IGNITING THE FLAME OF UNITY

THE HISTORY OF THE

 BRIGHTON BRANCH OF A.S.L.E.F.

 

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 THE 1950's

 

 

No. 1 BRANCH SECRETARIES

HARRY WARE 1955 - 1959

 (Footplate Seniority, no date available)

 

No. 2 BRANCH SECRETARY

& C. STONER 1951 - 1964

(Footplate Seniority 01.12.1916)

 

 

 

  Driver Bob Roser & Fireman Reg Craft 12th July 1955.

The small extract below recalls part of his trip on the eleven o’clock Brighton to Cardiff on Monday 11th July 1955. Brighton men used to work this train as far as Salisbury. The Brighton fireman on this trip was Reg Craft, who showed how he would cope with the firing whilst working up Dean bank. It also records the feelings of Brighton engine-men’s towards their fellow South Western Enginemen.


An extract from the Fred Rich Journals

We had no booked stops over the 24.5 miles between Southampton and Salisbury; and from Nursling [4.5 miles beyond Southampton] we began the 16 mile climb up to Bridge 44. At this point Reg initiated me into a bit of nonsense which, for him, was utterly out of character. He (along with many others from 75A) feels that most “South-Western” enginemen think too much of themselves and their railway. At Dean [about 4.75 miles from Bridge 44] the ‘eleven o’clock Cardiff’ always passes a goods engine in the sidings, with Salisbury men in charge of it; and Reg likes to show ‘em what he thinks of their Dean bank. The game is to have a ‘a potful of water’ and a full head of steam after passing through Romsey. This produces (for the benefit of those Salisbury men) the spectacle of a Brighton ‘West Country’, trailing 10 corridors, hurtling up through Dean with safety valves blowing and with the fireman relaxing in his seat, smoking a cigarette and preferably reading a newspaper.

Fred Rich worked as an engineering apprentice at Brighton Locomotive Works and commuted from Tunbridge Wells. Fred became known to a number of engine-men at Brighton. On his days off Fred would see if he could get a cab ride with the various engine-men that he knew and spent most of the trips doing some of the firing.

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

STRIKE ISSUE

JULY 1955

BRIGHTON (2)

 

It is with great pleasure and pride in our hearts that we can report in this special issue of the JOURNAL such a splendid response by all our Motormen, Drivers, Firemen and Cleaners, members of No.1 and No.2 Branches, to the E.C.’s call May 28th and also to include in this report a tribute from Bro. C. Batchelor, who says:

“Congratulations to Brighton for 100 per cent response to the call of the E.C. for strike action. One member in steam and one “Non” spoilt the record.

Thanks are due to the Branch Secretaries and Strike Committee for carrying out of their duties so well, also to the N.U.R. members who came out and thus assisted in getting our grade recognised.

This proves that there is only one Union for footplate staff, that is the A.S.L.E.& F.

The bond between the Electric and Loco depots during the strike should now be maintained in all L.D.C. and social matters.

Keep the good work up brothers!

Yours fraternally, C. Batchelor.”

These remarks by Bro Batchelor make all the work and trouble involved very much worthwhile, to know that ir was so appreciated. Lets us hope this spirit of brotherhood will long be kept alive through the medium of our branch rooms.

F.W. Musk

Branch Chairman

 

 

A.S.L.E.F.'s NATIONAL STRIKE OF 1955

 

 

 The reason for the A.S.L.E.F National Strike of 1955 lay behind the wage increase by the Transport Commission

A.S.L.E.F. felt that this offer of between 9% for the lower Footplate Grades to only 1% for the higher had eroded differentials between Enginemen and Motormen and other Railway Grades. After protracted negotiations led to no agreement being reached the National Strike was called for from midnight on Saturday May 28th.

The Chairman of British Rail Southern Region Area Board stated that out of 1000 Motormen employed only 42 had reported for Duty. The N.U.R. did not support the Strike but very few Enginemen or Motormen were in that union.

At Brighton on Whit Monday only 12 Trains ran all day to and from London only a fraction of what would normally been the case on a Bank Holiday.

The Strike lasted for 17 days being called off after The Transport Commission agreed that there was a case for higher rewards adding 2 % for the higher grades of Enginemen and Motormen.

The Strike had been backed by almost 100% of A.S.L.E.F. Members. On June 29th the very few who had defied the call to strike were expelled from the union by the Executive Committee.   

 

Pathe News Report 02.06.1955

 

Pathe News Report 06.06.1955

 

Pathe News Report June.1955

 

 

 

 

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL 

BRIGHTON (2) 1955

 

Once again I have to report that differences have arisen with the local management at this Depot over their non-observance of some National and L.D.C. agreements, and a special meeting of Branch Officials and our L.D.C. was held to deal with this matter. With efficient guidance of Organiser Bro. A. Newbegin, it was decided to ask for a consultation between the District Motive Power Superintendent and L.D.C. to endeavour to stop the violating of these agreements in future; we ask members to give more strength to the L.D.C. by seeing to it that agreements are observed.

