Jump to content

Recommended Posts

In the 80s the workabus was deemed to carry footplate staff in preference to maintenance staff, but quite a few used it. I travelled from Chinnor via Princes Risborough or High Wycombe (until I bought a place in Bletchley), so sometimes used it to catch a train from Marylebone. We had guys in the Factory coming in from Reading, Leagreave, Luton, Pinner, Wembley, Harrow, and Stokenchurch, as well as the railway estates, so the workabus could be full. The guy Nidge is alluding to I believe is 'Side-saddle'...

The other option was via West Ruislip and CL to North Acton, with the walk down Victoria Road which smelt of custard powder at one end, and hand cream at the other.

Once I lived in Bletchley a few others joined the fray, so the run down to Harrow and Wealdstone and change to the DC lines to Willesden Junction became the norm. Often several of us legging it down the canal to clock in just in time.

  • Like 3
  • Funny 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Rugd1022 said:

In my time at Old Oak ('83 to '85) the workabus was every half hour, with two buses working round the clock most of the time. If one of them was unavailable or the driver had gone Tom & Dick a loco would be substituted as mentioned further up the thread, a 31 or 47 being the best choice as the cabs had more room than a 50, on odd occasions though one of the 08s would be used, IIRC the record was nine men in the cab on one particular trip! If I caught the tube from Hammersmith into Padd I'd always look across to see if there was a light loco sat in platform 1a then make a mad dash for it across the footbridge at the country end of the overall roof, I missed it a few times and had to wait for the next one. If there was no sign of a bus or a loco anywhere, a quick call to Old Oak panel on 2905 using the phone behind the stop blocks on platform 8 would get the info on what was happening. On night turns with no night bus I'd usually walk from Hammersmith to Old Oak which took about forty minutes, it was much safer then than it is now.

 

Some of the workabus drivers would give Stirling Moss (RIP) a run for his money, I'm sure Mike knows who I mean....! With no bus available the 'loco bus' would usually be double manned with one of us doing the up runs and the other doing the downs, mostly we'd go via the ECS flyover and see how fast we could go over the top and down the other side, within reason of course - they were very different times back then.

 

As I recall most of the drivers and secondman lived fairly close to Old Oak but a few lived out in places like Twickenham, Beaconsfield, Denham, Highwycombe etc, one or two lived south of the river too.

 

 

Side Saddle was fairly fast at times and was a very nice bloke although virtually nobody knew his real name (which was Lloyd), the other West Indian was a short chap called Herbie who loved overtime and made enough money out of his job at Old Oak to build a block of flats back in the West Indies and he eventually retired out there and set himself up in business with a pick up truck.  There was an Indian whose name I can't remember who was not only very bad tempered but was a bl**dy awful driver and forever burning his way through clutches, the London Division Road Motor Inspector hated him and the feeling appeared to be mutual.

 

I don't think any of them drove particularly fast although Side Saddle was a bit disconcerting as he was always turning round and talking to the passengers which definitely unnerved strangers.  The Indian bloke did speed at times but as he was usually given the pale blur e Bedford - which was the worst of the vehicles (mainly due to him) he didn't do too much harm except in terms of nerves.  I can't recall any serious sorts of incidents with the people carrier size vehicles but apparently one of the originals vehicles which was specialist body on a Bedford (I think) lorry chassis had run off the side of the bank going down to the depot somewhere approaching the turntable back in, I think, the late '60s.  The decent Transit chassis 'buses could definitely shift 'if driven with enthusiasm' and if there were folk from the M&EE side going home from day jobs they definitely liked a quick trip up to Paddington.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Trevellan said:

Back in the 1960s, any attempt at bunking OOC by me and my mates started at Willesden Junction station, which tends to support Chris F's answer.  As I recall, it wasn't far to walk.

 

Normally about 15 minutes after getting chucked out of WN - never ever got fully round it - whereas OC was always easy.

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I moved up to Glasgow in 1984 the Polmadie bus transported staff around the area, but also had other duties, such as fetching the free newspapers Control got direct from the publisher each night, and taking messages to staff who did not have a phone. No doubt other such arrangements existed elsewhere !

