A.S.L.E.& F.’s first uniform National Programme for

Enginemen was adopted

Labour relations between the railway management, Enginemen and Brighton works staff declined markedly in the period 1905 and 1910 leading to several strikes and sackings. This was partly due to increased union militancy and to the intransigency of the Locomotive Superintendent Douglas Earle Marsh. This situation improved under Marsh's successor.

 Railway accident on the 


Eastbourne 15th January 1905 

Involving Battersea Driver Robert Barber & Fireman *John E. Baigent 


* John E. Beigent was killed at Streatham Common collision on 23rd 

January 1915


Between 1905 and 1912 the LB&SCR suffered an increasingly serious motive power shortage due to the inability of Brighton loco works to keep pace with the volume of repairs and new construction required. By 1910 30% of the locomotive stock was unusable due to delays and inefficiencies at the works, leading to the sickness and retirement of the Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon Superintendent D.E. Marsh. The problem was solved by the establishment of Lancing Carriage Works and the reorganisation of Brighton Works by Marsh's successor L.B. Billinton.


With the introduction of steam and petrol motor-trains in 1905, to work on some of the local services, the introduction of these trains was to try to reduce running costs on these services. 

After some months of motor-trains operations, it became obvious to the Locomotive Committee that the working cost had still not been reduced sufficiently for the introduction of really competitive fares. The main source of the trouble was the manning of these trains, three men having to be employed. 

Discussions were therefore commenced with the intention of using only the driver and 
fireman, the former being given extra payment to double as a guard. After surprisingly short negotiations agreement was reached with the men for such manning of all local and branch motor-trains outside the London area providing the load was restricted to one trailer car and only passenger luggage was carried. The Board of Trade refused to accept even a trial period three months, and the break through to really economical working of lightly loaded railway services was lost for all time.

In March 1910, an enginemen's delegation pleaded with Superintendent D.E. Marsh, for an additional increase in wages for drivers of motor trains on behalf of the extra worked 
involved, was turned down without any offer being made.

On the 1st March 1905 the Sunny South Express begun running between Liverpool and the 

South Coast, worked by the L.&N.W.R. Enginemen as far as Willesden where their 

locomotive was replace by a L.B.&S.C.R. locomotive to work onward to the south coast.




11th MARCH 1905


Above & Below is the scene at Tunbridge Wells West turntable on the 11th March, 1905, 

when a C1 Class No.425 (left) fell into the turntable pit at the same time as a Stroudley 

Single Class No. 342 ‘St Lawrence’ (right) was being turned.


The C1 Class No.425 back on the rails after the derailment with members of railway staff of Tunbridge Wells


27th April 1905

Engine driver William Richardson (aged 48) whilst at London Bridge, left his footplate to release the brake blocks by hand. He stooped between the foorboard and platform to release them on one vehicle but before he could get clear. Fireman H.G. Maskell started the train and Richardson  was struck by the footboards and knocked down. Maskell had been told by Richardfson to start the train once a signal cleared and this happened before he had finished with the brake blocks. Richardson should not have given such an instruction breachin rules 134 and 139, or place himself into a position of danger.




Sir, - As you have not had any correspondence from this branch for sometime, I thought a little news would let our fellow members that we are still alive. We are not making the progress that I should like to see, but I must say we had a fairly well attended meeting on the 12th ulto which would have been better had it been such a rough day. We had Mr. Warwick, our Executive Council representative, and Mr. J. Bliss down from Battersea. our worthy chairman, Mr. J. Payne, took the chair, and after the contributions had been paid and minutes of previous meetings read and carried, Mr. Payne gave us an excellent address, which was very interesting. After this our friend Mr. J. Bliss gave us an address, which I was more than pleased to hear. His first subject was on the benefit which we received as an incapacitation grant, and he asked those present if they could bring forward any assurance company that would pay out £100 for fourpence a week. He next dealt with the National Programme, and explained it fully to the meeting. It was not only interesting, but gave us a better understanding, on different points that we did not know. He then touched on the question of a grant for failure of eyesight, which has been advocated in our branch, and he said it would be impossible under the present rules as an incapacitation grant. He asked if they thought that they could make 20s. pay for 30s. Mr. Cooper then addressed the meeting in reference to the business that was being done at General Office by the Executive Council. He dealt with several different subjects , referring particularly to the compensation that the Society had got for several of its members. He also touched on the question of eyesight, and said he should like to reduce the figures a bit in the incapacitation, so as to bring out a benefit for the failure of eyesight, as he thought it would induce a lot more to join our rank; and not only, it would keep some in that would drop out. Mr. Bliss and Mr. Cooper promised that they would arrange to pay us a visit in the summer, if they were able, so that we could have an open meeting, as we have several outsiders. A hearty vote of thanks was given to Bros. J. Bliss and W. Cooper, who returned thanks to the chairman and all members present, which brought a very pleasant afternoon to a close. If this catches the eye of any good speakers, our members would be pleased to hear them.

