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F. STEVENSON 1930 -1933

(Footplate Seniority 20.06.1900)


 In 1923 the London Brighton and South Coast Railway along with the other two railway companies serving the south of England, The London and South Western and the South Eastern and Chatham were amalgamated under the 1921 Grouping Act to form the Southern Railway.

Its new Chairman was Sir Herbert Walker and one of his first undertakings was to modernise the network and part of this involved electrification of the suburban system around London and also electrification of the countries first main line between London and Brighton.

Work commenced in stages between Coulsdon North (the furthest point of the suburban system) and Three Bridges being completed on 17th July 1932 and finally on to Brighton ready for the full commencement of electric services on 1st January 1933  

The London to Brighton electrification brought many redundancies amongst the grades within the Brighton locomotive department, locomotive yard workers and signal-men. The attitude amongst loco-men had changed as they saw electrification take away the certainty they had that Enginemen would always be needed to drive steam engines and that becoming a Motorman did not have the same “prestige” as being an Enginemen. The passion and pride that they once had for their craft was slowly diminishing and this become noticeable in their pride for their locomotives. Loco-men now began to see their livelihoods under threat. This was a scene that was repeated across the network as electrification slowly spread out to various points through out the company With the electrification of the railway line to Brighton and West Worthing in 1932 by the then Southern Railway there was a need to open two new Motormen Depots at Brighton and West Worthing .This being the furthest point of electrification along the West Coast from Brighton at the time. 

The reason for this was because a Steam Engine Driver (Engineman) and an Electric Multiple Unit Driver (Motorman) were separate Grades on the Southern Railway and then the Southern Region of British Railways until 1961.

Many Enginemen transferred into the new Motormen’s depots because of the job security that was on offer. The loco hauled passenger traffic was slowly being replaced by new faster electric trains, this was enabling the Southern Railway to offer a more frequent, reliable and a standard timetabled train service. Some towns receiving an hourly service during the day rather than a hand full of trains as before.

Many of the junior Enginemen also faced little choice other than to take up this move otherwise they could well be faced with the prospect of being made surplus to requirements. Some Passed Men (a grade of Senior Fireman who had also been passed as an Enginemen when required) also saw this as their opportunity to get promoted into the Motorman’s grade and higher wages, rather than waiting many years to gain promotion to an Engineman’s  position. This being because Passed Men were only paid an Enginemen’s rate of pay when they were required to undertake Enginemen’s duties. As a Motorman they would always be paid the higher rate and also guaranteeing them a 50% ratio of Sunday working.

Although all Motormen had originally progressed from Enginemen and Firemen before transferring to Motormen’s Depots and some Steam Depots including Brighton had “Dual Links” where certain Enginemen worked both Steam and Electric Multiple Unit Trains. At all Motormen’s depots there where only diagrammed running work with no spare capacity to cover for leave or sickness. This worked was to be covered by the dual link drivers. At Brighton once an Enginemen had opted to go into this link, this meant that he would eventually to transfer into the Motormen’s depot on a permanent basis at either Brighton or West WorthingAs being a Motorman was a separate Grade to an Engineman there was no arrangement that would allow Motormen to transfer back into the Engineman grade and therefore he was to remain being a Motorman for the rest of his working life. With the end of the Motormen’s grade in 1961 any Engineman who had been appointed to the position of Motorman would be protected under an agreement known as L211 Men. This gave the Motorman the protection that they not to have to work on any other form of traction unless they decided to choose otherwise. This agreement played a major apart in later years at Brighton with the amalgamation of both the E.M.U.T. and Mixed Traction depots.

Below features the events leading up to electrification of the Brighton Main Line from a A.S.L.E.F. prospective.   





I am pleased to report we are still making progress, although we have had a set back through a mistake made in 1927, and which we were hoping would be right after our General Secretary’s recent visit. However, I hope that all members will look into this matter from a Trade Unionist point of view, and help our Secretary and all to get on with the job. I am hoping to see this depot in 1930 being 100 per cent. Trade Unionist.

For the L.D.C. Election for 1930, three of our members and one N.U.R. being nominated, it is pleasing to see Bro. J. Galyer (late of Coulsdon) nominated as one of ours. He is also a worker in Brighton for the Labour Party, although he has not been here long.

The sympathy of our branch is with Bro. C. Scutt (Ribser), who was to retire in November, but who has misfortune to fall back and break his thigh while off duty a week or so before he took his pension, and we wish him a speedy recovery. I believe him to be the oldest A.S.L.E. & F. member here at the time of his accident. We are now looking forward to our Annual Xmas Children’s Treat, which takes place on January 7th, the joint branches again assisting. We look for a great success again this year. A Happy New Year to all who help themselves.


A scene at the nearby Lancing Carriage & Wagon Work shops, where rolling stock for the world's largest electrified suburban system was manufactured. With the steady increase of the frequent electric services, carriages and motor vehicles have constantly to be supplemented.





I am pleased to report that progress is still being made here. We had 12 new members at our last meeting on January 4th, and it is very pleasing to see what fine attendances we are getting at our branch meetings. This being the Jubilee Year of our organisation we should all do our best by strengthening our membership and roping in all the “nons” to make this a record year of our branch. I think if we had a system, one member after one “non,” we should be very successful, and so build up the branch.

This branch agrees with the E. C. decision re Fireman Evans, of Saltley, case. We were very interested in this case as, just recently, we have had a passed Fireman returned from abroad. He was a man who did not find favour with the men when he was here, and he has been to and fro to the office of late. We are of the opinion that the Sectional Councils are not carrying out the work in the way they should or as we expect them to. In dealing with the work of Sectional Council we at Brighton have complaints to make regarding the way transferring of passed cleaners is carried out. We have suffered in this respect as much as any depot on the Southern (we have had at least 80 of such transfers). Just recently we have had a dozen passed cleaners transferred, even though the depot is over-staffed and we have redundancy staring in the face through the development of electrification. Yet these transfers still come. Since the last transfers arrived our youngest six cleaners have been notified of depots to which they can transfer, with the only option if they do not accept they can go on the streets. What can they do? They get 7/- a day, are married, and some have families; they must go to one of the depots named or go on the streets as our other cleaners have had to do. We have protested time after time, to no purpose. We are, however, anticipating a visit from Bro, J. Long, secretary of Sectional Council No.2.

I am pleased to report our three candidates were returned for L.D.C., 1930, Bros. J. Galyer, A. Greene and A Clack. We held our annual Christmas treat on January 7th. 150 children and members of the Women’s Branch sat down to tea, and I am sure a most enjoyable time was spent. Bro. H. Beale was Father Christmas, and he gave every child toy. We had the assistance of a local dancing troupe, which was appreciated by all, the troupe consisting of 15 children dancers. They left a fine impression on all who watched their performance, and I am sure the children enjoyed it. The treat was arranged by the Joint Social Committees, and the ladies and their secretary Mrs. J. Andrews, deserve the highest praise for the part they carried out. The next function on the programme is our Annual Dinner; this was attended by 168 last year. I cannot say at present where it will be held this year, but it will be on Good Friday, April 18th, and we have the promise of our General Secretary attending with Mrs. Bromley. This being our Jubilee Year, we are fortunate in having Mr. Bromley with us. I should advise all out stations who wish to attend annual function to get in touch with Social Secretary A. Clack for any information they might require.

