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People Involved

The team behind the Railway Work, Life & Death project consists of:

The volunteers

At the moment a core group of National Railway Museum volunteers has been augmented by a team of volunteers at The National Archives, and at the Modern Records Centre at the University of Warwick.

We’ve also had invaluable assistance from a volunteer in Portsmouth and the kind assistance of a number of members of the public who have offered their help. We’re currently checking with them all about whether they want their names to feature here, and if so, in what format.

Karen Baker, Curator of Library & Railway Research, National Railway Museum

Part of Karen’s role has been to identify, manage, and make accessible datasets created by teams of National Railway Museum volunteers working from home from across the UK and beyond. Karen has worked with various stakeholders from the railway community and universities in delivering these projects and is the Museum’s lead on the ‘Railway Work, Life & Death’ project.

Mike Esbester, Senior Lecturer in History, University of Portsmouth

Mike is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Portsmouth, specialising in the history of transport and mobility, and in the history of accidents and safety in modern Britain. He is particularly interested in the history of railway worker safety, the subject of his forthcoming book under contract with Taylor & Francis. His Portsmouth staff page is available here.

Chris Heaton, Administration Volunteer, National Railway Museum

Chris works closely with the National Railway Museum volunteer team, to coordinate and facilitate their work, making sure they don’t run out of material, and then helping to clean and consolidate the transcribed records. He and this work are essential to the smooth running of the project!

James King, Senior Assistant Archivist, Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick

James has worked with the project since the collaboration started with the Modern Records Centre (MRC), and has taken on the role of co-lead for the MRC. He has been supporting the MRC volunteer team and working closely on the trade union records.


We’d also like to acknowledge the particular contributions of some members of the team who have either contributed in other ways or who have now left the project formally:

Helen Ford, previously Manager, Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick

Helen has been a long time project supporter, and has enabled our work with the Modern Records Centre, which started in late 2018. She oversaw the work at the MRC, on trades union records.

Peter Thorpe, Library & Archive Assistant, National Railway Museum

Peter has worked in Search Engine, the National Railway Museum’s Library and Archive centre, for over 10 years, and has been an invaluable help with the project over the years.

Craig Shaw, Administration Volunteer, National Railway Museum

Craig was the key point of contact with NRM project volunteers, helping to arrange the work and ensure the logistics work as smoothly as possible. He also undertook some of the data-checking, to ensure accuracy.