Toton Sidings Project Artefacts


A community project 2016 - 2018

supported by Heritage Lottery Fund

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John Woolley (shown here) brought in his father George's guard's lantern to our Open Days at The Erewash Museum Geoff Birkin, a fellow rotarian, lent us some items he had kept that belonged to his grandfather Jo Hallam.
This watch was lent to us for the display cabinet ( Long Eaton Library Exhibition) in Autumn 2017. It belonged to the late Mr T Dunn, Chief Clerk at the Cariage & Wagon Works at Toton and was kindly lent by his son, John. We loved this snapshot album lent by Brian Heath. It belonged to Ernest Hallam who worked at Toton rising from humble shunter to working in the Control Room. It contained Box Brownie prints that he had, very unusually, taken at work. See our Photos page for more.
Barry Ellerby wasn an avid collector of railway memorabilia. After his early death age 53, they were kept by son Ashley who got in touch with us. Barry was part of the diesel shunter team that kept all those wagons moving through Toton in its heyday. Andy Merriman worked in the offices at Toton for some years and gave talks both at our Launch Day at The Erewash Museum and our Celebration Morning in the Town Hall, Long Eaton. He generously donated various items of which this commemorative plate was just one.
One of our most exciting finds was lent to us by John Redgate of Long Eaton. His father Ted worked as a shunter chalker for many years at Toton. The pages shown are scanned from a notebook he made to remind himself of all the many siding destination numbers at Toton. Ted had to check all the small destination labels of incomong wagons approaching the hump and chalk up the siding number they had to go to. Staff in the Hump Room would read these as the wagons approached them. You get some idea of all the many destinations. Ted didn't quite complete his book!
An early entry to our collection was this fascinating letter sent after WW2 to all the railwaymen who had worked under difficult, demanding circumstances at the yards. They were a target for the enemy! Traffic was very heavy in those years. Rising through the ranks from cleaner to engine driver was a slow and demanding journey. On route, railwaymen had to pass various examinations in order to be given charge of a steam locomotive. This page is from a personally annotated manual designed to help prepare for the tests. The manual belonged to Reg Townsend and was lent by daughter Kay Bridge.
Walter Amos receiving his presentation clock on his retirement. His son Brian was a keen railway enthusiast and made Toton Sidings something of a cause celebre in the district. He provided very useful inputs to our project in its early stages. After his retirement, Walter enjoyed helping out as station master at Butterley Station, part of the Midland Steam Railway

In June 1929, Harry Charlton, a Toton driver, was sadly knocked down and killed by an engine while he was crossing tracks with a colleague near the wagon works at Toton Sidings. His companion, William Widdowson, heard the whistle of the approaching light engine but as William said at the inquest, Harry seemed to be deep in thought and missed it.
Henry had received a pocket watch in 1903 in recognition of his 25 years service for the railway.

Info from grandson Alan Charlton who is currently writing a history of Stapleford and Nottingham (Jan 2021)

I see you have a theme of pocket watches. I attach a photo of the watch I inherited from my grandfather Harry via my father. It certainly belonged to my grandfather, though the watch hallmark shows it was made in 1889 so there is a chance it was first given to my great grandfather Alfred Charlton who also worked on the railways in Stapleford.


Alan Charlton

Toton Area Manager Ray Pattison (in raincoat) presenting Long Service Award to supervisor Matt Coxhead(left) with Shunter Jimmy Mee looking on (with thanks to John Langford)