Saturday, 31 March 2012

The Railway and John Style Reed

Penzance Train Station - Now a different layout.
The Harrow Road Now
My Grandfather, John Style Reed, spent his entire working life with Railway companies of one sort or another.  Starting work in 1925 at the age of 14 for the Great Western Railway he held over the next 36 years working shunting in Penzance, on the dining cars as a kitchen porter and in the later part of his life as a guard.  Unfortunately in his 50s my grandfather had a series of heart attacks that prevented him working again (heart disease is a family curse incidentally!).  Over his working life his job took him all over the UK for a period of time including a London where he lived on the Harrow Road in the 1930's.  During the war he held a reserved occupation and took part in munition train services between the Midlands and London.  I vividly recall the stories of bombing raids on munitions trains, where my grandfather and his colleagues would have to move trains onto smaller lines to avoid their destruction.  I also recall him recounting arriving in Coventry when the bombs were falling like rain around the railway line, extraordinary courage.

For the duration of the war he was situated at Didcot which is now the home of the Great Western Society and the Didcot Railway Centre.
Helston Station the Terminus of Gwinear Road Branch Line.

In the later part of his career he would often work   on the now defunct Gwinear Road to Helston line.

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