Horsham Locomotive shed closed on 17th
 July 1959 but the 

steam depot remained open until the 27th January 1964.


Horsham George Waters in the cab of Bullieds electric loco

 George Waters seniority date (02.04.1918) George was a driver at Horsham, and one of the ‘Hornby’ men.






Page 4

Having just passed the seasons when expressions of friendship and good-will are the order of the day, it will appear most inconsiderate too mention such a vexatious subject as Rest Day Working.

Nothing is more certain to cause hard feelings among Motormen just now than to criticise the recent local agreements whereby men are booked to work on their day of rest.

At a time when modernisation - the introduction of new forms of motive power, new Manning arrangements, service cuts, etc. - is causing us some real headaches up and down the country, it is obviously wrong for anyone to think about working rest days, much less queue up for them.

Last months we had some complimentary things to say on the subject of action management 
on the Southern Region in calling the L.D.C. representatives together to find a solution to 
staffing problems caused by the Kent Coast electrification programme. Now that the full 
details of the agreed “solution” are known, it is difficult to find words to express the very 
uncomplimentary things that come to mind on the subject.

The modernisation programme of the Southern Region was announces in detail several years ago. Everyone knew then that the extra Motormen needed to overtake electrical duties would first have to be trained for the job. Having been trained, time would have to be spent on acquiring the necessary route knowledge. What was done to ensure that on the day of the 
inauguration of the new services the Motormen would be there, ready and able to take over 
their new duties? Not a blessed thing. Now, six months before the event, it’s case of “All 
hands to the pumps” Special Temporary Training Inspectors working against the clock in an 
attempt to have the men ready on time; Drivers and Motormen working rest days to cover the work of those to be trained.

No one will criticise the local staff representative for their action in this matter. They, like 
everyone else on our side, want the new services to get off to a first-class start. At such a time it would be the greatest folly to refuse to help. Our local representatives can only act, on such matters, according to their judgement of the position as it stands. They have a tough job to please everybody. But what is particularly sickening in all this is the eagerness with which the opportunity has been grasped by a section of the men themselves.

Because of the L.D.C. set-up in the London Operating Area, men working on the Central 
Section - of no use to the management on Eastern Section routes - are booked to work on 
their rest days even though there is no work for them. This is a position that nobody can begin to justify. Yet here again the staff representatives cannot be faulted.

It is their job to draw up agreements to cover the staff they represent. They cannot be 
expected to agree something for one section of the men, to the exclusion of the other.
Some while ago, following discussion at a meeting of the B.R. Productivity Council, the trade unions were asked to co-operate in the matter of meeting staffing difficulties. The Railway representatives pointed out that quite often L.D.C.’s would only agree to the working of rest days if all of the staff concerned were to work 100 per cent rest days. This, it was said, was uneconomical  and the unions were asked to do what they could to limit the extent of rest-day working to minimum required to cover the emergency. For our part it was said that while we did not condone the unnecessary working of rest days, the problem of finding a satisfactory solution was not an easy one.

It is one thing for a L.D.C. to agree, say, 75 per cent. or 50 per cent working for all the staff 
represented. It is an entirely different matter when the management want half the staff to work 100 per cent rest days and the other half none at all. If that lesson hasn’t yet been learned by everyone, we’d better get back to our alphabet and beads again.

As many readers of this page will know, Bro. Bert Howes, who has been my close colleague 
on the Executive Committee for a number years, has now left the railway service, having 
failed the eyesight colour vision test, and has accordingly resigned from the E.C.
Bert was a grand worker for the A.S.L.E. & F. and for his comrades on London Transport. 
His ability and, particularly , his keen cockney wit endeared him to everyone he met - not 
excluding the members of the London Transport Executive with whom he had so many wordy battles.

Now establishing himself as Mine Host at “The Old Red House” in Battersea, Bert will be 
pleased to see any of his old colleagues whenever they are in the area, as he wants to keep up to date in all the affairs of the L.T.E. Everyone will join in wishing Bro. Howes every success in his new adventure.

