On the 1st January 1881, the introduction of the Employers' Liability Act come into force.





A meeting was held at Manchester on Monday to consider whether it was judicious to continue longer the efforts to establish an enginemen's trade union from which other grades in the Service would be excluded. It was a very small gathering, we are informed, but few stations taking notice of the invitation. We recently called minute attention to the attempts begun in 1879 to establish two separate engine-men's societies, under the titles of the " National Union" and " Associated Society." If it can be shown that any possible good would accrue from these efforts to cause division among railway servants, why do not the promoters state their case? The tendency of trade unions is to amalgamation, not to severances and divisions. The engineering trades, far more diverse in character than the varied occupations on a railway, found a basis for uniting their many societies in 1852 in face of a common danger. Hence the Amalgamated Society of Engineers. At this moment there are several schemes promoted for amalgamating the building trade societies into one confederation. Enginemen have made several attempts to establish isolated or exclusive societies, but each attempt has come to grief excepting the Friendly Society, which forewent its earlier character of a trade union. An enginemen's exclusive society would so offend other grades that, in the event of a struggle, the guards and others would be without sympathy for enginemen, and possibly the experiences of 1848, of 1866, and of 1867 would once again be repeated to the discomfiture of the locomotive men. How much better to ensure the co-operation and goodwill of other grades in the Service by joining with them in one common society. Whatever be the defects of the Amalgamated Society, they are remediable. This society ensures to enginemen every fair protection, and promotes the truest union, by joining all classes together. No other railwaymen's trade society has ever endured like the Amalgamated, or accomplished such work as it has wrought, and, on the verge of its tenth year, we find it as vigorous as ever it was, and grappling in a systematic manner with evils that touch all grades in the Service alike. The Associated Society of Enginemen is unfortunate instriking out against two such worthy associations as the Amalgamated Society and the Locomotive Steam Enginemen and Firemen's Friendly Society. The rumour that has been set afloat assuring men that the latter society would amalgamate with the Associated is devoid of truth. The old society's members would indeed be foolish if they placed their accumulated fund of £70,000 deferred sick pay, &c., at the disposal of the members of the younger society, taking up liabilities which would eventually ruin their now thoroughly sound society. Enginemen desire union, not separation, and they cannot do better than stand firm by the Amalgamated.


The merits of the Amalgamated society and a certain society of enginemen and firemen formed a topic of conversation between two drivers not a hundred miles from Sheffield a day or two since. One of them is an old and much esteemed member the Amalgamated, while the other, though once a member, has left and joined the Associated Society of Enginemen and Firemen, and, having done so, evidently thinks no "small beer" of himself, and forcibly reminds one of the fable of the "Ass in the Loin's Skin." The conversation on the part of this individual was for the purpose of getting one who is strong in his convictions of the value of the Amalgamated to give up what he believes in, and join a new society that he has no faith in or sympathy with. Says the Associated driver, "Shall we who are skilled workmen sacrifice our positions for the sake of those whose places could be filled in five minutes?" To this the Amalgamated driver replied. "Who told you you were a skilled workman?" A question which elicited the reply. You know that we drivers have to get a good deal of experience before we get to the position." "That is mere twaddle, my good friend," says our Amalgamated driver; "the skill required for a driver, as I understand the term, is a mere nothing compared with that of  a goods guard or shunter. There is more skill required in the performance of the duties these men have to perform every day in order to do their work, and at the same time preserve their lives and limbs, than will be required for you and me in our lifetime; and with all your boast of being a skilled workman, I fear you would cut a sorry figure if you made an attempt at their work." "But," says the Associated man, "If there were no skill required rot be an engine driver, how is it we get so much more wages?" " It is not the skill, for I repeat," says our Amalgamated driver, "that it is as nought compared with others who occupy other positions in the railway service, and receive less wages: but it is because we are merely entrusted with the care and handling of £2,500 worth of the company's property." With this the two drivers parted company, the Amalgamated one still remaining unshaken in his belief that the best method of promoting his own interests is by uniting with other grades, and by assisting them in protecting theirs, and that such specious arguments as those made use of by his fellow workman, and the pharisaical spirit it displays, is a convincing proof that instead of unity prevailing, discord, and that of the worst kind, bids fair to become engendered.





On Monday 17th January

A collision occurred on Monday (17th), morning, shortly before 10 o'clock, at the Old Kent Road station of the South London line. A train from London Bridge to Victoria, after discharging passengers was waiting at the platform with the signals against it, when, in the midst of a thick fog, a sudden shock was experienced. It was found that a short goods train had been admitted on the same metals in the belief that the south London train was cleared. The engine of the goods train penetrated for some distance into the interior of the guard's brake van at the rear of the standing train, but the guard, being fortunately still on the platform, escaped unhurt. The driver of the goods train escaped with a few scratches, and the passengers of the Victoria train, though some of them were shaken, were not otherwise injured. The down line remained blocked for several Hours. 


On Monday 17th January

A fatal accident happened on Monday (17th) morning at New Cross station of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway. As the nine o'clock train from West Croydon to London Bridge was passing through the above station the driver felt his engine strike some object on the line, but, owing to the denseness of the fog, he was unable to see what it was. On arriving at London Bridge terminus, Scott reported what had occurred, and a telegram was sent to New Cross. A search was then made, and the mutilated remains of a shunter, named Neil, was discovered on the metals.  




William Lewin, an engine driver in the employ of the London, Brighton, and South coast Railway, was summoned at Croydon Petty Sessions on Saturday (22nd) for being drunk while in charge of a train at Norwood Junction on December 31.

Defendant did not appear, and the case was heard in his absence.

A goods foreman at Norwood Junction station, name Hetherington, stated that he was on duty at 5.30 a.m. on the 31st ult., and the defendant, who had charge of a goods train left Brighton at seven p.m. on the previous night, was at the station with train. Witness gave him a signal to start, but finding the train did not move, he went to the engine, and found the defendant lying in front of the fire, on the footplate of his engine. He tried to rouse him, but in vain.

Inspector John Reason deposed to being called by the previous witness. He spoke to the defendant and asked him what was the matter with him, but could not get no reply. He smelt strongly of liquor, and was insensible. Witness left him a short time, and on his return found him lying on the coals on the tender. He was then placed on another engine and sent to New Cross.

George Bond, a stoker, said that he was working with the defendant on the morning in question. They left Brighton at seven o'clock overnight, and arrived at Croydon at 5.30. There was a heavy snowstorm at the the time, and having to wait for signals at St. James's Junction, they found the weather very severe. The defendant suddenly said, "Oh, mate, I feel so bad," at the same time putting his hands on his stomach and sitting down. He did not drink in the road, as far as witness could see. If he did he took it on the sly. He was some at Brighton. The defendant shut off steam at Croydon, and the witness put it on a little. The train ran to Norwood almost by itself. (Laughter)

The case was adjourned, and a warrant granted for the apprehension of the accused.




On January 3rd a delegate meeting of the members of the locomotive societies was held at the Falstaff Hotel, Manchester. Although there are in various parts of the kingdom a large number of these organisations, there are only thirteen delegates to consider the societies and of the Associated Societies of the province to of Enginemen and Firemen. The result of a week's deliberations was, that they left the whole matter in abeyance for the present, but they agreed to employ a solicitor to put into shape what they had agreed upon, so that their conclusions might be published.




