Chance find is a timely coincidence.
The bank holiday weekend saw me sifting through mounds of junk in my workshop and study. Whilst sorting the wheat from the chaff, as it were, I came across a couple of copies of British Railways Magazine; the old staff publication of the nationalised railway. By pure coincidence, the first issue that I found was a special 'Coronation Number' from June 1953, marking the official crowning of Queen Elizabeth II. Indeed, it's a Royal-themed issue all round, with a gripping lead article by Hamilton Ellis outlining the history of the royal train and its carriages (or should that be saloons?), a feature on Wolverton Works' involvement in Royal transport and the Royal Locomotives of Crewe. Great stuff!
These old mags are a real goldmine for contemporary information and its the smaller, staff news stories that particularly grab my attention. For instance, the write-up of Bescot Loco winning the London Midland Region soccer cup and the Eastern Region running streets ahead in the boxing finals. There's also a story of Doughboy, a prizewinning bulldog belonging to joiner A. Andrew of Manchester Victoria who won 3 cups in the LMR Fur & Feather Society's annual show at Derby. I can't imagine any of the current TOCs having a Fur & Feather Society. Or boxing clubs for that matter. What a shame...
|The rear cover of British Railways Magazine regularly featured a 'Spotlight' on specific stations. To suit the Royal theme, the focus is on Wolferton, the station for Sandringham House.|
|On the sport pages, Bescot Loco win the LM Challenge Cup after a hard-fought final against Derby whilst F. Shepherd of Crewe gained a decisive points victory in a LMR lightweight bout against Stacey of the Southern Region.|