S&T staff at Welwyn Garden City circa 1970-74

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Mickey
LNER N2 0-6-2T
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Re: S&T staff at Welwyn Garden City circa 1970-74

Post by Mickey » Wed May 01, 2019 10:37 am

Hi laurie, I was a late arrival on the area when I first started as a 15 year old telegraph lad at Welwyn Garden City box in July 1972 although by then I had been a regular 'observer of the Kings Cross suburban area and the signalling' from about 1968 from riding up and down on the local train services which I suppose were by then the 'twilight years' of mechanical signalling on the GN main line before the re-signalling of the of the main line between Kings Cross & Sandy including the Hertford branch swept everything away by 1976/77. A long lost friend of mine named Alan Dollimore who I first met in 1968 had also been a telegraph lad also at WGC box during 1962/63 a name you mite have a vague recollection of hearing of way back when anyway when I was at WGC box the three regular signalmen at the box at that time where Cecil White, Harry Fitzgerald & Alan 'pedlar' Palmer so named as he always rode a push bike to and from the box and the Welwyn North area where he lived. I know Alan had been a regular signalman at the 1955 Potters Bar box and also at Hatfield No.1 maybe during the early 1960s before going to WGC and Harry had been a regular signalman at a number of boxes including Holloway South Up, East Goods, Finsbury Park No.4, Wood Green No.1, Wood Green Tunnel and also Cuffley on the Hertford branch before going to WGC sometimes during the early 1960s.

On about three separate Sundays spread over about 6 or 8 weeks during the summer of 1973 I did some paid overtime cleaning the 1955 Potters Bar box but I can't recall the three regular signalmen's names but they all appeared to be all right with me 'hanging around the box' on those Sundays 'train spotting' after mopping the box floor and empting the rubbish ha ha ha...

Your mention of Tony Cato the S&T linesman and his small gang of men were regular blokes seen at Welwyn Garden City box usually trying to get the slow line block bell to ring with a more distinct tone to and from Hatfield No.2 that was occasionally faulted by Harry and in fact during 1972-74 the time that I was at the box the S&T were stationed at WGC in there own lobby on the Up side of the running lines at the north end of the station. As for Tony himself yes I believe he was Italian and someone wrote on here 3 or 4 years ago that Tony migrated northwards from WGC first to Hitchin then to Peterborough and was still on the railways as a S&T tech (as they are referred to these days) into the 1990s.

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StevieG
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Re: S&T staff at Welwyn Garden City circa 1970-74

Post by StevieG » Thu May 02, 2019 1:42 am

Laurie,
Re the later Potters Bar signalmen, along with Arthur Fowler, you might remember the name Bob Baker; unfortunately the name of the third regular man escapes me at the moment.
The 'light-dutied' telegraph lad, 'Stan', was Stan Bailey.
BZOH

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Mickey
LNER N2 0-6-2T
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:27 am

Re: S&T staff at Welwyn Garden City circa 1970-74

Post by Mickey » Thu May 02, 2019 7:34 pm

There was a ex signalman who came on here back in 2014 called Barry Jones who I remember vaguely when he was a relief signalman around Hatfield & Welwyn Garden City circa 1972-73 and I recall that he was a Yorkshire fella and he trained WGC box on a handful of occasions and then worked a few shifts at the box as well before the NX panel was installed in September 1973 anyway he posted that he had been a signalman in the London district between 1962-1973 first at Cemetery and then at New Southgate before going on the relief in the early 1970s anyway he doesn't appeared to have come back on here since then in 2014 after he originally came on here looking to see if anyone had a old Cemetery train register book that he could buy?. Strangely enough I went into Cemetery box about a week or two after it had closed in February 1973 and I do remember there was a number of old train register books scattered over the box floor amongst old special train notices and other rubbish.

Getting back to the WGC S&T linesmen another bloke who was a member of the gang along with Tony Cato in the early 1970s was a tall'ish white ginger headed bloke who didn't say much I recall but I can still see his face in my minds eye anyway I would have said he was around 40 years old back in the early 1970s and he always wore blue overalls and a short blue overalls jacket and carried the S&T meter over his shoulder although I don't recall or remember hearing his name?.

Mickey
LNER N2 0-6-2T
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:27 am

Re: S&T staff at Welwyn Garden City circa 1970-74

Post by Mickey » Wed May 08, 2019 3:21 pm

There is a bloke who has now retired who one or two former S&T men who come on here mite know of called Peter Girdlestone (I think that's how his surname is spelt?) anyway he retired about 2 years ago but he told me several years ago that he had originally started as a S&T linesmen at Hitchin in 1975 and he remembers both Hitchin Yard & Cambridge Junction boxes before they were closed under the Kings Cross to Sandy re-signalling scheme during the mid 1970s anyway I first came across Peter maybe 20 years ago when he was as a S&T tech at Camden Road on the North London line which he was still located at when he retired.

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