R h n hardy collection

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RH 148 In the Crimpsall, you had to shout all the time. Edgar would send me to get the overhead crane but my deep voice would never reach the crane driver up in the roof so Edgar’s piercing whistle would do the trick. Riveters, welders and boilermakers would work alongside us and the background of noise was beyond belief but one never gave it a thought for it was part of our life. We boys threw loose asbestos at each other for fun but we never knew we were dealing with dangerous stuff. The famous “Asbestos Annie” who put lagging on boilers was covered with the stuff but I expect she lived to a ripe old age but John Bellwood, three years my junior, died in 1988 of asbestosis. The old K3 is waiting to be stripped for general repair and she looks a rough old thing. L-R: Harry Oldham was my fitter in the Machine Bay; Edgar Elvidge, my mate in 2 Bay; Jimmy Jewell, Edgar’s friend and character; Ted Micklethwaite riveter who was often on our pit and making a diabolical noise next to us; and a boilermaker whose name has gone. I never cease to marvel that such tough characters were so happy to be photographed and that the nice lady in Bagshaws kept me in films, for I now have a treasured social history of those days in the University of life.
RH 149 The Weigh House staff and hangers-on against a new K3 in Oct 1943. Amongst those on the gangway are: Pete Wright and Harold Thomas, apprentices, with Roly Williamson, one day to be Mayor of Doncaster. Standing L-R: Fitters Paddy Ledger, Fred Gregson, “Flan”, Drivers Fred Elmes and Harry Capp, Chargehand Arthur Reisbeck, Driver Arthur Laver, Shunter Dick Ball, our labourer and steamraiser Dick Jackson and Examiner Cyril Wood: not much missed his eagle eye. Each driver had two weeks on trial trips and one week on 3980, the Crimpsall shunter: the firemen came and went on seniority, all young men by the standards of the day but the drivers were nominated volunteers and were out of the line of promotion until they wished to return which was a rarity—a good arrangement as all three men were vastly experienced.
RH150 In Dec 1943, the Crimpsall ”Humpy” was a departmental engine but carried its old number, 3980. It had been built a month before Pat Stiring died in 1895 and was manned in turn by the trial drivers and their mates. The A4, just out of the Crimpsall, is 4466, recently renamed Sir Ralph Wedgwood, as the engine that had carried the name, 4469, was damaged beyond repair in an air raid in York in 1942. 4466 has just been lit up for tomorrow’s trial run.
RH151 An ”A” engine, class J6 new off Umpleby’s pit and not too good a photograph. On the gangway, Denis Branton and Aubrey, apprentices, and standing L-R “Pat” from outside industry, “Ossie” our bench fitter, Wally Svsman, Edgar Elvidge, George Sparrow, Harry Waring and Phoebe Cliff.
RH152 Not often did we see a V1/3 at Doncaster. In the centre is Roy Herod, the Crimpsall welder always in his brown overalls and usually up to his neck with work in his welding booth in the far end of the tender bay. With him is my great friend Basil de Iongh who joined the RAF for flying duties and stayed in after the war and “Bonk” Halcombe, the son of a doctor in Doncaster. He never stayed with the railway after his training and vanished from the scene.
RH 153 Lincoln Cathedral and “Uphill” in the distance. We are “Downhill” at Lincoln Loco where we are lifting in a new turntable for the Outdoor Machinery Dept with the Doncaster Cowans Shildon 45 ton crane. It was a nice job on a warm day in 1944. It was also memorable in that Syd Grindell, Fitters Mate, dropped the end of a sleeper on the toe of one of my clogs. More through shock rather than pain, it drew the F-word from me at the top of my voice which convulsed the entire gang and Foreman Cyril Palmer with laughter in which I soon joined. With clogs, I didn’t even lose a toe nail! Wonderful footwear.
RH 154 Plenty of interest on this photo. Upper quadrant signals, somersaults and shunt somersaults, the North End turntable at Doncaster Central, a NER carriage in the distance, the oval piston gland which signifies that 3291 has her original pattern of cylinders with Richardson balanced slide valves. She was a Doncaster engine at that time and a good strong one, once on the move, the Achilles heel of the slide valves engines, with their smaller cylinders and lever reverse, locked tight by a steam chest full of steam. Normally, the pilot was a PV engine for this reason and 3291 was used on secondary passenger trains on the Lincoln, Cleethorpes and Sheffield roads. The driver is Harry Frith ex Doncaster GER shed and the fireman Charlie Howlett ex GC from New Holland. Harry was a NUR man and Charlie was strong ASLEF which led to interesting discussion in which both men could see the others point of view without agreeing with it; first class enginemen happy in their work. Charlie was a 1919 man well in his forties not yet in the top link.
