"They can't cancel the tour", October 1/2nd 1993




A lateish start with a variety of loco and unit power taking us North to Stockport where we bought Greater Manchester rail rangers, the day ticket to the world! A 101 DMU purring nicely, took us to Bolton where we photted 47's at the parcels depot, sadly in its last day of operation.

            31408 staggered back to Manchester Victoria on the Barrow.  A very short 0.74 miles were then sampled behind the livelier 31410 to Salford Crescent.  A 142 back, then a very noisy 37422 on the Southport "club" train which we enjoyed a good run out to Wigan Wallgate. Dino mileage followed but we were concerned on glimpsing a "tour cancelled" notice  at Piccadilly. "Perhaps its a wind up, they can't cancel the tour now" we pondered.

            At Crewe a good few cranks were gathered some hours before the tour was due. The rumours of massive tour tractors and 3 26's featuring were now history as the tour was caped. A Notice at Crewe plus several announcements saw the last tour stalwarts, heads shacking and muttering "they can't cancel the tour"  as alternative plans were drawn up. Apparently the tour organisers had rung my home line around 8 o'clock to advise the mrs, this was far too late for the many people who had 4 hour plus trips to make the tour at Crewe. We couldn't get home from Crewe on a proper train, by tour capeage confirmation time and we joined in a hollow cheer from the 100 or so very stranded tour participants at the 2238, the booked tour departure time. 




Well a rancid overnight was on the cards. To save on the "Friday Saver ching" we joined after midnight a quiet 158 unit for limited doss to Holyhead. At Holyhead it was straight onto the 0320 Holyhead - Brum with 37414 up front. We found the last bay of 4 in the front coach with bashers dossed out in various, almost comical positions. The "grip" on leaving Holyhead was a shout "you all on rovers lads" with a few "yes's", and that was that!

It was a struggle to leave the cosy warmth of the early Mk II and reassuring thrash at Crewe but the East Lancs beckoned! Loads of "dino" mileage followed but we were still darkly depressed from the tour's cancellation and while festering at Levenshume my mate commentated "it's hardy Lairg is it!"

To be fair the East Lancs put on a superb show but the grey, wet weather, our depressed dog tired state made it hard to really enjoy and we dossed out for long periods. 20031, 24054, 25309, 40135, 47402, 50015, 821/832 and even 08479 thrashed nicely. The only loco that didnt thrash was 81002!! which was dragged by the" rat" on at least one round trip. This was perhaps the last ever time a "roarer" has "worked" a train, albeit not under power. Still at least the East Lancs got the 81 out, much better than festering around in some depot near Chesterfield for years on end!

More 304. 305's and 310 mileage took us home, still fighting to stay awake, 87025 was the only loco sampled on the homeward leg. I got home shortly after ten, the girlfriend wryly saying "your early!".


The class 26 farewell tour was organised by Manchester's "Cigar Alley" based "Victoria Travel". It was to depart 2238 from Crewe for Inerness then Wick and Thurso. Return late afternoon from the Far North, 05blip back into Crewe on the Sunday morning. At least 3 26's (on their final day in service)  plus some big 37's Crewe - Perth would have made this a true classic.


011093itinwebr.jpg The tour details, what a tour it would have been..........

Refunds came through quickly, the rumoured reason (never confirmed) was that a bounced cheque for a block tour booking saw the coaching stock supplier refuse the stock (green, Pilkington rake, we think) to leave the sidings. BR had already got the tours loco moves well underway but by 1993 the railway was well broken up and no replacement stock could be found..Writing up these notes 24 years later, the bitterness at the time is still clearly remembered, but a reasonable couple of days bashing, none the less were raked in.