Sir, -- I have read "A Sheffield Member's" letter on "Imperial Journalism," and note the charming morality of your contemporary. My object in writing is to call attention to its inconsistency, and to a which which members will regard as a betrayal of the past confidence respond in your contemporary by the society. I give two articles cut out from your contemporary 's issues of February 6th 1880 and December 17th 1880, both bearing on the same subject. One Article was written before Mr. Dixon bought the paper, and the other since it has been his journal.

(From the R.S.G. of February 6th 1880)


We have received a copy of the rules of a society, or proposed society, called the "Locomotive Enginemen and Firemen's National Union." This is probably the embodiment of the ideas of those gentlemen who have been lately trying to form an association for enginemen only, distinct from the Amalgamated ..... Union or disunion ----which do railway servants prefer -- which is it their interest to prefer? Even if their personal sympathies and wishes be enlisted by friends on the side of disunion under the belief that they are really achieving unity, it is well that they should see that so far as their interests go they are progressing in favour of disunion, and that, therefore, they do well to abjure separate associations and stick to the all embracing Amalgamated. Its arms are open to all railway servants from the enginemen to the platelayer, and the sooner our friends the enginemen in this term we include firemen -- give up any idea of forming a separate association the better, collateral effort, working entirely with the Amalgamated, the efforts of enginemen as represented in these rules were crowned with success, and the separate union of enginemen acquired considerable strength, what is the use of going to the expense of keeping up collateral agencies when the old one is sufficient? The past history of railwaymen's efforts shows a variety of failures to form and carry on permanently societies intended for their protection. The Amalgamated is the only one that succeeded well, and unquestionably this success is due no less to its broad basis than to its excellent leadership. It would, consequently, be a very regrettable circumstance if railway servants, who are already ably served and protected by their general society, were to set about the formation of minor associations, intended to embrace the members of this or that rank of the service. With all respect to the promoters of this attempt to form a "Locomotive Enginemen and Firemen's Union," whoever may be (and we know not), we cannot think that enginemen generally wish for any such efforts to be made. A few of them may second the attempt out of loyalty to any effort which seems at first sight to be intended to benefit them (ass indeed we cannot doubt the present effort is), but our readers will see on reflection that they cannot derive any benefit from their force being split up into fragments. Instead of being, as they now are, one united army, they would become a variety of divisions of any army, each division acting under separate commanders, independent of each other, and therefore (notwithstanding the excellence of their intentions) in constant risk of collision with each other, as well as with the enemy

(From the R.S.G. of December17th, when it had become Mr. Dixon's Journal)


We have just received a copy of a circular from the committee, who invite enginemen and firemen to join them in forming a new society. We print the circular in another column. It will be eagerly read by many, especially by this who belonged to the now defunct Enginemen' Society, sometime called the 1867 Society. That there is ample room for such an association is evident from the way in which the committee has been met by large numbers of enginemen and firemen. Large numbers who were members of the old society, but for some reasons or another would never join the A.S.R.S., have responded to this invitation, and are working with a will to establish on a sure footing a society after their own heart. Indeed, it is not only now, or for a few weeks, that the promoters and their friends have been quietly and steadily working; they have been many months feeling their way and sowing the seed which will, doubtless, soon bear fruit which will fully reward them.

If any other proof were requires to show that there is ample room for such society as this, it need only be remembered that comparatively small number -- we believe not one sixth -- of the railway servants of the United Kingdom will join the Amalgamated Society. We have often regretted this; we have frequently been somewhat at a loss to know why so many thousands of railwaymen would not join the society. It has done much for them, it has held its doors open to receive all who would come, it has sent travelling and other secretaries about the country to its various branches to hold public meetings and induce non members to join, but still a large majority, who all the time watched its proceedings, would not become "society men." However much this has been regretted, we all know that this is a land of liberty, and that every individual can do as he likes about any matter of this kind. It has been said that a travelling secretary of the Amalgamated Society wished to coerce non members and compel them to join his society. We find it hard to believe that any sane man would think of doing such a thing, and no one will for a moment believe that the society had any notion of that being done.

On the contrary, we think the Amalgamated Society will be glad to see those railwaymen, who could not come within its palling, unite and go to work for their common good. Knowing as we do that our readers, like other classes of men cannot all see things from the same point of view, we rejoice that those who have for so long kept apart from the society are now going to work on the same idea, viz: -- that in unity is strength. We wish the new Society of Enginemen and Firemen, god speed.
The second of these articles was written after a correspondence with Mr. Charles H. Perry, of Pontypool, in which the editor disclaimed for Mr. Dixon's journal any special attachments to the A.S.R.S., and offered to advocate Mr. Perry's society notwithstanding that it was avowedly established in enmity to the A.S.R.S. 

It would be impossible for one and the same journal to be the organ of several societies having conflicting interest. Mr. Dixon has chosen that his journal should be the organ of the avowed enemy of our society. Therefore it becomes our duty to support and trust the journal which we are now assured is our organ, i.e., The Railway Review.

  Yours obediently




Mr. Evans's letter, which appeared in The Railway Review of the 4th instant, was an effective exposure of the tactics adopted by Mr. Dixon and his journal towards the society and its chief office. In the sorry reply attempted in our contemporary last week the writer was careful to skip over the facts advanced by Mr. Evans and to ignore his pointed corrections of some of the baseless assertions that had appeared in Mr. Dixon's journal. A reiteration of disproved statements, assisted by fresh in accuracies, scantly clad in the guise of truth, served for the foundation of the lame rejoinder. We are innocently assured that "the prime movers of the Enginemen's Associated Society avow their friendship and goodwill to the A.S.R.S.!" Has the writer of this palpable misstatement pressed the circular by Mr. Chas. H. Perry, of Pontypool, signed "The Committee," and whose recent letter was too libellous even for the columns of our contemporary? Let him do so, and glean some knowledge of the subject he writes on for the instruction of others. "Dozens of correspondents" who were not present at the Cardiff meeting are relied on as authorities on the transpired there, against the evidence of those who were present. Any nail is good enough to hang up a dog. We have an advantage over Mr. Dixon's journal in this matter, inasmuch as The Railway Review was represented by a reporter at the Cardiff meeting. Our MS. report enables us to deny the assertion advanced by Mr. Dixon's journal on the authority of "dozens of correspondents" who were not present, and to say that Mr. Evans gave no such pledge as that attributed to him; and, further, that no delegate put a question to him on the subject, and therefore could not "extorted" an answer.

The newly installed editor of Mr. Dixon's journal is ingenious, and possibly is not a novice at general newspaper work. but he labours un the disadvantage of both ignorance of the society and a railway work, and of the past history of what henceforth we shall term Mr. Dixon's journal. What wonder that statement should be inaccurate, or misrepresent past events in the society! They, however help to fill up space, bring pence to Mr. Dixon's pocket, and puzzle the "constant reader." It is amusing to note the effrontery with which the editorial "we" is flourished before a supposed narration of the facts the writer knows nothing about. The gushing style adopted is however, a pleasing change from the heavy, coarse abuse of a few weeks ago. Readers are treated such expressions as "charming inconsistent" and "transparent as glass." An extract, described as "remarkably funny" in one sentence, is in another described as "horribly absurd." The style may be inconsistent, but that matters not; it illustrates the "funny" and lively disposition of the new editor of Mr, Dixon's journal.