Yours fraternally, 



The Royal Train passes Horsham West Signal Box returning from Portsmouth during the 1905 celebrations of the Entente Cordials, which included a visit by the French Atlantic Fleet. Horsham saw a number of special trains during those nine days in August all headed by Billington B4 locomotives.


14th August 1905

Fireman John White (aged 29), whilst at Portslade, slipped and fell onto the ballast whilst replacing a headlamp. Fireman White had neglected to inform engine driver A. Tingley that he had left the footplate. Tingley was also remiss for moving the engine before checking that his fireman was back on the footplate.  




An opening meeting of enginemen, firemen, and cleaners was held on Sunday, October 22nd,  at "The Beehive," East Street, which was well attended. In the unavoidable absence of Mr. McKew, who had  promised to occupy the chair, Mr. Payne was unanimously elected to fill the position. After thanking the audience for electing him, he gave a brief address, describing the benefits and advantages of being a member of the Society. He then called on Mr. Clarke, Executive Council member for North London, who gave us a brilliant address, quoting a great number of cases where the Society had done excellent work, notably the Challis case, and referred to two or three deplorable railway disasters, showing how necessary it was for men to work collectively. He also referred to the large engines and heavy loads, which meant less labour and greater strain on the men's minds. He informed us that the average death rate of locomotive engine drivers was 44, which was a very serious state of things. In Mr. Clarke the Society undoubtedly has an excellent worker. This address created a deep impression on all.  We have several promises of new members as the result of the meeting. Mr. Worcester, in a few very appropriate words, thanked Mr. Clarke and the chairman, which brought a very successful meeting to a close.



22nd September 1905

Fireman W.J.L. Catley whilst at New Cross, he left the footplate whilst the engine was in motion to place in motion to place, an oil can in a tool box at the rear of the bunker, and when returning fell onto the ballast sustaining his injuries. Catley had discarded an instruction which prevents men going round their engines while in motion. He had no excuse for doing so because all appliances to use while the engine is in motion are in the tool box on the footplate. It is desirable to instruct that a notice referring to this rule be prominently displayed in the engine shed and the company should take action to ensure this happens.

27th September 1905

Fireman E. Sparks whilst in the Ford Junction, with engine motion, there was a necessity for Sparks to leave the footplate to open the pet cock at the front of the engine. Whilst kneeling on the framework to do this, his foot came in contact with the buffers on an adjacent siding. It is often to carry out this practice on engines fitted with feed pumps when they are running so the accident is attributed to a dangerous practice by the want of sufficient appliances. A recommendation to avoid leaving the footplate to open the pet cocks before the feed pumps ill act. Arrangements have now been made by the provision of a connection to the cab.


In 1905 the London District Railway was being electrified, and questions regarding motormen. Messrs. R. Bell (A.S.R.S. General Secretary) and A. Fox (A.S.L.E.&F. General Secretary), together, met the Board of Directors, and it was recorded that, 

Mr. Bell did not in any way support Mr. Fox, either in the Board-room or elsewhere, in his endeavour to retain two men in the motor cab. For this Mr. Bell must take the responsibility." 

Mr. Keir Hardie raised the matter in the House of Commons, and nd a protest was sent to the Board of Trade against one man being in the motor cab. It was carried also before the Trade Union Congress.

(Keir Hardie was a founder of the Labour Party and served as its first Parliamentary leader from 1906 - 1908)


Steam rail car entering Eastbourne Station


12th December 1905

New Cross (?) Fireman Arthur James Martin (aged 28) was on a stationary engine, waiting to move some carriages into sidings at Bricklayer's Arms Junction. Signalman Gollop, not wanting to delay another engine, he released an electric lock causing the two engines to collide, throwing Martin backwards. Gollop admitted he made a mistake in releasing the electric lock and that he was responsible for the accident. By Gollop releasing the electric lock was contrary to the company instructions. 

30th December 1905

Fireman J. Wilder slipped on loose coal and fell onto ballast whilst at Lewes, and it was recommended to fit a tender experimentally with steps at the end of a tender.

Make a free website with Yola