During the construction of Gizmo the thought crossed the management's mind that Whittlecreek and Eaton St Torpid Heritage Railway's workshop should have its own logo. No sooner the thought than the deed. (Not strictly true – the management heated up and ate leftovers of rather good curry between inspiration and actualisation. But this is not the reason the background is the same colour as turmeric. As the management has an arty background, the colour is listed in The Regulations as 'gamboge'.)
Much of Whittlecreek and Eaton St Torpid Heritage Railway's web site gently takes the mickey out of assorted real-world organisations and individuals. So the first thought was to call the engineering facility something like 'Broom Engineering' or 'Bombastic Transportation Production Site'. But the thoughts passed. But, just as Brush Engineering had a large sculpture of a falcon which led to the main production site being called the Falcon Works (the sculpture is now at the National Tramway Museum) perhaps Whittlecreek and Eaton St Torpid Heritage Railway's Engineering workshop should also have an ornithologically-inspired emblem. Indeed, given the frequency of fortuitous birds in the Whittlecreek and Eaton St Torpid Heritage Railway web site this seemed essential.
If falcons were already spoken for, how about other raptors? Eagles have rather unfortunate associations with empires – some quite evil – and kestrels, kites, buzzards, peregrines and even merlins don't quite have the same 'oomph'. So perhaps a corvid? Ravens certainly have 'oomph' in trumps. But crows, rooks and magpies have a less positive public persona. Choughs have already made an appearance at Whittlecreek and Eaton St Torpid Heritage Railway. And not many people even realise that jays are corvids – perhaps because because they're prettier than their relations. But jackdaws are real cuties – the management team fell in love with the substantial posse co-habitating with the rooks at Avebury, Wiltshire – and there are a few nesting pairs around the W&ESTHR Engineering workshop. Indeed at one time a pair nested in the top of the chimney which runs up through the workshop. So the 'Jackdoor Works' it will be…
All Whittlecreek and Eaton St Torpid Heritage Railway's rolling stock has been adapted or built from scratch in the 'Jackdoor Works', although only some of the rolling stock bears the W&ESTHR Engineering logo.
The illustration at the top of this page which purports to show the elevation of the Jackdaw Works is based on a former Victorian warehouse, constructed in 1870 (although over 200 miles away from north-west Norfolk… ).
A brief biography of The Bench
The Bench in early 2019
The bench used for Whittlecreek and Eaton St Torpid Heritage Railway's workshop was made by the management's father around 1966. It incorporates part of a pine worktop which had been used at Morley's knitwear factory at Heanor, Derbyshire (where he was Works Engineer for a year or so) – the site of Morley's factory is now a Tesco supermarket. This work surface may date back to the 1930s, certainly the 1950s. About 2010, after the management's father exiled himself to the south coast of Kent, the bench was 'passed on'. So for over fifty years this bench has been in use almost continually for a wide range of DIY and other activities. And has 'real history' prior to that.
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Images and text copyright Bob Trubshaw 2018–2021