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 THE 1960's




Peter Bradford 1960 - 1966

(Footplate Seniority 08.11.1948)

& Alan Hardiman 1967 - 1969

(Footplate Seniority 08.12.1947)


Phil Plaine 1965 - 1972

(Footplate Seniority 11.10.1943)








 ASLEF School c1960

Peter Bradford Brighton No.1 Branch Delegate (Branch Secretary) standing 2nd row, 5th from the left

Albert Routledge, Brighton No.2 Branch Delegate is on the bottom row far right

 Alan Bartlett Collection

Ernest Reeves, was known as Bert



8th JANUARY 1963






The scene at Kemp Town Good station on Tuesday 8th January 1963, when the 08:00 Brighton (Top Yard) come out of Kemp Town tunnel and the wheels of the "E" class 0-6-0T No. 32468 started slipping on the icy rails. The engine finally come to stand on the station concourse. The train was worked by Brighton driver John Wood and his fireman John Myles.

As reported in The Evening Argus on the same day.

A 50 ton shunting engine ploughed into Kemp Town Goods Station demolishing buffers, part of the platform and the station office today. The engine, pulling loaded trucks weighing another 120 tons, skidded on ice covered lines as it approached the station.

The driver John Wood and his fireman John Myles, were taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital for a check-up. The firemen were called to put out the engine's fire and reduce steam pressure in case of an explosion. Later they cleared the wreckage.

The railwaymen featured in this photo are not known

Two station staff had quickly escaped. Mr Albert Streeter, of St Peter's Street, Brighton, and Mr. William Speed, of Donald Hall Road, Brighton, left the office about two minutes before the crash. "I must have had a premonition or something" said Mr. Streeter. "We are normally in thje office at that time, but this morning we decided to go and check over some goods trucks."

Lorry driver Maurice Cole, of Lansdown Place, Hove, who was loading brick at the station, said: "I saw the wheels skidding and knew there had to be a crash. It cut into thr station like a bacon slicer. The noise was like a bomb going off."


* There is no Minstry of Transport report into this accident







With the remorselessness of Judge Jeffrey’s “Bloody Assize” the branch lines are being marked down and it is sad to hear that the Horsham - Brighton branch is among them. it runs through the heart of West Sussex, through meadows and the Downs, 

and the Downs, to join the Brighton - Portsmouth line by the river at Shoreham, where, as at Brighton it connects with the whole South Coast and at Horsham with Waterloo, London Bridge and Victoria. There are 17 trains each way on week-days and 11 on Sundays. most trains make 11stops and the timing is just about an hour. This does not sound like a direct line which is past revival. For 102 years it has served a useful purpose. When I first knew it, the little L.B. & S.C.tanks of the D1 type did much of the work, and later the 0-6-2 class E4. After the Southern Railway came into being the Drummond M7 type took over and were seen till the last few years, when the B.R. “80” type came, Tank engines have been predominant on the line from the beginning. I was travelling on this line lately and food that a number of ex-L.M.S. 2-6-2 type tanks of Ivan’s design of 1946 were at work there. They have 5ft. 7 drivers, 161/2 by 24 cylinders, 200lb. steam pressure, taper boilers, Walschaerts gear and P.V., with T.E. of 18,510lb. and seem well liked. The trains are light, three bogies, and keep excellent time. Two of our Horsham members, Bros. Hills and Tanner worked my train to Shoreham with 41312, and two of our Brighton members, Bros. Colley and Pannett, brought me back with 41327. In all my travels this years this is only the second time when I  have been steam-hauled, more’s the pity! To close lines without proper and equally convenient other transport is to treat railways like multiple stores - pay or close. Instead of trowing passengers and freight on to roads which, the experts forecast, will be trying to carry 13 million vehicles by 1970, sanity surely calls for the Labour Party’s proposal to consider road and rail policy together. The Tories, the Big Businessmen’s party, might ask themselves which is worse, the deficit lost on the national necessity of railway transport or millions gone down the drain in “deterrents” that won’t function and are quietly scrapped like Blue Streak. But, as John Bright said once, “The Tories are always a stupid party” - adding that he did not say that as a matter of controversy but as plain fact! Good luck to the opposition than is being organised and may this little Sussex line be spared.

 Driver Hills & Fireman Tanner


 Driver Vic Fewtrell & Fireman Joe Pannett



With the Nationalisation of the railways in 1948, the need to modernise the railways was to become very apparent. With introduction of the “Modernisation Plans” of 1956, this was to see the beginning of the phasing out of steam locomotives, and replacing them with new forms of motive power traction, electric and diesel, locomotives and multiple units.

The main diesel locomotive to be introduced on the Southern Region, was to a Type 3 locomotive (later Class 33), even though it was not originally part of the “Modernisation Plan”. The original plan was to order more English Electric Co-Co type 3s ( later Class 37s) already in production for the Southern Region but the Co-Co wheel arrangement was deemed to heavy for the permanent way. Over the next ten years steam locomotives were slowly to be replaced by them on the Central Division. Between 1957 and 1960, four orders were to be placed for the new Type 3 diesel locomotives, with a total of 98 locomotives being built for the Southern Region. This also included 12 narrowed bodied locomotives for the Hastings to Tonbridge line.

