R h n hardy collection

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RH181 My first meeting with a delightful pair of men with whom I spent happy hours on the old Met Bo-Bo 1200 HP machines which made an extraordinary amount of noise when leaving a station what with contractors, series to parallel working which produced a sizeable flash and bang behind us. And as for the unprotected knife switch behind the railings where the third man stood (me); I was inches away from it most of the time. Very quick on the uptake and climbing gradients until they reached about 48-50 mph but then further acceleration was slower. Vacuum brake for the train, and Westo on the engine. The photo was taken about 2245 in the summer of 1941 at Baker St, a time exposure but worth it. Left is Motorman Syd Tapper of Neasden in his smart white stiff collar and tie, and “Digger” Hyde, his Assistant Motorman, the son of a Met steam driver Len Hyde. Of course Syd and Digger shared the driving except when they had Saturday turns round the Inner Circle on the old BTC and Metro Vick stock which seemed to go faster then anything today. Certainly braking was very fast and smooth with the old Westo brake and No 4 valve and what fun it was with Syd at the front and Guard “Digger” giving him no respite at stations. I had hold of these locomotives several times, the first time in the blackout, indeed always in the dark. Stopping at a blacked out station without that familiar movement underneath to guide you as to speed, was far from easy at first. Neither Syd nor Digger had been on steam work so did not realize at first what I was missing.
RH182 Alf Rudkin and Bill Thompson with 4401 after coming from Doncaster with a slow all stations but with 12 coaches, the rear six being new ex Plant for the London end. On this occasion Alf had been in the train and Bill had suggested taking water at the “Traws” as he called them at Muskham. With an Atlantic you pulled a lever down through 45 degrees and could never get it back until the end of the troughs. Bill said: “Don’t put the scoop down until I say, Richard” and when we got to Muskham, I waited and waited and then, thinking he had forgotten, put the scoop down. “Now you’ve done it, Richard”, and so I had. Water from the tender ventilators, from the tank lid, poured down the tender on to the footplate bringing with it enough coal to go to London. Bill said, as I started to clear up with the uphill drag to Peascliffe tunnel ahead, “You’ll know better next time, Richard. Never mind, have another pear”. Every day this remarkable man came to work with enough fruit in his pockets to feed the three of us. We used to go to York on a Sunday night on one of the night trains, very heavy indeed. We remanned a London V2 which ran in gasping for breath, the water right down in the nut and about 130 psi. We got on, the Cockney fireman hopped off and vanished without a word and the driver said to Bill: “You’ve 19 on and she’s a bastard. Ta-ta”. She was but I struggled and kept about 160 psi most of the way to York. Bill said somewhere in the wilds above Doncaster: “How are you doing, Richard? Don’t worry, just keep at her and have another apple”. He emigrated to Australia when his wife died and wrote regularly. One PS said: “If you are doing rough going to London, keep going. Never take the Peterboro’ pilot; its bound to be worse”. Good news from Sydney and how Bill enjoyed life down under near his daughter.
RH183 No 1 Platform 1943, Doncaster Central. 5107 class D9 often working the Sheffield-Cleethorpes-Hull jobs and in this case a Hull-Sheffield working that Mexborough men worked to Hull and back, being relieved by Goods men for the last lap to Sheffield. This was a heavy train and, when more than nine coaches, took the Rotherham pilot, an N4 (with Joy valve gear) as the start from Tinsley and Broughton Lane was particularly heavy. The pipe leading to the smokebox above George Scott’s right shoulder takes steam to the ash ejector, a device for emptying the smokebox. This was always used on the 1 in 58 climb up to Woodburn Jc where the GCR main line to Marylebone and Manchester was met. A good blast was necessary to lift the ash clear and the cutting side on the grade was deep in ash. Driver George Scott may have his coat on but you can bet your boots he was doing the firing and his mate Jack Gainham the driving.

