Dot Green: an Enduringly Popular Character

Posted on 2nd February, 2024

With six weeks to go until publication of book 9 in the Railway Girls series, Springtime with the Railway Girls, I'm taking a look this week at the character who is arguably the most popular out of the cast of characters - Dot Green.


Here is a detail from the cover of book 3, The Railway Girls in Love, with Dot in the centre, wearing her porter's uniform.


Here are some of the comments about Dot in reviews:


"...she comes across as a motherly figure looking out for everyone..."


"...Dot is the 'glue' in the centre of the group of friends: she is wise, her arms are always open for a hug and she is a sensitive but strong woman."


" kind-hearted but downtrodden by her family and her immense strength cried out to be put to better use."


"... a grandmother who stands for many women in the war, trying to combine housework, her family and a full time job."


* * * *


It's easy to see how much loved Dot is. She is full of common sense and good humour and her heart overflows with generosity. Readers also sympathise with her because of being married to Ratty Reg.


Wartime Britain was full of women like Dot - women who put in long hours doing war work and then went home to their domestic duties. There was a broad assumption at the time that domestic responsibilties would not be neglected, even though women didn't actually get any acknowledgement for keeping their homes running smoothly and looking after their families. It was just taken for granted that they would do this on top of doing their war work.


In Springtime with the Railway Girls, Cordelia and Dot discuss this:


According to Dot, ‘The powers that be couldn’t manage without us doing all the jobs we’ve moved into, but it never occurs to them that there’s any effort involved in also running our homes and taking care of our families. It’s just taken for granted that all the domestic stuff gets done. We don’t get any credit for it.’

‘They probably think the pixies do it in the night,’ Cordelia had said drily.

Dot had laughed at that. ‘I wouldn’t say no if a few pixies turned up at my house to lend a hand.’


* * * *


Dot is a staunch friend, a real looker-after, who keeps an eye on everyone around her and is always willing to lend a hand. She is good at tea and sympathy, but she isn’t just someone you go to for a shoulder to cry on. She is always practical in a crisis. No wonder Joan instinctively goes to Dot’s house after she leaves home.


Mind you, it wasn't Dot's intention to be the looker-after of the group when she started working on the railways. She felt she had more than enough of that role in her home life, thanks very much. But Dot's caring nature couldn't be denied and she did indeed become the mother-figure.


Above all else, Dot is a mum and a nan. Her two sons, Archie and Harry, mean the world to her. Dot would have loved to have more children but, sadly for her, it wasn’t to be. She could never imagine loving anyone as much as she loves her sons – until her grandchildren came along. Archie and Harry, Jimmy and Jenny, are the reasons Dot keeps going.


She longs for her sons to come home safely when the war is over. Meanwhile she does everything in her power to support Archie's wife Pammy and Harry's wife Sheila, while at the same time hiding her reservations about them.


Her job as a parcels porter has provided Dot a fresh sense of her own identity. Yes, she is a proud housewife with a spotless front step, but having a job outside the home has instilled in her a new sense of self-worth, a realisation that, as deeply as family life matters, it is important to her to have something more. It’s her way of contributing to the war effort, but it has also given her a sense of quiet pride in herself as an individual as well as extending her personal life to include the railway friends she cares about so much.


* * * *


Book 1: The Railway Girls


Book 2: Secrets of the Railway Girls


Book 3: The Railway Girls in Love


Book 4: Christmas with the Railway Girls


 Book 5: Hope for the Railway Girls


Book 6: A Christmas Miracle for the Railway Girls


Book 7: Courage of the Railway Girls


Book 8: Christmas Wishes

for the Railway Girls


Book 9: Springtime with the Railway Girls


Make A Comment

Characters left: 2000

Comments (0)