London, Brighton, and South Coast drivers and firemen's annual dinner was provided by Mr. Page, at the St. James's dinning hall, Brighton, on Friday night when an excellent spread was done justice to about fifty. The chair was taken by Mr. Woodhead, and the two vice chairs by Mr. Peel (Hastings foreman) and Mr. Love (driver), the chairman being supported by Mr. P. Knight and Mr. Jeffries. Superintendent W. Stroudley came in during the evening, and replying to the toast on behalf of Mrs. Stroudley and himself, touched upon several subjects, such as redress of grievances, shortening of hours of labour, and fair pay. to such matters, he said, he would always give his support. He complimented his staff, and wished all a happy New Year. Mr. Knight also made a short speech. "The Foremen of the Brighton Railway" was proposed by Mr. Hillman (driver), who caused much merriment by his quaint speech. Mr. Jeffries replied. "The Chairman and Vice" was proposed by Mr. Hanward in his usual dry and witty manner. "The Committee of Management" by Mr. Love, and the chairman paid them a great compliment. Mr. Shaw replied. Mr. Gill proposed "Mine Host," and the chairman paid him a great compliment, and said he had never sat down to a spread more ably served and better supplied. He hoped he should live years and be able to attend. Songs and speeches were given, and a merry evening was spent.   



A special meeting of the enginemen and firemen employed on the London, Brighton, and south coast Railway at New Cross and Battersea was held on Sunday evening, at the New Cross Railway Tavern, to hear and discuss a memorial to be presented to the Board of Directors respecting the wage and hour question, when it was proposed that another meeting be held next Sunday and every Sunday until further notice, to commence at 7 p.m. all men off duty are earnestly invited to attend, when drivers and firemen from Battersea will be present. it is hoped that there will be as good a meeting as on Sunday last, when about eighty enginemen and firemen attended.


Mr. Laing, M.P., in moving the adoption of the Brighton Railway report last week, dealt at length with the position and prospects of the company. He argued that the causes of last year's depression were in a great degree temporary; and that so long as the population of London, Brighton, and districts served by the line continued to increase, so long might they expect their traffic to be augmenting rather than a stationary or decreasing quantity. 



A special meeting was held on Sunday at the Railway Tavern, New Cross, as announced, to further discuss the memorial to be presented to the Board of Directors from the locomotive men employed on the London, Brighton, and South coast Railway, when about 180 men from different parts of the system attended. After fully discussing the memorial, it was proposed to adjourn the meeting announced to be held next Sunday at the Railway Tavern, and that a meeting be held on Sunday next, the 4th of February, at the Duke of Cornwall, Stewart's Road, Battersea, at seven p.m., when it is hoped that all men off duty will attend.



Sir A special meeting was held at Brighton on Sunday night, in the club room, attended by about twenty five drivers and firemen, in conjunction with meetings held at Battersea and New Cross, to take into consideration the views of the men, and hear a circular read from New Cross respecting the movement for the redress of grievances which exist on this railway (and they are many). Up to the present little has been said, perhaps owing to the chief movers in this affair having every faith in the nine hour movement. Since its death things have certainly gone wrong; on most lines memorials, petitions, meetings, and last, but not least, a strike has taken place, and ended in a collapse, owing to no combination -- a most fatal mistake, which should be  first consideration. This, at best, should open our fellow workmen's eyes. We hear of several railway companies leading men to fill the places of those on strike (this is combination with a vengeance). Shame on any such men for working; surely they were not society men. Fellow workmen, take this for a warning if about to follow a similar course. Now, Sir, one thing I cannot understand: if we did not want the none hours (which would have given us everything), why are we agitating now for what we shall never get without unity? Now my contention is this. If two third of our railwaymen belonged to the Amalgamated Society, we should have everything in hand -- best advice, plenty of funds, and no fear of our neighbours taking our machines and doing our work. Fellow workmen, just think of your position under these circumstances: freedom, independence, and the power to arrange terms with those Boards who have no souls to save or bodies to kick: and all this, and more, can be obtained for fivepence per week. I notice some non-society men last night, and tender them a kind invitation to join us. The meeting was brought to a close at eleven o'clock p.m. I must have the information and grievances until next week. Hoping you will find space, I remain yours, &c.,




special meeting was held on Sunday last, at the Duke of Cornwall, Stewart's Road, Battersea, to further discuss the memorial to be presented to the Board of Directors, after which it was proposed that those present sign the memorial, when about 100 men signed. It was proposed that a meeting be held on Sunday next, at the Railway tavern, New Cross, to obtain more signatures, and to hear correspondence read from other stations, when it is hoped that all men who have not signed will attend and do so.


"Observer" writes:- "Another meeting was held at Brighton Saturday night, attended by about fifty drivers and firemen, when several representatives from out stations brought forward the grievances spoken of in my letter. Some of them are paid four and a half, five, five and a half, but seldom six days for a week. A driver spoke of having made seventy two hours in four trips; other whose advance wages was months, and some years behind. As an instance, a fireman here worked upwards of three years for three shillings per day, and we are determined such gross abuses shall be brought forward and, if possible, stopped. Saturday night's meeting was certainly a success in point of numbers, but owing to the late start made the business could not be finished. A secretary elected for this district, and the memorial was laid on the table. Several of the clauses were discussed, and amendments proposed, but owing to the press of time the meeting had to be adjourned until Sunday next, February 11th, at seven p.m., at the New England Inn, when out station representatives will attend, and I hope those of our men who are against Sunday meetings will take into consideration the importance of the matter, and the impossibility of a general opinion being obtained on any other night. Put public house prejudice on one side, and attend in a body to support your mates. Now is the time; and I earnestly hope this opportunity will not slip by for want of energy in this district. I quite agree with one of your correspondents that the time for praying and beseeching is past. Let us come forward as men and ask for those concessions which, if not granted, in a short time we shall be in a position to demand. Let those who still hold aloof from our society join in a body, as at other stations, and let us show our employers that the tighter they screw the sooner the crisis will come. For come it will, sooner or later."



The fortnightly meeting of the New Cross Locomotive Branch was held at the New Cross Railway Tavern on Saturday, February 10th, when there was a very good attendance, and two members were assisted from the Benevolent Fund. One was paid part of an unjust fine, and the other £1 5s., who has been off ill a considerable time. Five new members joined the society, and several others promised to join next club night. The secretary says: "They can now the use of it, and that unity is strength." A vote of thanks to the chairman closed the proceedings. A special meeting was held on Sunday evening, the 11th inst., to obtain signatures for the memorial which is under discussion, when a large number signed. A meeting will be held on Sunday next, at the Commercial Hall (late Magpie), Battersea, at seven p.m., when it is to be hoped that we shall have another good muster 



On Saturday night last another meeting was held in the club house respecting the memorial; but owing to the slowness of arrival business was not commenced until about 9 p.m. The New Cross secretary was voted to the chair, and after reading the clauses, and entering two more, a lively discussion was held on the Sunday clause alteration, which was passed, an amendment failing to find a supporter. Clause 13 was next brought forward. One said he would sooner lose any other clause than this one, and exhorted his fellow workmen to give it their hearty support, for, should they obtain it, one of the greatest injustices to drivers and firemen would be abolished. this week it is stated things seem to be going wrong in the enemy's camp; telegrams asking the attendance of foreman, orders here, hard words there, and also an order to pay certain drivers and firemen their back time from January 1st. Attention is called to clauses 15, which will deal effectively with the abuses mentioned in this memorial, and should the request be granted no more memorials will be required.

