R.S.N.T. Decision No.2, declining claims for extended paid annual 

holidays, six hour day, abolition of nine hour rostering etc

Norwood Branch of A.S.L.E.& F opens in 1936

Railway accident on the 

Southern Railway 

Brighton Section

Morden 12th January 1936




I am pleased to report good attendance at our last meeting, and a very interesting subject was discussed. The members decided unanimously to adopt Page 16, Clause 1, Establishment, and have representatives from Seaford, Eastbourne and Ore, pending the further extention of electrification. so well so good.

On December 1st, along with others,invaded Ore and had a very pleasant three hours where the above was also agreed to, but the important item of the day was the opening of a branch there, and it gave pleasure to those who paid a visit. Ore to see all possible roll up to open this branch. I hope this is another strong link in our cable. Bro. J.V. Sweeney, previous to the opening addressed the meeting, and particular laid down the necessity of these extra branches, thereby being able to receive first-hand information from General Office. a vote of thanks to him and visitors concluded the business. 

Also good wishes to my scattered Brothers ex-Army, and others, for Year 1936.



(Bert)  A. E. Harrison

Seaford's first Branch Secretary 

Standing next to a 2 NOL

Bro Bert Harrison, motorman, Southern Railway, and his dog, which regularly takes his food to him on duty and takes home the basket.

The dog is almost as well known as Bert.

- - - - - - -  

Bert Harrison was one of the original motormen at the newly opened Seaford depot. 

On the 16th June, 1912, Bert travelled down from Battersea, to attend the opening of the Newhaven Branch of A.S.L.E.F., this branch was opened by Organiser W. Warwick. The delegation also included a large number of A.S.L.E.F. members from the Brighton branch, and A.E. Marshall from the Eastbourne branch.




We are still on the map, and our last meeting very important business discussed. Holiday question, the Electrical Engineer has taken from us the second week in August without the matter being settled through the L.D.C. No.5. 

The next was the dirty state of motor cabs on the Eastbourne, Ore and Seaford extension, and in particular the very dirty state of look-out windows, motorman's driving side, likewise the neglected state of the window cleaners, that is to say it is impossible to clear front of glass through same being either worn out or in other words perished. Whilst we do not admit the present ones are of any use for what they are there for, we have suggested a better kind should be supplied. In the meantime, we do think some attention should be given to our complaint, as this is very detrimental to the safe running of trains, especially under weather conditions of the last five months. 

Another very important question came up, re necessary accommodation for motormen and convenience at Seaford Depot, which we do hope our E.C. will do all in their power to obtain, as in our opinion this is urgently needed. I have to report a forward move in Seaford, that is we have had the first public meeting for local Council election, whilst we were not successful in gaining a seat with our one candidate we had a very good number vote Labour. Better luck next time is our motto.



Extracted and adapted from


February 16th 1936

Special meeting for Motormen

Officers present F. Wilmshurst Chairman, A. Harrison Secretary, 

Bros. A. Scott, A. Pearce,  G. Oram, W. Smith & E. Watson.

Minutes of previous meeting not read, re letter from W. Lewery Holiday Sussex Fortnight

Moved A.G. Scott and seconded G. Oram. "This depot support No. 5 L.D.C. in the steps they have taken Re Alteration of Holiday Roster (August) as statistics were taken last year and did not warrant the Holiday Period being broken in this area during the Sussex Fortnight". Carried Unanimously.

Re letter from Mr. Auliff.

Moved Bro. A. Pearce and seconded Bro. E. Watson. "That we at this Depot arrange any alteration of Holidays mutual between ourselves, letter be sent Bro. W. Lewery & Mr. Auliff ". Carried Unanimously.

Moved Bro. A. Pearce and seconded Bro, A.G. Scott. "That Secretary write General Office to ask them to take matter in hand with a view of writing the General Manager S.R. Re lobby and conveniences, for requirements at this Depot". Carried Unanimously

After correspondence read re Representation L.D.C. and Moved Bro. W. Smith, and seconded Bro. A. Pearce. "We fully support Secretary’s action in dealing with above". Carried Unanimously.