On July 17th, 1960, the following locomotives D6506, E5004 & 20001 were on trial Three Bridges and Haywards Heath station, with several test runs at various speeds were being made between these locations, and later in March 1961, Type 3 locomotives were being used to test the bridges between Lewes - Barcombe Mills, this was done in conjunction with a West Country Pacific.

In August 1962, saw the Type 3 locomotives, continuing to expand across the Central Division, which included various freight workings, empty coach stock workings between New Cross Gate and London Bridge, assorted engineering workings, and an early morning diagram between London Bridge & Brighton. They were also visitors to Brighton & Eastbourne on summer passenger workings.

By the end of July, 1963, the Central Division had nineteen Type 3 locomotives available, and a large number Diesel Electric Multiples Units, this had a great impact on the remaining steam duties within the Central Division. This diesel regularly working over the Oxted lines, and Type 3 locomotives taking over the Saturday workings of the 9.40am Brighton - Bournemouth & 1.45pm return. The weekday workings continued to be in the hands of the West Country Pacifics. By the end of the summer timetable saw Brighton losing the duties for its Pacific’s class locomotives, and they were transferred away to other sheds.

Driver Ernie Skinner & Fireman Ian Muro

Ernie was a L.D.C.Rep. for Brighton loco in the late 1950s early 1960s 



 Southern Region BRCW TYPE 3 Locomotive (Class 33)

In August 1968 with the withdrawal of steam a new classification for diesel & electric locomotives

was introduced with the B.R.C.W. Type 3’s becoming the Class 33’s.


With the implementation of the Beeching Report routes in Sussex were closed reducing the amount of steam workings at Brighton, Bognor, Horsham, Three Bridges, Eastbourne and Tunbridge Wells West Depots. Bognor steam shed closed in November1961 its work transferred to Brighton. Newhaven and Tunbridge Wells West steam sheds closed on September 9th 1963, however the remaining work at  Tunbridge Wells West Depot was replaced by diesels electric multiple units (D.E.M.U.s).

Bognor steam shed closed on 8th Novemeber1962, Horsham steam shed closed on 12th June 1964. Three Bridges shed closed to steam on 27th January 1964, and it became a mixed traction depot until April 1969 when the mixed traction Depot closed and the work transferred to Redhill. Brighton closed to steam on 13th June 1964 and finally Eastbourne steam shed closed on13th June 1965, and it became a mixed traction depot until April 1969 when the mixed traction Depot closed. Eastbourne was the last Steam Shed on the Central Division.






This resulted in many Drivers and Firemen being made redundant at their Depots and subsequently having to move to other Depots to stay in employment. From the late 1950s onwards it was not uncommon especially in rural areas of the Country for Drivers and Firemen with between 30 and 40 years service having to leave British Railway rather than move their Family’s hundreds of miles to keep their jobs.

Whilst many factors contributed to these events, no doubt the presence of diesel locomotives and multiple units available for traffic were a contributing factor. This was seen in January 1964, when a revision of the services on the Oxted line, led to a major overall reduction in passenger train mileage, and the elimination of the remaining Uckfield line steam workings, and the continued use of the diesel locomotive and multiple units on some of these services.

On January 12th, 1964, the Sunday only Brighton - Bournemouth became diesel hauled, using coaching stock from the Oxted line. For the summer season of 1964 a relief Brighton - Cardiff operated using a Type 3 between Brighton & Salisbury. This class of locomotives were also utilised on the Brighton - Plymouth. The weekday service used an electric locomotive as far as Chichester; and on occasion a Type 3 would substitute. Following the end of the summer timetable, the Brighton - Plymouth service would be the only long distance service from Brighton of those that once ran to places such as Bournemouth and Cardiff. The Plymouth service was hauled by Type 3's during the summer.



The changeover from Steam to Diesel Traction and subsequent drop in the requirement of Drivers and Firemen on the whole of British Railway became the issue of a Industrial Court of Inquiry in September 1965. On 26th December, 1964, the total number of Drivers, Firemen and Cleaners on British Railways was 53,359. but by the 19th June, 1965, the total was 50,472; a reduction of 2,887 or 5.4 per cent in six months, and since July 1963 the number of Drivers has been reduced from 34,163 to 30,601; a reduction of 3,562; in the same period the establishment of Firemen and Cleaners has decreased from 28,744 to 19,299, a reduction of 9,445

The reason for this Inquiry was British Railways intention to implement Single Manning and to do away with the Second Man on Diesel Locomotives (This was introduced to replace the grade of Fireman) British Railways intention was also to alter P.N.B and driving arrangements for Drivers. This would have had another massive reduction in the number of Drivers and Secondmen required.

