US mini logoHome | A-Z Index | People | Reference | Contact us
Special Collections : Library
special collections home | access | services | the collections | library home

Mass-Observation Archive: Topic Collections

Please go to the new Special Collections Website at The Keep

This page is no longer updated. Please visit our new pages at The Keep:

These pages may contain out of date information. Links to these pages may no longer work in the future.

TRANSPORT 1937-43 and 1963

TC 70: 5 boxes


70/1/A: Transport Observations 1937-42

Typed observations of people travelling on the London Underground 16.12.37 unidentified

Handwritten note on newspaper article on sharing petrol 25.9.39 (TH)

2 typed observations of the blackout 24.10.39-25.10.39 (TH)

Typed account of congestion on the Underground, Trafalgar Square 5.12.39 (JA)

Handwritten report on the Condition of the Travel Business 01.1.40 (CR)

Typed observations in bus queue Moorgate, London 23.5.40 (NM)

Typed account of a car journey from London to Barton-on-Humber, Lincs 25.5.40 (SS)

Typed observation about preparations against invasion on roads in Herts, 30.5.40 unidentified

Typed note on petrol restrictions in Letchworth 1.7.40 (TH)

2 typed accounts of street incidents, Worcester 27.7.40 (JA)

Typed observation at Bolton bus station 30.7.40 (BA)

Typed overheard conversation on permits for private cars, Hollesley, Suffolk 31.7.40 (RP)

Typed note on uncovering tramlines London 6.9.40 (TH)

Typed account of a bus journey in central London 9.9.40 (CF)

Typed account of a street accident in the blackout Worcester 22.9.40 (JA, DA)

Typed note about people asking for lifts 1.10.40 (TH)

16 Diary extracts re transport (1941-42)

Typed observations of people applying for extra petrol rations London 1.11.40 (PW)

Handwritten overheard on petrol rationing, Notting Hill Gate 5.11.40 (PW)

Handwritten observations and counts at travel bureaux in London 29.11.40 (DH)

Typed observations on taxis, Haven Green, London 1.9.42 (POL)

QQ replies on 3 transport questions, Wembley (MS) 20.1.42

70/1/B: The Railways "Square Deal" 1939

The "Square Deal" campaign was a call to the government by the 4 railway companies; Great Western (GWR), Southern (SR), London and North Eastern (LNER), and London, Midland and Scottish (LMSR) to reform certain laws that hindered free competition for goods transportation between railway and road haulage firms

The "Square Deal for the Railways" investigation was the first of a series of studies undertaken for the Railway Executive Committee in 1939 and was based on a 6 point questionnares carried out in 18 English and Scottish counties and several London Boroughs from 16.7.39-3.9.39

The QQ, which demonstrated to what extent the public was aware and understood the "Square Deal" campaign, was supplemented by another smaller questionnares carried out in the East End of London. This assessed attitudes to transport services in particular, as so few people originally interviewed seemed directly affected or involved in the railways campaign

There are about 1,030 replies and roughly a third of them come from villages and towns in the Bridgwater area of North Somerset

The typed and handwritten replies are kept in alphabetical order under the location from which they are gathered. Some replies also have notes, sketch maps or some analysis of the questions with them

The Observers were BW/HDW (both Bob Willcock), MW, AH, KB, LT, JA, JH, GBC, ,TVL, PS, MC, BL

Organisation of "Square Deal" Study 1939

Typed letter to TH from BW dated 12.9.39 about collecting material for the "Square Deal" report and typed and handwritten table of expenses, incurred while interviewing and 2 guest house receipts sent by BW

Typed letter from HDW which accompanied some "Square Deal" material 24.8.39

Typed copy of receipt sent to R Temple of the Railway Executive Committee by TH for payment for the "Square Deal" report and QQ 19.10.39

Typed copy of letter to R Temple discussing arrangements for interviewers working on the QQ 13.12.39

Handwritten letter from TH to HDW dealing with expenses incurred while interviewing, undated

Printed article on 1939 road-rail conference from The Commercial Motor July 1939

Typed report "Investigation of Square Deal for the Railways" plus copy of QQ, undated

Typed second report "Investigation of Square Deal for the Railways" and copy, undated

70/1/C: QQ Replies

Responses to QQ from:

Basingstoke, Brighton, Bridgwater (Somerset), Bristol with map and population statistics, Cambridge, Cannington (Somerset)-with sketch map, Charlinch (Somerset), Chester, Combwich (Somerset-with sketch map), Coventry, Doddington (Somerset), Eastleigh, Fiddington (Somerset), Glasgow-with maps, Glastonbury (Somerset-with notes), Highgate and Hampstead, Holford (Somerset), Kenilworth, Kensington, Kilmarnock-with sketch map and statistics, Kilve (Somerset), Leamington, Leicester-with analysis, Little Sutton, July-Sept 1939

70/1/D: QQ Replies

Responses to QQ from:

