Extracted and adapted from

 Newhaven Branch Meeting

 Sunday January 5th 1958

W. Cleaver (District Organiser)

Correspondence was reading including the full details of the memorandum of agreement in regard to the manning of Diesel & Electric Locomotives and multiple units. 

A.A.D. 1958. It was proposed by Bro. S. Cheal and seconded by Bro. J. Knott. That the Branch support Lennard as delegate for 1958 A.A.D.

T.U.C. 1958, It was proposed by Bro. J. Knott and seconded by Bro. S. Cheal. That the Branch support Brother Musk as delegate for the 1958 T.U.C.

Organiser W. Cleaver then addressed the meeting, stating that the main reason for his visit was to find a Secretary for the Branch, in view of Brother Wickenden retirement. He was informed that no secretary had yet been found.

He then said that he had the happy task of presenting three 40 year badges, one to Brother J. Lower, One to Brother M. G. Smith, and one to Brother J. Giles who unfortunately was on duty and was unable to attend. He then spoke of how they must have found conditions improved today, to when they first joined, and could look forward to even better times.

He then presented Brother E. King with the E.C. Award for being Chairman of the Branch for 5 consecutive years, and congratulated him on the good work he had done, not only as Chairman, but before when he was Secretary, and how he hoped he would continue to so. Brother E. King then replied that he was very pleased with the presentation set and how he deeply appreciated the fact the he had been elected in the chair in spite of been absence so much due to illness.

Organiser Cleaver then asked if anyone was willing to take over the Secretaryship, but received no response from those present. He then stated that he was unable to force anyone to tale the post, and it was up to the members to decide for themselves, if no one was willing to do so, it might result in the Branch being closing down.

Brother Cheal then addressed Organiser Cleaver, saying that in his opening speech he remarked about improved conditions to come, but that at Newhaven the present conditions were not being observed, such as the 12 hour clause. Organiser Cleaver replied that if evidence of this was supplied he would take the matter up with the management at an L.D.C. meeting on Wednesday.


Newhaven Loco Shed

Extracted and adapted from

Newhaven Branch Meeting

 Sun February 16th 1958

Bro. Cheal then stated that he been asked the Branch Chairman to call this meeting, with a view to him offering to undertake the Branch Secretaryship, if proposed, thereby stopping the Branch from disbanding, it was then by Brother Harris, Seconded by Bro. Goatcher. "That Brother S. Cheal be Secretary." It was then proposed by Brother Mullett and Seconded by Bro. Goff. "That Brother R. Morris be Secretary." Voting then took place and Brother R. Morris was elected. It was moved by Brother Cheal and Seconded by Brother Hilton that Organiser Cleaver be asked to come and instruct the new Secretary in his duties. It was moved by Brother Cheal and seconded by Brother Wickenden that Brother R. Morris be District Council Delegate.

Correspondence was then including a circular on safety on British Railway, and T.U.C. Gold Badge Award. It was the proposed by Brother F. Goff and seconded by Brother W. Mullett that Brother E. King be nominated for this award.





page 65


Attendance at meetings has slightly improved and it is heartening to see younger fraternity 
taking part in activities. Lively discussions on matters affecting our livelihood often take 
place and we find 2 1/2 hours pass all too soon. See that we keep this up, Bros., and do your 
best to get some of the “slackers” to attend these meetings.

We had the pleasure of a visit, on August 8, by the 1957 A.A.D delegate, Bro. P. Collens. 
Following his very interesting report members present found much satisfaction when their 
questions were very ably answered by him.

I had a very pleasing surprise at the December meeting when I was presented by our 
Secretary, Bro. C. Stoner, with the Society’s Pen and Pencil Set having completed 5 years in 
the Chair. In expressing my thanks I remarked that despite the many ups and downs of 
opinion I would still do my best to keep an unbiased mind and assist in the upholding of our 
Society’s policy and maintaining of our National Conditions of Service. In closing this report I wish to thank the L.D.C. for the hard work they perform against difficult odds and wish them, with all my other colleagues, a very Prosperous New Year.








(Extracted & adapted)

PAGE 61 

The chief officers remain although it was necessary to elect a vice 

chairman to replace Bro. Eric Wellington who has transferred to 

Brighton. We wish him every success for the future.