The Phots



0110933040101236stamacwebr.jpg "Dino" power in 304010 at Macclesfield after working the 1236 from Stafford, 011093


01109347471webr.jpg 47471 at Bolton Parcels/mail depot on its last day in operation, 011093      


011093314101648mvbwwebr.jpg 31410 at Man Vic with the 1648 to Barrow, 011093


011093374291715mvblwebr.jpg 37429 at Man Vic with the 1715 Blackpool, 011093

0210933054200751hgmpwebr.jpg More familiar at Liverpool St, 305420 at Piccadilly with the 0751 ex Hazel Grove, 021093


02109350015webr.jpg Looking different in Dutch, 50015 at Ramsbottom 021093


02109340135webr.jpg 40135 runs round at Rawtenstall, 021093


0210933040371711mastokewebr.jpg 304037 during its booked pathing stop at Macclesfield on 021093                                 

The moves:

                                                                                1/10/93 Fr

321405}                     0824 Euston - Northampton                                                        L.Buzzard - M.Keynes


86210        0910 Euston - Birmingham                                                           M.Keynes - Coventry

47829        0934 Reading - Manchester                                                          Coventry - Stafford

304010      1236 Stafford - Macclesfield                                                        Stafford  - Macclesfield

86260        1235 Birmingham - Manchester                                                  Macclesfield - Stockport

51478}      1258 Chester - Wigan                                                                     Stockport - Bolton


31408        1335 Barrow - Manchester Vic                                                     Bolton - Manchester V

31410        1648 Manchester Vic - Barrow                                                     Manchester V - Salford Crescent

142043      1617 Blackburn - Rochdale                                                          Salford Crescent - Manchester V

37422        1735 Manchester V - Southport                                                   Manchester V - Wigan Wallgate

150217      1755 Southport - Chester                                                               Wigan Wallgate - Manchester Ox Rd

53269}      1852 Warrington - Manchester                                                     Manchester Ox Rd - Manchester P


304014      1930 Deansgate - Macclesfield                                                    Manchester P - Stockport

304036      2000 Deansgate - Crewe                                                                Stockport - Crewe

2238 Crewe - Inverness/Wick class 26 farewell tour - caped!!!


                                                                                2/10/93 Sa           

158810      2326 (1/10) Liverpool - Holyhead                                               Crewe - Holyhead

37414        0320 Holyhead - Birmingham Int'l                                              Holyhead - Crewe

304005      0634 Crewe - Manchester Ox Rd                                                 Crewe - Stockport

304040      0721 Hazle Grove - Manchester                                                  Stockport - Manchester P

304040      0756 Manchester - Hazel Grove                                                  Manchester P - Levenshume

305420      0756 Manchester P - Hazel Grove                                               Levenshume - Manchester P

54055}      0818 Manchester - Rose Hill                                                         Manchester P-Guide Bridge


54347}      0810 Rose Hill - Manchester                                                         Guide Bridge - Manchester P            


1011          0845 Manchester P - Bury                                                              Manchester P - Manchester V

1013          0908 Manchester P - Bury                                                              Manchester V - Bury

20031}      1000 Bury - Rawtenstall                                                                Bury - Ramsbottom           


24054        1000 Rawtenstall - Bury                                                                Ramsbottom - Bury

40135}      1045 Bury - Rawtenstall                                                                Bury - Ramsbottom           


40135        1045 Bury - Rawtenstall                                                                Ramsbottom - Rawtenstall

40135        1130 Rawtenstall - Bury                                                                Rawtenstall - Ramsbottom

40135}      1130 Rawtenstall - Bury                                                                Ramsbottom - Bury


08479}      1221 Bury - Depot shuttle                                                             Bury - Depot (and back, 2 rnd trips)


50015        1300 Bury - Rawtenstall                                                                Bury - Ramsbottom

832}           1300 Rawtenstall - Bury                                                                Ramsbottom - Bury


25309}      1345 Bury - Rawtenstall                                                                Bury - Rawtenstall             


25309}      1430 Rawtenstall - Bury                                                                Rawenstall - Bury


1007           1538 Bury - Manchester Picc                                                       Bury - Manchester Picc

305515      1610 Manchester Picc - Manchester Apt                                    Manchester P - Manchester Apt

305515      1640 Manchester Apt - Manchester Picc                                    Manchester Apt - Manchester P

305401      1704 Manchester Picc - Crewe                                                     Manchester P - Stockport

304037      1711 Manchester Picc - Stoke                                                      Stockport - Stoke

310107      1845 Stoke - Stafford                                                                     Stoke - Stafford

87025        1818 Liverpool - Birmingham                                                      Stafford - New St

310104      2036 Birmingham - Northampton                                               New St - Northampton

321430      2138 Northampton - Euston                                                         Northampton - L.Buzzard


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