The « Groupe
Archives Quatre-Mares ».........
.... To the memory of the Railwaymen of Q.M.
It is during the first quarter of the year
1992 that Loïc Leblanc and Joël Lemaure, two team leaders of the workshops of
"Quatre-Mares" go out from the forgetting an impressive collection of
An inestimable and forgotten collection.
This collection, more than 5.000 pictures,
consists largely of glass plaques. The most ancient is dated 1912. They unveil
the story of the workshops of “Quatre-Mares” of their construction till the end
of the year 1975.
Creation of the "Groupe Archives Q.M."
With the cooperation of Raymond Thieulin, team
leader retired of Quatre-Mares, and of some passionate persons, they create
then the «Groupe Archives Quatre-Mares. »
Voluntarily they take
at their expenses the development of a big part of negatives. If at first their
objective is to protect this treasure and to make so that every member of the
group possesses a personal collection, they quickly glimpsed the necessity of
revealing her to the public.
A Photo exhibition in 1994
With the authorisation of the S.N.C.F and the
assistance of Sotteville lès Rouen's city hall as well as that of Photoclub of
Railroad employees de Sotteville, they expose in June, 1994, in the hall of the
City hall of Sotteville, the fruit of their work under the shape of a selection
about 160 photos.
Another vision of the French Railroads
The aroused interest is undeniable. A large
number of visitors discovers for the first time a hidden side of the local
railroad activity as well as a fragment of the Story of Sotteville lès Rouen and
St Etienne du Rouvray; two municipalities where the density of Railroad
employees , although today reduced by half, were significant. A great number of
Sottevillais and of Stéphanais have, or had, a member of their family which
worked on the workshops of “Quatre-Mares”, in those of “Buddicom”, in the
warehouse of Sotteville, or still on the Sorting, in the Transport, etc.
in........ All these activities so different and nevertheless so close and
united represent at the big period of the vapor, a total staff on the site which
exceeds 5.000 persons.
Between the walls of “Quatre-Mares” is succeed one another so since 1920 the
generations of workers. The number of
employee's is close to thousand agents in these time
blessed where, we do not speak still of
unemployment, and attain temporarily, just after the
liberation, approximately 1.600 agents.
An objective for the posterity
In front of the enthusiasm of the visitors, the
editorial staff of a pound, was imposed to the group. Make go down in history,
this bastion of the repair of locomotives is from then on the rough task, but
more enriching, that the G.A.Q.M gives itself. Two newcomers, Sottevillais too,
have joined the group for the opportunity: Miss Sandrine Folliot, graduate in
Letters and Michel Croguennec, PhD student in History.
Officialised's in association under law of 1901,
they enter then of full foot on unknown ground, that of journalism. They
questioned a large number of retired people, and widened their researches for
documents sometimes in Great Britain.
A Book witness
Three working years are necessary for the
writing of texts which, as missing links, have brought to photos what these last
ones do not say. The maquette, realized by the GAQM, is used by the publisher:
"La Vie du Rail".
This book, dedicated to the memory of the
Railwaymen, fills a gap. he enlightens a hidden face of S.N.C.F., a
sedentary branch, but the importance of which is not to be neglected. It is
the only book which relate the life of an establishment of
repair of locomotives.
And today this site
At the era of Internet, the “GAQM” decides to
use this means to prolong its activity and to satisfy the passionate persons of
It is said that to better apprehended the future, it is required an
understanding of the past. It is our ambition to make it known.
For the " Groupe
Archives Quatre-Mares "