A meeting of the Engine and Firemen's Union was held recently at the Freemasons' Tavern, Kentish Town, to take into consideration a circular issued by the committee at Birmingham. Correspondence was read from Derby, Pontyprid, Birmingham, and other places, and a discussion ensued as to what was best for the enginemen to do. An old engine driver supported the National Union, and other drivers strongly urged that they should join Amalgamated society on the ground that it was the only recognised organisation of railwaymen that was true to the interest of enginemen and other grades of the service. It was also urged that the Amalgamated was the only trades union connected with the railway service, and the only society which had done any material good for railway service generally. Some of those present contended that the only independent society that was of any good to enginemen was the old Engine Drivers and Firemen's Sick Benefit Society; and others affirmed that it was the duty of all locomotivemen to belong to the Sick Benefit Society and to the Amalgamated also. Ultimately it was resolved to hold a further general meeting. The conclusion arrived at have not yet been communicated to us.


Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers & Firemen, held their first Executive meeting was held on the 6th March 1881. Society registered 
under the Trade Union Acts with Head Office at the Commercial Inn Sweet Street, Holbeck, Leeds. First Rule Book issued, with provisions for the creation of strike and victimisation funds in addition to Friendly Benefits. 


1ST APRIL 1881


"A.R.B."  writes:- Having had the pleasure of attending the quarterly meeting of the above branch on Sunday last, I should thank you to allow me to say a few words in reference to the once good branch. The Brighton branch about two years ago numbered about 150 members, and since that time we have gradually been going down the hill. I am at a loss to say why; but some excuses are public house and Sunday night meetings; some say they cannot see what good society is, and offers say the money is too much for the benefits. All these are, I consider, excuses to run out, and for not joining. I may say a few words in reference to one of these excuses "Don't see that the society is any good to me." There words came from the mouth of one of my mates, now deceased -- Charles Ford -- who a short time since was accidentally killed by falling into the motions of his engine. He left four young children, and I am given to understand his widow is now in a very weak state. now, I ask one question, would not the society in this case have been of great assistance to his widow? She would have received 5s. 6d. per week from the Orphan Fund had her husband continued in the A.S.R.S. This is one of many cases. Our Sunday night meeting was a fairly attended one, taking into consideration many things. £5 19s. 1d. was taken for contributions. Each officer was in his place, and a very pleasant evening was passed. The principal part of the evening was the discussing the proposed Good Friday dinner. The time is drawing near; and as the volunteer review would render it impossible to find a house that would accommodate us on the day, it was left over, and proposed "That all members be summoned to attend at the club house on Good Friday to see what steps should be taken about a dinner at a future date, in aid of the Orphan Fund." A great number of members will be off duty on that date, and I hope that a good number will attend at the New England Inn. The alteration in rules seems to meet the approval of most of the members here. The hours movement and Sunday duty is spoken of as a good movement, and I think that, in reference to the Sunday duty, or perhaps both, great assistance should be expected from a number of the men employed here; that is, if they keep to their colours, which I hope they will, and not make themselves look foolish. I have overheard that a great number of drivers, refuse to work on Sundays; at the same time I was surprised to hear the remark that they are anxious to make as much time in six days as if they worked in seven. This I do not consider fair; therefore the hours movement does not look so good as I mentioned above. If they want to work long hours on weekdays to make up for Sundays, they cannot be considered as good mates. It is a well known fact that some one must work, and it is quite possible that many a man that works is quite as good in regard to religious and home affairs as those that do not work at all. 

I wish success to the Railway Review  


8TH APRIL 1881

Drunk on duty! fined £3, and 7s. 6d. costs. Drunk on duty! fined £5, or six weeks in Wandsworth Gaol. The former was the offence of a foreman, and the punishment inflicted on him at Berwick on Monday; and the latter was the offence and punishment awarded a Brighton driver in January. To be drunk when on railway duty is indeed a most serious dereliction, and every honest railwaymen should guard himself against even an approach to the possibility of being so charged by every precaution within his power. Never to drink any intoxicant before going on duty or when on duty is a rule with many worthy men who are not total abstainers. This practice could be observed by every railway servant without injury to himself, and also without the sacrifice of any real comfort enjoyment. The plan - and we recommend it to our readers' best consideration - has this value: In any eventuality which may arise, the question of sobriety will b e settled beyond dispute. We have often heard it urged in inquiries anent accidents, "Oh, I only had one pint of ale at so and so;" or "I admit having had two drops of whisky, but nothing more." This admission is frequently fatal to a man's prospects, and though he is not charged with being the worse for drink, he is punished for it notwithstanding. How much clearer would a man stand who could say "I never drink before duty or when on duty?" For their own sakes, as well as of the public and their employers, railwaymen should cultivate a character for the strict sobriety.


On Sunday, the 3rd instant, a preliminary meeting in connection with the hours movement was held at Battersea Music Hall, Battersea Park Road. About 150 railwaymen attended, among where were many well known faces. Mr. F.W. Evans was voted to the chair and delivered an address explaining the programme of the movement, and the manner in which the Central committee proposed to carry on the work undertaken. He justified the claim for nine hours among railway servants, and insisted on the necessity of one day's rest in seven. At the conclusion of his address he read the leading article from the Railway Review of the 1st instant, which was loudly applauded, and invited non members to take their share in the movement and elect representatives from amongst them to form part of the Central committee.

A Member of the Central Committee, although eight hours signalman, was determined to try to be on a level with other workmen by being paid a week's wages for six days' labour. He did not requires overtime, by which so many men were kept in idleness. He thought that six days work was sufficient, and should give them enough to live. (Cheers.) He should do hi utmost to further the movement.

A non member of the society said he came there to express his approval of the movement. As the Amalgamated Society held out a friendly hand to non members it was their duty to accept it. Society men and non society men had an equal interest in the question; they wanted one another's help, and should, therefore, work shoulder to shoulder. (Cheers.) He had laborious work to do, and plenty of it, but it was his bread. The chairman had hit the right key when he asked them to be reasonable in their demands and moderate in their language. (Hear, hear.) He believed in keeping on peaceable terms with their employers, and in that spirit he came to try with others what could be done to improve their conditions. Men had not known of meeting thoroughly or many more would have been present. he wished the movement success. (Cheers.)

A Nine Elms workman said the chairman had well stated the programme. he did not think non members need have any fear so long as they did their duty honestly to their employers. The movement was not directed against  the employers, but against the bad system in use on railways of exacting too many hours. (Cheers.)

Several other speeches were made, and nine men of different lines and departments were selected to be added to the Central Committee.

Votes of thanks to the chairman closed an orderly and unanimous meeting.

Railway accidents on the 


Streatham Hill 11th April 1881


On the 18th May 1881 the Uckfield to Tunbridge Wells (West) line was opened.


