Tag Archives | engine driver

The death of Joseph (Joe) Parkin & its impact on his family

As part of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine’s ‘Transcription Tuesday’, our project made available a set of records produced by the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, one of the major railway trade unions. It listed over 2000 cases involving members, many of them accidents. In this blog post, one of the transcribers, Gordon […]

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Halloween: A mystery man, an eerie rabbit & a railway death

As we’re heading towards Halloween, it seems only fitting that we’ve a supernatural case, involving an accident to a railway worker, to bring to your attention. It’s a great demonstration of the promise of our project work, combined with digitisation and transcription of seemingly unrelated documents: the combination and linking of sources is very pleasing. […]

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A question of trust

How far could workers control their own fates? In the 19th century and well into the 20th it was believed by many – certainly the railway companies’ managers – that workers were ultimately responsible for the vast majority of the accidents that befell them, as they made choices and acted ‘carelessly.’ What was rarely taken […]

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Multiple Scottish casualties – the Flying Scotsman & Sandilands Viaduct cases, April 1914

April 1914 saw 2 railway accidents which raise interesting issues about the differences between worker and passenger incidents – particularly as both involved multiple casualties. On 14 April 1914, the Flying Scotsman train (not to be confused with the loco!) collided with a goods train at Burntisland in Fife, killing 2 (the driver and fireman […]

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It’s cold outside …

If you’re in the UK, you’ll have noticed it’s been rather cold of late, including a lot of snow. Despite the adverse comment about some train operators pre-emptively cancelling services, an awful lot of work has gone in to keeping the system moving – though as usual, most of that is behind the scenes, in […]

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Wilson & Whyman, Middlesbrough

If you were glancing through our database of railway worker accidents in haste, you might be forgiven for spotting two similar looking names and thinking they were related: F Wilson and B Whyman, the first a fireman and the latter a driver. Both were injured at Middlesbrough on the North Eastern Railway within 30 minutes […]

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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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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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