extracted from Hastings Observer

In 1890, the Railway Mission opened it’s fir convalescent home for railwaymen in Hastings, and this moved to 111 West Hill Road in 1897. The Railway Mission was founded on November the 14th, 1881 at Mildmay Park, London when it merged with the Railway Boys Mission. It did not have a personal membership, membership being organised around local secretaries responsible for providing  around the local secretaries responsible for providing a location for meetings. By 1890 there were more than 6,00 members and approximately 250 local missions around the United Kingdom and the majority of railway communites     




Our last meeting of the year was held on Sunday night, with a splendid attendance, there being hardly standing room for the members. Seventeen new members were accepted, viz., a station master, inspector, four passenger guards, three plate layers, one shunter, one head porter, two signalman, two firemen, one driver, one from signal department. 

A resolution conveying a vote of condolence with the widow of our late loco superintendent, was unanimously carried, the loco. men being convinced that they had lost a good superintendent. 

Arrangements were made for a meeting of railwaymen on Sunday, Jan. 12th, at 2.30, provided a suitable hall can be obtained. 

A good discussion was carried on by the signalmen and engine drivers, and satisfaction expressed that they had failed, with an expression that no A.S.R.S. men should take part in any such movement until the Hours Question is settled. The meeting closed for want of time. 


 Brighton Driver Henry Lewry & Fireman William Sands

Bill Sands retired in 1932




A special meeting of this branch was held on Friday last to arrange for annual dinner, etc. The dinner committee being duly elected, it was resolved that the treasurer be presented with a gift for his services, also that an outlying member, who has taken a great interest and worked well for the society, both by including new members to join and collecting contributions, he recognised by a small gift, and also in the case of the branch secretary. It was decided to give a framed emblem to the member proposing the largest number of new members during the year. 

Arrangements were also made for an open meeting to be held at Chichester on Thursday next, with object if inducing railwaymen at that place to join. Several members promised to help. 

Five shillings were granted to a brother from the Benevolent Fund, on account of a fine.


A meeting of the newly opened branch was held last Sunday, at the Three Bridges Workman's Hall, when there was a good attendance. Three new members were enrolled, making a total of 31 in two meetings




A meeting of all grades of railwaymen was held in the Globe Hotel, Chichester on Thursday, Jan. 16th, for the purpose of forming a branch of the society. friends from Portsmouth addressed the meeting on the many advantages of membership, and fourteen names were handed in and others promised for the next meeting. here is a good prospect of a thriving branch being opened here at an early date, due notice of which will be given. 

Railway accidents on the 


Spa Road 28th January 1890

Involving Driver William Saunders & His Fireman Harry Saunders

Depots unknown

See Sub Page




In these days of wars and rumour of rumours of war in the Labour world, of strained relations between employers and employed, when discontent and agitation are everywhere, it is quite refreshing to heat of one railway company where none of these things exists. Our authority for this satisfactory absurd sentiments is Mr. Samuel Laing, and the Elysium of the workers is the London and Brighton Company. We have good reason to know, however, that the picture of treatment presented to the shareholders is as untrue as the arguments used to show why the employees should not demand their share of the improvement in trade are weak and fallacious, and that is saying a great deal. The only satisfactory feature of Mr. Laing's speech was the recognition of the present demand for shorter hours, whereas in other quarters it has been quietly ignored, until one would almost imagine that there was no such thing as a Labour problem. While indulging in generalities about the wisdom of conciliation in disputes between capital and labour, and asserting that public sympathy largely decides such matters -- a rather dangerous doctrine for a director -- he proceeds to draw a distinction between railway and other work, and concludes that this difference justifies a fixed rate of remuneration being adopted, which shall not be influenced by the vicissitudes of trade. It is really charming to hear Mr. Laing speak of his company as benefactors to their workmen because they did not lower the rate of wages during the depression a few years since. It appears, however, from his own statement, that if the directors had reduced wages to any appreciable extent the men could not have upon them. Some capitalist imitate the man who is said to have tried the experiment of keeping his donkey without food, which ended in disaster; others prefer to keep the wages just above starvation point Mr. Laing evidently belongs to the latter school. Wages were not reduced because the human machine would have stopped. We trust that London and Brighton men appreciate to the full the generosity of their directors. The whole case for a fixed wage depends upon what the rate is. If an average rate is fixed and maintained during all times, the balance is equal; if it is a maximum rate, the men are gainers; and if a minimum one the company benefit. Under which of these heads do the wages of the London and Brighton, and indeed of all other companies, come? We unhesitatingly answer the last. No one who has any knowledge of the condition of the workers throughout the country can come to any other conclusion but that as a body railwaymen are an underpaid and overworked class of the community. The fact is what Mr. Laing calls a fixed rate of wages is simply the lowest of wages is simply the lowest possible amount which labour can be secured at, and he thinks that this is sufficient to cause the men to forbear taking any steps to share a portion of the improvement in trade. Why a railway company, which has always  loin's share of the national prosperity, and, as a rule, works with cheap labour, should not adopt the modified form of profit-sharing in the form of increased remuneration, when the state of trade permits, prevalent in other commercial concerns, we fail to understand, and Mr. Laing must have only a poor opinion of the shareholders' intelligence or he would not have uttered such manifestly absurd sentiments. It seems, however, that the conditions of railway service, if not so good as some other occupations, are much better than many. Thus we are told that the agricultural labourer who obtained employment as a porter at 16s. week ought to consider himself a favoured individual, for he is only from the plough-tail! And then does he not get his "tips"? We very much question the policy, to say nothing of the taste, of a chairman including in the wages of a porter that which the regulations distinctly prohibit. The "tip" system as substitute for fair pay is a pernicious one, but it becomes much worse when the head of a company recognises it as an element of wages. The example set the employees is decidedly bad. Still, there is always the comforting thought that, if railwaymen are underpaid and overworked, they are only from the plough-tail, and no doubt that this brightness the lot of many a slave of the line who drags wearily through fifteen or sixteen hours of duty. As an excuse for inadequate wages, we know of nothing more ingenious than the statement of Mr. Laing that the men are only agricultural labourers. Unfortunately, however, all of those victims of capitalist greed are not sons of the soil, therefore, are not able to compare their present position with their former humble station in life. With a flourish of trumpets, we are told that the London and Brighton employ 10,000 men and that the average rate of pay is 23s. 1d. per week. We suppose that this list includes all the paid officials, which will considerably reduce the amount, but assuming that 23s. 1d. is the average, we fail to see anything to congratulate the directors upon. Considering that large numbers reside in the London district, these figures bear testimony to our contention that railway servants are miserably underpaid. Then, again, in the matter of hours, the railway service is lengths behind other industries. Evidently with the National Hours Programme in his mind, Mr. Laing attempts to argue that it would be impractical, because thee is such a diversity on the duties of the different grades, and that a uniform working day would be impossible. This is simply evading the question. The demand is not for a uniform day, but for a maximum limit of ten hours. Even for agricultural labourers, we think that 10 hours is long enough for a day's work. In this model company's service we are told that there are 30 guards at Victoria station work 12 hours per day at 21s. per week, with the magnificent sum of 3d. per hour for overtime. But doubtless Mr. Laing would say they were only from the plough - tail! In fact, it would be an easy task to multiply similar instances, and the directors even so far admit the need for reform as to make certain concessions to their men. Whether railwaymen have formerly been agricultural labourers or not, they fill important positions of responsibility, and have a right to adequate wages and reasonable hours. not a word uttered by Mr. Laing has weakened the case for a reduction of the working day to ten hours, and if public sympathy is to be the tribunal to decide the question, the verdict is a foregone conclusion. Though it is disappointing to hear the chairman of a great company deliberately treat workmen as mere dividend making machines, we venture to think that Mr. Laing's utterances will cause railwaymen to think, and that is all which is needed to effect the desired reforms. We wish that the spirit of contentment said to exist in the London and Brighton service was a fact, but it is no use crying peace when there is no peace. The company, as far as we know, is neither better nor worse than others, but so long as men can be found who work fifteen hours per day for a mere pittance -- even though they are from the plough - tail -- discontent is a solemn duty. 



