On the 2nd January 1988 

the line between Hurst Green and Edenbridge opened and was 

extended to Groombridge on the 1st October 1888.

Railway accident on the 


Tulse Hill 3rd January 1888 (L.S.W.R.)
Engine Driver Alexander Hampton (Depot unknown)


A serious accident occurred on Tuesday morning at Tulles Hill station, to the combined train belonging to the London and South Western and London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway Companies, due at Ludgate Hill at 7.45 from Wimbledon, The engine of the train, when about entering the Tulles Hill station, ran off the line at the points, dragging two carriages with it. The engine caught against the end of the platform, and was thus stopped from going further, or the whole of the train must have been precipitated over the steep embankment, and have fallen into the street below. As it was the engine was completely overturned, and sustained severe damage, The two carriages were also broken in many parts. Fortunately, owing no doubt to the fact that it was the first train to the City, there were not so many passengers as there would have been had it been an hour latter. all the passengers, however, receive a severe shaking, and two of their number, so far as it at present ascertained, received slight injuries. Alexander Hampton, engine driver, was severely crushed, and at first it was feared that he was dead. He was conveyed by another train to London Bridge, and taken from thence to Guy’s Hospital. It was afterwards stated that the injuries were not so serious as was first anticipated. The fireman of the engine received only a severe shaking, and escape is considered as miraculous. The accident having occurred at a junction off the rails, all the traffic to the City and Tulse Hill was for many hours suspended.

Railway Review 6th January 1888     




The first meeting of this year was held on Friday last; one new member was enrolled. Correspondence  was read from General Office and Accrington, after a long discussion the member to whom the letter referred allowed the subject to drop for the present. A member was allowed donation, and his case referred to the E.C. for protection, he having been offered a driver’s job on the Midland Railway during the strike, when he knew that he was likely to be discharged at any time through the shortening of hands. A member gave notice of motion in reference to the Railway Review for the next meeting.





The eighth annual dinner given in connection with the engine drivers and firemen employed by the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway Company took place on Friday night last.

The proceedings were under the presidency of Mr. J. P. Knight, loco. foreman. The company present numbered between forty and fifty. After one or two toasts had been honoured and a few complimentary speeches had been delivered, "The Foremen of the Works" was proposed by Mr. Gill, engine driver, who expressed his regret at having to state that the foremen and the men had not worked so amicably together as they had in years past. He hoped that their chairman, in his reply, would lay down for the next twelve months a programme which he would carry out, and from which they might take their cue. Continuing, the speaker pointed out that much of the disagreement had arisen from the heavy imposition of fines. He considered there was not sufficient discrimination in this respect. It seemed unjust to fine men for mere mishaps, and the more so when a heavy penalty was imposed in cases where a light

one, if any, would answer the purpose just as well. He did not say that the foremen were altogether responsible for this state of things, but he thought that the least the foremen could

do was to fight the battle of their men, and uphold their cause. He mentioned this matter now because it was the only opportunity they had during  the year to air any grievance that might have arisen. And, further, he wished to see a more amicable condition of affairs henceforth obtaining; and, in order that this end might be gained, he suggested the arrangement of more social gatherings of the kind they were celebrating that might. In conclusion, he submitted very cordially the toast which he had risen to propose, and trusted that in future the elations between foremen and men would be happier than they had been for some little time immediately past.- Mr. Fox, of New Cross, in response, said that there was great deal of truth in what Mr. Gill had said The foremen generally, he took it, tried to do what was just and right, but sometimes little differences arose which were not altogether perhaps to be helped. He, for his part, however, tried to do his best at New Cross, believing firmly that unity was strength, and he hoped that everyone else would endeavour to do the same.(Hear,

 hear.). Mr. Love next submitted " The Chairman." Mr. Knight, in reply, thanked the company very heartily for the enthusiastic manner in which they had applauded the mention of his name, and stated that although he was not in a position to make out a programme that night, he should be most pleased at any time to do all he could for the best interest and welfare of the men. They all knew where to find him in his shed, and they were always welcome to go to him at anytime. In the past he had always endeavoured to do his best by the men, and in the future, so long as he was with them, he should continue to do so. And even if circumstances ever took him away, he should always be pleased to be present with them at such social

gatherings as they had that night. (Applause.) A pleasant evening was spent.




The London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway extracted from its stores during the fogs of last week no less than 15,840 detonating signals.





A public tea and entertainment in aid of the Benevolent Fund if the Brighton No.2 branch of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants was held at the Lecture Hall, York Road, on Friday last and proved successful. 138 sat down to tea, and about 200 were present at the entertainment, was gone through.


On Friday evening last the annual dinner of the New Cross and South-Eastern branch of

A.S.R.S. was held at the Railway Tavern. About seventy members and friends sat down to a most excellent repast.  After the tables had been cleared, the evening was spent in harmony. Mr. Harford, the general secretary presiding  He called upon Mr. H. Skinner for the first song, who gave "Fountain of Golden Ring." Mr. R. Graham then gave the toast, " Success to the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants," coupling the name of Mr. Harford, who responded with a few remarks explaining the objects and benefits of the society, and he was very attentively listen to. Mr. Reed sang "The Artful Cadger," which caused much merriment; after which Mr. G. Gore gave the toast "Success to the New Cross and South Eastern Branch," which was responded to by the branch secretary. Mr. S. Martin sang the "Cabin with the Roses at the Door." Mr. T. Watson, treasurer of the society, gave the toast, "Health of the absent officials of the society." Mr. Bridge sang, in character , "The Ghost of Benjamin Binns," which caused roars of laughter, and being encored sang  "Yawning and Gaping." Mr. E Barden sang "The Powder Monkey," after which a vote of thanks was proposed by Mr. Halse to the chairman. Mr. Harford, having to leave early, then responded. The chair was then taken by the branch chairman. Mr. Earles sang "Red, White, and Blue" encored gave "Pretty Jemima, don't say No"; Mr. C. Adams, "Marble Arch; Mr. G. Gore, "Dear little Island so Green"; Mr. E. Pettit, "I am as Happy as a King";  Mr. C. Yates, "Sailing"; Mr. H. Vaughn,

"Clocks to Mend"; and Mr. Graham, "Our Sailors on the Sea." Mr. T. Watson proposed a vote of thanks to the host, who was suitably responded, and gave half a guinea to the fund. Other toasts followed, and several songs were given, towards which Mersrs. Holdbrook, Mulcock, Westlake, Claridge, Ginman, Carter, and others contributed. Mr. R. Graham proposed that a vote of thanks be conveyed by the committee to Mr. Fox, locomotive superintendent, and his assistant, Mr. Hawkins for the assistance they had kindly rendered to the host, and the manner in which they had arranged for all to attend the dinner. A vote of thanks was also accorded the committee, for which Mr. G. Gore suitably responded on their behalf. A highly enjoyable evening was thus brought to a close at 2.30 a.m. by singing "Auld Land Syne."





