E. J. Bedford Collection 

Crowborough was based at Newhaven when this photo was taken at Lewes in c1892


extracted from RTCS book on locomotives of the LBSCR


On the evening of 23rd January, 1892, engine No.304 “Nice” whilst working a short goods 
train from Lewes to Brighton. Next to the guard’s van was six large wheeled salt wagon on 
which the centre axle suddenly  fractured, but instead of derailing the wagon on which the 
centre axle suddenly fractured, but instead of derailing the wagon the broken parts 
miraculously cleared themselves and the train ran on apparently unharmed. 

However the driver suddenly notice frantic lamp signals from the guard, so he stopped his 
engine and awaited the guard who reported the van was damaged and had no brakes. 
Inspection of the train failed to reveal the cause until on starting away slowly the trouble 
came to light, for salt began to pour out of the punctured wagon bottom. In daylight a careful search was made of the track and surrounding fields, and in due course part of the axle and one wheel was found 240 yards from the point of the breakage, but its companion was never discovered.  



extract from branch report

The normal weekly meeting was on Saturday, January 23rd. Letters from various branches on the Brighton line were read re rating of all employees at six days per week on the lines of the National Programme. 

The most interesting part of the evening was the enrolment of six new members, under Scale A (L.B.&S.C. firemen). These were all proposed by one young fireman, who had been lately heckled by Mr. S----------, secretary of the New Cross Branch of the A.S.L.E.&F., and a late prominent member of this branch. The chairman presented him, on behalf of the branch, with a silver medallion, with the hope that he would continue to use his utmost endeavours to strengthen the branch On responding, he thanked the brother for their kind wishes, and said it gave him great pleasure to being six new members that night, and he hoped to bring more shortly. The secretary of the A.S.L.E.&F. had heckled him, but he could assure him he had chosen the wrong man, for he intended going straight for him and his members, and they see who held the trump card.



extract from branch report

The ordinary meeting was held on Sunday last. It was proposed that a committee of three members be elected to buy a timepiece and get the tickets printed and sell to fellow workman for the benefit of Bro. J. Edwards, a driver at this station and a member of the A.S.R.S.; all profits to go to the said brother. 

A resolution received from New Cross Branch was brought before the meeting, the resolution being that all railway employees be rated at six days per weeks, Sunday duty to be paid for on the lines of National Programme. After a lengthy discussion it was proposed and carried that this branch will not entertain the resolution, although at the same time they strongly condemn the seven days per week system, but they are of the opinion that no good will be done until the National Programme can be carried in its entirety.

The balance sheet was then brought before the lodge, and, after a short discussion, was passed as very satisfactory, showing an increase of thirty three members. The financial statement also showed a good increase. 

An expression of sympathy was sent to Bro. H. Farmer, a fireman and member, who had the misfortune to meet with a sad accident at Groombridge, L.B.&S.C.R., while working the 6.30 a.m. passenger train, Tunbridge Wells to London, by falling off the engine, one of the wheels running over and cutting one of his feet off. 

Railway accidents on the 


Hastings 22nd February 1892
Involving Driver Illmann and his Fireman Godden
Depot unknown

The immediate cause of this collision was want of care on the part of Illmann, an experienced driver in the Brighton Company's service when approaching Hastings station; he was perfectly well acquainted with the lines between St Leonards (Warrior Square) and Hastings stations, and with the nature of the signal and shunting arrangements at Hastings station. He was driving a large tender engine running chimney in front, with the Westinghouse brake applying to the four coupled wheels of the engine, to the tender wheels, and to four wheels of each of the seven vehicles of which the train was composed, the brake having acted well at all the previous tops up to and including St Leonards Warrior Square. Illmann states that he shut of steam about 30 yards after entering the tunnel, but failing to see the down distant signal in the tunnel owing to steam and fog, though he looked for it himself, he did not realise where he was until he came to the Hasting end of the tunnel, when the speed did not, he thinks, exceed 10 miles an hour. On finding out where he was, and meeting the South Eastern company's engine coming along the down line towards the tunnel, he was much alarmed, and at once applied the Westinghouse brake, gave the brake whistle, reversed his engine (without giving it steam), thus reducing the speed to four miles an hour at the over bridge (70 yards from the point of collision) and to three miles an hour on collision. Illman says the rail were greasy, and that the engine wheels skidded when he applied his brake.

It is hard to unstained how Illman can have so completely mistaken his position, as he must have done upon this occasion, for he must evidently have been running at a far higher rate of speed than the 10 miles an hour he acknowledged on emerging from the tunnel, or have been keeping a very had look out when did so, otherwise in the distance of 200 yards between the tunnel mouth, and the point of collision, of which 200 yards 150 yards were on rising gradients of 1 in 264 and 1 in 248, the train could have been stopped dead, with the ample brake power Illmann had at his disposal, long before it  reached the South Eastern Company's engine when the speed was still considerable.

