Archive for the ‘Transport’ Category

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Car

Posted: January 10, 2022 in Transport

Saw this in Bexley High Street last week. It’s the car from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a film made in 1968. It was loosely based on a book by Ian Fleming (of James Bond Fame) called the Magical Car. It starred Dick Van Dyke and was produced by Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli (producer of many of the original James Bind movies).

Agecroft No1

Posted: November 12, 2018 in Trains, Transport, UK, York

Agecroft No 1 was one of three locomotives built in 1948 in Newcastle to shunt wagons at Agecroft Power Station. It remained in service until 1980 when it passed into private ownership. It was bought by the Science Museum at Manchester in 2009 and is now at the National railway Museum in York.

On the day I visited it was hauling a brake van, giving rides to visitors.

So often we concentrate on the big passenger express locomotives but there were hundreds, if not thousands, of engines, like Agecroft that drove our industry during the steam era and are part of that history.



The Dockyard had an extensive railway network



Clocktower storehouse built in 1723


HMS Gannet, a sloop launched in 1878. She became a training ship in 1903 and continued in this role until 1968.


Timber seasoning sheds (1774)


Mast House (1753)








XE8 Midget Submarine Expunger built in 1944 for operations in the far east. It was sunk as an underwater target at HMS station Portland but was salvaged in 1973. It is the only known survivor of its class.


Railway Carriage believed to have been used by General Kitchener during his campaign in the Sudan.


Dockyard Railway equipment










HMS Ocelot, an Oberon class submarine launched from Chatham Dockyard in May 1962. She was the last submarine to be built at Chatham. She was decommissioned in August 1991 and put on display in the dockyard.


A memorial to the 11000 sailors who lost their lives whilst serving on Royal Naval destroyers in WWII.


The storage buildings at the southern end of the dockyard are over a quarter of a mile long


One of these building contains the Ropery, which still makes ropes today










The Garden of Commissioners House, a lovely place to have lunch






Keith and I entered the dockyard through the main gatehouse which dates from 1722.


Figurehead from HMS Wellesley, a 74 gun battleship launched in Bombay in 1815 and named after Marquis Wellesley, Governor General of India and brother of the Duke of Wellington


The Commissioners House was built in 1704 as a residence for the dockyard’s senior officer


The Destroyer HMS Cavalier was launched in 1944 and saw service with the Royal Navy till 1972. She is now berthed in the same dock where Chatham’s most famous ship HMS Victory was built.


Model of Chatham’s most famous ship HMS Victory


Old Dockyard Shops


One of the sheds houses the Royal National Lifeboat Institutions national collection. This is a Watson lifeboat which saw service at Margate in Kent from 1951-81.


Number 3 slip. Originally erected in 1838 as a place where large ships could be built under cover, The slipway was filled in during the early 20th century and used as a place to store boats out of the water


At the time the slipway was filled in this mezzanine floor was added to provide storage space for small boats taken from ships undergoing repairs in the dockyard


3 Slip today holds a collection of Dockyard equipment and machinery


Faster than Sound

Posted: October 16, 2017 in History, Transport


Charles E. Yeager. Photo from U.S. Air Force, Media Gallery, via Wikimedia commons


Last Saturday marked the 70th anniversary of first super-sonic flight.

Charles ‘Chuck’ Yeager joined the US Army Airforce as an aircraft mechanic during the Second World War. In Sept 1942 he transferred to the pilot training programme and graduated as a fighter pilot. After the war, he became a test pilot and on 14th October 1947, his experimental Bell X-1 was dropped from the bomb bay of a B-29. On attaining its cruising altitude of 45,000 ft it achieved a speed of 662mph in level flight breaking the sound barrier. His record was to last until 1953 when Scott Crossfield flew at Mach 2 (twice the speed of sound) but Yeager achieved Mach 2.5 a few months later to regain it.

Yeager continued in his air force career eventually retiring as a Brigadier General.



Aveling and Porter Light Engine 1928

A changeable morning, weather-wise, and so we decide to visit the Thursford Collection, an interesting museum of steam engines, fairground rides and steam organs. These reach their heydey in the years before the First World War but due to developments in the diesel and petrol engine as a result of the war effort, steam engines very quickly became obsolete in the years that followed.



‘Medina’ Showman’s engine 1920


‘Unity’ 1910










Its founder George Cushing had been a farm labourer when he got a job as a steam-roller driver for Kings Lynn Council. Using he savings he eventually purchased a steam-roller from the council and set up his own contracting business. Gradually he added more vehicles to the fleet.


Steam-driven fairground rides


120 key Mortier fairground organ


Portable industrial steam engine used to run machines










In the 1930’s he began buying up steam engines to save them from being sent to the scrapyard. He stored them on a farm which he had purchased. People started to travel to the farm to view his collection and eventually in 1970 it was opened as a museum. It was originally housed in the old farm buildings but eventually, purpose-built buildings replaced these.


‘Edward VII’ Showman’s engine 1905


Clayton Steam Wagon


An appropriate way to travel to the Collection?

Haven’t posted much about trains recently but am looking forward to getting to some gala days this year. In the meantime here is a piece from Locoyard about the spring gala at Mid-Hants, one of my favourite heritage railways

Loco Yard

Good evening,

Tonight we are looking at my shots from this years Watercress Line Spring Steam Gala which with me being on the 35011 General Steam Navigation stand all day meant my chances to get photos were limited. That being said I had 2 photos I wanted to get at the start of the day with the first being this shot of the Mid Hants Railways newly overhauled 41312 a LMS Ivatt Class 2MT hauling the small freight set in the morning. With the overcast conditions and rain I dont think it came out that badly.

Watercress Line Spring Steam Gala 2016 - Ropley (9)The other photo I had in mind at the start of the day sadly didn’t turn out very well, but that being said, despite all the rain and the bitter cold it was a good gala and from my point of view being on the 35011 stand a very successful one. Below are some…

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More space to display even more of the Museums collection. What could be better!

Loco Yard

York Railway Station Queen Street 2013

The City of York Council working with Network Rail, the National Railway Museum and the Homes and Communities Agency have created a “new vision” for York.  The scheme includes various improvements of how the railway station is accessed from the city centre and the redevelopment of the city’s largest (178 acre) brownfield site located behind York Central railway station.  The proposed development would see 2,500 new homes, 120,000 square metres of office space creating 7,000 new jobs and of particular interest to this blog – more space to expand and improve the world’s largest railway museum!

View original post 194 more words


Posted: March 25, 2015 in Trains, Transport, UK
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925 Cheltenham was one of 40 ‘Schools Class’ locomotives built for the Southern Region and which were the most powerful locomotives in Britain at their time of operation. They were named after public schools within the Southern area.



Cheltenham was built at Eastleigh works in 1934 and performed both passenger and freight duties on the Southern region. It was withdrawn from Service in 1962.

Lord Nelson and Cheltenham dual hauling a train northbound on the Mid-Hants Railway


Following its withdrawal it was taken to Eastleigh for a light overhaul and then was on display at the national railway Museum at York until the decision was taken in 2010 to return it to working order. It was restored at Eastleigh and Ropley and entered into service in 2012 on the Mid-Hants Railway.


2 other examples of schools class locomotives are preserved, one, working, on the North York Moors railway and one, on static display, at the Bluebell Railway