The formation of 

the Scottish Society of Railway Servants &

 the United Pointsmen and Signalmen's Society

Railway accident on the 


Spa Road Junction 28th January 1880

Involving Driver William Saunders & His Fireman Harry Saunders

Depots not known

The Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen

Established 1880


 Terrier Tank No.76 ' Hailsham' was originally allocated to Hailsham shed 

and transferred to Eastbourne shed in 1880


On the 1st April 1880 the Hailsham to Heathfield line was opened.

The Hailsham Loco shed was closed in 1880, by the L.B.S.C.R.




Owing to difficulties the Newhaven Harbour had to be controlled by an independent company, which worked in close co-operation with the L.B.S.C.R. Known as the Newhaven Harbour Company, this concern employed horses on the quays for some years before turning to steam power. The first indication of this was on 6th July, 1880 when the Minute Book records £300 being made available for purchasing a suitable tank locomotive. 

Apparently one was not found, for on 5th April, 1881 Stroudley suggested raising the price to £550 and offered to inspect a second hand engine advertised for sale by the Huslett Engine Company. The was accepted and on 3rd May, 1881 a saddle tank engine named ‘Wave’ was at work hauling sand from the beach to Denton Cement Works. A similar engine named ‘Bradford’ said to be ten years old and in good order, was inspected on 2nd May, 1882 and purchased together with a steam crane and patent grab, on 20th June at an auction in Manchester for £742. Both engines were repainted in standard Stroudley livery with their names inscribed across the tank sides. At weekends they were washed out and given minor repairs at Newhaven shed, while heavier attention was given by Brighton works. 

In July 1888 their regular crews were passed by L.B.S.C.R. inspectors for working between the Harbour and the Town stations, thereby avoiding the necessity of providing pilot-men on journeys from the beach to the West Breakwater. In addition the senior driver was also passed for occasional journeys in daylight hours from Newhaven Town to Seaford or Lewes. Two carriages were borrowed in March, 1889 and purchased for £42 in February, 1892 on Billinton’s request because they were not fitted with the Westinghouse brake and he wished to inform the Board of Trade that all the company’s coaching stock was so fitted.

With no signalling on the quay lines, apart from that applying to the Brighton Company’s track it is not surprising that minor incidents occurred from time to time. For instance ‘Wave’ ran into and killed one of the shunting horses on the night of 11th February, 1883, while in the following year on 6th May ‘Bradford’ collided with several loaded coal wagons and pushed two of them into the harbour. Of greater consequence was the accident on the evening of 23rd March, 1888 when Wave’s crew lost control of a heavy train of stone blocks and crashed at speed into some empty wagons, which in ran into Bradford. No one was injured, both crews having jumped clear in time, but the Harbour company’s complete stock of locomotives was out of commission, and ‘Terriers’ engines Nos. 69 ‘Peckham’ and 79 ‘Minories’ had to be borrowed until repairs could be completed. Bradford was quickly dealt with on the spot by fitters sent out from Brighton shed and was back at work in four days, but Wave had to be towed away to Brighton Works and returned to traffic on 27th May, 1888, on the 7th December 1892 was sold for scrap. Bradford was again damaged by runaway wagons on 25th April, 1892 and was sent to Brighton for repairs and returned back to Newhaven on 28th July and was laid up in February, 1898. Terrier engine no. 69 acted as a temporary replacement, while negotiations were made for the purchase of Terrier engine No.72 ‘Fenchurch’ on 27th June 1898. Over the following months various Terriers were hired for varying periods, but once work ceased on the sea defences in February 1902, Fenchurch proved sufficient.



On Friday 16th July, the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants produced their first weekly newspaper. This publication was to report on all the various matters within the railway industry, across the country.


16TH JULY 1881


At Brighton as a goods train was approaching Kemp Town on Wednesday (14th) evening, between seven and eight o'clock, the driver of the engine was unable from some cause or other, to shut off steam, and the engine ran into some trucks standing at the station, doing considerable amount of damage to the rolling stock and the building itself. Neither the driver nor fireman sustained any injury.




