Printout of a story from The Last Main Line:

70 years of GCR Memories by J A Evans

Being in my 80th year my memories go back to the early 30's when my father's job brought him to Loughborough. I've always been interested in railway history, and am still a practising railway modeller. We moved to Loughborough in 1933. The GCR was one of six pre- 1923 companies which merged to form the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER). Every Easter, my mother took me by train to visit her relatives in the Hull area, where three uncles and a cousin, who was much older than me, all worked for the LNER. The route was via Nottingham Victoria to Sheffield Victoria where we changed trains for Hull Paragon. A second change took us to Beverley where we actually stayed at the home of one of the said relatives.

Motive power on the GC to Sheffield was usually a B17 'Footballer' 4-6-0 in 1930s LNER apple green livery hauling a train of varnished teak bodied coaches. Onwards to Hull from Sheffield, the usual loco was a D49 'Hunt' 4-4-0. Around 1938 or 9, V2 2-6-2s began to appear on GC expresses, for us as far as Sheffield.

It must have been summer 1939 when we were standing on the platform at Loughborough Central. The noise of an approaching train heading south was heard. The noise became louder and louder and it was clear the train was an express not scheduled to stop at Loughborough. Finally it roared through the station at great speed heading towards Leicester. The locomotive was an early Gresley Pacific 4-6-2, Class A1 in those days with the original 180 lbs. p.s.i.(per square inch?) boiler, a loco type not normally seen on the GC.

24th April 1957, A4 4-6-2, No. 60029, WOODCOCK, failed to complete it's run and had to be removed from the train at Nottingham Victoria. Here we can see the stricken locomotive being shunted out of the way by the station pilot - Gresley designed J39 0-6-0, No. 64715.

24th April 1957, A4 4-6-2, No. 60029, WOODCOCK, failed to complete it's run and had to be removed from the train at Nottingham Victoria. Here we can see the stricken locomotive being shunted out of the way by the station pilot - Gresley designed J39 0-6-0, No. 64715.

Photographed at the LNER station at Belgrave Road, Leicester, this is the 4-6-0 main line locomotive BELVOIR CASTLE, an early example of the B17 Class engines designed by Sir Nigel Gresley which were built between 1929-1937.

Photographed at the LNER station at Belgrave Road, Leicester, this is the 4-6-0 main line locomotive BELVOIR CASTLE, an early example of the B17 Class engines designed by Sir Nigel Gresley which were built between 1929-1937.

Photographed from the Great Central Road girder bridge in December 1977, this is the entrance to Loughborough Central Station.

Photographed from the Great Central Road girder bridge in December 1977, this is the entrance to Loughborough Central Station.