| It Has Been A Rough Year |
I am adding this additional chapter to my introduction, because after I initially wrote the introduction, it was very difficult to come back to it and try to make sense of all that I have experienced through the various stages of my life and the trials that I have endured or overcome. I wish ...
| The Birth of Charles Leonard Wiggins |
The story has already been written for awhile on my blog "From the heart of Praise, Prayer and Perseverance. 0; Here is a link to that posting, Below are the pictures of the blessed event.
http://fromthehea rt-dotwigg.blogsp ot.com/2008/03/an other-2-prayer-re quest-answered.ht ml
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Alan's Story > Chapters > 17. Alan's War. 17.
| Date Range: 01/01/1940 To 05/08/1945 ||
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|| Views: 4,381 |
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On the Friday at the end of that week, auntie told us that we would have to go into work with uncle the next day, as she and mum had to got to Chelmsford for something. Uncle didn't seem to be at all happy about that so auntie had to explain that she had to go and see a doctor and that mum was going along. Uncle did not ask for any further explanation at that time.
We sat on chairs in uncle's office watching him and his secretary, Mrs Spencer, work. The phone never seemed to stop ringing, and when it wasn't a train driver or warehouseman was in and out the office to get papers signed or directions of where to move trains in the goods yard. It seemed quite interesting, but not from where we were, on chairs in an office. We tried to look out of the windows and see what was going on but all we could see was buildings.
Goreham Junction was just that; all lines and warehouses. Goods from all over the country were moved to it and from it to wherever they were needed. Everything was now connected with the war and the sheds were filling up with nuts and bolts and truck parts, tank turrets, jerricans and uniforms, concentrated foods and barbed wire. Some of the warehouses were 'out of bounds' to the civilians because the army ran them, and what went on in some of them was nobody's business but the army's They even had their own drivers.
A driver came into the office to get papers signed. He was stocky with white hair showing around the edges of his cap and to the ends of his bushy moustache but he had a friendly face and winked at us.
"What's this John. Caught a couple of spies?"
He winked at Mrs Spencer, who was a little women who also had white hair and lived on the end of our row of houses.
"Yep." Uncle smiled. "Can't fool you can we Reg." He shuffled the papers and then signed them and passed them to Reg, who shuffled around like he didn't want to go back out.
"Reg. Er-do you think you could put up with these two spies for couple of hours?" He watched our faces. Christophers mouth had dropped open. I closed mine just in case it was.
"Just show them around the depot and keep them out of trouble. They're dying of boredom in here." He glanced at Mrs Spencer who had stopped typing, the sound of silence echoing around the office.
"You got kids of your own, so you know what it's about in here ?" The man looked at us and then nodded and smiled again.
"Cause I can, John. They can come in my cab with me while I do some cleaning. I got the wood panels across so they won't fall out."
"Thanks Reg. Boys, this is Mr Moore and he is going to take you on his engine with him. You do whatever he tells you. Whatever he tells you." He put out his hand and they touched each other. "Thanks Reg."
We followed him out to the platforms.
"Come on boys. You can call me Reg. What's your name?"
"I'm Chris, Sir."
"Reg." He nodded at me.
We followed him along the side of a long building and down from the platform and across the lines to an engine standing chuffing quietly outside the entrance to an engine shed. The tender was full to the top with coal and on the side was L.N.E.R in gold letters. It was huge.
"Put your foot on the step and hold the handle and climb up into the cab." Reg held Christopher as he climbed up. He stood looking around a bit scared.
I also needed help because it was a long way up and the steps were far apart but he helped me as well and I stood next to Chris in the warmth of the cab staring at the shining brass piping, glass gauges and wheels and levers that made up the inside of the cab. Mr Moore climbed up beside us and with his foot kicked open a door down on the floor and there was fire and lots of heat. He took some coal from the tender and dropped it on the floor in front of the fire open fire box. He picked a small ash shovel and handed it to Christopher.
"Alright fireman. Want to shovel some coal on the fire and we will get under way."
Chris and I took turns shoveling coal into the roaring fire, but we had to stop because it got too hot and the shovel was getting heavy. He pointed to a seat by the door.
"Perch up there safe and we get going."
He took a large piece of board and placed it across the opening on our side. We could just see over the top. He turned a wheel, pulled down a lever and then slowly pulling down on another lever made the train move forward. I held my breath until my eyes watered, but the train was moving. We could not see out of the small window that looked forward except by standing up and Mr Moore would not let us do that, but from the seat we could see everything going past on the other side.
We stayed with Mr Moore all morning as he moved arounde the warehouses, pushing trucks here, pushing trucks there; taking full trucks into the sheds to be unloaded and moving empty trucks to the other side of the junction ready to be taken away. We kept going on a big turntable that turned the train in lots of directions and that was really exciting because Mr Moore had to get out and move us round. We kept shoveling coal as the fire seemed to need a lot. When we stopped sometimes waiting for signals to change the wind would blow the smoke from the chimney back into the cab so that we could not see and that was exciting. The engine was very noisy at times and Mr Moore said that it was old. When it was moving the noise flowed past but it was bad in the sheds.
We stayed with Mr Moore for all of the morning until he went for his lunch, but took us back to uncle as he didn't have enough sandwiches for all of us, he said. We stayed in uncle's office for a while longer drawing over Mrs Spencer's typing paper and using her typewriter until uncle said that it enough for the day and if he didn't take us home for food, we would start gnawing the woodwork. We were starved.
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