Brenda Allen remembers how her father worked on the railway
Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 12th September 2011 by Liam Physick
Brenda Allen remembers how her father worked as a locomotive driver from school, until he joined the army in the Second World War, during which time he was incarcerated in Stalag VIII-B, the notorious prisoner of war camp near Lamsdorf (now Lambinowice) in occupied Poland. Stalag was the name given to POW camps that held non-commissioned soldiers: officers, airmen, sailors and Merchant Navy men were held in separate camps. After his release, Brenda’s father was too ill to resume driving, but he continued to work on the railway until his death in 1965. The family lived in the famous railway cottages
Interviewee: Brenda Allan
Interviewee Gender: Female
Margi: Where were you born?
Brenda: Well, I was born in Sefton General Hospital, and me mum and dad had just moved into 6 Railway Cottages, Liverpool 7.
Margi: In Liverpool 7?
Margi: And that being by Edge . . .
Brenda: Edge Hill, yeah, it was the railway, well, it was the railway cottages, me dad was on the railway.
Margi: Was he on the railway when you were born?
Brenda: Yeah, yeah, he’d always been on the railway from school, me dad . . .
Margi: Oh, right, yeah.
Brenda: . . . apart from being in the army, yeah . . .
Brenda: . . . he was a train driver.
Margi: So, he done his, like, conscription then it was, wasn’t it?
Brenda: Yeah, he was in the TA, so when war broke, he, he joined full time . . .
Margi: He was called up, yeah.
Brenda: Yeah, he was in Palestine, he was in the Battle of Crete and then he was took prisoner of war, for three and a half years . . .
Margi: Was he grey?
Brenda: Yeah, he was in Poland, Stalag VIII-B . . .
Margi: Oh, wow!
Brenda: . . .for eight years, so, when he came out the army, I don’t think he was too well, you know, with diphtheria, and other things and that, so, I don’t think he actually went back to train driving but he stayed on the railway, until, well, until he died in 65, he had heart trouble and all that . . .
Brenda: . . . that was all from the War, but he, he’d always worked on the railway, his father before him worked on the railway.
Margi: So, it was kind of, a family kind of thing, was it?
Brenda: Yeah, yeah, well, they lived in Taunton Street, and that was Wavertree, Picton Road end, so that be, railway, there’s railway sheds there as well . . .
Brenda: . . . so it was all quite easy to get to . . .
Brenda: . . . but then, moved into Railway Cotts. It’s amazing when you think, cos he still walked to work, he’d still go up to Taunton Street, to me grandmothers, have a cup of tea with her five o’clock in the morning and then go into the sheds to work, I mean, nowadays, you, you’d get the bus or a taxi, I think, you know, but . . .
Margi: I understand you, yeah.
Brenda: . . . but, you know, cos all the relatives lived round that way . . .
Margi: Yeah . . .
Margi: . . . so he’d just . . . walked to work and . . .
Brenda: Oh, yeah, as I say, I don’t think there was that many buses then . . .
Brenda: . . . but . . . yeah, they’d just moved into the railway cottages, jus before I was born, had two other children. But it’s amazing cos, they ended up with six children, and it was just a two-up, two-down, there was no hot water, and I believe when we moved in there was no electricity, it was gas lamps, so . . .
Brenda: . . . it got modernised with electricity, there was no plugs or anything.
Categorised under: The War