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'Britannia' returns to Todmorden...

David Blaxhall was able to photograph BR Standard No. 70000 'Britannia' when it returned to Todmorden on Saturday 8 December 2018 after a gap of some 32 years, and has kindly shared the photographs here..

'Britannia' had originally been intended to be part of the National Collection but on withdrawal in 1966 - and particularly after a period of storage at Stratford in East London - was considered to be in very poor condition, and it was decided to retain 70013 'Oliver Cromwell' for the collection instead. Remarkably, Richard Greenwood was able to capture 'Britannia' on her last run in BR revenue service when she hauled a freight from Brewery Sidings to Healey Mills on 16 May 1966.

Richard writes that on 16 May 1966 he was at Rochdale East Junction and took four photographs of No 70000 'Britannia' as it stopped in the down goods loop and detached Rochdale traffic into the yard, noting: "After setting back onto its train, No 70000 departed for Healey Mills. The locomotive was allocated to Newton Heath (26A) at the time and Newton Heath driver, Trevor Owen, is pretty certain that this was its last revenue working as the Boiler Inspector stopped it when it got back to the shed. No 70000 was officially withdrawn from Newton Heath shed just twelve days later on 28th May 1966 after fifteen years of service". Richard's photos of 'Britannia' on her last run at Rochdale can be viewed here. Scroll down the page to the entry for No. 70000. To date, no photos of this train passing Todmorden have emerged, although we do have a photo showing her general condition in this period at the bottom of the page.

David's photos start with the train passing Rose Grove; taking water at Burnley and then crossing the viaduct at Todmorden.

Copyright David Blaxhall, all rights reserved

Copyright David Blaxhall, all rights reserved

Copyright David Blaxhall, all rights reserved

Copyright David Blaxhall, all rights reserved

Copyright David Blaxhall, all rights reserved

Copyright David Blaxhall, all rights reserved

Copyright David Blaxhall, all rights reserved

Copyright David Blaxhall, all rights reserved

Copyright David Blaxhall, all rights reserved

Finally, 'Britannia' as she was in 1965, giving a fair impression of how she would have looked when she last past through Todmorden in May 1966.

Photographer Eric Bentley, copyright JK Wallace

'Britannia' arrives at Manchester Victoria at 10.35 am on Saturday 5 June 1965