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Golden Arrow Steam Train in 1950s
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No: 2641   Contributor: Marcel Gommers   Year: 1950   Manufacturer: Unknown   Country: England
Golden Arrow Steam Train in 1950s

The steam locomotive on this photo from c1950 carries a big Golden Arrow sign. I'm not able to make out the name on the side of the loc though. Anyone has more details on this loc or the 'Golden Arrow'? (Wasn't the Golden Arrow the direct link between England and France?)
Picture added on 05 December 2007
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add commentComments:
The "Golden Arrow" was indeed the name of the Pullman train from London to Dover linking with the cross channel ferries.
The locomotive in this photo is Britannia class 70004 William Shakespeare.
The Brits, as they were known, were introduced in 1951 and replaced the Southern Region's Bullied Pacifics hauling this prestigious train.

Added by John Southall on 10 December 2007.
The Golden Arrow was synonymous with SR - I have a particular affinity with the history of the Golden Arrow because my Grandfather during the late 40's/50's, practically until he retired in 1960.

I would love to know more, as a historian, yet there is little in-depth info about the Golden Arrow.

I hope the wonderful history of the GA will be retained so that future generations can refer to the GA as a great example of rail travel.

Added by Richard Hickmott on 02 January 2009.
The SE&C Rly had a service from Victoria to Paris. In 1929 the SR named it 'Golden Arrow'. The French used the name 'Fleche d'Or' for their part of the journey. Full details can be found in 'Titled Trains of Great Britain' by C.J.Allen (p.81 ff) of the 3rd editionpublished in 1953 by Ian Allan Ltd.

Added by Richard Postill on 02 January 2009.
I travelled on The Golden Arrow from Victoria Station London in April 1953 to Paris, and the whole train went onto the Ferry across the English Channel, and then on to Paris. One had a cabin and enjoyed wonderful food in the Dining Room. A very enjoyable way to travel then.

Added by Trish Stephens on 12 February 2009.
I am very interested in the above photo as my grandfather George Hickmott drove this train from Victoria to France until his retirement in 1960.

Added by Kenneth Hickmott on 06 May 2009.
As a little girl in the 50's, I would often visit my aunt who lived in Hildenborough, Kent. For me, the highlight of every visit was to watch the Golden Arrow pass by near the back fields. My frantic waving was always rewarded by a wave from the engine driver. Wonderful memories!

Added by Patricia Varnam on 27 May 2009.
My mum has told me that my grandad drove The Golden Arrow in the 50's and 60's and i would like to know more, but where can you get information!

Added by Lynne Arnold on 31 August 2009.
A very good source of detailed information about this type of locomotive is the book "A Pictorial Record of British Railways Standard Steam Locomotives" by Edward Talbot, ISBN 0 86093 158 7.

Added by Peter Langsdale on 31 August 2009.
Hi Lynne,
Try wikipedia and type in golden arrow. It should give you a list of alternatives and one is the train a brief history.
If I find any more I will post it on here.

Added by John Southall on 31 August 2009.
I used to watch the Golden Arrow pass by my school in Clapham every morning. At that time they were still demolishing bombed out buildings alongside the track. Don't know which sight I enjoyed most,

Added by Terry Tullis on 15 September 2009.
My Grandfather was based out of Stewarts Lane depot, Nine Elms.

Does anyone have any info about personnel at Stewarts Lane between the 40's & 1960?

Added by Richard Hickmott on 16 September 2009.
Hi Richard,
I think if you write to "Steam World" magazine, it can be found in most good newsagents, you may well be inundated with information. It really is a prime source for info like that.

Added by John Southall on 16 September 2009.
Thank you John, I'll certainly persue that avenue.

