Letters - April 29, 2020

See letter from George LloydSee letter from George Lloyd
See letter from George Lloyd
Lockdown is best way to save lives

I do wish that when people write into the letters page that they would do some research first and get the facts right. Edward Johnson states that, with two world scientists in their midst, Sweden has managed to keep their death rate well down by not going down the lockdown route (Your Say, April 24).Had he done some research, he would have come up with the following observations.All these countries followed the lockdown route and the results were as follows as on April 17:. Denmark: 58 deaths per million.. Norway: 30 deaths per million.. Finland: 15 deaths per million.. Germany: 49 deaths per million.. Sweden, which didn’t follow this route, was 136 deaths per million.I would suggest that the lockdown route is the one to follow to keep the numbers down as far as possible. Q.E.D.George Lloydvia email

NostalgiaMemories of the bygone railwaysFor a fireman, life on the railways could be hard or easy depending on your driver, engine or both. One driver who I worked with stated he could not care less about the fireman and the engine didn’t belong to him and so, if you were rostered to work with him, you knew you were going to sweat. One such memorable trip I had with him was working a passenger train out of Blackpool North to Crewe. We left Fleetwood Shed. Our guard came up to give us our train information and informed us we had Harold Wilson and the rest of his party going back to London after their conference. I opened the front damper to liven up my fire but the steam gauge seemed reluctant to move anywhere near the operating pressure of 250lbs, in fact it was nearer 180lbs which seemed strange. By this time I was getting the evil eye from my driver as he kept clocking the steam pressure (or lack of it). With a blow of the guard’s whistle, we were away or so I thought. As engine no 70026 burst into life, my intrepid driver got a little too ambitious with the regulator (throttle) and the wheel slip that entailed had us still stationary but our driving wheels must have been spinning at 50mph, forcing a large amount of my lovingly constructed fire out of the chimney and into orbit somewhere over Blackpool Tower. My driver managed to get a grip of himself but by the time we were passing Nuclear Fuels at Salwick, I knew we were in trouble with steam pressure dropping and half the North West railway backing up behind us. We requested a fresh engine at Preston but told to carry on to Wigan where another engine would hook on to our front and “doublehead” us to Crewe. There was a steward’s enquiry a couple of days later and it ensued that the tubes were blocked and no further action was taken. This was not a unique experience and many a trip turned into an epic due to lack of maintenance in the departing engines and the rush to diesels. A driver I enjoyed working with was an Irishman who was always pulling practical jokes on his fireman.One time we were working a passenger train out of Manchester Central to Blackpool North. We only had six coaches on and had our best engine, no 45200, to get us there. Things didn’t go to plan. It was winter and we were steam heating the carriages. As I was busy talking, I never paid any attention to my steam heating gauge and put too much pressure through the flexible pipe and consequently blew it apart. A fitter eventually repaired it but we were now running late. Our guard gave us right of way and we sped off into the night only to go a short distance when we were confronted with a stop signal. I climbed down and rang the ‘Bobby’ (signalman). He said, “Where’s your guard?” I replied, “In the train.” “Wrong”, came the reply. “You set off so fast that, even by running, your guard never made it onto the train. He is walking back down the line towards you”.So a very forlorn driver never made it to the station buffet for his nightcap.

Malcolm Tippervia emailUSA


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Donald Trump gives his layman medical/scientific opinion that disinfectant injections could be used in the treatment of Covid-19. Could this be based on his obvious chemical application of ‘Ron-Seal’ on a regular basis? I wonder if he would be happy to submit himself to an injection of a truth serum, to establish if he really believes in the regular nonsense he espouses?Denis LeeAshton