March 1963

In which I continue my third year at Reading University.  Not much diary as I study hard for the final exams.  I participate in a selection Board and visit Worksop.

Wednesday 27 March

I caught the 14.25 train from Euston to Stafford where I changed for Stoke-on-Trent.  I have a Group Selection Board with Michelin Tyre Co. tomorrow and Friday.  The train was 30 minutes late to Stafford because of electrification work in progress south of that point.  There are twelve of us on this board, we are all staying at Keele University.  We are in huts but these are really good - the rooms are large and very warm.  I spent this evening in the Students' Union Building which has only just been opened.  Saw the TV programme on Dr. Beeching's report on the railways advocating the closure of about one third of the BR stations.

Thursday 28 March

First day of the Michelin Selection Board.  After an introductory talk we were shown around the bicycle tyre production part of the plant.  After dinner in the canteen we were put through a group Discussion and then had to construct a bridge over an imaginary river with the help of some scaffolding.  Had free drinks all evening at the Michelin Sports  Club.

Friday 29 March

Second day of the Michelin Selection Board. After an interview I had to construct a box like structure from wood which slatted together. I failed miserably.  Have also had a ride around the town and took the WEIS IQ test.  Left the factory at 16.20 and arrived at Stoke-on-Trent station at 16.30.  I was eventually to make my way to Worksop. The only way was through Macclesfield, manchester, Woodhead Tunnel and Sheffield, changing trains at Manchester Picadilly and Sheffield Victoria.


1 hour waiting
Manchester Picadilly

36 minutes waiting
Sheffield Victoria

34 mins waiting

The journey was quite interesting.  Stoke-on-Trent was very good for steam although half the passenger trains are multiple unit diesels.  In my rather cold hour's wait I saw a Jubilee, a class 5 4-6-0 (LMS), 2-6-4 tanks, Stanier 2-8-0, LMS 0-6-0 tender, LMS 2-6-0, BR (2-6-0 and 4-6-0).  Unfortunately it was dark when I reached Manchester so I could not observe much.  I did see a rather dirty 25 kv electric loco.  The Manchester to Sheffield trip would have been interesting in the day time.  It was behind an electric locomotive, called, I think, "Pandora".  My first trip in this country behind an electric locomotive.  It seems that the schedule could be cut on this trip, we seemed to coast all the way once through the Woodhead Tunnel except for starting the train away from a station.  The acceleration of these locomotives is very good and also very smooth.  At Sheffield I had plenty of time to observe the station pilot, a very grimy B1 4-6-0.  A new diesel electric
(D 68xx) backed on to some coaching stock.  It succeeded in enveloping its front end in steam (which incidentally showed that the train heating boiler was working correctly) until the train heating pipe was closed (as it should have been).  I arrived at Worksop on time.

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