A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
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Sub-order 2.—Road Transport Workers

729.—Other Workers

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barrow lender, barrow letter
see hand truck letter.
bar turner (tramways)
see pole shifter.
bath chair attendant, bath chair drawer, bath chair man, bath chair wheeler ; chair drawer, chair wheeler
pushes or draws invalid chair or carriage; owns chair, cf. bath chair proprietor, or hires from proprietor for daily payment, or is employed by him at weekly wage; usually stands on recognised rank with chair for hire.
bath chair driver, donkey
leads a donkey which draws a bath (or invalid) chair, plying for hire chiefly in streets of health resorts.
bath chair proprietor, bath chair letter ; chair letter, chair proprietor, wheel chair proprietor
owns one or more bath or invalid chairs which he lets out on hire by hour or day.
bath chair proprietor, donkey
a bath chair proprietor q.v. who owns and lets on hire, invalid chairs drawn by donkeys.
bridge company's officer (toll collector)
collects tolls from pedestrians, drivers of vehicles, cattle drovers, etc., using a bridge belonging to a private company.
bronze coin distributor (tramways)
accompanies copper van driver (720) q.v. to tramway depots, taking supplies of bronze coins for use by conductors (724) q.v. in giving change; also collects coins paid in by conductors, from depots, and takes them to bank or to head office and renders statement to tramway cashier (939) q.v.; sometimes has arrangement with shops, etc., for taking bronze or other coins, to save transport to bank or head office.
carrier's labourer
assists in loading and unloading carts, vans, lorries, etc., and does odd manual labouring work in yard or garage of master carrier.
chain horse boy ; cock horse boy, tip boy, tipper, trace boy, trace horse boy
looks after and leads a horse that helps wagon, barge, etc., horses with their loads wherever help is needed; employed by canal companies, haulage contractors, etc.
chair drawer
see bath chair attendant.
chair letter, chair proprietor
see bath chair proprietor.
chair wheeler
see bath chair attendant.
check examiner (tramways)
examines tram lines at busy traffic points or on sharp curves to ascertain whether check edge on tram rail (which prevents car from leaving metals) is in good condition; reports to district permanent way inspector (714) q.v. and recommends repair or renewal of defective portions of rail.
chief licensing tester (omnibus)
see re-licence man (omnibus).
general term for any worker engaged on cleaning of vehicles and their accessories, etc.; sometimes specifically designated, e.g. brass cleaner, cab cleaner, engine cleaner, harness cleaner, lamp cleaner, motor cleaner, omnibus cleaner, station cleaner (tramways), tramcar cleaner; usually night workers; cf. washer.
cleaner, conduit (tramways) ; trap cleaner
drains and cleans out dirt and water from conduit boxes which are fixed along route on conduit tramway system.
cleaner, controller (tramways) ; controller attendant
cleans blades and contacts of tramcar controllers; rectifies minor faults, and reports larger ones.
cleaner, point (tramways)
cleans out dirt from tramway line points with brush and steel rod; oils point bearings.
cleaner, rail (tramways)
cleans surface of tramway rails by pushing backwards and forwards a heavy metal burnisher covered with abrasive material.
cleaner, track (tramways) ; track man (tramways)
cleans grooves of tramway rails with specially-shaped tool, which scrapes out dirt, etc., from groove.
cleaner, trap (tramways)
see cleaner, conduit (tramways).
cock horse boy
see chain horse boy.
controller attendant (tramways)
see cleaner, controller.
donkey driver, donkey keeper, donkey letter
drives donkeys (of which he is often owner) let out on hire for rides at pleasure resorts.
collects refuse from houses and shops into a cart; assists in unloading of cart at depot, emergency man (tramways); a tramway conductor (724) q.v. who is held in readiness to replace anyone of depot cashier's assistants who may be on leave or sick.
farmer of tolls ; lessee of tolls, toll agent (contractor)
obtains from owners, in return for an agreed rental, right to levy tolls at fixed rates on vehicles, pedestrians, cattle, etc., passing over a bridge or a certain section of road.
