I was recently rummaging through some old things. My Grandfather was a fireman (in the steam engine sense) for British Railways in pre-dieselisation days. However, when Dieselisation came along, he took a position as a driver, operating out of the depot at Wrexham.
While rummaging recently, I came across an old book (left) dated 1962. The design is that of Class 55 Deltics, showing its dominance in peoples minds even then. At first, this might be naught more than your standard old book. Inside, to begin with, is a brief history of diesel engines. Seriously, it’s as if people had never considered combustion engines before, and for most railwaymen of the time, they wouldn’t have come into contact with one that often. There are technical readouts of diesel engines and how to perfom simple maintenance and even reparation tasks – A different mindset from today where our health and safety laws prevent a driver messing about with the mechanics. There’s even blueprints of the “Type 4 IC CI”, “Type 4 B-B” and the Class 08. Such a find was interesting, but as I was thumbing through the pages, I came across several old, brown documents. Each was dated 1893 and was handwritten, different from the text I had been reading.
Each one is signed by a Mr “G Grant”, and two seem to regard the Eisteddfod at Llandudno and passenger excursions, and the rest rugby clubs. A single letter is from the superintendent of Carriages and wagons Paddington station, and seems to grant some horse boxes and enclosures for usage. Every letter has been signed by “Mr Edgecombe”, leading me to believe he was filing these documents or was a secretary for G Grant.
I contacted the National Rail museum, but they already have similar correspondence in their archives and are not interested. I will attempt the local history museum and see if they will be interested in taking care of these letters, as I fear their condition will deteriorate if left around here.