Fellow "Workmen"

The Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers AND Firemen was formed eight years ago, and is making rapid strides. It was established in order to give greater security to our labour, and to prevent our employers from taking advantage of our disorganised condition. Experience has proved that we could have our grievances redressed if we were a thoroughly organised body, and thereby raise ourselves to that position to which our responsible duties entitle us. We know that men have striven for years to improve their position by appealing to superintendents and directors, with results that are but too well known, and we have only to instance the Midland dispute to illustrate our meaning. But how different might those results have been had all Enginemen and Firemen been bound in one common brotherhood, for not only is it necessary that we should prepare for sickness, old age, and death, but that we should also be afforded protection in our labour for so great and arduous are the duties to which Enginemen and Firemen are called upon to perform, and their responsibilities so great, that the most careful men are liable to accidents, which may result in their being indicted for manslaughter. Why, then, should you pay away your hard-earned savings in obtaining legal defence, when you may belong to a Society which will provide you with legal assistance, in addition to other trade protection benefits, for the sum of fourpence per week ? Surely the result of the Hexthorpe trial, in which the driver and fireman (both members of our Society) were implicated, ought to be an inducement to Enginemen and Firemen to join our Society, for we believe that had it not been for the valuable assistance rendered them by our Association, which is composed of Enginemen and Firemen only, whose interests and sympathies were identical with the accused, it would have been more difficult to have established the men's innocence, but owing to the practical experience of the officers of our Association, they were enabled to point out the imperfections of the system under which the men were working, which could not have been so lucidly explained by men unacquainted with the calling of Enginemen and Firemen. We hope you will, therefore, recognize in our Society a long-felt want supplied, and come and join us. Our Schedule of Contributions and Benefits will be found on the second page of cover of this publication.


General Secretary.






A block which occasioned much inconvenience, occurred on Tuesday morning at ten o'clock at the Epsom Town station of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway, and engine attached to a local train having got off the line at the facing points. Both the main up and down line were blocked, and passengers going southward of Epsom were delayed two hours. Passengers journeying to London had to leave their trains and walk along the ballast to the station. great complaints were made by gentlemen travelling to the city by the morning express train rear row company made no arrangements to supply the place of the delayed express. Passengers who would under ordinary circumstances have arrived at London Bridge at twenty minutes to eleven did not reach till half past eleven, having been left to journey by a slow local train from Epsom.


MARCH 1888


Battersea, London, 

February 18th, 1888.

Dear Sir,—On February 12th, 1888, a meeting was held at The Two Brothers, Battersea, under the auspices of the A.S.L.E. & F. The room was comfartably filled, and a L.B. & S.C. driver was voted to the chair, and, after a few well chosen remarks, called upon the organising secretary, Mr. Ball to explain the objects and benefits of the Society, under whose auspices the meeting had been called. Mr. Ball then said he was very pleased to see such a meeting as the one before him, and by the time he had done he hoped to be able to show what benefits could be derived by the combination of  such a body as the enginemen and fireman of the United Kingdom. He also gave in detail the trial of Taylor and Davis, and as he told us of the great pains and trouble taken by the general secretary (Mr. Sunter), to see justice done to those members, it brought, forth shouts of applause, and his zeal was highly appreciated by all present. After Mr. Ball had done, five came forward and had their names enrolled, and several others promised to join at their earliest convenience.Several questions were asked and satisfactorily answered by the organising secretary, and with a vote of thanks to him, the chairman, and the representatives of the various London branches present, one of the most encouraging meetings of enginemen and firemen was brought to a close.

I remain, yours truly, J. B


11TH MAR 1888



The General Manager of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway, who was profuse in his explanations to the Board of Trade as to the cause of the long hours in the return supplied by him to the Government showed as having been worked on that line, suggested that they mostly arose through the running of the excursion trains, on which occasions those in charge were not on duty the whole of the time represented. That explanation, however, does not alter the fact of the company having a number of local trains running every day upon which the men are on duty over -- not merely twelve -- but sixteen hours. If we mistake not, those who commence their day's work with the 6.40 a.m. train from Brighton to Horsham, bring into Brighton the 9.35 at night, the driver and fireman being on duty sixteen hours, and twenty five minutes, while sixteen hours is put in on the footplate of the engine that works the 7 a.m. Brighton to Worthing. At Eastbourne and other places similar cases occur. we find also, that on express passenger trains, enginemen can make 150 hours in twelve days, and over 177 hours in thirteen days on ordinary passenger trains, while on goos trains the same grade of men frequently work over 156 in eleven day. Much has been said by some companies to the effect that the months selected for the return were not fair ones; but so far as goods guards are concerned, the Brighton Company appears to have been either favoured or exceedingly fortunate, for, whereas it declares that in neither of the months named did it work any of those men once twelve hours in one day, we know of a goods guard who worked 154 1/2 hours quite recently in eleven days, his hours varying from 5 3/4 to 16 1/2 per day. What they were in January 1887, and July, 1886, we are not in a position to say.


4TH MAY 1888





Continuation of return of railwaymen who were during the months of July, 1886, and January, 1887, on duty for more than twelve hours any a time, or who, after being on duty more than twelve hours, were allowed to resume work with less than less eight hours rest. 

Between July 1886 to  January 1887

Number of Engine drivers and firemen employed in July 1886 - 630

JULY 1886

Number of cases and length of day's work

13 hours 1302

14 hours 1509

15 hours 1715

16 hours 1035

17 hours 607

18 hours upwards 397

Number of cases where enginemen, after being on duty more than 12 hours, resumed duty with less than one 8 hour's rest.

1 hour's 

hour's 1

3 hour's 5

4 hour's 31

5 hour's 106

6 hour's 276

hour's 541

Number of Engine drivers and firemen employed in January 1887 - 631


Number of cases and length of day's work

13 hours 1340

14 hours 1401

15 hours 1366

16 hours 808

17 hours 469

18 hours upwards 207

Number of cases where enginemen, after being on duty more than 12 hours, resumed duty with less than one 8 hour's rest.

