R h n hardy collection

RH 574: E46 – Henri Odent again and his fireman Robert Gourdin. RH 575

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RH 574: E46 – Henri Odent again and his fireman Robert Gourdin.
RH 575: A more comprehensive view of the same men which also shows that the beading round the cab window has been polished as well as the other fittings. The rectangular box shows the driver’s running times for his day’s work.
RH 576 – 584 take us on to the Est Region:
RH 576: Our first journey (JCF & I) on the Est Region was to Bar-le-Duc on the common user 241P34. An excellent engine but obviously nobody’s baby. M. Maire was the mecanicien and here he is at Chalons-sur-Marne where we took water and smoking the perennial Gauloise/Scarfalati.
RH 577: While we were taking water, M. Maire discovered that the left big-end was running warm and the Chief Inspector M. Gabrion, who was riding with us, (an Est regulation), and M. Maire are dealing with the situation. This is a very rare scene and the only time such a thing has been recorded by my camera and most other people’s. Incidentally, the engine came off the train as booked at Bar-le-Duc and we took it back to Paris without further incident.
RH 578: M. Maire smoking his cigarette as usual and in action on P34. The reversing gear is in evidence, silhouetted against the cab window, is the straight air brake handle and to the right of the reversing gear is a big Westinghouse air brake handle for operating the train brakes. The regulator is almost closed and the handle with holes in operates the fire door through which the firemen may wish to examine his fire, although he has a mechanical stoker.
RH 579: M. Maire again complete with oil bottle against his engine and on view is the ACFI pump and on the gangway and the bridle rod protruding from the cab down to the Walchaerts valve gear.
RH 580: On the return journey with the same engine and the same fittings in evidence but including the Westinghouse brake gauges showing the air pressures in the Westinghouse system. Our driver this time is M. Fritz, also of La Villette depot in Paris but he was most certainly an Alsatian and proud of it. He is also a chain-smoker as can be seen in the carefree days when almost every French railwayman seemed to smoke the Gauloises without any filter nonsense. In the foreground is the train airbrake application valve. M. Fritz has his right hand on the straight air brake.
RH 581: 241P34 standing at Chalons-sur-Marne.
RH 582: The chauffeur who was very much under the dominance of M. Gabrion, who is taking water, throughout the journey and James Colyer-Ferguson is in the background as well as porteurs dealing with luggage and mail in the coach behind the luggage van.
RH 583: M. Maire and M. Gabrion and myself at Chalons.
RH 584: See 582.
RH 585 & 586 are photographs from my collection and I have no idea how I obtained the negatives or from whom! They are both of Belgian locomotives.
RH 585: This is one of the famous Flamme Pacifics, type 10, originally built in 1910-1914 and modernised in the 1930s with a Legein double blast pipe and chimney, ACFI feed water heater and various other modifications. These engines have two fire hole doors and this one has the original six-wheel tender although some of them were fitted with bogie tenders off ex-Prussian engines. This photograph was probably taken between 1935-7; it has not yet been numbered on the smokebox.
RH 586: Here are two Belgian engines. The leading one is of the type “McIntosh”, derived from the original Caledonian engines but built in Belguim to the tune of 809 engines, an ideal freight and and passenger engines for semi-fast work. 307 were superheated and the rest saturated The basic type was split up into types and this engine is, I think, type 32 as opposed to similar engines which were superheated and 32S. Both became type 41 in the end. The second engine is a 060 shunting tank engine with outside Walchaerts valve gear and a tall, very Belgian square chimney. Type 11 or 12, originally built from 1888 and converted from Belpaire fireboxes to the round topped type from 1910. I think this one still has the Belpaire box and is therefore type 11 and retains the square chimney but any expert on Belgian locomtoves will, I hope, put me right.
RH 587-594 These are photographs of my dear friend Walter Owen Bentley who joined the GNR as a premium apprentice at Doncaster Plant Works in 1906 and became one of Mr Ivatt’s pupils in 1909. He loved the railway but there was no financial future in it. He was an exact contempory of A.H. Peppercorn but decided to make his life firstly with the DFP motor car, then with the design and construction, testing and flying of the highly successful BR1 and BR2 rotary engines fitted to the Sopwith Camel from 1917 onwards. Then with his brother HM and some top class engineers, they started Bentley Motors in 1919 until its take-over by Rolls Royce in 1931 after which he had two unhappy years with that firm before leaving for Lagonda. WO was a legend many times over in his lifetime and I brought him back to the railway and the footplate and to the new diesel depot at Stratford. These photos are taken at our home in Burton-in-Wirral in May 1969 and feature WO and his wife Margaret, my wife Gwenda and Jimmy Bidwell-Topham who owns the 1927 six and a half litre six cylinder Bentley. There is also a photo taken earlier when we lived in Surbiton, of WO, myself and a school friend of our son, James. ”Harry” Champion by the masters.599 is of the passengers rather than the car; Jimmy at the wheel with WO and Margaret Bentley and Gwenda nearest the camera. WO died in Aug 1971. He was one of my heroes.
