Chris Newton 1988 - 2000

(Footplate Seniority 16.04.1962)






On the 9th of March 1988 a special joint branch meeting 

was held to dissolve the Brighton No. 1 (A.S.L.E.F. Branch 

No.34 (Locomotive Drivers and Secondmen.) and Brighton 

No. 2 (A.S.L.E.F. Branch No.35 (Electric Multiple Unit 

Drivers) branches and to once again form one A.S.L.E.F. 

Branch for Brighton. This came about as a direct result of 

the rationalisation of the two Motive Power depots by 

British Rail.

At this Special branch meeting, the creation of a new 

Branch was formed and to be known as the Brighton 

Branch (A.S.L.E.F. Branch No.35). It wasdecided that all 

branch officers would have to be re-elected. Both of the 

existing branch secretaries Bro T. Fielding of No.1 & Bro. 

A. Ricketts of No. 2, had both decided not to re-stand for 

their old positions. Therefore a new branch secretary was 

sort after and this position was taken up by Bro C. 



The 20th aniversary of the amlagamation of 

Brighton's No. 1 & No. 2 Branches.

designed by Paul Horan & Tony Brace.




Minutes of Joint Branch meeting held March 9th 1988

Members present: C. Newton, A. Ricketts, P. Plaine, L. Osman, A. Light, B. Noakes, C. Horlock, F. Goff,

W. Mackenzie, T. Fielding, F. Maskell, R. Matthews, W. Jones, D. Morgan, R. Lewis, J. Carney, 

M. Hawkins, P. Edwards, G. Hussey, M. Hunter, M. Thompson, F. Locke, J. Osborne, R. Hammond 

& I. Osborne (25).

Chairman P. Plaine opened meeting, and explained that this is the last meeting before rationalisatation.

Brighton No.1 minutes of 20.1.88 were read, prop M. Hawkins & sec J. Carney, a true record. Financial Report from Bro. Fielding, reveals £65.26 in branch funds 7 £43 in Political Fund.

Brighton No.2 minutes o 4.2.88 were read, pro F. Locke & sec B. Noakes, a true record. Minutes of 11.4.88 were read, pro. W. Jones & sec. C. Newton, a true record. Financial report from Bro. Ricketts reveals £113.81 in branch funds & £53.54 in Political Funds.

Questions were asked and answered on all above minutes.

New Standing Orders debated, pro. M. Hawkins & sec J. Carney. “New standing orders be introduced on 30.3.88”. voting all in favour. (To be written into new minute book).

Nomination for Branch Officers were called for, Below is a list of new officers, effective from 30.3.88

Chairman Bro. W. Mackenzie

Vice Chairamn Bro. A. Light

Secretary Bro. C. Newton

Asst Sec Bro. M. Thompson

Trustees Bros. P. Plaine & J. Carney

Auditor Bros. C. Horlock & R. Matthews

District Council Delegate Bro. P. Plaine

Committee Bros. A. Ricketts, F. Locke, B. noakes, B. Pegg, J. Osborne, I Osborne M. Hunter, D. Morgan,

G. Hussey, T. Fielding, L. Osman & P. Edwards.

Chairman W. Mackenzie, thanked Bro P. Plaine for his years as Branch Chairman




Chris Newton

Brighton Secretary 1988 - 2000.

L.D.C. rep & H&S rep



Special Branch Meeting Minutes held March 23rd 1988

Members present; P. Plaine, C. Newton, W. Mackenzie, B. Brown, A. Ricketts, M. Hunter, C. Debenham,

T. Fielding, M. Hawkins, J. Osborne, I. Osborne, N. Light, L. Osman, W. Jones, C. Horlock, R. Lewis,

M. Thompson & T. Parsons (18)

Chairman W. Mackenzie opened the meeting explaining reasons why “Special Branch Meeting” had been called. Bros. W. Mackenzie & P. Plaine explained that information from management regarding the additional work i.e. Reading and Sunday (Thameslink) diagrams had come to them and called for a “Special Meeting”. Both explained that they were told that the Reading work had been withdrawn to appease other depots for the loss of their work, and also feelings regarding the unfairt allocation of Thameslink Sunday work diagrams, between Brighton/Selhurst/Bedford.

