All in a Day's Work - Life on the GWR
At the height of the railway age. the railway industry provided employment (or over one million workers in Britain. Although the top-link driver on the great named expresses of the age of steam era) have been the pinnacle in terms of popular perception, these individuals could only have got there with the assistance of myriad other trades and after years of progressing through the more junior grades of footplate staff. From the humble junior porter through to the chairman of the board, the railways employed a vast array of different trades, all of whom were essential to the smooth running of the industry. Some of these trades, such as the track gangs, are still an important part of the maintenance of the modern railway. but others, such as blacksmiths, have now disappeared. Even if a trade still exists, its day-to-day operations are likely to have been radically changed in the 180 years of main line railway operation in Britain.
Drawing upon the extensive archives of the Great Western Railway, now housed in Steam: Museum of the Great Western at Swindon. Tim Bryan provides in All in a Day's Life on the GWR a portrait of life as a railway worker during the age of steam. Whilst to the outsider. particularly to the aspiring engine driver, life on the railways may have appeared glamorous, the reality, particularly for those in the more manual jobs, was often harsh, dirty and dangerous. This was an era before hi-vis jackets and Health & Safety legislation, before much of the labour-saving machinery of the late 20th century was developed, an age when pay was often poor and expectations for promotion limited. In examining the role of the disparate trades involved in the railway industry, the author provides both an evocative portrait of a long-lost era and also a social history that will have a resonance for all those countless families with relatives who once worked in the railway industry.
Hardback with dust jacket Softback, 160 pages, black & white photographs
Condition: Very Good
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