The Islington Railway Workshops in Adelaide were certainly full of characters and none more than Brian Cahill a staunch Union man who could eat the leg off a chair.
During winter the Steel Car shop had a series of kerosene heaters that would roar away for most of the day and would attract cold workers to warm up their bodies like bees to a honey pot.
We never had a morning tea break in the 1960s and 1970s and would hide behind a welder’s humpy to stuff a sandwich down our throat and wash it down with a cup of tea secretly brewed from the billy .
Brian being the genius he was decided that he would toast his sandwiches on top of the heater and I can tell you he was pretty bloody good at it too. Cheese and tomato seemed top of his list but his double cheese was even better .
I guess most good things come to a end as poor old Brian found out.
Charlie Hill, the foremen of the shop must have sniffed the wind down in his nice warm office and came roaring down to check out where this lovely toasty smell was coming.
Charlie found Brian’s sandwich on top of the heater happily toasting away. Well, Charlie wasn’t a generous soul to start with and he decided to stand and watch poor Brian’s sanger (sandwich) burn to charcoal.
Meanwhile, Brian was hiding behind the welder’s humpy watching his beautiful creation turning to ashes.
Brian didn’t have a lot of love for Charlie before this tragic event and I can tell you the relationship got progressively worse as the years passed.