These were discussed by members, all of which felt they too had points to raise.

Bro. A. Ricketts then put forward the following proposal.

“Loss of inter-regional work to Reading and Thameslink Sunday diagrams. That this Brighton Branch of A.S.L.E.F. instruct the  L.D.C. (Brighton M.T.) to inform management that a state of non co-operating i.e. rest Day, overtime working (outside) variable day roster agreement), no movement of men off their roster (to assist management) will exist, further until both grievances are settled to this branch’s satisfaction the non co-operation will not be lifted”.

Proposed A. Ricketts & Seconded W. Jones, voted on 18 for, 0 against, carried unanimously.

This would now be presented to the management and that they would report back to this branch.


Minutes of Branch meeting held March 30th   1988

Members present: P. Plaine, M. Styles, T. Fielding, M. Thompson, W. Mackenzie, C. Horlock,

P. Osborne, J. Osborne, D. Knight, A. Ricketts, R. Lewis, D. Morgan, A. Bell, L. Osman, A. Flowers,

& M. Hawkins.

Bro. Plaine reported on discussions with management over allocation of work. They now realised Brighton was not a “soft touch”. Many questions were asked but there were more discussions to follow, so no decisions were made.

Resolution 1/88.

That all previous minutes and branch records be put into one book and kept for historical value, and previous secretaries be asked for additional items of merit.

Pro. P. Plaine & sec L. Osman.

District Council Report

P. Plaine reported on new allowances and claims procedures, channel tunnel work, a proposed workers federation to include A.S.L.E.F.

Steve Forey had lost his final appeal, with heavy implications for all of us.

Further reports on, pensions surplus and new schemes, Train Crew Concept, Thameslink, 455 brakes,  run by’s of signals to be investigated by psychologist, appeals procedure, statements to police, new rule book.

Resolution 3/88 “That £25 be donated to S. Forey’s appeal as requested by S.R. Liaison Committee”. Pro A. Ricketts & sec D. Morgan, agreed unan.

Bro. Mackenzie reported on the poor state of the training program. Bro Mackenzie was then presented with a pen.

Speaker Carl Liver from the P&O ferry strikers spoke to the meeting. 2,300 seafarers had been sacked for refusing to accept a contract with 11 days holidays per year, only 6 hours sleep in every 24, and a cut of £45 a week in wages. After 3 months the strike was still solid out, they were very short of money as they had no strike pay.

Resolution 4/88 “That £50 be given to the strike fund, and a collection sheet displayed. Pro A. Ricketts & sec D. Knight.

Questions were asked on the position of smoking coaches on Class 63 VEP units. The L.D.C. were asked to look into this.



 Below are minutes from the first 

Brighton Alamagamation of the 

Brighton Branches.

The minutes of the meetings that 

where held on  the 23rd March 1988 

and 21st April 1988, help to explain 

the problems of the Rationalisation 

of Brighton depots.


With the two depots being amalgamated this brought together 153 drivers and the 

various training problems that were caused through this rationalisation 

programme. The Mixed Traction had 51 drivers and the E.M.U.T. had 102 drivers. 

This was caused by having to amalgamate the driver’s seniorities from both depots 

and placing the drivers into their correct link positions. The route knowledge at 

Brighton spanned along the coast from Ore in the East to Salisbury in the West, far 

North as Bedford and to Reading via Guildford and via Kensington and the Great 

Western main line.

All the Mixed Traction drivers had to learn the various forms of electrical multiple 

units. Whilst a number of E.M.U.T. drivers had to learn the new 319 and the 

Thameslink route, many also had to learn the various types of diesels and the 

associated routes as well. The new Mixed Traction depot was to be made up of the 

following links sizes.


Link one would consist of 32 drivers which worked on all forms of traction and 

over all routes. 

Since the beginning of the Railways Enginemen have always regarded “seniority” 

as the deciding factor as to what work they did. The more seniority you had gained 

as a Fireman and then Engineman the better and more varied work you would do. 

This work has always been divided at Depots by means of men being grouped 

together in “Links” and progressing from the bottom Link with the most menial 

work to finally reaching the Top Link doing the most prestige and best paying work.