If railwaymen were at all in want of a subject for discussion -- which they are not -- Mr. Laing's speech would have been a godsend. A more misleading and unfair deliverance it would be impossible to imagine, and it was absolutely worthless for the practical purposes, except as an incentive to thought for men who have hitherto been indifferent. It has had this effect, as the large number of letters from employees of the London and Brighton which have appeared in the daily press show. Mr. Laing forgot that even a man from the plough - tail can think. At every meeting the speech has been discussed, and by this means Mr. Laing has performed far greater service to the Amalgamated Society than one of its own organisers could have done. It is not always that we can have chairman working for the cause of Trade unionism.  




A meeting of all grades of railwaymen was held at the Globe Hotel, on Thursday, Jan. 30th, the occasion being the opening of a branch of the society. Mr. Edward Harford attempted and gave an address on the work, and benefits of the society, which was well received. On the call for new members thirteen more paid their entrance fee, these, together with those previously enrolled and transferred making a total of thirty three, which bids well for a very good branch. Officers being duly elected the usual votes of thanks closed a very successful meeting. The next meeting has been fixed for the 13th inst., at eight p.m.; when all members off duty are particularly requested to attend.




A   meeting was held on Sunday February 2nd, a good number being in attendance. Four new members were enrolled (3 firemen, 1 signalman, 1 shunter), bringing the branch up to 36 in three meetings. Brothers Gill and Young, secretary and treasurer of No.1 Brighton Branch, kindly visited us and instructed our officers and men in their duties. The men of the district are taking great interest in the A.S.R.S.




Sir, I saw by the chairman's speech at the half yearly meeting of the L.B. & S.C. Company he (Mr. Laing) Staes that "he is happy to inform the directors that their men are thoroughly well satisfied with the concessions recently made." I, as a loco. man, beg to differ. For example, two months since about 40 per cent of the loco. men got an increase in their salary of 6d. per day, which has caused great dissatisfaction among us, and we say if they grant it to one why not to all? for surely they (the company) can afford it, as I see that the increase is £130,000. The way the advances in wages are granted is very unsatisfactory. The company have given goods drivers and firemen, and passenger drivers and firemen on the small tank engines, rises, making some of their wages 7s. 6d. and 4s. 6d. per day respectively, while there are others on main line passenger trains who have not had rises, which myself, as well as others, think very unjust. Upon speaking to your foreman about this matter, you are told that the increase are given to the oldest hands. But, Sir, such is not the case, for there are younger workman than myself that have got advance. I am given ro understand, upon good authority, that we were all to have a rise, but have since found out that such is not the case, and by keeping ears and eyes open, it appears it has been blighted by some high paid official. it such is the case I should like to see it rectified before there is any disagreeableness to our employers, for the men say they will go in for it. Meetings have already been held to see what action they are to take in respect to this, as we do not think it right that these high paid officials should get an advance of from £25 to £60 a year, while the majority of the men, who do the work, get nothing. Mr. Laing also says that the company always have paid a uniform rate of wages through good and bad times, and never reduces them, whether the shareholder get good or bad dividends. Now I beg to contradict that statement, for there are firemen at Brighton who have been stoking, and their woes have risen to 3s. 9d. per day, and when slack times came they were put back in the shed to 2s. 6d. per day; and when  chase came that were again put to firing, and perhaps continued to do so for a year or eighteen months, or perhaps two years, before they obtained the first named price. It is now eight years or more since I was passed as a fireman, and I am now getting 3s. 9d. per day. Now, just a word about the working in our shed. I think the way in which the men are treated is very wrong. There are young firemen put on regular passenger trains, while the older ones are kept on goods traffic, and the same with the young drivers. Some are booked on passenger trains, while the older ones are kept back on the goods, who have applied for a shift but cannot get one. For instance, there is a driver who has never been on goods traffic driving, or ny main line ditto; all that he has done was on a little terrier tank engine, and a four wheel coupled passenger tank, and I am told that the only stoking he did was on a tank engine, and this man has now been put on a line express engine, and so jumping over the heads of men who have been goods driving and worked their way into No.2 gang of Maine line trains, and this has caused a great amount of jealously among the men.

Yours, etc.,



21ST MARCH 1890


On Sunday last a meeting of all grades of railwaymen was held at the Victoria Theatre, Newhaven, for the purpose of opening a branch of the A.S.R.S. Mr. Geo. Compton, secretary Bow Branch, attended, and was voted to the chair, and in a lengthy speech explained the objects and work of the society, giving many illustrations of the advantages enjoyed by members from the legal defence and other benefits. Several more names were then added to the list, making 23, and more promised for the next meeting. The dispensation was read, and the branch declared open for business amid cheers. The election of the officers was proceeded with, and the chief positions filled up, others. being left for next meeting. Mr. h. Scammell, Belfast, having being introduced to the meeting by the chairman, said, being a visitor in the town, he took the opportunity of calling opportunity of calling upon his new friends, and, in a few well chosen remarks, spoke of the advantages of the men in Ireland had recently gained on the Great Northern of Ireland Railway by the aid of this organisation, and trusted the members would each do his best to make his branch a success. (Cheers) Mr. Plant said it afforded him much pleasure to be present on such an occasion, and congratulation his fellow workmen upon having established a branch of the society at Newhaven, to which he wished every success, and trusted those who had worked zealously up to the present would long continue to give the society that support it so well merited. The best thanks of the meeting, with acclamation, were accorded the chairman, and a vert successful meeting closed. Arrangements are being made to secure a meeting place, and to solve upon the fixed meeting nights, due notice of which will be given in the district.