Illmann is an experienced driver of 30 years' service as such. He had commenced his day's work of about 13 hour (during five of which he is not working trains, but has only to attend to his engine) about 1 3/4 hours before the collision.

Godden, Illman's fireman, says that he applied the tender hand brake when Illmann shut off steam about half way through the tunnel, that he failed to see the distant signal in the tunnel owing to steam and smoke, and got to the Hastings end of the tunnel sooner than he expected; that the Westinghouse brake was applied when the home signals were seen to be at danger (i.e. 125 yards from the point of collision) when the speed was about as fact as he could run, that it was reduced to about four miles an hour on passing the home signal post (75 yards further on), and that the train  was almost stopped when the collision occurred.

Godden is an experienced fireman 11 3/4 years' service, his hours having been the same as Illman's on the 22nd ultime. He must share, although in a Lesser degree, the blame attaching to his driver.




The Sunday evening last an open meeting was held under the suspicious of the Eastbourne Branch, the meeting being presided over by the branch chairman. Mr. Garrity addressed the meeting on a most able manner, giving the history of Trade Unionism from its childhood up to the present, and likewise the past and present of the A.S.R.S., which gave encouragement for the future, and fully explained  with all the benefits of the society, and what it could do if all would only grasp the hand of fellowship held out to them. He also dealt most ably with the National Programme and benefit would be to all. After speaking for an hour and forty minutes, he resumed his seat amid applause. A vote of thanks to Mr. Garrity for his most able and instructive address was passed, and it is hoped that the good seed sown will coon be reaped. This brought a most pleasant evening to a close. 


4TH MARCH 1892


The ordinary meeting was held on Friday, Feb. 26th, with a fair attendance. On the chairman's all for new members, one responded (a fireman, in Scale A), who was given a hearty welcome. We hope that his brother firemen will do likewise, for there is great need for combination in this grade. 


extracted from the branch report

The ordinary meeting was held on Sunday last, with a very good attendance. Two more new members were added to our list, and one transferred to this branch from Newhaven. A resolution was passed to the effect that the secretary write to the officials with respect to more lamps being placed in the yards and station for the convenience of the night staff, the yard being very badly lighted considering the night work at this station. The secretary was also again instructed to again write to the officials with respect to the dangerous condition of the incline coal stage, and also the continued long hours of duty worked by the gasmen.

A vote of thanks was given to all members who participated in the draw for the benefit of Bro. Edwards, the profits of which, after expenses of clock and tickets, were £7 3s. The clock was won by Mr. Spray, St. Leonards. There was also a discussion regarding a supper for the members, and a tea for their wives, which we hope to bring to a success shortly. A vote of thanks tp the chairman concluded a very pleasant evening.


25TH MARCH 1892


"There was not a single member of the Associated Society on the South Eastern." So said Mr. A.T. Welfare last Sunday night at Willesden Junction, and probably Mr. Sunter does not need to be told that he is no mean authority on the subject. How does this sweeping assertion tally with the announced superiority of those witnesses before the Select Committee who gave the members to understand that the Associated Society, and not the A.S.R.S., was entitled to represent enginemen? We have repeatedly knocked the bottom out of the false, but here we have a society composed exclusively of one grade, and yet on one of the principal lines they are without a member. This looks like being representative of enginemen with vengeance. If Mr. Sunter thinks he can controvert Mr. Welfare's statement, over columns are his disposal.


By the way, "Young Driver." who in the journal for this month tries to make the best of New Cross's capture of six young firemen, will doubtless be interested in the above information, and it is just possible that he will think that the South Eastern is the place to do the seed sowing of which he speaks. The trouble is that his society has mistaken tares for wheat sectionalism for amalgamation.  


25TH APRIL 1892

extracted from branch report

The usually monthly meeting was held on Sunday night last, with a moderate attendance. some regrets were expressed that the committee had not arranged a tea party and concert for Good Friday, and it was hoped that some steps would be taken earlier another year. 

Two other claims from firemen who had been fined were paid from the Benevolent fund.

The next case was one regretted by the whole of the members, viz., the removal of one of our members from the footplate who was unable to pass the one eyed view test recently instituted on this system, after serving the company upwards go 20 years, 13 of which he has been driving, with a clean sheet. he is now ordered the dirty disagreeable job of washing out engines at a reduction of 18s. per week, although his eyes are the same now as when engaged by the company, upwards of 20 years ago. He has accepted the position until advice is obtained, and an appeal made to the directors. His superintendent has also been refused. 

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