Motormen Depots on the South Coast did not operate this system and all Motormen 

would be in one Link doing the same work.


Link two would also consist of 32 drivers working on all forms of traction covering 

most of routes that was covered in the top link. Both of the top two links where made 

up of both M.T. & E.M.U.T. drivers with the driver’s seniority dictation which link a 

driver would be placed in.


The L211 link consists of the senior 24 E.M.U.T. drivers of which 22 where 

protected under the L211 agreement and a further 2 senior drivers. The additional 2 

where do to retire at a similar time as the rest of the L211 drivers.

The fourth link was made up of some senior E.M.U.T, drivers who did not want to learn any further routes or traction and 

the junior drivers from both depots. These drivers only worked over the routes that the old E.M.U.T. depot worked over. The 

exception to this was the former M.T. drivers who still retained their route and traction as well as learning this links route and 



The allocated link was a eight manned link, that worked in and out of Brighton Lovers Walk Maintenance Depot and round 

the triangle Brighton/Hove/Preston Park/Brighton which also included the appropriate sidings and yards. 


The restricted link was of 4 Drivers who only worked within the confines of Lovers Walk Maintenance depot. 

The smallest link was a 3 manned station pilot link that operated to the same criteria as the allocated link. 

There were 51 drivers requiring to be trained on E.M.U.T. traction and routes. In the top two links 24 E.M.U.T. drivers had to 

learn all forms of diesels and the associated routes and yards.


These figures where constantly going to change over the coming months as drivers retired and drivers moved from the other 

junior links and taking up their rightful seniority position within the depot.





Back Row Left - Right: Dave Pumfrey, Dickie Potts, Johnny Saunders, Peter Mantell, Unknown. 

& Chris Exley (Instructor (ex TWW & Bton)

Front Row: Left - Right: Ernie Meeds, Alan Hardiman, Mick Bassett (Chief Traction Inspector (ex Bton), 

Peter Staniford & Brian Young



HELD ON April 21st 1988 AT 11:00 & 18:00 

Number of member present, a total of 53 members a list had compiled and has been enclosed.

Both meetings were opened by the Chairman Bro. W. Mackenzie who explained the reason for calling these meetings, by 

explaining there was no branch meetings for April owing to the merger of No.1 & No.2 Branches and to hear the men’s 

grievances and up date the position as to Managements position.

First the “Reading Work” this was explained and that there was still a good chance of retaining the work as the matter being 

perused by the General Manager.

Secondly, complaints about the list clerk, it was pointed out that management have been told of the problems caused by Mr. 

Ken Smith not working to the agreed minutes as drawn up both management and L.D.C.’S Thameslink service.

Sunday situation has been explained and should resolve itself.

Training Courses

Position of 47 class explained that a course of 3 Brighton men on June 6th and that no more  course date were known, and that 

men in the L211 link opting out would not take preference over men in the other links.

Secondly, complaints about the list clerk, it was pointed out that management have been told of the problems caused by Mr. 

Ken Smith not working to the agreed minutes as drawn up both management and L.D.C.’S Thameslink service.

Sunday situation has been explained and should resolve itself.

Training Courses Position of 47 class explained that a course of 3 Brighton men on June 6th and that no more  course date 

were known, and that men in the L211 link opting out would not take preference over men in the other links.

Chairman gave a breakdown of mileage and 

D.O.O.Weekday 12 x Mileage/D.O.O. 7 x 319 Duty, 5 x 


Saturday 16 Mileage duties, Sunday 7 duties and there 

is 78 instance of D.O.O against 19 at present.

Two resolutions were then put before the meeting. 

Proposed A. Ricketts & Seconded E. Janes. “That this 

ASLE&F Branch (Brighton M.T.) instructs its L.D.C.’s 

to progress the grievances expressed at the two 

meetings held on Thursday 21.4.88 with Management 

as a matter of great urgency, and in the event of these 

problems   not being resolved to this Branches 

satisfaction, a withdrawal of co-operation will be 

implement.” Voted: Unanimously by all the members.

Resolution, “That this Branch wishes to pass a vote of 

no confidence in the List Clerk Mr. Ken Smith.” 

