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Flying Scotsman could save Doncaster The great engine should go home for its centenary

Flying Scotsman's last journey to Doncaster. Credit: Photo by SSPL/Getty Images

Flying Scotsman's last journey to Doncaster. Credit: Photo by SSPL/Getty Images


January 18, 2023   6 mins

In just over a month, “the world’s most famous locomotive” celebrates its 100th birthday. Flying Scotsman emerged — or was “outshopped”, as the railway people say — from the huge railway works at Doncaster on February 24th 1923. To celebrate its centenary, it will take a triumphal tour of the nation. The engine will not, however, be visiting its birthplace.

True enough, it is as hard to associate Doncaster with the continuing glamour of Flying Scotsman as it is to believe that Diana Rigg — svelte star of The Avengers — came from there. Michael Parkinson said Rigg “radiated a lustrous beauty”; the same cannot be said of modern-day Doncaster, so close to prosperous and pretty York, one stop north on the East Coast Main Line. When it comes to the North-South divide, the latter, cosseted by tourism, doesn’t really have a dog in the fight, whereas Doncaster seems emblematic of all that has gone wrong in recent decades.

The Flying Scotsman symbolises happier times for Doncaster. It owes its existence to what a recent Doncaster Council document described as “the most significant example of levelling up in Doncaster’s history”. In 1849, the town’s Tory MP, Edmund Beckett Denison, persuaded the Great Northern Railway to extend its line north to Doncaster, and to move its works there. By the turn of the century, those works — known as “the Plant” — occupied 200 acres and involved 60 miles of sidings, some tangled with the mineral lines serving nearby pits. The GNR was not exactly philanthropic, as Rowntree’s in York was, but it did reach out to the town. It built two schools for its workers. It helped pay for the construction of Station Road, a handsome thoroughfare along which arrivals by train might saunter into town, past the Oriental Chambers and the Grand Theatre.

In those days, London needed the North. Coal trains left Doncaster hourly for the capital. And the town was a destination, not just a resource. Tourists came for the races, and ambitious young men came from all over Britain to take up apprenticeships at the Plant, including W.O. Bentley, who would use the skills he learnt building fast trains to build fast cars. In 1911, a large, intimidating Scottish aristocrat called Nigel Gresley arrived at Doncaster as Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Great Northern. He designed the star product a new class of unprecedentedly big express passenger locomotives, built to haul heavy, luxury trains at speed along the East Coast Main Line. It was named Flying Scotsman.

The engine is often described as symbolising all that was best in British engineering, but it also represented an early flowering of the nation’s Public Relations industry, becoming a pin-up in many beautiful posters. There would be Flying Scotsman paperweights, jigsaws, ash trays. The loco regularly hauled the train named The Flying Scotsman between London and Edinburgh, and anyone who turned up to find a different engine at the front would feel short-changed, as when an understudy takes the star’s part in a play. The Flying Scotsman had luxury carriages, including the Louis XIV-style first-class restaurant car, a cinema carriage and a barber’s shop, in which shaves with a cutthroat razor were offered and accepted — a tribute to the train’s smooth riding. All these trappings were created in the Plant.

Why all this manufactured glamour? Mainly because of competition for the lucrative London-Scotland rail market, but also because of automobile competition. In the Thirties, people would be unlikely to drive from London to Scotland, but they might take a charabanc from York to Scarborough, and the LNER hoped its mainline publicity would add lustre to its local services, for which it adopted the tell-tale slogan, “It’s Quicker by Rail”.

While they were nationalised, in the second half of the 20th century, our railways were increasingly menaced by the rise of the automobile. Investment would be followed by retrenchment, indulgence by hangover, and in 1958 British Railways fell into the hands of a Transport Secretary succinctly described by Christian Wolmar, in his history of BR, as “a car man”. Ernest (‘Ernie’) Marples drove a Jag. He co-owned a company that built roads. He appointed Dr Richard Beeching, a physicist, to take a “scientific” approach to BR, which, not very surprisingly, turned out to mean cutting the network by a third.