I should be pleased if all members of this branch would look at page 33 of last issue of Journal, and look at the photograph. I am sure it is a credit to the Grantham Branch. It is time something was done in this respect at Brighton, having in mind those who have gone in the past and how they treat their veterans in the traffic dept. it is time we gave our veterans a send off. One just gone, a trade unionist all his life, another is just about to take his pension. Don’t let them go as they gone in the past.








I have to report progress still being made, and a few new members last branch meeting. In my last report I referred to our retiring veterans not being sent off as they deserve. I stand by my remarks, but it fell like a bombshell in the depot, and personally I am pleased with the results with the results. I know Bro. W. Clark felt it very much, but what I want Bro. Clark to understand is that my remarks in the journal, regarding our veterans, us to assist him and his retiring and death fund (of which I am a member). What I want to see is all other enginemen at the depot members, so the fund will be able to give them all a parting they deserve. I understand 113 men subscribe to the fund, so that means 370 don’t. Now perhaps the meaning of my article will be understood as it should be. We want all men to assist by joining the fund.

We have had a visit from Bro. J. T. Long (Secretary, Sectional Council No.2). I am pleased to say he cleared the air regarding the transferring of spare cleaners to this depot, he also dealt with the Sectional Council’s circular, appendix “A". 

We are asking the company to arrange a series of educational classes at Brighton, dealing with the new rulebook, which will, no doubt be beneficial to all; no reply has yet been received, but I understand such classes are being arranged in other depot over the system. I trust that, if we are successful in getting these classes, all will take the opportunity and attend.

Our Annual Dinner will take place on Good Friday, April 18th, at the Old Ship Hotel; all wishing to attend please send their names in before April 5th.



 The naming ceremony of Maunsell’s Schools Class Locomotive No.319 ‘Brighton’  

(V Class) at Brighton Station in 1933





Recently I have been doing my best to contribute a few notes on what was going on at Brighton, and I am sure they have created a little interest in the Journal at the depot. One of the first matters I touched on was the local Death and Retiring fund, and my notes on that upset quite a few. Regarding the proposed Educational Class on the new Rule Book that we were asking the company to arrange, as they have done so at other depots, the members of the Improvement classes do not agree with the idea, therefore we shall not go any farther with this matter. (It’s a funny place is Brighton).

At the recent branch meeting a protest was made against Appendix A. (Sectional Council Minutes, May 15th and 16th) being put into operation, as it is a direct violation of the existing agreements, and this protest was sent to Sectional Council no.2, and to Head Office, and we are  waiting to hear the result. We have also got news of a meeting held on March 6th, where it was decided that all appointed fireman shall take preference for firing duties over senior cleaners, thus the position in this case is reversed. In my opinion this is going to cause great dissatisfaction, seeing that here, for example, we have redundant firemen with seniority of Nov. 19th, and cleaners with seniority of Sept. 18th, all working on spare work, senior cleaners taking first job, now vice versa. These appointed firemen came here 18 months ago from Eastbourne (and not through the list of vacancies) – they came here to take their turn with spare work. I am given to understand a movement is on foot to all cleaners up to the last appointed firemen. I do trust the position will be cleared up soon, because here we live on Seniority and Juniority.

I should like to impress on all the home depot men here that they should attend all branch meetings, we are getting some good attendances, but mostly transferred men. The home depot men would do better if they attend and I am sure there would be less grumbling.




After the first world war a large number of men returning from the war come onto the railway in about 1919. Many were very late passing for driving and one in particular Arthur Standing (28.04.1919) retired as a fireman and spent his final years on 1178 the P class tank (now on the Bluebell Railway) which at the time shunted Kingston Wharf.


This information curtsey of

retired Brighton Driver

Ted Janes







I am pleased to report progress is still being made, and I trust the “nons” who read this Journal will send their thanks to the leaders of the trade unions for the return of the 2 ½ per cent., and ask themselves if they can still allow their mates around them to keep their end up, while they enjoy the conditions that the railway companies made with trade unionists, and which they are pleased to enjoy.

We had our annual dinner on Good Friday and, being the Jubilee Year of the Society, it was quite fitting that our General Secretary and Mrs. Bromley were present. Mr. Bromley responded to the toast of the trade unions which was proposed by Mr. J. Enves. Our General Secretary was warmly greeted by all. He said, humorously, that he had brought his wife along because Brighton was one of those “backward areas” where a Labour M.P.  dare not show himself alone. He reminded us that we belonged to a body of industrial workmen who were the highest paid in the country. From John o’ Groats to Land’s End, enginemen were the only craft getting uniformed conditions. 

During the dinner, which was presided over by Driver H. Beall, presentations of smoking outfits and wallets of treasury notes were made by Mr. Bromley to four of our old veterans; Bros. H. Hollist, 53 years, service; T. Boulin, 44 years; C. Scutt (Risber), 46 years; and J. Tapner, 43 years. I am sure these presentations were a credit to the Brighton Loco. Staff, and I do trust that all our younger generation will support the local “Retiring Fund.” “The Southern Railway” was proposed by Driver F. Larkin, Mr. H. Lelew responding.

A dance and social followed until midnight. This social event was no doubt the greatest success of recent years,  but I hope to see more there next year, having in mind electrification, when some of old L.B.S.C.R. men will probably be parting company after many happy days together, so make up your minds in in good time.

At our last branch meeting our old friend, Bro. C. Scutt, made an interesting presentation to Bro. F. Constable, although only young, is a real worker for the branch.

We are awaiting the minutes of the last Sectional Council Meeting, and then the L.D.C. can get on with the new seniority list, this matter having been abeyance for a long time. A most interesting item will be the appointing of all firemen down to the appointed man; should this come about it will be most interesting at Brighton. The L.D.C. have got a big job on to satisfy all the transferred men and the old L.B.S.C.R. men too. I understand that the new seniority list now posted is quite in order, but if the National Agreement must be carried out with men rostered in the links.

At the branch meeting, held on May 11th, the A.A.D. agenda was discussed, and it was decided to give Bro. Tullet of Horsham, a free hand on most items on the agenda. This meeting was not well attended as was expect. I do appeal to all members to attend and assist the old stalwarts who are always present.

Members will be pleased be pleased to know that Bro. J. Galyer (late of Coulsdon), is progressing, and has gone to Herne Bay Convalescent Home. Bro. Galyer was knocked down by a motor car while proceeding to duty on March 15th Bro. G. Teague is also progressing, and we all wish them a speedy recovery. I am sorry to say that Bro. E Rann  has  now been taken off the company’s books (he has been off from duty since September, 1928), be we trust some light job will be found for him in due course.



Does anybody have a copy of the seniority sheet that was drawn up in 1930? 

I would grateful of a copy of this document. 






At our last branch meeting, Bro. J. Galyer was nominated as candidate for this area for the forthcoming Sectional Council election. Bro. Galyer is on the L.D.C. at this depot and is a good worker for the branch, and interested in the work of the Council. We appeal to all in the area to give Bro. Galyer a vote.