Page 38

The new agreement on the manning of multiple unit trains, electric and diesel, has meant 
more work for our L.D.C. representatives in re-checking rosters to make sure that the formula for double manning is properly applied. It was agreed by the Unions that the local 
managements would be given a short time in which to examine the position and to amend 
rosters where necessary; but by the time these notes appear in print the matter should be 
resolved. The agreement itself will have been carefully studied by our Branches. It is 
generally agreed that the outcome of two years of hard bargaining is a triumph for 
A.S.L.E.&F. policy. Sufficient to say that the negotiations were among the toughest yet 
experienced - and the results will be fully appropriated by everyone.

With modernisation in mind, the Executive Committee is actively engaged in preparing a 
report to the 1958 Annual Assembly of Delegates on the future position regarding promotion, transfer and redundancy. The introduction of new forms of tractions expanding electrification and diminishing steam operation mean that, sooner or later, changes in the existing arrangements will be inflicted upon us, whether we like it or not. In such circumstances it is best that we should be one jump ahead. It will be interesting to see how the Annual Conference will tackle this weighty problem.

Newly elected Branch officers and L.D.C. representatives will now be settling down to their 
job and everyone will wish them well in their efforts. New Branch secretaries with a 
particularly tough assignment are Ray Marchant of Clapham Junction and Ted Tinsley, 
Orpington. both are young men who for a long time have served their colleagues well in 
lesser capacities. Many S.R. Branches (Electrical) are particularly difficult to manage due to 
the number of depots served by the Branch, the complexities of inter sectional working and 
the fact that many members live a long way from the Branch meeting place. Clapham 
Junction and Orpington have more than their fair share of difficulties and it is to be hoped that all members of this Branches will rally to encourage their new secretaries in their work. 
Retiring secretaries Harry Robinson and Joe Grantham have been of great service to our 
members here for a good many years, and their efforts are fully appreciated by everyone who 
stops to think of the many hours spent by those two colleagues on behalf of their members.    

Railway accident on British Railways

Southern Region 

Central Division

Gloucester Road Junction 4th March 1958 

Involving Brighton J. Killick (12.10.1914) & Fireman J. Taylor 


 Photo by G.S. Robinson

Brighton engiemen Driver Charlie Thorpe (08.09.1919) & Fireman Jimmy Edwards (01.12.1953)

at Horsted Keynes on the 14th March 1958, with the 14:28 down to Lewes

A rail enthusiast Mr G.S. Robinson travelled between Lewes and East Grinstead during the final working day on the 14th  March 1958. 

The following day various special trains run over the line.



The line between Culver Junction to East Grinstead Low Level was finally closed on the 17th March 1958.

A small section of the branch line between Sheffield Park to Horsted Keynes was purchase by one of the first Railway Preservation Societies, the Bluebell Railway and was opened in 1960


Photo by G.S. Robinson

Brighton Fireman Jimmy Edwards & Driver Charlie Thorpe at Horsted Keynes 
on the 14th March 1958

Railway Correspondence and Travel Society

“The Sussex Coast Ltd” 

from London Victoria - Newhaven Harbour April 13th, 1958,

worked by Newhaven driver Ernie Eacott & Fireman W. Sherwin



Brighton Atlantic Class H2

Beachy Head was built at Brighton works in October 1911 and was one of six of this class.

Beachy Heads final revenue earning run was April 13th 1958 when she worked a Rail Tour Special (RTCS).  The Sussex coast Ltd” from London Victoria - Newhaven Harbour, hauling 7 Pullman Coaches (255 tons gross).The train was driven was by Newhaven Enginemen Driver Ernie Eacott & Fireman Bill Sherwin. The 56.8 miles took 81 mins and 11 secs. taking in 2 signal stops, 2 signal checks and a long 15 M.P.H. P. Way slack net time 70 mins.

The locomotive’s final steamed run was  at Brighton on April 24th 1958, light engine to Lancing Works, empty stock train from Lancing to Mitcheldever. Then light engine to Easleigh Works for breaking up. After breaking up one of her large brass name plates was ceremonially present to the Mayor of Eastbourne.

  Left - Right Inspect J. McCarthy, 

Newhaven Driver Ernie Eacott (05.11.1017) & Fireman Bill Sherwin


Short Circuit Bar training on the down loop at Preston Park, the year is unknown.

Second from the left Newhaven driver Dickie Bird


JUNE 1958




Page 194

In these days of high powered press, radio and television coverage of trade union activities at top level, it is only natural that the figureheads of the union steal the limelight. The General Secretaries are the prime spokesmen and the thus become the “ labour Boys” of the piece. We do not complain. The recent public performances of our own G.S. have been exemplary and, so it happens, a tonic to our membership. But let’s get away from the Front Line for a while and turn the spotlight on the less publicised yet equally important work performed by our rank and filers; the men who - year in, year out - get on with the job at the other end of the line.

