Plowright Press - Ordinary Lives - Geoff: 44 years a railwayman

Geoff: 44 years a railwayman

Geoff: 44 years a railwayman

by L Geoffrey Raynor
ISBN 9780951696064
£9.95
208 pp including photos, maps and details from BR Rule Books
Edited by Anne Bott

Starting as a Messenger Boy at Nottingham Victoria Station in 1939, Geoff rose to be Signalman, Controller and Senior Accident Clerk. His railway life is told in the context of the rest of his life, including his wife’s thirty-three year struggle with cancer.

I was pleased to get Geoff: 44 years a railwayman to add to this Series which I hope will grow because the books tell of real lives. My father was a railwayman all his life.

SP, Plymouth

He had much to tell, having seen the changes that affected our railways from 1939 to 1983. He also had personal tributes to pay – to the brother who died a prisoner of the Japanese, and to his beloved wife Janet who died last year after fighting cancer for thirty years.

Nottingham Evening Post

The book presents an accurate and entertaining picture of a life spent working on the national railway network, including interesting tales of life in Doncaster and the surrounding area.

South Yorkshire Times

The text is embellished with footnotes in the form of quotes from the BR Rule Book, illustrating cases in which he was involved.

Railway Magazine

Unusual rail detail including work as an accident clerk. Makes a change from driving engines! Like all books in this series, the personality of the writer comes across because he tells the whole of his life story, not just fragments.

Customer review (Amazon)

Extracts from the Book

When playing with older children, I was knocked down by a lorry returning empty to Nottingham after taking miners to Gedling Colliery. My skull was fractured.

Whilst I was working at Nottingham Victoria Station as Messenger Boy and Train Register Lad, troop trains ran daily, as did Red Cross trains, ammunition trains and later Prisoner of War trains.

When Porter-Signalman at Skegby, I hated moving large bags of sheep’s wool along the platforms and down the stairs into the booking office or a wagon. They were very dirty and greasy and hard to grip.

Each Circuit Controller sat at a desk, his headset attached to a console of 40 or 50 telephone lines, connected to all the area he supervised, signal boxes, stations, yards, level crossing etc.

In the morning, although there might be only five minor incidents in the Log, by 09.00 hours there might be a body found on the line or a derailment blocking the main or subsidiary lines.

In 1987, I became a Lawford Parish Councillor, remaining in office for twelve years.

There are 3,771 burials at Thanbyuzayat Cemetery. I quickly found where my brother was buried, on the back row of BlockB1 – Row 0, 10th grave: the British Legion had supplied the pilgrims with maps.


The Dean of Ely Cathedral, the Very Rev Michael Huggins.
The Dean of Ely Cathedral, the Very Rev Michael Huggins, looks at a copy of Geoff’s book presented to him by the author in 2001. It includes a description of a vision Geoff saw when visiting the Cathedral.
Dear Mr Raynor

You don’t know me but I feel as if I know you. When my son came home in February, he brought a book you had written about your life and trains. It’s a wonderful book... I couldn’t put it down...”

Nancy Goforth (Canada 2005)

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