I am much concerned at the attendances at our branch meetings lately; we were having some fine meetings earlier in the year, but they have fallen off. If members are not satisfied, why not come to the branch-room and put it right. We were hoping to bring the membership up to the limit this year, but I am afraid we shall not unless we have the assistance of all members. During the last year or two we had old regular’s join up for three or four months, drop out, join up again, and so they go on-no good to themselves or the  union. The L.D.C. have this month had complaints about late issue of overalls. These complaints come from the “nons.” mostly, who have no right to them strictly speaking, the trade unions got us overalls. The same applies to our general conditions of to-day; these conditions were won by trade unionist. Hasten the day when they have to work to the Company’s conditions; I am sure we trade unionist would welcome it. Now, brothers, help us to build up our membership and so bring Brighton up to where we ought to be. We have been one of those backward areas for many years; see if we cannot hold our heads up with all other big depots. Remember that all members of trade unions are men of principle.







I am pleased to report enrolling of new members at last meeting, but we are not making the progress we should. I am sure we can get many more if we adopt the system one member after one “non.” All members must realize that rouble is ahead and we must build up our forces by getting these “nons” into the union. They know what the union has done for enginemen, which they are pleased to enjoy. I am also pleased to acknowledge receiving at our last meeting the Society’s medal for proposing 25 members. Bro. H. Funnell made the presentation. I am pleased to have this medal, and I hope more of our members will have the pleasure of receiving one this year.

The Sectional Council voting was carried out as the branch required, every member receiving a voting paper. We wish Bro. J. Galyer success. I expect that the L.D.C. will have met before the next branch meeting. The L.D.C. are now to put in operation the seniority of the link working that has been abeyance since last February. There is no doubt this will upset some, but we must all understand that this matter is settled now and for all times, only this is the kind of thing that some men make their excuse for falling out of the union; so all look at it in the proper light and bring your grievances to the branch-rooms. That’s the place, and don’t fall out of the union because something displeases you, when the union is not to blame, as you must know.








Our last branch meeting was a most interesting on, the case of Bro. E. Rann being dealt with. Bro. Rann, who has been laid up for two years and has been receiving the National Health disablement allowance, was reported to head Office by someone (I hope not a trade unionist) who informed them that he was working and receiving the National Health sickness benefit, which he was not entitled to if the report was true. He is benefit was stopped until inquiries were completed. It was found there was no foundation whatever for the suggestion, and payment of sickness was resumed. Bro. Rann’s health, I am sorry to say has got worse since this despicable action by a man who has never had to suffer as Bro. Rann has, and I hope that we shall be successful in finding the culprit is. I wish all members of the branch to assist us in our efforts to him.

I am pleased to report several new members last meeting. Now, just a word to all our members. Cannot you attend the branch once a month? There is no excuse; come and assist us. When we attend we have the same inconvenience to contend with as you. Many members come to the meeting held on the first Sunday in December, elect their officers for the year, and are never seen in the branch-room again. I remember being proposed as chairman three years ago, and I have never seen the proposer and the seconder of my nomination in the branch-room since. This is no encouragement, and as the business is yours and your interest at stake, I advise you to keep in touch with all correspondence, for the time is soon when we shall require to be united. I trust, therefore, all members will try to come to our meetings commencing October, when two meeting a month will be held.

I am sue now able to report that the rumour of all 12/- a day firemen being passed as drivers is without foundation, but I am sure it has done the men it affected some good (they have been busy). I see by Bro. Barton Wild’s note that he is willing to come to any branch meeting for the purpose of dealing with “nons.” Well, I think he should be seen at Brighton once again, to wake our “nons” up before it is too late. I see the case of the “nons” is on the table, and I hope that the E.C. will reach some definite solution this time. I am pleased to report that at the branch meeting held on September 14th, we had a much improved attendance. Evidently, our members are waking up before it is too late.

We are pleased with the Sectional Council voting returns, Bro. J. Galyer being supported by 341, against Bro. Godfrey, 521. Although defeated, Bro. J. Galyer has done very well. Better luck next time.







A happy and successful New Year to our organisation and all its members, leaders and officers, and I trust we shall come through the critical time ahead successfully. What we have we must hold; let us all pull together. Brighton will show that we mean to hold what we have got. Remember 1924 and 1926, Brighton was to the front. Branch meetings are having better attendances, which shows men are interested in the future events. At our last meeting we made more new members; they are coming fast. Our new secretary, Bro F. Stevenson, is now getting busy, Bro. Beall is his assistant. Bro. Beall has been our secretary for the last eight years, and he has served us and the organization well. He has had a busy time, and I think he has earnt a rest. His health has not been as he would like it to be recently, but we hope he will now regain it, and I am sure we wish him the best. A true trade unionist in every respect. I am sorry to report that for the first time we have lost a seat on the L.D.C. this was no doubt brought about by Bro. A. Clack resigning after two years as secretary. Driver F. Patching has put up three years in succession, and Bro. Clack’s resignation gave him his chance. The new committee is; Bro. Galyer, Bro. F. Stevenson, and F. Patching (N.U.R.) Bro. S. J. Downs was defeated. We are very interested in the re-starting of District Councils, seeing that we were the first to move in that direction. We trust other branches will see the usefulness and send representatives to the meetings; they will then serve a useful purpose. By the time we get February’s Journal our Annual Children’s Treat will be over, taking place on January 29th, at the Labour Club, and with great assistance of the ladies’ branch will no doubt be a great success as in the past. After the children’s treat, our next function will be our Annual Dinner on Good Friday, April 3rd. we shall be pleased to see any of our comrades from out stations, and assure them a good time at the Old Ship Hotel, King’s Road. We hope to have 200 attend this year; a dance will follow dinner until midnight. Any information can had from the secretary, Driver A. Clack






Bravo! Coventry – 100 per cent. strong. Brighton congratulates you and wish we could say the same. We have been trying hard during the past year to bring our branch up to 100 per cent., but whilst we have not succeeded members are rolling in fast, 12 more enrolled on February 1st, and more to follow. Like Bognor Regis, we have some “slugs” – not two, but a dozen, 15/- a day men – who cannot afford to belong to the organization, but they like the conditions the trade union won for them; they can a gamble on the football or cards, something for nothing. The conditions the Companies are trying to enforce on us to-day are the conditions they enjoy. “Slugs” you call them – thank you, Bognor, it fits them grand – see them reading in the Daily Herald every day, the Wages Board report.

At our last branch meeting we decided to congratulate Bro. Bromley on the way he put our case before the National Wages Board. We are told cleaners have refused promotion. We have cleaners here who would like to have the chance of promotion – still cleaning, started 1919 – and now electricity staring them in the face. What prospects? I am pleased to mention Bro. Jack Galyer has been selected to the A.A.D., 1931.

Bro. G. Teague’s case is no further ahead, but I think we shall hear something interest soon. Bro. Teague has been off duty since December 21st, 1928, and I wish to thank all who have assisted us for the last 18 months to keep his end up. The social committee have ceased to run dances at the Labour Club owing to lack of support, the dances having been run at a great loss. The Women’s Committee are carrying on, and run a dance alternate Fridays.

The annual Children’s Tea Party, Christmas Tree, and Dance was held on January 29th, organized by the joint social committees, and was a great success. Over 160 attended, and a most enjoyable time was spent. A local dancing troupe gave a performance, which the children and all present appreciated and the teacher of the troupe was presented with a bouquet. The Christmas Tree was well loaded and Bro. F. Jones, as Father Christmas, presented every child with a gift. Bro. F. Larkin was M.C., assist by Mrs. E. Carter. Bros. Larkin and Jones had a fine time amusing the little ones. The ladies’ secretaries, Mrs. Andrews and Mrs. E. Carter, and committee, deserve all praise for the way they carried out their part of the arrangements. In conclusion. I extend the thanks of the branch committee of both sections for the splendid way everything was carried out to give pleasure to those able to attend. it was the best children’s party the branch has ever held.







