Yorkshire nostalgia: The stray cat who lost an eye and ended up earning £1.60 a week from British Rail


February 4, 1976: Battling Thomas, Mirfield Station’s official cat, gets a meal from leading railwayman Nigel Stead after a successful drive to raise cash to pay his vet’s bill.

Thomas got into a scrap and lost an eye but there was no cash in the kitty to pay the vet’s bill. So Thomas’s friends at the station put up the notice in the picture asking for gifts.


Now after just a week they received £10.50 towards the £27.50 bill. Thomas, who wandered into the station 12 years earlier as a half-starved stray, was on the British Rail payroll.

Meet Holmfirth Police Station’s cat, Oscar.

Each month he received an official allowance of £1.60 to pay for his weekly fare of a pinta and five tins of meat. On top of that Mrs Barbara Ward, who works at Batley Station, sent an express delivery of half a pound of minced meat.

Mr Stead, 26, his keeper, added: “BR promised to make up any shortfall.”

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