Locomotive Steam Enginemen and Firemen's Friendly Society

Locomotive Steam Enginemen and Firemen's Friendly Society claims first attention, from the fact that it was the oldest and only friendly society established by railway servants which depends entirely on the contributions paid by its members. In its earliest inception it combined the dual character of friendly society and trade union, but since the Enginemen's strike on the Great Eastern or Eastern Counties Railway, the society has confined its operations to the functions of a benevolent or provident institution. It retains on feature, and one only, of the militant combinations known "trade union;" it gives assistance to members when travelling in search of employment. The amount of this travelling relief is limited to eight shillings per week, and to one such payment during a member's stay in any one town or place. The constitution of the society is best described as a confederation of many independent societies agreeing to be governed by a general assembly or parliament, in which each society is directly represented. Each "branch" is a separate society, managing its own funds and affairs, but agreeing to combine with other branches to form two general funds, and for the purpose of establishing a general directorate, which administers the general funds, and fulfils the duties of a court of appeal and guardian of the law of the branches. membership is restricted to locomotive men on railways who, on joining, must be between the ages of 18 and 40 years. The entrance fees range from 5s for a person under 25, to £2. 14s. 6d. for a person between 35 and 40 years. The contributions, including a quarterly payment of 1s. for superannuation, vary from 1s. 2d. per fortnight for a member joining when under 25 years, to 1s. 6d. per fortnight for a member who joins when between the ages of 35 and 40. The benefits are:- Sick pay of 10s. weekly; donation of £18 at a member's death, of £5 at death of a member's wife; a weekly pension of 5s. in permanent disablement, and the travelling relief alluded to. The accumulated funds of the are stated at £80,000, and the membership stands, we believe at about 6,000. The whole business is conducted by the members themselves, at regular meetings of the branches, which are situate in the chief railway centres of England, Scotland, and Ireland. The quiet efficient manner in which it plays its part of collecting funds and administering to the wants of the unfortunate among the class it serves, is a creditable testimony to our Enginemen's capacity for self government, and striking contact with some railway societies directed by the influence of the companies. A prevalent practice when establishing railwaymen's societies  on a certain amount of support from the charity of the public, with a view to save the pockets of the members. The practice is not a worthy or commendable one, and we rejoice to find the Enginemen's Society exhibiting an example of self-reliance which we hope to see more generally adopted. In our next impression we propose to review the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants.              

