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New book published - 'A Footplateman Remembers'
Sunday 8th May, 2005

New book published - 'A Footplateman Remembers'
Fred Darbyshire with his book "A Footplateman Remembers"


Former railwayman Fred Darbyshire, 77, from Higher Ince has published a book giving an account of life on the L.N.E.R. at Lower Ince. The 145 page book is filled with memories, photos, names of railwaymen (full index of staff at back) and accounts of working on the L.N.E.R.

How did the book get written?

Here is Fred's story.

"I was born 7th of Jan 1928 at No. 4 Granby Street, off Atherton Road, Hindley. I attended Argyle St Infants and Senior Schools & St. Peters Junior School. I started work Jan 1942 at Irlam Steel Works as oil lad in the engine shed keeping 23 small engines supplied with oil and grease etc.

Jan 1944 saw the start of my railway career on the L.N.E.R. at Lower Ince shed, after a brief spell together with 3 more passed cleaners we were transferred to Trafford Park shed, Manchester until the end of the war then back to Lower Ince until the shed closed in 1952.

The next 5 years of my working life was spent at Springs Branch shed, 10 more years working as a machine operator at Turner Bros, Hindley Green during which time I attended Wigan Technical College obtaining a Higher National Certificate in Production Engineering. In Jan 1969 I started my last job at A.S.C.O. (UK) Skelmersdale, first in training then as Production Engineer until I took early retirement after 23 years at age 64 brought about by stress. Some 5 years earlier I suffered a mild heart attack, during my time off work on sick leave I started to record the events of my railway career.

Shortly after retirement I had by-pass surgery. Once I had recovered it was time to get serious with writing about my life working on the railway. I now learn about computers, bought one and got to work with the help of some extraordinary ex-L.N.E.R. workmates and have published my first book.

Wigan, St Helens, Warrington, Salford and Manchester Libraries have all taken copies of the book to allow the local communities to read. The book is a tribute to all my ex-L.N.E.R. mates."

The book costs 12.99 and can be purchased at:

Ian Allen Bookshop, Piccadilly, Manchester.
Smiths Bookshop, Mesnes Street, Wigan.
The Print Workshop, WN7 1YE tel: 01942 709415

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