IGNITING THE FLAME OF UNITY

THE HISTORY OF THE

BRIGHTON BRANCH OF A.S.L.E.F.

 

  

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  DEDICATED LOCOMOTIVES & MEN

 

 

FRED RICH COLLECTION 

William Stroudley decided to allocated each of his engines (even thou they belonged to the company) their own Engine Drivers who would then come responsible for their own locomotive. This was Stroudley’s way of getting his Engine Drivers interested in their work and by stimulating their pride, the condition and performance of their engine would be maintained to a high standard.These engines would have the name of the Engine Drivers painted inside the cab on the weatherboard in gold paint. For example (see below photo) Brighton Driver William Love was allocated B1 class locomotive No.214 "Gladstone" and his name was painted in the cab. Stroudley also introduced a bonus scheme for coal saving, whereby Engine Drivers would receive payment for burning less coal.

During the palmy days of steam, an engineman's cab was his castle.William Stroudley himslef said:

"I consider it a great advantage to keep seperate engines for drivers. I have always believed that if an engine is made as carefully as possible, it will respond to the attention that it gets afterwards; that the driver will be proud of its appearance, and of the duty he can get out of it: and doubly proud to be able to perform a great duty with a small amount of expense. It has been found that the same will not take the same care of another engine as he does his own; and those engines which have unfortunately to be entrusted to several drivers deteriorate in quality, consume more coal, and get dirty and out of repair much more rapidly than those which are appropriated to a particular men. I am of the opinion that it is better for the railway company to spend more capital, and have more engines, so that one locomotive can be retained for each driver, as the cost of stores and maintenance will in that case be less."

As a result of this policy, and because the cab fittings constituted the tools of his trade, each driver took special pride in the appearance of his footplate. The footplate crews would come to work in accordance of the booked work allocated for their locomotive, this practice last up until 1919.

The view of the inside of the cab of "B1" class 214 Gladstone now preserved at the National Railway Musuem

In 1919 enginemen saw he introduction of the 8 hour day and the L.B.S.C.R. was obliged to abandon its time honoured tradition of 'one driver, one engine' - quite simply it ceased to be an economic proposition. Thereafter the best compromise (circumstances permitting) was to introduce 'double manning' with each engine allotted to a pair of drivers on opposite turns (one early, one late). under this system the locomotive was, in effect, available for about 16 hours in every 24 hours. The working of the locomotive would then be done by these drivers with the exception of leave, rest days, sickness etc. when the engine would have been worked by other designated Enginemen. The practise of painting the drivers name onto the weatherboard then ceased.

But double manning didn’t suit everybody and there was many an old stalwart who in 1919, would gladly have stuck to the 10 hour day in order to keep his own engine to himself.

 

 

Click on the icon above for

the Brighton Motive Power Depots

Click on the icon above for

the Sussex Motive Power Depots & ASLEF Branches

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