Johnson 115 Class number 673 at the National Railway Museum, York. Three members of this class were noted on this day.


How did the Lickey look in 1915? 

On the Incline itself there were no colour light signals near Pikes Pool and the distant for Blackwell was a semaphore. The bank engine siding between the up and down lines at Blackwell was some years away. At the station the gantry was probably the earlier one with lower quadrant signals and the box on the platform had only been replaced the year before. Newton bridge was a brick structure over just two tracks and the signal box was on the up side. The bank engine sidings had a different layout too. The engine shed would have had all three roads with round top entrances and the cabin on the station side had yet to be built. In its place was a wooden lean-to shed as on the opposite side. The water softening plant was some years away and the oil refueling plant was yet to come.

With the war putting the construction of a large banking engine on hold most trains would be banked by the Johnson tanks supplemented at times by a Kirtley 0-6-0 tender engine.

Thanks to being able to look at the Stoke Works signalbox register we can see what locomotives were working through Bromsgrove at this time. I picked a date at random, this being Wednesday 3rd February 1915.

Signalman H Walker had come on duty at 10pm the previous evening and the record starts at midnight and runs for 24 hours. At 6am Signalman T Y Pembleton came on duty and was relieved at 2pm by Signalman A E Salisbury. Signalman H Walker returned at 10pm.

Some of the locomotive numbers are clearer than others with those of H Walker a bit harder to read. Pembleton was a lot clearer but omitted six numbers.

The following are the numbers that I am reasonably sure of.

32, 54, 68, 73, 76, 120, 155, 157, 176, 197, 198, 198, 203, 204, 374, 377, 428, 429, 483, 484, 495, 496, 497, 506, 510, 512, 514, 521, 524, 524, 525, 529, 537, 548, 550, 574, 584, 609, 628, 635, 668, 680, 681, 681, 682, 756, 758, 770, 772, 1337, 2071, 2307, 2307, 2339, 2344, 2356, 2357, 2357, 2376, 2381, 2411, 2505, 2566, 2566, 2566, 2570, 2595, 2628, 2637, 2675, 2678, 2683, 2692, 2721, 2724, 2733, 2739, 2784, 2801, 2833, 3010, 3076, 3194, 3194, 3210, 3424, 3532, 3535, 3535, 3542, 3604, 3690, 3700, 3727.

As you can see eight locomotives were recorded on two occasions. Seven Singles were recorded, three being of the 115 Class and the others being two 1853 Class and one 179 Class. One was on mineral empties, one on a fast freight, four on passenger trains and the other was recorded twice, once on a parcels train and also on a passenger. There were twelve 2-4-0's of Kirtley's 1347, 800 and 890 Classes and twenty two Kirtley and Johnson 4-4-0's. the remainder were 0-6-0's hauling freight or light engine. No trains appeared to be double headed.

There were 68 down trains, 28 passenger, 2 light engine, 3 parcels and the rest freight/mineral.

On the up there were 66 trains, 26 passenger, 2 light engine, 1 parcels and the rest freight/mineral.

The light engine movements were 2721 and 2381 running round their trains.

2721 (probably a Bromsgrove engine) arrived with a mineral or empty wagon train from the north shortly before 1-00am and entered the sidings before leaving in the direction of Bromsgrove shortly after. The same engine arrived light shortly before 2-00pm and entered the sidings. It left with a mineral or empty wagon train shortly after 4-00pm in the direction of Bromsgrove.

2381 (also probably a Bromsgrove engine) arrived from that direction shortly before 7-00pm and entered the sidings. It left light engine about 8-15pm in the direction it had come.

Using the Bromsgrove passenger timetable and the signalbox bell codes as a guide the following passed on the up line.

11-40pm Bristol-Derby at 1-47am. No loco number recorded.

1-3am Bristol-Derby Mail at 3-16am. No loco number recorded.

