The South Eastern Limited

My life in tickets

Somehow this ticket got separated from the crowd. I knew it was missing and also knew that one day I’d find it again. It is a very special ticket for me as it is for one of the enthusiast special trains I went on.


This ticket dates from 11th June 1961 and it marked the end of the line for various things. First of all it was the last British Railways passenger carrying train on the branch from Paddock Wood to Hawkhurst and also from Robertsbridge to Tenterden.

It also, pretty well, marked the end of steam power on the railways of Kent. It was a magic day for me with the highlights being the two branch lines scheduled for closure. For the Hawkhurst line a truly venerable engine was chosen. It was an 01 class good engine – the last of its type to survive. And for the Tenterden branch two even more venerable engines were selected – two of my very favourite ‘terrier’ class.

It was a fantastic day.

Like many a rail tour, the train lost time. At first it was just a couple of minutes, but things really began to slip on the Hawkhurst branch and by the time we reached Robertsbridge the train was about 25 minutes off schedule. By the time we had been to Tenterden and back it was all but an hour late. The final arrival at Charing Cross was scheduled for 19.44. In fact it was an hour and a half late at 21.15.

But nobody griped or moaned for it had been a very special journey.


A grand old engine on the train back in 1961. I took this with what amounted to a box camera.


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