Fred Currah talks about his work in the stores at Lime Street and Edge Hill
Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 19th August 2011 by Liam Physick
Fred Currah talks about his work in the stores at Lime Street and at Edge Hill, when the man at the latter station was ill. He retired in 1994 with a frozen shoulder. Fred also talks about how he regretted dieselisation, as he felt lonely as a driver on diesel or electric locomotives, rather than working as part of driver-fireman double act as on steam locomotives
Interviewee: Fred Currah
Interviewee Gender: Male
Fred: They used to have a clothing stores on Platform 1 at Lime Street, it’s now staff place now, for drivers, and in, in between that I used to do other stores duties, I would do here, because the man here was very ill, so I’d come up here and and you’re on your own here, you know . . .
Jodie: Yeah, yeah.
Fred: You had all sorts of things here, you were doing all the signal boxes and stations between here and Garswood, that’s where the Merseyside region ended, Garswood . . .
Jodie: Oh, right.
Fred: . . . it became Greater Manchester then, after that, so, I would send, they’d send me a list, the signal box would send me a list. I would make up the lists every day, of what they needed, things like cleaning cloths, paraffin, oil for the signals, all things like that . . .
Fred: . . . and upstairs was all . . . (clears his throat) all the writing stuff they needed, writing pads, diaries and stuff.
Jodie: So that was over on Platform, the building on Platform 3?
Fred: That was over, that was opposite here, yeah . . .
Fred: . . . so I would do that, and then do all the paperwork, so I’d been doing that for quite some time, when the man was off sick, and then I’d go back down to the stores. The stores at Lime Street was mainly clothing then, issuing drivers, guards and staff with their clothing – uniforms – caps, trousers, and I’d measure the men up, you know, it needs measuring up, and then (clears his throat), in 1993, I was sent to the stores at Kirkdale. Now Kirkdale is the north, the north, the Merseyrail, the northern base, that’s where all the electric units are kept, you know, you’ve heard rail locomotive, units that go round to New Brighton and . . .
Fred: . . . been on those have you? You go from Central to Ormskirk . . .
Jodie: Yeah, yeah . . .
Fred: . . . Central to Southport . . .
Jodie: . . . Merseyrail, yeah, that’s my way.
Fred: . . . Merseyrail, well that, that’s their big depot there, all the units are kept there, and there’s big stores there, but I had to move a lot of heavy parcels that week, and I got a frozen shoulder . . .
Jodie: (sympathetically) Oh.
Fred: . . . so I went off sick, and eventually I decided I didn’t want to come back, really, I retired . . .
Fred: . . . I went to see the railway doctor, and he signed me off. So, I’d done 33 years on the railway, then, service right through.
Jodie: And it all began at Edge Hill?
Fred: It all began at Edge Hill . . .
Fred: . . . locomotive depot, a little picture of it over there (coughs), there was 150 steam engines when I started, so you had drivers and fireman, then you had the people that looked after the steam engines, you had people like boiler makers, fitters, fitters’ mates, you know all that, so, as I say, I did six years on steam, and then steam finished in 68. I was quite depressed when steam finished cos I enjoyed working on steam, every day was a challenge, and you worked together as a team with the driver, you see, two of you were a team, but when that finished, you were more or less driving on me own, then, you know, I was on me own going to Birmingham, London, Leeds, on the inter-cities. I enjoyed that very much, I liked the driving of the, that side. As I say, I did that til 86, and then ill health started to kick in, and . . .
Fred: . . . so I did the stores for about five years, then I retired in 94, with 33 years service. . .
Fred: . . . that was it.
Categorised under: The Station & Railway Pioneers