Sunday, 28 February 2016

Cheaterfiddle in Cumberland

Greetings strange or sad people who choose to read this.

First off, I make no promises for this to be a sign of this becoming a more regular occurrence, I  shall write entries when I have the inclination to.

Yesterday started off as a straightforward move. Northern £10 offer, collection of bog carts over to Carlisle via a shack tick or two, whip in tractors on the Cumbrian Coast, laugh at inevitable farce, go home. Then two things happenned:
1) The S&C collapsed into the valley below. Not a problem, I'll suffer the bus which will inevitably be slackly timed, thus the plus 1 into the southbound 37 will most likely make. Nothing better to do now is there.
2) On Friday evening, I saw the gen that very much required 08924 would be working at Barrow Hill. That about qualifies as better to do as a decent beezer to somewhere I've not been before with a loco that will be hard to achieve.

So, booked 05:12 out of Grimsby. Into Doncaster 06:23 (actually a bit later due to a minor signalling farce), gronk due to work at 14:00, thus a desire to be a Barrow Hill by13:30 to have a solo run off the dud 02. That means 12:35 from Cheaterfiddle, so 6 hours to do an hour's journey. Over to Manchester using a couple of Northern stoppers as a punt at scooping a unit or two. Usual leap out to Salford Crescent on a train of unspecified operator for legal purposes, you never know who's reading, then a short fester while we see what turns up. A short while produces 150118, so bus stop leap to Salford for the first unit back to get the first score.

150118 at Salford
So back to the right side of the hills on a stopper, an hour at Sheffield to achieve nowt, then down to Cheaterfiddle. Certain readers will appreciate the fun of finding a bus stop. I followed the directions on the Shunterspot site from memory, found one that about matched the description but the signage showed I was wrong, then find the right one up the hill. Usual farce of 'bus showing up a few later than expected - not too worrying on a half hourly service.

Now this is the bit that inspired me to write this. Simon's website and conversations with him have taught me that some towns we have found to be crap on football, Luton for example, days have their positives. I went with an open mind, wondering if this would apply here. It didn't. Cheaterfiddle and the surrounding villages I passed through are all complete shitholes from what I could see. The ground, from what I could see, looked crap and one stand down the side reminded me of the stand behind the goal at Lincoln, only with a few more rows of seats in front of the executive boxes.

The 'bus which transported me through the town and surrounding villages
So into Barrow Hill. Stage 1, whip kettle in with the dud 02, just to make sure of getting it in the book. Good solid thrash off the Peckitt up the short branch and roll back down the hill. Job done. A quick walk around the depot showed a proper roundhouse, full of atmosphere, still being used for something resembling its original purpose. A far better effort than the NRM.

How to make a museum out of a depot.

Onto the main event. The train was now somewhat busier, I can't think now, for the kettle top n tailing the triple heading of aforementioned rather loud 02, embarrassingly still required 03066 and the rare 08924. The 02 and 03 bank at various points uphill, it was deduced that the 08 did provide power for at least a little bit downhill, indeed it did a fair bit on the last trip.

The bizarre triple header. They all worked.

Bus back to Cheats, dropped off from bus near the church with the spire that characterises the town. To avoid spending longer there, I went to Alfreton to come back north, then whipped in the shack tick at Gainsborough Lea Road with its delightful waiting shelters. Goole Boothferry Road end crossover was attempted but failed as the evening terminating unit shunted empty.

Gainsborough Lea Road, with nice wooden shelters

All in all, a good day, scored everything expected plus the bonus 03 and the punt coming off for the 150. See you when I next have something interesting or otherwise to write.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Well here goes for the first entry, and I'll start with the game at Burnley a little over a week ago now. Hopefully future entries will be more prompt, but no guarantees.

As per usual on an awayday jolly, the 05:12 was the sensible move and so was taken with some TPE 170. None of the regulars on board today, so doss to Doncaster for a plus 2 onto a Leeds stopper. Pull into 4, dash across onto the waiting 322 as we arrived a couple late. Connection made, but the train doesn't move. Wait a couple of minutes, guard announces awaiting driver. 10 minutes or so later, driver appears having prepped and shunted the 144 in the middle siding, and about 20 down we are away.

322481 in the book then. The first of these units, albeit essentially a subclass of 321s. Its taken a bit of time, but I hope that I will clear them without really trying on moves such as this, I do it fairly frequently after all. I certainly hope not to be scurrying about after them in 20 years time as withdrawal looms.

A fairly standard run to Leeds, with the guard getting back to release doors promptly at all stations (this can be a problem with guards gripping on this line), though as a trade off not gripped until passing Bellend Road, allowed a little time to be recovered.

Little scope for red pen then with the late arrival into Leeds as most of the potential leaps out had already gone. A couple of earlier trains up the hill to cover though, but both a 158s, so its a Sainsburys breakfast move and onto the three car 158 for the run over the hills. I always enjoy this somewhat underrated and forgotten transpennine route, with its stunning scenery once past Drabford. Upon arrival I spy a new booking office in nearly completed, presumably in readiness for the new service to Manchester.