20TH APRIL 1881


On Monday morning an elderly gentleman arrived by an up train at New Cross station of the Brighton Railway. Discovering that he had travelled beyond his distance he rushed to the rear of the train, jumped down behind the brake van, and made for the opposite platform, apparently with a view of catching the 11.45 a.m. Clapham Junction train, which was then in the station, when the 11.30 express train from West Croydon cam along on the up main line,  and knocked the unfortunate man down. Mr. Bedser, the stationmaster, immediately summoned a doctor, and had the injured man, who was frightfully mutilated, carried into his office, where the medical gentleman pronounced life extinct. The deceased was identified as a Mr. Sprunt, brother to a pawnbroker of Old Kent Road.


27TH MAY 1881


FELLOW WORKMEN, - It has been a matter of regret to me to see the spirit of disloyalty and difference to the A.S.R.S which of late has been making its stealthy and insidious presence felt among you - a spirit which, I need hardly say, it is to the interest of some to foster and encourage, but which you, fellow mates, will do well to eradicate at once. As one moving among you frequently, I have had ample opportunities of seeing this much-to-be-deplored state of things hanging like a pall over this once famous branch. I therefore venture, through this medium, to sound a note of warning, haply it may be in time to stimulate the loyal, and to urge upon those who as yet cannot see their error or the prospective results of it, to pause ere they abandon themselves to a policy which may prove fatal to the interest of themselves and those whose care they have.

First of all, mates, I wish you to bear in mind this is no fictitious letter. I am not paid to do this; my motives are, I hope, obvious enough. Whether you are united or not is to me of no pecuniary importance whatever as an individual. The only recompense I can. or wish to obtain, is the pleasure I should feel to see you take your normal position as the leading branch of the society, as what is to our interest collectively must of necessity be so individually. Having prefaced my appeal with these remarks, I will touch upon some of the objections I have heard, and disprove them, I hope, to your satisfaction, taking them as I hear them from yourselves. Objection No.1 is the superannuation benefit - or, if you so prefer it, the abolition of the benefit - largely used as an argument of disaffection. Your men say the annual general meeting did this or that, and the result is a reduced benefit - that the society ought to have either not commenced the benefit, or else, having done so, it has no right to reduce it.

Now as to the first of these objections, the annual general meeting have no responsibility whatever. The benefit was founded by those whose zeal was in advance of their experience, and, faulty as it may appear to us at this stage, their example was of that higher order which many of our wiseacres will do well to emulate, and can ill afford to criticise. Our pioneers intended, doubtless, that the benefit should be permanent if possible; but was this possible? Under the old constitution, with the fact before us, I say emphatically no. then certainly the annual general meeting had not only a right, but an obligation imposed upon them to do one of the three things - either to raise the contributions to a solvent scale (this the members could not pay), or to reduce the benefit to assimilate with the payments, or to abolish the benefit altogether; and as the latter the members would not do, the only alternative was the middle course. Now it rested not with the Executive Council, not with the annual general meeting, but with the members to choose which course should adopted, and if members were so indifferent at the time to what was contemplated and fully put before them, surely they have no just right to resent the action taken by those to whom they delegated their power when that action was not only justifiable but honourable. Remember, men of Battersea, you were not ignorant of these things; your resolution on the agenda proved your knowledge of events, and in the face of such intelligence it is hard to believe you could have sanctioned the continuance of what would have been justly stigmatised as a swindle, when it had been proved to be an insolvent benefit (ex uno disce omnes).

Your next demurrer is one upon which I fain would, for our reputation, be silent, but to be silent is to condone. I cannot hear it without a pang of sorrow that it should be urged at all. I mean the Orphan Fund. I confess that it makes one blush to hear a man in the full cigar of health and strength, with the comforts of wife, and family, and home surrounding him, pleading the call of a halfpenny per week as a reason for accession. "Tell it not in Gath;" no, nor publish in the streets of Battersea, that there are men so narrow as to refuse to aid those whose very helplessness should command your sympathy and support. I adjure you, for the sake of our reputation generally, to at once rid yourselves of this sigma. If there is one thing more than another that should make you cling to our brotherhood it is this noble fund, to which it is not only your privilege but your duty to contribute. Are not these so many subterfuges? I appeal to you, mates to rally yourselves once again, shake of this lethargic and selfish spirit; remember what you owe to the A.S.R.S. Can you deny that it is to your past unity you owe your present prosperity? You have masters of kindest and most benevolent disposition, but they too will in time give place to others who may be the reverse (though we hope not); but should you fall away in unity there are your masters who daily see the utility of it and exercise it, and when you are weakest they will be strongest. In conclusion I say cast away prejudices; look stern realities in the face; and at your next branch meeting show yourselves to be in the future what you have been in the past men of unity.

Yours sincerely



Sir, -- I beg a small space in your valuable paper to insert a few lines relative to the way in which some of the firemen of the L. B. and S. C. Railway at Battersea are paid. There are firemen at present time that have been firing for the period of four years and nine months without being able to attain the large sum of 4s. per day. Whether our worthy foreman considers that 4s. per day is too large a sum to work then hours a day on a locomotive or not, the I do not know; but I think that it is very near time that the some of the men were paid better for the work they do. 

Yours truly 
A. Fireman

Railway accidents on the 


Lower Worple Road Crossing 31st May 1881


1ST JULY 1881



We regret to have to record the death of member William Platt, who fell from his engine on June 23rd, when running between Epsom and London. Having occasion to go round his tank engine, he seems to have missed his hold, and thus to have fallen. It has been alleged that the had rails of these small tanks are inconvenient for men of small stature and the the running board is so narrow as three inches, giving men but a meagre foot hold. The risk attending a journal round one of these engines when in motion is therefore not inconsiderable, and we fear that poor Platt fell a victim to the combined dangers alluded to. He leaves a widow and six young children to lament his loss. Pecuniarily they are fairly provided for. Owing to the influence of the Employers' Liability Act, the widow will receive £200 instead of £100 from the Company's Accidental Insurance Society, and from the Amalgamated Society £10 in a lump sum, and 6s. 6d. per week from the Orphan Fund on behalf of the children under thirteen years old. Many members who know Brother Platt will learn of his untimely end with unfeigned sorrow. A kind mate and a loyal member of this union has been laid at rest -- a victim to the dangers of the rail.    

11th JULY 1881

The Chichester to Midhurst Railway authorised and work started in 1865 (1865 funds were exhausted  and partly completed earthworks abandoned. In 1876 the scheme was revised and the L.B.S.C.R. would operate the . It opened on 11th July 1881 with a new brick built station at Midhurst about half-a mile further east (facing towards Petworth). The old station closed and became part of the goods yard.   


15TH JULY 1881


This line which was inspected by Co;. Yolland for the Board of Trade on the 24th Ult., and since certified was opened for traffic on Monday. The Bill for the line was passed in 1864, and works were commenced, but were stopped in 1866. Under a new Act the project was revived, and the works resumed in 1878. The line from Midhurst, hitherto a terminus of the Mid Sussex system, to the junction with the south Coast line at Chichester, is about 12 miles. A new station has been provided at Midhurst and others at Cocking, Singleton, and Lavant; the station at Chichester has been remodelled and enlarged for the accommodation of the new traffic. The line crosses the South Downs, the summit being 203 feet above Midhurst, and 287feet above Chichester. There are three tunnels on the line, but a fair portion of it is on embankments and in the open, and a succession of very fine pastoral and woodland views is obtained, the district being one of the most richly wooded in England. Goodwood Hill and the Grandstand on the racecourse are seen from the line in approaching Singleton Station, which is only about two miles from the course. Here, in making provision for the race week traffic, excellent work has been executed and abundant provision made. There are three quarters of a mile of sidings and accommodation for fourteen trains of twenty carriages each, besides ample docking for carriages and horses. The stiffest gradient on the line is one in sixty. The curves are very easy throughout. The train service for the present is four trains daily each way between Pulborough and Chichester, three between Pulborough and Midhurst, and two between Midhurst and Chichester; time respectively, 1 hour 10 minutes, 27 minutes, and 41 minutes.

