Which stations did Red Star serve?

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by alistairlees, 13 Oct 2019.

  1. Sprinter107

    Sprinter107 Member

    Messages:
    343
    Joined:
    26 Mar 2019
    Yes, that was the Red Star office at Droitwich. I can remember the large scales in there. The building at Kidderminster still had the scales and other stuff still in there just before it was demolished in the early 2000s, even tho it had been disused for a while by then.
     
  2. Andy R. A.

    Andy R. A. Member

    Messages:
    57
    Joined:
    25 Aug 2019
    Location:
    Hastings, East Sussex.
    Battle, East Sussex, used to regularly send bundles of Bamboo shoots Red Star to Charing Cross for the Pandas at London Zoo.
     
  3. Fawkes Cat

    Fawkes Cat Member

    Messages:
    785
    Joined:
    8 May 2017
    BR Computing (as it probably then wasn't) created PBM - the Parcels Business Machine - to run on networked PCs for Red Star - printing despatch labels, and (I guess) specifying routes and notifying arrivals. When it was reaching the end of its useful life, the NRM asked for a working version on a standalone machine. My colleagues who had worked on the thing had distinctly mixed feelings: pride that something they had built was going into the national collection, while feeling rather old in that something they had done as part of their day job was ancient enough to be in a museum.
     
  4. alistairlees

    alistairlees Established Member

    Messages:
    1,589
    Joined:
    29 Dec 2016
    This is turning out to be a mine of interesting anecdotes. I never realised that Red Star carried such diverse things as bamboo shoots for pandas at London Zoo, for instance! All I can remember was documents.
     
  5. Three-Nine

    Three-Nine Member

    Messages:
    86
    Joined:
    5 Aug 2015
    Honiton in Devon had Red Star until the service was closed down; those of you that remember the old station building before the 2012 rebuild may recall that the ticket office had two windows, only one of which was equipped with APTIS; the other was mostly used for taking in parcels. Honiton had the relevant computer equipment for logging parcels and dot matrix printer (kids, ask your grandparents... :smile:) for printing labels, as well as a set of scales though in later years those were mostly used for weighing the odd guide dog at the request of volunteers...! There were very few users of the service at this location by the mid - late 90s.
     
  6. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

    Messages:
    4,359
    Joined:
    1 Aug 2013
    Part of the computer company I referred to above had in the 1980s national engineers, including one based around Pwllheli etc in North Wales who worked with his regional office in Manchester. They sent, most days it seemed, spare parts to him by Red Star from Manchester to Bangor, and he went past there to pick them up. Even in the 1980s there were sufficient computers in his area there, many at banks but a number at the larger commercial premises.
     
  7. ajs

    ajs Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    2 Feb 2018
    Havant had a Red Star Parcels Office, which later bacame a taxi office.

    Back in the mid 60s, mother in law bought a dog from a breeder in Nottingham. The dog or puppy as it was then, was sent by Red Star from Nottingham and collected at Havant. The pup made this journey in a tea chest!

    On arrival at Havant Station, the tea chest with pup in was put on board a bus for its journey to its new home.

    That journey today would not be allowed. I don't think that the journey had any ill effect on the dog who went on to live for many years.
     
  8. EssexGonzo

    EssexGonzo Member

    Messages:
    469
    Joined:
    9 May 2012
    Brentwood definitely did. Now the 202020 taxi office.
     
  9. Andy R. A.

    Andy R. A. Member

    Messages:
    57
    Joined:
    25 Aug 2019
    Location:
    Hastings, East Sussex.
    Button's Watercress used to be a very good Red Star customer, sometimes you could end up loading half a brake van full of Boxes/Trays of the stuff going up to Charing Cross.

    Although the Red Star office at Hastings was only open 0900-1700 people could still collect items by arrangement with the Station Supervisor. I seem to recall we had either a book or set of cards and you would peel the label off the consignment note and stick it in the book or on the card, and get a signature.
    One evening the local cinema were expecting the latest cans of film for the evening screening, and were getting worried when they hadn't turned up by 1700. Fortunately they turned up around 1830, and a call to the cinema brought a very relieved Manager to the office to pick the film up. I even got a pair of complimentary tickets for a later showing by way of a thank you !