1 hour's


3 hour's 2

4 hour's 16

5 hour's 45

6 hour's 112

hour's 497


11TH MAY 1888


The General Manager of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway, who was propose in his explanations to the Board of Trade as to the cause of the long hours in the return supplied by him to the Government showed as having been worked on that line, suggested that they mostly arose through the running of excursion trains, on which occasions those in charge were not on duty the whole of the time represented. That explanation, however, does not alter the fact of the company having a number of local trains running every day upon which the men are on duty over -- not merely twelve -- but sixteen hours. If we mistake not, those who commence their day's work with the 6.40 a.m. passenger train from Brighton to Horsham, bring into Brighton the 9.35 at night, the driver and fireman being on duty sixteen hours and twenty five minutes, while sixteen hours is put in on the footplate of the engine that the 7 a.m. Brighton to Worthin. At Eastbourne and other places similar cases occur. We find, that on express passenger trains, enginemen can make 150 hours in twelve days, and over 177 hours in thirteen days on ordinary passenger trains while on goods trains the same grade of men frequently work over 156 hours in eleven days. Much has been said by some companies to the months selected for the return were not fair ones; but so far as goods guards are concerned, the Brighton Company appears to have been either favoured or exceedingly fortunate, for, whereas it declares that in neither of the months named did it work any of those men once twelve hours in one day, we know of a goods guard who worked 154 1/2 hours quite recently in eleven dats, his hours varying from 5 3/4 to 16 1/2 per days. What they were in January, 1887, and July 1886, we are not in a position to say.


22ND JUNE 1888


If there be one man in the employ of a railway company who works harder for his wages than another, it will hardly be contested but that the fireman is the one. True, he may not be engaged in the hurry and excitement that is seen in our large shunting yards, where guards and shunters are running and jumping themselves short of breath, nor is he called upon to trudge about among the wet and snow, by which so many of the other grades of the service mentioned contract ailments that are not easily shaken off; but he none the less has his hardships privations. In common with the engine driver, he is in the forefront of danger when such accidents as collisions and derailments occur, and, of course, they usually share the same fate on such occasions. He, too, has the tempests to weather that the driver has, but cannot always shelter himself as the latter can, for his duties do not permit him to crouch too long in a corner that may be made comparatively comfortable under certain conditions, nor is he able to protect himself from the cold blasts that blow across the footplate as mate is, for the reason that has not got the means wherewith to clothe himself with the warm or watertight clothing that one in his position sorely needs. Apart, however, from these considerations, his work is of a laborious character, and, it might almost be said, of a continuous order. Of course the cases vary considerably according to the class of train an engine may be working, as it is obvious that a light train will not necessitate the same amount of firing as a heavy one, any more than does an engine consume the same quantity of coal in travelling along a level road that it does in traversing a hilly country; but to take them at their best there is always plenty of work in hand for the fireman. But, perhaps, the class of train upon which the most labour is extracted from him, and in which the old gospel injunction that man shall earn his bread by the sweat of his brow is verified, is in what is termed the "through goods train," which calls for the fullest exertion of the men of whom we are writing. If the number of journeys made between the fire hole and the tender could be counted, together with the marches between injectors, feed pipes, etc., on a trip of 100 miles -- a distance frequently covered by a single journey with this class of train -- and then doubled to include the return journey, the figures, in addition to proving interesting in themselves, would be valuable in showing the amount of walking alone that the fireman has to do, for it would show him to have travelled a great number of miles. Then add to that the quantity of coals which have been lifted by the fireman from the tender to the fire box, amounting, in some cases, to as much as four or five tons a day, and it will give a still more accurate idea of the amount of actual physical labour performed. Nor are the short intervals that occur between the performance of those duties spent in idleness, for it must be borne in mind that the fireman must assist the driver in keeping a good look out, and apply one of the brakes as occasions require. Those and many other multifarious duties performed on the road and at terminals all contribute to make the position of a fireman on a through goods train one of continual labour. Their position on branch goods trains is somewhat similar, while the firemen of express and slow passenger trains, although they may not use quite the same quantity of coal, are equally as much engaged.

That the men so employed ate inadvertently paid will not be disputed, seeing that but few indeed have more than 4s. per day for their laborious work, the number receiving 4s. 6d. -- the highest figure paid on any line -- being a very small proportion, by far the greater portion being in receipt of wages varying from 3s. to 3s. 10d. per day. Nor are these low wages limited to any small space of time, for there are to be found not a few with less than 4s. per day who have served in the capacity of firemen for terms of seven and eight years, and others who have no more than the sum named with a servitude of as much as ten years, without the slightest prospect of receiving more until they are advanced to the position of engine drivers -- the goal for which all firemen are striving. Were it not for the latter prospect, it is no exaggeration to say that there would be great difficulties in getting firemen at all at such small rates of pay, for there are few men to be found who would undergo the hardships, the toil, and the privations of the fireman's life for such starvation wages, for the fireman, to enable himself to perform his duties efficiently, must of necessity receive good support, and anyone who tried to perform such work as his without very soon find his energy wasting and that he  was rendering himself unfit for his duties. That there are numbers of these men who do not get the full amount of the support they should, and which their small wages will not allow them, is too apparent in  the pale faces and emaciated frames so many of them wear. This is particularly the case on occasions when work is not brisk, as by the short time worked, and the days of idleness enforced upon them, their pay for a week on many occasion does not exceed the small teens of shillings. The condition of some of them is truly pitiful, and are evidences of the greed and inconsiderateness of railway companies who made no scruples in order to gain large dividends, and who, by holding out to the firemen the prospect that some day they may become engine drivers at 5s. per day, are enabled to get men and half starve them during the period of graduation. The position of engine driver is dearly bought at such a price, and few men are ever able to step up to the charge of the regulator without having passed through a time of great hardship and privation.

In any future re-arrangements of scales of wages in the locomotive departments of the various lines, the low wages of the firemen should receive a fair share of consideration, and efforts made to improve their condition -- their wages ought to be more commensurate with the labour extracted from them. On one or two lines, through local agitations, and position of the fireman has been somewhat improved, but still not as fully as could reasonably be done, while on other lines nothing has been done for them for years. This is unsatisfactory, and ought to be changed. Much, if not all, depends upon the firemen themselves. If they be lukewarm and make no effort to effect their own improvement, they must not expect other people to interest themselves in their behalf. Their duty, if they wish to make any progress, is to combine with their  mates for that purpose, and not merely with their mates of the footplate, but with the other grades of the service, as the united action of the whole can accomplish that which a combination of any single grade cannot do. Were all the firemen of our railways, or any large proportion of them, members of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, their grievances would receive greater consideration, and the time would not be far distant when both their hours and wages would meet with improvement. 


