World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                       Marjorie Shears 

Sickness Benifits for Tram Staff

By Actiondesk Sheffield

People in story: Marjorie Shears (Nee Hill)
Location of story: Sheffield
Background to story: Civilian


This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Roger Marsh of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Marjorie Shears.

Marjorie Shears (Nee Hill) aged 95 (in 2005).

Marjorie was living in Greenhill, Sheffield when war broke out. She was 29 years of age and worked for Sheffield Corporation in the Transport Department. She was in charge of working out sickness benefit for tram drivers and conductors. It was a job she was to remain in for the rest of her working life.


The offices were in Division Street, but during the war, they were often moved out into different places for temporary accommodation. This was the time National Sick Pay was first introduced, so the job was new and it was also the first time women were given the job of conducting.


At first, there was some hostility from men and women to the female conductors, but in time, they proved to be good and won the respect of all. It was quite a hard job for women, the trams were cold as the back were open, and it was tiring going up and down the stairs all day to get fares. In those days, women didn’t tend to smoke in public; it wasn’t seen as ladylike, so most of those who went upstairs were men, where they could smoke.

Marjorie stayed in Greenhill and remembers a building at Norton called “Painted Fabrics”, which was a fabric company, which carried on after the war.