Diesel and electric locomotives would be outshopped from Doncaster over the next 30 years, but trains had lost their primacy. The propaganda surrounding the Beeching cuts characterised railways as a second-class mode. They lost their sheen and so, therefore, did Doncaster. Marples was a Conservative, but Labour was half-hearted in opposition to his policies. In the late Sixties and early Seventies, Doncaster’s Labour Council capitulated to the motor car, just as similarly-hued councils did in Leeds, Sheffield and Bradford. If you emerge from Doncaster station today, you see an artwork celebrating the town’s locomotive-building history, but all you can hear is the traffic of the town’s inner ring road, constructed in 1970, which creates a barrier between the station and the town.

Doncaster, like most Northern towns, is uglier than it used to be. Elegant Station Road was obliterated by the construction of a huge shopping centre with five levels of parking above it. The only survivor is the Grand Theatre, which stands derelict opposite the station, a great white haunted house. Along the pedestrianised High Street, formerly the Great North Road, attractive premises that once housed grand banks and coaching inns are occupied by fast-food outlets, charity shops, barbers’ shops offering “Haircut £6”. In Doncaster’s most beautiful building, the Minster, I spoke to a local man in his eighties.

“There aren’t more than a couple of really good shops left on the High Street. Fifty years ago, they were all good, and you had some railway first class menswear shops and tailors.” (He was very well-dressed.) When asked how long times had been hard, he said: “I’d date it back to the pit closures.”

Unlike many other places that started to lose their mines in the late Eighties, Doncaster had railways to fall back on. But it suffered a more complete loss of machismo after it made its last loco in 1987. Today, the town retains what the council calls its “diverse railway cluster”, which employs 7000 people, 2000 more than the old Plant. But whereas everyone knew what went on in the Plant, the cluster is mysterious. No one person seems to have the complete list of its tenants. There’s the iPort, for example: an “intermodal rail terminal” signified by a mass of containers visible a couple of miles south of Doncaster on your right from northbound trains. Some containers are brought from abroad including, it is rumoured, by a train that comes via the Chunnel from China. Near the iPort are giant, blank-faced warehouses: Amazon distribution hubs. Doncaster has the dubious honour of being the only place in the UK to have three of these. A woman who works in a Doncaster cafĂ© said to me: “Today, Donny is a distribution hub — don’t ask me what’s being distributed.”

Admittedly, there is a good deal of railway-related activity within the cluster. But this being modern “British industry”, many of the names are foreign. Wabtec Rail, an American-owned firm, refurbishes rolling stock at Doncaster. And there’s Volker Rail, a Dutch railway infrastructure company. The foreignness of the cluster is typical: of the 30 or so train operators in Britain today, only half a dozen have British owners. Professor Paul Salveson, a railway expert, says the Doncaster scene exemplifies “the willingness of British governments over the last fifty years to relinquish engineering — the idea that we don’t need to make things”.

Was this an ingredient in the overwhelming support for Brexit? All the towns in Yorkshire except the three most prosperous — York, Leeds, Harrogate — voted to leave the European Union, Doncaster by 69%. In a pub in the city centre, a local explained that people supported Brexit “because they thought something might change”. When asked what had changed, he said: “Nowt.”

But Doncaster’s economy was actually growing faster than the regional average pre-pandemic. Construction — some undertaken on the territory of the Plant — played a part: Doncaster is being regenerated. And it remains an important railway centre, both for passengers — six lines radiate from the town — and the industry. But the glamour is gone. As for the Scotsman, it pursues its whimsical afterlife. Having been saved from scrapping in 1962, it was owned by a succession of rail enthusiast-millionaires — two of whom it bankrupted. They ran it all over Britain until 2004, when it was acquired by the National Rail Museum — located, of course, in lucky old York.

In his book, Parallel Lines, Ian Marchant wrote that there are two railways in Britain: the railway of romance and the railway of reality. The latter, he added, was “largely shit”, and here might lie an opportunity for Doncaster. Our privatised railway is fragmented, with its separation of track and train operators, its multiplicity of ever-changing brands and liveries. Unlike The Flying Scotsman or the LNER, it is unknowable, and this is reflected in the anonymity of the Doncaster railway lands.

