Photograph taken 6th July 1970
Kathleen Willingham, 36 year old
mother of four.
Kathleen who looks after the level crossing at Mount Bures, is
fighting with British Railways to get her 91 hour week reduced.
She pulls a Signal box level typically
144 times a day and open/closes the large level crossing gates
at least 48 times a day.
Even on her "rest day", Kathleen has to be on duty from
0600 to 22.30, or until such time her relief man arrives.
The relief takes over in the afternoon, because men are only allowed
to work an eight hour shift.
Each week Kathleen is granted a four hour break, to go shopping.
An Eastern Region spokesman said, "The Keeper knew what
the conditions were when she took the job".
Mrs Willingham, he said, "was able to do things about
the house between trains and so she was considered to be only
working part time"
Courtesy of Helena Wojtczak, author of "Railwaywomen"
Kathleen May Willingham
Born 7 May 1924 probably in Chelmsford
1939 Chelmsford Census records
Father:- Christopher Willingham aged 51
Mother:- Ethel Willingham aged 51
Olive Willingham Age27
Kathleen Willingham Age25 (ARP Telephonist)
Kenneth N Willingham Age1
Married 1958 to Leonard F
Clist, who would have been 64
Leonard was a School Teacher and Head ARP Warden in Chelmsford
Probably moved to Mount Bures
Crossing Cottage in 1958. (unconfirmed)
Lived at White Colne
Died 2005, Registered at