Our correspondence adds:- "This agitation seems to have burst like a thunderclap on the officials, who have been living in a fool's paradise, giving the screw a twist and taking credit for it; but let them in future remember that still waters run deep. I definitely wish to state we are not attacking our superintendent, but this persons who've been throwing dust in his eyes for some time, and I hear that several of them require a copy of the memorial. They may have one by applying to the secretaries through the post. No letters are opened by any one but the person addressed. The meeting closed at 11 p.m.; attendance about 50. About 30 signatures were obtained; and I earnestly hope that those who have not signed will call on Saturday next, the 24th. The meeting will start punctually at 8 p.m. Non society men please remember they will be welcome at the New England Inn on Sunday next, the 25th, at 7.30 p.m.



A special meeting of enginemen and firemen of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway Company was held at the Commercial Hall (late Magpie), Battersea, on Sunday evening last, the 18th inst., when New Cross was represented by about eighty enginemen and firemen. The meeting was largely attended, more than 200 being present. A chairman and vice chairman was elected, when business commenced by the ho. secretary reading the proposed memorial, and every clause was passed unanimously. Upwards of 450 signatures are appended up to date, and a large addition to this number is expected before Sunday next. Many signatures were appended, and contributions received by the joint committees. The secretary handed over to the treasurer a large sum received to defray expenses, &c. Correspondence was read from Brighton, Portsmouth, Hastings, Eastbourne, and other out stations, showing the unanimous opinion of all on this important subject. Delegates were duly elected to represent the men. None of those proposed refused to stand, thus showing unity that exists at Battersea. The final meeting will be held at the Railway Tavern, New Cross, at seven o'clock p.m. sharp, on Sunday February 25th, when delegates will be elected to represent New Cross and district. The hon. secretary says: "We sincerely hope that we shall have a meeting equal to the one at Battersea. All those hat have not appended their names to this memorial, and intend doing so, and we hope that they will not tender and paltry excuses as to not being able to attend the meetings. Those who belong to Blue Ribbon Armies and Temperance Societies must remember that this is not a drinking affair, but a genuine business one." A vote of thanks was proposed to the chairman, vice chairman and secretary, and carried unanimously.

2ND MARCH 1883


Thefinal meeting of the L., B., and S. .C. Railway Company's enginemen and firemen was held on Sunday evening last, when fully 200 were present, and scores were unable to gain admission, owing to the accommodation being in sufficient for so large a meeting, thus showing the amount of interest taken in this important undertaking. Battersea was well represented, upwards of sixty enginemen and firemen attending the meeting, as was also West Croydon and Epsom. The meeting commenced by reading the memorial over in its entirely, and correspondence from home stations, including Hastings, Eastbourne, Portsmouth, Three Bridges, Tunbridge Wells and Horsham, West Croydon and Epsom, was submitted to the meeting for approval.

The secretary informed the meeting that he had received all signatures from the above named stations viz.; over 450 in all. Delegates were duly elected, all volunteering their services.

The men complained that the officials have for some time past been trying to reduce mechanical skill below the level of a common ordinary labour, and that they are classed by other railway companies locomotive enginemen and firemen as third rate men; and no wonder, when they know that drivers receive the large amount of 5s. per day of ten hours, and firemen 8s. per day for ten hours, or a fraction more than 3 1/2d. per hour, the above rate being paid for the first twelve months, and ofttimes nearly double that time. When men are entrusted with thousands of lives per week, and service such scanty pay, is there any wonder at accidents occurring? As a rule a man serves betwixt two and three years as cleaner at the rate of 2s. 8d. per day, before he is promoted to a fireman at the rate of 3s. per day, and in that position the highest rate he attains is 4s. per day, and many there are that have never received the latter sum, although they have been firing six years; and that in all probability any one that starts as cleaner will have to act seven years as fireman before he attains the height of his ambition namely driver, at the advanced rate of 5s. per day. The men contend that they ought to take their stand with other first class railway companies' locomotive men. Locomotive enginemen from other companies running into London were in attendance, and were satisfied with the terms of the memorial, which were most reasonable, and not more than they were receipt of, and they promised support on behalf of all their men employed at the various loco departments in case of need. A vote of thanks to the chairman, vice chair, secretary, and assistants, was carried amidst loud applause.



Sir, -- The engine drivers and firemen's meeting was held at Brighton on Saturday night last, when visitors from New Cross again attended. The secretary read the memorial and the correspondence on hand. The principal business of he evening was the election of delegates to form the deputation, consisting of two senior drivers, two junior drivers, and two old firemen from here. New Cross and Battersea have also elected their delegates, and are waiting Brighton signatures before presenting the memorial. We are anxiously awaiting a few Blue Ribbon Army signatures before closing the list. The last meeting will be held on Saturday next, March 3rd, at the New England Inn.

Yours, &c.

9TH MARCH 1883


The last meeting was held on Saturday night, at the club house, and was well attended by drivers and firemen. The chair was voted to an able speaker, who made some sensible remarks with respect to the benefits derived by society men, should anything happen during an agitation like the present one. The secretary read the correspondence from other centres and stated the position in which he stood, having, as he said, had the pleasure of appearing before the superintendent to answer the charge of being the principal agitator in this affair. He stated that upwards of 140 signatures were appended  here out of a possible 153, and he hoped to find very few black sheep. Our correspondent adds: "By the time you publish this our superintendent will know the position in which he stands, and most likely the deputation, consisting of twenty four, will have waited on him. Nothing in the memorial can give him cause for complaint. No unreasonable thing is asked for, and, should be great our humble petition, the knot which has hitherto bound its together will be more firmly tied. Our secretary states that he has no fear of the results, but is convinced that our superintendent will do all in his power to grant the concessions. 


23RD MARCH 1883


30TH MARCH 1883 

page 1


"Observer" writes:- "A hastily summoned meeting of drivers and firemen was held at the New England Inn, Brighton, on Sunday night last, to review the position respecting the memorial forwarded a fortnight ago our superintendent, whose reply stated that he would meet the deputation in a few days. no further reply up to today has been received. I hear a copy of the memorial has been forwarded to each foreman; for what purpose their opinion is required I can only surmise. Why our superintendent should trouble his foremen at all I cannot understand, after what has transpired. The meeting was one of the best held at Brighton, and the men are getting impatient at the delay. It was resolved that our secretary should again write, asking for a reply, and giving three clear days for the same to arrive, or steps will be taken to appeal to the directors to receive the deputation. It is the opinion of the men that our superintendent wishes to get over the Easter holidays, and we require something definite before that time. The men think a blow struck on Easter Monday would bring them to their senses, and also let them know that we are not to be trifled with."

