That’s right, just two weeks after we released our Postal Service Appointment Books, we have another mammoth set of occupation records for you. This time, we’re focussing on Britain’s railways, and the people that powered them.
UK, Railway Employment Records, 1807–1963, offers a rare insight into our history, as it follows an industry literally from its very beginnings. Railways didn’t exist before the 19th century. So, you can look in on the people who worked hard to get the technology off the ground.
This wasn’t easy, and the records reveal countless stories of trains colliding and running off rails as the staff struggled to control them. Still, it’s a good thing they succeeded, as the railways became vital to the growth of our nation.
I wrote a fortnight ago about how trains carried post around the country. They also transported fuel and raw materials to the growing factories in the cities – and carted the finished products to the docks so they could be exported all over the world.
The constant development meant railway employees were always on the move – and our records let you follow your family’s travels. They tell you where your ancestors were working, plus their roles, ages, and even details like salaries and how long they’d been employed.
You can often trace individuals’ careers from their arrival in apprenticeship books, to their retirement in pension records, and build up a clear picture of what their working lives were like.
If you’d like to learn more about the fascinating history behind these records, make sure you watch our exclusive video, the third in our occupations series with expert insight from Tony Robinson. And look out for another new collection – and a fourth video – very soon.