Hello all, Been doing some research lately and came across a wedding certificate that lists my Grandfathers occupation as a "Platelayer" now im attempting to find out who for, any ideas if a list of employees of the SMJ is available ? Also its possible it could have been the Buckinghamshire Railway. Would be gratful of any help.
My Grandfather's occupation was listed as "Linesman" in 1926, and I have been trying to find out when he joined the SMJ / LMS railway, but with no luck yet.
Lee and Nigel,
I think there is a distinction between linesman and platelayer. I believe a linesman walked the line between two stations each day knocking in loose keys and reporting faults whereas a platelayer was more of a PW man who might have been sent to where work had to be done that the linesman didn't tackle (in later days travelling on a platelayers trolley). I know that even as late as in early BR days there were two separate linesmen who walked the sections either side of Blakesley. My grandfather was a bricklayer during SMJ and LMS days. He often used to ride on a bicycle type trolley to where he was working, usually repairing brickwork on culverts. He spend quite a lot of time on one job near the GCR main line and his work party used to use the passage of the always punctual 'Sam Fay' express ( not the 'Sir Sam Fay' loco incidentally) as a signal to knock off as they didn't often have a watch between them.
I think you are referring to a lengthman Dick (hence talk of someone 'walking his length'). As I understand it, a lineman was someone who maintained the cables carrying telephone and signalling circuits - usually carried on telegraph poles in those days - repairing broken cables, fractured insulators etc I imagine.
Yes you are right Paul, my mistake