My Mum Connie, aged 93; her stories and poems – part one

I hate staying in…

The first story mum wrote after stating in writing class…

(Please note it is in two parts, so you will need to watch the short film straight after.)

Radio York paid her for this story…

A poem in darker tone…

Mum explains how amused she was by the poem ‘I Shall Wear Purple’, it inspired her to create her own version. she would always perform them both.

There will be more of her short stories and poems and she has recently been interviewed by The National Railroad Museum here in Green Bay Wisconsin. Once they have those up in the museum archive I will blog a link. For now here are links to other pieces…

Navy Blue Knickers and Things Which Go Bump in the Night – Childhood memories from the 30s

History of Quay Street, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, Great Britain.

Pictures of Steam Days (including family photos) – Mainly from dad

The Home Front Ordeal – by Ronald Samuel Spendlow

Ronald’s memories of listening to his brother once he had returned from prisoner of war camp. 

 

 

 

 

Railway Pictures from Steam Days

Railway Pictures from Steam Days 

These pictures are part of the research for a forthcoming edition of the book, Steam Tales by the late Ronald Spendlow and myself Adrian Spendlow. The book is being created in collaboration with history students from University Wisconsin, Green Bay.

For now here’s is a selection of pictures…

(There will be many more to come from the team.)

dad 01
Dad
me bish station
Me at Bishop Auckland Station, oops sorry it’s York

firebox stuck

Dad got stuck just like in the above picture and was hosed down with very cold water for  a long period until they could get him out.

mallard foot plate
Footplate of the Mallard

Footplate of the London and North Eastern Railways A4 class 4-6-2 Locomotive number 4668 The Mallard. It broke the world land speed record for Steam Traction at 126MPH. This was the size of the Firehole door my father had to crawl into.

Below is a cut away engine showing the fire-hole and brick arch from the inside. I wouldn’t want to clean in there.

firebox

Maintenance.

maintainence

boiler washers

Above and below are boiler washers in action.

boil washer 02engne climb

Climbing Up for maintainence. Below is the Coal Stage.

coal stage

Watering.

watering

Then a water tank.

a watertank

Then a larger tank much like the one they had in Bridlington.

watertank large

Passenger train crew topping up.

passenger crew to up

Sorted coal.

coal front (2)

coal 2 (2)

Locomotive hoist Battersea Running Shed from Steel Highway 1928.

Power-operated_locomotive_hoist,_Battersea_running_shed_(CJ_Allen,_Steel_Highway,_1928)

Bridlington Station nowadays.

brid station

And a personally named ticket. Dad always referred to them as a ‘priv’.

brid ticket (2)

I find it interesting that this poster, and similar ones, advertise free activities. Nowadays it is all about money. There were overnight tickets to be had too.

brid poser

Lines needed to be maintained also.

american built

The track and plates had recently been reorganised and then are critically observed by a plate layer aboard an American built 5820. She creeps over points aiding the in-bedding of sleepers, under the watchful eye of the plate layer. The self-propelled Grafton steam crane has been laid up following its stint of lifting.

A new cleaner was invited to attend an interview.

cleaner start

They set him on.

cleaner cert

He was promoted.

186 shifts

Ron underwent a medical.

med exam

He was called up to the armed services.

call up papers

It was cancelled.

call up cancelled

I am very grateful to my old work-mate Mike McPeake for the following pictures. We worked in Mental Health together and he is now a steam engine driver. In fact the parts he shows here are probably the very same tutorial parts my father learnt on all those years ago. The students and myself look forward to hearing more from Mike and will be pleased to receive any information, reactions and images.

(He has also agreed to be interviewed by the Green Bay students, this will go really well, unless he demands we get the Dwight D Eisenhower back.)

donated by the taskers

Above refers to the North York Moors Railway which runs through the moors north of York from Pickering to Whitby. Whitby is the home start of the novel, The Undead by Bram Stoker, so is known for being the supposed burial sight of Dracular; and Robin Hood is also in the ground there somewhere, or so they say. We are lucky that the cuttings and line way were preserved when so much of the older rail lines were destroyed. It is marvellous that this service continue, it is because of people like Mike, who would become an engine driver after a career in Mental Health Nursing. what an amazing achievement.

We are also grateful to the Taskers for the donation of a fine piece of tutorial equipment which enabled new people to learn the ways of steam.

He went on the same class as my dad all those years ago.

hull loco m i

I see from this brass plaque above on the donated item that these classes were running well before my father started to train. He started in 1941. Classes were on Sunday mornings, on the staff’s only day off, and the driver gave his time for free as did the cleaners and firemen.

training parts from mike 03

training parts from mike 02

training parts from mike 01

system explanation from mike 02
LMS system explanation
system explanation from mike
Pacific system explanation
steam system from mike
Steam system

parts from mike

mutual improvement class from mike
The Mutual Improvement Class

The insignia for MIC (That’s all I know).

mic insignia from mike

Now let’s have a few tickets.

aldgate (2)

cliff

swanage (2)

Some engines.

