A job description puzzle

The day to day working of the Caledonian Railway Company, including its constituents and successors.
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Jim Summers
Posts: 1186
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:54 pm

A job description puzzle

Post by Jim Summers »

This makes a change from puzzle images.

A correspondent in Australia, who has previously given us useful information on his ancestor who worked on the Caledonian, has now established a little more, which in turn gives a puzzle.
In 1921 Thomas Huggon was residing at "Main Door 50, Caledonian Blocks" and was a "Retired Dumping Engine Man".

What did someone with that title actually do?

JimS
fordyce
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 12:00 pm

Re: A job description puzzle

Post by fordyce »

He was a Engine Driver in previous censuses (e.g. age 65 in 1901, still working as an Engine Driver, at no.5 7th Caledonian Block in Motherwell), so obviously at age 75 in 1921 he was a retired engine driver. How clear is that 1921 census entry wording? Maybe after he stopped driving the engines out on the main line, his final job before retirement was to dispose of them at the shed. In other words to 'dump' them on shed; either that or he dumped the fire or dumped the ash?

Howard
Mike 1
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Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:46 pm

Re: A job description puzzle

Post by Mike 1 »

Could "dumping" have been mis-read for "pumping". i.e. with perhaps failing eyesight put to work on a stationary engine. Was there a pumping engine at Motherwell?

"(e.g. age 65 in 1901, <snip> so at age 75 in 1921....)" Think one of those is wrong?

Mike
dunalastairv
Posts: 327
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:01 am

Re: A job description puzzle

Post by dunalastairv »

Ever the publicist! There is a picture of the Caledonian Blocks at Motherwell in my new book - see Plate 105.
fordyce
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 12:00 pm

Re: A job description puzzle

Post by fordyce »

Sorry - too early in the morning for brain, eyes and fingers to all coordinate at the same time. For 1901 read 1911. His family tree is in Ancestry, including the 1911 census image (and a photo of him too).
Jim Summers
Posts: 1186
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:54 pm

Re: A job description puzzle

Post by Jim Summers »

Thank you all.
Our friend in Australia has written:

"The winner is Mike (thank you Mike), his suggestion of a misreading of the text is correct. A rookie mistake by myself. Upon review of the attached, I am sure you will all concur that Thomas Huggon was a "Retired Pumping Engine Man". Always good to ask the experts, even if it is only to highlight one's own stupidity."

Jim
Jim Summers
Posts: 1186
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:54 pm

Re: A job description puzzle

Post by Jim Summers »

Dear knows where the attachment went. Trying again.

Jim
Huggon [25] [26] Census1921.jpg
Huggon [25] [26] Census1921.jpg (109.93 KiB) Viewed 4303 times
David Blevins
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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:26 pm

Re: A job description puzzle

Post by David Blevins »

"Pumping Engine Man" is listed occasionally in the Caledonian Railway Staff List in a number of different Locations with Engine Sheds.
I have come to the conclusion, rightly or wrongly, it was a position given to Engine Drivers as "Light Duties" and was in fact "Filling the Engine Water Tanks" whilst on Shed, i.e "Pumping Water into the Tenders of Engines", as they were readied for the next day's work. Usually given to Infirm Men who didn't want to give up working, or Retire into Boredom, after a Lifetime of 12 Hour Shifts.

David Blevins.
dumb buffer
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:13 pm

Re: A job description puzzle

Post by dumb buffer »

Most engine sheds had a water tank. Most (not all) had to have the water pumped up into the tank. Somebody had to keep the pump going, and in the larger sheds this would surely justify a permanent member of staff. Ideal for an aged or unfit footplateman.

Allan F
David Blevins
Posts: 307
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:26 pm

Re: A job description puzzle

Post by David Blevins »

I was wondering about that myself, but was not sure how they Filled the Engine Shed Water Tanks.
It looks like a better definition of the "Pumping Engine Man" and I would agree with the last entry. Could we have found the duties for the ex Engine Driver Thomas Huggon, who must have been accommodated on "Light Duties" in his latter years of Employment.

David Blevins.
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