Hannah Dadds

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Hannah Dadds
Hannah Dadds.png
Hannah Dadds, the first female train driver on the London Underground
Born(1941-10-16)16 October 1941
Died5 December 2011(2011-12-05) (aged 70)
OccupationTrain driver
Years active1969-1993

Hannah Dadds (16 October 1941 – 5 December 2011)[1][2] was a British train driver known for being the first female train driver on the London Underground.

Early life[edit]

Dadds was from the Forest Gate area of Newham.[3] 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.[1]

London Underground career[edit]

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.[1][2][3][4][5][6] 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.[1][2] 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.[1][3][7] Dadds worked as a driver with the London Underground until she took early retirement in 1993, after which she moved to Spain.[1][3] 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.[3][4][8]

Death and tributes[edit]

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."[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Dadds, Hannah". 20th Century London. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "'Pioneering': First female Tube driver dies". London Evening Standard. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e Grainger, Colib (14 December 2011). "History-making Hannah Dadds from Forest Gate dies". Newham Recorder. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  4. ^ a b Spragg, Iain (January 2013). London Underground's Strangest Tales: Extraordinary but true stories. Pavilion Books. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  5. ^ "Night Tube: 24 amazing facts about London's historic underground railway". International Business Times. 18 August 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  6. ^ Majumdar, Debabani (7 January 2013). "Tube 150th anniversary: Families with the Underground in their blood". BBC London News. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  7. ^ Pedroche, Ben (October 2013). Working the London Underground: From 1863 to 2013. The History Press. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  8. ^ Martin, Nicole (12 March 2004). "Accolade for ladies who lunch at the Palace". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 November 2016.