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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories are made of this
I really enjoyed this book especially the earlier chapters about Cricklewood and West Hampstead. I Started my footplate carreer at Cricklewood in 1975 although i had spent a couple of years on the pway prior to that. The names that were mentioned brought back so many memories especially just the mention of Paul Hudson who is a great friend of mine. Other names that...
Published on 13 Jun 2012 by phil cherry

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not an exciting read
Presumes a fairly good knowledge of railway operation and terminology, very mundane but a realistic description of BR operations prior to privatisation. Interesting if you know any of the characters mentioned. Very little human interest away from the work-place. I found it a bit of a chore to wade through until it's conclusion.
Published 13 months ago by CavanM


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories are made of this, 13 Jun 2012
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I really enjoyed this book especially the earlier chapters about Cricklewood and West Hampstead. I Started my footplate carreer at Cricklewood in 1975 although i had spent a couple of years on the pway prior to that. The names that were mentioned brought back so many memories especially just the mention of Paul Hudson who is a great friend of mine. Other names that brought back memories such as Ray Clarke, i could write volumns about. Also mentioned was that late great Don Metcalfe who was the traction Inspector who passed me for driving. I could really relate to this book having worked on and become disillusioned myself although i soldiered on until i was retired in 2011 at the tender age of 56. I also recognised some of the names mentioned at Northampton as some of these came to work at Bedford where i was based. Also mentioned were Roger Gilbert and Clive Evritt who i met when i was a driver at Waterloo. This is a fahntasic book that gives an insight into the history of the railway as it wondered blindly towards privatisation, a poor thing indeed.
Further reading of railway books can be enjoyed with the reading of Gravy Trains by George Dixon as well as Cat Stories by George Dixon a very good collection of railway stories.
Over all a good yarn.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brutally honest in every way., 29 July 2014
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A brutally honest account of the author`s 25 year career on British Rail as he worked his way through the grades.
Starting off as signal box train booker at Wigan,then working through the ranks of signalman/station supervisor/train crew supervisor/before working his way right up to a relief controller at Crewe,ending his career at Warrington Arpley.

His account tells how the railway of the 1970s 1980s was run on a mixture of overtime/cooperation/comradeship/rule breaking & alcohol.

the final chapters cover the twilight years of BR as the madness of rail privatisation/fragmentation/in fighting/low morale/disillusionment & redundancy set in

As a former signalman & supervisor on BR,myself,I cannot condone some of the authors sometimes very bad behaviour,but no doubt that`s how things were sometimes done in the past.

Things did have to change on BR ,but towards the end this book shows that behind the scenes the very poorly thought out privatisation of BR that was foisted on to it`s staff to deal with,was indeed a privatisation too far.

If you understand railway terminology then this book is certainly well worth a look & does indeed document a railwayman`s 25 year railway career.

I liked it.

All in all a very good book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book if you are interested in the real railways of the 70's-80's, 1 Dec 2013
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S. Moore - See all my reviews
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If you are interested in the real railways of the 1970-80's then this is an excellent book!
The author worked in a number of positions not normally written about and ones that would probably not be considered glamorous, mainly signalling, station work and managing train crews. I never knew there was so much involved to running a station.
As he worked his way through the ranks he explains the intricacy's of the various jobs in a humorous way that is both interesting and informative.
For those reviewers who have complained about some of the antics gotten up to in those days I have to say it really annoys me when people judge the past by today's standards. The 1970's are a world away from where we are today, but as I remember it, the 70's was a much nicer time in which to live and work. So I don't begrudge the author some of his antics.
This is a book that tells it like it was and is all the better for it.
A really excellent read, my thanks to the author for sharing his time on the railway with us
I
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars been there done that, 18 Oct 2013
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Dave,s description of railway life in the british railways era is spot on. I worked in the footplate grade during the sixties and it was common for us to have our "snap" in the local hostlery wherever we were relieved. Having left the job because i believed there was no future for the industry , I returned to it in the signaling grade in the nineties and found the job was totally cleaned up of bad practise. I retired as mobile operations manager in 2010 having give my 50 years service to the taxman. I "feel" for the young signallers i supervised as the job is being run not by "railwaymen" but people who work for the railway. people like dave are very rare on the railway today.all the characters have gone leaving it for the bean counters to pick it clean. P.S.Hyde retired M.O.M.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not an exciting read, 1 July 2013
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Presumes a fairly good knowledge of railway operation and terminology, very mundane but a realistic description of BR operations prior to privatisation. Interesting if you know any of the characters mentioned. Very little human interest away from the work-place. I found it a bit of a chore to wade through until it's conclusion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Out of Control - Dave Borshik, 21 Jan 2013
By 
Mr. P. Stevenson (Sheffield UK) - See all my reviews
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Quite a technical story of the working life of a railway employee from signalman through the ranks to supervisory status. A frank no punches pulled account of the workings of the railway. A basic understanding of train and station operation is an advantage to the reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book, 19 Jan 2013
This review is from: Out of Control (Kindle Edition)
A well written book. I started and left the railway at about the same time and I'm the same age, although I was in the workshops at Doncaster. I could totally relate to his experiences and promotion attempts (I ended up as a STO), even though I didn't know any of the people mentioned I could compare them to those I did know.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has worked on the railway.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 17 Jan 2013
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An excellent insight into the career of a railwayman and the mess that was privatisation. Sadly something that's happening again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Starts well but ...., 9 Oct 2012
By 
R. D. T. Griffiths (Woking, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I found the book really interesting to start with - but later I kept thinking - I'll be glad to finish it. As a boozers guide to BR it has no equal! The early interesting accounts of life in the signalling department was fascinating but by mid way it seemed to spend a lot of time on the boozing activites of the authour & some collegues. Towards the end a lot of slagging off of collegues, giving the impression that the only competent person running the railways was our author and a few collegues. It woudl have been a lot more interesting to read more of the practical problems of the run up to privatisation and the early stages of its implementation. It is far too self centered. I thought back to another era of the James Heriot books of Yorkshire and the delight of these was not being centred around Herriot but on the characters he came into contact with daily. Instead of slagging them off he brought out the richness of their awkwardness and eccentricty and made it funny. With this book the authro never sees the funny side of awkward people and situations, only the negative and after a while it gets quite depressing to read. Its not a book I would want to read over again - at least not beyond the early chapters
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Good Book by David Borshik, 31 May 2012
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If you are interested in the railways and reading about how they, and the world, have changed over the last 25years then this book is for you.
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