A Long Career In London Transport
I bought this framed certificate at our local charity saleroom recently for just a couple of pounds. It was presented to Frederick C Bowley on his retirement after 40 years five months service.
What a different time it was working for a company like London Transport in those days. The London Passenger Transport Board was formed in 1933 and unified services in the London area for the first time. The London Passenger Transport Act 1933 removed responsibility for 167.17 miles (269.03 km) of tram route from the London County Council, three county boroughs and a number of other local authorities in the Greater London area. It brought the UERL lines under the same control, and took over supervision of buses from the Metropolitan Police. The period also saw massive expansion of the tube network and was directly responsible for the expansion of the suburbs.
By 1948 The London Transport Executive had become the transport authority. This period saw the start of direct recruitment from the Caribbean and the repair and replacement of stock and stations damaged during the war as well as completion of delayed projects such as the Central line eastern extension. The AEC Routemaster bus was introduced in 1956. Trams were withdrawn in 1952 and trolleybuses in 1962.
Frederick must have witnessed all these changes in his career. I'm sure he enjoyed the stability of a long career after already suffering so much in his life. Frederick Charles Jesse Bowley was born on 21 June 1893 in Lambeth, Surrey, his father, Frederick, was 20 and his mother, Emily, was 19. He had one brother and five sisters. During World War One Fred went to France on the 15th March 1915 with the 24th London Regiment. He was wounded on the 29th October 1915 with a gun shot wound to his abdomen and was subsequently discharged from the army because of his wounds. A few years after this Frederick must have recovered enough to commence working at London Transport and he married Gladys Dyer in April 1923 in Willesden, Middlesex. In 1939 his occupation is listed as an Electric Motor Mechanic. The couple didn't appear to have any children and Fred died in June 1975. All those years of loyal service and the certificate sells for just £2. I really hope one day it can be reunited with family.
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