009 "Treaty of Union"   [ STAFFORD   220 121, 221 142 ]
NORTON BRIDGE JN  350 103                                  [ STOKE ON TRENT   DR77002 ]
STOCKPORT  390 046 "Virgin Soldiers"


Nearly 300 trains a day thunder beside the bedroom windows of 15 Buttercup Drive, Adswood. It so close to the railway lines that the crockery rattles about once every four minutes and the windows are triple-glazed to keep out the noise.



From The Independent of Saturday 18 July 1992

IT IS perhaps not the most desirable residence in Stockport. The main Manchester-London railway line runs on an embankment along one side of the garden. On the other, a heavy duty goods line [ shown in red on the map above] passes within 60 feet of the house.

Nearly 300 trains a day thunder beside the bedroom windows of 15 Buttercup Drive, Adswood. It so close to the railway lines that the crockery rattles about once every four minutes and the windows are triple-glazed to keep out the noise.

But to a train spotter, the house is paradise and five Stockport members of the Thermos fraternity have clubbed together to buy it. Initially, it will be a place to hang up their anoraks and observe passing Class 60 locomotives. Eventually they plan to turn it into a shrine to Tizer, notebooks and Brownie cameras.

Mel Thorley, 45, a British Rail train driver, watched the house being built from the cab of passing suburban trains. This year he, his uncle Eric, 78, and three friends raised pounds 56,000 to buy it as a train-spotting base. Eric Hobson, who sold his own house, will live there. 'We want the house to be a shrine to the memory of everyone who has stood at this place in the past with their Tizer and crisps,' Mr Thorley said.

'This is one of the prime train enthusiasts' spots in the country, and the first time for 33 years we have had a chance to move in on it.'

The house, named 'Crossbridges', stands at the intersection of two major rail lines. The triangular garden is bounded on one side by the old London North Western Railway, from Euston to Manchester Piccadilly, which still carries all the main south-north passenger and freight traffic.

Along the other edge of the garden is the old Midland Railway from London St Pancras to Manchester Central. It was closed to passenger traffic in 1968 but still carries three freight trains a day. At the apex of the garden the two lines cross at a bridge.

In the 1930s the intersection was open pasture and a big draw for train spotters but in the 1940s a housing estate was built, blocking access. Last year Stockport council demolished it and sold the land to a housing developer.

After putting down a deposit, the train spotters persuaded the developer not to screen the railway lines with embankments, trees or fences. The result is an uninterrupted view of diesel electrics, track maintenance vehicles, freight trains and excursions for 22 hours a day. 'It is great. There is only one window of the house from which you can't see any trains,' Mr Thorley said.

'There is triple glazing, but we usually leave at least one window open so that we can hear the trains coming.

'This must be one of the best spotting places in the country. Nowadays we don't write the numbers down, but we always have a look to see what's passing. There is always something new. Occasionally even the Midland line can still turn up a train we've not seen before. Once we had a Scottish loco go past, and that was really exciting.'





While waiting for 221 122 ( formerly "Dr Who" ) to take me to Manchester I noted 220 033 departing for Bristol Temple Meads at 1125, First Great Western's 158 749 departing for Brighton at 1131 and the same company's 150 266 Swindon bound at 1140. Also present was Arriva's 158 819.

MANCHESTER PICCADILLY 1359
1416
A 17 A
While waiting for 185 119 to take me to Oxenhome I noted 185 121, 185 128, 185 151
SALFORD CRESCENT  150 121, 150 142
BOLTON  142 046, 185 124
PRESTON  57 302 "Virgil Tracy", 150 140, DR73901
CARNFORTH  37 261
OXENHOLME 1528
1538
185 109 haulage to Windermere
WINDERMERE  1600


WEDNESDAY 23 JUNE 2010



   185 124 was noted at Windermere station on the way to Lakeland Limited although most of Wednesday 23 June 2010 was spent downhill at Bowness andacross Lake Windermere.
 
 
185 124 was noted at Windermere station on the way to Lakeland Limited although most of Wednesday 23 June 2010 was spent downhill at Bowness andacross Lake Windermere, firstly aboard the MV Swan

At 10.5 miles long and 200 feet deep in places, Windermere is both the largest lake in England and an official public highway.


At 10.5 miles long and 200 feet deep in places, Windermere is both the largest lake in England and an official public highway. 

For centuries Lake Windermere supported commercial traffic associated with slate and copper mining, timber, wool and fishing and in the early 1800s White and Gibson of Ambleside operated a sailing package service.  Their vessels carried passengers and general goods between Bowness, the Hawkshead Ferry, Newby Bridge and Ambleside, where service connected with the Lancaster to Whitehaven stagecoach.  The full journey took 3.5 hours and return fares were 1/- Ambleside to Bowness,  Ambleside to the Hawkshead Ferry  1/6 and Ambleside to Newby Bridge 3/-.  Considering that an agricultural worker earned around 6/- a week at that time, fares were very high.  Other ferry operators, including John Braithwaite of Bowness, rowed passengers up and down Lake Windermere, exchanging people and goods at Hawkshead ferry.