Yet another grand colleague, Bro. Bill Boulton, for many years Secretary and latterly, 
Chairman of Selhurst Branch, has left our working ranks. Bill retired from railway at the end 
of December. He is one of those real old-time socialists who never lost faith in the younger 
men coming along behind. His takes of struggles in the old day could fill a book. Many men, especially those of us who have been fortunate enough to come under his influence and leadership at an early age, will never cease to shout the praises of such a great character. 
Goodness knows how many letters from Bill have signed of with, “All the best.” And that is 
just what we wish him now. And for many years to come.


Newhavewn Firemen Brian Simpson & Ron Terrill shovelling out ashes, cinders etc.,

 from the pits roads outside the Newhaven Loco Shed. 





M.I.C attendances good, Johnnie and Bob still doing their stuff. To them we say, “Thanks a lot”; to those who do not attend we say, “Get cracking” if you do not want to fail the Driving Exam. as some have done. Meeting poor, why? Moaming in lobbies get us nowhere. L.D.C.’s cannot take real notice of moans from such places. The aristocrats of these lobby backchats can be dangerous to us all, as in most cases they do not know what they are talking about. If they came to the meetings they might, which is the only sure way of getting things dealt with in an orthodox manner, and put right. Payment for the job and our conditions are today truly abominable.

A Geddes Axe is needed on the Railway administration, as the first thing to try and make the railways pay. It is top heavy; no outside firm could exist with such a weight. Messing about of Engine Workings and other pranks practised by a few should cease. If these few want their little fun and games they should try them on themselves for a change, because we on the front have had our fill, and are bubbling over.

From Norwood to all Branches: May 1959 bring us Full Meetings, a Fair Crack of the Whip for the Front of the Train, and a Labour Government, all of which are long overdue! 

So long, chaps. Dum Spiro Spero





page 58


SIR, - As I write we about to the latest “office boys brain child trust upon us. The designer 
of this monstrosity can have little or no practical knowledge of a Motorman’s duties. Firstly, 
only one column for departure and arrival stations. It would therefore seem that one will need two tickets at least for most duties (twenty minutes).

Then there is the twenty dollar question, actual departure times. How is a Motorman to 
record this whilst the train is in motion, with only one hand free, a notebook (if he is lucky), 
no writing desk, no light after dark, and no watch. We have just left a year with some 
unfortunate accidents, yet some irresponsible people are allowed to bring forth something 
that can only cause a distraction to a Motorman when engaged in his proper duty.











Page 41

In the December Journal mention was made of the view held by many responsible people on 
both sides, that all is not as it should be on the Southern Region where technical training is 

The hope was there expressed that with the advent of the new school building at Stewarts 
Lane - and this is something to be seen to believed - some real effort would now be made to 
revise the whole of the existing training curricula, particularly the programme as affecting 
the training of men to overtake Electrical duties.

It is most encouraging to learn from Mr. G. A. Weeden, Southern Region Motive Power 
Officer, that due heed has been taken of the suggestion made in those December notes on the 
value of calling upon the experience of our Mutual Improvement Class lectures and others 
who have long been interested in technical training, with a view to bringing about a radical 

Of Mr. Weeden’s intention to tackle this problem with determination there is not the slightest doubt. Staff representatives and Regional Officers - men who have a great deal of practical experience of Improvement Class and Study Group work - have been called together with the object of devising the best possible system of preparing men for the change-over from steam to electric and diesel work.

This is the right approach to a problem that is not easy of solution. Locomotivemen are well 
known to be very independent characters. On the subject of the right way of perform their 
normal footplate duties they have very set opinions. Regional and Sectional traditions die 
hard with us. Men used to a strenuous open-air life do not take kindly to long spells at the 
classroom desk.

Any Training Inspector will tell you that his is by no means the easiest job in the world. Of 
itself, a thorough knowledge of the technicalities of the new forms of traction is by no means sufficient; the successful lecturer must know not merely his subject but also his pupil. This is nowhere more true than in Locomen’s circles.

