Home Secretary circularised coroners recommending them not to 

debar trade unions from representing railwaymen at inquests


In 1907, the timber loco shed at was replaced was rebuilt by a larger timber structure in 1907. 


11th March 1907

New Cross engine cleaner John James Hardy (aged 16) whilst following the usual practice Hardy was asked to push some empty coal wagons from the coaling stage in New Cross locomotive shed. He discovered that the wagons were coupled together and whilst trying to uncouple them they moved and his his hand was caught. The foreman engine cleaner H.F. Ellis, failed to take proper precautions to protect Hardy's safety.

17th APRIL 1907



JULY 1907

The Organising Secretary, H. Parfitt, reported on the unruly – but ultimately successful –

 opening of the Bricklayer’s Arms branch ...

“The Redhill meeting brought a six weeks’ campaign to a close and I got home for 
Whitsuntide, but returned to the South-Eastern line again on May 2nd, to that district of 
London known as Bricklayers’ Arms, where the mere mention of the name of the Associated 
was formerly considered a sufficient justification for a black look, or even a period in 

When the eventful night arrived it brought with it friends from Battersea, New Cross, Orpington, Slades Green and Paddington. Mr Bliss (Battersea) presided. The first sign of disorder came from a person at the back of the hall, who interrupted a speaker by trying to make a megaphone of his hands, between which he bawled unmelodious sounds, with disastrous results to his reputation –vocal or otherwise – for, like Mr Pape, if he hadn’t got a tear in his eye he certainly had “a catch in his voice”; the resultant sound, therefore, developed into something between the bleating of a sheep and the braying of an ass. A snapshot of him would have afforded endless amusement to his nearest relatives, but the sounds would have settled all the “postulants” at the Dogs’ Home, without recourse to the lethal chamber.

I then read a list of names for membership, which appeared to astonish the would-be obstructors. More names were added, and Bricklayers’ Arms Branch was declared open with 24 members.”


5th September 1907

Brighton Fireman Harry Saunders (aged 21), eight wagons were being brought to a stand in a Brighton locomotive yard siding, when Saunders in accordance with an old but unnecessary practice/ He place a sprag in the wheel of the leading wagon. The outer end of the sprag was forced down crushing his hand to the ballast. Ths mishap was due to the unnecessary practice of using a sprag when a handbrake were sufficient, despite the slight gradient. This was successfully demonstrated at the time of the enquiry. 



 St Leonards Loco Shed

SEPTEMBER 28th 1907


Thomas Smith, a foreman plate layer, employed on the Wandsworth section of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway, has died the death of a hero. Smith upon when an inquest was held on Monday, was engaged with his gang in removing clay from the line at Balham and replacing it with ballast. Suddenly look-out man new his whistle to warn twenty four men of the approach of an up local train. Unware of the approach of a train in the other direction, the men stepped between yer metals of the down local line, and simultaneously the two rushed upon the gangs. Smith could have saved himself by throwing himself flat between the metals and allowing the train to pass over him. Regardless of his own danger, he threw two or more men who stood tased and hesitating into the six foot way. He had just saved in this way the life of a man named Parrott, when he stumbled was drawn under the train, and literally cut in half. The humble hero leaves a widow and five children to mourn him. At the inquest a verdict of accidental death was returned.


 Push - Pull passing Balham Intermediate Signal Box

Rodney Burstow Collection 


The Pullman Limited approaching Preston Park about 1907 by which time the train had five Pullman cars. The first vehicle was a combined luggage and generator car to provide the electric lighting. Originally Pullman cars were painted dark green, reverting to the classic chocolate and cream in the late 1890s. Heading the train is a Marsh H1 class at the time brand new. 39 was later named "La France" in honour of the visit by the French President in 1913

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