Peter Handford & Transacord records

Peter Handford has greatly enriched the archive of material relating to the steam age through his brilliant recordings which were initially made with heavy equipment that was difficult to transport to suitable locations. One of his specialities was that recordings frequently included local colour: the sound of semaphore signals changing position, sheep, bird song, bells and railwaymen exchanging information. The marvelous diction of the lady station announcer at York is caught wonderfully.

Handford joined the Denham Film Studios as a trainee sound recordist in 1936, had an interesting War, followed by working for the prestigious Crown Film Unit before joining MGM at Borehamwood. In the 1950s he started to record the sound of steam locomotives and began marketing his output on a small scale in November 1955 by placing small advertisements in Railway Magazine and Trains Illustrated.

A great affection was developed for the V2 class: "they were a recordist's dream and for shear variety of sound had no equal". Like photographers, he was frequently unlucky: bad weather, the class of locomotive was not used that day, and equipment failure (which was far more prevalent than that of cameras). He only just managed to capture the sound of the Midland 0-10-0 working on the Lickey Incline.

His own book: Sounds of railways and their recording. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1980 covers his career excellently and the discography which follows was taken from it. Since then much of the material has appeared in CD format. KPJ's father was generously plied with Transacord records for his assistance in providing lineside permits: naturally these gravitated into his collection. His youngest grandson greatly enjoys falling to sleep whilst listening to a CD compilation which begins at Durham, travels via "This is York", and if we are lucky is asleep before Peterborough, but hopefully not before we hear a V2 syncopating its way to Stoke Summit.

Discography

Serial numbers were allocated to several records which, for various reasons, were either not completed or were never issued, therefore there are some breaks in the sequence of the 10 inch Transacord records.

The Argo Transacord record catalogue numbers were shared with other Argo records and consequently catalogue numbers of records produced by Transacord for Argo did not necessarily follow in sequence.

Records issued independently by Transacord Umited, between November 1955 and November 1961 and sold only by direct mail order. All deleted by December 1961.

10 inch 78rpm records
E/426-7 FREIGHT TRAINS
E/428-9 BIRMINGHAM-LEAMINGTON
E/440-1 THE CLASS A3 PACIFIC LOCOMOTIVE
E/442-3 FROM LONDON (EUSTON)
E/444-5 VENICE-MESTRE
E/451-2 THE LlCKEY INCLINE-FREIGHT TRAINS
E/453-4 THE LlCKEY INCLINE-PASSENGER TRAINS
E/455-6 THE KING CLASS LOCOMOTIVE

10 inch 33irpm LP records
5021-2 THE BULLEID PACIFIC LOCOMOTIVE
5023-4 THE CLASS A4 PACIFIC LOCOMOTIVE
5025-6 THE DUKEDOGS ,
5030-1 VICTORIA-CHATHAM
5032-3 THE LlCKEY INCLINE
5034-5 THE WATLINGTON BRANCH
5036-7 THE LNW 0-8-0
5038-9 SOUNDS OF SHUNTING
5040-1 GREAT CENTRAL
5042-3 CASTLES
5044-5 KINGS
5046-7 A3 PACIFICS
5048-9 ON THE FOOTPLATE
5050-1 THE MIDLAND COMPOUND
5052-3 TRAMWAY SOUNDS

7 inch 33 rpm records
c/1000-1 EDWARD'S DAY OUT and EDWARD AND GORDON.
Railway stories, narrated by the author, the Reverend Awdry, with sound effects. Produced for and issuedii'by Chiltern Records Ltd.

1002-3 LlCKEY 1955
1004-5 BULLEID PACIFICS

12 inch 33 rpm LP records. Originally issued independently by Transacordj re-cut, re-pressed and re-issued by Argo, with new and improved sleeves, in November 1961,
6000-1 THE WEST HIGHLAND LINE
6002-3 SHAP
6004-5 SOMERSET AND DORSET

