IGNITING THE FLAME OF UNITY

THE HISTORY OF THE

 BRIGHTON BRANCH OF A.S.L.E.F.

 

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the Brighton Motive Power Depots

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the Sussex Motive Power Depots & ASLEF Branches


 

If the workers take a notion, They can stop all speeding trains,

Every ship upon the ocean, They can tie with mighty chains,

Every wheel in the creation, Every mine and every mill,

Fleets and armies of the nation,

Will at their command stand still.

Joe Hill 

 

BRANCH SECRETARY

JACK ENVES (Alderman) 1906 -1919

(Footplate Seniority 03.06.1889)

BRIGHTON BRANCH MEETINGS HELD

 

The Coffee Room, 2, Cheapside. First Sunday in the month, 3 p.m.

 

 STEAM & PETROL MOTOR-TRAINS

 

With the introduction of steam and petrol motor-trains in 1905, to work on some of the local services, the introduction of these trains was to try to reduce running costs on these services. After some months of motor-trains operations, it became obvious to the Locomotive Committee that the working cost had still not been reduced sufficiently for the introduction of really competitive fares. The main source of the trouble was the manning of these trains, three men having to be employed. Discussions were therefore commenced with the intention of using only the driver and fireman, the former being given extra payment to double as a guard. After surprisingly short negotiations agreement was reached with the men for such manning of all local and branch motor-trains outside the London area providing the load was restricted to one trailer car and only passenger luggage was carried. The Board of Trade refused to accept even a trial period three months, and the break through to really economical working of lightly loaded railway services was lost for all time.

In March 1910, an enginemen's delegation pleaded with Superintendant D.E. Marsh, for an additional increase in wages for drivers of motor trains on behalf of the extra worked involved, was turned down without any offer being made.

 

 

 STORIES FROM THE SHOVEL

extracted from RTCS book on locomotives of the LBSCR

On 17th October, 1906, Driver Thompson was working his engine Clas B4, No. 45 'Besborough' when running south of Horley at 10.43 p.m. with three empty Pullman cars aand four carriages required the following morning for a party of American business executives visiting Southampton Docks. on observing tht they were following a goods train down the main line at no more than 15 to 20 m.p.h. Driver Thompson decided to round his engine administer oil as necessary. He was returning to the cab and safety in the darkness, when he forgot the two firebox inspection castings and on bumping into them, slipped and fell on to the track. Fortunately, his fireman,Cook, noticed his plight and hurriedly stopped the train, and with the guard ran to the rescue of his mate. Driver Thompson was discovered wandering dazed along the up road, but apart from serve bruising and minor cuts was uninjured and was able to sit in the cab until Brighton was reached and medical attention found.

 

 

Another incident involving Driver Thompson and his Fireman Cook, occurred on 29th December, 1909, when they were working the 11.40 a.m. Victoria - Brighton. In Clayton tunnel their engine came to a hot with a complete empty tender and only sufficient water in the boiler to cover the firebox crown. Authority was not pleased, and at the subsequent investigation it came to light that Fireman Cook had been suffering from a severe cold and on Battersea shed, Driver Thompson sent him to get a warm drink while he took water.For some reason this important happening slipped his mind, hence the trouble at Clayton and the receiving of a £3 fine.


- - - - - - -

 

 

 

Below is a poor reproduction of the L.B.S.C.R. Drivers and Firemen Terms and Conditions commencing 1st January 1908.

 

 

 

THE SOUTHERN BELLE


The inaugural trip of the Southern Belle was made on Saturday, 31st, October 1908, and was placed in public service on Sunday 1st November 1908. As the “Sunday Pullman Limited: had been restored on Sunday 4th October 1908, after its customary summer suspension. Monday 2nd November 1908 has sometimes been given wrongly for the “Southern Belle.” In fact, on the Sunday that the “Southern Belle” made its first run in public service, the demand for seats was so great that a relief Pullman train had to be run, and this was filled. From the outset, “The Southern Belle” left at 11 a.m. on weekdays and Sundays, and returned from Brighton at 5.45 p.m. on weekdays and 9 p.m. on Sundays. The sunday workings superseded those of the “Sunday Pullman Limited.”

In 1910, the daily service was doubled, weekday workings at 3.10 p.m. from Victoria and 12.20 p.m. from Brighton being added. On Sundays the departures from Victoria became 11 a.m. and 6.30 p.m., and from Brighton 5 p.m. and 9.30 p.m.

Until June 1915, the “Southern Belle” was an all-Pullman exclusively first class train, but from that month third class passengers were conveyed in an ordinary compartment bogie attached to the rear of the rain. From Sunday 12th September, 1915, third class Pullmans were provided for the first time. They were attached to many trains and  were included in the regular formation of the “Southern Belle” on weekdays only. The first class cars had always been know by names, but the third class bore numbers only. The early ones were converted from old American-built first class care. On Thursday 7th October, 1915, a new company called the Pullman Car Co. Ltd. was incorporated to over from Thursday 30th September, 1915, the rolling stock and goodwill of the old company.

From Monday 1st January, 1917, Pullman service were greatly curtailed, and the “Southern Belle” was withdrawn. This was in accordance with the general austerity of the latter part of the first world war. The train was restored (once daily) on Wednesday 1st October, 1919, but the 60-min. timing and twice daily working were not resumed until Sunday 10th October, 1920. On Thursday 1st January, 1925, the train was reformed, with entirely new cars, which ran until they were displace by electrification

 

 

BRIGHTON ENGINE CLEANERS c1912


When two cleaners were put to work on the same engine, each cleaner would look after his own half of the engine and the longitudinal line was their common boundary. It was a firmly established tradition that the senior cleaner would clean the driver’s side while the junior cleaner would clean the fireman’s side. On the Brighton engines the driver occupied the left-hand side of the cab and this was known as ‘the lever side’ because the reversing wheel or lever was located there: the fireman’s side of the engine was referred to as ‘the donkey side’ because the Westinghouse ‘donkey pump’ was normally mounted in a suitable position on that side.