[This report was held over from last week through want of space]  

6TH APRIL 1883

Much excitement, and we might also add indignation, has been aroused by the rumour that the London, Brighton, and South Coast locomotive men contemplated striking on Easter Monday in the event of no answer to their memorial being received prior to that date. Such might have been expected. We commented upon the subject in our last issue  of the 23rd ult., but the report of our Brighton correspondent was crowded out from that issue, and appeared on page 1 of last week. A reference to it will show that our remarks were not without foundation; for at that  meeting held at Brighton on the previous Sunday it was remarked:
The men think that a blow struck on Easter Monday would, &c. However, fortunately some understanding was come to before that date, and there was consequently no occasion for the suggestion thrown out at the Brighton meeting being acted upon. Still we consider that we only did our duty in calling attention to the suggestion, as showing the danger of officials treating the respectful memorials or their subordinates with silent contempt. Railwaymen are patient mortals, but even the worm will turn. It does not follow that railway companies are to be expected to accede to all the requests made from time to time by their employees, but it is to be expected that all such requests should be considered without undue and irritating delay. If the companies cannot grant what the men ask for, surely the most dignified course would be to tell the men why. Railwaymen, as a rule, are not unreasonable. We do not have believe for a moment that the London, Brighton, and South Coast men seriously contemplated strike -- especially on Easter Monday -- under any circumstances, for we know that such a proceeding, no matter how just, would have done much to alienate public sympathy; for once interfere seriously with the public convenience, and public opinion will at once be dead against the course that so interferes. But the remarks of the men at Brighton meeting show that they are alive to the fact that if driven to taking extreme measures they would have to rely upon themselves, and would in consequence not choose a time when their places could easily be filled.


The consternation which followed on the report that there was a possibility of the London, Brighton, and South Coast  locomotive men ceasing working on Easter Monday, as evinced by the volunteers and the general public, shows the power that railwaymen have were they disposed to assert it; and proves at the same time that their grievance may at any time create a real public grievance. Hence it is to the interest of the community that every effort should be made on all sides to avoid any risk of interruption to a service so important as that of our railways.


6TH APRIL 1883

L., B., & S. C. LOCO

A mass meeting of enginemen and firemen of the L., B., & S. C. Railway was held on Sunday night, the 1st April. it was decided to hold the next meeting at New Cross, on Sunday next, the 8th inst., when it is hoped that all off duty will attend, and as many as possible from the ou stations, as important matters have to be considered. Meeting to commence at 7 p.m. punctual.

13TH APRIL 1883


A meeting of drivers and firemen was held at the Commercial Hall, Battersea, when fully 250 were present. The meeting opened by the secretary reading out the proposed terms to the men, and each caused was fully discussed. The men accepted the greater portion of the concessions, but rejected the proposed concession as to Sunday duty. it was unanimously resolved to ask Mr. Stroudley to reconsider his decision. The engine drivers and firemen thanked Mr. Stroudley for the manner in which he met their representatives. The next meeting will be held on Sunday next, the 15 inst., at the Railway Tavern, New Cross, when representatives from out stations are respectfully invited to attend. The chair will be taken at 6.30 p.m., to enable the men from the out districts an opportunity to hear Mr. Stroudley's decision. All off duty are invited to attend. 


"Loco." writes:-

"I wish to contradict statements that are being circulated in various newspapers in reference to the agitation amongst the drivers and firemen of the L., B., and S. C. R. These unfounded reports tend to injure the cause of the men. For instance, in the Lloyd's Newspaper of Sunday, April 1st, was the following, namely:- 'Overtime, after eight hours work per day, also that Sunday work will be paid at the rate of time and half.' In Modern Society, of Saturday, April 7th, was the following: 'We are pleased to learn that the engine drivers and firemen on the L., B., and S. C. R. have been successful in their agitation; and we are more gratified that -- as we learn on the best authority -- we were not a little instrumental, by our remarks in Morden Society last week, in bringing about so satisfactory a result, namely, that after a six hours' discussion with Mr. Stroudley, he had practically agreed to all the men's required, viz., overtime after eight hours work per day; and that Sunday work will be paid for at the rate of time and a half. The report was received with expressions of approval subject to a mass meeting of the men. We congratulate Mr. J.P. Knight, the general manager, on his promptitude in so satisfactorily settling this long standing grievance.' 

Now sir, I beg leave to refute both these statements, and to state that there is not an atom of truth in either, and as for Modern Society asserting that they have been instrumental in bringing about so satisfactory a result, I should like to know how, and should have been very pleased to acknowledge their kindness in doing so, had such been the case. I may here state, for the benefit of the general public, that the result of the delegation to Mr. Stroudley has not been satisfactory to the men, and that a meeting will be held at the Commercial Hall, Battersea, on Sunday next, at 6.30 p.m. sharp, to enable representatives from out stations to be present, when some definite understanding will be come to with the delegates and the men as to the course to be pursued in future. The men were dissatisfied at the manner Mr. Stroudley had treated the letter sent by their secretary on April 2nd, as he had not been courteous enough to answer the same, but instead had issued circulars to various locomotive departments with the terms he proposed, not what the men agreed to accept, thus showing the fallacy of the correspondents referred to. It would be more beneficial to the readers of Lloyd's and Modern Society if they would get their information from some reliable source in future, and not lead the public astray with such wild assertions, which injure the cause of the men. Do not forget the meeting on Sunday next, the 15th inst., at the Commercial Hall, Battersea, at 6.30 p.m. sharp. All off duty are respectfully invited to attend        

27TH APRIL 1883

On Sunday, the 16th inst., there was a crowded meeting at the Commercial Hall, Battersea. Nearly 200 drivers and firemen were present, when it was unanimously adopted to stand by the terms the secretary had forwarded to Mr. Stroudley; and the secretary was instructed to write to Mr. Stroudley to that effect.

(The above was crowded out from our last issue

4TH MAY 1883


A meeting of the above was held at Commercial Hall, Battersea, on Sunday evening last, the 29th ult. The meeting being duly opened by the chairman, business commenced by the secretary reading the correspondence he had received from Mr. Stroudley referring to Sunday duty.

The clause gave great satisfaction to the men; and it was proposed that we accept Mr. Stroudley's terms, which was carried unanimously. The final meeting will be held on Sunday evening next, May 6th, 1883, at the Railway Tavern, New Cross. Chair to be taken at 7 o'clock p.m., sharp.

Our correspondent adds -- "I may here state for the benefit of the men at the out stations, that they may consider the agitation virtually at an end, the men agreeing to accept Mr. Stroudley's terms. Mr. Stroudley is entitled to the thanks of all drivers and firemen for the straightforward and courteous bearing he has shown to the men and their secretary, in the manner in which he has received and answered all correspondence personally relating to this agitation, and trying, by conceding the greater portion of the men's grievances, to come to an amicable settlement, thereby causing that good feeling to exist which has hitherto existed between himself and the men, and bringing this agitation to a peaceful and, I may say, honourable termination. A vote of thanks was passed to the chairman for presiding, and a vote of thanks and confidence to the hon. sec. for the manner in which he had filled his arduous and responsible duties relating to the office he held on behalf of the men, all being satisfied that he had acted honourably and honestly, and had endeavoured to bring the agitation to a successful termination. This brought the meeting to a close. 

