Flying Scotsman or Not


Sorry I need to get out and find a photograph of the real thing.

Flying Scotsman in Yorkshire

A free exhibition until 19th June in The National Railway Museum Gallery. It is focusing on the celebrity of arguably the world’s most famous locomotive.

  • Why is Flying Scotsman so well-known and how has that fame manifested itself?
  • What is it about this particular engine that has captured the imagination of generations worldwide?
  • Where can we see the engine in full steam?
  • Capture some truly special shots at our morning and evening photography sessions. This event takes place at Locomotion Shildon
1 June The Tynesider (Cleethorpes to Morpeth via York)
15 June London Euston to Holyhead (Flying Scotsman hauling Crewe to Holyhead return)
25 June The Yorkshireman (London Victoria to York)
2 July The Hadrian (Leicester to Carlisle)
10 July The Waverley (York to Carlisle)
17 July The Waverley (York to Carlisle)

Twirlies on Doncaster & Bradford Trolley Buses

Black Country Museum

Twirlies you know are the OAP’s and people who stand at bus stops with their free passes and ask ‘are we too early’ because it is not yet 9.30am. So that is how we get our name ‘Twirlies’, it is not a trolley bus maneuver to turn around at the terminus.

Well Twirlies would have needed to get up early in the morning to catch the Bradford Corporation Trolley Bus No 7 to Thornbury.
Ten Bradford trolleybuses are now preserved at the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft , Lincolnshire. In the tram shed at Bradford Industrial Museum there is the pictured Trolley bus plus the only tramcar left in Bradford. Continue reading Twirlies on Doncaster & Bradford Trolley Buses

Scenic Railway Journeys Yorkshire

I am sure you never doubted that Yorkshire has some of the most scenic railway settings in Europe. Here is just a selection of some old but still working railways that arrange journeys into a steam driven past.

Ribblehead Viaduct

Ribblehead Viaduct

Ribblehead Viaduct by Joe Dunckley

Ribblehead viaduct on the scenic Settle-Carlisle line. Ribblehead viaduct was built in 1870-74 and contributed to the Settle-Carlisle line becoming one of most expensive lines in the UK. The rural line was threatened with closure during the 1960s and 1980s, but, with an active campaign it was saved.

Steam train crossing Ribblehead viaduct

Crossing Ribblehead Viaduct, with Ingleborough in the background. Continue reading Scenic Railway Journeys Yorkshire

Wallace Arnold Old Coach Holidays

Wallace Arnold VUB396H

Do you collect ‘Nobbies’, in the red livery of Norbert Dentressangle or ‘Stobbies’, in the green livery of Eddie Stobart on long road Journeys? It can keep me and children amused for miles and miles spotting and counting the lorries. What a shame that we can’t also collect ‘Wallies’ in the distinctive yellow coaching livery. Wallace Arnold has succumbed to corporate rebranding since 2007 by the new owners Shearings Holidays.

History of Wallace Arnold

Founded in 1912 by Wallace Cunningham and Arnold Crowe the holiday coach tour business developed until it merged in 1926 with an established charabanc operator R Barr (Leeds) Ltd. From 1930 Wallace Arnold ran daily coach services to Blackpool and even started its European tours to Germany. Such coach travel was still expensive and somewhat exclusive until it opened up after the Second World War. By 1948 Wallace Arnold had offices in 10 northern towns and must have run millions of people on mystery tours or trips to the seaside.
In 1959 the company expanded by buying the Kippax & District bus company and brought in double decker buses. By the end of the 1970’s coach holidays were loosing customers to cheap air package holidays and Wallace Arnold tried various diversifications including a venture with P&O called Coach & Cruise. With the opening of the Channel Tunnel in 1994 many more European tours were put into the brochures and good quality coaches were operated.
So bearing this and lots of happy memories in mind perhaps it would not be appropriate to be calling out ‘there is a Wally’.


Dates for your Diary
August 2nd 2015 is the Trans-Pennine Run for pre December 1989 buses and coaches from Birch Services, M62, Middleton to The Stray, Harrogate (no part of the route is on motorway).

You can see more replica models of Wallace Arnold coaches by clicking on the photograph above.

Wallace Arnold VUB396H by Pimlico Badger CC BY-SA 2.0

Leeds Bradford ‘Costa Packet’ Airport

LBA 006

Once upon a time we, the citizens of West Yorkshire, owned our own aerodrome and airport at Yeadon. Held on our behalf, by the local authorities, the airport allowed Yorkshire folk to enjoy trips and packages to the Costa brava, Costa blanca and Costa del sol. We also had the opportunity to see Concord when it visited our airport and watch other flights from the Billings.
Bargains were added by operators like Ryan Air and Jet 2 and we were well served for holidays despite the loss of connecting flights to Heathrow.

Then the wizards of privatisation and the jelly fish running the local authorities sold out for a mess of potage.
The airport was bought in May 2007 by a private equity company Bridgepoint Capital.
Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Calderdale and Kirklees councils pocketed £145.5 million on the deal (bonuses all round?).
Then as our money was burning a hole in the profligate authorities pockets, several capital schemes chewed up much of the cash with the odd white elephant to show for our troubles.

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So what has Private Equity done for West Yorkshire

  • Park your car for over an hour and it will cost you £10.
  • You are not allowed to stop to collect or drop off passengers. You must use one of the car parks and that nearest the terminal will cost a minimum of £2. Even visiting taxis must pay this hidden tax and surcharge for daring to visit Yeadon airport.
  • Number plate recognition software is used to track and trace you Big brother Bridgepoint can cause big bother.
  • The corporate taxi mafia seems to run the on site taxi operation. Drivers can accept fare paying passengers you must go to the bolshy hut and prepay.
  • Other taxi companies are treated like2nd class outfits and have to drop or collect you further into the car park than the resident favoured compaany.
  • Do you take luggage on holiday? Well then be prepared for the cost of a trolley. LBA is not a £1 in the slot, returned like supermarket trolleys but a pound spent and lost just for needing help with your luggage. Another money making scam for the airport operator and their backers.