RH 595 – 626 concern my first three visits to France when I was using the box camera in 1958/59.
RH 595: On the platform at Lille on the last leg of our first journey in April 1958. James Colyer-Ferguson and Emil Lefebvre the mecanicien of E36, we had a marvellous reception as we were unexpected and it amazed both driver and fireman that they were suddenly to be accompanied by two English railwaymen.
RH 596: Here is Emil’s firemen, Jacques Deseigne, who we were to meet on many other occasions. On this journey he offered me the wine bottle after I had completed my first bout of firing. It was he who coined the phrase when he watched my LNER firing technique, “Quelle panache!”
RH 597 Here we are at Calais Maritime with Emil, Jacques and James in front of the E36. The train had actually terminated at Calais Ville but they insisted as we had luggage in running the engine through to the Maritime to save us the taxi fare. I cannot imagine this happening in this country!
RH 598: The same photograph with myself in the centre of the group.
RH 599: The beginning of our wonderful SNCF experiences. Henri Dutertre welcomed us to France on E16, his regular engine. We were going through to Paris on the Fleche d’Or and I had to pinch myself at times to make sure I really was there. Henri was the perfect host and still is in his home at Bleriot Plage. Although we have both moved on in age and he is 83, he likes, like most French men, to talk about his ailments which appear to me to be non-existent(until recently in 2005!). We had a perfect journey to Paris and I was the fireman from Amiens. I had done my homework as to gradients and distances and it was this that sealed our friendship as Henri afterwards admitted that he thought I was just a mad Englishman who would last about five minutes!
RH 600: Henri at his post looking straight ahead through the spectacle glass. The engine rides like a coach and he has no need to hold on to anything. He had been driving E16 since he was 26. His fireman at that time was 21 years older than his driver and our fireman, Henri Meyns, was also 47 when I took this photograph.
RH 601: Here is Henri Meyns at work with James in the background. It was very difficult to take this photograph but considering it was a box camera, it is not too bad. You can see both lumpy coal and briquettes in the background. The briquettes were never used on this journey.
RH 602: The second stage, next day, was from Paris to Lille and we were seen off by Monsieur Leroy who became a very dear friend and was the Motive Power Superintendent of the Nord. We left at 0800 and the driver, who became another very dear friend, was the minute Andre Duteil of La Chapelle and his fireman was Francois Demeurant. We had Andre’s regular engine, the huge De Caso Baltic 232S002. The firing was my first introduction to a stoker fired engine and I was put in charge of the operation of the stoker from Arras. They both knew that we were coming but did not know what to expect any more than we did. A whole new world opened for us in those wonderful 24 hours. Here we are on the platform at Lille with Andre smoking a Gauloise, a rarity as normally he did not smoke.
RH 603–604 show us in front of the vast engine with James and I at Lille before we left Andre and Francois: the first of many wonderful meetings.
RH 605: Gare du Nord, Paris – E16 and ready to leave with the Fleche d’Or. The engine is E16; Henri Dutertre took the photograph and here I am with his fireman, Henri Meyns who retired shortly after the photograph was taken in Spring 1959.
RH 606: the same position but with Henri Dutertre and his fireman.
RH 607: This is a good photograph for a box camera of the two men leaning from the cab but with the whole engine as well. The cleanliness will be noted and they had been busy at La Chapelle before coming onto the train at about 10 minutes past 12 for a 12.30 departure.
RH 608: The previous day, Andre Duteil and I had a couple of hours in La Chapelle depot. It was a very educational visit for me as it was a Sunday and things were quiet with not very many people about. This photograph shows Andre standing against C66 which was one of the last Super Pacifics built for the Nord to the designs of Monsieur Collin. The long fire box can be seen and it is not a bad photograph for a box camera.
