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As some of you may realise, Sunday 9th July this year will be the 50th Anniversary of the end of steam on the Southern Region.
What better way to celebrate this occasion than to take a nostalgic trip back in time by purchasing a copy of my latest self-published book 'The Ramblings of a Railwayman - 2nd Edition'.
This A4 sized hard-back book containing 196 pages is packed full of stories and anecdotes and is also generously illustrated with over 300 B/W and colour photographs of the times that I worked at Guildford Motive Power Depot (70C) as an engine cleaner and fireman between April 1961 and July 1967.
Some of the pages present previously unpublished photographs taken by Peter Trinder, the late Dave Salmon and Richard Greenwood MBE.
On the final day of steam, I also had the good fortune to be a fireman on one of the last locomotives to leave Guildford Depot on their way to Salisbury before meeting their end under the cutter's torch at Barry, South Wales.
Should you prefer Southern diesel and electric traction,my third book 'Rambling Railwayman's Recollections' might better suit; this covering my working life after steam's decline.
Working as a secondman at Woking, driving days at Effingham Junction and Woking MT (Mixed Traction), Instructing days at Waterloo South-Side Training School and South West Trains Operational Training Centre at Basingstoke.
This A4 sized hard-back book containing 300 pages is also generously illustrated with B/W and colour photographs of that era.
A plaque is being made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the closing of Guildford’s Motive Power Depot (70C) and the end of steam on the Southern Region of British Railways.
The design will be very similar in style to other plaques placed at historic points throughout Guildford and will be a fitting tribute to all those who worked at the depot (engine shed).
One of the etchings on the plaque show two Class 700 locomotives on the Old Pit and another shows U Class 31633 departing Guildford with a Redhill service. Both are from photographs taken by Richard Greenwood MBE in 1961.
The other etching is from a photograph taken by the late Guildford photographer David Salmon and was actually taken on the final day, 9th July 1967. USA class tank No. 30072 was the last locomotive to leave the depot.
The unveiling ceremony will take place at the entrance to the multi-storey car park off Farnham Road (the site of the Motive Power Depot) on Sunday 9th July at 11am.
The plaque will cost £850 and half of this expense has already been raised.
However, should anyone wish to contribute to this worthy cause, please contact Geoff via his email address:
The commemorative plaque will look like this, based on existing plaques placed around Guildford that give details of the town’s history.