Great British Railways, the state-owned body expected to take over the nation’s industry, will supposedly fix this problem, providing a central “guiding mind”, and a more integrated network. What with the energy crisis and the recent political turmoil, the Bill to create GBR has been postponed. But the location of its headquarters is expected to be announced in 2023 even so. Doncaster made the shortlist — and it seems by far the most deserving candidate among Birmingham, Crewe, Derby, Newcastle and York.

There is no grand panacea for the sites of former industry. Steps to a better future will mostly be incremental. But occasionally there will be strides. Victory for Doncaster might top even the arrival of the Great Northern Railway as an instance of real levelling up. The city would unequivocally be a railway place once again — an even better thing to be in 2023 than in 1923, perhaps, given the newly recognised environmental kudos of rail. Skilled workers would flock there once more. There would also be intangible benefits: restored pride, an escape from the melancholic retrospection. And perhaps the starry locomotive will have assisted. Doncaster’s pitch for the role contained a killer line: “We built Flying Scotsman”.


Andrew Martin is a journalist and novelist. His latest book is Yorkshire: There and Back.


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Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Superb article. I grew up witnessing the last days of steam, and now its revival as a tourist industry with many local branch lines run with the help of skilled volunteers. There’s something almost visceral about a steam engine, true engineering marvels (especially close up) and each with its own personality.

The Flying Scotsman itself was fully restored at an engineering works in Heywood, Lancashire. The skills still exist. I’ve travelled behind her, on a trip from York to Carlisle.

As for the association with Doncaster, the article is redolent of many places in the former industrial bases of the North which created the wealth upon which the UK flourished. The appetite and aptitudes to contribute more to the UK economy still exists, and the government that can unlock these resources once again will have little problem in staying in office.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Superb article. I grew up witnessing the last days of steam, and now its revival as a tourist industry with many local branch lines run with the help of skilled volunteers. There’s something almost visceral about a steam engine, true engineering marvels (especially close up) and each with its own personality.

The Flying Scotsman itself was fully restored at an engineering works in Heywood, Lancashire. The skills still exist. I’ve travelled behind her, on a trip from York to Carlisle.

As for the association with Doncaster, the article is redolent of many places in the former industrial bases of the North which created the wealth upon which the UK flourished. The appetite and aptitudes to contribute more to the UK economy still exists, and the government that can unlock these resources once again will have little problem in staying in office.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

What a refreshing essay about something that really matters! And isn’t that the late, great, Alan Pegler, OBE, FRSA, the initial saviour of the Flying Scotsman (FS) in the caption photograph?

Recently a slightly more advanced version of the FS, the A1 Pacific “Tornado” was rebuilt from scratch, as none of her original class had survived. Sadly although nearly all of her was built in the UK, the boiler had to made in Germany!

“Sic gloria transit Mundi”.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Yes, indeed. My favourites were the Britannia class, starting with 70000, all of them named except for 70047 which for some reason peculiar to the British sense of quirkiness, remained nameless!

There were 54 in all, with evocative names such as “Coeur De Lion”, “Howard of Effingham, “Hereward the Wake” which took you not just on a rail journey but a deep dive into British history.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Yes I remember the Britannia’s thundering across East Anglia, a real symbol of the initial optimism of post-war Britain.

Thanks, I had no idea the 70047 was unnamed, (perhaps ‘we’ had run out of heroes?)how odd indeed. Fortunately the splendidly named “Oliver Cromwell” has survived.

Next year of course will be the centenary of fabled GWR Castle Class, and soon we will be able to refight the the famous 1925 Exchange Trials of ‘Pendennis Castle’ v ‘Victor Wild’.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Dave Smith
Dave Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I used to spend time in Liverpool Street. A wonderful place for a small boy. Steam locos everywhere and that extraordinary station with so many hidden nooks .
The Britannias were my favourites and now I wonder at the unknown committee members who decided the names they would carry. A definitely subversive anti establishment theme there. Hereward the Wake, Robin Hood Hood , Oliver Cromwell ,Owen Glendower, Alfred the Great were carried along with the writers and others .I wonder who wanted these.
After all Hereward and Robin Hood and maybe even Oliver are English heroes not Norman ones and we lads knew all about that. All of them on expresses into the old lands of the Anglo Saxons and the heartland of the Parliament cause. . I suppose our young no longer even know what I am talking about but not so long ago we did.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

The North British Railway had a class of locos named after characters from the works of Sir Walter Scott.

