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A day like any other? Christmas Days 1911-14

Network Rail’s recent promo video about the engineering works currently taking place this Christmas is a good reminder that there’s always something happening on our railway network – and that means staff at work. Where there’s work, sadly, there’s danger, even with a greatly reduced passenger service: as well all know, there’s plenty more to […]

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Disability History Month – a guest post on the NRM’s blog

Just a quick post today – to say that we’re thrilled that as part of our collaborative work between the University of Portsmouth and the National Railway Museum, we’ve contributed a guest post to the NRM’s blog, for Disability History Month. We’ve only scratched the surface of industrial disability and the railways, so there’s great […]

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Disability History Month – rehabilitating injured workers? The case of the one-legged engine driver

In our previous post we mentioned some of the immediate post-accident care that injured railway workers might have received – first aid at the scene and then hospital treatment. This time we want to say a little more about longer-term provision for disabled workers. Where and how disabled workers might receive treatment and after-care might […]

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Disability History Month – What happened to the workers after the accident?

So far our project has only focused on the accidents railway workers suffered: what happened after that, for them, their families and their communities has been largely left unspoken. That’s a product of the sources we’ve been using: the accident investigation reports cover the incident only and don’t go into the aftermath. But in other […]

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Jump! When can you abandon your loco?

What the ‘Railway Work, Life & Death’ database shows really nicely – and importantly – is how numerous the ‘mundane’ accidents were: the cases that injured or killed workers in their ones or twos, but which cumulatively produced a total number of casualties far in excess of the passengers who were affected by accidents. In […]

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Reading goods

Last week I attended an interesting workshop at the University of Reading, looking at the history of freight transport. It touched upon all modes of transport, though rail featured extensively – and occasionally safety issues cropped up, like the photograph of workers on top of a container, trying to secure a load that was in […]

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Explore your Archive week – a case from the archive: road safety on the railway

As well as this being ‘Explore your Archive’ week (see yesterday’s post here), it’s also Road Safety Week, run by the charity Brake. Road accidents remain a major source of casualties in the UK, and a part of this relates to occupational road risks. Although we might not expect it, road accidents are a source […]

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Explore your Archive week – a case from the archive: pinched feet

As part of Explore your Archive week (see yesterday’s post here) we’re going to be bringing you a couple of cases taken from the Railway Work, Life & Death project spreadsheet of railway worker accidents between 1911 and 1915. The spreadsheet was compiled by volunteers at the National Railway Museum, one of the project partners, […]

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