Trip back to the golden age of steam

Holbeach Railway Station staff from more than 90 years ago are the subject of a photo from one of our readers.

Richard Walker, of Angell Lane, Holbeach, was given the photo of the station staff which he believes dates back to 1916, although he has no names of any of the men.

Mr Walker has enjoyed the recent pieces in the Spalding Guardian about the recent 50th anniversary of the closure of the Midlands and Great Northern Line, which passed through Holbeach on its way to Spalding and Bourne.

He said: "Recognition of the 'Muddle and Go Nowhere' (or 'Missed and Greatly Needed' as I prefer) is long overdue.

"At 183 miles, it was the largest joint railway in the country, and one of only three to remain independent until the nationalisation of British Railways in 1948.

"The demise of the M&GN in 1959 was the first large-scale closure of a railway in Britain and a foretaste of what was to come under Dr Beeching.

"News of the closure made national headlines, a correspondent for The Times remarking 'it (the M&GN] gave good service to East Anglia and in return East Anglians served it well.'

"This remains true today, thanks to the volunteers who operate steam hauled passenger services along the surviving five miles of M&GN track on the North Norfolk Railway.

"On visiting heritage railways such as the NNR, I am always encouraged to see not just parents and grandparents, but children and teenagers who, even in the age of computers and games consoles, are enthralled by the sight of a steam locomotive."

Mr Walker added that he agreed with Malcolm Grief that memorabilia of the M&GN should be preserved for future generations and suggested the Station House as a possible site.

If you recognise anyone in the picture contact reporter John Baker on 01775 765416.