London

All-female Maida Vale Tube station marks centenary

Maida Vale Tube Station Image copyright TfL
Image caption Maida Vale Tube Station opened in 1915 to service a new extension of the Bakerloo line

A London Underground station which was staffed entirely by women when it first opened is celebrating its centenary.

Maida Vale, in west London, opened on 6 June 1915 during World War One.

With many of the city's 17,000 male Tube, bus and tram employees signed up to fight, women were employed as ticket inspectors, guards and depot cleaners.

An exhibition chronicling the history of women in transport has gone on display at the station.

Maida Vale was opened to service a new stretch of the Bakerloo line from Paddington to Queen's Park.

London Underground forerunner, Underground Electric Railways of London, was one of the first transport providers to employ women in operational roles.

Image copyright TfL
Image caption Women took on all manner of roles from ticket inspectors to guards

The only position not filled by a woman was that of Tube driver, a situation which remained until 1978, when Hannah Dadds became the first female to take the job.

The female workforce continued until about 1919 when many servicemen returned to London, although it reverted once more at the outbreak of the Second World War, with women taken on in manual labour and heavy engineering positions.

Mike Brown, the current managing director of London Underground, said the firm was still seeking to "encourage more women to consider careers in the industry".

"Women have a central role in our organisation, both now and in the future," he said.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites