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Monday, 29 August 2011

The Lives of Female waiting Room Attendants at London Bridge Station in the 1860s and 70s

Before the 1880s the number employment options for women on Britain's railways were small and they could become charwomen or office cleaners, waiting or refreshment room attendants, carriage lining sewers, polishers or gatekeepers. The limited number of positions available was because most railway companies only employed the wives of injured or deceased railwaymen as an act of charity. Indeed, very few jobs in this period were given to the daughters of railwaymen.

With this in mind, I tried to find the staff records of some female waiting room attendants to discover more about their lives and circumstances. Thus, in my search I came across thirteen that worked at the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway’s (LB&SCR) London Bridge Station in the 1860s and 1870s. It is not certain which waiting room they worked in, as 1872 it was noted that there was a separate ‘ladies waiting room.’ Thus, this implies that men and women were separated when waiting for trains.[1]

The thirteen women were appointed between 1861 and 1878. However, as attendants came and went it has been determined that anywhere between three and six were posted there at any one time. Pay was low and all earned between 10 shillings and £1. Yet, the majority received 18 shillings throughout their employment. This was not a terrible income, but would only have enabled them to have an acceptable, if frugal, standard of living.

From the records it is clear that that the historiography was correct in suggesting that the majority the attendants were the wives of deceased or injured railwaymen. Of the thirteen women, nine were widows. Four of these had been married to Station Masters, one to a head porter, another to a travelling ticket inspector, another to guard, and, lastly, one to a company policeman. The position of one of the widow's husbands is unknown. Only one attendant, Emma Hubbard, acquired her position due to her husband, a ticket inspector, being injured. He was in an accident at New Cross Station.

The positions the husbands held is important as they were seemingly a factor in their widows receiving employment as waiting room attendants. Firstly, all the husbands were working within the company’s Traffic Department, and as the waiting rooms were under its remit, it was only appointing its own employee's wives. Secondly, all the husbands' had high status jobs and suggests that the 'respectability' and 'trustworthiness' of a family was a factor in the women's employment. Widows whose husband's had jobs that were deemed of low respectability, such as porter, platelayer or gatekeeper, were seemingly missing from the list (and others seen in the files). Yet, given that London Bridge Station was one of the LB&SCR’s main stations it may have been that the company prioritised appointing individuals who had ‘respectable’ husbands there, and that elsewhere there was no such distinction. This requires more research

The ages of the attendants on appointment varied. The oldest appointee was Elizabeth Croft who was simply ‘recommended by Mr Hawkins,’ and was 56. The youngest were Ellen Membray, who was the widow of a guard, and Mary Ann Thompson, the widow of a policeman, who were both 28. Seven of the appointees were between the ages of 35 and 45. What this fact implies is uncertain. Were these women appointed to the London Bridge Waiting Rooms because their ages meant that they had more life experience making them more suitable for the work? Or perhaps the management did not employ younger women for fear of the male railway workers being distracted (a concern seen on another railway)? This may even suggest that railway workers were more likely to be killed or die in their middle ages. Ultimately, the answer is uncertain.

The attendants left employment a number of ways. Six resigned. The shortest career belonged to Sarah Ann Adams, the widow of a Station Master at Queen’s Road, who after being appointed in April 1877 resigned her post in November 1878. Indeed, this was after a promotion to Charwoman in May of that year. Three of the individuals, Elizabeth Lanfair, Rachel Vicary and Ellen Reece, all resigned their posts in 1900 and 1901 after twenty-five, twenty-two and twenty-four years respectively. While not having a pension, all received money from the company’s benevolent fund. Vicary's record shows that she received only a third of her working wages, her income dropping from 18 to 6 shillings per week. This equated to £15 12/- per year and was an amount that would have barely paid for her living.

What is striking is that five of the individuals left employment because they were incapacitated, usually after a short period employment. No details are given as to the cause of their ill-health so we can only speculate what occurred. Nevertheless, considering that the wages paid were low, the working hours were long and the fact that their employment periods were short, it may suggest that health issues like malnutrition and fatigue may have played a role. Indeed, the fact that such a high proportion of the women became ‘incapacitated’ shortly after engagement, does support the thesis that the nature of the work was taking its toll.

Lastly, only one individual, Emma Hubbard, was fired. In January 1875 after two and a half years of employment she was discharged for losing £595 from the waiting room.
Thus, this small survey reveals that the women of the LB&SCR’s London Bridge Waiting Room staff were typically widowed, had had husbands who were in ‘respectable’ posts, received low wages, had poor working conditions and were very likely to suffer from health problems as a result of their employment. However, the very sad fact is that in a world where men were expected to be the breadwinners, that this employment, which was given merely as charity, was better than the women's alternatives of destitution or even the workhouse.
[1] The Lancaster Gazette, and General Advertiser for Lancashire, Westmorland, Yorkshire, &c., Saturday, August 17, 1872, pg. 7
[2] All information taken from: The National Archives, RAIL 414/764-779, London Brighton and South Coast Staff Records, 1861-1901

Thursday, 25 August 2011

100 Disciplinary Actions - A Glimpse of Railway Discipline in the 1860s

Although there has been much commentary in the literature on the subject of railway discipline, there has been no quantitative work on the extent to which the railway companies actually employed the three main methods of punishment: fines, demotions and dismissals. Thus, I thought I would review a railway company’s ‘Black Book’ of disciplinary actions to see how frequently each method was used. While there are a number of Black Books have been digitised (by, I chose one from the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) which covers some of 1862 and 1863. Naturally, I couldn’t analyse all the 90-odd pages of entries for a blog post and so I restricted myself to a hundred that were entered between 1st August and 7th November 1862.

Fines were clearly the most regularly imposed punishment. However, the amount of money that employees had taken off them for offences varied from six pence to five shillings depending on the seriousness of their infringements.

Clearly, the company imposed the lowest and highest fines infrequently. Only in one case was an employee fined six pence. In August J.H. Ainscough, a Telegraph Clerk at Victoria, was reported for the ‘wrong delivery of a telegraph message.’ At the higher end of the fine spectrum, only three individuals received the maximum fine of five shillings. In October two Porters at Victoria Station, Messrs Ireland and Conherr, were fined this amount for ‘getting drunk and fighting in a public house.’ Evidently, the company’s reputation was at stake and managers weren’t going to tolerate individuals damaging it while off the premises. The third five pound fine was given to W. Lebbage, a signalman at Brighton station. Possibly this was two fines rolled into one as he both ‘neglected his signals and points whereby an engine was thrown off the road’ and had ‘strangers in his box.’ Whether the two offences were related is unknown.

