IGNITING THE FLAME OF UNITY

THE HISTORY OF THE

 BRIGHTON BRANCH OF A.S.L.E.F.

 

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 WOMEN IN OUR SOCIETY……........................….


..............................................WHATEVER NEXT!!!

 

 

 

 A letter from Mrs J.Bromley wife of the General Secretary of A.S.L.E.F.

        

Since the splendid assistance given by our womenfolk in the recent strike, many A.S.L.E.F. women have intimated to me that they are anxious to see the formation of an A.S.L.E.F. Women’s Guild believing that such an organisation would be of tremendous help to our men in any future struggle, or even of times of peace, in helping the men to be good, earnest trade unionists. 

Will any of our women interested in the idea kindly write me, marking their letter "Personal," so that if there is any real concensus of opinion on the matter, the information may be conveyed to the Executive Committee and help  sought in getting a Guild promoted.


This letter produce an overwhelming response that the formation of a Women Society, with their first A.S.L.E.F Women’s Guild Conference took place on the 5th August, 1924, with 47 delegates representing 792 members, and before the end of the year a great influx of new members joined the Women Society. At this conference Mrs J. Bromley (wife of the then General Secretary) was elected as president and Mrs Dolling elected as vice president.

commemorative spoon was made incorporating the A.S.L.E.F Logo, and issued to the Guild's members.

The Women Guild members became known as the

Locomotive Ladies” 


A Women Guild was formed in Brighton, with Mrs A.M. Andrews becoming the first Secretary, and later being made an Honourable Secretary of the Brighton Guild. Mrs. E.M. Carter was to become Social Secretary of the Guild. The Brighton Women Guild, encouraged women from neighbouring A.S.L.E.F. Branches to join their Guild, as many of these Branches were to small to support such a Guild.

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL NOVEMBER 1926

 

BRIGHTON BRANCH

 

 

I am pleased to report that this branch is making steady progress, which we hope will increase by leaps and bounds when the wives of our men realise the good we could do amongst ourselves if they would all join our Society.

The Area Conference was held at the Labour Hall here on September 23rd. Mrs. Street, our E.C. Member, attended and gave us a very interesting address, which was appreciated by all. Delegates came from all branches but one, and several members of the parent branch, who are honorary members of our Society, also attended. About 70 sat down to tea, and very happy party they all seemed, several remarking as to what a good time they had had.

In the evening a very enjoyable Social was held, and we have to thank many of our men for coming and making the time go all too soon. Great credit is due to the committee s and all who helped, as the arrangements were highly successful branch, we appeal for men to join us as honorary members, and bring their wives along to join us. Don’t forget the old saying: “Unity is Strength.”

Great encouragement has been given us by several wives of the Newhaven Men’s Branch joining us, and we hope they will be able to attend our branch meetings, which are held at the Labour Club every alternate Thursday at 3 p.m.

Mr. Barton Wild came to Brighton recently, and an invitation was given by the parent branch for the wives and daughters of  A.S.L.E. & F. members to attend the evening meeting. Mr. Wild gave a very interesting and instructive speech; but where were many of the members who should have been there to hear it? Many of the ladies said afterwards how they had enjoyed it, and hoped soon to hear him again. The outcome of his appeal is that the Women’s Branch is sending this month £1 to the Protection Fund and £1 to the Central Fund.

MRS ANDREWS, Secretary

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL JANUARY 1928

 

BRIGHTON BRANCH

 

SIR, - I ask to be allowed to reply to S. Brocket, Hornsey Branch, who asks in a very ungrammatical way what are the objects and results of the Women Society- not “Section”? I cannot think he reads the Journal thoroughly every month, or he would have no need to ask. For knowledge I refer him to page 534 of December Journal 1927, where he will see some of the results; or he is welcome to come to Brighton Branch, and he will inform him of many benefits given, and others which we hope to achieve, after which, if he is a believer in “fairness to all,” he will join Hornsey Branch as an honorary member, and help with the Society’s good work.

A.M. ANDREWS, Hon. Secretary.

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL APRIL 1930

BRIGHTON BRANCH 

 

Our Area conference was held at Brighton on March 11th, our two E.C. Members, Mrs. Hurn and Mrs. Mays, being present. Our president, Mrs. Sewery, who occupied the chair, gave a hearty welcome to all present. Mrs. Mays then read the minutes of the conference held at Dover. There were 17 delegates present, and many interesting reports were received from various branches, and several lively discussions took place.

We were very pleased to have our E.C. Member with us, as both helped to make it a very interesting afternoon. Conference finished, delegates and visitors sat down to a very enjoyable tea, which was followed by a social dance. Several games were indulged in, much to the pleasure of those present. Driver Mr. S. Fellingham kindly obliged with two songs, both being greatly appreciated.

The women’s committee gave a short sketch entitled, “The Glory Hole,” which introduced the work of the Women’s branch. This won much applause. Several dances also afforded much enjoyment. Mrs. Carter,   women’s committee,

Any some verses, composed by herself, entitled “Well done, the Women’s Branch.”

This brought to a close a very enjoyable evening.

So here’s success to the A.S.L.E. & F., May it still grow stronger and stronger; Our Women’s branch, as well as the Men’s.

Let’s all stand together, right to the end.

 

E.M. CARTER.

