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Working on the Station

At a busy station like Grantham there were several departments reponsible for keeping the railway's business flowing.  Until the mid-1960s all staff involved with the passenger side of the railway came under the control and direction of a central figure - the Stationmaster.  We have given Grantham's stationmasters a page of their own, where their duties and responsibilities are more fully described.

The stationmaster's office was run by a Chief Clerk, who supervised the booking office clerks and telegraph clerks.

Douglas Whitaker in the booking office in 1984.  The son of Grantham driver Sam Whitaker, Douglas joined the LNER at Clayton, Bradford in June 1945 as a goods clerk before moving to Peterborough North goods, then Grantham goods before moving over to the passenger booking office in 1966. Douglas Whitaker took early retirement on 29th January 1989 after 44 years' service.
Photograph lent by Richard Whitaker.

On the next tier of management were the Station Inspectors, who were responsible for the staff who had contact with passengers: ticket collectors, porters, refreshment room staff and train announcers, among others.

Station Announcer Dorothy Ross on duty on 22nd August 1963.
Photograph by Cedric A. Clayson.

Alongside the stationmaster was the Goods Agent, though sometimes the two roles were combined.  Goods Agents were in charge of the staff at a station who handled and accounted for goods traffic consigned by railway.   Goods Department staff included clerks, goods foremen, checkers, loaders, townsmen (a commercial traveller or salesman) and delivery drivers.

Goods traffic was diverse at Grantham.  Customers varied from large engineering manufacturers with their own sidings and a constant flow of materials in and finished products out, to farmers consigning or receiving livestock, to large stores in the high street and small corner shops.

There were road-rail transhipment points in the goods shed behind the Up platform; in each of the two goods yards located on either side of the main lines south of the passenger station - the yard on the Up side including provision for livestock.  There were  private sidings into Ruston & Hornsby's, Aveling Barford's and the Gas Works.  In Ambergate Yard, at the end of the short branch from the Nottingham line at Barrowby Road, coal merchants exchanged empty wagons for full ones.  Not only had all this freight to be physically handled onto or off the railway, some of it was collected or delivered by road, and everything needed to be accurately invoiced using a complicated system of rates and charges ...and payment chased up when not forthcoming.

See the following pages to explore work on and around the station:

Copyright note:  the article above is published with the appropriate permissions.  For information about copyright of the content of Tracks through Grantham please read our Copyright page.

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