Loco no 11

Loco no 11

Thursday, 31 May 2012

My grandfather

Why mention my granddad in a blog primarily about the model of a little railway? Well, my granddad drove small locomotives on an industrial railway. And having made you put up with a lot of photos of a plastic lorry, I thought I should treat you to some serious industrial narrow gauge railway.

Those small black and white photos of my grandfather on locos in the old albums I found in his drawers, actually spurred my interest in industrial narrow gauge railways, old lorries, excavators etc. My granddad worked at the small brick works at Orebo near Soroe on the Danish island of Sealand. He worked primarily as a driver of things – lorries, locos and the bucket and chain excavator in the clay pit. In the photo my granddad thrones high on the small 600 mm gauge loco built by the Danish manufacturer J. Willemoes. The photo was made during the German occupation af Denmark 1940-1945 as the loco is fitted with a wood burning gas producing generator. To fit the generator and gas coolers the loco’s rear plate has been removed and the rear puffer plate refitted to the front puffer. The gas generator is a ‘Vulkan’ made in Holbaek some 20 km to the north of Orebo.
Advertisment for 'Vulkan' gas generators, 1941.
My granddad’s rather dressed up appearance is most likely the result of his varied duties at the brick works. Lorry drivers at Orebo were responsible for receiving payment for the brick load and this task seems to have demanded a somewhat more formal dress code. On the day the photo was shot, I imagine my granddad taking the loco and skips for a few trips to the pits before getting into the cab of a Ford-AA lorry or (much to his pleasure) the large Danish built Triangel. Normal working clothes for my granddad when at the brick works premises would have been quite equal to his mates to the right – no vest or cap.

My granddad passed away almost 10 years ago aged 93. He told me a lot of stories from his working life in rural Denmark and I have several modelling projects planned from his stories and old photos. Expect to see more on this blog – if you are patient!

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