William Wordsworth fiercely opposed the launching of the first steamer - Lady of the Lake - in 1845 but the ceremony - pictured above - at Newby Bridge, reported in the Illustrated London News, was attended by many famous people including local sociologist Harriet Martineau and Lord Cavendish.



William Wordsworth fiercely opposed the launching of the first steamer - Lady of the Lake - in 1845 but the ceremony - pictured above - at Newby Bridge, reported in the Illustrated London News, was attended by many famous people including local sociologist Harriet Martineau and Lord Cavendish.

Lady of the Lake, built by Richard Ashburner of Greenodd for the Windermere Steam Yacht Company, was the first steamer to operate on an English lake and was originally designed as a screw steamer. However, the water at Newby Bridge was too shallow so paddles were used to reach to the terminus at the Swan Hotel along the River Leven.

 Lady of the Lake was 80 feet in length with a beam of 11 feet 6 inches, a depth of 6.4 feet and a 20 bhp steam engine. Built of wood with a short bowsprit and white figurehead, her tall slim funnel - placed aft of the paddle boxes - was painted black with a broad white stripe. Her hull was finished in black and gold and those among her 200 passengers travelling First Class were able to enjoy a luxurious saloon fitted with mirrors and carpets.

The band of the Kendal Cavalry entertained passengers on the maiden voyage to Ambleside and dancing took place on the top deck.  Lady of the Lake continued in service until 1865.

The Windermere Steam Yacht Company launched a similar steamer, Lord of the Isles, in 1846.  Unfortunately she was destroyed by fire in 1850 while moored at Bowness Pier.

In 1847 a second company, the Windermere Iron & Steamboat Company, was formed to run cruises in conjunction with the newly opened Kendal to Windermere Railway.  The branch attracted many holidaymakers and in its first full year carried 120 000 passengers.  The combined population of Windermere and Bowness in 1851 was 2 085 but had grown to 4 613 by 1891.

At 2100 at Low Wood near Ambleside on 1 August 1849 the Windermere Iron & Steamboat Company launched Firefly, a 75 foot long steamer constructed by McConochie & Claude of Liverpool.  Firefly was economical to run, required only half the crew, burned a quarter of the coal and was faster than her rivals.


The Windermere Iron & Steamboat Company commissioned a second vessel, the Dragonfly -pictured above - which was launched in November 1850. She was the largest steamer on the Lake, 95’ in length and 16.5’ wide.


The Windermere Iron & Steamboat Company commissioned a second vessel, the Dragonfly -pictured above - which was launched in November 1850.  She was the largest steamer on the Lake, 95’ in length and 16.5’ wide. 

With the arrival of faster ships, competition between the companies began in earnest.  Fares were slashed, touts employed at the piers (later to be banned by the Bowness Local Government Board) and thousands of handbills were distributed.

Lady of the Lake was slower than her rivals and often when Dragonfly passed her on Windermere, the latter’s band struck up “The Girl I Left Behind” – a popular song of the day – much to the amusement of those on board who hurled amiable insults at each other as they drew level.  After years of wasteful competition the two companies joined forces as the Windrmere United Yacht Company in 1858.

In 1865 the Furness Railway Company resolved to build a branch line from Ulverston to Newby Bridge and on 16 July 1866 an Act of Parliament was obtained to authorise the works.  The line extended to a steamer/train interchange at Lakeside and the first official train to work over the whole line, hauled by locomotive number 21, ran from Barrow in Furness on 1 June 1869.

Other vessels introduced during the second half of the 19th Century included the Rothay built by the Lancaster Shipbuilding Company in 1867 as the last paddle steamer for service on Lake Windermere.  The components were taken to the port of Greenodd by the steamer Duchess of Lancashire and transported by horse and cart to Newby Bridge for assembly.  The ship had a rudder at each end to help it navigate the shallow waters of the River Leven at Newby Bridge. Rothay was scrapped in 1891.

Seath and Company of Glasgow were awarded a contract to build Swan, a 147’ long coal fired iron hulled steamer with a capacity for 488 passengers launched in 1869. Swan sank at her moorings at Lakeside in a gale in 1893 and, a few years later, sank again after a collision with Tern off Storrs Hall.  Her most famous misfortune occurred on 27 September 1909 when she ran aground at Belle Grange in fog.  She was refloated two days later when Tern and Swift in tandem towed her back into the water.

In 1871 the Furness Railway Company purchased the cargo steamer Raven from Seath and Company to carry mail, coal, timber, farm produce and general cargo to the houses, hotels and businesses around the lake and to railway warehouses at Bowness and Ambleside. During the winter she acted as an ice breaker for the steamers which operated an all-year-round timetable until 1921.  In 1922 Raven was withdrawn from service and sold to Vickers Armstrong of Barrow in Furness for testing mine-laying equipment.  Eventually, after being abandoned at Lakeside for many years, she was saved for preservation, restored and is currently exhibited at the Windermere Steamboat Museum.  She is the second oldest ship on Lloyd’s Register and the oldest with her original machinery.

