Those unsung heroes

A redundant Blackpool tram in Havant goods yard between 1964 and 1966.  Picture: Barry Cox Collection

A streetcar named Hayling Billy would have run on saved line

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Why is it that many of the people to be honoured for long service are in the services?

The reason I ask is that John, a friend of mine, recently retired from the railway after 50 years’ service man and boy.

He started as a cleaner on steam locomotives, then progressed to fireman then driver.

At the end of steam on the Southern he drove diesel locos and electric trains.

In all his time he was never late once and did not have a day off sick.

A fantastic record.

At the end of his service he retired and that was it – nothing to show for his 50 years service to the railway industry.

Many people would have received an OBE or some other gong, but at the end of the day he was just a railwayman. I know many others who did the same but without perhaps the same exemplary record of attendance.

Is it not time the government introduced some type of award for people like my pal John and other ordinary working men and women?

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