On nights when most of the engines were on shed, they stood in long rows, buffer to buffer. They were arranged (as nearly as possible) according to the order in which they would leave next morning, but mean while it was totally impractical to move them. While they stood there, during the night, their cleaners went over them very thoroughly; but in many cases it was impossible to clean the upper most parts of the coupled wheels, these being up out of reach behind the splashers or inside the tanks. In due course, when the engine was movable, it would be positioned with the uncleaned areas of the wheel down at the bottom, this was commonly know as 'half-turns'.  Then, if the night cleaners were still on duty they would finish the job; otherwise the cleaners on day-work would be called along to do it.

The night cleaners were on piecework and received a fixed payment for any given task – so much for cleaning a set of motion, another amount for cleaning a tender and so on.

From time to time a cleaner would also be sent out with a calling-up job. It might be that a certain driver was due to book on at (say) 4 a.m. and he had requested a call at 3.15 a.m., so the foreman would come looking for a cleaner to run the errand.

Even if the cleaner’s work was passed by the foreman it still might fail to satisfy the driver when he came in the next morning. In the preparation of his engine he had to go underneath the engine with his oil-can and if he found any dirt – or worse still, soiled his clean overalls – he was likely to go to the foreman and complain.

The day time cleaners would be required to clean goods engines which at returned from their night time work. The goods engine did not have any regular cleaners unlike the passenger engines. Another job for the daytime cleaners was to wheelbarrow coal from the loco yard to the East side of the station to keep a small reserve of coal for the engines that were working on the Kemp Town branch line.

By standing arrangements there was always an engine-cleaner would be ‘on loan’ to the offices of the locomotive headquarters which were situated in the locomotive works at Brighton. The duties which they performed were those of a messenger lad cum general office assistant. An engine cleaner for this assignment would require to be intelligent and of a smart appearance and they would normally serve in this capacity for a spell of twelve to eighteen months.

 

 FRED RICH COLLECTION 

Brighton Engine Cleaners c1912, 

this engine was allocated to Brighton driver Henry Holdbrook 

 

 BECOMING A FIREMAN


A newly "Passed Cleaner" could expect a long wait for the future firman's vacancy which would bring his appointment. A "Passed Cleaner"  could wait could last two, three or four years, possibly even longer to get his promotion: and during that time the "Passed Cleaner" was a spare man, notching up only the occasional  firing trip to begin with. Then, as time went by, he would be called out more frequently, say once or twice a week and he eventually he would be out firing almost every day as he  approached the head of his queue for a vacancy. Meanwhile he was paid 3/9d only for firing turns, and 3/3 for all those days which he would spent "on shed." The difference of 15% was quite significant and the ambition of every "Passed Cleaner" was to complete 313 firing turns - an achievement which qualified him for the fireman's rate of 3/9d even though he was still unappointed. This figure of 313 was great significance to every generation of firemen right down to the end of steam, and continued through to the end of the second-man's grade (the second-man's grade ceased 2nd October 1988): it represented one year of working days (i.e. 365 days minus the 52 Sundays). 

If a "Passed Cleaners" was consistenly bad he soon acquired a certain stigma; and when a firing turn cropped up some of the drivers began to demur - "I'am not taking him!" But if you were in shaping up well as a firman you began to be talked about among the drivers - and then you got plenty of firing jobs! It was this kind of reputation which, in later years, could take a first rate, experience firman to his place among the elite. In those days, unlike later times, seniority was not the only factor which determined a man's progress up through the different  classes of work. A really good driver would be given one of the top locomotives handling prestige passenger trains, while a less adequate man might remain on secondary passenger services, goods work or even on shunting duties. By the same token, no driver wanted to work with mediocre fireman, but the really good firemen were in great demand. The top drivers wielded a lot more influence and were able to choose from those senior firemen who were most highly regarded. And of course, if a driver kept telling his colleagues " My mate can do this, my mate can do that!", then his mate was likely to be 'snapped up!' 


 

 THE FIREMAN'S HELMET


When a "Passed Cleaners" completed 313 turns (or when he received his appointment, which ever came first) he was issued with an engine man's cap to signify that he had "made the grade". These caps - or "helmets" as they were called on the L.B.S.C.R. These helmets were not cheap costing 7/6d which was considerable sum of money. It is understood that the railway company didn't have to pay for the engine men's helmets: they were purchased from a fund bequeathed by the late Sir Julian Goldsmid, a former Deputy Chairman of the L.B.S.C.R. In acknowledgement of Sir Julian's generosity and prestige, the engine men's copper cap badge portrayed Billinton D3 Tank locomotive No. 363 'Goldsmid'. It was traditional for a "Passed Cleaners" to provide his own head-wear until he qualified for a 'helmet' by completing 313 firing turns. The make-shift garment was usually a cloth cap, probably the same one which its owner had worn when he was a cleaner.

Extracted & adapted 

from the book

Yesterday Once More

By Fred Rich

 

BRIGHTON FOOTPLATEMEN IN THE 1911 CENSUS

DOCUMENTS CREATED BY NEAL COWDREY

Brighton 1911 Drivers.xlsx Brighton 1911 Drivers.xlsx
Size : 26.837 Kb
Type : xlsx

 

 

 LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL JANUARY 1911

Extracted and adpted from

A.S.L.E.F. Organising Secretary W. Warwick's report

page 17

 

I was also able to attend this and on arriving home again found a wire from our Brighton Secretary, informing me of a fatal accident had occured at locomotive shed there, which required my attention. Needles to say I lost no time getting on the road again the last mentioned places.

I returned home on the Monday 28th, Novemeber 1910 and found instructions awaiting me from the General Office to attend a Board of Trade, inquiry, at Battersea Park Station, on the following morning (Tuesday 29th). I attended to this and had scarcely reached home in the evening were I received a post card from our Battersea secretary asking me to attend a further Board of Trade inquiry at the locomotive shed on the following day (Wednesday 30th). I was also able to attend this and on arriving home again found a wire from our Brighton secretary, informing me a fatal accident had occurred at the locomotive shed there, which required my attention. Needless to say I lost no time in getting on the road again for the last mentioned place.