Regards, Richard

Added by Richard Hickmott on 19 September 2009.
I Worked on the railways as a Fireman in the mid 50s 54-57 starting at Gillingham as a cleaner then i moved to Bricklayers Arms Old Kent Road more chance for promotion whilst at Gillingham i was sent to Stewerts Lane as they were short of cleaners and i was so lucky to see the Iron Duke 70014 what alovely sight emaculate condition i will never forget that

Added by George Fairbrass ex Fireman on 27 March 2010.
The Golden Arrow never crossed the Channel-the Night Ferry was the only passenger train ever to do so. The Arrow did, however go to Folkestone Harbour for a time. but travellers returned into and Dover and onwards to London(Victoria.)

Added by Defitzi on 01 April 2010.
In the summer of 1951 I took the train then ferry to France, then by train again to Cannes. I thought I was on the Golden Arrow. Am I correct?

Added by Jane Ansley on 07 June 2010.
Jane, I think you could have been on the Blue Train (Le Train Bleu) which ran from Calais to the French Riviera with sleeping cars. You can find plenty of information about it by googling "Le Train Bleu" on Wikipedia. The Golden Arrow was a Pullman train from London to Dover, also described in Wikipedia in an article with that name. The Night Ferry went only to Paris.

Added by Peter Langsdale on 07 June 2010.
Thank you, I'll do some more investigating.

Added by Jane Ansley on 07 June 2010.
My brother (Edward Saunders) Was a fireman on the Golden Arrow that steamed into Victoria station with crowds of people all held back at the gates watching it.My friend and I were invited through the gates after it stopped and it was amazing for two small boys. I still have the badge that he wore on his lapel.

Added by Ray Saunders on 13 June 2010.
My father(Charles Alfred Saunders) was a driver on steam locos all through the 2ndww,from London to Pompy. He continued driving untill the change to electric,he lost intrest in the railway after that.I believe he holds a speed record,I was told this by a writer of railway books but could not find any info on it.I am not sure that he ever drove the Golden Arrow.

Added by Ray Saunders on 14 June 2010.
70004 William Shakespeare was allocated to Stewarts Lane in London and was kept more or less exclusively for the Golden Arrow along with 70014 Iron Duke.

Added by Paul Strathdee on 14 June 2010.
My Grandfather - Fred Walker - drove the Golden Arrow for quite a few years. I have photos of him on it. When he retired he was presented with a painting - done on glass - of the Golden Arrow, steaming along.
When he died I was told that it was presented to the Railway Museum at Clapham.
Have often wondered what happened to it.

Added by Jacqueline Littler (nee Walker) on 02 October 2010.
Hi Jacqueline, I believe that much of the material at Clapham went to the National Rail Museum at York. Have you tried asking them?

Added by Peter Langsdale on 02 October 2010.
Thank you for the advice. Have e.mail the Museum in York and have had confirmation they have received my query. They say I should get a response shortly. Will let you know what happens!

Added by Jacqueline Littler (nee Walker) on 04 October 2010.
Everyone who looks at this site should try to go to the NRM at York - I have been 3 times and can't wait to go again! I have visited national collections in Berlin and Green Bay, USA, and they can't hold a candle to York!

Added by Peter Langsdale on 04 October 2010.
I feel utterly ashamed to say that I have been to York a few times, but NEVER visited the Railway Museum! I was too busy going around the Minster and walking along the ramparts etc! I WILL definitely be going before this year is out! I will put the photo I have of my Grandfather and another one of the Golden Arrow on this site shortly.

Added by Jacqueline Littler(nee Walker) on 04 October 2010.
Hi Peter and Jacqueline

I've contacted York on a number of occasions and they archive very little on the Golden Arrow. I personally found out more from Steam World and the 'Bluebell Railway' in Sussex (they run the West of England class of loco there).

Good luck


Added by Richard Hickmott on 05 October 2010.
I went on Saturday 2/10/10 and had a fantastic time the NRM York well worth the trip. and if you are over 55 there are some good offers on to get you there very cheap.

Added by Dave Price on 05 October 2010.
My father was a guard on the Golden Arrow during the 50's&60's steam&diesel days, his name was 'Mac', this train used to run from LONDON Victoria to the Marine Station Dover, it didn't cross the channel you picked up the French Arrow at Calais to Paris, the only train that went across the channel was the blue train which had some French coaches, usually approx. six sleepers, this train was one of the heaviest passenger trains in the UK, weighing approx 800 tons, the Marine station now caters for the cruise ships, the track bed has been concreted over, sad isn't it.