Proposed G. Hatcher & Seconded by P. Edwards. Voted: 

Unanimously by all the members.  


Left - Right: Charlie Constable, Chris Newton, Brian Hall 

& Fred Maskell in the front.



HELD ON April 28th 1988 AT 11:00 18:45

Members Present 30, I. Ailes, A. Light, T. Fielding, M. Hawkins, W. Mackenzie, P. Plaine, L. Osman, 

P. Bradford, C. Newton, D. Morgan, C. Horlock, M. Thompson, D. Hill, P. Hayward, W. Jones, I. Osborne, 

P. Osborne, J. Osborne, Hussey, F. Locke, G. Hoad, & R. Lewis

L.D.C. N. Light, L. Osman, P. Plaine, W. Mackenzie T. Fielding & M. Hawkins attended both meetings.

The meetings are held to inform members of the latest position.

List Clerk, grievances about rostering were explained to management and some improvement was made and the L.D.C. were 

hoping that things would improve.

Rest Days, all Rest Days will be shown weather working or otherwise and all work covered by out stations to be shown and a 

no cover list to posted in case.

Training, it is hoped that with improved instructor training that more “47 class” course will be made this matter is to be 

discussed further.

Reading Work, decision on this is still waiting from Operating Manager, but L.D.C. see no reason for this work not coming to 




HELD ON May 4th 1988 AT 11:00 18:45

Members Present  M. Hawkins, E. Janes, A. Ricketts, G. Hussey, L. Osman, R. Abell, T. Fielding, B. Brown, 

W. Mackenzie, C. Newton, A. Flowers & R. Lewis.


Letter re Steve Forey from branch secretary King’s Cross, receipt of appeal for Steve Forey.

Ref. N.U.S. appeal, £50.00 sent to appeal fund and posted in messroom for donations.

LDC report Class “63” VEP stock smoking, this matter still to be raised, Diesel training programme matter to be discussed future, List Clerk problems s till not resolved branch called for meeting with Senior Management. 


HELD ON May 11th 1988 AT 11:00 18:45

Members present C. Horlock, M. Hawkins, R. Swetman, R. Lewis, D. Morgan, B. Brown, P. Hayward, 

W. Mackenzie, M. Thompson, & P. Plaine.

LDC Report. The new rosters were complete, but there were still problems with the training programme – a meeting with the 

Divisional Personal Manger was due soon and this would be sorted out. There was an unofficial agreement that men with 

routes still to learn should be booked on rest day if not required for other work, but the list clerk was still not applying this.




Front Row L~ R: Russel Dare (Bognor (O.O.C.), Neal Cowdrey, Roy Swetman & Freddie Goff.

Middle Row L~R: John Lucas (Norwood), Bill Lawrence, Bernie Hayne & Ron Rabbetts

Back Row L~R: Alfie Pelling, Peter Gambling, Brian Hobby (Instructor), Reg Jarrett 

& Mick Neale (Horsham & Immingham)



HELD ON June 2nd 1988

Members present G. Hatcher, A. Ailes, R. Bolingbroke, L. Osman, A. Light, C. Horlock, A. Ricketts, D. Knight, 

F. Maskell, M. Hunter, & C. Newton.

Branch stood in silence for a minute to respect the death of one of our brothers, Ron Baker.

Minutes were read and propped as a true record, proposed A. Ricketts & seconded G. Hatcher. Comments were made about 

the LDC Report by members who felt that the situation regarding problems created by the Rosters still have not been fully 

resolved and felt a more positive position should be taken with the possibility of implementing the Branch resolution of non 


LDC Report, members still felt strongly over the problems. Bros L. Osman and N. Light said owing to route learning they had 

not attended any meetings during the last four weeks, but would raise any matters with management.

Bro. F. Maskell brought up the problems of the 319 cabs, and after making a strong case put forward a proposal. Proposed F. 

Maskell and seconded D. knight “That draughts and overhaul condition of 319 units to be improved by the next winter 

diagrams.” Vote 6 for and 5 abstained.

