The death of Geoff Bird, York shedmaster between 1965 and 1980, was announced just before Christmas. Phil Marsh was fortunate enough to meet Geoff several times to record a fascinating railway career that spanned five decades.
REMEMBERING GEOFF BIRD: AN LNER PREMIUM APPRENTICE
Geoff Bird in wistful mood in the cab of LNER V2 2-6-2 No. 4771 Green Arrow at Scarborough on July 28, 2006. PHIL MARSH
Geoff was born in Essex but his family were evacuated to Harrogate in 1939.
He recalled the Tilbury tanks running on the London, Tilbury and Southend line at Upminster on their runs between Fenchurch Street and Shoeburyness.
When Geoff left Ripon Grammar School in July 1944, he looked for a job in a locomotive works and accepted the first job offer made in April 1945.
In the intervening period, he worked as a metal flame cutter and learnt welding constructing Bailey bridges, saying that this stood him in good stead for his work on breakdown trains when the boilersmith was not on board.
Read more in issue 214 of HR