Today’s edition of BBC Radio Ulster’s Radio Years with John Bennett looked at the year 1948, and included a short snippet of noted playwright St. John Greer Ervine, who looks back at his birth-place.
In this recording he attacks the Belfast & Co. Down Railway for calling their station “Knock”, instead of “The Knock”, which he describes as being the correct terminology.
The BCDR did not heed his plea, and were not “so shamed” to change the station nameboards as they were rather more concerned about impending nationalisation and the prospect of closure, Knock Station amongst the closures.
You can listen to the Radio Years segment, including a short portion on the nationalisation of the Big Four railways across in Great Britain, here:
What do you do when the trains aren’t running because of the Twelfth holidays? Catch up on all those little jobs needing done!
As well as a skeleton crew shunting the sheds, one such job was painting the telephone box (K6 design for those interested) and the King George VI period post box, which had faded to a sort-of pink colour since they were last painted, probably over ten years ago!
Both had been cleaned down and prepared in advance, and during the weekend repainted in the correct post-office shade. Which, incidentally, was carefully researched as tins of paint purporting to be “post office red”look nothing like it! The correct specification was obtained from Royal Mail and English Heritage (it’s BS381C 538 for anyone interested, though quite hard to get as not many paint shops still mix the old BS381C range).
Thanks to the heat, it was possible to pick out the crown and royal cypher on the post box in gold. While these tended not to be picked out except in historical locations or places of importance, we thought our railway surely fitted into either or both camps! The crowns on the phone box will also be done.
As yet we do not have an interior for the phone box, though we have some parts. We are currently trying to source the remainder to make this particular artefact, once so common on our streets, complete again.
Discussions have also been going out about relocating the post-box to the station platform (a more prominent position) and using this as a donation box. We’re keen to hear your views, so drop us a line via the contacts section.