The monthly meeting took place on Thursday March 13th, with a capital attendance, and contributions fully paid up, after which the chairman gave a call for new members, and five were accepted (one platelayer, two ticket collectors, one driver, and one parcels clerk), who received a hearty welcome. A vote of thanks was passed to the chairman and secretary for the manner in which they had carried out their duties, who suitably responded, thanking the members for their confidence. A vote of thanks was also given to the late treasurer, who had resigned that office through being promoted to another station. His resignation was accepted and another elected. Sec. Branch Directory for dated of future meetings. 


What a valiant champion of the London and Brighton Railway Company the Brighton Gazette is, to be sure. Last week it was terribly hard on the secretary of Brighton No. 1 Branch and the society he represents. The funny part go the business is that it brings forward Mr. John Burns as a witness against the Amalgamated Society. It is news to us that this gentleman is any great authority upon such a subject. We wonder, however, whether our contemporary is prepared to abide by his decision respecting the company in question. We fancy Mr. Burns would somewhat startle our contemporary by the vigour of his denunciation of the hours worked nd wages received by the men. It is, however, useless to argue with a writer who deliberately asserts that "no one can conscientiously say that railway labour is excessive." After such a sentence we can expect anything. Of course, there are different grades in the service, and the writer is probably speaking of his own.


28TH MARCH 1890



A mass meeting of railwaymen was held last Sunday afternoon, at the Town Hall, Brighton, under the auspices of the local committee of the Amalgamated Society of  Railway Servants. The large room was well filled, the audience evidently consisting almost entirely of railway employes. Councillor Dr. Ewart presided.

The Secretary read letters of apology and regret at inability to be present from Sir W. T. Marriott, Q.C.. M.P., Mr. Gerald Loder, M.P., the Rev. Father Fletcher, and Councillor Lowther.

The Chairman, after referring to the cases which had led to the delay in holding the meeting, said that he was convinced that some regulations of the hours of labour would in no long time become an absolute necessity. 

The great capitalists must face this question. The great majority of them could afford to pay greater wages, and he hoped those gentlemen who held the purse strings would be wise in time. They were not living now as an uneducated body of labourers, they were living under laws which gave them great advantages, and by constitutional and peaceful methods, and by force of numbers and of union, they would be able, he believed, to obtain the redress of the grievances they were assembled to discuss. (Applause.)

Mr. E. Harford, who was received with loud applause, said the subject was no new one. It had been a standing grievance amongst the railway servants of the country for a great number of years, but they had up to the present confined their efforts to making  their grievance as public as possible. Of late, owing to the improved condition of trade of  the country, overwork upon railways seemed to have increased considerably, and he ventured to think that if a return were now taken of the hours of work similar to that presented to the House of Lords a short time ago, they would find that overwork prevailed to a greater After referring to the causes which led to overwork and its sad effects on human life, he said that he was not there to persuade them to strike, or anything of that kind. It was better to be conciliatory, and least of all should he think of putting the people to any inconvenience by a general strike. He would not talk of bringing the directors to their knees- (laughter), but simply ask them to band themselves together so as to be able to meet them on equal terms. So long as only a minority were banded together for these reforms, the directors would show no great anxiety to meet them, but when thoroughly united the whole thing could be peacefully arranged, and perhaps to the mutual satisfaction of employer and employed. He thought the best way of commencing was to give publicity to what they complain of and he might say that with one or two exceptions the whole of the press of the United Kingdom was with them in their reasonable demand. The time for the agitation was, he thought, most opportune. The railways of the country had had a time of unexampled prosperity, and he ventured to think the great mass of the shareholders did not want extravagant dividends earned at the expense of the life very often, and certainly of the health, of the railway servants of the country. (Loud applause.) He concluded by moving a motion in support of the National Programme.

Mr. Gill seconded the motion, remarking that, as a practical man, he thought their programme was something they had required for a long time. It was noticeable in the industrial world that the Hours Question was now the main object, and that the question of wages was generally sunk until they got increased pay for overtime that they should make it so expensive to the company that they would not ask them to work overtime. Then, again, so long as there was a surplus of labour in the market they could not make their position secure. If their programme were adopted it would take from the labour market some 20,000 or 80,000 who are now unemployed. As to the Sunday work, the Commandment read, according to the company, "Six days shalt thou labour and be paid for it, and on Sundays thou shalt labour for nothing" (Loud laughter.) Their policy was defence not defiance, and if the officials would treat the men in a proper manner they would find they had got a body of working men on the Brighton line who would work with them, but if they would not do justice he hoped the time would come when the men could say, " This is our side of the question; bring yours forward."

Mr. Sam Standing supported the motion as representative of other branches of labour, and said the only message he had for them was that while they were considering their

position as railwaymen others who had fought the battle before for their own trades and professions were watching them, anxious to see them succeed. (Applause.)

The motion was then put and carried unanimously.

Mr Brown then proposed a resolution in of the A.S.R.S. He did not intend to defy their members, but to get fair, just and reasonable hours of labour, and this they could not do without union. He concluded by explaining the various benefits.

Mr. Chinner seconded the resolution.

Mr. H. Prince supported the motion, remarking that he was pleased to see railwaymen taking so intelligent and common-sense a view of the matter. As one who had travelled a good deal on railways he felt ashamed of  himself that he should be so well looked after  on his journeys by men who were so disgracefully underpaid and so terribly overworked. He did not think it was the fault of the directors so much as of certain other individuals in power, and he was certain it was not the fault of the main body of shareholders. He urged all to become members

and to work unitedly together, and he believed they would very soon have shorter hours of labour and better treatment generally from the railway company. (Applause.)

Mr. Evans addressed a few words to the meeting from the standpoint of a trades unionist.

