Previously unpublished unique memories of working steam, during the 60's, on the North Wales
 coast main line by Mike Hall.



It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when my interest in railways started. Suffice to say that I seemed to have accumulated my first Mamod stationary
 steam engine, my first Hornby-Dublo layout, and a collection of Meccano Magazines, well before my 11-plus examinations at Conway Road Primary School.

 I can date the start of the serious spotting by the date of my first Ian Allan locospotters' book (Summer 1956), graduating to a
 series of 'Combis' (Combined Volumes) which lasted until 1963.

 This of course, was the year of the Beeching Report and also coincided with the decline of steam on British Railways and
 probably, therefore, also heralded the decline of my interest in trains.

 But luckily, a true steam loco enthusiast never completely loses his love for the age of steam and it is most encouraging to
 see the resurgence in interest on a national level in recent years.

My interest in trains during the 60s was spurred on, on my arrival at Colwyn Bay Grammar School, by the discovery that several people in my
 class were as interested in steam trains as I was, so, as Crewe Works and similar places of great interest to loco enthusiasts, were
 off limits to the lone teenage spotter, we decided to form the Britannia Locospotters' Club and persuade a Maths teacher who had
 an abiding interest in steam, to act as our chaperone on trips to places such as these, which we otherwise wouldn't have been able to see.

 We even ventured into the field of publication, starting a monthly periodical called 'The Railway Times' which, in addition to giving details of any
 excursions we were organizing, also included short articles on some aspects of local railway history as well as
 giving news of any recent interesting locos which may have ventured onto our locality.

My parents were very tolerant towards my trainspotting, taking me on summer holidays to places, such as London, where the choice of spotting venues was unlimited, and my
 father was used to being dragged around 6G engine sheds on many a cold winter Sunday afternoon.
I usually had my Kodak Brownie camera at the ready, and put it to frequent use.

I was also lucky in living on Prince's Drive, in Colwyn Bay, about 5 minutes walk from Penrhos footbridge - where most of the
 day-to day spotting could be carried out - and about 10 minutes walk from access to the path behind the old Colwyn Bay Hotel, leading
 to Signal Box No. 2,  and a grass embankment which was our base for many a day's spotting and picnicking on summer Saturdays.

 We would be out there for a full 12 hours at a time, some warm summer weekends.
 It was an ideal location for many reasons. Not only did you have a full view of all 4 main lines, with signals for both directions
 a short distance away (providing possibilities of photos if trains were waiting at the signals), but you could also observe shunting
 activities in and out of Colwyn Bay goods yard and catch sight of locos (usually 44389!) labouring up and down the gradient in and out of the tunnel under
 Station Square on a daily basis.

 We could also get a first glimpse of each one of the stream of summer specials to Llandudno as they emerged, one after the
 other, on August Saturdays, from Penmaen Rhos tunnel.
 We would then try, with the aid of binoculars, to determine what kind of engine was pulling each one.

I hope a few of my photos can remind fellow spotters of those happy days.



Class 5MT 0-6-2T No.6604 rests at 6G on April 19th 1965.

Class 4F 0-6-0 No. 44389 waits at 6G for its next duty with snow plough attached on January 20th 1964.

Britannia 70023 'Venus' at Colwyn Bay on May 4th 1963 with the Saturday afternoon Holyhead - Birmingham train.

Another "Brit" 70046 'Anzac' in a very clean condition at 6G, on August 10th 1963.

Coronation class 46237 'City of Bristol' rests at a full 6G on April 14th 1963.

"Crab" 2-6-0 No. 42924 at 6G on April 19th 1965.

English Electric Type 4 No. D235 "Apapa" with the down 'Welshman' at Colwyn Bay on July 18th 1963.

D314 passes 8F 48771 at Colwyn Bay on October 20th 1963 with the Emerald Isle Express.

D317 with the 09.20 Crewe - Holyhead express after leaving Colwyn Bay on February 2nd 1963.

"Jubilee" 45595 'Southern Rhodesia' rests on the back road at 6G without smokebox number-plates or nameplates on
March 7th 1965. Sister engines 45567 'South Australia' and 45689 'Ajax' line up behind also without smokebox number-plates or nameplates.

45567 and 45595 were scrapped at Cashmores, Great Bridge and 45689 was scrapped at Wards, Beighton, Sheffield.
Thanks to David Hughes of Colwyn Bay for this detail. (Information from "What happened to Steam" website)

Royal Scot class 46155 'The Lancer' with a heavy train on April 11th 1963.

