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Ken Harrison


Ken Harrison was born in October 1933 and, apart from National Service, he worked most of his life on the Settle Carlisle Railway.


Part A:  Started work on the Railways as a Junior Porter at age 15 at Horton Station. Then progressed to being a Grade 2 Porter at Settle. He relates his duties and describes a typical working day.  


Part B:  Called up for National Service in 1952 -  her joined the Royal Engineers and worked on the military railways in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stranraer.
After the Army went to work in the Docks at Belfast. Then came back to Settle Station for a couple of years, also worked as Relief Porter at Long Preston, and Dent. Describes the handling of various types of rail traffic. He then got a signalling job at Helwith Bridge.


Part C: After working at Helwith Bridge he started as Relief Signalman at Horton and at many other boxes on the Settle Carlisle line, travelling to remote boxes with a motorised cycle then got a motorbike. Relates some accidents that he experienced.


Part D: Flexible working.with extra pay and responsibilities as a Pilotman. Tales of the busy working day at Long Preston Box and of the single line working at Ribblehead. The line was blocked by snow in hard winters. Party-line phone chats and jokes with other signalmen.


Part E: How Ken got water installed at Blea Moor Signal Box. A hard life for the railway men and their wives living at Blea Moor with no running water for the cottages and a sad tale of a suicide there.


Part F: More tales of incidents, including a crash at Watershed Mill, frozen roads and the burning of Dent Signal Box. Relates how the work had to carry on at Dent Head box when a signalman died on duty.


Part G: About signalling bell codes, cattle truck at Selside and the Hoffman Kiln.


Part H: Final Footnote about his last week and being a NUR delegate - and the "Wrong Snow".


Recorded:  August 2009