After 21 years as a guard and active trade unionist on the London underground, I can say that I enjoy being a railwayman. I started before the war when London Transport Board used to take on temporary staff for the annual leave season, and I became a temporary porter. I was 23 then. If you kept your nose clean, were good at the job and, most important, a regular attender, there was a chance come the end of the summer that you’d be kept on to replace men who were retiring. I was lucky to be kept on in my first year because I knew others who were temporaries for as long as five or six years. In those days work on London Transport was regarded as a job for life, it was one of the few places where there was any security.
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