There’s nothing like being able to park near the train…
It’s June 1968 and we’re at Glasgow Grand Central Railway Station, admiring the on-platform parking. It’s the terminus of the West Coast Mainline, some 397 miles away from its beginning at Euston, and architecturally a million miles away from its southern cousin.
Making the news is the Ford Sewing Machinists’ Strike, later made famous in the film Made In Dagenham, by ultimately being responsible for the introduction of Equal Pay Act 1970. The strike was led by Rose Boland, Eileen Pullen, Vera Sime, Gwen Davis, Violet Dawson and Sheila Douglass and was called as the result of their machinist roles being regraded at a non-skilled level of pay. The net effect was that these skilled machinists would be paid less than their male counterparts.
The strike stopped car production at Dagenham and eventually Halewood and proved a PR disaster for Ford as the story went national. The then Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity, Barbara Castle, ended up intervening with the strike finally being settled with a more favourable rate of pay for the machinists. Their pay was raised to 8% below that of men, rising to the full category B rate the following year.
The strike led to the formation of the National Joint Action Campaign Committee for Women’s Equal Rights (NJACCWER), and a movement that would pressure the Government into the creation of the Equal Pay Act 1970. The act finally came into force in 1975 and prohibited inequality of treatment between men and women in the workforce. It didn’t completely close the gender pay gap, which still exists to this day, but the legislation certainly improved pay and conditions for female workers.
So, tell us about the cars
This fine selection of cars is a truly representative bunch which reflects the patriotic buying habits of UK drivers back in 1968 – as far as we can tell, there are no foreign cars whatsoever in that image. Closest to the camera is a Ford 105E Anglia, which was a big-seller right up to the point it was replaced by the Ford Escort in 1968. Alongside that is a Rover P6 and BMC 1800 Mk2 – the latter of which has been reverse parked in by an owner who’s hopefully specified power assisted steering.
Beyond that is a pair of Ford Corsairs flanking an Escort, which leads us to assume this is a car park favoured by middle managers – as they were definitely at the posher end of the Ford range, until these models were subsumed into the Cortina line-up in 1971. Further down the line, the picture becomes less clear with a Morris Oxford/Austin Cambridge estate and Hillman Hunter (below) being the only other easily-identifiable cars.
If you enjoyed this, let us know in the comments and, if you have any pictures you’d like featuring, drop me a line via any of the links below.
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