Most of the employees, fifty-nine out of the hundred, received a one shilling fine, possibly suggesting that this was a ‘standard’ rate. The most common offence to incur this, which was imposed in twenty-five cases, was the rather mundane transgression of ‘coming on duty late.’ The other one shilling fines were imposed for a range minor infringements of the rules or neglect of duties. In August at London Bridge Station four porters, named Gutsell, Peel, Pinter and Burns, were all fined for ‘running alongside of trains and catching hold of the doors while trains are running into station contrary to order.’ In September a C. Cartwright was fined for ‘putting a passenger in the wrong part of 10.50 am train on [the] 12th August.’ Later that month a Guard, J. Croft, was fined for ‘Causing detention of luggage that was put out at Forest Hill by mistake instead of at New Wandsworth’ Station.

Higher fines of 2 shillings (6 instances) and 2 shillings 6 pence (10 instances) were given regularly for more serious offences. Eight employees were fined for causing damage to property, whether it was the LB&SCR’s, other railway companies’ or private individuals’. G. Fulman, a Guard at Victoria, was fined 2 shillings 6 pence in October for ‘causing damage to a first class carriage by not seeing to the proper fastening of the door.’ In September T. Hawkings, a Van Foreman at Brighton, was fined 2 shillings for ‘Loading a van too high whereby roof of shed at Redhill was damaged.’ Other fines of these amounts were imposed for individuals, such as signalmen, delaying trains or for operational errors. T. Eldridge, a Guard based at London Bridge, was fined 2 shillings 6 pence in October for ‘shunting his train without signal from the underguard and leaving several passengers behind.’

Only for very serious offences were individuals dismissed and twenty examples were recorded. Two offences were guaranteed to end an employee’s career, being absent without leave (four instances) or being drunk (one instance). Indeed, in three cases, those of Baldstone, Graves and Baker, the two offences were committed at once. The other frequent cause of dismissal was serious neglect of one’s duty. In this period porters occasionally doubled-up as guards. Thus, two porters, W. Balley of Victoria and A. Allen of Balcome, were both dismissed for falling asleep while doing this duty. But not all individuals were asleep when committing transgressions, and J. Bailey, a signalman at Balham, was evidently fully awake when he was fired for playing cards on duty in August. Only in two cases was actual criminal activity involved, the most serious being that of J. Baker, a Porter at London Bridge, who was fired in September for ‘stealing a £5 note from a passenger.’ He was ‘sentenced to a month’s imprisonment with hard labour.’ While Baker was fired for trying to do something surreptitiously, T. Mead, a Porter at Carshalton, clearly wasn’t. In September he was fired for ‘use of filthy language to one of our customers.’

In the entire sample only one individual was demoted. S Brown was a Lampman at Victoria when he was found not to be up to the job. Consequently, in October he was reduced to being a porter and his wages dropped from twenty-six to eighteen shillings a week.

Naturally, this is only a small sample of the disciplinary actions the LB&SCR took during its existence. Indeed, I have only given some basic statistics and highlighted interesting cases. But the LB&SCR wasn’t unusual in punishing their their employee's transgressions of the rule book by these methods. Therefore, a more detailed quantitative study of Victorian railway discipline is required. Issues surrounding how much individuals were fined, the types of offences that employees faced dismissal for, and how these changed over the decades needs to be seriously addressed and analysed.

All taken from: The National Archives: RAIL 414/759, Names, offences, punishments etc, of various members of operating staff (black book), 1862-1863, p.1-11

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Fare Rises and the Abandonment of the British Railway Passenger

On Tuesday I spent 45 minutes of my morning standing at Waterloo Station handing out cards and supporting the Campaign for Better Transport’s ‘Fair Fares’ campaign. Now, as some of my long-time readers are aware I did raise some concerns about this campaign in a previous post (here). However, those concerns, some of which have diminished, are secondary to the fact that I wholeheartedly support it. I don’t just believe the campaign is important because everyone likes to keep more of their money. I believe it is important because economically it is beneficial that fares are kept within the financial reach of everyone.

This fact was demonstrated to me later on Tuesday when one of my customers at the library, who works with unemployed individuals, stated that for some the fare price was a crucial factor in whether they attended a job interview. Indeed, as the cuts hit, unemployment rises, and inflation goes up, the expected 30% increase in rail fares over the next three years will see increasing numbers of people priced off the railways, with those at the bottom of the income scale being affected the greatest. Consequently this will limit people’s job opportunities, businesses’ access to labour and it may ultimately stunt economic growth.

Most of the politicians will argue that the fares need to go up to pay for necessary improvements to the network. In their minds the increases are especially needed because the government is cutting its subsidy to the railway companies. While there is some truth in these claims, it doesn’t address the fundamental issue that has allowed this situation to occur: that over the last 20 years successive governments progressively abandoned the needs of the travelling public in favour of maintaining a privatised system that simply doesn’t work.

Let us be honest for a moment, railways in this country do not make profit any more. However, their social, environmental and economic benefits are so significant that ultimately it is highly beneficial to the nation to have a railway system that touches so much of the country and for the government to maintain it (directly or indirectly). By the early 1990s the nationalised British Rail was working for nation. While always receiving a subsidy, between 1982 and 1993/4 it made impressive efficiency savings to become one of the most efficient railways in the world (as I have pointed out here). All the while, it continued to provide reasonable fares for passengers and boost the economy. However, since privatisation the government has had to subsidise the train operating companies to keep them in profit. Consequently, the cost of the railways to the taxpayer now is far in excess of what it would have been had the industry not been privatised.

Thus, the predicted 30% increase in fares indicate the thinking of the current government. Because of the persistence of free-market ideologies they believe that keeping private enterprise involved in the railways, when it clearly hasn't worked, is more important than the industry's purpose of serving the country's economy and inhabitants. Furthermore, the recent McNulty report on railway efficiency did not talk about significant alternatives to the the private system. Indeed, no one in government seems willing to shout the truth: "this isn't working any more."

Of course the government did not always have the same attitude. The last time the railways were run by private multi-coloured railway companies was in the 19th century. The 100+ companies mostly made a profit. Yet, as the industry matured the government still stepped in to protect the country's poorest individuals. Before the 1870s most railways acted in ways that were simply in their shareholder’s interests. For most citizens the cost of travel was high and although the railways’ operated a first, second and third class system, third class accommodation was only really within the price range of lower-middle and upper working-class individuals. Those at the very bottom of the social spectrum were priced off the railway. That is until 1844.

