Great Western Coffee Shop

All across the Great Western territory => The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom => Topic started by: Gordon the Blue Engine on December 07, 2019, 12:37:17 pm



Title: The Grove, Watford
Post by: Gordon the Blue Engine on December 07, 2019, 12:37:17 pm
The NATO summit last week was held at The Grove, Watford, which used to be a British Railways Training Centre.  Very nice it was too, with extensive grounds, nice food etc.  I did several courses there including the Quality 500 course in the 1980’s which was part of the major Quality Through People initiative which, I think, was very successful despite initial scepticism from some.

Happy memories!


Title: Re: The Grove, Watford
Post by: SandTEngineer on December 07, 2019, 01:21:25 pm
I once used to look after the road traffic lights in the grounds there, and quite often got a free lunch......


Title: Re: The Grove, Watford
Post by: Gordon the Blue Engine on December 07, 2019, 01:42:01 pm
Yes, I remember them - they were either side of the single track hump back bridge on the (very long) drive.  We weren't allowed taxis in the early days so it was the bus from Watford Junction and then a long walk up that drive.


Title: Re: The Grove, Watford
Post by: RichardB on December 07, 2019, 01:51:00 pm
I just went there the once - a Public Affairs course in 91 or so.  Pleased I did.


Title: Re: The Grove, Watford
Post by: Gordon the Blue Engine on December 07, 2019, 05:06:06 pm
Thinking of The Grove reminds me of, one evening after dinner, someone making a pass at one of the waitresses young enough to be his daughter. She smiled and walked away.

The next evening she was serving him and dropped an apple crumble and custard on his lap.  “Oh sorry” she said , smiled and walked away.

That’s how girls looked after themselves before the snowflake generation.


Title: Re: The Grove, Watford
Post by: Richard Fairhurst on December 07, 2019, 05:07:57 pm
I used to work for British Waterways at their Willow Grange, Watford head office. It always rankled that BW got the premises next to the West Coast Main Line, while BR got the (much nicer) premises next to the Grand Union Canal...


Title: Re: The Grove, Watford
Post by: Witham Bobby on December 07, 2019, 07:27:33 pm
I hope I can say this without getting a visit from the boys and girls of Special Branch - "GROVE" and "DEEPDENE" were telegraphic code abbreviations in use on the railways  of yore.  These codes referred to the operation of the Royal Train.  I guess no more strange than having codes for wagons such as "BLOATER" or "ELEPHANT" meaning "Can you trace receipt of ..."

I think that both The Grove and Deepdene were both properties used by the railway at some time


Title: Re: The Grove, Watford
Post by: CyclingSid on December 08, 2019, 08:25:59 am
Off the top of my head, without the appropriate reference to hand, Deepdene was the war time (and after?) emergency HQ for Southern Railway/Region.


Title: Re: The Grove, Watford
Post by: RichardB on December 08, 2019, 11:10:51 am
Off the top of my head, without the appropriate reference to hand, Deepdene was the war time (and after?) emergency HQ for Southern Railway/Region.

Yes, Deepdene House in Dorking.  Evidently now the site of Kuoni's UK HQ.


Title: Re: The Grove, Watford
Post by: 1st fan on December 08, 2019, 02:08:11 pm
I hope I can say this without getting a visit from the boys and girls of Special Branch - "GROVE" and "DEEPDENE" were telegraphic code abbreviations in use on the railways  of yore.  These codes referred to the operation of the Royal Train.  I guess no more strange than having codes for wagons such as "BLOATER" or "ELEPHANT" meaning "Can you trace receipt of ..."

I think that both The Grove and Deepdene were both properties used by the railway at some time
Given there's a copy of the working instructions on eBay (and I have no connection to the listing) I think you're safe. ;)

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/113937968241?ViewItem=&item=113937968241


Title: Re: The Grove, Watford
Post by: CyclingSid on December 08, 2019, 02:08:46 pm
Thanks RichrdB
From "Britain's Railways in Wartime". https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/britains-railways-in-wartime (https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/britains-railways-in-wartime)
...SR moved into the Regency house of Deepdene, near Dorking, ...underground caves were adapted into a bunker for the telephone exchange and Traffic Control.

GWR moved into six country houses west of Reading, with Beenham Grange at Aldermaston as the HQ. The LMS took over The Grove near Watford. The LNER moved into The Hoo near Hitchin.


Title: Re: The Grove, Watford
Post by: eightf48544 on December 08, 2019, 02:33:17 pm
Remember the Grove well 6 week Work Study course Feb 68. Consequently i can study wok all day long!

Als0 College at Derby.


Title: Re: The Grove, Watford
Post by: jdw.wor on December 08, 2019, 03:55:11 pm
Another memory of the Grove, whilst a Management Trainee 73-75, was the decently stocked cellar they had and all at liver damaging prices!


Title: Re: The Grove, Watford
Post by: Witham Bobby on December 08, 2019, 03:56:14 pm

Given there's a copy of the working instructions on eBay (and I have no connection to the listing) I think you're safe. ;)

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/113937968241?ViewItem=&item=113937968241

Phew!

These instructions were delivered by the Area Manager or an AAM only a matter of less than an hour before the Royal Train was due to pass a signalbox or station, and removed soon afterwards.  They were not left lying around at all.  This was in the days of the IRA terror.  This copy must be something of a rarity.


Title: Re: The Grove, Watford
Post by: RichardB on December 09, 2019, 07:30:53 am
Remember the Grove well 6 week Work Study course Feb 68. Consequently i can study wok all day long!

Als0 College at Derby.


Off tangent, I've always wondered what happened to Work Study - it was huge on BR in the 60s but I'm not sure it exists at all now. 


Title: Re: The Grove, Watford
Post by: Gordon the Blue Engine on December 09, 2019, 12:06:49 pm
Work Study, which included Method Study, Work Measurement and Organisation & Methods, flourished on BR and in BREL until the mid 1980’s.  It became known as Industrial Engineering for a while, and also became a part of Management Services.  It provided a quantitative basis for evaluating the time and resources necessary for particular tasks - “man-hours” was a common unit of measurement, and a stopwatch a common tool.

One exercise I was involved in was carriage cleaning at Derby Etches Park: based on the number of units arriving each night, the time they arrived and left, the type of clean they were booked for etc. it was possible to accurately quantify how many staff you needed. 

Don’t know how they do it now.


Title: Re: The Grove, Watford
Post by: Chris125 on December 22, 2019, 09:45:50 pm
Thinking of The Grove reminds me of, one evening after dinner, someone making a pass at one of the waitresses young enough to be his daughter. She smiled and walked away.

The next evening she was serving him and dropped an apple crumble and custard on his lap.  “Oh sorry” she said , smiled and walked away.

That’s how girls looked after themselves before the snowflake generation.

If I knew that waitress, if god forbid she was my daughter, I wouldn't find that story very amusing given how it could have (and for many, has) ended.

Perhaps it's just me, but hurrah for the 'snowflake generation' if it means a child of mine has to worry a little less about unwarranted and inappropriate sexual advances especially from creepy old men.



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