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From an interview with Rae Drage April 2008. Transcribed by Jacky Lawrence
Doris Walding - Rushden Station

Photograph of working Rushden Railway Station
Rushden Railway Station

I started there and I was helping out. In the first place I was helping making out the delivery notes and then I moved on to helping out with the accounts sheets and also doing the documents that went with the goods that we were sending out to various places.

Listen to Doris talking about her work, as described above

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Different 'cos in those days it was the LMS and all sorts of different railways, the Severn Railway and that, they would be sending them all over to the different places which was very interesting, you know to follow them through. And it was a very, very busy station, it was handling lots of goods. Let me think now, there must have been one, two, three, I think, there was four people in the outer office. That’s where the people that was unloading all the goods used to come in and out for their invoices and notes. And then there was four, no three of us, three girls and the chief clerk Mr. . . what was the chief clerk’s name? Can’t get his name now, there was a chief clerk and then there was a man, one, two, three, three more men in the office. They were the older men that weren’t in the . . .[forces]

What was the chief clerk’s name?  Mr. Perch, he was the chief clerk and then there was, no, I can’t remember their other names. Oh, Mr. Gray, he was in there but I can’t think of the others. One lived at the Hayway I know, but I can’t remember anymore names. Mr. Maloney was the Station Master and . . . um . . . he was jolly, you know quite a nice man, a jolly man, you know. He was very nice, yes and then there was two girl porters across there. They were girl porters and then there was a man, there was also a girl in the office, I forget what her name was and the girl on the ticket counter.

And I know we used to go across there from the goods office to the passenger side to the toilet 'cos we hadn't got one, and then there was the girl in the weighbridge where all the lorries had to be weighed when they went out and when they came back. There was girl in there and they were all a nice bunch of people. You know, we got on well together and we used to, the other girl that I worked with in the office, we used to have it in turns to stay late in the evenings every other week and do what we called shipping. Which was doing the documents for the goods that were being sent out, so we used to do that in a turn. We’d do that from five 'til the goods train went out about eight o’clock, a quarter to eight, so that the documents went with the goods on the train, you see. And that was a very busy station, it really, really, was busy and of course a lot of stuff came into the station. Like in those days the sugar used to come in big sacks and that that used to be delivered to the shops that weighed the sugar up and bagged it, you know that did. Oh, yes sugar, flour; all the stuff that came in in bulk you know.

Coal used to come in, used to go down to the yard, yes that used to come in - the coal and of course a lot of it. I used to come from Wellingborough to there and we used to get off the passenger train that used to go up to Higham then and of course it would stop at Higham. Then, because it was the engine that was used to move the trucks, it moved the wagons with all the goods on, you know that used to stay up at Higham until it was time for the next passenger service which wasn’t until about twelve o’clock. So, they used to move the goods up and down then behind the goods shed, you see, where they all used to come in. So that was good and then, 'cos it used to come back at night, 'cos it was an engine that used to shunt itself up and push itself back. We used to call it the "old pull and push" because it pulled its way up to Rushden and on to Higham and then it pushed it back down to Wellingborough again. So that was it and that was a busy little place, the passenger side, yes it was quite busy; really I enjoyed my time when I was there.

Oh, the Americans, they weren’t so much on the passenger side, they used to have some goods come by rail. And then some of the Americans would come and bring their lorries and pick them up you see. I don’t exactly know, I suppose, I don’t really know what they used to have come by train. I don’t know 'cos I didn’t actually deal with their things, you know. But they used to come and pick things up but I don’t know what they were, I never used to see; I was busy.

So, you know, it was a busy little station and it was quite a happy little place, you know. Everybody and it seemed to me, thought that it was a shame really when it closed, the railway station, but of course everything progressed, so they say don’t they? So, I don’t remember all their names. I know the girl that I worked with was named Jean, there was two Jeans there actually, and Eileen, she came from Wellingborough, she worked there. And the others, I think most of them lived in Rushden but, yes, it’s a shame really. But of course they’ve got this museum now and a lot of the old things are there that they, we used to be using, you know. In fact I think I saw my old typewriter thing in there when I went round it.

Yes, to be honest I don’t I don’t really remember all of the details I just remember that we were busy all the time and we used to have roaring coal fires. I remember that, we always had a nice fire in the office and everywhere, in the waiting room and everywhere there. Yes, you could always be sure of a good fire on a railway station. I was there until 1944, yes, so, I haven’t really got a long history with it but I just remember.

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