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BRITISH RAILWAY IN THE 1950’s & 1960’s

After World War II my father went to work for British Railway as a lorry driver.  The lorry he drove was the same model as  shown here.
I have been informed it’s an Austin 6/8 Articulated lorry 7 ton tractor unit. Generally his work was moving containers (like the one in the picture) off from the wagons at the goods depot and transporting to locally.  In particular I recall regular deliveries  to and from the Whiteways factory at Whimple, Devon.

Do you remember seeing these lorry’s?


I do not recall exactly when (can anyone help here?) the by-pass bridge was constructed at Clyst St. Mary near Exeter, Devon.  Locals (of a certain age) will recall the narrow stone bridge with various pull-in places which made for difficult travelling when a large vehicle was coming the other way!  The railway cab was hitched to a 100 foot trailer and used for transporting extra long girders for the Clyst St. Mary by-pass construction.  Probably around 1960.


The other ‘special’ delivery I remember, was for the construction of the East Devon television transmitter at Stockland Hill. Again the extra long trailer was used for the long length structure during 1961.

We had no car at the time and travelled everywhere by train.  The Southern Region has a special place in my heart, and recall as a young lad waiting at the local stations (Exeter Central or St. David’s) with the steam train thundering along on the rails.  Three varieties of train designed by Oliver Bulleid - The Merchant Navy Class, The Westcountry Class and The Battle of Britain Class.  These three versions look very similar but the name and number range will  differentiate them.  Merchant Navy use 35001 - 35030, Westcountry and Battle of Britain series cover the numbers 34001 - 34110. For the latter the name will distinguish them - either a town in the Westcountry, or a connection to the Royal Air Force.

I would like to gather some more ‘railway’ photos of Exeter and Exmouth in this era. Any offers?


The group photo (above) is of the British Rail staff at Exeter St. David’s in 1947. I am trying to compile a list of all the men present. Can anyone help me here?

A picture of a Merchant Navy class engine
35024 East Asiatic Company.

© Graham Strong 2015

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