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  1. #1
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    Default Capstan Lad on the railways

    My grandfather at aged 15 was employed as a "Capstan Lad" for GWR at Paddington Gds (Goods?) in 1905. I have only heard of a capstan in relation to maritime matters and I understand it is a mechanism to aid the pulling of something heavy. Could this also have been used on the railways? I wonder if anyone can help with what this job might have entailed? It is definitely a railway occupation as the record came from the UK Railway Employment Records on Ancestry. I have a copy of the original, so it in not a transcription issue.
    Thank you.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogaholic View Post
    My grandfather at aged 15 was employed as a "Capstan Lad" for GWR at Paddington Gds (Goods?) in 1905. I have only heard of a capstan in relation to maritime matters and I understand it is a mechanism to aid the pulling of something heavy. Could this also have been used on the railways? I wonder if anyone can help with what this job might have entailed? It is definitely a railway occupation as the record came from the UK Railway Employment Records on Ancestry. I have a copy of the original, so it in not a transcription issue.
    Thank you.

    There is a short Youtube video on line titled LMS Railway: Use of Electric Capstan in Leicester.

  3. #3
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    Default

    From the Dictionary of Occupational Terms 1931

    capstan man, capstan driver ; capstan porter, jigger porter (slang)
    moves trucks in goods depot by depressing foot lever actuating automatic capstan to which one end of rope is attached, other end being attached to truck.

    The "lad" would be the assistant.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by suemalings View Post
    There is a short Youtube video on line titled LMS Railway: Use of Electric Capstan in Leicester.
    That's brilliant - thank you!

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