Added by John MacGregor on 17 October 2010.
Yes, the Night Ferry. Changed days now being able to go through the Tunnel but not quite as good as being shunted about onto the train ferry I'm sure.

Added by Paul Strathdee on 18 October 2010.
my dad was the fireman that went to France with the golden arrow and can be heard talking on a crackly old radio connection from Franc to England his name was Dennis Druiett

Added by Carol Boyce on 09 November 2010.
Hi Ray Saunders
I refer to your comments dated 13 June 2010. You say you still have the lapel badge that your brother wore as a fireman on the Golden Arrow. My great-uncle Arthur Draper was apparently a driver of the GA (in the 40s?).I have an old photo of his wedding in which he is wearing a lapel badge but it is too indistinct to make out clearly. Is there any chance you could email me an image of your brother's badge to compare it with? Many thanks.

Added by Tony Skinner on 26 December 2010.
I notice that a cousin of mine, Jacqui Littler, has added a note or two regarding our Grandfather, Fred Walker, who drove the Arrow for many years. As a young boy, with another cousin, we used to visit the yard at Stewarts Lane and were allowed on the footplate of the post war locomotives hauling the Arrow, Lord Nelson, Anson and the like. He continued driving virtually until the end of steam and my latest picture of him is standing beside the West Country class loco. Bocastle No. 34039 ( which is, incidentally the loco used as the Hornby '00- model). I must correct one small item. The picture mentioned by Jacqui is not of the Arrow but one of the Nelson class on general mainline service.

Added by Mike Wade on 20 February 2011.
Another place you could try is the Swanage railway in Dorset they run battle of britain class Tangmere with the arrow still attached I would also like to add my grandfather and uncle are old Ashford shed boys by the name of Bill Lamberton and Fred Payne both have connections with the boat trains and many other old south eastern stock and I as a boy every chance I got would stand on the footbridge at Willsborough and watch the boat trains shoot under

Added by Jeffrey Monk on 25 March 2011.
there still eems to be a bit of confusion-mix-up regarding wich trains were which.....the Golen Arrow and the Night Ferry.similarly, tere is much confusion about the route of the Orient express but that's another saga of steam!
Re the Arrow ( I posted some info under my pen-name defitzi earlier on this site but let me confirm- the Arrow ran only to the Channel from Victoria and was a day Pullman with carriages similar to the Bournemouth Belle(steam hauled) and the Brighton Belle(electric).
The French sector wqas Le Fleche d'Or Golden Arrow)and at differing times ran from Boulougne or Calais( via Boulougne)and Amiens to Paris.
The Night Ferry was rather unique train( or trains) being composed of specially built sleeper carriages- smaller versions of the French sleepers which proliferated all over France (butnonetheless the heaviest(?) carriages I know of to travel on British rails, and which proliferated on overnight routes all over France. Thr were specially built because of th much smaller loading guage in the UK, especially so onthe lines radiating South from London, with many tunnels, close curves and clearances etc.This train left Victoria each night( the corresponding night ferry left from Gare du Nord was entrained on a special ferry which sailed from Dover to Du nkirk and vv with the carriages on board( but sans locomotive).Passengers stayed in their compartmentsduring the voyage- thetrin staff attending to the production of passports.Customs facilities were at Victoria and Nord in Paris.
s a young man I travelled on this train occasionally ( trains were affiordable then even luxury trains if you save up) unlike today's rip-off foreign owned hijacked UK trains-pro rate the most expensive in the world!
It was quite and experience but I confess to staying wake most of the time -at least until ob board and out into the Channel en route to Paris-returning was somewhat different as I recall being rather tired after my tiem in France!
But the sound of the locos, the familiar rythms of the track, the rush of th bridges and tunnels and the sheer joy of voyaging is an abiding memory I have never forgotten and never will forget- travelling, especially by ail was awonderful experience in thos days especially on such special trains as the Arrow and the Ferry and many others. such as The Irish Mail , Sheffield Pullman, Flying Scotsman, Cornish Riveriera..... How overpriced and how boring and uncomfortable it is today in the UK.