RH 155 Summer 1944. The background is one of those dreadful old GN O1s not to be compared with the CC 04 ROD, the finest heavy freight locomotive to run on our railways and one that won both wars. The GW and the LMS had excellent eight wheeled coupled engines which ran faster and could time an excursion train but that is not the point. The ROD was prime for it was cheap to build, required little maintenance and was indestructible: It did not slip, the steam brake was strong with low steam pressure, it steamed, it was warm and comfortable with everything to hand, easy to oil, easy on coal, the perfect heavy freight engine. The O1 was handy but the background ought to have been an ROD. Herbert Ealham (L) fitter’s mate, an outstanding man, very content with his lot. I met him again in 1977 and he was exactly the same and well known to his DMPS which is an interesting point. Flo was one of our lady fitter’s mates used on lighter work but very much at home in a masculine world. Bernard Wright was an excellent fitter and did a lot of work on lubricators as well as V & P work.
RH 156 Carr Loco 1944 Autumn. Jack Sampey was just out of his time and was sent to Bentley Colliery with me as his mate to strip down and bring in a Geordie 95 which had broken a side rod. After a bit of a struggle we got her sorted out and dragged her home with the engine which we had brought and next day Jack wanted his photo taken as it was his first breakdown. The 95 did great service in France in the 1914-18 war but as with the GC Q4 and 04, was superseded by another brilliant heavy freight engine, the Q6. The NE engines had outside admission even the PV engines so, with little work done on the glands, they moved in a continuous cloud of steam at slow speeds. On the photo is quite a comic collection. L-R: Ernie Major, Fitters Mate and Bookie’s Runner; Harry Kaye, Fitters Mate; Joe, Office-boy; Harry Harker, apprentice. Gangway L-R: Steve Thompson and Gud Hattersley, Fitters; Walter Bacon, Fitter and valve setter who could turn his hand to anything; Bill Noble, Fitter; Jock Harrison, jack of all trades from Examining to Bicycles; Jack Sampey in the trilby.
RH 157 Pete Wright, and today a specialist model engineer in the very small N gauge and many other things, on the 45 ton crane in its usual siding easy for access and exit from the shed yard at the Carr Loco either up or down road.
RH 158 Our three ladies: Flo, Reenie and Dorothy were all lightwork fitters mates and were all welcome which says a lot for them in a man’s world. They are with Herbert Ealham, an outstanding man and fitters mate and his regular fitter, Gilbert Holden, a most friendly man. In those days it was unheard of for even the hardest swearing man to do so in front of ladies. I was in a smokebox letting drive at some steam pipe nuts with a big hammer while my mate held the long chisel bar (we had to split the nuts). I misfired and hit my mate instead. He let drive at me but with the tail of his eye he saw a girl clerk from the office passing our engine. He jumped down and went after the girl to apologise. When he returned he carried on with me where he had left off !
RE 159 In Jan 1944 I started on the drop pit with Bernard Rushforth and as it was a three shift job, Bernard went home at 1400 and Arthur Fendall took over, Walt Green being nights. Arthur and his mate were of the friendly and gentle type of old school. Neither man used strong language (no more did Bernard Rushforth) and I was made very much at home and able to do my whack at once. Charlie Cobb is the fitters mate (L), a clay pipe smoker (a very nice smoke too). Both Charlie and Arthur wore clogs ideal footwear for a shed where there was often plenty of water and oil about and it could be cold in winter; no heating, bar an open brazier fed with coal from the endless source on hand. Running shed life was hard but I loved every minute.
RH160 A Sunday morning in the summer of 1944 about 1330. We had been on a lifting job which did not require a full gang and for which I would not be paid. L- R: Our regular guard, Fred Hague, the cranedriver, Ernie Newby, George Gant, the van man who, apart from working hard, looked after the cooking, if any, and in this case, breakfast, probably bully beef, bread and marge and pickles - ­marvellous. Remember, it was wartime; no eggs, no this, that and the other but gallons of tea with tinned milk to keep us going. Then our Foreman, Mr Cyril Palmer, ready for off with his bike clips, Ted Booth, Syd Grindell and Stan Harrison, all long serving and completely reliable members of the gang. Stan was a Mexboro man his brother George, a staff clerk in the District offices at the north end of the shed - they are still there. We clocked on at 0300 and went off to Marshalls of Gainsboro to load a sheeted midget submarine on a rail wagon. We were told to keep our mouths shut which we did, for the job was a doddle and everybody bar me was being paid for the privilege. We got back after several delays and deviations well satisfied. Only the Foreman and I went home and the others completed their normal Sunday duties. On the way to work at 0230 I was stopped by PC 61 at the Gaumont corner for riding without either head or tail light. The moon was bright and truth to tell I had set off without them. Fined 10 bob and be it noted that PC 61 was centre-half for Doncaster Rovers by the name of Bycroft.
RH161 A V2 yet again as a background at the Carr Loco, summer 1944. Three fitters and a mate: Gilbert Holden, “Taggy” the mate, George Booth and Cyril Buckley, the son of a Doncaster driver. He has a good line in oily trilby hats of great antiquity, and I was with George when I found that the inside of an empty water tank was still full of water when it came to crawling about, climbing over baffles and kneeling to see to sieves.
RH162 The North End pilot with Doncaster and Leeds men who were waiting to work the 1257 Leeds when it had arrived from King’s Cross. With them is my great friend Basil de Iongh probably on the eve of his departure for the RAF, unless he was day release at the Tech. John George Wright, the very picture of the Boys Own Paper Engine Driver; Basil; Harry Steel firing for JG; Stan Hodgson firing for Arthur Moss of Copley Hill. Stan was a very dear friend and Arthur a remarkably courageous man for his arthritis was terrible and he was in constant pain. Yet he came down from his engine to have his picture taken.
RH163 Grantham Loco one Saturday afternoon in 1942, photo taken by Cyril Richardson, Running Foreman and later Shedmaster in my time as Divisional Manager King’s Cross. Basil de Iongh and I were very young: it must have been Sept 1941 but it did not stop us posing on old 4040, one of the few J4s left running and really a Newark engine. She was built in 1896 in Ivatt’s time by Dubs of Glasgow but has a genuine Stirling curved topped cab with an extension bolted on in later years. She lasted until 1949 and was never reboilered to class J3. The sister engine at Newark featured in a breakdown of a V2 with a hot big end with a very heavy train about 1415 ex Doncaster in 1944. The driver was the hot-tempered Harry Moyer and we were given an ”A” engine (class J6) assisted by 4041. As 4041 was the leading engine, the driver correctly created the brake but for some reason Harry was upset by the Newark man’s assumption. Harry went forward and as the Newark driver was not prepared to be got at by some upstart from Doncaster, there was an almighty row. The guard blew until he was purple in the face; station staff shouted and in the end the fireman off 4041 blew the whistle and off we went. Not very fast as we both had to have a blow-up going up to Peascliffe tunnel: to this day I can see the tall Newark driver wearing a unique cap with a bobble on top glaring back at Harry who would periodically shake his fist in retaliation. We got to Grantham and were given a V2 to go forward to Peterboro’. This was one of the very few times that I have been on an engine that could not continue its journey to the bitter end.
RH164 The cabin off the Western platform at Doncaster and by the North Box. A train leaving the Western platform required the starter if it had not already passed it and then the tall signal behind J G Wright. Up by the bridge there were the Marshgate signals and beyond we took the left hand road for Leeds. L-R: Fireman Eddie Thompson and Driver Thernie Marsden of Copley Hill whose engine was behind me. Then Walt Sellars, Basil de Iongh (how on earth did he keep so clean) and John George Wright. Their Atlantic is just off the picture. Photo 1942.
RH165 4428 was the last Cl to be altered to piston valves and 20” cylinders. She had spent several years at Neepsend and a short time at Copley Hill but when she was converted she went to Doncaster. She is on the North pilot at Doncaster station with Basil de Iongh, John George Wright and his new fireman Harry Steel who, as a driver, relieved Bill Hoole on arrival at Doncaster after the record-breaking down run with the A4 60007 (old 4498). He appears in some of the photographs and was never one to underclub himself in the matter of words.
RH166 Rickmansworth, the up siding where the electric locomotives stood until their train arrived from Aylesbury. A great boyhood friend from Amersham, Don Douglas, myself wearing “Digger” Hyde’s Met Cap and Motorman Syd Tapper, a lovely man. I went many times on those old Met electrics coming down from Baker St late at night after the war after seeing my wife to be in London. I also went crashing round the inner Circle on a Saturday in 1946 with Syd in the cab and Digger at the back with the flags. I would see the miracle of braking at every station: one application and a perfect stop with the Westo brake at the end off the platform. In summer the trains ran with the cab doors open and likewise the train doors: nobody fell out!
