Owen Fripp interviewed by Colin Divall


Oral history interview with Wilfred Owen Fripp conducted and recorded by Colin Divall on 9 January 2013, at the Priest's House Museum, Wimborne, Dorset, in presence of one of the trustees of the Priest’s House Museum. Duration: 42 minutes. The interview focuses on Owen Fripp’s work experiences on the railways between 1962 and 1968, as well as his railway passenger experiences. Personal background; working on the railways; why joined railways, people OF knew on railways, train spotter, school details, friend Roy Roberts (signal box boy), further train spotting details, details of how got railway job, job start 28th December 1962; [00:05:00] job details; Bournemouth Central based, travel from home to Bournemouth, cleaner until aged 16 years, fireman with Johnny Walker, difficulties recruiting firemen in mid 1960’s; [00:07:30] first trip made on Corfe goods train; Johnny Walker memories, journey details, fireman job easy because of fitness, enjoyable; [00:09:30] wages, cleaner’s pay 84 shillings, 112 shillings when passed as a fireman (aged 16 years); further career details; moved up when vacancies occurred, quick development as people retired; [00:11:00] jobs done as a fireman; Wessex to Weymouth and mail train return, “old” engine drivers work, trains into Wimborne, Waterloo trips, Temple Coombe train; [00:13:50] highlights/lowlights of a trip; Brockenhurst trip with 82000 tank engine, engine replacements, details of working train from West round the Old Road, goods train working out of Poole; [00:16:10] shunting at Wimborne; easy station to work, workers at Wimborne listed; OF’s experience of Wimborne, signalmen at Wimborne, details of shunting movements, Salisbury goods trains workings, Wimborne goods yards workings, lot of goods workings, abattoir details, cattle traffic from Wimborne; [00:23:50] fuel depot at West Moors; loose coupled trains, details of workings, depot had private shunters; [00:25:20] leaving the railway after steam trains ended, last turn was boat train to Waterloo 31st August 1967, left because there was no work, no redundancies, did not mind leaving the railways; [00:27:10] Clinker siding at Wimborne; no memories, memories of clinker at Bournemouth Central good shed; [00:28:00] Winter of 1963 memories; use of fires to stop water freezing in engines, trains ran to time, Wimborne incidents (including derailment); [00:30:40] early morning train to Eastleigh; 5.15 am train, detail of working, popular train, Sunday running, use of Black 5 locomotive; [00:33:40] Beeching Report (March 1963); reaction, petition, no effect, census taking, redundancies, rail removal; [00:36:00] other information; not many women workers, bookstall on station (1950’s), started shift work on 16th birthday, own motorised transport, people worked with in Wimborne, more on Wimborne derailment, Wimborne was “a happy station” [00:42:29] [end of interview]

Oral history recording made by Colin Divall from the Institute of Railway Studies and Transport History (University of York) in partnership with the National Railway Museum. This specific interview was made as part of Platform Memories (Wimborne area) project


Corporate Archive
Object Number:
oral history interview