Remember, Sunday next, May 6th, 1883 -- the final meeting at the Railway Tavern, New Cross. All off duty are invited to attend.  

11TH MAY 1883


The secretary of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway drivers and firemen's movement writes:-

The final meeting of the above was held at the Railway tavern, New Cross, on Sunday evening last, the 6th instant, when it was proposed that we accept Mr. Stroudley's terms with a view of ending the agitation, which was carried unanimously. The same course was pursued at Brighton and Battersea the Sunday previously, April 29. As an example to others to strike while the iron is hot, I beg to inform them that in our present agitation we had six hundred and sixteen signatures appended to the memorial in the space of six weeks, out of a possible total of six hundred and sixty drivers and firemen employed by this company, thus showing the unanimous opinion of the men that it was time things were altered. With the exception of a few agitation, I think the men, as a rue, are perfectly satisfied with Mr. Stroudly's proposed concessions. I, for one, admit that I consider that we may be classed 100 A 1 at Lloyd's, and equal to any railway company's drivers and firemen, with respect to pay and time, taking all things into consideration, as we are paid not less than six days, exclusive of Sunday, unless by our own neglect we lose any part of that time; also, no man signs on duty on Sunday under the day's pay. I have heard of some of our Christian brethren having asserted that I have left them, and only completed half my task. I ask those that make those wild insertions why they did not attend our Sunday meetings, and try by their influence and their talents to convince their fellow workmen that they were able to undertake the task better than myself. I would most willing have vacated my office in their favours, as I can assure them that I did not ask for the position in which I have been placed. But those who have made themselves conspicuous by their absence at our Sunday meetings now want to make themselves notorious and conspicuous by trying to renew the agitation, but their attempt has utterly failed, and the confidence of the men have reposed in their humble servants has been fully recognised by 615 out of 616 memorialists, who have accorded me a vote of confidence, and thanks for the manner I have conducted the agitation as chief secretary, and brought the same to a successful and peaceful termination, I consider it very cruel and very hard on the part of those that have insulted me grossly, after the manner I have worked for the benefit of my fellow workmen -- fearlessly, honestly, and truthfully -- and I defy say one to contradict my assertion, I having worked night and day, robbing myself of the amount of rest necessary to follow my employment, having had all the correspondence myself personally to conduct, and send to the various locomotive stations of the company, and also having the correspondence to conduct on behalf of the men with Mr. Stroudley, our general superintendent, who deserves thanks of all the men for the courteous manner he has answered my correspondence on behalf of the men, and his kindness in trying to meet the men's wishes, and bringing the agitation to a peaceful termination. A vote of thanks was proposed by the chairman, Mr. S. Linnett, to Mr. Stroudley for the kind and generous manner he had treated the memorials and their representatives, at the delegation at Brighton, on March 13th, 1883, and was carried unanimously. I also beg leave respectfully to thank Mr. Stroudley personally, and on behalf of my brother delegates and the memorialists collectively, for the courteous and gentlemanly bearing shown towards myself in trying to meet the wishes of the men, and remove any grievance that they may have. Thus our agitation has come to a peaceful termination, and I can assure Mr. Stroudley and all concerned, that if the circular issued by Mr. Stroudley is enforced to the letter and not infringed, there need be no fear of the men agitation again for another ten years. A vote of thanks to the chairman and vice chairman for presiding, also a vote of thanks to the secretary, brought the meeting to a close. 


The success of the London, Brighton, and South Coast locomotive men's movement is another proof of what can be done by persistent, but consistent, agitation, provided always that the cause is just and the men united. That these men were united is shown by the fact that in the six short weeks no less than six hundred and sixteen men out of a possible six hundred and sixty signed the memorial. If this can be done by unity on the part of one class of men on one line, what could not be done if the men of all classes and on all lines were united in one common brotherhood? Great credit is due to the conductors of the agitation, and the conduct of Mr. Stroudley in the matter is deserving of great praise. The concession he has granted means, of course, an intermediate increased expenditure, but we venture to say that by satisfying the just demands of his men he has saved the company, directly and indirectly, that increased expenditure a hundredfold. One thing not to be passed over is this. He has taught railwaymen that high officials are neither unapproachable nor impregnable if the men only know what to ask and how to ask.



That the application of a member of the Battersea branch for the benefit of the protection fund during the agitation of the London, Brighton, and South Coast locomotive men will be granted, if a formal application is forwarded from the branch asking for the Society's sanction to the movement, providing also that the movement is in conformity with rules.



Agitation is the order of the day. Without agitation no real reform has ever yet been effected, and without agitation no real reform can ever be expected. But there are agitations and agitation. The kind of agitation which obtained in the past is no more good nowadays than it was then. It was all very well to talk about the rights go the "horny handed son of toil," the placing of the "iron heel upon the neck of the oppressor," and so on. This was all very well in its way, maybe, but it is very much open question. Advantages may have gained by this modus operandi, but working men up to a feverish excitement so that they may learn to play at "follow my leader" is never of any lasting good.

Not ing is easier for any individual gift with the power of oratory than for him to induce the average working man to do his bidding; but of what good is it unless there is something substantial in the background? Men may be worked up just as an effervescent liquid can be worked up until either the vessel burst or the cork flies out. Then the contents of either the bottle or the man speedily become "flat, stale, and profitable."

The other kind of agitation is persistent, but consistent - something of a lasting nature; something which shall not be for today, nor for tomorrow, but for all time, an agitation which shall  have right on its side and might at its back.

Railwaymen do very well in agitating for reform as unitedly as they are doing at the present time; but what we contend is, the combination is not powerful enough. And those fault is it? We unhesitatingly reply, the fault of the men themselves. Why, as we have asked over and over again, do they not make provision for their agitations beforehand? Why should they start an agitation, and then ask for funds to carry it on?

This has been done again and again, and we find in a report of the meeting of the Great Western Railway signalmen at Gloucester, which was crowded out last week, and appears in another column of this issue, that a call of sixpence each is to be made for the purpose of carrying on the movement for obtaining better conditions of service. Now, if all the men - or a goodly proportion of them - had been members of the Amalgamated Society, there would have been no need of any such call. The experiences would have been paid from the funds of the Society; for there is no question about the justness of the demands of the men; when we read that one man worked twenty three Sundays out of twenty six, and that another had not had a free Sunday in twelve years. Surely such a state of things is a disgrace to a civilised country, and who is to blame for it? We repeat, the men themselves. The day has long gone by when men would lay down their lives for those of their employers, and when, in turn, those employers would take care that those they employed should have at least the bare necessaries of life from the cradle to the grave. All that is changed; and it is the fault of the employed - on the railways, at all events - if it I changed for the worse.

This is an age oof freedom - an age when one man is as good as another, providing he can prove himself to be so; and having proved himself so, he should be able to hold his own in his particular capacity, get his abilities appreciated, and his rights respects.