It is unnecessary here to catalogue the many duties faithfully and enthusiastically carried out 
by Branch Secretaries and their small bands of workers up and down the country. Sufficient 
to say that when the opportunity presents itself these sterling services are properly 
acknowledged by the membership. The very highest recognition of this sort of work is made 
by no less a body than the Trades Union Congress and is, of course, the award of the T.U.C. 
Gold Badge.

Each trade union affiliated to  Congress is invited to submit one nomination for consideration for this award. Full Time Officers are out. Information required on behalf of each nominee includes length of membership, local and other officers held and, usually, his best contribution over a number of years to the work of organising or providing services to the movement generally.

All our Branches were asked to submit to the Executive Committee the names and records of members considered to be worthy of this high honour and a pretty problem the selection 
turned out to be! The qualifications of many excellent candidate were considered and 
eventually one name was chosen. Southern Region motormen will be delighted to learn that 
the final selection was the present Chairman of Selhurst Branch, Bro. W.G.T. Boulton. Bill’s 
work for the Society and its members is almost legendary on the Southern Region - as indeed it is in the wider movement in Croydon and South London.

Our whole membership will join in wishing Bro. Boulton all success when the selection 
committee of the T.U.C. give consideration to the qualifications of the nominations submitted by all unions.

Time for a little straight talking on the subject of promotion, transfer and redundancy. Our 
younger Motormen, with an eye to the future and a fear of possible redundancy, have been 
very vocal just lately - especially when discussing the matter with steam colleagues....!
At a time when steam is fast giving place to the new forms of traction on all Regions the 
concern of our members for their personal position in the new pattern of things is 
understandable. The older men in the steam depot are wondering how the extension of 
electrification will affect them; younger Motormen are likewise apprehensive as to how they 
stand in relation to senior men who may eventually find themselves redundant on the steam 
side. The ostrich like characters who go about oblivious to all the danger signs are in for a 
shock. We face a period of drastic change and uncertainty; it is well that our L.D.C.’s 
Sectional Councils and the Executive Committee have the matter well in hand. Yet, to hear 
some of the newsroom barristers talk, one would think nothing is being done to safeguard our position.

If the recently signed agreement on the manning of multiple unit electric trains hasn’t shown 
the younger Motorman and particularly, the dual link Driver, what is being done on his behalf we can all despair of his ever learning anything.

The agreement on arrangements in amplification of the standard redundancy scheme - signed as recently as 18th July last  seem to be completely forgotten by some people. For many month the Executive Committee has been giving consideration to the problems of promotion and redundancy with the result that proposals for extensive amendments to the P. T. & R. scheme have been place before the 1958 Annual Assembly of Delegates.
These matters are important, but in acknowledging their importance let us also remember the numerous other items which, some of our members would claim, are of some significance. 

Things like wage claims, working conditions, rail safety, the accommodation of “failed” men - these are important, too.

If some of the people who spend their time beefing about the inconveniences of the 
promotion scheme were to come along to the Branch occasionally to hear reports of progress in the negotiation of all these matters we could, perhaps, begin to get things in proper perspective.

There can be no excuse in time like these for deliberate and sustained absence from the 
Branch room. Nor can there be any ground for criticism of those who shoulder the whole 
burden of responsibility by those who make no attempt tp play their part in shaping the 


A scene at Newhaven Loco June 1958

Ron Terrill is on the top of the Boiler the fireman bending over looking in the water tank is Mike Farley and the fireman in the cab is Will Still 

Ron remembers the occasion and believes the train had been involved in a crash somewhere between Oxted & Haywards Heath and was brought back to Newhaven Loco by Dave Renville. The Forman ordered us on arrival to take water as quick as possible because the tanks were empty on the terrier by the way the Boiler on the  SECR “ L" class was drained to reduce the load for the A1



JUNE 1958

PAGE 220

Branch attendance is fair; the new Manning Agreement for Electric Trains has given promotion a great fillip here. Our Social Evenings bring old and young together again and we enjoy it; with twenty pensioners attending there is always a good discussion on the “good old days” but we begin to think the future has a lot in store, too. 

B. Jenner, a pensioned member, has passed on. Here was a likeable old character who left his mark during his dy. Also we have lost the service of J. Barely, a worthy member and L.D.C. representative; the suddenness of his passing took us by surprise. Members of Exeter branch may remember him.




