TOM SLAVEN PAGE
IF YOU SAW A STEAM
ON THE NORTH WALES COAST MAIN LINE,
BETWEEN LLANDUDNO JUNCTION AND HOLYHEAD,
BETWEEN 1989 AND 1995,
THEN THE CHANCES ARE IT WAS BEING DRIVEN OR FIRED
BY TOM SLAVEN ALONG WITH ONE OR MORE OF
THE OTHER ALLOCATED STEAM DRIVERS........
D.J.EVANS , VIC THOMAS (RHYL)
JOHN CALVERT, N.T.WILLIAMS
OR J.T. ROBERTS (DECEASED)
This page is
Tom Slaven and his colleagues.
is seen here on the footplate
for doing something most enthusiasts
would pay to do.
Tom was born in
Glasgow on October 31st 1937.
He started with
British railways as a cleaner
at Polmadie (66A) Glasgow,
in 1954 until 1956, when he
left to complete his National Service.
transferred to 6G in 1959 as a passed
was the last passed cleaner to be made fireman at 6G 1962/63.
In 1969 he was
transferred to Faversham Kent
the Southern Region where he was made Driver.
He worked there until 1974 when he was transferred to Bridgeton Depot, Glasgow, until closure in 1986.
He was then
transferred back to 6G (which was
until his early retirement, on the 25th March 1995, aged 57.
Tom still has a great affection for 6G and he has been very generous in supplying details and photo's for this page. He is also in the process of compiling a recollection of his days driving the "Manchester Club" train from the Junction to Manchester Victoria. His wife Margaret, has agreed to type the details for him so as soon as it is finished I will publish it on this page.
below shows Tom's
from July 30th 1966
while he was still a fireman at Nine Elms
Most rail enthusiasts fantasize about being a main line steam driver or fireman.
I wonder how many would still dream of this after seeing the above wage slip.
The breakdown of pay is shown below.
The £sd figures are on the left with the decimal conversion on the right.
Expenses £03.13.06 £03.68p
Income Tax £01.01.00 £01.05p
Standard £01.12.02 £01.61p
Graduated Pension £00.07.08 £00.38p
TOTAL NET PAY. (83.75 hours) £29.18.11 £29.95p
This works out at just over 35p per hour.
you still wish you could have
main line steam locomotive driver or fireman ?
I have to admit I do.........
Is it any wonder "Joe public" regards us rail enthusiasts as "odd balls"
But I still tend to believe that "Joe public" are the one's who are missing out.
The thumbnail below shows Tom's LMS Enginemen's Assurance Fund Certificate.
JOBS ON THE MANCHESTER CLUB TRAIN
I was a fireman in
those days; we
used to do the trip three times a week on Mondays Wednesdays and
We would book on for duty at 0400 hrs bring engine off the shed
carriage shed, then bring the stock on to Llandudno Junction station,
Junction at 0500 hrs taking the train into Llandudno there we would
hook off and
run round the train, hook on again put some more coal on the fire then
go up to the signal box and have our breakfast, 0700 hrs we would
return to the
engine and prepare for the trip to Manchester Exchange, which alas is
We would then depart
0740 arrive at Llandudno Junction at 0750, sometimes we would see
of Coronation Street fame, getting on the train here as he lived in
We would arrive in
Exchange at 10.00 am. We would unhook here and then run light engine to
Heath Depot, put the engine on the shed and leave her. We would then
walk up to
the barrack’s and book in there. This
would be roughly around 12.00 midday. We would then have our lunch, a
and then go our own way. Some men would go shopping or walking around
or some would go for a sleep.
At 21.00 (9pm) we
would have our
breakfast. By 22.00 (10.00pm) we
would be getting ready to go to Newton Heath Depot and book on for our
the barracks the Polmadie men (66A) would
These lads would work the 1620 form Glasgow straight through to Manchester Victoria. This Glasgow turn was diagrammed with one of the Britannia Class loco’s, these had no coal pushers on them making it hard work for the poor old fireman. They then returned back to Glasgow from Manchester at around 10.00am the next day.
We would leave the
walk back to Newton Heath Depot, pick up the engine and go light engine
Then at 0130 hrs we would work the “newspaper train” and run non-stop to Chester. We would have our break while they sorted out the newspapers for different areas.
We would then leave Chester around 0400 hrs dropping off papers at the different stations, arriving at Llandudno Junction around 0500 hrs where we would be relieved by another crew of Junction men. We would then walk down to the depot to book off. We would work this turn Mondays,Wednesdays and Fridays only.
Train was always diagrammed the best engine
at the Junction. These included 44740, 45311,
45282 and my favourite engine “Royal Scot” Class 4-6-0 7P 46148
“The Manchester Regiment”.
Those where the days! so sad that they have gone.
Tom is seen here on the right with driver D.J.Evans. at the window.
PHOTO: Norman Kneale.
on the footplate are (L to R)
Vic Thomas (driver)
Nigel Forrest (trainee fireman)
Bill Andrews (traction inspector)
Tom makes his way to the footplate of 6201 "Princess Elizabeth"
Tom Slaven on the footplate of "Lizzie"
Tom filling 44682 up with water at the Junction on March 28th 1967.
Tom is on the footplate at the Junction for the run to Holyhead with the "Ynys Mon Express"
pulled by "Jubilee" Class 45596 "Bahamas".
Coronation Class 46229 "Duchess of Hamilton" at Holyhead, with Tom on the footplate.
Tom shovelling coal on the footplate of "Lizzie"
An unidentified Black Five driven by Tom through the tube tunnel at Conway Castle.
Tom and trainee fireman Nigel Forrest with two
unidentified ladies on the footplate of "Britannia" Class 70000 "Britannia".
This is me on the footplate of Black Five 5025 on a steam special from Perth to Avimore in 1982.
Standing on the platform is Bert Hooker, a retired top link driver whom I had met at Nine Elms. When Nine Elms closed , Bert moved to Slade Green Depot in Kent where he finished his railway career on the electric’s.
in his younger days was a fireman on the inter-regional exchanges.
He was a fireman on the Battle of Britain Class that went to the Scottish region on test runs when the four regions exchanged engines. Bert has written several books on railways but sadly passed away in the late 90's.
Tom gives a young enthusiast the chance to stand in the drivers position.
Tom and D.J.Evans, on the footplate of 5407 at the Junction on August 8th 1989.
Another footplate shot of Tom Slaven.
Tom with 71000 "Duke Of Gloucester" on the "Valley triangle".
As there is no turntable at Holyhead, to enable the engines to be turned for the return journey, engines are unhooked from the train and run around the carriages, reversing light engine, back to Valley where there is a triangle of tracks to enable the driver to maneuver the engine into a position so as she can be turned around and reversed back into Holyhead and hooked on to her train
" boiler first" in the conventional way for the return journey.
Tom in charge of an unidentified "Class 47" at the Junction.
Tom driving 31199 at Valley.