Transacord 7 inch extended play 45rpm records issued by Argo. Argo catalogue numbers and titles.
Many of these recordings were electronically reprocessed ,and re-issued on LP records in the Argo SPA 'World of Railways'series.)
EAF 33 GRESLEY PACIFICS
EAF 34 N7 ON THE JAZZ
EAF 35 SOUTH EASTERN STEAM
EAF 36 NARROW GAUGE ON THE COSTA BRAVA
EAF 37 DUKEDOGS AND THE CITY
EAF 38 STEAM TRACTION ENGINES
EAF 39 JEANIE DEANS AND OXFORD (Clyde and Thames Steamers)
EAF 43 SOUTH WESTERN STEAM
EAF 59 ON THE ABERDEEN FLYER
EAF 70 HUNTS, SHIRES AND SANDRINGHAMS
EAF 71 G5s ON THE PUSH AND PULL
EAF 72 THE 11.15 FOR TORPANTAU
EAF 73 WITH THE MAIL TO AVIEMORE
EAF 74 CALEDONIAN ENGINES
EAF 75 ON THE FOOTPLATE OF A KING
EAF 76 THE SOUTHERN SCHOOLS
EAF 77 PACIFIC POWER
EAF 78 THE GLENFIELD GOODS
EAF 79 THE SNOWDON MOUNTAIN RAILWAY
EAF 80 GREAT NORTHERN ENGINES
EAF 81 GRANGES AND MANORS
EAF 82 THE ATLANTICS AND THE TERRIER
EAF 83 NORTH EASTERN ENGINES
EAF 84 CASTLES IN THE CHILTERNS
EAF 86 GRANTHAM — 1957
EAF 88 STANIER PACIFICS
EAF 87 BULLEID PACIFICS
EAF 97 TRAINS ON THE NARROW GAUGE
EAF 98 D FOR DIESELS
EAF 99 LNW ENGINES
EAF 116 GREAT CENTRAL ENGINES
EAF 100 TWO CASTLES FROM PLYMOUTH
EAF 117 TRAINS IN TROUBLE
EAF 118 ENGINES ON THE CONTINENT
EAF 119 THE SOUNDS OF SHUNTING
EAF 121 TRAMWAY SOUNDS
EAF 127 MIDLAND ENGINES
EAF 124 THE 02 TANKS
EAF 125 CHANGE AT TEMPLECOMBE
EAF 126 THE HIGHLANDERS
EAF 128 PANNIERS AND PRAIRIES
EAF 129 ROYAL SCOTS AND JUBILEES
EAF 130 THIS IS YORK
EAF 131 TRAINS FROM TYNE DOCK
EAF 132 THE BRITANNIAS AND THE CLANS
EAF 135 SOUTHERN ENGINES
EAF 136 DOUBLE HEADED
EAF 137 KINGS IN THE CHILTERNS
EAF 138 ON A BANKER FROM BEATTOCK
EAF 139 MIXED TRAIN TO ROSPORDEN
EAF 140 INDUSTRIAL ENGINES
EAF 141 THE WDs
EAF 144 EXHIBITIONIST ENGINES
EAF 145 LNER PACIFICS
EAF 146 THE SOUNDS OF BRESSINGHAM
EAF 148 NORTH BRITISH ENGINES
EAF 149 STEAM IN THE WORTH VALLEY
EAF 150 THE HALLS
EAF 151 WORTH VALLEY ENGINES
EAF 152 CLUN CASTLE AND KOLHAPUR

Argo Transacord recordings
Sounds of the Steam Age

TR 101 THE WEST HIGHLAND LINE
Steam locomotives ofthe former NBR. LNER and LMS, at work at various locations on the West Highland line, during winter and spring, in the 1950s.

TR 102 SHAP
Ex LMS and other steam locomotives, heard from the lineside, at various locations between Tebay and Shap Summit, between 1958 and 1960.

TR 103 THE SOMERSET AND DORSET
Steam locomotives of various types, at work on the S&D line, at different locations between Evercreech Junction and Masbury in 1956 and a journey on the double headed Pines Express, between Bath and Evercreech Junction.

TR 104 WEST OF EXETER
Ex GWR steam locomotives, of various classes, heard from the lineside at Dainton and Exeter and from inside the signal boxes at Tigley and Exeter, in 1957 and 1958.

ZTR 105 TRAINS IN THE NIGHT
Steam hauled trains in the night, in winter and summer, in 1959, 1961 and 1962, at Bromsgrove, on the GW& GC line, on the Central Wales line and on the Carlisle-Edinburgh line.

ZTR 106 NEWFOUNDLAND HEADS THE WAVERLEY
A journey on the Waverley Express, hauled by Jubilee 4-6-0 Newfoundland, between Hellifield and Blea Moor and lineside recordings at Dent and Ribblehead, in 1960.

