House of Commons Select Committee appointed to enquire into 

excessive hours of railway workers; and report that the companies 

“must be induced by the Board of Trade to confine the hours of 

railwaymen within reasonable limits.”


extracted from RTCS book on locomotives of the LBSCR



The winter of 1890-91 contained some of the worse weather on record in the Southern England, and on the night of Monday, 9th March, 1891 much of England was swept by a blizzard but the ‘Night Boat’ was not seriously impeded until south of Merstham. Then much drifting by the high wind caused a 29 minute late arrival at Lewes, while at Southerham Junction the signalman stopped the train and warned the crew that all signals ahead were inoperative. Proceeding at about 15 m.p.h. through deepening snow, a 'Gladstone Class' loco No. 195 ‘Cardew’ struggled on to within a mile of Newhaven Town station and then stuck fast until dug out the following morning. About two hundred yards behind the an old Craven engine 0-6-0 No. 394 with a goods also become embedded, which was just as well as since in such visibility the crew would have had little chance of seeing the guard’s van’s red light.

A 'Craven Standard Goods Loco' no. 211 worked the 2.30 p.m. goods from New Cross to Lewes. It snowed hard all the way, and on reaching Lewes and depositing their train, the crew found to their dismay a special goods of twenty-three wagons and two brake vans awaiting transit to Newhaven. By this time the snow was drifting badly before a westerly gale and most signals were unreliable if not out of action. However a start was made with both men finding such shelter as possible behind the weather board. Little could be seen even at about 10 m.p.h. but despite this steady progress was made until they became embedded up to the chimney base in a deep drift. Realising nothing more could be done, they flung out their fire and retired to the guards van to spend the night. Next morning they were dug out about 9.30 a.m., when they found themselves only some 150 yards behind the Boat express. The gale blew so fiercely that many of the wagons had their tauplins ripped to pieces and the guards van was only kept on the rails by the weight of snow to leeward.



3RD APRIL 1891


An open meeting of the Croydon Branch was held on Sunday March 22nd, to hear an address from Mr. J. Dobson. Thew meeting was a very good one, men of all grades attending. A member of the branch was voted to the chair, and after a brief speech, in which he urged the combination of all grades by becoming members of this society, called on Mr. J. Dobson to address the meeting, which he did, by delivering a most stirring speech on "Trade Unionism and the Objects and Benefits of the Necessity." Other members also spoke, after which several came forward and joined the society, which brought a very pleasant meeting to a close.   


10TH APRIL 1891


With a view of  formulating a scheme of federation of the different railway societies, a conference was held last Monday at the headquarters of the Amalgamated society. Mr. E. Harford (A.S.R.S.), Mr. H. Tait (Scottish Society), and Mr. Bedford (G.R.W.U.), were present, but Mr. Sunter failed to obtain the authority of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen to attend. no definite plan was adopted, but a further meeting will be held shortly, when it is probable that a scheme of federation will be presented by Messrs. Harford and Tait.  


"Tit - bits" is deservedly popular, but the article it was published last week on "Tricks of Some Railway Engine Drivers." by an inspector, is not calculated to increase its reputation, for a more malicious and unfair attack on an honourable body or workmen never was penned. Doubtless many of our readers have seen the epistle in question, but it is not our intention to further advertise this piece of scurrility in our columns. Suffice it to say that the writer, who commences by the gratuitous remark that locomotive engine drivers are as honest as other men, makes general charges against them which include almost every known form of dishonour and crime. He accuses them of being the greatest thieves in the service, and alleges that there is not a day passes but what some driver is taken off his engine -- sometimes, too, when with express passenger trains -- drunk. Indeed, he exhausts an ordinary person's knowledge of trickery in his allegations. Though we hope that the editor's invasion to reply to these outrageous charges will be accepted, we feel rather inclined to treat the article with contempt, for the only thing the writer proves is that there is at least one cad among his grade. 

Railway accident on the 



1st MAY 1891

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

Norwood Junction 1st May1891 

Involving Brighton Driver Harry Hargreaves & Fireman Joseph 




26TH JUNE 1891

What happened in connection with the Norwood Junction bridge is only a sample of what is going on from day to day on most lines. For years we have urged that the present system of inspection is wholly inadequate and often little better than a farce, and so it will remain until the Board of Trade not only makes suggestions, but enforce them. This is an old text with, but, as shown by the gross neglect existing on many railways, and exemplified in the case we here been referring to, it is seemingly not yet a superfluous one.

Fratton Locomotive Shed opened in 1891 was jointly built by the London, Brighton and 

South Coast Railway and London Southern Western Railway. The locomotive shed was a 

double roundhouse. This replace the smaller locomotive shed at Portsmouth Town. 


15TH MAY 1891


extracted and adapted

Our usual monthly meeting was held on Sunday last with a splendid attendance. Four new members were accepted. A member was granted a sum from the Benevolent Fund. A claim for superannuation was allowed, and a fore handed to the member to fill up. A resolution was passed, and the secretary instructed to write the loco. superintendent respecting an accident to a fireman by being knocked off the tender by a water crane, asking for it to be altered. The fireman is at present laid in the Brighton Hospital. The secretary was instructed to convey to the widow of a member the vote of condolences and a grant from Benevolent Fund, the members regretting she was not entitled to the death grant, or orphan allowance, her husband at the time of his death.


17TH JULY 1891


Sir, Kindly allow me a small space in your valuable paper, just to convince the members of Associated Society of Engineers and Firemen that they radically wrong in their endeavours to get young blood to join their brotherhood. They say it will be a bad job for the young come if they do not job them, but I say, young men, but not afraid, best go with the majority, and you will find that these will be a feeling exist. As for the benefits, why, you pay 5d. or 3d. in the A.S.R.S., and 6d. in a good location, and then you will find the benefits more, without heavy levies, that the Associated gives for their shilling. That is not all. But look at the future, where are they going to get their superannuation forms, when there are three out of every twenty members entitled in it now? I say it is good policy for themselves to try force the young men to join theirs, because it makes twenty one members to keep three pensioners, but they are too. Now for the young firemen, as they all belong to the A.S.R.S. so you are, Mr. Editor, the pride and cleverness of the Associated spells all they try to perform

Your etc.,


14TH AUGUST 1891


A special open meeting was held at Three Bridges on Sunday last to hear an address from Mr.J. Dobson (organising secretary of the A.S.R.S.), the room being filled. His address was listened too with great attention by all present, and thoroughly appreciated. The following resolution was moved:- 

“That this meeting, after hearing the benefits to be obtained by a thoroughly combination and unity among railwaymen, hereby pledges itself to see every legitimate means to increase the numbers of the society to their labour, which can only be obtained by combination and unity among railwaymen.”

