BACK in the 1950s I would say that seven out of ten young school boys would be train spotters in Bishop Auckland.

Most of us would have to go to Darlington, Ferryhill, Durham, Newcastle to see the main line expresses, but we were lucky that Bishop Auckland was in those days a diversion route on a Sunday for main line traffic when maintenance work was carried out on the mail line.

This resulted on a Sunday for many dozens of young enthusiasts to gather on Cockton Hill bridge and every other vantage point in the town and beyond.

When we heard the chime whistle of a Gresley A4 approaching the excitement was amazing.

In those days there was no trouble we were all friendly and mates. Great memories of great times.

John Rushby, Bishop Auckland.