280

During the Second World War there was a lot of heavy freight so more powerful locomotives were needed. These were mainly for military uses both here and overseas. So tanks and things were pulled into Europe. The LMS 8F was used until 1942 then a design was developed which was simpler and quicker to construct.  The Ministry of Supply commissioned The Austerity. R A Riddles was on charge of directing the manufacturing process and the first engines were on the lines by 1943. The 2-8-0 and the 2-10-0; built to the minimum standard yet they proved to be very popular as they were extremely sound. These engines saw service in Europe, Middle and Far East and after hostilities were over five hundred and thirty three engines were bought by British Rail and prior to that two hundred engines were bought by LNER. They became known as the WDs and here above we see No. 90611 about to pull out of Burnley. the shunter is reporting on the condition of the load to the driver before he heads off with his coal train. (Information gathered from the writings of Joe Richardson.)

Robinson introduced an engine, the Great Central Railway’s 8K 2-8-0 in 1911. It saw military service in the Great War. Engine No. 63701 was built in 1918 by Robert Stephenson & CO and was bought by LNER in 1925 and classified 04/3.

Grisley’s 2-8-0 freight design was introduced by Great Northern Railways in 1918; this engine was a prototype and was the first three cylinder engine to have just two valve gear sets, with rocking shafts to work the middle valve. Following on from those twenty five 0/2s the LNER eventually bought forty one between 1932 and 1943, they became their group standard design. They had side window cabs and left hand drive. (Information gathered from the writings of Geof Rixon.)

 

 

austerity engine

I took the information from my father’s memoires and there seems to be a picture missing.

Talking of Stephenson, here is the famous Rocket from the firm which started it all.

rocket

And a couple of D20s.

d20 01

Class D20s were the type of engine used at Bridlington Motive Power Depot. The 2360 was converted from a Stephenson Link Motion to a J39 Motion and from right hand drive to left hand drive. It was transfered to the Bridlington Depot in 1943 and the first to drive it were Ronald Spendlow and his mate.

 

d20 02

Two pictures of 4-4-2s.

442

 

The LNER’s three cylinder C7 4-4-2 was designed by Vincent Raven and was previously NER class Z. Here below is a class Z, No. 2167, approaching Ripon.

(Information from the writings of David V Beeken)

442 through ripon

Then a schools class 4-4-0.

schools class 440

A 5820.

5820

Duchess of Hamilton.

duchess of hamilton

The dimensions of a 730.

730 dimentions

Now for some rolling stock.

Here are the dimentions for a North Eastern Railway carriage.

carriage dimentions

I couldn’t find an example of a Common Use Waggon but this looks like the sort of waggon my father and workmates had to shovel coal into, although it is from Canada.

 

canada_7plank01

sentinel rail car

They had Sentinels at Bridlington Locomotive Depot so my father will have driven them. Here is a Sentinel Rail Car and a Sentinel Goods van. LNER had transferred Sentinels to Carlisle Canal shed and they were in service to Port Carlisle, Langholm and sometimes to Silloth. David Stratton, a cleaner, had recollections of them, they ran without a guard, so were the first case of single-man workings. He reported that they had up to three goods vans, (as shown below), and occasionally they would have a second engine as part of the train, a Brake Third. This one, photographed in 1931, has at least one carriage attached.

 

sentinel goods van

Now a few collectable cards of British and American engines.

The Baltimore and Ohio.

ohio front (2)

ohio (2)

The Cock o’ the North.

cock (2)

The Silver Link.

silver (2)

The Green Bay Route diesel engine, as driven by Kerry and Gary.

green bay route

Diesel Railcar and Trailer.

rail front (2)

rail (2)

Princess Margaret Rose.

princess (2)

The Beyer-Garrat.

beyer front

beyer back

Now I am not too sure why I have included a fire fighters cart, but it is steam driven, and therefor splendiferous.

fire front (2)

fire fight (2)

A few pieces of art.

Leaving work from the carriage works by Gramey Smith.

leaving work (2)

A steel shelter by Gramey Smith.

shelter

A train by Gramey Smith.  While I told stories at a day centre for elderly people Gramey drew art. Pat a lady who attended there said she could only draw trees, so Gramey drew this to inspire her.

lms gs

Here’s Pat’s train.

pats train

(BTW Pat said that LMS stood for hell-of-a-mess.)

Next are a few of the things my father would have seen from the cab as he drove through this war-torn country.

