"Sorry not to have sent it sooner but I have been trying to date the photo.
The loco was delivered to Crich on 22nd August 1963, so the photo must be after that date but it is before the overhead anchor pole was put up beyond the pile of ballast that marked the end of the track.
Also the loco has been fitted with running boards over the wheels and this did not take place until late 1963. As there are no leaves on the trees in the background I suggest that the photo is taken in about March 1964 or thereabouts.
The location to most of today's TMS members may be a little difficult to appreciate but the area beyond the pile of ballast is now occupied by the Bandstand Stop (northbound) and Ashton Shelter. The loco is just beyond on what today is the northern end of the interlacing
Names: L to R on the ground Jim Jordan, on the loco Merlyn Bacon, Roger Benton standing to the rear, Tony Bacon driving and Mike Crabtree standing on the right on the running plate. Note how smart we are with collar and tie on with overalls, a sign of the times!"
Nigel Walker sent me this picture of new track being grouted at Shudehill Manchester on Wednesday.
All the 'lads' in the top picture were volunteers as the early TMS couldn't afford to employ anyone.
All the 'lads' the second picture will be employees of contractors or subcontractors.
The problem facing today's TMS is how to combine the talents of volunteers and employees, contractors and subcontractors and to create stable working relationships. At the moment the balance is tilted too heavily in favour of employees who are protected by legal rights which are not available to volunteers. When faced by conflicts of interest, managers at the Museum often take the course of least resistance and simply dump the volunteers who are then quietly replaced by more employees or contractors.