158758 leaves Burnley Manc Rd on the York - Blackpool N.
A stroll down the road to Burnley Barracks, and a wait in the wait to stick my hand out for the arrival of the train to Hapton. A required 150138 pulls in and the request to stop at Hapton is made to the driver (I like to request set downs to the driver when request stops are in play - two heads to remember are better than one).

150138 arrives at Burnley Barracks on a Colne - Blackpool Sth.
So, onto the first shack tick of the day. Hapton is an unremarkable, two platformed unstaffed station with a road overbridge. Not much to say, so I won't.
So, onto a dud 150/1, for the run to Rose Grove, shack tick number 2 of the day, famous for its goods yards and locomotive depot, one of the last to have a standard gauge steam allocation. Nowadays, much like Hessle, its an unstaffed shack next to a motorway. At least next to the station entrance there is a notice board to remind people of past glories.
Rose Grove - just a couple of goods loops remain from this former vast railway location
After a rather excellent £2.95 veggie breakfast and a visit to a proper Lancashire baker's shop, it is onto the 142 half of the combo returning from Colne for the run to the third and final shack tick of the day at Huncoat. Again, an unremarkable two platformed station, but this time adjacent to a level crossing still controlled by the rather attractive signalbox.
Huncoat box
So, onto the Scouserail 142 for the run into Burnley Central. A passenger focus survey was handed to me on this run, this has been completed with rather predictable responses for the state of the unit.

Into Burnley then, and after the tradition of getting lost in the rather crap pedestrianised centre, I arrived at the Bootleggers Music Club. I rather like this place, it is much more of a pub than a club. I was pleasantly surprised not to be asked for a GBG or CAMRA card to get in, as is the case at many other clubs in the guide, and soon after the contingent from the 09:20 departure from Leeds, joined the fun.
Bootleggers Music Club
A swift one in here, and on to the Talbot. The decent range is pleasing for a near ground pub, and even at 12:00 you could sense this would become busy with Burnley fans, especially given its near ground location. With this in mind, it was just one in here and on to the splendid Bier Huis and into our traditional corner room. It is amazing how quiet this room stays, indeed when I went to the bar I was surprised to see the rest of the pub packed.

So, on to Turf Moor. Given Burnley's absurd admission prices, I had fully intended boycotting this, but given Ben's friend dropped out at the last minute, I did the decent thing. In some respects, I'm rather glad that I did. Approaching the ground, despite it not really being dark, the floodlights were already lit. It was raining. There was a certain bustle. This was going to be real football. No tourists here.
Rather than the traditional minute's silence for this fixture, we had the last post played, and that was probably the highlight.City never really got going, and to be fair neither did Burnley. It was turgid, as a relegation battle should be, if you can call it that in early November. Just after half time, the inevitable happened, and Burnley, who prior to today's encounter were without a league win, scored. They had a blatant shout for an indirect freekick turned down after Steve Harper handled from a clearly deliberate backpass and that was it. It summed up referee Clattenburg's afternoon really, indeed he about suited the standard of play. City huffed and puffed but at no point looked like scoring. Burnley were happy with what they had and help on comfortably.
Ben deserted on about 89, making the sensible decision to go for the 17:12 train in order to be able to get all the way to Barton by train rather than using a bus. I suppose it was plausible that we would score one or even two in the last minute, but it wasn't really on the cards in any was, shape or form. And that was that, Burnley had their win, Bruce appologised via the media, we trudged out to the excellent as usual Ministry of Ale via custard tart-less Tesco.

The 18:12 back produced a run in the dark back to White Shite. I said farewell to Si, attempted to find where Bernard had moved to on the train so as to be able to wave goodbye but failed. A winning 142067 produced on a Sheffield via Bolton on Dearne stopper so was had to Wakefield, then a combination of 91112 and a 185 home.
The winning 142067 on arrival at the newly rebuilt Wakefield Westgate.

In summary, the predictable defeat was what the sort of thing the real Hull City would do. It feels almost as if we have our club back, a feeling that will fade the next time we tip up at a Premier League tourist trap. 

On the railway front, three shack ticks is what was planned and three is what produced. Simples. Three uses of the red pen is a good result, even if one was a 322 which I'm not too worried about at present. The target was one pacer, which is what I got, even if not quite in the way I envisaged.

See you all soon for the defeat at Old Trafford. Or the day out and Manchester pubs, given that I'm not paying £46 to go in that corner, most likely be required to sit down in the four inches of leg room and have continual battles between stewards and supporters. Whilst the home 'fans' tick off their big name players.
Good evening and welcome to 'We're going to lose today'. Inspired by Si's writings about his BRAPA days out, and with his encouragement, I have decided to have a go myself, for my days out purporting to follow Hull City AFC and other antics. We shall include the wonders of the shack ticks, microgricing and use of my red pen, both on and off BR.

Thats the boring introductory bollocks sorted, so I'll get started when I work out how to do it properly with pictures and the like.