1906 09 15

1906 September 15th                           Off the Line

By the retirement of Mr Edward Miller (the stationmaster at Wilton), which takes place this week, the great Western Railway Company loses a very old servant, and the traveling public of the neighbourhood will miss the courteous attention which was always to be found at Wilton Station. Mr Miller entered the service of the company in February 1864, and, therefore, has more than 42 years of active service with all its attendant anxiety and worry as a retrospect to engage his attention during the many years of ease which we hope will fall to his lot.

Singularly enough Salisbury was the scene of his first taste of railway life, and here he spent about two years in the goods department and one year in the passenger service. To catch Mr Miller in his reminiscent mood would be to hear of many changes, alike in railway traveling as well as in other important things, which have taken place since his first sight of the cathedral city.

Possibly he would have to speak in regretful tones of many old friends among his confreres whose voices are now still, and whose hands have long ago ceased from the laborious work to which railwaymen of all grades are called. From Salisbury he was promoted to the position of Signalman at Weymouth, where he remained nearly two years, removing from thence to Evershot, where he first became acquainted with the duties of a stationmaster. A vacancy occurred at Heytesbury in December, 1870, and Mr Miller was selected out of four or five candidates to fill the post of stationmaster. His services there were so satisfactory that when Wilton became vacant in August 1873, the superintendent of the section personally asked him to take charge.

The week of his arrival at Wilton recalls a recent railway tragedy, as it was the time when two trains met on the then single line between Wilton and Salisbury. Mr Miller has put in no fewer than 35 years and eight months as stationmaster, and with the creditable record of one third of a century’s service in this town goes into retirement with the best wishes of the superintendent and other officials of the line. It is satisfactory to add that Mr Miller does not intend to leave the place where he has spent so many years; and, if blest with good health, he will doubtless take a delight in furthering those religious and philanthropic projects to which he has for many years given his unobtrusive, but earnest, assistance.

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