I am pleased to report we are making good progress with the “nons.,” but we still have about fourteen 15/- a day “slugs.” I only wish that they could be made to suffer a greater reduction than all trade unionist. I wonder  if they realize how we should have fared if we had not had the union to fight for us, and they have face enough to say the union made a good fight for us. My God! If they only think where we should get to if we were all like them. Fancy main-line men “nons.”; cleaners 7/- and 9/6 a day trade unionist what a contrast.

At our branch meetings we had a fine discussion on the E.C. resolution re National Wage Board Findings. We had good meeting and evening, and decide against the resolution. We were prepared to stand by the decision of the Special A.A.D. whichever way it went.

I am pleased to report Bro. G. Teague is progressing, and that all that can be done for him is being done, and I trust we shall soon have him back with us. I still appeal to members to attend branch meetings more regularly and support the officers you elected.






I am pleased to report we are still making new members, and I wish to remind members to keep up their contributions paid up and let us prepared for next March. It is the strength we want and if all try we shall get the few “nons” into the organization. We much regret the loss of Bro, H. Funnell, following so quickly after our late Bro. F. Constable. We have lost two good workers and true trade unionist. Bro. Funnell has held many offices in the branch: chairman, vice chairman, member of committee for many years, and also served on the L.D.C. He did some very good work. Many members attended the funeral, proving how he was respected. A trade unionist whose place will be hard to fill.

At our last meeting, Bro. J. Galyer gave a report of the last A.A.D., and he deserved a much larger attendance. His report was the best Brighton has ever heard; he was on his feet 1 ½ hours, and what he had to say was very interesting. He was warmly congratulated at the close.

At our next branch meeting the Local Death and Retiring Fund comes up for discussion, and I hope that all interested in this matter will do their best to attend I appeal to our younger men to take an interest in this matter. We are trying to send our old pioneers off as they should be- not “gone and forgotten.”

I have to report that the Social Committee will still carry on with their efforts during the next winter to raise funds for the long over-due Enginemen’s Club, and it is hoped that all engineman will assist with dances, etc.




 Harry Funnell

Bro. Harry Funnell was not only a loco driver by profession, who lived for the job, he was also a great locomotive enthusiastHarry spent over 42 years in the company's service starting at Brighton on the 18th October 1889, with 20 years, of which, were on the main line, as a typical L.B. & S.C. enginemanHe gave freely of his own spare time in order to teach at the Enginemen's Mutual Improvements Class - a time honoured job training scheme which the enginemen conducted on their own behalf during off duty periods. 

Harry was an active member of the Brighton Branch of A.S.L.E.F., and held many offices within the Brighton Branch, which included the positions: Chairman, Vice Chairman, and a member of the Branch Committee for many years. Harry also served on the L.D.C., representing the Branch at many levels.



Driver Harry Funnell pictured at Brighton with a L Class Baltic Tank locomotive

His early main line experience was with the Marsh 13 tanks, untihe took over the Baltic Tank locomotive, No. 333 ‘Remembrance’ and with many fine runs, with the latter stand to his credit, and  personality whose name will be forever associated with these locomotives. Upothe advent of the "King Arthurs" at Brighton Shed about 1926, Harry changed to No.799 Sir Iron side.

With the retirement of Brighton’s Trail Driver Charlie Peters, Harry was appointed to the position of Test or TriaDriver in Apri1930, a position that was only to last for just over a year. On the 17th June, 1931, Harry had just completea tesrun to Littlehampton, anon arriving back at Brightonhe collapseandied beside hiengine, at the age o59. Railway enthusiasts thus lost a geniamanever ready to discuslocomotives witthose interested in them, by whom he was mucrespected.

Many members from the Brighton Branch attended his funeral, proving how well he was respected by his fellow workmates. Harry was a true trade unionist whose place will be hard to fill, and will be remembered by the Brighton Branch for doing some very good work for our loco-men.  





With deep regret we record the passing of Bro. W. Clarke (Spanel), at the early age of 47 years, after a painful illness, wonderfully borne. We have indeed lost a worker. Our late Comrade was carried to his last resting place by six of his old colleagues, Inspector Enves representing the Company. Other Societies of which Bro. Clarke was a member were also represented, over 250 assembling at the grave side, indicating how much our late brother was respected. The sympathy of the branch has been sent to Mrs. Clarke.

Bro. Clarke was chairman of the social committee; secretary and pioneer of the shed death and retiring fund; he has served as a branch chairman; served on committee, L.D.C. and strike committees. Bro. Clarke was a great believer in the annual dinner, his opinion being that such functions kept more loco-men together. It was also our late brother’s idea to run dances to provide for sick members, and to create funds for enginemen at depot to have club for their own. Bur he has gone to the great beyond, and we shall never forget, for indeed we have lost a Comrade.

Our members hare beginning to realize how much we lost last March. I am sure some never realized what they would lose. The Companies want a bit more next March if we don’t look out. I advise all members to keep their contributions up to date. We have but a few “nons” now, and we shall get them soon- they are beginning to feel the pinch. Of course the “slugs” we shall never get.

Branch meetings are being better attended, some of the old face coming back. I hope that they will continue to attend, for this is pleasing to myself and other branch officers. The Branch congratulated Bro. J Galyer on being elected as the official candidate for the forthcoming Sectional Council No.2 election. The L.D.C. have had a busy time just lately and it is seen by the agenda some good points have been settled at the last meeting. Our members on this body are doing good work for the depot. The question of tube rods is in hand, 150 engines at depot and no tube rods- economizing at the expense of lost time tickets.


 A Motorman inside the cab of the new Brighton electric experimental train as seen on the 17th November 1931



 Brighton electric experimental train as seen on the 17th November 1931






We shall have Bro. Gregory with us on December 6th, and he will address a meeting in the morning at 11 a.m., and one in the evening at 6-30 p.m. They will be open meetings. It is a long time since we had Bro. Gregory with us, and I hope that all members off duty will try and attend one meeting or the other; all members must realize that their wages are in danger. I am not the politician that some members of our branch are, but being always interest, I took particular notice of the following, which appeared in our local paper here on Saturday, October 25, and that, of course, before the General Election:- At a whist drive held at Downlands House, Uckfield, on October 1st, the gathering was addressed by Major the Hon. C. W. Lowther, ex-M.P., and son of a former Speaker. Major Lowther, said the Socialist Government had tried and failed, and were now jibbing at the relief cuts; they could not be made to realize that it meant that those who preferred work would make strenuous efforts to get it rather than draw benefit. Then the Labour market would be flooded by those prepared to work for a lower wage for the same services given by members of trade unions at a much higher cost.

I wish all members to note that in the near future they will try to bring about what this fellow has said, so we must get as strong as we can and stand as one to hold what we have got. So come and hear Bro. Gregory- he will enlighten you.

I wish to appeal to all members to vote for our candidates of in the coming L.D.C. election, and we shall get the seat back we lost last year. The election of officers for 1932 should be on December 6th; but as Bro. Gregory is paying us a visit they will be held on Sunday, December 20th, at 10-30 a.m.