RH184 George Scott of Mexborough with his fireman Harry Bluck at Doncaster Central in 1943. This is a “Fish” engine of a type originally built for the Grimsby fast fish traffic in 1902. There were several at Mexboro used on any from express passenger to banking work up Worsborough and on to Silkstone, Penistone and Dunford Bridge. 5181 (slide valves) 5184/5 (piston valves) usually worked a diagram that started from Mexboro for Doncaster about 0530, went through to Sheffield and then worked a Liverpool-Hull express returning with a Hull-Liverpool that left Doncaster at 1730. After being remanned at Sheffield, the engine worked to Penistone and home to Mexboro’; this was quite an extensive job. The B5s were excellent engines with 6’0” coupled wheels and a very fair turn of speed on level track whilst being strong on a bank and free running downhill especially the slide valve engines. The job could mix Mexboro. Sheffield, Doncaster and Hull water, a lethal cocktail and a recipe for priming. On the 0650 from Doncaster after leaving Rotherham, the tender drain valves were opened so that the tender was empty on arrival at Sheffield but the boiler full as the injector had been on throughout. A tank of water took the engine to Hull and the same on the return so that the minimum of Mexboro water was in the tender. Slight camera movement.
RH185 Alan Coggon was a fellow premium apprentice in the Plant Works at Doncaster. Although he was a Doncaster boy, he had a fascination for GE engines especially the N7 which he had travelled behind when visiting Liverpool St. Accordingly he drew one of the 12 GE engines built before the Grouping and this is the best my old box camera could do, probably a time exposure as well as a bit out of focus for an excellent drawing.
RH186 Gorton Yard in 1944, Eng 5461, class B7. Walter Bacon and his Driver Joe Oglesby of Darnall. We had come from Sheffield with 11 bogies to lug up to Dunford and had had a perfect trip. Walter had given me a good start with a big fire at the back end of the grate and then retired to the train. Joe used a wide open regulator and as short a cut off as possible bearing in mind load and gradient. I was not troubled by the load and gradient with a responsive free steaming engine and an armchair ride down to Manchester. Never believe the rubbish written about these engines when working express trains. They did not burn excessive coal when handled properly, a magnificent strong engine built like a battleship and sure-footed in starting. That day, laving Penistone, Joe simply put the regulator right across and sat down knowing perfectly well that the engine would not slip on the curve and l in 60 gradient. (Copy neg).
RH187 The triangle at Doncaster Carr one evening in 1942. The Lincoln C4 5192, a great favourite of the driver, Herbert Harrison, who was GC through and through. His brother was a Lincoln GN man and they had magnificent domestic arguments round the kitchen table on the merits of the engines of both railways. Herbert died suddenly not long after this photo was taken but I knew him since my second day of railway service on Doncaster station in a snow storm when he stopped with the heavy York-Colchester train with 6097 “Immingham” and invited me up to keep warm. His foreman on 5192 was a young passed cleaner but Herbert was as good as gold if he had a GC engine. Herbert’s son intended to follow his father on to the footplate but the old man said “You are going to be a ‘clurk’”. Frank never looked back and finished his career at BRHQ as Chief Operating Officer. He was always immensely proud of his father who was a railwayman. (Copy Neg).
RH188 York, Lanky yard, with a Jubilee behind in 1945. A Sheffield C1 3273 Fireman Cyril Golding and Driver Joe Oglesby of Darnall, a very great friend. We had come from Sheffield Vic with the 1520 flyer to York via Doncaster and Selby. Cyril went in the train and as we ran into Rotherham, having come round the curve at a good 50 mph with the station in sight said “Over here quick and stop her at the platform”. This was typical of Joe who always had some unknown challenge to keep you on your toes. That was also the day that I trapped my foot under the fall plate between engine and tender at York. In the yard there were some sharp curves and the fall plate sprung up, my foot slipped down and I was trapped with the wood of my clogs taking the weight. Joe put the tender hand brake hard on, leaked the vacuum brake off the engine and gave her steam. She went ahead a few inches, out came my clog, the wood a bit squeezed but my foot none the worse. A lesson learned for I was standing between the uprights one arm on the tender, one arm on the engine, rather pleased with myself and not concentrating. A rude awakening but as ever a lesson learned the hard way.
RH189 A Britannia being driven as it should be, with a wide open regulator and short cut-off. GE men had been brought up to do this through the influence of the great Motive Power Supt, Mr L P Parker, and it was one of the reasons for the immediate success of 70000 and her breed on the fast and frequent London-Norwich services, the Hook of Holland Continental and the heavy fast freight work such as the Temple-Mills-Niddrie run with precision and punctuality. Driver Ted Whitehead, Stratford, July 1958. Eng 70036, his regular engine.
