50023 South Stoke 10 July 1990

The threatening looking sky is appropriate here, as it marks the very end of Class 50 operations in the Thames Valley. With just two days left before the final loco was transferred to the West of England line, 50023 Howe passes South Stoke on 10 July 1990 with the 1F52 18:08 Paddington to Oxford Network SouthEast service. It was actually the only Class 50 in service on the route by this stage, as 50035 Ark Royal had failed the previous day. Howe would work this same diagram two days later, and then was transferred from Old Oak Common's NWRA pool to Laira's NWXC reserve pool. Despite going into the reserve pool, it was put straight to work out of Waterloo, but it didn't last long, and after an equally brief spell in the engineer's DCWA pool it was withdrawn 15 October 1990. This is therefore my final picture of the locomotive.