Driver Jones and 1165

My grandfather, Hugh Edward Jones was a Bushbury driver, born on 30th November, 1870. I understand that he began his working life in the tinsmiths shop at Stafford Road works on the 'Western'. However according to the N.U.R. Journal for 1925, which gives orders of seniority, he was number 502, and started work on the L.N.W.R. on 12th October, 1887.

He was born in Beaumont Street off Lower Stafford Street of a Welsh family, later living in Poplar Terrace in Shaw Road, where my late father was born. Later still they moved to 35 Dunstall Street, where he was reckoned to be the only L.M.S. worker in the street, everyone else being G.W.R.

He would not let my father join the railway, so he went to the E.C.C. as a draughtsman, and one of his tasks on coming home from work was to get a quart of 'mixed' from the 'Locomotive Inn' at the corner of the street ready for grandfather when he got home. Grandfather would come up from the sheds in the cab of a 'light engine', dropping off at Foxes Lane bridge.

About three months before he was due to retire he was knocked down by a motorcycle near the 'Northumberland' public house, and did not go back to the railway again. Upon retiring he received a letter from Lord Stamp, Chairman of the company. He and gran' then took the licence of a pub in Longsight, Manchester, the 'Victoria Inn' on Stockport Road. The pub was about ten minutes walk from Longsight loco sheds and I got to know a lot of drivers from there.

As a child dad would take me on the tram from Denton to Longsight each Sunday, when grandfather would talk to me about his beloved compound No. 1165. One such tale concerned a London train between Wolverhampton and Birmingham, when he was held at a signal during a thunderstorm.

He happened to look back to the train only to find the rear end starting to slide with the embankment towards a marlhole. He promptly pulled the train forward, past the red signal and saved the train and passengers.

Later he was summoned to H.Q. at Derby, where he was congratulated for avoiding a disaster, and reprimanded for going past a danger signal!

Old Hugh passed away in 1950. Not long before he died, Hugh, my dad and I stood on the platform at Longsight, and he asked my dad what was to become of me. I was about twelve by then. My dad said that I was 'railway mad' to which my grandfather replied "Put him to Bushbury". Dad replied "You wouldn't let me go there, and he isn't going either". Needless to say, I didn't.

Regarding his engine, it is well known that the 'Nor' West' men did not take kindly to the new 'Crimson Ramblers', but grandfather loved his engine. No. 1165 was one of a batch of ten built by the Vulcan Foundry in September 1925. The photographs which are shown here appear to have been taken when the loco was first delivered to Bushbury.

Mick Jones

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