Derek Soames

Derek Soames was born in 1930 at Settle, he left school at 13, & started work delivering groceries for the Co-Op by bicycle. Then quickly decided that working on the railways was a better option. Although he did not live in Long Preston, Derek was for many years the signalman at Long Preston, up until the closure of the signal box.

Part A:  Derek started on the Railways at Settle then at Gargrave, before becoming the last signalman at Long Preston, which was a very busy station due to the cattle and sheep auctions and wool warehouse.

Part B:  This describes the coal merchant traffic and excursion traffic to Morecame, he recalls the 'help' from other signalmen and two express trains crashing at Hellifield. Derek learnt how to use common sense to help with train failures and overcome problems.

Part C:  A typical 8 hour shift. How the railway affected the economy of Long Preston; the regular commuters and railway employees in the village.

Part D:  Talks about the paraffin lamps used in signals and the decline of the railway. Coping with bad weather and meeting Prince Charles at Giggleswick and at Settle.

Recorded:  August 2008