1955




1955 Strike see sub page

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

JANUARY 1955

ST. LEONARDS BRANCH

Page 69

At the Branch Annual Meeting the Secretary presented the Society’s Medallions for 40 years’ membership to the following members who were present; Bros. C. Ashdown, A. Beney, E. Coussins, A. W. Lennard and A Wenham. Bro. F. Baldock, another, was unable to attend.

The members after being present related some of their earlier experiences and paid tribute to present and past Secretaries for the valuable work that had been done. Also, they expressed their appreciation to the Society for its efforts on their behalf in all circumstances.

Bro. Wenham also expressed his gratitude to the Society for its efforts re his past accident, when a sum of over £72 was received for his accident on duty.

Also another sum has been received by Bro. Goring in relation to his accident on duty (£50).

All members please take note that an early report to your Branch Secretary saves a lot of work for the Society in its effort on your behalf.

The Branch congratulates Bro. G. Day on his being elected as the Official Candidate for Sectional Council No.2. In closing the Branch extended its best wishes for 1955 to all present and past members.

D.W. Sargent

Branch Secretary.

MIDHURST LOCO SHED CLOSED 

5th FEBRUARY 1955

It’s presumed that the Midhurst Branch of A.S.L.E.&F. closed at the same time.

FRED RICH COLLECTION 

Brighton Fireman Reg Craft

THE WITHDRAWAL  OF PASSENGERS SERVICES 

MIDHURST TO PULBOROUGH 

& PETERSFIELD RAILWAY

5th February 1955

Midhurst image 02.

PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN 

British Railway withdrew passenger services between Midhurst to Pulborough and Passenger and Freight Services between Petersfield and Midhurst (although the former LSWR yard remained open for the Midhurst Whites Brickworks). Closed on 5th February 1955 (no services on Saturdays and Sundays). 

The Midhurst Loco shed closed but freight workings continued covering all stations between Pulborough and Midhurst. 

There was The Hampshireman Rail tour on 5th February 1955 with the bunker to bunker E5x Classes Nos. 32570 & 32576 returning the next day.

There were other Rail tours visiting Midhurst after passenger closure.   

PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN 

Colin Wickenden 

Newhaven A.S.L.E.F. Branch Secretary 1955 - 1958

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

JANUARY 1955

ST. LEONARDS BRANCH

Page 69

At the Branch Annual Meeting the Secretary presented the Society’s Medallions for 40 years’ membership to the following members who were present; Bros. C. Ashdown, A. Beney, E. Coussins, A. W. Lennard and A Wenham. Bro. F. Baldock, another, was unable to attend.

The members after being present related some of their earlier experiences and paid tribute to present and past Secretaries for the valuable work that had been done. Also, they expressed their appreciation to the Society for its efforts on their behalf in all circumstances.

Bro. Wenham also expressed his gratitude to the Society for its efforts re his past accident, when a sum of over £72 was received for his accident on duty.

Also another sum has been received by Bro. Goring in relation to his accident on duty (£50).

All members please take note that an early report to your Branch Secretary saves a lot of work for the Society in its effort on your behalf.

The Branch congratulates Bro. G. Day on his being elected as the Official Candidate for Sectional Council No.2. In closing the Branch extended its best wishes for 1955 to all present and past members.

D.W. Sargent

Branch Secretary.

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL 

MARCH 1955

TUNBRIDGE WELLS BRANCH

On January 7th, the Annual Children's party, given by the A.S.L.E. & F. Social committee, was held in the King Charles Hall, Tunbridge Wells.

Over 70 children of Motive Power department employees sat down for tea, which was followed by a series of short comic films. it is still open to comjecture whether these films enjoyed more by the parents than by the children. Ice cream was served during the evening which culminated in the distribution of a present for each child from the Christmas tree. Thanks of the branch are accorded to the members of the Social Committee and their wives for their untiring efforts during the past year to make this party such a huge success.

C.W. RUSSELL,

BRANCH SECRETARY

EASTBOURNE HERALD CHRONICLE
SATURDAY MARCH 26 1955

FOOTPLATE DRAMA: DRIVER IN HOSPITAL


The courage of an Eastbourne engine driver, who now lies badly injured in St Mary’s Hospital, probably saved lives of many passengers on the 7.23 train from Hailsham to Eastbourne on Wednesday morning. Although in great pain from severe burns received from the fire door blow back he brought the train safely into Polegate station before being rushed to hospital by ambulance.