JUNE 1958

PAGE 219

A Social evening was held at the Globe Inn, Littlehampton, on 21st February, and was attended by members of the Littlehampton and Bogor Regis branches of the A. S. L. E. & F. and their wives. The occasion was the retirement of our Branch Chairman, Bro. Sid Easton.

Sid has been a real good Trade Unionist, and was at one time secretary of the New Cross branch.

A musical evening followed with Mrs. Miller at the piano - a social function enjoyed by all. Bro. Miller (Chairman) made the presentation  there was also a present for Mrs Easton.

To all those who kindly assisted in the special efforts for the widow and children of Motorman Johnston we thank you. The amount presented to Mrs. Johnston was £157 - 15s - 0d. the branch tanks everyone for their support.



JULY 1958




Page 228

Whatever else may be said about the settlement of our claim for an increase in wages, this 
much is beyond dispute: 


Lively discussion in our Branches and, particularly, at the last quarterly meeting of the 
London District Council, has revealed a general if somewhat belated acknowledgement of the strong logic in the arguments of those who, for many years past, have warned of the danger industrially of political apathy inside the Trade Union Movement. Recent meetings have been a tonic to those colleagues who, so it must have seemed, have been in the wilderness for so long.

If the Tories have done nothing else, at least they have succeeded in rousing the political 
consciousness of our members. NOW is the time to press home so obvious an advantage. A 
special effort by Branch Committees in the next few weeks would, without doubt, bring in 
more contributors to the Society’s Political Fund. Those who, for varying reasons, had 
contracted out of membership of this Fund are now having second thoughts. A stronger fund 
means the possibility of greater representation at Westminster. This Government is hanging 
on by the skin of its teeth. When it finally goes, let’s be sure of securing the maximum possible A.S.L.E. & F. representation in the Labour Government that follows.

Now for a few jottings off the cuff.

A new-style Motorman’s Ticket has been devised by management and, after consultation with the Unions, a draft tick has been approved. Main change from the old S.R. ticket concerns the of actual departure and arrival times for each trip. It is understood that where train turn-round time is short there will be a local understanding on what is actually required on the ticket by the Accountant’s Department. It is reasonable to assume that L.D.C. representatives will be consulted on this matter. With a view to checking a flood of resolutions from our Branches, and of invective from the men on the job, let me add that the question of watches to Drivers and Motormen has already been taken up with the B.T.C. and, in R.S.J.C. Minute No. L.81, the application was again rejected....

On the question of the standardisation of winter and summer diagrams the latest news is that 
we are pressing for a meeting with Southern Region for full discussion of this matter. 

Thanks to the grand co-operation of Branch and L.D.C. representatives, a long list of complaints and recommendations for improvement has been compiled. The awaited talks should prove interesting.

A. number of items require the attention of the Headquarters Committee on Manning. One 
matter which is not yet as clear as it might be concerns the train running time in connection 
with the agreement involving aggregate track work. An official ruling is required to cover 
those instances where a man is involved in short trips over a period, when turn-round time is 

Agreement has at last been reached on the provision of hand towels. Two small towels of 
unbleached huckaback will be issued annually to each man. The S.R. Sectional Council have agreed that the laundering of these cloths will received payment of 10/- per year for his 
trouble. The “Wacko” window-test will reveal which Motormen’s towel is spotless!









Page 264

The British Railways Modernisation Plan has already brought about many changes. 
Improved signalling, faster trains, new forms of traction, the extension of electrification and 
the consequent tremendous engineering projects witnessed throughout the Regions all add up to a minor industrial revolution; a revolution which is by no means only technical in 
character. The whole outlook of the present-day railwayman is being re-shaped by the many 
technical advancements. Nowhere is this more true than within the ranks of the footplatemen fraternity.

Much has been written, down through the years, about engines and enginemen. What could 
be described as the “Romantic Period,” the era of steam locomotive on the railways, is all 
but finished. There was a day, so we are told, when an engine-driver almost lived with his 
steed; thought more of it than his wife. A few years back we still had among us those 
pessimistic characters who longed for a return to the Good Old Days.

The “Good Old Days”! By this they meant the day of 10 hours, of bonuses and fine; of little 
or no annual leave; of iron discipline and little sympathy in tie of trouble; of limited trade 
union influence. We don’t hear quite so much about the old times these days. And for a very 
good reason.

