Henry Doolan -Retired 1932

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Kayeb
NER Y7 0-4-0T
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Henry Doolan -Retired 1932

Post by Kayeb » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:49 pm

Hello, my name is Kaye & I am researching my Great Grandfather Henry Doolan who lived in Grantham. Like so many similar enquirers we were always told he had driven the Flying Scotsman. From reading these forums I now understand this can relate to both a certain train & the 4472 service. He lived in Grantham all his life, and from my late father’s recollections rose to become a Top Link Engine Driver with LNER. He retired in 1932 & was presented with a silver handled umbrella from ASLEF engraved with the year & his name (which thankfully narrowly escaped a skip during house clearance!). He sadly died in Jan 1933 age 65 just 3 months after his wife, the year after he retired. I’m pretty sure it is he who is mentioned in the Rev Cawson book Steam in Grantham on pages 18 & 23 as one of the drivers of the Pacifics 4479 and other Pacifics in 1931. The name in Cawson’s book is given as Harry Doolan rather than Henry Doolan. Although Harry is a common derivative of Henry, I don’t want to assume anything, but I can’t find a trace in the Grantham civil records of a Harry, only a Henry, whose occupation was given as Engine Driver. I couldn’t find any mention of a Harry or Henry Doolan in the railway staff records published on Ancestry. I am going to visit Grantham library tomorrow to view their reference copy of the David Hawkings book Railway Ancestors: A Guide to the Staff Records of England & Wales 1822 - 1947.

Just a further footnote: my older brother told me the tale of how Henry would wait on the same point on the platform every time to pick up the train, & if the engine didn’t stop at the point where he stood he would wouldn’t board it until it was moved!

I have hopefully attached 3 photos in our collection (originals), 2 of which I’m pretty sure are my great grandfather (the gentleman with the peak hat, grey hair & moustache). Can anyone tell me anything about the photos please?Image

Thanks very much in advance, Kaye.
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Kayeb
NER Y7 0-4-0T
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:01 pm

Re: Henry Doolan -Retired 1932

Post by Kayeb » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:32 pm

Just a bit of further info additional to my previous post, I had to reduce the size of the photos so they lost some definition. The number on the first train is 2551 I think (last digit obscured), no visible number on the second photo, and the third photo reads Great Northern Railway 123.

I went to Grantham today to look at the guide to railway staff records, & Henry or Harry Doolan's name isn't mentioned in the book. It does direct readers to 397 for staff records for LNER, but again, those stored on Ancestry do not contain anyone with the name Doolan.

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strang steel
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Re: Henry Doolan -Retired 1932

Post by strang steel » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:47 pm

Hello Kaye,

I have looked through the LNER magazine for 1932, and an H Doolan retired on 10th March 1932. He is listed as a driver at Grantham, therefore he is mentioned although they do not list the first name, just the initial.

I have a few LNER magazines, but only back to 1927, and will see if I can find any other mentions of his name.
John

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strang steel
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Location: From 40F to near 82A via 88C

Re: Henry Doolan -Retired 1932

Post by strang steel » Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:00 pm

I can't find any more references to an H Doolan in previous years' magazines.

All I turned up was a brief history of his career further into the 1932 edition.

Apparently, he started work on March 10th 1886 as a cleaner. He was promoted to fireman on July 7th 1894, and promoted again to driver on January 9th 1909.

No other location is mention, and I can only conclude that he spent his entire career at Grantham.
John

Kayeb
NER Y7 0-4-0T
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Re: Henry Doolan -Retired 1932

Post by Kayeb » Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:58 pm

Thank you so much John for taking the trouble to look through your old LNER magazines. To be honest, I'm not concerned whether he really did ever drive the Flying Scotsman or not. I'm just really proud to have a great grandfather who seems to have had a long & successful railway career. It sounds like he worked really hard to become a driver. It also sounds like quite a prestigious career for the time. I went to Grantham to study the staff records book but didn't uncover anything. A couple of days ago I also emailed GRC who hold the LNER magazines on DVD. Apparently they can do an electronic search, but they didn't uncover as much as you have! I understand LNER took over the old railway companies; if he was at Grantham he probably worked for the Great Northern Railway. A web search revealed nothing, but if I find the correct reference for the GNR records I might go to Kew to look at the old staff records (if they'll let me). There are some interesting newspaper cuttings in my late father's belongings: a Daily Mail article describing a tunnel crash in Welwyn when some metal flew off the wheel, richoched off the wall of the tunnel injuring the driver & the fireman. The engine was changed & the service arrived in Edinburgh only one hour late! There is no date on the article, & I wonder if it was my great grandfather who was the engine driver. I might have a search on the newspaper archives to do a bit more detective work! This geneology research can be quite tiring! Thanks once again for the research you carried out for me, it is most appreciated.

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