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Blog- The Working Life of a Fireman 1952-1953 - Introduction


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My grandfather was a life long railway man. He started his working life on the LMS as a knocker upper in Watford in the 1930s. He worked his way up to a passed fireman and at the start of WW2 he was transferred to Wellingborough. He stayed in Wellingborough for the rest of his life, retiring as a driver in the early 1980s. After he died a couple of years ago, I inherited his ASLEF diaries for 1952 & 1953. In these he recorded every single turn that he did over those two years.

 

I have mused for a while about what to do with these for a while. I have decided to put the information in the public domain via the medium of this blog. Whilst on the face of it, they are not immediately about modelling. However I think that they contain the sort of information that modellers will find useful. It is also a record that should be kept and be accessible to be used those interested in such things.

 

A couple of notes about the entries. I have copied them verbatim. Each day is laid out the same - it starts with the day and date. The second column is the turn as he recorded in the diary. The third are times - I assume that these are his booking on and off times. The fourth are the locomotive(s) that he fired on the turn. For most Saturdays in the early part of the 1952 diary are the scores of the Wellingborough shed football team's matches (he very nearly became a professional footballer, having trials for a couple of London clubs but the war intervened - he played football well into his 50s and cricket into his 60s); I have included these as they are part of the "colour".

 

So with out any further ado, January 1952….

 

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