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New Year's Eve

Posted: Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:16 pm
by 22A
As the old year became the new year it was customary at sheds all round the country, Bristol no exception, for locos to sound their whistles at mid night.
Did that custom survive steam days? I've never heard of Bath Road's diesel fleet sounding horns for the occasion.

Re: New Year's Eve

Posted: Fri Jan 01, 2021 5:19 pm
by 76026
Happy New Year to all.

I don't recall ever hearing steam whistles at the turn of the year- but neither do I remember being allowed to stay up until midnight until a year or two after the end of Bristol steam, so perhaps I slept through the steam whistles. I lived about 4 miles from the two sheds and perhaps the sound didn't travel that far anyway. As for whether that tradition contined in diesel days...the number of whistles / horns that could be sounded simultaneously depends on the number of staff on shed at midnight. I imagine the staff: loco ratio was much smaller in diesel days than in steam days, so perhaps after steam there were no longer enough staff to make much noise.

I do remember being woken at the turn of a couple of year by ships' foghorns (which I like to think I could distinguish from diesel loco horns)- but in the 60s rather than 70s, I think.