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An arcane quesiion of the highest order

Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 9:53 am
by Robin Summerhill
When I was carrying out some detailed genealogical research into my family tree recently, it intrigued me why one of my great4 grandfathers died at Keynsham in 1852 when he had lived in Hilmarton all his life and was also buried there (in railway terms Hilmarton is roughly equidistant from Dauntsey and Calne when that branch opened some years later).

Yesterday I found out. One of his daughters had married a platelayer at Shrivenham in 1844 and by 1851 they were living in Keynsham, so clearly he would have been a GWR employee.

This got me wondering whether staff concessionary travel facilities were offered to employees back then. Some limited research showed that inter-company concessionary travel arrangements started around 1893, but that of course doesn’t tell me whether the companies gave their own staff concessionary travel on their own routes.

Does anyone know anything about this matter?

Re: An arcane quesiion of the highest order

Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 7:15 pm
by the green mile
That's a very interesting question Robin. We know that the GWR was forward thinking when it came to their Works staff in Swindon. There was the railway village, the company hospital and hydro and the improvement classes at the Mechanics Institute. There were also special excursion trains to the seaside. I wonder if general non-works staff enjoyed similar benefits.

I can only think that the answer to your conundrum must lie within a conditions of service document, if one actually existed, or maybe a contract of employment. I wonder if the STEAM museum or the NRM at York may have something in their archives.

Re: An arcane quesiion of the highest order

Posted: Sat May 23, 2020 9:30 am
by 76026
Does MacDermot's history of the GWR mention significant milestones in staff conditions and if so would the introduction of concessionary fares to be 'significant' ?