The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 4 (August 1, 1927)
The Railway and the Motor. — Conditions in Britain
The Railway and the Motor.
Conditions in Britain.
In the course of the discussion in the British House of Commons on 3rd March, on the order for the second reading of the Bradford Corporations Bill (the main object of which was to obtain, for the Bradford Corporation, authority to run buses on routes outside the municipal boundary and to carry on the private hiring of buses), a powerful speech in defence of the railways position, as affected by the Bill, was delivered by the Rt. Hon. J. H. Thomas. “The capital expenditure of the railways,” he said, “was roughly £1,200,000,000. To maintain the permanent way involved an expenditure of £13,000,000 per annum. Could any private omnibus owner or private carrier suggest that he paid a solitary copper? Not one. Then, for maintenance of the signalling department and for signalmen's wages £8,000,000 per annum was required. Did the roads provide a solitary copper? The road traffic people got away without any contribution whatever. Then there were the local rates. The railway companies contributions to local rates amounted to £8,000,000 per annum; and there were 400 parishes where 50 per cent. of the rates were paid by the railway companies.” This position, Mr. Thomas believed to be “one of the greatest injustices suffered by any corporate body in this country.”
Then there was the question of the hours worked by the railwaymen and motor drivers respectively. In view of the tremendous responsibilities of railway work, no one, he said, would challenge the statement that eight hours a day was enough for a railwayman. Yet there were corporations working their motor drivers 12, 13 and 14 hours a day. “What was teh good of pretending that this was fair competition,” said Mr. Thomas.
It is interesting to observe that the Bill was rejected by 203 votes against 128.
Railway Recovering Passenger Traffic.
It would be a mistake to conclude that the railway has reached its maximum of development and that it cannot be adapted to meet the needs of the new day. The successful experiment on the Little River line is a case in point. There the application of electricity as the motive power has been so satisfactory that extra batteries have been ordered for the rail car to increase the sphere of its operations; and the comfort in travelling has so appealed to many of the residents of Banks Peninsula that they have made full use of the facilities provided by the Department. Here is a striking illustration of the recovery of lost passenger traffic.-“Lyttelton Times,” 24th June, 1927.
Mr. “Kid” Atkins, cranedriver at the Locomotive Wheel Depot Works, Stratford, contributes the following sound advice on health to the L. & N. E. Railway Magazine.
Mr. Atkins is a retired Eastern Counties and British Railway Boxing champion and is at present boxing instructor at Liverpool Street Station:-
Keep regular hours and ensure sufficient sleep.
Take exercise every day in the open-air and avoid over-exertion.
Learn to love work and hate indolence. The lazy man never becomes a centenarian. Do not live to eat. Select those aliments most suitable for nourishing the body and not those likely to impair it. Have a hobby. A man with a hobby will never die of senile decay; he has always something to keep either mind or body active, therefore they remain fresh and vigorous. Worry not, nor grieve. This advice may seem cold philosophy and be easier to give than to follow, nevertheless persons of a worrying disposition have often been known almost entirely to break themselves of it by a simple effort of the will. Worry kills. Look upon fresh air as your best friend. Inhale its life-giving oxygen as much as possible during the day; while at night sleep with bedroom window open. Follow this out even in winter. It is one of the great secrets of long life.
Walking: Always do plenty of brisk walking; this is nature's exercise for health. It strengthens every muscle in the body, trains the eye, mind, and chest, and is mentally and physically bracing.
Before retiring to rest always sip a cup of hot water.
Water cleanses the body inside and out, purifies the blood, acts on the bowels, etc. In conclusion, always eat plenty of fruit and watercress. Avoid shop-made pastries like poison.
Live on plain nourishing food. With moderation in all things, you will need no more Doctor's medicine.page break