RH167 Sheffield Victoria 1941: a Barnsley N5 bound for Barnsley via Chapeltown. The photo tells us very little. The fireman was an ex GE man by the name of Holmes who left the railway after the war. The driver was Bill Jacques (not visible) and I remember him demonstrating how the vacuum release valve worked when climbing Chapeltown bank. It was unknown for the pepperbox holding the valve, spindle and spring to be removed for demonstration purposes when on the move: never seen it since but it showed me exactly how it worked. Not a good photo.
RH168 The only Hull men I knew, and we met in the Garden Sidings one evening when they stopped alongside us. I made two journeys with them: the first on a D49 Hunt from Sheffield-­Doncaster on the Liverpool-Hull leaving Sheffield at 1905 on a Sunday(a bone shaking engine if ever there was one); the other to Hull on a B15. I remember successfully firing this engine and being amazed at the lack of room in the huge cab. The space was taken up by deep splashers both sides, the normal fish and chips screen for the firehole door on NE engines and the injector control wheels on the fireman’s seat where he would normally sit. I cannot remember the fireman’s name but Charlie Ringrose, the driver, was a lovely man. 236 Lancashire is a D49 with outside Walchaerts gear and two-to-one beam behind the cylinders. Rough engines but reasonably popular and stronger than the Hunts with Lentz poppet valve gear. 1944 Doncaster North End.
RH169 Easter 1944 and the B1 8301”Springbok” is about 16 months out of Darlington Works. I remember seeing her outside the Plant by the old turntable for the inspection of the CME. In March 1943, she went to Gorton and she was by no means rough after 16 months of service. We had a good run to London from Sheffield with three different crews and 11 cars, a very fair load for such a heavy road although the GC B3s often hauled up to 14 on the night trains. Driver Bill Shepley and Fireman Arthur Jepson of Gorton had brought the 0950 from Manchester London Road and inside two minutes they had agreed not only to have their photo taken but Arthur said that he was quite happy to sit on his seat to Nottingham. It amazes me that I had the nerve to ask two complete strangers to be photographed and to be trusted to fire a strange engine on a heavy express train. Arthur said ”the same fire as a Footballer; you know the road, don’t you and no blowing-off dropping down into Nottingham”. Woodford men came on there (Driver Ernest Coulson)and Neasden men at Leicester; both were old friends from my school days - Jack Procter and Charlie Simpson. Jack was the senior driver at Neasden, the last of the pre-war top link men and Charlie, the son of the famous Ted Simpson, who had been so kind to me as a boy. Charlie was killed in tragic circumstances in 1955 when coming south on the wrong line. He crossed over to the up line at speed at Barby when he expected to do so at Braunston.
RH170 Bridlington Loco on a Sunday morning: Miss Marsh had taken David Sandiland and me to her brother’s home for the weekend and we were given permission to go to the shed on the Sunday morning. David is the smart young man in the trilby; the gent in the sports coat is the shed chargeman and the two Brid men were preparing the old NE class R 2024, now D20 and superheated otherwise not much altered from her original state. The R class were renowned as splendid machines, the best 4-4-0s in the NE. We could regularly see a Selby D20 at Doncaster and I think it worked through to Harrogate with coaches off a down London.
RH171 Charlie Ringrose of Botanic Gardens (R) and his fireman, with the D49 236 “Lancashire” on the North End turntable at Doncaster Central. Further details see RH168.
RH172 Lunchtime at the Carr Loco in mid 1944. A dirty old A4, 4484 “Falcon”, a King’s Cross engine which had been remanned by New England men at Peterboro. Instead of turning at the station they had come to the shed before returning with a stopping train of sorts. The engine is standing on the pit used for ‘visitors’ and the engine has just turned on the triangle. Walter Ramsey Ayres was the only driver I knew at Peterboro’ and he was to retire about a year later. I had a last and good trip from Grantham to Doncaster on 4475 “Flying Fox” when his fireman was George King. Doncaster men, whom I had never met before or since, somehow got in on the act and Pete Wright(C)was a fellow apprentice. Ramsey’s fireman will never see forty again nor would George King who followed him.
RH173 Grantham Loco April 1942 (see RH163) for details of 4040 class J4 based at Newark. In the cab my great friend Basil de Iongh and Cyril Richardson, Running Foreman, by the footstep. Cyril had served his time at Grantham and ultimately became Mechanical Foreman and then Shedmaster near the end of steam and after a succession of L P Parker’s young men who had followed a very well known Shedmaster, Jack L Smith. Most Running Foremen were ex footplate staff but a leven of mechanical men did no harm and widened their outlook. Cyril’s son retired as Chief Motive Power Inspector for the Eastern Region at York and had fired his own Peppercorn Al at Grantham.
