Cancellation of our Spring Meeting

Meeting in April is cancelled

It is with regret that we have to announce that the meeting we were hoping to arrange for April at the Grantham Railway Club will not go ahead as planned. At present it is unclear when the next meeting will be held, but we will make any announcements here.

The Return to Grantham Magazine

I know that many readers of the Return to Grantham magazine buy copies at these meetings so I wanted to provide an update as to where it can be purchased at the moment.


  • Issue 2 and Issue 3 go the magazine can still be bought through the Lineside Photographics website by following this link.
  • The Grantham Museum is now the only place to buy the magazine in Grantham, and they have limited copies of Issue 2 and did have plenty of copies of Issue 3 last time I checked.
  • Ian Allan in Manchester are still stockists, so if you live in the North West or travelling through Manchester Piccadilly station you can get the latest copy in the shop.

If you have any difficulties purchasing the magazine then please get in touch with me via the form below.

Facebook Group

If you are a Facebook user, don’t forget to join our group to get the latest news and share your pictures and stories about railways in and around Grantham.

Ian Simpson

News update

Unfortunately the website was subject to an unauthorised access in the early hours of 27th February, and as a result we are currently reviewing matters.

Whilst I review things, there will be no further updates to the website.

Any queries should be forwarded to me at

Issue 3 of the Return to Grantham Magazine is still available at the Lineside Photographics website, and the Return to Grantham FaceBook Group is free to join.

Ian Simpson

Issue 3 of the Return to Grantham Magazine is available to buy now

Issue 3 of the Return to Grantham Magazine is out Now!

R2G Magazine Issue 3 Front Cover

The Front Cover of Issue 3 of the Return to Grantham shows a close up of Flying Scotsman at Grantham station.

R2G Magazine Issue 3 Rear Cover

Restored Gresley A3 60103 ‘Flying Scotsman’, backs down through Bury Bolton Street station on Saturday 16th January 2016 to begin its second weekend of running in turns on the East Lancs Railway in Bury, Lancashire.

Issue No.3 of the Return to Grantham Magazine is now available to buy through the Lineside Photographics website. It will be available at other outlets soon.

This issue has a slight ‘Flying Scotsman’ theme as can be seen from the front and rear covers shown above, and includes an article of when 60103 visited Grantham in 1968 with a railtour.

Other articles include a look at how Grantham and its staff faired during World War 2, the closure of the Train Crew depot, the history of Gresley A1/A3 locomotives at Grantham shed and some spotting notes from August 1959. The Spotting notes were taken during a 12 hour stint on August 31st, with around 140 steam locomotives seen, including an 8F and Standard 4MT! Also in evidence is English Electric (EE) DP1 (the prototype Deltic) and several EE Type 4 (Class 40s).

This issue also includes an appeal for potential sponsors to enable us to expand the magazine from its current 36 pages, so if you feel you can help please get in touch.

Finally, if you have any stories or memories you would like us to publish then please get in contact with us, we would love to hear from you.

Can you help identify a driver?

Can you help identify a driver and working?


LPIS_STM_BW_NEGS_ 0067_driver

The first photograph shows Grantham based Gresley A3 60048 ‘Doncaster’ approaching Grantham in 1960, and the second image is a zoom of the driver as he looks out towards the platform. It appears to be during the summer.

I need some help with two things:

  1. Can you identify the driver of the train? I’m assuming that the engine is being manned by a 35B crew.
  2. Can you identify the working? I think it is early-mid afternoon, so it might be the either the mid-morning KX-Grantham train, or it could be the KX-Doncaster ‘Parly’ train a bit later in the day.

The train is made up mainly of Gresley stock, but there are a couple of Mk.1s further down the train. If you can help please contact me using the form below.

The picture will be available to buy from Lineside Photographics soon!

Have you got Issue 2 of the Return to Grantham magazine?


With Issue 3 about to go to the printers, we thought we would remind you that Issue 2 of the Return to Grantham magazine is still available; BUT sticks are running low.

We are still getting enquiries for Issue 1, but this is Sold Out, so to avoid disappointment with Issue 2 don’t forget to order your copy through the Lineside Photographics website soon.

Issue 2 has a great article about the life of Boris Bennett at Grantham Shed during the Second World War, some spotting notes from 1977, an article about Grantham Spotters and the history of Gresley A4s at Grantham shed.

Remember that all the profits from the magazine go towards the project to record the railways at Grantham (

Issue 3 of the Return to Grantham Magazine is nearly here..

Issue 3 of the Return to Grantham magazine is almost complete. We’re in the final stages of proofing the magazine and it will be going to the printers shortly.

More details when we go to print, but here are the Front and Rear covers…..



Just a reminder that Issue 1 has now Sold Out, but there are still some copies of Issue 2 available to buy from the Lineside Photographics website, at Grantham Museum or the Vintage Tea Rooms in Grantham.