7-28am Worcester-Derby at 7-53am. Loco 496. Johnson 156 Class 4-4-0.

8-3am Worcester-Birmingham at 8-26am. Loco 198. Johnson 1347 Class 2-4-0.

7-3am Gloucester-Birmingham at 8-49am. Loco 668. 179 Class 4-2-2.

9-5am Worcester Foregate St-Birmingham at 9-26am. Loco 73. Kirtley 890 Class 2-4-0.

8-0am Bristol-Birmingham at 10-48am. Loco 483. Johnson 156 Class 4-4-0.

8-55am Bristol-Birmingham at 11-28am. Loco 514. Johnson 2421 Class 4-4-0.

11-50am Gloucester-Birmingham at 1-10pm. Loco 506. Johnson 2421 Class 4-4-0.

2-45pm Worcester-Birmingham at 3-9pm. Loco 429. Johnson 2203 Class 4-4-0.

3-48pm Worcester-Derby at 4-12pm. Loco 548. Johnson 60 Class 4-4-0.

3-25pm Bristol-Derby at 5-17pm. No loco number recorded.

4-30pm Gloucester-Birmingham at 6-5pm. Loco number 198. Johnson 1347 Class 2-4-0.

4-52pm Bristol-Birmingham at 7-33pm. Loco 537. Johnson 60 Class 4-4-0.

5-5pm Bristol-Birmingham at 8-55pm.Loco 512. Johnson 2421 Class 2-4-0.

7-0pm Bristol-Derby Mail at 9-29pm. No loco number recorded.

9-15pm Gloucester-Derby at 10-19pm. No loco number recorded.

10-15pm Worcester-Derby at 10-34pm. Loco 76. Kirtley 890 Class 2-4-0.

There were another 9 up passenger trains that were not booked to stop at Bromsgrove except for a banker.

On the down line the following was the case.

12-40am Derby-Bristol Mail at 3-37am. Loco 374. Johnson 1738 Class 4-4-0.

2-30am Derby-Worcester at 4-32am. Loco 428. Johnson 2203 Class 4-4-0.

6-23am Birmingham-Bristol at 7-33am. Loco 635. Johnson 1853 Class 4-2-2.

​6-15am Derby-Bristol at 9-16am. Loco 550. Johnson 60 Class 4-4-0.

9-5am Derby-Bristol at 10-54am. Loco 772. Class 3 Belpair 4-4-0.

11-2am Birmingham-Worcester at 11-58am. Loco 548. Johnson 60 Class 4-4-0.

12-15pm Birmingham-Worcester at 12-59pm. Loco 509. Johnson 2421 Class 4-4-0.

11-57am Derby-Worcester at 1-56pm. Loco 484. Johnson 156 Class 4-4-0.

12-40pm Derby-Gloucester at 2-53pm. Loco 68. Kirtley 890 Class 2-4-0.

1-20pm Derby-Worcester at 4-14pm. Loco 198. Johnson 1347 Class 2-4-0.

4-50pm Birmingham-Worcester at 5-24pm. Loco 73. Kirtley 890 Class 2-4-0.

5-15pm Birmingham-Bristol at 5-56pm. Loco 510. Johnson 2421 Class 4-4-0.

4-35pm Derby-Bristol at 6-16pm. No loco number recorded.

5-50pm Birmingham-Gloucester at 6-42pm. Loco 628. Johnson 1853 Class 4-2-2.

5-45pm Derby-Worcester at 7-43pm. Loco 76. Kirtley 890 Class 2-4-0.

6-15pm Derby-Bristol at 8-2pm. Loco 525. Johnson 60 Class 4-4-0.

7-45pm Derby-Bristol at 9-42pm. Loco 524. Johnson 60 Class 4-4-0.

11-00pm Birmingham-Worcester at 11-46pm. Loco 198. Johnson 1347 Class 2-4-0.

​There was also another 9 down passenger trains that had not stopped at Bromsgrove.