Eastleigh Works Web Site
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Magic Memories Page
This page is for your memories, a page which I have wanted to do for a long time. You may not feel you have any stories which anyone will be interested in, but please believe me, people will want to read them. So if you have anything you remember which you want to share, please contact us
Contributors (click on the name to jump to their memory)
|Roy Burford||Poems||Ken Hunt||Mick Thurston||Murray (Jim) Allam||Tom Thorne||Colin Cheater||Carol Johnson||Ernie Groves||Steve Westwood|
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These verses were written by a driver who wanted no publicity and our thanks go to:
P.R. Lovelace ex S.R C&W Works (1945)
B.R.B. HQ (M.E. Design)
B.R.E.L (Eastleigh Works)
For sending them in.
Campbell! A famous name, So too our road, it is the same,
Artisans, Drivers, Signalman too, Apprentices, Tea boys making the brew.
Men like Sam and Alf and Jock, built the Southern's railway stock.
Loco's thundering on the line, Weymouth to London, right on time.
Here comes the Bournemouth Belle, Campbell's residents knew her well.
History is here and much beside - Railways opened the country-side.
Seaside places, little known, came suddenly into their own.
Millions of people, their children too, saw the environment, anew.
Ports around our Southern Coast, Part of Railway's proud boast.
It's true to say it was for the better, holiday came and time for leisure.
A hundred years changed the Southern Scene, happier then it had ever been.
Some of the credit has to be due, to the men and women, not a few,
Who over the years lived in Campbell Road, it was their workplace and abode.
What they achieved was a vital part, keeping it beating, the Nation's heart
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Campbell Road - Present
Time has rolled the twentieth century on
Four generations of railway men, now gone.
From this road and other roads too,
Who cares about you and you and you?
What of this place you served so well?
What of the stories you could tell?
Of giant loco's built with pride,
Far better than a Disney ride.
Sleek carriages of every class,
Their proud livery, long since past,
Gone are the sons of Alf, Jock and Sam
Sacrificed to the greediness of man.
For man, must always pay the price of greed,
The things we cannot change, are above decreed.
Will the future of Campbell Road, still be there?
Will rail folk be sacrificed to the air?
Railwaymen of this Hampshire Town
You have left your mark - A Fitting Cown
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Ken Hunt Memories
I remember the cotton waste! And I also remember when in the carriage works and going to the loos people would put lighted cotton waste and send the it down the water trough. As it passed the cubicles if you were sat too comfy and for too long, it would burn your bum, (I wonder if it was the foreman!!!)
Mick Thurstons comments from a few emails
Dear Al - only discovered your astonishing
website today and wanted to say thank you for so many mad (and some sad)
memories. My name is Mick Thurston and I worked at the Railway Works
between 1978 and 1985 (the first 4 years as VB apprentice). I know
exactly what you mean when you praise the great men their incredible
craftmanship and the skills and philosophies they imparted, I too have a
lot to be thankful for.
I left BREL in September '85 and worked for BA for nearly 18 years followed by stints at Airbus UK and as an independent engineering consultant around the world. I currently reside in Jersey and France and act as consultant for The States of Jersey Environment Agency working on sustainable business models - not bad for a "Rock Ape". If I can help with names or anything else I will.
You know what? I think you might be right! I do find myself harking back to "wise words" said during my time there and still recall to this day useful nuggets of information; info that perhaps at that moment had no (perceived) baring or relevence, but which in hindsight held many a truth. I have found that it's a bit like saying to your kids the things that your parents said to you, maybe not appreciated at the time but a seed has been sown! Also the beginning of the slippery slope!
I think Richard K was a year above me but we did work on the door gang at the same time, a brilliant tradesman he was too - it was a period which I enjoyed greatly. I say that now but am I deluding myself and seeing these things through rose coloured glasses? As I also seem to recall the dread of going into that damned place on occasions.
Dick King spent some time running a pub in Brighton (The Black Lion I think) where I was living for a while during the 90's so I have actually seen him relatively recently.
I have a good mate who I still see and speak to quite a bit who also worked at the railway, Mick Cook. He would have been in the 1977-78 intake. He was a welder but I didn't see him on the welder list so maybe you could add him.
There are many things we still laugh and wonder about to this day and when a few drinks have been consumed the reminiscing starts; you have already mentioned a couple of characters of note, Johnny Cutler and Bill Prior of course (what happened to them?). But whatever happened to Steve Cullem or Mick Collins (any idea?), or Charlie Whitlock (one of the funniest men I've ever met!). I was really surprise to see that Addie Dean is no longer with us, what happened?
It's not just the people tho', but the place and time. Can you imagine any works canteen (not many left I grant you) including a can of beer and two fags with your Christmas lunch, bloody crazy but brilliant as well. It must contravene some law or other.
Please continue with the website, it's a pleasure to read.
very best regards, Mick.
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Murray (Jim) Allam
Hello there, my name is Murray
Allam (then known as Jim) and served my time in the Eastleigh loco:
works 1944-1949. Now live in Reading. Started 0n the nut tapper under
C/H Jim Mobsby, an ex Nine Elms fitter, learned the hard way about
locknuts by trying to to tap 2 nuts on the taper tap!!! Wash up with
carbolic soap and sand was in a battered old bucket which we boys had to
fill from the trough in the erecting shop. Water then warmed using a
scrap quadrant slide block heated up in the stove, which was next to
useless for heating the W/S but O.K for toasting sandwiches. One bad
week the C/H led us a dog's life. As he was privileged to wash up first
we all but boiled the water, we watched aghast as his hands moved
towards the bucket and saying " You ain't a bad lot of lads, I'll get
you a bonus next week."
Too late. We didn't get the bonus!
On to turret lathes, then to
bedding axle boxes onto axle journals. Next to every gang in the fitting
which must have been about 2 years. Pistons, rods, brake gear, safety v/vs
etc: Adjusting the Ross v/vs on a Bullied Pacific under steam after the
Winchester run, sitting on the boiler trusting the fitter to raise and
lower pressure to 250 p.s.i?(Health and Safety!!)
Spent weeks filing to smooth finish West Country con rods to eliminate hairline cracks which appeared after machining. Moved to erecting shop where I was privileged to spend some time on Harry Frith's gang. En route was on the lagging gang when I fell off the top of a mounted boiler. My heaviness got me an upright landing.
On my 21st birthday I came back from midday break to find my boiler suit up in the roof way above the crane gantry. I hated heights at that time.
Until the war ended in 1945 the works was under artificial light. Even the blackout was removed there didn't seem to be a lot of difference it was so smoky
One fitter-better not to mention his name-had a habit of flinging lead hammers at us when the mood took him.
Then there was night school. 3 nights a week at Southampton College (latterly University) because Soton Tech had been bombed. Brass band
practice, homework, weekends at home; it all got fitted in somehow.
Home, for most of that time was on
a farm in Liphook so I stayed with a wonderful family in Darwin Road.
Joined Union-Castle as a sea going engineer. One Chief Engineer I sailed
with served his time at Ashford. For a time I kept watch with another
Eastleigh loco apprentice. We still keep in touch. Until retirement I
spent the rest of my working life in M&E maintenance: in a large
One of my proudest possessions is
my fitter/erector certificate hanging on the wall in my bedsit. I owe a
lot to the old "loco works"
I too remember the old toilets, the
cubicle nearest the cistern never seemed to be vacant!!!
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Tom ThorneI grew up in Campbell Road and have many fond memories of the community spirit. I lived at number 31 , so what do I remember:
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