A vote of thanks to Mr. Dobson for the very able maker in which he had addressed the meeting brought a most enjoyable evening to a close.


21ST AUGUST 1891


The ordinary meeting was held on the 14th inst. the attendance being rather small, but the amount of contributions taken exceeded that of any previous meeting. Five new members responded to the usual call (three A and two B Scales), and were received with loud applause. This is very encouraging to the working members of the branch. We have also other applications forms filled us for the next meeting. What about that, you Newhaven men who said the branch would fall through in less than twelve months? Correspondence was then read re the visit of Mr. Carrity to this branch to address an open meeting, to which the members give him a hearty welcome, and the date of which will be duly announced. The members are urged to do all in their power tome the meeting a success. All non members will be heartily invited, and will hear something which we hope will lead to their conversation. Other business of a local nature was then dealt with, bringing the meeting to a close.


After reading Mr. Higson's letter, which was intended for insertion in the Locomotive Engineers and Firemen's Journal, it is not difficult to discover the reason of its rejection. It not only knocks the bottom out of the attack which was made upon Mr. Bewick secretary of the Pendleton Branch, but exposes the real aims of the Associated Society in acting as agents of the companies. When they began to badger Mr. Beswick they certainly made a mistake, and by this time may have discovered their error. His evidence stands out as amongst the clearest given by any of the witness before the Select Committee, at once moderate and firm. " J.H." appears unable to give a simple quotation correctly, and was either in a fog when he wrote his letter or in a very bad humour.


This is no mere personal matter, but a most serious question. It is notorious that the Associated Society throughout the country has ranged itself on the side of the companies in residing the efforts of the Amalgamated Society to establish a ten hours day. It has furnished, without a single protest, as far as we can learn, from the governing body, witnesses to support railway managers, and its prominent members have been actively engaged on the various lines in poisoning the minds of the men against reduced hours of labour. While all classes of workmen are agitating for increase leisure, this society is moving heaven and earshot defend and maintain overtime. Can it be a Trade Union and do these things? We think not, for, remember, it is not a mere difference of policy on some detail, but a divergence on a fundamental principle, which divides us. If, for instance, the Trade Union Congress can accept a society which follows its members to be "used" by railway officials to thwart the efforts of Trade Unionists, where are they to draw the line? The Free Labour Unions run by the shipowners have just as good credentials, for it is not too much to say that the same member of non unionists would have done the Labour cause far less harm than the "engineers" have done. 




We have been requested to publish the following correspondence, as the Locomotive Engineers and Firemen’s Journal has refused to insert the letter written by Mr. Higham (President) quoted below.

The subjected letter appeared in the Journal for July:-


Dear Sirs, - I sometimes wonder whether our loco brethren ever seriously think within themselves -- 






Est. 25th August1891

Around the country Enginemen and Firemen at numerous locations on the various Railway Companies deciding to form their own Branches of A.S.L.E.& F. The Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants begun to see many of their Enginemen and Firemen members trans-ferring their membership from A.S.R.S. to the newly formed A.S.L.E.& F. Branches. In some locations the entire A.R.S.R. branch would transfer over to A.S.L.E. & FThis was because many Enginemen and Firemen had become very dissatisfied with the ethos of the A.S.R.S. and wanted a trade union to represent the needs of Enginemen and Firemen. 

With the growth of A.S.L.E. & F. members growing across the Brighton Railway with some of the Coastal enginemen belonging to the Battersea Branch. Brighton engineman William Young along with other enginemen and fireman working at Brighton loco depot decided to start their own Branch and play their part in the growth of A.S.L.E.& F. within the railway. In 1891 their aspirations finally came to fruition in August 1891.

It was on the 25th August 1891 at the Old Star Mission room in Brighton, with a fledgling of 24 members both Enginemen and Firemen that the A.S.L.E.& F. Brighton branch was formed. The Inaugural meeting was opened by the then A.S.L.E.& F. General Secretary Thomas G. Sunter. The Brighton branch was to become the 82nd branch to be established within A.S.L.E.& F. The then, present Brighton members decided that Engineman Bro. William Baudy Young would become their secretary. Bro. William Young decided that this historical event should be recorded and by publishing this achievement it may encourage other Enginemen and Firemen to follow their lead. It was duly reported in the A.S.L.E.& F. Monthly Journal of September 1891 that the Brighton had been formed. 

 Thomas G. Sunter

A.S.L.E.F. General Secretary 1885 ~ 1901


It was quite a common practice for a Branch to be opened at one location and it members 
being located at other depots within their area, such was the case with the opening of the 
Battersea and Horsham Branch in 1898. Horsham members were based at Littlehampton 
and Midhurst (and probably with some members at Three Bridges) depots. This was
 indicated in a Horsham Branch report in the Locomotive Journal of October 1911 page 


28TH AUGUST 1891


Sirs, I was at a meeting recently held in the London district for enginemen and firemen only, the chief speaker being Mr. Sunter. His principal object in the speech which he delivers was, in any opinion, to set grade giants grade, and to preach to enginemen to try and make them disoriented with a ten hour day, if they should get it, in favour of longer hours. He also stated to his hearers that the A.S.R.S. had dine a lot of injury in the locomotive men in getting, or instrumented in getting, the Select Committee appointed and, I am sorry to say, he succeeded in finding plenty of duper to believe him. He said, whilst he was general secretary, he would take good care that no strike should take place, but he wished to obtain for enginemen the same pay as they get abroad. Enginemen, just think, will you be ruled like that? Why, if Mr. Sunter will only inform all the directors of his decision that he wants to obtain something and will not fight for it, we shall very soon have a shilling a day taken off our money, instead of getting it put on. He also claimed to represent the loco. men of this country, but, on being asked the question how many engine drivers he represented at the end of loco, he was sorry to say he did not know! The fact is, the number was so small at that time compared with those in the A.S.R.S that he was ashamed to give the figures.

