Hyde Park Corner Underground station, Piccadilly line. A team of 'fluffers' walk along the platform towards camera, on their way to start work cleaning the tunnels. Two men push a flat bed truck along the track, to the left of the shot.
Photographed by Dr Heinz Zinram , Dec 1955
Location: Hyde Park Corner, Westminster, SW1
Image no: 1306-1
Inventory no: 1998/86493
20th Century London caption: The cleaners who worked in the Underground tunnels were traditionally known as 'fluffers'. Many were women. The work was hard and not well paid, but very important. If the rubbish and fluff wasn't cleared from the tracks regularly it could soon accumulate to become a serious fire hazard. In this picture a group of fluffers in overalls are walking down the platform at Hyde Park Corner station ready to start work. Later, staff doing this work would be issued with extensive protective equipment including high-visibility vests and masks. In 1955, these women have nothing more than headscarves and overalls. There are two men in the shot, pushing a cart along the tracks. Barrels on the cart would be used to carry away the rubbish.