Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Stamford to Seaton shuttle in 1966

A glimpse of the Stamford to Seaton shuttle and Morcott station in 1966, the last year of the line's operation.

You can find some recollections of those days on the Rutnet site:
My family moved to Morcott early in 1960 when my father became Rector of Morcott and South Luffenham, and almost at once, the railway became part of my life. 
Previously, we had lived a few miles south of Northamapton, close to the main line from Euston to Scotland, and there, I had developed an interest in trains. Now, I was to travel every day to school in Stamford by train. 
The train was a tank locomotive (BR Standard or Ivatt 2-6-2T for the technically-minded) and two corridorless coaches. Boys and girls travelled in separate compartments in the front coach and everyone else travelled in the back coach. 
It was also an unspoken rule that everyone had their own space on the bench-like seats stretching across the width of the coach. New boys were 'strapped' with the thick leather strap that lowered or raised the window. 
The train was well used every day with people travelling to work in Stamford, as well as the school pupils, and the wooden platform at Morcott was always busy at 8-20 each morning. One boy even cycled from Glaston to catch the train at Morcott. 
On the way home in the afternoon, it was possible to either wait at Stamford or travel on an earlier Leicester-bound train to Luffenham, and join the Seaton train there. I often did the latter, and once, got into a compartment at Luffenham with two girls returning from Oakham. Even at the tender age of 10, I was told pretty sharply by the station staff to get out and go to the boys' compartment! 
On another occasion, the other boys wouldn't let me onto the train, and the driver told me to get in his cab. I had a never to be forgotten ride on the footplate from Luffenham to Morcott! 
Apart from journeys to school, I spent a lot of time watching the trains at the station and got to know the station master – Mr Veazey – well. There was one freight train each day which ran through soon after 11 am. 
It only stopped if there were wagons to pick up or drop off, and was busiest during the 'beet season' in the autumn when wagonloads of sugar beet were send off to the sugar factory in Peterborough. At this time, the train could be very late, having shunted wagons at every station from Rugby.
Last year I found the platform at Stamford station that this service must have used.

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