R h n hardy collection

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RH41 Again, the end of the war and it is June 1945. The double headed and very long train stands at Crowle in Lincolnshire waiting for the road. The train is the combined Leeds and Bradford portions that had gone to Cleethorpes in the early morning, another long day for us. We took a GN”A” engine and ran a big end hot. We were given a GC Atlantic for the return but Immingham were desperately short of power and so this was one of the four C5 compound Atlantics. Harold knew these engines, being an experienced GC and ex Tuxford and Immingham man. I think 5364 was returned LE next day to its home shed. The Leeds engine was the B4 6099, Driver John Smith, and Harold Binder is on the footplate. The two firemen are Copley Hill’s Syd Watson and Bradford’s Herbert Brown who suffered from an affliction that allowed him to drop off to sleep with his eyes open. Unless he was cured, I doubt if he ever became a driver but he was a very cheerful man when he was with us!
RH42 Probably the only photograph taken at the Thorp Arch factory which was an enormous wartime munitions works. It was taken in June 1945, in the sidings where the trains were stabled between arrival and departure. We brought the incoming shift on duty and went round the factory railway with its four stations. We stabled the train, turned on the angle, and coupled up once more to our train to go tender first round the factory picking up the shift going home; run round once more and right away home. On Saturday and Sunday nights, we had the railway to ourselves and could get home as quick as it was safe to do. We stopped at Castleford, Normanton and Kirkgate to set down before roaring up to Westgate in the early hours. But this is the afternoon turn on a Sunday and we have the best of the very good bunch of B4s, 6101, and she was a clipper. First of all, we have a factory policeman. While we were at war, the factory police were everywhere watching to see we did not move away from our engine. Then we have our guard, with a trilby hat worn for the occasion. He was a lovely man, endlessly helpful, who was normally a Westgate passenger shunter and he earned their living all right. Then, in the centre, is Alistair Kerr, still a very great friend, who was Deputy Land Agent at the County Hall in Wakefield, a vastly knowledgeable student of railway affairs who knew Benny Faux well and later married his daughter, Elsie. Leaning on the buffer with his cap over his nose is Ben himself, then his fireman for the day, Fred Wilson, and finally the Thorp Arch Yard Foreman, Mr Cattermole, whose son was a Darlington Premium apprentice some years younger than I.
RH43 Lastly, RH and my greatest mentor Ted Hailstone at Ardsley, summer 1944. We are at Ardsley station in the slow road and we have 4602, superheater, another splendid engine. The day we met, he said “I’ve taken a liking to you, young man. If you come with me, I’ll make a fireman out of you and then a driver”. He was as good as his word and for many, many thousands of miles, I have practised the principles he drilled into me. He was brought up on the Manchester-Marylebone jobs and, after the first war, fired for George Bourne on the Sam Fay 428 ‘City of Liverpool’. Bourne was a disciplinarian and Ted modelled himself on his old driver so that he was not universally popular but to those who were dedicated to the job, he was a true friend, as he was to his much respected fireman, George Howard, who did as much driving as Ted himself for he was a splendid fireman and kept very fit. He taught me much of self-discipline, vital to a railwayman, and what he expected of a shedmaster, of management. He told me that I had to be a step ahead of everybody and be a real boss “not like one of the poor tools I’ve known”. Whenever I was promoted, he expected me to write to him and always signed his letters “Yours Ever Forward”. He was a GC man and both the GC and the LNER crests carried the motto “Forward”. A wonderful man who dedicated himself to my advancement but he expected me, when on the footplate, to do the job in every detail to the highest standards.
RH44-99 Copley Hill Men
RH44 1942. John Albert Walker (Pricker Dick) ex-GC from Staveley. A comedian and given to using the pricker due to his upbringing at Staveley with colliery and heavy freight jobs with steam suddenly required after an hour’s standing and the way to get it was to push the fire over with pricker. Not the Copley Hill way of doing things! Driver John Smith (‘Nookie’), quiet and sound. He was knocked down by a train near Wakefield in later years. Eng 6100, class B4, in the Garden sidings, Doncaster. Albert is ‘knobbing’ the fire: has the big door open and building up the back end of the grate with good big lumps of Yorkshire hard coal. Load 12-14 bogies through to Leeds. 1944 ex-Doncaster from Colchester.