After eight people died in the Sonning Cutting accident of Christmas Eve 1841, the Board of Trade began an enquiry into third class train accommodation. The culmination was the 1844 Regulation of Railways Act. This compelled railway companies that derived a third of their revenue from passengers to provide one train daily which called at all stations, had a minimum speed of 12 miles per hour, used enclosed carriages with seats and, most importantly, cost the traveller not more than 1d per mile. These were nicknamed ‘Parliamentary Trains’ (or ‘Parlys). Reflecting the financial burden of these services for the railway companies, any company meeting the requirements did not pay taxes on the fares.[1] While not ideal, this was the first intervention by government that forced the railway companies to put on accommodation for those who were not financial able to use it prior to that point. Fundamentally, it was an act by law-makers of economic stimulation. But things didn’t stop there.

The building of the railways caused many residential areas of cities demolished. This meant that many factory and industry workers were forced to move further away from the metropolis. To protect these individuals’ incomes and the labour supply of the businesses they worked for, the railway companies were compelled by the acts of parliament authorising their lines to provide cheap trains for the workmen. While some companies had provided ‘workmen’s trains’ in the 1840s, the first compelled to do so by parliament was the Great Eastern Railway in 1864 when it extended to Liverpool Street. The act stated that it was to provide workmen’s trains to London from Edmonton and Walthamstow at a return cost of 2d. Thereafter, and much to the chagrin of railway directors, by 1899 there were 104 workmen’s trains run daily. The only negative point was that the trains were run very early in the morning, returning late at night.[2]

While these two developments are important individually, they show that all governments recognised the economic and social value of the railways to the nation soon after their establishment. Indeed, political affiliation did not seem to be an issue, and the 1844 act was passed by a Tory government, while the 1864 one was passed by a Liberal administration. Furthermore, these laws were followed after 1870 by others that fixed the rates the railways charged traders and improved the railways’ safety. Ultimately, by the First World War governments had realised that the profit motive of the railway companies was a secondary concern to structural integrity of economy they served.

Nevertheless, we live in an age where there has been a reverse of this attitude by successive governments. Despite the extremely high cost of the railways for the taxpayer, the potential for high train fares to damage economic recovery, the national discontent with the privatised system and the fact that privatisation wrecked the world’s most efficient railway, governments since the early 90s have continued to prioritise the ideology that private enterprise is good for the railways over the benefits that the industry provides to the nation. Thus, the predicted 30% fare increases over the next three years are the starkest evidence of this. It is the wrong attitude for a loss-making, but nationally beneficial industry.

So I say this: Fare Fares Now…Bring Back British Rail ASAP


[1] Simmons, Jack, 'Parliamentary Trains,' The Oxford Companion To British Railway History, (Oxford, 1997), p.369

[2] Simmons, 'Workmen's Trains,' The Oxford Companion To British Railway History, p.568

Thursday, 18 August 2011

One Railway's Fight Against Trams...With No Money

A few months I wrote about how the railways’ profitability in the late 19th century came under threat from trams (HERE). One of those most affected in the years after 1901 was the London and South Western Railway (L&SWR), for whom suburban traffic made up a considerable part of their income. In that year London United Tramways (LUT) began services between Hammersmith and Kew Bridge, Shepherds Bush and Kew Bridge, (via Chiswick) Shepherd’s Bush and Acton, and to Brentford and Hounslow. Twickenham was connected in 1902, with Hampton Court reached the year after. By 1906 Kingston, Surbiton, New Malden and Wimbledon also had trams.[1] Being clean, modern and able to pick up and drop off individuals from much more convenient locations than trains, trams were an instant success and in 1902 took 64% of the L&SWR’s receipts from passengers to Hounslow. [2]

Previously, I wrote about how ultimately the threat to the company’s profitability was countered through the adoption of electric traction (HERE). Yet, before this decision was made the L&SWR attempted a number of other solutions to counter the threat. This was because a large project such as electrification of the company’s suburban lines would consume large amounts of capital. However, at the time the L&SWR was already undertaking large capital projects such as the widening of its main lines, the rebuilding of Waterloo Station and the relocation of its locomotive works to Eastleigh, and thus an extra project would increase an already heavy burden on the company's capital supplies. Thus, it had to find other ways to attract traffic back to the railway. Yet, the solutions that its General Manager, Charles Owens, came up with were piecemeal, simply adapting existing operational structures and practices to the new trading environment. Thus they did not have the desired of effect of drawing passengers back to the railway.

The first move that Owens made was to improve the carriage stock on the suburban routes through the introduction of ‘bogie’ carriages in ‘block sets.’ By 1900 six-wheeled carriages were being used on most suburban routes in sets, however, some of these dated back to 1879. Thus, modernisation was required. In 1900 and 1901 the Locomotive Committee agreed to replace some old sets with new designs. However, these still had six-fixed wheels and were not really an advance in design. [3] But with the new threat developing the mind-set of the committee changed, and at the May 1902 it authorised the construction of thirty-two higher-quality bogie carriages[4] that were eventually were formed into eight four-car block trains. Consequently, between 1902 and September 1912 145 of these sets were built.[5] Evidently, the switch to bogie vehicles was an attempt to upgrade the quality of the company’s suburban carriage stock and attract passengers back to the railway. However, while the new carriages made massive improvement in the suburban rolling stock, it did not halt the haemorrhaging of passengers as the upgrades simply brought the rolling stock’s quality up to a level that was already expected by the travelling public.

The second move that the company made was to introduce steam railmotors. These were a locomotive and a carriage combined into one unit and the L&SWR produced seventeen between April 1903 and June 1906. The first two were built for the company’s joint Fratton and Southsea branch with the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, and were introduced in direct response to a threat there from trams. While most texts attribute the initiative to the Locomotive Superintendent, Dugald Drummond, the Railway Magazine stated that Owens was responsible. Indeed, once deemed a success on the Fratton and Southsea branch more railmotors were built. While the L&SWR used them extensively used on small branches throughout the country, a number were placed on services between Twickenham and Gunnersbury, right in the company’s competed territory. However, with limited capacity, the regularly with which regular maintenance was required[6] and their uneconomical nature, the railmotors were not a success and were withdrawn in 1916 and 1919. [7]

Thirdly, Owens tried, in vein, to negotiate with the LUT. In 1904 the LUT had a bill in Parliament that would extend its services to Staines. Naturally, the L&SWR lodged an objection to this. In the wake of this Owens managed to negotiate a deal with the LUT. For three years the L&SWR would agree to drop its opposition to the Staines extension if the tram company agreed to not promote further routes in the L&SWR’s territory. Additionally, the Staines project was only allowed with the L&SWR’s consent. [8] However, this negotiation was too late, and the LUT’s bills of 1902 had already pushed its network deep into the L&SWR’s.