RH 609: Andre and the mecanicien from Mitry in charge of 242 TA88, an ex PLM suburban tank engine based at Mitry. This mecanicien was very proud of this tank engine but not long afterwards his depot was closed to steam traction and he became some sort of a conducteur on diesel or electric traction.
RH 610: Myself with E34 which was the machine de reserve that Sunday, and had been cleaned but the crew were not around.
RH 611: Here is T88 and his mecanicien making ready for the road.
RH 612: Before the Mitry engine left E26 was being prepared alongside with the same crew that I had travelled with from Calais on the previous day. Rene Sene is tightening the smoke box door and his driver turned up shortly afterwards. As I had fired throughout from Calais to Paris, Rene gave me a nice box of cigars which was remarkable seeing that he had not expected to meet me that afternoon!
RH 613: The three-quarter view of the Chapelon Pacific E34.
RH 614: Here we have a change of scene; in the background is one of the original 25 KV CC 12000 “bacon slicers” but in the foreground is Andre and the two valves and pistons experts at La Chapelle who understood completely the working of the valve gear of all the locomotives, especially the complications of the Chapelon Pacifics. They were both charming men and really understood their craft. The best of running shed fitters.
RH 615: Our first trip to Jeumont was terminated for some operating reason at Aulnoye where the Belgian engine came onto the train. So we went to Aulnoye depot for our break before going to Jeumont to pick up the return train. We had Andre’s regular engine, S002, and here is a view showing Andre in the cab with his BR cap and his fireman for the day, Eugene Giraud, and on the ground Andre’s son, Alain and James Colyer-Ferguson. Our first trip on this line with Andre and I was the driver from Compiegne. Peter Handford with his recording apparatus in the train and his recording of me making my first start with a 700 ton train and a French compound locomotive exists but not for publication! I had to learn compound locomotives were very different when it came to starting such a heavy train.
RH 616: This is Andre and Eugene in the yard at Aulnoye and we are on our way to the cabin to have some food.
RH 617 and 618: 231 G266 was in 1959 an Aulnoye or Tergnier engine and finished it’s career at Calais whilst several of the PO Pacifics were still in activity.She is the engine behind E9 on 541A & B and was then in the hands of Monsieur”Dunstable” (see caption). Here she is in the running shed at Aulnoye(as opposed to the workshop) and I am standing with James C-F on 617 and James on his own on 618
RH 619/620 Two photographs of the S002: 619 is a cab only view and a study of Andre showing some detail of the rear bogie and the cab itself. 620 is also from ground level of the LH side of the engine looking forward: andre and Eugene in the cab; James and Alain Duteil on the ground by the cab.
RH 621 On our next three trips through to Paris in May 1959, we had the same La Chapelle driver on train 82 who had already come from Lille to Calais having lodged at Fives depot. Our mecru was Bebert Bethune, a delightful character who most certainly did not hang about and indeed had a reputation for banging on a bit! He is being interrogated by James C-F at the Maritime against his PO Pacific E26 on which we were to travel on our next journey with Bebert and another fireman. Looking at the camera is Rene Sene who was an eleve mecanicien and much younger than the average “chauffeur PO”, then Bebert (French for Bert) is the archtypal French driver with waistcoat minus buttons, cap on back to front, muffler and dirty overalls. Not only have they worked from Lille but they have cleaned their engine at the shed, hence their general condition and I know that Rene was grateful that I was his fireman to Paris. A classic photo.
RH 622 The same trio, either a moment before or after. Good but not quite the SNCF charisma of the first one.
RH623 A few months later and obviously we know Bebert and he knows us. In the cab, James and Francois his new eleve-mecanicien, also a charming lad.It looks as if i have been painting and decorating in my clean overalls.
RH 624 On the same occasion we are to be seen off by Monsieur Leclerc, soon to take charge at Ternier depot and Henri Dutertre, off duty as well as JC-F.
RH625 The messroom and stores at Jeumont on the Belgian border where the French engines came off and handed over to the Belgians. There was no allocation so far as I know at Jeumont but there was a shed driver, the much photographed Daniel and Mimille, the coalman and ash loader. Enginemen from various sheds brought freight engines in to turn and for requirements and a PN break for themselves. If they lodged it was at Aulnoye, about 12 miles towards towards Paris. In the background is a 141R Americano.
RH 626 Our second day with Andre and this time we are at Jeumont with the great 232 U1, de Caso’s masterpiece and the greatest of the Nord Baltics

