Next Event >
< Previous Event
Ken Issit and Chris Bates offer an interesting hour for you to enjoy but also to give a unique insight into the life of a footplateman in the later years of steam locomotives. Fascinating talk with some live music from The Longslade Consort.
Remembering the romance of a bygone era, with all the dirt, grime and risks the job entailed!
FAST train fireman Ken Issitt worked on the footplate from the late 1940s to 1960, experiencing firing some of the greatest locomotives from the Flying Scotsman to Coltimore and Blink Bonney. The work was hard and conditions were tough but little did Ken know at the time that he was experiencing the last years of steam; he would never have imagined the romantic associations the period evokes today.
Through a number of short accounts the past comes vividly to life, via short stories about train crashes, pea-soup fogs, and fire going out. From the beginning of a shift, booking on, collecting kit for the engine and donning overalls, and from shunting in the marshalling yard to flying along with an express train at 80mph, Ken Issitt describes what life on the footplate was like across the final years of steam, his tales beautifully brought to life by Chris Batesís charming illustrations.