The social committee report that the Children’s Annual Tea Party will be held at the Aquarium, the first week in January. Age of children to be 6 to 13 years of age, and only children of members who are fully paid up at quarter end will be allowed to attend. We are expecting a fine gathering, and hope to give the children a fine time. A Dance will be held from 9 p.m. till 12 midnight, at the price of one shilling, to help with expenses, which will be great.

A Dance is also being held at the Aquarium, on New Year’s Eve, 8 p.m. till 1 a.m.








I wish to impress on all members that it is important they should attend their branch meetings more often and give the branch some encouragement for the time put in attending to business of the branch. Remember, we have other business to do as well as other members have, so come to your meetings every other Sunday at 10-30 a.m. You will find it interesting and hear how things are going along. We hope to have Bro. Squance down to see us in the near future. If apathy exists let us cut it out and get on with the job.  We have a good secretary and a worker- help him. The note you all have had referring to contributions is for your good as well as for the organization; it informs you that Rule 5, clause 17, will operate, commencing 1932. So you all have time to get clear before the end of the year. Remember, you are the organization!

Just a word about the “nons.” That are still in our midst. I feel sure if we try we can get the “nons.” In before the end of the year. The most amusing part to me is the “nons.” Who take the Journal every month, and some are Assurance members. I should like to publish a list of them and put it up in the lobby; they have skins like a rhinoceros. Then of course, we have the “slugs,” that get everything they can but never help! I hope, when they read this, it will prick their consciences – if they have any.

The shed death and retiring funds now wound up, the last three claims having been paid. In future all old pioneers are going to be sent away as they should. The new fund means you what you like, and I hope all members will support it; give a man what you think he is worth. It means that for all who retire a list will be put up; if a man has been a good man with his fellow workers, supported them and been a trade unionist, he is worth sending off in the way he deserves; but if he’s been a “slug,” well, I leave that to you- send him off in the way he deserves.

Well fellow-workers, the General Election has been forced on us, and will be over by the time this is published, but I hope that all trade unionist will have supported the only party that can and will do anything for the workers.

A dance will be held at the Aquarium on December 31st, in aid of the funds for the annual children’s tea party, and we hope for the support of all members to help us with this function.





Promotion and Seniority of Drivers, Firemen & Cleaners 





We much regret the loss of yet another fine trade unionist, Bro. Tom Dugnall, who died so suddenly on January 19th, we have been hit hard lately by losing four fine fellows during the last nine months. Bro. Dugnall was a man who would always support the organization. A letter of sympathy has been sent to Mrs. Dugnall, expressing the members’ sympathy in her bereavement. Bro. Dugnall was carried to his last resting place by six of his comrades – two or three were cleaning with him some thirty years ago. We wish to thank all members who subscribe – a fine response.

I expect soon we shall be hearing a little from the companies. They will want a little more, but we must put our backs up this time or we shall be soon back in the old times. There are difficult times ahead; all must stand together and nothing less than complete co-ordination will do. We must bring our branch up as strong as we were in 1926, and this can be done if all members help us, we still have a few “nons,” and you can have their names from the secretary, who will be pleased of your help to get them in. we read to-day of the Canadian Railways agreeing to accept a 10 per cent. wage cut, and learned Judges in England, getting £5,000 a year, refusing a reduction of 20 per cent. as they have not enough to live on at 80 years of age. Railwaymen have to retire at 65, some few on a pension of from 1/- to 18/- a week or so, and pay for it all their lives, while thousands get nothing. 

I appeal to all members to support the organization, attend your branch meetings and assist us. Bring your grievances to the meetings, don’t air them in the lobby, that does not give you satisfaction. Our L.D.C will do all that is asked of them. I trust by the time this Journal is in circulation Bro. Galyer will be elected to Sectional Council No. 2 – he is the man for the job. It is most pleasing to us all at depot to have the chance to have a representative on Council at a most critical time for us at Brighton, and if elected, inroads of electricity and the consequent changes will be one of the problems he will have a hand in dealing with. All locomen at this depot are wondering what is going to become of them next year. The general public are told at all functions what is going to happen but the staff are told nothing. We have tried to get this information for our members but have been unsuccessful. We should like to know how we stand.

All locomen at this depot are wondering what is going to become of them next year. The general public are told at all functions what is going to happen but the staff are told nothing. We have tried to get this information for our members but have been unsuccessful. We should like to know how we stand.

Now, don’t forget the Annual Dinner this Good Friday, at the Aquarium. We may lose a lot of old faces next year. Mr. Bromley has promised to attend. Out stations please note. We shall be pleased to see any of you, and information can be had of Bro. A. Clack Social secretary.




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

Harry started on the footplate at Brighton in September 1883 and retiring in 1932, below is his obituary



JUNE 1932 


At our branch meeting held on Sunday, April 7th, C.W.B. Minute No. 177 was discussed to give Bro. J. Galyer the feeling of the branch about it, as it is on the agenda as a delegate. Knowing that the minute has been well discussed in the shed and lobby, I was surprised at the attendance, the largest one this year, but all transferred men, only six old L.B.S.C.R. being present. This is not very encouraging for my colleagues and myself. I have been chairman for five years, but it does not encourage anyone to carry on unless we get support at branch meetings. We are making new members every meeting, and are getting as strong as ever we were, but we do appeal to you all to attend the branch meetings and support us. Bring your complaints along and the L.D.C. will not let you down. I should like to warn members of the coming of electricity to Brighton. Remember, we hold the front end and we must stick to it, but we require the support of all enginemen or we shall lose it. Now “nons,” take your chance and join up; let us get up to 100 per cent. The conductor rail will steal your bread and butter if you let it. So, members, drum it into our few “nons" (nearly all 5s. a day men). 

We apeal to all members to keep their contributions paid up; remember you are out of benefit if you over three months in arrears, and don’t think the clouds have passed, stick to your organization, give it all your support. Our General Secretary told the company, on Good Friday, at the annual dinner, that we are not making no more sacrifices for the shareholders. The next thing is to get back what we have lost. The railways are all economizing, saving on this and that by sending a razor gang round cutting out everything they think. What about their wages? I suppose they don’t do it for nothing- more “stamps” I expect. Like everything else, economy starts at the bottom. If they went about this economy stun in the right way they would start at the top; no man of any railway is worth £15,000 a year; they could save £14,000 easily on one man instead of cutting out staff on £2 to £3 a week.

I have been asked to inform you of the progress made by the “presentations for all” scheme. Six presentations were made at Aquarium on April 8th, two enginemen and four shed staff. The two enginemen were one N.U.R. member (Bill Stiles) and one “non.” Note the difference in the subscription lists of these two recipients. The amount subscribed for these six was £48 12s. 6d., and to this amount £36 12s. 6d. was subscribed by enginemen. In the last twelve presentations, £125 has been subscribed by all staff at the depot; enginemen have subscribed £100 of it, which I think, is very creditable, and I trust you will give the same support to our two members who will soon be retiring; Bros. Bill Sands and Freddy Queen. “non.” Note the difference in the subscription lists of these two recipients. The amount subscribed for these six was £48 12s. 6d., and to this amount £36 12s. 6d. was subscribed by enginemen. In the last twelve presentations, £125 has been subscribed by all staff at the depot; enginemen have subscribed £100 of it, which I think, is very creditable, and I trust you will give the same support to our two members who will soon be retiring; Bros. Bill Sands and Freddy Queen.