 

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL APRIL 1931

 

BRIGHTON BRANCH

We held our area conference at Brighton on Thursday, March 5th. We were pleased to have with us Mrs. Mayes, of our E.C., 18 delegates and several visitors. A very interesting afternoon was spent, several lively discussions taking place. After the conference delegates and visitors sat down to a very enjoyable tea, which was much appreciated by all. A dance followed in the evening from 8 to 11 p.m. The only regret was the absence of many of our branch members. Brighton, take a pattern from Cambridge. What a fine spirit: that surely is the real success of trade unionism, unity.

May I, through this Journal, appeal to the men and women to work with a comradely spirit? We are all out for the good of the cause. Trade unionism means unity, not discord. Let us shut our ears to grousers and grumblers. Let us carry on with the good work; put every atom of energy into building up the society. We shall then be able to look back and say we have done our bit towards the advancement of trade unionism. Where should we be without it, friends? We have taken what it has given us; let us give a little in return,  just our services. Work together, fight the good fight for each other. If we do this, friends, think how much happier we shall fell; think how much easier it will be for the faithful few who still carry on.

E.M. CARTER Social Secretary

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL JANUARY 1932

BRIGHTON BRANCH

 

Brighton calling! A Happy New Year, fellow-members, and the best of luck for 1932. We need it after 1931. What a year! Plodding along; striving and hoping for success, but all in vain. But are we downhearted? Decidedly no. The past year has been very disappointing one. We been up against it, in more ways than one; but there is one consolation to know that even a sinking ship can boast some loyal support. May I through this journal, express my sincere thanks to all those who have supported and helped me in any way during the past year. Fellow-members, may I appeal to you to give your officers for 1932 a good send off? Give them your support, encouragement, and gratitude for what they are doing for you. It entails much time, energy, and patience to cope with demands made upon them from time to time. Remember they are doing it because their interest is their; let their interest be your interest, don’t let Mrs. Bromley’s hard work be in vain; let our pioneer see how much we appreciate what she has done for us in previous years. Rally to the cause and carry on with the good work. This is an anxious time for us all, but grumbling and grousing will not improve matters. The men may need our help; let us be prepared to give of our best. Only by being united ourselves can we do this. Make 1932 a bumper year; come along to the branch-room and give our secretary and chairman the encouragement they deserve. Let us get back to the old standard and we shall find there are many happy times in store for us all. Let us prove we are clean fighters; take defeat with a smile and keep on fighting. It’s worth it, friends. Every cloud has a silver lining. In the end the reward is ours. 

 

E.M. CARTER

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL FEBRUARY 1932

BRIGHTON BRANCH

 

 

Your old Jack Bromley is the man,

He’ll fight your battles all he can,

He’s as firm as a rock, staunch and true,

So stick to him, men, whatever you do,

 

He doesn’t care whether it’s Lord or Peer,

He’ll sift to the bottom, never fear,

He’s out for justice, truth, and right,

So stick to him, men, and just hold tight,

 

And his wife, god bless her, we’ll stand by her, too,

For she’s just as straight and staunch and true,

If we stand by our men, as she’s stood by him,

We’re bound to come out on top and win,

 

So men and women, just listen;

Cling to all you hold most dear,

Put every effort in the fight,

And trust to Bromley to put you right,

 

 (Mrs.) E.M. CARTER 

 

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL 1933

BRIGHTON BRANCH

On April 26th we had an American style tea party to celebrate our eighth birthday, for which every member brought something. Our Secretary made and gave an iced cake, with eight candles, which was a great surprise. One member, who was lucky enough to win two first prizes at cake making in the Co-operative Exhibition, gave us a similar cake to be raffled. We had a good tuck-in, and what was over was sold for the funds. Another member kindly brought a gramophone. Everyone had a good time. We are having our real birthday treat on May 30th, when we are paying a visit to “Margaret McMillan’s Home” and having a tea in London. We are not making much progress as far as membership is concerned, but we hope to get more, when the wives and daughters of our men’s Society read of the nice times we have. All may be sure of a hearty welcome.

 

M.E. LEWERY CHAIRMAN

 Mrs M.E. Lewery was the wife of Brighton Branch member

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL 1934

BRIGHTON BRANCH

A happy party attended our ninth birthday: two well decorated tables were filled with happy children and mothers of our branch. The birthday cake was made by Mrs Pierce, made a pleasing centre-piece. The Secretary read a letter from our chairman, Mrs Lewery, regretting her absence through illness; she wished us a happy time and every success for the coming year. Mrs Walls, Vice Chairman then welcomed the guests, while the nine candles on the cake burned their welcome. Tea was enjoyed amidst the strain of the wireless band. The vice chairman then cut the cake, which was handed round, and she made a pleasing speech. The Committee had prepared a surprise for the Secretary and Chairman, and it was a great disappointment to find the Chairman absent, as she was to have been presented with a cut-glass bowl filled with trifle, such as she had longed for her visit to Portsmouth birthday tea. This had to be sent her and the members were pleased to know she was too ill to enjoy it. The Secretary’s cut-glass bowl was filled with fruit and flowers, for which she thanked the members for their kind thoughts. Mrs Andrews (Hon. Member) then organised games, etc. for the children, and when the happy party finished, every child was presented with a gift and a balloon.

A.M. ANDREWS, SECRETARY

        Mrs A. M. Andrews was the wife of Brighton Branch member


 

With the closure of the Brighton Branch of the A.S.L.E.F. Women’s Guild*. The wives and daughters of A.S.L.E.F. members still continued to play an important role through Brighton’s A.S.L.E.F. social fund. The wives helped to organised and did the catering for the annual A.S.L.E.F. retirement dues and the childrens Christmas party.

* Date of the closure of the Brighton Women’s Guild unknown at present time.

 

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