RH45 Garden sidings, 1942, Doncaster. Driver Bob Foster, ex-GC Mexborough and Wakefield GC, then Ardsley and Copley Hill. A good friend and a grand engineman who, after the war, was involved in a derailment at Balby, Doncaster. Had the first “Wath Daisy” as a young driver in 1907/8. Bob had started about 1896/7 on the MS&L. Fireman Ernest Fearnley – a splendid fireman, ex-GC Mexboro’, liked his hops, outspoken, a tough contestant and one of the best. He had to come off the footplate, with eyesight, into the Stores at Copley Hill in the early 1950s. In 1942, Bob put me in his corner Kirkgate, Eng 3280, GN Atlantic 2130 Mail from Leeds Central. We were stopped by the signalman at South Elmsall. Ernest called out “Whoa” to stop by the signalman’s window: however, my brake application was gradual and text book so that Ernest had to get down to talk to the “Bobby”. On his return, he said: ”Whoa means whoa, Dick and don’t bloody well forget it”. Good advice, never forgotten. The engine is 231, one of the three K3s (202 and 203) sent to Leeds before the was for fast train work over the West Riding and for the Whitemoor Goods, a lodge job in which the engine worked passenger trains Doncaster-Leeds and return, and partially fitted freight from Doncaster and return.
RH46 Autumn 1943, Garden Sidings, Doncaster. Eng 231 K3. A Sunday afternoon, and my mother (Mrs G M Hardy), a wonderful sport who had knocked about in Russia, in and before the Revolution. She married in 1920, aged 39, my father who was 49 and had been a tea planter in Ceylon before the Great War when he came home, joined up and spent much of the war in France. Here she is, very much in wartime clothes, with Driver Bill Denman and Fireman Jim Edison. All three completely at home in each other’s company. More of Bill and Jim elsewhere.
RH47 Albert Walker again and Alan Coggon, Doncaster Apprentice, son of an ex-GC driver from Keadby. Eng 6165, “Valour”, which spent a few months at Leeds back in 1942.
RH48 Copley Hill N1 4566 in the down main platform at Wakefield Westgate. We had been ‘over the Alps’ from Leeds via Tingley and Batley and were returning the same way. Driver Ernest Clarke, Secretary of the LDC, and Fireman Stan Hodgson who was a close friend until he died in 1998. I went to his funeral on the outskirts of Leeds and he had come to my retirement party at the end of 1982.
RH 49: see RH46.
RH50 The great “Valour” sent to Copley Hill in Autumn 1942, fresh out of Gorton Works with her nameplate and brasses painted over. She was a very fine engine when properly handled and, one Sunday, deputised for a Pacific or Green Arrow on the 1015 Leeds-Grantham turn and its return. Load 17 cars and a good day out for the fireman – me, and not greatly experienced (Driver Alf Cartwright). Here she is in the Garden Sidings before working the 1944 Leeds (the “Colchester”, a very heavy train). Derek King (Apprentice), Albert Walker and Driver John Smith. 6164, B3 6165 arrived, she became the regular engine for the “Colchester” as the Atlantics were having difficulty in starting from Wakefield with some drivers.
RH51 Garden sidings, Doncaster. Basil de Iongh apprentice who left the LNER volunteering for flying duties in 1943 and then remained in the RAF, becoming a Group Captain before retirement. Bill Denman, a truly great engineman, who died aged 59: ex-GC from Retford who moved to Copley Hill as a driver. He was respected by all, not only as an engineman but as a man: at home at any level of society, charm, presence, level headed, always the same and never got flustered or excited. Never carried a watch and brilliant with a GN Atlantic. Fireman Len Hannal, who was then with Percy Wallis (“Tha’ knaws”) about to retire: another excellent man who did not get on too well with Percy’s successor, Jimmy Simpson, another GC man: and Bill’s regular mate, Jim Edison. Engine 6100, class B4, prior to working the 1944 “Colchester”.
RH52 Driver Jas Smith (Link 2 as was John Smith but no relation). 6165 with the famous nameplate pointed over. She was built at Gorton in 1920 and, when driven and fired correctly was a splendid machine which needed full regulator and short cut off handling with a heavy fire under the firehole door and thin at the front. GN men slide their blade with the L hand held firm on the shaft. GC men kept their (R) back hand up so that coal to sides and front took a downwards path from the high firehole door, thus avoiding hitting the brick arch. The GN method suited GN engines with a lower door and flatter grate. Jas was a bachelor who lived until well over 90: George Usher was an excellent GN fireman and master of a GC engine.
RH53 1943 at Leeds Central: eng 4566 class N1. Stan Hodgson firing to Percy Garner in No2 tankie gang (Link 3). When Percy moved up to No2, Stan got the tall Fred Holdsworth, ex-GC from Wakefield.