In July 1878 the Board of the Furness Railway resolved to build two more steamers at a cost of 3 400 each “there being 12 000 in the steamer depreciation account.”  The contract was awarded to the Barrow Shipbuilding Company who constructed near identical vessels, Cygnet and Teal, which were launched at Lakeside in 1879 as the first steel hulled vessels on Windermere.  Teal,  launched on 5 June, weighing 52 tons and measuring 100' long by 14' wide, was fitted with a two cylinder steam engine able to propel 336 passengers at 11.5 knots and was scrapped in 1929.

Cygnet was converted into a paraffin powered motor vessel in 1923 before being withdrawn from service in 1936.  However, she was used for occasional charter and relief work until the Second World War and, in 1947, was used during the summer season when government austerity restrictions called a temporary halt to the running of coal fired steamers



Traffic on the lake continued to grow rapidly during the Victorian era and in 1890 the Furness Railway commissioned Forrest & Sons of Wyvenhoe, Essex, to design and build a new steamer. Originally to have been called Swallow, a last minute change of heart resulted in the vessel being named Tern. Launched in June 1891 with a passenger capacity of 633, Tern still sails today as the flagship of the Windermere fleet - above - and is seen below in original condition.


Traffic on the lake continued to grow rapidly during the Victorian era and in 1890 the Furness Railway commissioned Forrest & Sons of Wyvenhoe, Essex, to design and build a new steamer.  Originally to have been called Swallow, a last minute change of heart resulted in the vessel being named Tern.  Launched in June 1891 with a passenger capacity of 633, Tern still sails today as the flagship of the Windermere fleet - above - and is seen below in original condition.


Traffic on the lake continued to grow rapidly during the Victorian era and in 1890 the Furness Railway commissioned Forrest & Sons of Wyvenhoe, Essex, to design and build a new steamer. Originally to have been called Swallow, a last minute change of heart resulted in the vessel being named Tern. Launched in June 1891 with a passenger capacity of 633, Tern still sails today as the flagship of the Windermere fleet - above - and is seen below in original condition.


Ten years later, Swift, the last of the coal fired steamers, was commissioned.  The largest vessel ever built for Lake Windermere service, she was launched in 1900 at a cost of 9 500 with steam compound engines developing 63.75 nautical horsepower and carried 781 passengers.  Swift sailed as a steam vessel until 1956 when her boiler burst and British Rail installed Glennifer diesel engines in time for the 1957 season.  She continued in service until 1981 when she was laid up at Lakeside.  Despite attempts to preserve her, Swift was broken up in 1999.  Swift is pictured below at Lakeside.


Ten years later, Swift, the last of the coal fired steamers, was commissioned. The largest vessel ever built for Lake Windermere service, she was launched in 1900 at a cost of  9 500 with steam compound engines developing 63.75 nautical horsepower and carried 781 passengers. Swift sailed as a steam vessel until 1956 when her boiler burst and British Rail installed Glennifer diesel engines in time for the 1957 season. She continued in service until 1981 when she was laid up at Lakeside. Despite attempts to preserve her, Swift was broken up in 1999. Swift is pictured below at Lakeside.


The steamers continued under Furness Railway ownership until Grouping in 1923 when they became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway.  In 1935 the LMS resolved to update and improve the Windermere fleet.  A new motor vessel, Teal - seen below - was ordered from Vickers Armstrong of Barrow in Furness, dismantled, rebuilt and launched at Lakeside on 4 July 1936. 

A small ship by Vickers standards, Teal - the first new passenger steamer on Lake Windermere since 1900 - measured 141' long, displaced 250 tons and was powered to 11 knots by two diesel engines.  She operated as a two class ship with first and second accommodation for a total of 877 passengers on three decks. Her moment of glory came in August 1956, when she carried Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh from Ambleside to Bowness.  In 1990 the Queen kindly consented to resign the photograph displayed on the ship to commemorate her visit.



The steamers continued under Furness Railway ownership until Grouping in 1923 when they became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. In 1935 the LMS resolved to update and improve the Windermere fleet. A new motor vessel, Teal - seen below - was ordered from Vickers Armstrong of Barrow in Furness and launched at Lakeside on 4 July 1936. A small ship by Vickers standards, Teal displaced 250 tons and had room on board for 877 passengers. She operated as a two class ship with first and second accommodation on three decks. Her moment of glory came in August 1956, when she carried Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh from Ambleside to Bowness. In 1990 the Queen kindly consented to resign the photograph displayed on the ship to commemorate her visit.


The steamers continued under Furness Railway ownership until Grouping in 1923 when they became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. In 1935 the LMS resolved to update and improve the Windermere fleet. A new motor vessel, Teal - seen below - was ordered from Vickers Armstrong of Barrow in Furness and launched at Lakeside on 4 July 1936. A small ship by Vickers standards, Teal displaced 250 tons and had room on board for 877 passengers. She operated as a two class ship with first and second accommodation on three decks. Her moment of glory came in August 1956, when she carried Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh from Ambleside to Bowness. In 1990 the Queen kindly consented to resign the photograph displayed on the ship to commemorate her visit.


