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Author Topic: Winston Churchill, funeral train, Southern Pacifics to Paddington  (Read 849 times)
Robin Summerhill
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« on: November 29, 2020, 05:52:05 pm »


..................and as for Waterloo............. Roll Eyes

That didn't seem to bother Churchill when he was planning his funeral train !

If the hearsay is true there may be more in that than you think!

It is said that when Churchill was planning his funeral he insisted that the train should leave from Waterloo despite the fact that, given the eventual destination ,Paddington would make much more sense. Railway managers tried to convince him but he became more insistent.

Eventually he said: Look. If De Gaulle dies before me it can leave from whichever damn station you like. But if I die before De Gaulle, it leaves from Waterloo!

 Grin

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RichardB
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2020, 06:09:47 pm »


..................and as for Waterloo............. Roll Eyes

That didn't seem to bother Churchill when he was planning his funeral train !

If the hearsay is true there may be more in that than you think!

It is said that when Churchill was planning his funeral he insisted that the train should leave from Waterloo despite the fact that, given the eventual destination ,Paddington would make much more sense. Railway managers tried to convince him but he became more insistent.

Eventually he said: Look. If De Gaulle dies before me it can leave from whichever damn station you like. But if I die before De Gaulle, it leaves from Waterloo!

 Grin



Just a thought that popped into my mind - were Bulleid Pacifics passed to run into Paddington?  Maybe that's why it went from Waterloo? 
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RichardB
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2020, 06:14:24 pm »

The De Gaulle line is good though.

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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2020, 06:24:29 pm »


Just a thought that popped into my mind - were Bulleid Pacifics passed to run into Paddington?  Maybe that's why it went from Waterloo? 
I wouldn't have thought that would have been a problem given their axle loading compared to a King.

They did after all run over GWR lines where Doube Red restricted engines could work, such as Bathampton to Bristol and Reading to Oxford. They also got to Birmingham now and again but thats another story!

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RichardB
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2020, 07:41:27 pm »


Just a thought that popped into my mind - were Bulleid Pacifics passed to run into Paddington?  Maybe that's why it went from Waterloo? 
I wouldn't have thought that would have been a problem given their axle loading compared to a King.

They did after all run over GWR lines where Doube Red restricted engines could work, such as Bathampton to Bristol and Reading to Oxford. They also got to Birmingham now and again but thats another story!



Yes, you're probably right.  Looking into it a bit more, it strikes Waterloo was chosen because of the logistics of the whole funeral - his coffin being taken by boat from Tower Hill to close to Waterloo.  If the train had gone from Paddington, it would have needed another long procession through the streets of London to get to the station.  Anyway - back to topic........
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grahame
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2020, 08:30:47 pm »

From Beachcomber / Strange History

Quote
Today a bit of modern British history/myth. Beach will write it out as it was told to him. He would be interested to see whether there is any basis to the tale: it sounds very Churchillian, but it also has the exquisite stench of cobblers.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2020, 10:40:27 pm »

From Beachcomber / Strange History

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Today a bit of modern British history/myth. Beach will write it out as it was told to him. He would be interested to see whether there is any basis to the tale: it sounds very Churchillian, but it also has the exquisite stench of cobblers.

I congratulate you Graham as you have done exactly what I would have done when someone tells an unsubstantiated story; do some research and see if you can prove it or break it!

I did say that the story was hearsay so I have no personal axe to grind one way or another. However, there are one or two issues in the explanations that don?t ring particularly true when examined from a wholly railway perspective.

Firstly, the suggestion that there would have been no drivers qualified to drive a WC out of Paddington is of course a red herring. There was no such thing as Traction Knowledge in steam days and drivers were required to drive whatever they were given. The more important issue would have been route knowledge and, whilst it is true that no SR driver would know the road between Paddington and Reading, if a Nine Elms crew was given the job then a conductor would be provided, as would be the case today. In similar vein, I seem to recall that the engine worked through to its destination deep in GWR/WR territory, and an SR crew may not have had route knowledge for that either.

I have already dealt with the alleged safety issue of running a WC on GWR metals.

Thirdly, I wonder who the steam crews were at Nine Elms who would know the road to Reading! I doubt there would have been many of them.

From a non-railway perspective, that funeral was covered by news organisations the world over. Somebody somewhere should have some archive footage to show whether or not the dockland cranes were bowing as the cortege went past.

Finally any government meeting held to discuss the funeral arrangements would have been minuted, and by now those minutes should be publicly available. These may shed some more light on what actually happened.

Once again, thanks for digging this out but personally I don?t believe or disbelieve this story any more now that I did before I posted!
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grahame
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2020, 06:38:22 am »

I congratulate you Graham as you have done exactly what I would have done when someone tells an unsubstantiated story; do some research and see if you can prove it or break it!

Thank you.  Story checking is pretty standard practise, and there are many online sources that help. Mind you, some experience is distinctly useful in knowing where to look, how much to trust, what other enquiries to make and how to combine evidence.  Our Rumour Mill board is a useful place for those stories that may be right but where there is significant doubt.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2020, 06:59:04 am »

From Beachcomber / Strange History

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Today a bit of modern British history/myth. Beach will write it out as it was told to him. He would be interested to see whether there is any basis to the tale: it sounds very Churchillian, but it also has the exquisite stench of cobblers.

