Tonight we have another story from retired Engine Driver John Anthony, this time of working a southern stranger on the hills of the Settle and Carlisle Railway.
The spirits that haunt the ancient dales over the “long drag” of the S and C railway, assuaged their anger on me and the CITY OF WELLS that Saturday. They roared and howled at poor “spammy”, they spat and seemed to scream “GO STRANGER!” For indeed, “spam cans” were strangers to these hills, it was foreign territory for them, for they were “Stewart’s Lane” iron. With the storm raging, I was anxious for a clear run past Settle Jct to assist in the ascent to blea moor. “RIGHT AWAY” my fireman shouted, round the R/H bend to Settle Jct. so I gave her the “BIFTERS” and “spammy” responded with full Bullied power. Yes, she misbehaved through greasy Stainforth cutting (don’t they all?) Yes she snorted in her uneven way at the spanking spirits that parried her arrowed flight, but, as she steamed unbeaten into rainy Carlisle I thought, what a magnificent birds these “spam cans” really are!
Many thanks to John for sending this in! John’s contributions can be found on a dedicated web page (please click here.)