Michael Williams

The Trains Now Departed and most famous steam engine driver of modern times…

February 4, 2016 Blog

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A READER of ‘The Trains Now Departed’ – Keith Baker – has sent me the following delightful memoir of Laurie Earl – famous driver of the crack Euston to Scotland trains:

‘I have recently read this book, and found it to be most enjoyable, as it related to many times in my past experience. I have had interest in railways from a young age I attended the City of London School from 1953-60, and whilst there I met Jack Wheeler, a teacher at the school, who ran the Railway Society. He organised a number of visits of a railway nature, one being to an exhibition at Euston station before the unfortunate demolition of the old buildings, so I remember the Great Hall and the rooms adjacent – most impressive, and a sad loss. On another occasion we went on a shed visit (I guess to Camden, but cannot recall details after about 60 years) in the company of Laurie Earl. Herewith a picture taken at the time; Jack is on extreme left, and Laurie on extreme right. Two things are notable. One how small Laurie was – how did he succeed in passing as fireman? He must have reached the driver status after time with a shovel, and this would have been in the early 1900’s, as he retired in about 1947. Another remarkable fact; after the shed visit, he took all the party to his little terraced house nearby, and fed us tea! Truly a quart in a pint pot.’



February 4, 2016 Blog

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