A.S.L.E&.F gave evidence to the Court if Inquiry and this centred round the argument that “two sets of eyes are better than one” on whatever type of Locomotive and that the grade of Secondman was essential to help the Driver and to give valuable experience towards becoming a Driver themselves. Also the proposed Manning Arrangements would put undue strain on the remaining Drivers. 


The outcome of the Inquiry was that a number of the changes British Railways required were accepted but Single Manning of Locomotives was rejected also British Railways gave a full assurance not only that no footplate staff surplus to requirements as a result of the revised Agreement would be made redundant but that none would be moved from his present depot against his wishes. If footplate staff wished to move to another depot (e.g. to improve prospects of promotion to driver), they would benefit from the provisions of current redundancy arrangements. In addition, to encourage retirement of drivers so as to provide openings for firemen, drivers over 60 years of age at depots where firemen were surplus to requirements in consequence of single-manning would be allowed to retire under the redundancy procedure. Over·11,000 drivers were due to retire in the normal way over the next five years and this would make it comparatively easy to absorb surplus footplatemen. A.S.L.E. & F. were satisfied with these arrangements, although they pointed out that closure of depots would cause some added hardship to footplatemen as they would either have to move their homes or travel long distances.

"The Board also gave assurances that the earnings of footplate staff affected by the revised Agreement would be safeguarded.”

This gave rise to the position of “Starred Men” where Secondmen could remain at their own Depot until promoted to the position of Driver without the loss of earnings. This situation remained in place at certain Depots for the next 20 years. At Brighton Mixed Traction depot the last ’Starred Man’ Ralph Stobbart got his promotion in 1987

Steam working on the Central Division would continue to dwindle with the final workings and steam sheds closing in 1964 Eastbourne being the final steam shed to close .Although the final workings rostered for Steam Traction lasted until March 1967.These were the through Brighton –Plymouth service(because the coaching stock used required steam heating which the 33s could not provide) and the Waterloo-Bognor Regis Newspaper train (detached at Havant) although the Engines and Crew for these workings came from Fratton Shed on the South Western Division.

During the summer of 1967, the Central and South Eastern Division Diesel locomotive diagrams were merged. This allowed the St Leonard's allocated Hastings gauge Type 3's to wander further on a regular basis than previously, now handling passenger workings from London to Brighton, East Grinstead, Crowborough, and on the Brighton Exeter through working.







Locomotive Journal

October 2014 

Adapted from an article 

by Bill Davies 

The Manning Arrangements become applicable from Monday 25 October, 1965, this incredible agreement came into place awarding a ‘star’ to all who had started before this date, which not only ensured future employment, but protected their earnings as well. historically, it was one of the finest agreements ever signed by A.S.L.E.F. to protect members in the line of promotion.

In essence, firemen would no longer be required on the new traction, then replacing steam, although it was not until August 1968 that this form of traction was finally phased out, with one notable exception, in the Vale of Rheidol. 

(On Wednesday 11th August, 1968, the Fifteen Guinea Special was the last British Rail steam train to run between Liverpool, Manchester and Carlisle.)

The agreement that was reached provided arrangements for the displaced fireman to accompany his driver on his rostered turn or, if he was required for other duties, to receive payment for that turn, whichever was the greater. At some depots firemen who were disadvantaged financially by being removed from their turn were then covered in the form of a ghost link which identified what their turn of duty would have been, with the appropriate payment.


At that time firemen, now regraded as second men, were still required on many passenger turns to operate the steam heating boiler which began to be replaced by Electric Train Heating in the early 1970s, although the Southern Region had Electric Train Heating  locos well before that date. Further duties included double manning on night turns and when a driver could not be shown a Physical Needs Break on his diagram.

To help alleviate the problem, by assisting promotion, the golden handshake was introduced at many depots. Men who had started their career during the First World War and had nearly reached retirement were only too pleased to receive an additional lump sum to go a little early.

Against this, of course, was the contraction of our railway system brought about by the Beeching report which not only closed lines but closed depots as well. Again, Promotion Transfer & Redundancy arrangements in place ensured that it was possible to retain a job on the footplate, very often within your own area, although in remote outposts this was not always possible. Amazingly, the second man brought his previous protected earnings with him or, if the new depot paid more, then they got that; the best of both worlds! in rare cases they fared better than the drivers with whom they transferred...


Once management got tired of the payments being made to ‘starred’ men they offered initially £250, later increased to £320, as an inducement for them not only to leave the industry with a premium payment but, if you wanted to stay, you could take the chance of selling your ‘star’, thus losing your entitlement to the manning agreement.

At depots such as King’s Cross, during the early 1970s, a star was essential to maintain high mileage payments on Electric Train Heating diagrams. Even so, enough boiler work was still in operation to ensure that even non-starred men still got out on the main and so earned their payment.

What would have happened if this agreement had not been signed? Well, obviously, many experienced firemen who had many years of footplate work would have been made redundant and left the industry, starving the railway industry of future drivers. Would drivers receive extra payment for single manning? Looking back, the offers were derisory, just as the initial offers for Driver Only Operation were.

