He was one of the last

the last of that race

a time served man

and an engineer

la crème de la crème

of the LNER

this black handed king

made abdicate

to plumb, turn and weld

amongst godless trades

who knew not, the wonder

of triple expansion

a failing of ours

which he never forgave

(or failed to point out)

but each night,

in The Footplate

under full head of steam

he’d pose loud and lordly

and look down his nose

at the beer pump's

bright brass-work

And the men of the town

while I was so busy

with buffing,


and polishing the brass

checking oil and water

or tapping the glass

all those steamy demands of his

healthy young lass

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