Bro. A. Ricketts raised issue of equalising of bonus etc. amongst the links, pointing out that there seems to be more 

mileage/D.O.O. in the L211 and number one link compared to links two, three and four. After much talk and comments a 

proposal was put forward to be recorded. Proposed A. Ricketts and seconded F. Maskell “That the LDC review the earnings of 

all links regards to earnings to hours worked.” Voted, all in favour.



HELD ON June 8th 1988 AT 11:00 19:00

Members present M. Thompson, W. Mackenzie, P, Hayward, T. Fielding, D. Morgan, R. Lewis, P. Plaine, 

R. Swetman, B. Noakes, & T. Janes.

The LDC report, there were continuing complications in the training programme, and with the list clerk. There was a long 

discussion on these matters, and referring to previous resolutions.

Labour Party Delegates report, Bro m. Thompson reported that the May elections, there were 27 labour councillors on 

Brighton council, a majority of 6.

Nobby Clarke, who many members remembered well as a station supervisor had recently retired from political activity after 

many years service to the labour party, due to ill health.

Regarding the election for labour leadership, the Brighton Pavilion constituency Party had disenfranchised affiliated unions. 

This was unconstitutional, and the Branch agreed to ask the District Secretary to complain to the southern Region Labour 

Party. Proposed M. Thompson & seconded by R. Swetman.

Bro Thompson proposed the Branch nominate Tony Benn and Eric Heffer for the leadership of the labour party. There being 

no seconder, the motion fell after some discussion. 



Graham Postance infamous derailment at Copyhold Junction, 14th June, 1988, involving the unloaded stone train returning 

back Ardingly stone plant, and train was being hauled 56062.



On 18 August, the locomotive was returned to an upright position. Its engine and alternator unit were removed on 

4th September, the body was lifted from the bogies on 2 October. All were transported to Doncaster Works where the 

locomotive was rebuilt and re entered service with a the nameplate Mont Sorrel. 



HELD ON July 14th 1988

Members present A. Ricketts, P. Edwards, F. Maskell, G. Hussey, C. Horlock, W. Mackenzie, E. Ailes, I Osborne, J. Osborne, 

M. Thompson, M. Hunter, P. Plaine, & T. Fielding.

Correspondence read, then a debated and comments made in particular about signals passed at danger, braking systems, new 

rule book re rule 1:14:1:82. Bro. P. Plaine explained position with regards to an article in the “Evening Argus” and on how 

managements viewed it in the light of the new rules, and that writing to him warned him of such action would be taken, and 

could well lead to being disciplined.

Equal earnings matter was raised by members with members in links other than L211 and No.1 being worse off. Chairman W. 

Mackenzie try to explain the reason for the in balance , also Sunday quota in link two was considered unfair by members and 

after much discussion the LDC were ask to review this and report back to the branch.

Resolution put forward by Brighton LDC “That as from the October 1988 diagrams this LDC will not accept Sunday duties 

over 8 hours.” Proposed G. Hussey & seconded P. Edwards, vote all in favour. Amendment to resolution, “That this resolution 

will apply only if the majority of other Central LDCs support this motion.”

LDC report, 47 training position improving with more courses, meeting with Mr. Eccles still to be arranged and 319 training 

will be raised with management regarding links two and three. Extended comp leave raised with in the light of Bro. R. Dove 

which was turned down, matter somewhat resolved by R. Dove’s transfer. 

Health and Safety report by Bro. P. Plaine who along with M. Hawkins made a five page report which is now with 




HELD ON August 4th 1988

Members present Bros. B. Noakes, E. Janes, R. Swetman, R. Lawrence, M. Hawkins, P. Hayward, P. Plaine, 

& W. Mackenzie.

Letters in reply to support of 8 hour Sunday from Three Bridges & Battersea Branches.

L.D.C. Report, meeting arranged for Tuesday 9th August with management to discuss T.C.C. introduction. LDC to also include 

various items L211 link, M.L.V. training, diagrams, dirty cabs on locomotives, and Sick Pay Arrangements. Discussions in 

these items to place question being asked and answered. 




