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Did Anyone On This Forum Work For British Railways/ British Rail?

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I think you might have guess I'm into railway history but one of late grandmothers Uncle's was an Fireman worked on the steam engines during the 50s/60s era another relative worked has an  signal man. Both worked for British Railways possibly before that London, Midland, Scotland railway company. British Railways came into been in 1948 lasted until 1997 did anyone on this forum work for B.R was it an good or bad job and what job did you do ? 

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My grandfather was a fireman on the LNWR and later LMS and as was typical in those days, so did many of his relatives.

He worked LNWR/LMS trains from Warrington/Crewe/Chester to Holyhead/Bangor/ Llandudno.

Because of the boat trains the job was 24 hours.

They lived within a few yards of Bangor shed.

Because of the Irish civil war in the 20's they had a gun in the cab.

Families acted as a 'reference' for the employee, and often the first questions on the application form/interview referred to relatives.

It was normal also for youngsters to become attached very early on to a career path eg firemen/drivers, station staff, permanent way, office staff, maintenance, building, engineering etc., etc.

Careers progression often required workers to move home and families never to return.

Hours of work would appear harsh today, but then they were seen as tolerable particularly as pay and conditions, pension, job security, career, free travel, healthcare, status, etc. compared very favourably with most jobs.

 

The museum in York is free and brilliant for the information and experience you need.

The LMS records are extensive and many are online.

Youtube etc., has loads of videos of interview of workers talking about their career.

 

My Grandfather inhaled a cinder and died a horrible death from infection. His wife and children were well looked after by the Union and LMS - no welfare state then.

 

 

 

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My great grandfather, grandfather, father and uncles all worked on the railway in Sheffield. Dad was an apprentice in the mid forties, his first job, and was a platelayer when he left in the mid sixties. Not sure if that was a result of the Beeching report.  My ancestors worked in the very early days of the railway at Rowsley near Bakewell before moving to Sheffield.

 

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Worked for BR for about 18 months on the Hope Valley line . From Dore and Totley tunnel  through to Cowburn tunnel . Worked as a platelayer or permanent way man  ( PW) as it was known then . Hope valley beautiful in summer but biting cold in winter . Very steady job , a lot of time spent sat around (boring) . So boring that I used to volunteer to walk Totley Tunnel twice a week .  Got sacked for something I did not do . 

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The railway people were an community in the past often working in remote places barely seeing an soul. None of my family worked for British Railways in its later years they moved on to other types of employment I think the Beeching cuts played an role in their change of employment . By the time I got to know about my families connection to the rail network my gran was in poor health so never got much detail only bits. 

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