Added by Charles FitzGerald-the FitzGerald-himself; aka defitzi on 29 March 2011.
I was born in Dover in 1945 and my father worked as a shunter in what was the "Ferry Yard", the goods marshalling yard for goods wagons coming over from the continent in boats such as the Hampton and Shepperton ferries. The shunters would shunt the wagons from the ferries and sort and form them into trains according to destinations. I believe many were sent to the large marshalling yard at Hither Green S.E London, for further sorting and onward transmission. The night ferry trains were also loaded and unloaded on and off the ferries through the Ferry Yard and father would have been involved with shunting the sleeping cars, or "wagons lit" on and off and coupling them to the locomotive for the Dover to London leg of the journey.
During school holidays I would often visit dad at work and he would sit me on the footplate of the shunting engine where I spent many happy hours riding up and down the yard.
My first job on leaving school in 1960 was as a box boy in the Hawkesbury Street Junction signal box which controlled the junction between the main line from Dover to London and the branch into Dover Marine station as well as the branch into the Ferry Yard. I have fond memories of watching the night ferry coaches being shunted past the signal box in preparation for the next stage of their journey. Inward bound trains would be doing this around breakfast time and the chance of spying unsuspecting young women in various stages of undress as the train passed immediately in front of the signal box did not pass by this then rampantly hormonal adolescent youth!!
The other enduring memory of my time at Hawkesbury Street was witnessing the Golden Arrow emerging from the tunnel from Dover Priory station in full steam hauled by 70014 Iron Duke in all its wonderfull dark green glory. Even today the thought gets me wallowing in nostalgia. Occasionally I would find an excuse to go to the Marine Station when the Arrow was in so that I could admire it from close up. On one never to be forgotten occasion, I got to get up onto the footplate of Iron Duke.
Sadly the Golden Arrow is no more, Iron Duke never became a preservation project and was scrapped, Dover Marine station is closed, Hawkesbury Street Junction signal box has been demolished and the Ferry Yard has been concreted over. You can't stop progress but I can't help wondering if 50 or so years down the line anyone will look back on the early Eurostar days with such fond memories. Somehow I doubt it.

Added by Charles Cheesman on 31 March 2011.
now there's history fascinating thanks matey

Added by Charles FitzGerald-the FitzGerald-himself; aka defitzi on 31 March 2011.
I am a Portuguese woman who took the 'Golden Arrow' from Dover to Victoria Station on the 2nd July 1953, to study English in London during the Summer months. I remember how comfortable it was and the tea I was served with the famous English cake. Victoria Station was adorned, as the Coronation of the Queen had been a month ago. How I miss that time, when we travelled by train, with all the comfort and security! At the time it took 6h and 40m to go from Paris to London, but it was worth of it.

Added by Lucília Oliveira on 03 August 2011.
I have fond memories hop picking down Paddock Wood.Every working day a group of us would rush across the fields to the railway track to watch the Golden Arrow go by.This was 55years or more ago, but if I recall it was about 11.30 am going out and 4.30 coming back.Nan wasn't too pleased as we were supposed to be picking hops.Wonderful days, never to be seen again!

Added by Bob Johnson on 03 September 2011.
I have now received information that the picture referred to by my cousin, Jaqui Littler, was in fact presented to the Motorman's Rest Room at Stewarts Lane to remind them of the days of steam.

Added by Mike Wade on 06 October 2011.
Thanks Mike, this info. was given to me by our other cousin Peter Walker whose father had the painting after our Grandfather died. Wonder what has happened to it!

Added by Jacqueline Littler on 06 October 2011.
My dad, Eric Usher, was a fireman at Stewarts Lane and worked the Golden Arrow on many occasions during the 50's. When I was 2 I went onto the footplate of 70004 at The Festival of Britain. We had a posed photo at home of 70004 at The Lane with several people at the side, including dad and Dick Hardy.