LBA 003

Alternative Airport Options

Fasten your financial seatbelt or get away from it all at Robin Hood airport instead of using Yeadon.

Robbing the poor to feed the profits of the rich has been what the West Riding have had to suffer and you can expect that to continue unless you vote with your holiday package.

I hesitate to recommend Humberside airport as that is based just in Lincolnshire and is owned by Manchester airport (and that is in Lancashire)!

LBA 051

Read about Yorkshires Air Ambulances

Knaresborough Nidd Viaduct

The present Knaresborough Viaduct was completed in October 1851. The first effort collapsed 3 years earlier. It is 338 ft in length and is 90 ft high. The 4 arches span the River Nidd forming a bridge that is still used by local rail services to connect the town with Harrogate/Leeds to the west & south and York to the east.

viaduct 3

By: Robert Smith

Knaresborough Viaduct #2

By: Moon Pie

viaduct 2

Knaresborough Viaduct in snow By: Robert Smith

viaduct 1

Knaresborough Viaduct in snow By: Robert Smith

Knaresborough Viaduct

By moonpie


Railway Map of Yorkshire


This is a map of Yorkshire railways was issued by British Rail in 1959. It shows a wonderful network of railways, some of which have sadly been lost. In particular, the Beeching cuts of the 1960s, saw a closure of lines and stations such as Otley, Ripon, Market Weighton.

Railway Map of 1900.

west yorks railway mapclick to enlarge

Interesting to see how many more stations there were. Even on existing lines, many stations have been closed down for example, Manningham – near Bradford, Esholt, Kildwick and Cross Hills. This really was the generation when train travel was the main form of transport.
Source: Lost Railways West Yorks – for more fascinating maps of Yorkshire.

The Keighley & Worth Valley RailwayKeighley and Worth Valley Railway by Belkin 59

Some lines have been maintained by enthusiasts. These include the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, Embsay to Bolton Abbey and parts of the North York Moor railways.

See: Scenic Railway journeys of Yorkshire

North York Moors Railway Map


Photo: Mat Overton, 2006 CC  BY 2.5

Modern Railway map of Yorkshire



Railway Posters of Yorkshire by Frank Newbould

Frank Newbould was born in Bradford on 24 September 1887. Frank was educated at Bradford College of Art and Camberwell School of Art and worked mostly in London specialising in travel posters and war propaganda.

There is a selection of unframed Railway poster prints currently available  from Waterstones. They feature many attractive Yorkshire locations including; Scarborough, Ilkley, Harrogate and the Yorkshire Dales.  Frank never forgot his Yorkshire roots even though the media work was based around that Yorkshire annex, London.

Book Cover
Poster to Poster by Richard Furness

The National Railway Museum in York has a large and varied collection of railway art and artefacts. Thousands of railway posters have been published since the Victorian era and this book feature many representing Yorkshire and the north. The National Railway Museum and specialist poster companies have supplied ‘classic’ images to enhance the books appeal.

Book Cover

Railway Posters 1923-1947 shows over 200 of the best posters dating from the railways’ heyday prior to nationalization. In this period, renowned poster artists of the calibre of Edward McKnight Kauffer, Frank Newbould, Tom Purvis and Cassandre were commissioned by the railway groups to promote not only their lines but also the most beautiful and appealing cities and towns in their areas for tourists to visit.
The railway companies virtually invented the “package tour” and promoted it intensively not only in the UK but also in the USA. The introduction explains the history of the companies during the period covered, and examines their attitudes to poster advertising.
The book is then divided into four sections, one for each of the railway groups: the resulting selection makes an analysis of poster art in the UK in its “golden age” of the Twenties and Thirties. Extended captions explain the context of the works, and information about the artists is provided. Beverley Cole and Richard Durack are on the staff of the National Railway Museum, York.

Jowett Javelin Bradford or Lea Francis Coventry

Lea Francis

Lea Francis cars and motor bikes date back to 1895 in Coventry.
A total of almost 10,000 Lea-Francis vehicles were made until production ceased after the 1960 Lea-Francis Lynx failed to capture the buying public’s attention.
Barrie Price, an old employee has continued to provide service and spares for the surviving cars, and has also built a number of “modern” Lea-Francis motor cars reviving the model name “Ace of Spades.”

The Lea Francis owners club organise rallies and socila events see LFOC This picture was taken in West Yorkshire the main reason it features on this site.

Jowett Javellin

Jowett Javelin were an award-winning British car that was produced from 1947 to 1953 by Jowett of Bradford. Approximately 23,000 cars were produced of different models with five variants each having a standard and “de luxe” option.
The 1952 International RAC Rally was class-won by a Javelin.

The Jowett Jupiter was a hand built car whose parts started life as sheet steel or sheet brass. ‘The sheets were guillotined to size, nibbled to shape, and then formed by hand over wood or steel formers or jigs. In fact, the Jowett Jupiter Sports Car was built entirely by hand by skilled craftsmen.’ Jowett Jupiter web site

Jowett Cars

Museum piece now in Idle close to the original factory at Bradford’s Industrial Museum.


An old van in the livery of the local newspaper.

Lea Francis

The grill of the Lea Francis almost reflecting the photographer/editor in the well polished chrome work.