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Southampton

Discussion in 'Bullhead Memories' started by BR34095, Aug 29, 2006.

  1. BR34095

    BR34095 New Member

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    On Train Announcements leads me to remember this gem, a classic mistake which I hold my hand up to….
    After serving my time as a goods shunter at East Yard in Eastleigh, I transferred to Southampton Central as a passenger shunter. One of the shunter’s duties at that time was to relieve the station announcer at lunch time, and tea breaks. Most of the announcements were recorded on tape, but I preferred to use the microphone, and make the announcements myself. My voice is quite clear, and I was usually able to avoid the edict becoming “the next train on platform ffwll is for Patigwilog and Nanesburing on Sea. Change at Twilesigmoroo for Gerofmeknee”
    Sometimes even the best (or worst) of us can get it wrong so wrong….
    Southampton Airport Parkway in those days was simply known as Southampton Parkway, and fast trains left Southampton, and called at the Parkway before running fast to Waterloo Station. It was the semi-fast service that called at Clapham Junction to allow Gatwick Airport passengers to change for their trains.
    A fast service approached Southampton platform one. My broadcast came gushing from my lips, “The next train to arrive at platform one, is for Southampton Parkway and London Waterloo only. Southampton Parkway and London Waterloo only, the next train at platform one. Passengers for Gatwick Airport, please change at Clapham Junction.”
    I knew my blunder as soon as I said it.
    I called myself a pillock, and threw the mike across the desk. It was out there, and I was not about to try to correct it and cause more confusion. The beauty of it was…….no one noticed! At least, no one let me know!!
     
  2. BR34095

    BR34095 New Member

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    Two shunters were employed at night at Southampton Central. Very little happened at night, but an extra hand was needed on just one train that arrived at about 4.00am. In those days Red Star parcels were carried by the railways, and the parcel train was allowed just 2 minutes standing time to clear the Southampton parcels before departing for Bounemouth. The extra shunter’s assistance was needed to get the parcels off before departure. Believe it or not, that extra person’s wages were worth it if the parcels were late at their destination, compensation costs could be astronomical.
    Southampton’s Station Manager decided one week to try to save the wage bill.
    “I will stay this week and see if it can be done without the extra hand” he announced. The extra night shunter was laid off for the week, (with pay, I am lead to believe, but it was not me worse luck). The Station Manager stayed with us for the night shift. Needless to say this crimped our style a bit, but we coped with his presence. The night parcel train arrived. “Right lads, lets see if it can be done!” said the SM, and lo and behold, he started grabbing parcels! Lo and behold, we let him help! Parcels off, the train departed, on time. This happened the first few nights, and we did not let him know.
    By the end of the week, he was a happy man. Until….
    “I knew it could be done” said the SM, delightedly; “We don’t need the extra shunter!”
    “Your right” we replied,” All we need is an extra Station Manager”!!
    The second shunter was back the next week. I guess the SM needed his beauty sleep!!
     
  3. 50002

    50002 Member

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    What follows is a true story about an incident that happened to my grandfather sometime during the early years of WW2. It was printed in the obituary that appeared in his company's house magazine after his death in 1958.

    This is the incident as described in the obituary:

    'In the early years of the war he (my Grandfather)
    accompanied Mr C-----d to Southampton guarding a
    bullion wagon. While this was waiting in Southampton
    station it was coupled, by mistake, to a troop train
    which then departed. Mr C-----d and he promptly told
    the stationmaster, and the three of them commandeered
    a locomotive which pursued the troop train on a
    parallel line and eventually caught up with it. The
    stationmaster took off his top hat and waved the troop
    train down. Then the locomotive was shunted to the
    rear of the troop train and the bullion wagon coupled
    to it. And so the company's reputation for security was
    saved.'

    The incident sounds like something recalled by a
    colleague of my Grandfather, perhaps the Mr C-----d
    who is mentioned. This could explain why Grandad never
    mentioned it to me; he might even have forgotten all
    about it.

    The date of the incident is not certain but at a guess
    possibly 1940/41. The track layout at
    Southampton station at that time would have allowed
    parallel running westwards as far as Millbrook. Even
    so, a chase such as that described would be a highly
    unusual occurrence on the railway even if it did
    involve a troop train, a bullion wagon and a light
    engine.

    I don't know any more about the incident. Grandfather never told me about it although he knew I was keen on railways. I did manage to find out the name of the Southampton stationmaster who wore the top hat, but that was all.
     
  4. Woof

    Woof Active Member

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    Location: Bournemouth

    When: Many years ago when the Waterloo - Weymouth mail trains used to run

    The down Mail has arrived at Bournmouth and over the tanoy:

    "For those that require it, its (tea) made..."
     
  5. bishdunster

    bishdunster New Member

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    only just discovered this thread, and if it was between 1970 and 1976 it was probably me who made that announcement !!!!!!!
     
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  6. athelney

    athelney Member

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    Were you also the fellow at Southampton Central who always announced the stopper to Bournemouth as stopping at Hinton Aidmiral ..as apposed to its correct name of Hinton Admiral ...always gave us a chuckle , I worked at the TOPS office on the up side .....
     
  7. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    Ah, Southampton. Many a mug of tomato soup has been supped there on a cold winter's night whilst waiting for a train home and listening to those station announcements with that lovely Hampshire dialect. It was the place where there was usually time to have a quick word with the crew as the London bound services took on water to see whether they were of a mind to hurry up to Roundwood and/or run even faster around Fleet. It was also the location for tricky connections. I'm thinking specifically of the Fridays only 1723 ex Waterloo that was due in at 1909. The return last fast up Weymouth was scheduled away at 1913 although that time was a variable departure - anything between 1915 and 1930 dependent on what other works were going on further west.

    I only chanced it once. 73022 going down. It was a good run but we stopped twice at signals outside of Winchester and as a result were late away from the stop. There was nothing for it but to watch the time tick by as we slowed again for a tsr at Eastleigh. I knew that there were no significant engineering works that week beyond Soton so it didn't surprise me to see the 2051 arrival sitting in the platform as we emerged from the tunnel about six late. My notes tell me that I started my watch behind 35008 just three minutes after I had stopped it on the Standard 5. It was worth the sprint as despite three tsrs and two signal checks on the way home we were still a few minutes early into Waterloo.

    So a lucky connection but it can be done in less. It's not an apocryphal story that one seasoned timer bailed out of a slow moving station entry and approach to the water column to sprint over the bridge and grab the departing London service with virtually an identical stop and start time for both trains. Now we know why train doors carry locks. That would take all of the fun out of it, especially if you wanted to board a Blackpool steam excursion as it rolled through the back of Preston. But that's another story!
     
  8. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

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    Not in steam days but I had cause to visit the Docks a few times, amazing amount of activity back in the seventies, Class 07s everywhere.
     

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