 

Re the papers; We got the Glasgow Herald and the Daily Record, the senior staff grabbed the Herald and the juniors, eg me, had to make do with the Record !

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was only a few minutes walk from Willesden Junction station, to the 'hole in the wall' at Old Oak.:sungum:

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

By the early 1980s it had acquired a reputation as 'mugging alley' and many Old Oak staff refused to use it for that reason while one or two specifically used it for the same reason hoping to either give one or two low life a good sorting out or to prove to the doubters that their fear of it was misplaced. 

The Ealing & Shepherds Bush railway was a fascinating bit of line and still has much of interest in its current TfL incarnation with some of its original GWR buildings still in very good external condition including some painted in a faux version of light & dark stone.   Its start in life was very long drawn out partly to the Great War but although it was authorised in 1905 construction did not commence until 1911 and was then delayed by the war. It opened to goods traffic in April 1917 but not to passenger traffic until August 1920.     

 

It was a very odd line by normal GWR standards being electrified from the start - on the centre third rail principle - which made it the only wholly owned GWR route to be electrified apart from a short stretch at Paddington (the Hammersmith & City was jointly owned by the GWR and Met) but unlike the H&C the GWR had no ownership share of the electric trains which used it.  From the outset passenger services were operated by the Central London Railway hence GWR maps showing a service through to Liverpool Street via that route.  Freight services were steam worked by the GWR accessing the line through a connection at Ealing Broadway and thence to West London Line via connection from Wood Lane Jcn to Viaduct Jcn.  It was converted to LPTB standard 3rd & 4th rail electrification system in 1940.  One interesting feature of the line which remains is that because of the way it was connected to the original CLR line at Wood Lane there is a short section of right hand running although this is most likely a hangover of the original reversing loop (yes!!) at Wood Lane which trains used in an anti-clockwise direction.  The line also boasted what I believe, at 4 miles 15 chs, was probably the longest ever continuous stretch in Britain equipped with 3 position UQ semaphore signalling including automatic signals in the sections between the signal boxes.  

 

A couple of things I have never been able to accurately date are when the  the connection to the GWR at North Acton was installed (one possibility - but see comment below re signalling - is that it was part of the works for the postwar northern extension of the Central Line to West Ruislip - which incidentally led to the closure of the adjacent GWR North Acton Halt as well as Old Oak Common Halt) and when the separate double tracks for steam worked trains were added although I think that was also part of the Central Line extension scheme.  The parallel steam worked lines lasted into the early 1960s and were principally used by milk trains by then as it enabled them to avoid the flat Victoria Branch Junction at Old Oak Common East.   The 3 position signalling lasted until 1946 at which time the electrified lines were converted to standard LT colour-light signalling which suggests the steam lines might have been opened at that time.  There was definitely a connection from the electric lines to the GWR lines at North Acton by then but it is not clear when that was provided.

 

The date of transfer to LPTB is quoted as various dates by different sources but it certainly took place no later than 01 January 1948 

You make some very interesting points here!  Thank you. You might be interested in the "wiring  diagram" from the reconstruction work, which shows the new track plan.  I'm not quite sure what you mean when you talk about "the connection to the GWR at North Acton".  I had always assumed this was there from the building of the Ealing and Shepherds Bush line onwards, (as North Acton Junction,  (the box opened on 3 Aug 1920)), enabling traffic to access the E & SB line from the direction of Greenford?  After the building of the parallel GW tracks through East Acton to the W London line in about 1938,  this junction became a junction from the GW  Birmingham line to the new tracks only, and the default junction to the Central Line disappeared (as they now had their own electrified tracks).  There was no longer  any steam traffic via Ealing Broadway  (freight via Ealing was discontinued in 1938 apparently), and traffic from the Greenford direction would use the new GW dedicated tracks. R A Cooke shows it his map of Section 26/13.

( To be honest I had not known that freight went via Ealing :  I had always assumed it went up the Greenford loop and then along the main line through Park Royal. )

I attach a couple of pictures of the construction work at Hangar Lane which might be of interest.  Carried out by the GWR of course. 