Our annual dinner and dinner and dance, at the aquarium, on Good Friday, was a great success. We were very pleased to have with us our General Secretary, Mr. Bromley, and he was very welcome, as it was with his assistance that this function was a great success. Mr. Bromley replied to the toast of the “Railway Trade unions,” proposed by Bro. J. Galyer, and referred to “Sir” Josiah Stamp saying we were getting to much money, which means we must prepare, and resist any attempt on our wages. He was pleased to note that Brighton branch was going from strength to strength.




Brighton Driver receiving the staff from the Devil Dyke’s Signalman (centre) along with the train’s Guard

One morning when the first train was retuning to Brighton it met a large horse on the line. Whistling and the blowing of the cylinder drain cocks made no impression on the beast. The fireman was sent forward to remove the animal but as he advance shouting and waving his arms, the horse looked coolly at him. Then began it began to walk purposefully towards the advancing fireman, who, not being a country lad, was overwhelmed by the size of the beast. After a final yell, it was the fireman who bolted - for the engine! The horse turned round and walked down the line, followed at a respectful distance by the train.

On many occassions the drivers of the Dyke trains had to put out, on the way back, the lineside fires their locomotives had started on the way up. During at least one winter a train was unable to reach the terminus owing to a snow drift which had to be shovelled through.

Driver A. Geere, of Brighton, remembers working the last train from the Dyke one night when the Train Staff was accidently left on the platform at the terminus. Its abscence was not not realised until the train had all but reached Dyke Junction and there was nothing for it but to go back to the summit to collect the Staff.

Brighton driver Fred Gambling, recalls that the Billington E4 0-6-2 tanks were the locomotive best suited to the line. Fred also recalls that double-heading was used on some heavy loaded services but an E4 with four bogies was the norm duringh a busy period. 

Fred remembers taking a ballast train up to the Dyke with a class C2 0-6-0. In addition to the brake van at the rear of the train, another was included half way just in case the locomotive stalled and splitting the load became necessary. On this occasion, however, the summit was reached. 

He also remembers that after dark, golfers wishing to join the last train from the Dyke would strike matches to signal to the driver to stop the train at the unlit Golf Club Halt!

Brighton Driver John / Jack Smith and Fireman Arthur Sinden worked the last train on the final day of the Dyke Railway.

Extracted and adapted from a book 

about the Dyke Railway

A Sentinel Steam Rail Car seen at Devil’s Dyke Station, this Rail Car regularly worked over the Devil’s Dyke line 








With the closure of 1932, saw the withdrawal of steam locomotives working regularly between London and Brighton. The last steam “Southern Belle” from Victoria, the 3.5 p.m., on Saturday, December 31, 1932, was hauled by ex L.B. & S.C.R. ‘L class' Baltic tank No. 2332, “Remembrance”. Engines of this class had not been used for the “ Southern Belle”  for some years, and mdd it a fitting finale.

The last regular Steam service from Victoria to Brighton was the 12:05 a.m. on the morning of the 1st January 1933. Hauled by ex L.B. & S.C.R. 'L class' Baltic Tank, no 2329 “Stephenson”, and worked by Engineman Rodgers (is standing next to the locomotive) and Fireman C. Stoner is seen leaning out of the cab. (Bro. C. Stoner, later served as Brighton No.2 Branch of A.S.L.E.F. Branch Secretary between 1951 - 1964.


 The 1st January 1933, at Victoria station with the inaugural 'Electric Southern Belle'





Having to some extent got over the wave of redundancy which swept over Brighton at the beginning of the year, owing to the advent of electrification, we are now endeavouring to put our house in order with what is left. The L.D.C. have had a very trying time with the redundant firemen and cleaners and must be congratulated on the way they negotiated the various problems have presented themselves since January 1st 1933, although their in that respect is not finished yet.

At our Branch meeting on Sunday, February 19th, a question was raised about the steam men on loan to the electric depot, for week-end duty, working their booked turns on Sundays in the steam depot, and when off duty from steam are at work in the electric dept. on Sundays. There was a long discussion on this subject several points of view being put forward, after which Bro. Lewery was elected the accredited representative of the motormen until they have elected their L.D.C. to deal with this and other matters arising, and where necessary, in conjunction with our own L.D.C.

It is most noticeable that at the last two or three meetings there has been a smaller attendance of members, prominent members of the branch now transferred to the electric dept. are conspicuous by their absence, and I urgently appeal to all members of both depts. to attend all meetings when off duty, and assist in clearing up some of the problems we shall be faced with during the year.

At about the time of this report is in the hands of the readers, we shall have made final arrangements for the annual dinner which takes place on Good Friday, and we are looking forward to the good time we shall have with Bro. Barton Wild, who has promised to attend. All those wishing to attend and who have not sent in their names or applied for the tickets should do so at once.                                


[Bravo !  Brighton.that’s the way to face difficulties. – ED.] 





ON THE 28th JANUARY 1933

 The 11.30 p.m. (steam) freight train, Norwood to West Worthing worked by Brighton driver A. C. Batchelor and his fireman C. Small, had been brought to a stand at the down slow home signals of Three Bridges signal box and was waiting to cross over front the down local to the down through line after the passage of an express on the latter line, Just as it was starting ahead after the signal had been cleared for this movement, it was run into from the rear by the 11.46 pm. electric passenger train from Victoria to Three Bridges worked by motorman T. E. Hart, which was following it on the same (Down slow) line.

The guard of the freight train and the motorman of the electric train were seriously injured; but none of the five passengers in the electric train complained of injury. Assistance reached the site of the accident from Three Bridges station about 12 minutes after it occurred, and a doctor was on the spot within about half an hour. But, owing to the difficulty of extricating them from the wreckage of the motor coach and brake van, which had to be cut apart with oxy-acetylene torches to release them, the injured guard was not reached till about 2.0 a.m., and the motorman not till about 3.30 am., though everything possible was done for them. There was fortunately no fire







Since my last report we have had two meetings, the first on March 19th, from which there is very little to report. The ordinary business was followed by a short report from Bro. Lewery of a meeting held by the motormen to discuss items of importance concerning that department, and which is to be followed by another meeting at a later date.

The second meeting was held on April 22nd, at which I am sorry to say the attendance was fair. The chief items of interest centred around the T.U.C. Conference to be held in Brighton during September, the matter being referred to the branch committee for their recommendations as to what should be done for the delegates attending the Conference during the week. I want to draw the attention of the members to the question of the cleaners. As is known, 45 have recently been transferred, leaving 14, 8 of whom are regularly used up on other work, leaving 6 to cover the 24 hours for other emergencies, the result of which is known to all. I understand there is some discontent amongst some members over Sunday work. Well roll up at the next branch meeting and let us know the complaints so that they can be dealt with; the L.D.C. are waiting- so come along and keep them busy. A report of our Good Friday will be given in the next issue.




