Second World War women Underground porters at Lambeth North training school. The image shows a class under instruction learning about Underground signals. The instructor points to diagrams on a blackboard showing two position and three position signals.
Photographed by Topical Press, 24 Nov 1942
Location: Lambeth North, SE1
Image no: U34349
Inventory no: 1998/23778
20th Century London caption: The women recruits in this photo are receiving instruction on signal positions and meanings. They are training to work as station porters on the Underground. Part of this job was to 'dispatch' trains. That is, to check and signal the driver that it was safe to depart. The male instructor is using diagrams on a blackboard to show two-aspect position signals and three-aspect position signals. Classroom training for the job lasted about three days in 1942. This was followed by three days' practical experience at a station. That was not long, but the labour shortage caused by the Second World War meant that London Transport needed to get its new staff working as quickly as possible.