The resolution was then put and carried amid applause, and the meeting concluded with a vote of thanks to the chairman, proposed by Mr. Harford, and seconded by Mr. Gill


18TH APRil 1890


The first quarterly meeting was held on Thursday week, with a very fair attendance, and contributions well paid up, nearly every member clearing the books. Two new members and on by transfer were accepted, viz., two signal porters and one signalman, making the branch up to 41 members in three meetings. The usual business having been gone through, the secretary gave a short detailed account of the mass meeting held a Brighton, which met with approval. A member brought forward a proposition, which was well supported, but as there was not a full attendance, it was held over till next meeting, when other important matters will be brought forward. Now, non members wake up and rise to the situation. Do not stand aloof, and see your fellow mates do your work for you. We shall not be satisfied till all the men in this disparity are brethren in bonds of unity. 


extracted from RTCS book on locomotives of the LBSCR

On 4th May, 1890 Belgravia Class, No 206 'Carisbrooke' was working an early morning train to Brighton. The Driver Henry Santer, bore a long-standing grudge against the Station master, and when the train stopped alongside the down platform he slipped across the track to the up side, where several crates of chickens were stacked. Taking one, he entered the first class waiting room and released them, then closing the door he ran for his engine. Unfortunately he slipped on the wet sleepers and broke his collar bone, which brought his movements to the notice of the station staff. When an annoyed traveller complained of having an overcrowded waiting room, the culprit was quickly discovered. Driver Santer was reduced to Fireman, and some months later dismissed the company's service after throwing his coal shovel overboard in a fit if temper following words with his driver. On this occasion his engine was a Class D1 No. 271 'Eridge'


16TH May 1890


The usual monthly meeting was held on Sunday with a splendid attendance. Three new members were accepted. 

Some discussion arose respecting a third person riding on the engines, and it was agrees to allow it to pass.

A case was taken up the secretary respecting under guards when acting as head guards receiving no  extra pay. One of the members gave a sketch of the interview with the traffic superintendent of the interview with the traffic superintendent, and after some discussion it was resolved to await the result.

Another case, a slight mistake in slipping carriages at Hayward's Heath, implicating several of our members, took some time to consider, hearing statements and reading correspondence. The members pledged themselves to see the car through and support the member to the utmost, and the secretary was instructed as to further action in the matter. 

A discussion arose respecting the practice of a new doctor examine firemen in the nude state; a resolution was passed, and the secretary to co-operate with No.2 section to write to the locomotive superintendent on the subject, with the view of our members being examines and by their own doctors.


The ordinary meeting was held on the 11th inst., with a good attendance, and contributions were fairly paid up. no important business was transacted. The members were rather being no response to the call for new members, as three were expected from Lewes, but, owing to the dreadful state of the weather in the morning , they decided to postpone it till another meeting. The better paid grades of men at this station would do well to follow the example set them by the worst paid men, viz., the porters, who have shown up to the from better than any others. They ought not to say the contributions are too much, or that they cannot afford it, when married men with families, with 16s. or 18s. per week, can afford to become members.


16th May 1890

New Cross engine driver Henry Gray old age and defective eyesight 16th May 1890, aged 60. Joined the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, on the 27th July 1877



5th July 1890

Battersea engine driver H. Stebbings accidentally killed in service on the 5th July 1890, aged 43. Joined the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants on the 15th September 1886


11TH JULY 1890

One more word on behalf of the testimonial. I am told the Brighton men have missed Mr. Reynolds, and I should lie to see his friends on that line heartily support this movement, and further that all enginemen and firemen should practically show their appreciation of one who has spent years of interest. In conclusion, let me say that as "W.F." requests you not to allow any further correspondence on the subject, allow e to request you that all correspondents should sign their names in full, with their address.

Yours etc.,



[The suggestion of our correspondent that this who write on subject should sign their own names seems to be in keeping with the principles of fairplay, and we trust that it will be adopted. ED.]  


22ND AUGUST 1890


The ordinary meeting was held on Friday last with an excellent attendance. One member applied for Donation Benefit, which was granted. Application for the Orphan Fund was made on behalf of the children of a deceased member, which was ordered to be forwarded to head office with a recommendation from the branch. Eight new members (four L.B. & S. C. and four L. C. & D.) were enrolled. Correspondence was read from Saturday Hospital Fund Committee, and ordered to stand over until the quarterly meeting. The E.C. minutes were partly gone through, and an important  resolution was passed to be sent to the E.C. after their next meeting. An ex-member, who had been asked to go on the Taff Vale during the strike, made application for assistance, which was refused. Ten shillings was voted from the Benevolent Fund to the John Burns Wages Fund. Members are specially requested to attend the meetings as early as possible, in order that the business may be done in time.


A meeting (six weeks) of this branch took place on Aug. 14th, with a very good attendance and contributions fairly well paid up. On a call for new members four applications were handed in, and accepted (one driver and three porters). This gave great satisfaction, as more are expected next meeting. An officer from Portsmouth Branch attended and gave a good speech, after which a hearty vote of thanks was given him for his attendance. The secretary take this opportunity of asking all members that have not returned their voting papers to do so without delay, so that no votes may be lost. Member please note that our next meeting will be Aug. 28th. 




The Battersea Branch held their annual fete last Monday in aid of the Orphan and Benefit Funds in the extensive grounds of Brambleberry, Wandsworth common. The fete was altogether a great success. In the afternoon there were athletic competitions for prizes, valued in the aggregate at £50, and later on there was dancing to the music of two capital bands, the players being employees of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway. These were the official amusements, but there were occasional side shows improvised by the visitors themselves. One of the most popular of this sort was kiss-in-the-ring, which never fails to secure its fair share of patronage from the young and active. A large portion of the grounds was occupied by a fully equipped fair, the greatest attraction here being a switchback railway worked by steam power. This was naturally an object of peculiar in taking short rides, whilst the steam organ, with its mechanical performers (including a conductor), played a tune which seemed interminable. the entertainment concluded with a display of fireworks by Mr. Wells. 


The ordinary meeting was held on Sunday last, with a splendid attendance, and contributions flowed in very freely. At the call for new members three were proposed, and very warmly accepted, being the first since the opening of the branch. Non-members are asked to come on Sunday, Sept. 28th, and enrolling themselves under the banner of true brotherhood. Members please note that all meetings will in future be held every fourth Sunday, at the White Hart Inn. 




The monthly meeting on Thursday, Sept. 25th, with a very good attendance, and contributions fairly well paid up. On new member was proposed and accepted (one driver), and one was received by transfer from Brighton No.1 (passenger guard). One member was also transferred to Brighton No.1. After the business of the branch was gone through, the secretary handed the chairman the result of the election of the A.G.M., which gave great ratification. A lengthy discussion took place with regard to the action of the E.C. in suspending the General Secretary, especially at such a time when its services were most urgently needed. It was also regretted that some branches had seen their way clear to pass a vote of censure upon the G.S. with regard to the signalmen in South Wales, as it was afterwards settled to the great satisfaction of all. The secretary was instructed to send a letter of sympathy and confidence in the General Secretary for the manner in which he has carried out the affairs of the society generally. It was decided to hold an open meeting at Ford Junction on Monday evening, October 20th, when it is hoped all railwaymen off duty will attend and all non members join hands in the non of unity.