A late friend of mine recalled waiting for his train in Hexham Station when a great cry went up from the older boys. Seconds later the Newcastle express thundered through headed by the loco ‘Wandering Willie’.
Apparently this was a regular occurrence in those days of innocence!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

The North British Railway had a class of locos named after characters from the works of Sir Walter Scott.

A late friend of mine recalled waiting for his train in Hexham Station when a great cry went up from the older boys. Seconds later the Newcastle express thundered through headed by the loco ‘Wandering Willie’.
Apparently this was a regular occurrence in those days of innocence!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Yes I remember the Britannia’s thundering across East Anglia, a real symbol of the initial optimism of post-war Britain.

Thanks, I had no idea the 70047 was unnamed, (perhaps ‘we’ had run out of heroes?)how odd indeed. Fortunately the splendidly named “Oliver Cromwell” has survived.

Next year of course will be the centenary of fabled GWR Castle Class, and soon we will be able to refight the the famous 1925 Exchange Trials of ‘Pendennis Castle’ v ‘Victor Wild’.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Dave Smith
Dave Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I used to spend time in Liverpool Street. A wonderful place for a small boy. Steam locos everywhere and that extraordinary station with so many hidden nooks .
The Britannias were my favourites and now I wonder at the unknown committee members who decided the names they would carry. A definitely subversive anti establishment theme there. Hereward the Wake, Robin Hood Hood , Oliver Cromwell ,Owen Glendower, Alfred the Great were carried along with the writers and others .I wonder who wanted these.
After all Hereward and Robin Hood and maybe even Oliver are English heroes not Norman ones and we lads knew all about that. All of them on expresses into the old lands of the Anglo Saxons and the heartland of the Parliament cause. . I suppose our young no longer even know what I am talking about but not so long ago we did.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Yes, indeed. My favourites were the Britannia class, starting with 70000, all of them named except for 70047 which for some reason peculiar to the British sense of quirkiness, remained nameless!

There were 54 in all, with evocative names such as “Coeur De Lion”, “Howard of Effingham, “Hereward the Wake” which took you not just on a rail journey but a deep dive into British history.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

What a refreshing essay about something that really matters! And isn’t that the late, great, Alan Pegler, OBE, FRSA, the initial saviour of the Flying Scotsman (FS) in the caption photograph?

Recently a slightly more advanced version of the FS, the A1 Pacific “Tornado” was rebuilt from scratch, as none of her original class had survived. Sadly although nearly all of her was built in the UK, the boiler had to made in Germany!

“Sic gloria transit Mundi”.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

They also built the Mallard (and the rest of the A4 Pacific class) in Doncaster.
I’ve passed by Doncaster countless times on the way north on the A1(M) and only once or twice driven through – though never stopped.
There’s little obviously attractive, but clearly tremendous history to build on – Roman, middle ages, railways. I really hope we do.
It’s only in the past few years that I’ve started visiting some of these places – Huddersfield, Wakefield, Pontefract, Barrow, Workington. You can see from the buildings how much more important and relatively wealthy these used to be 100-200 years ago. Huddersfield is full of semi-derelict superb old industrial buildings just waiting to be renovated. It’s no surprise to me that they would vote for Brexit, having been so needlessly neglected. “Why”, they must ask themselves, “are we doing so poorly now, when this town was thriving in the past ? We’re much the same people as they were then.” They must feel pride in the past of their towns, but a terrible frustration that there’s little to feel proud about now and a sense of powerlessness to do anything about it. Easier, perhaps, if they’d never been famous or world-leading ?
For all the billions we’ve spent bailing out banks and “fighting Covid” (and all the associated costs), it would be nice to think we’d spent some money building something or doing something constructive – like regenerating Doncaster. But we haven’t taken it seriously.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Prior to the ‘Judgment of Death Act 1823’, there were 220 Capital crimes in England and we were the envy of Europe.

