WGC station in the 1970s

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Mickey
GER D14 4-4-0 'Claud Hamilton'
Posts: 344
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:27 am

WGC station in the 1970s

Post by Mickey » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:45 am

Moved from Welwyn Garden City 1972-73 signal box.
ajax103 wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:34 pm
I think Dennis you refer to is still there,
Your joking?. Dennis was about 25-30 years old in 1972 that would make him about 80 years old now?. I know they abolished the retirement age at 65 but that is stretching it a bit?.

Another guy who I remembered from my time at the station was a guy who left the army in 1973 and came on the railway and was a railman (I believe he became a 'chargeman' shortly after arriving at the station?) he was called Fred Spooner.

I had a ride down to WGC station about 10 or 11 years ago and got talking to a bloke who was a 'chargeman' at the station and it transpired at that time he was the longest serving member of staff at the station apparently he had been there since 1979 but I don't know his name but I heard he subsequently left a few years after I spoke to him.

Going back to the 1973-75 era there was maybe 4 or 5 members of staff at the station that I can still see there faces in my minds eye but I can't remember any of there names?.

As previously posted when I was at the station (in the signal box) during 1972-74 the blokes that I do remember from that time was Charlie Heritage and Ivor who were both 'chargemen' along with two blokes called Dave & Dennis (Dennis was Irish) and both were railmen. Finally the two WGC shunter's who were Sid & Fred they use to 'hangout' in there own 'lobby' in a small building along side platform no.4 (nowadays no.1) the 'Hertford platform' those two blokes use to shunt the WGC Up yard & Nabisco's (Shredded Wheat) sidings and also Norton's & Lincoln Electrics sidings on the Hertford branch.
Last edited by Mickey on Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:39 am, edited 6 times in total.
Original start date of 2010 on the LNER forum and previously posted 4500+ posts.

Dave S
H&BR Q10 0-8-0
Posts: 184
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:46 pm

Re: 1970s station staff at WGC

Post by Dave S » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:02 am

In th later 70's (and into the early 80's) some in the Booking office were, Paul Brewer, Clive Titmus (came up from Hatfield on relief) Roy Doughty, Darren King.
There was a railman on the bridge barriers who was originally from the West Indies but I can't remember his name. Another name I remember was 'Peter' who was a chargehand who went to Royston about 1980......come to think of it I think his surname was 'Hermitage'.....

Mickey
GER D14 4-4-0 'Claud Hamilton'
Posts: 344
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:27 am

WGC station in the 1970s

Post by Mickey » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:29 am

I don't recall any of the blokes names in the WGC booking office Dave although on a day to day bases I never really had anything to do with them usually other than showing up at the booking office window and buying a return 'priv ticket' to Kings Cross once or twice a week to go up to London to do some 'train spotting' around the London railway terminals and also I have a feeling that on payday Thursdays (Thursday use to be the weekly payday on British Rail) all the staff including all platform staff along with the 3 resident signalmen and myself as the 'box lad' and the 2 resident shunter's Sid & Fred went to the booking office during the course of the day and collected their weekly wages which in my case was about £8.50p well it was 1972-73.

A silly thing was one of the booking office clerks back in the early 1970s one day referred to Potters Bar as 'Potters Berzonk' which has always stuck in my mind to this day!.

Another thing was I had my push bike nicked from the bike shed opposite the bottom of the footbridge staircase back in 1969-70 which was very annoying and I have a feeling I had a second push bike nicked from that same bike shed as well?. Any names would be welcome??.

Welwyn Garden City railway station was actually a very nice looking station overall until that monstrosity the Howard shopping centre was built right next door to it!.
Last edited by Mickey on Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:40 am, edited 6 times in total.
Original start date of 2010 on the LNER forum and previously posted 4500+ posts.

