Prior to WW1, the Midland Railway had an enviable reputation for quality and service. The Midland's finest flowering in motive power were Samuel Johnson's 'Spinner' 4-2-2s, arguably one of the most beautiful locomotives ever to grace our railways. It's superb, flowing design is an 1887 product of Victorian Britain. Inevitably, with demands for faster, heavier trains, these wonderful machines were gradually replaced by more powerful designs. Here is an evocative image from a hundred-year old glass plate negative which clearly shows the transition. 'Spinner' No.604 is piloting the new order, an unidentified 'Class 3' 4-4-0. Another 1905-built 'Class 3' No.771 is awaiting departure in the platform. The Midland's livery was a glorious, deep crimson-maroon. What a magnificent sight the unknown photographer has captured and how little time remained before the tide would forever turn on this age of order and elegance. No.604 gave 35 years service until 1922 and No.771 lasted until 1935. Fortunately, a 'Spinner' survives in preservation, though regrettably it has not been in steam for some years. For the location and corrections to locomotive IDs, my thanks to RP contributor Brian Stephenson.