Also, from a picture in Alan Jackson's London's Local  Railways ,  Old Oak Lane just before closure (with grateful acknowledgement of copyright to J J Fisher)  showing a couple of loco men getting the auto-train, which is where I started with this topic!

North Acton 1.jpg

Hangar Lane 1.jpg

Hangar Lane 2.jpg

Old_Oak_Lane.jpg

Edited by jointline
Making things clearer!
  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, jonny777 said:

 

 

That reminds me of the 1972 OOC Open Day. A spotting friend and myself with no knowledge of London geography decided to drive there. We must have come very close as I remember going through a long shopping street in Ealing but then became rather lost and the next thing we knew was seeing a sign saying Willesden Junction. 

 

Knowing no more than Willesden was on a route to Euston we bought tickets to there, caught the tube to Paddington and then the special shuttle to Old Oak, which I think had 92220 as motive power for a time (although that might have been a dream I had). 

 

On arrival at the depot I remember thinking that the cooling tower of a power station there looked quite similar to the one we had left behind at Willesden Junc an hour or so earlier. We pottered around the Open Day for a couple of hours and then repeated the round London journey to Willesden. 

 

It was only when we drove away from Willesden and after a few hundred yards drove by the entrance signs to OOC open day that we began to appreciate the proximity of the two locations; but it wasn't until I looked at an OS map that I realised how embarrassing our ignorance had been. 

 

The Open Day which had the shuttle hauled by 'Evening Star' was 20th September 1981 Jonny, not the one in '72! Derek 'Fangs' Dyer was the fireman on it, one of Old Oak's true characters. 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Rugd1022 said:

 

The Open Day which had the shuttle hauled by 'Evening Star' was 20th September 1981 Jonny, not the one in '72! Derek 'Fangs' Dyer was the fireman on it, one of Old Oak's true characters. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good grief Nidge, my memory is getting far worse. 

 

I'm sure there was a shuttle of some kind as I remember being really excited as it ventured over track I had no chance of travelling on otherwise. Must have been a DMU. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, bike2steam said:

It was only a few minutes walk from Willesden Junction station, to the 'hole in the wall' at Old Oak.:sungum:

 

Oh yes, I did Willesden and then down the road to Old Oak via 'that hole' a number of times 1973-75. Happy days!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I commuted from Peterborough to London between 1986 and 1991 and there was, at that time, quite a busy early morning service - it wasn’t just the “office commuter” focussed service it is now. The last “regular” service in both directions was about 11pm, followed by the interminable “stopping” trains between about 01:30 and 04:30 (actually a single train which meandered to and fro) and the first “regular” service at about 05:30 or 05:40 in both directions. 

 

These early morning services were heavily used by a mixed bag of railway staff (mostly station staff) heading to Kings X, St Pancras or Hornsea, London Underground staff (mostly station staff, but also drivers heading to Morden), postal sorting staff rotating in both directions between Peterborough and Mount Pleasant, construction workers working in Central London, senior shop staff (particularly from the House of Frazer, for some reason) and various others.  

 

A lot of these travelled on staff passes or concessionary fares from their employers. Railway staff seemed to rotate between London, York and Doncaster so Peterborough was a good base. The passes and concessions largely disappeared following privatisation, the fares escalated rapidly, the structures changed and little of that traffic now remains. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Rugd1022 said:

 

The Open Day which had the shuttle hauled by 'Evening Star' was 20th September 1981 Jonny, not the one in '72! Derek 'Fangs' Dyer was the fireman on it, one of Old Oak's true characters. 

 

 

 

 

Nidge that isn't Derek (Fangs) behind Ernie Stewart in the picture in my thread is it?  Looks a bit like it might be him but he's not clearly visible but it seems to be somebody fairly tall.

