From Steam to Stone - Volume Two: Onwards into Management
A BR life - Engine Cleaner to Stone Projects Manager
This book completes the story of a career with British Railways from 1951 to 1968. Volume Two covers the period from 1958 to 1968. It opens with the author’s final months working on the East Coast route out of Kings Cross to Newcastle, to give the background behind the entirely unintended decision to exchange the firing shovel for the ball-point pen.
The final decade of main line steam on our nationalised railway system had begun to unfold and with it the increasing rundown of the steam fleet, completed in 1968. Dieselisation introduced fresh challenges to staff of all grades. The fundamental changes created a major upheaval in how the industry was managed and operated. Th early development of the new 25kv ac traction was to introduce even greater changes, commencing in 1960 with the north-east London electrification scheme which modernised the intensive steam suburban services working out of London (Liverpool Street) station.
The decade covered by this volume proved to be one of dramatic re-thinking by British Railways, following the announcement of the 1955 modernisation plan. The author feels extremely fortunate to have been directly involved with the early dieselisation and electrification schemes introduced by the Eastern Region. It was an absorbing and fascinating period. Railway staff had to accept and adapt to totally new working methods. David Butcher experienced at first hand so many of the upheavals that were forced upon railwaymen at the time, and became part of the planning processes that drove it forward, before becoming a manager required to implement the new thinking. David realised he had become a sort of ‘poacher turned gamekeeper’, something that was not deliberately intended, but nevertheless happened.
Promotion to Westbury on the Western Region revealed a less than satisfactory situation had been inherited. It required early action to resolve, to achieve the benefits of effective cost management. Steam age attitudes still prevailed even with full dieselisation almost complete. The subsequent commercial developments arising from this challenge were an unexpected, but welcome situation, but one that eventually became one difficulty too many.
The latter years of David’s British Railways career placed him in a strong position when he joined Foster Yeoman and became responsible for creating the Foster Yeoman rail system, where he developed their railborne stone traffic for the next six years. This, and subsequent developments, are covered in the book’s epilogue.
A5 format softback, 232 pages, 125 illustrations.
Most orders are dispatched within two working days of receipt of cleared payment. If there is going to be a significant delay, we will endeavour to contact you and give you an estimated dispatch time.
Please be aware that advance orders will be sent as soon as the relevant book has been published.
When placing your order, please ensure that you add the correct full shipping address to your order. This includes house number, street name, zip code/post code. If parcels are returned on account of an incorrect shipping address we will contact you to seek the correct address and also ask that you pay a contribution towards posting the parcel to you a second time.
All orders over £20.00 are post free to all UK addresses. For orders of £20 or less, a £1.30 postage fee will be added. These are normally sent via Royal Mail 48 Hour (the business equivalent of 2nd class mail) which is not tracked. If you require tracking for your, tracking options are available for a small fee. If the service that you require is not shown, please get in touch with us and we can quote for your desired service.
Large, bulky or high value orders may be split in to multiple consignments or sent via courier. There is no additional charge for this and you will be advised at the order fulfillment stage if this happens.
Overseas orders are charged based on weight, and postage will be automatically calculated at checkout. For a postage quotation, please add the items you want to your cart and proceed to the checkout. All orders are usually sent via Air Mail - this is not tracked. If you required your order to be tracked or sent by a different service, please contact me, preferably before checkout.
Royal Mail will only accept parcels up to 5kg in weight (2kg for Canada). If you are ordering multiple items that exceed these limits, please contact us first so that we can advise you of the appropriate shipping rate.
Some countries charge import taxes and we suggest that in these cases, you asked for your order to be tracked so the local taxation authorities can trace your parcel.