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Denis Turner - Fireman on 41324

Great website, brings back some very happy memories of my time on the Railway at Weymouth.  The photo of 41324 clambering up into Red Bridge cutting in 1965 brought the memories of that day flooding back.  I was the fireman on that lead engine and my driver was Les Moore.  Photos of me looking much younger are in Brian Jackson's 'Isle of Portland Railways' book, (see attached).  On the rear engine, 41285, was driver Dave Pointer and Fireman Terry Bush with the lovely Fred Hooper as our Guard, (always seemed to be smiling with his hat set rakishly on the back of his head).  You no doubt have seen the attached picture that was also in the Echo back then, (shame they spelt my name wrong with two 'N's').

I think we did three trips from Melcombe Regis to Easton that day and all the trips were fully booked up.

I was born in Rodwell and used to go up to Rodwell Station often as a boy to see the Portland trains come through, (my parents knew the Stationmaster).  I joined the railway in 1960 and so enjoyed the last years of steam and what excellent years they were working with some very fine men many now sadly passed on.  However, I think one of my old mates is still on the rock, Danny Fox so if you are anywhere near The Pulpit Inn, pop in and say hello from 'Den-Den' ....

The pictures of 35018 being restored on Portland brought back more memories of working on this fine engine, especially working the Channel Island boat train up from Weymouth to Southampton.  Pulling twelve coaches and with only one stop at Poole, with the right driver I have been on the footplate touching three figures on more than one occassion on this and it's sister locomotives, superb experience!

It was a criminal act when they shut that superbly lovely piece of railway from Weymouth to Portland, especially the climb up to Easton but at least it is enjoyed by many walkers these days.

I moved to Surrey with the Railways as a Driver in 1969 working in and out of London but eventually left in 1972 as it was not the same job I had joined in 1960.  I then joined the Surrey Constabulary where I spent another happy thirty years mainly working with and training police dogs.

Have a look at my website

I now live in a lovely area of France with my wife where we are now happily retired.  It is much like the Dorset I grew up in, (even have the same Portland curse of 'Wilfies' everywhere!).
Keep up the good work,

Very best regards,

Denis (Turner).


Class '2' 2-6-2 tank No. 41324 heads into Red Bridge cutting. This was one of the last passenger trains to Easton on 27th March 1965.

I am always looking for new material, so if you have any pictures, stories or anything which you would like to pass on to others please contact me.
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