Modernisation has brought many changes - in the main improvements - in our working 
conditions. It is the duty of efficient management to keep abreast of modern technical 
development; to provide the best possible service at the least possible cost. In present-day 
society it is the duty of trade unions to secure the best possible return, both in wages and 
conditions, for the labour, craft and “know-how” of the people they represent - and at the 
same time to co-operate to the full with management in all reasonable projects aimed at 
improved efficiency and economy. Spokesmen for the British Transport Commission have 
recently declared themselves to be satisfied with progress to date. We should, they say, be out of the wood by 1963. On the trade union side we, too, have had our successes and reports from our Annual Conference indicate the general satisfaction of the membership with recent decisions and agreements at national level. So fast is the flow of events that there is no time for nostalgic reflection.

Talking of  progress and change: one of the new-look schemes of the management concerned what was called decentralisation. This is supposed to mean Regional autonomy, inter-regional competition and, as a consequence, higher efficiency. On the face of it, this may not seem a bad idea. But how is it working out in practice?

For many years on Southern Electric diagramming of duties has been based on a 3 section 
scheme: Eastern, Central and Western. Three separate Roster Offices controlled the area with very little overlapping. With all its faults, this system produced some of the most efficient diagramming in modern railway practice. We now learn that “decentralisation” has 
overtaken the Eastern Section with a vengeance. New rosters have appeared, sub-divided; 
“Eastern,” “Chatham” and “Main Line.” Thus we have a considerable increase in the 
amount of travelling passenger from Eastern to Chatham and vice versa - as well as other 
consequential non-productive time. Even making full allowance for the main line extension to Ramsgate next year, this seems to be a case of decentralising gone mad.... If the Diagram 
Section is harbouring ideas for similar changes on the Central and Western sections, our 
local people have some good advice: Forget it!

Railway accident on British Railways

Southern Region 

Central Division

Hassocks 8th August 1958



Three Bridges Driver Peter Clark 

and his fireman Dave Thomsett.



Whilst Three Bridge Peter Clark was working a L.M.S. Fairburn tank loco No. 42086, a collision took place at Hassocks station. It is understood that the collision was due to the down side ground frame was not interlocked to the Hassocks signal box and was left open. 

When the driver Peter Clark was given the tip by the shunter to leave the yard, the train 

collided with a down train a 4-SUB No 4276. The driver remembers seeing his fireman

boots disappear out the window as he leapt out.

There is no M.O.T. report in to this accident.

Railway accident on British Railways

Southern Region 

Central Division


Eastbourne 25th August 1958 

Involving Stewarts Lane Driver Alfred Wembridge (23.03.1919) & Fireman John Gilbert & Ore Motorman Cyril Brock (02.12.1918) 






Page 300

It is a fact that no other single issue dealt with at local level has caused more friction among 
the men themselves during the past ten years than the business of working rest days. Staff 
shortages at the time of the introduction of the 88 hour fortnight made some sort of agreement on rest day working a necessity almost everywhere. Each year since 1948 we have had the promise: “Next year will see a considerable easement in the manpower problem.” Each year we have hopefully told ourselves that rest day working will end sometime soon. On occasions, for a short while, some L.D.C.’s have been able to reach agreement on “No Working.” 

Neighbouring L.D.C.’s, hard pressed by staff shortage, have agreed on some form of working.

In this wat we have seen some really fantastic agreements: 100% working, whether the men 
are really required or not; 50% or 25% working according to the whim of the Shed Master; 
and that “gem” of a few years back whereby if the number of men required to work exceeded a given percentage at any time during the summer season, then all men were booked to work every rest day until the end of the summer. Then there was the problem of trying to balance up before the end of the year the number of rest days worked by individuals. Little wonder that friction exists between depot and depot.

This summer has been a busy summer on the Southern Region. Rest days have been worked in most districts. Extra Sundays have been as numerous in most area as in previous years for 
those who wish to work them, despite the extra appointments to the grade of Motorman 
effected earlier this year. But now some of our people are showing concern for the position at the end of  this summer period. Tales of wholesale slashing services in the forthcoming Winter Diagrams are going the rounds. Newspaper accounts of the economies projected in other Regions, and fanciful reports on future cuts have started another round of unintelligent 
anticipation among the Messroom Barristers. It is already being suggested in certain 
quarters that our L.D.C. representatives, because of their insistence on the full application of 
hard won conditions of service, are responsible for the loss of extra work at certain depots!
Those people who go along to the Branch meeting when such matters are being discussed 
have given due thought to the problem and have been able to assess the position in the light 
of information gained from the official reports of their representatives. They know, because 
they’ve taken the trouble to find out, the nature of the problems to be faced by our 
representatives now and in the future. The importance of maximum attendances at Branch 
meetings cannot be stressed too often.