Railway accident on the 


Ford Junction 24th September 1880

Involving Driver John Buckland & His Fireman F. Day

Depots not known





The Brighton line is one depending chiefly on passenger traffic for its very respectable dividends. One consequence of this is to be found in the courteous demeanour before the public of the Chairman of the Company, Mr. Laing, M.P., by Mr. Knight (who is also highly esteemed by the staff), and of the other of the leading officials. But courtesy is, we fear, reserved for the public alone by some other of the officials in the locomotive department, and rarely by them practised towards the staff under them. We do not wish it to be supposed that officers of this department are wanting this attribute of civilisation, but only some of them. For instance, Mr. Stroudley is esteemed for his kindness; Mr. Richardson, of Battersea, too, is a favourite with the workmen because of his affability; yet complaints reach us from the men of fines inflicted for such frivolous matters as dropping a coupling, or sweeping a specks of coal dust of the footplate of an engine. these are duly recorded in the black list, and exposed to the inquiring gaze of other servants at the various sheds. In looking over one of the lists we came to the conclusion that the infliction of some of the fines is a reflection on the officials who imposed them. Their time could not be well occupied when they could spare it for the notice of such trivial offences. The firemen on the line are not as well paid as on other passenger lines. The rate of pay varies from 3s. to 4s. a day, whereas on other lines firemen of passenger trains receive 4s. 6d. per day. the drivers begin that duty at 5s. per day, and when receiving this small wage are frequently employed to run fast express trains. By irregular and uncertain advances they attain, after years, to 6s. 6d. per day, and only raise to 7s. and 7s. 6d. per day when appointed to drive regularly passenger trains. The engine used are not always satisfactory in construction. The men are debited with the cost of breakages, and for this reason they feel they have some right to criticise their iron horses with more than usual severity. Mr. Stroudley is very proud of his little terriers, and the award of a gold medal at the Paris Exhibition may induce him to think them more perfect than they really are. Following his cue, the foremen never admit the possibility of any fault in an engine: if there be fault, it must be with the driver, and the latter has to bear the engine's sins as well as his own. Frequently men have to for breakages, or are discharged for defects in these engines, and they rightly complain that fair play is not accorded to them in this respect. One of the locomotive officials, a man of immense stature, is profile in his threats of physical violence to offending Enginemen, and is never very choice in the epithets selected to give force to his expressions or opinion concerning them. A few weeks ago a fireman got off his engine at a station and stood on the embankment of the line. A hedge divided the company's ground from the garden of a private house. In the garden a gentlemen was lovingly kissing his --- sister, at least, so he afterwards represented her to be. Hearing the fireman near the hedge, the gentleman approached him, and challenged his right to look into the garden, called the police on the spot, and finally reported the circumstances to the officials, and got the fireman discharged. A cat may look at the queen, but it is evident that firemen who want to retain their position on the Brighton must not look into a garden at the moment a gentleman chooses for kissing his sister. On the report reaching the fireman's big foreman, the latter accosted him in his usual manner, and told him he "deserved a good thrashing." &c. The fireman's apologetic defence only angered the foreman, who sent him to Brighton, where Mr. Stroudley, without hearing any explanation, dismissed him. Walker, the fireman in question is a quiet respectable man, and the company loses a promising servants. On another occasion the same foreman some faults with a driver, as small in stature as the foreman was  great. The driver denied the accusation, and was struck on the face by his giant superior. A melee ensued, and the giant found himself as length on the ground from well aimed blows by the tiny driver. Picking himself up the threatening foreman beat a retreat to the office, where the next day he made terms with his puny antagonist who had thrashed him. We refer to these incidents to show that improvement is possible on the Brighton line, and that the attention of Mr. Laing and Mr. Levy might well be directed to the monster in which the duties of the employer are administered by some of the trusted authorities.  


In 1880, the Employers' Liability Act was passed.






On Sunday (31st October) afternoon, on the arrival of the tidal train from Newhaven at London Bridge terminus, something was observed to be wrong with the engine. On its coming to a standstill at the arrival platform the driver proceeded to examine it, and found the greater portion of the wooden casing in which the boiler is enclosed on fire. Steps were taken to draw out the fire, and, it having been subdued, the engine was taken to New Cross locomotive depot, where it will undergo repair. The mishap is supposed mohave been caused by an over heating of the furnace.




The Portsmouth express to London, had to be stopped suddenly on Wednesday (17th) week by special signals near Horsham. A horse which had taken fright broke away from a gig, jumped over a fence on to the railway, and ran in front of the express for more than a mile. Eventually it was captured by an engine driver.