1904 Derailment of D1 Class No. 259 Pacham on Friday 9th September 1904. It was returning from a Midhurst to Singleton freight working when it left the rails between Cocking and Midhurst (Cocking Causeway - 1 mile north of cocking, having just passed over Park Lane Underbridge). On Sunday 11th October 1904 it was re-railed by steam cranes from New Cross (No.17) and Brighton (No. 16).  

1935 Passenger Service was withdrawn between Chichester to Midhurst on Friday 6 July 1935 (No passenger service on Saturday and Sundays).  You have recorded Selsey (typo)

World War ll   Just before D-Day (6th June 1944) freight services were disrupted somewhat as Drove (Singleton) and Cocking Tunnels were used for storing ammunition wagons for the royal Navy and double steel doors were build across either ends of each tunnel with a 24hour armed guards at each.

1951 Through freight on the Chichester to Midhurst Branch was abrupted halted on 19th November 1951 when the daily goods train from Chichester after C2x No. 32522 fell into a stream after a culvert had been washed away about a mile south of Midhurst. 

1953 The Freight Services to Cocking and Singleton ceased after the closure of both stations on 28 August 1953. Lavant remained open.

1955 The Withdrawal of Passenger Services between Midhurst to Pulborough and Passenger and Freight Services between Petersfield and Midhurst (although the former LSWR yard remained open for the Midhurst Whites Brickworks). Closed on 5th February 1955 (no services on Saturdays and Sundays). The Midhurst Loco shed closed but freight workings continued covering all statins between Pulborough and Midhurst. There was The Hampshireman Rail tour on 5th February 1955 with the bunker to bunker E5x Classes Nos. 32570 & 32576 returning the next day. There were other Rail tours visiting Midhurst after passenger closure.   

1963 Freight Services ceased at Selham and Fittleworth in May 1963.

1964 Freight Services ceased at Midhurst on Friday 12th October 1964. However, there was the Midhurst Bell Rail Tour on Sunday 18th October 1964.

1966 Freight Service ceased at Petworth on 28th May 1966

1971 Lavant Station Closed

1972 Gravel extraction started south of Lavant at Snakes Lane Bridge (now Hunters Race) 

1981 Gravel extraction closed in June 1981

1983 Gravel extraction was reopened in September 1983

1991  Gravel extraction ceased in March 1991




The Brighton Railway Company will shortly place on their line a train completely composed of Pullman cars. there will be a general saloon, a dining room, smoking saloon, ladies boudoir, and refreshment bar. The carriages will be handsomely appointed, and will, in fact introduce into England the comfort of American trains with the speed of the English. It should, perhaps, be added that the building of this train, which is so near completion, was commenced nearly a year ago.   

The first all-Pullman train on the L.B.S.C.R. was introduced on the 14th October 1881, and consisted of four Pullman cars. Although described as a new train, the vehicles do not appear to have been new, but were probably refurbished and partly rebuilt for the service. 

The Pullman car Beatrice was used as an experimentally between Victoria and Brighton in October of that year as the first railway carriage to be lighted by electricity. This was eleven months before a similar experiment in the U.S.A. As a result, the new train was electrically lighted.

At the invitation of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway Company a large party of gentlemen left Victoria for Brighton on the 1st December. The train is successfully lighted by Faure batteries and Addison lamps, and the cars and the light called forth universal approval. The train will leave Victoria daily at 11.30 and Brighton at 4.55.
(the Railway Review 02/12/1881)

On Thursday 1st December, 1881, a special inaugural trip was made to Brighton via Dorking, Horsham & Shoreham and back by the direct route. The was hauled by a Stroudley “G” class 2-2-2 No.329, ’Stephenson’. 

On Monday 5th December, 1881, the “Pullman Limited Express” was placed in regular 
service. On weekdays it left Victoria at 10 a.m. and 3.50 p.m., returning from Brighton at 1.20p.m. and 5.45 p.m. 

The first Sunday train ran on the 11th December. It left Victoria at 12.30 p.m. and returned from Brighton at 9.30 p.m. and consisted only of Pullman cars. 

The all-Pullman train was poorly patronised, and in less than two months the Sunday service was withdrawn. The weekly service was continued, but, from Friday 1st December, 1882, ordinary first class coaches were attached and the train ceased to be all-Pullman, The name “Pullman Limited Express” remained in the timetable until 1887, when the words “Fast train” were substituted for “Express”. In 1882 a British company called the Pullman Co. Ltd. was formed, but under American control.


22ND JULY 1881


Sir, -- allow me to make a few remarks, which ought to be known throughout the country, of some of the engine drivers at New Cross of the above line who volunteer to work 14 or 15, and even more hours per day. At this time of the year there are several excursions run to Epsom Downs, Ashstead, Leatherhead, Boxhill and Dorking. The driver that are booked to work these specials are informed by their superior that they can stop at the above mentioned places and work the train back, and receive one day's pay, or they can come back with their engines to New Cross and book off duty, and book on again in time to go and bring the specials back, running the engines a number of miles empty, which I have always understood is a dead loss to the company. For my way of thinking, if all these men were to come back with their engines this thing would soon be put a stop to. But when drivers go and tell the gaffer they will do it for a day and stop there, we are not surprised to see them booked several times a week to work these specials. I do not think our directors would be so mean as to wish the men to do this kind of thing.



14TH JULY 1881


A meeting was held on July 17th, which was the poorest one we have had for some time past. Several members mentioned that the reason of the meetings being so thinly attended was that a great number objected to Sunday night meetings. it was therefore proposed that our nights for meeting be altered to week days to meet the convenience of our members. It was mentioned that it would not only be suiting present members, but that others would join. A grant from the Home Management Fund was made to one of the members, a driver, who has been off sick for some considerable time, and whose wife is at present time very ill. The next meeting is on Sunday, August 14th, when it is to be hoped that all off duty will attend and take part in the business of the branch.

Railway accidents on the 


Lewes 23rd August 1881

Involving Brighton Driver Samuel Young

See Sub Page

In the case of a collision at Lewes (L., B., and S.C.R.),  between a passenger train and two trolleys laden with rails, Major Marindin says "that the result of this collision, which occurred on August 23rd, was not grave, but he thinks the company would do well to issue regulations regarding the use of trolleys, and limiting the loads which may be placed upon them. Trolleys cannot be dispensed with carrying on the ordinary repairs of a line, but it would be far better in such cases as this, where a few rails or some light loads have to be moved. It is also worth considering whether platelayers' trolleys should not be fitted with a proper brake, provided one could be designed strong enough to stand the rough usage of which trolleys are necessarily subjected."
Railway Review 18th November 1881  




A numerously attuned meeting of the committee on the hours movement was held at the Duke of Cornwall, Stewart's Road, Battersea Park road, on Sunday, September 4th. The minutes of the previous meeting having been read and confirmed, the meeting considered matters arising from them.

