Underground working

It is 150 years since the London Underground began. Eighty years ago public control was significantly extended over London transport. A file in the archives contains intriguing information about the Underground in the late 1920s. It was compiled by a young official, James Earle Edwards and includes detailed summaries of rolling stock, diagrams of depots and equipment. Edwards also compiled a series of reports from divisional offices.

James Earle Edwards' file (MS1196)

James Earle Edwards’ file (MS1196)

There is a detailed report about the Arsenal match against Blackburn in March 1928, for instance, and its implications for what was then Gillespie Road. Not surprisingly, six booking clerks were needed rather than the usual one for a Saturday afternoon. James Earle Edwards went on become Superintendant of Waterloo station by 1959. A photographer of the same name took some wonderful photographs of ocean liners in the 1940s. Could they have been one and the same?

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