RH190 The first B17 to be rebuilt at Darlington (in Aug 1945) to class B2 was No 2871 “Manchester City” which was renamed “Royal Sovereign” and painted green in April 1946. It then became the Cambridge Royal engine for many years working the Royal Train between Kings Cross and Kings Lynn. Here it has dropped into the “Back End” of the Jubilee Shed at Stratford in Oct 1945. In the cab is one of the Running Shed Machine Shop Labourers, Fred Frairey and (L-R): Jack Welsh, Chargeman of the Machine Shop and of great help to me when I was Running Shed Progressman; and Bob Chapman who ultimately filled this position on a permanent basis when it had become financially attractive in later years. Bob was a bench fitter in the shop and both men were endearing characters who taught me how to roll Nut Brown tobacco. I was given a packet for my 22nd birthday by Jack: good stuff but my mother would not have it in the house!
RH191 Driver Ted Whitehead of Stratford on his own Britannia, 70036 “Boadicea” which he and his mate Jim Pummel shared with two other crews. Ted was an outstanding engineman and a charming man, calm, confident and experienced. He had come from Ipswich to Stratford as a fireman, then to Palace Gates as a driver and, when the Palace closed, back to Stratford in No 9 link, the main line goods known as the “Plus 2” gang. By 1956, when he was moving up to the Norwich Gang, No 12, I heard a doubt expressed by a list clerk that he might find such work pretty testing after Palace Gates; he was brilliant and had been so on the “Bongos”, link 11. By Ted’s knee, the blower valve; by his left hand, the vacuum brake handle; above it, the regulator handle; and to its right the steam brake valve. Behind his left hand is the reversing wheel or “bacon slicer”.
RH192 (Photo RCR) A Stratford B1, 1280, on the 0830 Liverpool St-Norwich in Sept 1958 by arrangement, to give Mécanicien Andre Duteil of La Chapelle, Paris Nord the experience of a Bongo on the down journey, and 70036 with Driver Ted Whitehead on the return. Andre had had the Chapelon Pacific E4 as his own and then been promoted to the De Caso Baltics, his engine being S002. He came three times to England as our guest and on the return journey in 1958, he drove 70036 from Bentley, where we were booked to stop, as far as Shenfield. He always wore his cap back to front and with his SNCF goggles resembled (as Ted said) “The man from Mars”. This was Ted’s last week in the Norwich gang before moving up to No 14, the L1 link, on outer suburban work.
RH193 Not a good photograph (but probably the only one) of the District General Office clerical staff at Stratford Loco outside the smoke encrusted offices in Dec 1945. L-R: Office boy, Jack Arnold; Frank Wilson, in charge of the Duty List Office; Bill Fenton who travelled daily from Ipswich (0615 up); Arthur Shillito, who played the saw marvellously; Alec Sneary; Bill Hobbs, Chief Clerk; Harold Davies, who succeeded him; Bill Hawkins, in the Stores; -?-; and Ted Foreman. A remarkable collection in whose office I had a desk for my paperwork next to the generally sleeping but cynically humorous Ted Foreman and opposite Kitty Keegan and the even more humorous Arthur Shillito who was a master of deception when concocting the District Locomotive Availability figures; he also played the saw in the office and in the Marble Arch Corner House orchestra.
RH194 Clacton men do not often reach the headlines but here we have a unique pair of men. Both earned unusual nicknames: Fireman “Apple” Moore and Driver “Chocolate” Stan Pittock, and they were a splendid pair. Stan had earned his nickname as a boy selling chocolate. He was a beautiful engineman with a disposition to match. His 1666 rolled back the years in his hands and one evening when the 7MTs were about to take over the Clactons, Stan and I conducted a trial to prove that whatever a Brit could do so could a B17 and a B1. Knowing that a lower powered engine would have to deputise now and again, I would not tolerate loss of time on the Interval service if a good B1/17 was provided, and we set out to show what could be done. So, with Stan at the regulator, 1666 could take on the world which was not always so on the opposite shift when the gloriously controversial Herman Sparke was in charge of 1666. Herman said to me at a discipline hearing and in some trouble “Let me tell you, Mr Hardy, I pride myself on my obstinacy”!
