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X marks the trainspotting spot!

The Retro trainspotters picture that caused all the interest among Retro readers
The Retro trainspotters picture that caused all the interest among Retro readers

It’s always interesting when Retro readers respond to our coverage, and city trainspotters have been fascinated by one old photograph.

The picture, reproduced here, appeared in Tuesday Retro on September 18 and the original caption said: “Sheffield trainspotters in their element at Woodhead in 1960”.

Syd Bullen from S20 wrote: “I was interested to see the photo of the young trainspotters on the front page of Wednesday's Retro.

“I am 99% sure the lad seated seventh from the right with a pencil behind his left ear is a Langsett Road school classmate of mine - the late Peter Dick, he would have been around 14 years of age when the image was captured.

“I am not convinced it was taken at Woodhead, it looks to me like it could be on Bernard Road or Bernard Street, the position overlooked the train line that came out of the Midland station and also had a view of the line out of Victoria station.

“Below the wall was a very steep drop. If anyone had fallen from the wall they were in trouble. I remember trainspotting there myself around the same time.

“The next time I'm in that area I will check the patternation of the stonework against the picture to try and confirm my theory.”

John Gilling from Rotherham’s letter on the subject was published on September 26. He stated: “I am the third boy from the right in the white shirt and the picture was taken at Bernard Road.

“Judging by the number of lads there I would guess that a special train was coming through.

I would hazard a guess that it was the City of Truro on its way to York museum.

“We were always told that City of Truro was the first steam locomotive to reach 100 mph 30 years before the Flying Scotsman.

That prompted Colin Pemberton to get in touch too. He wrote: “In The Star today (September 26) John Gilling mentions he is in the picture and the bridge is Bernard Road bridge. I beg to differ as I am also in the second from him and the bridge is Havelock Bridge at Myrtle Road; we can't both be right.

“The picture in Retro was in a previous article in The Star about my friend Trevor Kay, who fell or climbed down and lost sight in one eye.

“Surely you have details of where the picture of the bridge was to confirm my account,or am I going dolally, lol?”

Geoffrey Seedhouse of Deer Park Road, Stannington backs up other theories.

He wrote: “The location of the trainspotters sitting on the wall is Cricket Inn Road-Bernard Road, near to the Durham Ox pub. The pub still stands but is now derelict.

“I myself am pictured in the photo - being the lad fourth from the right, age 10 - and my pal David is seated on my right. We still keep in touch.

“The Bernard Road location enabled trainspotters to ‘cop’ steam, diesel and electric locos from Sheffield Midland and Victoria stations.

“I the photo, the lad with the binoculars would be looking to see what was happening in Sheffield Victoria, which was situated next to the Royal Victoria Hotel.

“The road layout is just slightly altered today and the Bernard Road wall is difficult to locate.

“Once a trainspotter, always a trainspotter!”

Yes, indeed, Geoffrey, and we’re always pleased to revive mostly happy memories, except about the poor lad who fell.