The inquiry at Battersea Park Station was with regard to a fatal accident to one of the men employed on the fixing of pillars, &c, for the electrification of the railway. The evidence went to prove that no blame was attached to anyone but the poor fellow himself, who, after being warned of the approach of the train, walked away from the others with his back to the train, the engine of which struck him in the side, causing injuries which proved fatal.

The inquiry Wednesday 30th, 1910 in the locomotive shed was to ascertain the cause of the fatal accident to a man who was working with the joiners employed repairing the shed; it seemed he had gone for a piece of timber and on returning, attempted to pass between wagons which stood a few feet apart, and while doing so they were closed up, pinning him between the buffers. Here, again, this act of indiscretion cost the poor fellow his life, but in neither case were our men to blame. The sad case at Brighton differed somewhat, inasmuch as an aged driver was the victim. It appears C. Ford, driver, on arriving at the shed, went at once to see the duty sheet to ascertain his working for the next day, this being necessary in order that he may turn his engine, or otherwise, before booking off; on returning he by some means was knocked down and run over by an engine being shunted for proper stabling. It was dark at the time and no one actually saw the occurrence, and the only intimation the driver of the engine had was the hearing of a groan; he stopped at once, only to find poor Ford had been rolled up under the engine and his legs run over, injuries to which he succumbed on the way to the hospital.

I attended the inquest next day (Thursday), December 1st, when the verdict was "accidental death," no one in any way being to blame. One sad feature about the case was he had done some 40 years in the service and had only a few months longer to work before being entitled to superannuation.

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL FEBRUARY 1911

Extracted and adpted from

A.S.L.E.F. Organising Secretary W. Warwick's report

page 75

 

On December 17th 1910, I arranged for, and attended, an open meeting at Brighton. We had a nice little company present, and perhaps the secretary will tell us, in the whether it has borne fruit or not. Whatever the result may be, I want to tell the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway locomotive-men, there is plenty of room for improvement. Our meeting was affected in numbers by the fact that members of a deputation were giving a report elsewhere of an interview with the "powers that be re electrification. This very fact spells weakness, and until the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway locomotive-men can rise to the occasion by joining their own Society, and move as one body for improved conditions of service, the much-desired and deserved improvement is not likely to come their way; a hint is as good as a nod, so I hope the Brighton men understand, and will act accordingly.

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

MARCH 1911 Page 112


MONTHLY COMMENTS

 

ON LOCOMOTIVE AND GENERAL RAILWAY MATTERS.

 

By F. W. BREWER.

 

A small batch of new "Atlantics " is also to be put into service on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway. Mr. D. E. Marsh is having these engines fitted with Schmidt super-heaters, and with 21 in. by 26 in. cylinders. There was some talk that a four-cylinder simple "Atlantic " was to.be built. The company propose to run each of the Brighton express trains an the hour. The electrification of the main-line between London,Brighton and Eastbourne, is, we understand, also under consideration. The statement, however, that electrically propelled trains would be running on the main-line in about three years' time would appear to be premature. At the recent meeting of shareholders, the Earl of Bessborough stated that the board had naturally thought of electrification,and were seeking advice upon the possibility of carrying it out, but the conditions of working a main-line traffic would differ very considerably from those obtaining in a suburban service, so that much consideration would be necessary before any definite decision could be arrived at. 

We might add here that the rumoured electrification of the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway seems to be improbable, in view of the proposed purchase of the line by the Midland Company.

 

 

Extracted and adapted from

A.S.L.E.F. Organising Secretary W. Warwick's report

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

SEPTEMBER 1911

page 432

 

I had to leave for home the same evening, in order to be able to attend an open meeting at Battersea on Monday (17th June) morning. This meeting was called  to deal with the new eyesight test lately introduced both by the London, Brighton, and South Coast and the South-East and Chatham Railways, the men belonging to the latter being most in evidence, for the simple reason, I take it, that the test had been brought into operation mostly on that line and several of the men had been taken from the footplate. It is ever so with the locomotive-man; he persuades himself that everything is as right as right can be, until he sees his comrades tailing around him ; then, and only then, does he wake up to a sense of his position and begin to move. Several cases were brought to my notice where men had been taken off, who, for all practical purposes, were as good as they were ten years ago, but because they failed at the faddist test they had been reduced and degraded. Some had obtained doctors' certificates to the effect that their sight was good, and these were being considered by the powers that be. At present it is difficult to see what the result will be, but from what I could see and hear, it will depend to a great extent upon how many the companies find they can dispose of without running themselves short of men to carry on the work. It was whispered that the men were going down in batches, and for the reason above mentioned the companies were beginning to stay their hand. But what a reflection on the intelligence of our footplate men not to be prepared to deal with matters of this description. If organized in their own Society (as it ought to be considered a duty and privilege to be) they would have to be consulted before such obnoxious things were introduced or made a condition of service, instead of which they are simply made battledore and shuttlecocks of between the companies and Board of Trade. When the slaughter commences, there is usually a little stir; the officials are waited on and they at once assume a serious countenance and say how sorry they are, but it's the Board of Trade; an interview is then arranged with that body, which tells us its members must be satisfied that the men in charge of our locomotives have proper eyesight, but, at the same time, it has not suggested any particular test to the companies; and so, men who have spent a lifetime to attain to their position and are rendering untold service both to employers and public, are practically being fooled ; nay, worse, for their only means of livelihood is being taken away with impunity; and the irony of it all is, the very men who are being thus dealt with are standing idly by and trusting to blind chance, instead of getting inside their organization which could and would help them. And so we are driven to the conclusion the fault is not all with the companies, or the Board of Trade, but with ourselves, who refuse to make use of the only means whereby we can save ourselves.

 

 STORIES FROM THE SHOVEL

extracted from RTCS book on locomotives of the LBSCR


On the evening of 11th March, 1911, when Driver McKay (New Cross) was in charge of a "I3 Class", No. 80, was in charge of the 10.25 p.m. London Bridge - Brighton express ran out of water just South of Burgess Hill. After coming to a stop, Driver McKay was so furious with his Fireman for failing to fill the tanks before leaving New Cross that he threatened him with a coal hammer  and was instrumental in the latter  stepping so rapidly off the footplate that he slipped and was severely concussed. Whatever the rights or the wrongs of the matter, both men were later fined and relegated to goods duties.

