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Snow Hill Station

Alf

Gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
I left Snow Hill Station Feb 1955 to do my National Service I'll never forget that.But I loved that Station and would spend hours there Train Spotting hoping to see a Castle, Manor, Grange or Hall woderful Engines O0

It was Steam Trains then
 

silhouette53

master brummie
So much has beeen written about this old station - seems almost everyone has a memory of it ! I used to travel from it every summer holiday with my Dad. We used to go to stay with my grandparents who had a guest house at St Leonards on Sea ( Hastings ). We would get the express to London Paddington and then the tube to Charing Cross where we'd get a train to Hastings. I loved the station so much i used to go there on my own whenever I could to watch all those wonderful steam engines formerly of the Great Western Railway - Kings, Castles, Halls, Manors, Granges - any railway buff will know what I mean. Attached is a pic I took in 69 after the station had closed and was awaiting demolition. The new Snow Hill is like the new New St - claustrophobic and uninspiring. The only good thing is that you can occasionally see a 'steamer' on a special at Snow Hill and of course the Shakespeare Express runs from there to Stratford and back every Sunday ( twice ! ) during Jul Aug & Sept
( see www.vintagetrains.co.uk )
 
O

O.C.

Guest
I wonder how many people have got any of their Train "Refs" the books you crossed all the trains out you spotted Liners, Blinkers, Namers and footplated many a happy hour was spent at New Street and Snow hill as well as playing on the coal waggons at Saltley and Duddeston
 

mikeflan

master brummie
Oh yes...those were the days alright........paying all that money to get onto the platform at Snow Hill....a whole penny for a platform ticket but worth it !!!! but it was always clean compared to New Street....and it hurts me to say that as I was an LMR spotter really......but Oh such happy memories.......as an LMR spotter it meant a trip to Tamworth at a grand price of...One Shilling and Fourpence Ha'penny to sit in the field there and get soaked....then a telling off from my mom when I returned looking like a coal miner...........she just had no sense of trainspotter dedication.
 

Oisin

gone but not forgotten
I started to wonder why the Grand Hotel was never called the Great Western, as so many others were. Was it because, although close to the station, it didn't actually belong to the Great Western company?

Wellington Street, where I was born and bred, in Winson Green was a train spotters' paradise, with both LMS and GWR bridging it. The back of our house wasn't bad either with the LMS railway bank at the bottom of the garden and a signal stop so close you could chat to the drivers while sitting on the garden wall.
 

Rupert

master brummie
Hi, well everyone here,
Wow! This brings back lots of memeories. It's great to see the platform where you have stood with your dad as a youngster waiting for the train. The sound of the powerfull engine as it comes into the station shiney and spick and span. I remember the fireman jumping down onto the station with an oil can and lubeing various parts. It seems to me that more of the GWR engines had names than LMS and it went right by just in front of you.
Later I remember walking up Cherry Street and across the chuch gardens to the station, after stopping to look at the airplane models in the shop window on the corner of Cherry St. on my way to school in Handsworth. The trams were gone then and I would catch a bus right in front of the station usually an old delapidated West Brom bus which would turn the corner and charge off at high speed down the hill past Taylor And Challen. I think all of the West Brom drivers took lessons with Stirling and Jack. Wonderfull posts thanks.
 

Sakura

master brummie
My dad always wanted a paper to read on the train, so we would all get on and then he would get off and go to the paper stand. The guard would have his flag ready to wave and my mom would be have a fit. Then dad would come running down the platform and leap into the closest door still open.

Every trip was the same, I think he enjoyed the excitment.
 

silhouette53

master brummie
Sorry about the size of the pics John - I scanned them from a book I have. To be honest I haven't delved too deeply into the 'photo manipulation' area yet - must bone up on it !

Colin
 

ELIZABETH1

master brummie
My Grandmother used to work in the refreshment bar at Snowhill Station many years ago - she met lots of famous people like Laurel and Hardy there!! :D
 

silhouette53

master brummie
Alf
I remember the so called 'Blue Pullman' which operated between Paddington & Snow Hill ( it was introduced on 12th Sept 1960 to be precise ) Of course there had always been Pullman trains - steam hauled - with those lovely old chocolate & cream colours and the sumptuous interiors, posh curtains and individual lamps at each table, gilded brasswork etc. Each carriage had a name on the side, exotic names (to me!) like 'Minerva' to list but one. A surcharge of 7/6 ( 37 1/2p ) was made on the normal 1st and 2nd class fares. Really, it just heralded the demise of steam traction, in fact the 'Kings' were all withdrawn in 1962 and diesel locos took over the express trains on the Wolverhampton - Paddington route? End of an era - sad.
 