22ND JUNE 1888


There have been few matters that have given rise to more genuine complaints among the staff of the locomotive departments of our railways than that of firemen driving, and there are, it is the more to be regretted, few lines, if any, where the practice does not exist to such a degree as to render it more or less obnoxious to those workmen affected thereby, hence it is that we are continually hearing complaints from one line and another concerning the matter. It may be but fair to concede that, owing to the fluctuations which railway traffic is subject to, the companies cannot be expected to maintain a full complement of engine drivers and firemen when traffic is in its normal condition, as would be requires in times of great pressure, when excursions occasioned by race meetings, exhibitions, bank holidays, etc., when their resources become exceedingly strained, and every available man is called into requisition, and may be to do extra duty. On such occasions as these it can be well understood how the services of the whole staff of permanent drivers could prove unequal to the demand, and render an augmentation from the grade of firemen necessary. such a contingency, however, is usually provided for by the number of reserve drivers most companies have at their disposal, who are firemen in ordinary times, certified by the companies to be competent to take charge of an engine, and who are on the verge of promotion to the position of permanent engine drivers; these men are know by the name of passed firemen. Nothing is urged against the adoption of a system of this kind when it is honestly carried out, but, like many other good things, it is subject to abuse, thereby causing much dissatisfaction and occasionally heated disputes between the men and the companies.

What forms one complaint is that the companies, having these passed firemen to fall back upon, keep their staff of drivers art a too low limit, and barely sufficient to meet the demands of ordinary times, with the result that on the occasion of the slightest increase of traffic the passed firemen are brought into requisition; in some instances, the staff of drivers has proved itself so inadequate that hardly a day passes without engines being placed in the charge of those firemen - drivers. In such cases the men have just causes for complaint, and more particularly the firemen, who are thereby being kept back from promotion to the post of permanent driver, for which they may have served a lengthened and wearied apprenticeship, and who, after getting within sight of their goal, which they have for years been striving to reach, are not allowed to step up to it. The motive that actuates the companies to keep the staff of drivers at so low a limit is undoubtedly one of parsimony, as by using firmer for drivers they save ab occasional 6d. per da, and stave off the time when those men shall enter the lists of drivers and graduate to higher scales wages; for it must be borne in mind that no matter if a fireman was engaged engine driving every day, he would not be acknowledged as a driver until the company fairly entered him upon the lists as such, and it would be from the date of the latter transaction that his time for future advances would be counted. Knowing these things, then, it is but a duty the firemen owe to themselves that they should protest with all their might against the continuance of such a practice as that referred to, as they are being made but a convenience of by the companies, and kept back from rising to a position to which they have by faithful servitude become justly entitled. The other specific complaint in connection with firemen - driving is - that when passed firemen are placed in charge of engines, they are not at all times given those which would seem most appropriate for them, and that instead of being assigned to work pilot or shunting engines, such as new drivers are always sent to, and which is certainly the most equitable as a first step in the profession, they are placed in charge of engines which none but the experienced should be trusted with, and are sent out on to the main line to work the most important trains, even through expresses being at times entrusted to their carte. Why any company should choose to adopt such a policy is beyond comprehension, as by doing so there does not appear to be anything to gain, but, on the other hand, a greater danger of something to lose. That no one but the experienced should hold the regulator of the engine that draws a "flying Scotchman," a "flying Dutchman," or a "wild Irishman," will be generally conceded, yet it is a fact that some of those trans have been placed in the hands of one so inexperienced as a passed fireman, and may be so again, unless the companies are induced or compelled to abandon such a foolish policy. Had there been anything to gain by the practice, it might been, although not excused, understood; but there id nothing to gain, neither is there any necessity for a such a proceeding any more than there is to prove a fireman straight from the shovel to the regulator of an express permanently. On any occasion when the companies find themselves short of drivers and require to bring to their aid the passed fireman, they can, if they choose, always fill the most important posts with competent ad experienced drivers, leaving the less important positions for the emergency section. Such a system as that is nothing but what thoughtful management would dictate, is no crotchety idea, and is as simple to carry out as can be, if there existed the desire. It is more; it is what the thousands of passengers travelling upon the line at such a time have a right to expect will be done. When they pay their fares and enter into a contract to be conveyed from one place to another, they naturally expect that in return the company, to whom they have entrusted their lives, will make some effort to convey them in safety, and place them in charge of experienced drivers; they expect that some discrimination between competent and incompetent men will be made, and little do they dream of the brach of faith that the companies, by their foolhardiness, are committing. 

Perhaps the worst feature of this system is yet to be told, and that is, that in a great of those where firemen-drivers have been found in charge of important trains, they have not as much as had the services of an efficient fireman, and have practical been driven to the necessity of acting in the double capacity of driver and fireman, by reason of having some strange and inexperienced youth from the staff of cleaners occupying the position of the latter, but the duties of which he has been incompetent to fulfil. Bad, then, as is the system of firemen-driving is in itself, it has actually been aggravated by the latter proceeding. Railwaymen can well understand the difficulties an ordinary driver has to contend with when he has a fireman who does not thoroughly understand his duties. How much more, than must those difficulties be multiplied in the case of a temporary driver under such circumstances? That such regulations should be made upon any railway, it will be admitted, redounds with anything but credit upon those responsible for the management; and while the evil complained of many not exist to the fullest degree on all railways, we could name one, at least, where the whole of what we have enumerated has been practiced over and over again, and if we mistake not, is still in vogue.

The above forums a few of the evils of the firemen - driving system about which so much has form time to time been heard; and it can only be hoped that, as the men mostly affected by it become more united, they will male strenuous efforts to break it down. It has been alleged that some firemen have contributed some small portion themselves towards maintaining the present state of affairs, but how far that accusation is well founded we are not prepared to say, but there can be no question that the more far seeing ones, and we may say the firemen in general, are sensitive of the damage this system is doing them; they are alive to the fact that it prevents their promotion and delays the time when they shall rise to the height of their profession, and that is no small matter with them. It is the goal they set out for when, years ago, they first entered the cleaning shed, and they are anxious to reach it. It remains, then, for them toiler away whatever obstructions are laid across their path. This firemen - driving business is undoubtedly the greatest, they must confront it by united action.



PAGE 222

Battersea, London, 

July 19th, 1888.

