Interview about work as a railwayman in Bletchley during the 1960s.
Bob Merivale talks of attitudes in Bletchley to working on the railway – a job for life, with a good pension. He recalls his medical, starting work as an engine cleaner and describes shift-work and the dangerous working conditions in the engine sheds. But the young cleaners managed to have some fun as well; he recalls several escapades where they played tricks on others, and socialising at Makaris Cafe and the Railway Club. He relates his career moves. Discussing the end of steam, he talks of the advantages of diesel engines for the drivers. However, many younger drivers and second men left the railways at that time, since the jobs of the older drivers were protected: ‘you could see there was no future in it’. In his opinion the engine driver in the days of steam was ‘a proud occupation’. He recalls passing the scene of the Great Train Robbery the following day and the D326 engine of the Mail train was still there: ‘it was alleged to have been the unluckiest diesel at British Rail’.