Hannah Dadds, the first female train driver on the London Underground
|Died||5 December 2011(aged 70)|
Dadds was from the Forest Gate area of Newham. After leaving school at 15, she worked as a shop assistant at the Co-op, and later in the Bryant and May match factory and the Kensitas cigarette factory.
London Underground career
In 1969, Dadds joined the London Underground, working as a "railwoman" at Upton Park Underground station. She then worked as a ticket collector, and in 1976, she became a train guard. In 1978, Dadds completed a seven-week training course to qualify as a train driver, and became a driver on the District line. In doing so, she became the first female train driver on the London Underground. It has been claimed that Dadds could have been chosen as the driver of the first Jubilee line train in 1979; however, she could not drive due to a foot injury. Hannah's sister Edna also joined the London Underground, and worked as a guard and driver. Hannah and Edna became the first all-female crew on the London Underground. Dadds worked as a driver with the London Underground until she took early retirement in 1993, after which she moved to Spain. In 2004, she attended a Queen's Women of Achievement lunch at Buckingham Palace; other invitees included Margaret Thatcher, JK Rowling, Kate Moss and Charlotte Church.
Death and tributes
Hannah Dadds died on 5 December 2011 after a long illness. Speaking after her death, Howard Collins, chief executive of London Underground, said that "Hannah Dadds changed the working life of women on the Tube and the way in which many people viewed Tube drivers" and that "She was an esteemed member of our workforce."
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