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Shunter in the wartime blackout, c.1940
Blackouts were challenging times for some GWR employees, as this image of a shunter taken at Bristol shows. Limited lighting during an air raid posed a serious health and safety risk, especially in busy depots or marshalling yards. Even in daylight the task of coupling and uncoupling wagons was a dangerous job. But at night it was even worse and during a blackout it must have been a daunting experience, even for a skilled shunter. Shunters were required to use lamps that had shades attached. This meant they were less visible to aircraft during an air raid, but it also had a negative impact on their working visibility