Without this historic agreement, which took protection of employees to a new level, many drivers would never have had the opportunity to have remained in the industry. A.S.L.E.F. was to the fore in protecting its members in the face of adversity – as A.S.L.E.F. always has and A.S.L.E.F always will.



Clifford Highams, Bert South & Trevor Fielding.


Brighton Middle Road


The two separate Brighton Branches worked side by side with all Drivers and Secondmen working from the same location after 1964 upon the closure of Brighton Steam Shed. The separate grades of Engineman and Motorman having being abolished in 1961.

Promotion within the loco department has always been on strict seniority with the date of entry as a cleaner being the deciding factor. At Brighton promotion was very slow as it was very rare for men to leave the Footplate except for medical reasons. It was not uncommon for the senior Firemen to be in their late 40s and still not having reached the position of Engineman. As stated earlier this was made worse for Brighton Firemen & Cleaners during the late 1950’s onwards when Enginemen and Firemen from the South Western Section (former L.S.W.R.) of the Southern Region were being forced to move around the Region looking for vacancies at depots within the Southern Region due to the even slower rate of promotion in that part of the country and also the start of the Railway cuts. Many footplate men having to find themselves relocating their homes and families across the Southern Region (from as far away as Exmouth Junction. Barnstaple, Exeter, Yeovil, Templecombe, Dorchester, Bournemouth, Salisbury and Eastleigh). Many of these Footplate men moved to Brighton Locomotive depot where they remained for the rest of their careers. This held back many of the local Brighton Firemen and Engine Cleaners in gaining their promotion because the Footplate men transferring in had higher seniority dates. This forced some to seek their promotion to Enginemen and Motormen within the London area. Those Footplate men that transferred to the London area had many years of waiting before their seniority allowed them to transfer back to Brighton. Many of these former Brighton Footplate Men decided to stay at their new locations.


These maps enables you to see the full extent of the area that the Southern Railway operated over prior to nationalisation of the railways in 1948. Under the Southern Region control, some these lines were transferred to the Great Western Region control.

The maps also shows, how far many of the engine-men moved from, during the “Beeching Modernisation Plan” being implemented, during the early 1960s. Many of these men ended up in the Brighton and surrounding area.


D6536 standing in Brighton Loco Works 




PAGE 220

Sad new at Brighton where our good colleague Harry Neal received fatal injury in the Collision at Lover’s Walk depot. Harry was a member of the Branch Committee and L.D.C.; he was well liked by all who knew him, Members of Brighton (2) Branch and, indeed, all members along the South East Coast, will miss him. At the recent M.O.T. Inquiry the Society was represented and the Ministry Report is awaited. Out Compensation Department is currently dealing with case and were rendering all assistance possible to our late member’s dependants, to whom we all express our sincere condolences.





During this time, Brighton loco depot, become known as a ‘on loan’ depot with many of the junior loco-men going ‘on loan’ to loco depots throughout the Central division: - Fratton, Bognor, Tunbridge Wells & Redhill, as well as the London depots such as Norwood, Stewarts Lane and on some very rare occasions ‘on loan’ at Nine Elms.

The junior cleaners who were passed for firing, or the junior firemen who were passed for driving, where often booked out ‘on loan’ to foreign depots during this time (and for many years that followed) to carry out higher grade footplate work. This was the only way they could achieve the 294 turns (this figure used to be 313) in the grade to enable them to go to the next band of pay for their grade (there was a number of different rates for fireman and drivers rates of pay). Those who went ‘on loan’ would still book on and off at Brighton Loco depot and would then travel to and from the foreign depot, where they would spend the day or night carrying out the higher grade duty. This quite often meant working on the shed, preparing and disposing of steam locomotives or working in the various yards on the shunting locomotives, shunting the wagons and re-marshalling them into formation for their later departure.

The junior passed cleaners and firemen would not often be promoted at their home depot, owing to the work not being available for them. This was due to a large number of redundant and senior loco-men transferring into the depot and the phasing out of steam locomotives as a result of the introduction of diesel locomotives that replaced them.






Brighton (2) Branch can always be relied upon to stage a lively meeting if the Organiser or E.C. Member happens to look in. No bones broken at the November meeting, though this was not the fault of certain members present. George Webb was well to the fore, as usual, ably assisted by his younger disciples at the back. I always enjoy a meeting at Brighton, though I can’y think why for the moment.



MAY 1968



Bro. W. Terrill was involved in an accident when a crane lifting a container toppled over and our member sustained severe head injuries. Notwithstanding very difficult circumstance in this case A.G.S. Ray Buckton, against strong opposition, succeeded in obtaining a most favourable settlement. Bro. Buckton again won a case for Bro. J. Gray who unfortunately lost a leg in a motor-cycle accident. Here again the circumstances were adverse but in negotiating with the insurance company Bro. Buckton successfully concluded a very substantial settlement on behalf of our member. Mr. Buckton must have put in a lot of time and effort on these two cases and we wish to publicise the good work that he has done. Thank you. Brother!