Moved A. Pearce and seconded Bro. A.G. Scott. "We appreciate the manner Secretary had dealt with the business on hand". Carried Unanimously.




MARCH 1936


Our monthly meeting was held on Sunday, January 26th, several members attending. I myself would like to see more attend and gel in the branch business, as these are times which we should all pull together. Nominations for our 1936 L.D.C. took place, and I am pleased to say our three members now serving were nominated, which is very encouraging after the last year or two, when unofficial members have been elected. 

We also had Bro. Harris of Brighton branch giving us a visit. He gave a very interesting report on last year’s A.A.D., on which he was elected for the first time in his career. Bro. Harris answered questions that were put to him in a most able manner. Our meeting closed with a vote of thanks to Bro. Harris, who we hope to hear again.

D. Sargent,

Assistant Branch Secretary.

Extracted and adapted from


12th April 1936 

Officers present F. Wilmshurst Chairman, A. Harrison Secretary, 

Bros. E. Tucknott & H. Stedman

Re HOLIDAY Question

Moved Bro. H. Stedman and seconded Bro. E. Tucknott

"We the members effected by the letter from Herbert Jones re Holidays, determine that this matter must be dealt with under the Rail Act 1921 & Appendix therein by L.D.C. 5. The secretary be instructed to forward this resolution to Executive Committee and Secretary of Sectional Council No.2 and ask for immediate action be taken owing to Hebert Jones determination of application for date being laid down for March 31st. We are very definitely for this being effectively dealt with. We are disgusted with the action taken up to now by our General Office".

Re Staff Room

Instructions from Station Master for all other grades to be kept out of same (to be noted) 17 in lobby at once).

Moved Bro. E. Tucknott and seconded Bro. H. Stedman

"A letter be sent to Gen. Office for them to still press for a lobby for our own requirements

Carried Unam.

Extracted and adapted from

Newhaven Branch Meeting

Sunday April 19th 1936

This Branch considered "Wage Negotiations" circular from all angles and all of the opinion that the Company's offer is inadequant and considers that from the loco men's point of view, the rates for night duty, Sunday duty & overtime are of prior importance to the 2 ½% cut and therefore instructs the A.A.D. to thoroughly consider Company's proposals before committing themselves. Proposed by Bro. W. Clarke & seconded by Bro. F. Elmer.



Above is a memo sent to Brighton engine driver Fred Horsman, informing him of his 


 Fred Horsman entered the footplate grades on the 24.06.1889, and through out his railway 

service he remained a member of the A.S.R.S. & later the N.U.R. 



In 1936 saw the opening of Streatham Hill E.M.U.T. Depot 
Streatham Hill A.S.L.E.& F. members were part of 
the Battersea Branch  


MAY 1936


On Thursday, February 27th, Bro. J.F. Brett presided over a large assembly of railmen and their wives at the Carlton Hotel. Bro. "Dick" Coomber, N.U.R., in the vice-chair. The attraction being the presentation to one of the old pioneers of the Trade Union world in the person of retired Driver Jesse Finch, A.S.L.E. & F. Mr W. Powell, locomotive superintendent, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells West, with a well-chosen and witty speech, made the presentation, which took the form of a handsome striking clock and an umbrella to Mrs. French. Bro. French, in reply, pointed out to the young fraternity the need for a "clean card," and regular attendance at branch meetings. Bro. F.G. Robinson, indefatigable branch secretary, assisted by Bros. J. Brooker, Bert Burrill and Harry Ovenden, provided an excellent and talented programme. Votes of thanks to Presentation Committee, hosts, and artists, concluding with Auld Lang Syne, brought an enjoyable evening to close all too soon.



Extracted and adapted from 



Sunday 10th May 1936

A.S.L.E.&F. Sectional Council, Secretary, Bro. F. Jeans, and 

Herbert Jones Southern Railway

Extracted and adapted from the Seaford Branch of A.S.L.E.F. minute book.

