There was nothing quite like the Thames-Clyde Express. Covering well over 400 miles, its route stretched from the dreaming spires of London’s St Pancras via the Shires of England, the legendary Settle-Carlisle line, Walter Scott’s Border Country and finally into Glasgow – the Second City of the Empire. It never offered the quickest journey between England and Scotland, but it was undoubtedly the most scenic.
David Pendleton, a former signalman at several locations along the route of the Thames-Clyde Express, has written what he terms ‘a love letter’ to this famous named train. Rather than a text ending on the sad day in 1975 when the last train reached its destination, he instead views its history and the tracks it traversed from a present-day perspective. Here is a rich mix of anecdotes and observations, including attractions and oddities either visible from today’s train services or within easy reach of principal stations.
Gavin Morrison, one of Britain’s most experienced railway photographers, has compiled more than sixty books and has gained the highest reputation for the quality of his work. He is able to capture the Thames-Clyde Express in its glory days and portray both steam and diesel locomotives on the complete route from London to Glasgow in its many moods. The result is a superb array of images taken during a lengthy period of well over 60 years between 1955 and 2022.
Collectively this book is a journey in both words and pictures that is highly informative and richly illustrated. It is to be enjoyed as a record of recent times as well as evoking memories of years long past!
About the Author
David Pendleton was a signalman for thirty-four years at locations as diverse as Hellifield and Seamer. He recently left the railway to open a gin distillery in the North Yorkshire seaside resort of Filey. In between signalling trains, he studied at Leeds Metropolitan University and De Montfort University, Leicester. At Leeds his Master’s dissertation focussed on holiday-making patterns on the Yorkshire coast, with a particular interest in events at Skipsea. David became a Doctor of Philosophy at Leicester via a study of commercialised sporting leisure in Victorian Bradford.
About the Photographer
Gavin Morrison got his first camera way back in 1943 and within a few years his hobby became an obsession. He has now amassed some 200,000 images in one of the largest personal collections still in the hands of the original photographer. Unlike many, he did not put his cameras away when the age of steam ended in 1968 and he continues to record the changing railway scene. A dedicated Yorkshireman, he lives near Mirfield and has always had a special regard for the Thames-Clyde Express.