Nor is this just a question of its being difficult to teach an old dog new tricks. A man who has spent many years on the footplate is naturally keen-witted. The Engine Driver who is not quick on the uptake very quickly find himself in trouble; and it is well known that the biggest dullard very soon sharpens up his wits on the railways - by worming his way out of trouble when once he’s in it!

Yes, where steam operation is concerned our men are as adaptable as anyone. It’s just that 
they don’t take too kindly, at first, to the “deaf and dumb” multiple-unit electric and diesel 
stock. Strong prejudices must first be broken down.

It is too soon as yet to see any progress on the important matter, but already the Motive 
Power Officer has earned our real appreciation of his efforts to secure the best possible 
training system for potential Motormen on the Southern. He can be sure of the fullest co-
operation of everyone on the Staff side in the common task of setting ideas to work in this 





On December 14th the members of the Selhurst Branch met for their A.G.M. After having selected their officers for 1959 our retiring Chairman, W. Boulton, then presented to retiring member s W. Key and A. Sutton their retiring grants and thanked them for their services to the branch. The Branch Secretary then presented to Bro. W. Boulton his retiring grants and a gift of notes from the branch, thanking him very sincerely for his past services. After 30 year’s service to our branch, Bro. W. Boulton’s advice will surely be missed by all. Thanks Bill.

C. Foot


MARCH 1959


The 1959 Election of Officer brought three changes: J. Whiley as assistant secretary, F. Godfrey vice chairman, and C. Day as minute taker. We wish them every success in their term of office. We would like to thank the retiring officers, R. Wheeler, R. Barber and I. Laws, for their good work they have done for the branch. It has not unnoticed, Brothers.
1958 and early 1959 have brought the retiring age of five of our members, they are A. Ridges, A. Turner, A. Gracie, and N. Surgey. We would like to wish all these members a long and happy retirement. Sid Elliott, another of our members, emigrated to Canada. I know that all our members and also many of his old colleagues wish him every success in his new life and surroundings. It is with regret I must report that Brother George Home has died. We wish to offer our sincere condolences to his relatives.

C.W. Smith

Branch Reporter     


MARCH 1959




Page 72

Regardless of the claims of certain Motormen to the country, it is a plan biological that all 
Motive Power Superintendents, Shed Masters and Diagrams Clerks are human.

It is only fair, therefore, to conclude that these worthy officers lead some sort of domestic and social life after four o’clock of an afternoon and earlier on Saturdays. Sunday, of course, 
provides the essential day of rest.

This line of reasoning sets one wondering what would be the reaction of, say, a Shed Master 
who suddenly informed that he must cancel an urgent appointment with his doctor or dentist 
for no apparent reason excepting that the responsible for covering supervisory duties failed to cover the work in the proper manner. Most Shed Masters known to us would be more than a little peeved.

Well, now! If Shed Master and their like were protected by rigid agreements in such things - 
similar to those which afford protection to mere Motormen (see R.S.C. Minutes No. 65 & 514) - any peevishness engendered by the open flouting of such agreements would quickly turn to rebellion. This being the case for Shed Masters, to show some measure of understanding when a Motorman protests at being taken off his rostered turn.

Just a few months ago on this page we dealt with the case of a Motorman who was issued of  
a “Crime Sheet” for having the audacity to book on at his rostered signing-on time when the 
District Office decreed that he must cover some other duty. At the disciplinary interview the 
Railway Officer, following a very full examination of all circumstances, was compelled to 
admit that he had no case - the charge was dropped. That, we all hoped, was an end to 
irregular rostering on the Southern Region - at least for a while.

Unfortunately, the Brighton District Office just will not learn from its past mistakes. Brightonlet it be known, has recently come under what is known as “Entirely New Management.” 

First reports of the activities of the new D.M.P.S. are not all uncomplimentary. If that 
gentleman wishes to do himself and everyone else in his District a good turn, he will quickly 
put a stop to some of the antics of his “advisers” where rostering is concerned.

On the general question of diagramming, your Executive Committee has long been concerned with position on the Southern Region. Daily alterations - “permanent” and temporary - are excessive. The matter was discussed towards the end of last year at Waterloo between our representatives and the Senior Regional Staff Officers and it is to be hoped that a radical improvement will soon be seen on all Sections.