Designed by de Caso but under Chapelon principles who was CME just before the war. Four of us are eithe balancing on the U1 or propping it up. Eugene Giraud, RH, Alain Duteil and Andre himself.

RH 627 Taken at the same time but with Andre oiling round and J.C-F watching him
RH628 A close up of Andre at work smoking a rare cigar with James’s happily standing by
RH 629 When the work was done, we repaired to the messroom for lunch, a magnificent feast almost unbelievable to me in those early 1959 days and we are obviously enjoying ourselves. People kept dropping by to see these unknown and mad Englishmen from another world. The old box camera did a good job on a time exposure but not so well as it’s successor recommended to me by Dick Riley, the Zeiss Nettar.
RH 630 Standing unattended until the shed mecanicien, Daniel, got busy is the ten wheeled coupled TA 68. I think this was a Nord engine going back to the Breville or Collin days, a handy machine but seemingly covering work which in England would have merited a Chatham P class! Maybe it was used on trip work but there was no evidence of this during our relatively brief stay.
RH 631 Back to Calais for our third trip to France. Our driver for the second time was from La Chapelle was Bebert Bethune with his new eleve-mecanicien Maurice X and a very smart Henri Dutertre along with J-CF. The engine is of course Bebert’s “machine titulaire”, his very own 231E26. This the last of the boc camera efforts in France.
RH 632 This is a lovely study of Edmond Godry and myself in 1969 outside the dormitory. Steam had not yet gone but the Pacifics had left Calais and the 66000BB diesels were doing the job but with no regularity. On this journey, I had John Shone, a dear friend from my Liverpool days, with me and we had 141Rs on every job, to Boulogne, back to Calais, the pass to Hazebrouck in an autorail and back from Hazebrouck to Calais with Edmond as our guide and what a marvellous day we had. Our drivers were “Dunstable”, Roger Chabe and Calud Scrieve.
RH 633 This shows the remarkable reirement gathering always held through France when a “roulant” retired almost invaraibly at 50 years of age. Here is Josef Six surrounded by his family abd his old colleagues, most of whom I knew very well. Frank Mayes and I were invited to cross the Channel and attend, an easy matter because the engine always worked the early boat train from Amiens and came to the shed still with the retirement headboard showing “La Quille”, the sign of retirement, Here is the arrival of the big 72000 and Josef has just descended from the cab to be surrounded by “ses amis cheminots and sa famille” Always a great occasion with bouquets of flowers for all concerned and followed by a considerable party lasting maybe two hours when great quantities of wine are drunk and much food consumed and held in the Instruction Room, host to all Amicale parties and dances, the walls being covered with sectional drawings of various parts of the locomotive and of course, the Westo brake.

RH634 Three of the celebrants, Left is a new one to me, centre is Michel Lacroix who was chauffeur on all the last Pacific trips on both the PO and PLM types and the very special run from Paris to Calais with the K82 in May 1971. Josef and his family remained remarkably sober throughout and indeed he drove them home in his car after the ceremony.
RH635 Josef and Madame Six are now ready for the road and home which is near Boulogne and then retirement. Tragically he died at the age of 53, a lovely, very conscientious engineman who had an extraordinary background. He was the turner in the machine Shop at Boulogne and he knew that the writing was on the wall even before the 231G and K left for Calais so he transferred to Calais as a fireman and then passed his exams for driving the 141Rs and the various shunting and freight engines such as the ex-Prussian 080s. By 1971, he was on the diesels and stayed in Roulement 1 until he retired about 1980
RH636 After a very tough crossing of the Channel, Frank Mayes were atken to the depot and there was a small party of old friends in a side room. Here we have Lucien fasquelle once of E17 playing the fool, “Dunstable” in the background, Henri Dutertre caught lookin gormless and left Frank Mayes who loved the Frenchmen with all his heart. This was the prelude to Josef Six’s party next day.