Lastly, the L&SWR attempted to win back traffic by a very old method, the manipulation of fares. In the June 1911 edition of Railway Magazine Owens suggested that the way to claw back inner-suburban traffic was to reduce the cost of season tickets and that this process was already under way.[9] How successful this was, and whether there was any further manipulation of ticket prices, is unknown.

Therefore, hamstrung by a lack of capital resources, Owens’ attempts to mitigate the effect of trams on the company’s passenger business were all unsuccessful. By February 1913 the company was still losing £100,000 and 1 million passengers per year.[10] His answers to the threat all had their genesis in practices and procedures that could be found in the railways before 1900. The response that worked, and which had been on the cards for some time, was electrification which begun in 1913. However, this was only possible after the L&SWR had finished its major capital projects, such as the building of the Eastleigh works, and slowed the progress of others including the rebuilding of Waterloo.


[1] Chivers, Colin, The Riverside Electric: LSWR Electrification 1912-1922 – South Western Circle Monograph No. 5, (Unknown, 2010), p.2-8

[2] Faulkner, J.N and Williams, R.A., The LSWR in the Twentieth Century, (Newton Abbot, 1988), p.101

[3] Weddell, G.R., L.S.W.R. Carriages: Volume One 1838-1900, (Didcot, 1992), p.209-244 and Weddell, G.R., L.S.W.R. Carriages in the 20th Century, (Oxford, 2001), p.130

[4] The National Archives [TNA], RAIL 411/192, Locomotive Committee Minute Book, Minute 931, 14th May 1902

[5] Weddell, G.R., L.S.W.R. Carriages in the Twentieth Century, (Oxford, 2001), p.16

[6] Casserley, H.C., London & South Western Locomotives, (Shepperton, 1971), p.137-138

[7] Weddell, L.S.W.R. Carriages in the Twentieth Century, p.89

[8] Chivers, The Riverside Electric, p.8-9

[9] Railway Magazine, June 1911, p.456

[10] Faulkner and Williams, The LSWR in the Twentieth Century, p.101

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Discovering More About Britain's First Fifteen Female Railway Clerks - Part 2

In the last post (here) I looked at the first sixteen women to be employed in clerical positions on Britain’s railways between 1874 and 1876 at the London and North Western Railway’s (L&NWR) Curzon Street goods offices in Birmingham. I looked at their ages on appointment, the management structure of the office and their starting wages. In this post I will look at their careers, wages after appointment, how they left the service and the effect that this ‘experiment,’ as it was called by the press, had on women’s clerical employment on the L&NWR.

It was discussed in the last post how many of the women started on wages that were slightly better than those of similarly aged male apprentices. An investigation of their wages after they started their jobs again shows that while the press was adamant that their employment would immediately reduce company costs, male clerks only began to earn significantly more later in their careers. J.M.A. Heywood and Martha Hughes had increases in their wages typical of the other women in the office. The graph below shows the progression of their wages compared with those of four male clerks appointed in the same period. While the full wage details of only one male clerk has been found and only a small sample is involved, the graph shows that for the first 8 years of their employment the women’s wages kept pace with those of their male colleagues. However, once they reached this point in their increases became much more infrequent. Indeed, the evidence suggests that the wages for female clerks were always capped at £65.00 per annum.

Only in cases where they were promoted to Matron or Assistant Matron did the women earn more. A good proportion of sixteen women eventually took up these posts. Emma Eliza Beard was office Matron until 21st October 1894, at which point she was earning £100.00. Into her shoes stepped E.A. Besley, who at that point had been earning the maximum for clerks of £65.00 per annum. She was thereafter paid £80.00 and by 1903 she was earning £100. However, in December 1907 she became sick and left the company’s employ. She died on the 30th January 1908.[8] Her successor was another of the fifteen, Maria Newman. When the first Assistant Matron, Butler, had resigned in March 1899, and she had taken up that post, and it was only natural that she would become Chief Matron when the position became vacant. It is unknown when she left the position, however, her last known wage rise to £160 came on the 1st January 1917.[9] This suggests that until the early 20th century, the matrons’ wages were also capped at £100 per annum, but thereafter the cap was raised, possibly due to the inflation of the First World War.

The details of how and when eleven of the women left the company have been found and a breakdown of how long each was employed is shown below. The first to leave after four years seven months service (aged 20) was Mary M. Hill and the longest service was given by Maria Newman who, as stated, was still serving in 1917. Seven of the twelve resigned at a young age, possibly to get married. Three individuals left because of sickness. One case, that of E.A. Besley, has been cited. E.E. Beard left the service in November 1894, finally being ‘struck off’ in July 1897. Lastly, Emily J. Mitchell fell sick in February 1883 and was paid until the 12th May when she was struck off.[10] She died shortly after on the 15th May.[11] Only A.J. Stoker eventually received a pension, and on the 1st November 1908 she was superannuated after 43 years service.[12]

Not all the women stayed in the Birmingham office during their careers, and two transferred elsewhere. A.J. Stoker was the first to move, transferring in May 1878 to the company’s Mill Street offices in Wolverhampton. [13] She remained here for the rest of her career. The most eventful career was Sarah Jane Besley’s. Having joined the company in January 1875, she moved on the 1st July 1886 to the company’s goods offices in Leeds.[14] Yet, in June 1890 she again transferred to the Huddersfield Goods Department where she stayed until her resignation in 1892.[15] Why they moved is unknown. However, it is possible that like with the male clerks they were offered the chance to transfer and took it.

As was detailed in the last blog, the ‘experiment’ was deemed a success and expanded. The Cheshire Observer of Saturday July 16th 1876 reported that female clerks were employed at Chester.[16] While the female clerks at Chester have not been found (as yet), I began cataloguing any others that I could. The L&NWR’s Goods offices at Manchester London Road and Mosley Street hired ten female clerks between 9th July 1876 and the end of 1878.[17] Furthermore, between 17th July and 1st December 1876 eight women were recruited at Camden.[18] Three women were hired at Shrewsbury Station on the 1st December 1876[19] and one is known to have been appointed to Bolton Station on the 9th October 1876.[20] I am sure there were more and more research will hopefully be conducted in the future.

