Fred Prickett

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Fred Prickett

Post by Bryan Benn on Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:18 pm

Just sent this to the SVS NIne Elms site.


"I've been working through my old steam mileage book, chasing up my many long lost timing logs from steam on the Bournemouth and Salisbury lines in the 1960s.

I was looking at 27th March 1967, and following a lead I found, (online), a log I once timed on the 10.30 ex Waterloo on 27th March 1967. Just a few days before that train was taken over by class 47 diesels for haulage. This version of the log timed by Geoff Bloxam.

It has brought back some lovely memories!

We left Waterloo behind 34040 with Fred Prickett at the controls. No spectacular running but just a decent, everyday philosophy, "I'll run to time even with a few out of course checks" that characterised Fred's superb enginemanship. Until we had to stop at Basingstoke, (inside 56 minutes from Waterloo with a couple of checks on the way), because his fireman had broken his shovel. And he was sent over to Basingstoke shed by Fred to get another one, ( I wonder if he had to sign for it!).

Fred, being Fred and a totally professional engineman, examined the whole loco while his fireman was away, and found he had a hot box on a loco tender axle! So off came 34040, to be replaced, on a fast Bournemouth Express, by Basingstoke's very own BR class 4 75033. A log of the run onto Bournemouth doesn't seem to exist!

But Fred and his fireman got us there. Because I clearly remember Johns Evans, (who was also timing the train), and myself joined Fred for lunch in a local cafe/restaurant at Bournemouth. And Fred insisted on paying for lunch for all three of us: gentleman that he was. And during lunch he gave as both a gentle lecture about those "young upstart drivers in number 3 and number 4 links" who by then were running rather fast on late evening trains between Basingstoke and Woking at the head of trains that included two axle parcel vans: (75 mph limit). I can't find the timing log of our up run from Bournemouth that day yet. But I do know we had a 2 axle parcel van, and I am sure that with a few out of course checks Fred and his fireman kept time without going much above 77 - 78 mph.

R.I P. Fred, and thank you so much for the memory of that day. And for lunch!."

Bryan Benn

Posts : 42
Join date : 2009-05-19

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Re: Fred Prickett

Post by johnc on Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:31 am

One of my memories of Fred dates from 1966. During the summer of that year most of the Sunday trains were worked by diesels. There were just a small number of steam workings, one of which was the 08.50 Bournemouth - Waterloo which NE crews worked from Woking. It was booked to a Black Five (off the previous day's Newcastle - Poole). The engine was leaking steam from a few places that it shouldn't. As I was walking up at Waterloo I stopped to have a word with Fred. His comment was simply "I was taught that all the steam should be contained within the boiler"!

JC

johnc

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Join date : 2009-05-21

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