Monday, 2 May 2011

Desert Song

I used to know someone whose response to any request for help  that was even moderately troublesome was "Bring me a bucket of sand and I'll sing you the 'Desert Song'". Well, here we are - some buckets of sand!

Actually I lie. They are full of water. But back in the 1950's all stations had such red buckets as these, some of which were full of water and some of which - those stencilled 'SAND' in black letters - were full of sand to deal with oil and fat fires. The buckets themselves were galvanised metal. No plastic in those days.

I don't know when these fire buckets became standard equipment on stations. Were they simply a legacy of World War II air raid precautions, or did they go back much earlier to pre-grouping days? But I guess if we want to have Kirkby Stephen East restored as a 1950's Heritage Site it is a detail we need to check out. These triplets were photographed last summer at Grosmont on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

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