RH54 Eng 4564 at Bradford Exchange one Sunday late in 1943. Stan Hodgson with his new mate, Fred Holdsworth. Fred took to Gresley engines very well on the fast turns worked by No 3. He, like me, wore clogs and Stan said to me when I paused from my labours on the way down to Stanningley: “Fred has made you work today, he had too much bad beer last night” but he was well enough to have his photograph taken! We were Leeds-Bradford and back twice that day. An old GN 1st class articulated in the background.
RH55 This photograph shows many things. The arrival of “Earl Beatty”, the Caprotti B3 6164, in its first full week’s work at Copley Hill in the autumn of 1942. She was very run down and still painted green, a bad sign. To send a run down Caprotti to a shed where such valve gear was unknown was not very clever and she was substituted eventually by 6169 “Lord Faringdon” for a short time. 6165/9 were the two engines still with the Stephenson valve gear as built. The photo shows the age of the firemen in those days – both were 47. Garden Sidings, Doncaster, Eng 91, K3 is behind 6164 for the 2008 Leeds (ex KX), usually 17-18 cars. Driver Percy Wallis who started every sentence with “Tha knaws”, as easy as an old shoe but had, along with most of the No 1 link during the war, run the pre-war London day excursions with the GC B4s. His fireman is Len Hannal, Driver Jimmy Simpson and then his mate, Len Richmond ex Doncaster GN. When Percy Wallis retired a month later, Jimmy Simpson moved up but he and Len Hannal did not always get on too well. The latter had certain views with which Jim did not agree and he could be very abrupt. He was, however, a splendid engineman and the kindest of men under his cloak of fierceness. I never asked for a footplate trip before I had a pass but I was always welcome in the West Riding. Jim would glare at me and say: “What the bloody ‘ell does tha want?”, and before I opened my mouth: “Come on up then and work your bloody passage”. He and Len Richmond got on well and he too was an excellent fireman at the age of 47. Once on 91, coming down to South Elmsall about 65mph, I shut the right hand injector off to let the water down for Doncaster: the left exhaust injector was not working. Jim turned to me: “What the hell have you shut that off for? Put the bloody thing on again at once!” I tried and it would not strike the water being a lifting injector overheated. “Now tha’s done it, Dick, but I’ll show you how to get it on”. The water valve under the barrel of the injector was left wide open. Jim put the brake full on and released it at once. The train and engine jerked as was their wont with those long wartime trains, water rushed up the pipe into the faceplate injector, cooled it and went the feed. Not the Messrs Gresham and Craven’s book of instruction; never seen before or since! Jimmy Simpson was ex-GC from Barnsley and, despite his age, would fight any GN man who said a word out of place about the GC for there was still a great deal of feeling at GN sheds even after twenty years.
RH56 The Ivatt C12 4014, a Leeds engine, stands at Castleford with the 1723 Leeds Central to Leeds City, 300 yards down the road. After 70 minutes on foreign Geordie territory, we would set off quietly for home via Kippax, Castleford, Methley and on to the main line once more at Lofthouse Junction. The C12s were free-steaming little engines, with a thin fire; they were fast and would bounce up and down on their bogie springs when so doing with a short cut off and open regulator. Driver Bill Denman and Fireman Jim Edison. Given the choice, he would have settled for 4014 every day of the week, for wild riding Atlantics and K3s tested his nerves sometimes beyond endurance. In 1941, firing to Fen Lewis, bunker first on the N2 2592 on a Leeds-Bradford express, the engine left the rails near Bramley and finished up down the embankment. Neither man was seriously hurt, but Jim’s nerve was affected and he never liked fast running again. Once he had passed for driving, he never strayed far from home. Bill Denman was an engineman ‘par excellence’ and had a perfect disposition, liked and respected by all.
RH57 Bob Foster and Wilf Webster on 231 at Wakefield Westgate early in 1945 with the 1120 slow from Doncaster-Leeds. A very happy combination. Balne Lane Yard on the upside, the Prison Sidings beyond the signalbox and the road set for the platform road. This had always been an Atlantic turn but the arrival of the A1s at Copley Hill had confined the K3s to some of the less arduous work.
RH58 Bob Foster and Ernest Fearnley with old 6100, class B4, in the bay waiting for Abe Lawrence to bring the cars up the Western platform at Doncaster for the 1737 slow to Leeds. By the look of the smokebox door, she has been at Bradford on those London jobs up the 1 in 45 out of Exchange. Shortly after this was taken in 1944, Ernest was passed for driving after 25 years on the footplate.
