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The wan, midwinter, weak sunshine gives the shot a pleasing 'watercolour' effect, so much more attractive than the hyper saturated colour of some digital images. On the right is the Maltings of Magee, Marshall and Co, Brewers of Bolton.The colour is provided by the typical LYR signalbox with its window high in the gable end and the outside 'necessary' at the top of the steps. There is an enclosed canopy covering a crane from above the siding into the building.This engine was allocated to Bacup shed, which prior to closure in 1954, provided the power for the Rochdale station passenger pilot as well as the goods pilots.Until 1952 they ran over the direct Rochdale-Bacup line being the only traffic to use the Bacup Shed to Facit section. It wasn't until August 1958, on starting my first fulltime job, that I was able to afford an Ilford Sportsman 35mm camera with a 1/200th second shutter and f3.5 45mm lens.
Okay, perhaps the steam versus diesel debate may have lost some of its sting over years, but even the most placid spotter still bellyaches about the sad demise of Britain's railways during the Sixties, much of it inextricably linked to the decline of BR's ageing steam fleet and the dastardly Beeching axe. All night shunting in the 1940s, overnight freights in the 1950s and 1960s and now East Lancashire Railway locomotives whistling in Heywood station.This performed very well until superseded by a zoom lens model by Bolex which in my opinion was a very indifferent performer in poor light.The Agfa camera suffered a series of breakages of the main spring and each repair shortened the time that one 'wind' lasted and eventually it had to be retired. As mentioned above, the first camera I purchased in 1951 was an Ensign Ful Vue box camera but only a handful of images remain, including this shot of Class D49/1 62701 Derbyshire at Seamer in August 1952 and this shot (below) shows an unidentified WD journeying along the up main line under clear signals at Rochdale in 1953. The starting signal for the down main line is at clear but the Rochdale Goods Yard Box distant is at caution.Their impressive lines suggest great power, speed and efficiency without the spiky or slabsided shapes as on some other classes and the Belpaire firebox breaks up the otherwise overlong boiler barrel.The West Coast Main Line from Crewe to Carlisle was a magnet for North-West spotters as well as more serious steam locomotive admirers.
When the signalbox was demolished a ground frame was provided to operate the junction.