Dave S
H&BR Q10 0-8-0
Posts: 184
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:46 pm

Re: 1970s station staff at WGC

Post by Dave S » Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:13 pm

Mickey wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:29 am
I have a feeling that on payday Thursdays (Thursday use to be the weekly payday on British Rail) all the staff including all platform staff along with the 3 resident signalmen and myself as the 'box lad' and the 2 resident shunter's Sid & Fred went to the booking office during the course of the day and collected their weekly wages which in my case was about £8.50p well it was 1972-73.
You went to the side door and then stood in front of the parcels grill for your pay.

I remember a railman saying to Paul Brewer "you look like you're in a zoo" pauls reply as he handed the pay under the grill with the stamped pay card was "we're the ones feeding the monkey today" it wasn't until the railan went back out onto the concourse that he realised what Paul had said and gave him a mouthful through the 'Speak here' I remember Pauls reply was "same time next week" :D

Mickey
GER D14 4-4-0 'Claud Hamilton'
Posts: 344
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:27 am

WGC station in the 1970s

Post by Mickey » Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:39 pm

Ha ha ha... yeah good one dave.

A general point about railwaymen's wages was how 'slack things sometimes were' even into the 1980s with regards to how some railwaymen received there wages for example I was working at a box one day and I was told by a telephone call from a chargeman up the line that "The guard on the next down road would throw out the wages with the notices when he's passing the box" which is what happened and that wasn't a rare example. Also it was quite common in signal boxes in isolated locations on payday Thursdays to be visited by someone during the shift who would 'drop off the weekly wages' which meant the night turn signalman's wages were usually left in the draw in the high desk that the train register book laid on all very informal.

Meanwhile back at 'Garden City' station...

That old barrow crossing at the north end of the station that crossed the line into the EMU sidings plus the 4 running lines and the lines into platform no.1 and the Up yard was deadly several people were killed on that barrow crossing in the early/mid 1970s and I nearly walked under a fast approaching Down express (Deltic hauled) which was at the south end of the station doing 100mph!!. They took it up and removed it in 1976 I think?.
Last edited by Mickey on Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
Original start date of 2010 on the LNER forum and previously posted 4500+ posts.

Mickey
GER D14 4-4-0 'Claud Hamilton'
Posts: 344
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:27 am

WGC station in the 1970s

Post by Mickey » Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:32 am

There use to be a old bloke a railman who I had the feeling hadn't been on the railway to long at WGC station back around 1974-75 (and maybe for a few years after 1975?) who mainly use to ''punch the tickets' standing in that small 'sentry box' type of thing at the top of the stairs leading down to the Down platforms who use to be friendly speaking to a few of the WGC secondmen who lived in the town at that time but I never knew his name anyway he he's to wear a long dark B.R. overcoat and a British Rail railman's hat I presume he's long gone (dead).

There use to be around 6 or 7 Kings Cross secondmen plus one Cambridge street secondman (St Pancras) who lived in WGC in the mid-1970s who would been seen daily either catching a train up to Kings Cross or getting off a train from Kings Cross at WGC station.

Another bloke who sticks in my mind who was at WGC station as a railman on the platform and who sometimes 'punched tickets' on the footbridge around 1973-74 (and maybe longer?) was a young bloke possibly about 20 or 21 years old at that time who had dark slightly long curly hair and was friendly enough but I can't remember his name anymore?.

Yet another guy who was at WGC station who I believe mite have been called Terry(?) and who was a railman at the WGC station for a short period of the time maybe around 1973(?) who I guess was around 23 or 24 years old at the time with short hair anyway what made him memorable was he use to wear a lot of 'badges' on his railway uniform jacket lapels although he was only at WGC station for a short period of time maybe around 1973 before he transferred to Brookmans Park station and would often be seen 'meeting' arriving trains on either the Up slow line or Down slow line platforms at Brookmans Park station around 1974-75 and maybe a few years longer?.
Original start date of 2010 on the LNER forum and previously posted 4500+ posts.

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