Liverpool, Nether Stowey (Somerset-with table of numbers interviewed), Stogursey (Somerset-with sketch map and table of numbers interviewed), New Brighton, Over Stowey (Somerset), Oxford, Port Sunlight, Rugby, Shrewsbury, Southampton, Stepney and Bethnal Green, Stockland Bristol (Somerset), Stringston (Somerset-with sketch map and table of numbers interviewed), Streatham, Balham and Wandsworth, Uxbridge, Wembdon (Somerset-with sketch map), Wigan, Winchester, July-Sept 1939


70/2/A: QQ Replies

Approximately 450 responses to QQ from Fulham

70/2/B: Pilot QQ, Tabulation of Figures,Typed Extracts and Analysis of Somerset Villages Supplementary QQ

Typed and handwritten replies to the question of whether the railway workers should get a "square deal", a pilot QQ carried out in London Boroughs 13.7.39-14.7.39

Handwritten tabulation of totals of men and women from different classes interviewed for the QQ, on the pilot from the various locations where replies were collected

Typed extracts from replies to QQ collected from London boroughs grouped according to question number, unidentified and undated

Handwritten tabulations and diagrams of replies to question 3 of QQ collected from Somerset towns and villages. The diagrams show local transport links between villages, undated (BW)

Typed summary and tabulation of replies to supplementary 5 point QQ carried out in the East End of London, to assess attitudes to transport services including railways generally. Unidentified and undated

16 typed replies to 5 point QQ on transport services (JH, HDW) undated


These 2 surveys were compiled from QQs carried out at London stations to find an effective poster to advertise that goods trains must have priority in wartime. In the largest QQ interviewees were shown 6 models of potential posters and asked their opinions of them

70/3/A: Correspondence

Typed letter to R Temple from TH about the first poster survey and reply 24.10.39-25.10.39

Typed letter and reply from TH to R Temple about the second poster survey 15.11.39-21.11.39

6 cardboard models of proposed railway posters to be shown to interviewees

70/3/B: First Poster Survey Report and Working Methods on Survey

Typed report on poster survey and incomplete copy 27.10.39 (JA)

Typed outline of method used by interviewers in railway poster survey 22.9.39-23.9.39 (TH, BA)

Typed list of questions and when and where they were asked 21.10.39-24.10.39 (JA)

Typed list of 6 supplementary questions asked in the first survey 24.10.39 (GPF)

Typed and handwritten personal comments on the posters and on carrying out the survey by members of the interviewing panel 21.10.39-25.10.39 (HJN, AH, BA, JA, GB)

70/3/C: QQ Replies

400 typed replies to the 6 point QQ on railway posters 21.10.39-25.10.39 ( JBA, HBN, JA, AH)

70/3/D: Poster Survey-Additional QQ

110 typed replies to 3 point supplementary QQ on posters and conditions on the railways, London stations 22.10.39-24.10.39 (VMD, CP)

50 typed and handwritten replies to a 5 point QQ on the most popular poster, London stations 25.10.39 (BA, HJN)

Handwritten counts of passengers at St Pancras and Victoria and tabulation of figures 25.10.39 (JA and unidentified)


70/4/A: Background to the Survey

Handwritten and typed notes and analysis for report on Poster Survey, October 1939 (VMD, HJN, TH, GB)

70/4/B: Second Poster Survey

Typed report on a follow-up survey of 6 further railway posters to see which was the most successful, carried out at London stations in November 1939, 27.11.39 (TH)

400 typed replies to a second QQ with 4 points on railway posters 22.11.39-24.11.39 (HJN, JA, LE, BA, AH)

Typed and handwritten notes and analysis of QQ replies 26.11.39 (VMD, TH, JA, CP, AH, LE)

70/4/C: Railways in Wartime 1939-42

2 typed letters from R Temple, to M-O Librarian about documents requested for the War Library and about a proposed railway survey 5.9.40-20.9.40

Typed observations at London railway stations in the blackout, October 1939? (VMD)

Typed list of questions for a 6 point QQ on the railways in wartime, problems incurred by passengers, particularly the effects of the blackout on people travelling by train. QQ carried out at London stations with a typed summary of the results 24-26.10.39 (VMD)

100 typed replies to QQ 25.10.39 (VMD)

Handwritten notes of replies to QQ, unidentified and undated

Handwritten and typed observations, indirects and accounts of train journeys in wartime at London stations, Chepstow, Highams Park, Bolton, Worcester, Cheltenham, Exeter and Leamington Spa 25.10.39-10.3.42 (members of volunteer panel and SS, DH, JA, BW, RF, RCC, TH)

Typed account of a meeting of the Railway Rates Tribunal at Bush House 22.5.40 (HP)

Printed Matter

6 newspaper cuttings about lighting trains and trolleybuses during the blackout, November 1939

Leaflet about goods trains being restricted to daylight hours. Collected by a volunteer, Kidderminster 11.1.40

2 leaflets from LNER showing timetable alterations for June 1940

A copy of Carry On, LMSR wartime newsletter for June 1940

A window sticker warning against careless talk, collected (TH)