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/58165-the-stationmaster-looks-at-old-oak-common-open-day-in-1981/

 

21 hours ago, jointline said:

You make some very interesting points here!  Thank you. You might be interested in the "wiring  diagram" from the reconstruction work, which shows the new track plan.  I'm not quite sure what you mean when you talk about "the connection to the GWR at North Acton".  I had always assumed this was there from the building of the Ealing and Shepherds Bush line onwards, (as North Acton Junction,  (the box opened on 3 Aug 1920)), enabling traffic to access the E & SB line from the direction of Greenford?  After the building of the parallel GW tracks through East Acton to the W London line in about 1938,  this junction became a junction from the GW  Birmingham line to the new tracks only, and the default junction to the Central Line disappeared (as they now had their own electrified tracks).  There was no longer  any steam traffic via Ealing Broadway  (freight via Ealing was discontinued in 1938 apparently), and traffic from the Greenford direction would use the new GW dedicated tracks. R A Cooke shows it his map of Section 26/13.

( To be honest I had not known that freight went via Ealing :  I had always assumed it went up the Greenford loop and then along the main line through Park Royal. )

I attach a couple of pictures of the construction work at Hangar Lane which might be of interest.  Carried out by the GWR of course. 

Also, from a picture in Alan Jackson's London's Local  Railways ,  Old Oak Lane just before closure (with grateful acknowledgement of copyright to J J Fisher)  showing a couple of loco men getting the auto-train, which is where I started with this topic!

North Acton 1.jpg

 

 

 

Thanks for that.  I haven't got a copy of that part of Tony Cooke' series so hence I had some gaps and some surmise regarding the connection at North Acton but at least the dates clarify that the additional pair of lines were a consequence of the works for the extension of the Central Line northwards to West Ruislip.  I've just checked the Summer 1938 STT and that shows several Up direction milk trains as 'Via E&SB' and the times indicate the route was via Ealing Broadway but the re were no booked down direction movements via Ealing Broadway - there was a light engine in the Down direction which was definitely booked via North Action.

 

'Freight' use is an interesting question - apart from milk trains which remained a staple of the route,  latterly via the additional lines until their closure.  In later years the 'serving yard' for freight traffic for the West London Line and southwards via the WLL traffic was Old Oak Common which obviously accessed the Victoria Branch at Old Oak with no need to cross the Main and Relief Lines (although trains from the west entering the various yards on the Down side at Old Oak obviously did need to cross the Mains).  the implication of GWr information is that freight used the line in earlier times - I shall have to look back through my earlier STTs to see if I have any which cover the period between 1917 and 1938 but I suspect not as the earliest Section 2 I think I have is Summer 1938.

Edited by The Stationmaster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

Nidge that isn't Derek (Fangs) behind Ernie Stewart in the picture in my thread is it?  Looks a bit like it might be him but he's not clearly visible but it seems to be somebody fairly tall.

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/58165-the-stationmaster-looks-at-old-oak-common-open-day-in-1981/

 

Thanks for that.  I haven't got a copy of that part of Tony Cooke' series so hence I had some gaps and some surmise regarding the connection at North Acton but at least the dates clarify that the additional pair of lines were a consequence of the works for the extension of the Central Line northwards to West Ruislip.  I've just checked the Summer 1938 STT and that shows several Up direction milk trains as 'Via E&SB' and the times indicate the route was via Ealing Broadway but the re were no booked down direction movements via Ealing Broadway - there was a light engine in the Down direction which was definitely booked via North Action.

 

'Freight' use is an interesting question - apart from milk trains which remained a staple of the route,  latterly via the additional lines until their closure.  In later years the 'serving yard' for freight traffic for the West London Line and southwards via the WLL traffic was Old Oak Common which obviously accessed the Victoria Branch at Old Oak with no need to cross the Main and Relief Lines (although trains from the west entering the various yards on the Down side at Old Oak obviously did need to cross the Mains).  the implication of GWr information is that freight used the line in earlier times - I shall have to look back through my earlier STTs to see if I have any which cover the period between 1917 and 1938 but I suspect not as the earliest Section 2 I think I have is Summer 1938.

Hi,  just to follow this up briefly.  And thanks for the new information,  very interesting.  The new tracks on the E&SB were opened on 19 June 1938, and were in anticipation of the West Ruislip Central line extension as you mention. 

