Railway Voices CD: 19. OUR RAILWAY MEN


Poem: Our Railway Men by W. Cornford, Junior, Perway Department, Goulburn.
NSW Railway and Tramway Review.
Recited by John Dengate

Take from our officials who manage all affairs
Right down to the plate layer
Who spikes the iron chairs
As each and every one are railway servants true
For as the dawn of day breaks forth
They must their duty do.
Take first our sub-inspectors who travel o'er the road
And then the operators
Who must thoroughly learn their code
And now the loco pumper
Who supplies the engine's water
The one who handles samples
For on his cap see Porter
Working on the platform
Are the junior and the pro
And the worthy Station Master
Who them their duties show.

Frank Ninnes and Jimmy Dodds Eveleigh Carriage Works

"There was a bloke here, Wally Knighton, and he loved the races and he used to sit in here and when he was doing in the store, he'd have his radio going. And a bloke had one of them illegal jammers here, and they waited until the horses were comin' round the straight and they turned it on and it went ...whoosh whoosh ... and remember, Mick? He was shaking the radio saying, 'This has never happened before'."
Someone else: "Mr Potts brought that in".
"Ay, yeah, Mr Potts brought that in".
Other bloke: "What about the time with the sausage rolls?"
"Oh, yeah."
"Robin Hood."
"Yeah, yeah, Robin Hood. They had another bloke, a hypnotist here. He could, he was an electrician this bloke years ago, and you'd walk past him and you'd say, 'Hello Mr Brown', and he'd turn and look at you and you couldn't move, you were gone ... you know. And he'd put you in a trance (laughs). And then he'd have to snap his fingers to let you get away. You ask the cat, he'll tell you about Brownie. "But ah there's been some ... over the years there's been some fantastic.."
"What about old Shocks?"
"Oh Shocks, he sat on a battery, over here one time and he got electrified, you know and if he touched everybody'd jump. He was well known in the railway. There's been some....."
"There's old Denny ... Lenny. They put him off at 70 and he said, 'I thought this was a permanent job when I took it on'."
"Oh yeah ......he'd been on here for a hundred years, hadn't he or something. Been on all his life, when they put him off at 70, thought it was permanent."
"But there's been, so many blokes in here, like you just can't imagine ... there's old Macca ..."

Railway Voices a CD of Australian railway workers stories with songs and poems