Two of Tank Landers.

tank lander

tank lander two

A mock up of a tank lander used for practicing on the coast near Bridlington.

mock up troop carrier landing craft

The Rail Service serve us.

we serve

Parachutes (I don’t know if they are Allies, Axis or incendiary).

parachutes

Bombed out in Hull (A couple of pictures).

bombed hull

bombed 2

And to finish, some old family photos.

Mum’s Mum.

mums mum mary

Dad’s Mum.

grandma

Dad in uniform.

dad uniform

Me on holiday, we often went rambling and we stayed in a converted railway carriage.

me on holiday

Dad’s Dad Fred.

grandad fred

Mum and Dad on the beach.

run and connie on the beach

Dad with a pal.

dad n pal

Dad’s parents.

dads parents

My sister and I with Mum and Grandma.

me an ginny with grandma and mum

Mum and I.

mum and me laughter

Mum and Dad.

mum and dad carlton

Dad.

ron 3

I’ve saved the best till last; my dad’s homemade wooden car.

dads car 01

 

first public railway bridge

loco 1 with horse
Opening day
s&dr opening art
First public train service

 

stockton map

wages

Boston-Cashbag-1

wp_lner_8208_1928_v

Woolley_Rescue_Checks (2)

 

mum to edit (2)

 

navy_11

violin (2)
Ron with Violin

 

dad n pal (2)
Ron

 

dad uniform (2)

 

manual (2)
Yorkist Range for sale

 

wellington-yorkist-range3
Wellington’s Yorkist Range, partly used.
a signal box from york
A York signal box.

 

Railwaymans-Cottage-Derbyshire-large
Two Railwayman’s Cottages (In Derbyshire.)

 

204-1
Ours were very much like this.

 

dryer
Apparently they still sell them.

 

Frog_or_Surprise_mug
What a surprise

 

YHA-York-1
Cyclists and walkers of all ages stay in Youth Hostels such as this one in York. You may be given chores.

 

yha-york
There are usually private rooms available, but it is cheaper to share.

 

the-junction-leeman-road-york
The Phoenix stopped being a club and changed to the Junction pub for a while. It was knocked down to build apartments.

 

60s Overgate
Gas Show Rooms (Not York).

 

naburn 1
The grand entrance way to Naburn Hospital

 

naburn 2
View of Naburn Hospital from the playing fields

 

naburn 3
Naburn Hospital from the air

 

hen house 1
Railway carriage as shed
hen house 2
Hen House

 

aslef badge 2
ASLEF badge

 

aslef established badge
ASLEF pin
aslef many
Lots
aslef protest
Union protest
aslef retired
Still proud
n u r button
Button
National_Union_of_Railwaymen_logo
Logo
new hollanda1 rail rmt nur-new-holland
Banner
nur badge 2
Another badge

nur strike

 

Dad said that if you had been on strike you could order a badge. you wore them all down your uniform label. Then when you were in any meeting they spoke for you. ‘I mean business. I am a big union guy. If you take me on you are taking on the whole nations members.’

gresham for sale

 

 

https://www.ssplprints.com/image/92184/gresham-j-combination-locomotive-injector-c-1884

 

Gresham_Sentinel_Injector_B-300x222

GRESHAM & CRAVEN Locomotive Boiler Feed Injector

 

railway institute york

https://whatpub.com/pubs/YOR/603/york-railway-institute-york

arw shelter
Air Raid Warden’s Shelter (and office). (BBC site.)

brid mpd

http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=7368&page=10

 

powc
Prisoner of War  Camp from WWII

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/german-refugee-guard-suggests-sending-migrants-nazi-camps-article-1.2446503

 

Early-Centralized-Computer

 

http://www.real-strategy.com/strategy-design/distributed-strategy-the-personal-dikes-of-hamburg/

cinders
cinders

https://www.hattons.co.uk/141471/peco_products_ps_320_ash_cinders_fine_grade_200ml/stockdetail.aspx

 

swings
Cinders!

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2321189/Is-worlds-playground-swing-Newly-discovered-photographs-children-fun-days-health-safety.html

snap tin

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/bw0MsbpbSI-YkG1xFkESCA

1280px-Sandkasten_BR103
Sandbox and delivery pipe of a DB Class 103

The original uploader was Schorschi2 at German Wikipedia. – Own work (Original text: Eigene Fotografie), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21209462

 

choched
Me in a pram by Gramey Smith

 

workshop
The toolbox shop by Gramey Smith

 

swings gs
Swings by Gramey Smith

 

walk 05
A guided tour by Adrian
walk 03
Tour of Shambles, York
walk 02
Taking a tour
sardinic retouched large 01
Spooky Adrian
Cobbled Street 1
Come follow me – photo by Dave Restless
Life is a city (3)
For chapter four
The Great Reaper (2)
For chapter four
Connie Spendlow unknown year (2)
Connie

