Mapping Memory by National Museums Liverpool

Mapping Memory National Museums Liverpool

Overhead Railway

William 'Billy' Smith

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Transcript for William 'Billy' Smith

The Overhead Railway was known by the people, walking civilians, as the Dockers Umbrella, but the people that used it day and night called it the Pneumonia Express, for the simple reason that the train ran from half past six in the morning when the shipyard workers were brought out. You’d get a joiner coming in with his bag of tools, he’d be on. You’d get a riveter with a bag of rivets, a big hammer, he’d get on. You all got on and there was only one class, third class. They’d pull a pipe out and they had to twist it, not like the present day, you had to twist. Anyone with a bad chest would be coughing and barking so they let the window down but you had to put your coat up because the wind came in and if you never had a cold you got it there, and that’s why they called it the Pneumonia Express.