A meeting was held at the Labour Club on Sunday, November 28, 1937. We were pleased to welcome Organising Secretary, Bro. J.V. Sweeney.

Those present were treated to an enlightening and interesting address, in which he gave us an historical survey of the conditions in the railway industry during his lifetime. He reminded us of the conditions of service in bygone days and pointed out that advances were only made when men were striving for something, and urged all locomotivemen to be militant in their endeavours if they, as a craft organisation, were to retain their position or advance in advance in the future. To illustrate this, he read extracts from the R.S.N.T. Decision No. 3 Report, which were very enlightening, and at times, almost humorous ! Questions were asked by members and suitable replies were given.

The meeting closed with a hearty vote of thanks to Bro. Sweeney, which was endorsed by all present.




 Construction of Littlehampton Carriage Sheds

The first electric train arrivers at Littlehampton 6th February 1938.

Littlehampton Motorman's Depot established in 

early 1938 as part of the electrification extension of the West Coast




A report from the Locomotive Journal has not appeared for some time. Attendance at branch meetings has not been what it should have been in view o the recent happenings on the railways. Perhaps when the R.S.N.T. awards and all they imply are fully understood members will realise that their obligations to the Society (and themselves) does not finish when they have paid their contributions. The attitude of self-satisfaction must give way to the spirit of 1924.

The branch committee arranged a smoking concert for October 23. A fair number, including several members from Ore and St. Leonard's branches, and several N.U.R. members, and a representative from the Eastbourne Trades council and local Labour Party, braved the elements to give a send-off to one of our active members, Bro. C. Lawerence, who has retired from the railway company. Bro. Steele, Locomotive Foreman, wrote and apologised for his being unable to attend. during the evening musical items were rendered by Bro. A. Beeney (and "Ginger") of St. Leonard's branch and other local stars, with Bill Painter of Brighton, at the piano.

During the evening, Bro. J.O. Sweeney, Organising Secretary, presented Bro. Lawrence with a Westminster chiming clock as an appreciation for the services he has to his fellow-workmates. Bro. Sweeney, in his remarks, referred to the record of Bro. Lawrence's services to the Society and the working-class movement in general, and the need for such spirit to be carried on by the present generation in order to safeguard the future. 

Bro. Lawrence suitably replied, and stated that although he had finished as far as the railway were concerned his interest in the movement was still as great. At the time of writing he is contesting a seat on the Local Town Council in the interests of the Labour Party.

The branch membership is still on the upward trend; there are only three "nons" at the depot and it is pleasing to see some of the younger element at the branch meetings.

May I, in closing make a further appeal to those members who have not done so to join the "Trade Union Club" and assist the management committee to make the club where Trade Union activity can be carried on in comfort.



MAY 1938


Those members of the above branch who "tore" themselves from firesides on January 9, 1938, showed their wisdom. Comrade "Jack" Sweeney, although suffering from several facial injuries through mishap to the train by which he travelled on the Southern, was in great form. Comrade Sweeney gave a most historical survey of how conditions of service were obtained by the enthusiasm of the "old boys" when building our society to safeguard the interest of locomotivemen and the dire need for the younger members to show the same spirit that animated the members of the past in making A.S.L.E. & F. the only sure shield for locomotivemen's protection. Another pleasant feature for the afternoon was a presentation of the E.C. medal to Bro. A. Leonard, for services rendered as branch chairman for seven years. Comrade Sweeney made the presentation in a fraternal spirit. Questions were answered satisfactorily to those seeking knowledge.

Vote of thanks to Bro. J.V. Sweeney concluded a very interesting meeting.


* A. Leonard formerly of Newhaven

Bognor Motorman's Depot established in 1938

 as part of the electrification extension of the West Coast 





Gerard Young Collection

Bognor Driver Joe Miller brings in the last regular steam hauled 

passenger train from Victoria on Saturday 2nd July 1938. The first 

electric train the next day received a civic reception, but the engine 

drivers at Bognor were not so happy and hung an effigy on the 

locomotive shed doors with a card round it’s neck say 


Electrification from Dorking to Horsham and to Littlehampton 

was opened on the 30th June 1938. 