Teal proved so popular that in the following year the LMS commissioned a sister ship, Swan, also constructed by Vickers Armstrong.  This vessel - pictured below - made her maiden voyage on 24 June 1938 when she carried delegates to the 37th Annual Conference of the Municipal Tramways and Transport Association on a charter from Lakeside.  Both vessels operate today under the Windermere Lake Cruises flag and have been much improved with new engines fitted in recent years.
 

Teal proved so popular that in the following year the LMS commissioned a sister ship, Swan, also constructed by Vickers Armstrong. This vessel - pictured below - made her maiden voyage on 24 June 1938 when she carried delegates to the 37th Annual Conference of the Municipal Tramways and Transport Association on a charter from Lakeside. Both vessels operate today under the Windermere Lake Cruises flag and have been much improved with new engines fitted in recent years.



For many years control of the steamers was in the hands of Captain A.E. Willmott DSC, the District Marine Manager and Harbour Master at the Port of Heysham, Lancashire.  His Windermere based assistant was Marine Engineer Foreman Richard Jones.  After serving as an engineer on Elders and Fyffes banana boats, Mr Jones joined the LMS and was posted to Windermere in 1935.  Other than wartime service as a RNR officer ( when he was decorated ) he remained with the steamers until his retirement in 1967.

Passenger numbers increased dramatically in the years immediately after the Second World War and the Windermere steamer fleet passed into the custodianship of the British Transport Commission on 1 January 1948.

In the 1950s British Railways ran regular excursions including one from Birmingham on summer Sundays for 1.00 per adult return.  Passengers joined the train in the morning for a trip to Windermere station where they were allowed time for shopping before boarding a steamer at Bowness for a lake cruise via Ambleside before boarding their return train at Lakeside, arriving back at Birmingham at 0100.

On 1 January 1963 the British Railways Board, under the Chairmanship of Dr Richard Beeching, took over responsibility from the BTC.

The branch line railway from Ulverston to Lakeside closed on 5 September 1965 leaving the steamers without a direct main line rail link.  However, this branch was re-opened as the preserved Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway with the first train running on 5 May 1973.

In 1970 British Rail’s marine division was renamed Sealink and the Windermere operation rebranded “Sealink Windermere.”  In 1984 Sealink Windermere was privatized and passed into the ownership of the international shipping conglomerate Sea Containers who renamed it “The Windermere Iron Steamboat Company” thus resurrecting a name from 1847.

Control of The Windermere Iron Steamboat Company passed to the Sea Containers subsidiary Orient Express Hotels and in May 1993 the company returned to private local ownership with the Bowness Boating Company.  Today historic steamers sail alongside elegant launches such as Miss Lakeland, Miss Cumbria and Queen of the Lake.  Collectively the company operates under the Windermere Lake Cruises house flag and services operate all year round.  The 1/48 scale models of MVs Swan and Tern pictured below are on show at Bowness pierhead.

 


  
 Control of The Windermere Iron Steamboat Company passed to the Sea Containers subsidiary Orient Express Hotels and in May 1993 the company returned to private local ownership with the Bowness Boating Company. Today historic steamers sail alongside elegant launches such as Miss Lakeland, Miss Cumbria and Queen of the Lake. Collectively the company operates under the Windermere Lake Cruises house flag and services operate all year round. The 1/48 scale models of MVs Swan and Tern pictured below are on show at Bowness pierhead.


Returning to Lakeside after visiting the new Motor Museum, the arrival of MV Teal happily coincided with the arrival of a train from Haverthwaite hauled by 42073, a 4MT 2-6-4T introduced to the London Midland and Scottish Railway by C.E. Fairburn in 1945. These locomotives can be distinguished from the 1935 vintage Stanier 4MT 2-6-4Ts by the vertical gap in the running plate ahead of the two cylinders. Brighton built 42073 also features a self cleaning smokebox and carries the 56E shedplate of Sowerby Bridge.
 
 
Returning to Lakeside after visiting the new Lakeland Motor Museum at Backbarrow, the arrival of MV Teal happily coincided with the arrival of a train from Haverthwaite hauled by 42073, a 4MT 2-6-4T introduced to the London Midland and Scottish Railway by C.E. Fairburn in 1945.  These locomotives can be distinguished from the 1935 vintage Stanier 4MT 2-6-4Ts by the vertical gap in the running plate ahead of the two cylinders.  Brighton built 42073 also features a self cleaning smokebox and carries the 56E shedplate of Sowerby Bridge.
  