Whilst on shed duties at New Cross on the night of 17th May, 1914, Driver McKay failed to notice that his fireman had turned him into the wrong shed road. At the time, new inspection pits were being built, and in the darkness his engine "I1 Class" No. 33, crashed through the wooden protection barrier into the gaping hole. Much trouble was met re-railing this rather large tank engines in the confines of the shed.

 

SEE SEPARATE PAGE  FOR THE 1911 RAILWAY STRIKE

 

 

 

O.J. Morris Collection

Brighton 'Trails enginemen' at Littlehampton shed, September 1911,

with two Atlantic Classes H1 No. 38 ’Portland Bill’ & H2 423 'The Needles.'

 

 LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

page 74

February 1912

BRIGHTON BRANCH

 

The annual meeting of the above branch which was held on Sunday, December 3rd, 1911, when, with a few exceptions, the officers of the past year were re-elected. A vote of thanks was given to the returning officers for the manner in which they had performed their duties. We are maintaining our membership, with plenty of promises for the New Year. We are looking forward to having the new Conciliation machinery in working order, so that we can have a representative deputation to meet our officials at stated periods, to discuss our business, as has been arranged.

------------

A meeting was held, on December 22nd last, to present Brother Miller with the Benevolent Fund grant of £38, through his failing to pass the eyesight test. Brother J. Smith, in making the presentation on behalf of the branch, said that he was pleased that Brother Miller had had the foresight to be prepared for the misfortune with which he had met, and  hoped he would be successful in his new sphere of life. Brother Miller, in thanking the members, said that he was pleased that the Society was in a position to provide for the members when they met with misfortune, as he had and he advised the member to take advantage of and join the Benevolent Fund.

BRANCH SECRETARY

 

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

page 94

FEBRUARY 1912

BRIGHTON BRANCH

 

Sir, Kindly permit me to thank the members for the grant of £38 from the Benevolent Fund. I have subscribed regularly during my period of employment, which was unfortunately terminated by failure to pass the eyesight test. I would like to take this opportunity of trying to persuade all employees to join this fund, because they never know when they may require its benefits.

Your faithfully,

W. Miller  

 

 

Extracted and adapted from

A.S.L.E.F. Organising Secretary W. Warwick's report

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

APRIL 1912

page 171

The following week I visited Brighton re the ridiculous position of the locomotive-men on that company's line who are in a deadlock on the Conciliation Board. I have been attending to this matter on a few occasions since, and at the time of writing have got as far as issuing petition forms for a re-election under certain clauses in the new Conciliation Agreement as a result of the Royal Commission, and it only remains to be seen what steps the men will take to free themselves from the position as mentioned above. In my next I hope to be able to report progress.

 

 

Extracted and adapted from

A.S.L.E.F. Organising Secretary W. Warwick's report

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

MAY 1912

page 212

I am sorry this report must of necessity be shorter than usual as the fiend influenza has had me in its grip, and has not yet quite release its hold. I am sorry I cannot go as far as I should like re the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway locomotive-men and their dead-lock on the conciliation board; however, progress is the order of the day, as it has been decided to have a re-election, and it remains to be seen what the men will do now they have their hands free from other grades, and will be able to decide the matter as locomotive-men. Several attempts have been made to draw the red! herring, of working together, across the path, but at present the position is four and four. If the men will be true to themselves and their society in there-election it ought to be six to two at least. If it should be so, the dead-lock will be removed, but what difference that will make to working together I cannot understand, unless, it is to be a  question of society rather than the uplifting of the men. Surely we have, as an intelligent body of men, got a stage further than; that. However, it remains to be seen what will be the result, as the re-election has not yet taken place, only a conference or two held for the purpose of preparing a suitable programme for presentation, when the opportune time arrives.

 

 

 

SPREADING THE WORD

OF UNITY


On the 16th June, 1912, a delegation of ASLEF members from the Brighton Branch which include Bros. Thomas W. Hatcher (Branch Chairman), Jack Enves (Branch Secretary), F. Smith, J. Smith, Harry Funnell, F. Wilson, Freddie Queen, Albert Pope, G. Thomas, T. Leaney, T. Burtenshaw and Fred Christmas accompanied Mr W. Warwick, ASLEF District Organiser and travelled the short distance to Newhaven, with the intention to encourage the loco-men at Newhaven into forming their own Branch of A.S.L.E.F. The delegation was also accompanied by Bros A. E. Marshall from Eastbourne Branch and Albert (A.E.) Harrison from Battersea Branch (Branch Secretary). A special meeting was arranged to be held at the Co-operative Hall with several Newhaven loco-men in attendance. 

Below is the extract of the minutes from that meeting, which have been taken from the Newhaven Branch Minutes Book.

Bro Jack Enves in a few remarks stated that an effort was made twelve months ago to open to open a branch at Newhaven but it was not successful.  As it was understood that several of the Newhaven men were now unanimous to join our ‘Society’ the present meeting was called to enable the loco-men to form a branch of the ‘Associated Society’ or join a convenient branch. It was pointed out that we had branches at all the depots in the Southern District namely St Leonards, Eastbourne, Brighton & Fratton, and the men of Bognor, Midhurst and Littlehampton with exceptions were members of the Horsham Branch but that see correspondence at each of their depots.

Bro. Albert Harrison stated that from the experience of his serving the last twelve months in working with the A.S.R.S. he had come to the conclusion that the loco-men cannot get their business satisfactorily endorsed in a branch room consisting of all grades as it is very difficult to get our men together owing to our irregular hours it is best manage our own business by locomotive men only.

Bro. A. Marshall stated that from his experience of the Coastal Depots where loco-men had but two representatives out of eight he was of the opinion that loco-men must manage their own business through their own organisation. He also pleaded with the men at Newhaven to use this influence to get the four ‘Associated’ candidates for the Southern District returned at the forthcoming Conciliation Board elections.

