Author Topic: Oh, no it ain't!  (Read 693 times)

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Offline John Candy

Oh, no it ain't!
« on: Dec 19 2018 09:05 »
Strange though it may seem, looking through the latest Newsletter stirred a few memories from the 1950's.
The page covering the Dave Lowe Award (an award sponsored by this forum in memory of "454") I was amused to see the photo of last years winning model described as "District F stock".
It certainly isn't..... F-stock was all-steel and easily distinguishable by the (unusual for Underground stock) oval windows in the carriage ends.

What has this to do with stirring memories?
I once travelled on "F-stock" through the Thames Tunnel (East London Line) as part of what turned out to be an interesting day in more ways than one.

My father was a Customs & Excise officer with his office at the Custom House in Lower Thames Street, City of London, and, very occasionally, he would go to the City on a Saturday or Sunday if a ship required "special clearance" and would take me with him.

In the 1950's (unlike today) there was almost no traffic in the City at weekends...... you could hear the footsteps of a Police Constable several streets away and the tranquility was only broken by the very occasional bus, taxi or "City Corporation" water-cart, spraying the road and gutters with disinfectant.

On one particular occasion, the ship requiring clearance was a collier named "William Cash", owned by Stephenson Clarke & Co., it was discharging coal at a riverside power station near Wapping. The "skipper" (captain) had papers which were "not in order" and we had to go to the ship to sort it out.

My first ever trip in a taxi (at the expense of SC & Co. and not the taxpayer, I hasten to add) was in a pre-war old-fashioned taxi  with a leather hood (I believe my father said it was a "Beardmore")!

Arriving at the wharfside, we "walked the plank" onto the deck (the ship was resting in the mud since tide was out) and I stood staring down into the ship's holds while the cranes on the wharf swung over my head and plunged their grab buckets into the coal....no Health & Safety in "them days", thankfully. We then went down into the captain's cabin and were offered refreshment while the paperwork was sorted out.

Where does the "F stock" come into this? Well, we then went to Wapping Station and I was taken for a trip through the Thames Tunnel.  I remember the platforms were extremely narrow, the station name was on a "diamond" shaped device (green I think), rather than the more familiar LPTB roundel, and the station was very "gloomy" and grubby (in those days steam-hauled goods trains also used the tunnel).

The trains running on the East London Line during that period were District F stock. I seem to remember they were rather noisy (being all steel) and swayed alarmingly. Whether or not they were swaying any more than other Underground stock or whether the fact that there were oval windows in both ends of the carriages made it appear so, I am not sure. Certainly they pitched about more than the smaller 1938 Tube Stock of the Northern Line from Morden, which I was more used to travelling in.

All a very long time ago and an area once smothered in riverside warehouse, exuding exotic smells of spices, has now been sanitised and is home to "yuppie" apartments.

Merry Christmas,
John.

P.S. Out of curiosity, have Googled William Cash (ship) and found it at http://www.tynebuiltships.co.uk/W-Ships/williamcash1929.html  seems it was scrapped in 1958, so my outing must have been before then.
Have also found a photo of the Stepney power station (Limehouse) which is where we were taken
http://lowres-picturecabinet.com.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/29/main/9/322003.jpg
« Last Edit: Dec 19 2018 13:53 by John Candy »
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline Doddy

Re: Oh, no it ain't!
« Reply #1 on: Dec 19 2018 19:23 »
Just so we all know what 'F' stock looks like . . .

"You don't know what you don't know"

Offline MikeWilliams

Re: Oh, yes it is!
« Reply #2 on: Dec 19 2018 21:29 »
Sorry, couldn't resist the heading at this time of the year!

So is it B stock?  I am slightly confused by the different types and their rebuildings.

Mike

Offline John Candy

Re: Oh, no it ain't!
« Reply #3 on: Dec 19 2018 21:48 »
It is Metropolitan stock and not District (see the coat of arms).

If John Branch can tell us, it will save me having to dig out my Underground books to identify the type but it looks like Metropolitan 1905 stock.

I travelled (in the mid 1950's) from Wimbledon to East Putney on a District C stock train  which still had hand-operated doors. It was a blazing hot Summer day and all the doors in the carriage were left wide open!!!!
Those were the days!

John.

My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline Doddy

Re: Oh, no it ain't!
« Reply #4 on: Dec 20 2018 05:31 »
John,Why don't you post a picturer of what you are talking about then?
"You don't know what you don't know"

Offline Doddy

Re: Oh, no it ain't!
« Reply #5 on: Dec 20 2018 05:35 »
Also . . .The F Stock was built in 1920 and 1921 for the District Railway (later the London Underground District line) by the Metropolitan Carriage, Wagon and Finance Co (later Metropolitan Cammell).

They were partly funded by the government as part of an initiative to help British industry recover from World War I. One hundred steel-bodied cars were built: 40 driving motors, 12 control trailers and 48 trailers with the first train entering service on 23 December 1920.[1] The cars were built with manually-operated sliding doors.
They had non-standard equipment that precluded multiple-unit operation with any other type of train, and had significantly more powerful motors which resulted in acceleration of 1.5 miles per hour per second (2.4 km/(h?s)) (which was considerably better than existing District Railway rolling stock). This led to some initial operating difficulties as the benefits of the new trains were not properly realised. The front ends of driving cabs had two distinctive oval windows separated by the centre door.[1] This was a less-than-ideal design, because it limited the driver's forward view in what is now considered a cramped, ergonomically unfriendly cab.[2]
As built, the initial design of the stock was unwelcoming with a cold steel appearance, seats covered in a Rexine-type material and roof-to-floor grab-poles for standing commuters. Frank Pick, the innovator of so much change on the Underground system, commissioned a well-known artist who improved the appearance of the upholstery, supplied armrests between individual seats, and replaced the grab-poles with hanging straps.[2] The stock had both first- and third-class accommodation at this time.
Between 1938 and 1940 the control trailers were all rebuilt into driving motor cars, and the doors converted to air-operation with passenger push-button control.[3]
In 1950 and 1951, after a final rehabilitation programme (which included the provision of door-locking), the F Stock was transferred to the Metropolitan line where it operated services between Uxbridge and London, even working the occasional service to Amersham and Watford.

The first rehabilitated train ran on 27 February 1951. Because of their powerful motors the F Stock was often used for semi-fast services in the morning peak (calling at all stations from Uxbridge to Rayners Lane, then stopping only at Harrow on the Hill before Finchley Road), with return services in the evening rush hour. When running fast, trains notably tended to roll and lurch along the track. Some four-car sets also worked the East London Line during the 1950s with maintenance being undertaken at Neasden depot.
The F Stock was replaced by A60 and A62 Stock in the early 1960s. A few units continued on the East London Line with the last set operating on 7 September 1963 (the last Uxbridge service had operated on 15 March 1963).[4]
The F stock were initially nicknamed "Dreadnoughts" but they quickly became known as "Tanks", possibly because of their all-steel construction or because they had been built in workshops that had previously produced tanks during the war.[1]
None survived into preservation.
"You don't know what you don't know"

Offline John Candy

Re: Oh, no it ain't!
« Reply #6 on: Dec 20 2018 10:59 »
Quote
John,Why don't you post a picturer of what you are talking about then?


Metropolitan train of 1905 stock ....

http://www.transportarchive.org.uk/aimages/L2560.jpg

John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.