Railwaywomen: Exploitation, Betrayal and Triumph in the Workplace

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9781904109044: Railwaywomen: Exploitation, Betrayal and Triumph in the Workplace
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With a compelling combination of humour and
indignation, Helena Wojtczak reveals the untold
story of the British railwaywoman, charting her
progress from exploited drudge in the 1830s to
steam engine driver by the 21st century, using an
engrossing collage of historic and contemporary
documents, photographs, official reports and vivid
personal testimonies.

Within the first two chapters we enter a world
of sabotage, gruesome fatalities, pig-stealing,
transvestism, murder, train crashes, a shipwreck,
bombs, capture by the enemy, strikes, anti-woman
agitation, heroic acts and tragic deaths.

As we trace the steps of women staking their place
in one of Britain’s largest and most well-known
industries, we learn of abysmal exploitation and
shameful betrayal. Ultimately the story develops
— via the crashing of male bastions, accompanied
by appalling harassment — into one of triumph.

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Review:

"A wonderfully complete picture of railwaywomen in war and peace." -- Gail Braybon, historian

"Meticulous archival research. Traces the trials, tribulations and triumphs of railwaywomen". -- Dr Gerry Holloway, Sussex University

"Such tales, such adventures and such achievements against the odds. Heroically researched, illuminatingly written and entertaining. I loved it." -- Dale Spender, educator and historian

"Superb documentary evidence. Future historians will see this work as the definitive history of women in the railway industry." -- Dr Gillian Reynolds, Coventry University

"The definitive guide to the place of women in the history of Britain’s railways." -- THE ARGUS

"Wojtczak has a rare talent which combines rigorous academic research with an immense gift
for storytelling." -- MICHAL BONCZA, THE MORNING STAR, 13 SEPT 2005

A well-written work in a style that never becomes dry, heavy or patronising. -- Steam World magazine

An unbiased, academically excellent and very entertaining work of history. Beautifully written from what has clearly been meticulous research. -- Adrian Vaughan

Wojtczak has a rare talent which combines rigorous academic research with an immense gift for storytelling. -- The Morning Star

About the Author:

HELENA WOJTCZAK was born in Sussex and grew up in
London. At the age of 19 she became the fi rst woman
employed as a guard by British Rail. As Britainís
foremost authority on the history of women railway
workers, she has been a consultant historian to the
National Railway Museum and was a contributor to The
Oxford Companion to British Railway History.
Helena holds a BSc Honours degree in Social Science
and Social History. She has written fi ve books and two
websites, gives occasional public talks and is a part time
tutor at the University of Sussex.

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Wojtczak, Helena
Published by Hastings Press (2005)
ISBN 10: 1904109047 ISBN 13: 9781904109044
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Helena Wojtczak:
Published by Hastings Press (2005)
ISBN 10: 1904109047 ISBN 13: 9781904109044
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