Bro. Don Pullen has shown his skill and resourcefulness in a very tricky discipline case involving a Brighton Driver, arising from a complete brake failure on a Crompton loco. No accident occurred, fortunately. The Driver was found guilty of negligence and not having his train under control. Bro. Pullen in the period intervening before the appeal made stringent investigations collected enough evidence in our member’s favour to have the charge dropped and our member cleared.

It is of the utmost importance to report all defects; only when they have been reported can they be used in supporting evidence. Thank you, Bro. Don!

A.M. Hardiman,

Branch Secretary







The members of Brighton No.1 Branch of ASLEF, (Mixed Traction Depot) needed to seek clarification of a driver who was to become  a stand "Put-Back" Driver, but there appeared to be some confusion as to his entitlement. The position is an explanation of his position.

Driver Joe Gray was involved in an accident whilst off duty in which he lost his right leg from above the knee joint. Owning to a similar accident involving a Redhill driver some time ago, the Medical Officer deemed that all men with artificial legs were not allowed to work traction with foot operated safety devices. In view of this Driver Joe Gray was given along with another Brighton Driver of similar disability a regular turn of duty on D.E.M.U.s. Upon the closure of the line from Uckfield to Lewes, all the D.E.M.U. duties work was withdrawn from Brighton Mixed Traction, and later a small number of D.E.M.U. duties were re-allocated, but none could be spared for these restricted men at Brighton. This coincided with the closure of Three Bridges Mixed Traction, Eastbourne Mixed Traction and Feltham depot. The other restricted man had an 8(b) (a pereference) move registered for West Worthing E.M.U.T. and was fortunate to get his job there. However Driver Gray was unable to fulfil his duties at Brighton owning to the traction restriction and was offered a job at Tunbridge Wells. This he declined owning to the travel difficulties involved i.e. the line closure. He therefore indicated that he was willing to stand “Put-Back” at Brighton in the hope that further D.E.M.U. duties would be allocated, or wait for rationalisation to take place at Brighton. The management will not say he is redundant, and we cannot establish his true position. The Brighton No.1 Branch felt that their member was a candidate for the application of clause 19 of the P.T. & R., but apparently Sectional Council  "B" did not. Driver Gray was still classified as a driver, and his pay bill, but he was only receiving 340/-. Driver Gray was “Put-Back” with the introduction of the new service timetable which came into operation on July 1st, 1969.

It was point out to the General Secretary, that Driver Gray was not the "Junior Driver" at the depot, and according to ASLEF's circular 59, The Brighton No.1 Branch felt that he is entitled to be paid 379/-. Would you kindly clarify this man’s position for the Branch, and perhaps explain why Clause 10 was not applied in his case.


 John Vaughn Collection



Drivers already standing "Put-Back"

With effect from August 25th, 1969, a Driver who standing “Put-Back” at his own depot rather than transfer to another depot will be paid 10/- less than the Driver’s rate of pay, i.e. 369/- on present rates of pay.

Drivers “Put-Back” before the 25th August, 1969 and have elected to remain at their own depots shall be paid at 379/- per week on a personal basis. This rate will be effective from 12th August 1968.





The Brighton No.1 Branch received correspondence back from ASLEF Head Office in connection with the above subject. Head Office have raised this matter with Sectional Council No.2 Southern Region, and set out below copy of the reply received from the Staff Side Secretary:-

“The fact as to the position of Driver Gray are as follows are as the Branch Secretary relates them in-so-much as he was declared redundant, though not the Junior Driver, because the L.D.C. informed us that there would not be no work available at the Depot because of Gray’s disability, we tried to accommodate him at a Depot with the type of work consistant with Medical Officers ruling but as you were informed Gray declined this. We were of the opinion that the only course left open to us was to stand Gray “Put-Back” at Brighton M.T. Depot hoping that when rationalisation plans for the Area were complete we could then accommodate him on E.M.U.T. work at the proposed Brighton Depot.

To accommodate Gray under Clause 10 in the Brighton Area leads to problems of P.T.R. nature, there being registration for all Depots in the coastal area under either Clause 14 (a) or 8 (b) which as you are aware are prior Claused according to Clause 7. If Gray feels he would like to be reinstated as a Driver and have Clause 10 apply I feel that it may possible to find a position for but not in the Brighton area.”

In conclusion I must say that Gray was created redundant because of loss work and according to the amplified arrangements he chose to stand “Put-Back” rather than move because there were no vacancies within a reasonable distance and of course there was a chance to stand “Put-Back” at his own Depot.



 A Brighton to Tunbridge Wells West service at Lewes






The Trainmen’s Concept was the subject of discussions during Stage 1 and Stage of the Pay and Efficiency Negotiations. In this article I will explain what was proposed by the B.R.B. and why agreement was not possible.


The B.R.B. proposed the merging of the existing grades of Secondmen and Guards and the introduction of a new grade of Trainman. It was the intention of the Board that Trainmen would perform the combined duties of Secondmen and Guards and be in the Line of Promotion to Driver.

