CAVALCADE REMEMBERED 1925 described by Stuart Rankin. [ebook]


Book, illustrated card covers, 8”x 8”, 90pp three, 68 B&W half tone illustrations, map, extract from “Programme of Arrangements in Connection with the Railway Centenary…”


FRIDAY JULY 2nd 1925

We are standing in a field looking north across the railway line towards a

grandstand accommodating Royalty and VIPs. It is a beautiful sunny day,

ideal for photography. Next to it is a marquee for the press. It is in effect a

beer tent- the LNER, unlike the LMS, never stinted on entertaining “Fleet

Street’s Finest” and over the years this policy will pay dividends in terms of

newspaper coverage. We ãre part of a huge crowd, which includes one of

the two official photographers covering the event at this location.

The other is on the Darlington side of the Beer- sorry – Press Tent…

No, I was not actually there, (I am not quite that old!) but I was present at

The Rail 150 event in 1975, held at Heighington (indeed I had some part in

organising it) so coupled with the marvelous photos taken by the LNER

photographers, and those from “Topical Press” it is not difficult to

imagine the scene.


A ”Magic Lantern” Show

It is a frosty December evening in1926, but we are quite

snug in the church hall because a pot-bellied iron coke stove

in the corner, almost glowing with heat is radiating lots of

warmth, and probably a fair amount of carbon monoxide too.

The strange smell, however is from the acetylene gas

illuminating the “magic lantern” projector, a bulky black

japanned machine, the size of a small suitcase, topped with

a funnel capped by a pastry-cutter cowl, and thrusting a two

foot long barrel from its front. The Curate (a bit of a “Railwayac”

on the quiet), is the operator, and narrator for the evening.


He begins by thanking the London & North Eastern Railway, for the

generous free loan of the slides, which he collected from the local

station that afternoon, where they had arrived, packed in a stout

brass-bound wooden box, “OCS – On Company’s Service”. He will

send them back free of charge the following morning, by simply

removing the cardboard label addressed to him, revealing the painted

address “Advertising Manager, YORK – OCS”.


The Verger turns down the gas lights, and the curate begins:-

“This programme illustrates the procession of historic  and modern

locomotives and rolling stock which took place in the presence of their

Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of York, as part of the

Centenary of Railways” celebrations at Darlngton last year”


”Slide one. The Duke and Duchess of York arrive at the grandstand…”


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