A new Motorman’s depot established at Horsham early 1938.


First electric train arriving at Bognor Sunday 3rd July 1938 



With the electrification of the Portsmouth Direct Line, between Guildford to Portsmouth Harbour via Havant, on the 8th March 1937, and the Mid Sussex from Three Bridges and West Coast line from West Worthing to Havant on the 3rd July 1938. 

The Portsmouth A.S.L.E.&F. Branch was closed and two new branches was created Portsmouth No.1 & No.2 Branches.

Portsmouth No.1 Branch was established to represent the Enginemen at Portsmouth loco shed (Fratton), whose work would encompass both the Brighton & South Western Sections of the Southern Railway.

Portsmouth No. 2 Branch was established to represent the Motorman of both the Brighton and South Western Sections of the Southern Railway. The Portsmouth Motormen were located at Portsmouth Town (& Southsea) and in Fratton Carriage Sheds


Motormen at Horsham & Bognor and their A.S.L.E&F. members becoming part of the relevant branches that was already established at their location. These Branches representing both Enginemen & Motormen. 

The Littlehampton A.S.L.E.&F. Branch was to become a Motormen only branch, as the steam shed had closed owing to the 1938 electrification of the West Coast extension.

Littlehampton earliest Motormen Fred W. Hutchins 

Fred transferred from Brighton Motorman’s depot and become one of the first Motorman at the newly opened Motorman’s depot remained and he remained there until his retirement in 1959

Newhaven Branch Meeting Sunday December 18th 1938

Secretary then read letters from Loco Foreman Brighton and the from Local Branch Secretary N.U.R. Re proposals for Shed Representative as it was pointed out that this depot was entittled to only one representative under Machinery of Negotiation. Member debated these letters and it was proposed by Bro. J. Cossburn & sec. By Bro. W. Clarke. That this Branch are prepared to accept one representative from N.U.R. To deal with shed grades items of Conditions of Service only, and that we nominate Bro. W. Clarke ars representative of Loco-men for dealing with Loco-men's items and if the N.U.R. Wish to nominate a delegate for Loco-men a ballot to take place for position. Carried.

Secretary was instructed to write to Loco foreman (Brighton) and Mr. J. Pargeter to convey to them the substance of this motion.

Secretary read correspondence from Bro. E.H. Channing together with a copy of Bro. Channings report to Bro. Jeans (Section Council) re the case of Bro. J.O. Walter’s subsequent return to Newhaven.

Discussion took place on this correspondence and it was proposed by Bro. J. Cossburn & sec by Bro. W. Clarke. That Secretary write to Bro. Channing (Feltham Branch) also to Bro. f. Jeans (Sectional Council). The following resolution which was promoted by wording in Doctor’s report. Proposed that providing Bro. J. Walter applies for every seaside vacancy that is advertised, this Depot has no objection to Bro. Walter applying to return to Newhaven, if he is not previously successful elsewhere, on compassionate grounds. 

Sunday January 15th 1939

After discussion it was proposed by Bro. Rookley & seconded by Bro. W. Clarke. That Secretary write to Bro. Jeans, noting the facts, should Bro. J.O. Walter not be successful to fill a seaside vacancy and calling for information in the subject.

Sunday April 16th 1939

Proposed by Bro. W. Clarke & seconded by Bro. A. Kearney. That a letter be sent to Bro. Jukes (Sectional Council Secretary) pointing out that disappointment is experienced at this Branch that in the light of Bro. J. Walter of Feltham requiring to come to Newhaven or other seaside Depot, on the grounds of his wife's health opportunity was not taken by Bro. Walter in getting a seaside vacancy on the last posted vacancy list. Carried.

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