Yorkshire Evening Post (20/Apr/1934) - Carving of a Train at a Yorkshire Station
Carving of a Train at a Yorkshire Station That was Done by a Boy of Sixteen.
Above the garden on the "up" platform of Berry Brow station, near Huddersfield, carved in the stone of the cutting in which the station stands, is a model of an early railway train. Below and a little to the right is another carving of a later train.
These carvings, one done in the middle of the last century by a father, and the other by his son towards the end of the century, have an interesting history.
In a cottage near the station, an old man sits during the evenings poring over books on the art of the sculptor, and he often recalls the days when his hand was steady, and able to hold chisel or hammer. Those were great days, when a block of stone could be transformed into the image of someone who had become famous, or even someone who was non-existent, save in the mind of the artist.
To-day, Mr. John W. Stocks looks back on the days when he was young, travelling all over the world to execute commissions with hammer and chisel. His work is done, and he longs for the opportunity to pass on his knowledge to some young man who will follow in his footsteps, as he followed in those of his father.
Apprenticed at 14.
When John Stocks was a boy, he used to sit in his father's workshop and watch carefully every move of the hands of the old craftsman. He learned to handle the tools, and when 14 was apprenticed to his father.
Two years later, the elder Mr. Stocks was called away from his workshop for a week or two, and left his son in charge, but with nothing to do.
The boy had spent a lot of his time watching the trains in Berry Brow station, and had also taken particular notice of the carving in the rock, done by his father. It was of a train coming out of a tunnel, but the model of the engine was old, and the soft rock had worn away in many places, so young John Stocks decided that the station should have a more up-to-date carving.
Weather's Destructive Hand.
He set to work on some stone from a quarry near the station, and by the time his father returned, the work was complete. This carving was also of a train coming out of a tunnel, and was accurate in every detail, even to the passengers in the carriage.
This carving was erected in 1886, and still stands in the same place. Now this stone has been worn away by the weather, and the detail is not now so complete, but unfortunately there is no one to make a third carving.