flagman (tramways)
see signalman (tramways).
garage hand
does unskilled work in motor garage; helps to clean and oil cars and fills their tanks with petrol; cleans garage.
goat carriage driver
leads a goat, or goats, drawing a small carriage plying for hire at pleasure resorts.
fills axle boxes of vehicles, such as trams, 'buses, motors, carts, trucks, with cart grease; fills grease boxes of motors and oils engines.
guide (Automobile Association or Royal Automobile Club)
see patrol (Automobile Association or Royal Automobile Club); sometimes specifically designated, e.g. cyclist guide, motor guide, motor cyclist guide.
hand truck letter, hand truck proprietor ; barrow lender, barrow letter
owns hand trucks or barrows, which lie lets out on hire to costermongers, etc.
harness room man
has charge of harness room attached to large stables (e.g. those of railway company's cartage depot, firm of cartage contractors); issues harness sets to drivers (719) q.v. before and collects them after the day's work; hangs sets on pegs; examines sets to ascertain whether replacement or repair of leather or metal parts is necessary; sends defective sets to saddler (344) q.v. for repair.
haulier's labourer
assists haulier (719) q.v. with loading and unloading.
instructor (omnibus service, tramways)
accompanies candidates for employment as drivers, on trial runs; reports as to their suitability to traffic manager (710) q.v.; allocates trainees to experienced drivers (720, 722) q.v.; after prescribed period of training on various routes, himself accompanies each trainee on trial journey and finally reports, as to suitability, to traffic manager.
instructor, technical electrical (tramways) ; motor demonstrator
takes drivers or other workers through a course of instruction in technical side of their work.
lamp and bell attendant (tramways) ; light and bell examiner (tramways)
examines electric globes, switches, signs, signal lights and electric or other bells of tramcars on their return to depot, and repairs or replaces faulty parts, etc.; is responsible to depot superintendent (714) or to depot foreman (716) q.v. for ensuring that cars leave depot with lights and mechanical bells in good working order.
lessee of tolls
see farmer of tolls.
light and bell examiner (tramways)
see lamp and bell attendant (tramways).
loader, cart; cartage loader, carrier's van loader, van loader, warehouse loader
assists carter (719) q.v. at warehouse, wharf, market, or railway goods depot in loading vans with goods for delivery.
motor demonstrator (tramways)
see instructor, technical electrical.
overhead wagon boy (tramway)
accompanies emergency overhead wagon, and assists linesman by handing tools, etc.
patrol (Automobile Association or Royal Automobile Club) ; guide, scout
patrols, on cycle or motor cycle., main roads over an appointed area, guiding and aiding members of Automobile Association or Royal Automobile Club; or stands at junction of two or more busy main roads, on point duty; has for his base a wayside cabin containing telephone; assists in case of breakdown, and if necessary, telephones for assistance from nearest garage; sometimes specifically designated, e.g. cyclist patrol, motor cyclist patrol, motor patrol.
petrol man (omnibus)
fills petrol tanks of motor omnibuses, and returns empty petrol cans to petrol store; is usually employed part time in sweeping and washing-down garage and approaches.
pitman (tramways)
works in sunk pits, cleaning underneath parts of tramcars in shed or depot.
plough changer, plough shifter (tramways)
connects and disconnects plough (instrument which picks up current from conduits) to and from cars at junction of overhead and conduit systems.
point attendant (tramways)
see pointsman.
point boy (tramways)
assists pointsman q.v. or controls points at small junction.
pointsman (tramways) ; point attendant
controls points or switches on tramway by a lever in neighbourhood of switch; often acts as signalman q.v.
pole shifter (tramways) ; bar turner
works at large junction, or terminus, transferring trolley poles of tramcars from one overhead wire to another, or reversing them for tram to start on return journey; often done by conductor (724) q.v.
private checker
stands at point on omnibus route to note number of passengers in passing buses, for guidance of traffic adviser (714) q.v.