By the use of the word "freight" I really meant non-passenger,  but Edwin Course in "London Railways" mentions that the running connection at Ealing Broadway was little used in the early days,  although there was a workmen's train from Clapham that used it to end up at West Ealing and Greenford!   He states later:  "At Ealing, the running connection was removed in 1945, and G.W. freight trains from the main line to the West London via the E & SB use the link line to Greenford  from which point they can reach the West London line without using the electrified lines."  He may have only been thinking non-passenger ie milk,  but this is not clear. 

Even Cooke  (in the first edition, which is the only one I have) doesn't actually give a date for the removal of the junction at North Acton from the Ealing direction,  but it's difficult to imagine this lasted after 1938, unless there was some traffic, or a pressing need for it, as it would have required , in effect, a  new double crossover from electric to GW  and vice versa.  In which case the 1945 date for the Ealing running connection removal may have had nothing to do with existing traffic, and was taken out later because of wartime delays. 

If you have any WTT for the period 1938 to 1945 it would be interesting to know if there were any services  clearly using the Ealing running connection then.    Of course it might have been retained for  potential wartime flexibility, as many other junctions were. 

The additional problem is that there are quite a few references to steam trains on the E&SB,  but it is usually not clear whether this refers to the Ealing to North Acton section,  or is actually just referring to the traffic coming off  the Birmingham line heading for the WL.    Most of the time it is the latter,  by inference..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Looking in the 1927 E&SBR Supplement to the GWR Rule Book the only connections mentioned are at Ealing Broadway (plus a crossover connection from the E&SBR to the District at Ealng Broadway only permitted to be used under special arrangements), at North Acton (Up Wycombe to Up Es&B and Down ES&B to Down Wycombe).  wood Lane Jcn (Up ES&B to Up West London (noted as a 'facing point connection' which implies to me that it was not a double junction), and Viaduct Jcn (Up ES&B to Up West London and Down West London to Down ES&B).

 

One not entirely unexpected entry is that engines with ATC shows were not permitted to work over the ES&B (the conductor rail was 1.5 inches above the running rail top).

 

I don't have any GWR STTs covering the WWII period unfortunately.   Oh yes I do - but only Section 1 which probably won't be much help

Edited by The Stationmaster
Note re Service TTs
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit more.  The 1942 Section 1 STT is of little use - as I expected.  But the July 1939 Section 2 STT, which was considerably amended on issue, contains some interesting stuff.

 

1.  It still quotes the speeds through the connection between the relief Lines and E&SB at ealing Broadway but all the other speeds to/from the E&SB which I mentioned above are not shown.  instead there are speeds through junctions to/from the 'Steam Line' and various matters in respect of the 'Steam Line' noted in the original issue and not altered by the amendment.  Effectively it implies the connection at the Ealing Broadway end was still in existence andt that there was no other connection with the E&SBR electric lines apart from the crossover to the 'District Railway' lines at Ealing Broadway - for which the method of exchanging rolling stock between the two lines is noted including use of a CLR electric loco.

 

Perhaps the junction at Ealing Broadway was retained at that time purely to provide an emergency connection between the GWR network and the E&SBR?

 

2. In the timings a section a quick glance  showed that one movement which in 1938 had been shown as 'Via ES&B' was now shown as running via North Acton and the 'Steam Line' making clear that the Steam line had been brought into use sometime between publication of the Summer 1938 STT and publication of the July 1939 STT.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

A bit more.  The 1942 Section 1 STT is of little use - as I expected.  But the July 1939 Section 2 STT, which was considerably amended on issue, contains some interesting stuff.

 

1.  It still quotes the speeds through the connection between the relief Lines and E&SB at ealing Broadway but all the other speeds to/from the E&SB which I mentioned above are not shown.  instead there are speeds through junctions to/from the 'Steam Line' and various matters in respect of the 'Steam Line' noted in the original issue and not altered by the amendment.  Effectively it implies the connection at the Ealing Broadway end was still in existence andt that there was no other connection with the E&SBR electric lines apart from the crossover to the 'District Railway' lines at Ealing Broadway - for which the method of exchanging rolling stock between the two lines is noted including use of a CLR electric loco.

