Working on the railways was a unique experience and because of the very erratic shift patterns it was difficult to have a full life away from work so colleagues became friends. Days out, holidays and sporting activities were planned and set up with each other.
Every depot had its own sporting teams and because of depot rivalry would play against each other and winning was great pride.
Northampton had good football and fishing teams and Bletchley had football, bowls and golfing.
We would meet up for drinks after work and the Christmas parties at the B.R.S.A. club.
While on a 'spare' duty it could mean anything between walking through the door and given a job or actually sitting for 8 hours, so time was passed drinking tea and playing cards ( note how all three depots shown have the two factors in common).
Today mess rooms are full of people sitting playing games and texting on their phones or other mobile devices.