At the highest level, some time during the coming autumn, talks will begin on the subject of 
the Railways’ Wages Structure.

We have a tough job ahead. We aim at reasonable - and that means much higher - rates of 
pay for those who man the front end of Britain’s trains. We aim at a shorter working week 
with vastly improved conditions of employment. We feel that the nature of our job entitles s to more leisure time than most. We want a wage sufficient to enable us to that time to the fullest possible advantage. It is no great help for anyone to stand by the holler for rest day and Sunday work that doesn’t exist. But solid support for A.S.L.E.F. policies during the coming talks will pay off worthwhile dividends.  



In Sailsbury Loco on Saturday 13th September 1958, before leaving to work the 2.53 p.m. back to Brighton, with 399 tons 'all the way'
Photo and words by Fred Rich






Page 358

Once again we are having trouble with people responsible for rostering duties in certain 
districts. The job of coping with the coast excursion traffic every summer is a formidable one. 

Although the management appear not to think so, there has always been a great measure of 
understanding between Motormen and the List Clerks and quite often, following a note 
explaining the reasons, a Motorman will agree to perform a duty other than his rostered turn 
in order to assist a harassed List Clerk to cover an awkward situation.

Some time ago we submitted a request to the Railway Staff Conference that R.S.C. Minute 65, in regard to rostered turns of Trainmen, should be amplified to give Motormen and Steam Engine full entitlement to the turn for which they are rostered on the weekly list, unless such turn is cancelled.

In October, 1956, at a meeting of the Railway Staff Joint Council (Locomotive Section), the 
matter was fully and frankly discussed. We pointed out that alterations to rostered workings 
in certain Regions were taking place too frequently and were not being confined to 
exceptional cases. We gave a number of reasons why, in the interest of management as well as men, the position should be improved. We also made it clear that there was considerable 
concern among our men at the inconvenience in social and domestic affairs occasioned by 
what appeared to be, in many cases, totally unnecessarily alterations.

The Railway representatives at this  meeting appreciated our arguments and, whilst being 
unable to agree fully to our suggestion on the amplification of R.S.C. Minute 65, they did 
undertake to “....direct the attention of all concerned to the desirability of minimising the 
alterations to the rostered working of Trainmen as far as practicable.”

Now in most cases, and certainly in any emergency, if the difficulty is explained our men will readily oblige despite the inconvenience. But there are times when domestic arrangements make it impossible for the men to co-operate. In such cases the local management should have the decency to acknowledge the man’s difficulty and so make some other provision to cover the turn.

For reasons best known to themselves there has always been a great reluctance on the part of 
Shed Masters to part with dual link Drivers. No doubt this is because of  staff shortages on 
the Steam side. Their dilemma is appreciated but they must not be allowed to forget that the 
dual links exist to provide spare men on the Electrical side. We have been told often enough 
that the first call on dual link Driver is for electric work.

Recently a man was issued a disciplinary charge for the “crime” of reporting for duty at his 
rostered signing-on time after being irregularly booked some other turn of duty. The man 
concerned gave adequate notice of his intention to book on for his own turn and even 
performed the latter duty on the Monday of the week in question in order that some 
alternative cover could be provided. It was not until it became obvious that the management 
were deliberately refusing to put things right that he decided to report for his own turn.

This sort of “strong-arm” stuff from the District Office is just not good enough. It leads to 
bad feeling between the men who do the job and the List Clerks whose duties are onerous 
enough already. It also, in this case mentioned above, led to the cancellation of trains which, 
so we are told, is unforgiveable.



PAGE 362


On October 26th, 1957 our late Bro. “Bob” Beadle met with an accident whilst riding to work on his bicycle, and was fatally injured. There were no witnesses. After prolonged negotiations a settlement has been made of £1,000 to his widow.

Perhaps this bald statement does not mean much to the average person.

My object is to remind all our members of the vast amount of time and work that has been put in, firstly by Bro. Adams (Redhill), Bro. C. Foot (our Branch Secretary), Bro. W. Evans (Assistant General Secretary), and the Society’s Compensation Department, to effect the settlement. Our best thanks are accorded to them all for their efforts.

See to it that you pay your contributions each quarter, in time to keep in benefit, and thus assist your Secretary and Officers to send in a 100% return (not forgetting the Political Levy!).