The secretary who had been appointed at the previous meeting, finding the he was unable to hold that office through pressure of other work, resigned, and a fresh secretary was elected in his stead.

Collectors were appointed to collect subscriptions towards the hours movement. Circulars were read re the conference to be held in Manchester on the 6th.

An old railwayman was elected to represent the committee at the conference. Sunday, September 18th, was fixed for the next meeting of the committee, to be held at 7.30 p.m., at the same place. A vote of thanks of the secretary and chairman concluded the most successful meeting in Battersea for several years, even one present seeming determined to carry the movement to a successful issue.




In our issue of Dec. 24th, in an article headed "Proposed Enginemen's Societies," we drew attention to bogus character of the then so called " Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen.' In that article we carefully analysed the cost of the benefits promised for a contribution of one shilling per week to men of any age. As there was no restriction on age we took forty years as a fair average, seeing that enormous superannuation was promised as the enticing benefit. Our exposure of the unsoundness of this Society's extravagant financial promises has had its effects and sobered the judgment of the novice society makers, who seemed to believe that to print big benefits on paper was sufficient to provide them. They have acted on our advice and revised the scale of the benefits. Small, indeed, they look to the former promises. The lowest contribution required to meet the claims under the first rules was an average of 3s. 8d. per week, or 2s. 8d. per week per member more than the contribution actually paid. to amend their error this society has now struck out altogether the promised lump sum of £60 to men incapacitated by mean of accident or old age, and withdrawn the superannuation allowance of 7s. 6d. per week for life to such members. It has further reduced the sick pay from 12s/ to 10s. per week, and excluded from sick and death benefits all and every enginemen of the forty and over who may hereafter wish to join. By this pruning process the benefits originally promised to members are reduced in value by an amount equal to 2s. 6d. per member per week contribution. This society, which began with so much bluster, is reduced to a mere copy of the Old Enginemen's Friendly Society, and of the Amalgamated Society, with its voluntary sick fund, without the immense organisation, activity, and influence the Amalgamated Society possess. A mountain has been in labour, and the outcome is a mouse. Some enginemen were lured by the exaggerated financial advantages held out to them by this society, and parted with their shillings. Now they bitterly complain of the deception practised on them, and wish to get back the money which they allege has been obtained from them on false pretences. There was no rational excuse for the misleading promises of the promoters of the scheme. They had had placed before them the knowledge of the actual value of superannuation, and in face of this knowledge issued a prospectus more grossly insolvent than any society in recent years has put forward. We cannot but sympathise with those enginemen who have been duped, and under the circumstances attending the starting of society we think the moneys of those who wish it should be returned, less a fair deduction for the expenses incurred.

Some of the men who started this unnecessary society were mainly actuated by hostility to the Amalgamated Society, and to the true spirit of trades unionism. They voluntarily did the meanest work of the enemies of unionism by loudly denouncing the Amalgamated Society as a swindle, its officers as rogues, and its members as fools. Indeed, we learn from Mexborough that two Sheffield drivers, Messrs. Mason and Ulyett, who visited a branch of the Amalgamated there to explain the objects of this new exclusive society, were more anxious to apply epithets such as we have recounted than to justify the existence of their pet scheme. What name will these men apply to a society such as their which held out delusive promises for fifteen months, and then abolish two thirds of the whole of the expected benefits, and shut the door in the face of the great body of enginemen who are over forty years old? The accusations and defamations against the old and tried Amalgamated Society put out by the promoters of the Enginemen's abortive union have, like chickens, come home to roast. In a year and nine months no single act, no expression or thought, no one influence has emanated from this society for the benefit of enginemen as a class, and see it provides no benefits which was not read and still is within reach of every enginemen and fireman, we fail to see any justification for its continued existence and the disunity it must perpetuate.   



The companies appearing in our correspondence columns on the excessive number of hours worked by midland enginemen on Sundays point to a defect existing between a company and their drivers. The probability is that the bulk of the men dislike Sunday work -- although in the case of the Midland enginemen it is well paid for -- and prefer that few men as possible do the Sunday work, each taking his turn of Sunday labour. If this is not so, it will be found very easy to come to an arrangement by which these long hours may be avoided. The system of the Brighton Company is, if it were fully worked up to, admirable in this respect. In working such a train as "Cheshire" mentions there would be two sets of men told off -- one to take the first half of the work, and the other the remainder, thus avoiding the excessive strain which sixteen or nineteen hours' duty means.


A large and enthusiastic meeting of this committee was held at the Duke of Cornwall, Stewart's Lane, on Sunday, the 18th inst., Mr. Chalkley, chairman, presiding. The minutes of the last meeting having been trad and confirmed, seven of the collectors paid in their accounts to £2 7s. 11d., which had been collected in a fortnight from nearly 250 railwaymen. This result was considered highly satisfactory, as a proof of the growing interest which was being taken in the movement. M.r F.W. Evans, president of the Central Committee, addressed the meeting at considerable length on the objects of the movement, its present position, and future prospects. Dealing with the objection put forward by some men that the effect of the movement would be to reduce the amount of their earnings, he admitted that such might be the case where a large amount of overtime was worked and paid for, but at the same time a great deal more good would be done through the employment of a large number of men who were now unable to obtain work, and whose families were on the verge of starvation. One of the greatest evils of overtime was that it hindered numbers of men from obtaining employment, and thus placed at the disposal of the companies such a reserve force of surplus labour which enabled them to treat their servants just as they liked, and if the latter made any attempt to improve their position they were at once told that if they were not satisfied they could leave, as there were plenty of men ready to take their sheets. The nine hours movement would alter this state of things, and would also abolish the practice which extensively prevails in several branches of the railway service, of men working an unlimited number of hours without any extra pay. The progress of the movement had so far been very encouraging, but he would impress upon them that in order to carry it on to a successful issue it was necessary to have funds, which should be raised from amongst themselves, and not from any outside source. The Central committee had proposed that each man should pay one penny per week, and between now and New Year's Say give a day's pay towards the movement, and if this were done throughout the service it be a powerful help towards the attainment of their objects. Mr. hope, general secretary of the A.S.R.S. of Scotland, also addressed the meeting, assuring them that the railwaymen of Scotland were heartily with them in this movement, and urging them to be firm and united. Other addresses were given and questions asked, in reply to which Mr. Evans expressed his regret that owing to the limited time allowed him for his statement at the Exeter Hall meeting, he omitted to mention the case of the railway carmen, whose hours of labour were as long or longer than any class of railway servants, and their remuneration equally inadequate. He hoped, however, that they would join heartily in the movement, as it would be as beneficial to then as any other class. Votes of thanks were passed to Mr. Hope and Mr. Evans for their attendance, and a similar compliment having been paid to the chairman the meeting was adjourned to Sunday, October 2nd, when the agenda of the Manchester Conference will be considered and instructions thereon given to the delegate of this committee.

