Doing Time Inside

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More About This Title Doing Time Inside


GRW's Swindon Works had a proud reputation. The boast was "if you had worked in Swindon Works, you could get a job anywhere!," and that meant anywhere in the world. The Works was referred to by locals as "Inside," and thousands of men did "time Inside" for eleven decades until the swinging '60s brought changes to the way young boys trained to become "modern" journeymen with flexible skills. Apprenticeship, when a young man was bound over to a master for years, was hard work and came with a lot of history and baggage. In early years the conditions and rules were awesome—including no marriage and no letting harm come to your master—but when the old ways were abandoned did it lose much of its ritual mystique? Doing Time Inside expresses the collective voices of the Swindon apprentices, recording the life of apprenticeship, and how it changed, the differences between apprenticeships, the good times and the rotten jobs. Including many first-hand accounts and unpublished photographs, this fascinating book will appeal to the thousands of workers who remember this period with affection.


Rosa Matheson is a long-time enthusiast of Swindon Works, GWR, and women's railway history. She has a large collection of memorabilia and has written a number of books and articles on her pet topics. She is the author of TRIP: The Annual Holiday for GWR's Swindon Works and The Fair Sex: Women and the GWR.