Don't pull too hard!

Recollections of Gilroy Kerr

Transcribed from a recorded interview made by Allan Guy (2001)

[AG] "Later, Gilroy Kerr also worked in the signalbox, a job which wasn't without its hazards and amusing moments."

[AG] "There were hazards to pulling these levers in the box I gather?"

[GK] "Well indeed, I mean you had distant signals, which were over a mile away, but we had one particular signal, which we called an advanced starter, which was just past the Coaley road bridge in the Gloucester direction. So, one day I was pulling... 'cos you pulled levers with a duster... release it and pull it with a duster so as the sweat on your hands didn't rust the levers... the tops of the levers. Well, of course I was pulling this... and half a mile away you've got to give it a fairly hefty yank. Course I did this and the wire broke on the signal. Unfortunately it then deposited me in the coal bucket alongside the rather warm stove, at the time. Course, unfortunately I sat there laughing, 'cos it didn't actually hurt me, it was a surprise more than anything, but I had to get up... stop laughing and get up and put the two signals I'd already pulled off for this train, back to danger. We had to stop him and tell him to pass that signal with the broken wire at danger... why the driver had to do it."