One crime that nearly always ended in death, was Fraud. It was the premeditation that warranted the ultimate sentence, and very rarely allowed for Transportation or joining HM Forces as an alternative. Whether this acted as deterrent is debatable but at least it kept the number of fraudsters to an absolute minimum.

Today it is the Money Lenders or Bankers as they are now called, who need disciplining, although I am at a loss to know how!

I trust you noted the magnificent facade of Huddersfield Railway Station in your travels? It is perhaps the finest in England.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Yes, the station frontage (St. George’s Square) is superb. Nothing like it down south. But the post-war stuff around it is very indifferent (I found Wakefield similar). Harold Wilson’s statue is perhaps a little disappointing – he seems a rather small, undistinguished man going for a casual stroll. And no pipe or dog !
There are also some huge old industrialists houses on the road in from Halifax (similar to roads into NW Leeds and Western Sheffield). It clearly used to be relatively much wealthier. It looked like a lot of the better off people had moved out to newer houses in some of the villages to the south.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter B
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Euston off course could rival Huddersfield until Mad Mac & Co finished it off!

Did you see the ‘Piece Hall’ in Halifax, again nothing like it ‘down south’.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

I think I may have done in my first trip up north to Bradford – again some fantastic Victorian era buildings – about 30 years ago.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

I think I may have done in my first trip up north to Bradford – again some fantastic Victorian era buildings – about 30 years ago.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Euston off course could rival Huddersfield until Mad Mac & Co finished it off!

Did you see the ‘Piece Hall’ in Halifax, again nothing like it ‘down south’.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Yes, the station frontage (St. George’s Square) is superb. Nothing like it down south. But the post-war stuff around it is very indifferent (I found Wakefield similar). Harold Wilson’s statue is perhaps a little disappointing – he seems a rather small, undistinguished man going for a casual stroll. And no pipe or dog !
There are also some huge old industrialists houses on the road in from Halifax (similar to roads into NW Leeds and Western Sheffield). It clearly used to be relatively much wealthier. It looked like a lot of the better off people had moved out to newer houses in some of the villages to the south.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter B
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Prior to the ‘Judgment of Death Act 1823’, there were 220 Capital crimes in England and we were the envy of Europe.

One crime that nearly always ended in death, was Fraud. It was the premeditation that warranted the ultimate sentence, and very rarely allowed for Transportation or joining HM Forces as an alternative. Whether this acted as deterrent is debatable but at least it kept the number of fraudsters to an absolute minimum.

Today it is the Money Lenders or Bankers as they are now called, who need disciplining, although I am at a loss to know how!

I trust you noted the magnificent facade of Huddersfield Railway Station in your travels? It is perhaps the finest in England.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

They also built the Mallard (and the rest of the A4 Pacific class) in Doncaster.
I’ve passed by Doncaster countless times on the way north on the A1(M) and only once or twice driven through – though never stopped.
There’s little obviously attractive, but clearly tremendous history to build on – Roman, middle ages, railways. I really hope we do.
It’s only in the past few years that I’ve started visiting some of these places – Huddersfield, Wakefield, Pontefract, Barrow, Workington. You can see from the buildings how much more important and relatively wealthy these used to be 100-200 years ago. Huddersfield is full of semi-derelict superb old industrial buildings just waiting to be renovated. It’s no surprise to me that they would vote for Brexit, having been so needlessly neglected. “Why”, they must ask themselves, “are we doing so poorly now, when this town was thriving in the past ? We’re much the same people as they were then.” They must feel pride in the past of their towns, but a terrible frustration that there’s little to feel proud about now and a sense of powerlessness to do anything about it. Easier, perhaps, if they’d never been famous or world-leading ?
For all the billions we’ve spent bailing out banks and “fighting Covid” (and all the associated costs), it would be nice to think we’d spent some money building something or doing something constructive – like regenerating Doncaster. But we haven’t taken it seriously.

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
1 year ago

The “willingness of British governments to relinquish engineering” is easily explained – engineering requires genuine ability and real dedication. It is a world where objective reality and proper cost management reign supreme; it doesn’t value the ideologically obsessed careerists, liars and fantasist who have colonised politics, doesnt run on the “funny money” the banking srctor noe deals in, doesn’t pour money into their pockets, doesn’t offer profitable sinecures for their later lives.

