Twelve days’ annual leave with pay granted to railway conciliation 

grades of London Passenger Transport Board.

R.S.N.T. Decision No.3 restoring standard wages and conditions of 


Membership 53,857 

Extracted and adapted from


January 10th 1937

Explanation given by Secretary re Head Office letters and the necessity of a resolution, moved Bro. A.G. Scott and seconded by Bro. H. Stedman. 

"Having discussed Railway Staff Tribunal findings No.2. We are of the opinion that the re Assembled Delegates should press for restitution of all cuts and 12 days holiday with pay each year. 
Carried Unam.

Seaford Branch Meeting

 held on  March 1st 1937

This amendment to Battersea resolution be sent to General Office for A.D.D. May 1937. Add to and that provision be made for increased representation on E.C. Further that consideration be  given to the setting up of a District Council for Motormen only.

 Lancing Carriage Works Locomotive

February 1937

Left Motive Power Inspector S. Bass (in trilby)

West Worthing Motorman

James Searle

Worthing Railway Motorman Retires After 45 Years Service

From the Worthing Gazette of Wednesday, 3rd of March 1937.

The newspaper says that Mr. James Searle of Worthing completed his last turn of duty on 

Sunday evening (28th February) 

The newspaper say hat Mr. James Searle of Worthing completed his last turn of duty on S

unday evening (28th February) taking the last train back from Brighton to West Worthing 

carriage sheds.

He had begun his railway career as a cleaner at New Cross L.B. & S.C.R. sheds in 1891 and 

subsequently became a fireman then driver. He transferred to Dorking in 1905, still on the 

steam, until electrification of the suburban lines to Dorking when he was transferred to 

electric trains as a motorman. He transferred to West Worthing in 1933 when the 

electrification was extended to Brighton and West Worthing.


FEBRUARY 1937 (2310 & 2311)


When we held our first branch meeting of the year on January 31, we had a good number of our members present. We also had had the great pleasure of presenting one of our retired members with a Westminster chiming clock. Our retiring member was Bro. S. App, and presentation was made by one of our oldest members, Bro. E. Croucher, who had known Bro. Apps for nearly all his railway career. Our Society Committee had worked hard for this presentation and were going to arrange a concert but our retired. Bro’s wife is not in the best of health, so he found it impossible to attend a concert. All our members hope she will soon be restored to better health to enjoy the retirement Bro. Apps has well earned.

Then we had a very interesting debate on the 12 hours’ rest clause, which is hitting some of our members very hard as, being a small depot, some of our members are having junior men performing higher grade work, while they are performing lower grade work. However, our L.D.C. are now taking the matter in hand, so we hope they will soon put the matter in its right order.

Then we had nominations for this year’s L.D.C., and our three members were again nominated for the second year in succession.

Our Social Committee are now starting to work for a testimonial for our late branch secretary, Bro. R. Niner, who has been in office for 25 years.

Any of our members who have gone to other depots for promotion or otherwise are cordially invited to send donations to me and I 


Researched by Neal Cowdrey

Motorman James Searle does not appear in the Brighton No2 Branch Contributions Book. It 

is thought that James Searle was a member of the N.U.R or a non Trade unionist. it is also 

thought that West Worthing depot was slightly larger than what is recorded in the 

Contribution Book.

Railway accident on the 

Southern Railway 

Brighton Section


Battersea Park 2nd April 1937 

Involving Motormen C.R. Horsfield, J.F. Spiers & A. Anthony 

depots unknown 


Extracted and adapted from

Newhaven Branch Meeting

Sunday March 21st 1937

Items were discussed which were quoted in previous minutes resulting in Bro. Clarke reporting he had made no head way with obtaining agreement to work the 12 hours rest clause, stating he had heard much opposition outside Branch Meeting.

Bro. Clarke also stated, that Mr. Clack, at Brighton had intimated that no gain could accrue to Newhaven by the institution of 12 hours rest threat. Special work now worked here might be covered by other depots and the making of a pair of men to cover special work would incur the possibility of creating as vacancy.

On suggestion of Bro. Clarke it was proposed by Bro.W. Goldson & seconded by Bro. C. Wilson, depot to canvass for vote for or against 12 hours rest. Carried.

Proposed by Bro. Eacott seconded by Bro. Goldson. 

"That previous resolutions regarding 12 hours rest be held in abeyance until after a vote had been taken in depot. This vote to be scrutinised by Branch Chairman.


Bro. Clarke reported no result so far with application that special work be worked by men booked on, if under 2 hour an the provision of a shed labourer & cleaners deferred for the time being. Bro. Cossburns application for driving turn credit was being attended to. Spare driver were to learn road when necessary.

Newhaven Branch Meeting Sunday April. 18th 1937

12 hours rest clause. Mr. Urie said he would work rostered men strictly to 12 hours but men wishing to change turns under 12 hours could make own arrangements.

Bro. Clarke said he had canvased most of the men at this report re 12 hrs rest and he said so far the majority was against it. Bro. Goldson proposed & Bro. Clarke seconded 

That this depot work as it has done in the past for the time being."