These two posts have highlighted interesting features of the employment of Britain’s first female clerks. Firstly, the women were generally unmarried and under the age of 25, with a few notable exceptions. However, unsurprisingly they had to leave employment on marriage. Yet, a few gave considerable service to the company, some upwards of 40 years. Furthermore, the wages they received were comparable with those of their male colleagues for the first eight years of employment. However, thereafter they stagnated with the maximum they could earn being £65.00. The only way they could receive more was through promotion. However, opportunities were limited to moving into the posts of Matron or Assistant Matron, and there was clearly no chance of promotion into middle or senior managerial positions.

Most importantly, the sixteen women of the Birmingham Goods Department showed their managers that gender was not an issue when it came to ability or quality of work. Thus, what happened in Birmingham between June 1874 and June 1876 changed employment practices on Britain’s railways, as women’s clerical employment was considered by other railway companies and expanded within the L&NWR.


[8] TNA, RAIL 410/1842, Salaried Staff Register [No 1, pages 581-1087] - Goods Department. Includes station masters and clerks, p.913

[9] TNA, RAIL 410/1839, Salaried staff register [No 2, pages 1613-2092] - Goods Department. Includes station masters and clerks, p.1810

[10] TNA, RAIL 410/1842, p.913

[11] TNA, RAIL 410/1842, p.914

[12] TNA, RAIL 410/1839, Salaried staff register [No 2, pages 1613-2092] - Goods Department. Includes station masters and clerks, p.130

[13] TNA, RAIL 410/1842, p.867

[14] TNA, RAIL 410/1842, p.913

[15] TNA, RAIL 410/1843, Salaried staff register [No. 1, pages 1089-1599] - Goods Department. Includes clerks, goods managers, inspectors, superintendents, time keepers, accountants, foremen, agents, canvassers, collectors, timber measurer, traffic solicitor and cartage, p.1413

[16] The Cheshire Observer, Saturday July 15th, 1876, p.6

[17] TNA, RAIL 410/1837, p.1215; TNA, RAIL 410/1841, Salaried Staff Register [No 2, pages 2593-3088] - Miscellaneous departments. Includes staff employed in the following departments: Goods,

Cattle, Horse, Rolling Stock, Detective and Canal. Includes station masters, inspectors, detectives and clerks, p.2634; TNA, RAIL 410/1843, p.1337 and p.1339

[18] TNA, RAIL 410/1837, p.1227

[19] TNA, RAIL 410/1837, p.1286

[20] TNA, RAIL 410/1837, p.1289

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Discovering More About Britain's First Fifteen Female Railway Clerks - Part 1

I recently wrote about the first fifteen female clerks appointed by the London and North Western Railway’s (L&NWR) at its Curzon Street Goods Offices in Birmingham in the mid-1870s (Here). Dubbed an 'experiment' on the press, their employment was the initiative of the District Goods Superintendent, Mr W.J. Nichols, and was the first time on Britain's railways that women had been employedto perform functions that were at the time ordinarily undertaken by male employees.[1] However, having limited resources my post was informed by newspapers from the period. I knew nothing of the women’s names, ages or careers. I just dubbed them the ‘Birmingham Fifteen.’

But then I was pleasantly surprised. As I related in my last post (Here), The National Archives (via has in the last fortnight made available on-line the staff records from some of Britain’s major railway companies from the 19th and 20th century. Therefore, after purchasing a subscription the first thing I did was to look for the ‘Birmingham Fifteen.’ Firstly, I found one clerks' name on the 1881 census, the only census which has been transcribed with individuals’ occupations, and then searched the staff records. The result was that I found more information than I could handle and I have, therefore, decided to dedicate two posts to my findings. The first post will look at when the women were appointed, their ages on appointment, the management structure of the office and their starting wages. The second will look at their careers, their wages after appointment, how they left the service and the effects of Mr Nichols’ initiative on clerical employment for women in the L&NWR generally.
I’ll start this post logically, at the beginning. The first women appointed as clerks at the Curzon Street offices were J.M.A. Heywood, J.M. Matthews and Emma Eliza Beard on the 1st June 1874. These were soon followed by others. However, there is a bit of confusion as to how many women were actually appointed. Indeed, it shows that 19th century newspapers were not always reliable. The Englishwoman’s Review of February 1878 stated that at that point there were 15 women working in the office.[2] Up to June 1876 it seems that only fourteen women had been appointed. Yet, the appointment of Martha E. Hughes and Louisa J. Hands in early 1877 made the total number up to sixteen.[3] The answer to this conundrum, I think, is that Beard, was significantly older and paid more than the others, suggesting that she was the ‘matron.’ Thus, it can be surmised that the Review did not count her in the fifteen as she was their line manager. The number of women in the office only remained at sixteen until the 1st May 1878, when A.J. Stoker transferred to the company’s Wolverhampton offices.[4]
The ages of the women varied, however, all would have been unmarried and possibly the daughters of railway workers. The Englishwoman’s Review of 1878 stated that the majority of the women were ‘young persons,’ [6] and this is confirmed by the evidence. The youngest clerk appointed was L.M. Matthews who was only fifteen years and six months old. It is presumably for this reason that she was listed as a ‘female apprentice.’ [5] As shown below, of the thirteen women employed under the age of twenty, five of the clerks (31.25%) were employed at the age of 15, with the rest being engaged between the ages of 16 and 19.