 

Perhaps the junction at Ealing Broadway was retained at that time purely to provide an emergency connection between the GWR network and the E&SBR?

 

2. In the timings a section a quick glance  showed that one movement which in 1938 had been shown as 'Via ES&B' was now shown as running via North Acton and the 'Steam Line' making clear that the Steam line had been brought into use sometime between publication of the Summer 1938 STT and publication of the July 1939 STT.

Unfortunately the Ordnance Survey maps for this period are hopeless.  The large scale ones were still showing the E&SB under construction in the 1920's and later!  They are usually very good.   Later on the detail of railway configurations was simplified so much that they are hopeless for working out track layouts. 

I think you are absolutely correct, and that the running connection at Ealing was kept for emergency or infrequent use.  It would also be handy for getting Underground stock to Acton  works  I suppose, if necessary etc.  The GWR was never very speedy about removing unused trackwork and connections. (The one at Yeoveney to the SR was still there in 1962, having been put in in 1944, and out of action a year or so after that.....)

 

The physical connection at North Acton had gone when the new steam lines were opened, so a GW train would have had nowhere to go but continue along the electrified tracks when it reached there. The "official" date for the opening of the steam lines from N. Acton was 19th June 1938  (from two reliable sources).   

Curiously as a very young boy I can remember seeing LT stock going west through Hayes in the 1950's.   Would be intrigued to know where it was going, and by what route.

I'll have a look at the Railway Magazine for the relevant period and see if I can find anything mentioned,  I think I have those years somewhere!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 16/04/2020 at 12:54, The Stationmaster said:

Nidge that isn't Derek (Fangs) behind Ernie Stewart in the picture in my thread is it?  Looks a bit like it might be him but he's not clearly visible but it seems to be somebody fairly tall.

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/58165-the-stationmaster-looks-at-old-oak-common-open-day-in-1981/

 

Thanks for that.  I haven't got a copy of that part of Tony Cooke' series so hence I had some gaps and some surmise regarding the connection at North Acton but at least the dates clarify that the additional pair of lines were a consequence of the works for the extension of the Central Line northwards to West Ruislip.  I've just checked the Summer 1938 STT and that shows several Up direction milk trains as 'Via E&SB' and the times indicate the route was via Ealing Broadway but the re were no booked down direction movements via Ealing Broadway - there was a light engine in the Down direction which was definitely booked via North Action.

 

'Freight' use is an interesting question - apart from milk trains which remained a staple of the route,  latterly via the additional lines until their closure.  In later years the 'serving yard' for freight traffic for the West London Line and southwards via the WLL traffic was Old Oak Common which obviously accessed the Victoria Branch at Old Oak with no need to cross the Main and Relief Lines (although trains from the west entering the various yards on the Down side at Old Oak obviously did need to cross the Mains).  the implication of GWr information is that freight used the line in earlier times - I shall have to look back through my earlier STTs to see if I have any which cover the period between 1917 and 1938 but I suspect not as the earliest Section 2 I think I have is Summer 1938.

 

 

There was a lot in the local press as well!  It created a lot of interest. 

Edited by jointline
Delete copyright images
  • Informative/Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just had a further thought about the connection at Ealing Broadway - it would have allowed the Old Oak Common breakdown crane to still access the ES&B.  officially the breakdown crane cover was provided by the Central London and its successors but there was provision in the 1927 Instructions for the Old Oak crane to be called in to assist if necessary.  The connection at Ealing Broadway would have been the easiest way of getting it onto the ES&B as it would have required additional works at North Acton to recreate the junction with the ES&B and the connection at the Wood Lane end was sensibly removed once the Steam Lines were available.

 

Stock transfer to & from Acton Works could presumably have normally been dealt with by the shunt connection between the ES&B and the District at Ealing Broadway.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike - yes that's definitely Derek in your photo...!

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ironically you can now get to (the site of) Old Oak Common depot perfectly well on bus 228 which serves Old Oak Common Lane between Willesden Junction and East Acton stations.  That is a fairly recent arrival on the scene having commenced 17/01/2009 so has been of little use to railway staff.