A Special Joint Meeting of Motormen from the Sussex Coastal depots, of Brighton, West Worthing, Seaford, Eastbourne & Ore. The meeting was held on Sunday 10th May, 1936. The elected Chairman for the meeting, gave a lengthy explanation of the current situation, and letters were read out from A.S.L.E.& F. General Office, the Sectional Council,Secretary, Bro. F. Jeans, and Herbert Jones from Southern Railway. 

After the report from the Chairman and the correspondence had been read out, a lengthy 

discussion took place which resulting a motion being put to the meeting. The motion was 

moved and seconded from Seaford Branch, moved Motorman, Bro. A. Pearce and 

seconded by Bro. H. Stedman which read as follows:-

"We the Motormen of Eastbourne, Seaford, Ore, Brighton and West Worthing, supported by the London District, and call upon the Executive Committee to act immediately, and take up with Southern Railway Company our requirement, having failed to get satisfaction through correspondence to Sectional Council Secretary. To press our claim for Representation and the attitude taken by Herbert Jones against the agreed machinery, further the non-attention to genuine report.” 

"We call upon General Office to allow a Central meeting of Motormen to deal with questions, effecting all Motormen on Southern Railway's Railway.” 

"Having failed to get permission to our previous resolution to sanction a meeting as per letter of 24th February G95/53, we demand in the interest of Motormen and Society a special meeting for Southern Railway Motormen be held at Brighton. This is in accordance with all Depots failing permission for same it to be called for Sunday 31st May at 6.45 p.m. and expenses be covered by collection at meeting”. 

Carried Unanimously.

Following this motion another was moved by Seaford Motorman Bro. A. Pearce, and seconded by Brighton Branch Chairman, Motorman Bro. W. Lewery (Brighton No.2 Branch). 

"Secretary send letter to reach Organising Secretary Bro. J. V. Sweeney by Friday mornings post (re cancelling meeting)."

The meeting was then finally closed with a hearty vote of thanks to visitors who attended this meeting, this was moved by Seaford Branch Chairman, Motorman Bro. F. Wilmshurst. 

Organising Secretary Bro. J. V. Sweeney, arranged a meeting to be held at at the Brighton Labour Club, this meeting was to be held on Sunday 21st June, and starting at 2.30 p.m. At this meeting, Bro. J. V. Sweeney gave a up to date report to the Motormen, after which a number of  various discussions and questions were raised, and after three hours, the meeting was finally adjourned. Bro. J. V. Sweeney was to reconvene  a further meeting. This meeting was arranged for Sunday 28th June, which saw two meetings being held, one being a morning meeting, starting at 10.30 a.m. which was followed by an evening meeting, starting at 6.30 p.m. This was to enable as many Motormen as possible to attend from both the early and late shifts.

Organising Secretary Bro. J. V. Sweeney, gave a further detailed report of the current situation and after lengthy discussion, the Seaford Branch Secretary, Motorman A. E. Harrison (ex Battersea), moved a resolution, that spelt out the feelings of the vast majority of Motormen, who were in attendance at both of these meetings, the motion reads as follows.

"That this main meeting of Motormen, view with grave dissatisfaction the delay with which the complaints of Motormen are dealt with, and are of the opinion that in its present operation the machinery is inadequate to deal with such complaints. We express the opinion that the number of appointed representatives of Motormen is inadequant and that immediate steps should be taken by the Society to increase the number of L.D.C. from 5 to 6."

"Further we suggest that consideration be given to the setting up of a separate Sectional Council for Motormen for the purpose of speeding up the settlement of matters in dispute by representations competent in technical knowledge of varying subjects."

"Further in view of our increased numbers, we express the opinion that we should be given increased representation on the E.C."

"Further with a view to assisting the E.C. and the Sectional Council to promote these objects a Motorman’s Vigilance Committee be appointed for the purpose of collecting necessary facts and submitting them to the proper authority."

"We ask the E.C. to obtain this or suggest some better method whereby the business can be carried out more quickly and satisfactory."

The resolution was carried with only one Motorman voting against the resolution. A Special Meeting was called for 13 September. (No info available yet!!).

Eventually a position on the Executive Committee was created to represent the views and issues of the Motorman grade.