Only 3 of the women were over the age of 20. As stated, the oldest woman in the office was Beard, who was thirty-two years old and five months. However, Stoker was twenty-six years and eleven months old and Mary Butler was twenty-seven months and eleven months old. Indeed, it is suspected that because of her age and her wages (see below) that Butler was the Assistant Matron. 
Interestingly, their starting wages compared very favourably with those of male clerks, who usually also began their L&NWR careers between 14 and 19 years old. Eleven of the thirteen (84.61%) women entering the service below the age of 20 received £26.00 per annum, or 10s per week (which concurs with the Review article). This was £1 higher than the starting rate for most male apprentices (based on records observed). Thus, the initial claims of the press that the employment of women would reduce railway company costs seems to have been their opinion rather than based on any evidence. Furthermore, 18 year old M.E. Harris and the 26 year old A.J. Stoker both received £31 per annum (or 11s 11d per week). Therefore, it is not unreasonable to suggest that in these two cases the L&NWR was rewarding prior experience of clerical work, especially as Harris was under the age of 20 but receiving more than her similarly aged counterparts. Naturally, the managers of the office received more than the others. Beard received £65 per annum (24s per week) and Butler received £39 per annum (15s per week).[7]
What has been shown is that from the outset the office of ‘Birmingham Fifteen’ was initially identical to those elsewhere in the company. There was a hierarchy, transfers, apprentices, comparable pay with male clerks and variance in wages based on experience. Indeed, this is interesting when juxtaposed against of the initial views of the press that perceived the employment of women clerks as abnormal, using words like 'experiment,' and claiming that their engagement would reduce railway company costs. However, as will be shown in part 2, the options open to the ‘Birmingham Fifteen’ were actually very limited, with the heights they could reach in pay and positions capped. 
[1] The National Archives [TNA], RAIL 410/1837, Register of salaried permanent officers in the Goods Department including clerks, goods managers, inspectors, superintendents, time keepers, accountants, foremen, agents, canvassers and collectors, p.929
[2] The Englishwoman’s Review, Friday, February 15th 1878, p.77
[3] TNA, RAIL 410/1837, Register of salaried permanent officers in the Goods Department including clerks, goods managers, inspectors, superintendents, time keepers, accountants, foremen, agents, canvassers and collectors, p.1207
[4] TNA, RAIL 410/1842, Salaried Staff Register [No 1, pages 581-1087] - Goods Department. Includes station masters and clerks, p.167
[5] The Englishwoman’s Review, Friday, February 15th 1878, p.77
[6] TNA, RAIL 410/1837, p.1207
[7] TNA, RAIL 410/1842, p.913

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Digitising Records - Thoughts on Ancestry's New Digital Archive of Railway Staff Records

Within the last week there was an important development for genealogists and railway historians. It is something that I have been waiting for some time, even if I never knew whether it would come. On Wednesday I became aware through one of my followers on Twitter that The National Archives and had made available on-line vast swathes of 19th and early 20th century staff records from Britain’s major railway companies.

My first thought was ‘oh crap.’ As some of my long-time readers will be aware, part of my PhD focuses on the lives of the London and South Western Railway's (L&SWR) managers and I have done extensive research on the company's staff records. Indeed, I spent many long hours photographing 3000+ L&SWR clerks' staff records held by the archive. As such, you can understand my initial frustration that the digitised records did not appear two years ago, as it would have saved me monumental amounts of effort. However, on reflection this was more annoying than anything else and there are massive benefits for my work as now I can access with ease all the records I hadn’t photographed.

The records cover the staff of seven railway companies that existed before 1st January 1923, and three of the ‘Big Four’ companies that existed after it. They are as follows:-

Pre-1922 Railway Companies

Great Western

London and North Western

London and South Western

London, Brighton and South Coast

London Chatham and Dover

Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire (Great Central from 1899)


Post-1922 Railway Companies

Great Western

London and North Eastern

London, Midland and Scottish

Furthermore, what has been digitised is more than just individuals’ employment histories, and also included, where available, are accident books, books of disciplinary action and pension details.

Therefore, for historians, as opposed to genealogists, this opens up a number of research opportunities from the comfort of their home. Social historians can investigate labour relations, women's employment, accident rates, poverty, railway employees’ backgrounds and ages of appointment. Business historians can also get data on internal labour markets, pay scales, discipline, company hierarchies, promotional trees and the companies’ management class. Furthermore, because the companies served different parts of the country, regional variations in all these subject areas can be drawn out.

However, this isn’t to say that everything to do with the records is rosy for the historian. As with all things on Ancestry, my feeling is that its search engine is geared to genealogists. I understand why this is so. After all, it is a website for genealogists and it is predominantly their subscriptions that pay for records to be digitised.

Nevertheless, the ‘family history’ perspective doesn’t make it easy for individuals wanting to use the records for historical research that is non-genealogical. On the positive side, I can search for employees by region, date of entry into service, birth date and by railway company. Yet, there are some annoying things that the search engine won’t allow. Apart from a few individuals, I cannot search for all employees that worked at a particular site, for example Hampton Court Station. Furthermore, I cannot search the database it by gender (which can be done on the rest of the Ancestry site) and nor can I have listed all the individuals that worked in a particular position, for example porters. Therefore, if Ancestry had the time or the money to add these features to the search engine it would be useful.

Additionally, I think there is scope for the database to be expanded. In the back of David T. Hawkins’ Railway Ancestors there is a list of the railway companies whose staff records survive in The National Archives. Thus, it seems that vast numbers of records were not included in the digitisation project. A couple of large companies that existed before 1923 did not have their records digitised, such as the North Eastern and Taff Vale Railways. Additionally, some smaller companies, such as the Somerset and Dorset and Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railways, were also left out. Records from companies that were absorbed in larger ones were also omitted, for example the London and Birmingham and Whiteness and Furness Junction Railways. Lastly, some records survive from the Southern Railway.

I presume the the staff records from these and other companies were left out because there aren’t great numbers of them. Indeed, from some railways only one volume of staff details survive (it should also be pointed out that for some companies no records remain). Nevertheless, to expand the project to all these surviving files would be of immense value to historians.

Of course, I am now getting into wish-list territory. I do appreciate that to improve the search engine and to add all surviving railway company staff records would be a massive task that ultimately may not be remunerative. The reality is that I have no cause whatsoever for complaint. I have available to me now something that I never thought I would, a searchable database of all surviving L&SWR staff records. For that I am immensely grateful. Overall, it is a significant achievement on the part of The National Archives and all involved should be proud.

I will, however, try to get the most from this new resource. Thus, to show its value I will be using it to inform my next few blog posts.

You can see's railway staff record search page HERE.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

'As Temperate a Body as Could be Found' - The United Kingdom Railway Temperance Union

I got it into my head that I should write a blog post about railway temperance this week as I will be traipsing off to the Great British Beer Festival at Earls Court, twice. So, perhaps it is my subconscious, or my liver, trying to tell me something.

Temperance was one of the key principals of railway employment in the 19th century, ensuring that individuals’ who were in safety critical positions, such as enginemen, firemen, porters, signalmen or guards, did not have impaired judgements when undertaking their duties. The London and South Western Railway’s rule book from 1845 stated that ‘any engineman or fireman found drunk whilst on duty, or on the company’s premises, will be instantly discharged, and visited with the severest penalties of the law.’[1] By 1912 this had not really changed and the Railway Clearing House’s rule book of that year stated that railway employees were not allowed into station Refreshment Rooms and any found drunk on duty would be dismissed ‘without notice.’[2]

Nevertheless, Jack Simmons pointed out that the greatest extension of the railway network between 1850 and 1876 was accompanied by the massive rise in national alcohol consumption.[3] In 1831 nine Burton-upon-Trent breweries produced 50,000 barrels of beer. By 1868 twenty-six breweries produced 1,755,252 barrels and in 1888 thirty-one breweries produced 3,025,000 barrels.[4] Thus, given the increase in alcohol consumption, some railway workers formed temperance unions to promote the cause. Yet, prior to 1882 these organisations were small, uncoordinated and operating independently.

