Yesterday it poured , oh to have the summers of Yesteryear when the sun came out
the last week of April and never went away until the back end of October, happy days of my youth, I could not wait for Saturday, I would board the train at our local very rural station, travel to Newcastle Central, then take the short trip to
Gateshead Sheds, where I would be in total joy collecting the treasured numbers of the rapidly disappearing steam traction, I entered the cab of Mallard no fewer than five times, Sir Nigel Gresley, Bittern ,Union of South Africa,these Icons of the steam age were easily accessible no one chased us as we never caused any damage or vandalized anything , I was 13yrs old when I first ventured to this vast wonder filled stadium that was Gateshead MPD I would purchase my ticket from the station Master at Seaton Delaval, return two shillings and sixpence,half my pocket money but well worth it. I was there rain or shine every Saturday , all were friendly and I often found myself in the cab of a newly steamed Locomotive partaking in the delicious egg and bacon cooked on the huge round shovels used to feed the Firebox with its lifeblood ,Coal.
I was almost killed many times but it never prevented me wandering among the sleeping giants I loved it. Then one day in 1966, a fine sunny summers day my heart was broken,I witnessed ten steam Locos being dragged out of the yard by one of the new diesel electric, destined for south wales, Barry scrapyard,I cried.
Sickened by the sight I made for home,I was standing alone on the platform at
Gateshead when four of Gatesheads finest, embarked upon what was then becoming
fashionable a mugging and guess who was the victim I attemted to defend myself but
was no match for the thugs who stole my camera and 10shillings pocket money,when
they tired of the fun they were having they ran off leaving me with a broken rib
a bloody nose and split lip,this was my introduction to the modern world, I never
returned to the Sheds, there is a housing estate on the site with street names
like Mallard Drive and Gresley Ave , I just thought you might like this tale of
woe, I do miss those days, the relevance to the theme of the post is slight but the meaning for yours truly is massive
Kind Regards Fed