Billy Burton started work on the railway in September 1937. He spent his final years as chargeman in the East Yard and retired in 1984 after humping had ceased and the yard had closed to traffic. You could fill a book with Billy Burton stories so I have chosen a fewI like the best for the website. The first is the Gas Leak.
Bill walked into the East Yard mess room one day and while pouring his tea casually mentioned that he thought he could smell gas in the corridor. Half way down the corridor between the chargemans office and the mess room was the drying room. This consisted of two rows of hangers sporting various macs leggings and assorted waterproof jackets, a block off twelve lockers and a large gas boiler in a metal cabinet. This boiler supplied the heating for the whole building. Walking back up the corridor Bill paused at the drying room door, ‘It seems to be getting worse,’ he shouted ‘I hope the boilers not going to blow up.’ He wandered back into the office took out his tobacco pouch and began to fill his pipe. Sure enough within a few minutes the drying room had become a hive of activity. Two drivers, the tapper and the Chilwell senior railman were gathered around the boiler. Bill crept back down the corridor and put his head round the door.
‘I think its coming from the vent at the bottom.’ he announced.
This was the ‘piece de resistance.’ The Chilwell leading railman had now joined them and the tapper and one of the drivers were down on all fours sniffing away like pigs on a truffle hunt. Bill pulled the brake stick from behind his back and brought it crashing down on the boilers metal casing. Howling with laughter he returned to the office leaving behind him two ashen faced shunters a suspected coronary and several pairs of brown underpants.

1 comment:

ian partner said...

brilliant lol