Steam train trip that went down a storm

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From: Anthony Silson, Whitecote Gardens, Bramley, Leeds.

IT was not looking good. Thursday, December 5 was a day of severe gales, a day when a special steam train was booked to run at 90mph between York and Newcastle.

The Tyne-Tees Streak, as the special was called, arrived in York only a few minutes late, and it was going forward to Newcastle. However, because of the weather, speed would be restricted to a rather disappointing 50mph maximum.

On the return journey, we learnt that speed restrictions had been lifted. With almost no other trains running, there ought to be no signal checks. Bittern, the engine, is a superb piece of British engineering and appeared to be performing well under a highly skilled crew. Anticipation mounted! 80, 88 and then the magical 90mph was reached. In our carriage this was greeted with loud applause and cheering. A greeting repeated when we touched 95. You need to realise that usually steam engines are not allowed to go at more than 60mph; so today was very much of an exception.

We passed flood-lit Durham Cathedral, with a sliver of moon shining from a starry sky at almost 95mph. Most of the journey was near 90mph and only through Northallerton, where there is a speed restriction, did it drop to 75mph. We were told it was the fastest steam run ever between Newcastle and York. I would not have missed it for the world!

My thanks go to the crew, all those who organised the event, and those who helped on the day. Oh and to the Yorkshire Post for informing readers, back in the summer, that a few seats were then still available.

Nimbies must look in mirror

From: Peter Downs, Wellesley Close, Worksop.

THE letter from Mr John Copeland (Yorkshire Post, December 9) bemoaning the fact that he has received a notice of intended prosecution for allegedly exceeding a 30mph speed limit is yet another example of the excuse of not “driving dangerously, clear road, good visibility, etc, etc”. The fact that he has a long driving history, if his logic is to be believed, would surely make him more observant of the laws of the road.

He has no excuse, speeding is an absolute offence, if you are driving faster than the limit you are breaking the law – end of story.

Whether his driving was safe or not is not the question; if the police had thought he was driving in an unsafe fashion, the charge would have been careless or dangerous driving, not speeding.

We are all guilty of exceeding the limit at some time, to a greater or lesser degree, so we are equally all guilty. Equally, if we are caught, we should put up and shut up, not complain about how unfair it is for us to be brought to task.

Mr Copeland seems on the one hand to insist that a police officer is prosecuted for a transgression, but that he is quite in order to contest his notice of intended prosecution.

I find it hard to accept such dual standards, it’s the motoring “nimby” syndrome.

Pronounced differences

From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

I MAKE no apology for extending the correspondence on language: it is a fascinating, dynamic subject.

Like Bob Crowther, I am baffled by the prevalence of “droring” which is more difficult to say than “drawing” (Yorkshire Post, December 10).

With a nod to the two well- known journalists, the intrusive “R” in, say, Christa Rackroyd and Tanya Rarnold though slovenly, is somehow less jarring, the elision being more easily produced than the glottal stop required to separate two vowels. Yet Wayne and Tracey on the street now prefer the glottal stop to a “T” in the middle of a word, even in the North: eg “be’er” (better) and “Leeds Uni’ed”.

However, unlike your correspondent, I have no problem with “tracks” or “dacks” for “trucks” and “ducks”: isn’t this what old-fashioned Received Pronunciation and Londoners would say? I find both RP and Cockney appealing. Perhaps Bob prefers Yorkshire’s way of pronouncing them like “books”. Nothing wrong with that.

This brings me to my own pet hates: “book”, “cook” and “look” are becoming “berk”, “kerk” and “lerk” then there is “reem” (room)... Oh, I could go on and on.

From: Elisabeth Baker, Broomhill Crescent, Leeds.

RC Curry (Yorkshire Post, December 11) deplores the use of “grow” for inanimate objects. My parallel moan is the use of “that” when referring to people (“the people that...”). What has happened to “who”?

Let’s address growing pains

From: Roger Crossley, Fall View, Silkstone, Barnsley.

I AGREE with much of what Mr Shaw says in his letter (Yorkshire Post, December 11) regarding action needed to retain our living standards in the future.

However, having made the strong point about “unprecedented growth in population”, he makes the mistake, in my opinion, of 
failing to discuss ways and 
means of doing something 
about it. Instead, his thinking only deals with ways of accommodating population growth in the future.

I feel that you cannot discuss methods of providing for a larger population without at the same time grappling with ways of restricting/controlling population growth. It is an error to simply accept the inevitable rise of population and cater for it.

Mr Shaw mentions statistics for the year 2035, but what about 2070 and beyond?