"Railwaywomen" is the first book ever written about the place of women workers in the history of Britain's railways. There have been several books on male labour on the railways, including those by Joby, McKenna, Bagwell, J.A.B. Hamilton and others, but for the most part they have ignored the women workers. Women have worked on Britain's railways since the industry began. From the 1830s they were employed to clean offices and within 20 years they were engaged in operational and workshop jobs. Among the earliest named women were a station mistress at Merry Lees (1832) and a level crossing keeper at Bexhill (1851). These women, and others in similar roles, open a book that takes us through the roller coaster of women's struggle for equality in one of Britain's most important and famous workforces, a book that is brought right up to date by including interviews and events as recent as July 2005. "Railwaywomen" is a landmark book, which has become, immediately upon publication, the standard reference work on the subject. The book takes its place in the canon of women's history, labour history and the story of trades unionism in Britain.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1: Before 1915 CHAPTER 2: The First World War CHAPTER 3: Between the Wars CHAPTER 4: The Second World War CHAPTER 5: Postwar to 1974 CHAPTER 6: Railnews CHAPTER 7: Post 1975 CHAPTER 8: Preserved Railways CHAPTER 9: Conclusion
HELENA WOJTCZAK (pronounced 'VOYT-CHAK') was born in Sussex and grew up in London. At the age of 19 she became the first woman employed as a guard by British Rail. In connection with this, Helena has written The Recruitment and Training of the First Female Guard on British Rail . Working in the industry led her to research and, later, to write the history of Railwaywomen. Now Britain's foremost authority on the history of women railway workers, she has been consultant historian to the National Railway Museum and a contributor to The Oxford Companion to British Railway History. Helena has a BSc Honours degree in the Social Sciences (majoring in Psychology) and Social History. She has recently written three books on women's history including the hugely successful Women of Victorian Sussex, sales of which exceeded all expectations, and has created a website called Women of Hastings and St Leonards - a social history containing many details about life for women in a typical English south coast town in the mid-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Helena lectures in local history all across Sussex, and has lately been invited by Sussex University to tutor in Women's History. She has written for the Oxford University Press, the Hastings Press, Hunter House Publishing, the Hastings & St Leonards Observer, The Warrior Magazine, P3 Publishing (Steam Railways), The Victorian Web and Encyclopaedia Titanica.