Railway accidents on the 


Merton Abbey 27th September 1881

Involving Driver Charles Shipp
Depot unknown
See Sub Page




The manner in which two platelayers came by their death in the Gipsy Hill Tunnel, on the Brighton line, on Friday last, calls for a passing observation. A tunnel half a mile long is without an air shaft, and without a single manhole wherein those engaged in repairing the permanent way can find shelter from the passing trains. Contemplate men at the approach of a train having to lie on their bellies between the sets of rails, or between the tunnel side and the metals, in order to find security. The misjudgment of their position by six inches means death, or the opening of a cock or valve on the passing engine may inflict on them severe injuries. On this occasion two trains passed each other at the point where the men were lying down, and the first possibility we have mentioned actually took place. Until manholes are cut in this tunnel the Brighton Company have no human right to ask men to work therein, unless they first have the assurance that traffic has been entirely suspended. The insurance the men receive hushes up the inquiry and the exposure which the operation of the Employers' Liability Act would have caused in such a case.  




A meeting of the local committee was held at the Duke of Cornwall, Stewart's Road, on Sunday, the9th inst., for the purpose of receiving the report of the delegate who attended the conference in Manchester, and other business. The chairman of the committee presided, and there was a good attendance. The minutes of the last meeting were read and confirmed, and several collectors paid in their accounts. The delegate gave a long and minute report of the proceedings of the conference which was listened to with the greatest attention, several points eliciting hearty applause. He explained that the programme drawn up by the Central Committee had, with slight alteration been unanimously adopted by the conference. One amendment which had been made was that the drivers and firemen working shunting engines should be placed on the same footing as signalmen and shunters, viz., that eight hours should constitute a day's work. (Hear, hear.) He further stated that an amendment was proposed to substitute 2s. instead of a day's pay to be given by each man towards the movement, but it received very little support and the day's pay was finally adopted. After speaking for about an hour, the delegate resumed his seat amidst loud applause. Several questions were answered. A suggestion was made that as this committee was intended for Nine Elms and Clapham Junction as well as Battersea, meetings should occasionally be held at those places. This was approved, and a sub-committee appointed to arrange such meetings. A hearty vote of thanks to the delegate for his report, and a similar compliment to the chairman and secretary concluded the business. 



THE Associated Society of Enginemen and Firemen

Sir, In your issue of 16th ult. you gave a very good account of the above society. As I have had a little experience in the working of it. As I have a little experience in the working of it, and have been a member some little time, I can echo every sentiment of the report. A beautiful picture was shown in the shape of benefits to enginemen and firemen, more to the G.W.R., whom the promoter pronounced were lost for ever unless they joined the A.S.E.F. Will he come forces and inform the enginemen and firemen now that they could not do without such a society? If so, how? Why not come out and lend a helping hand in the none hours movement? They boast of capital and members, but I am afraid there is not much of either. I know it is not taking root on the G.W.R. unless among a few who never before had any thought of joining a society or assisting t get anything for their fellow men. They now join and turn on the old men, taking away from them the benefits which were held out. I should think this is a warning for all classes of railwaymen not to trust in any wild goose chase, but sink all little difference, work like men, and all join the A.S.R.S. 

Yours respectfully 
A. Victim 





A meeting of the Battersea local committee was held on Sunday last, at the Duke of Cornwall, Stewart's Road, Mr. Chalkley presiding. The minutes of the last meeting having been passes, the delegate who had attended the Manchester Conference gave his report, which was very well received by the committee. The committee expressed their intention of complying with the resolutions passed at the conference. A signalman in a very impressive speech, exhorted those present to extend the movement amongst their mates, and suggested that the memorials should be placed, when ready in places easily accessible to railwaymen to sign. This would show whether they were in earnest to make the movement a success. He did not think that any railwayman should lay himself open to be "spotted" by getting the memorials signed. A driver, guard, and porter also spoke to the same effect. A vote of thanks was placed to the delegator his report. A committee was appointed to arrange further meetings and other business. A vote of thanks to the secretary and chairman brought a very successful meeting to a close.
The sub-committee met a met the Duke of Cornwall on the 13th inst., and arranged for the following to be held in the district:-
On Sundays, October 23rd, November 6th, and 20th, and December 4th at the Builders' Arms, Weevil road, Nine Elms;
and on Sundays, October 30th, November 13th, and 27th, and December 11th, at the Duke of Cornwall, Stewart's Road, Battersea.
Meetings will also be held at the Railway Guard, Clapham Junction, every Thursday evening from November 3rd to December 8th.
The chair will be taken at each of the above meetings at eight p.m. precisely. The officers of the local committee and representatives from the Central Committee will attend and give every information respecting the movement. Additional collectors will be appointed to collect the men's subscription of one penny per week, and arrangements will be made for collecting the "day's pay," decided upon by the Manchester Conference, especially for getting the memorials signed. All grades of railway servants are invited to attend, especially those employed in the traffic department - guards, signalmen, shunters, ticket collectors, porters, &c., who have as yet shown but little interest in the movement.    

Railway accidents on the 


Redhill 27th October 1881

Involving Driver Charles Coleman
Depot unknown
See Sub Page

In this case a South Eastern goods train came into collision with a Brighton passenger train on October 27th. The collision was the direct result of the south eastern goods train. A great deal of unnecessary risk is run, so Colonel Holland says, at this station, because the railway company has not thought proper to provide a sufficient amount of siding accommodation to admit of such a goods train as the one in question being shunted clear of the main line into a siding to allow an up passenger train leaving the station for London without risk to the passengers.  



A few weeks since, as a South Eastern special goods train from London Bridge to Redhill was proceeding up New Cross Bank, the engine boiler failed of water, owing to the difficulty of climbing the ascent and consequent inability of the pumps to fulfil their functions. The engine was not fitted with injectors. The brakes were put down, and the engine unhooked, in order that a more speedy motion the pumps might be made to supply the boiler with water. The detached train was furnished with one goods brake viand an old third class carriage which did duty for a second brake. these proved inefficient, and the train ran down the bank, and at Brockley met the 12.30 Brighton goods train on its way from Willow Walk. The South Eastern runaway train was much damaged, as was also the Brighton Company's engine. The absence of injectors to the South Eastern engine was the primary cause of the collision, and the want of efficient brake power on a goods train the direct and more culpable cause. When will the companies give some attention to the question of proper brake appliances for goods trains? In Germany goods trains are furnished with capital continuous brakes, some of which, like the Herberlien, are also automatic. Must our English directors and managers be sent to Germany to complete their education?     



On Saturday last the engine drivers and firemen of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway, stationed at Portsmouth, presented their foreman, Mr. C.C. Hawkins, with a handsome gold ring set with a diamond. The ring was made to open, and bore the inscription :- "Presented to Mr. C.C. Hawkins, by the Enginemen and Firemen of the London, Brighton, and South coast Railway."   




Sir, I see in the report of the seventeenth annual dinner of the locomotive employees of the L., B., and S. C. R., that the chairman praised his staff of men up to the sky, as if they were all perfect, and could not make a mistake. During my thirty two years' connect with signals, I have seen several mistakes by drivers that had nothing to do with any other part of the staff. I do not know which of the superintendent was alluding to  --- the guards or us poor signalmen. I own that no man is perfect, but it appears to me, by what he said, that if any of his men make a mistake it must rest with some one else, not them. I think as a rule they are as good and steady a body of men as any running into and out of London; and as for the staff of signalmen, where can you find a better? The enormous amount of traffic run through Clapham Junction without one casualty speaks loudly for our part of staff. See what Mr. Wright's report is, "That 5,000,000 passengers were carried into Victoria without one single casualty during the last twelve months." I should like to see a dinner party got up by the signalmen, and our superintendent, Mr. W. or Mr. J. R., put into the chair. They could give as good an account of their staff as Mr. Stroudley did of his. I do not like to see one class passed over, and a slur cast on some other part of the staff.

