Station Stories at the National Railway Museum (5)

Posted on 13 December 2012 | Image, Narrative

Growing flowers at Poppleton station

Earlier this year, the Station Stories team ran a reminiscence session with members of the Poppleton Community Railway Nursery. They shared their memories of growing flowers and weekend work.

Station Stories at the National Railway Museum (5)

Members of the Poppleton Community Railway Nursery attend a Station Stories story-gathering session. Image courtesy of the National Railway Museum.

“It used to be that all stations were manned until the 1960s which is the era when it suddenly stopped, except at the large stations. All stations had plenty of staff and they always wanted overtime. It was quite normal for the staff to do the station gardens and look after them.

In those days, there was a nursery at Poppleton station. This provided plants for railway stations all overYorkshire. Other stations used to send people in by train, to pick up plants and take them back to their station. That was normally done in the spring and autumn on a Saturday and Sunday. It meant the Poppleton staff could get overtime and the staff from other stations could also get overtime by coming to pick up the plants.

Lots of railway staff did anything to try and work a Saturday or a Sunday because of the extra money. Particularly a Sunday because it was often time and three quarters. I don’t think it was ever double time except for a bank holiday. So that meant an eight hour Sunday shift was worth fourteen hours pay, nearly half your weekly wage. Things were geared up to making jobs for weekends.”