The formation of

General Railway Workers' Union 

Railway accident on the 


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

Norwood Junction 1st January 1889 POSTED 

SEE SUB PAGE  DATED 31st December 1888


Tunbridge Wells new loco shed was opened in 1889 with a twin gable style slate roof was constructed on arches and located on the north side of Tunbridge Wells station.


extracted from the R.C.T.S. book of L.B.S.C.R. Locomotive


The escape of engine No.133 Picardy on the evening of 11th February, 1889, when it was being stabled until the morning on Newhaven shed after having worked in with a train of horse boxes. The shed doors were partly closed and not noticing this in the darkness driver Benson drove through them and in the subsequent confusion crashed into a wagon of loaded with ashes. Apart from odd scratches and dents, and a lost chimney damage was so slight that hurried repairs permitted the return working to be taken with little delay. Nevertheless driver Benson was fined £2. 2s. 0d. and a shed labourer dismissed for moving the shed doors without permission and not placing a red light on the wagon which he was loading. 

Life could be hard on the Brighton!

Railway accident on the 


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

Redhill Junction 19th March 1889 

no mention of Enginemen 



In April 1889, the A.S.L.E.& F. General Secretary, Thomas G. Sunter became the first General Secretary to visit the Battersea & Longhedge branch of A.S.L.E. & F., which was the only branch that existed on the L.B.S.C.R. / L.D. & C.R. / L. & S.W.R. (Southern Railway / Region).

Battersea & Longhedge 1887 (Brighton, South Eastern & South Western)


extracted from RTCS book on locomotives of the LBSCR


The L.B.S.C.R. company was extremely fortunate on the 14th April, 1889, when no. 139 Lombardy ran amok from New Cross to South Croydon following a collision with engine No. 224 Crowhurst. The latter was heading the 9.20 a.m. London Bridge-Victoria into New Cross station, when Lombardy was seen passing from the down main line, across the local line to the goods sidings. Seeing collision could not be averted, the crew jumped clear after reversing the engine, which somehow remained on the track despite the severity of the blow dealt by Crowhurst, and ran on its own down the main line. By a combination of skill and luck the 8 ½ miles to south Croydon were covered without mishap, where signal man Philpott partly opened a pair of facing points and brought Lombardy to a stand on the ballast. At the subsequent inquiry no blame was placed on the men concerned for on inspection the signalling equipment was found to have suffered at the hands of a local scrap merchant who had removed wiring, chains and other parts vital to its efficient working.


On 17th September, 1889, while hauling a special goods from Hastings to Willow Walk, near Plumpton, 'Old Scourer' was topping up his oil can near the cab entrance, when a sudden and unexpectedly violent lurch sent him over board. The Fireman was busy breaking coal at the time and for some moments was quite unaware of the situation, and it was only when there was no retort to a witty remark that he guessed the truth. Whistling for an emergency stopped and applying the Westinghouse brake took only a few moment, but with a heavy train and a speed of 30 m.p.h. The train ran on for another 500 yards, before grinding to a halt. After a hasty conference with the bewildered guard it was agreed to back the trim slowly to the point of disappearance and their recover the body. However 'Old Scourer' was found very much alive, swearing loudly with both legs buried in a pile of sand, which had broken the fall and probably saved his life. On being dug out , this tough character insisted in completing the journey and signed on to time following day.


The Battersea (?) footplate crew of a C1 Class engine No. 428, had a fine sense of humour, and after working a series of specials carrying live poultry from Brighton to the London area, they produced a frame text and hung it in the cab. This stated:- "Poultry - Attention is drawn to keeping hens on the engine. The eggs by such hens shall be deemed to belong to the crew, excepting those laid when on shed, when they shall be considered the property of the Foreman". On being asked by officialdom to remove it, the crew substituted a much smaller one, saying:- "Sand must not be taken from the sandboxes for use in the bird cages". The Shed Foreman was a well known canary fancier!!


Battersea & Longhedge 1887 (Brighton, South Eastern & South Western)


ON 11th NOVEMBER 1889

Involving Eastbourne (?) 

Driver James MacKinley & Fireman Unknown

For some years James MacKenley was the regular driver of engine No.157 Barcelona which worked regularly between Eastbourne and Tunbridge Wells West. During the winter months much slipping occurred over the steeply graded and steely curved section between Hailsham and Eridge, where an additional hazard was caused by leaves on the permanent way.

It was whilst he was in charge of this engine, that the coupling hook parted on Tooths Bank about 2 1/2 miles North of Heathfield, on the 11th December, 1889. Fortunately the guard was looking ahead at the time and was able to stop a minor incident becoming a disaster. Temporary adjustments were made on the spot and the engine reached Tunbridge Wells without further trouble. 

James MacKinley was a Passed Cleaner at Brighton aged 19 in 1877

Railway accident on the 


East Croydon 11th December 1889


This has been adapted from the original article that appeared in 

the Railway World Magazine in December 1984. 

The article was written by Michael Cruttenden.

William Stroudley was ever sympathy with his men, who looked up to him as a friend and 
regarded him as a hero who made their interests his own. In labour relations and in industrial 
psychology, he was far ahead of his time. Stroudley made himself known individually to 
almost every driver and frequently rode on the footplate, even when he travelled as a 
passenger Stroudley would make appoint to stop and speak to the loco-men during his 
journey. The high regard for Stroudley was showed at his funeral procession on the 24th 
December 1889, when 1,600 men from the various departments of Brighton Locomotive 
Works marched four a breast.


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