Extracted and adapted from 


Special Meetings Held at 

Brighton  Labour Club on 

Sunday 28th June 1936

10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.

Bro. J. V. Sweeney in attendance.

Extracted and adapted from the Seaford Branch of A.S.L.E.F. minute book.

When Resolution was carried (there was one against) moved by Bro. A. E. Harrison 

"That this main meeting of Motormen, view with grave dissatisfaction the delay with which the complaints of Motormen are dealt with, and are of the opinion that in its present operation the machinery is inadequate to deal with such complaints. We express the opinion that the number of appointed representatives of Motormen is inadequant and that immediate steps should be taken by the Society to increase the number of L.D.C. from 5 to 6".

"Further we suggest that consideration be given to the setting up of a separate Sectional Council for Motormen for the purpose of speeding up the settlement of matters in dispute by representations competent in technical knowledge of varying subjects".

"Further in view of our increased numbers we express the opinion that we should be given increased representation on the E.C."

"Further with a view to assisting the E.C. and the Sectional Council to promote these objects a Motorman’s vigilance Committee be appointed for the purpose of collecting necessary facts and submitting them to the proper authority".

"We ask the E.C. to obtain this or suggest some better method whereby the business can be carried out more quickly and satisfactory".

Railway accident on the 

Southern Railway 

Brighton Section

Victoria 17th July 1936

Jack Gayler

Brighton Engineman and 

A.S.L.E.&F. Section Council Representative





Off all business conducted in our branch meetings when men of various thought are gathered together, the most impressive is when the chairman asks that all will stand in silence as a token of respect for one who has departed and sympathy for bereaved ones left behind. Such was the occasion at our meeting of 5th July. Grief was expressed at the passing away of Bro. Jack Gayler, who was laid to rest 4th July, at the Brighton and Preston Cemetery. Six of the members acted as bearers, a very large gathering of his fellow fraternity and representatives of various Labour associations paid a last repest. Bro. J.W. Godfrey, E.C. member, and Bro. J.V. Sweeney, Organising Secretary, were also present. Bro. Gayler, during his nine years at Brighton. had done a great deal to put Brighton branch on the active list of branches of the Associated, during this period he had attended the A.A.D. twice, been member of L.D.C. most of this time, was serving his second term as Sectional Council member, and was actively engaged in the local Labour affairs, and was chairman of the Moulscombe Labour Party. His attendance and guidance will be greatly missed in and out of the branch five years branch chairman. Again it was indicated by our official what sacrifice was entailed by the recipient, who suitably responded, encouraging others we trust to cone and do likewise. dare we hope that the foregoing is an augury of a revival of the old pioneering spirit; the future depends upon our actions.


See Below for Jack Gayler’s Funeral

Extracted and adapted from 


Special Meeting held 3rd December 1936

Extracted and adapted from the Seaford Branch of A.S.L.E.F. minute book.

Pro. W. Lewery (B'ton No.2), Sec. A.J. Scott, Bro J. Goodyear (Ebne?) be Chairman.

The Secretary then explained reason for calling meeting.

Bro. J. V. Sweeney then addressed the meeting in particular on Representation, E.C., Sectional Councils and the possibility of the E.C. sanctioning a meeting of the 5 L.D.C’s on Southern Railway.

Moved Bro. H. Stedman, Sec A.G. Scott.

No. 1 "That this meeting of the members of Seaford Branch call the attention of the E.C. to the continued developments and extension of Electric Train working on the Southern Railway. In order that our Motormen members may have complete confidence in the Society and adequately safeguard then interests we make application for E.C. to sanction a conference of the five elected L.D.C.’s on the Southern Railway for the purpose of confiding their respective minutes and agreeing on a common policy for the future." Carried Unam.

Moved E.G. Tucknott, Sec. A.E. Harrison.

No. 2 "That this meeting of members of Seaford Branch view with apprehension the speedy development of electrification on British Railways and particularly not that work is already in hand for electrification between Liverpool & Sheffield on the L.N.E.R.