Extracted and adapted from

Newhaven Branch Meeting

Sun April. 18th 1937

Fireman Walters requests to return to this depot owing to wife's ill health. Much discussion arose over this case and Secretary was advised to write to Mr. Jeans.

Bro. C. Wilson asked whether Walters transfer to this depot on a vacancy list on compassionate grounds could be contested? He was told it could be contested, and the Company doesn't like acceding to these requests. 

Newhaven Branch Meeting  Sunday May 23rd 1937

Secretary next read a letter from Bro. F. Jeans, Sectional Council Secretary, asking if there were any conditions under which Bro. Walter could re transfer to Newhaven i.e. even if he took his proper seniority behind the senior cleaner at Newhaven. Proposed by Bro. W. Clarke and seconded by Bro. W. Terrill. 

"That under no circumstances will this Branch contention the re transfer to Newhaven of Bro. J.O Walter, so this letter is not substantiated by any reliable medical evidence (that is by Doctor’s letter re certificate) and furthermore information that has come to the ears of various members of this Branch would appear to be in absolute contravention to the reasons stated in this letter." 


Secretary was instruct to reply to Bro. Jeans in this strain. Bro. Wilde gave one or two notes on the Southern Council meeting which he attended last week, but no discussion took place thereon. 






1937? (2315)


Page 551

the beginning needs to added

Discussions took place with L.D.C. on local agreements meetings, and it is a pity that there are not more members present to help our L.D.C. to improve the local conditions.

We had a very successful concert and presentation at our branch headquarters on July 15. The presentation was to Bro. S. Welfare, who retired on July 14 after over fifty years of railway work, of which over forty-seven years were spent in the locomotive department. Bro. Welfare had done over thirty years of main line driving and we all hope he will have good health and happiness during his well merited retirement. Bro. J. Blake, in making the presentation of a silver watch and Albert, suitably inscribed, and a handbag for Mrs. Welfare, paid tribute to Bro. Welfare for his Trade Union associations during his career - all of which has been spent at Hastings.

Bro. Welfare replied, thanking al his fellow Trade Unionist for what they had done for him in the past.

D. Sargent

Branch Secretary. 

The Littlehampton Loco shed was closed in 1937, by the Southern 

Railway as a result of electrification and the remodelling of 

Littlehampton station and a Motorman’s depot was established in its 




On this particular evening T.W.W. Fireman, George Hollands, was cleaning the fire on a Marsh tank locomotive, and on the engine next to us on the coal stage was a bogie tank and, its work was nearly competed and was getting set to be stable in the loco shed. George looked over the side and heard the driver call out to the cleaner who was helping him, “Move her up a bit, Cocker.”This was so he could oil her up for his opposite site number for the next morning. The next thing we saw when we looked up was the bogie tank moving away towards the shed roaring like a lion and bucketing water in all directions. The cleaner jumped clear, head over heels in the process, and we all watched in and fascination as the engine disappeared out of sight into the shed! Seconds later came a loud rumbling crash, then it all went silent.

Along with the rest of the depot staff we were soon there,and what a sight to behold!Our loco shed had a yard below it at the rear, and the engine had gone over the the iron dog at the end of the rails, across the concrete pathway and through the wall itself. A foot or so further and it would of dropped thirty feet or so into this yard. But as it was it hung there, and actually looked as though a push would set it see-sawing.

The cause of this lot? Boiler overfilled to stand all night; Westinghouse pump shut down and thereby no air for the brake; a momentary lapse by a conscientious driver who thought is regular mate was on the engine. As it was, the young cleaner who was on the footplate juster opened  the regulator wide! Instead of a whiff, she got the lot - as there was no stopping the engine.

Extracted and adapted from the book 


by George Hollands 


Di Dowsett Collection 

Cod King is believed to be standing on the right of this photo, the locomotive is a “D3” Class, No. 2390 formerly named St Leonards, Most of this class were withdrawn by 1953, but one, 32390, remained in traffic for two more years until being cut up at Brighton Works in 1955. During those two years she was used to cover for failing M7s from Tunbridge Wells, or for special rail tours. Her last days were spent working from Brighton on services to Horsham. None of the engines has survived into preservation.

William Charles Plaine

Brighton No.1 Branch Secretary 

1937 - 41


William entered the footplate at Brighton on the 26th October, 1914. In 1949 he transferred to 
the Motorman's depot (Brighton or West Worthing) and appears in the Brighton No.2 subscription book in March quarter of that year. William remained a member of Brighton  No.2 until his retirement in 1962. The last A.S.L.E.F. contribution was made in the June quarter of 1962 and he therefore retired shortly after this date.





The Railway Staff National Tribunal, Which forms part of the machinery of negotiation established by agreement between the four main line railway companies, the National Union of Railwaymen, the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen, and the Railway Clerks’ Association, has recently issued its decision on claims presented by the unions to the companies for the termination of the existing 1 1/4 per cent, deduction from earnings, for the restoration (so far as the first two unions were concerned) of the standard rates of payment in operation prior to National Wages Board Decision No. 119, dated 5th March, 1931, in respect of night overtime, night duty, and Sunday duty, and for other improvements in conditions of employment. The Tribunal heard the parties on 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 28th July. 