Sounds of the Steam Age

A very happy New Year to all our readers, and to our many contributors.

We’ve just published a new page about recordings of railway sounds in the Grantham area made in the 1950s and early 1960s by Peter Handford.  Peter’s recordings were first issued on 78rpm discs in the 1950s.  In the intervening years they have been available on 45rpm EP and 33⅓rpm LP vinyl formats, and then on compact cassette and CD.  Today, digitally remastered, some of the recordings are available to purchase by download to your computer.

Sound is an extraordinarily evocative medium.  Think of Winston Churchill, and you are as likely to bring to mind his voice and a passage from one of his wartime speeches as you are an image of his British Bulldog countenance.  Peter Handford’s technically accomplished recordings of the steam age take us right to the platform end, or into the open countryside where the railway sweeps past.  “Close your eyes, and you’re almost there” to paraphrase the Andy Williams song.  Peter Handford’s railway sound recordings deserve to be as widely enjoyed, and as appreciated for their artistry, as the work of the best-known railway photographers.

The Argo Transacord Grantham - 1957 45rpm EP with sleeve photograph by Colin Walker.

The Argo Transacord record Grantham – 1957, a 45rpm EP with sleeve photograph by Colin Walker.



Express Freight at Grantham in the early 1960s

We’ve just published a new photo feature looking at the fast freight traffic which passed through Grantham in the early 1960s, as captured by the lens of Cedric Clayson’s camera.  His son John recalls the sight, sound, smell and sensation as steam-hauled trains of four-wheeled wagons dashed through the platforms at speed, hammering out a deafening racket from each rail joint.

On 16th August 1962 a northbound express freight train of perhaps 50 wagons approaches the station down the gradient from Stoke Tunnel under clear signals. It is hauled by class 9F locomotive No.92141 of New England (34E) motive power depot in Peterborough. The first 20 or so wagons carry containers that are small by today’s standards. They were designed to fit the standard British Railways road delivery trailer of the time, still designed around the haulage capacity of a horse. The group of three figures in the distance, near the signal post, are permanent way men engaged in lifting and packing the crossing. On a train such as this one there were 200 or more wheels carrying, first, a heavy locomotive and its tender, then wagons with basic springing and suspension. Each wheel hammered every rail joint, leading to cracked rails, loose track fastenings and pulverised ballast. Since those days improvements in permanent way technology and vehicle dynamics have radically improved the way trains interact with the track. Photograph by Cedric A. Clayson, © John Clayson

On 16th August 1962 a northbound express freight train of perhaps 50 wagons approaches the station at speed down the gradient from Stoke Tunnel under clear signals.
Photograph by Cedric A. Clayson, © John Clayson

Issue No.1 of Return to Grantham Magazine is now Sold Out!


Well almost…… We have a handful of Issue No.1 left, and these will be sold on a “first-come, first-serve” basis. I have removed the item from the Lineside Photographics website, so please contact me in the form below if you would like to buy one of the handful left for sale.

We are hoping to be able to bring two downloadable versions of Issue No.1 for sale soon, in PDF and Apple iBooks format. As soon as they are available we will let you know.

We would like to thank everyone for making the launch issue of the magazine success and it seems that Issue No.2 is selling even faster, so if you haven’t got one yet you can buy it here!

We are hoping to launch Issue No.3 in January 2016, again we will let you know when dates are confirmed.

Once again thank you for your continuing support.

The Return to Grantham Project team.

“The Trials at Barkston Junction”

This could be the theme of a novel, a play or a scene from history, but it’s a highly appropriate introduction to the opening storyline of our most recent new page.

We talked to many people at the Grantham Railway Society’s Rail Show 2015 early in September.  One of them was Mike Bacon.  Mike explained how he used to cycle with school friends to Barkston Junction in the late 1950s specially to see newly overhauled locomotives on their trial runs from Doncaster Works.  These ‘Trials’ arrived, turned, waited and left for Doncaster again.  Many of the locomotives overhauled at Doncaster were from ‘foreign’ parts of the former LNER network, so some ‘rare cops’ were savoured by the lads on these trips.  Mike kindly returned to the Show with some photographs he’d taken.  ‘One thing led to another’ as they say, and we are delighted now to publish his recollection of those trips in Trainspotting at Barkston Junction and Grantham, accompanied by evocative photographs such as the one below.  We hope you enjoy them.

Class K3/2 No. 61868, photographed from point 'B' on the plan. This 'Jazzer' was shedded at Mexborough, between Doncaster and Rotherham. Photograph by Mike Bacon, © Mike Bacon

Class K3/2 No. 61868 at Barkston South Junction, preparing to reverse along the Sleaford line to Barkston East Junction.  This ‘Jazzer’ was shedded at Mexborough, between Doncaster and Rotherham.
Photograph by Mike Bacon, © Mike Bacon