Among the Railway Folk


The Shops

(notes by David Page drawing on the work of the ORG Editors)



4th August, 1888 in the Pioneer and 5th August, 1888 in the Pioneer Mail and 18th August 1888 in the Week’s News.

Notes on the Text

[Page 282, line 5] ‘on the long siding’ starting from Jamalpur, the loop runs east via Bhagalpur to Sahibganj, then south towards Calcutta as far as Kanu Junction where it joins up with the line from Howrah. The loop then tends northwest through Raniganj and Madhupur (where the spur line to Giridih connects) to reach the main east-west route again, about 30 miles to the west of Jamalpur.

A ‘siding’ is a branch or spur line onto which rolling stock can be shunted until required.

[Page 282, line 8] Kanu Junction now known as Khana Junction, which is about 70 miles from Calcutta and near Burdwan (Bardwan). [ORG]

[Page 282, line 8] Luckeeserai Lakhi Serai, which is about 60 miles from Patna—downstream. [ORG]

[Page 283, line 16] Vulcan in Roman mythology he was the God of Fire and metal-working. The Roman poets adopted the stories of the Greek God Hephaestus to make them refer to Vulcan.

[Page 283, line 33] lakhs’ a lakh is 100,000, the word rupees being understood. A lakh of rupees was then (1888) worth £6,666 13s. 4d. at 16 old pence per rupee. A very large sum of money.

[Page 284, line 4] ‘Ab o’ th’ yate’ Benjamin Brierly (1825-96) was an English weaver and writer in Lancashire dialect. He wrote humorous verses and sketches under the pseudonym ‘Ab o’ th’ yate’ as well as ‘plain English’ See Wikipedia.

[Page 284, line 5] ‘Ben Briarly’s’ should be Brierly. See the note above.

[Page 284, line 7] ‘Ruglan’ Toon,’ “Ruglan Town”, one of Brierly’s poems, set to music.

[Page 284, line 13] Lakshmi in Hindu mythology the Goddess of good Fortune. The wife of Vishnu, she was considered the ideal type of Indian beauty.

[Page 284, line 31] the Echo No information on this locomotive has beeen found, but there is an excellent series of photographs of the recently restored and working Fairy Queen (below: EIR-22 built in 1855) at this web-site.

[Page 285, line 15] Buxar about 75 miles upstream of Patna. [ORG]

[Page 285, lines 22-23] [ORG]
mud-hole-flanges a small manhole for the removal of mud from the boiler on a locomotive.

blower-cocks to get rid of steam from the boiler in emergencies.

lead-plugs a plug that melts if the boiler water-level is too low, then steam escapes and prevents an explosion.

platform brackets probably the brackets that support the driver’s and fireman’s platform, and/or a footplate that is fixed to the side of the locomotive. See picture of the Fairy Queen above.

[Page 285, line 33] She is reduced to a shell—is a very elle-woman In Norse folk-lore—’young and fair, but behind she is hollow’.

[Page 286, line 9] pince-nez a form of spectacles without ear-pieces but which were fastened by the nose-bridge pinching the nose.

[Page 286, line 25] Egyptian cartouche in Egyptian hieroglyphs, a cartouche is an oblong enclosure indicating a royal name.

[Page 287, line 11] It amounted to something being captain of that raft this is a slight mis-quotation from chapter XV of Huckleberry Finn (1884) by the celebrated American writer Mark Twain’s (Samuel L. Clemens), much revered by Kipling. It should read: ‘It amounted to something being a raftsman on such a craft as that.’

[Page 287, line 17] to bait to stop for the purpose of refreshment. Kipling is still keeping to his analogies of locomotives being akin to horses or elephants.

[Page 287, line 26] Prince’s kiss In a fairy tale translated from the French of Charles Perrault (1625-1703) by Robert Samber (1729), a princess must sleep for 100 years, then to be awakened only by the kiss of a Prince. [ORG]

[Page 287, lines 31-32] four-wheeled coupled bogie a bogie is an independently swivelling unit with smaller diameter wheels than the main driving wheels. In this case the bogie has two wheels per side.

[Page 287, line 32] Dobbs a locomotive manufacturer. It should almost certainly be Dubbs & Co, of Glasgow.

[Page 288, line 1] Rampore Haut there are at least 15 places of this name or with Rampore (Rampur) as part of the name: this one is about 100 miles north of Bardwan on the great loop (see page 282 above). Haut—halt. [ORG]

[Page 288, line 12] Hawthorne’s old four-wheeled coupled engines R & W Hawthorne, Leslie & Co. Ltd., Newcastle upon Tyne. The locomotives described had no leading bogie and had two driving wheels per side.

[Page 288, line 23] Slaughter and Grunning Slaughter, Grunning and Company built locomotives in Avon Street, Bristol, and eventually became the Avonside Engine Company.

[Page 289, line 12] Kajra about 20 miles south-west of Jamalpur. [ORG].

[Page 289, line 21] dhobi-mark as if the Inspector was marking his linen for the dhobi – the laundryman. All washing had to be carefully marked before it was taken from a house.

[Page 290, line 30] you condemned old female dog! A rather more polite way of saying ‘you damned old bitch!’.

©David Page 2008 All rights reserved