Yours, etc.,



With more Enginemen and Firemen coming forwarded this gave Bro. W. Young the incentive to write another letter to the Locomotive Journal in October 1891 publicising this fact, and seeking more journals to encourage more new members to come forward to swell the ranks. 




The usual monthly meeting was held on Sunday night last with a moderate attendance. Two new members (signalmen) were accepted. A member was granted a sum from the Benevolent Fund. A case on behalf of a passenger guard who is under the case of the doctor for deafness was brought forward and caused a long discussion. It was agreed that the best medical advice was to be taken. Same further discussion was taken re Railway Review. The secretary explained why a previous resolution referring to technical education had not been carried out.

A member asked if the secretary had any information as to a new branch being opened at Lewes. No information had been received, and he stated he ought not recommend one being opened there, or it would have been done several years ago. 

A member requested to be informed if the Associated Society had agreed to a working arrangement with the other societies, as an attempt was being made to open a branch, and what action that members were going to take towards them. The secretary supported as to a meeting being held at which eleven engine drivers and firemen were present, all being members of our society with the exception of three. Only one gave his name to join, and no doubt he did so not knowing the relations that now existed between the two societies. Currently, after their recent action, no member could considerably belong to both societies. It was impossible to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds also, and it would be a “spite yourself ” policy to run out of the A.S.R.S. to join theirs. As for a great many of those outside our society, they were welcome to them. It only now requires the members of the A.S.R.S., now the others have shown their policy, to go straight, attend their meetings, support no ascensional movements to increase our hours to 15 per day again, and it will need no prophet to himself a lose for them of all identity with Trade Unionism until the metal is made off .

The remainder of the evening was spent over the alterations to rules, and as adopted a red letter day for Brighton, the first organised labour demonstration having be held in the afternoon, with such speakers as Tilley, Wilson, Watson, Macdonald, Barrows, and Miss May Abraham.



A meeting of railwaymen was held at the White Hart Hotel, Newhaven, on Friday evening, under the presidency of Mr. J.A. Gray, chairman of the local board. There was fairly numerous attendance.

The Chairman expressed the opinion that the society was doing a great and good work, and said every appreciative member must earnestly hope to see its benefits extended to every man connected with the railway administration of Newhaven. He congratulated the conveners  of the meeting, under the circumstances which controlled the attendance of railway servants in public, on the gratifying dimensions of the audience, and he hoped that every man present would leave the meeting determined to do his best to argument the membership of the branch.

Mr. Garrity then gave an exhaustive address on the objects of the Amalgamated Society, of which he assistant secretary. He observed that the railwaymen in the district were connected with the only company, he believe, whose chairman had had to apologise to the shareholders for the largeness of the dividend. He (the speaker) could have given very aged methods whereby that dividend could have been invested in the advantage, if not of the shareholders of the employees been not on that railway, he alleged, a system assisted more pernicious than slavery, for he had never read of a case of a slave which man was held in grindstone seven days a week for six days renumeration. He held that it was a disgrace, in the last decade of this 19th century, that intelligent workmen should be called on to work seven days work for six days pay. He held, further, that that if a working man could not keep himself, his wife, and family respectably, and provide for the preverbal rainy day, by six days' reasonable labour, life was not worth living. He proceeded to speak of the origin of the society owing to the influence of Mr. Michael Bass, the late member for Derby, who was impressed with the case of a driver who was still on an engine after working twenty two consecutive hours, and pointed out the aburstity of these being four different railway servants' societies instead of one strong amalgamation. The only society which could truly carry out the interests and aspirations of railway servants, who were so integrated in their work, was one which comprehended all grades of employees, from platelayers to drivers. Entering late the objects of the society, he said the first was to improve the conditions and protect the interests of its members. There was need of a good deal of improvement on the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway. He hoped the shareholders on the largeness of the dividend, but he hoped that at the same time he would remember those who had assisted to make the dividends. He could give instances so that railway which would he ........ to the company. The next object of the society was to obtain for the members a fair day's wage for a fair day's work. They wanted nothing more than that, and he hoped as men they would be content with nothing less. (Applause) Another object was to settle disputes by arbitration or other legitimate means. He was sorry to say that the companies in their present moods, were opposed to the intervention of a third party, but be contended that the men were entitled to the same privileges as the employers, who placed their representatives between them and the directors. If arbitration had been resorted to, he believed the North Eastern strike of 1867, the Jubilee strike on the Midland, and the Scotch strike 1890-91 would never have occurred. He must not be understood to favour strikes, but if conciliatory means failed to rectify his grievances he was only man who preferred a strike to  cowardly surrender. The members asked that each day should stand by itself, that overtime work should be reckoned on each day, and paid at overtime rate. They wanted to make overtime expensive, so as to do away with it, because they were convinced that they had superintendent and general managers clever enough to arrange the traffic so that no overtime work would be necessary. That would be a good act, not only to railway servants, but to the public at large, for the simple reason that there were many honest people in the streets who were willing to work, but could not get it, and never would so long as three men were doing five men's work. (Applause.) He argued that railwaymen could end their grievances without strikes if they were only true to their own interests, because a company would think twice before it entered into a struggle with a united body of men. Other objects on which he dilated were the assistance of the unemployed, aged and infirm, and the obtaining of compensation for accident, the provisions of legal assistance, and the providing for widows and orphans. He spoke forcibly on the great benefit the society was to men who had been suspended or discharged for insufficient reasons, but reminded them that if, by wanton acts of their own, if, for instance, because they were found at their post intoxicated, they lost their places, they would get no sympathy from the society. (Applause.) He continued that, so far from the society being inimical to the interests of the companies, its members were the best workmen on the on the railways, and that the branches were the greatest guarantee that discipline and respect would have their proper one. He urged the value of conciliation, and exhorted them to treat one man as being as good as another, no matter to what grade be longed. In conjunction, he showed the stability of the society by stating that it numbered 54,000 (?) members, and possessed a capital of a little over £200,000 (?) Their main principle was to do right to themselves and to they employers.