Mr. Warwick in a long and interesting address hoped the men at Newhaven would see their way clear to form a branch of our Society. He did not go there to ask them to assist us to form or build up our Society as we were now 24,000 strong with £ 188.000 at our disposal.

We were asking for but 1/- entrance fee when he joined the Society they paid anything up to 10/- and did not know whether the Society would be a success or not. A man joining now practically knew that he was joining a strong and financially sound organisation.

Bro. Thomas Hatcher thanked the speakers on behalf of the meeting for their remarks and appealed for new members. But hoped they would elect a Chairman and Secretary so could manage their own business.

Several Newhaven men responded by joining with promises from several men who were unable to attend. 

It was agreed to form a Newhaven Branch, and to elect their own Chairman and Secretary. 

 

Extracted and adapted from

A.S.L.E.F. Organising Secretary W. Warwick's report

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

September 1912

page 409

 

(July) After returning from March I attended a delegate meeting of London, Brighton and South Coast Railway locomotive-men at Brighton, called for the purpose of  drafting a programme. Our National Programme was taken as a basis, and after it was drawn up the secretary was instructed as to its presentation. Up to the time of writing this has not been carried out, so consequently it remains to be seen how the locomotive-men will succeed on that company. Should the deputation fail, the new conciliation board, now in course of election, will be ready to take the matter in hand. 

 

 

Extracted and adapted from

A.S.L.E.F. Organising Secretary W. Warwick's report

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

October 1912

page 459

After returning from Lowestoft, as per my last notes, I was called to attend a Board of Trade inquiry at Brighton. In this case a foreman shunter, while walking up the yard in front of an engine and empty coaches, of which he was in charge, got so close to the rail that the engine pushed him down, causing slight injury. Our members were not held responsible or in any way to blame.

From Ipswich I travelled to Brighton, to attend a delegate meeting at which final arrangements were made for presenting their Programme, and by the time this appears I expect something will be known as to whether the delegates will be able to settle or whether the Conciliation Board will be called in to deal with the matter. A re-election of the above has lately taken place, and the position has been improved from a deadlock of four from each Society to six A.S.L.E. & F. and two A.S.R.S. The Brighton locomotive-men have hitherto held a favourable position with regard to conditions of service, but have of late been left somewhat behind by other companies' men, who have already made use of the new machinery set up for the purpose of dealing with hours and wages and conditions of service. However, the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway men have now again put their hand to the plough and do not intend to look back until they have fetched up the leeway.

 

Minutes of the Open Meeting

Held at the Co-Operative Hall, Newhaven,

Sunday December 1st 1912

 

When a good muster was present to hear the report of Bros. Jack Enves (Brighton) & Smith of the recent Concessions granted by the Directors.

Proposed by Bro. F. Smith and Seconded by C. Barrow (Newhaven), 'That Mr Warwick be chairman' Carried.

Mr Warwick (A.S.L.E.F. District Organiser) in a few remarks said no doubt the men knew what had been granted and gave a brief outline how the concessions were brought about and said he would not take up the the time was a lot to be said he would ask Bro. Jack Enves to give his report.

Bro. Jack Enves dealt with some length reading the correspondence that had passed between the Deputation and the Officials and then gave his report of the meeting with the Board of Directors and said they were meeting Mr. Billinton to discuss asking points that they were not satisfied with with re:- 8/- for Drivers, 4/9 for Firemen and holidays for Passed Cleaners, also passes for Firemen.

Bro. Smith said he did not think he could say any more than Bro. Jack Enves had said but he felt confident that when they went next time they would get a weeks holidays and thanked all present for their support and hoped they do the same next time as they need not be afraid as the officials did not look at the signatures.

Mr. Warwick then made a few remarks with regards to the concessions of other railways and said the Company worked on a basis one with another and said he did not think the Company had given much away as his opinion was that the Loco - Men were the back bone of the Company and urged all men to belong to their own Organisation, then they could demand what they wanted several questions were then asked and answered in a most able manner by the Chairman and he said he hoped he hoped he would be able to come and see them again, this brought to a close a very successful meeting when Bro. Fred Wilmshurst (Newhaven) proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman seconded by A. Pearce (Newhaven).

Mr. Warwick replied and proposed a vote of thanks to Bros. Enves & Smith seconded by G. Wise. Bros. Jack Enves & Smith replied.

Extracted from

the Newhaven

ASLEF

Branch Books 

See W. Warwick's Locomotive Journal Report below

 

 

Extracted and adapted from

A.S.L.E.F. Organising Secretary W. Warwick's report

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

FEBRUARY 1913

page 64

Arriving home on the Monday I found awaiting me a request to attend a delegate meeting of London, Brighton and South Coast Railway locomotive-men, at Brighton, the following day. I attended to this and found these men had been successful in obtaining some slight improvements in their conditions of service at the hands of the directors, but there was still one or two matters left over to be dealt with by and through the locomotive superintendent. Various matters were discussed and arrangements made for future action with an open door.

 

 

Extracted and adapted from

A.S.L.E.F. Organising Secretary W. Warwick's report

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

FEBRUARY 1913

page 64

The following morning, Sunday 1st December 1912, I was a stir be times in order to leave for Newhaven, where an open meeting was called in the afternoon to hear reports from two delegates, who, with others, had waited on the directors of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway. The concessions granted compare favourably with what have been granted by other companies, but the question is : what have we to compare with ? On the strength of the promise by the Government after August, 1911, that they would be allowed to recoup themselves from the pockets of the public for concessions granted, the railway companies have doled out a few meagre improvements, amounting in some instances to one shilling per week, or two pence per day—just on a par with what any shopkeeper would think of offering his errand boy—an insult to a body of men like the footplate and motormen of this country. Then each railway company has been very careful not to out-do the others in these extravagant concessions, or do anything which could in any way be construed into a precedent, at the same time taking care to so jumble up conditions, wages, &c, that no two companies' men are receiving anything like the same remuneration for the same services performed. Of course, the astute official knows this gives him a fine trump card up his sleeve, so to speak, and while the men are content to approach them as .particular companies they can always ring the changes on that card by asking the very innocent question: "What other company's men are there that are better paid than you are ? " But to come back to the Newhaven meeting. I took the chair, and the delegates gave their report, which, as before said, was satisfactory by comparison. But there was one or two present who soon made it clear by their questions that with them it was not a question of whether the new conditions were satisfactory or not; they were present to show their disapproval of the manner in which they had been obtained, viz., by and through members of the Associated Society. Needless to say, these were the men who had pinned their faith to an all-grade society. As chairman, I did not attempt to stifle discussion, but allowed all the latitude possible, using both argument and diplomacy to try and get at the why and wherefore. But I found these men at Newhaven were not a bit more intelligent on these matters than others I have met; and so I failed to get anything more from them than the fact that they couldn't leave the shed unless the signalman turned the points, and they couldn't shunt the train unless there was a shunter present. I have been wondering ever since what that had to do with the concessions and the way they were obtained. However, I am pleased to say there are only one or two at Newhaven whose education has been neglected, and I hope the little branch I have opened there will soon bring them up-to-date.

