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National Railway Museum

Our museum is home to the National Archive of Railway Oral History (NAROH), which contains over a thousand hours of intriguing stories from people who worked on the railways.

Here you can listen to selected samples from our oral history archive. To enjoy more NAROH audio content and delve deeper into our archives, get in touch with the Search Engine team to plan a visit to our dedicated library and archive centre. Please provide at least two weeks' notice so we have time to prepare the oral history files ahead of your visit.

On the day of your visit we'll ask you to complete a data protection form. Once this has been completed you will be able to access your requested audio content using one of the sound booths in Search Engine.

Download the full list of NAROH interviews (PDF).

Charles Anthony Brindle

Charles Anthony Brindle
Charles Anthony Brindle (right) discusses the first SR-N4 route between Dover and Boulogne

With his naval and business background, Charles Anthony Brindle joined the Western Region in 1962 as part of Dr Beeching's experiment of bringing managers into the railways from industry.

As Managing Director of British Rail Hovercraft Ltd, Brindle was responsible for establishing the world's first passenger-carrying hovercraft service between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight in 1966.

Eric Henshaw

LMS booking office 1939
London, Midland & Scottish Railway booking office, about 1939

Eric Henshaw joined the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) in 1941 as a Junior Bookings Clerk. After war service, he rejoined and took a Traffic Apprenticeship. He then moved into management positions, was involved in implementing the Beeching plan, and worked for consultancy service Transmark, spending time in India and Australia.

Alan Pegler

Alan Pegler stands on Flying Scotsman
Alan Pegler standing on Flying Scotsman before its final trip to Doncaster in 1963

Alan Pegler was involved with the railway preservation movement from the 1950s, and bought Flying Scotsman in 1963.

Gordon Reed

Gordon Reed on the footplate
Gordon Reed volunteering at Railfest in 2012

Gordon Reed commuted to school by rail and had an uncle who was a stationmaster, so he was keen to join the railways. As a boiler engineer and welder from 1948 to 1994, he saw the effects of 1948's nationalisation of the railways, the closures of the 1960s, the end of steam and the start of privatisation. Gordon retained his passion and was a dedicated volunteer at our museum.

George Young

An LNER goods loco in Ferryhill
An LNER goods loco passes Hett Mill, Ferryhill, in 1926

George Young joined the LNER as a messenger at Aberdeen in 1945. He later worked as an apprentice fitter at Aberdeen Ferryhill train depot and Inverurie Loco Works, before becoming a steam locomotive fitter at Dundee and elswhere. He retired in 1995 after a spell as Mechanical Foreman at Dundee.

Percival Voss

Diesel-powered passenger train on the level crossing at Lincoln station in 1956
A diesel-powered passenger train on the level crossing at Lincoln station in 1956

Percival Voss's father was a signalman in Nottingham. Percival joined the railway from school and filled a variety of signalling and administration roles.

Ray Oakley

Boring machine used during the construction of the Channel Tunnel, 1993
Boring machine used during the construction of the Channel Tunnel, 1993

Ray Oakley was an Oxford graduate, and began his career with a Traffic Apprenticeship in 1949 through the graduate recruitment scheme. This led to station master roles, and a series of jobs managing railway operations, including the Channel Tunnel project. He retired from the British Railways Board headquarters in 1986.