Starting as a Messenger Boy at Nottingham Victoria
Station in 1939, Geoff rose to be Signalman, Controller and Senior
Accident Clerk. His railway life is told in the context of the rest of
his life, including his wife’s thirty-three year struggle with cancer.
“He had much to tell, having
seen the changes that affected our railways from 1939 to 1983. He also
had personal tributes to pay – to the brother who died a prisoner of the
Japanese, and to his beloved wife Janet who died last year after
fighting cancer for thirty years.”
Nottingham Evening Post
“The book presents an accurate
and entertaining picture of a life spent working on the national railway
network, including interesting tales of life in Doncaster and the
surrounding area.” South Yorkshire Times
“The text is embellished with
footnotes in the form of quotes from the BR Rule Book, illustrating
cases in which he was involved.” Railway Magazine
“Unusual rail detail including work as an accident clerk. Makes a change from driving engines! Like all books in this series, the personality of the writer comes across because he tells the whole of his life story, not just fragments.” Customer review (Amazon)
When playing with older children, I was
knocked down by a lorry returning empty to Nottingham after taking
miners to Gedling Colliery. My skull was fractured.
Whilst I was working at Nottingham
Victoria Station as Messenger Boy and Train Register Lad, troop trains
ran daily, as did Red Cross trains, ammunition trains and later Prisoner
of War trains.
When Porter-Signalman at Skegby, I
hated moving large bags of sheep’s wool along the platforms and down the
stairs into the booking office or a wagon. They were very dirty and
greasy and hard to grip.
Each Circuit Controller sat at a desk,
his headset attached to a console of 40 or 50 telephone lines, connected
to all the area he supervised, signal boxes, stations, yards, level
In the morning, although there might be
only five minor incidents in the Log, by 09.00 hours there might be a
body found on the line or a derailment blocking the main or subsidiary
In 1987, I became a Lawford Parish
Councillor, remaining in office for twelve years.
There are 3,771 burials at Thanbyuzayat
Cemetery. I quickly found where my brother was buried, on the back row
of BlockB1 – Row 0, 10th grave: the British Legion had
supplied the pilgrims with maps.
The Dean of Ely Cathedral, the
Very Rev Michael Huggins, looks at a copy of Geoff’s book presented to
him by the author in 2001. It includes a description of a vision Geoff
saw when visiting the Cathedral.
Dear Mr Raynor
You don’t know me but I feel
as if I know you. When my son came home in February, he brought a book
you had written about your life and trains. It’s a wonderful book . . .
I couldn’t put it down . . . ”
Nancy Goforth (Canada 2005)