On November 20th the Retirement and Social Fund held the Annual Reunion, and a dinner and social evening was provided in a very successful way by the Committee. Organiser A. Newbegin, who attended this function, presented gifts from the Fund to the retiring members, Bros. T. Gunn, F. Larkin and A. Staniford; then, with appropriate words to them, he referred in turn to their length of service and their Society membership, and the changes and benefits which had been obtained through the efforts of our Society during their careers on the footplate and in Motor-man’s cabs. He wished them on behalf of all retired members a long and happy retirement. Bro. F. Larkin suitably replied for all three.

F.W. MUSK BRANCH CHAIRMAN

 

 

 Jim Friend on the "Brighton Works" engine, a Brighton Terrier Class A1x in Brighon Loco

Jim Friend started at Brighton Loco on 16th January 1956 as a Engine Cleaner and progressing to, Fireman and Past Fireman, in 1963 Jim transferred to Slade Green EMUT Depot to gain his promotion to Driver. In 1965 Jim transferred to Charing Cross where remained until 20th April 1985, when Jim emigrated to Adelaide, South Australia where he now resides.

 

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL 

BRIGHTON (2) 1956


On November 12 a very successful Social Evening was held at the Richmond Hotel, where Bros. C. Cole, A. Routledge*^, W. Hudson and A.T. Green* were presented with a gift from the Retirement Fund. Organiser W. Cleaver made the presentations with appropriate words. Let us keep the good work of this fund going. At our December meeting all officers were re-elected for 1956. The present L.D.C. were adopted as the official nominees for 1956. The January meeting was enlivened by the attendance of Bro. Monty Renshaw (A.A. Delegate), who gave a splendid report on Conference, touching especially on items affecting motormen and dual men. Several questions were asked and very ably replied to and there was no doubt left in our minds that the grade of motormen is being brought to the surface to our constitution, and with the coming of increased electrification over a wider area the maintaining of the position of motorman will have to be seriously considered.  So fill the Branch Room, lads, and let our E.C. know that we are very much alive to those who matters that will assist the front end of the future – “the motorman.”

F.W. MUSK BRANCH CHAIRMAN

* Original Brighton No. 2 Branch Member

^ West Worthing Motorman

 

 

 Driver George Washington and Fireman Reg Eason 

 

 

 

  LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

JANUARY 1957

BRIGHTON (2)

PAGE 33 

Steady attendance at meetings has been maintain by the “regulars” who deserve all the praise for keeping the Society interests on top, and letting the “lobby critics” see that we are a live branch who intend to give every assistance to our L.D.C. in upholding our agreements against the strong opposition we find all too frequently from the other side of the table. The interpretation of some conditions of service from that quarter calls forth much criticism and hard feeling from the men when they find themselves frustrated by a management side who seem to try by all means to make the accepted conditions and agreements read only to suit their requirements. We should like a much better attendance and an increase in confidence and support for our L.D.C.

Our Annual Retirement and Social Fund Presentation was held on November 17 and a jolly evening was enjoyed by all. Bro. A. Taylor made presentations to eight of our retiring comrades from the footplate and the Motorman’s cab. This was the first year that the Steam and Electric Retirement Funds had joined forces which we hope will continue.

F.W. Musk

Branch Chairman 

 

 

EXTRACTED FROM 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

OCTOBER 1957

W.J. CLEAVER 

DISTRICT  No.7


During the period since my last Journal notes Coroners’ Inquests have had my attention at Reading St Pancras and Woking, and Ministry of Transport Inquiries at Old Oak Common goods, Clapham Junction (two inquiries), Charing Cross (two inquiries), Pitsea, Stonebridge Park, Westbourne Grove, Parkeston Quay, and Haywards Heath.

At Haywards Heath the inquiry was held to investigate the circumstances responsible for a serious accident to one of our young Fireman members. Whilst working a goods train the Fireman injector “flew off” and after several futile attempts to re-start it, it appears that our member concluded the men who prepared the engine had failed to fill the tank. Without indicating his intention to the Driver, who at this stage was looking out for signals, the Fireman apparently  climbed on to the tender in order to lift the tank lid and, whilst so doing was struck by an overbridge   ad sustained severe head injuries. This is an unfortunate  accident that should not have taken place. Rule 126, Clause 7, reminds enginemen of the dangers of leaving the footplate whilst the engine is in motion, and, if the circumstances are such that it is absolutely necessary for such action, the rule provides for certain arrangements by which that operation with reasonable safety.

 

 

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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