RH59 In the down yard at Castleford. The 1723 Leeds to Leeds has set back into the yard to let something go by on the main line. It is 4020, another of the Copley Hill trio of C12s, 4010 being the other. With the gently smiling Bill Denman is the Leeds Central guard and his new mate, a certain Alfie Hudson. Now Alfred was very broad West Riding and had come from Bradford. He was a natural comedian about whom many stories were told. He had a stammer and half-closed eyes which made his delivery all the funnier. As a cleaner at Bradford, he sometimes affected a species of bow tie which was too much for the Shedmaster, the forthright John Frampton, who roared immortally: “Come here, you theatrical bastard” which broadside Alfie took in perfectly good part. To become a regular fireman, fate took “Twinkletoes” to Kings Lynn in furthest Norfolk and, in time, “Scufter”, his Lynn nickname was rostered with Mr Alderman Raby JP, dignified, well-spoken, a master of the measured phrase and a Mayor of Kings Lynn who sometimes wore a trilby hat rather than a uniform cap and, if it was raining, held an umbrella in one hand whilst helping to tune his engine with the other. No more unlikely alliance could be imagined as Alfie’s dialect was so broad as to be unintelligible to a mere Mayor. On one occasion, Raby, on the blind side, was backing an empty cattle truck into the dock when one of the prospective passengers slipped from the platform. Shouts of “Whoa” reached Raby’s ears just in time but from Alfie, who saw it all, never a word. Apostrophised by his driver in no uncertain terms, Alfie replied: “Ah-ah-ah-wor speechless!” And now, but not to the sorrow of Mr Raby, he is back in the West Riding, as broad-spoken as ever and with a driver who, with his calm confidence, invariably drew the best from every fireman who had the good fortune to be rostered with him.
RH60 4556 was one of the Leeds superheated N1s, the other being 4592. For the record, other superheaters were: 4572 at Ardsley; and 4557, 4584,4598, 4599, 4602, and 4603 at Bradford - splendid engines and very well liked as were the saturated N1s. The N2s which left in 1941 after the Bramley derailment were quick in the uptake and strong but would not steam freely without some unauthorised additions across the blastpipe. There were no tears shed when the unwanted and top-heavy N2s went away to be foisted on some other shed. Outside Leeds Central station: Driver Ernest Hine, ex-GC Barnsley Junction (Penistone), a cheerful, good-hearted man and Fireman Wilf Webster, the elder of the two brothers, very broad of speech and wearing a splendid pair of clogs.
RH61 Garden Sidings, Doncaster. Jim Edison left Bill Denman and moved into the top link. Here is 6100 in 1944 behind the North signalbox at Doncaster station, before returning with the 1737 Leeds. Arthur Moss, his mate, suffered cruelly with arthritis of the spine but he was a grand chap though he was sometimes in great pain at work. Arthur did not run hard downhill, which pleased Jim, but he had to work harder uphill than he did with Bill Denman. Arthur has his hand on the regulator handle and behind is the barrel of the lifting faceplate injector, the type referred to in RH55.
RH62 Len Hannal and Percy Wallis with K3 202 in the Garden Sidings prior to working the 2008 Doncaster-Leeds in summer 1942.
RH63 Bob Foster and myself in the Garden Sidings. Summer 1941, soon after we had met. I gradually accumulated a couple of sets of old enginemen’s overalls and a cast-off cap but here in early days - for I was only 17 – just jacket and cap. I filled out a great deal with hard physical work in the next year or two, and those muscles are still in good shape.
RH64 A Sunday afternoon in 1944 behind the North signalbox. A Doncaster V2 in place of a K3. Johnny Jeffs (R) and Syd Watson. Johnny was Chairman of the LDC, I think: a very good engineman and very kind to me but hot-tempered so I was told but I had no experience of LDCs in those days. I was to find that the fiery man was often a 100%er and both Johnny and his colleague, Ernest Clarke were straight and to the point. Syd Watson was also splendid value.
RH65 Grantham with 2554 Woolwinder Sunday Summer 1944 and now a 220 lbs boiler, class A3 but still RH drive. More of Alf Cartwright later, but why his mate, Percy Hudson, should be wearing his wife’s hat is beyond me! Leeds men went through to Grantham every day once the Pacifics had been allocated to Copley Hill in 1944 in some numbers: this improved the quality of the Leeds Men’s work and improved their route knowledge once more. Once the war was over, they started to go through to London again.
RH66 3280 class C1 GN Atlantic had been at Copley Hill since 1932 as had 4433, the last to be superheated in 1927 but, of course, both were piston valve engines. Probably taken in Sep/Oct 1944. Percy Garner is now in Link 2 with Eddie Thompson (C) and Percy Hudson has walked across for a chat and a photograph.
RH67 A nice study in the Garden Sidings in late 1941 of a fellow apprentice Derek King (who died some years ago), and Fireman Percy Carline, ex-Immingham and to be passed for driving shortly.
