Sandy Transport Society
In November Dave Soggee took us on another visit to the byways seen through his camera lens, in one word it was superb. This year we started the photographic tour in south Wales, visiting the valleys shortly before the end of regular steam workings. We al
In November Dave Soggee took us on another visit to the byways seen through his camera lens, in one word it was superb. This year we started the photographic tour in south Wales, visiting the valleys shortly before the end of regular steam workings. We also saw the remarkable Crumlin viaduct, a tiny train emphasising the scale of engineering work required to take the long-closed line across the heads of the valleys. While in south Wales we visited the Swansea and Mumbles tramway and saw Campbell's paddle steamer Cardiff Castle setting off for a cruise on the Bristol Channel. Baker Street: In the last days of loco haulage with Metropolitan electric locos and compartment coaches to the fore, provided a contrast to today's underground trains. Continuing in southern England we visited the Bluebell Railway. We followed the Blue Belle special train from London in the early 1960s. A further look at the Bluebell Railway in 1969/70 provided an indication of the changes achieved over the past 40 years on a preserved. The setting has changed, the trains have been restored to a high standard, and passenger facilities are now much improved. Railway preservation has not retained overgrown vegetation, nor the former neglected appearance of buildings. A visit to the Chipping Camden branch around closing time showed the line with a few passenger and reduced goods traffic, but as full quota of operating staff. A look at the streets of Chipping Camden showed a town little changed over the years despite the appearance of motor vehicles. The manufacturer's names were reeled off for a line of cars from the 30s, 40s and 50s parked in the main street. Barking in the last days of the RT bus provided an interesting contrast with the recent end of Routemaster buses in London. A view of the yard at Barking Garage showed the wide range of variants on the standard RT bus. Finally we visited the Outer Hebrides travelling on David MacBrayne's mail boat from the mid1950s Claymore, calls at piers en route provided a chance to see traditional cargo handling in progress, before the modern drive through ferry led to the end of loading by derrick or running handcarts across on planks. The island of Barra provided a chance to see the airport set by tide tables. Our visit concluded with a run on a former London transport single deck bus, which served as both the school bus and public transport along Hebridean single line roads. A full house enjoyed wallowing in nostalgia, thanks to Dave's forethought to record the passing scenes.