    A distant memory comes to mind of problems with Brake Van space on EMUs. I seem to recall that several long thin items would only fit in the un-converted 4-VEPs with the large brake compartments (before they had the extra passenger compartments added in part of the brake sections). It required a few phone calls to try and arrange for a large brake version to be available.

    Those are the memories that spring to my mind, but I'm pretty sure there were many more back then ?
     
  10. paulravuslante

    paulravuslante Member

    Messages:
    429
    Joined:
    19 May 2010
    Location:
    West Drayton
    Two I can recall in my time were at Swansea and Dundee
     
  11. Steamysandy

    Steamysandy Member

    Messages:
    250
    Joined:
    29 Jan 2018
    Location:
    Longniddry
    Edinburgh Waverley had a Red Star Office sandwiched between Platform 19 and the North Cab Ramp.
    As an aside they ran a promotion on one occasion which led to my wife and I getting a couple of nights at the then London Tara Hotel in Kensington about 1986!
     
  12. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad Member

    Messages:
    218
    Joined:
    6 Jan 2010
    Location:
    Haltwhistle
    Newcastle upon Tyne had a Red Star office, not sure, but I think it was at the western end, beyond where WHS is now.
     
  13. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad Member

    Messages:
    218
    Joined:
    6 Jan 2010
    Location:
    Haltwhistle
    As for the Festiniog carrying Red Star parcels during the 1980s, I remember taking a cane sofa up to Blaenau once - carrying that across was "fun".
    Another day, I had two cast metal dishes, about 2ft in diameter rolling about in the Van, I point blank refused to unload them, but the people who had ordered them had been notified and came to collect.
     
  14. Grumpy Git

    Grumpy Git Member

    Messages:
    729
    Joined:
    13 Oct 2019
    Location:
    Earth (for now)
    I had some parts shipped to Nottingham from Huntingdon back in the late 80's / early 90's with Red Star.

    It was really quick and handy as the factory I was working in was on the opposite side of Station Road. I stood on the platform and waited for the train to arrive IIRC?
     
  15. pitdiver

    pitdiver Member

    Messages:
    726
    Joined:
    22 Jan 2012
    Milton Keynes had a Red Star Parcels office and even it's own loading/unloading dock,
    On another note someone up thread mentioned Luggage in advance. My mother and father always used this when we went on our summer holidays. Take an enormous trunk to our local stn. Then specify that you wanted carried and delivered. It would then magically turn up at your boardimg house/hotel and be ready for your two weeks by the sea. An amazing service. Then at the end of the two weeks go to the local stn and arrange for the aforementioned trunk to be collected and conveyed. It would magically appear at your local stn in about four days.
    My parent's local stn i don't believe has now even got a ticket office that is open for longer than a couple of hours per day.
     
    Last edited: 14 Oct 2019
  16. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

    Messages:
    7,523
    Joined:
    16 Nov 2008
    Location:
    The home of the concrete cow
    Brighton had one, the company I worked for used it during the fuel 'blockade' in 2000. We had a machine to get to a customer and our courier couldn't get to us.
     
  17. AndrewE

    AndrewE Established Member

    Messages:
    3,607
    Joined:
    9 Nov 2015
    ...so the answer to the original question is "Most staffed stations."
     
  18. jonty14

    jonty14 Member

    Messages:
    199
    Joined:
    3 Aug 2009
    Location:
    Rottweil Germany
    Sunderland had one. I remember seeing the Red Star logo when going to the model shop over the road. I think the shop was called "The Railway King"
     
  19. randyrippley

    randyrippley Established Member

    Messages:
    2,801
    Joined:
    21 Feb 2016

    they had an advertising slogan on the lines of "deliver to any station"
     
  20. GrimShady

    GrimShady On Moderation

    Messages:
    1,740
    Joined:
    13 Dec 2016
    Selby used to have a Red Star sign above a doorway beside Platform 2 untill the last few years.
     
