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Charting career on railways


Steam, Diesels And On-Track Machines: From Colwick To Derby Via The East Coast Main Line, written by John Meredith, charts his career as a railway fitter.

John began working life in 1954 aged 15 as a junior apprentice at Colwick Motive Power Depot. Working on the steam engines was physical. He then moved to work on diesels at Finsbury Park and Hitchin.

He returned to the East Midlands with the Plant and Machinery Department in Derby. Further promotion brought John into the field of on-track machinery, still based in the East Midlands. The book offers a rare insight into an often overlooked side of railway work.

John describes the camaraderie and practical jokes played by his colleagues as well as his own determination and resourcefulness in getting the job done.

As a postscript he mentions that after leaving the railways he took up a post at Southwell Minster as head verger in 1980.

Not losing his passion for railways he has continued on his travels, going the length and breadth of Britain as well as travelling to Europe and India.

The A5-format 240-page book contains 196 black and white images, mainly taken by John. The book, priced £15.95 and published through The Oakwood Press, should appeal to not only railway enthusiasts but also anyone interested in social history of working life from the 1950s to the present day — PAS.

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