 

 

STORIES FROM THE SHOVEL

NOT THE GREATEST OF PRANKS!!

From RTCS book on locomotives of the LBSCR

Brighton Driver Ferguson and his young Fireman, Harry Williams, were not on the best of terms and apparently had not spoken to each other for some days. Things come to ahead on the 2nd December, 1913, when they were working on their engine, No.373 Billinghurst. They were working empty stock from Brighton to Hastings for transfer to the South Eastern & Chatham Railway. Ferguson was near retiring age and had recently had been removed from the top link at Brighton because of failing health, so it was not surprising that a much younger man with a plenty of energy and new ideas roused his anger and dislike. The sidings at Brighton were left at 9.47 p.m. with a train of thirteen S.E. & C.R. six-wheelers and a bogie brake van, and Lewes was reached in due course, where water was taken during the stay of over an hour awaiting the arrival of a horse box. it was, therefore, 11.32 p.m. before the journey recommenced and Ferguson was feeling the strain of a long spell on the footplate for he had signed on for light duties at 2.10 p.m. by Glynde he had dozed off leaning against the cab side and noticing this at once, Williams decided to have his own back by playing a trick on his unsuspecting partner. So opening the doors on his side of the cab, he placed his cap, sweat rag and shovel on the floor boards to suggest he had in advertenly fallen overboard. Next he clambered along the running plate, round the smokebox and back to Ferguson’s side of the engine where he tapped the lookout window until the old driver awoke with a start. Looking round and finding the footplate untenanted, he immediately jumped to the expected conclusion and applied the brakes, but in his dazed state forgot that the train was vacuum fitted and panicked when the speed was not immediately reduced. So, not realizing his error, he whistled the guard for an emergency stop and reversed the engine which brought the train to such a ragged stop that the couplings between the 5th and 6th coaches parted. After a hurried consultation, the guard ran to protect the rear of the train with detonators while Ferguson walked the half a mile to Polegate signal box for help and Williams crept away from the engine to hide in a ditch until it was clear for a dash back along the track to where he could lie down and pretend to be injured. As soon as the guard had retreated to his van Williams made haste through the line side fields until he calculated it was safe to return to the track. Unfortunately his luck was out for a local poacher was on the run and as he passed Williams he thrust a brace of pheasants into his arms before disappearing into the darkness, where he froze in some bushes leaving Williams to crash around in confusion until gathered up by three keepers and marched him off to the police station. Back at the train, assistance eventually arrived and the carriages were stabled for the night at Polegate, but the mystery of the missing fireman was only solved in the morning in the magistrate courts. Williams was acquitted with a servere warning only to find the company awaiting a full explanation of his conduct the previous evening. The truth could not be hidden and once the whole story was unraveled, Ferguson was placed on the retired list as being unfit for engine driving, while Williams was dismissed the company services.

Some years later the Isle of Wight central railway advertised for staff and Williams was accepted as Fireman. Time must have rung the changes for he was quickly promoted driver and then shed foreman at Newport before being called to the colours in early 1917. He survived hostilities and entered the southern railway at grouping to become shed foreman at Dorchester and later Salisbury before retiring as an inspector in the second world war.

 

NEW TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR 

DRIVERS, FIREMEN & CLEANERS

 

On the 7th May, 1913 there was a meeting between the Chairman, General Manager, Locomotive Engineer and drivers Jack Enves and G.R. Pullen (New Cross) and fireman Albert Harrison (Battersea) regarding the interpretation of the agreement of the 16th October 1912. The following month it was agreed representatives of firelighters and washer-out should sit on the Conciliation Board, and the first election were confirmed at the start of November.

In June 1913, in view of a concession already made by other companies, it was ordered that, from and after the issue of new clothes in November,

'the men to whom the issue is made be not require to return the uniform clothes then in their possession except the badges thereon and the uniform caps, but that men who leave the service shall return forthwith the uniform clothes and caps then in use.'

On the 28 October 1913 Billinton met with representatives of the skilled and unskilled section of the workforce. The general request was for a rise; there had been no increase in 20 odd years, Billinton was willing to agree,

'to a certain extent that the cost of living has increased, but a material increase in the money in your pockets has been brought about through piecework, a 25 per cent increase between 1891 and 1913. When you review theses facts you will see that you have already have what you have asked for. Except for 'London Rates' we are higher than any other railway in England.'

The deputation looked upon the cost of living in Brighton as being equally as high as in London. Billinton's response was that the Unions decided some years ago that the London Rates should be higher than in other places.

Extracted from the book

Lawson Billinton: A Career Cut Short

By Klaus Marx 

 

 

  PHIL PLAINE COLLECTION 

 

  PHIL PLAINE COLLECTION 

 

 ROUTE KNOWLEDGE AT BRIGHTON

 

In 1912, enginemen on the L.B.S.C.R. were still working a 10 hour day which very often stretched out to 12 hours or more, and in most cases each driver had his own engine exclusively to himself. Hence for the 126 engines shedded at Brighton at this time there were corresponding number of drivers, fireman and cleaners, in September 1919 the number of enginemen at Brighton loco shed, were approximately 400 in total: 112 drivers, 3 loco yard pilots, 161 firemen and 165 cleaners. Of these, the firemen included some who were passed for driving; and many of the cleaners were already approved for firing duties.

