billnell63 1 - William Mitchell - LU Signal Engineer

William and his wife Nellie at Clacton in 1963.

Some of the posts in this blog on London underground have been dedicated to William Mitchell. This post explains him.

William Mitchell was a LU Signal Engineer who worked for the London Transport Executive/London Transport Board. William & his wife knew my family and he introduced me to the London Underground rail system at an early age, hence the origins of my interest in the tube. He was very knowledgeable about the tube system.

We went on a number of comprehensive tours of the system, and I clearly remember the clerestory roof tube stock. Also getting off the tube at King’s Cross Midland! As far as I remember a small number of peak hour tube trains did call at Midland station until the early 60’s (although I don’t know whether these were timetabled services or simply special requests to allow passengers cross platform interchange with the Great Northern line trains.)

William Mitchell (Bill) originally hailed from Dover, and married Eleanor (Nellie), a Londoner born in Gee Street, EC1. They married at what is now the Joseph Grimaldi church (this was once the old St James’s Chapel) on Pentonville Road.

He worked on the underground system as a signal engineer mostly on the Piccadilly and Northern Lines maintaining their signalling systems during the night-time shut down.

IMG 8855 - William Mitchell - LU Signal Engineer

The flats in Britannia Street, London WC1.

They lived at Derby Lodge in Britannia Street. The old flat is no longer there. The original units were somewhat small. Camden council remodelled the block by merging a number of units hence each floor gained fewer, but larger, flats. Great views of London could be had from the rooftop of Derby Lodge plus a grandstand view of the tube trains making their way past the old Midland stop and down the cuttings towards Swinton Street. More reason to have an interest in London’s tube trains! 🙂

William died around early 1968 in University College Hospital not long after an emergency operation.

They had one daughter, Barbara, who emigrated to Canada in the mid sixties and married Stewart, one of a fairly large number of farmers of the same family of Bosomworth from the area around Carstairs and Banff.

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