I congratulate you Graham as you have done exactly what I would have done when someone tells an unsubstantiated story; do some research and see if you can prove it or break it!

I did say that the story was hearsay so I have no personal axe to grind one way or another. However, there are one or two issues in the explanations that don?t ring particularly true when examined from a wholly railway perspective.

Firstly, the suggestion that there would have been no drivers qualified to drive a WC out of Paddington is of course a red herring. There was no such thing as Traction Knowledge in steam days and drivers were required to drive whatever they were given. The more important issue would have been route knowledge and, whilst it is true that no SR driver would know the road between Paddington and Reading, if a Nine Elms crew was given the job then a conductor would be provided, as would be the case today. In similar vein, I seem to recall that the engine worked through to its destination deep in GWR/WR territory, and an SR crew may not have had route knowledge for that either.

I have already dealt with the alleged safety issue of running a WC on GWR metals.

Thirdly, I wonder who the steam crews were at Nine Elms who would know the road to Reading! I doubt there would have been many of them.

From a non-railway perspective, that funeral was covered by news organisations the world over. Somebody somewhere should have some archive footage to show whether or not the dockland cranes were bowing as the cortege went past.

Finally any government meeting held to discuss the funeral arrangements would have been minuted, and by now those minutes should be publicly available. These may shed some more light on what actually happened.

Once again, thanks for digging this out but personally I don?t believe or disbelieve this story any more now that I did before I posted!


Re: the cranes dipping at Churchill's funeral, here is some footage of it happening (at 00:15 onwards)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kPrTWsotlg
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RichardB
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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2020, 08:48:57 am »

From Beachcomber / Strange History

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Today a bit of modern British history/myth. Beach will write it out as it was told to him. He would be interested to see whether there is any basis to the tale: it sounds very Churchillian, but it also has the exquisite stench of cobblers.

I congratulate you Graham as you have done exactly what I would have done when someone tells an unsubstantiated story; do some research and see if you can prove it or break it!

I did say that the story was hearsay so I have no personal axe to grind one way or another. However, there are one or two issues in the explanations that don?t ring particularly true when examined from a wholly railway perspective.

Firstly, the suggestion that there would have been no drivers qualified to drive a WC out of Paddington is of course a red herring. There was no such thing as Traction Knowledge in steam days and drivers were required to drive whatever they were given. The more important issue would have been route knowledge and, whilst it is true that no SR driver would know the road between Paddington and Reading, if a Nine Elms crew was given the job then a conductor would be provided, as would be the case today. In similar vein, I seem to recall that the engine worked through to its destination deep in GWR/WR territory, and an SR crew may not have had route knowledge for that either.

I have already dealt with the alleged safety issue of running a WC on GWR metals.

Thirdly, I wonder who the steam crews were at Nine Elms who would know the road to Reading! I doubt there would have been many of them.

From a non-railway perspective, that funeral was covered by news organisations the world over. Somebody somewhere should have some archive footage to show whether or not the dockland cranes were bowing as the cortege went past.

Finally any government meeting held to discuss the funeral arrangements would have been minuted, and by now those minutes should be publicly available. These may shed some more light on what actually happened.

Once again, thanks for digging this out but personally I don?t believe or disbelieve this story any more now that I did before I posted!


Did Bulleids work into Paddington on, say, railtours?  It would be interesting to know. 
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grahame
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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2020, 09:35:30 am »

Did Bulleids work into Paddington on, say, railtours?  It would be interesting to know. 

I appreciate you're asking about a past era, but here - 12th September 2020 - is "Braunton" at Paddington



And if you want unconverted ... "Tangmere" arriving in May 2013

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PhilWakely
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2020, 11:03:44 am »

Did Bulleids work into Paddington on, say, railtours?  It would be interesting to know. 

The locomotive exchange trials back in 1948 saw some Bulleid workings using Merchant Navy locos 35017 and 35019 with Nine Elms crews on Paddington to Plymouth expresses. (see here)
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eightonedee
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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2020, 11:14:35 am »

Moderators - this is fascinating stuff, but we've drifted a long way off inappropriate pictures - time for a "Churchill's funeral and use of Bulleid pacifics on the Western Region" thread somewhere? (Keep 'em coming BTW!)
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2020, 11:21:56 am »

Did Bulleids work into Paddington on, say, railtours?  It would be interesting to know. 

The locomotive exchange trials back in 1948 saw some Bulleid workings using Merchant Navy locos 35017 and 35019 with Nine Elms crews on Paddington to Plymouth expresses. (see here)


I have been trawling through Six Bells Junction for the last hour with no success, then turned to the Exhange Trials when I found the same information as above.

Then I came to post about it and found that Id been beaten to it by 15 minutes  Grin
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grahame
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« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2020, 12:01:41 pm »

Moderators - this is fascinating stuff, but we've drifted a long way off inappropriate pictures - time for a "Churchill's funeral and use of Bulleid pacifics on the Western Region" thread somewhere? (Keep 'em coming BTW!)

Yes - agreed.   Split from http://www.passenger.chat/11558.0
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