RH68 While we stood at Westgate with the 1520 ex Leeds, waiting for the Bradford portion to be attached, there was time to photograph the white-haired fireman, Jack Westwood, now in the top link with Driver Fenley (Fen) Lewis, said to be difficult and dour but kindness itself to me. Indeed, he invited me more than once to his home in Leeds. An ex-GC man from Wakefield, it was he who was driving the N2, 2592 on a Leeds express at Bramley. Unscathed, he took duty as normal next day. That was the end of the top heavy N2s in the West Riding: no tears were shed on that one. The engine on the 1520 is a Green Arrow.
RH69 Old 91 in Sep 1941. She was a grand engine. She had a GN tender and rode very rough but would she go! In the cab, Fireman Jack Foster and Driver Jim Heald with whom I ONLY TRAVELLED ONCE WHEN HIS FIREMAN WAS Ben Adams, already a passed fireman and deputising at short notice. Ben had been the fireman on the Kitson-Still steam/diesel locomotive in 1927/8. On the ground, Fireman Eddie Thompson and Driver Thernie Marsden. Garden Sidings, Doncaster.
RH 70 Fireman Alf Woollard and Driver Bob Foster, spring 1944.
RH71 A Sunday, 1400, early 1944. Garden Sidings, Doncaster. Fred Holdsworth and RH, now growing out of his overalls. K3 231.
RH72 1942. 6164, the first B3 to come and run down at that. Men found their own way about the Caprotti system but guided by a notice in the cab saying they must always run with the regulator wide open – necessary with steam operated poppet valves. Fireman Albert Walker, Driver John Smith (rarely wearing a uniform cap) and Derek King.
RH73 Leeds Central with a Lanky man on a Midland Compound, 1185 in the background and keeping an eye on us LNER tykes. Driver Herbert Pollard, now a passed fireman and who had fired for Burridge on 4460 on the Pullman jobs before 1937 when the Pacifics, 2553/5 arrived for the Queen of Scots. Herbert had a quiet voice and was known as the “Whispering Baritone”. Tim Paley and Stan Hodgson both in the second tankie gang, no 3 Link. Tim is eating an apple and Stan smoking a rare pipe. Stan was the man who started it all for me in the West Riding that night he invited me on to the footplate of 6100, B4 at Wakefield to ride to Doncaster with him and Bob Foster. He had started at the end of Dec 1922 and was, in 1941, still a “Young Hand”. But he was an extrovert and asked me, a scruffy boy of 17 looking into the cab at Wakefield Kirkgate, who I was and where I was going and he and Bob put me through my first lesson in preparation and disposal in the early hours in the Garden Sidings before returning to Leeds.
RH74 Stan Hodgson and Fred Holsworth in the Garden Sidings, K3 231 early 1944. The signals in the background were – I think – L-R: Goods Road; down main to Western Platform; down man in main line platform; down main all the way, centre road.
RH75 “Valour” 6165, class B3, autumn 1942, Garden Sidings – Balby Bridge Jc just behind the engine; triangle to Garden Sidings and also round Hexthrope St James and to Sheffield-Doncaster lines. Derek King, John Smith and Albert Walker.
RH76 Another character enters the stage! Harry White, “Perfectus” or “The Perfect Driver”; had a considerable idea of his own excellent ability and much of it was leg-pull. With an Atlantic on the Colchester, he usually had the coupling slacked back to get a good jerk start at Wakefield on the 1 in 100. Loved to cut a dash when driving, feet up on the firebox front of a Pacific, arms folded, nonchalant, watching with eyebrows lifted and quizzical smile, the efforts of lesser mortals – to wit me – when working hard with a rough low pressure Pacific and a load of 18-20 coaches. Those old A1s could time the heavy trains with their big cylinders even when down to 140psi or so whilst an A3 or, even more, an A4 would be struggling if short of steam. A smashing chap, great fun and put up with my activities. Here he is taking his ease in a compartment one summer evening and having his supper before working the Colchester.
RH77 Aug 1941. New Found friends and all ex-GC men and all posing for a 17 year old boy and, although they did not know it, for posterity. Fireman Percy Carline who fired for Driver Blanchard who retired shortly, Jack Burgon who fired for Polly Hadman who retired at the same time and Bob Foster who had started about 1897, Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Year. Percy and Jack had started in 1919 so had 22 years’ firing when the photograph was taken. Jack had another year before he was passed though Percy was passed shortly afterwards. All men of the highest quality. Jack Burgon, who was very knowledgeable technically, was killed in 1956. A defect had developed on his engine and he leaned out to either see or listen and hit his head on a bridge near Newark.
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