4.75(4)

#HI-03-05 Working Lives on Britain’s Railways: Railway History and Heritage

  • Categories History
  • Duration 20h
  • Total Enrolled 4
  • Last Update September 25, 2020

About Course

University of Strathclyde

Description

Explore British railway history and learn what work on the railways was like

On this course, you will investigate the professional lives of the men and women working on the British railways from the 1840s until the First World War.

Using archival materials from the National Railway Museum, you will learn about the mental and physical hardship endured by railway workers, as well as the risks and pleasures that came with working in this new industry.

From Irish Catholic navvies to female office clerks based in industrial cities, you will discover the surprising diversity and complexity of the railway workforce.

Kirstie Blair

I am a Chair in English Studies at the University of Strathclyde and currently lead the research project ‘Piston, Pen & Press: Literary Cultures in the Industrial Workplace.’

 

 

Oliver Betts

Dr. Oliver Betts is the National Railway Museum’s Research Lead. He oversees the academic and research profile of the museum and has a deep love of all things Victorian and Railways!

 

 

Karen Baker

I’m the Railway Museum’s Librarian and my role is to help orientate all levels of researcher to find the answers to their railway-related questions.

 

 

Who developed the course?

University of Strathclyde

The University of Strathclyde is a leading international technological university located in Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, committed to useful learning.

 

What Will I Learn?

  • Discuss the range of activities involved in working on the railways in the long nineteenth century, and how these changed during the period covered by the course.
  • Assess representations of working lives on the railways and railway artefacts and discuss how they relate to wider questions of class, gender, and professional identity.
  • Explore written and oral material on workers’ lives within the appropriate historical and material contexts.
  • Perform searches in the online resources of the National Railway Museum and other archives for material relevant to railway history and workers’ lives.

Topics for this course

19 Lessons20h

Welcome to the course?

Welcome! In this activity we will introduce ourselves and the key topics and themes of the course, and give you the chance to introduce yourselves to us and each other.
SPECIAL EXTENDED COURSE RUN: NOTE ON REDUCED-FACILITATION STATUS ARTICLE
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION TO YOUR EDUCATORS VIDEO (04:51)00:04:51
WELCOME FROM SIR JIM MCDONALD VIDEO (03:25)00:03:25
INTRODUCE YOURSELF DISCUSSION

Introduction?

In this activity we introduce you to the wider world of the Victorian railways and railway labourers, and ask you to start thinking about the engine driver.

What did engine drivers do??

We're now going to start thinking about a specific type of railway worker: the engine driver. In the tasks that follow, we'll think about the type of work they did and how they were depicted in Victorian culture and society.

Dangers and difficulties?

As a new industry, the Victorian railways were often a difficult and dangerous place to work. Here we'll learn more about the what this meant for engine drivers.

The engine-driver hero?

Engine drivers were popular figures in Victorian culture and increasingly portrayed as working-class heroes. In this activity we'll find out why.

Student Feedback

4.8

Total 4 Ratings

5
3 ratings
4
1 rating
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The course was fun and heavy, and I learned about the risks and joys of working in this new industry.

The construction of the railway is a very arduous process, among which the hardest work is done by the workers. This course introduces us to the mental and physical difficulties that railroad workers endure. It's so bitter.

The history of British railways is wonderful. It was the beginning of the development of railways in the world.

Railway is a necessary course of a country's development. This is a great course to take us through what railroad work is.

$39

Target Audience

  • This course is designed for anyone with an interest in railway history and heritage, working-class history and culture, industrial heritage, the Victorian period, or museums and their holdings.