The staff coming within the scope of the machinery of negotiation includes: (a) the “conciliation” grades, including the locomotive drivers, firemen, cleaners and certain locomotive shed grades, all the traffic grades, dock porters and crane-men and certain staff afloat, permanent way men, signal and telegraph staff, and staff employed on canals; and (6) the salaried grades, including station masters, agents, yard masters, controllers and inspectors, and clerical staff. The decision of the Tribunal provides for the termination of the existing percentage deduction from earnings, and for the restoration of the standard rates of payment for overtime, night duty and Sunday duty. These rates will thus be as follows :— 

(a) Overtime:— 

(i) Day: time-and-a-quarter.+ 

(ii) Night: time-and-a-half. 

(b) Night Duty:— Time-and-a-quarter. 

(c) Duty performed on Sunday, also on Good Friday and Christmas Day {England and Wales}, January 1st and 2nd {Scotland) :— Time-and-a-half. 

In cases where double time was paid before decision No. 119 and was reduced by that decision to time-and-two-thirds, the rate will again be double time. The decision also provides that all adult male and female staff in the conciliation grades whose base rate is now less than 45s. per week shall receive an addition to their base and current rates of Is. per week, and those whose base rate is 45s. shall receive an addition to their base and current rates of 6d. per week. As regards the few adult males now in receipt of a base rate of less than 40s. per week, the base rate shall be brought up to 40s., plus Is., together with any further additions to which they may be entitled under the cost-of-living sliding scale. The provision in decision No. 41 of the National Wages Board of 9th December, 1925, whereby new entrants into adult conciliation grades in the permanent service on and after 1st February’, 1926, are paid at “ B ” or minimum rates, is cancelled, and such workers in future will be entitled to the benefits of increases under the cost-of-living sliding scale. All staff, whether in the conciliation or the salaried grades, who are required to work on Whit-Monday or August Bank Holiday (or in Scotland two other days as may be agreed between the companies and the unions), shall receive a day off with pay at ordinary rate in lieu of each day so worked, at a time to be chosen, within the customary railway staff holiday season, by the companies. Clerks who are required to work throughout the night hours 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. in alternate weeks or for one week in three, shall be relieved where possible one turn of duty in every 15 turns of such night duty; if it is not possible so to relieve them they shall be granted one day’s pay at ordinary rate in lieu thereof. 

It is provided that the decision shall be operative as from 16th August, 1937 (except that it shall not apply to turns of duty commencing before that date) to 15th August, 1938, and shall continue thereafter until altered by agreement between the parties, or until a new decision is arrived at in accordance with the machinery of negotiation.

Railway accident on the 

Southern Railway 

Brighton Section

Victoria 11th August 1937



This power is clearly indicated in the following extract from the 

"Economist," 28th August, 1937

The Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen were more militant, and at one time seemed possible that their delegate conference might reject the Award and press for strike action. This would not have been the first time that the engineers and firemen had taken a strong and uncompromising line in isolation. Their resentment of the refusal of their claim for twelve days holiday with pay found expression in the terms in which on August 25th, they finally accepted the Award. Indeed, their final resolution was openly challenging; they questioned the methods, the statements, and the reasoning of the Tribunal; and threatened that if a similar line were taken in the future they would have recourse to direct action to safeguard their rights and 'the spirit and intention of the machinery of negotiation.' The warmth of these terms - which appear to have borrowed something of the phraseology of recent international political exchanges - is disturbing."




A Special Meeting held on the 5th September, 1937

 with a fair percentage present. 

The question of appointing a Secretary was discussed, owing to Bro. Harrison resigning not being able to get anyone to take over same the following resolution was carried unam. 

Proposed by Bro H. Stedman, Sec. by Bro. A. Scott 

"Owing to Bro A. Harrison resigning through ill health, we the members of the Seaford Branch feel that it would be in the interests of the Society and save expenses owing to the small number here to dissolve the Branch and transfer to Brighton No. 2 Branch. 

Carried Unam.

A Meeting was held on the 28th November, 1937

Present Bro. Sweeney Organising Secretary, 

Bros. F. Wilmshurst Chairman, H. Stedman, E. Tucknott, A. Pearce, W. Smith, 

D. Boyle & A. Harrison.

To consider the resolution of the previous meeting. Re closing of Branch owing to 

position of no Secretary.

Bro. F. Wilmshurst stated the case and read correspondence from Head Office stating that it was contrary to their principle to close the Branch.

Bro. Sweeney spoke for some length on the case and expressed his wish that the Branch should be kept open. After a lengthy discussion it was moved by Bro. E. Tucknott and seconded Bro. D.O. Boyle that the resolution be rescinded and the Branch remains open. Carried. 

It was then moved by Bro. A. Pearce, and seconded by Bro. H. Stedman that this meeting be the general meeting and elected Officers for 1938. Carried.

No recorded meetings were held from 

November 28th 1937 until December 31st 1944


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