An oral history of London’s public transport 1945-1995

Public transport in London has been a lively source of debate since the first buses and underground lines appeared in the capital in the 19th century.


And no more so than in the last half-century when battles over fares, new projects, pay and political control have been fought out by trade unions, passenger groups and local authorities (LCC, GLC and GLA/Mayor).


But as Martin Eady’s new book Hold on Tight (2016) makes clear, there is a pressing need to record the working lives of the people who worked on London’s transport services in more recent years.

Britain at Work London has set up a new oral history project called Over & Under which aims to interview people who worked on London’s buses, trams, trolley buses, tubes and suburban rail services in the years 1945- 1995.

This includes the people who worked as guards and motormen on the underground as well as bus drivers and conductors.


But also the engineers who worked in the garages and depots, the canteen staff and the cleaners.


And those who worked on the suburban services and main-line stations like Liverpool Street, Paddington and Waterloo as well as the great transport hubs like Clapham Junction and Willesden Junction.


Over & Under is interviewing people on a one-to-one basis and setting up ‘round-table’ discussions focused on different aspects of transport work and trade unionism.


If you would like to be interviewed or be involved in some other way (eg donating photos or other materials to the project), then please get in touch.


All interviews will be placed with the Bishopsgate Library collections at Liverpool Street.

Over &


The project will ask people about their work and their activity in the main transport trade unions such as NUR, ASLE&F, TGWU and AUEW in the post-war years.

We would love to hear from you. Please click here to send us a few lines


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