Last edited 1 year ago by ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
1 year ago

The “willingness of British governments to relinquish engineering” is easily explained – engineering requires genuine ability and real dedication. It is a world where objective reality and proper cost management reign supreme; it doesn’t value the ideologically obsessed careerists, liars and fantasist who have colonised politics, doesnt run on the “funny money” the banking srctor noe deals in, doesn’t pour money into their pockets, doesn’t offer profitable sinecures for their later lives.

Last edited 1 year ago by ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
1 year ago

The “Flying Scotsman” wasn’t originally named at all. It was sent to the 1924 Empire Exhibition and there, fitted with the headboard carried by the train itself – an established service.

It entered service as 4472 carrying nameplates cast for it after that Exhibition.

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
1 year ago

The “Flying Scotsman” wasn’t originally named at all. It was sent to the 1924 Empire Exhibition and there, fitted with the headboard carried by the train itself – an established service.

It entered service as 4472 carrying nameplates cast for it after that Exhibition.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago

I was out with old school friends in Doncaster just before Christmas. We were trying to recapture our teenage years when a trip to ‘Donny’ was a Saturday afternoon adventure. The Market is wonderful, particularly the restaurant in the Fish Market, but the rest of the place is so terribly sad and appears to be populated solely by drunks and fat people on mobility scooters. A recent blow has been the closure of the airport.
Although we had a good laugh, we were pleased to board the ‘Isle’ bus to our respective childhood homes, although the closure of the Trent Valley power stations isn’t doing them any good either.
The pits, the railways and the power stations were inextricably linked in that part of the world. Well paid secure jobs and proud people.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago

I was out with old school friends in Doncaster just before Christmas. We were trying to recapture our teenage years when a trip to ‘Donny’ was a Saturday afternoon adventure. The Market is wonderful, particularly the restaurant in the Fish Market, but the rest of the place is so terribly sad and appears to be populated solely by drunks and fat people on mobility scooters. A recent blow has been the closure of the airport.
Although we had a good laugh, we were pleased to board the ‘Isle’ bus to our respective childhood homes, although the closure of the Trent Valley power stations isn’t doing them any good either.
The pits, the railways and the power stations were inextricably linked in that part of the world. Well paid secure jobs and proud people.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
1 year ago

Wasn’t aware Doncaster needed saving.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

The rebuilt Minster is impressive, and besides the Great Northern Railway works (the Plant), it was where the “Pilgrimage of Grace” came to grief in 1536, when the huge ‘Rebel’ Army failed to annihilate or even engage with the tiny army of the Duke of Norfolk.
An opportunity lost indeed.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

The rebuilt Minster is impressive, and besides the Great Northern Railway works (the Plant), it was where the “Pilgrimage of Grace” came to grief in 1536, when the huge ‘Rebel’ Army failed to annihilate or even engage with the tiny army of the Duke of Norfolk.
An opportunity lost indeed.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
1 year ago

Wasn’t aware Doncaster needed saving.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

Look. Times change and the winners become the losers.
In David Copperfield Dickens gives us a rollicking account of the coaching industry in its prime. By the time of Trollope everyone travels by train as a matter of course and we view the occasional coaching inn trying to stay in business by serving the fox-hunting community.
By the way, there is this weird new form of transportation called the jet plane. Ever seen one?

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Actually, new and previously abandoned raiilway lines are being opened, as the economic and social benefits are realised. Would you fly 20 miles across the country?

Your facile point fails to get off the ground.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Actually, new and previously abandoned raiilway lines are being opened, as the economic and social benefits are realised. Would you fly 20 miles across the country?

Your facile point fails to get off the ground.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

Look. Times change and the winners become the losers.
In David Copperfield Dickens gives us a rollicking account of the coaching industry in its prime. By the time of Trollope everyone travels by train as a matter of course and we view the occasional coaching inn trying to stay in business by serving the fox-hunting community.
By the way, there is this weird new form of transportation called the jet plane. Ever seen one?