  21. alistairlees

    alistairlees Established Member

    Messages:
    1,589
    Joined:
    29 Dec 2016
    Indeed. Mentioned in my original post I think. But that reminds me I should dig out the photo I took (sadly it is gone now).
     
  22. lancastrian

    lancastrian Member

    Messages:
    501
    Joined:
    2 Jan 2010
    Location:
    Bolton, Lancashire
    They were a separate company but you are right they did have green and yellow vans.
     
  23. alistairlees

    alistairlees Established Member

    Messages:
    1,589
    Joined:
    29 Dec 2016
  24. Brian M

    Brian M Member

    Messages:
    21
    Joined:
    14 Oct 2017
    Location:
    Witney
    image.jpeg
    Oxford - In the area where recent development has taken place for the new bay platforms for the Marylebone services.

    Took this pic some time ago as I thought it was a nice combination of the Victorian era postbox and the (very modern) HST depiction.
     
  25. quarella

    quarella Member

    Messages:
    801
    Joined:
    7 Dec 2009
    A coach firm I drove for had a contract to take oxygen cylinders delivered to the station by RedStar to the local Boots chemist. I don't recall returning any to the station.
     
  26. Springs Branch

    Springs Branch Member

    Messages:
    662
    Joined:
    7 Nov 2013
    Location:
    Where my keyboard has no £ key
    Wigan North Western had a Red Star office. IIRC it was round the back of the ticket office, where the back entrance directly from the platform underpass is.

    I think the nationwide roll-out of the Red Star brand occurred around the mid or late-1970s, at the same time as a lot of strikes and other disruption due to ASLEF and NUR pay claims (industrial chaos in that era was not restricted to the railways, of course)
    While walking into Wigan NW with a mate (who was a good bloke, but always had somewhat right-of-centre views for someone of youthful years), he commented "See - I told you British-bloody-Rail are a load of communists. They've even put up a Red Star on their stations!"
     
  27. WesternLancer

    WesternLancer Established Member

    Messages:
    1,513
    Joined:
    12 Apr 2019
  28. 40065

    40065 Member

    Messages:
    40
    Joined:
    5 Mar 2009
    Location:
    Highlands of Hampshire
    My first job for BR was as a clerk in the Red Star Parcels Office at London Waterloo.

    Happy memories of a bygone era. Especially the time I accidentally set off the emergency alarm that called the BTP when flexing my feet under the desk. And they turned up!

    Or the time a guy arranged to have an enormous glass container of rum sent from the West Indies via Southampton to Waterloo for collection. You guessed it. When he came to collect it the railman on duty dropped it. Pieces of glass everywhere not to mention the tidal wave of rum lapping around everyones feet in the office. The aroma lasted weeks. Hic!
     
  29. 33017

    33017 Member

    Messages:
    166
    Joined:
    9 Sep 2017
    Neath had a separate Red Star office between the booking office and buffet. At the time there was also a proper travel centre, too.
     
  30. duffield

    duffield Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Joined:
    31 Jul 2013
    Location:
    East Midlands
    For a while one of the IBM mainframe transaction processing services I looked after was PBMCICS - the mainframe back-end for PBM. I was responsible for the systems programmer side, not the application code but I remember there was some special assembler exit code for it that I had to adapt for a new version of CICS (IBM's high speed transaction processor). We were quite glad when it went away because it was a 'non-standard' service, i.e. a bit of a pain in the bum!

    I used Redstar to send my Atari 520 ST microcomputer (as they were called in pre-PC days) to Preston for a memory upgrade.

    The Redstar office was round the back of the BTP offices at Nottingham station.

    I remember at that time there were four variations on the Redstar service:
    Station to Station (cheapest)
    Collect from address, then station to station or Station to station then delivery to address (medium price)
    Collect from address, station to station, delivery to address (most expensive)

    I didn't get a discount despite being BR staff but I seem to remember the price wasn't unreasonable.
     

Share This Page