The story of the footplate drama that could have catastrophic began as the train approached Polegate. Driver Bill Coombs, of 10 Seaford Road, pulled down the steam regulator and flames suddenly filled the cab, burning him and his fireman Mr. David Townsend.

Mr. Townsend told the story of the ordeal to “Herald Chronicle” reporter in the sitting room of his home 38, Queen’s Crescent after the accident. Nursing an injured hand heavily swathed in bandages, he described how the journey has been perfectly normal until train began to slacken speed when approaching the station.

“The flames suddenly shot out and filled the whole cab,” he said. “It all happened so quickly that I still cannot remember exactly what happened. Mr. Coombs appeared to be surrounded by flames but I do not think his clothing caught fire. He remained conscious and was able to bring us into the station all right.” 

As the train drew to a halt an ambulance was called and Mr Coombs was rushed to hospital. Although Mr. Townsend remained in the cab and helped a relief driver from Polegate to bring the train into Eastbourne before being taken to hospital for treatment. He was later allowed home.

Such accidents are not common but they have happened before. “ I have read about such things,” said Mr. Townsend who has been working as a fireman with Mr. Coombs for the past 18 months, “But it was the first experience for me - and I hope it will be the last.” 

Mr. Coombs, who has severe burns on the face and hands, was yesterday (Friday) stated to be as comfortable as expected. His son, Richard who is also employed on the railway, said that although he has spoken to father since the accident he has not been able to find out just how serious the injuries really are.

Last night (Friday) it was reported at the hospital that he had not had a very good day, but the authorities are satisfied with his progress although it is likely to be some time before he is completely well.

Mr. Coombs, who is 58, has been working on the railway for more than 40 years. Several months ago he was knocked down by a locomotive but not badly hurt.

A keen member of the Eastbourne Trade Union club, his chief hobby is his garden and he shows regularly with considerable success both at Eastbourne flower shows and the club’s annual shows. In fact members of the club have him the unofficial title “Eastbourne’s champion carrot grower.” 

a keen bowler, Mr. Coombs at present holds the club’s individual champion.          

CLAIM FOR INCREASES IN RATES OF PAY OF
CERTAIN LOCOMOTIVE GRADES.
14th APRIL, 1955. 
SEE SUB PAGE


THE RE-ROOFING OF TUNBRIDGE WELLS LOCO SHED

The pictures below shows the roof dismantled sometime after May 15th 1955. The roof was damaged during an air raid on the 20th November 1940, and was patched up until the roof was replaced in 1955. The bomb damaged also caused a large crater between Nos. 1 and 2 roads
PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN 
PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN 

THE CLOSURE OF THE 

LEWES TO EAST GRINSTEAD LINE

The first closure of the Lewes (Culver Junction) to East Grinstead Railway was planned for 
the 15th June 1955. But owing to the 1955 A.S.L.E.& F. strike, the last trains to run over the 
branch was on the 29th May 1955.  A battle between the local residents and British Railway 
ensues and the branch line was reopened on the 7th August 1956, with the trains on calling at station that were covered with the Parliamentary Act. The line finally closed on the on the 17th March 1958

PAUL EDWARDS COLLECTION


Brighton Driver Charlie Thorpe & Fireman Jimmy Edwards

 seen at Culver Junction picking up the staff from the signalman


  

Brighton Driver Bob Roser & Fireman Reg Craft 12th July 1955 

The small extract below recalls part of his trip on the eleven o’clock Brighton to Cardiff on Monday 11th July 1955. Brighton men used to work this train as far as Salisbury. The Brighton fireman on this trip was Reg Craft, who showed how he would cope with the firing whilst working up Dean bank. It also records the feelings of Brighton engine-men’s towards their fellow South-Western engine-men

An extract from the Fred Rich Journals

We had no booked stops over the 24.5 miles between Southampton and Salisbury; and from Nursling [4.5 miles beyond Southampton] we began the 16 mile climb up to Bridge 44. At this point Reg initiated me into a bit of nonsense which, for him, was utterly out of character. He (along with many others from 75A) feels that most “South-Western” enginemen think too much of themselves and their railway. At Dean [about 4.75 miles from Bridge 44] the ‘eleven o’clock Cardiff’ always passes a goods engine in the sidings, with Salisbury men in charge of it; and Reg likes to show ‘em what he thinks of their Dean bank. The game is to have a ‘a potful of water’ and a full head of steam after passing through Romsey. This produces (for the benefit of those Salisbury men) the spectacle of a Brighton ‘West Country’, trailing 10 corridors, hurtling up through Dean with safety valves blowing and with the fireman relaxing in his seat, smoking a cigarette and preferably reading a newspaper.