THURSDAY 24 JUNE 2010

 
 
 WINDERMERE 0850  185 101 to Oxenholme
 OXENHOLME  0906
0911
C 03 A
 185 102 to Manchester Piccadilly
 CARNFORTH  37 261  [ LANCASTER 221 109 ]
PRESTON  153 328, 156 461   Northern Rail Adelantes noted between  Preston and Salford Crescent
SALFORD CRESCENT  185 140  [ OXFORD ROAD 140 062 ]
MANCHESTER PICCADILLY  1227
1307
C 50 A
While waiting for 221 124 to take me to Cheltenham I noted 142 045, 175 003, 185 147, 221 137, 323 327, 323 328, 390 040 "Virgin Pathfinder"
STOCKPORT  323 238, 390 053 "Mission Accomplished"
STOKE ON TRENT  153 319   [ STAFFORD DR 73901,DR77002 ]
WOLVERHAMPTON   66 230, 390 040 "Virgin Pathfinder"  [ SOHO 08 805, 350 251 ]
BIRMINGHAM NEW ST   390 020"Virgin Cavalier" [ KINGS NORTON  DR80212 ]
 
   
 
LAKELAND AIR

Departure, arrival and changing stations and haulage in bold.

 STATION  DEPART  NOTES
THURSDAY 22 JULY 2010
 CHELTENHAM  0957
C 55 A
While waiting for 170 673  to take me to Birmingham New Street I noted 158 766 and 158 769 ( both First Great Western ) 158 884 ( in South West Trains livery but used by FGW ) and Arriva Cross Country's 221 133 and 221 141 bound for Plymouth and Manchester Piccadilly respectively
BIRMINGHAM NEW STREET 1045  221 104 "Sir John Franklin", 221 126, 350 125
BIRMINGHAM NEW STREET 1057
C 20 A
220 021 to Manchester. [ 08 805 SOHO DEPOT]
WOLVERHAMPTON 66 0404, 66 091, 158 882, 390 021 "Virgin Dream"
STAFFORD 66 566 ( Freightliner)
STOKE ON TRENT 390 039 "Virgin Quest"
STOCKPORT 156 483, 185 147, 390 011 "City of Lichfield"
MANCHESTER PICCADILLY 1239 170 309, Track Machine 75116
MANCHESTER PICCADILLY 1246
C 28 A
185 150 to Preston [ 175 002 OXFORD ROAD ]
PRESTON 1333 57 310 "Kyrano", 66 413
PRESTON 1341
B 33 A
390 014 "City of Manchester" to Oxenholme
LANCASTER 221 107 "Sir Martin Frobisher",
OXENHOLME 1408 390 025 "Virgin Stagecoach"
OXENHOLME 1427 185 133 to Windermere
WINDERMERE 1446


SATURDAY 24 JULY 2010


Britain's armed services were well represented with the Royal Air Force offering, among many attractions, this replica cockpit of a Hawker ( later BAe) Harrier GR3.  The GR3 was a development of the Harrier GR1 which, when deployed by 1 Squadron RAF in 1969, became the first jet fighter bomber capable of vertical take off and landing.  The GR3 offered a more powerful version of the Rolls Royce Pegasus turbofan engine as well as improved attack sensors and electronic countermeasures in the ground attack and Close Air Support role.


As might be expected from the pun at the start of this section, my second visit to Cumbria in 2010 was timed to coincide with the 10th annual Windermere Air Show.  However, due to low cloud and drizzle, flying was restricted to Sunday - leaving the ground exhibits in the Saturday spotlight.  

Britain's armed services were well represented with the Royal Air Force offering, among many attractions, this replica cockpit of a Hawker ( later BAe) Harrier GR3.  The GR3 was a development of the Harrier GR1 which, when deployed by 1 Squadron RAF in 1969, became the first jet fighter bomber capable of vertical take off and landing.  The GR3 offered a more powerful version of the Rolls Royce Pegasus turbofan engine as well as improved attack sensors and electronic countermeasures in the ground attack and Close Air Support role.

The simplicity and flexibility inherent in the Harrier design proved their worth in service in West Germany during the Cold War .  Rather than being tied to a long, paved fixed runway which were vulnerable to attack, Harriers could be deployed to short, rough strips of ground and hidden under camouflaged netting from which they would attack the enemy's approaching armoured formations.

RAF Harriers were also deployed to the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Hermes as part of the Task Force sent to recapture the Falklands Islands in 1982, using basic landing grounds and flying in weather conditions which would have defeated other aircraft.  Similarly, Harriers have flown with the RAF over terrain as diverse as Norway and Belize.


CMP truck production in Canada exceeded the total military truck production of Nazi Germany where GM subsidiary Opel and Ford-Werke AG had been pressed into service by Albert Speer.  The British official history of the war argued that the production of soft-skinned trucks, including the CMP truck class, was Canada's most important contribution to the eventual Allied victory.  CMP trucks served in virtually all the theatres of World War II and were also lend-leased to the Soviet Union after 1941.


Going further back into history was this Chevrolet "Pekinese" Canadian Military Pattern truck, illustrating the manufacturing might of the Dominion in the struggle for Allied victory over its Axis enemies.

German re-armament in the mid 1930s led to discussions between the British War Office and the Canadian Army concerning the possible production of military vehicles in Canada. During the 1914-1918 conflict there had been a Canadian corps in the British Army and it was assumed that Canadian forces would again be tightly integrated with those of the Mother Country in any future war.  As such, it would be essential that Canadian-manufactured equipment be compatible with British standards and specifications.

