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Blackford File

Archive comprises of 11 booklets:

1. Railway Recollections of Ashford

2. Some More Railway Recollections

3. Even More Railway Recollections. A Miscellany (Part 1)

4. Even More Railway Recollections. A Miscellany (Part 2)

5. Yet More Railway Recollections. A Second Miscellany (Part 1)

6. Yet More Railway Recollections. A Second Miscellany (Part 2)

7. Still More Railway Recollections. Ashford Works. The Final Years (Part 1)

8. Still More Railway Recollections. Ashford Works. The Final Years (Part 2)

9. Steam Days Revisited. A Miscellany

10. Steam Days At Wye (1950)

11. The Channel Tunnel Rail Link. Through Ashford

1. Railway Recollections of Ashford

Summary of Content:

  • Wartime
  • 1946 Boat Train & Golden Arrow
  • Freight: Cattle, Coal & Race Day Specials
  • 1947 Works Centenary
  • Hothfield Station & its Wartime Role
  • Ashford West, Daily Shunting
  • Ashford Motive Power Depot
  • Footplate Inspectors
  • Chemical Laboratory (Est 1915)
  • Physical Laboratory (Est 1924)

2. Some More Railway Recollections

Summary of Content:

Part 1 “The Southern Railway Contribution to Engineering Research” By Sam West (Laboratory Manager Ashford 1946-1954)

  • 1920s Research: Physical & Metallurgical Properties of White Metal Alloys
  • Impact Testing & Stress Testing
  • Photoelasticity & Polariscope
  • Celluloid Models & Stress Testing
  • Merchant Navy Class Double Plate Type BFB Wheel Stress Test
  • Metallurgical Services: Ashford, Brighton & Lancing
  • X-Ray & Ultrasound Testing
  • Soil Mechanics & Folkestone Warren Landslips

Part 2 “The Research Department in Action” By J H Blackford

  • Research
  • Metallurgy
  • Materials Inspection
  • Team Profiles
  • Laboratory Plan (1951)

Details of Work Undertaken by the Research Department

  • Earth Pressure Tests (1945)
  • Tail Lamp Failures
  • Parts That Failed In Service
  • Wagon Shunting Trials 1
  • Boiler Corrosion
  • Shunting Tests on Wagon Underframes
  • Dust Clouds (Caused by the Operation of Machine Tools)
  • Wagon Shunting Trials 2

3. Even More Railway Recollections. A Miscellany (Part 1)

Summary of Content: (Pages 25-58 Missing)

  • Section 1 Locomotives Constructed at Ashford, List of Superintendents & CME’s
  • Section 2 Locomotive & Carriage Works Managers (Pages 25 – 31 Missing)
  • Section 3 Newspaper Articles 1846 – 1968 (Pages 32 – 50 Missing)
  • Section 4 My Earliest Recollections Ashford & Dover (Pages 51 – 58 Missing)

4. Even More Railway Recollections. A Miscellany (Part 2)

Summary of Content: (The Focus of This Volume is to Allocate Names to the People Appearing in the Photographs)

  • During The War
  • Special Occasions
  • Workshop Numbers
  • South East Steam Centre
  • Appendices

5. Yet More Recollections. A Second Miscellany (Part 1)

Summary of Content: Photographic Occasions associated with the town’s Railway Past.

The Photographic Inheritance – A Review

  • Photographs from the early years
  • Wainwright Period
  • Ashford Joint Strike Committee of 1919
  • The Maunsell Retirement Collection
  • Second World War in Pictures
  • The 1962 Conversion to a Wagon Works
  • Some Notes on the Ashford Drawing Office from 1895

A Miscellany Through The Years – Principal Items

  • The Past Revealed – Discovery near Crow Bridge Willesborough
  • Engine Invicta
  • Ashford Works at the beginning of the Century (1900)
  • Mechanics Institute
  • Works Orders in the early Maunsell Period
  • An Accounts Department Cricket Match in 1920
  • The Newtown School Football Team 1926-27
  • The Winning Ambulance Brigade Team of 1934

6. Yet More Railway Recollections.  A Second Miscellany (Part 2)

Summary of Content:

  • Dutch Children’s Visit 1946
  • Works Centenary Lunch 1947
  • Real Trouble at Headcorn – Derailment of the Golden Arrow 1951
  • Supervisory Staff Outings 1952-53
  • Main Frame Repairs to N & U Class Locomotives
  • No 737 is Prepared for Preservation
  • The Ashford Signal Boxes
  • Important Dates Relating to Ashford Stations
  • Chargeman’s Prayer
  • Views in and Around the Workshops
  • Afternoon at Starcross Dawlish 1949
  • Index of Persons
  • Index of Places

7. Still More Railway Recollections. Ashford Works The Final Years 1962-84 (Part 1)

Summary of Content:

  • Historical Note
  • Works Managers 1961-81
  • Ashford Works 1962-69
  • The Works Conversion
  • John Stanley’s Records of Works Orders (1)
  • Visit of Miss Rail News (Miss Christine Witherspoon) July 1966
  • Ashford Works 1970-82
  • The Facilities
  • John Stanley’s Records of Works Orders (2)
  • Channel Tunnel Involvement
  • Sir Peter Parker’s Visit
  • Scenes from the Workshops
  • Staff Groups
  • Some of the Products (Wagon Types)

8. Still More Railway Recollections. Ashford Works The Final Years (Part 2)

Summary of Content:

  • Open Days
  • Long Service Awards
  • Epilogue
  • What Might Have Been – Ashford Works, Tunnel Sous la Manche
  • Appendix 1 – General Matters
  • Appendix 2 – Misc. Letters
  • Appendix 3 – Rail Works Closures (Daily Telegraph 20th September 1962)
  • Index of Named Persons

9. Steam Days Revisited

Summary of Content:

  • Wagon Shops in Early BR Days
  • Ashford’s First Railway Station
  • The Kiln
  • The Shed
  • Newtown 1847-1981
  • Invicta Goes Back to Canterbury
  • Hamstreet 1900
  • SECR 32ft Passenger Vans
  • The Tractive Effect of Locomotives
  • Joe Palmer’s Family
  • Stanley Berwick Footplate Inspector
  • The Royal Visit 20th October 1926
  • Engine That Saved a King Renamed
  • Design for Channel Tunnel Car Transporter
  • Preserved Ashford Locos
  • Appendix 1-Casualties WW2 Newtown & Works
  • Appendix 2-Name Index
  • Appendix 3-SECR National Insurance Act 1911
  • Appendix 4- Letter to Transport Minister & Reply

10. Steam Days at Wye Circa 1950

Summary of Content:

  • Derek Cross Photos (Student at Wye College circa 1950)
  • Joe Haynes – Younger Days in Canada

11. The Channel Tunnel Rail Link (Through Ashford)

Summary of Content:

  • Routes Proposed
  • The Aylesford Crossing

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