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A warning to trainspotters (part 2)

Discussion in 'National Railway Museum' started by National Railway Museum, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. National Railway Museum

    National Railway Museum New Member

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    Just a quick follow up to my posting of a couple of weeks ago on the trainspotters warning sign from Nine Elms locomotive depot.*I have since managed to track down a series of photographs showing the state of the depot just before it closed in 1967.

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    Nine Elms was the main Motive Power Depot for Waterloo Station, but with the end of steam-hauled trains travelling to and from the terminus, the sheds rapidly became obsolete and were demolished soon after closure.*The album of official British Rail photographs shows Nine Elms in a fairly dilapidated state.*Unfortunately, there isn’t a photograph showing the sign in question – but the image above, showing one of the main entrances, does feature similar examples of the everyday, hand painted, made-on-site*signs which adorned the depot.

    To date, we have had one confession from a trainspotter who was apprehended by a British Transport Police constable in the late 1950s, whilst carrying out some covert copping.*Let’s hear your reminiscences of spotting at Nine Elms shed!* Any information will of course be treated in the strictest confidence.


    Filed under: Research [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. std tank

    std tank Part of the furniture

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    I stayed at my cousin's flat by Clapham Junction station for 4 weeks in the summer of 1964. I must have bunked Nine Elms at least six times without any problem, but it was always in the evening.
     
  3. aperture

    aperture Member

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    I passed this depot daily on my way to work in London,via Waterloo Station, late 1940s onwards.
    Grime was the order of the day-winter time,impossible to see through the fog.
    Noise,well pity those that lived around.
    Now of course Covent Garden Flower Market,DHL,Christies,Post Office and assorted buildings.
     
  4. 22A

    22A Active Member

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    Perhaps today's sign would read "Copper thieves and graffiti artists are not permitted in this yard".

    In Bristol alongside Lawrence Hill staion was a goods shed and in 1970 it still had the sign "Steamlocomotives are not to pass this point". Was that scrapped or did anyone manage to acquire it?
     
  5. camraman

    camraman Active Member

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    The photo on this page of the entrance to Nine Elms reminds me of one technique for getting in without being stopped. Behind the central wall section shown was an office and in front of the office was short high wall. If you kept that wall between youselves and the occupants by walking well out of your way, then bingo,you were in. I must say that once past that hurdle I never got challenged.
     
  6. KentYeti

    KentYeti Guest

    A group of us timers went in one day very near the end. I think we'd come up on the overnight mail train. Or some other up train where there was a long wait for the next down steam service.

    Train from Waterloo to Vauxhall and then a short walk. Wandered round at will for a while, chatting to the drivers we knew who were in the lobby.

    It's only after we went to cab the derelict locos that we got apprehended by one of the shed admin staff. Who didn't call the police. Just told us to p.ss off in a very gruff voice. LOL. Very simple and effective way of dealing with us.

    Not sure why we decided to cab the derelict locos. We were all getting plenty of footplate rides at that time. Thanks to a very kind member of the S&T Dept I did actually have a bearer footplate pass for while. Lent to me after he took me for a day out to Bournemouth. Including a footplate ride from Southampton to Bomo on the 10.30 express. "To check the signal sightings". Well Finance Trainees would eventually help account for the money spent on signals. So we had to know how they looked to the drivers! LOL. When my Training Officer found I had the pass he removed it from me as inappropriate to my future calling. "You shoud be spending the evenings studying company law and accounting, not riding around on steam locomotive footplates at high speed". I imagine he handed the pass back to the S&T Training Officer over a pint in the Railway Staff Club. That's how things were done in those days and IMHO the world was a better place for it.

    Some, (not me), even drove stopping trains between Farnborugh ad Hook. Under surpervision of course! I

    I remember that little foray into Nine Elms Shed was led by Les Kent. Who else! And on our return to Vauxhall station we treated all traffic light signals as though they were railway signals.