We express the opinion that the E.C. should immediately review the constitution of representation and suggest that more than one position should be allotted to Motormen on the Executive Committee.

Further that the Society inaugurate a movement for a revision of the scheme of Sectional Councils with the view of a separate Council for Motormen on those Railways where electrification is a declared policy.

Further, that the question referred to in this resolution be treated as items of emergency from the E.C. be submitted to the 1937 A.A.D". Carried Unam. 

A vote of thanks to Bros. J.V. Sweeney, Chairman and visitors.

Funeral of Mr. John (Jack) Mason Galyer

extract and adapted from local newspaper reports

The funeral of Mr. John Mason Galyer, of 41 Southall Avenue, Moulscombe, Brighton, took place at St. Andrew’s church, Moulscombe, on Saturday 5th July, 1936. The funeral service at the church was conducted by the Rev.H. Bransby Jones.
Mr. Galyer who was fifty-one, was well known in Brighton and Moulscombe, not only in his employment as an engine driver on the Southern Railway but also as the employees’ representative of the Sectional Council. He was also Chairman of the Moulscombe Labour Party and contested the Moulscombe Ward in 1934. Mr. Galyer first began his municipal experiences in Coulsdon Surrey, and he came to Brighton in 1928.
The interment was at the Brighton Borough Cemetery, the entrance of which was lined on either side by about 50 railwaymen. The coffin was borne to the grave by two motormen, two engine drivers and two firemen.

In an appreciation, “G.W.T.G.” writes:

"John Mason Galyer was a man of sterling worth and character. As chairman of the local Labour Party at Moulscombe for many years, his sturdy frame and deep sounding voice brought to every meeting he conducted a sense of confidence and responsibility.”

Not only in the political field but also in the industrial field will he be missed. He was an active member of the Brighton branch of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen. As one time chairman of the Local Department Committee for Brighton - a committee responsible for adjusting local matters a between employers and employed - his work met with appreciation on both sides. Guided by a practical business instinct he gave assurance of a fair and accurate interpretation of the highest ideals of Trade Unionism and of modern Labour negotiations machinery.

As an advocate in railway discipline case by his services were greatly appreciated by his colleagues, and an unjust decision was fought with mighty force of his personality, pleading extenuating circumstances or giving an interpretation of rules which even his superiors were obliged to acknowledge.

His appointment as the locomotiqemen’s representative on the Sectional Council, the highest appointment in railway Trade Union negotiating circles, in the year 1931, and his re-appointment to that position by an overwhelming majority in 1934, were convincing proof of his qualities.

On two occasions he was invited to contest municipal elections at Coulsdon, Surrey, where he resided prior to coming to Brighton in 1928, and at Moulscombe in 1934. His defeat by the narrow margin of third six votes was a keen disappointment to his supporters, who foresaw a brilliant future for him in the realms of municipal administration.
His sudden death must prove a serious loss to the Labour movement, but those who knew can say; 

