Fred Currah describes his predecessor at the Edge Hill stores
Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 19th August 2011 by Liam Physick
Fred Courer talks about the man whose place he took at Edge Hill stores when the latter fell ill. According to Fred, the man was rude and abrupt, even swearing at his callers, and would refuse to deliver what he asked to: when Fred began to work on th stores, he and the clothing clerk had to fill the skip with his predecessor’s old diaries. Fred also talks about his job in detail
Interviewee: Fred Currah
Interviewee Gender: Male
Jodie: When you were working in the railway, was it really, was this . . .
Fred: I loved it, oh . . .
Jodie: . . . really busy, this station, and yeah . . .
Fred: . . . it was a bit busier in the 80s . . .
Jodie: . . . I just need to get a picture of it.
Fred: . . . I had me own key, Iâ€™d open up over there, I was out on me own boss really . . .
Jodie: On platform three?
Fred: Yeah, yeah, I had me own key to go in. I would normally try and get three parcels out a day, because thereâ€™d be a long list (indecipherable), people would ring me up, the signal box would ring me up saying, â€śHi, could you send me out so and so, I need some . . .â€ť, and heâ€™s, â€śI need this, I need thatâ€ť, and of course Iâ€™d make a list up then and send it out to them. Sometimes Iâ€™d have a boss come in from one of the station sections and heâ€™d ask me for stuff as well, which I . . . the man that was in before me (cough) was very unhelpful because he had an attitude that, when people rang up, he would swear at them and bang the phone down, you know . . . (laughs)
Jodie: Oh! (laughs)
Fred: . . . so he was very, very . . . really wasnâ€™t . . . to be in that job . . . as a driver I was always tried to be courteous to, you know, passengers would ask me, when I was walking up to me locomotive, â€śIs this my train? Where do I go?â€ť and Iâ€™d try and be courteous . . .
Fred: . . . and the man that was in there before me was very uncourteous, he upset people. In fact, we filled a skip, when I moved in in about 1990, something like that, the clothing clerk, who I was, I worked with, she would do all the paperwork at, at Rail House, we filled the skip with all, old diaries, cos he wouldnâ€™t give anything out (Jodie laughs), and when people rang up, people could ring me up while I was working, â€śCould you please send me . . . ?â€ť â€śYeah, certainly, send me a list in, Iâ€™ll put it inâ€ť . . .
Fred: . . . and he was very, had a very aggressive attitude, the phone would go and heâ€™d just say â€śGo awayâ€ť, you know, an F word, and put the phone down, well thatâ€™s not, youâ€™re not there for that . . .
Jodie: No, heâ€™s not, not doing his job then, was he?
Fred: . . . they were my customers, as it were, really . . .
Fred: . . . (coughs) all the stations, all the signal boxes, they would ring me up, and send, theyâ€™d send a sheet in, you see, to me, say, Broad Green station, what I need, I would make that up, then give that then to the van driver who came every day, so that would be delivered the next day. I would then have to do all the paperwork which Iâ€™d give out, you see, because I was accountable to the clothing clerk, so Iâ€™d then make a list. There was quite a lot of paperwork to it, actually . . .
Fred: . . . cos everything that you gave out you had to keep a list of, well, obviously . . .
Jodie: You had to account for it, yeah.
Fred: . . . had to account for it, I was accountable to the, yeah, yeah, so, it was quite a, I liked it, it was a very responsible job, being in the stores, it was a bit lonely, I felt, sometimes I felt a bit of a presence there, you know, I donâ€™t know what it was, really, over there, I wouldnâ€™t say anything tangible . . .
Fred: . . . but, itâ€™s so old isnâ€™t it? (laughs)
Jodie: I do really like that building, that on platform three . . .
Fred: Yeah, Iâ€™ve not seen it since I was in the stores . . .
Jodie: . . . yeah, well, Iâ€™ll take you over when weâ€™ve finished this . . .
Fred: Right, yeah.
Jodie: . . . and you can see what itâ€™s like now, but, I love that one, itâ€™s, itâ€™s more, I donâ€™t know, itâ€™s (Fred coughs), yeah, theyâ€™re, theyâ€™re, theyâ€™re both . . .
Fred: Itâ€™s very, there so . . .
Jodie: . . . both buildings have got totally different feels to them.
Fred: They have, and theyâ€™re very old, arenâ€™t they?
Fred: Theyâ€™re very, very old, when was this built, 19, 1830 or something like that?
Jodie: Yeah, yeah.
Fred: 1830s . . .
Jodie: Itâ€™s really interesting that you used to work in those buildings cos I donâ€™t think weâ€™ve, weâ€™ve had many people that have gave us information about them buildings but . . .
Fred: Yeah, yeah.
Jodie: . . . yeah.
Fred: It was filled with all racks of all the stuff on, the different stuff that I would give out . . .
Fred: . . . oil, for the signals, various oils the signalmen might want to use to oil the levers in the signal box, cloths, and then all, upstairs was all the stationery, that was full of . . . but we filled the skip, with all old stationery when I moved in, the clothing clerk and I, all the stuff he hadnâ€™t given out (Jodie laughs), so, he was very, he was, he wasnâ€™t really, heâ€™d been the car park attendant at Lime Street, this bloke, he put in for this job, but he didnâ€™t have the right attitude, he was, he wouldnâ€™t co-operate with other people whoâ€™d ring him up, he was aggressive, and so I think it was a blessing when he went off sick, actually . . .
Fred: . . . and then they asked me at Lime Street, â€śWill you do it?â€ť, I said, â€śYeah, Iâ€™ll do Edge Hill, yeahâ€ť, I liked it, I loved it very much, I had the key, Iâ€™d open up in the morning about 10 to eight, and still til four, and then lock up . . .
Fred: . . . had me car there, go home, come back next day. (Jodie laughs) It was a Monday to Friday.
Categorised under: The Station & Railway Pioneers