 

Traditionally many staff lived within walking distance - and a walking distance greater than many of us consider "normal" in 2020 - and had no need of public transport.  Shed boys on night turns were used as "knockers-up" which was nothing to do with social pleasures and indeed was a rather unpleasant activity at times.  You would be given the addresses of train crew and their book-on times then went around the streets in the small hours knocking their doors to wake them.  I suspect the lads went around by bike as walking the likes of Old Oak to Ealing, Willesden and other surrounding areas would have been quite demanding and not very time-efficient.  

 

 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 14/04/2020 at 19:25, Rugd1022 said:

Some of the workabus drivers would give Stirling Moss (RIP) a run for his money,

There was a Road Motor Driver attached to the Birmingham DM's pool who was always known as Fangio. You need to be of a certain age to understand that, but for the rest, he was F1 champion for  5 of the first 8 seasons from its introduction in 1950. In two seasons he was runner up and for the other didn't take part as his team didn't have a compliant car. He started in 51 World Championship races, finishing 41, with 24 wins and 10 seconds.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Rugd1022 said:

Mike - yes that's definitely Derek in your photo...!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Nidge.  I thought it might be but as you know from the original caption I didn't remember who it was.  However when you reminded me that he was on the job that day I had another look at my photo.  and talking of getting to work i have half an idea he my head that he might have lived in the hostel.

 

The only one I can think of who definitely lived in the hostel was 'Talkie' Thomas who you might or might not remember (and might not want to remember?).

 

1 hour ago, Gwiwer said:

Ironically you can now get to (the site of) Old Oak Common depot perfectly well on bus 228 which serves Old Oak Common Lane between Willesden Junction and East Acton stations.  That is a fairly recent arrival on the scene having commenced 17/01/2009 so has been of little use to railway staff.

 

Traditionally many staff lived within walking distance - and a walking distance greater than many of us consider "normal" in 2020 - and had no need of public transport.  Shed boys on night turns were used as "knockers-up" which was nothing to do with social pleasures and indeed was a rather unpleasant activity at times.  You would be given the addresses of train crew and their book-on times then went around the streets in the small hours knocking their doors to wake them.  I suspect the lads went around by bike as walking the likes of Old Oak to Ealing, Willesden and other surrounding areas would have been quite demanding and not very time-efficient.  

 

 

 

 

There were a lot of railwaymen living in the Barlby Road area but they could equally have been working at West London - right on their doorsteps - or the fairly handy Down side yards at Old Oak.   I do know that youngsters from the area a bit further east of Barlby Road also h joined the railway at Old oak and there might well even have been a hangover in that area from men living handy for Westbourne Park shed,  in teh final days of Old Oak there were Drivers there who were third generation drivers whose ancestors had been drivers at either Westbourne Park or Old Oak.

 

But a lot moved out  to the new GWR estates at Acton and Hayes between the wars while post-war a number moved further north along the extended Central Line or a bit further east of it.  there is some excellent information on the estates here 

http://www.glias.org.uk/journals/15-d.html

 

The point about call boys is interesting.  Up until WWII the GWR restricted its employees to living within a certain distance of their place of work.  I understand from what I was told that prior to the war it was limited to 5 miles for clerical staff and I'm sure it was probably no more than a couple of miles for wages staff.  During the war the distance for clerical staff was definite increased - perhaps to 8 miles because it allowed somebody I knew to move out to Hanwell when his place of work was at Paddington.  This distance from place of work gradually increased post-war - probably as much a consequence of housing shortages as of anything else.  Oddly when I got my final 'big railway' job in 1994 for the first time in very many years I was actually faced with a requirement to live within a certain travelling time of my place of work - although the interpretation of that time tended to err on the generous side.

Edited by The Stationmaster
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, The Stationmaster said:

Up until WWII the GWR restricted its employees to living within a certain distance of their place of work.

 

I believe many rail businesses still have a similar requirement.  My employer certainly does.  But based on travel time these days rather than distance at least in my case.  30 minutes for train crew, 45 minutes for station staff.  "Travel-to-work" is defined as by the most expeditious means which, in my case, is by a train operated by my employer and crewed by a driver and guard who have been up for some time before me in order to get to Waterloo (in their case), prep the train and bring it into service.  