Whit-Monday, 5th June 1933

In the course of the homeward rush from the seaside on Whit-Monday, 5th June, there were several achievements on the part of the Southern Railway calling for attention. At Brighton a special control tower was installed and brought into use about 4 p.m., its object being to direct passengers to the various platforms and trains. Between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. no fewer than 107 trains left Brighton Central Station, carrying 75,000 passengers, this was due to the combination of good weather and improved travelling facilities in a great increase of passenger traffic during the Whitsun recess. On the average, therefore, a train departed every three minutes—or slightly less—throughout the five hour period, and each train carried on an average just over 700 passengers—15,000 an hour. The great bulk of this traffic was for London or beyond, and had to be carried over the main line, which has only the one up track as far as Balcombe Tunnel box—19 miles—and in addition to the trains from Brighton there were those from Worthing and Hove also passing over almost the whole of this distance. More noteworthy still is the fact that from Keymer Junction to Balcombe Tunnel there were also the Hastings, Bexhill, Eastbourne and Seaford trains to be accommodated by the single up road in addition to those from Brighton and Worthing. Actually, between Keymer Junction and Haywards Heath the up trains moving over this road were : between 7 and 8 p.m., 13 trains ; between 8 and 9 p.m., 16 ; between 9 and 10 p.m., 18 ; and between 10 and 11 p.m., 14 trains, the greatest density being one every 3.3 minutes throughout the hour. Only by the employment of automatic colour-light signalling, and of very heavy electric trains for the most part, could this traffic be moved within so short a period.

During the whole holiday period no less than 129,165 passengers were conveyed to Brighton, mainly by electric trains. This represents an increase of 75 per cent, over last year. On Whit-Sunday the number of people carried to Brighton showed an increase of 174 per cent, over last Whit-Sunday, while on Whit-Monday the increase was 68 per cent.


 29th June 1934

Staff of the Southern Railway at London Victoria station, changing the name board on the front of a train, 
the ‘Southern Belle’ is now called the ‘Brighton Belle’. 






Business as usual: First Sunday in eack month, at the Labour Club, 10.30 a.m. Better attendance of late. Now, then , you sleeping members, come and assist to put and keep your house in order, both national and local. it is gratifying to be able to report that another of our members Bro. T. Larkin, has been successful at the recent elections here, so will be able to assist Councillor Harris, also of this branch. Bro Gayler, unfortunately, failed to get elected as a councillor by a small majority of 36 votes. Better luck next time. By the way, Bro. Gayler is the offical candidate for Sectional Council. it is your vote we want for him, when the time comes very shortly, to assist carry on the good work; now, don't make a mistake when you get your voting paper. It is with reluctance I have to report that we still have a number of "nons" here. I have promised the District Council, who are watching this item closely, to see that the number is reduced. Who is going to help me? These "nons" are good advisers round the shed on what ought to be done. My tip to them is join the branch, attend the meetings, and see their grievances are dealt with. nothing please the branch officers more than plenty of business to get on with. Bros. Andrews, Harris and Stevenson are the offical candidates for L.D.C, 1935; every vote is needed to secure their election. Vote solid for your own Society's candidates, and see that they have plenty to do. I wish to draw the members' attention to Ruke 5, Clause 17, on the back of your contributions card. Keep your cards clear each quarter, and don't put the Secretary in the unhappy position of having to state that your case (if you have one) cannot be dealt with, as the above rule is strictly operative. should this report meet the eyes of "nons" here and elsewhere, I respectfully ask them to think, and ask themselves if they are playing the game by taking all the unions get for them and not contributing the small mite necessary. Now then, you "nons," give us your shilling and keep paying, and help to make the present position secure, and assist to open up the prospect of regaining more of our lost ground.




Brighton driver William Plaine standing on the front of his locomotive, with his fireman at Brighton station.






The above branch is able to report progress in membership, the "nons" slowly but surely realizing the necessity of joining up, and the officers of the branch will not be happy until we are 100%. Once again I appeal to members to look up Rule 5, Clause 17, do not leave it until you are in trouble and say you could not see anybody to pay, and so put yourself in the position of being out of benefit. Further, brother, let us have more of you paying into the Orphan and Political funds; a copper per week won't break you, but will help make our Orphan and Political funds. The attendance at Branch meetings of late has been disappointing; please try to attend at least occasionally and assit in conducting the business, and not leave it to the few regulars. On Friday, October 4th, the Brigton No.1 and No.2 branches and Welfare committees, jointly are running a complimentary Social and Dance at the Aquarium, 7.30 p.m., at which our Society representatives to the Labour Party Conference, Bro. Lunniss, of King's Cross, and Bro. Wilkinson, of Grimsby, and Mr. Bromley, will be met by the members and wives of the Brighton snd outlying branches. A cordial welcome also awaits members attending Conference on behalf of local Labour Parties, etc. Outlying branches please note application for tickets must be made not later than 21st September. An enjoyable evening is assured you.




Jack Galyer

Brighton Engineman and A.S.L.E.F. Section Council Representative




Off all business conducted in our branch meetings when men of various thought are gathered together, the most impressive is when the chairman asks that all will stand in silence as atoken of respect for one who has departed and sympathy for bereaved ones left behind. Such was the occassion at our meeting of 5th July. Grief was expressed at the passing away of Bro. Jack Gayler, who was laid to rest 4th July, at the Brighton and Preston Cemetery. Six of the members acted as bearers, a very large gathering of his fellow fraternity and representatives of various Labour associations paid a last repest. Bro. J.W. Godfrey, E.C. member, and Bro. J.V. Sweeney, Organising Secretary, were also present. Bro. Gayler, during his nine years  at Brighton. had done a great deal to put Brighton branch on the active list of branches of the Associated, during this period he had attended the A.A.D. twice, been member of L.D.C. most of this time, was serving his second term as Sectional Council member, and was actively engaged in the local Labour affairs, and was chairman of the Moulscombe Labour Party. His attendance and guidance will be greatly missed in and out of the branch five years branch chairman. Again it was indicated by our offical what sacrifice was entailed by the recipient, who suitably responded, encouraging others we trust to cone and do likewise. dare we hope that the foregoing is an augury of a revival of the old pioneering spirit; the future depends upon our actions.



Funeral of Mr. John (Jack) Mason Galyer

extract and adapted from local newspaper reports

The funeral of Mr. John Mason Galyer, of 41 Southall Avenue, Moulscombe, Brighton, took place at St. Andrew’s church, 

Moulscombe, on Saturday 5th July, 1936. The funeral service at the church was conducted by the Rev.H. Bransby Jones.

Mr. Galyer who was fifty-one, was well known in Brighton and Moulscombe, not only in his employment as an engine driver 

on the Southern Railway but also as the employees’ representative of the Sectional Council. He was also Chairman of the 

Moulscombe Labour Party and contested the Moulscombe Ward in 1934. Mr. Galyer first began his municipal experiences in 

Coulsdon Surrey, and he came to Brighton in 1928.

The interment was at the Brighton Borough Cemetery, the entrance of which was lined on either side by about 50 railwaymen. 

The coffin was borne to the grave by two motormen, two engine drivers and two firemen.

In an appreciation, “G.W.T.G.” writes:

"John Mason Galyer was a man of sterling worth and character. As chairman of the local Labour Party at Moulscombe 

for many years, his sturdy frame and deep sounding voice brought to every meeting he conducted a sense of confidence 

and responsibility.”

Not only in the political field but also in the industrial field will he be missed. He was an active member of the Brighton branch 

of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen. As one time chairman of the Local Department Committee for 

Brighton - a committee responsible for adjusting local matters a between employers and employed - his work met with 

appreciation on both sides. Guided by a practical business instinct he gave assurance of a fair and accurate interpretation of the 

highest ideals of Trade Unionism and of modern Labour negotiations machinery.

As an advocate in railway discipline case by his services were greatly appreciated by his colleagues, and an unjust decision was 

fought with mighty force of his personality, pleading extenuating circumstances or giving an interpretation of rules which even 

his superiors were obliged to acknowledge.


