Distances

Today I am looking at another large and rather dusty tome. Here it is.

image002This book is a table of distances.

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The book is a 1924 edition and shows the distance from every station on the Southern Railway to every place where the Southern butted up to a different company. We can see it was a Railway Clearing House publication. The Railway Clearing House had the job of allocating the amount of cash to be paid to different companies for journeys involving more than one company.

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I have picked on the station called Ash to be an example and even then have shown just one of the four pages needed to deal with Ash and other stations near it in the alphabet. I have chosen Ash for two reasons. Reason one is that it happens to be at the top of a page so you can see the names of junctions and how far they were from Ash.

 

The second reason is a bit of family history. My Great Great Uncle, George Ware became an engine driver based at Ash. He followed in the footsteps of his father, killed whilst driving a goods train at Sevenoaks. I never knew George but my grandfather recalled going to Guildford once and there was a man with such a family resemblance that he knew it had to be George, who he had never actually met. And it was.

Anyway we can see, for example, that Ash Station was 31 and a bit miles from Reading – junction with the Great Western Railway and a bit over 84 miles to Templecombe for the junction with the Somerset and Dorset Railway.

Now I have to confess I had forgotten where this book came from but it has an inscription in it.

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I’m Roger. Robin was my brother, Ann his wife and Cameron their son. Seeing the inscription brought it back.

My brother worked in the building trade and was involved in a project somewhere near the Elephant and Castle in South London. This book was in a building scheduled for demolition and brother Robin rescued it and gave it to me.

So this book is more than just a nerdy tome, it has real family connections. My brother died in 1980 and it was lovely, when I found it, to see this little bit of his handwriting.

 

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