Sir, The National Movement seems to progress at a very slow pace on this line. I cannot be because the men ar satisfied with their lot, for, ever since the so-called concession of six days to constitute a week has been granted to the signalmen, the officials have been devoting all their energies to the task of depriving them of its benefits. Previously the men were changed from night to day duty, and vice verse, without loss of time, but now the officials think it is their duty to stop the men a day's pay for it, so they take away with one hand what has been given with the other. The eight hour men are very unjustly treated with regard to Sunday pay. Two men have to work a day and half to give the third man a day off, and the company coolly pockets his day's pay. If that isn't robbery, I don't know what to call it. They preach honesty to their staff, but I am sorry to say they practice dis-honesty. There is a relief signalman for Brighton yard, but he seems to be a sort of general factotum, for he relied anyone but signalmen. Eight hours are often working twelves hours while he is out running guard or doing head porter's duty, in fact anything but his own work.

The engine driver and firemen have been carrying on a Sectional Movement, and I am sorry to say that the leaders at this end call themselves Amalgamated men. But I brand them as traitors to the cause, for they are doing their level best to defeat the National Programme. I suppose they were afraid that the other grades would get a little benefit from that, and that was against their selfish nature.

The guards, ticket collectors, shunters, porters, and carmen are treated in anything but a liberal manner; the last named are a particularly hardwired body of men, slaving from morn till night for a wage that hardly suffices to keep body and soul together. The plate layers are a hard worked and deserving body of men. The small pay is a great hindrance to them joining the society in large numbers, but I hope they will soon make a sacrifice. They will soon git it returned tenfold.

Now, fellow-workmen, are you determined to make a stand to improve your conditions of service? If so there is only road by which you can reach the goal, and that is the is the Amalgamated road, which leads to better wages and less hours of toil. Yes have had sops thrown to you in much the same manner that we throw a bone to a dog; are you content with it? I fancy I can hear you say no; then let us stand shoulder to shoulder to demand our just right, and if anyone should ask Who will follow South Wales? answer with a loud voice, "The Brighton Line;" let who will be third, number two we're determined to be. We had one good meeting here in support of the National Programme, but after that everything was allowed to cool down again, which was a great mistake. That meeting should have been the forerunners of others all over the system. We are well provided with branches on this line, and it only wants a working agreement between them to ensure success. We have got good material to work on, and let us get on with it. "Now is the appointed time."

Yours etc



Brighton suggests to the mind case and leisure, and all those enjoyments which help to make life endurable; but to the railwaymen it stands for excessive hours and miserable wages. The London and Brighton Company got any amount of credit in the public press for their concessions to signalmen, and yet the manner in which the officials evade them is most dishonourable, as correspondents have shown in our columns. This week we publish another exposure, but of what use are these efforts if the men themselves ignore the only means of remedy? The sectionalist and non unionist are both stumbling blocks in the path of progress. When are Brighton men going to nail their colours to the mast of the National Programme?



"To speak his mind is every freeman's right,

 In peace, in war, in council, and in fight."

Pope's "Homer"

Sir, The superannuation fund is answerable for a great deal of discontent and grumbling about here by unwilling contributors. The fund is administered in anything but a satisfactory manner, but if the men were to cease complaining and set themselves to work to mend or end it, the better it would be for all parties. A man on reaching the age of sixty, if he has been a member ten years, receives 25 per cent of his average salary, but if he has been  member 40 years he only receives 50 per cent, so one man may pay four times as much as another, and yet only receive double the percentage. if I leave or get dismissed the service for any other cause than dishonesty, I get back all my contributions without any interest. how kind, after having the use of my money for a number of years! we have never had a balance sheet, and all we know about it is we pay our money and take our chance. Can you wonder affair s that? It is quite time the fund was put under popular control.

Yours, etc.




It is to be hoped that every railwayman, not only on the London nd Brighton, but on every other system, will rad carefully Mr. A. Gill's letter in our correspondence columns. he completely pulverise sectionalism, although he uses no intemperate language. here is a line strongly organised, but, through a want of cohesion the different grades, the National Programme is still unwon. It may fairy be said that in the Brighton district it is not so much organisation which is wanted as amalgamation. Mr Gill is certify doing excellent work in thus exposing the weakness of sectionalism.



Sir, In answer to "Brightonian's" letters published in your paper re the Brighton line, I think its is only necessary to point out to him that any movement to be successful, should be first thoroughly organised. Are we so on this line? I think not. True we have succeeded in opening branches throughout the whole system, so that at the present time I know of no place outside the London boundary where another workable branch could be opened; and the Brighton line claims a fair share of the influx of new members. This certainly progress (not of the flash-in-the-pan sort, which expects to turn railway companied upside down in a few months), but let us hope of an improving working, and lasting quality, with a set purpose in view, viz., the improvement of railwaymen, or, in other words, less hours, better condition of service, and a working agreement between the employers and their workmen, for let it be thoroughly understood that the interests of the company and their workmen are identical, and that being so some will ask, then why do they not grant the National Programme ? (to my mind the greatest and most important question we have to deal with at the present time, and the only one true Amalgamated men will work for until it is obtained). In my opinion there are two reasons they can urge. 

1st. The company cannot grant it under existing circumstances.

2nd. The we do not require it.

Let there be ni misunderstanding in the second reason; I speak generally. Personally, I am of opinion that the company could grant the National Programme as it stands, and in five years hence they would recognise the fact of having done so. 

1st. Why cannot the company grant it? The season is simple - the railway companies, periodical meeting of the managers take place, who agree on a course to adopted, recommend the same of the directors, and receive powers.

2nd. The reason we do not understanding what it means, and do not recognise the fact that time is money, or that less hours means more pay more leisure, greater home comforts, better health, longer lives, and a share in the responsibilities of citizenship, surely sufficient to temp us to work for such a programme with renewed engird. 

But no, Sir, it won't do, as our late action prove. First, we have the signalmen asking for better conditions or for sops; why did they do it? Because our society's movements were too slow, or did not and there is more grumbling than before they received it. The passenger guards tried their hands (unsupported by the Brighton district, who stool true to a man to the National Programme), the result being little better than the signalmen. 

"Brightonian" says the engine drivers and firemen have been carrying on a sectional movement. Yes; some 12 months ago the secretary of the Associated, at Battersea, forwarded a programme of wages to me as secretary of the Brighton district . I laid the matter before my branch and stated the course I had adopted, and why I refused to entertain it, and received their consent to the course. Another was sent to an express man, who asked my opinion, this also was returned. But yet another was sent (a kind of milky and watery one to the find) to another driver, a member of the Amalgamated, who called a meeting of drivers and firemen, which, I attended and moved a resolution in three section, which was carried without a dissentient voice, and sent to Battersea.In the meantime, programmes had been sent to all out stations in my district, and signatures obtained, certainly a dishonest way of doing business, but still they came. Another was sent to Brighton with several sheets for signatures. My opinion was asked. I stated what had been done, and advised returning it. In this case my advise was not taken, and I am almost ashamed to acknowledge it. Three Amalgamated men took the sheets and obtained a number of signatures. A deputation waited on the locomotive superintendent. Probably five out of the six who formed it were Amalgamated men, and we are now waiting the result. I think I hear the editor crying space, so will say - to be continued.