of my SNCF photos in France which are quite likely to be unique but there are quite a few to caption(equally so)of the Frenchmen in England and especially on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch and after that a relatively small number of B&

W 35mm

after my retirement in 1982. RH637 Back to 1962, a wonderful occasion. Bill Thomas and I went to Amiens on train 16 on a Sunday with Edmond and Mecru Andre Delrue and Michhel Lacroix and because Bill was a fanatical photographer, I took very few but this I did take after lunch at Amiens- a very good lunch too. Edmond and the engine had gone off to do their duty and we were met by M.Corbier of the Control, the little chap in the specs and then by Henri and Nicole de Fumichon who stayed with us twice at home. They had an SNCF flat in Amiens, a chateau near Orleans and a chalet at Vallorcine in the Swiss border which they lent to us for a fortnight in summer 1972. As for the two tall Englishmen, they had travelled in the train from Boulogne and were none other than Archie Hastie and Henry Maxwell, both vastly knowledgeable about railways and the world and both immensely kind to me, the most wonderful company and both out of the top drawer.

RH638 Another group of old friends on the platform at Calais Ville in diesel days and shortly off out on one of those evening dinners at Marquise or some such place. The oldest hand is Marcel Dewevre in the centre in the hand, a great character who,as a fireman in 1943,near Amiens had his train derailed by the Resistance Fer, went to carry out protection of the train, ran into a German patrol who gave him the old one-two and threw him in a ditch for dead. However, he came to and carried on with his protection as if nothing had happened. He was a charming and phlegmatic character and it was he that retired and Edmond Godry took his place. Henri, Lucien, Jean Querlin, James and Edmond.
RH639 Bill Doughty, the giant BR man, next to Monsieur and Madame Gille was once of Melton Constable and then Doncaster. He achieved fame as a big ASLEF man in the teeth of the old timers in the Branch Room which included George Wilson who fired on the Ivatt 4-cylinder compound 1421 before and during the first war. Bill became a most effective Secretary of Sectional Council 2 until he was 50 when he was pronounced colour-blind, could no longer drive and so had to come off SC2. So he became a diesel instructor in the school at Ilford and got to know the Frenchmen when they stayed at Ilford Hostel . He became their guide and friend and so I took him to France and he loved every moment of it. Here we are waiting at Rang-du-Fliers for train 27 with the delightful Gilles. He was the station master but not long after he moved elsewhere for promotion.
RB640 Boulogne-Ville and John Shone with the now retired Louis Sauvage once the well-known fireman on the E7. He went back to Boulogne where he had lived as a fisherman before joining the SNCF. Whenever we came through his city, he was there to welcome us. But like so many of the cheminots, he died quite young. He was a lovely man John returned on a 141R to Calais, his last visit and not long before the end of steam.

RB641 Bill Doughty in his element in the cab of PLM K or G. See the brickettes stacked on the right: cracked in half and they made a noble base for a fire good enough to sail up Caffiers bank without a qualm.
RB642 Bill Doughty on the outward journey at Amiens and this time we all lunched in a cafe in the city, never mind the overalls. On the right is our old friend “Dunstable” (Raymond Lasquellac) and the fireman is Victor Delattre, an eleve mecanicien and younger brother of Emilon who fired for 14 years on E37 until he fell out with Rene Gauchet who asked for another fireman whereupon Emilon went forward for driving. In the hat is the ever-present Mons Andre Corbier
RH643 And who now but the much-loved Bebert. Bert Hooker of Nine Elms is presented with a broom to give to his wife Rene to clean the flat in Stockwell. What Rene said is not recorded. Bert was the archetypal Londoner and yet with a difference. With Henri Dutertre he did a lot of driving and likewise when Edmond Godry arranged it for him. Like me he never asked but he never refused the offer. We are, of course, at Rang-du-Fliers where i had also been given a broom to take home. We kept it for many years, a dear friend.
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