Astrid Massey talks about her father’s work on the railway
Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 17th February 2012 by Liam Physick
Astrid Massey talks about her father, Leonard Rose. She explains that he began working at Edge Hill as a van boy at the age of 14, before becoming a porter and then a goods guard during the Second World War, when he worked on trains bringing ammunition and prisoners of war. One day, they received a visit from then-then Princess Elizabeth, when Leonard was required to walk in front of the train from Edge Hill to Riverside. On a lighter note, he was also chosen as a Meccano model of a railway guard! In addition to his duties on the railway, he also represented workers facing disciplinary proceedings. He switched to Lime Street following dieselisation
Interviewee: Astrid Massey
Interviewee Gender: Female
Date of Interview: 17th November 2011
Jodie: You said that your father worked on the railway.
Astrid. Yes, thatâ€™s right, Leonard Rose, known as Len. He was born in 1907, he started work at Edge Hill when he was 14 til he was 65, he started off as a van boy, then he went onto a porter and then it was a goods guard. Now during the War that was with the steam trains, during the War he was on the goods trains, ammunition plus prisoners of war. I donâ€™t know exactly where they came in, but, they, they, they were, it was either Speke, Huyton, that they were taken to. He used to do a thing called double trips, which he was away overnight; also, sometimes we had what they call the knocker-upper (Jodie laughs), which, it was just somebody who used to knock to make sure that you were up for whatever time you had to be at work.
Jodie: Oh, right.
Astrid: In, Princess Elizabeth, as she was then, me dad was chosen to walk in front of the train from Edge Hill to Riverside â€“ I donâ€™t know whether Princess Margaret was with her sister or not, he was also chosen as a model for Meccano (Jodie laughs) and if you see those little men with the flag . . .
Astrid: . . . and the lamp, that was what they took the photograph of me dad.
Jodie: Oh, wow! Thatâ€™s amazing!
Astrid: He was also in a thing called LDC where, whether it was equivalent to a union representation, but if anybody had stepped out of line and were getting disciplined, often my dad went and fought their case for them.
Astrid: But then when they changed to the diesel, me dad worked at Lime Street, and he was known as a guard collector, and also, there was a shop that used to be on Edge Hill station, but we think it was run by the, the work people . . .
Jodie: The people working on the railway, yeah?
Astrid: Yes. (whispers under her breath â€“ Jodie laughs)
Jodie: So was that shop for anyone to go to, was it, yeah?
Astrid: Well, I canâ€™t remember that far back, you see. I know there was a photograph of me dad standing outside it but I, I just donâ€™t know.
Categorised under: Work & Industry