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Thursday, 31 October 2013

One Horse Power

This is how wagons were often shunted pre-war
Click to enlarge

This lovely photograph was taken in 1938 at Welwyn North station.   The horse waits patiently and unconcerned by the Cambridge - Kings Cross express as it rushes past.  The full details and a bigger image are at
Note the horse's blinkers, ensuring his eyes were on the road and helping to prevent him being spooked by distractions alongside - like express trains!
The horse is attached to the wagon's coupling hook in this instance but for normal shunting operations it would be attached to a horse hook on the wagon's sole-bar, alongside - as here as recently as 1957
The shunter seems to be leaning on the brake lever - perhaps it was meant to make for a better picture but Dobbin does not look thrilled about it.

We had a re-visit from former wagon builder Albert Wright (94) who had come by train from Doncaster to inspect our now virtually completed wagon.   He approved of what he saw and was kind enough to say that nobody could have done a better job on it.
Albert is getting frail but his mind is agile and his memory for details of railway wagons is amazing.   His kid brother Clifford (83!) propels him around and still has a twinkle in his eye.

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