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

Interview Transcript

Jodie: You said that your father worked on the railway.

Astrid. Yes, that’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 don’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 – I don’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 . . .

Jodie: Yeah.

Astrid: . . . and the lamp, that was what they took the photograph of me dad.

Jodie: Oh, wow! That’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.

Jodie: Right.

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 – Jodie laughs)

Jodie: So was that shop for anyone to go to, was it, yeah?

Astrid: Well, I can’t remember that far back, you see. I know there was a photograph of me dad standing outside it but I, I just don’t know.

Tagged under: steam locomotives, edge hill station, railway workers, liverpool lime street station, diesel locomotives, liverpool riverside station, second world war, porters, trade unions, prisoners of war

Categorised under: Work & Industry

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