Monday, June 26, 2006

Tennant 2-4-0's

A lot of my study at the moment relates to passing time and the loss of experiences and information. This really strikes me in relation to 'gricing' too. We have a wealth of railway photography after 1945, and a fair number of pictures for the previous thirty years, but before about 1910 film emulsions couldn't capture moving trains well. Gefore 1880 there are very few railway photographs and they are all of static trains or station scenes.

So we have no idea of what gricing might have been like back in the 1850's or 1860's for example. What would it have been like to stand by the tracks and watch the trains going by 150 years ago? What did they look like? Were they clean or dirty? What noise did they make?

If I was to get a trip in a time machine I'd like to travel back to Darlington in the summer of 1885 - the year Henry Tennant's 2-4-0's were introduced. I know what '1463' here looks like in North Road Museum, but how did she look clattering in on an express of six-wheel coaches at speed? And in the yard there would be Stockton and Darlington Bouch '1001' 0-6-0's shunting coal hoppers and Fletcher '901' class on local passenger trains.

Yes, that might make for a perfect summer afternoon. Where's my fask of tea and sandwiches?

My thanks to Steve Frost for this photo


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