Here is another excellent email, this time from Carolynne (Clancy) Delves (previously Hill, nee Mackmurdie!), which is full of bygone memories of those glory days of Essex House in times gone by, I am sure you will also enjoy having a read of it........

Room 84

Have just spent a lovely two hours perusing the Essex House web site. So many names that have not been thought of for nigh on thirty years! Dear old Mum, the Colonel, the WAB. Of course, some are remembered more recently - Jerry Dearmer (with whom I'm still in touch), Brain Read who communicates regularly about the renuions, the Garge who I hear about via Jerry.

I suppose that I was only in R84 for about a year, before moving up to the ninth floor, but it was during my 'formative' years and it has certainly burnt an indelible patch on my heart.

The colonel got me into the TA, which I loved and my baby-est girl (actually now 23!) is a medical officer in the TA.

Jeff Buxton -  supporting Crystal Palace in the season when they went down and Jerry's Fulham went up, Mum's paper mountain, Chris Meredith's gout and his conversion to the pipe and scotch instead of beer and fags! Trevor Fielding (mouse) and his daft dog ( a weimeraner?) that ran into a wall and killed itself, Tim 'Buxted' Buxton who went on to greater things (!), the time Ray Snelling snogged me at the Christmas do then minced out with the words "That'll give them something to talk about!" (If you are gay, you would tell us, wouldn't you? - from Trevor Lloyd - "what makes you think I'd fancy you?" in response). Trevor, again with his holiday in Cowes week - it all comes flooding back!

The 'fire engine' (Dennis) for the person with the worst stats for weekend engineering and the 'golden rail' (a small section of actual rail) for the best.

A cry of "Laira", whenever a white-topped diesel from Portsmouth (probably a 47 - I'm quite rusty on these details) came past the window.

The 'snub' list - when we compiled our requests from Amy

Even the people I never actually worked with - Geoff 'Borneo', 'CD', Bob Axle (Mr Grease)

The young lad who worked with Allan Gunnis (who always had nice aftershave and I could never understand how he live his lifestyle on a CO2's wages) who was mad about Debbie Harry from Blondie and talked a lot about 'whips with fish-hooks'. Jeff Buxton having a baby (who'll be about 30 by now!) and boring us all to death with the details. The 'Garge' - how are Northampton doing these days? I've got a season ticket to Man City.....

Stories about torture by running over the south points at Three Bridges at high speed.

Names that have long past into history - probably wrong, but Windmill Bridge? Selsdon? An office outing to commemorate the last train from Selsdon to somewhere - didn't the printers of our weekly notice come from there? Peters of Selsdon rings a bell before it all went high-tech and moved to Southampton.

In the 'stories' section of the R84 site you make reference to me (proud that you remember). I can't remember that particular session, but do REALLY remember a session you gave me later whe I applied for  a CO4 position at Beckenham. You gave me loads of info about where drivers would swap, where the best places would be to terminate trains etc (as I didn't know anything about the south eastern then). That interview was the best I've ever had - shame I didn't take the job! Mind you, being  Station Manager was utterly brilliant - shame the post no linger existed when I wanted to return to work after maternity duties!

Changing the subject - Chris Everest doesn't seem to get a mention on the site anywhere. He was my ultimate hero and taught me everything about real railways. I know that he passed away many years ago because I went to his funeral. Dave Wieldon (JCB) - another colleague who left us far too soon. I knew about 'Ducky's' demise from Jerry - wish I could have attended his 'do'. Keith Spiers, who lost a young son to leukaemia.

Anyway, I've become maudlin. How are you?

I've been a physics teacher for the past 18 years (bit of a change of career). Have three grown up daughters (Genevieve, who's a doctor, Rhiannon who's also a physics teacher, and Tiffany who's a radiographer, and a son - Laurie who's 19 and has Down's syndrome - who is having a brilliant time at his special college).

I've sent the Essex House link to my dad (who's still just about alive, bless him) as he will no doubt want to correct the spelling of his name, and hope that you still don't feel that I only got my job as 'party' clerk on the strength of my family connections!

Would love to hear from you, please reply. carolynnedelves at hotmail dot com ( please leave out the spaces and substitute at for an @ and dot for a . ) Note from the editor....this is an attempt to try to beat the spammers !! Alan  Edwards

Carolynne (Clancy) Delves (previously Hill, nee Mackmurdie!) PS I'm 52 now - how scary is that?!!

Party Clerk (CO2) 1976-78 R84 (and weekday engineering works after that, then drivers' rosters - lest anyone forget!)

Have you read these BYGONE MEMORIES?

BYGONE MEMORIES from IAN DUDLEY

BYGONE MEMORIES from GORDON DUDMAN

Back to the ESSEX HOUSE contents page