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silhouette53

master brummie
Thanks Alf for that link - some nice pictures on that site. I even got to park my car in the old station before it was demolished. The author Derek Harrison ( sadly died a couple of years back now ) did two books about Snow Hill - both are still in print I think although you can get then easily enough used. They're a good read and have some great photos and reminiscences

Colin
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
HI ALF , NICE PIC OF THE PULLMAN ,THEY WAS SMART AND CLEAN THEM DAYS AND VERY COMFORTABLE,TO TRAVEL ON , NO WORRY OF BEING ACOSTED, BY YOBS, CARRIDGES WERE ALWAYS KEPT CLEAN AND TIDY , THE OLD CONDUCTORS,WHERE VERY SMART IN THERE UNIFORMS , AND REGIMENTAL, YOU WOULD NOT GO IN THE FIRST CLASS COMPARTMENT WITHOUT THE RIGHT TICKET, YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN SHOWN THE SECOND CLASS COMPARTMENT, AND TOLD TO GET YOUR FEET FIRMLEY ON THE FLOOR, TODAYS CONDUCTORS ,ARE SCRUFFY, AND DO NOT CARE A MONKEY IF YOUPUT YOUR FEET UP AND VANDERLISE THE TRAIN, I TRAVEL FROM FOREGATE ST,WORCESTER,AND HALF THE TIME THEY DNT COME TO CHECK YOUR TICKET, THATS WHY THEY ARE LOOSING MONEY, IWROTE TO THE B,HAM MAIL LAST YEAR ABOUT THIS SUBJECT, GOT NO REPLY ,AND I SAID THE TICKET COLLECTER WAS TOO SURPOSE TO WATCH OUT FOR FARE DODGERS , BUT WHO HIS WATCHING THEM DO THERE JOB , THEY ARE NOT DOING THERE JOB PROPERLY,IF THEY DID THEY WOULD,NT LOOSE MONEY, ANY WAY ALF ITS A NICE PIC OF THE COACH WELL DONE , ASTONIAN,;;;;;;
 

Peter Walker

gone but not forgotten
Just been reading the fascinating postings on Snow Hill. I always thought it was so much more civilised than New Street, although it had far fewer trains. I still have my Ian Allan "Ref" from about 1944, and - more valuable to me - a reproduction of the equivalent book the GWR itself brought out in the 1930s.
Oh, that wonderful booking hall with the taxis!
Peter
 

gingerjon

master brummie
Snow Hill station opened in 1852 and was known purely as the Great Western

a book to read A Salutute to Snow Hill author Derek Harrison paper back
 
S

speaky

Guest
Phew what's that smell? Good gad! it's my memory playing ticks with me after all this talk of Snow Hill and New Street stations,and reverting back to the days of the steam engines with all that smoke again. Both New Street an Snow Hill would have been places of horror for todays generation. Do you remember crossing over the foot bridges from one platform to another when a train went underneath and you came out of the thick smoke smelling like a stoker who had just completed his shift, and that taste of smoke and grit in your mouth. Everything was covered in a thick black grime and had the appearance of some satanical place. Then there were the long distance train journeys. I remember the 11:10pm from New Street filled with National Service men mainly, all returning from a weekend at home. Army for Catterick and Carlisle, RAF for Blackpool, and the Navy for Edinburgh and Glasgow. All seats were taken and the corridors were also packed with the uniformed lads and lassies. As the train went north and people got off so more seats became available. Two great engines each belching out smoke were required to get up Shap Fell and then finally we arrived at Glasgow Central around 7:30am reeking of smoke and dirt, and the mouth tasting like a vultures cr**tch.
Now i am the first to yearn for those wonderful days of steam, and the beauty of the monsters that pulled the carriages, and for Snow Hill, New Street and all the other statons I have sat on waiting for connections, but the reality of it all is it was a big nightmare!! I would hate to see them back again if only i had the courage to admit that, but the reality is, I much prefer my comfort in to-days clean clinical like stations and trains.
Never the less, a big "thank you" to the persons responsible for the wonderful photographs of trains and places of yesterday, I appreciate that armchair journey back to memory lane.
 

Michael_Ingram

gone but not forgotten
There are some great shots of Snow Hill Station in an episode of the Gangesters - a great 1970s crime series set in Birmingham, now out on DVD
 

Rupert

master brummie
Note image has been lost

Rod, Here is the science museum tram. It's just a digital picture of the photo which is sharp. The number is 395
I will see if I can get the negative digitized and send a better one. I also will see if I can do the same with thw spitfire and City Of Birmingham loco.
Regards.
 

robert

master brummie
When i was a young lad many years ago, i spent a lot of time train spotting as most young lads did. I remember one particular August evening in the early 60s { Before Dr Beeching swung his axe }being at Marston Green station waiting for the cement train traveling up from Rugby. The wagons were always pulled by a Britainnia class engine ,9 times out of 10 it would be Aerial {70014 i think } on the odd occasion it woulld the Iron Duke. the train was due round about 7 15 pm, we would wait for the signal to drop then look down the long piece of straight track watching out for the steam. As the engine neared some one would shout out its got blinkers { a technical term that only young boys would know } at that point you would begin to hope it would be a differnt "namer". As it got closer you could sense something was unusual. The train seemed to sparkle in the evening sunlight, as it sped its way past the number was being read out loud by everyone 70000 BRITAINThe staition fell silent for a few seconds then everyone cheered and jumpt with joy. to see one of B Rs classic trains working was a fantastic sight. The cement train always returned at 11 30 am the following morning word must have got about because there were 100s of people at the station waiting to see it. Britaina now hold pride of place at York Railway Museum. Im of now to get my Anorak.
 
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