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Paul Tansley's Trainspotting days

At the end of Briton Street where I lived was the river and over this was a footbridge which many railway workers used every day, particularly to reach the extensive carriage sheds which were opposite. There were long raised platforms so that the carriages could be washed down and cleaned without requiring ladders and these still remained until recently.
I was evacuated to Leicester from Leigh-on-Sea in Essex so I found it pretty noisy with the trams rumbling down Narborough Road on one side (they ran pretty late) and the railway on the other (all night!) but as I boy I loved all the sounds. By the way, on New Years Eve all the locos sounded off their whistles but nobody seemed to mind

Briton Street meets Western Road and further up that road was an entry leading to the ' Black Pad', a cinder path which ran along the backs of the houses all the way down to where the Midland Burton line crosses via a bridge. This was the Mecca for all G.C. train spotters (and others!) and in retrospect the homeowners were very tolerant as we had few complaints. Most days I would cycle from the Wyggeston Boys School, often looking in at the birdcage walk over Swain Street bridge to see what was at the L.M.S Depot and then up to the Black Pad before tea. It must have been strongly imprinted on my mind because one day I came off my bike and got a thump on the head; this was on Welford Road hill yet the next thing I remember was asking my spotter friends where I lived! Yes, I had somehow got to the Black Pad from whence they took me home.

Anyway, the Yanks. The American forces were so friendly and generous. There were often several complete trains full of soldiers held up on the main line in the evening as traffic was so heavy and they were often alongside the Black Pad. The usual 'Got any gum chum?' rang out and they would throw packets of gum and sweets to us from the carriage windows; they liked to talk and ask us about England, we thought they were all film stars.

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This is page 17 of A journey down Memory Lane.
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An interesting view of the nearly completed Leicester Central engine shed, captured sometime around 1899.

An interesting view of the nearly completed Leicester Central engine shed, captured sometime around 1899.
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The run into Leicester Central Station from the north and south involved the crossing of a 'bowstring' lattice girder bridge. From the north, trains would have to cross Northgate Street Bridge, and trains from the south would have to cross Braunstone Gate Bridge - seen here under construction circa 1897.

The run into Leicester Central Station from the north and south involved the crossing of a 'bowstring' lattice girder bridge. From the north, trains would have to cross Northgate Street Bridge, and trains from the south would have to cross Braunstone Gate Bridge - seen here under construction circa 1897.
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Taken from Bede Meadows in July 2002, this photograph shows the old Great Central Power House which is now a pub called 'The Quay'. The building, once a part of the old Leicester South goods yard, is only one of two ex-GCR structures that still stand on the old goods yard site.

Taken from Bede Meadows in July 2002, this photograph shows the old Great Central Power House which is now a pub called 'The Quay'. The building, once a part of the old Leicester South goods yard, is only one of two ex-GCR structures that still stand on the old goods yard site.
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