loco coal

I've been looking at pics of engines for most of the day and been amazed at
the size of the lumps of coal carried in some tenders (GWR). I'd always
believed that they used lumps not to much bigger than the stuff we used to
put on the fire at home, but some of the lumps on the tenders were closer to
"rockery" size. I presume that the fireman had to beak these up whilst the
engine was under way.
Was this usual practice or simply another case of "There's one way and then
there's the Swindon way".
Reply to
Chris Wilson
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"Chris Wilson" wrote
I recall seeing lumps of coal on loco tenders about the size of a large child. These (the lumps of coal, not the kids) were often put in the firebox whole, but coal picks were also often used by loco firemen to break them into smaller pieces.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
...
I'd have thought that that would be quite inefficient, 1 big lump = not very much surface area (for burning) whilst the same lump split up into smaller pieces would give a larger surface area.
What with all the shovelling, getting soaked whilst filling the water tanks and hacking away at a virtual coal seam it's a wonder they could get anyone to do the job.
Reply to
Chris Wilson
If you can, get hold of a copy of Bob Essery's "Firing Days at Saltley". Bob started work as a cleaner and rose through the ranks to a top link fireman. You will be astounded by the trials and tribulations that firemen were expected to undergo on a daily basis. Breaking up behemoth sized chunks of coal wasn't the worst by a long chalk. It's a great read and a bit of an eye opener to a confirmed diesel enthusiast like myself.
Reply to
Tessy
The message from "John Turner" contains these words:
I've read somewhere (O.S.Nock, or perhaps David L.Smith) that a certain signalman asked the driver of a local train to drop some coal off next time he was passing - it gets cold in a signalbox if the stove goes out.
The driver did as requested, except that the next time he was passing was on a non-stopping train. It took both driver and fireman to manhandle the lump of coal off the footplate. What happened to the three blokes isn't recorded, but a new lampman's hut had to be built...
Reply to
David Jackson
That's Bob Essery in "Firing Days at Saltley" - although he was recounting a story so it could have appeared elsewhere too.
Reply to
Tessy
On Saturday, in article snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com "Tessy" wrote:
Isn't that Terry Essery, Bob's brother?
Tim
Reply to
Tim Illingworth
...
Thank you, I've heard it mentioned before I'll keep my eyes open for it.
Reply to
Chris Wilson
I believe so.
Reply to
Tessy
"Tessy" wrote That's Bob Essery in "Firing Days at Saltley" - although he was recounting
Surely that will be Terry his brother not Bob... I work with Terry at the CVR and am sure he wrote it not his brother, but I will stand corrected!
-- Andy Sollis Churnet Valley Model Railway Department (Remove the Standard Tank from E-mail to reply)
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Reply to
Andrew Sollis CVMRD
Andy,
I'd have to double check when I get home, but I'm sure Bob Essery wrote a piece at the back of one of his Midland Loco books about firing a Midland 4F.
Jim.
Reply to
Jim Guthrie
To clarify (from memory!), Bob Essery was a fireman at Saltley in the late 1940s, and certainly fired 4Fs. His recent OPC book about the Ashchurch to Redditch line was inspired by his experiences firing locomotives on this stretch.
His brother Terry became a driver, and has written at least one book, but I've not read it. I believe that articles based on the book have appeared in "Midland Record", which Bob Essery edits.
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Reply to
Nigel White
"Nigel White" wrote To clarify (from memory!), Bob Essery was a fireman at Saltley in the
Nigel, I'm still certain that Terry wrote "Saltley Firing days" as he was signing them on a re-print at Chedd recently (DW can you clarify?). I remember Terry telling me once that he and his brother did a fair bit of the work on cab design with Airfix when they launched the LMS 4F (Now under Hornby)...
I' think I'm on with Terry on Sat on the train, I'll double check with him then.
-- Andy Sollis Churnet Valley Model Railway Department (Remove the Standard Tank from E-mail to reply)
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Reply to
Andrew Sollis CVMRD
Terry Essery certainly did write the "Saltley Firing Days" books -- and excellent reads they are too. They contain some of the funniest stories I have ever read. He certainly knows how to tell a tale or two. Recommended reading.
Ashley.
Reply to
Ashley Sanders
"Ashley Sanders" wrote in Terry Essery certainly did write the "Saltley Firing Days" books
Quite right old sausage (Terry's words not mine!)
Spoke with Tel today, his brother Bob only writes model books/articles and was only ever a fireman for a short time.....Apparently the pair of them were discussing "calling on" signals last Saturday ! -- Andy Sollis Churnet Valley Model Railway Department (Remove the Standard Tank from E-mail to reply)
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Reply to
Andrew Sollis CVMRD

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