Mr. Editor,
Sir,— On Sunday, July 1st, a general meeting of enginemen and firemen was held at the Two Brothers Inn, under the auspicies of the A. S. L. E. & F. , when Mr. C. E. Stretton, consulting engineer, and Mr. T. G. Sunter, general secretary of the Society, attended and addressed the meeting. The chairman of the branch presided, and after a few remarks asked Mr. Stretton to address the meeting. That gentleman then gave very interesting address, he also alluded to his position as consulting engineer to the Society, and, expressed his pleasure at belonging to such an organisation, as in his opinion the travelling public were greatly indebted to enginemen and firemen for their safety. He also hoped to have the pleasure of again visiting this branch in the near future. After speaking for about thirty minutes he resumed his seat amidst applause. Mr.T.G. Sunter then gave a stirring address on the objects and benefits of the Society, and spoke of the progress the Society was making, which he felt sure was an augury that enginemen and firemen were beginning to realise the necessity of being of connected with an organisation composed of their class, and in response to his appeal to the non-members present to join our ranks, a number of enginemen and firemen gave in their names, one of them expressing an opinion that he felt sure from what he had heard that night that this Society was the one for enginemen and firemen. A vote of thanks was then given to the speakers, and the meeting was brought to a close.
I am, yours faithfully.

Branch Chairman


24TH AUGUST 1888


Few will care to question the fact that of all the grades forming the great railway service, that of the engine driver carried with it the greatest responsibilities, and requires the most ski and judgement to be exercised. No matter whether we view the engine driver in his earliest position as such, or when he has reached the top rung of the ladder, he is saddled with the an amount of responsibility that no other grade of the service has to bear. On the shunting engine he undoubtedly passes through his greatest trails, for in addition to having the care of a locomotive placed in his hands, he is usually kept busy during the whole of his time on duty shunting to and fro, with barely time to attend to the wants of either himself or his engine; being to some extent strange to his duties, and a little nervous, perhaps, owing to the realisation of having so much responsibility suddenly placed upon his shoulders, his whole attention is absorbed his work, which to such a one proves exceedingly irksome. his anxiety to perform his duties effaced to keep clear of complaints, either in respect to his management or condition of his engine, is at times sufficient to unnerve him, and not infrequently leads him into little difficulties which he is anxious to avoid. Here, then, is where the responsibility of an engine driver is first realised, and where, it may be said, he encounters the greatest difficulties. The fined and reprimands inflicted by the officials of the locomotive department, which some of our young drivers have been visited with during their term on a shunting engine, in many cases amount to more than all that follow during the remainder of their career. This, as has been mentioned, arises partly through the inexperience and want of confidence of the driver, of the driver, and the amount of work that is extracted from him. It is also worthy of remark that in shunting, opportunities for making slight mistakes and meeting with mishaps are exceedingly numerous, and, perhaps, more so than in any other section of engine driving, although the consequences of such may not be a serious. When ultimately the driver emerges from the shunting engine and steps on to the footplate of a branch line one, he enters upon a new life. He has, however, got fresh responsibilities, which, if not quite so numerous, are certainly more important; but he has got more space there, and finds himself with more liberty to attend to matters than he had when on the shunting engine, when he was crushed up in a busy yard with scarcely enough elbow room to turn round, space to breathe in, or a moment to call his own. He gradually gets accustomed to the mode of working trains, and becomes adept at regulating his speed, stopping at stations, and approaching junctions, and in due time graduates to the post of a main line man, where, with more important trains, longer runs, quicker running, and his connection with large and important junctions, he rises to the front rank of his profession. Here he responsibilities also increase, for he has to get out of the dog trot style of branch working, and has now to push his engine ahead. Signals, stations and junctions are approached at a much more rapid pace than formerly, and he has to train himself to readily discern them. The consequences of an accident occurring of an accident occurring in his hands on the main line would, in the usual course of things, prove much more serious -- to himself, at any rate, whatever they might be to others -- than one would in either of his former capacities, hence his position has grown in importance. Many drivers never advance beyond the main line goods trains, as some of these are of so important a character, and are run at such high rates of speed, as to require the most skilful drivers; therefore it frequently happens that, when no disposition is shown to change to the passenger traffic, the officials readily acquiesce in those experienced drivers remaining on the fast goods train, where they are very often only too glad to have them, and where many drivers are quite contented to remain. The next move of the driver is, as has been foreshadow, to the passenger trains, usually commencing on branch lines, where the work, to say the least of it, is laborious. Running short journeys all day long, of 10 to 20 miles each,  and stopping at every station, has recently been very appropriately designated by a Board of Trade inspector as "omnibus" work, and, when we contrast the comparative easy life of the express goods driver with that of the "omnibus" one, it is not difficult to make a guess at one reason why the former does not care to make a change. The greatest care is require in working this kind of traffic. An efficiency in the working of the continuous brake is essential, as the overshooting of a platform is a serious offence, visited with heavy penalties; the losing of time is also a fault, while misjudgement on entering a terminal station, where a collision with buffer stop ensues, may lose the driver his situation. however serious an accident with a goods train may prove, it is obvious that one with a passenger train must be more so, and thus the driver of one of the latter finds himself with serious responsibilities placed upon him, which are increased as he graduates from the branch trains of those of the mainline, and, finally, to the regulator of an express engine. Of the latter these are various orders, such as those which do not exceed much more than 20 miles without stopping, and those which, like the present Scotch express, have over a hundred miles continuous running at top speed. It is on these engines that the driver bears the greatest responsibility. There is the injunction of the officials to keep time, and the effect of his failing to do so be considered, as should he prove himself to be incompetent to fulfil that requirement he is made to suffer, either by fine or degradation. On such a joinery as 150 miles continuous run at a mile a minute, the driver has a task of no mean order set before him. His head must be clear, his eye steady, and his nerves well strung. He be prepared to act with decision the instant an emergency arises, as the slightest hesitation at such a moment might prove calamitous and cause the death of himself and the living freight behind him, With all this responsibility, he has, in addition, the care of his engine, which, before starting on his journey, he must see is in perfect order for the completion of the task set before it. His eye must detect that may exist, as to overlook one would be equal in effect to the overlooking of a signal. Such are a few of the responsibilities of an express driver, but there are others of s minor nature too numerous to mention, but which in the aggregate are formidable enough to add greatly to his cares.