railway carting agent (not employer)
drives a horse van or lorry, or motor van, as outside carrying agent of heavier goods for a railway company; usually owns horse and van, or motor, but sometimes hires from cartage contractor (713) q.v.; usually to be found at small railway stations where company have no carters; often also carts for private individuals; cf. railway carting agent (713)
railway parcel agent (not employer)
as for railway carting agent (not employer) but handles lighter goods only.
re-licence man (omnibus) ; chief licensing tester
an experienced motor mechanic and driver who examines omnibuses after annual overhaul in preparation for re-licensing; drives omnibus for short trial, testing starting and brake controls, etc.; on return to garage, reports omnibus in running order or returns it, for further overhaul, to repair shops; similarly tests new omnibuses before they are sent for police inspection to obtain licence.
sand dryer (tramways)
dries, in oven, sand used on tramcar to prevent slipping on wet or greasy rails; shovels wet sand into oven; rakes sand to quicken drying; stokes furnace fire as required; shovels dry sand into wheelbarrow and discharges into hopper for storage; fills, therefrom, small bags with dry sand for despatch to other depots or for use by sandman q.v.
sandman (tramways)
a depot labourer who replenishes sand boxes of tramcars with dry sand; also fetches spare bags of sand and places on cars for use of tram drivers (722) q.v.; usually engaged part time on other labouring jobs.
scout (Automobile Association or Royal Automobile Club)
see patrol (Automobile Association or Royal Automobile Club) ; sometimes specifically designated, e.g., cyclist scout, motor cyclist scout, motor scout.
setter, cart ; cart shunter, van setter, van shunter
takes horse and van from driver (719) q.v. on arrival at carriers' or railway yard, and while driver tests or goes to canteen, sets or shunts van against loading or unloading stages, etc.
setter, truck
sets or shunts trucks or barrows in markets, etc., for convenience in loading or unloading.
setter, van
see setter, cart ; cf. van setter (706).
shunter, cart; van shunter
see setter, cart.
signalman (tramways) ; flagman (tramways)
signals, to approaching tramcars, at busy tramway junction, dangerous bend in track, etc., when road is clear, by pulling lever of semaphore arm signal or by raising or dipping a flag; at night, sometimes signals with red or green lamp; also warns pedestrians or drivers of vehicles of approaching tramcars; often done by pointsman (tramways) q.v.
ticket office attendant (tramways)
receives ticket boxes from incoming conductors (724) q.v. and handing out ticket boxes to outgoing conductors; places ticket boxes, as checked by ticket clerk, on shelves in readiness for making-up by clerk for next day's journeys; is responsible to clerk for keeping boxes on shelves according to routes, in proper rotation for re-issue.
tip boy, tipper (tramways)
see chain horse boy.
toll agent (contractor)
see farmer of tolls.
toll bar keeper ; turnpike gate keeper
collects tolls for owner of road from pedestrians, cyclists, drivers of vehicles, etc., and opens and shuts toll gate.
trace boy, trace horse boy
see chain horse boy.
track man (tramways)
see cleaner, track.
traverser man
operates, by hand lever, traverse-table (a platform level with the ground, running on rollers) on which tramcars are transferred laterally from one set of rails to another, in car sheds, to facilitate cleaning, examining, etc.
travels on loaded dray or motor lorry with drayman (719) or motor lorry driver (720) q.v. on delivery round; discharges barrels at customers' premises (sometimes assisted by another trouncer) by rolling barrels down sloping runner into cellar; hauls empty barrels out of cellar by hand rope and pulls them on to drays.
turnpike gatekeeper
see toll bar keeper.
washes down vehicles with water (from hose or bucket), rags and brushes; often further designated according to kind of vehicle, e.g. cab washer, car washer, carriage washer, cart washer, dray washer, lorry washer, motor car washer, omnibus washer, tramcar washer, truck washer, van washer; cf. cleaner.
wheelbarrow letter, wheelbarrow proprietor
as for hand truck letter.
wheel chair proprietor
see bath chair proprietor.

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From: A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921,
Ministry of Labour, 1927. Digitised by Peter Christian, August, 2016.   This text is in the Public Domain.