Early in 1937, the Ford Motor Company and General Motors of Canada were each invited by the Canadian Department of Defence to produce a Canadianized prototype of a 15 hundredweight light infantry truck that had then been recently adopted by the British War Office.

However, by 1938 Canadian military authorities had shifted their interest to heavier 4x4 and 6x4 designs and in that year Ford and GM were invited to produce prototypes of a 6x4 medium artillery tractor derived from the British 6x4 Scammell Pioneer.

By 1939, plans had been prepared for the mass production in Canada of a range of military vehicles based on fairly strict British specifications. These trucks were originally designated "Department of National Defence (DND) Pattern"; however, when production volumes increased and it became clear that the Canadian-built vehicles were to serve widely in the forces of other countries, the class of trucks was redesignated "Canadian Military Pattern (CMP)".

Canadian military truck production included both modified civilian designs as well as purely military types based on the CMP specification in roughly equal numbers. Truck production was focussed on a broad range of medium-capacity vehicles with jeeps - and trucks larger than 3 tons in capacity - required by the Canadian Army purchased from U.S. suppliers

At the outbreak of World War II, Canada's relatively large and modern automobile industry was shifted over to the production of military vehicles, not least for the replacement of vehicles abandoned by the British Expeditionary Force in the retreat from Dunkirk.
The Chevrolet division of General Motors of Canada Ltd and the Ford Motor Company of Canada displayed an unusual degree of inter-company collaboration with the use of interchangeable parts, and a number of CMP trucks were assembled from Canadian made chassis and parts in Britain, New Zealand, South Africa, India and Egypt.  The only real difference was the choice of engines, gearboxes and axles by the two companies.

The Ford-built CMP trucks had a 95 bhp V8 petrol engine while most of the Chevrolet-built CMP trucks had an 85 bhp straight six overhead valve engine, although an American made GMC straight six prime mover was installed in the C60X 3-ton truck.

Following British convention, CMP trucks had right hand drives even though Canadians normally use left-hand drive vehicles and the cab-forward "pug" noses were an attempt to make a compact vehicle that could be efficiently transported by ship.  However, the use of relatively large North American engines made the cabs of the CMP trucks cramped.

The preserved Royal Canadian Air Force example numbered 42.48330 was fitted with the final Pattern 13 cab, an entirely Canadian design made from late 1941 until the end of the war featuring the two flat windshield panes angled slightly downward to minimize the glare from the sun and to avoid causing strong reflections that would be observable from enemy aircraft.

The CMP specification - including just two wheels per axle - proved versatile and  formed the basis of a wide variety of different truck types and armoured vehicles.   These included the general service (GS) body - seen above - as well as water and fuel bowsers, recovery vehicles, dental clinics, laundries, workshops, radio trucks, boat carriers and anti-tank variants.  Many of the CMP bodies were built by subcontractors in Ontario and Manitoba.

 Just over 400 000 CMP trucks were manuactured in Caada, accounting for roughly half of the 815,729 military vehicles made in Canada during World War II . The most prevalent type was the 4x4 3-ton truck (including models C60S, C60L, F60S and F60L), with just over 209,000 vehicles made. In addition, roughly 9500 4x4 CMP chassis were made, mainly to be used to build armoured cars and other vehicles in Allied countries.  

CMP truck production in Canada exceeded the total military truck production of Nazi Germany where GM subsidiary Opel and Ford-Werke AG had been pressed into service by Albert Speer.  The British official history of the war argued that the production of soft-skinned trucks, including the CMP truck class, was Canada's most important contribution to the eventual Allied victory.  CMP trucks served in virtually all the theatres of World War II and were also lend-leased to the Soviet Union after 1941.

Newly manufactured or modified war surplus CMP trucks were used after 1945 by the armies of many nations and modified examples also found civilian roles in forestry, grain transport, fire fighting and as snowploughs.

Before mankind even walked however, raptors like this Harris Hawk had perfected flying.  Parabuteo Unicinctus, to give its Latin name, hails from Central and South America and is rare in group rather than solitary hunting, with all group members sharing in the captured food. Although still poorly understood as a wild species, it is thought that the Harris Hawk inspired the Native American myth of the Thunderbird and over the last four decades has challenged the European Goshawk as a favoured bird among falconers.  Harris Hawks can be flown in groups, work with dogs and ferrets and can be flown in a wide range of conditions to catch game such as pheasants and rabbits.  Harris Hawks very similar to this Silverband example are flown in Gloucestershire and beyond by Falconry Displays.


Before mankind even walked however, raptors like this Harris Hawk had perfected flying.  Parabuteo Unicinctus, to give its Latin name, hails from Central and South America and is rare in group rather than solitary hunting, with all group members sharing in the captured food. Although still poorly understood as a wild species, it is thought that the Harris Hawk inspired the Native American myth of the Thunderbird and over the last four decades has challenged the European Goshawk as a favoured bird among falconers.  Harris Hawks can be flown in groups, work with dogs and ferrets and can be flown in a wide range of conditions to catch game such as pheasants and rabbits.  Harris Hawks very similar to this Silverband example are flown in Gloucestershire and beyond by Falconry Displays.

