If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Red Ties on Railwaymen

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by guard_jamie, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    2,503
    Likes Received:
    27
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Signalman
    Location:
    Herefordshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I have come across assertions by various people in the movement that it was common, even obligatory practice amongst railwaymen to wear a red tie to give them something to wave in an emergency.

    I find myself skeptical, mainly because any railwayman worth his salt will know the emergency stop handsignal, and any driver worth his salt will respond to this appropriately.

    Moreover, in the very occasional colour photograph or film from the 50s/60s I have never seen red ties being worn by staff (in the 60s no tie at all as often as not).

    So, can anyone provide documentary evidence that wearing a red tie was recommended/obligatory on any of the pre and post-grouping railways?
     
  2. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,521
    Likes Received:
    4,409
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Train Maintainer for GTR at Hornsey
    Location:
    Letchworth
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I thought the wearing of anything red when trackside was forbidden?
     
  3. kesbobby

    kesbobby Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Messages:
    264
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Sometimes in a box
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    That also applies to yellow and green in any location where they could be mistaken for (hand) signals.
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    10,940
    Likes Received:
    8,128
    Occupation:
    Gentleman of leisure, nowadays
    Location:
    Near Leeds
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    It seems to be common practice today for suvvern loco crew to wear a red neckerchief on heritage railways. Don't know if it was the case in the quondam days, though. A lot of drivers would wear a tie but very rare to see a fireman doing so. I think colour would be down to personal choice (or politics!)
     
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    22,999
    Likes Received:
    45,061
    Location:
    LBSC 215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    In the dusty recesses of my brain, I have a vague recollection that it might have been a requirement for crews in the very early days of railways; either Brunellian or Stephensonian in origin. The objective, in the days of time interval working, being to provide an emergency red flag if you broke down in section (in the absence of anything else - though how effective it would have been, I don't know). With more sophisticated signalling systems, and the invention of detonators, the need for such would obviously have diminished.

    I'm away from my library at the moment, but when I get back I'll see if I can find a reference - "Red for Danger" might have something as a starter.

    Tom
     
  6. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    22,999
    Likes Received:
    45,061
    Location:
    LBSC 215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Just found this document held by the NRM:

    "The Supply of Red Neckerchiefs to Certain of the Uniform Staff" issued by the LSWR in 1885. Sadly the original isn't online, but at least there is a reference to the fact that a document was produced on this subject. From the title alone, it is not clear just who amongst the staff were eligible or required to wear such clothing. Presumably the LSWR wasn't alone in issuing this sort of instruction.

    See Collections Online - Objects - I'd assume the NRM could provide a copy?

    Tom
     
  7. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    2,503
    Likes Received:
    27
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Signalman
    Location:
    Herefordshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The quest continues...

    The reason, if you were wondering, of my thinking of this today was a visit to the MHR, where red ties are practically uniform.
     
  8. Islander

    Islander Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Messages:
    306
    Likes Received:
    244
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I'm not sure that a red neckerchief is essential uniform for Southern heritage railway enginemen, it's certainly not on the IOW. My impression is that it is mainly a Bluebell thing, not sure where they took their lead from.

    Casey Jones (in the 1960s TV series) wears a neckerchief which could be red, a job to tell in B&W!
     
  9. Axe

    Axe Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    85
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired (Electronics Engineer)
    Location:
    Epsom, Surrey.
    Red ties were adopted as part of the British Railways (Southern Region) uniform following nationalisation in 1948. My understanding is that BR management wanted ties to be blue in colour as per the other regions. But because Brighton Works was back in the 1950s a stronghold of British communism, it became a political issue between management and the millitant railway trade unions. Management finally conceded the issue and red ties were adopted on the SR.

    On the Bluebell, uniformed staff have the option of wearing either red or black ties.


    Chris
     
  10. TimJNV

    TimJNV New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dont how that applies at southern! All our overalls are green. Though we do wear hi-vis too obviously.
     
  11. DJH

    DJH Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    666
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Graduate Engineer
    Location:
    London
    When going with 1830s replica train operation red neckerchiefs are worn (along with white trousers, white shirts and black waistcoats!)

    Duncan
     
  12. Jamie C. Steel

    Jamie C. Steel Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Messages:
    877
    Likes Received:
    79
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    There is no current rule which restricts the wearing of red, yellow or green by railway staff. I've also never found any trace of any similar rule in rulebooks dating back to the 1940s. I think its mostly a modern thing that has cropped up on preserved lines.
     
  13. 504

    504 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    staff on the big railway wear what they are issued with, virgin have nice big red coats, some companies issue yellow shirts. nout in the rule book about colours anymore (if there ever was). signalmen don't even give you a yellow anymore.
     
  14. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,151
    Likes Received:
    264
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Operations Manager for NR
    Location:
    Worcester
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    My uniform is a nice 'Facing Point Lock' blue. Not sure what you mean about not getting a yellow anymore?
     
  15. nanstallon

    nanstallon Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    4,322
    Likes Received:
    2,377
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Westcountry
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I had never thought of the Mid Hants as a bastion of Communism. Maybe Bob Crow has a weekend cottage in the area, and has some influence. Perhaps the booking office at Alresford takes North Korean currency?
     
  16. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    10,940
    Likes Received:
    8,128
    Occupation:
    Gentleman of leisure, nowadays
    Location:
    Near Leeds
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I don't think it was ever in a rule book. However, I remember in my Talyllyn days being told that it was not sensible to wear red/yellow/green shirts or pullovers as they might be mistaken for a flag. The TR used flags at crossing points instead of fixed signals. I guess it was a good job that red petticoats weren't banned, as well, Poor Jenny wouldn't have known what to do!

    Like Neil, I'm intrigued by the statement thar signalmen don't give a yellow any more, too.
     
  17. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    2,503
    Likes Received:
    27
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Signalman
    Location:
    Herefordshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I don't think that feudal state is communist in anything but name...

    Anyway, thank you for all the help gents, and do keep it coming if more occurs. It is nice to confirm that there is a historical precedent for red ties on the MHR.

    Regarding the discussion on colours near lines, it is advised against in at least one heritage railway PTS I am aware of.
     
  18. Hampshire Unit

    Hampshire Unit Well-Known Member Friend

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,363
    Likes Received:
    2,088
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Carer, Gardener
    Location:
    Alresford
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Re colours and PTS' the Mid Hants PTS does mention this too, but more specifically wrt hi-vis clothing. I know that when I am lineside I do not wear a red jumer or t-shirt, although at least one of my hi-vis vests is long sleeved so hides the colour underneath.
     
  19. Waldgrun

    Waldgrun New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  20. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    10,940
    Likes Received:
    8,128
    Occupation:
    Gentleman of leisure, nowadays
    Location:
    Near Leeds
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
     

Share This Page