Mr. White, the secretary, then proposed a resolution pledging the meeting adopt the National Programme for shorter hours, as set forth by the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, and to use every legitimate effort to obtain the reasonable hours set forth therein.

Mr.  Dibgy seconded this resolution, which was unanimously adopted; as was another proposed by Mr. Renshaw, and seconded by Mr. Pargeter, pledging the meeting to persuade every effort in the power the interests of the society.

The proceedings closed with votes of thanks to Mr. Garrity and the chairman.





The annual fete organised by the Battersea branch in aid of the Orphan and Benevolent Funds took place last Monday in the grounds attached to the "Grey Hound" at Dulwich. The weather was by so means favourable during the greater portion of the day, but to spite of this there was a fairly large attendance of those interested in the fund. The committee, had arranged a capital programme of amusements, and music was provided by the Signalmen's and Locomotive Department's Bands of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway. 


It will be seen that Mr. Harford did not raise the eligibility of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen at the Trade Union Congress. His reason for not doing so was certainly a good one neither Mr. Sunter nor any of his colleagues put in an appearance. They were wise in their day and generation, and it is something to their credit that they had good sense not to make any claim to be identified with Trade Unionist. Anyhow, Mr. Sunter has saved himself from a nice little exposure by his prudences in staying away.




extracted and adapted 

Notice of motion was given by a member re the excessive fines now being enforced in the locomotive department of the L. B. & S. C. Railway.



The London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway celebrates it jubilee this week. Today it stands fifth on the list of the greatest passenger carrying lines of Great Britain. In 1890 it carried 43 1/2 millions of passengers, or more Than 400 times the number estimated in 1835, while the gross income from passenger traffic, instead of bring only £156,000, has been £3,600,000. Of course, the great bulk of the traffic been short distances.



Towards the end of the nineteenth century Footplate men where apprehensive in joining a trade union in fear of loosing their jobs as the Private Companies did not want any form of organised labour. Those who did join wore their trade union fobs (badges) on their watch chain or under their jacket lapels (pictured below). The fobs where to indicate their membership to fellow members and also allowed their entry into A.S.L.E.F. meetings. 

When William Young first published an article in the Locomotive Journal about Brighton he made reference to London-by-Sea and did not mentioned Brighton by name. This was because London-by-Sea was a common nick-name given to Brighton at this time. It also helped to hide its identity to the Management of the London Brightonand South Coast Railway. It must remembered that it was not good for the healthy career of a footplateman, in those days, to proclaim his connection to trade union, and so it is no surprise to see briefest of branch reports, with 'Secretary,' 'Chairman,' or some other obscure encrypted nick-name discreetly appended instead of names. This was practise would continue until after the Second World War.

The branch meetings where initially held at the Old Star Mission Room in Brighton on the 4th Tuesday of every month. This location was to be used up until 1896, where a new venue was to be used from 1897. The new venue was the Barber Coffee Room located in London Road, Brighton.The meetings where held on the first Thursday of every month. This venue was to be the branch’s home for many years to come. 

By c1911 the meeting were held at The Coffee Room, 2, Cheapside, on the first Sunday in the month, 3 p.m.

Brighton was to become the first A.S.L.E.F. branch within Sussex. This was shortly followed by other locomotive depots, forming their own A.S.L.E.F. branches within the county. Horsham in 1898, Eastbourne, Tunbridge Wells and St Leonards all opening in 1906, Newhaven in 1912, Three Bridges in 1913, Littlehampton  in 1917 and Bognor Regis pre 1925. 

In 1934 saw two new Branches opening to cater for the newly opened Motorman’s depots at Ore and Seaford Motormen Branches in 1935

At the moment we have no known records for a A.S.L.E.F. branch at Midhurst. however there is evidence that A.S.L.E.F. members where present at Midhurst locomotive shed. 

William Baudy Young

William Baudy Young was born in Epsom in c1854 into a railway family that was residing within the town at that time. William’s father Samuel was recorded in the 1851 census as being a railway labourer and lodging in Deptford and shows him being born in Brightelmstone in c1829.

It is not known whether Samuel Young was employed within the footplate grades at Epsom locomotive department or whether he was still working as railway labourer whilst living in the town. 

It was quite common for railway labourers to become engine drivers; this was to meet the rapid expansion of the railway lines across the country and the need for more footplate staff. 
In the 1871 census shows Samuel was now registered living back in Brighton with his family and employed as an engine driver at Brighton. According to the L.B.S.C.R. archives of 1877, Samuel had transferred to Newhaven (Harbour) locomotive department. It is not known if this was a promotional move from fireman to driver or just a transfer from one depot to another.

The 1871 census also shows his sons William Young was a fireman at Brighton along with his elder brother Samuel (Jnr). The L.B.S.C.R. archives of 1877 show both of them as fireman at Brighton locomotive department. 

In 1881, William Young was recorded as a driver and was allocated to work on a “ A” class terrier tank engine No. 41 Piccadilly. 

In the early 1900s William was in the 'TOP LINK' and was one of the senior engine drivers at the shed. Other drivers in this included drivers Tompsett, Ellis and Stevens. 

Later he was to become a Locomotive Inspector at Brighton, this position was sometime was prior to 1912 (maybe about c1906, after William Young stood down as Brighton A.S.L.E.F. Branch Secretary).