In their proposals the Board suggested that existing Secondmen would retain their date of entry into the Line of Promotion as their seniority date for promotion to the grade of Driver and for determining their link position when in links composed of duties which were previously those of Secondmen. When undertaking duties which were previously those of Guards it was proposed that whilst existing Secondmen would retain their original seniority date for promotion to Driver their seniority date for link working purposes would be the date of transfer to Guard’s duties.

The Board proposed that existing Guards under the age of 40 years, subject to suitability, would be given the opportunity to transfer to the Driver’s Line of Promotion. Guards transferring under the aforementioned arrangement would have retained their existing relative seniority date for redundancy in competition with other Guards and for link working purposes in links composed of duties previously those of Guard. It was also proposed that the seniority date for promotion to the Grade of Driver of existing Guards opting to enter the Line of Promotion to Driver would be the date of the introduction of the new grade of Trainman.

Under the proposals Guard over the age of 40 years and those under the age of 40 years either unwilling or unsuitable to transfer to the Driver’s Line ofPromotion would have retained their right to seek promotion through their existing channels.

On the introduction of the new gras existing Secondmen and Guards would have retained their present link arrangements but this arrangement would not have precluded the Trainmen who were previously Guards being called upon to perform existing Secondmen’s duties and Trainmen who were previously Secondmen performing existing Guard’s duties as occasion demanded.

In cases where economy would have accrued it was proposed that two former grades of Secondman and Guard may be merged and the spare Secondmen and Guards placed in a common link or utilised on any duties covered by former grades. Surplus Secondmen (redesignated as Trainmen) may have been called upon to fill vacancies in the existing grade of Guard at their own or neighbouring depots on the understanding that their position in regard to the protection of earnings was safeguarded.

The Board proposed that as vacancies arise the introduction of the grade of Trainman the appropriate job should be placed in a new link or links which may have been a mixture of former Secondmen’s or Guard’s work placed above or below the “Spare” link as agreed locally. It was further proposed that the seniority date for determining the position in the “Mixed” link should be the date of entry into the link. Vacancies arising by secessions from the grade after the date of the agreement were, under the proposals, to be used in the first place to accommodate surplus staff at the depot and then to be available to staff in the grade at the depot who may have been desirous of transferring to the “New” integrated link. It was then proposed that vacancies remaining after the operation of the procedure outlined above should be advertised to the section of staff which would have been eligible to apply for the original vacancy (Secondman or Guard) under the arrangements in the operation prior to the creation of the new grade, with the proviso that staff over 40 years of age not in the Driver’s Line of Promotion would be ineligibe.

The Board proposed that in the event of redundancy arising the staff should be dealt with under the redundancy arrangements applicable to their former grades.

In their proposals the Board have proposed that the rates of pay of Senior Secondmen should be extended to all Trainmen after 10 years’ service in the grade or after 15 years’ service in the Line of Promotion and after 18 years’ service in the grade or 21 years’ service in the Line of Promotion.


The N.U.R. has indicated that there is no basis of agreement on the proposals of the B.R.B during the P. & E. negotiations the N.U.R. negotiations intimated that in their opinion Guards becoming Trainmen should be credited with certain amount of seniority in the Line of Promotion to Driver. Our Society was unable to agree to this.

A.S.L.E.&F. is of the opinion that the proposals of the Board are a basis for negotiations. Of course, this does not mean that the Society is prepared to agree to the whole of the proposals of the Board.

In my opinion agreement on the Trainmen’s Concept would have:

1, Ensured the manning of the trains of the future by skilled craftsmen who would have progressed from Traction Trainee to Trainmen and then from Trainman to Driver.

2, Enabled the B.R.B. to man train sensibly thereby avoiding unnecessary cancellations of trains.

3, Enabled the Trade Unions to negotiate higher rates of pay than those obtained in P.&E.

It is important to note that, even on the rates of pay negotiated in the P.&E. (Stage 2), had the Trainmen’s Concept been agreed some Guards on becoming Tranmen would have qualified for the rates of pay of Senior Secondman, meaning that they would have had rates of pay 357/-, or 378/-, instead of 313/-. The Board has also hinted that they would be prepared to consider the extension of Senior Secondmen’s rates of pay to Guard who are too old (over 40 years) to become Trainmen in the Line of Promotion to Driver.


The Executive Committee of our Society has examined the position arising from the failure to obtain agreement on the Trainmen’s Concept and has requested the B.R.B. for an early meeting to discuss and make agreement on the future requirement and training of Footplate Staff.

Our member may rest assured that the Executive Committee are to give this matter their urgent attention.



December 1970

 All through the 1960s Brighton Mixed Traction Depot (has it had become known) was the hardest hit of the two Brighton depots . This was due to the closure of the railway lines between Shoreham to Christ Hospital and Lewes to Uckfield.

