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Hello Spitfire,
I was a fireman at Lostock Hall and remember Bob Barker very well,he came from Kirby Stephen,I think he finished on ill health on the railway then was an attendant at Leyland baths but died and he was not very old.There were four or five came from Kirby Stephen and all were grand blokes.Richard.
What is the name of your neighbour that was a fireman at Lostock Hall.Richard.
Hello Lynne,
Yes up till the end of steam you started as a cleaner then passed cleaner which meant you could fire an engine but only on local trip or shunt jobs then after so many firing turns you became a fireman.Richard.
Hi Richard Jim Yates
Hello David,sorry for the long delay.I dont remember a Jim Yates but I transfered to Preston in 1963 or 4,he might have started after I left Lostock,if he was 60 last year I was 66 then,regards,Richard.
When my father took up employm,ent at the Springs Branch (Wigan) Shed he started work as a 'Knocker up' lad before becoming a cleaner, the ladder was then passed Fireman, Fireman, Passed driver and then Driver. He retired from the Lostock Hall Shed in the 1950's
Hello Dan,
A bit mixed up there,it's cleaner,passed cleaner which enabled you to go firing on shunt and trip locos only, then after so many firing turns you became a fireman,you then had to be 23 years of age to take the drivers test which was a two day afair,you then became a passed fireman who then progressed to a full driver.They were a funny lot at Springs Branch though and did things different to anybody else Ha! Ha!Richard.
You are right Richard they were a comical lot at Springs Branch which originally was the Wigan shed for the Lancashire-Yorkshire railway. I often had a ride on the footplate at that shed.
There was a loco shed at Wigan Wallgate also,on the Southport line after leaving Wallgate
Have you old BR,L&Y and LMS guys read any of Andrew Martin's books? I've read the Blackpool Flyer and Last Train to Scarborough. I'm waiting for the library to get some more.

Frank Damp (wife Eileen, nee Nixon)
Leyland resident 1941-1965, emigrated to the US in 1968,
retired to Anacortes, Washington State, USA in 1999.

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