View Full Version : better than the telly'

Colin Pook
4th July 2013, 07:47 AM
Does any-one remember PERISCOPES fitted to some southern railway coaches?

Around 1945ish, I would travel by train with my parents between Portsmouth and Exeter, and from Salisbury after we had changed trains, I would spend much of the journey in the guards compartment looking along the length of the train through the PERISCOPE. One faced forward, and another faced the rear. Although a lot of the time the view to the front was obscured by smoke and steam from the West Country Pacific loco, it was brilliant to sit and watch the world go by from a completely different perspective. On occasions, I have mentioned this fact to people who are/were railway buffs, and some thought I was pulling their plonkers.

Does this bring back memories to any-one?


4th July 2013, 09:56 AM
Bluebell Railway have them Colin

Bluebell Railway Vans - No.404 (http://www.bluebellrailway.co.uk/bluebell/pics/404.html)

Tony Wilding
4th July 2013, 02:11 PM
hi, well i learn something new, ! was not aware of them, from 1945 to 1950 i lived in Kent, travelled on quite a few SR Trains, but never in the Guards Comartment.

4th July 2013, 03:14 PM
They were also in some of the carriages to Tony , I think there is some more information on the Bluebell Railway site

try The Development of the Railway Carriage (http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/car_fs1.html)

happy daze john in oz
5th July 2013, 05:56 AM
I travelled quite a lot between London and Sunderland by train in the 1950's but do not recall seeing the periscope. But the trains were great, corridor trains that rocked and rolled along the line, whistle blowing, smoke from the funnel and the sulphuric smell in the air. Toilets and fancy restaurant cars where all manner of meals would be served. Pre booked seats with only 8 to each cabin, luggage racks overhead, sleepy passengers almost hypnotised by the regular clickety clack of the wheels going over the fish plates. Station staff with a green flag and whistle to set the train in motion, train attendants going up and down the train to ensure all was in order.
Then the goods trains with the magical 'guards van' at the rear. So often as young lads we mused about whaht would be in there, did the guard take his wife with him, could he cook his meals there, what did he acrry in there. Then the big one, did they carry prisoners in there? The innocence of youth saw us asking all manner of questions about the guards van. Sadly I never did get to see insie one until a couple of years ago here in Oz. There is an historical railway still opperating weekends and public hollidays, not as exciting as I imagined, very basic with room for only some mail bags, definitely no prisoners I was told.
The romance of the steam train, mcuh like the ships we knew, is now gone but memories live forever.

Colin Pook
5th July 2013, 02:06 PM
aaaah, John. Poetry in motion!