From Clerk to Controller

A Life on the Railways 1957–1996

Roderick H Fowkes

Date Published :
November 2016
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
180 color illustrations & 20 black and white illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781473844162
Pages : 248
Dimensions : 9.75 X 6.75 inches
In stock


‘Like so many other boys of my generation, I wanted to be an engine driver; my dreams, however, were dashed in 1956 when I went for a medical at Derby. So much depended upon having perfect eyesight ...’ So wrote the author in his introduction in Last Days of Steam on the LMS & BR, published in 2009. Now featuring all new color photographs, From Clark to Contoller is an account of Roderick H. Fowkes’ service on the railway, from 1966 until his retirement in 1996.

Reflecting on the demise of steam in the 1960s, and revisiting the author’s experiences in Trent in 1957, the compelling story continues with ‘some of the best times of a thirty-nine year career with BR’, including Fowkes’ years working in Control and the fulfilment of his lifetime ambition of moving to the West Country.

Filled with personal and memorable anecdotes, this book continues the extraordinary tale of the thirty-nine year British Railways career of a man deemed unsuitable for the foot plate grade in 1957.

About The Author

Born in 1941 at Breaston, Roderick always wanted to be an engine driver. His dreams were dashed in 1956 when a medical at Derby revealed he had not attained the required colour vision level and was therefore unsuitable for the footplate grade. However, in 1957 he began a thirty-nine year career in trent as a junior porter, and later moved to Trent station as a Telegraph Clerk. After six years, he moved to Leicester and then Nottingham, where he was ‘in Control for five years’. In 1978 Roderick moved to Plymouth as Movements Supervisor at Laira T&RSD, where it proved an interesting final eighteen years in the South West.

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