RH005 - Click for full Description
RH5 Engine 4593 of Bradford had been most of its life in the West Riding and was a good engine. It was one of the hottest days that I can remember, in summer 1944, and Ted Hailstone and I had worked a London express from Wakefield to Exchange. We had been commandeered at short notice and started with a barely burned through fire of dust, rather than coal, after I had cleaned it. Ted handled 4593 so delicately that I was able to maintain steam and water while gradually improving the state of the fire to a blinding whiteness after which Ted opened out still further and we had all the steam we needed throughout. He used to say that was my best exhibition of firing against all the odds. The journey was only 18 miles but, at the end, with the strain and concentration, I had to sit on a station barrow to cool off and come to my senses. If you could fire a Bradford express against the odds and maintain steam unwaveringly, you might be considered to be a fireman. One slight mistake with the shovel and you were finished. Ted Hailstone is in the cab and, dressed for a hot day, Fireman Harry Cram and Driver John Verr of Bradford.