SUNDAY 25 JULY 2010

Under a rising cloud base, eyes were on the skies again as a Hunting Jet Provost, Supermarine Spitfire and Short Tucano followed the Breitling Wing Walkers strapped to their Boeing Stearmans over Lake Windermere.


Under a rising cloud base, eyes were on the skies again as a Hunting Jet Provost, Supermarine Spitfire and Short Tucano followed the Breitling Wing Walkers strapped to their Boeing Stearmans over Lake Windermere.

Easier to spot against the still-leaden clouds however were the six Yak 50 monoplanes of the AeroStars - the largest civilian aerobatic team in the UK with 2010 marking their 13th consecutive season. The display commenced with a series of full formation aerobatic figures starting from behind the crowd. AeroStars are the only display team in the UK authorised to do this by the CAA and subsequent set-pieces - such as opposition passes - featured smaller elements of the team.

The Yakovlev design number 50, or the Yak-50, is a single-seat, low wing, single engine, competition-level aerobatic aircraft designed by the Yakovlev Design Bureau in Russia in 1972, the year in which it also first flew.  At the 1976 World Aerobatic Championship Yak-50s took the top two places in the mens and top five places in the Women's competition.   Although never an official Red Air Force asset, the Yak-50 was used as a military trainer by other nations and by many military pilots in s aero clubs sponsored by the USSR.  It offered a far better power to weight ratio than the older Yak-18A and has a better climb capability than many World War II aircraft including the Supermarine Spitfire and North American P-51 Mustang.


Easier to spot against the still-leaden clouds however were the six Yak 50 monoplanes of the AeroStars - the largest civilian aerobatic team in the UK with 2010 marking their 13th consecutive season. The display commenced with a series of full formation aerobatic figures starting from behind the crowd. AeroStars are the only display team in the UK authorised to do this by the CAA and subsequent set-pieces - such as opposition passes - featured smaller elements of the team.

The show stopping finale however came from the Falcons, the parachute display team of the Royal Air Force who leapt from a single engined civilian aircraft ( their more usual Lockheed C-130 Hercules, Boeing Chinook or Westland Puma being kept busy in Afghanistan ) to greet Windermere's Mayor.  On the way down their stack of steerable canopy parachutes was guided by yellow and orange crosses laid out on the Glebe lawn while a flare - visible from 30 000 feet - also produced smoke to indicate wind strength and direction.

The show stopping finale however came from the Falcons, the parachute display team of the Royal Air Force who leapt from a single engined civilian aircraft ( their more usual Lockheed C-130 Hercules, Boeing Chinook or Westland Puma being kept busy in Afghanistan ) to greet Windermere's Mayor.  On the way down their stack of steerable canopy parachutes was guided by yellow and orange crosses laid out on the Glebe lawn while a flare - visible from 30 000 feet - also produced smoke to indicate wind strength and direction.

With the motto "Knowledge Dispels Fear", the twelve RAF Falcons are drawn from the ranks of Parachute Jumping Instructors (PJIs) who train all of the United Kingdom's Armed Forces including the Parachute Regiment, Royal Marines and other specialist units.

With the motto "Knowledge Dispels Fear", the twelve RAF Falcons are drawn from the ranks of Parachute Jumping Instructors who train all of the United Kingdom's Armed Forces including the Parachute Regiment, Royal Marines and other specialist units.

Although the first Parachute Training School was commissioned by Prime Minister Winston Churchill at Ringway, Manchester, in 1940, the Falcons display team can trace its origins back to "The Big Six" formed by PJIs at Number 1 Parachute Training School at RAF Abingdon. The team first appeared at the 1961 Farnborough Air Show and as well as jumping from Handley Page Hastings pioneered mass-exit techniques from the ramps of Blackburn Beverley aircraft.  So popular were the Big Six that the team grew to twelve members and were renamed the RAF Falcons in 1965.

Although the first Parachute Training School was commissioned by Prime Minister Winston Churchill at Ringway, Manchester, in 1940, the Falcons display team can trace its origins back to "The Big Six" formed by PJIs at Number 1 Parachute Training School at RAF Abingdon. The team first appeared at the 1961 Farnborough Air Show and as well as jumping from Handley Page Hastings pioneered mass-exit techniques from the ramps of Blackburn Beverley aircraft.  So popular were the Big Six that the team grew to twelve members and were renamed the RAF Falcons in 1965.

Formation flying - now known as relative work - and helmet mounted cameras were introduced in 1966 while highly agile Strato Cloud Square Ram Air parachutes replaced the older round "Para Commanders" in 1978.  In 2010 the RAF Falcons use state of the art Performance Design Silhouette Canopy and trail smoke from canisters rather than the bags of flour used in the 1960s.

Formation flying - now known as relative work - and helmet mounted cameras were introduced in 1966 while highly agile Strato Cloud Square Ram Air parachutes replaced the older round "Para Commanders" in 1978.  In 2010 the RAF Falcons use state of the art Performance Design Silhouette Canopy and trail smoke from canisters rather than the bags of flour used in the 1960s.

