March 2009

As Velma describes for us in her article on the Industrial Revolution and Transportation, the advent of the railway created enormous opportunities for all our ancestors, whether it was for the monied classes or for the humble agricultural labourer. The importance of this is reflected in the number of articles in this edition which deal with the railways. Dizzy Digital Cat describes the first trials of the steam engines, where George Stephenson’s ‘Rocket’ was the winner.

Many of us have come across workers on the railways in our research, from carmen or shunters to navigators, but most of us are not lucky enough to have much detail about their personal lives. Christine in Herts and Merry Monty Montgomery tell us about their relatives who worked for the Great Western Railway and Velma gives us some background to this important railway company.

In addition, Nasher describes his huge collection of Railwayana and his lifetime fascination with trains and Wendy Pusey writes about her husband’s work as a volunteer at the Havenstreet Steam Railway. Away from trains, Howie from Gwent writes about his father’s, and his own, work in road haulage while Mary in Italy has written about a relative who designed and patented the hansom cab and designed the Great Indian Peninsular Railway.

The Family Treasure this month is an interesting brass tin belonging to Mavis by the Moor.