RH174 Basil de Iongh and Cyril Richardson in Grantham Loco in April 1942. 2560 ’Pretty Polly’ is still an Al and painted green. She was a good Grantham engine but lost her stripes when I was shedmaster at Woodford and 60061 was at Leicester. Time and again she would come off at Woodford short of steam and her place taken by one of our V2s. 60103 was not much better!
RH175 A nice portrait of Basil and Cyril Richardson against 2560 at Grantham in April 1942.
RH176 Basil de Iongh, Doncaster apprentice who left the LNER for the RAF never to return to railway service but followed a distinguished career in the RAF, and myself. It was typical of both of us that I should be leaning against a connecting rod whilst the impeccable Basil had a smart overall jacket and collar and tie. In his cap he wears the Railway Service badge that we always carried in wartime.
RH177 Two very dear Grantham friends Fireman Alf Rudkin and Driver J A (Bill) Thompson against the Al 4479 ”Robert the Devil” in Winter 1943-44. We were about to go to King s Cross: we had a good trip going up, and a terrible one coming back with 2549Persimmon” which was completely off the boil all the way with 18 coaches. We breasted Stoke summit at about 15—20 mph gasping for breath and down to about 95 psi. Neither man turned a hair; Alf and I had shared the work and the very best was done. The tubes must have been made up and a superheater element was blowing badly. A great deal of heat came hack to us from the firehole door usually a sign that the tubes were solid. More information about Bill and Alf on RH182.
RH178 The back yard of a terraced house in Mexboro’, No 10 Wellington St. Summer 1941. This is the home of Charlie and Emily Hepworth, a railway family originating from Wakefield GCR when there was a shed there near Balne Lane. I got to know the Hepworths who became great friends through Driver Bob Foster of Copley Hill, Leeds whom I met in May 1941(of RH45, 63, 77). Charlie had fired for Bob at Wakefield and they remained great friends after Charlie went to Mexboro and Bob to Leeds. Charlie had married Emily Duckmanton who had been a GC signalbox girl in 1917-18 at Westgate (WR&G Joint). Her father was the senior driver who had Wakefield’s one main line passenger job to himself, Wakefield-Cleethorpes via Adwick Jc with the Pom-Pom bogie 105, later to become 5105 class D9. His son Horace went to Mexboro then to Gorton and finally to Kings Cross where he retired in 1966 when I was Divisional Manager. He and Driver McKinley had the Al 60156 at Kings Cross in the A4 link and he retired with a completely clear record. The Hepworth’s son, Ralph, became a Fireman at Mexboro’, then a driver at Stratford before becoming an Inspector. Charlie did not come from a railway family for his father was a miller but here they are back in 1941, a piece of social history, for fashions have changed. L-R: Bob Foster, Charlie and Emily Hepworth, old Mr and Mrs Hepworth and Ralph in the foreground.
RH179 WaIter Ramsey Ayres of Peterboro’ New England shed and his fireman on the pit at the Carr Loco 1944, King’s Cross A4, 4484 “Falcon” with a chime whistle. Some of the A4s lost their chime whistles for the duration. Ramsey was one of the old school of GN men and a very good engineman although he did not believe in very short cut-offs, usually easing the regulator once speed had been attained on 25% cut-off. My last journey with him was the Friday evening of my first week in the Drawing Office in 1944. Without the manual work of the last four years, I found it difficult to sleep, so one evening I went to Grantham and picked Ramsey and George King up there. We had 4475 Flying Fox, a good old low pressure Pacific (l8Opsi) and I fired this engine with great pleasure and success with a heavy train behind us. I next met George King when I was Divisional Manager at King’s Cross and he was about to retire.
RH180 Harry Moyer, of Doncaster and a GN man, had a brother at Grimsby, Bill. In his quieter way, Bill was a martinet on the footplate and was a MS&L man rather than GCR. Certainly he had only a short while to go before he retired. He was a kind, dignified old gentleman who never thrashed an engine and never used the big valve except on the C5 Compounds at Immingham. This particular fireman was a first class man, Norman Griffin, and the two men worked in perfect harmony. Engine 5508 class D11 “Prince of Wales”, and I joined them at Gainsborough on a Sheffield via Retford turn. I fired for the old gentleman and was given a nod of satisfaction although I did not know the road to Retford and had to avoid blowing off and the correct level of water and have 180 psi when the regulator was open. No heavy smoke allowed, no dust, no coal on the footplate but by 1944, I had done many miles with Ted Hailstone who was an even greater martinet.
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