Railwaymen, above all others workmen, have the power to be in this happy position. Admitted that the railway companies can get as many as they require at very modest wages, in consequence of the state of the labour market, what does it amount to? Simply this. A company wants men, and men want work. But those men are not railwaymen - not men who would, as a rule, earn the money that was paid them - but men who would cost the company who employed them more in one yer than shorter hours and payments for Sunday duty, &c., would cost in twenty years, to say nothing of the unpopularity of the company which allowed any interruption of the traffic which would certain.y ensue through any particular grade in the service ceasing work.

We do not advocate a strike, but we do fearlessly say that until railwaymen will put them-selves in such a position that if their just demands are not fairly met they can cease to work, without, fear of any serious loss, they never will get what is justly due to them.

But we must again repeat that organisation should precede and not succeed agitation. it is the worst of folly to go to war without the munitions of war. Be armed is our advice; and being armed, you may probably let the sword rest in the scabbard and the rifle on the sling, and never need to strike a blow. Unarmed, we would prognosticate nothing. Have the vast funds of the Amalgamated Society at your command, and have its Executive to guide you. That the Executive Committee of the Amalgamated Society are determined to be true to their trust is shown by their decision to lend pecuniary aid to the North Eastern men to carry on their movement when two thirds of any particular grade are good members of the society.

The Executive Committee have also signified their willingness to extend the benefits of the protection fund in favour of the London, Brighton, and South Coast and North London locomotive men; thus showing that agitations having the approval of the government of the society may be manfully and fearlessly prosecuted, and that so long as any movement is righteous and just, no good member who may be selected for the duty need fear the consequences of taking a leading part in any agitation. 



Whilst it is very gratifying to know that the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants is making such rapid and, I trust, such substantial progress in the north of England, I am afraid the same cannot be said in regard to the southern branches, as we do not find in The Review such glowing reports of their meetings, with new members joining -- not in units, but in tens -- as  is frequently the case in some of the northern branches; and, in fact, there are several branches in the south whose meetings are never reported at all, from which I fear we must infer that they are either in a stationary or retrogressive condition. What, then, is the cause of this difference between the north and south? There is no doubt that the movement for shorter hours, &c., on the North Eastern Railway has been the means of bringing a large number of new members into the society; but I feel certain that the progress made by the northern branches is mainly due to the earnest and engird of the members; and I believe, also, that the adverse state of affairs existing in the south may be attributed to the members' apathy and indifference to the society interests. How can we expect non members to join the society if the members themselves do not attend the branch meetings in sufficient numbers to transact the business? And yet I have no reason to know that such is often the case at several London branches. The majority of the members seem to think that they have nothing to do but pay their contributions, and, consequently, what should be every member's business, is left to the few who attend the meetings, and they in time get so tired and disgusted that it is neglected altogether. Let every member recognise that the society's business is his business, and attend to it, and we shall soon find the society progressing in the south as it is the north, and London will become in reality what it is now nominally -- the head centre of the union.

I am glad to find by your last issue the Brighton locomotive men have been successful in their agitation, although we are not informed what concessions they have obtained, except that they are to be paid not less than six days, exclusive of Sunday, and that no man signs on duty on Sunday under a day's pay; and with regard to these two points. I presume that the company will make the men do six days' work for their six days' pay, and that every man who signs on duty on Sunday will have to do a day's work. It would be interesting, however, to know what is the position of railwaymen who can be classed 100 A 1 at Lloyd's. Have the excessive long hours, which have been very common on the Brighton Lins, been abolished? How many hours are to constitute a day's work, and is each day to stand by itself? Has the favouritism in regard to promotion, &c., which has been so strongly complained of in the past, been done away with? If so, truly the men may congratulate themselves on their success; and it is to be hoped that the company, having dealt so liberally with one class of their servants, will deal in a similar manner with the men in other departments. One thing in connection with this movement, I regret to see, viz., that the secretary should indulge in personal remarks in reference to those who, through their religious connections, have not attended Sunday meetings, and I hope, Mr. Editior, that you will not allow our paper to be made the channel for publishing such personalities, as one of our mottoes is -- In all things, charity.    


Our esteemed correspondent, "Gleaner," takes exception to the remarks of the hon. sec. of the Brighton locomotive men's agitation, in the matter of men declining to attend meetings held for their own benefit, because they are held on the Sabbath. With all due respect for the opinion of every one, we must uphold the doctrine of the founder of Christianity, that "it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath Day." And for what do railwaymen meet on the only day on which they can meet in anything like appreciable numbers? we answer, to do good. To improve their own position, and to improve thereby the condition of those dependent upon them. Take it from a purely religious point of view. They meet to advocate the abolishment, or, at least, the curtailment of Sunday duty. That is one of the chief objects of these Sunday meetings. In all things, in this free country, let there be liberty; and we are decidedly of opinion that in many cases men would have no chance of reverencing the Sunday, were they so inclined, unless they met on the Sunday to bring about the desired reform.

25TH MAY 1883



In my remarks last week in reference to the Brighton locomotive men's movement, I made no objections to their meeting being held on a Sunday, as I am well aware that such meeting are often absolutely necessary for railwaymen to discuss their grievances; and I am not one of those strict sabbatarians who sees any harm in men meeting on the Sabbath day for the purpose of endeavouring to improve their position. But, at the same time, I thoroughly agree with you, Mr. Editor, that "in all things in this free country there should be liberty," and on this principle I consider that any men who has a conscience objection to attend Sunday meetings, on the ground that his religious duties have a prior claim upon him, should be free to act in accordance with his views, and, above all things, should not be sneered at through the columns of The Railway Review. Although there are a great many men who cannot attend week night meetings, there are many more who will not attend on week nights or Sundays; and as I understand that in the Brighton men's movement there were both Sunday and week night meetings. I think that the secretary, possessing, as he says, the confidence of 615 out of 616 memorialist, might have avoided any allusion to religious opinions of those (or rather the one) whose confidence he had lost. As I do not know who the secretary is, nor to whom he alludes, I need not say that my remarks are not made from any personal feeling in the matter.

Before leaving this subject, I should like to point out that although the success of this movement is a proof of the value of unity in a just cause, it also shows how much easier it would be to carry on such movements if railwaymen were thoroughly united in the Amalgamated Society. Instead of having to raise funds and create a special organisation, the requisite machinery are funds would at once be available for carrying on the movement, and those taking part in it need have no fear of the consequences, as they would be amply protected by the society.

I see that the goods guards and shunters on the Brighton line are making an effort to improve their position, and I hope they will meet with some success as the locomotive men. There principal aim, however, appears to be to obtain an increase in their weekly rate of wages, without any reference to the number of hours to be worked. Now, I think it is great pity that men in the goods and passenger traffic departments do not endeavour to get placed on the same footing as the locomotive men, /viz., to have their rate of wages fixed by the day, a certain number of hours to constitute a day's work, and all time beyond the limit to be paid for extra. It is, in my opinion, the greatest disadvantage to men to have their own rate of wages fixed by the week, without knowing whether a week is to consist of six, seven, or eight day's work, or what number of hours is to constitute a day. The companies know very well that this system is advantageous to them, and they will never alter it unless the men themselves demand it. If the Brighton goods men have not finally decided on the terms of their memorial, I hope they will give this point their consideration.   

