Railway accident on the 


from http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk

Norwood Junction 24th March 1871 

no mention of Enginemen 


On the 26th November 1871 a group of railwaymen held a meeting in Leeds, they made the decision which resulted in the establishment of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants.

Within the next two weeks, further meetings in London enthusiastically endoursed the launching of the new Society such as that at the Winchester Arms, 63 Southwark Street, London.

"A meeting will be held at the Winchester Arms, 63 Southwark Street, on Sunday December 3rd (1871) to further the objects of securing ten hours for a day's labour, payment for Sunday duty and weekly payment of wages. Chair to be taken at 6 o'clock. Please inform mates and solicit them to attend. 

Printed on tiny slips of paper four inches by two inches, in order not to attract the attention of the employers, this was the message passed between railwaymen that led to the forming of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants.

Despite the justified caution of the founders (there was an early proposal for a secret sign and password for the union) the union found a substantial support from railway workers and even "progressive" Member of Parliament such as Michael Thomas Bass (Derby) and his agent Charles Bassett Vincent who helped and encouraged railway to organise and fund the influential "Railway Service Gazette" forerunner of the " Railway Gazette”.

By 1872 the Engine Drivers and Firemen’s Society had been amalgamated with other Friendly societies and become apart the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants to protest to parliament over the excessive hours Railway workers were expected to endure. However as this Society was made up of all grades of railway workers it became very ineffective in achieving any improvements and its membership very quickly decreased.


Brighton August Bank Holiday 1871

17 engines waiting in Lover’s Walk to work the return excursions back to London

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