Having thus depicted the position of the engine driver from the lower rung of the ladder to the top, and shown a few of the responsibilities that rest upon him in whatever class of traffic he may be engaged, it must occur to the reader that those men are very liable to meet with adversities -- indeed they would be an infallible class if they did not; the little mishaps which they meet with are numerous, while the fact that greater ones do not more frequently happen redounds much to their credit. They do, however, occur at times, and the drivers have to suffer in consequence. Collisions and other accidents, although not so numerous as they once were, not yet become extinct, and although it could be wished that they were things of the past, there is very little hope of such a consummation ever being attained. An accident cannot well happen without the engine driver being to some extent implicated, and, what is more serious still, his position placed in jeopardy. In view of this fact, and the possibility of accident occurring in. the hands of the most experienced and most skilful of drivers, it behoves them to give some thought of the consequences that are entailed in such occurrences. In the case of fatalities there is the danger of being committed for manslaughter; while the loss of situation, suspension from duties, or reduction in position, is frequently the penalty for less serious offences. In the event of such emergencies arising, the prudent driver is prepared to meet them, and thus it is that we find so large a proportion of these men in the Amalgamated Society. Numbers of them have cause to be thankful for having belonged to that association, which in times of trouble stickers close to its members, and spares neither time, money, nor counsel in their defence. Many a driver has been saved from the charge of manslaughter through the defence provided by the society, while some, like Taylor, of Hexthorpe, have escaped an adverse verdict at the eleventh hour. Others have, by the aid of the society, been cleared of blame for accidents in the initial steps of inquiry, and have thereby had their situations saved, while those who have beetles fortunate have had the benefit of the society's funds during periods of suspension, or when unfortunately their positions have been lost. Whatever difficulties a driver may fall into, and he is waylaid with pitfalls, the society is there to assist him if he be a member, and the benefits that those men have received from that source would fill a value. It is sufficient, however, to know that is ever ready for any emergency, and that it s aid is given without stint, that one of its main objects is to help its members when in distress, and protect them in every conceivable manner. That any engine driver should. withhold his connection from such a society is to be deplored, but we feel satisfied that did they but give the matter that consideration which is due to it, and which in their own interests, and nobody else's, they ought to give it, there would not be a single engine driver in the kingdom who would not see that it was to his advantage to be a member.




On Friday evening last a dinner was held at the Masons' Arms Hotel, Battersea, in order to present Mr. Mckew, sen., with a testimonial. The table was tastefully decorated with choice flowers, and the dinner was served in excellent style, to which ample justice was done.

Mr. Walter Cooper occupied the chair, and was supported by Messrs. W. Elliss, J. Dowers,

P. Bolster, and W. Manning. Mr. Pullen was in the vice-chair, being supported.by Messrs. J. Taylor, W. Schofield, C. Brown, and R. Gwilliam. After the removal of the cloth, and a song by Mr. Mannell, Mr. P. Bolster made the presentation, and said it was the most pleasing duty he had ever been called upon to perform. He had worked with Mr. Mckew for twenty-seven years, and he had always found him the same. He was always the first to assist any of his fellow workmen who met with misfortune, or who were unjustly treated, and was with them in every movement they had undertaken for their improvement.

Mr. Mckew was ever ready to meet the officials, and to speak his mind openly and fearlessly.

speak (Cheers.). He hoped, most sincerely, that the manly example of Mr. Mckew would be followed by them all. (Cheers.) In making the presentation, which consisted of a purse of gold and one of the A.S.R.S. the gold medallions, with inscription, 

" Presented to Edward Mckew, sen., after thirty-seven years' service. as a mark of respect, by his fellow workmen on the L. B. & S. C. R., 1888," 

Mr. Bolster said: The medallion was the emblem of one of the grandest societies in the world (cheers), and of one in which Mr. Mckew had taken an interest since its formation in 1871.

After a song by Mr. F. Snow, Mr. Mckew rose to respond, and was received with prolonged cheering. He said he felt almost overcome with the kindness shown him. He had had a

very long, and perhaps, he might say, wonderful career upon the railway; but he could tell them he had found that it was just as easy to be treated with respect by his fellow workmen as it was to be hated or disliked. (Cheers.) He started to work as a cleaner upon the Eastern Counties Railway at the age of 13; at the age of 19 he was promoted to fireman. He was fireman to the engine which took the papers containing the Repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846, from Bishopsgate Station to Ely; the engine was No. 38; it was one of Stephenson's; the distance was 72 miles. They stopped four times, once to take coke, and completed the journey in one hour and twenty-five minutes. They had no distant signals, and no Westinghouse brake at that time. In 1849 he was promoted to driver, and remained upon the Eastern Counties Railway until the great strike in 1850. "I struck," said the speaker, amidst laughter, "and I never went near them again was," he continued, "out of work for eight months before I obtained employment on the Brighton as fireman, which position I held until June, 1856, when I was again promoted to the position of a driver. I took an active part in the Brighton strike in 1867, so that you will see I have been in two strikes. I was driver of the first engine which ran over Grosvenor Bridge. I was driver of the first booked train which started from Victoria Station. I opened the direct line from Balham to East Croydon, and I also was driver of the first train from Addison Road to Clapham Junction. (Cheers.) So you will see I have inaugurated some changes since I first started upon a railway, and I consider I am one of the oldest engine drivers in the Kingdom. I was born on the 13th of February, 1827, started railway work November, 1840, and was superannuated by the Brighton Company in February, 1888, so that, although I was only 61 years of age last February, I have had upwards of 47 years' railway work. (Cheers.) I think I have said all for the present. I only we shall all often meet again. I cannot thank you too much for raw very handsome presents you have given me this evening." (Prolonged cheers)

Mr. J. Dowers, in responding to the toast of the Committee, remarked that all those who had subscribed towards the testimonial had done it with a free heart. (Cheers)

Several toasts and speeches followed, and the proceedings were enlivened with songs. by Messrs. F. Stevens, W. Elliss, J. Pullen, Thos. Mckew, J. German, E. Mckew, jun., J. Taylor,

C. Barber, R. Langridge, E. H. Braint, T. Durtnall, T. Beuchamp, B. Goddard,- Sainders, and the guest of the evening (Ed. McKew, sen.), who also gave a step dance, thereby greatly gratifying his admirers. Step dances were also given by Mr. T. Holton, while the banjo and  concertina were given respectively handled by Messrs. Pullen and Taylor.  An enjoyable evening concluded in the usual manner.

Driver McKew's Testimony

Ex driver Edward McKew, of Battersea, to whom we referred a few weeks ago as having then retired from the footplate after forty seven years' service, has been interviewed by a representative of the South London Press in the course of which McKew manifested a deep loyalty to the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, and in reference thereto said in reply to questions, "God bless you. I don't know where we should have been without it. It has really prevented the companies from tyrannising over their men, and in the old days that's whet they were very apt to do. (Railway Review 21st September 1888)




Ex-driver Ed. McKew, of Battersea, to who we referred a few weeks ago as having then retired from the footplate after forty seven years' service, has been interviewed by a representative of the South London Press, in the course of which McKew manifested a deep loyalty to the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, and in reference thereto said, in reply to questions, "God bless you. I don't know where we should have been without it. It has really prevented the companies from tyrannising over their men, and in the old days that's what they were very apt to do.



