When Mum wanted my brother and me out from under her feet during rainy summer holidays in the 1950s, she’d fish in her purse for enough money for two child day-return train tickets from Warrington to Crewe, pack us some ‘Cheese-Whiz’ sandwiches, and off we’d go for another great day’s loco spotting among hundreds of like-minded souls at that hallowed venue.
The excitement of wondering which exotic ‘namer’ would take us there was always tempered by the invariability that it would be a ‘Black Five’ 4-6-0, or ’Mickey’ as we called them — but that excitement grew as the maze of tracks spread out on the final approach to Crewe, where all the trains for destinations like London Euston, Glasgow, Holyhead, Manchester and Liverpool converged, and quite often newly overhauled locomotives in shiny new coats of paint would emerge from Crewe Works.
When we grew tired walking from platform to platform, or standing on the footbridge overlooking the goods by-pass line that was known to all and sundry as the ‘Bomb Hole’, we’d sit on one of the many platform postal trolleys that were always lying around and enjoy our packed lunches and perhaps a small bottle of pop each.
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