Some of the pioneering A.S.L.E.&F. members of 

the Brighton Branch

W. Young, footplate seniority c1871, joined A.S.L.E.&F. c1891

W. G. Lewery, joined A.S.L.E.&F. 1904

A. Barber, joined A.S.L.E.&F. 1905

P. Goatcher, footplate seniority  00.11.99, joined A.S.L.E.&F. 1906

H. Beall, footplate seniority 12.07.97,  joined A.S.L.E.&F. 1907 

G. Dance, footplate seniority 20.07.03, joined A.S.L.E.&F. 1907

F. Brooker, footplate seniority 22.07.01, joined A.S.L.E.&F. 1907

J. Bignall, footplate seniority 19.02.03, joined A.S.L.E.&F. 1908

W. Coughtry, footplate seniority 04.07.93, joined A.S.L.E.&F. 1909

A. Rogers, footplate seniority  24.01.00, joined A.S.L.E.&F. 1909

W.S. Brooks, footplate seniority 23.04.94, joined A.S.L.E.&F. 1910









The quarterly meeting was held on the 25th ult., the attendance being splendid. On the call for new members 20 forms were handed in (7 A and 13 D Scaled), and were received with very loud applause, making a total of 37 for the quarter, and we have more application forms filled up for next meeting. We feel sure that men long the whole of this branch line from Lewes to Seaford, terminating at the latter place, will by completely organised. Great praise is due to the members for the efforts on their part in making such success. Correspondence was dealt with from various sources, and a good deal of discussion arose on the letter from Brighton No.2 Branch re the opening of a branch at Lewes, but no definite decision was arrived at owing to more pressing business waiting to be disposed of, but all seemed anxious that something should be done, and many promised to lend their assistance. The agenda to the A.G.M. was then brought forward, which occupied a considerable portion of the evening, the secretary being instructed to forward the results to the delegate. Thee circular form G.O. re the representative of the branch before the Labour Commission came to for a lengthy discussion, and it was unanimously decided not to send anyone although a very persidinet member offered his services should they decided to be represented. The secretary was instructed to summon a special committee meeting at an early date to settle some very important business in connection with the branch. A vote of thanks was accorded the principal officers for the very heavy evening's business that had been disposed of, which brought a great successful meeting to a close.



The usual weekly meeting was held on Saturday, September 26th, with a good attendance. The question of evidence for Royal Commission was discussed and it was rendered to let it stand over till the next meeting. One new member was proposed (Scale A). 

Bro Saunders of Battersea Branch late first class driver on the L.B.&S.C. Railway who is appealing to the A.G.M. for his presentation grant, was present, and laid his case before the member in a straight forward manner, and was listened to by the members with great interest. Mr. Welfare our E.C. man was present. Bro Saunders was asked several questions, which he answered by the satisfaction of all present, Mr Welfare expressing great sympathy with Sanders at the harsh in alement he had received from the locomotive officials, and explained that the refusal to great the protection was from no til looking, but purely on a questions of rule. It was unanimously received that the sympathy of the members of this branch be given Saunders at the treatment assert to him. A vote of thanks was passed to the visitors for their attendance.



extract from branch report

A telegram from our delegate to the A.G.M. was read, announcing the success of Bro. Saunders' appeal, which was received with loud cheers. The delegate gave his report of the last London Council meeting. The secretary was instructed to write the loco superintendent of the L.B. & S.C.R. re the excessive fines now being enforces in that department.


23RD  OCTOBER 1891

extract from branch report

The usual weekly meeting was held on Friday last, with a good attendance. A letter from the general secretary enclosing cheque for £50 for Bro Saunders, also one of Bro. Watkins, was received with cheers. It was arranged to hold them over until a day could be arranged for a gathering to be held to make a presentation to an old member who had resigned from the railway, when the cheques could be presented to the members at the same time

A long discussion took place re the serve fines imposed upon the locomotive men of this district of the L. B. & S. C. R.


30TH  OCTOBER 1891

extract from branch report

The question of fines in the loco department of the L. B. & S. C. R. was again brought forward, and a general discussion took place. The secretary announced that he had written the loco superintendent on the subject, and he hoped the next member who was unfairly dealt with would appeal, and, if he did not succeed, ask the branch to take the case up.


It is generally understood that the Associated Society has ceased to be a Trade Union (was it ever one?) but hardly thought that these reactionary enginemen had gone so far as to actually discourage technical instruction, and yet we are assured that this is the case at Bordesley Junction, Birmingham, where the officials have gone out of their way to assist men who desire to make themselves more perfectly acquainted with their engines. What Next?





On Thursday evening, the 19th inst., an open meeting and social gathering was held at the Mason's Arms, Battersea Park, under the auspices of the Battersea Branch of the A. S. R. S. 

Mr. J. Starkey occupied the chair, with Mr. W. Arnold officiated as vice chairman. The chairman, in opening the meeting, said it was with the greatest pleasure imaginable that he was present that evening, and he was pleased to be able to tell the gentlemen assembled that during the evening there would be presented to Mr. W. Saunders a cheque of £30, being the amount allowed by the A. S. R. S. to any of its members who were dismissed by the railway companies under some frivolous or fallen pretence, but who were really active members of this noble society. (Cheers) These would alas be another presentation to Mr. P. Bolster, formerly engine driver on the L. B. & S. C. R. This was a voluntary presentation from the enginemen and firemen who Mr. Bolster had worked with for so many years. He thanked the members of the L. B. & S. C. signalmen's brass Band for their kindness in coming there that evening. The band having played a few popular tunes were heartily applauded, and several of the gentlemen present, enlivened the meeting with songs for which they were all encored.

Mr. W. Elliss on rising, was loudly cheered, and commenced his address by saying that it was one of the greatest pleasures it was possible for him to have to be able to be present on such an occasion, for both gentlemen who were to have something handed to them that evening were men whom he respected. He could well remember when the agitation was being carried on by the enginemen and firemen on the L. B. & S. C. R., and of which he (Mr. Elliss) was one of the district secretaries, the kind assistance and entering energy with which there two gentlemen had worked for the benefit of their fellow workmen. He could look back upon that time with pleasure, and in looking round the room that evening he was more pleased than he could find words to express to see so many of the old enginemen present, particularly his old and respected friend, Mr. E. McKew, senior (Loud cheers.) It was to these men that (Mr. Ellis) was indebted for his trade union education, and, although he was not such a rampant and mad-brained trade unionist as some people would comped him to he if they could, he gave way to no man as being more sincere trade unionist than himself. (Cheers.)

The chairman having congratulated the speaker upon the splendid address be had delivered that some of those present often had the opportunity of Mr. Ellis, and appreciating at all times the assistances he renders to the branch. He now had the pleasure of introducing Mr. Harford, the general secretary, whom he was sure they were all most happy to meet upon such an occasion. (Cheers.)