Your, etc.,

Alf Gill



When "Brightonian's" letter and that of Mr. Gill's are placed together it is clear that they are in absolute agreement about the necessity of rallying round the National Programme. That there is a crying need of it our correspondent this week proves up to the hilt, and Mr. Sarle is under an obligation to the public - to say nothing of the men - to offer some explanation of the long hours of duty alleged to have been worked. London and Brighton men will be well advised if they neither turn to the right hand nor to the left, but keep on the straight path of the National Programme.



Sir, With your permission, l beg to reply to Mr. A. Gill, whose letter appeared in your last issue. Ib the first place, I must inform him that it was not necessary to point out to me that any movement, to be successful, must be well organised, as no one recognises that fact more than I do. Neither am I an advocate of the flash-in-the-pan sort of business, of which that meeting at the Town Hall was a specimen. That was the very thing of which I complained, and I still maintain that no determined attempt has been made by any of the different branches to organise the men sufficiently to demand the National Programme. True there has been a large influx of new members, but that was owing to the persnal exertions of a few earnest members, and I am told that a great number of those new members are dissatisfied because no further efforts are being made to obtain the National Programme. I would suggest that the branches hold a conference with a view to appointing a central committee to carry on the movement.

I regret to say that long hours are still the rule here. I will give three instances out of many: On Oct. 1st the men working the 12.45 p.m. Chichester cattle train were on duty over 19 hours. the ,en working the 6.5 a.m. goods on Oct. 11th and 14th were on duty for a like period. I hope Mr. Sarle will give the same attention to this as he did to my previous letter. In conclusion, I beg to appeal to my fellow members to attend the meetings of their respective branches and help to make the National programme a living reality instead of a dead letter.

Yours, etc.






Sir, -In continuing my previous remarks it is reported that seven drivers and seven firemen at Battersea have received 6d. a day rise, and if we assume a similar occurrence to take place at New Gross and Brighton some day, we shall at once see some 35 drivers and fireman will benefit by the movement, at, say, an estimated cost of £300 per year to the company, or in other words, the percentage of drivers receiving 7s. 6d. per day and firemen receiving 4s. 6d. has been advanced 7 per cent. Now, Sir, if this is the result of 12 months' agitation, it is not worth the trouble taken, and will not recoup the remainder for what they have lost. I suppose those who have received the advance especially firemen, are the oldest by seniority and entitled to it, and we have some at Brighton who have been firing upwards of ten years. They no doubt believe the movement has benefited them greatly. But let us see. I am of the opinion no general movement for a reduction of hours can take place on any railway while sectional movements for advances of wages are being carried on, consequently, during the time (18 months) the sectional movements have been going on the  National Programme enforced idleness, with the result  that a few have received slight advances in wages, and the majority are no better off than before the National Programme was sanctioned. In my previous letter I said I the company could grant tho National Programme as it stands, and it would probably cost them £20,000 the first year to do so. You will ask how this sum could be covered. I should simply answer, by curtailing the present expensive and wasteful management in the several departments, and  clearing out the useless stock, at the same time satisfying the just demands of the workmen for some years to come. We will suppose the sectional movements had not occurred, but that we had joined hands on the National Programme and obtained it. What would have been the result? Would trains, passenger and goods, be out on the road 15 hours and upwards as at present? I think not. Would drivers, firemen, and guards be making 

their week in four trips? would porters and shunters be on duty 70 hours and upwards? I

answer, No. And what benefit would those men who have lately received advances of 6d. reap by the alteration? Simply in nine out of every ten cases they would more than double that sixpence. And why? Because for every five sets of men (engine drivers and firemen) another set would be required; and supposing the new conditions had come into force a month ago, and was estimated on the amount of time (per week) then made, it would require some 50 more drivers and firemen to do the work, consequently those fireman who are now receiving 4s. 6d. per  day would be drivers at 5s. 6d. per day. The percentage of those receiving the lower rate would be advanced, and those cleaners who had been cleaning seven and eight years would be made firemen, and the young fellows who are round the gates asking for work would also be employed; and, Sir, what applies to one grade applies to all under the National Programme. And I emphatically assert that sectionalism is a failure, and movements like the recent ones could not be carried on if it was not for the assistance given by our members, who act treacherously to our officers by supporting them. They pay delegates to sit on the Executive to draft programmes, they pay men to attend the annual general meeting to sanction them, and then they turn round and wobble like a lopsided top, or run into collision with each other here, there, and everywhere like a ship without a rudder, calling a friend here hard names and shaking a foe there by the hand. And why. Sir? Simply because they are in a great many cases sleeping partners in our concern, scarcely ever attending a meeting, and only looking at things from a selfish point of view. If I am severe it is because I prefer to go to the root of a grievance sooner than tinker round it. "Brightonian" says since the concessions granted the signalmen, the officials have be on doing all they can to take away the benefit, and that they now stop the men a day's pay to change them over. Do I understand that signalmen working six days only receive five days pay for it? If so, no wonder they grumble: and as to the eight hour men and Sunday pay, did not the super-intendent send for the men, and it was on their suggestion that they work 12 hours and receive half a day's overtime? I hear a letter has been received from headquarters to inquire into it. Now, as to the relief signalman for Brighton yard, playfully called a factotum, with relieves anyone but signalmen, is it not correct that he, under instructions, relieves each in turn, takes the duties of those off ill or on leave, etc., filling up his time in any other capacity where a handy man is required, such as head porter, shunter, dockman, porter, or guard, and is not such n man necessary at a large station like Brighton? You also any the other grades ticket. collectors, shunters, porters, carmen, etc.—are badly treated. Surely " Brightonian" is mistaken, for only in February last the following extract from official information was published: "In the goods department the carmen, shunters, guards, and clerks have received substantial increases, and also have allowances to foreman, platelayers,  and signalmen have been granted." He also states that the small pay of platelayers is a great hindrance to their joining our society. He is probably not aware that some did afford to belong to it for years, but, on receiving a 2s, per week advance, ran out, because they could not then afford it! 

Yours, etc.,



Sir, In your last issue "Brightonian" gives three instances of long hours. Here is a very case. A few days ago I was at one of the company's terminal stations (Tunbridge Wells) and was speaking to the signalman about the National Programme, and he told me that since they have had a change of station masters they have to close signal boxes every night, so that on a Sunday they have to come on duty at 5 a.m. and off at 10.30 p.m.; seventeen and a half on duty, for which they receive 3s. 8d. that is 2 1/d. per hour. not bad for Sunday work, being shut up in a box all day. I think this a case where the National Programme is much needed, as I should think the company could make it a double shift. I should like to hear what "Brightonian" thinks of this, and perhaps Alf Gill, our No. sec., could give a hint or two.