Left - Right Passed man Brian Overton, unknown & Driver Harry Woolacott



HELD ON August 11th 1988

Members present A. Ricketts, J. Osborne, E. Ailes, T. Fielding, C. Horlock, G. Hussey, M. Hunter, C. Newton, 

B. Brown, L Osman & D. Morgan.

Members were concerned about reports of men refusing training courses and wished it to be noted that as a branch it was 

against men refusing courses for what ever reason other than annual leave or domestic reasons. 

Smoking compartments on units, position was still not units resolved as units still coming out of repair shops with smoking 

compartments still behind drivers cabs, matter to raised with Area Manager regarding D/As applying  for drivers job regarding 

length of service before applications be accepted, advice to be sort from head office.

LDC report items brought up, management proposal for starter link of 8 men, L211 & No.1 links to have blank turns in each 

links, MLV training Links No. 1 & 2 to be trained. Cabs and windows of both units and engine cleaning should be done by 

C.M. &E. depot. Radio Training, Bro. H. Vincent told of position regards to refusal of position regards to refusal to be trained. 

Sick pay forms, members told they must complete these forms on returning to work. Three new drivers to Brighton, Bros. 

Sharp, Lewis, & Simmons. Train Crew Concept, Area Manager refused to talk about this. 



HELD ON September 1st 1988

Members present M. Thompson, D. Morgan, W. Mackenzie, M. Hawkins, P. Hayward, C. Horlock, P. Plaine, 

A. Flowers, J. Parks, I. Munro, & B. Pegg.

Correspondence, Littlehampton & Seaford Branches wrote supporting the Brighton Branch resolution on Sunday Working.

Ballot for Appeals Committee, the Branch supporting Bro. P. Plaine.

The Journal “Unite” was agreed to be posed on the notice board, subject to agreement at next meeting.

Circular No. 192, Driver Shortages, many points were raised about B.R.s recruiting policy and the lack of training of new 


Arising from the correspondence on Sunday working it was agreed. “That West Worthing Depot be associated with the 

resolution, and West Worthing LDC be instructed accordingly” motion proposed by J. Parks & seconded I. Munro.

The following motion was agreed unanimously. “That this Branch instruct the LDC Secretary to enquire from other LDCs as 

to what support we have regarding the Branch Resolution ‘Sunday Duties over eight hours, and act accordingly to their 

findings.’ Proposed M. Hawkins & seconded C. Horlock.

Any other business

The following motion was agreed unanimously. “That this branch instructs the Branch Secretary to forward on the details of 

the claim of Bro. P. Plaine for payment of ~L215 in full to the General Secretary for him to place before the E.C. for their 

consideration with the view of pursuing the claim.”

LDC report (Brighton)

The diagrams proposed a loss of work to Norwood, and the LDC had refused to accept them. Some Sunday diagrams over 8 

hours had been altered to be brought under.

The management proposed a reduction of 2 in the establishment, this was opposed by the LDC and management withdraw the 


The LDC had tried to achieve a fair distribution of earnings between the links when drawing up winter rosters.

Questions were asked about the removal of red paint at Earlswood, about Health and Safety aspect of empting train toilets in 

carriage sheds and stations, and about cab heaters. On the latter the L.D.C. was asked to press for on-off switches.

West Worthing LDC

One turn, the last one night, as nine hours, but in practice often lasting over that time, had been re-arranged to bring it under, 

but still qualified for night rate payment. 




Members present B. Noakes, C. Newton, A. Light, W. Mackenzie, T. Farmer, I. Osborne, M. Hawkins,

T. Fielding, F. Locke, L. Osman, & M. Hunter.


Letters of support from branch resolution “Sunday 8 hour diagram” from Littlehampton and Seaford, this follows on from 

other branches.

Health and Safety

Bro. M. Hawkins made a report about matters of health and safety, in particular Wall Sidings, but pointed out that drivers are 

not reporting things to the Area manager or Health and safety Rep., and he asked for drivers to report any matter concerning 

health and safety. It was asked for that the Branch Secretary writes to the B.R.B. and Area Manager about track side safety.

LDC report

As on the previous branch meeting, LDC explained position over loss of work, and earning amongst the links, questions of 

these and on excess use of red paint were raised.

319 training, LDC were going to ask that No.2 link be trained, as far as all other training, there was nothing to indicate that 

management would be suspending courses.



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