Hucknall councillor recalls when toilet trips needed to sync with train timetable

A Hucknall councillor has revealed that when he was a youngster, a visit he made to the toilet needed to be perfectly timed.
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In a talk to fellow members of Hucknall Men's Probus Club, Coun Gordon Mann (Ash Ind), who represents Hucknall North on Ashfield Council said he used to live in a terraced house and the family loo was at the bottom of the garden next to a railway line.

He said: "At the age of four, I recall that when I used the toilet, I had to make sure it was not at the time a Manchester to London express thundered by as when this happened, it sent bits of plaster flying off the wall and filled the loo with smoke."

Gordon's address was entitled 'Hucknall Railways of Yesteryear' and he recalled Britannia-class locos with names which included Boadicea, William Shakespeare and Clive of India, as well as goods trains which carried freight – which even included rabbit meat.

Going to the loo needed to be a carefully timed activity for Coun Mann when he was young. Photo: OtherGoing to the loo needed to be a carefully timed activity for Coun Mann when he was young. Photo: Other
Going to the loo needed to be a carefully timed activity for Coun Mann when he was young. Photo: Other
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One famous train he remembered was the top-notch Master Cutler, which offered fine cuisine.

Gordon also remembered the town's former Great Central station had a very homely sitting room with a roaring fire in the winter, clean toilets and flower beds.

In those days railway journeys were so well timed that they 'ran like clockwork'.

Railway workers felt 'betrayed' when the Great Central line was shut down in 1963 and town MP William Whitlock came in for a lot of criticism.

Amongst other things, the closure meant that an owl lost its nest – which led to the angry bird attacking people and dogs on the High Leys gardens as a result.

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