    Oh to be young, stupid and care free again. In a world where rules were for the guidance of wise men and gricers, and the strict observance of fools.
     
  7. 22A

    22A Active Member

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    In the book "Platform Souls" Nicholas Whittaker states he preferred bunking ex GWR sheds. His logic being the numbers were only four digits long and therefore you spent 20% less time writing numbers down with a corresponding less chance of being caught.
     
    17B and The Saggin' Dragon like this.
  8. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    In the early 1960s I travelled from Corby on a Sunday service to St Pancras for a day's shed visiting with Nine Elms included in the itinerary; after bunking the shed it was a quick walk to Vauxhall to eat sandwiches before carrying on to Willesden and Old Oak Common for the afternoon "session". In those days London Transport sold a bus / tube child Rover was 10/- (50p) and allowed travel out as far as Feltham and Southall which could be covered if planned in advance. These "tours" also saw visits to Stratford and Stewarts Lane made possible.

    In May 1964 I managed to bunk Hither Green; Nine Elms; Willesden and Old Oak Common plus station time at Vauxhall and Paddington; in June 1964 I bunked Willesden, Old Oak Common, Southall, Feltham and Nine Elms; in July 1964 I again bunked Willesden, Old Oak Common, Southall, Feltham and Nine Elms; in February 1965 I bunked Willesden, Old Oak Common, Nine Elms, Feltham, Southall and Stratford; in May 1965 I bunked Hither Green, Nine Elms, Old Oak Common, Willesden, Stratford and Finsbury Park; in December 1965 I bunked Willesden Electric Depot, Willesden Steam Shed,Old Oak Common, Nine Elms, Stewarts Lane and Stratford; in April 1966 I bunked Willesden Electric Depot, Willesden Steam Depot, Old Oak Common, Stewarts Lane, Nine Elms, Hither Green, Stratford and Hornsey and I made my final tour of London in July 1966 when I bunked Finsbury Park, Hornsey, Stratford, Nine Elms, Stewarts Lane, Willesden Electric Depot, and Old Oak Common. Sadly I never carried a camera in those day of change but I did fill my notebooks to record the changing traction.
     
  9. 45076

    45076 Member

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    You must have come from an affluent family? In the early 60s I used a bus only child ticket for 2/6 (12.5p). :):):)
     
  10. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    Sorry No ! It came from my newspaper round which paid 25/- per week which covered the cost of Bus / Tube ticket and 30/- child train fare to St Pancras hence only able to go once per month.
     
  11. OldChap

    OldChap Member

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    nine elms fan likes this.
  12. john34077

    john34077 New Member

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    The Twin Rover (on yellow card rather than the buses only red card) was 10 shillings adult, so 5 shillings child fare.
    If refused permission at Nine Elms, entry could be had from a scrap yard on the West side, if you risked the Alsations, or allegedly from a wood yard further up the road if you risked the third rail (which I didn't! )

    The entrance piers shown in the wonderfully evocative photo of the shed entrance are still there, but without the signs, with the space between them bricked up

    John
     
  13. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    We used to regularly travel around bunking sheds on LT Rover tickets. Starting on a number 47 at the end of Downham Way at silly o'clock in the morning, changing at Liverpool St and on to Stratford we would travel in an anti clockwise direction around North London finishing up at Nine Elms and Stewarts Lane. The day involved 14 changes of bus on a Red Rover, a Twin Rover allowed a slightly different itinerary including Watford Junction and Feltham.

    I never had any trouble getting into Nine Elms as the watchman who inhabited the hut by the entrance had gone home by the time we got there and by 1966 it had become an open house.

    A couple of pictures as a reminder of the old place which like so many British sheds was a semi derelict disgrace.

    IMG_0060.JPG IMG_0061.JPG 14S-76004 Nine Elms 8-7-67.jpg 13S-41298 Nine Elms 8-7-67.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017

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