The RAF Falcons have also been known to jump from the Douglas Dakota of the the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and during their three years service with the team the individual members will make about 1 000 jumps, which count towards their qualification as Military Freefall and High Altitude Instructors

The RAF Falcons have also been known to jump from the Douglas Dakota of the the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and during their three years service with the team the individual members will make about 1 000 jumps, which count towards their qualification as Military Freefall and High Altitude Instructors


Two months prior to their pre-season training, the RAF Falcons spend five weeks in California, working on all the military parts of their role as PJIs.  Whilst on this detatchment, the three first year Falcons undertake the Military Camera Course, enabling them to film all aspects of parachuting used in today's armed forces.  Both still and video cameras are used during each jump within the display season, and as well as providing footage for debriefing and analysis it is the job of the Team Cameraman to ensure that the RAF Falcons receive maximum publicity.

Two months prior to their pre-season training, the RAF Falcons spend five weeks in California, working on all the military parts of their role as PJIs.  Whilst on this detatchment, the three first year Falcons undertake the Military Camera Course, enabling them to film all aspects of parachuting used in today's armed forces.  Both still and video cameras are used during each jump within the display season, and as well as providing footage for debriefing and analysis it is the job of the Team Cameraman to ensure that the RAF Falcons receive maximum publicity.

MONDAY 26 JULY 2010

WINDERMERE 0857  185 125 to Oxenholme
Seen at Oxenholme on Monday 26 July 2010 were 66 508, 92 017 ( Eddie Stobart livery) 185 147, 185 149, 185 186 ( to Manchester Airport from Scotland) 221 107 "Sir Martin Frobisher", 221 110 "James Cook", 221 114, 390 014 "City of Manchester" ( southbound, with coupler cover raised at southern end)
Seen at Oxenholme on Monday 26 July 2010 were 66 508, 92 017 ( Eddie Stobart livery) 185 147, 185 149, 185 186 ( to Manchester Airport from Scotland) 221 107 "Sir Martin Frobisher", 221 110 "James Cook", 221 114, 390 014 "City of Manchester" ( southbound, with coupler cover raised at southern end)
Seen at Oxenholme on Monday 26 July 2010 were 66 508, 92 017 ( Eddie Stobart livery) 185 147, 185 149, 185 186 ( to Manchester Airport from Scotland) 221 107 "Sir Martin Frobisher", 221 110 "James Cook", 221 114, 390 014 "City of Manchester" ( southbound, with coupler cover raised at southern end)
Seen at Oxenholme on Monday 26 July 2010 were 66 508, 92 017 ( Eddie Stobart livery) 185 147, 185 149, 185 186 ( to Manchester Airport from Scotland) 221 107 "Sir Martin Frobisher", 221 110 "James Cook", 221 114, 390 014 "City of Manchester" ( southbound, with coupler cover raised at southern end)


OXENHOLME 0910 66 508, 92 017 ( Eddie Stobart livery) 185 147, 185 149, 185 186 ( to Manchester Airport from Scotland) 221 107 "Sir Martin Frobisher", 221 110 "James Cook", 221 114, 390 014 "City of Manchester" ( southbound, with coupler cover raised at southern end)
OXENHOLME 1109 185 125 to Manchester Piccadilly
LANCASTER 221 113 "Sir Walter Raleigh", Network Rail recording train with yellow Class 31s top and tail.
PRESTON 156 428, 180 106 ( Northern Rail )
BOLTON 185 149  [ 142 067 / 142 018 MANCHESTER OXFORD ROAD ]
MANCHESTER PICCADILLY 1227 142 036, 175 004, 185 106, 185 120, 323 225, 323 227, 390 017 "Virgin Prince", 390 020 "Virgin Cavalier".
Seen at Manchester Piccadilly station on Monday 26 July 2010 were 142 036, 175 004, 185 106, 185 120, 323 225, 323 227, 390 017 "Virgin Prince", 390 020 "Virgin Cavalier",
Due to the 1307 to Bristol being cancelled due to a train ahead of it breaking down I was unable to take seat C 16 A but found a seat on the Bournemouth train - 221 123 - as far as Birmingham New Street. The picture above shows the outer end of Platform 4 empty and ready to receive 221 123 which is about to formate with the Class 323 unit next to the buffer stops.
MANCHESTER PICCADILLY 1327 Due to the 1307 to Bristol being cancelled due to a train ahead of it breaking down I was unable to take seat C 16 A but found a seat on the Bournemouth train - 221 123 - as far as Birmingham New Street. The picture above shows the outer end of Platform 4 empty and ready to receive 221 123 which is about to formate with the Class 323 unit next to the buffer stops.
WOLVERHAMPTON
390 040 "Virgin Pathfinder"
BIRMINGHAM NEW STREET 1500 170 113, 170 634, 220 005, 323 221
BIRMINGHAM NEW STREET 1530 170 109 to Cheltenham  
UNIVERSITY 170 639 [ 323 220 NORTHFIELD ]
CHELTENHAM 1620