25TH MAY 1883



1. Time. - In future, drivers and firemen will be paid at the rate of ten hours per day, or sixty hours for six days; time to be taken when they come on duty by order, and then they leave duty according to the instructions of each foreman respectively. No man will be paid less tan six days for one week's work (exclusive of Sunday) unless off duty on his own account. no man shall receive less than three fourths of a day's pay after being booked on duty.

2. Overtime . - Overtime to be reckoned as the excess of sixty hours per week of six days, and paid at the rate of eight hours per day.

3. Sunday Duty. - Sunday duty to be calculated at the rate of eight hours per day, ad allowed to those men who book on duty between Saturday midnight and Sunday midnight, for the hours worked during that period.

4. Shed Duty. - Men who run 750 miles or upwards in five days shall have a shed day once a week, or as near to that as can be arranged. This shed day to be reckoned as ten hours' work. Other drivers and firemen when required for shed duty, such as washing out boilers, &c., will be allowed five hours' pay.

5. Time Off Duty. - So far as the necessities of the service will permit, nine hours, at least, off duty to be arranged for.

6. Wages. - In future, all drivers and firemen joining the service will be paid the following scale of wages.

1st year, per day
2nd year, per day
3rd year, per day
4th year, per day
5th year, per day
5s. 6d.
6s. 6d.
6s. 6d.
3s. 6d.
3s, 9d.

A fair proportion of long service passenger drivers and firemen may be advanced, if their characters are satisfactory, to 7s. 6d. and 4s. 6d. per day respectively. The highest rate for goods driver to be 7s. per day, and for shunters 6s. per day; but a portion of the latter having the most responsible duties, may be advanced to 7s. per day. When a firemen has been passed as a driver, he will receive 4s. 6d. per day. All advances to be subject to the district locomotive superintendent's report as to good conduct and ability; and may be deferred at the discretion of the locomotive superintendent; in which case the men shall be advised by letter giving the reason why such an advance is deferred.

7. Lodging Allowance. - Drivers and firemen when absent from home will be allowed 2s. 6d. per night, the maximum allowance for one week being 6s.

8. Promotion. - Promotion to be by seniority and merit. Economical working and proper care of the engine, together with punctuality in time, to have due weight.

9. Fines and suspension from duty. The company reserves the right of suspending from duty any driver or firemen in case of accident or misconduct, pending the decision of the case by the directors, Government inspectors, or other authority. District locomotive superintendents have the power to suspend from duty; but dismissal or fine to by order of the locomotive superintendent. Breaches of discipline or misconduct, mismanagement of engine or train, damage or injury caused, may be punished by dismissal or by fine. All fines to be deducted from pay.

10. Clothing. - An overcoat and cap to be given every alternate year to each driver and firemen; the last coat and cap given to be returned to the company in the event of a man leaving the service.

11. Leaving the Service. - Seven days' notice must be given on either side, except in cases of misconduct, when the company reserves the right of instant dismissal.

12. Premiums and Benefits. - Coal and oil  premiums are allowed to drivers as per printed scale. Drivers must join the superannuation fund, and drivers and firemen must also become member of the provident insurance societies in connection with this company.

Locomotive Superintendent 
Brighton Works
6th April 1883 

1ST JUNE 1883


Sir, -- In "Jotting from the South," "Gleaner" has cleared proved that he simply knows nothing about that which he has been writing re the Brighton Company's men. He says the goods men's principal aim to obtain an increase wages, which jotting was taken, I presume from a resolution passed at Brighton, April 30th, and adopted at Battersea, May 6th, and published in the Review the same week. Now, that resolution simply means that all stations shall be treated alike, New Cross men being treated very fairly in the matter of wages. Again, the locomotive men are not paid by the day, but by the week of 60 hours, all in excess of that time to paid for at the rate of eight hours per day; and the Brighton Company's shunter are going to ask for ten hours to be a day's work, so that is the very reverse to "Gleaner's" jotting. Now, I do not suppose that the Brighton Company's men are arrogant enough to suppose that their memorials is the best that could be, but it is the best that they could devise, and any advice that could benefit them, they would give a fair hearing; but I do not think it is too much to ask those who give advice gratis to first ascertain that their gleanings are corn, instead of stubble



Sirs, --- In reply to your correspondent, "Gleaner," in the issue of the 11 ult., I beg to state that I will answer one or two of his questions. In the first place, he says he presumes that the company will make the men do six days' work. I do not think that we have any men that would be so ignorant as to refuse to do six days' work if required; but if "Gleaner" knows anything about railway work, he will know the it is impossible to always book a man to make sixty hours in one week, especially on a company like ours, where the traffic ebbs and flows so much; and I ask "Gleaner" where there is another company that guarantee a week's pay, exclusive of Sunday. Also I beg leave to inform him that he is wrong as to every man having to do a day's work on Sunday, as I would inform him that it is also impossible for a man to be booked on duty exactly eight hours, which is the rate of pay for Sunday duty on this railway. He also wants to know if the excessive long hours, so common on the Brighton line, have been abolished. I answer, yes, as far as practicable with the exigencies of the traffic, as Mr. Stroudley, our esteemed superintendent, distinctly informed us at our delegation meeting on March 29th, at Brighton, that he was averse to men working long hours, and he would not allow a man to be booked on duty more than fourteen hours, as he considered that was too long for a an to be on an engine; and I am pleased to say that he has put it into operation wherever it could be done; and also, as a set off to our extremely short days, no man receives less than three fourths of a day's pay. As to promotion, that is to be dealt out according to merit and seniority. Surely "Gleaner" would allow our superintendent to know which is the best man, and who deserves to be promoted. Does it follow that if a man has been engaged as fireman for say six or seven years, that he should be promoted as driver, whether he has sufficient qualifications to hold such a positions or not? I answer, certainly not. Why not place a sleeper on an engine at once, as I assert that there are some men, if they were firing twenty years, would not have sufficient confidence in themselves to take charge of an engine; and it would be better for themselves, and also the public at large, that they should remain in their position as firemen, as a man without confidence is like drawing man clinging to a straw. I may also inform "Gleaner" that there are only a few of the concessions Mr. Stroudley so generously granted to the men. The best part is in the background and if he will only disclose his real name to this I should know whom I was writing to, I might show him what it the position of locomotive men that can be classed 100 A 1 at Lloyd's and I should assume by his letter that he is not an ignorant as not to know the definition of the same. And U can also assure "Gleaner" that the men do congratulate themselves on their success, and respectfully thank Mr. Stroudley for having put the same into operation the same week as the men accepted his proposed concessions and every one is satisfied that they are fair and reasonable to both man and the master, and not as Mr. McDonald has done on the North Eastern Railway -- promised, but not fulfilled. There  may be a few isolated cases, I admit, that have not received attention, but I ask any reasonable man, can he expect all grievances to be removed in so short a space of time? I have no hesitation I saying that Mr. Stroudley will try to remove any grievance the men may have, if only allowed sufficient time to do so. As a proof that the men are satisfied on this railway, I may informed "Gleaner" that a vote of thanks and confidence was accorded to Mr. Stroudley, for having conceded so liberally the greater portion of the clauses inserted in the memorial forwarded to him by your humble servant, on behalf of the 616 drivers and firemen I represented. I was very much pleased at your remarks on the subject in your "General Notes" of the 18th ult. Hoping you will excuse the length of my letter, which, I hope , will satisfy "Gleaner," I am, sir, your obediently 


[This letter was crowded out last week Editor R.R.]  