Mr. Harford, on rising, was received with loud applause, sand commenced his very able address by expressing his pleasure at having once more the opportunity of meeting his old friends at Battersea, some of whom had worked with him for a period of nearly twenty years. (Cheers.) He could look back with pleasure upon the history of the society, and although they had their ups and downs at every other society had to go through, and at the time he was appointed the chief officer of the society they had only some six thousand members, at the present time the society stood either second or third on the list of trade unions which sent in returns to the Board of Trade. During the time he had held his office the society had increased its member to the tune of six times the number it had when he was first appointed. The record of the work done by the society was a splendid one, and if only the railwaymen would join even in greater numbers, the power they would then be able to wield would put a stop to some of the miserable long hours some of the railwaymen were compelled to work, and that for a few paltry shillings a week, which were not sufficient to keep body and soul together. (Cheers.)  The speaker briefly touched upon the various disputes which the society had been connected with, and said he was greatly indebted to the Battersea Branch. He could only hope that the branch would still continue to proper in the future, even more a than it had done in the past. The next duty he had to perform was to present Mr. W. Saunders a cheque for £30 (Cheers) which the A. G. M. had, by a unanimous vote, granted him from the protection fund, and in a very appropriate speech asked Mr. Saunders to accept the cheque for the good work he had done for his fellow worker. (Cheers.) He said that he had still another and a very pleasing duty perform, and that was to ask Mr. P. Bolster to accept an 18 carat gold medallion, having the society's emblems the one side and the following inscription on the other:-

"Present to Phillip Bolster as mark of esteem by the enginemen and firemen of the Battersea, L. B. & S. C. R., Nov. 19, 1891,"

and in addition a purse of money. In handing the medallion to Mr. Bolster, Mr. Harford said it had been purchased by the voluntary subscriptions of those whom he (Mr. Bolster) had worked with for a great number of years, and he most sincerely hoped Mr. Bolster would live for a number of years to wear it. (Loud cheers)

Previous to Mr. Saunders speaking the band gain enlivened the meeting with a few good selections, after which Mr. Saunders, who upon rising was loudly cheered, in the course of a very able and feeling speech, said that what ever he had done for his fellow man he had done it from a point of duty, and that when engaged in the society's work he never anticipated receiving a cheque such as he had received that evening. He had upon more than one occasion thanked the members of the branch for their assistance and the way in which they had taken his case up from the very first when he was suspended and if there were any present who were not members of the A. S. R. S., he hoped what they had learnt and seen that evening would be the means of them joining at once. (Cheers) It was not a very large amount they were called upon to pay, and even if they belonged to any other society he thought they ought to belong to this one as well. He certainly would like to see every railwayman join us. Before he sat down he said he must thank the members for arranging for him to be present as a visitor at the A. G. M. When his own case brought forward , he was more pleased than he could say at the way in which the branch secretary had worked for him all through, and especially at the very able way he had obtained for him by a unanimously vote the cheque he had received that evening. (Cheers.)

Mr. Bolster, upon arising, was greeted in a very hearty manner, and said he was not a great speech maker, but he hd endeavoured to do his best during the time he had been a member of the A. S. R. S., and it was 20 years this very month since he signed his name to become a member. (Cheers.) The society had at all times done its duty towards him, and it was, in his estimation, the only society by which the conditions of railwaymen could be improved. when the medallions, with the society's emblem, came out, he purchased a brass one; after that he purchased a silver one, and now he has to thank them for their respect in presenting him with a gold one. (Loud cheers.) He would advise every railwayman to join the A. S. R. S., and although he was part work upon an engine and had received his superannuation allowance from the society he should continue his membership so long as he lived. (At this point the speaker was overcome and resumed his seat amidst loud cheers.

Mr. Dobson, who was present by invitation, was the next the speaker, and received an hearty welcome as the previous speakers had received. He remarked that it was a great pleasure to be present upon such an occasion, and, as the meeting was not called to hear a lengthy address from him, he would not occupy much of their time. It was the first time since he had been appointed to his present position that he had had the opportunity of meeting the general secretary at a meeting of that description, and he wished that they could meet a little more often, in order that they might hear one another's views as by the best way of carrying out the programme which the governing body of the society had sanctioned, and improving the conditions of railwaymen by whom they were employed. He counselled everyone present to become missionaries for the society, not to get down hearted, but to put their shoulders to the wheel and obtain those just demands which they had so long -- but in vain -- been begging from the railway companies. He thought the day had gone by for sending begging petitions to the companies: let them join the societies they should do, and then they could demand and obtain in a very short period anything that was just and reasonable. (Cheers.)

The Branch Secretary moved, in a very able speech, touching upon the society's accounts and the decisions of the A. G. M., a hearty vote thanks to the general secretary, Mr. Dobson and the visitors from other branches, for their kindness in being present that evening. In con-nection with the occults of the society, seeing it had been raised by members, he would, he said like it to be clearly understood, that although two members had been appointed to go over the accounts again, there was not the least idea of anything being short, because the Finance Committee carefully saw that every penny received at the general office was paid into the bank, as that it was impossible for the money to be short, but the mistakes which happened were pure and simple errors which could, with a little care, soon be set right. (Cheers.)

The General Secretary, in a useful speech, touched upon the points that had been raised, and thanked the branch secretary for raising then in his grievances, which gave him an opportunity of speaking upon them; he had thoroughly enjoyed himself that evening, and wished he could visit his friends at Battersea a little more oftener, but seeing that there were upwards of 352 branches of the society, all of which exported a visit from him, they could easily understand how it was he was not with them oftener. He most heartily thanked them on behalf of Mr. Dobson and himself for the vote of thanks they had given them, and for the assistance the Battersea Branch had at all times rendered him. (Cheers.)

The remainder of the evening was spent in harmony, when the following gentlemen very kindly entertained the company until past midnight: Messrs. Starkey, Jun., Gearing, Gill, Winch, Way, Wright, Packham, McKew, Sen., Covenay, and Mr. Pell, who kindly officiated at the piano. A hearty vote of thanks to the chair, vice chairman, and the band brought a pleasant and business meeting to a close.





