In an earlier post I confessed to a youth spent hanging around sooty stations and sheds, inhaling steam, writing down numbers and underlining entries in an Ian Allan Combined Volume. Traces of that boy in a school cap, grey shorts and Clarks sandals remain. For the last couple of weekends the Flying Scotsman has been travelling through Hexham on excursions to Carlisle; of course, I had to go and pay my respects.
I last saw this engine in steam at Doncaster when she was still in service; it would have been around 1961, a few years before she was sold to Alan Pegler. Now she is pristine but in 1961 she was in standard BR livery, soot black and filthy. Majestic she may be but I have fond memories of the days when not just the engines but the entire railway infrastructure was grubby, down-at-heel but workmanlike.
The first image, dated 14th August 2016, was taken at Tyne Green on the opposite side of the tracks to the golf course. The second image, dated 21st August 2016 was taken between Fourstones and Newbrough, on the track and crossing that used to lead down from Bull Bank:
She is due through Hexham again tomorrow so I will mount the Yamaha and seek out another viewing angle. My whole life has been a landscape with machines.