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He did not see the romance in steam; hard graft, dirty and dangerous, whereas the diesels brought comfort of a type.But you still had to fill out your reports.(Above) Sporting a York (50A) shedcode on the smokebox door, Class B16/3 No 61476, one of Thompson's rebuilds of Raven's original B16/1 with Walschaerts valve gear, awaits departure from Scarborough with the 10.10am to York on June 8th 1961…this was a big day for the then aspiring 13 year-old photographer, Brian Cooke!A Freeman of Berwick, and driver based at Gateshead 52A and Blaydon 52C, John 'shunted away' on a big wave of applause after singing with The Three Tenors.John always looked forward to visiting the 'Tappers' where he shared fond memories of railway journeys with his old mates - stories, tales repeated many times, all true.

Following the reception held at Hovingham the Class A4 was required to work the Royal train from Malton back to London.

After waiting for what seemed an age he was finally discovered by a porter, who, much to Brian's disappointment escorted him to the Station Master's Office to be reunited with his distraught mum, whereas the blasé Brian was having much more fun watching trains!

The stately procession of Gresley and Peppercorn Pacifics at the London terminal became the catalyst for Brian's lifelong passion for, and involvement with, steam locomotives.

For example, it was not unusual for the Stanier 'Black 5' and in particular the new BR Standard classes, to be found working hundreds of miles from the Region they were initially allocated. Colin was born in the North East and spent his grammar school years living in Corbridge, Northumberland.

He has started research for a plan to build a model of Corbridge station between Newcastle and Hexham in its heyday of the 1920s through into the 40s when it actually had a significant level of traffic serving local freight, 3 timber yards, a gasworks and so on.

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