70023 4985 1956-05-12 Hemerdon
My favourite spot for an afternoon of railway photography in the ' fifties was here, about two thirds of the way to the summit of Hemerdon bank, with the beginning of Chaddle Wood adding to the background. Taunton's 4985 Allesley Hall is helping Old Oak Common's 70023 Venus over the South Devon banks to Newton Abbot the pair having taken over this working at Plymouth North Road, leaving at 3.45.p.m, the train being the twelve noon up fom Penzance, the North Mail with its distinctive Royal Mail Travelling Post Office leading the formation. This was a favourite duty for a Britannia with the Running Foremen at Laira, and 70023 will go through on this working to Bristol Temple Meads before taking a spell at Bath Road Motive Power Depot, followed by a late run from Bristol back home to London on an express working. The line ahead curves away to the left, following the woods before emerging into the open again for the final stretch to the road bridge at the top of the bank, still a favourite location today when there's a Steam Special about !