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Report - Exploring by Engine, Liverpool Docks, July 1971

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by Bovine, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. Bovine

    Bovine 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Oct 18, 2008
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    A while ago I submitted a report about exploring Waterloo Dock Goods Yard with a steam engine. This is the other part of the exploring, which is now forty years ago!
    In 1971, a small industrial steam locomotive was restored in the Mersey Docks & Harbour Board's Princes Dock Old Loco Shed. Permission was granted to steam test it, prior to moving it to a preservation society, so on a Saturday morning in July, it was barred outside and steam raised.
    Watched by officials, short test runs and adjustments were made, then they departed, leaving us with a deserted chunk of docks. Using the loco, we explored the British Rail Goods Yard, but then decided to go everywhere that we could! All the Dock Railway lines were closed, so there was no fear of meeting another train!
    It must be true, cos here are the pics!

    Raising steam

    First test run (more atmospheric in B & W)

    On the dock railway main line

    Changing lines, shed in background

    The thing in the foreground is an old sand dryer for the engines rail sanding gear, used to get a grip.

    Lets have a trip to the Pier Head!

    You can't park that thing there!

    On Princes Dock Swing Bridge, The gangplank of the naval vessel was in our way and the captain only agreed to move it if we gave him a go on the engine, - but he wouldn't let us have a go of his boat!!!

    The Engine Shed, with all the trimmings

    Before demolition, after the engine had gone.

    Attached Files:

    Bolts, Baggy trousers, toby and 7 others like this.

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  2. The Bogieman

    The Bogieman 28DL Member
    28DL Member

    Oct 12, 2015
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    Strewth, I was on the footplate firing all day! I'm in a couple of the pics. Only managed to get one photo so to see these after all these years is brilliant. Have often told the story to my wife and kids. There's a lot more to tell... Whist we were running up to Clarence Dock power station and back, HMS Mersey came in and put her gangplank across the rails where we needed to go- across the bridge to where the spare coal was dumped. We slowly drew to a halt by the gangplank and got down and oiled around. After a while, 'scrambled eggs' appeared on deck with a look of astonishment. Next thing he was down on the quay. 'Is my gangway blocking your progress?' 'I'm afraid it is, Sir' 'Pity about that then... (Pause) Tell you what, I'll move my gangplank (pause) if you'll let me have a drive of your engine!' Done!! We got our coal and then proceeded down the track into Riverside Station - the last ever train into there. We then held up traffic on the Dock Road and went across and part way up the tunnel to Edge Hill until Rosie decided we'd give the signalman a heart attack if we went any further. We continued giving friends cabrides for the rest of the day and were just about to drop the fire when one of 'scrambled egg's ratings appeared. 'Scuse me gents, Captain's compliments, would you come aboard for a drink?' We went, with blackened faces and 'scrambled eggs' came up to say we'd fulfilled his childhood dream. There was however something else we could do for him, had we any steam left? Yes, just about and only nutty slack left for the firebox. We ended up running back and forth from HMS Mersey to Princes Dock Entrance for the rest of the evening giving cab rides to VIP's including ladies dressed in their best long frocks... On what a day to remember. Brilliant!!

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Oct 19, 2013
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    Steam Train and old pics of Liverpool, what"s not too love :thumb

    Enjoyed that cheers ;)
    Pollyapple45 and TheTimeChamber like this.
  4. Cuuvin

    Cuuvin 28DL Colonial Member
    28DL Full Member

    Aug 26, 2009
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    Tis a pleasure ta see the old machines alive again ! :thumb thanks for the pics and story ! :D
  5. Nickindroy

    Nickindroy A Porky Prime Cut
    Regular User

    Feb 20, 2012
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    Spot on. :thumb
  6. Severall Hospitals

    Severall Hospitals Sectioned Member
    28DL Full Member

    Feb 9, 2009
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    Really enjoyed this. The best "Trip down Memory Lane" I've ever read. Thanks for sharing Bovine! :)
  7. TheTimeChamber

    TheTimeChamber The other one
    Regular User

    Jun 21, 2010
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    That's awesome. I loved walking around the docks a few years ago
  8. dweeb

    dweeb Super Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Oct 20, 2005
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    Jeez... what a different place the world was then. I envy you for what you have seen in those days. But I suppose any member on here that's 18 and under feels the same way about the asylums. I guess we all get our fair share of epic in our lifetimes.
  9. Coxieboy

    Coxieboy 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Apr 26, 2013
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    Liverpool waterfront in the 70's I can smell the doughnuts...... not all history is exploring old buildings, nice & different report.
  10. skgogosfan

    skgogosfan 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Jun 23, 2006
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    Home Page:
    Thanks for posting - I loved this little history story! The things you could do years ago! :) Try this today and you'd probably need a wad of paperwork and all sorts of permissions,and the HSE would probably still have a fit lol! The docks looked *so* different back then - you wouldn't recognize them today,sadly.

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