24TH AUGUST 1888

Orphan Fund Fetes.


The ninth annual fête of the Battersea and Clapham Junction branches of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, in aid of the Orphan and Benevolent Funds, was held on Wandsworth Common, on Monday last, and proved a great success. Notwithstanding that the weather during the afternoon was dull and threatening, it did not seem to have any effect on the attendance, which was very large. Towards the approach of the evening, however, it commenced to rain, and undoubtedly kept many workpeople away who would otherwise have been present to partici pate in the night's attractions. The principal event of the day was the athletic sports

Among the other attractions were steam circuses, swings, cocoa nut and other shies, shooting galleries, and no small number of "wonderful shows," in which were performing  wild men, clever men - and women too - and funny men. The fat lady, for some reason or other, was absent. All these did a good trade, particularly towards the evening, when the lights in the front of the glittering caravans with a strong smell of naptha thrown in— the beating of drums, the blowing of trumpets, the grinding of organs, and the ding of other various instruments used for attracting attention, produced much animation.

During the afternoon the brass band of the Holborn Union (all boys) performed selections of excellent music, and were succeeded in the evening by the London, Brighton, and South Coast signalmen's brass band, which rendered a programme of dance music, to which a fair

number responded, but the dampness of the ground prevented many others from joining in.

The proceedings concluded with a grand display of fireworks by Mr. J. Wells, Wandsworth.

The prizes were presented to the successful competitors in the athletic sports by Mr. W Elliss, Battersea, who explained the unavoidable absence of Mrs. O. V. Morgan, who had undertaken to perform that duty. Mr. Elliss thanked those present for the support they had given to the fete, which he assured them would greatly benefit the funds concerned. Award of praise is due to the joint secretaries Messrs. Pilcher and Wimhurst, and the members of the committee, for the very excellent arrangements made and out, and which tended so much towards the success of the gathering.


31ST AUGUST 1888


Mr. Reynolds having become so popular with railwaymen, the following brief sketch of his life may be interesting:- Born August 31st, 1840, he completes his 48th year to-day. At the early age of 12 he was sent into the garden of Acqualate Hall, under his uncle. Mr. Samuel Broadfield, head gardener to Sir Thomas Boughey, Bart. It was found in time that his memory would not retain the Latin names of plants, etc., but that there was a singular affinity between the memory and the name of any parts of a machine. At 14 he was apprenticed to a firm of engineers in Staffordshire; at 21 he started to Liverpool in quest of employment as a turner and fitter, but, not succeeding, he retreated with the view of walking to London, like Thomas Telford. continuous walk of 30 hours. After two days' rest at Standeford, he covered 50 miles in 15 hours, passing through Birmingham without asking for a job, and reaching Oxford at night-fall. The next morning, when "doing" the grand old University city, he said to himself,

"I should like to stay here a bit," and before sunset he obtained employment at a foundry, within the precincts of the city, as a fitter. Here two years, he made the best use of his spare hours, until he was offered employment in London by the head of a well known firm of engineers. The locomotive was to him always an object of admiration, and, after staying in London for several years, he resolved at all cost to find employment in the running shed at Crewe. He reached Crewe at 12 o'clock, and was engaged at 1 o'clock the same day, and, step by step, he worked his way upwards to the "link" of men employed on the Irishman and Scotch limited express trains. In process of time he deemed it necessary to make a change, and he asked Mr. Stroudley, the locomotive superintendent of the London and Brighton Railway, to give him a job, which he did at once. After driving for Mr. Stroudley a short time he was offered a berth as locomotive inspector, and for some years was chief inspector of locomotives and the " Westinghouse" automatic brake.

Mr. Reynolds is the author of Locomotive Engine Driving, Model Engineer and Fireman, Stationary Engine Driving, Engine Driving Life (accepted by the Queen), Continuous Brakes, The Engineman's Pocket Companion," " The Engineman's Guide, Philosopher and Friend," and " Locomotive Building. 

He is an ardent workman, a politician of the old Liberal type, and we believe he aspires to enter the House of Commons as a labour representative.




On Saturday evening, Mr. John Shaw, locomotive inspector, Brighton, was  presented with a timepiece, bearing the inscription

"Presented to Mr. John Shaw on the occasion of his marriage."




A considerable amount of space of a London evening journal has been devoted to the advocacy of covering being supplied to certain engines of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway, in order to protect the men on the footplate from the inclemency of the weather. The object is laudable enough, but we can hardly say that the course is the proper one for the purpose of obtaining the desired improvement. If the drivers and firemen concerned made proper representations to the parties in authority, we can hardly doubt but that the subject would receive favourable consideration.



Kings Cross Branch,


September 3rd, 1888.

Page 252

Sir,  A mass meeting of enginemen and firemen was held at the City of London Hotel, York 
Road London, on September 2nd, to hear address from Mr. Clement E. Stretton, C.E., and 
consulting engineer to the Society, and Mr. T. Ball, the Organising Secretary. There was also 
present Mr. A Tippetts, of the firm of Messrs. Tippetts and Son, solicitors to the Society in 
London, and a representative go the Railway Herald. The meeting, which was a large one, 
was composed of enginemen and firemen working upon the following railways:- 

Great Northern, 

Great Eastern, 

London & North Western, 

London & South Western, 

London, Chatham & Dover, 

London Brighton & South Coast Railway, 

Great Western, Midland and North London.

Mr. Stretton having been requested to take the chair, delivered a mot interesting lecture upon 
“Railways and Railway Working,” dealing especially with the recent racing of trains to 
Edinburgh, the system of eyesight testing, certificates for enginemen, hours of duty, and 
deprecated the system of oiling engines whilst running. He also made use of a number of 
diagrams during the course of his lecture, one of them, a plan of the Hexthorpe accident, 
being of great interest, many of those present being acquainted with the scene of the disaster. 
Mr. Stretton was listened to with keen interest throughout, and was frequently applauded, and I must be content with simply giving you the lines of his very able lecture, which lasted over forty minutes, and was highly appreciated by all present. The Chairman then called on Mr. Ball, who gave a very able ad interesting address on the objects and benefits of the Society, and the rapid progress it was making, also giving a brief history of Trade Unions, giving it as his opinion that however distasteful they might be to some persons, that they had been forced upon the working classes by the capitalist, and were the outcome of tyranny and oppression. 

