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Old 02 September 2008, 06:03 AM
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llewtrah llewtrah is offline
Join Date: 13 December 2001
Location: Chelmsford, UK
Posts: 16,363

Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
Well, the class of "lady" who was supposed to be so careful about being manhandled and who had to be treated with so much respect wouldn't have been the same class as was travelling by tube, I suppose. Even so, the idea that there were people who'd just go up and push you on to the train without so much as a by-your-leave does seem somehow rather un-English... I guess in practice most of these assistants wouldn't actually have behaved like that!
The higher classes of lady often d their own private carriages (i.e. horse drawn). However early underground lines (i.e. District and Metropolitan, to which the UL related) did have 1st, 2nd and 3rd class carriages and attracted posh patrons (the term "tube" was reserved for the deep-tunnelled Central Line at that time)

Although the book doesn't state the method used, I'd guess it was more likely the arm through crook elbow, "up yer go madam" than pushing someone's backside. Maybe we're too focused on the Japanese methods to consider the many different methods of "shoving" someone onto a train, some of which would be socially acceptable behaviour. Of course, the idea of a respectable woman being manhandled by a porter might have been part of the appeal/horror of the UL at the time ... or it might have attracted some adventurous old women onto the underground
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