There occurred at Victoria Station last Saturday a tragedy it would be hard to exceed for its terrible pathos. A driver named Stovold had with him his son as fireman, and it seems that the latter quitted the footplate and went under the engine to oil it. The driver, all unconscious of the fireman's dangerous position, backed his engine to pick up the train, when he was startled by a cry from the unfortunate man, over whom the wheels passed before the engine could be stopped. When the father released the terrible situation, he was prostrated by his overwhelming grief and was unable to proceed with his train. The poor young fellow expired at the hospital, and thus was completed one of the saddest scenes that even the railway service can furnish. Both father and son were members of the Croydon Branch of the Amalgamated Society, and we feel sure that wherever these lines re read heartfelt sympathy will be evoked for the heart broken man in hi indescribable anguish.  





On Friday last the remains go the unfortunate man Stovold, who lost his life at Victoria station under the and circumstances related in our last issue, were interred in the Croydon Cemetery, in the presence of a large assemblage of persons. The chief mourners were the father and mother and brother and sister. The coffin was followed to the grave by a member of railway employees, from different stations on the line. These were about twenty engine drivers and firemen present. The burial service was performed by the Rev. Mr. Kemp, curate of St Saviour's Church. 

The deceased joined the society in March 1883, and had always been a good worker in the cause. In a brother's a need or adversity he was always to the front and over ready to help forward any movement which had for its object the uplifting of humanity. A brother's sorrow was sorrow and by his death the Croydon Branch has lost a good member and worker, and his fellow workmen a true and honest friend. 


Sir - Please allow me to convey through your columns, on behalf of myself and wife, our heartfelt thanks for the widespread sympathy and kindness extended to us in the sad trail which has befallen us in the loss of our dear boy, also for the many and beautiful tokens of esteem and affection in which poor Harry was held by all who knew him. It is some small consolation to know that our dear snows so widely loved as he evidently was. There is one more matter I would speak on and thank the responsible persons before closing my letter, viz., the great kindness and consideration shown in staying until the grave was filled in, and then plantain the floral tributes in the grave, as I would have wished them placed. I do not know the authors of this thoughtfulness, but it feel sure it rests among my poor boy's late mates. and I trust they and al our friends in this sad trial may see this and accept this public acknowledgment of all their kindness, and alas accept our heartfelt gratitude for all they have done for us and for him, who is now reading from his labours.

Trusting you will pardon me for the space I have taken up in your valuable paper. 

Yours, etc.,


extracted from branch report 18th December 1891

The half yearly meeting was held on Friday last, December 18th, with a very good attendance, and the officers were elected for the next six months. 

The following resolution was carried "That we, the members of the Croydon Branch of the Amalgamated Society, in this our first meeting since the sad, and deplorable accident to our brother, Henry James Stovold, wish to convey our heartfelt sympathy to the father mother brothers, and sisters in this their time of trouble, for the sad and terrible death of their dear son, and brother."





Finding that the Associated members present at the New Cross meeting of the 6th allowed attacks made on the policy of their society to pass unchallenged through which the options of representative men are ascertained on specific subjects, I will, with your permission take the liberty of asking Mr. T.G. Sunter, as the head of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen, to favour me with replies to the following questions, as I believe it is essential that the members of the two societies (A.S.R.S. and A.S. of L.E. and F.) should understand each other's a policy better, for the common good, and I trust that Mr. Sunter will be able either to deny that his society acts on the lines contained in these questions or explain to the railway world their reasons for so doing. I trust you will not allow any comment to appear until after your issue of Dec. 24th, so as to allow Mr. Sunter some opportunity for reply.
The following are the four questions I wish to ask Mr. Sunter.

1. How after viewing past attempts by enginemen as a grade, to advance their position, and, in particular, the lamentable Midland strike of 1887, the theory of sectional unionism as a means of obtaining and retaining substantial concessions can be consistently upheld?

2. How they can, and on what grounds do the Associated Society, hold out prospects of rapid promotion to young firemen on becoming members of the Associated Society, when during the past few months there have upheld the advocacy of a 15 hour day for enginemen before the Select Committee?
3. On what ground does the Associated Society argue they are favoured by the railway companies in preference to the A.S.R.S., when, as a matter of fact, several recognised prominent Associated members have been discharged from their employment in consequence of the active part they have taken in enginemn's agitations, and have received gents from the Associated Society on their dismissal?

4. Whether he (Mr. T.G. Sunter) is prepared to meet any official of the A.S.R.S on a public platform in the metropolis, before a body of practical railwaymen, with an impartial chairman, and debate the principles contained in the above three questions, also the benefits and unity of the two societies?



Last Sunday Mr. E. Harford (general secretary) presided over a capital meeting of railwaymen at the Hatchman Liberal Club, the committee of which kindly lent the room free of cost.

The Chairman, in opening the meeting, expressed his pleasure at being present, and proceeded to point out the powerful position railwaymen held, holding as they did the whole inland commerce of the country in their hands. It only required unity to make it impregnable. The Amalgamated Society had had a number of imitations, but, in conjunction with the Scotch society, they stood as the original advocates of amalgamation. As ignorant people made wild statements about his attitude to a closer alliance between the different societies, he took that opportunity of publicly denying the assertion that he -- and he could also speak for his friend Mr. Tait -- had in any way opposed amalgamation to serve his own personal ends, or indeed at all. The blame for the prescient state of affairs rested on the shoulders of others.. (Applause.)

Mr. E. Garrity (assistant secretary)  moved a resolution in former of the A. S. R. S ., and called upon non-unionists to join it. He dwelt at some length with the "generosity" of the South Eastern, showing that they exhorted seven days work for six days' pay, and compelled goods porters to work 12 1/2 hours overtime for 1s 6d. Alluding to the difficulty experienced by the chairman of the London and Brighton to disposes of his surplus dividend, the speaker suggested that a little justice to the employees would soon settle it. What was required was the reduction of the hours of labour, but unfortunately they had in existence  society which had deserted its original principles. He referred to the Associated society, who seemed to say, "We are the people, and the others the rabble." Against those overtime having "engineers" he warned young firemen, for they would keep them from the regulator as long as possible. After all, they were only a "corner" of the service, and he challenged the leaders of this society to point out one thing  they could do for enginemen which the A. S. R. S. could not. After dealing with the Whitnall case, Mr. Garrity concluded a lengthy speech by urging the abolition of grades, for, as God created all, they were really one, and the A. S. R. S. induced the engineman to grasp the hand of the platelayer and so helped to bring about true unity. (Cheers.)