Fred Rich worked as an engineering apprentice at Brighton Locomotive Works and commuted from Tunbridge Wells. Fred became known to a number of engine-men at Brighton. On his days off Fred would see if he could get a cab ride with the various engine-men that he knew and spent most of the trips doing some of the firing.

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL


BRIGHTON (2)


1955

Once again I have to report that differences have arisen with the local management at this 
Depot over their non-observance of some National and L.D.C. agreements, and a special 
meeting of Branch Officials and our L.D.C. was held to deal with this matter. With efficient 
guidance of Organiser Bro. A. Newbegin, it was decided to ask for a consultation between the District Motive Power Superintendent and L.D.C. to endeavour to stop the violating of these agreements in future; we ask members to give more strength to the L.D.C. by seeing to it that agreements are observed. 

On November 20th the Retirement and Social Fund held the Annual Reunion, and a dinner 
and social evening was provided in a very successful way by the Committee. Organiser A. 
Newbegin, who attended this function, presented gifts from the Fund to the retiring members, Bros. T. Gunn, F. Larkin and A. Staniford; then, with appropriate words to them, he referred in turn to their length of service and their Society membership, and the changes and benefits which had been obtained through the efforts of our Society during their careers on the footplate and in Motor-man’s cabs. He wished them on behalf of all retired members a long and happy retirement. Bro. F. Larkin suitably replied for all three.


F.W. MUSK

BRANCH CHAIRMAN

BOB AWCOCK COLLECTION

 
Left Three Bridges Fireman Bob Awcock with his driver (Unknown)

The photo was taken whilst pulling out of the back road of Grange Road’s goods yard with the local pick up goods from East Grinstead to Three Bridges in the mid 1950s

Bob started at Three Bridges around 1954 and left about 1960 to go into Industry.

Sadly I cannot remember many of the cleaners or firemen of the time. I can remember drivers like Ray Young, Dave Shopland, Charlie Pope, Jack Owen,(Who was my best man),Charlie Mapston (Jack Owen's father in law), and Tich Robinson. Apart from Ray Young and Tich Robinson are the only other drivers I worked with., and my last driver was Jim Burtenshaw.
The only firemen I can remember was, Albert Baptiste and Robin Baldock. 

George Farmer,
If I remember right he was a signalman when I knew him, and he was a friend of Syd Vallance, a leading porter at Grange Road. Together we all started a model railway club In East Grinstead.

 RON TERRILL COLLECTION

Charlie Green & Jack 'Bogey' Simmons 

STORIES FROM THE SHOVEL


By ex-Newhaven Engine Cleaner & Fireman (1949 - 1956)

Dave Brady

On leaving school in 1949, I started work as a cleaner at Newhaven loco shed, where I joined my mother's brothers, Uncles Ted & Jack Hillman who were both driversMy first day's work was cleaning the boiler (red hot) of Atlantic Class loco "Beachy Head". On another occasion I remember cleaning an E4 class loco still in its wartime black, and sideways on in the shed light, saw on the tank side some brown paintwork with the words 'Birch Grove' which did not mean a lot to me at the time. That loco is now preserved on the Bluebell Railway.

Having been passed as a cleaner, my first day acting as a fireman was on an E4 class loco and having booked on at 4.45am we travelled "light engine" to Lewes where we coupled-up to a full load and travelled back to Newhaven then on to Seaford.

I have many fond memories of Jack Simmons known as Bogey (but not to his face) mainly because he was permanent driver at the time on the Fenchurch (Terriers). The best turn of all was with a Terrier, and having booked on at 6.45 am, we would attach a dozen trucks or so and haul them over the swing bridge and down to the breakwater in all weathers where they were detached. Then it was back to the shed to put the loco away at about 12.30pm. After putting the engine away and be home in doors by 1.30. "Bogey" did have a shaky hand which was quite funny when he was opening and shutting the steam regulator, but he was a nice gentleman.

One summer weekend in the early 1950's while working nights and acting as shed fireman, in the height of the the summer traffic the shed was full with locos of several classes, Brighton Atlantics, Terriers, Moguls, E4s, a C2 Vulcan and a Schools Class. There was even a West Country class loco for boat train traffic, however using those West Country locos was short lived because they came off the rails on the sharp curve into the shed.

Extracted from

the web site

'Our Newhaven'

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