British Railways Rules – 1950

Another item found at Lavington Station, after it closed in 1966, was a book of rules which had been amended for use from January 1950 through to 1961.

These were national railway rules and so would have applied in the Great Western Railway area, including at Lavington Station.

The rules started with various terms and conditions of employment for railway workers.

Whilst many of the rules reflect common sense, they also remind us of changes in railway travel over the last seventy years.

Of course, we would not expect passengers to be permitted to board or descend from a moving train, but nowadays the doors are locked until the train is stationary, rather than all the individual doors able to be manually opened by the travelling public.

Rule 159 reminds us how much more acceptable smoking was back in the 1950s, with some compartments being permitted smoking areas, whilst others had No Smoking signs on their windows.

Rule 161, ensuring that ladies travelling alone should be found accommodation with other ladies if they made such a request to the staff, reminds us that some train carriages had single compartments and no corridor, which could make passengers vulnerable to unpleasant behaviour from other travellers. They would have had no recourse to help apart from by pulling the emergency alarm to stop the train.

And here are some of the staff at Lavington Station in 1954 to whom the new rules would have applied.

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