Added by David Usher on 17 November 2011.
Mr Hardy was quite a legend.

Added by Paul Strathdee on 18 November 2011.
Is the Motorman's Rest Room at Stewarts Lane still there? I ask because I believe that is where the painting of the Gold Arrow went after my Grandfather - Fred Walker - died. Would so love to know its' whereabouts now.

Added by Jacqueline Littler on 18 November 2011.
I would have thought it unlikely Jacqueline but it is just possible. Until fairly recently the old goods depot was still in use and there were 2 walls of the old steam shed still standing. Knowing Network Rail however the whole lot could have been demolished in the last year or two.

Added by John Southall on 18 November 2011.
living in Penge south London we waited in the morning for the Golden Arrow to pass the bottom of our road, or we would stand on the bridge crossing the track at Penge East station and were excited getting covered in steam and smoke as it passed underneath.I Would realy like to get up close to a Golden Arrow again.

Added by Derrick Roots on 09 December 2011.
Hi Derrick

Yes you can get close and personal with a Golden Arrow. The Bluebell railway, Sheffield Park, Sussex has one my grandfather used to drive, although I believe it it's currently undergoing repairs to its boiler.

All the best

Added by Richard Hickmott on 10 December 2011.
IF the Motorman's Rest Room at Stewarts Lane HAS now been demolished, wonder WHAT could have happened to my Gradfather's painting of The Arrow, which I believe hung there. Does anyone out there know how I could find out. Would there be a department in Network Rail I could get in touch with? Do hope the painting was not destroyed when the building was demolished. The painting was done on glass if I recollect. Please help!!

Added by Jacqueline Littler on 10 December 2011.
Hello everyone,
I am currently working on a belgian comics. I am looking for documentation on Golden Arrow/ Flèche d'or. I have found plenty of pictures, details and so on. I miss the time it took between Paris and London in 1958. Does anyone could provide me with this information. It would be greatfull.
Thanks in advance for your help and the very interresting posts I read with lot of pleasure.
Laurent C.

Added by COMPERE Laurent on 09 February 2012.
I believe this loco is the William Shakespeare.

Added by BaxWalker on 08 November 2012.
Yes, as John mentioned in the first comment, this is 'Britannia' Standard Class Pacific 70004 "William Shakespeare", built at Crewe in March 1951 and withdrawn in December 1967, being scrapped the following April. It had a BR1 4, 250 gallon tender.
70004 was exhibited at the Festival of Britain when new, in 1951.

Added by Peter Langsdale on 08 November 2012.
Oops! I missed that but thanks for the extra info.


Added by BaxWalker on 08 November 2012.
It was not the direct link between England and France, but between London ano Dover. In Dover we took the ship to cross the Channel, arriving at Calais where we took the Flèche d'Or to Paris.

Added by Lucilia Oliveira on 08 November 2012.
Lucilia try this website to see if it helps.


Added by John Southall on 08 November 2012.
I'm hopeful over the next few weeks to gain access to Stewarts Lane Depot, where my grandfather was based, including some 'real' in-depth research on the Golden Arrow (different classes used, working conditions etc. etc.) Once I've collated this info, I'll report back.

Thanks, Richard.

Added by Richard Hickmott on 09 November 2012.
May I suggest 'Steam in the Blood' and 'Railways in the Blood' by Richard Hardy.(Both published by Ian Allan). Dick Hardy was the Stewarts Lane shedmaster for three years and the chapters in both books about Stew Lane make really interesting reading. Many of the drivers who were there at that time are mentioned.Both are a cracking read. If you have read them I apologise, but they are a really good source of info.

Added by Steve LEE on 09 November 2012.
Am still trying to get some info. on just WHERE the picture of the "Golden Arrow" that used to hang in the mess room at Stewarts Lane is now. It was painted on glass and I vividly recall (as a child) looking at it hanging on the wall in my Grandparents house. It was presented to my Grandfather (Fred Walker) upon his retirement. I think my Grandfather retired in the mid or early fifties.

