To search our directory of workers at HM Factory Gretna either enter any name, place of birth or place of death in the search box or if you know what their job was from select from the drop-down menu.
Norman Taylor FoxChemist
NORMAN TAYLOR FOX
Date and place of birth : 23 October 1888 in Longsight, Lancashire
Date and place of Death : 24 May 1954 in Worsley, Lancashire
Biography: Norman had one brother named Edward Bowker Fox who was born in Lisburn, Ireland in 1893. Unfortunately Edward died in Dunmurry, Ireland in 1901 aged just 7 years. So Norman grew up from then as an only child. The family came back to Lancashire by 1911’
Charles Edward Fox and Mary Jane Bowker
who were married in 1886 in Bolton District.
Parents occupation . Charles worked for a while as a Cotton Linen Dyer but later travelled for Chemical Works.
Schools Universities attended and years of attendance – Not known
Place of residence at Gretna: Not known
Norman married Evelyn Gasquoine 1918 in Prestwich District, Lancashire
Children: Norman and Evelyn had three children
Edward Gasquoine Fox 1922
Mary Elizabeth Fox 1925
Joan Taylor Gasquoine Fox 1927
Job title at Gretna: Chemical Engineer After the war Norman became the Manager of a Chemical Engineering Works near his home in Lancashire.
Travels – Nil known
Awards/recognitions: Nil known
Trivia/any other information
Norman died at his family home in Worsley, Lancashire
Heaton Cemetery, Bolton, Lancashire
Dornock Farewell Magazine
Further Links, notes and comments.
Norman wrote an article for the Dornock Farewell Magazine: Page 42
THE 11.20 “ UP EXPRESS.”
ON a dark, unhealthy September night, the “ Up Express ” is standing in lonely
state awaiting her tired and weary passengers. Figures wend their way in the
blackness amongst a hundred pitfalls and death-traps, for in those days the construction
people had a nasty habit of digging holes in “ Mother Earth ” and forgetting to fill
them in again. The platform has been missing for some time, and it is thought that
some Shift Chemist has lifted it for use on the plant. To get into the compartment
is an acrobatic feat, and requires some skill and patience. The compartments are of
two classes, and these are so distinct and separate that a popular paper has taken the
matter up and noised it throughout the length and breadth of the country.
The Chemists recline in luxuriously-upholstered carriages, criticising the latest war
position, whereas all others aboard sit on hard, cold, rigid seats. These latter com-
partments, it is expected, will be sold under the hammer of the Minister of Munitions
for hen-roosts or ice-cream vans, if the Minister can find a speculative party of buyers.
While the compartments are in process of filling, the driver and stoker are doing
their best to induce “ Elgie ” to summon a reasonable steam pressure. The driver
is busy wiping the sweat and the grease-stains from off “ Elgie’s ” wonderful anatomy
while fondly watching the pressure gauge, and the stoker is breaking his neck poking
and tearing the “ innards ” of the burning fiery furnace. In the meantime the guard
paces up and down the length of his beat, adjusting all handles that are out of the
Under the careful massage and skilled attention of driver and stoker. “ Elgie ”
begins to purr and respond like a well-bred fireside cat, and shews signs of a healthy
steam pressure. In fact, the symptoms are so promising that the driver and stoker
beckon the guard to indulge in conversation upon the excellent qualifications of “ Elgie.5”
The guard suddenly remembers he has a watch, and finds he is half an hour late. This
is, however, a mere detail ; and furthermore, one of the three hundred and u uniteen ”
passengers aboard has gone back to the changeroom for her hat-pin, and the guard must
needs wait for his permit to proceed from the Lady Supervisor. This being given,
the guard, who by the way is one of the ” forty years or more ” class with a strong
instinct for politeness, gives the secret sign to the driver—whereupon the driver
pierces the night with a shrill blast from the whistle. Moments and more moments
pass on, but the “ Up Express ” does not move.
This interval between whistle and start is always necessary to overcome the
extensive and rapid fall in Elgie’s ” steam pressure. (The Research Department
afterwards took this question up and succeeded in reducing the time interval by 1.01
seconds and increasing the efficiency of “ Elgie’s ” hot-water system by 0.098 per
cent.) The steam pressure is won back by valiant efforts of driver and stoker, and with
grim, set faces they begin the intricate manipulation of levers and valves. At last the
“ Up Express ” begins to move off. Sparks and flames fly out into the night from
the roaring furnace, speed increases from degree to degree, until telegraph poles verge
into thickly wooded forests, curves become right-angles, and miles inches, to this flying
monster of the night. All goes well with the u Up Express ” while she is eating up
the miles between Dornock and Gretna, until Rigg Power House is reached.
The lineat this point bridges a gully, and this becomes the scene of a terrible smash. The
Staff in the rear coach are awakened from sweetest dreams by violent rockings to and
fro, and feel the journey brought to a rough and untimely end. A walk along the
four-foot-way reveals that the “ Up Express ” has got into a very untidy condition.
The first coach has left the rails, with one end in the bottom of the gully and the other
resting against the bridge, the following two are over on their sides, and the fourth
has jumped the metals. There is much confusion, whilst yells and screams pierce the ear.
The driver blows the engine whistle, the guard flashes his 999 candle-power lamp, girls
crawl out from every corner of the rubbish heap, and the scene as a whole would have
insured good running for a Cinema film.
Four of the Dornock Chemists proceed to give assistance to unravel the tangle.
Carriage doors are burst open, white and trembling damsels are transferred to the
railway banking, hats are carefully dusted and laid side by side on the track; diamond
tiaras, weird and wonderful love novels, and a few stray tails of synthetic hair are
rescued and put aside for distribution or otherwise. In the meantime a number of
cases have fainted, but we bring them back to earth again by raising violent blisters
on the cheeks, and exciting the ear with beautiful silvery voices in far-away tones.
We become heroes—and are told a hundred and one confidences; but we continue to
administer our gentle and fairy-like evolutions with unparalleled success. We retire
to our wooden huts at 3-1S akk. EMMA. N T F