In 1882 thirty-two unknown railwaymen,[5] feeling that a ‘principal of cohesion and expansion’ was required,[6] formed the United Kingdom Railway Temperance Union (UKRTU) with backing from the Church of England Temperance Society. The CofE’s temperance union was particularly active at the time. In that year there were 339,687 members in the 20 national diocesan branches, as well as 14,352 individuals in the seamen’s temperance union. The formation of the ‘Railway Temperance union’ was simply part of a policy of expansion to spread the word of temperance.[7] However, the railway union always had the unique perspective in that abstinence from alcohol was always linked with the safe operation of the railways.

The first meeting of the UKRTU was held at Exeter Hall, on the Strand, on Wednesday 11th October 1882. The president of the new society was Rev. Cannon Ellison.[8] The growth of the railway temperance union had a difficult start. However, by 1908 there were 300 branches nationally with 37,947 members[9] and branches were established by workers from most main line railway companies.[10] Membership particularly expanded in the early twentieth century. For example, in 1905 the London and North Western Railway union’s membership was only 4,777, whereas in 1908 it stood at 17,536.[11]

Members could pledge allegiance to the union in two capacities, following the practice of the CofE’s own temperance society. Category A members pledged total abstinence from alcohol and promised ‘by example and effort’ to promote the union. Category B members had this similar aim, but for whatever reason chose not to abstain totally.[12]

The organisation was carried on by volunteers who ran activities that could be broadly split into two categories; spreading the message, and events. Spreading the message was a big part of the union’s purpose from the start and the union used a system of ‘catch-my-pal,’ where members would induce their friends and neighbours to join. He would ‘talk and argue and persuade until that object was achieved.’[13] Furthermore, branches held meetings daily at meal-times where individuals would listen and talk about temperance message. On the social side, concerts and lectures were held in winter time and excursions would be run to the seaside and resorts in the summer months. Additionally, by 1911 the union owned a number of halls which were used as reading rooms ‘or institutes where a game of billiards may be played.’ The union’s halls at Crewe could also boast of a rifle range. Competition between branches also occurred, whether through football or between branch choirs.[14] Lastly, the Great Western Railway temperance union members established the company’s staff magazine with the tag-line the ‘Temperance Union Record’ in 1888.[15] These practices continued up until the First World War and beyond.

Overall, the question that could be asked is whether work of the UKRTU actually reduced intemperance and ensured safety on the railway? But in reality that is not the issue. At the point of the union’s establishment no example was cited where alcohol had directly caused an accident. Furthermore, an expansive article in The Quiver from 1911 on the union did not cite one accident where an intoxicated individual had been involved. The truth was that temperance among railway workers, while not absolute, was well established by 1882 through the companies’ own rules and regulations. In January 1885 the South Western Gazette, the London and South Western Railway’s staff magazine, reported on the first meeting of that company’s Exeter branch. The Bishop of Exeter stated that the organisation was ‘very peculiar and very striking’ as ‘it could not be said that railway men as a general rule were tempted to drunkenness,’ and that they were ‘as a body were as temperate a body as could be found.’[16]

Thus, because generations of railway workers had had drilled into them the notion temperance by railway companies’ managements the UKRTU was in fact quite irrelevant to the issues of safety. This is re-enforced by the fact that the great concerns of safety campaigners rested not with the alcoholism of railway workers, but with matters of technology and railway worker’s lengthy and tiring hours. Therefore, the formation of the UKRTU was simply an extension of the national temperance movement, which was part of a religious groundswell at the time, and it only used the issue of ‘safety’ as a cover to push its own religious message of service to God through abstinence.


[1] London School of Economics [LSE], HE 1 (42)/4391845, Rules for Enginemen and Firemen, 1845, Rule XXIV, p.20

[2] Author’s Collection, London and South Western Railway Rule Book, 1st November 1912, Rules 9 and 12, p.8-9

[3] Simmons, Jack, ‘Temperance Movement,’ The Oxford Companion to British Railway History, (Oxford, 1997), p.503

[4] Goruvish, T.R. and Wilson, R.G., The British Brewing Industry: 1830-1980, (London, 1994), p.91

[5] Blyth, Gregory, ‘Temperance on the Line,’ The Quiver, Vol 46, No 6, (April 1911), p.581

[6] Jackson's Oxford Journal, Saturday, October 14, 1882; Issue 6761

[7] Daily News, Wednesday, April 26, 1882; Issue 11241

[8] Jackson's Oxford Journal, Saturday, October 14, 1882; Issue 6761

[9] Raynar, Wilson H., The safety of British railways; or, Railway accidents: how caused and how prevented, (London, 1909), p.92

[10] Blyth, ‘Temperance on the Line,’ p.582

[11] Raynar, The safety of British railways, p.92

[12] McKenna, Frank, The Railway Workers: 1840-1970, (London, 1980), p.47

[13] Blyth, ‘Temperance on the Line,’ p.584

[14] Blyth, ‘Temperance on the Line,’ p.582

[15] Great Western Magazine and Temperance Union Record, November 1888, p.1

[16] South Western Gazette, January 1885, p.6

Monday, 1 August 2011

Opportunity and Exploitation – The First Female Clerks on Britain’s Railways - 1875

Before 1870 most women working on the railway received their jobs as an act of charity from the railway companies on the death or injury of their husbands. After being on a waiting list, they could be appointed as refreshment room attendants, carriage lining sewers, ticket sorters or gatekeepers. Unsurprisingly, these jobs were low paid, took place in poor conditions and had long hours. Yet, being appointed to such a post was far better that the alternatives of poverty or possible confinement to the workhouse. Indeed, as I have written before (here), the lives of railwaymen’s widows was hard and destitution was always possible.[1]

In 1875 the London and North Western Railway (L&NWR), Britain’s second largest railway company, altered the nature of women’s employment within railway companies by appointing 15 women to clerical roles at the company’s Birmingham Goods Department. This was on the initiative of a ‘Mr Nichols,’ who was the traffic manager at the Curzon Street Station. Strictly speaking, this was not the first time women had been given office-based employment by the railways, and on rare occasions the daughters of stationmasters had been engaged as telegraphists. Yet, the 1875 appointments signalled a change in women’s opportunities on the railways as it was first occasion when clerical positions had been created specifically for women, rather than their circumstances or any charitable intent.