The Brighton Guardian say: "One of the most brilliant effusion that I have had the felicity of pursuing lately appeared in the Sussex Daily News. It was in the shape of a letter, and was entitled "A New Line to Brighton." The epistle is full of valuable information, important suggestions, sapient advice, and parenthetical divergencies of  a most bewildering character. The writer informs us that "Brighton is a resuscitator," also being that the tradespeople who object to being overcharges for the carriage of their goods are "illiberal and shortsighted," that they 'potter about,' and 'bully,' and achieve 'unsatisfactory results.' Of course this very sad and shocking; and our joy at the sudden advent of a second 'Daniel,' who gratuitously rectifies the miserable state of things, is spontaneous and unbound. The flood of light thrown on a confusedly difficult subject by this admirable letter is almost too dazzling for the comprehension of an ordinary mortal; but as nearly as I can gather, the solution of the railway grievance is as simple as it is brilliant, and sheds immortal lustre on its modest discoverer. Me viola! All we have to do is merely to form 'a powerful committee,' comprising, look you ' The Mayor and Corporation of Brighton, the Chairman and Commissioner of Hove, the Borough Members, the principal tradesmen and landowner of the vicinity, the Bench of Magistrate, the Board of Guardians, the School Board, the Officers of the Rifle and Artillery Corps, the Fire Brigade, the Borough Police Forced a deputation of Brighton Costermongers (I am only writing from memory, but I believe this is all). Then this 'powerful committee' must confer with the railway officials, and the railway officials will immediately lay down two or three fresh lines of rails, build some new 'non oscillating coaches,' run a continuous day and night service of fast passenger trains, reduce the traffic charges to almost a nominal figure, and inaugurate such a railway millennium, that 'new lines' will vanish instanter. The Traders' Defence Association' will immediately become extinct, the London and Brighton Railway will become a thing of Beauty and a joy for ever, and everything and everybody will be satisfied and happy."
(Moral; "don't you wish you may get it?") 





Some attempts to form separate or exclusive enginemen's societies have lately been made, but not, we are glad to learn, with any degree of success. Already too much exclusiveness and separation prevails among railway servants, and too little of unity and goodwill. Those who foster a spirit of exclusiveness among Enginemen would increase unfriendliness and illmill and whatever be their motives they are not true friends of railwaymen. Towards the close of 1879 two exclusive Enginemen's societies were formulated, and more or less advocated, by the promoters. One was termed "The National Union of Enginemen and Firemen," and the other "The Associated Society of Locomotive Steam Enginemen and Firemen." The National Union was by far the most effective attempt. It was not put forward in any feeling of hostility to the Amalgamated Society, nor did it aim to supplant the old and useful Steam Enginemen and Firemen's Friendly Society. It simply proposed to give to enginemen a special protection which, at the time, the Amalgamated Society did not give, but which it has since provided by the adoption of the National Union no longer obtains, and its members, who for the most part are members of the Amalgamated, may find in the altered rules of the old society the special protection they wish for. The "Associated Society of Enginemen, &c.," the other exclusive effort, never found any considerable support, and with exception of Pontypool, Sheffield, and one end of Liverpool, has not any following among the enginemen of the country. It owes its origin to a discontented member of the Amalgamated Society at Pontypool, a driver on the Great Western Railway. With such an origin we are not surprised to find it specially designed to weaken and injure the Amalgamated Society, which numbers over 5,000 enginemen and firemen among its members. But we are astonished that its promoters should also have aimed at superseding the old established and worth Locomotive Steam Enginemen's and Firemen's Friendly Society. In undertaking such a task, the Associated Society proved itself unworthy the confidence of the men of the footplate. The long established and well Society has adherents in every part of the United Kingdom; a majority of whom belong also to the Amalgamated Society. They can but regard as enemies of their class those who are striving to weaken its interests by multiplying divisions which ever end the discord. The benefits held out to enginemen and firemen by the Associated Society are of a tempting character. They remind us of the eighteen per cent. bank, which came to grief so early in its career. The promoters, probably aware of most workmen's desire to secure big benefits for little payments have pandered to that weakness, in the hope that the glare of stupendous advantages would seduce enginemen from the societies to which they are already attached. Fortunately, enginemen have not been so easily deceived. We will examine in detail the value of the benefits of this "Associated Society of Enginemen, &c.," that our readers may apprehend its true character. The entrance fees are 5s. per enginemen, and 2s. per firemen, and the contribution 1s. per week, irrespective of age. Irrespective of age! To found an insurance for death, and sickness, and superannuation and annuity fund, and levy an equal contribution on all incoming members, irrespective of age! Such a proposal could only emanate from men totally ignorant of finance and indifferent to the merits of equity and solvency. In effect, it must result in old men reaping all the monetary advantages, ad young men providing a great portion, but enjoying none. Yet such is the proposal of this society. Old and young alike are to pay one shilling per week. The ages of enginemen vary from 27 to 60 years. Let us however, assume that the "irrespective of age" proposals would give an average of 40 years among those who joined. Some may be 50 or 55, and other 27 or 30 at joining, but one with another, the average may be stated at 40 years. What weekly contribution is requisite to ensure to the members the benefits promised by the Associated Society? We give in details the. benefits that are promised, and put opposite to them their lowest weekly rate to a man aged 40, according to the experience of other societies and of able actuaries.

