It was wonderful to see the photograph of Midland Compound 41089 entering Ilkeston Junction station in last week’s Advertiser. I have a copy of this picture in my workshop but unfortunately mine does not show the detail of the station steps on the left hand side.
The train arriving was known as the nine o clock (am) stopper and the photo was probably snapped in the summer of 1954. The stopper was frequently pulled by this locomotive, which carried a Burton on Trent shed plate. The train was always turned out immaculately with four beautiful Stanier LMS coaches painted in blood and custard livery.
I wonder who the boy is on the station steps watching this splendid everyday sight in the 1950s. Could it be me, or one of my school friends? I was a junior at Cossall School then and clearly remember that if I saw this train arriving, I knew I was going to be late and in trouble with my teacher, but it was well worth it.
Some years later I learned the reason this ‘Sheffield Stopper’ was so well turned out. It frequently carried British Railways London Midland Regional managers from Nottingham to meetings in Sheffield.
I don’t know who shot the picture, but I thank Eddie and the Advertiser for presenting this ‘time capsule’ and many fond memories of the 1950s when the ‘pace of life’ was less erratic and people more respectful.