Yours obediently
Poor Old Signalman  



The black of the Brighton company for the month of September records nine cases of discharge, fifty four cases of fines and cautions, and one case of suspension. The signalmen appear to have behaved exceptionally well, but two of them figuring in the list -- one being caution for turning a brake off the road, and the other cautioned for falling asleep. Seven goods guards and two passengers guards are put in the pillory, but by far larger number of offenders are the locomotive men. There are thirty of them altogether-- twenty one drivers and nine firemen. Mismanagement of the steam brake occurs in four instances, so we may presume that either the brake was difficult to manage or proper instructions have not been given. The offences of the drivers and firemen are not, however, serious, because in fifteen cases a caution has been considered sufficient punishment.






On Thursday, October 6th, the largest representative meeting of railway servants that has ever been held at the Mechanics' Institution, Manchester, to consider the question of the hours of labour on railways. The Nine Hour programme put forward in 1880 by the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and since discussed and approved of at meetings throughout the country, was unanimously adopted by the Manchester Conference.
The programme may be briefly stated thus:-

Nine hours to constitute a day's work for all grades in service (excepting for signalmen, shunters, and pilotmen). All time worked after nine hours each day to be paid for as overtime at the rate of time and a quarter.

Eight hours to be a day's work for signalmen, shunters, and pilotmen, overtime beyond eight hours to reckon as time and quarter.

For enginemen and firemen, mileage rates, where in vogue, to be fixed at 140 miles for passenger, and 110 miles for goods or on branch lines, the same to be equivalent to a day's work.

Sunday work to be paid for at the rate of time and a half to all grades.

The goods yards to be closed at 1.30 p.m. on Saturdays against the reception of traffic.

In support of this programme, meetings and demonstrations are to be held all over the kingdom, more local committees are to be organised (60 such committees already exist in addition to 180 branches of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants). Memorial are to be prepared for all lines, the signatures of the men obtained, and the memorials sent in to the companies by the Central Committee of the movement.

In order to carry on this work with energy, to meet the costs, and to protect the active workers against loss or injustice, the Manchester Conference asks each railwayman (yourself included) to contribute one day's pay, to form a strong central fund, before New Year's Day next.

And also that all (except members of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants) should contribute one penny per week to the Local Committee.

The day's pay can be paid in one sum, or in two or more instalments to the local collectors, who will give you a receipt for the same.

Where there are no collectors the day's pay can be sent by postal order, payable to the treasurer, and addressed to 306, City Road, London E.C. An official receipt will be returned.

You or some other trustworthy man among your mates may be willing to collect the day's pay from men at your station, or in your locality; in which case please advise us, and an authority and a book of recipes shall be sent to you, that you out he may become a collector.

The Amalgamated Society has just voted £1,000 towards the movement. Each member of the society is, however, asked to give the day's pay.

With regard to the penny per week, if no local committee is near you, you can assist in forming one by corresponding with the Central Committee.

We sincerely hope that you will realise the importance of the movement set on foot by your fellow railwaymen, that you will throw your utmost energy into it, and by zealous effort, and by readily making the sacrifice asked if you by the Conference, help to emancipate the railway workman from the evils of long hours, and place him on an equal footing with the workmen engaged in other industrial occupations.

We appeal personally to you to give the cause both your moral and financial support. - Where, fellow railwaymen, yours fraternally.







Sir, How is it that there are no rewards when there are so many fines? I suppose the Brigton  company's officials think it their duty to fine the men, but not to reward them when they deserve it. I overheard some conversation, near York Road station, from which it appeared the a driver had fallen from his engine while shunting in Battersea Yard, his mate at the time being off. Another driver saw the occurrence and, rush to the engine, stopped it as it was going with the regulator open in the direction of Stewart's Lane Junction. The driver was never as much as thanked for this act; so there is no chance of being rewarded on the Brighton. This will take some of the "Black" off the Brighton company's enginemen.

Yours truly




On Friday (25th November ) evening an occurred on the London, Brighton, and South Coast, close to Peckham Rye station. A train was entering the station when the engine broke down, and it was not until some considerable time had elapsed that the line was clear.  




The quarterly meeting was held at the Duke of Cornwall on December 9th. The minutes of the previous meeting were confirmed, and one new member enrolled. After a lengthy discussion on the special number of the Review, it was resolved that the next business be proceeded with. This was the nine hour movement and the day's pay On this it was resolved that as the feelings of non society men in this district are not I favour of the nine hours movement, the members of this branch are not prepared to support it at present. The report of the delegate was an adopted, and a vote of thanks given to him for his services. All the retiring officers were re-elected, with the exception of the auditor. Three applications were for assistance from the branch Benevolent Fund; two applied for their contributions to be paid. One was granted, and the other being a half year in arrears, one quarter's contributions was granted from the fund. A new member who had borrowed £1 from the fund three months since asked the member to give him the amount. His request was granted. A vote of thanks to the chair closed the meeting.

Railway accidents on the 


Battersea Park 24th December 1881

Involving Drivers William Day & Joseph Edward Moseley

Depot not known



Accident during the fog. -- At York Road, Battersea, on the L., B., and S. C. The last south London train (11.35 p.m. ex London Bridge) was allowed to come on, and came into collision with a train in front. No serious damage was done, the space between starting and stopping point not allowing of any great speed. A considerable delay occurred, and it was found that 14 minutes after the train which should have been stopped was allowed to pass, the signals were still off. Much blame cannot, therefore, be attributed to the fogmen, who was guided by the signals.

A collision occurred on the early morning of the 24th December, between a light engine and a passenger train at Battersea Park station of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway, during thick fog. "This collision," says Colonel Holland, "was the direct result of the fogmen, Anker, having gone out of sight of the stop signal, in order to put down fog signals when the last passenger train from London Bridge entered the Battersea Park station, and he was not aware that this stop signal had not been placed at 'danger' as soon as the passenger train passed into the station. It is quite impossible for the signalman in the Battersea Park Junction signal box to know what is taking place at the south end of the station, or at the down home signal outside of it, during a thick fog; and the company's regulations are, in my opinion, more in fault than their men as regards this collision. The Battersea Park station signal box should be kept open while any passenger traffic is going on, and not to be closed at 7.30 p.m. or at 11.30 p.m., as happened on this occasion. On the other hand, it appears to me that it is not safe during a thick fog to entrust the fog signalling at the distant signals to one man for the separate lines of the London, Brighton, and South Coast and the London, Chatham, and Dover Companies. In this case, although it had no effect in causing the collision, it appears that after the last passenger train from London Bridge (the 11.30 p.m.) had passed the Forman at the Wandsworth Road down distant signal was unable to put down fog signals at this sign, as he had to attend to an approaching train on the London, Chatham, and Dover line. It also seems important that fog signals should be put down during thick fogs at starting signals, to prevent train leaving a station when these signals are standing at danger, and when they cannot be seen on the account of the fog.  

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