Barrie Ward

War Department (WD) “Austerity” 2-8-0, number 90722, with a mixed freight train passes through Woodlesford in the early 1960s. The locomotive was one of a class of 935 built by the Vulcan Foundry at Newton-le-Willows during the Second World War. This one entered service in April 1945 and after the war was based at Wakefield from 1949 then Normanton from July 1957. It was withdrawn in June 1967 and cut up for scrap at Rawmarsh near Rotherham.

Barrie Ward was born in 1944 and grew up in the Belle Isle district of Leeds. Many of his friends came from railway families and like most boys of his age after the Second World War he was an avid trainspotter. His main stamping ground was the old Great Northern mainline from Leeds Central through Ardsley to Wakefield Westgate and London Kings Cross. On one occasion he remembers having a ride on the footplate of the world record breaking engine Mallard as it went on shed after bringing a train in from London. Barrie’s first job was as a trainee booking office clerk at Woodlesford for about 18 months starting in 1960. “It was the best job I ever had,” he says.

Click on the links below to listen to Barrie’s stories.

Barrie Ward’s first job as a booking office clerk

All kinds of animals and birds!

Helping with parcels and in the signal box

Barrie Ward.
George William Flack was one of the porters at Woodlesford during Barrie Ward’s time as a trainee at the station. He was born at Plymouth in 1922 and before the war was working as a labourer whilst still living at home with his parents. His father was a boot and shoe maker. In 1944 George married Phyllis Walters, a daughter of Herbert Walters, a coal miner. Before the war she had lived with her parents on East View in Oulton. After the war George and Phyllis lived at 30 Green Lea. George died in 1996 and Phyllis passed away in 2013.