TR 107 THE GREAT EASTERN
Steam locomotives of various ex Great Eastern classes, at work on Great Eastern lines in the 1950s.

ZTR 108 THE TRIUMPH OF AN A4 PACIFIC
A journey on the SLS special train, headed by Sir Nigel Gresley driven by Bill Hoole, on the record breaking run between Kings Cross and Doncaster and Kings Cross, in May 1959.

ZTR 109 TRAINS IN THE HILLS
Steam locomotives of the London Midland and Western regions, heard from the lineside at Shap, Blea Moor, Abergavenny and on the Lickey Incline.

ZTR 113 RHYTHMS OF STEAM
Steam locomotives, of various types, heard from the lineside, at Tyndrum, Tyne Dock, Hitchin, Templecombe, Montrose, and Barkston Junction. A journey on a special train, hauled by the Midland Compound 4-4-0, No 1000.

TR 114 WORKING ON THE FOOTPLATE
Journeys on th.e footplate of four steam locomotives. An A4 Pacific with Aberdeen-Glasgow express, a V2 2-6-2 with an Edinburgh-Dundee freight train, a Class 5 4-6-0 with a Swansea-Shrewsbury passenger train and an 8F 2-8-0 with a Shrewsbury-Swansea freight train.

ZTR,115 THE POWER OF STEAM
Steam locomotiyes of various types, heard from the lineside at Ardlui, Scout Green, Basingstoke, Minnavey Colliery, Bargany, on the Lickey Incline and on the Carlisle-Edinburgh line.

TR 117 THE GREAT WESTERN
Various classes of ex Great Western steam locomotives, heard from the lineside at Hatton, Abergavenny, Chalford, Princes Risborough and Evershot.

ZTR 118 TRAINS TO REMEMBER
Steam hauled trains remembered. During a night at Grantham Station, on the Scarborough-Whitby-Pickering line, on the Central Wales line, on the Lickey Incline, on the Stranraer-Ayr line and at Talerddig Station.

ZTR 121 ECHOES OF ENGINES
Steam locomotives at work during an evening, night and morning at Gresford. At Montrose, Okehampton and on the Carlisle-Edinburgh line. Inside the signal box at Meldon Junction.

ZTR 123 COPPER CAPPED ENGINES
Various ex GWR steam locomotives at work at Talerddig, Basingstoke, Llanvihangel, Princes Risborough, Gresford and Evershot Tunnel.

TR 124 VIVE LA VAPEUR
SNCF steam locomotives of various types at Breaute, Beuzeville, Argentan, St Germain des Fosses and Eygurande. A steam hauled journey on a steeply graded line in Auvergne.

ZTR 125 THE KNOTTY
A musical documentary which, in words, songs and sounds, tells the story of early railway days, from the stage coach to the amalgamation. Adapted from Peter Cheeseman's production at the Victoria Theatre, Stoke on Trent.

ZTR 126 THE RAILWAY TO RICCARTON
Steam locomotives of various ex LNER types, at work on the steeply graded Carlisle-Edinburgh line, the Waverley route, between Newcastleton and Hawick, in the spring of 1961.

ZTR 128 STEAM ON THE LlCKEY INCLINE
Steam locomotives of various types, working goods and passenger trains on the Lickey Incline, between Bromsgrove and Blackwell, in 1959.

ZTR 129 ENGINES ON THE BUNDESBAHN
Steam locomotives of various types, working goods and passenger trains at many different locations on the DB, in West Germany in 1970.

TR 130 ORIENT EXPRESS
A steam hauled journey on the Orient Express through the Balkans to Istanbul. Steam locomotives of Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey heard from the train and from the lineside, en route.

ZTR 131 TRAINS IN THE FIFTIES
Steam locomotives at work on BR, in the closing years of the 1950s. At Hitchin, Durham, Abergavenny, Beattock, Basingstoke and Llangunllo.

TR 134 NORTH OF KINGS CROSS
A variety of ex LNER steam locomotives, at work in the 1950s and in 1961. At Kings Cross, Hitchin, Peterborough, Stoke Tunnel. Retford, Edinburgh and Whitrope.