A Pullman seat reservation for 27.6.41, collected (TH)

Used half of a cheap day ticket from Hinchley Wood or Thames Ditton to Waterloo undated, collected (DH)

Booklet summarising the report of the Transport Advisory Council on goods trains, undated

The Times cutting 13.3.42, on AGM of Southern Railway Company


70/5/A: Traffic Counts 1939-42

Handwritten notes of counts in Streatham July 1939 unidentified

Typed counts of various vehicles and whether they were on public or private use, Westminster Bridge 26.9.39 (AH)

Typed counts of different types of vehicles Worcester 24.7.40 (JA)

Handwritten and typed counts of cars leaving London showing percentages with vacant seats 4.11-19.12.40 (LE and CF)

Handwritten and typed counts, some at bus stops, of proportions of men and women and numbers carrying shopping bags Brixton, Oxford St, Edgware Rd, Hendon and Camden Town 10.3.41-7.4.41 (KT, DH, JS, CF)

Handwritten counts of proportions of male to female car drivers Holland Park 5.3.42 (EG)

70/5/B: Correspondence and Ephemera

Telegram to TH from BW requesting money 31.7.39

Typed and handwritten letters to HP, TH, Gerald Stewart, and Alex Howden and Co about car ownership and insurance 15.4.40-21.8.40

Printed petrol ration coupons for a private car for 1939-40

2 leaflets from Mann Egerton garages listing their stock of used cars, collected 14.4.40 (TH)

Leaflet sent with driving licence from London County Council 25.4.40

Printed memo to produce car insurance at Notting Hill Police Station 1.5.40 (TH)

Newspaper article "Future of Penny Bus Fares" 23.5.40

Leaflet about fare increases on London Transport

Wartime price list of car hire and taxi service 11.5.40 (TH)

Printed cards from Heelas Ltd and letter about furniture removal and storage and Pickfords, Sept 1939

Advertising bill from East Yorkshire Motor Services appealing to customers to travel weekdays 24.5.40?

7 bus tickets and handwritten note 26.7.40

Note from LCC on remitting extra money paid, unidentified and undated

Advertising card of a breakdown service Ladbroke Rd London 2.5.40

Car insurance certificate of G Roberts of Edinburgh 11.6.40

Printed AA leaflets and membership card 11.6.40. Printed price list of Daimler Hire Ltd 15.6.40 (TH)

Typed letter to T Hall from the Motor Agents Association about membership 17.6.40

Typed letter from Shell about the parts manufactured by them 17.6.40

Leaflet from RAC about motoring in wartime July 1940 (LE)

Application form for a driving licence 1.7.40 (TH)

Used underground ticket undated (DH)

2 letters to SH and TH from Dunlop Rubber Co July and October 1940

2 signs from Dunlop Rubber Co. 'This Vehicle is Immobilised' 6.10.40

Postcard from Duckhams about military petrol restrictions 28.7.40

Post Office application for travel warrants 24.8.40

Envelope and leaflets from Duckhams on saving petrol September-October 1939

Leaflet advertising Vol-o-Pep (energised petrol treatment) 19.7.40 (JA)

2 letters about petrol coupons June 1940

Booklet of taxi company's price list 2.7.40 (NM)

Advertising leaflet for Halfords 19.7.40 (JA)

Application form for motor insurance August 1940

Notification card of illegal parking 16.8.40

Postcard advertising tyre sales August 1940 (LE)

2 car park tickets, Blackpool and Oxford, September-October 1940

70/5/C: Birch Transport 1941-42

Letter to TH from TB Waddicor of CD Notley Advertising about making a report on Birch Transport, a private bus company, in order for them to see how to direct their advertising campaign 13.11.41

Typed copy of report Birch Buses (Human Factors) on passengers attitudes to the buses generally and in particular their reactions to women staff taken on because of the war 22.1.42

Typed and handwritten notes on some of the problems incurred when making the report 4.2.42-26.2.42 (RF)

2 printed timetables of bus routes for week commencing 5.6.41

70/5/D: Civil Aviation 1943

Typed list of methods to be used for a report into Popular Feelings About Civil Aviation Postwar a survey to show the extent that the public expect civil aviation to develop and replace road and rail links in the future. The QQ is summarised in File Report 1669O (April 1943)

14 typed replies to a 7 point QQ on civil aviation and tabulation of replies Chelsea 2.4.43 (GST)

70/5/E: Transport questionnaire 1963

M-O Ltd Survey (No C.510) carried out in Durham and Northumberland to help the local authorities plan roads, bus services etc

Approx 50 completed 8 page questionnaires (duplicated). Data includes biographical information about the respondent use of car and public transport, details of recent journeys and leisure trips

70/5/F: "To and From Work"

"To and From Work": undated report on problems of industrial workers and transportation. Also extract from Barlow Commission Report (January 1940) on traffic, town planning and industry

Mass-Observation Studies 1937-55

Page maintained by: Library Web Team Disclaimer | Feedback