Brighton enginemen during this time were working over all the L.B.S.C.R. lines, with the exception of the Hayling Island Branch and the East London Lines. Brighton men would work turns known as 'Doubles' & 'Rounders' ,  a 'Double' would involved working two return trips to London and being in excess of 200 miles and  a 'Rounder' would involved working a train from Brighton - London - Portsmouth - Brighton or vice versa, and was slightly less than 200 miles. This type of work was synonymous with the 10 hour day that was being worked at this period of time and each driver having his own engine: these turns comes to end in 1919 when the introduction of the 8 hour day introduced and the engines were share between to drivers.

Extracted from the book

Yesterday Once More

By Fred Rich

 

* the 'Doubles' and 'Rounders' would be worked with the introduction of the full electrification of the Brighton lines in 1938. 

 

 Above L.B.S.C.R Locomotive workings for October 1912

 

 

 

 LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

APRIL1913

 

page 182

 

BRIGHTON BRANCH


The members of the above held their second annual dinner at the Springfield Hotel, Brighton, on Saturday, February 15th, Brother H. Funnell, chairman of the branch, being in the chair. Every credit is due to our host for the excellent spread, which all present thoroughly enjoyed. The usual toasts were proposed: "The King" by the chairman, "TheLondonBrighton and South Coast Railway," by Brother Payne, of Horsham, "The A.S.L.E. & F.," by our E.C. member, Mr Stevenson, and seconded by the branch secretary. It was pointed out that the the branch came of age on *August 21st 1891. An excellent list of songs was given  by the members, as well as an especially good turn by our wizard, Brother G. Dance. Apologies were received from Mr. Warwick and the LondonBrighton and South Coast Railway delegates, who were unavoidably absent. As our E. C. member had to leave to catch his train, Brother Payne was invited to present Brother T. Hatcher with the Executive Committee's medallion for proposing seventy-two new members during 1912. brother T. Hatcher suitably responded, and trusted that every endeavour would be made to enable Brother H. Funnell to be presented with a medallion at the next annual dinner.

 

BRANCH SECRETARY

  *25th August 1891

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

APRIL 1913

page 190

BRIGHTON BRANCH

 

Sir - It is with deep regret that I inform your readers of the death of one of our cleaner members, Brother F. Lower, who passed away at the Sussex County Hospital on January 29th last. His death was the result of being crushed between two engines in the running shed. The interment took place at the Preston Cemetery, when a large number of his fellow enginemen attended. The outdoor locomotive superintendent was represent while the shed foreman was present. a beautiful artificial wreath was sent from the members of the branch. Our deepest sympathy is with the mother and family.

BRANCH SECRETARY

 

* W. Warwick's report below

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL APRIL 1913

page 162

Extracted and adapted from

A.S.L.E.F. Organising Secretary W. Warwick's report

 

The next day (Thursday 30th January) I was called to Brighton to attend an inquest on one of our cleaner members (F. Lower) who had met with a fatal accident in the  locomotive shed at that place In this case no one saw exactly how it occurred, but it was conjectured that he had attempted to do a good turn in assisting to couple up a tender, and had got pinched The verdict was “accidental death" A distressing feature of the case was the fact that our brother was to some extent the support of his mother, while a redeeming feature was the fact that he was a  member of our Society, and the matter for compensation for the mother was at once placed in the hands of a solicitor, who is carrying it through on her behalf.

The following day (Monday 10th February) I attended at London Bridge with the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway delegation, which was seeking an interview with the general manager re an important matter affecting the whole of the firemen on that line ; the whole matter turned out very satisfactorily, an interview being granted to your humble as well as the delegation In the end, an order which had been issued increasing the work and responsibility of the firemen was withdrawn The same evening I attended an open meeting at Battersea, at which reports were given and an address by myself

The next day (Tuesday 11th February) I attended a Board of Trade inquiry at Wimbledon, and also a delegate meeting at Brighton. The inquiry was as to the cause of injury to a shunter In this case again our men came out without blame. 

 

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL MAY 1913

page 218

Extracted from A.S.L.E.F. Organising Secretary W. Warwick’s report


On the Saturday (15th February) I received a wire asking me to attend an inquest at West Worthing, near Brighton. On arriving at that place I found it was being held at Goring-on-Sea, a station further on; however, I managed to get there, and found it to be a case where a member of our Brighton Branch had, unfortunately, run over a young man at an occupation crossing ; it was a somewhat mysterious case, and after going throughly into the evidence produced the jury returned a verdict of suicide.

The following day (Wednesday 19th February) I attended a Board of Trade inquiry at Brighton re a fatal accident to one of our cleaner members mentioned in my last report; Mr. Main conducted the same, and although he could attach no blame to the men concerned, he was not quite satisfied that the instructions for shed shunting had been properly carried out. Here let me again call the attention of our members to the fact that these instructions are, or should be posted in every shed, and are very explicit; also that the Board of Trade is very particular as to the carding out of same, and therefore our men would be well advised to carry them out to the letter, regardless of the time taken, as it is to these instructions the officials and the Board of Trade Inspectors refer when anything occurs.

Sunday (2nd March) visited Brighton with a view to attending the branch meeting, where some important business was transacted. During the week I attended at London Bridge to assist the locomotive delegation of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway.

During the same week (weekend Sat 22.3.13) I visited London Bridge and New Cross for the purpose of making inquiries re an accident at the locomotive shed at Brighton.

 

JUNE 1913

page 263

 

I am pleased to say that the accident which happened at the locomotive shed at Brighton, and which I mentioned at the close of my report last month, did not terminate fatally, as was at first reported, and so far I have not been called upon to take any further action in the matter.

AUGUST 1913

page 370

The following Saturday (24th May) I should have left for Peterborough, but our Brighton secretary wired me " Hold yourself in readiness to attend inquest " On receipt of this I decided not to leave until Sunday (25th May), and before leaving I received a further wire to the effect that the inquest would be held at Streatham on the Monday (26th May) at noon.

