I belong to the Rail group in Congleton U3A organisation and I had opportunity for a bit of reminiscing on a meeting entitled ‘Memories of Steam’.
The terrace house at 26 Heathcote Place, Sutton in Ashfield Nottinghamshire where I was born in 1942 bordered a railway line. It linked the Town and the Sutton Junction stations, a distance of 3/4 mile. The train was known as the ‘Penny Emma’.
I also discovered that the name came from the initials of the Midland Railway MR and it cost an ‘old’ penny to travel.
This is me in the yard clutching my precious wooden train made by my Dad who was a joiner by trade. Sadly I have no memory of the steam train only a photo of me on the front step pointing to it! However I do remember going to Hardwick Street primary school and walking over the footbridge after the train had passed with the smoke ‘puthering’ through the boards.
Then in 1950 when I was 8 years old we moved house , down Station road to a new estate over ‘the junction’. The trains must have been so commonplace that I still have no memories , other than their means of transport to elsewhere.
The line to Nottingham closed in the 1960’s but in the late 90’s reopened as the Robin Hood line. It rekindles many memories as I now travel from Kidsgrove to the new Sutton Parkway station to visit relatives.
And the Penny Emma is immortalised in a new road name.