ZTR 138 ENGINES IN GERMANY
East German and West German Pacific locomotives and various other steam locoplotive types, at work on the DB in West Germany. A companion record to ZTR 129 Engines on the Bundesbahn.

TR 140 ENGINES FROM DERBY AND CREWE
Steam locomotives of a variety of ex LMS types, at work at many different locations on British Railways, during the years between 1955 and 1965.

ZTR 143 RAILWAYS ROUND THE CLOCK
Steam locomotives at work on British Railways, by day and night. at Gresford, Templecombe, Ribblehead, Barkston Junction and Scout Green. A footplate journey, on a Britannia Pacific, on the Ayr-Stranraer line.

ZTR 148 STEAM IN ALL DIRECTIONS
Steam locomotives of many different types, at work on railways in England, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Italy, Romania and Yugoslavia.

ZTR 149 STEAM THROUGH ALL SEASONS
Steam locomotives at work in the spring, summer, autumn and winter. On British Railways at Barkston Junction, Llanvihangel, Princes Risborough, Bromsgrove, Knucklas and on the climb to Whitrope Summit. One of the famous Maffei Pacifics in Romania, a 2-8-0 in the Dolomites and a 2-10-0 in Germany.

ZFA 77 PACIFIC POWER
LNER, LMS, SR and BR Pacifics at work on British Railways.

ZFA 153 TALYLLYN TRAINS
Five steam locomotives at work on the narrow gauge Talyllyn Railway in Wales.

ZFA 154 SOUNDS OF THE FESTINIOG
Four of the FR steam locomotives at work on the narrow gauge Festiniog Railway, in Wales, with passenger and goods trains.

The 'World of Railways' records
SPA 103 THE WORLD OF STEAM
Steam locomotives at work on railways in Britain, at Templecombe, on the Paddington-Birmingham line, at Bromsgrove, on the Waverley route and at Shap Summit. On railways abroad, in Spain, Germany and Turkey.

SPA 211 THE WORLD OF STEAM VOL 2
Steam locomotives at work on railways in Britain, at Basingstoke, near Montrose and at Blea Moor. On railways abroad, in Romania, Yugoslavia, France and Germany.

SPA 337 THE WORLD OF STEAM VOL 3
Steam Traction Engines and a Fairground Roundabout Organ, of the Victorian era. On board a Paddle Steamer in Switzerland. Steam locomotives on railways in Italy, Germany and England.

SPA 438 CHANGING TRAINS
Steam and Diesel locomotives, of various types, at work at different locations on BR between 1957 and 1966. A journey in the cab ofthe High Speed Train, during a 125mph test run, in February 1975.

SPA 439 STEAM LOCOMOTION - Rail 150
The Locomotion replica and a variety of other steam locomotives, the majority of which either took part in the Rail 150 Anniversary Cavalcade, or are representative of types exhibited at Shildon, during the 150th Anniversary celebrations.

SPA 440 GWR
Steam locomotives of various ex GWR classes, at work on BR between 1955 and 1963 at Abergavenny, Dainton, Tigley, Ruabon, Saunderton,Crumlin, Aberystwyth, Talerddig, Princes Risborough and Hatton and on a journey between Totnes and Plymouth.

SPA 461 GREAT CENTRAL
Steam locomotives of the former GCR and LNER lines at work on former Great Central and other lines on British Railways, during the 1950s.

SPA 462 SOUTHERN STEAM
Steam locomotives of many ex Southern Railway classes at work at various locations on BR with goods and passeng~r trains, in the 1950s.

SPA 463 LMS
Steam locomotives of the former LMS at work on BR at Euston Station in 1955. At Blea Moor, Ribblehead, Marsden and Bromsgrove. On the climb to Shap Summit. On the Abergavenny~Merthyr line and between Perth and Gleneagles.

SPA 499 VAPEUR EN FRANCE
Steam locomotives of various classes, at work on the SNCF and other lines, in Northern, Central and Southern France, between 1959 and 1975.

SPA 506 LNER
Steam locomotives of the London & North Eastern Railway, at work on British Railways between 1956 and 1961 at Grantham, Peterborough, Whitrope Summit and Hitchin.

SPA 529 THIS IS YORK
The sounds of a great station: York during the steam age, in 1957 and with diesel traction, including Inter City 125 in 1977, the centenary year of the present station.

