Discussion in 'Heritage Railway' started by Rileys Ghost, Nov 30, 2009.
"End of an Era as Last Steam Driver Retires" ???
A very interesting read if I may say so 23E.
The Mike Taylor you mention, is it the Mike Taylor of travel agents fame?
This new software posts my reply in the wrong thread tried it twice now - one for Admin
Perhaps I could add that John "Fingers" Fletcher passed as an NYMR driver on Network Rail (if I recall correctly) at the end of 2008 and hence completed the progression he started in 1968! He has told me he was senior fireman at Lostock Hall at the end of steam ("mind you, there were only 4 of us left at the time") and was about a week away from "Passed Fireman" training!
Anyone who has ever met John will know he is one of life's greatest characters and if an individual could ever be listed (like a building!), John is a prime and very deserving candidate! He is currently recovering from a minor operation and I am sure anyone with an interest in steam will wish him well.
As far as ex-BR men still driving on the Network goes, obviously West Coast have the likes of the great Bill Andrews but on the NYMR we have Gerry Skelton (who fired on the Malton to Whitby line before closure by BR and puts many a younger man to shame even these days - I've seen him jump down to unhook a loco to save a younger man the trouble!) and Chris Cubitt, who is also a West Coast driber and has been at the regulator of 60007 on its recent ECML adventures.
John Fletcher is one of a number of men who didn't manage to make driver before BR steam finished who have already or are currently progressing to "network driver" on the Esk Valley line as well as a number who have never been in the BR steam link but have sufficient years on the NYMR (and other lines) to go for Esk Valley driver. The Battersby services last year and Santas just ended relied on a small number of such people and the winter NYMR services to Grosmont or Battersby are being largely run to enable us to increase the number of such drivers (and guards)
Last BR steam drivers still at work
Separate names with a comma.