When Visnews cameraman boarded the London to portsmouth train at Victoria Station recently he wasn't sure whether the date was Jan 2 1959 or 1859.
When Visnews cameraman boarded the London to portsmouth train at Victoria Station recently he wasn't sure whether the date was Jan 2 1959 or 1859. Victorian ladies were being helped aboard the train by Victorian gentlemen and the engine was a veteran.
There was a simple enough explanation - Jan 24 1959 was the centenary of the opening of the Godalming to Havant section of this line. British Railways, usually so cold and impersonal, had let its hair down and celebrated in true style.
As the Adam 0395 class engine chugged through suburban London and into the countryside of Survey tea was served. Polite Victorian ladies and their escorts sat sipping tea and eating dainty cakes and biscuits.
When this slice of Victorian was drawn into Guildford station, 1959 railway enthusiasts took the opportunity to record the historic outing by writing the engine number in their 'spotting' books.
At Guildford, the tired Adam 0395 was unharnessed and a Drummond 700 class engine took over.
Next stop Fareham, where passengers and civic dignitaries posed for photographers before setting off for Gosport and the return run for London.