Heritage Railway

Former colleagues recall fireman known as ‘the colonel’

WHILE much of the recent attention about the fatal fire on the footplate of Britannia No. 70051 Firth of Forth has understandably and rightly centred on the driver, Wallace Oakes, some thoughts of railwaymen from the time of the tragedy have also turned to the fireman, Gwilym Roberts.

Wallace died from terrible burns a week after a blowback on the footplate of the Pacific on June 5, 1965, when the Carlisle-bound express was travelling at 55mph through Winsford station north of Crewe. The 33-year-old former LMS man

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