There was also another serious matter that was going to affect the depot and cause a threat to footplate jobs at Brighton. The movement of traditionally loco hauled working of parcel and mail trains. This form of traffic was now going to be worked by Electric Multiple Unit Trains, rather than being locomotive hauled.This would result in another major loss of work to the already hard hit Depot.

If the work had just been moved to another Mixed Traction depot, then footplate men would have been given the opportunity to follow the work, in accordance with the Promotion Transfer and Redundancy arrangements. This was not going to be the case with the loss of this work. The Mixed Traction drivers where not trained on this type of traction. The parcel and mail work being transferred to the various E.M.UT. Depots through out the South Central Division.

This caused so much concern and anger that a special Branch meeting was called for Sunday 6th December 1970. At this special Brighton No.1 Branch meeting, the membership instructed their Branch Secretary to write to the A.S.L.E.F. General Secretary (The contents of this letter is opposite) with the view to try and to intervene on what they considered to be a very serous issue for the branch. The Special Branch meeting called for the full rationalisation of all depots on the South Central Division. This move would have brought it in line with its neighbouring divisions of the South Eastern and South Western.

It was veiwed by members of the Brighton No.1 Branch, that it was necessary to have full Rationalisation of all mixed traction depots on the Central Division, this would then allow all drivers to be treated as equal. In a lot of cases the "Senior Drivers" were now doing the work that was previously reserved for the "Junior Drivers" and "Passed Firemen" in the steam days. They believed that things are now different, with the steam era now being gone, and that footplatemen's conditions of service should now be moved into the 1970s instead of still lagging behind in the steam era of the 1800s.

A response from Southern Region Sectional Council 'B', stating that they would be having a meeting with the Brighton Mixed Traction L.D.C. in the New Year to discuss this issue.

But it would be it would not be until 1988, before rationalisation would take place at Brighton Mixed Traction. Two of the three other mixed traction depots (Victoria M.T. & Redhill M.T.) had already rationlised prior to this, and Norwood M.T. recieved E.M.U. work in line with the electrification of the East Grinstead line..

A special meeting called for Sunday 6th December 1970s.  I was instructed to write you on the subject matter of the meeting.

The subject of the meeting was regarding management’s plans to transfer parcel train traffic now worked by mixed traction as loco hauled trains,  into E.M.U. stock. This plan will ultimately lead to a loss of work to mixed traction. We are very concerned about this. We at Brighton have lost a lot of work over past years due to the Steyning line closure, reorganisation of freight traffic, closure of the Uckfield  Lewes section. As  mixed traction men we have always regarded Parcel and Van trains as our work. The E.M.U. men being solely concerned with running the passenger traffic. We feel we are being regarded as restricted men in that we are not allowed to work on E.M.U. stock. It is not that we wish to filter E.M.U. work into our parlour but to retain the work now performed by us. The deletion of clauses 22-26 is still very much a sore point with us as it means that a fair number of men were deprived of their rightful promotion and now are unable to safeguard their jobs by moving with the work. This we can do nothing about now, but we strongly feel that instead of moving work away from mixed traction all drivers should be treated equally. We wish to remind you that as union members and fully trained and experienced men we are entitled to a fair share of the work of operating trains in our division.

We strongly urge you to press management to institute full rationalisation on the Central Division immediately. We are the smallest and probably the busiest division yet the other divisions enjoy the position of all drivers being equal.

Another matter arising from this situation is the ability of the men to partake in the Bonus Schemes. We don’t like them but it is in effect part of available wages. If we lose parcel train work we are also loosing bonus as it is virtually our only opportunity to cover any reasonable distance. We fear that at some later date Brute Traffic will be transferred to E.M.U. stock. When that happens we shall have virtually nothing.

We look to you to after our interests as union members fully capable men and in many cases Senior men. This situation makes our valuable seniority look silly.

Will you please give this matter you urgent attention.

Yours Fraternally

Branch Secretary

A.   Hardiman 







Much is being said and written in regard to the virtues or otherwise of the principle of the “close shop” in industry. We think it right to say that, in a general way at least, most of those who are Trade Unionist by conviction would prefer to see men voluntarily joining unions rather than being compelled to do so by the conditions attaching to their place of work.

Unfortunately, however, there are still those who will trade on the activities of their colleagues and who will decline either t

meet the necessary cost of running trade unions and providing benefits, oto lend morasupport by acquiring membership of 

their appropriate union. This the real Trade Unionist is entitled to expectThe necessitfor exertinpressure upon certain 

individualto becommembers oTrade Unions thus becomes apparent from  time to time.

Wbelieve thaonlbe effectively operated ithe conditionimposed are that the worpeople shall be requested to joithei

appropriatTrade UnionsThese must bunions affiliateto thTrades Union Congress ancaterinfor the particulatype o

workeconcerned. In so far athrailways are concerned, thiwoulmeathat all driversmotormen, firemen and cleaner

shouljoin the A.S.L.E.F., and if those who desire to see the "closed shop" within the railway service are prepared to accept 

this, they will find no opposition from the headquarters of the A.S.L.E. & F. Indeed, we should welcome a statement of this 

description. In the absence of any such undertaking, the creation of an effective “closed shop” is very doubtful of success. We 

commend this suggestion to all those who are seriously interested in the “closed shop” principle.



by Steve Richards

Steve was Personnel Manager on the Central Division of the Southern Region,
and the Management Chairman of Sectional Council "B"

Hopefully this will give some indication of the ‘confusion’ which surrounded this subject in the early 70’s.

