Buttons Index


(Locomotive headboard dedication)

This fine locomotive headboard is dedicated to all NINE ELMS ENGINEMEN, past and present. The date '1838' marks the humble origins of NINE ELMS depot and '1967', sadly its demise and final closure. The actual building and initial opening of the LONDON & SOUTHAMPTON Railway was in 1838, it was indeed a marvellous achievement of the new industrial age that changed things forever. At the beginning of the service the LONDON & SOUTHAMPTON Railway used the latest developed Bury 2-2-0 locomotives and rolling stock of that time. Subsequently locomotive depots were built at either end of the line in order to operate the first major railway in the South of England. Those early locomotive depots were located at NINE ELMS in London and NORTHAM near Southampton.

Those same locomotives depots also needed manpower, so just who were the very first Enginemen that were employed at that momentous time in history, who lived and worked through those harsh, difficult, but incredible railway times. We have some information of those early days, however we will never ever really know very much of the pioneering crews of those early steam locomotives.

Without doubt we shall not forget them, for they were the 'Forefathers of our Craft'.

Fellow Enginemen, this dedicated locomotive headboard
NINE ELMS ENGINEMEN 1838 - 1967 is indeed a tribute from all of us that remain from the age of steam to all of those that have gone before.


The annual 'Nine Elms Enginemen's Reunion', which started in 1999, that was initiated after the late Bert Hooker's sad funeral, is now a continued successful gathering of many associated loco-men. A calculation of the combined footplate service of those attending this year event at the Bluebell Railway came to a meagre 5,400 years! Below are some photographs of our dedicated 'Nine Elms Enginemen' headboard that we have been proud to place on the smoke-box front of various locomotives in memory of all these men.

35028 at Eastleigh, 8th May 2010.
Photograph © 2010 Geoff Burch

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