Class 3MT 0-6-0 No. 3208, still with snow plough attached, at 6G on March 7th 1965.

Black Five 45243 just outside Colwyn Bay with the 16.30 Manchester Exchange - Llandudno train on July 16th 1965.
This train together with the return Llandudno - Manchester Exchange were two of the few services to remain steam hauled on
 the North Wales coast main line at this time.

Stanier class 5 4-6-0 no. 45027 hauling the royal train empty from Llandudno, enters Llandudno Junction on 9th August 1963.
 In the next bay is Stanier Class 5MT 2-6-0 no. 42978 which is standing by at the head of a breakdown train.

English Electric Type 4 2,000 BHP diesel-electric 1Co-Co1 no. D308 at Llandudno Junction on 9th August 1963.
 This locomotive would later draw the royal train to Conway and Bangor shown below.

English Electric Type 4 diesel no. D308 pulling the royal train out of Llandudno Junction on to Conway, where it will be joined by
 the Queen and Prince Philip before going on to Bangor on 9th August 1963.

'Jubilee' class 6P5F 4-6-0 no. 45723 'Fearless' at Llandudno Junction on 10th August 1963 at the head of a special to Llandudno

'Coronation' Class pacific no. 46250, 'City of Lichfield' stands at Llandudno Junction station at the head of the 9.20am Crewe-Holyhead, alongside
 English Electric Type 4 diesel no. D308, which is at the head of the royal train on 9th August 1963.

Two leaflets from the Britannia Locospotters' Club's excursion to Crewe Works are shown below.

A Birmingham R.C.W. diesel-multiple unit, after arriving at Blaenau Ffestiniog with the 10.20am from Llandudno on 28th August 1963.
 This was one of the many North Wales branch line services which the Beeching Report had scheduled for closure.

An English Electric Type 4 diesel at the head of the up 'Emerald Isle Express' approaching Colwyn Bay on 6th January 1963.

A young enthusiast admires the lines of 'Coronation' class 8P 4-6-2 no. 46228 'Duchess of Rutland' at Llandudno Junction station on
 10th August 1963 at the head of a special to Llandudno.
A rare view of 6G's coaling stage, and water tank above, can be seen in the background.

Class 3MT no. 3208 at Llandudno Junction sheds on 19th April 1965.

Strange partners! B1 Class 4-6-0 no. 61194 & 'Coronation' Class Pacific no. 46228 'Duchess of Rutland' at Llandudno Junction after returning light from
 Llandudno to where they had hauled specials on 10th August 1963

B.R./Sulzer Type 2 Bo-Bo diesel no. D5135 at Llandudno Junction at the head of the summer 1.50pm Llandudno - Derby on 10th August 1963.

  Standard Class 7P6F 4-6-2 no. 70052 'Firth of Tay' at Crewe South on 23rd October 1962.

 Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 no. 45429 at Crewe on 23rd October 1962.

 English Electric 2,700 hp diesel-electric prototype no. DP2 at the head of the 1.25pm Euston-Blackpool & Perth at Crewe on 17th April 1963.

'Coronation' Class 8P 4-6-2 no. 46235 'City of Birmingham' at Crewe North on 17th April 1963.

 BR/Sulzer 2,500hp 1Co-Co1 no. D57 outside Crewe Works paint shop on 17th April 1963.

 Class 4MT no. 80104 at Porthmadog on 28th August 1963.

Brush Type 4 diesel no. D1849 at Colwyn Bay station at the head of the 14.50 Holyhead-Crewe on 16th July 1965.

English-Electric Type 4 diesel-electric loco no. D300 leaves Colwyn Bay with the 9-20am Crewe-Holyhead on 25th October 1962.

 BR/Sulzer Type 2 diesel no. D5010 outside Colwyn Bay on 20th July 1963 at the head of a special from Derby to Llandudno.
 This Saturday mid-morning service, and the return train on a Saturday afternoon, was, at the time, the only regular special through North Wales hauled by a Type 2 diesel.

 BR/Sulzer Type 2 diesel no. D5254 at Llandudno Junction sheds (6G) on 19th April 1965.

 English-Electric Type 4 diesel-electric loco No. D213 at Colwyn Bay station on 4th May 1963.

Standard Class 7P6F 'Brit' No. 70018 'Flying Dutchman' at Colwyn Bay station on 1st June 1963.