Mr. T. Rutter (Willesden), who spoke as an engineman in active service and addressed himself  exclusively to the Associated Society's fallacies, seconded the motion. In his district, he said this society made little headway, although vigorous efforts were made to persuade young firemen to join. Why? Was it for the prospect of the superannuation? If so he was afraid that there was a danger about it not being realised. It was boasted that the Associated Society gave £100 protection benefit, while the A. S. R. S. only Gove £50, but they forgot to say that the former was only for those who acted as officers or delegates. The A. S. R. S. paid the £50 to the humblest member equally with the most prominent. Th his mind it was absurd for enginemen to regard themselves as superior to other grades, as a stroke of a pen could being them down below the level of a platelayer. (Cheers.) They should all work for each other. Another promise which was held out, he understood, was the eight hours day, which they said they would get for the men -- is Voice: "You've made a mistake, its 18" -- but it looks strange that, if this their intention, they entirely neglected to be officially represented before the Select Committee. The speaker then described a meeting which Mr. Sunter attended at Willesden, where he asked him what was meant by the statement that they could settle grievances without "outside interference." Mr Sunter failed to give any sat answer. For his part he had never known Mr. Harford to interfere with loco. matters unless requested to do so, when he invariably tendered them the best advice in his power. It was extremely curious that the A. S. R. S.was declared to be no good to enginemen because of its being composed of other grades, whereas a few years ago the objection from another quarter was that it was an "engineman's society." Then they were told that the Associated would be able to obtain 1s. per hour for drivers, but he thought that this required to be taken with a grain of salt. If this society was a Trade Union why was it not represented at the last Trade union Congress? Mr. Sunter had attempted to meet this by the ridiculous remark that there was nothing at the Newcastle congress of sufficient importance to justify sending a delegate. In conclusion, Mr. Rutter said they should all be prepared to shake hands and do their duty to each other and the companies. (Cheers.) 

Mr. H. Tait (general secretary Scotch Society) supported the resolution in a speech of some length. he assured the meeting of the sympathy of Scotchmen with their southern comrades. The two societies, which he trusted would soon be one, had one principal object -- the curtailment of hours. Though they had men in the service who declared from a mercenary point go view by work excessive hours, they were in a minority, and he contended that they should bow to the will of the majority. What improvements had been effected were the results of the aggressive policy of their unions, and he thought that it was no part their duty to instruct capitalists how to find the means to bring about fair conditions of labour. Directors at social meetings talked about the "brave fellows of the line," but in board rooms they too often ignored the most reasonable demands. (Cheers.) the Scotch strike demonstrated the utter uselessness of sectionalism. Compact organisation was equally needed whether they attempted to obtain a reduction of hours by Parliamentary action or voluntary effort. after confirming Mr. Harford's statements about the proposed federation between the different societies and expressing regret at the refusal of the Associated Society to give evidence before the Select Committee, the speaker brought his speech to an end by urging the railwaymen of the country to be firm, as the fear was not the power of the directorates, but the want of backbone in the employees. (Cheers.)

Mr. F. Maddeson (Railway Review) supported the motion, and appealed to the audience to realise that Trade Unionism was a great brotherhood -- a gospel of humanity -- which assisted the weakest to rise to the level of the strongest. in endorsing the policy of first reducing hours, he pointed out that from one end of the civilised world to the other the workers were struggling for more leisure for the overworked, and more work for those who were unemployed. but it should make them blush to think that while the down trodden peasant of the Continent was nobly striving to rid himself go the burden of a twelve hours day, some British enginemen had no more manhood than to pleaded for a fifteen hours' day in the committee room of the House of Commons.

Prior to putting the resolution to the meeting, the chairman invited questions or amendments, but none were forthcoming, which evoked some humorous remarks from some of the audience.

A vote of thanks to the chairman and speakers, to which Mr. T. Rutter responded, terminated a most successful meeting.



I have addressed meetings at Loughborough Junction, Brighton and Huntingdon; and have also visited Dorking, Leatherhead, Epsom, and Sutton, and attended at the concerts at Camden Town Branch. I expect to be at Willesden Junction on Sunday next at their branch meeting.

Railway accidents on the 


Norwood Fork Junction 17th December 1891
Involving Driver George J. Nye and his Fireman James E. Bedwell
St. Leonard's depot?

London Bridge 24th December 1891
Involving Driver William Armes
Depot unknown



The A. S. R. S. published copies of two notices which have been posted at the different locomotive centres on the London and Brighton, which will doubtless interest a much larger number than those they immediately affect. The one referring to the superannuation of a fireman who assisted the company during the strike will be appreciated at its proper value. There are however, one or two points which we should like to see cleared up. in the first place, is it not a breach of the understanding between the directors and there men that the dispute should not again referred to? This man's treachery to his fellows, in spite of such promise, is vulgarly paraded throughout the system. Then it would be interesting to know from what fund the grant will be paid. Except in a few special cases the benevolent fund has ceased to exist. At least, this was the impression which certain correspondence in the press some time ago left upon the minds of the public.



These two motions have been posted on the locomotive sheds of the London and Brighton:-

London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway


Driller Friend, Ayling, who has now become unable to continue work through old and infirmity has been granted 10s. per week in consideration of the assistance he rendered by working as a fireman during the strike in 1867, and for his long service.

R.J. Bellenton
Loco and Carriage Supt.
Brighton Dec. 8th, 1891

London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway


If any engine driver or firemen has not made his full time of 60 hours during the week, his foreman can employ him for the remainder of the time in the shed at any work the foreman may give him, unless he obtains special permission from his foreman to be absent, in which case he must arrange to be within call should his service be required.

R.J. Bellenton
Loco and Carriage Supt.
Brighton Works, Dec. 8th, 1891


Gladstone coming out of Patching tunnel

Make a free website with Yola