Although the Brighton locomotive men may have obtained some important concessions, I do not think their new rems of service, as published indoor last issue, quite come up to the high standard which their secretary claimed for them in the Review of May 11th. The objectionable "sixty hour a week" system has again been adopted, instead of each day standing by itself, so that there is no guarantee against long periods of duty on some days, which may be "played off" on others So much has been said against this system that it is rather surprising that these 616 men did not make a firmer stand in favour of the "ten hours a day," pure and simple. It will be readily admitted, however, that the position of the position of the locomotive men is in many respects far better than that the company will apply the same principle in other departments as they have in this case, viz., that six days shall constitute a week's work, and that the overtime and Sunday duty shall be paid for at a higher rate of wages. If this is a just principle with regard to the driver and fireman, why should it not apply to the guard, the signalman, ticket collector, or porter? And yet on this same line, as on nearly all others, these classes of servants are rated at seven days to the week, and they get no more for working seven days than they do if only required to work six.

It is for the men, however, to take steps to get this altered, and I am sorry that the Brighton signalmen did not make this the main point in the memorial which they sent in a short time since, instead of asking for a bonus, &c. But even on this question the men on the northern lines seem to be more unanimous than the men of the south, as in nearly all the memorials which have been prepared by the northern men, payment for Sunday duty has been one of the chief requests, and on the midland the signalmen have been rated at six days to the week for the last ten or eleven years. What is wanted, in order to get this system generally adopted, is a united effort by the men on all lines; and I see no reason why such an effort could not be started in London where representatives of nearly every line in the kingdom, and of every grade in the railway service, could from a central committee, and be in communication with local committees throughout the country.

But this is not the only point in which the locomotive men are in a better position than those in the traffic department, as their rate of wages is also much higher, and although I do not like making comparisons between the duties and responsibilities of different grades of men, I do think that a signalman or guard should, at least, be on an equal with a fireman in point of wages. The latter, according to the Brighton Company's scale, would get, after the second year, 4s. a day, and little enough too -- but there are very few signalmen or guards who receive that amount after ten or twenty years; service.

Surely, then, if the locomotive men can, by united action, get their position improved, other classes can do the same if they adopt the same means. Some say that the rate of wages is regulated according to the supply and demand, but, if this is the case, signalmen on the Brighton and many other lines should be able to obtain a much higher wage than they are now receiving.   

8TH JUNE 1883



In reply to "Qui Vive" allow me to say that I knew just so much about what I wrote re the Brighton goods guards' movement as I could glean from the report which in the Review of May 11th, and he is quite right in assuming that my jotting was founded on that report. I was very much pleased to find, however, by a subsequent report, that a proposal emanating from Brighton, that ten hours should constitute a day's work, had been adopted by the London men, and embodied in the memorial. With regard to the locomotive men, I thin if"Qui Vive" will read clause six of their terms of service, published in your issue of May 25, he will see that I was quite correct in saying that their rate of wages was fixed by the day; and believing that this system would be advantageous to other grades of railway servants, I ventured to commend it to the consideration of the Brighton goods guards, and, although "Qui Vive" puts my advice down as "stubble," I am still of opinion that it was "good seed," but am afraid that, in his case, it fell upon a rock, and consequently did not take root. I again assure the Brighton goods guards that they have my best wishes for their success.

I am much obliged to "H.S." for the information he gives in answer to my questions, and also for his promise to give more if I will only disclose my real name; but as Mr. Stroudley's circular has now been published in the Review, I presume that all your readers know as much about the position of the Brighton locomotive men as "H.S." does himself, and can form their own opinion thereon. I have formed mine, and briefly expressed it last week, but as we have the assurance of "H.S." that the men are satisfied, I have not desire to enter into useless controversy as to what is possible to impossible in arranging men's duties; and as to disclosing my real name, I can assure "H.S." that I do not wish to obtain any information which cannot be made public, and therefore, I prefer to remain incog.

I made some remarks in the Review of the 18th ult. respecting the languid conditions of the society in London and southern district. As far as London is concerned, this is not due to a scarcity of branches, or to a want of efficient and energetic officers to manage them, but chiefly to the bad attendance of members at branch meetings, and their want of energy in promoting the society's interests. I am fully aware, however, that there are many obstacles in the way of getting well attended meetings. The hours of duty of railwaymen are so varied and irregular that it is almost impossible to arrange the meetings so as to give all members an opportunity of attending. Some are off duty in the evening every alternate week, others once in three weeks, whilst the duties of other, such as locomotive men and guards, are so irregular that there is no certainly as to their opportunities of attending.

Efforts have been made to meet this difficult by fixing the branch meetings, some monthly, others fortnightly, and others once in three weeks, but in either case there are many members (and non members) who are unable to be present. What is really wanted in my opinion, is regular weekly meetings; but, in order to carry out such arrangement, it is necessary that we should have strong branches, and as the strength of the society lies not so much in the number of branches as in their numerical strength, would it not be advisable for some of the small one to amalgamate?  

15TH JUNE 1883


Sir. - In your issue of the 8th instant, "Gleaner" appears to think that the strength of the A.S.R.S. is wholly wrapped up in the numbers of members it contains. Does he not think the quality may haver something to do with the stability and soundness of our Society? 

Your obediently 


Sir, -- In "Jottings from the South," in your last issue, "Gleaner" says that he does not think that the terms of service of the London Brighton and South Coast Railway Locomotive Department, as published by you on the 25th ult., comes up to the standard I originally claimed for them in the Review of May 11th. I am sorry that "Gleamer" should be of that opinion, as I can assure him that 95 per cent. or more of the locomotive department of this company are of the same opinion as myself, viz., that we may be classed A1. In our recent agitation, I am pleased to state, we knew better than to make comparisons betwixt ourselves and other grades of the service, as your correspondent "Gleaner" has done. What benefit done he expect one grade of the service will derive from quoting another? Why, none; and instead of causing a certain amount of unity to exist between the different grades, his comparisons will have a tendency to disunite them; and instead of doing good, amount of harm. There is an old saying, that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and in "Gleaner's' case I think this has been fully proved. "Qui Vive" remarks in your last, "Dangerous diseases require strong remedies." I soul surmise that "Gleaner" must be one of those neglected ones that have been in the service ten or twenty years, and not in receipt of 4s. per day, the pay he quotes firemen to be in receipt of after two years' service; but he does not mention the time the fireman was cleaning at wages varying from 1s. 4d. per day to the maximum of 2s. 8s. per day. Also I would suggest that there must have been some neglect of duty; or that he or they, that have been in the service ten or twenty years, have not qualifications sufficient to accept a better position. If that is the case, why complain? We have instances of men having risen from the rank of guard to that of superintendent on this railway and many others that I could mention; but when a man attains the position of the first class driver, he has attained the height of his ambition in the locomotive department. Also I would inform "Gleaner" that firemen are not supplied with clothing, which on the course of twelve months makes a great reduction in his salary; and that whatever money he receives he has to work; as he rarely if ever receives any perquisites; which amount to a considerable sum in some of the grades of a railway service in the course of  year, I would also venture to suggest, that instead of "Gleaner" doing the grade he belongs to any good by making these comparisons, he is doing them considerable harm; I would recommend him in future to avoid comparisons as they are dangerous to all classes; and to offer some more plausible argument in favour of getting the grievance removed that they may have. In conclusion I hope "Gleaner" has taken note of the valuable advice tendered by "Qui Vive" in your last; as I am afraid his gleanings amount to nil. I hope you will excuse the length of my letter; as this will be the last one from me on this subject, and I hope that "Gleaner" will find some better employment of his pen than to keep constantly attacking one that has benefited his fellow workman, but try by his rare qualifications and unlimited education, to induce those employed in the same grade as himself to follow in the footsteps of the locomotive department; and by using fair and honest arguments, and  quoting no other grade than their own, to get the grievance removed they complain of, and I am sure none will take cognisance of the same, and be ready to acknowledge that he has proved himself a useful member of society, and sooner than your humble servants.