His appointment as the locomotiqemen’s representative on the Sectional Council, the highest appointment in railway Trade 

Union negotiating circles, in the year 1931, and his re-appointment to that position by an overwhelming majority in 1934, were 

convincing proof of his qualities.

On two occasions he was invited to contest municipal elections at Coulsdon, Surrey, where he resided prior to coming to 

Brighton in 1928, and at Moulscombe in 1934. His defeat by the narrow margin of third six votes was a keen disappointment to 

his supporters, who foresaw a brilliant future for him in the realms of municipal administration.

His sudden death must prove a serious loss to the Labour movement, but those who knew can say; 

“We knew a man who gave of his best to the cause in which he profoundly believed and to the people whom he belonged, 

without fear, and without reward other than the knowledge of duty well done.”


The Chief mourners were Mrs. Galyer (mother), Mrs Galyer (widow), Mr. & Mrs. Ernest Galyer, Mr. & Mrs. Reginald Galyer 

(sons & daughter-in-laws), Miss Grace Galyer, Miss Nancy Galyer (daughters), Mr. A. Galyer (brother), Mr. Eric Sergeant and 

Mr. Tom Field.

Among the large representative gathering at the church and cemetery were: Mrs. Bransby Jones, Mrs. Burfield, Mrs Holdaway, 

Mrs. Turner, Miss Heats and Mrs. Potters (members and representatives of Moulscombe Mothers’ Union), Mrs. O’Brien (Vice 

Chairman, Women’s Section, Moulscombe Labour Party), Councillor H.J. Robbins (Vice Chairman, Moulscombe Labour Party) 

and Mrs Robbins, Mr. W. Whiting (Hon. Secretary, MoulscombeLabour Party) and Mrs Whiting, Mr. G. Garrett (former 

Secretary of the Moulscombe Labour Party), Councillor T. Hussey (Secretary Moulscombe Labour Party Executive), mr. 

Fletcher (TreasurerMoulscombe Labour Party) and Mrs Fletcher, Mr. Frank Hancock (Lewes Labour Party), Mr. J.V. Sweeney 

(Organising Secretary of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers Firemen and Cleaners), Mr. W.J. Godfrey 

(member of the National Executive Council and representing Brighton No.2 Branch Southern Railway), H. Harris 

(Chairman and representative of Brighton No.1 Branch), Mr. J.S. Downs (representing the Portsmouth Branch), Mr. J.C. 

Urie (representing the local running department, Southern Railway), Mr. Morris representing passenger guards at Brighton) and 

Mrs. Morris.

Also present were: Mrs. Bunker, Mr. W. O’Brien, Mrs. Coomber, Mrs Cumming, Mrs. Day, Mr. Endersley, Mrs. Field, Mrs. 

Heritage, Mr. & Mrs. Imms, Mrs. Kateley, Councillor F. Larkin, Mrs. Langridge, Mrs. C. G. Manton, (representing Councillor 

C.G. Manton), Mrs. A. Skinner, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Standing, Mrs. Tullett, sen., Mrs. Witney, Mrs. White and Mrs. Wells.

Councillor H.F. Parker, J.P., of Portslade, and Mr. J. Tanner (General Secretary Lewes Division Labour Party), were unable to 


The funeral arrangements were carried out by the funeral furnishment department of the Brighton Co-operative Society, under 

the personal supervision of Mr. A. Clarke.

Information was supplied by Graeme Poulton (Grandson)
Graeme Poulton Collection

Jack Galyer is pictured standing in the middle row, forth from the left.

Photo taken at the Dawlish Railway Convalescence Home some time in the 1930s



John “Jack” Galyer this started as an examination of the LB&SCR records held by the National Archive and scanned and made available by Ancestry for any records concerning John(Jack) GALYER or GAYLER. It soon became apparent that historically the spelling GALYER was prevalent and I have used this through out. It also became apparent when using other record sources that John’s father was also a footplateman. Specifically John’s Baptism record, the 1901 census and his his marriage record all contain references to his father’s occupation on the railway, Railway Fireman and Engine Driver. His father is a bit of a conundrum, being named as Henry Robert Galyer at John’s Baptism, just Robert Galyer at John’s marriage, and Robert Henry at his daughter Floence;s wedding in 1920 Some confusion exists in the LB&SCR records as well with three entries for new starters in 1877 and 1879, but apparently only one consistent name after that. The records do not show staff leaving service or transferring to other departments, only new entrants and transfers within the Locomotive department. 

There is gap in Henry Robert’s LB&SCR records after he achieved a pay rate of 7/6 in May 1905 until his apparent re-employment as an Engine Preparer in 1920 at around the age of 64. Was he on the top rate all that time and didn’t move so didn’t appear in the records? He does not appear in the pages of 18/09/1919 where the pay adjustments for all Locomotive Department staff after the strikes of 1919 (8 hour day etc.) were entered. In the 1911 census he still declared himself as a. Engine Driver. At the marriage of his daughter Lily, still in Epsom he declares as a Railway Engineer and in April 1920 an engine driver at the marriage of his daughter Florence. He does not appear in the pages of 18/09/1919 where the pay adjustments for all Locomotive Department staff after the strikes of 1919 (8 hour day etc.) were entered. See also http://www.epsomandewellhistoryexplorer.org.uk/WarMemorialsSurnamesG.html for War Memorial details of Fred Mason Galyer, John’s brother who died in the Great War and was another who used an alternative name (James). 
Stoats Nest According to http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/c/coulsdon_north/index.shtml, the shed at Stoats Nest opened in 1900 and closed in June 1929 after 3rd rail electrification. The station was renamed Coulsdon and Smitham Downs in 1911 after an accident had occurred in 1910. Entries in the LB&SCR records after this are Coulsdon. Research by Neal Cowdrey.

 Lancing Carriage Works Locomotive

February 1937

Left Motive Power Inspector S. Bass (in trilby)






William Charles Plaine

Brighton No.1 Branch Secretary 1937 - 41


William entered the footplate at Brighton on the

26th October, 1914. In 1949 he transferred to the Motorman's depot (Brighton or West Worthing) and appears in the Brighton No.2 subscription book in March quarter of that year. William remained a member of Brighton No.2 until his retirement in 1962. The last ASLEF contribution was made in the June quarter of 1962 and he therefore retired shortly after this date.



West Worthing Motorman

James Searle

Worthing Railway Motorman Retires After 45 Years Service

From the Worthing Gazette of Wednesday, 3rd of March 1937.

The newspaper says that Mr. James Searle of Worthing completed his last turn of duty on Sunday evening (28th February) 

taking the last train back from Brighton to West Worthing carriage sheds.

He had begun his railway career as a cleaner at New Cross L.B. & S.C.R. sheds in 1891 and subsequently became a fireman 

then driver. He transferred to Dorking in 1905, still on the steam, until electrification of the suburban lines to Dorking when he 

was transferred to electric trains as a motorman. He transferred to West Worthing in 1933 when the electrification was extended 

to Brighton and West Worthing.

Researched by Neal Cowdrey

Motorman James Searle does not appear in the Brighton No2 Branch Contributions Book. It is thought that James Searle was a member of the 

N.U.R or a non Trade unionist. it is also thought that West Worthing depot was slightly larger than what is recorded in the Contribution Book.


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