Page 373

On this page last month we dealt with the general matter of rostering - and in particular the 
rights, if any such exist, of the management to move a man off his registered turn of duty in 
order to cover the turn of another man who, for one reason or another, is not available for the job.

The agreement governing the rights of men and management in all matters of rostering is, of 
course, set out in Railways Staff Conference Minute No. 65. The agreement dates from April, 1928. On the Steam side it has operated down through the years quite well - mainly because there are usually enough spare men available at Steam depots to adequately meet all 

Sometimes, though, even at the larger depots, extra work or a bout of sickness will make 
things a bit difficult for the duty clerks to cover very early or late duties. When this happens 
they sometimes suffer temporarily from a peculiar form of R.S.C. Minute No. 65 escapes 
them. With complete innocence they take a man off his rightful turn and book him the earliest one on, or the last one off - and then sit back, fingers crossed, to see if there is any come-back from the man concerned.

Quite often they manage to get away with it. But there are occasions when the injured party 
rebels and demands his rights. The Shed Master is brought into “interpret” the agreement. If 
the Shed Master is very lucky, someone will have provided him with an up-to-date copy of the A.S.L.E.& F. Conditions of Service book, and he will thus be able to point to the wording of Minute 65 in the hope of satisfactory disposing of the claims of the irate individual involved.

Occasionally there is complete disagreement at local level. The matter is eventually referred 
to Headquarters for a ruling. But, generally speaking, there has not been too much bother 
with this particular aspect of rostering on Steam side. At the Electrical depots things are 
rather less satisfactory.

With dual link Drivers working to capacity (in the summer mainly on steam work), Motormen are at a premium, as explained last month, the List Clerk is at his wit’s end trying to cover the very early and late duties and, if there is nothing else for it, he resorts to the accent practice of moving a man from his rostered turn.

All this is by no means satisfactory to the men affected. It is especially frustrating if the 
alteration has been left until the last moment.

If the Motorman is stationed at a link situated miles away from the parent depot there is very 
little chance of contacting the Shed Master in an effort to put things right. All that remains, in most cases, is to play the old army game of doing the job first and complaining afterwards. 

Among Motormen this presents a very knotty problem.

It is all the more pleasing, therefore, to report the final outcome of the case outlined last 
month where, after hearing all the facts at the disciplinary interview the D.M.P.S. agreed that 
the Motorman had acted in good faith and that the management had “no case.” The charge 
was accordingly dropped.

This is a very marked advance from the high-handed attitude of management in past similar 
circumstances and it is to be hoped that Shed Masters and other District Officers will take 
due note. One thing is certain. The men themselves recognise this more favourable treatment 
of a long-standing grievance and they fully appreciate this better understanding of the 
problem. This is surely the way toward 100 per cent. co-operation between the List Office and the Motormen concerned.

The Executive Committee has recently dealt with the report of our delegates on the 25th 
Biennial Congress of the International Transport Worker’ Federation, held in Amsterdam this year.

In a report full of extremely interesting items, three important policy statements will attract 
attention of motormen here in Britain: (1) Rail Safety Devices; (2) Reduction of Working 
Hours Arising from Increased Strain and Responsibilities; (3) Hardship Through 

The latter item reminds us that the Kent Coast Electrification Scheme is now nearing 
completion and it is good to report the revised Staff Establishment figures given recently by 
Sectional Council representatives reveal a much more favourable picture than was at first 
envisaged. The completion of Phase One of the total scheme on the Southern Region shows 
that there will be no great redundancy problem on the Steam side, and that many more 
appointments to the trade of Motorman, will be needed to cover the new work. Plans for the 
big conversion in June next year are going ahead and our representatives on Sectional 
Council No.2 are to complimented on their efforts to effect a reasonably smooth change-over.

On the subject of safety devices it is interesting to read, in the current issue of the 
International Transport Workers’ Federation Journal, of the efforts on Norwegian State 
Railways to provide “walkie-talkie” equipment on their trains. With the aid of this apparatus 
train crews can easily communicate with each other and thus, when there is any dislocation 
of traffic, it is possible to keep everyone informed of the position. While British Railways have promised the early installation of some means of communication between Guard and 
Motorman on passenger trims, it has to be admitted that we are still a long way behind our 
Continental counterparts with regard to this development.

An interesting device already in use on the Federal German State Railways concerns the 
training of Drivers in route knowledge and in timekeeping. All drivers are issued with what 
are know as; “Route, Time and Speed Cards,” which depict in diagrammatic form all fixed 
signals, speed restrictions, gradients, etc., on the various routes over which routes they run. 
We believe these are of great assistance to men while on road learning.

