|Didcot engine shed is well known as a preservation site featuring the locomotives, carriages, wagons and items of infrastructure of the Great Western Railway (GWR). But before preservation it was a bustling steam locomotive depot. This book about life at Didcot MPD is one of the few documents to record the situation.
In recalling his railway career, Bernard Barlow has provided us all with a valuable insight into the life and work of a railway fireman based at Didcot engine shed during the 1940s and 50s. Apart from a few weeks at Winchester, he spent his firing days and most of the rest of his career at Didcot, where he experienced the enormous influx of extra crews to cope with the workload brought about by the war and the associated problems of tool shortages, etc.
Besides providing a candid insight into the life of a Didcot engineman, he also recalls how Didcot shed was actually operated, something of its daily routine, and details of the rostered turns of Didcot crews throughout the links until his eventual appointment as driver. The book is extensively illustrated and should endure as a valuable work of reference.
· Chapter 1 - Boyhood Dreams
· Chapter 2 - Lad Porter
· Chapter 3 - Old Oak Common
· Chapter 4 - Didcot Shed
· Chapter 5 - Early Turns
· Chapter 6 - Rapid Promotions
· Chapter 7 - Over the Branch
· Chapter 8 - Post-war Service
· Chapter 9 - The Moment of Truth
· Chapter 10 - Fading Pride
· Appendix 1 - Track Plan of Didcot Station
· Appendix 2 - Track plan of Didcot Ordnance Depot
· Appendix 3 - Engine and Enginemen's Turns
· Appendix 4 - Allocation of locomotives - Didcot 1939-56
By Bernard Barlow
Hardback. 220x280mm. 272 pages
286 black & white photographs