What memories that picture of the "Push and Pull" train from Hooton brought back to me. I was a fireman at Birkenhead Mollington street depot in 1952, and used to fire that little engine (no 1417 or something like that).On the return journey .the driver would transfer to a driving compartment at what was now the front of the train, and using the Steam control regulator, and the brake, was in charge of the movement and the stopping of the train. The fireman was alone on the footplate, and carried on his job of keeping up the steam, and boiler water levels.He also assisted the driver, by keeping a sharp lookout. Later I transferred to Bidston Motive Power depot, and one of our jobs was the coal train which took the full coal waggons to the sidings between Bidston and West Kirby, and brought the emty wagons back, for eventual return to the Yorkshire coalfields. MY favourite stopping place, where we usually had a half hour break was at Hoylake. We used to stand right next to the fence at the end of Mr&Mrs. Joe Mercer,s -(Man.City-) garden. Mrs. Mercer was great. She used to bring us Fish and Chips from the chippy, and always refused payment for them.Mr.Mercer was also a pleasure to have a chat with, when available. Memories of long ago. Doncha luv ,em.
The picture of the "auto" train is here http://www.subbrit.org.uk/sb-sites/stations/w/west_kirby/index.shtml