Some time ago, Society representatives visited Germany as members of a “team visit” of 
European Production Agency. In reporting back our representatives stressed the success of 
the Speed Card system as they had seen it, and thought it would be invaluable to our Drivers 
and Motormen at home if something similar could be introduced on British Railways.
Am approach was accordingly made to the B.T.C. and the matter has now been discussed at 
top level. Unfortunately, though acknowledging the success of the scheme in Germany, the 
representatives of the Commission pointed to certain “difficulties” in railway operating 
practice here, and regretted that the suggestion could not be developed at this time.
Every member of this Organisation, from the youngest Cleaner to the General Secretary, has 
a vested interest in safe working. Our young Motormen have proved through the fogs of 
recent winters that they are eel able to carry on in the old tradition. We recall the names of 
Jack Skilton and Don Corke, two young men who came through a most harrowing ordeal with the greatest credit.

One of the main causes for the maintenance of the fine safety record British Railways is, of 
course, the self discipline and the devotion to duty built up in every one of us through years of footplate training. This is a factor which is not generally recognised or, if recognised, is not always acknowledged.



PAGE 396


At our October meeting, Bro. M. Renshaw (Sectional Council Staff Side Chairman and representative), gave a lucid and explanatory report regarding the Modernisation (Stage One) on the Eastern Section of the Southern Region. We all much appreciate his visit.

Whilst the picture he gave us did not appear to be drastic so far as redundancy is concerned, it will be incumbent upon L.D.C.’s and representatives to keep ever vigilant concerning the future. Some sincere thought must be given to our colleagues who fall by the way in future. The gate is closing fast to jobs for them. What about a campaign to establish full staff list rates of pay if work cannot be found? It is up to the Branches







Page 405

The opening of the Kent Coast Electrification Scheme, scheduled for June 1959, will make a 
tremendous difference to the services in and out of London termini on the Eastern Section of 
the Southern Region.

While regular passenger on the Chatham and Dover main line are eagerly looking forward to faster and more frequent services, the railway authorities are going ahead with the final 
details. Many Footplatemen and Motormen in the area are, meanwhile still more than a little 
apprehensive as to immediate future.

As explained las month, Sectional Council representatives have done a very good job where 
staff establishment revision has been necessary. Their reports to our branches have done 
much to dispel the worst fears of our people.

Unfortunately there are still the “Know-alls” who, without going near a branch room to hear 
official reports, profess to have a great deal more inside information than those Staff Side 
representatives who have been in close consultation with the Management from the very 

In these times of violent change and uncertainty it is not very clever to deliberately set 
rumours running about the closing of depots, the transfer of work and consequent 
redundancy. But if any man is impressed by the phoney arguments of those characters, his 
worries are really all his own fault. The only place for fact is, of course, the branch room.

One big task to be completed in the next six or seven months concerns the training of many 
new Motormen and provision of adequate facilities for gaining necessary route knowledge.
In this connection it is good to learn that a new, well-equipped training school has been 
opened at Stewarts Lane. The old school at New Cross has for many years been an eyesore and a disgrace. Now that trainee Motormen are to be accommodated in the more favourable surroundings the old building at New Cross will no doubt suffer the far of the rest of the sheds that once were known as New Cross Gate Loco Depot - demolition.

Special measure will be necessary if the training programmer is to be completed by June 
next. So seriously do the Management view the problem that they have called together the 
L.D.C.s for down-to-earth consultation.

This is a marked step forward in managerial relations with the Staff and the Regional 
authorities responsible are to be complimented on making this approach. The job ahead can 
only be completed if there is the fullest co-operation of all concerned. In this project the men 
are just as keen as management to have everything ship-shape and on schedule.

While on the subject of training it is worth mentioning that not everyone is entirely satisfied 
that the truing system employed on the Southern Region is the best method of training men for Electrical duties. Many of our Improvement Class instructors, some of whom have since 
passed to Supervisory positions, are critical of existing training curricula and strongly 
advocate a complete revision of the system.

A number of our members - Drivers, Motormen and Supervisors - have been fortunate 
enough to attend management-sponsored training schools at Watford, Darlington, and 
elsewhere, from time to time. These courses have proved highly successful both for 
management and men.

It might be a good idea for such students, particularly those with knowledge of electric 
multiple-unit operation, to be called together in conference - representing both sides - with 
the object of devising a comprehensive training scheme to replace the present rather 
haphazard method.



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