Full steam ahead for next railway reunion

Peter Fletcher pictured outside the Princess Helena.
Peter Fletcher pictured outside the Princess Helena.
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FORMER colleagues who worked on Hartlepool’s railway can get up to speed with each other’s lives during a repeat reunion.

Town pensioner Matt Daley, 92, is once again calling on his fellow workers of the town’s rail network to attend a reunion at the Princess Helena pub, in Whitby Street.

They are held on the third Wednesday in April and also in October, with the next planned for April 17, from 7.30pm.

Mr Daley, who lives in the Hart Lane area and worked on the railways from 1936 to 1983, rising through the ranks from being a “cleaner lad” to secretary, overseeing the locomotive section, has regularly appeared in Together Again asking for his former workmates to attend the gathering.

He usually urges as many of the lads to go along as possible, saying the workpals’ numbers are declining.

The reunions have been taking place for the past 18 years, having been originally held at the RAFA club in Stockton Road, which was previously run by Princess Helena landlord Peter Fletcher, who was a fresh-faced 21-year-old when he started working on the railways from 1966.

Peter, 67, who worked for Hartlepool’s motive power department until 1971 before leaving to be a steel erector at Seal Sands, joked: “I love providing a venue for the lads to get together over the years, but it costs me money! For the past 20 years I have been putting food on for them. But seriously, it’s always great to see them all.”

Among the regulars who usually turn up are Eddie Chadbourne, former town mayor Vic Burton, Ronnie Crilley and Eric Cussons.