SEEING the photo spread in the Keighley News featuring the turntable on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway being brought back into use in 1989 stirred a few memories, however there was no mention as to where the turntable or traverser (if that is the right word?) was rescued from earlier that year.

The turntable came from Garsdale, where in its day it was used mainly for turning around engines which banked some of the heavy trains up the 1 in 100 gradients on the Settle and Carlisle line. I was present when the turntable traverser was removed from Garsdale. The date was Sunday, February 26, 1989. The engineers' train, hauled by a Class 31 diesel no 31200, and which included a Cowans/Sheldon 75-ton crane, arrived at a snowy Garsdale at around 9.30am – but before the turntable could be lifted out of the pit, it took around two hours of preparation to prevent the risk of the crane toppling over due to the throw of the jib needed!

The Garsdale turntable, in a remote position, has quite a history, not least due to an alleged incident when an engine being turned on a very wild night was caught broadside and spun like a top. Apparently, it was only after an amount of sand had been thrown into the pit that the turntable was brought to a stop, which resulted in a barricade of upright sleepers being erected to prevent such an incident happening again.

Terry Hanson, Cullingworth

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