He also showed the beneficial results accruing from properly managed unions, and contrast 
the position of enginemen and firemen with other classes of workmen, and said that for years they had been at a comparative standstill. He also denied the allegation that the founders of the Society were actuated by a desire to foster disputes between the masters and their workmen, referring his hearer to the Society’s book of rues, wherein it would be found that the greatest precautions had been taken to prevent strikes, and that the sole aim of the 
pioneers of the Society was to furnish a means of protecting enginemen and firemen in their 
calling, and not with the desire to one day be in a position to bid their masters an insulting 
defiance; at the same time claiming that they were entitled to ask for just and honourable 
concessions at the hands of their employers. He also contradicted several statements that had 
been made in reference to the part the Society had played in the Hexthorpe trial, and said that he should not have alluded to the subject in the manner he did, but for the unwarrantable assertions that had been made agains them, and challenged those present to accuse him of having said a word against any kindred Society on previous occasions, but that he was justified in the stand he took, seeing that people would naturally think they had left Taylor and Davis to their fate in the time of their misfortune although members of their Society, and it was his duty not to allow the statements to pass unchallenged, but gave it his opinion that there was ample scope for both Societies to exercise their energies amongst the various grades of the railway service, without any show of animosity on either hand, and that he was more convinced day by day of the necessity of a separate organisation, and that their rapid increasing membership was a proof that English enginemen and firemen were beginning to think so too, like the enginemen and firemen of those two great continents, America and Australia, and urged upon the non members present to join the Society, so that they might have the satisfaction to knowing they had done their best to better the condition of their fellow labourers, for, to his mind, there was nothing to despicable as a selfish man who lived for himself alone, but who shares in the fruits of the labours of others. Mr. Ball then resumed his seat amid cheers, his interesting address having lasting an hour and five minutes.
A member of the Stratford Branch also spoke. Resolutions are then unanimously carried as 

“Approving of the objects and benefits of the Society, protesting against the racing of 
trains, against the long hours of duty, in favour of a uniform code of signal lights for all 
railways, in a favour of automatic continuous brakes, expressing satisfaction at 
appointment of Mr Stretton to the position of consulting engineer, and the introduction 
of the Railway Herald as an impartial and useful paper, to which the representative who was present responded.” 

The names of a number of enginemen and firemen were then read over for membership, and 
will be duly enrolled at our next meeting.

Votes of thanks to Mr. Stretton and Mr. Ball having been given and suitable responded to, a 
most enjoyable and profitable meeting was brought to a close.

I am, your fraternally

F. Green, Branch Secretary



Railway Servants' Congress

The Progress of the Society

Brighton moved the following resolution:-

That this meeting places on record an expression of its great satisfaction at the continued success of the society's membership and funds, notwithstanding rivalry and opposition, and thanks all the officers and members who by their exertions have contributed towards this result, and trusts they will be continued.

Brighton, in moving this, said no doubt there would be some talk about the rivalry of an association of engineers, but the fact was that the only safety for railway servants by not in sectional but in united action (Cheers.) They all know, as railwaymen, that it was useless for locomotive men to think they were aristocrats of the railway service.

Liverpool No.1 seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously.


extracted from the R.C.T.S. book of L.B.S.C.R. Locomotice Vol. 2 


For some years Driver George Thomlinson (New Cross?) was assigned to a C1 Class engine No. 431, he was commonly known behind his back as 'Old Scourer' on account of his habit of burnishing bright such items as coupling rods, piping, safety valves, buffers, cab fittings, and above all the copper-capped chimney. He was also a prominent member of the 'Oil often and plenty brigade', and regularly made rounds of No.431 when on the road. Leaving his Fireman at the controls, he used to take up a specially long-spouted can, and clamber precariously out of the right side of the cab to oil as necessary on that side of the engine, then pass round the smoke box attending the cylinder lubrication to regain the footplate via the left-hand running plate. 


On December 11th, 1888, an entirely new London-Brighton Pullman train was put on, consisting of three new carriages and two luggage and lighting vans. The cars were the Albert Victor, a smoking car, Prince, a buffet car, and Princess, a ladies' or parlour car. These new carriages were erected at the Brighton Carriage Works from sections sent over from the United States by the Pullman Palace Car Company. In order to preserve the uniform appearance of the train the luggage vans were built and painted similar to the Pullmans, except that they ran on six wheels instead of the usual two four-wheeled bogies, and were known on the line as "Pullman Pups." The train itself was lit throughout by electricity, and with commendable self-confidence the emergency oil lamps were dispensed with entirely.



extracted from the R.C.T.S. book of L.B.S.C.R. Locomotice Vol. 2

On the 31st December, 1888, when Locomotive No. 126 Gascony ran into the rear of the 7.00 p.m. to London Bridge to Hastings train in charge of Locomotive No. 10 Banstead. It was foggy evening, and at Norwood junction the D1 driver was unable to read the signals, so stopped and sent his fireman to climb the post. At this moment Gascony, running light engine to west Croydon, after dropping the 5.10 p.m. Epsom to Norwood Junction goods, knocked the last carriage of the line. No one was injured and the inquiry found all concerned blameless. 


extracted from the R.C.T.S. book of L.B.S.C.R. Locomotice Vol. 2


Over the years many minor derailments occurred while working the various yards, most of which hardly warranted reporting by the unfortunate crew. Probably the most interesting were three that took place at Groombridge in 1888-9, when Locomotive Nos. 88 Rhine, 103 Normandy & 151 Helvetia all came to grief at the leading points to a seldom used siding. A circus regular visited Tunbridge wells and set up business alongside the Brighton line on the site used in later years for the annual agricultural show, and after the animals and equipment had been of loaded the wagons and vans were hauled away to Groombridge for storage. On three successive visits the E1 tank employed came off the track at the same set of points and caused lengthy delays to other traffic before it was discovered that they spanned the top of an ancient well and were only supported by a few inches of ballast on top of badly rotten planks. Apparently the points sank several inches under the weight, thereby causing the off side wheels to leave the rails. A local historian society has a photograph of two Indian elephants beside the derail Locomotive No.103 Normandy. 

London Bridge had many queer notions as to how best to run a railway, but even they never advocated the use of elephant power! 

Railway accident on the 


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

Norwood Junction 31st December 1888 

Involving New Cross Driver John Turnbull & Fireman William 

James Cook & Driver Charles Butterfield & Henry Sawyers 

Depot unknown 


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