RH195 Liverpool St Loco in 1958 by the office off the end of No10/11 platforms. We used three drivers as Acting Locomotive Inspectors in the last years of steam and the early years of the diesels. Many potential delays and failures were saved by these men, and here is one of them, Driver Bill Redhead, who had been the driver of 70000 on her first trip to Norwich and also when E S Cox rode on it next day, made an excellent inspector but too late in life to accept a permanent appointment. These acting men had done it all – one of the advantages of the Norwich link being far from the top in seniority. Ted Carron, Running Foreman, an institution and character with a loud voice. However, he did not like crossing too many main lines in the peak and, as he said his shout for action was not loud enough, we gave him a loud hailer. The noise he made terrified him and in future he either relied on his voice or his feet. He was a great man in the GE Amateur Athletic Association and all its ramifications. Finally, Len Webb, Loco Head Shunter and the best of a good bunch who controlled the outside movement and turning of engines in the Loco which sounds easy but was anything but in times of crisis. Len tried to get a transfer to Ramsgate but we could not manage it back in 1958 so he left the service, moved to Kent and then joined the staff on the station at Ramsgate: their gain was very much our loss.
RH196 The same site with RHNH instead of Ted Carron who took the picture (not too good).
RH197 Where and who? A Pacific engine with no driver visible; an empty train being used for driver instruction (me); and my mother dominating the scene in her first summer of widowhood, 1938. Where is the driver? Probably setting the road as I seem to think we had the railway to ourselves and that we were about to arrive at the terminus at Frimley. I think the Surrey Border and Camberley Railway ceased to operate with the war and never reopened.
RH198 1945, the New Shed (1871) at Stratford Loco: an old GE F3 under repair and the crew of the Running Shed Machine Shop Lister truck. These two men were well trained in the art of scrounging material from “over the uvver side”, ie the Main Works across the railway, reached through that rat infested tunnel. The old gent on the left was Albert Allison’s mate and Albert had come to Stratford as a fireman from Ipswich. He had failed with colour vision and was now a driver of another sort. I like to think of Albert sitting sideways on his JAP engined steed towing a trailer full of engine springs, on which his old mate sat, legs dangling at the back. A “Gobbler” would be prepared and ready to leave the shed for the evening peak but was missing a 15 plate spring. The “road” would be set for Albert who would appear along by the MIC room running on full throttle. The crossing in front of the New Shed would be cleared of engines and bystanders, so would the tunnel near the “Appearance Book” office, and the “Gobbler” along with Fred Lucas, Mechanical Foreman, fitters and mates, would be standing ready. The heavy spring would be tipped off, skilled running shed fitters would get it under the engine and up on its hangers and away would go the “Gobbler”, a right time start. Back in 1945, another world but some world for all that.
RH199 Late summer 1936 at Amersham against the evening sun. The Woodford engine, 5195, class B1 is working the 1825 SO Marylebone-Woodford stopping a Harrow, Northwood, Rickmansworth, Amersham and all the lot to Woodford. During the week, the train leaves a 1826, fast to Amersham and always hauled by a B7 “4 cylinder”. 5195 was one of

J G Robinson’s first large engines. 192 and 194 were built as Atlantics in 1903/4 and 195/6 as 4-6-0s for comparative purposes. The Atlantic type was standardised and 195/6 were the only members of their class. Very fine engines and employed on heavy cross country services via Banbury and heavy express freight and fish workings.

RH200 May 1940, Amersham. The engine is the 4 cylinder B3 6167 shedded at Neasden and fitted in 1938 with the Italian Caprotti valve gear of a modified design in which the poppet valves were returned to their seats by steam rather than by springs in the case of earlier engines, the supply being taken from the left-hand side of the dome. The train is the 0815 Marylebone-Leicester all stations, and the men would return with the 0950 ex Manchester London Rd from Leicester. The engine returned all stations and was often used the same night on the very heavy night mail trains to Leicester and back. The signal is of Met design and the crew are Neasden men, the fireman (L) Ted Mahon and the Driver, a very well known character and splendid engineman, Ted Simpson. He was very kind to me and hailed from Brunswick shed in Liverpool having come down as a fireman in 1899 to open up the Great Central. He had been a main line driver since his late twenties.
RH201 The War Memorial engine of the GCR enters Amersham in 1936 working the 0620 Leicester-Marylebone, fast from Amersham at 0911, the “Gentleman’s Train” in those more leisured days. She has worked the fastest down service on the GC section, the 0232 Marylebone-Sheffield Newspaper train as far as Leicester and a tough job on which a 4 cylinder B3 was always used rather than a Director until the B17s arrived at Neasden. When the crew reached Marylebone at 0946 they knew they had done a day’s work! Neasden men had the 0232, 0845, 1000, 1520, 1655 and 2200 services, the 1520 being a lodge job through to Manchester alternating with Gorton men at the time of the photograph.