“We knew a man who gave of his best to the cause in which he profoundly believed and to the people whom he belonged, without fear, and without reward other than the knowledge of duty well done.”
The Chief mourners were Mrs. Galyer (mother), Mrs Galyer (widow), Mr. & Mrs. Ernest Galyer, Mr. & Mrs. Reginald Galyer (sons & daughter-in-laws), Miss Grace Galyer, Miss Nancy Galyer (daughters), Mr. A. Galyer (brother), Mr. Eric Sergeant and Mr. Tom Field.
Among the large representative gathering at the church and cemetery were: Mrs. Bransby Jones, Mrs. Burfield, Mrs Holdaway, Mrs. Turner, Miss Heats and Mrs. Potters (members and representatives of Moulscombe Mothers’ Union), Mrs. O’Brien (Vice Chairman, Women’s Section, Moulscombe Labour Party), Councillor H.J. Robbins (Vice Chairman, 
Moulscombe Labour Party) and Mrs Robbins, Mr. W. Whiting (Hon. Secretary, Moulscombe Labour Party) and Mrs Whiting, 
Mr. G. Garrett (former Secretary of the Moulscombe Labour Party), Councillor T. Hussey (Secretary Moulscombe Labour Party Executive), Mr. Fletcher (TreasurerMoulscombe Labour Party) and Mrs Fletcher, Mr. Frank Hancock (Lewes Labour Party)
Mr. J.V. Sweeney (Organising Secretary of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers Firemen and Cleaners), Mr. W.J. Godfrey (member of the National Executive Council and representing Brighton No.2 Branch Southern Railway), H. Harris (Chairman and representative of Brighton No.1 Branch), Mr. J.S. Downs (representing the Portsmouth Branch), 
Mr. J.C. Urie (representing the local running department, Southern Railway), Mr. Morris representing passenger guards at Brighton) and Mrs. Morris.
Also present were: Mrs. Bunker, Mr. W. O’Brien, Mrs. Coomber, Mrs Cumming, Mrs. Day, Mr. Endersley, Mrs. Field, Mrs. Heritage, Mr. & Mrs. Imms, Mrs. Kateley, Councillor F. Larkin, Mrs. Langridge, Mrs. C. G. Manton, (representing Councillor C.G. Manton), Mrs. A. Skinner, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Standing, Mrs. Tullett, sen., Mrs. Witney, Mrs. White and Mrs. Wells. Councillor H.F. Parker, J.P., of Portslade, and Mr. J. Tanner (General Secretary Lewes Division Labour Party), were unable to attend.

The funeral arrangements were carried out by the funeral furnishment department of the Brighton Co-operative Society, under the personal supervision of Mr. A. Clarke.

Information was supplied by Graeme Poulton (Grandson)

Graeme Poulton Collection

Jack Galyer is pictured standing in the middle row, forth from the left.

Photo taken at the Dawlish Railway Convalescence Home some time in the 1930s


John “Jack” Gayler this started as an examination of the L.B.S.&C.R. records held by the 
National Archives, scanned and made available by Ancestry for any records concerning 
John (Jack) GALYER or GAYLER. It soon became apparent that historically the spelling 
GALYER was prevalent and I have used this through out. It also became apparent when using other record sources that John’s father was also a footplateman. Specifically John’s Baptism record, the 1901 census and his his marriage record all contain references to his father’s occupation on the railway, Railway Fireman and Engine Driver. His father is a bit of a conundrum, being named as Henry Robert Galyer at John’s Baptism, just Robert Galyer at 
John’s marriage, and Robert Henry at his daughter Floence;s wedding in 1920 Some 
confusion exists in the LB&SCR records as well with three entries for new starters in 1877 
and 1879, but apparently only one consistent name after that. The records do not show staff 
leaving service or transferring to other departments, only new entrants and transfers within 
the Locomotive department. 

There is gap in Henry Robert’s L.B. & S.C.R. records after he achieved a pay rate of 7/6 in 
May 1905 until his apparent re-employment as an Engine Preparer in 1920 at around the age 
of 64. Was he on the top rate all that time and didn’t move so didn’t appear in the records? He does not appear in the pages of 18/09/1919 where the pay adjustments for all Locomotive Department staff after the strikes of 1919 (8 hour day etc.) were entered. In the 1911 census he still declared himself as a. Engine Driver. At the marriage of his daughter Lily, still in Epsom he declares as a Railway Engineer and in April 1920 an engine driver at the marriage of his daughter Florence. He does not appear in the pages of 18/09/1919 where the pay adjustments for all Locomotive Department staff after the strikes of 1919 (8 hour day etc.) were entered. See also 
http://www.epsomandewellhistoryexplorer.org.uk/WarMemorialsSurnamesG.html for War 
Memorial details of Fred Mason Galyer, John’s brother who died in the Great War and was 
another who used an alternative name (James). Stoats Nest .
According to http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/c/coulsdon_north/index.shtml, the shed at 
Stoats Nest opened in 1900 and closed in June 1929 after 3rd rail electrification. The station 
was renamed Coulsdon and Smitham Downs in 1911 after an accident had occurred in 1910. 
Entries in the LB&SCR records after this are Coulsdon. Research by Neal Cowdrey.


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