 

Pricker Rod
A pricker rod by Adrian
strike breaker
For chapter two
black leg
For chapter two
scumbag
For chapter two
Adrian with a class of school kids around 1987
Me with a class of kids
Cheapest of Commodities
For chapter five

 

Duke Squashy Hat
The Duke 01
Duke Tilt
The Duke 02
Miss Jackson
Poem by Adrian using his father’s words. (for chapter one)

 

Life Goes on by Ron
For chapter two

 

Below is the bathroom on legs sent for chapter seven by David Jakeman

rail coach (2)

stockton poster

 

Link to pictures of York’s railroad museum.

Link to Dad’s memories of the bombing of Hull.

Footage collection with Adrian, friends and family

Footage collection with Adrian, friends and family – Yorkshire Culture, UWGB, Lucy Spendlow, Egg Drop Soup, Frode Tufte, Njardarheimr, Alda’s Viking Kitchen, Lamb Stew, Steam Tales, Daily Distraction, Skipping Day, Scarborough, Georg and the Rooster, Sigrun Design, Alda on Top of the Pops, Real Good Time, Latvian Vikings, Dan Webster Band, Nisswa Viking Festival, Society For Storytelling, Jamie Cooper, Natcha Dauphin.

An audio only set first. I was commissioned by Professor Rebecca Nesvet, Assistant Professor of English at University of Wisconsin, Green Bay to create a presentation on Yorkshire culture. This was recorded by Kate Farley, Instructional Technologist at the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning.

I am very proud to show you one of the cookery programs from top chef Lucy Spendlow; Egg Drop Soup.

Here is a visit to the sadly missed Njardarheimr Viking Town in Norway to see our CEO Forde Tufte walking the sheep. I hope we can join you soon. https://youtu.be/TGJBjUIpZII

 

Alda’s Viking Kitchen presents Lamb Stew.

https://youtu.be/FRgIlLn4uzc

Snippets from my forthcoming book Steam Tales, written in collaboration with my late father Ronald. This was presented as a ‘daily distraction’ via UW-Green Bay College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. I am proud to be assisted on this publication project by the History team of students while working with Professor Heidi Sherman.

Skipping Day in Scarborough.

My chieftain Georg blesses the God statues while accompanied by the Njardarheimr cockerel.

Top displays at London Fashion Week and very much in demand; Sigrun’s Viking fashions are modelled well, but never as well as now. Here is your chance to see me in my Viking Shirt from sigrun.co.uk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWoUvZUCMOw

 

This is Alda with her hit from Top of the Pops revisited

Heidi filmed these two wonderful Vikings from Latvia, Līga Reitere and Zane Danoss, singing to the very essence of nature and the power of the light.

The brilliant Dan Webster Band performing Sand.

The Viking Era Was Brought To Life During First Nisswa Viking Festival, (Nisswa is a city in Crow Wing County, Minnesota) – Thank you to Trodin Hegn for this link…

Members can post events in here, so I guess it is worth a look…

https://www.facebook.com/societyforstorytelling/

Wonderful guy Jamie Cooper with a wonderful rendition of When the Swallows come back to Capistrano

Captivating song from Natacha Dauphin, Je Pars (Poor Patrick). Subscribe to her channel.

Steam Days Poetry modelled on my father’s memoires

Steam Days Poetry modelled on my father’s memoires

dad uniform

 

 

Lads on a Transfer

 

The boys who were James’ and Witty’s class

In the Motive Power Depot

Down at Old Dairycoates

Are signed up as their men

Supernumerary Cleaners

Replacing drafted soldiers

We were designated our seniority

Soon were going through the motions

Paraffin cleaning gears and couplings

Senior Passed Firemen supervised us

Training us up, by learning us ‘Improvements’;

Droppings and Steam Action

Buckeye and Loose Links

All of the couplings

Stephenson’s Link Motion

All about Walschearts

The joys of Joy’s Radial Valve Gear

We were learning the Eccentrics

Between their Side Rod Pins

Hoping at the end of the war

To be sent for None-Returner’s Duties

Through the office of the Shed Master

Down at Botanic Gardens

Motive Power Depot

To step up to an engine cab

But for now doing cleaning

It is back to the twelve seater,

Single flush latrine room

 

AS

 

 

Reporting to Miss Jackson

 

Her Docket Clerks Diagram men

From their three shift system window

Seniority always organised Link Men

Passenger, Goods and Pilot Links

Sickness, Spare Markings and Specials

Marked Diagram Sheets show Turns of Duty

Here, in clean overalls,

Young Ronnie was learning

The running of the railways

 

AS

AS