Friends of the National Railway Museum
South of England Group



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Railway Work, Life and Death Project
  Our Group is supporting the Railway Work, Life and Death Project, a joint initiative between the University of Portsmouth, the National Railway Museum (NRM) and the Modern Records Centre at the University of Warwick (MRC), also working with other institutions including The National Archives of the UK at Kew.

The Project is trying to find out more practical information about railway worker accidents from the late Victorian period to the Second World War. Whilst the records focus on safety incidents and ways of preventing them, the Project - by describing what the people concerned were doing, and why, how and where they were doing it - is building up a lot of information of interest to all sorts of people: railway enthusiasts, family historians whose ancestors worked on the railways, railway museums and heritage centres, archives, the current railway industry and academics.

Painting a detailed picture of the jobs, trades and skills - many of which no longer exist - which were needed to operate and maintain the pre- and post-grouping railways on a day-to-day basis, it covers the work of, for example, the permanent way platelayers and undermen, the bridge painters, the goods porters and capstanmen, the shunters and slipper boys, the footplate crews, and the rulleymen.

Connected with this Project, we will be attending the 'Family Tree Live' exhibition at Alexandra Palace, London on Friday and Saturday 26 and 27 April 2019 with our information and promotion stand. This gives us a good opportunity to wave the flag for the NRM and the Friends: no selling this time, just lots of talking to show off the Project.

Also, you can now join in because the Project is taking part in the 2019 ‘Transcription Tuesday’ event, run by Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine. Your help is needed to transcribe a volume of records in a single day! Join in on 5 February to unlock what happened to over 2000 workers between 1901 and 1905.

To find out more about the Project and the transcription event - and to gain access to the database created so far - please click on this link