SPA 530 A DOUBLE HEAD OF STEAM
Steam locomotives, whh passenger and goods trains, mostly double headed, at many different locations on British Railways, between 1956 and 1966. The GNR Atlantic Henry Oakley with double headed trains on the KWVR in 1977.

SPA 557 CASTLES AND KINGS
GWR Castle class and King class 4-6-0 locomotives at work on British Railways between 1956 and 1967 at Hatton, Bristol Temple Meads, Dainton Tunnel, Coton Hill, Sapperton, in the Chiltern Hills, at Exeter St Davids, and on the footplate of King Edward VIII.

SPA 563 PACIFIC POWER
LNER, LMS, SR and BR Pacifics at work on BR between 1956 and 1976; including most of the recordings previously issued on the EP ZFA 77, with other recordings not previously issued. SNCF, DB, and DR Pacifics at work in France and in Germany.

SPA 564 TRAINS IN TROUBLE
Steam locomotives in various kinds of difficulties, with passenger and goods trains, on British Railways and in Austria and Yugoslavia.

SPA 572 MIDLAND AND NORTH WESTERN
Steam locomotives of the Midland, London & North Western and LMS railways at work at various locations on 'BR between 1955 and 1975.

TR = 12 inch LP Mono recording
ZTR = 12 inch LP Stereo recording
ZFA = 7 inch EP Stereo recording
SPA = 12 inch LP Stereo or electronically re-processed stereo recordings

EAF86 sleeve notes
Recordings of class A.3, A.4, V.2 and other ex L.N.E.R. locomotives at Grantham Station in July and August 1957 .

At Grantham, 105 miles North of London on the East coast main line, a large proportion of North and Southbound expresses stopped for a change of engines.

These recordings were made at the South end of Grantham Station. The engines heard are all as fitted with single chimney, with the exception of Class 'A.2' No. 60508 and Class 'A.4' No. 60022.

SIDE ONE
Class 'A.4' Pacific No. 60025 Falcon stands at the up platform heading an express from Newcastle, which it has just taken over; Falcon whistles and starts away, rapidly gathering speed on the 1/200 climb towards Stoke Summ,it, five miles away. In the background another 'A.4' whistles while moving away from the sheds on the down side of the station.

A 'C.12' class 4-4-2:T. No. 67391 clatters down the yard with a few trucks as 'V.2' class 2-6-2 No. 60963 waits at the platform; in drizzling rain, with the up 'Scarborough Flyer'.

No. 60963 starts out, slipping madly on the wet greasy rails by the water column at the platform end;

after more bouts of violent slipping No. 60963 settles down and gets to grips .with the wet rails. As the train passes 'V.2' No. 60893 moves into the up siding to wait until required to take over a train and another'V.2' No. 60961 comes past, running light back to the sheds.

Class 'A.4' Pacific No. 60010 Dominion of Canada whistles and slips away from the platform end, then, with the continuing tendency to slip being most expertly controlled, heads lustily up the gradient with an express for Kings Cross.

'V.2' class No. 60914 backs down towards the station to take over a waiting train as an 'A.4' Pacific, which has just been relieved by the 'V.2', clanks past on the way back to the sheds.

SIDE TWO
As a fickle wind whips across the tracks on a grey, damp, summer Saturday morning, 'V.2' No. 60914 whistles, hisses steam and slips violently before moving a heavy train out of the station. After further slipping No. 60914 settles down to tackle the climb towards Stoke Summit as 'A.4' No. 60022 Mallard sounds a warning whistle and trailing a plume of steam from the safety valves, tears down the gradient, heading North with a morning express for Edinburgh.

Another 'A.4' No. 60021 Wild Swan gets quickly away from the station, after a slippery start and heads for Kings Cross with an express from Leeds.

Class 'A.3' Pacific No. 60054 Prince of Wales backs down towards the up platform, where a relief express from Edinburgh is waiting and a 'V.2' moves into the up siding; as the 'V.2' gradually squeals to a stop class 'A.2' Pacific No. 60508 Duke of Rothesay starts away from signals and heads slowly past, towards the station, with a down express.

The 'A.3' Prince of Wales gets the 'right away' from the up platform and heads the Edinburgh-London express out of the station for the last lap of the journey South.

Argo Record Company Limited, London, 1965

The cover photograph by Colin Walker shows a 'V.2' leaving Grantham with an express for London.