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William AskewGoods foreman
Full name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by) : William Askew
Date and Place of Birth: 5th November 1888, Carlisle, Cumberland
Date and Place of Death: 2nd October 1954 – at Mount Healey Villas, Rothbury
Parent’s occupations: N/K
Schools / universities attended and years of attendance: N/K
Occupation: Railway station master – Goods foreman at Gretna
Place of residence at Gretna: N/K
Job title at Gretna: Goods foreman.
Marital status: Married Isabella Harrison at Hartburn, Northumberland.
Children: 3 sons
Trivia / any other information:
William Askew was born on 5th November 1888 at Carlisle, Cumberland.
1903 – held first post as a junior railway clerk in Carlisle
1910- 1915 – Railway guard at Rothbury, Northumberland
1911 – boarder at Cambo, Wallington, Northumberland- a railway porter
1915 – Living in Longtown- goods foreman working partly for railway and partly for the government overseeing the construction of the munitions factory.
5th September 1918 – married Isabella Harrison at Hartburn, Northumberland
1921 – William, Isabella, John and 1 other are on the record in Hexham, Northumberland
1939 – Living at 3 Mount Heakey, Rothbury, Railway station master. Also, former air ministry corps
1953- retired as reported in Morpeth Herald – Friday 06 November 19
“Stationmaster Retires At Rothbury Mr. William Askew, stationmaster at Rothbury for 20 years and a railway employee for 50 years, retired yesterday from his appointment, which is being taken over by Mr. J. B, Horner, formerly relief stationmaster in the Darlington area. As well as being Guy Fawkes Day, Thursday was also Mr. Askew’s 65th birthday, and therefore the date he was due for retirement. “I started the days of the old iron foot-warmers,” Mr. Askew told reporter this week. They were oblong metal boxes full of hot water, which were placed in the middle of the carriage for people to keep their feet warm, before the days of steam heating My father was on the railway before me and my grandfather before that—he was one of the first railway policemen at Carlisle Citadel Station in the old Victorian days.” Mr. Askew himself held his first post at Carlisle, where he was born, as a junior clerk in April 1903. He came to Rothbury in 1910 as a guard on the Rothbury train and remained till 1915, when he was transferred to Longtown, on the Scottish Border, as goods foreman. In this capacity he worked partly for the railway and partly for the government, seeing through the construction and working of the Gretna munitions factory until the 1918 Armistice. Then he came to Middleton, near Morpeth, as station master, and was there two years being being moved to Chollerton. After 10 years went to Riddings Junction on the Carlisle Waverly line, and remained there two years until he came back to Rothbury in 1933. Here he has stayed ever since and will spend his retirement at his home Mount Healey Villas. Mrs. Askew was formerly Miss Isabella Harrison, of Middleton. They have three sons, but none work on the railway. One the features of his career which Mr. Askew recounted was when he supervised the moving of an entire farm by railway. It was the first time such a thing had been done, and special train was engaged to take the farm from Brinkbum, near Rothhury, to Yorkshire. It was Mr. Joe Ainsley’s farm Butterknowes. We took the lot lock, stock and barrel,” said Mr. Askew to a reporter. There was poultry and cattle, horses and bees, cows and farm implements, as well as all the household furniture.” This was some 20 years ago—since then Mr. Askew has seen troop trains in war-time, scenic excursions in peace-time, the closing of the passenger line year ago. and fast all the Cocktail Special,” which ran from Morpeth to Rothbury this autumn. The winter of 1947 was one which Mr. Askew will never forget there was total of 32 days when no trains got through out the Rothbury line during that storm. “As soon as we got them dug out of the snow they were in again,” he said. As well as being stationmaster at Rothbury for so many years, Mr. Askew is widely known for his musical talents. He once ran a dance band and gave his services as pianist to social and charity functions all over the district. I hope to continue with my musical hobby after my retirement.” he said. Mr. Askew learned’ to play the piano as a boy in Portobello, Edinburgh.”
2nd October 1954 – died at Mount Healey Villas, Rothbury aged 65
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