Sir, -- As a constant reader of your valuable paper, please allow me a small space to pass a few remarks on "H. S.'s" letters that have appeared. I the first he states that our superintendent  need not fear another agitation for the next ten years, if the present circular is acted up to. But is it acted up to? I say no, as there is none of the foremen get their 4s. 6d. per day yet. "Gleaner" wants to know if the objection long hours are done away with. I say no; as some of our men have to work the sixty hours in four days and be booked off the other two. Id the favouritism done away with? I think not, neither do I think that it will be our present superintendent and district foreman, but time will prove; but it must be gratifying to "H.S." and all other earnest workers in the past agitation, to know that they have been so instrumental in redeeming a part of what our present superintendent took from us about thirteen years ago, namely starting firemen at 3s. per day instead of 3.s 6d., and drivers at 5s. instead of 6s. per day A testimonial is to be presented to "H.S.," and I hope that every man off duty will turn up on that occasion and thank him for his past service to them. Fellow workmen, one more word to you all, young and old, join the A.S.R.S and protect your interest.




Dear Sir, -- No doubt most of our readers are aware that the result of the Brighton Company's locomotive men's agitation was a printed circular, a copy of which was given each driver and fireman, the terms of which have I believe, have been published in your valuable paper. now, sir, I have every reason to believe that the terms stated therein have given satisfaction to those men on the main line who are still receiving the old scale of pay, men who are working thirteen or fourteen hours per day and only receiving ten hours' pay for it. Should this meet the eye of any of those in power, I would like to ask why the terms of the circular have not been applied to those men of the branch lines who are not paid for the hours they work?



22ND JUNE 1883



It might be supposed that after the service criticising I received from "H.S." last week, I should hardly venture again to write anything for the Review, but there are two or three points in his letter to which I must ask permission to reply.

In the first place, "H. S." complains because I expressed an opinion that a guard or signalman should be equal in point of wages to a fireman, and he considers that instead of this doing any good, it will do a large amount of harm to the grade which he imagines I belong to, although he does not say which grade that is. But if he means the guards, or signalman, why does not the complaint come from them? and if they think that I have done them any harm, I will willingly apologise and refrain from writing in a similar strain in future. I fail to see, however, in what way comparisons are dangerous to all classes, and although "H.S." is of this opinion, he has on two occasions made use of comparisons, in describing the position of the Brighton locomotive men; first in the Review of May 11th, when he says that they are in as good a position as any other locomotive men in the kingdom, and again on /June 1st, in reference to the North Eastern men. He also does the same in his last letter in reference to clothing and perquisites. He next surmises that I must either be a "neglected one," or that there has been some neglect of duty, or disqualification, which has prevailed me from improving my position.  Well, on all those points I am happy to inform "H. S." that his imagination has let him astray. On another personal matter "H. S." appears to be rather contradictory, as he first considers that in my case, "a little knowledge's proved a dangerous thing, and afterwards credits me with "unlimited" education. I very much regret that my education is very "limited;" but no one is more anxious than myself to promote unity amongst my fellow workmen, and to help to improve their position.

As to my "gleamings" they are before your readers, and I leave them to judge as to their value; at the same time I deny the charge made by "H.S." that I am constantly attacking timor any one else who has benefitted his fellow workmen. I have no doubt that "H. S." has worked  hard in carrying on the movement, but I think the letter of "S. S." and "Justittia" which appear in your last issue, prove that my jottings have not been entirely out of place.

Next week, with your permission, I will deal with the question asked by "Chairman" and offer a few further suggestions. 


29TH JUNE 1883



I think "Chairman" has rather misconstrued the meaning of my remarks, which appeared in the Review of the 8th inst., as I did not express an opinion that the strength of the society depended entirely on the number of members, but that it depended more on the numerical strength of the branches than of the number of branches. Small branches as a rule labour under many disadvantages, and although they are an absolute necessity in outlying country places, there is no reason why there should be two or three small branches in close proximity to each other, at large railway centre, or especially in London, and I believe if some of them were to amalgamate and hold their meeting every week, it would be the mens of creating more life amongst the members, and increasing the strength of the society.

And on the last point, I think that "Chairman" will admit, that although the soundness and stability of the society is mainly due to the "quality" of those members who take an active part in conducting the business, its power and usefulness would increase in proportion to an increase in the number of members.

The "quality" of members is rather a delicate matter to write about, but I think it may be said that there are three degrees of good members in the society. 

First, those who keep their contributions paid up, but hardly ever attend their branch meetings, or take any interest in the society business, beyond securing its benefits for themselves should require them. Those are bound by the rules to consider "good" members.

Second, those who not only keep good on the books, but attend the meetings, and hold offices which are fixed by the rules for the purpose of management. 

And third, those who in addition to this are also instrumental in inducing non members to join. These are our best members, and the more they increase in number the more will the society increase in power and usefulness, as well as in soundness and stability.

Take the London and North Western Railway for instance, and it is well known, that the greater part of the men on that line who accepted the proposal of the company to contract themselves out of the Act, did so under great pressure, if not absolute compulsion, whilst every man (or boy) who enters the service, or obtains promotion, since the Act was passed, is compelled to join the Company's Insurance Society, and by so doing to forfeit any cabin they or their representatives might have under the Employers' Liability Act. Can this be called "freedom of contract?" 

I trust, however, that railwaymen will take the excellent advice of "A Canny Man," and combination use their power, both as regards their employers and their representatives in Parliament, to get this injustice removed.



L. B. and S. C. R. SERVANTS

Sir, -  Would you kindly bring before the notice of your readers the fact that there are men in possession of Mr. Stroudley's circular who are not paid for the hours they work. In one particular instance, on a branch line, the men were paid on one occasion for the hours they had worked, and the next pay day they were stopped the amount they had received for all hours over ten per day on the previous pay day out of the usual amount they had been receiving before the issuing of the circular, presumably under orders from headquarters. It would be interesting to those employed to know who is responsible for these things - the superintendent or his foreman? In conclusion, I would advise these men who do not belong to the A.S.R.S to join at once.


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