Gordon Reed

A boiler engineer and welder who saw nationalisation, the end of steam and privatisation.


Railway voices at the NRM

Gordon Reed commuted to school by rail and had an uncle who was a stationmaster, so he was keen to join the railways. As a boiler engineer and welder from 1948 to 1994, he saw the effects of 1948's nationalisation of the railways, the closures of the 1960s, the end of steam and the start of privatisation. Gordon retains his passion: he's a volunteer here at the museum.

Excerpt 1: Gordon recalls working on boilers in Darlington. 4.18

Left front three quarter view of British Rail locomotive, Darlington-built.

Excerpt 2: Gordon describes his work after moving to Bishop Auckland. 2.19

Derailed train on the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway. The locomotive has come off the track and fallen under a bridge.

Excerpt 3: As well as overhauling locos, fitters often attended to derailments and other incidents. 1.40

Railway workers lower the boiler into the frame of the first London, Midland & Scottish Railway 4-6-2 steam locomotive no 6200.

Excerpt 4: Local lines worked steam locomotives hard, which meant frequent repairs were needed. 3.28

Boilermakers at Horwich Works, around 1905. Fireboxes for Class 1093 and Class 11 locomotives were asembled at the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway's Horwich Works.

Excerpt 5: The 1960s brought major changes: Gordon describes his latter days at Auckland. 3.23

Seahorse heads for Standedge Tunnel with a Hull to Liverpool express train. Photograph by Bishop Eric Treacy.

Excerpt 6: Gordon’s career continued on permanent way maintenance, taking him further afield and onto new experiences. 3.38

Background: Class 87