For enthusiasts and researchers of the Great Eastern Railway

RH084: Under the Griffin's Wing: a Norwich Life.

NEW NOVEMBER 2020.  This is the title of a 224-page book which has recently been published.  You can purchase and download the full digital version here.  If you wish for a hard copy instead, you can get it from Bittern Books of Coltishall (whose website is HERE) for £14 plus P&P.

The Griffin's Wing in the title refers to the symbol of the Great Eastern Railway.  Fred Cobb was born in Norwich in 1896.  His father had served the GER for 47 years.  Fred in turn worked for the GER, the LNER and finally British Railways.  Apart from his army service during World War 1 and a ten-year spell in Ipswich, he continued to live in Norwich for all of his life.  He enjoyed writing, and penned a series of articles for the LNER Magazine relating to his local area.

After he retired in 1961 he wrote a draft of his autobiography.  On his death in 1977, his daughter kept the manuscript.  His great-nephew, Chris Cobb, has since edited the work and added illustrations, and in 2020 arranged for it to be published.

 The book provides some fascinating insights into the role and career progression of a railway clerk and, despite his protestations about the lowly pay and lack of early advancement, it seems that Fred was reasonably well-off. He married Irene in 1928 but had already built his own house in Thorpe and owned a sailing boat on the Broads. Soon after his marriage he was able to purchase a car.

The First World War inevitably was a major event in Fred’s life and four of the nineteen chapters of the book deal with his service in England, France and Italy. This period of his life was not without railway interest and who else has written of his experience as a clerk attached to an armoured train?  Unlike many other poor souls, the author did not fight in the trenches but was attached to Headquarters’ staff, his clerical skills again serving him well.

The book concludes with a sizeable appendix containing Fred's articles from the LNER Magazine.

Chris Cobb has agreed that we might offer the digital version here in our Files Emporium. All sales will help him to offset the considerable cost of getting the book published, but nevertheless he is generously willing to share the proceeds with our Society.  The copyright to the contents of the work remains with him.

We have added bookmarks to all the main sections of the file, including each chapter.  It will be available to download as soon as payment has been made. You go to your account and click on ‘Downloads’. New customers create an account as they place their order.

Pages 224
File Size (MB) 12.2

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