Added by Jacqui Littler on 10 November 2012.
@Steve Lee: I've already exchanged emails and letters with Mr. Hardy. He remembers my Grandfather well, and has given a lot of his free time and info.

@Jacqui Littler: I'll try and ask when I go there and see whether anyone can throw any light on the picture. I'll do my best, but can't guarantee success.

Cheers to both, Richard.

Added by Richard Hickmott on 11 November 2012.
Thank you very much Richard (Hickmott) - would appreciate any info. you can find out about the picture's whereabouts. Would love to see it again!

Added by Jacqui Littler on 11 November 2012.
Delighted to see that somebody may yet get news of the picture that Jacqui (Littler) has been enquiring about. However. I must correct her as the searcher may well be looking for the wrong picture. The picture is about 30"x 24" painted, as Jacqui says, on three or four glass sheets however, the engine depicted is, I believe, of the Lord Nelson class emerging, on a bend, from a tunnel on mainline working. It does not bear the Arrow insignia. I would add that it was on the wall of our Grand Parent's house long before he retired. I mention this only in the hope that thepicture may be more easily identified. Incidentally, our Grandad, Fred Walker, took the first post war 'Arrow' out of Victoria (driving the 'Lord Nelson') and when interviewed, as were many others on the 'In Town Tonight' radio programme famously replied that he was "A driver - not a film star". He continued on the service driving various loco's, his last being West Country class and the last photograph I have of him is him checking 'Boscastle 34039' before departing for either Dover or Folkstone.

Added by Mike Wade on 11 November 2012.
I understood that the Lord Nelsons never worked on the eastern section and therefor the Golden Arrow after the war. I believe the first Post War Golden Arrow was worked by a Mechant Navy Class, Channel Packet

Added by David Usher on 11 November 2012.
Thank you, Mike for the description. I'll write all the relevant information down and see where it takes me. TBH, due to work and home commitments not sure if it'll be before the festive period or not. My wife is a wheelchair user and we have a 10 year old daughter, so any spare time has to be structured carefully.

My grandad started on the GA around 1948/49 and was pretty much one of the regulars out of Stew Lane Dept. until he retired in 1960.

Thanks, Richard.

Added by Richard Hickmott on 12 November 2012.
Re first post war service, yes I think you are correct David. I was actually working on 15th April 1946 and did not see the trains departure. Other railway members of the family mentioned the similarity to the pre war train and the fact that the rolling stock was that used pre war. I wrongly assumed that the loco' was of the same era.
Incidentally I have a photograph of the crew (Driver Walker, Fireman Frigg, Guards Hayward and Davis) taken in France with their French counterparts and loco' soon after the recommencement of the service should anyone want a copy.

Added by Mike Wade on 12 November 2012.
my father was the guard on the golden arrow what alovely train it was norman edward lawrence from dover marine to victoria he lived at dover

Added by Mike Lawrence Lives At Newington Folkeston Kent on 18 November 2012.
For Richard and Jacqui. Re missing picture. Have today spoken to Pat, (our Aunt now living in Canada) and she tells me that the picture, she believes, went firstly to Stewarts Lane but was subsequently taken to a Railway Musuem, probably York.

Added by Mike Wade on 20 November 2012.
I e.mailed the Railway Museum in York back in 2010. I eventually did get a reply from them to say they had no record of the painting. BUT, I had always thought the painting was of the "Golden Arrow" but as Mike(my cousin) has pointed out, it was not, so maybe I had mistakenly given them the wrong information.

Added by Jacqui Littler on 20 November 2012.
Thanks, Mike. Interesting. Can either Mike or Jacqui tell me what the painting looked like? Once I have the full details I'll do a bit of diggin' and let you know immediately once it's tracked (excuse the pun).

All the best, Richard.

