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…
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 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.
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.
Above and below are boiler washers in action.
Climbing Up for maintainence. Below is the Coal Stage.
Then a water tank.
Then a larger tank much like the one they had in Bridlington.
Passenger train crew topping up.
Locomotive hoist Battersea Running Shed from Steel Highway 1928.
Bridlington Station nowadays.
And a personally named ticket. Dad always referred to them as a ‘priv’.
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.
Lines needed to be maintained also.
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.
They set him on.
He was promoted.
Ron underwent a medical.
He was called up to the armed services.
It was 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.)
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.
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.
The insignia for MIC (That’s all I know).
Now let’s have a few tickets.
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.)
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.
And a couple of D20s.
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.
Two pictures of 4-4-2s.
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)
Then a schools class 4-4-0.
Duchess of Hamilton.
The dimensions of a 730.
Now for some rolling stock.
Here are the dimentions for a North Eastern Railway carriage.
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.
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.
Now a few collectable cards of British and American engines.
The Baltimore and Ohio.
The Cock o’ the North.
The Silver Link.
The Green Bay Route diesel engine, as driven by Kerry and Gary.
Diesel Railcar and Trailer.
Princess Margaret Rose.
Now I am not too sure why I have included a fire fighters cart, but it is steam driven, and therefor splendiferous.
A few pieces of art.
Leaving work from the carriage works by Gramey Smith.
A steel shelter by Gramey Smith.
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.
Here’s Pat’s 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.
A mock up of a tank lander used for practicing on the coast near Bridlington.
The Rail Service serve us.
Parachutes (I don’t know if they are Allies, Axis or incendiary).
Bombed out in Hull (A couple of pictures).
And to finish, some old family photos.
Dad in uniform.
Me on holiday, we often went rambling and we stayed in a converted railway carriage.
Dad’s Dad Fred.
Mum and Dad on the beach.
Dad with a pal.
My sister and I with Mum and Grandma.
Mum and I.
Mum and Dad.
I’ve saved the best till last; my dad’s homemade wooden car.
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.’
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
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