My Dad, John Kane

When I was a young girl, I loved to go over to meet my dad, John Kane, a steam engine driver with the Great Northern Railway, as he was coming out of the railway station at Edward Street.  He would pick me up in his arms and carry me to our home in Maginness Street.  

However, the best time of all was when I was allowed to go to the old shed at the station.  I’d go on board one of the great big engines and watch as he and the fireman got ready to take the freight wagons to Goraghwood.

I watched as the coal was shovelled into the fire and he told me how the fire heated the water so that the great big wheels would go round to pull the wagons or coaches.

For a treat, sometimes, I was allowed to go with him to Goraghwood.

Looking at all the dials and clocks in the engine I felt very proud of my dad because he knew all about them and he alone was driving this great engine.

It was very draughty but the heat from the fire would keep me warm and when I looked out from the side of the cab I could feel the wind blowing my hair but I couldn’t see much because the wind made me close my eyes. 

I felt that we must have been going at 100 miles an hour as the trees seemed to speed past our train.

When we got back to Newry my dad would take my hand and as we walked home I was as proud as punch because my face was black – just like his!

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