(Can I just make it clear, I don't earn a living from railways or any associated genres. I am a very keen amateur - or anorak. If I do locate it I'll expect a big thank you on here :))

Added by Richard Hickmott on 21 November 2012.
Hi Richard, The picture is approx. 20" x 30" handpainted upon 4 or 5 panes of glass which gives depth and depicts a Lord Nelson class loco pulling passenger coaches and bearing two, low outer, head codes. The train, or at least the first two or three carriages that are visible, is emerging, on a left had bend, from a tunnel, into a bush lined cutting. It does not bear any special insignia. The only other information I have is that it was given to the Stewarts Lane Depot, by his son, S.R. Guard Fred Walker (D'cd) upon our Grandfathers death in May 1968. It is believed (but not confirmed) that it was passed on to a museum later.

Added by Mike Wade on 21 November 2012.
Thanks Mike. I'll start the reseach in a few days.

Added by Richard Hickmott on 21 November 2012.
Mike has given a marvelous description of THE painting! (I was hoping he would be able to describe it so much better than me!)I was convinced (in my mind) that it had the "golden arrow" on the front of the train! Would ljust love to know its' whereabouts and (maybe) pay it a visit! I have carried the memnory of that picture, in my mind, over the years. My Father used to talk about it so often. Thank you so much for your help Richard, and thank you Mike, for remembering so much detail!

Added by Jacqui Littler on 22 November 2012.
Your welcome, Jacqui.

I've a couple of leads already, but due to family commitments I can't persue until early/mid next week. If I do locate pics, based on Mike's description, I'll take photos and mail them to you, if that's okay with you.

Best wishes, Richard.

Added by Richard Hickmott on 22 November 2012.
So grateful to you Richard, really appreciate your help. My other cousin (Peter Walker) whose Father - Fred(named after our Grandfather) is also trying to find out some information. This is getting exciting!

Added by Jacqui Littler on 22 November 2012.
Hello everyone

I was wondering if anybody out there can help me. My grandfather Edward 'Ted' Bayford was a driver based at stewarts lane and later at victoria. He drove the golden arrow in the late 50's, I beleive it was the william shakespeare 70004. Does anybody know if this is the same engine that is in use on the bluebell railway as I am taking my nan on the golden arrow for lunch and it would be nice if the engine was the same one my grandfather drove! Also is there any record kept of who drove the golden arrow and when?

Many thanks, Rob

Added by Robert Paggett on 06 January 2013.
As a young boy in 1950's we went hop picking to Marden near Paddock Wood and remember well the Golden Arrow passing the hop fields in the morning and afternoon.Engines included Bulleid Pacifics as they had the boiler cladding fitted.Wonderful to see the train.Also remember seeing the Pullman pulling across the bridge at Folkestone Harbour heading onto the ferry.

Added by Michael Gibbons on 16 April 2013.
@Robert Paggett. In short 'no'.

AFAIK the Golden Arrow there is 257 Squadron class loco. Last time I visited Bluebell was about 18 months ago and the boiler was in dire need of repair, costing mega money to repair.

Hope that helps.

Added by Richard Hickmott on 17 April 2013.
My Dad was a fireman in Nottingham, in the 1950s he would be interested in hearing from anyone who did the same or a similar job, and you can share stories my Dad is 85 soon and enjoys reminiscing about his train days you can contact me through email. [email protected]

Added by Suzanne Ellis-Marriott on 16 October 2014.
Hi Suzanne - yup, I can share some stories of grandfather who served with SR, if it's any good.

Added by Richard Hickmott on 26 October 2014.
What happened to the front name plate that languished behind a cabinet at Canterbury station for many years ?

Added by John Offin on 15 September 2017.
all I can say is that it was well known to be travelling through the railway and we all stood on the bridge and waited for it to drive below us and we smelt the steam as well as the fastest engine noise all gone in seconds amidst all the cheering it was a trainspotters delight-we all had our train spotters book and logged it on- wish I had that book today ! now aged 80 it is a wonderful memory and we also had the Flying Scotsman through all making history -i had been talking about it today and made this search.

Added by Ken clarke on 07 March 2018.
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