email dated 5 May 2010 ....
I was so pleased to see the splendid photos of 80072 back in steam, and must congratulate you and your group for an excellent job.
I think I have written to you in the past when she was still being restored, but I have especially fond memories of 80072 when she was shedded at Leamington. I had always liked this class of engine since having my first Hornby Dublo 3-rail model of 80054, but never saw many of them until near the end of steam. 80072 was often seen on the 17:35 Bíham Snow Hill to Lapworth service, the last steam hauled passenger train long after DMUís had taken over other services, and I still have my notes recording her on this service on at least 5 dates in April and May 1965.
On 5th April 1965 I was travelling home from Bíham Snow Hill to Solihull when 80072 pulled in at the head of the train. I plucked up the courage to ask the driver if I could ride on the footplate and to my astonishment he agreed. I shall never forget the experience of plunging into Snow Hill tunnel with the footplate filling with steam illuminated by the glow of the firebox. What an incredible experience for a 16 year old and I will always be grateful to that driver.
I attach a photograph I took of her on 24th May 1965 between Olton and Solihull which you may have seen before.
I donít know if I shall ever get to Llangollen to see her again, but if I do I like to think I might stand on that footplate one more time and relive that day in 1965 that I shall never forget.
Richard now lives in Plymouth and went to the South Devon railway when 80072 came to visit and I was able to arrange a footplate ride ...ed
email dated 11 April 2012 ..