Yours, etc.,






Sir, -I must again presume on your indulgence to reply to some of Mr. Gill's criticisms on first letter. In the first place I do not know if the eight hour signalmen suggested working twelve hours on Sunday and getting half a day's overtime for it, but this I do know, that they never get any overtime, merely the day's pay. Surely Mr. Gill knows that they have always had to work 12 hours on Sunday to give the third man a day off. With regard to the relief signalman (not playfully called factotum) Mr. Gill has rightly defined his duty, but as long as he did that no one would complain. What I say is with our fear of contradiction, and that is that eight hour men have been working twelve hours, while he has been doing duty other than signalman's. It matters not whether the men did it willingly or not, the fact remains, and I will parry his question by asking another. Are not two such men necessary at a large station like Brighton, where is both responsible and arduous, and where  men are constantly being incapacitated by all-health? Mr. Gill says I must be mistaken, but he knows very well that I am not, official information notwithstanding. In reference to the platelayers, I have made inquiries, and find that indecently of gangers there have only been eight at this end that have received an. advance in wages, and I can only find out one man that run out of the society on receiving his rise, and he was a ganger, so don't blame the other men for his falling. One would think on reading some portion of Mr. Gill's letter, that he had held a brief for Mr. Sarle, but unless he can deny my statements in toto I would advise hime to lend a helping hand, not seek to pull down what another is trying to build up. The signalmen are, I hear, just starting another sectional movement, while we are letting the grass grow under our feet, and I say it is our own fault that these sectional movements flourish as they do. If we, as loyal members of the A.S.R.S., did our duty, they could not exist, as our agitation must, of necessity, have stifled all others, and we should have had the help of the majority of these sectionalists joining hands with us in pushing forward the National Programme, but in my branch, oh, no, we never mention it. Its name is never heard, in fact, I think it is boycotted. I have looked at the reports of branches on this line, but fail to see that they are alive to their duty re the National Program, so I must warn them that delay is dangerous for they are losing ground daily. In reply to "Another Brightonian," I am sorry to inform him that his is not an isolated case on this line, and for the remedy read the foregoing.

I cannot close without thanking you, Mr. Editor, for giving so much space for the discussion of our grievances; let us hope it will not be in vain.

Yours, etc.,


Sir, Continuing my remarks, "Brightonian" asks the question if his fellow workmen are determined to make a stand to improve their conditions of service; if so, there is only one road, through the Amalgamation. quite so, but my letters will prove it is the Amalgamated men who are spragging the wheels of protest. And Why? Because they do not understand the meaning of the word "unity," and are too apathetic and selfish to think, or care, what reforms are required, or how they can be brought about. Are we contented with our lot? If actions can be taken for the answer, I should say yes, and "Brigtonian's" fact must lead him astray. As for standing shoulder to shoulder, we require a few more lessons from miners, mechanics, and dockers. When we demand our rights (whatever they may be), a new era will have dawned, persons will give way to principle, and a union of hearts and hands will be the results. Who will follow South Wales? Answer with a loud voice, "The Brigton Line." No, we're determine to be. Easy there, "Brigtonian." Remember the North Eastern and Midland failures, and profit by them. Enthusiasm is all very well, but clear and cool heads are better. For whom do you speak, and with such assertion? What is your programme of action? Have you laid it before your friends, and do they agree with it? or are you going to adopt the sectional move - become a kind of bell weather, and expect the sheep to follow you? True, we are provided with branches and probably the membership will compare favourably with any other railway, but we require something more than that. Some interest should be taken in the branch business attendance at meetings is necessary, so that the feeling of the members may be gauged. Picture to yourself the meeting of a branch upwards of 100 strong, not an officer present, and only eight ordinary members attend, and then say we have good material to work on! The appointed time will be when the members show sufficient interest to warrant a move being made. They are men who make such absurd statements as that they will have railway directors on their knees in six months, or that they would run them into dead head tunnel and "bust 'em up." It does more harm than good and shows a want of knowledge of railwaymen (as I find them) and their requirements. To my mind, the most difficult body of  men to organise railwaymen, and the one thing necessary is organisation. now there are four societies whose interests are bound together, viz., the A.S.R.S, with 35,000; the G.W.R.U., 40,000; R.S., Scotland, 7,000; and the E. and F. Associated 5,000, or a grand total of near 90,000 member. By closing our ranks and coming to a working agreement a common platform, we should have force sufficiently large to command respect from any board of directors. If such a working agreement cannot be obtained (and I have only doubts of one society joining), there is another course open, and a strong one. Let several companies' servants join hands, say N. E., Brighton, G.W., S.W., etc., and invite the Amalgamated Engineers and Boiler Makers to take action with us on the eight hours question. I am in favour of artisans, mechanics and localised bodies of workmen having eight hours, but not by Parliament interference. If a thing is worth doing at all. It is worth doing well, and the stronger our position the sooner and more favourable the result. There are two important things required by railwaymen - direct representatives and arbitration boards; while it is also necessary to keep our eyes looking to see what goal we are driving to, I am of the opinion the future of railwaymen will either rest with the State, or they will become large profit sharing concerns. With clean heads and steady hands, it should be the duty of every man to steer the latter point.

As regards the superannuation fund, spoken of by "Brightonian" in another letter. I would advise no action to be taken at present. One thing at a time is sufficient and a few years hence this fund may be looked into. Sir, I draw my remarks to a close, and await the onslaught they should call forth, thanking you for the large amount of space allowed.

Your, etc.,

A. Gill




Memorandum agreed to this 24th day of November, 1890, between Mr. E. Harford, General Secretary of the A.S.R.S.; Mr. H. Tait, General Secretary of the A.S.R.S. of Scotland; Mr. C. Watson, General Secretary go the G.R.W.U.; and Mr. T. Sunter, General Secretary of the Associated Society of Engineers and Firemen:-

1, That, as a federation of the four societies is absolutely necessary for the purpose of improving the working conditions of the whole of the railway service, we agree to recommend to the executive bodies of our respective societies that a working agreement entered into for offensive and defensive action. In the meantime, should any dispute resulting in a strike take place, we individually pledge ourselves to stand firmly together and render all the mutual help possible.

2, In the event of a dispute hereafter arising between the men and the company in any district, no one of the societies shall take action therein until the consent of the three has been obtained.

