Arthur Brooks

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Arthur Brooks
Occupation Chargehand fitter, Boston Lodge
FR People | WHR People

Arthur Brooks was born in Cheadle on 4th June 1931, the only child of Mabel and Arthur Brooks.[1] At the age of two he moved with his parents to Didsbury, Manchester where he spent his childhood and early adulthood. He was surrounded by a close family network of grandfather, aunts, uncles and cousins all living in the Manchester area. There were many happy family gatherings, especially at his parents home in Grange Lane Didsbury. At the age of eleven he passed the scholarship examination to attend Central Manchester Grammar School in Whitworth Street. He left school at 16, as was then common, and went to work for Renolds's, the industrial transmission and chain makers, where his father also worked. He did National Service in the RAF when he trained as a navigator on Varsity and Valiant aircraft. He returned to Renold's as a draughtsman, where he rose through the ranks to become a team leader. He married Marjorie Keavehy who he first met at junior school, remaining married until her death forty four years later, in 2000.

Arthur was a member of Sale & District Model Railway Club where Vince Bashford encouraged him to volunteer on the FR. After one visit he was hooked and became a regular volunteer. Having proved his worth he was offered a permanent job at Boston Lodge in 1968 by the then Works Manager, Paul Dukes. He moved to a house in Railway Terrace, Tremadog, which he rented from the FR fitter Arwyn Morgan, and later bought. Marjorie also became involved with the FR, running the Railway's shop at Harbour Station for a time before moving on to work for other shops in Porthmadog.

At Boston Lodge became involved in footplate work at a time when FR traffic was rapidly increasing. His special responsibility became mechanical work on carriages. He was something of a perfectionist in this work. He was also a skilled instructor of young volunteers. Many pieces of equipment on the FR still bear the initials AB because he made them, and his expertise as a draughtsman was also exploited by the FR. He retired in June 1996 after 25 years service on the FR.

A railway enthusiast through and through, he never learnt to drive and his chosen mode of personal transport was a dropped handlebars bicycle.

For a personal appreciation see Heritage Group Journal No. 112, pages 7-9, "Arthur Brooks - a legendary figure" by Peter Dennis.


  1. ^ "Personal & Personnel", Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 220, page(s): 244

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