RH202 1937. The men and engine off the 1000 Marylebone-Bradford returned from Leicester with a slow which left Amersham at 1606. 6085 class C4 was a Woodford engine which, for some reason, had replaced the normal Neasden Director. The station bridge is still there and the buildings virtually unchanged to this day; good Met style.
RH203 Easter Monday 1944. Aylesbury Eng 2847, class B17 “Helmingham Hall” working the 1530 M’bone-Manchester, load 11 buckeyes. A day to remember. Up road, my first trip on a B1, 8301, a perfect journey from Sheffield. The down Journey with Driver Ben Riddington and Fireman Syd Jenkins went very well. The third man (RH) did the firing to Leicester where 2847 had run hot and was replaced by a GC Atlantic and Leicestermen. She had to come off short of steam at Nottingham Vic (not my doing) and was replaced by a GN Atlantic 4447, Driver A V Davies a Welsh speaking Gorton driver who had started on the WM&CQ Railway at Wrexham. 4447 came off at Sheffield and a gutsy GC B7 played with the job up the long bank to Woodhead. I got home to Doncaster somehow from Penistone. I had lost my cap on the up road with its “City of Bradford” badge.
RH204 April 1941 at Sheffield Victoria. The B4 6097 “Immingham” on a slow to Lincoln via Retford. I was on an N5 bound for Barnsley via Tinsley and Chapeltown, Driver Bill Jacques of Barnsley.
RH205 Summer 1943, Amersham. The 1700 Marylebone-Woodford with 5473, a B7. Fireman Bill Andrews and Driver Bill Collins of Neasden. Bill Collins was a very dear friend then in the “Piped Goods” link at Neasden with whom I went many miles. He lived until he was ninety-three and I went to his funeral at Marlow Church by the Thames on a day as sunny as his disposition.
RH206 Michael Kerry and I are still great friends and in 1936-38, our summer treat was a journey to Leicester and back with the 1655 (arr 1843) which was often a Director, D11. This photo was taken of the C4 5265 at Leicester in 1937 in poor lighting conditions before our return working on the 1943 from Leicester (2116 High Wycombe), a tight turn round for men and engine but GC trains were never late.
RH207 Jan 1941, two days before I started work on the LNER. Aylesbury and the engine, the Neasden A1, 2552 “Sansovino” on the return of the 0400 Paper train to Woodford, all stations to Marylebone. Two days later, I was meeting for the first time, the brother of the fireman, a blacksmith in the Plant Works at Doncaster. Frank Worthington who came from Neepsend, Sheffield said as we travelled gently back to Amersham “Don’t forget to go to see my brother, Harry, in the Plant”. I did! David Bareham the driver was a hard runner who had reached Neasden from the northern end of the GC, in this case Nottingham Loco when it was closed and it had to move elsewhere.
RH208 Wartime on the Met&GC. A Neasden or Gorton A1 on the 0950 Manchester-Marylebone approaching the footcrossing ¾ of a mile north of Amersham station. The engine has just passed the up distant.
RH209 July 1940. 1530 Marylebone-Manchester, load 11 bogies, passing Amersham in fine form, safety valves lifting after 6 ½ miles of 1 in 105 up from Rickmansworth. 6169 instead of the normal Pacific went through to Manchester and returned next day, I’m told, with the 0950 Marylebone. 6169 “Lord Faringdon” belonged either to Gorton or Immingham at the time. Driver Ted Simpson, Fireman Ted Mahon: they would rather have had an A1 but the 4 cylinder did the job very well. Amersham goods yard and shed (L) with plenty of business including private owner coal wagons. Right, tall Met down home and down refuge. There were two Met freight trains being shunted at the same time (note part of back of M2 bunker left of 6169 smokebox). Gas table and tarred PW shanty in foreground.
RH210 6168, class B3, one of the two engines converted to Caprotti gear in 1929, entering Amersham and Chesham Bois in 1937 after working the 0232 down Newspaper, a very fast and hart turn and now non-stop to Marylebone with the 0911 ex Amersham. (Not a good photo.)
RH211 By 1939, the GC L1 “Crabs” at Neasden were at work on some of the Met freight turns and the Met K class (2-6-4T) of Woolwich ancestry were used on Met passenger jobs having been transferred to the GC shed at Neasden along with classes G and H. This is 5341 on No 2 Goods running into the station before setting back into the down refuge. The Goods Yard can be seen on the left and the Amersham wagons will, we hope, be marshalled next to the engine.
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