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The Ballad of John Axon 1957

In The Beginning
Ewan MacColl 1915 - 1989
Peggy Seeger 1935 -
Charles Parker 1919-1980
The Original Ballads
The Ballad of John Axon 1957
Song of a Road 1958
Singing the Fishing 1959
The Big Hewer 1960
The Body Blow 1961
On the Edge 1962
The Fight Game 1963
The Travelling People 1964
The New Radio Ballads
John Tams
The Song Of Steel
The Enemy That Lives Within
The Horn of the Hunter
Swings and Roundabouts
Thirty Years of Conflict
Ballad of the Big Ships

the true story of a Stockport railwayman. BBC's entry for the 1958 Italia Prize.(TSCD 801)

John Axon GC (4 December 1900 - 9 February 1957) was an English railway driver, from Stockport, who died while driving a runaway steam locomotive whose steam brakes had failed.The steam brake failed as the train breasted Dove Holes summit, north of Buxton, Derbyshire. At the time of the locomotive failure, driver Axon could had jumped clear of the then slow moving train. However, aware of the the danger his train posed to life further down the line, Axon stayed with his train despite the scalding steam on the footplate. He struggled to control his train. Despite the frantic warnings from Axon's fireman to the signalman, the train hit a freight train at Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire.

Axon was posthumously awarded the George Cross. He was the subject of this radio ballad. On 19 February, 1981, a British Rail Class 86 electric locomotive number 86261, called Driver John Axon, GC was unveiled at Euston Station, London.


1. John Axon Was A Railway Man
2. It Was 4a.m. That Saturday
3. Iron Road Road Is A Hard Road
4. It Doesn't Matter Where You Come From
5. Rain Was Gently Falling
6. Come All You British Loco Men
7. Repair Was Done
8. I May Be a Wage Slave On Monday
9. Come All You Young Maidens
10. Steam Train Steam Train
11. Under The Large Injector Steam-Valve
12. Engine Had Reached The Distant Signal
13. On The Third Of May 1957

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