Firing the Flying Scotsman and Other Great Locomotives: Life on the Footplate in the Last Years of Steam

Firing the Flying Scotsman and Other Great Locomotives: Life on the Footplate in the Last Years of Steam

by Ken Issitt, Chris Bates
     
 

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An ex-railwayman’s recollections of working the footplate on fast express steam trains in the late 1940s and through the ’50s

Fast train fireman Ken Issitt worked on the footplate from the late 1940s to 1960, experiencing firing some of the greatest locomotives from the Flying Scotsman to Coltimore and Blink Bonney. The work was hard and

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Overview

An ex-railwayman’s recollections of working the footplate on fast express steam trains in the late 1940s and through the ’50s

Fast train fireman Ken Issitt worked on the footplate from the late 1940s to 1960, experiencing firing some of the greatest locomotives from the Flying Scotsman to Coltimore and Blink Bonney. The work was hard and conditions were tough but little did he know at the time that he was experiencing the last years of steam. He would never have imagined the romantic associations the period evokes today. Through a number of short accounts the past comes vividly to life, via stories about train crashes, peasoup fogs, and fires going out. From the beginning of a shift, donning overalls and making up a packing, and from shunting in the marshalling yard to flying along with an express train at 80mph. Ken Issitt describes what life on the footplate was like across the last years of steam, his tales beautifully brought to life by Chris Bates’s charming pen and ink drawings as well as photographs.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780752480435
Publisher:
The History Press
Publication date:
07/01/2012
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

Ken Issitt started working for the LNER in 1947 at the age of just 16, employed as an engine cleaner. Twelve years later when he left to work as an engineer he was firing fast trains, including the Flying Scotsman. Now retired, he and his friend (and illustrator) Chris Bates regularly give talks about their experiences on the footplate under the guise of "Chris and Ken the Railwaymen." He has compiled his memories after an invitation from York Railway Museum.

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