Part of the St Antony’s Series book series


Ian Phimister concluded his review article, ‘Towards a History of Zimbabwe’s Rhodesia Railways’, by quoting from Cullen Gouldsbury’s ‘Ballad of the BMR’:

‘each bolt, each nut, each metal bar Could tell a story — grim but true — ’,

and remarking that ‘so far we have only the faintest notion of what most of these stories are’.1 Hopefully, this study has gone some way towards rectifying that parlous state of affairs for the period between 1888 and 1947. But there are undoubtedly more stories to tell in relation to the years following 1947 for which Phimister’s remark remains as true as ever.


Railway System African Trade Unionism Railway Worker Lorry Driver Unilateral Declaration 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    I. R. Phimister, ‘Towards a History of Zimbabwe’s Rhodesia Railways’, Zimbabwean History, XII (1981) p. 99; C. Gouldsbury, Songs out of Exile (London, 1912), pp. 57–8. BMR stands for the Beira and Mashonaland Railways.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    A. Kanduza, The Political Economy of Underdevelopment in Northern Rhodesia, 1918–60 (Lanham, 1986), pp. 231–2, 248.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    A.H. Croxton, Railways of Zimbabwe (Newton Abbot, 1982), pp. 222–6.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kanduza, The Political Economy of Underdevelopment, pp. 234, 257.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Croxton, Railways of Zimbabwe, pp. 208–33.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ibid., p. 228.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    These paragraphs are based on A. Turner, ‘The Growth of Railway Unionism in the Rhodesias 1944–55’ in R. Sandbrook and R. Cohen (eds), The Development of an African Working Class (London, 1976), pp. 77–93. His work drew heavily upon the Rhodesia Railways Industrial Relations files on deposit at the National Archives of Zambia. It is certain that these files would amply repay further scholarly attention.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Croxton, Railways of Zimbabwe, pp. 237–9.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    J. Hanlon, Beggar your Neighbours. Apartheid Power in Southern Africa (London, 1986), p. 246.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ibid., pp. 186–91, 248.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ibid., pp. 17–21.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Phimister, ‘Towards a History’, p. 79.Google Scholar

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© Jon Lunn 1997

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