On returning to King's Cross (Monday 26th May), I at once made for London Bridge, in order to reach Streatham in time to attend the inquest mentioned above. In this case a painter's labourer engaged in painting a bridge left his work to get a drink of tea, and in doing so lost his life, being knocked down. Our members never saw the poor fellow before the accident, and so at the inquest and the Board of Trade inquiry, which I have since attended, the question turned on the look-out man, the irony of the whole thing being that the poor fellow who was killed was supposed to be, at the time, acting as look-out man for the safety of the others. The verdict was " accidental death." My next move was to Brighton, for a Board of Trade inquiry and delegate meeting the same day. I attended the Board of Trade inquiry first. In this case, a labourer engaged in emptying an ash-pit was very severely injured, in fact it was at first reported that he was dead, but he survived. At the inquiry, our member admitted that his attention had been called to these men in the pit, but after standing there some time, he forgot the circumstance and moved his engine without ascertaining they were clear, a perfectly reasonable thing when we remember the hundred and one things an engineman has to think about these days. Mr. Main was the inspecting officer and had something to say on the matter of proper protection for these men, as it appeared, up to then, no protection had been afforded, other than looking out for themselves. The delegate meeting was held for the purpose of dealing with the latest phase of the electric question, about which there has been a lot of shuffling, twisting of words, sentences, &c, but I think the men are now on the right track to bring this much-discussed and vexed question to a satisfactory issue, and I hope to be able to report, in my next, that the locomotive-men have obtained for themselves exclusively the positions of motor-men—which is their just due.


SEPTEMBER 1913

page 413

 

I returned home next day, and again visited the Law Courts, but finding our case was still a little way down the list, I went on to Battersea, transacted some business there, and returned in time to hear the argument for and against the company's liability following day I attended two open meetings at Battersea, and also visited Guy's Hospital with the intention of seeing a member of our Slades Green Branch, but was very pleased to find that he had left for a convalescent home. The two meetings mentioned were for the purpose of fully and finally explaining the position re the electric question, before asking the men to sign a petition asking for a further interview with the directors, and at the same time giving the delegates power to see the matter through on behalf of all the locomotivemen on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, I then attended a Board of Trade inquiry at Streatham Common re a fatal accident to a painter's labourer. I explained this case in my last notes after attending the inquest. Mr. Armytage was the inspecting officer and his inquiry was directed chiefly to the question of a look-out man. The foreman painter said he was acting as look-out man while on the job, and when going away he left the poor fellow who had met his death in that important position. When Mr. Armytage questioned this foreman as to his knowledge of signals it transpired he did not know the front from the back, or the " distant" from the " home "; but that is a matter for the Board of Trade and the company. Our men were in no way to blame.

The following day, Sunday, I attended and addressed open meetings at Horsham and Brighton, both being fairly well attended. The meeting at Horsham was in the morning and a few of our brothers accompanied me from that place to- Brighton. In this, as in many other cases, I put in a fourteen hour day. However, as I believe some good was achieved at both places I feel compensated.

 

GRAHAM FINLEY COLLECTION 

Brighton Driver Harry “The Captain” Finley, with his son Reginal Albert Taylor.

 

 UNIVERSAL SENIORITY

 

Engine driver Eaves who had been reduced to the lowest driving rate for any firing work, met Locomotive Superintendent Lawson Billinton on the 17th October 1915. Driver Eaves pointed out that as there were vacancies above him to fill up, Driver Eaves felt that he ought to be considered to fill such vacancies. Billinton had already sent out a letter on the subject of  having a 'Universal Seniority', but the loco men in the Southern District did not want a 'Universal Seniority'. Billinton confirmed there would be no higher rate while there were vacancies.

Extracted from the book

Lawson Billinton: A Career Cut Short

 By Klaus Marx

 

 

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL APRIL 1913

page 162

Extracted from A.S.L.E.F. Organising Secretary W. Warwick's report

 

The next day (Thursday 30th January) I was called to Brighton to attend an inquest on one of our cleaner members who had met with a fatal accident in the  locomotive shed at that place In this case no one saw exactly how it occurred, but it was conjectured that he had attempted to do a good turn in assisting to couple up a tender, and had got pinched The verdict was “accidental death" A distressing feature of the case was the fact that our brother was to some extent the support of his mother, while a redeeming feature was the fact that he was a  member of our Society, and the matter for compensation for the mother was at once placed in the hands of a solicitor, who is carrying it through on her behalf.

The following day (Monday 10th February) I attended at London Bridge with the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway delegation, which was seeking an interview with the general manager re an important matter affecting the whole of the firemen on that line ; the whole matter turned out very satisfactorily, an interview being granted to your humble as well as the delegation In the end, an order which had been issued increasing the work and responsibility of the firemen was withdrawn The same evening I attended an open meeting at Battersea, at which reports were given and an address by myself

The next day (Tuesday 11th February) I attended a Board of Trade inquiry at Wimbledon, and also a delegate meeting at Brighton. The inquiry was as to the cause of injury to a shunter In this case again our men came out without blame.

 

GRAHAM FINLEY COLLECTION

The Brighton Loco Football team 1918 - 19

Frederick William Finley (Goal keeper) 

 


LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL AUGUST 1913

A.S.L.E. & F . POLITICAL FUND.

Trade Union Act (1913).

This is to give notice to all members of candidate for any of the afore-mentioned the A.S.L.E. & F., that Ballot Papers positions. The Ballot Papers will be sent will shortly be issued to each member of the Society, upon which they can record their vote either for or against the establishment of a Political Fund in connection with this Society. The Political Fund referred to is for the purpose of the payment of any expenses incurred in furthering the candidature of any pros-pective Member of Parliament adopted by this Society, or for the payment of them so that the printed address will be any expenses in connection with the election of a candidate for any other public office, or for the holding of any political meeting, or for the distribution of political literature or documents in the furtherance of the election of any selected plainly visible, and post the same to the Head Office on or before September 30th, 1913.

GEO. WRIDE, President, 

A. FOX, General Secretary,

Per G.M. 

 

 GRAHAM FINLEY COLLECTION

Brighton Driver Harry “The Captain” Finley, with Horace Raymond Taylor

 

 

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