 

Plus ça change, plus la même chose?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

Thanks Nidge.  I thought it might be but as you know from the original caption I didn't remember who it was.  However when you reminded me that he was on the job that day I had another look at my photo.  and talking of getting to work i have half an idea he my head that he might have lived in the hostel.

 

The only one I can think of who definitely lived in the hostel was 'Talkie' Thomas who you might or might not remember (and might not want to remember?).

 

There were a lot of railwaymen living in the Barlby Road area but they could equally have been working at West London - right on their doorsteps - or the fairly handy Down side yards at Old Oak.   I do know that youngsters from the area a bit further east of Barlby Road also h joined the railway at Old oak and there might well even have been a hangover in that area from men living handy for Westbourne Park shed,  in teh final days of Old Oak there were Drivers there who were third generation drivers whose ancestors had been drivers at either Westbourne Park or Old Oak.

 

But a lot moved out  to the new GWR estates at Acton and Hayes between the wars while post-war a number moved further north along the extended Central Line or a bit further east of it.  there is some excellent information on the estates here 

http://www.glias.org.uk/journals/15-d.html

 

The point about call boys is interesting.  Up until WWII the GWR restricted its employees to living within a certain distance of their place of work.  I understand from what I was told that prior to the war it was limited to 5 miles for clerical staff and I'm sure it was probably no more than a couple of miles for wages staff.  During the war the distance for clerical staff was definite increased - perhaps to 8 miles because it allowed somebody I knew to move out to Hanwell when his place of work was at Paddington.  This distance from place of work gradually increased post-war - probably as much a consequence of housing shortages as of anything else.  Oddly when I got my final 'big railway' job in 1994 for the first time in very many years I was actually faced with a requirement to live within a certain travelling time of my place of work - although the interpretation of that time tended to err on the generous side.

 

I think I vaguely remember 'Talkie' Thomas although it could get confusing as there were a lot of drivers at Old Oak with that surname, the same goes for Williams and Davies...!

 

Interesting you mention ancestors at Westbourne Park Shed too, as I know of at least two of mine who started there as cleaners before Old Oak Shed was built.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Rugd1022 said:

 

I think I vaguely remember 'Talkie' Thomas although it could get confusing as there were a lot of drivers at Old Oak with that surname, the same goes for Williams and Davies...!

 

Interesting you mention ancestors at Westbourne Park Shed too, as I know of at least two of mine who started there as cleaners before Old Oak Shed was built.

Talkie was a Starred Secondman - probably the only one left on the Western by then.

 

I met one chap who'd started as a Cleaner at Westbourne Park but he was sent to Tyseley for his firing grade, the process then was apparently when your date came up you went to the next available promotional vacancy.  He subsequently came back to London c.1908/9, but of course to Old Oak as it had replaced Westbourne Park by then.  i know he lived on the Acton Estate in later years but I don't know where he'd lived before then.

 

'Billie' Wells, who I also met in his later years, and who had driven the 28XX in the 1948 Loco Exchanges also lived on the Acton estate at one time but I think he moved further out at some time.  Rated by many as a top notch Driver who was much liked by those who fired for him.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 17/04/2020 at 23:32, The Stationmaster said:

I've just had a further thought about the connection at Ealing Broadway - it would have allowed the Old Oak Common breakdown crane to still access the ES&B.  officially the breakdown crane cover was provided by the Central London and its successors but there was provision in the 1927 Instructions for the Old Oak crane to be called in to assist if necessary.  The connection at Ealing Broadway would have been the easiest way of getting it onto the ES&B as it would have required additional works at North Acton to recreate the junction with the ES&B and the connection at the Wood Lane end was sensibly removed once the Steam Lines were available.

 

Stock transfer to & from Acton Works could presumably have normally been dealt with by the shunt connection between the ES&B and the District at Ealing Broadway.

That would certainly make sense.  Need an expert on breakdown provision to LT lines to come in on this!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.