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Coventry Station: lnwrcov2800

A photograph of Coventry Goods Station's staff on the 60th Birthday of HH Cheshire with JJ King to his right

A photograph of Coventry Goods Station's staff on the 60th Birthday of HH Cheshire with John James King to his right in late April 1918. Since the photograph was first published more information has come to light. The person seated in the centre is Mr HH Cheshire, Joint Goods Agent for L&NWR and MR at Coventry who retired circa 1921. To his left is the Chief Goods Foreman whilst to his right is John James King who it is believed was the Chief Cartage Foreman. It is thought that the photograph was taken to mark the retirement of Mr Cheshire. In the background on the right is Spencer Park footbridge in the background. Its notable that rank was denoted by a combination of insignia (or absence of insignia) on the uniform or the wearing of civilian clothing. Mr Cheshire is wearing a long civilian coat and is bareheaded and was in overall charge of all incoming and outgoing goods traffic. The senior L&NWR railwayman in charge of all logistics within the goods yard and for off site collections and deliveries was the Chief Goods Foreman. He was aided by the L&NWR Chief Cartage Foreman, in this instance Mr King, who was responsible for the services associated with the collection and delivery of goods. Both men are wearing a uniformed jacket which has no insignia and a hat which appears to have the legend L&NWR in an ornate script. On either side of the said three gentlemen, and also standing behind them, are staff with lettering on their hats denoting either Foreman or LNWRthe latter in ornate lettering. The staff with the company insignia on their hats being the most junior, the portering staff.

In their search for more information on their grandfather, Mr John James King, Tony and Christine Thomas found the following reference to HH Cheshire. Christine wrote, 'I have also found some other newspaper articles from the Coventry Evening Telegraph which reported the presentation of the above photograph at social evening held on 20th April 1918 in their edition published on 22nd April 1918. They reported 'Mr HH Cheshire, joint goods agent, L&NWR and Midland Railways, Coventry, on the occasion of his 60th birthday celebration, held on Saturday evening, was the recipient of a handsome framed photograph a group, including himself and the Coventry Goods Station Foremen. The presentation was made by Mr HJ Bayley, Chief Foreman, whose remarks were supplemented by Mr W Rhodes, R Jarvis, and JJ King'. Mr HH Cheshire was obviously an important and well like person because Tony and Christine found another Coventry Evening Telegraph article published on Saturday 20th April reporting another social event held on the previous Friday evening.

Coventry Evening Article

Published 20th April 1918
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A social evening arranged by the clerical staff of the L&NWR and Midland Railways, Goods Department, was held at the Coventry Liberal Club Assembly Room on Friday evening, for the purpose of making a presentation to Mr HH Cheshire on the occasion of his 60th birthday. The committee, with Mr Wale as Honorary Secretary, had arranged an enjoyable programme of music and dancing, the artistes (sic) taking part being the Misses W Groser and Gladys Wright, and Messrs Brotherhood, Brown, White, Charles Elstree, TE Houghton and P Houghton. The chair was taken by Mr WW Watson, Chief Clerk, and there was a large attendance of the staff and their wives. The presentation to Mr Cheshire, which consisted of a silver tea and coffee service, suitably inscribed, and subscribed for by 183 members of the staff, was made by Mr Watson, who testified to Mr Cheshire's qualities. Mr Watson was supported by Mr FJ Underwood, Chief Townsman of Coventry for many years; Mr HT Phipps, for many years at Leicester, and associated with Mr. Cheshire there, Messrs Sutherland and Mycock. Mr. Cheshire who was accompanied by his son, Mr GH Cheshire, of Euston, and his son-in-law, Mr PH Walton, in replying expressed his surprise and gratification in receiving what he considered a most unusual presentation for a man still in active service. He also spoke in feeling terms of the good relationship existing between the staff and himself and expressed his thanks to all those who had carried the matter through, and made such excellent arrangements.

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Christine continues, 'I am also attaching a newspaper article from 1923 which you might be interested in. It refers to the retirement of Mr T Cockerill and Mr F Jackson. It mentions Mr King as cartage foreman and also Mr HH Cheshire who by this time has retired. Frederick Jackson was Mr King's brother-in-law which is another reason why it is of interest to me'.

As the article provides interesting information on the names of people employed in various positions we have transcribed it and it reads as below:

Old Railway Servants
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41 YEARS' SERVICE AT COVENTRY
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FELLOW EMPLOYEES SHOW APPRECIATION
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A very successful smoking concert and presentation took place on Saturday at the Coventry Railwaymen's Club and Institute, when a large and representative gathering of railway men from all departments met to do honour to and show their high esteem and appreciation of two of their old comrades, Messrs T Cockerill (Checker) and E. Jackson (Carter), who have recently retired after 41 years' service at Coventry Goods station.

Mr HJ Bayley (Chief Foreman) presided, and was supported by Mr HP Aggleton (Goods Agent), Mr Parsons (Station Master), Mr CA Jones (Chief Delivery Clerk), Mr King: (Cartage Foreman), and Messrs C Mycock and WJ Hayes (District Goods Manager's office), also Mr JB Shelton (President of the Master Carters' Association). The Chairman stated that Messrs Cockerill and Jackson joined the L&NWR Company in 1882, and had now completed over 41 years' service at Coventry Station, and during that time had seen great changes. He referred to their sterling qualities, both in their official capacity and in their private life, and said they were a credit to themselves, the railway company and their city and country.

Mr Aggleton made the presentations , which consisted of walking sticks suitably inscribed, with a wallet of treasury notes to each. He wishes to express on behalf of the management of the Company to Messrs Cockerill and Jackson, their high appreciation of their long, loyal and faithful service to the company, and to wish them every happiness in their retirement. Mr Aggleton personally expressed his appreciation of their loyalty and of the satisfactory and conscientious way they had always gone about their duties, and he also spoke of the high esteem and regard in which the recipients were held by the staff, and on behalf of himself and the subscribers wished them many and happy years of retirement.

Messrs Parsons, CA Jones, J Appleton, WF Montgomery, WF Lay, J Shelton, J Trantor (Passenger Department) and HJ Fleckner (Locomotive Departtment), referred in eulogistic terms to the high qualities and comradeship of the recipients. Messrs Cockerill and Jackson, who were heartily received, on rising to respond, thanked the subscribers for the very valuable gifts, and the speakers for the very nice things they had said. There was always a regret at having to part from their associations, but there was satisfaction and consolation in knowing they did so with the good wishes and good feeling of their comrades. Apologies for absence were received from: Councillor HH Cheshire (late Goods Agent), Mr Grimes (Parcels Agent), Mr Townsend (Chief Locomotive Foreman), Mr. Painting (Permanent Way), Mr. W Rhodes (Goods Foreman), and Councillor Moseley (Loco Foreman).

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