(1) £60 when incapacitated by reason of (a) sickness, (b) old age, from following usual employment
(2) 7s. 6d. per week for life after incapacitated for usual employment, by reason of accident or old age - say an average of 60 years is first attained (Mr. Neison's experience)
(3) 12s. per week in sickness for 26 weeks, and 6s. per week for remainder of sickness.
(4) £20 at member's death, and £5 at death of member's wife
(5) £100 each to members discharged for taking part in movements
(6) 15s. per week to above so long as they are out of work
(7) 12s. per week when out of employment from ordinary causes
(8) 12s. per week and 2s. per week to each child under ten years during strikes, estimated together at Cost of management.
Lowest total weekly contribution required from a member aged 40 on joining
0s. 5d.

2s. 0d.

0s. 6d.

0s. 3 1/2d.

0s. 4 1/2d.

0s. 1d.
3s. 8d.

Men under forty would require to pay less, and those over forty more than 3s. 8d. per week, in proportion to their exact age, so as to contribute equally and justly in covering the risks involved. But that forty is a low average of the ages of those likely to join we. are convinced. To promote a society, then, which offers for one shilling an amount of benefits which no less than 3s. 8d. is required to purchase, is to foster deception which sooner or later will be bitterly deplored by this unwary enough to pay their money to it. Promoters of societies who desire to act honestly never go by rule of thumb in arranging subscriptions and benefits, but consult an experienced actuary, whose knowledge is the only safeguard against inequalities and insolvency. If the promoters of this associated society are sincere, and do not wish to mislead or deceive their fellow workmen, we would recommend to them the sensible course of submitting their scale of payments to an actuary, and published to their mates his report thereon. Till they do this their conduct must be regarded as doubtful honesty. Apart, however, from the merits of any of the proposed new enginemen's societies, is the policy they inaugurate a prudent one? Can it possibly result in greater unity among locomotive men? Nearly one half of the enginemen in England and Wales are already members of the Amalgamated Society, and they show no disposition to leave if for the new untried movements. The "Associated Society" may attract some members, and the "National Union" others, while many men will remain indifferent to all three societies. What, then, is the result? Enginemen will exclude themselves from fellowship with other grades in the Service, and at the same time divide themselves into three hostile camp, thus effectually destroying unity and engendering which more than ever must place railwaymen at the mercy of their employers. True friends of railwaymen have ever advised them to unite together without distinct of grade or class. This was the advice of Mr. Bass, Mr. Morley, Mr. Brssey, and others some years since. All grades have many interests in common -- interests that can best b e promoted by one society -- while the unity of all grades give power and character to a society impossible of attainment by sectional movements. It was the union of many grades in the Amalgamated Society which entitled it to do the great work it accomplished in the compensation movement, in favour of railway orphans, and of better hours and wages. It has recently undertaken to deal in a systematic manner with the working hours of railwaymen. It appeals to all grades to join in a united struggle for justice in this direction. Those who from pique or other motive endeavour to divide the Service are in truth trying to destroy unity and friendship among the different grades, and so render the hours movement impossible. They will put back the hand of the clock for many years, and possibly work irreparable mischief. Unity and friendship is the want of the Railway Service, and because the Amalgamated Society most promotes these we believe it to be the only practical foundation of a useful and lasting railway servants' society. We have confidence that the good sense of ennginemen and firemen will make them pause ere they give encouragement to sectional and suicidal  movements which, if successful, might endanger the future of the one society that has successfully withstood the opposition of railway companies.

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