The first reference relates to a question of BR’s Closed Shop being ‘in existence’, and was raised in Parliament by Christopher Woodhouse, MP for Oxford, in relation to one of his constituents. On 21st April 1971 Woodhouse raised the matter of a Western Region Clerical Officer who had been dismissed as he refused to join TSSA. The thing to note here was that the ‘dismissed’ employee commenced employment in September 1964 so clearly no agreement existed at that time.

Hansard states that:

The agreement which led to dismissal was not easy to track down. It was apparently negotiated between 1966 and 1969 and it came into effect at the beginning of 1970. I have been able to find only two contemporary references to the agreement in the National Press. They came on 25th & 26th August, 1969, and both references were incomplete. But in the second reference, on 26th August, it was clearly indicated … that Trade Union membership would not be made compulsory for those already employed by British Rail, though it would become a Condition of Employment

Woodhouse stated that he, ‘… eventually found a copy of the agreement published in the Railway Review of 29th August, 1969, and it was clear that the agreement was ‘far-reaching’ and comprehensive. In the Railway Review, it was described as Stage 2 of a massive examination of Rates of Pay and Conditions of Service under the Railway Pay and Efficiency talks. The provision for compulsory trade union membership was only one item in a very extensive agreement, but it was a vitally important item and, as I have said, it was not published in the National Press.’

He continued that ‘… two quotations are given from the agreement, the first is that BRB / Trade Unions accept that membership of a Trade Union, party to the Machinery of Negotiation, is in the best interests of employer / employee relationship. With the principle there asserted I wholeheartedly agree. I have often publicly said that any large industrial employer would be wise to encourage 100 per cent. trade union membership. I have even been attacked in a Trade Union Journal for saying that, on the simple dogmatic ground that a Tory could not possibly mean it. I do mean it, but I emphasise the word encourage, and not compel’.

The second quotation from the agreement is as follows: ‘It is therefore agreed that membership of one of the Trade Unions party to the Machinery of Negotiation shall be a Condition of Employment effective from 1st January 1970.

Being a ‘sad bugger’, I have dug all my Stage II P&E booklets out of the loft and on Page 2 or 3 of the relevant Footplate, and other, booklets it is clear the closed shop was ‘agreed’ on 9th September 1969 with a proposed implementation date of 1st January 1970. Whether this was actually implemented for existing employees is not clear; due to the fact that BRB were having to take cognisance of the impending implementation of the Industrial Relations Act 1971, which although in draft form was effectively saying Closed Shops should be illegal.

This was not the end of the saga however, as there was later a case raised in the European Court of Human Rights during 1976 - it was not heard until August 1981. This was the case of Young, James & Webster vs. United Kingdom and referred to the dismissal of three BR employees, as they would not join a Trade Union. The ‘facts were shown to be as follows:


In 1970, British Rail had concluded a closed shop agreement with the NUR, the TSSA and ASLEF, but, with the enactment of the Industrial Relations Act 1971 it was not put into effect.

The matter was, however, revived in July 1975 when British Rail concluded a further agreement with the same unions. It was provided that as from 1 August 1975 membership of one of those unions was to be a condition of employment for certain categories of staff - including the applicants - and that the terms of the agreement were "incorporated in and form[ed] part of" each contract of employment. Like other staff of BR, Mr. the three dismissed employees had, it appears, been supplied when engaged with a written statement containing a provision to the effect that they were subject to such Terms & Conditions of Employment as might from time to time be settled for employees of their category under the Machinery of Negotiation established between their employer and any trade union or other organisation.

The membership requirement did not apply to "an existing employee who genuinely objects on grounds of religious belief to being a member of any Trade Union whatsoever or on any reasonable grounds to being a member of a particular Trade Union". The agreement also set out the procedure for applying for exemption on these grounds and provided for applications to be heard by representatives of the employer and the unions.

It appears that, prior to the conclusion of the 1975 Closed Shop Agreement, between 6,000 and 8,000 BR employees, out of a total staff of 250,000, were not already members of one of the specified unions. In the final event, 54 individuals were dismissed for refusal to comply with the membership requirement.

So according to the Courts, the first ‘official’ BR Closed Shop came into being on 1st August 1975; however, whilst this date is shown on Page 10 of the 1982 ‘Black’ ASLEF Handbook, I believe it was the case that from January 1970 in some places within the industry the Closed Shop was in operation. For example, I joined BR on 7th September 1970 and was quickly told I had to sign an Application Form to join either NUR or TSSA - I joined the latter! From then on, I was given my Contract of Employment and other documents".




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