Big Bang @ Enfield by Graham Train

In my early years at Enfield Loco Depot I worked in the telegraph room, one particular night all was going well, crews were on time, engines were whistling out on time an all was at peace, then a terrific explosion occurred in No. 2 shed, as the charge room was just outside my door, I saw the Chief Chargeman fall off his seat, as he picked himself up and was about to bolt out of the room, together with the other chargemen (who had been enjoying a quite cuppa) the shed intercom burst into life with someone yelling 5912 HAS JUST BLOWN UP !!!! . The chargeman immediately rang the Fire Brigade to report this most grievous news, and after doing this he proceeded to the shed with as great a haste as his bulk and fitness would allow.

Upon arriving at the place where 5912 was stabled he found the pit to be well alight and the shed staff gaining control of the situation. After expending all of No. 2 shed's fire extinguishes the fire was put out. Now enginemen who know will tell you that lighting up an oil burner can be a bit tricky especially if the blower is not on to clear the smoke box of fumes, this appears to have been the story received by the chargeman in his investigation being carried out at the site of this incident.

The peace and calm of the preceding hour was now returning to the depot when in the background we heard the distant wail of the fire brigade sirens, a few minutes later two fire engines pulled up just outside the shed and out of the dark came a very high ranking fire officer barely able to balance himself under the weight of all the gold braid on his hat and lapels, as he came within shouting distance he yelled to the assembled throng "WHERE IS THE OIL TANK THAT'S BLOWN UP?" The chargeman (now in a relaxed mood ) replied, "IT'S OK, WE HAVE GOT IT ALL UNDER CONTROL", pointing out some embers in the soot, in the roof.

The rotund Fire Chief drew himself up to his full height of importance and yelled, "IS THAT IT ... IS THAT IT, I THOUGHT AN OIL CONTAINER LIKE THAT AT BOTANY OIL REFINERY HAD BLOWN UP AND I'VE GOT SYDNEY COMING, I HIT THE RED BUTTON."

The next exchange between the pair is not fit to be told even to hardened enginemen , but let me say that my youth left me that night as I learnt a lot of words that have served me well at special times in my latter years.