Edward Harford, London

Henry Tait, Glasgow 

C. Watson London

Thomas G. Sunter Leeds   


Federation, which most organised railwaymen feel to be a necessity, is so much nearer being accomplished by the important memorandum which we publish in another column. By this document it will be seen that Messrs. Harford, Tait, Watson, and Sunter, have recommended to their respective Executives the adoption of "a working agreement for offensive and defensive action." Of course, it depends entirely upon the approval of these bodies whether the proportion is put into operation; but, so far as the Amalgamated Society is concerned, we apprehend that there will be little difficulty in this respect, and no doubt the same remarks apply to the other Bodie. Assuming, then, that the memorandum is accepted by the societies, we do not hesitate to affirm that nothing of greater importance has occurred in the history of organised railway labour than the decision of the four representatives who assembled at Leeds last Monday. It means the workers on our iron roads have caught the spirit of the times, and that they are not content merely with their present organisation, but aspire to still a greater solidarity of labour. Indeed, it is hard to say what it may not mean if the federation is acted up to loyally by all. It will be observed that the agreement is of a very simple character, and, in our opinion, I that lies its chief strength, at any rate for the present. Schemes like these are often wrecked by the elaborate nature of the machinery used to work them. What is wanted is consent of action in the case of a dispute, and the assurance that, under no circumstances, will it be possible for any one of the societies to be found in opposition to the others. Differences opinion and variety of methods will still exists, but these will not prevent united action when any emergency arises. The second clause of the memorandum will ensure due consideration of every dispute where extreme measures are considered necessary, and the fact that there must be unanimity of opinion before a. strike is sanctioned is at once an all sufficient guarantee against precipitate action, and the companies as well as the men will be thus secure from the evils of rash, ill-judged efforts. Whether a bare majority would not have been a sufficient safeguard is a matter of opinion, but it must be admitted that the clause as it stands, if it errs at all, does so on the side of prudence.

As a preliminary step, the memorandum is noteworthy and significant, and upon it can be based a still more elaborate scheme if such in the future were thought advisable. For the present it is a distinct advance to be able to point to the fact that the chief officers of these four organisations were able to meet in friendly conference and unanimously agree upon a course of action which embodies the best principles of federation -- loyalty and restraint. While the adoption of a universal programme may not be yet quite within sight, the federation proposal is a step in that direction, and the mere fact that the societies are pledged to assist each other will in time suggest the wisdom of drawing the bonds of unity still closer. We trust that the rank and file will emulate the example which has been thus set them, and endeavour to infuse the same fraternal feelings into their fellows. Federation admits of the greatest diversity of views and the widest latitude in administration, while at the same time it enforced the duty of each Trade Unionist observing certain fundamental principles. The proposed working agreement is not intended as a menace to the companies, but a defence for the men. It would be a scandal to the Labour cause if it were not possible to unite the forces of the various organisations in order to accomplish their common objects. The first attempt to do this has been eminently successful, and henceforth the capitalists will have to reckon with more than one society. The signatories to the agreement would be able to act as an emergency committee, and action, prompt and decided, could be taken without the least delay. It only requires this federation to be faithfully supported for its success to be ensured, and everything indicates that this will be done. Let the federation be guided by Richard Baxter's golden words, and all will be well --

"In thing essential, unity; in things doubtful liberty; in all things, charity."

Railway accident on the 


Stoat’s Nest 10th December 1890


Stoat’s Nest 10th December 1890 

Involving New Cross Driver William Muzzle & Fireman George 

Breach & New Cross Driver John Lee & Fireman William Monks 






There was a large and representative gathering of railwaymen at the Locomotive Inn, Landport (Portsmouth), on Saturday night, when the objects aimed at by the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants and the benefits enjoyed by its members were explained by Mr. J. Dobson, organising secretary. Mr. Upton presided over the meeting, which was hold under 

the auspices of the Portsmouth Branch of the Society,

In the course of a lengthy address, Mr. Dobson observed that railway servants were not advancing so fast as might be desired. Unity was an essential feature of their movement, and unless the railway servants of the country were thoroughly organised they could not hope to accomplish that which they most desired. Railwaymen did not get a fair share of the profits of their work, and moreover their hours of duty were much too long. He attributed their present position to the circumstance that they failed to recognise the need of unity among themselves. The officials of the Union could not do much of themselves, but he pointed out a great deal could be accomplished by individual effort on the part of the workmen. If each man used his influence in the proper direction in two years time the officials of the Union, having 160,000 men at their back, could approach the railway companies and demand the adoption of their National Programme, or any other reasonable measure they might think fit to bring forward.

That their Programme was reasonable no one could deny, yet there seemed to be a tacit understanding among the companies that no one should be the first to give way. It was clear, thorefore, that the servants could not hope to gain their object unless their combination was complete, and with a view of strengthening their hands the secretaries of the various railway organisations had decided to recommend their respective executive committees adopt the programme to which he had referred. He, in common with many others, did not advocate harsh measures; still he believed it would be a very easy matter to stop the traffic on every railway in the country if the men did not obtain what they wanted. As soon as the men could show that they were prepared to fight there would be no fear of a strike taking place, for the companies would at once make necessary concessions. With respect to the advantages held out by the society, he pointed out clearly what the benefits were.

After giving the meeting some practical advice relating to the management of the branches of the society, he submitted the following resolution, which was unanimously adopted:-

"That this meeting is of opinion that the long hours during which railwaymen are kept on duty are detrimental to the men so engaged, and fraught with danger to the travelling

Therefore, we consider that the time has arrived when ten hours should constitute a day's work for all grades excepting shunters in busy goods yards, signalmen in busy boxes and boxes always open, which should  be eight hours, and platelayers for whom nine hours should

be the maximum. That all overtime be paid for at the rate of time and a quarter, and Sunday duty at time and a-half."

Mr. Davey then proposed:—

"That, in order to obtain the reforms set forth in the foregoing resolution,

this meeting calls upon railway servants to combine for that object by joining the A.S.R.B. of the United Kingdom."

This was also passed, and the meeting closed with hearty votes of thanks to Mr. Dobson and the Chairman.

Railway accident on the 


Spa Road19th December 1890

Spa Road 19th December 1890 

Drivers William Packham, Alfred Sturman, John Cousens and his 

Fireman Sidney Milhill





Sir, -at Norwood Junction (L.B.S.C.) there were put off in one week 7,957 wagons and taken on 7,993 by trains calling at that station. This is no exceptional week, but taken at random, and is a fair average. It does not include wagon put off and taken on between 8 a.m. on Sunday and 7 a.m. on Monday, of which no record is taken. I doubt if many junctions in the United Kingdom can beat that. Will any friend supply me with the number of wagons put off and taken on at busy transfer junctions or stations, such as Willesden, Colwick, toon, etc., for the purpose of comparison? There are engaged t Norwood Junction daily six shunting engines and sixteen shunters; no horses used in shunting.

Yours etc.,

D. Wright 

May be an image of 6 people, train and railroad


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