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In the Library we hold a set of glass lantern slides covering mainly ex-North Eastern Railway territory and predominantly, but not exclusively, of York. The original purpose of the slides is unrecorded as is their source although logically they were a set collated by someone, possibly from the York HQ railway staff, for the purpose of making a talk. For the Centenary of the Society in 2009 we took a panel containing pictures from a 100 years of York's railway history to the York Model Railway Show together with a further set, shown below, of mystery excursion traffic photographs. Overall the set is predominantly of York but early examination proved these were not York therefore investigative work to find Location X began.
1) As presented - the panel with photo and text, shown here reduced from A3 size.
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As the pictures were viewed it began to emerge that this was probably Doncaster but something was still not right. If, as appeared most likely, the picture top left above was looking south into the Doncaster Works Yard with "the Plant " in the background why is there what appears to be a North Eastern Railway signal smack in the centre of a prime GNR site?
2) Discovery of the backwards image!!!
This is Library Ref SLSLNE2203 - The second image is of an ex-GCR 4-6-0 (locomotive number (thought originally to be possibly
No 2203) on an antique rake of four wheel coaches. However we now know that the image was reversed and the locomotive on the 4 wheel stock positively Identified as B4 4-6-0 No. 6095 (ex-GCR). We have also now confirmed all four images ARE the same location. The photo of 6095 has been reversed due to incorrect spotting of the slide in the past. Note the signal is not a North Eastern signal, as had been thought, but a McKenzie & Holland centre pivot somersault signal as used on the GNR.
The last outstanding question now resolved - Is it possible that the
rake of four wheelers was the set of vintage coaches known to have been
displayed in 1925 within the old terminus station inside the York City walls in
connection with the centenary of the Stockton & Darlington Railway? The carriages are a GNR Metropolitan set that were usually used for suburban traffic in to London. It was GNR and and LNER practice to move London suburban set out to other areas during summer weekends for use on excursions. These particular coaches were built around 1904 and were either scrapped or rebuilt as passenger brake vans in the late 20s. (Section updated 29th October 2014.)
Reproduced from original lantern slides held in the SLS Library collection. Please note that the image has had some repair work done digitally to remove scratches but remains work in progress. The SLS thanks those who supplied the relevant information.
4) An LMS Crab number 13028 at Doncaster
Library image Ref SLSLMS13028 - The LMS Crab locomotive No. 13028 is carrying an excursion headboard. These headboards included the departure time of the special and the
destinations it served. Reproduced from original lantern slides held in the SLS Library collection. Please note that the image has had some repair work done digitally to
remove scratches but remains work in progress.
5) A line up of specials in the Doncaster Works yard with "the Plant" in the background.
Library ref - SLSYorkSpecial. A line up of empty excursion stock trains now known to be in the works yard at Doncaster.
From starting with the estimate that the photo's were taken at York the first assessment was that the image above would be in the York Yards to the north of the York Carriage works and looking back south at either the wagon works or the carriage works at York. Initially a position for the photographer just south of the modern over bridge seemed to have cracked it but as time closed in on the deadline for the YMRS the more it was obvious it wasn't York after all, and as others this excursion mini-set were not York either the likelihood was they were all of the same place - but where? The signal looked to be a North Eastern pattern item.
Subsequent feedback from the public has identified the site as Doncaster. The GCR locomotive as No 6095, the event almost certainly a St Ledger race meeting day. from the position of various items common to more than one picture in the set it is believed all were taken originally on the same day.
Date range - The LMS Crab design was first introduced in 1926 and the LNER livery style placing the number on the tender ceased on repaints from 1928 onwards. A date range in the late 1920s or very early 1930s is therefore probable with research now to be ongoing as to delivery, overhaul and repaint dates for the identified locomotives.
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