This could possibly linked to the improved education in the period. The 1870 Education Act had extended education (somewhat unevenly) to all children between the ages of 5 and 12. Given that most of the women employed by the L&NWR were ‘young women,’ it could be argued that the expansion of national education facilitated their employment. Indeed, a few years later the women were all described as being ‘fairly educated.’ [2] Yet, while these were progressive steps for womens' employment in the railway industry, overall, railway companies were comparatively slow in appointing women to clerical positions. As an example, the Post Office was employing 3,500 female clerical staff
by 1887.[3]

The work and conditions of the fifteen women employed by the L&NWR were described in a number of publications.
In 1878 The Englishwomen’s Review (hereon known as 'The Review') stated that the women's work was principally to make 'abstracts from invoices for the ledger accounts of credit customers and for forwarding to the Railway Clearing House.’[4] This work was described by The Review as being ‘not difficult,’ but required ‘care and accuracy.’ Like most clerical jobs in the period, this would have been highly repetitive and dull.

The conditions of the work were not that distinct from those of the male clerks, although Myra’s Journal in 1889 stated that the women worked separately from them and were placed under a matron's charge.[5] Unlike other women performing jobs on the railway network, their hours were relatively tame, and they worked between 9 am and 5 pm. However, as with most clerical work in the period, the reality was that they would have gone home when they finished their assigned work, whether that be at 5, 6, 7 or 8 pm. The pay was pitiful compared with their male colleagues, ranging from 10s to 17s per week (£26 to £44 4s per year). Indeed, most junior clerks on the London and South Western Railway started on £30 per year, but their wages could reach the £100s throughout their career (See here). [6] However, even amongst female clerical workers these wages were poor and Myra’s Journal stated that they were ‘less than those paid by the Prudential Assurance Company.’[7] Furthermore, these women would have had no promotional prospects and presumably they left the company on marriage.

Nevertheless, in comparison with other employment opportunities for young women, working for the L&NWR was deemed better given the office environment. The Review stated that ‘the work affords excellent employment for fairly educated girls whose parents do not wish to send them into shops and factories.’[8] Therefore, in contemporaneous eyes, the avoidance of manual work made up for the fact that the women were poorly paid.

With these appointments being novelties in the railway industry at the time, it is not surprising that they drew criticism. Firstly, some argued that by appointing women to such roles it would threaten men’s jobs. In July 1876 the periodical Judy observed that because of the success of the women at Birmingham and the expansion of the ‘experiment,’ ‘Female engine-drivers and stokers will be the next step of course.’[9] Thus, while Judy was comic publication, this clearly expressed the threat some men felt from women being employed en masse within the railway industry.

Furthermore, in February 1887 The Review noted that a correspondent from the Railway Shareholder had argued that ‘though paid less…,[women] are totally unable to perform the whole of the arduous and multifarious duties of a corresponding number of male clerks owing to their “want of knowledge of the general routine of work”’ The Review retorted that if there really was a problem it ‘might be easily remedied by more regular training; but we are well disposed to think that the experience of the North Western Company…is conclusive, and that women clerks are up to their work.’[10] Thus, the women were attacked along lines which historically womens’ employment always
has been; the taking of men’s jobs and the perceived inability of women to perform their duties adequately.

However, the L&NWR's management were very pleased with the ‘experiment,’ and The Review stated that ‘it is found that the work is done much more accurately than by male clerks, to say nothing of the neatness which is also displayed.’[11] Furthermore, The Cheshire Observer stated that because of this ‘the directors have been induced to try the experiment in other large centres of traffic…we believe the interesting experiment is being tried at Chester Station.’[12] Consequently, by the 1890s the L&NWR had recruited around 180 women for clerical posts,[13] at Camden, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds Chester and Wolverhampton.[14] But the success of the ‘Birmingham fifteen’ had wider implications within the industry. In 1877 The Leeds Mercury reported that other railways were considering employing ‘respectable women’ at stations.[15] Thus, by 1911 Britain’s railways employed 1,120 women in clerical positions (as opposed to 84,802 male clerks.)[16]

It should, however, be remembered that the true purpose of the L&NWR's appointments in 1875 was not through any urge to reform employment practices for women or to open up their opportunities. Rather, the L&NWR saw them as a source of cheap labour in a time when the railway industry's profitability was declining. The Cheshire Observer stated that for all railway companies the employment of the women in clerical positions ‘would be of great consideration in these times of railway competition.’[17] The Leeds Mercury stated that ‘the arrangement is economical, and ought to result in lessening railway expenditure, which has grown unduly in late years, especially in the wages department, and brought about a lamentable reduction in the rate of dividends.’[18]

Thus, the appointment of the 15 clerks at Birmingham was a significant event in the history of women’s employment on the railway, opening up clerical roles for women within the L&NWR and other companies. Nevertheless, the reality was that these women were exploited to improve company profitability. Indeed, this was story repeated in the other railway companies, and in other industries, when they took similar steps.

EXTRA, 11/08/2011: I have since written another blog on this subject to be found HERE


[1] Wojtczak, Helena, Railwaywomen, (Hastings, 2005), p.1-41
[2] The Englishwomen’s Review, Friday, February 15th, 1878, p.77
[3] The Englishwomen’s Review, Tuesday, February 15th, 1887, p.78
[4] The Englishwomen’s Review, Friday, February 15th, 1878, p.77
[5] Myra’s Journal, Monday, Aril 1st 1889, p.185
[6] The Englishwomen’s Review, Friday, February 15th, 1878, p.77
[7] Myra’s Journal, Monday, Aril 1st 1889, p.185
[8] The Englishwomen’s Review, Friday, February 15th, 1878, p.77
[9] Judy, July 19th 1876, p. 141-142
[10] The Englishwomen’s Review, Tuesday, February 15th, 1887, p.78
[11] The Englishwomen’s Review, Friday, February 15th, 1878, p.77
[12] Cheshire Observer, Saturday, July 15th 1876, p.6
[13] Wojtczak, Railwaywomen, p.29
[14] Myra’s Journal, Monday, Aril 1st 1889, p.185
[15] The Leeds Mercury, Thursday, June 25th, 1877
[16] Wojtczak, Railwaywomen, p.29
[17] Cheshire Observer, Saturday, July 15th 1876, p.6
[18] The Leeds Mercury, Thursday, June 25th, 1877
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