The unveiling of Sir Nigel Gresley’s statue at King’s Cross on the 75th anniversary of his passing on April 5 tempted East Coast Main Line devotee Geoff Silcock to delve into his past of 54 years ago, when he recorded and noted almost the last swansong
of the native Gresley N2 0-6-2Ts in his North London area.
ON THE TRAIL OF THE LAST ‘SIX-NINE-FIVERS’
A ‘six-nine-fiver’ again in its prime, and as the author’s favourite of the last half-dozen extant at King’s Cross (34A) in 1962, No. 69504 leaves Sheringham in the 1990s seemingly for King’s Cross with suburban coaches, but in reality only likely to get as far as Holt…
I have always believed that the sound of an A4 chime whistle, maybe on a good day from King’s Cross station, would have been heard from the Royal Free Hospital in Grays Inn Road, where I was born.
If not from there, then certainly from where I lived a medium stone’s throw close to Harringay West station, further up the line.
There was always the shrill calls into the night, not unlike distant seagulls sometimes, of the myriad Gresley N2 0-6-2Ts (82 of them allocated in the King’s Cross area in around 1955!) as they went about their suburban, empty stock and other diverse duties.
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