Assurances were given that these alterations are always kept at a bare minimum. At the same time a diagramming expert claimed that certain amendments to duties were necessary from time to time and, although the reasons for your changes were not always apparent to the men concerned, they were nevertheless unavoidable.

A few days after this meeting a 29 page Special Notice was issued (No.7. C/MR), showing 
some 195 duty alterations affecting Monday to Friday workings on the Central Section alone! 

There were also 73 amendments to duties on a temporary basis in C/MS Notices applying 
from 3rd to 7th November,  as well as numerous alterations to Saturday workings. This is 
simply not good enough and it’s nearly time someone took a serious look at diagramming on 
the Southern Region.

At this meeting the question of roster scrutiny was fully discussed. We complained that too 
often the diagrams were not available for scrutiny until the last minute. It was also pointed 
out that conscientious examination of the original rosters is often proved a waste of time due 
to wholesale amendments sent out a day or two after the official scrutiny.

The reply was given tat all workings now go out from the Diagram Section at least two or 
three weeks before their operative date. Shed Masters are to be instructed to make copies 
available to roster scrutineers immediately up receipt. Our local representative can be relied 
upon to keep a sharp check on the fulfilment of this promise.

Every aspect of diagramming was freely discussed at this meeting there can be no doubt that 
the Management at top level is sincere in its intention to improve matters. Whether this 
sincerely will percolate right down the line to District Office level remains to be seen.....
Here is just one short - but very important quote from the official minutes of the meeting:-

“The allegation of the Trade Union representatives that the Diagram Office is deliberately 
rostering men for eight hours with object of offsetting mileage payment accruing from main 
line work was refuted by the Management, but an undertaking was given to investigate any 
specific cases to which attention is directed.


APRIL 1959

PAGE 112



Sir - I would like, through the medium of the Journal, to express appreciation to the Society of the efficient manner in which my claim for accident off duty was conducted.

The cheque handed to me in settlement of my claim was received with gratitude. A typical example of the very high standard of efficiency of A.S.L.E. & F., working, as always, in the interest of its members’ welfare. 

Thank you.




APRIL 1959




Page 108

There is far too much of what is commonly call wed “suffering in silence” among Motormen. 

This is a condition brought about not, as might be imagined, through some sort of Spartan 
heroics by the men concerned, but by sheer slackness. In some cases this amounts to 
downright laziness. And let it hastily be added that the writer admits to being quite as guilty 
in this as anyone else.

Consider the business of reporting small defects. Window-wipers that don’t work; faulty 
window drop-lights; doors that need a strong shoulder or heavy boot to open; draughty cabs; 
leaky window-frames - and all the other inconveniences that we suffer daily on the job. In the main it is only the men stationed at the maintenance depot who take the trouble to properly record such defects. Yet Train Defect Sheets are available at al terminal points where Foreman are stationed.

Men at outstations seem to hold the well-known type of naval philosophy that runs: “I have 
managed to get through the day’s work despite this particular inconvenience. Now, Jack, you too can have a go.” There are, of course, many honourable exceptions in this. But most 
Motormen who read this page will know only too well what is meant - and whether it applies in their case.

Some well-meaning souls will argue that they’ve been jogging alone quite nicely, thank you, 
for many years without joining the sharp-pencil brigade. In present day circumstances, that is a dangerous attitude of mind.

In the cases catalogued above, perhaps things are particularly serious. But there are 
seemingly small items that get by unreported which could easily could easily become all-
important to someone.

Take the example of the Driver of a multiple-unit train who came to grief not so long ago 
when making an attachment in a station platform. his job was the comparatively simple one 
of emerging from a tunnel and attaching his train to another stationary unit. He had done the 
job many times before without difficulty, but on this occasion the tunnel was filled with smoke from a passing steam train. He handled his train in the normal way but, because he had no means of judging the density of the smoke and because of the effect of this upon his judgement of speed, he was out of the tunnel before he knew it - and into the back of the stationary portion. He awoke in an ambulance.

Any layman should know that it is extremely dangerous to approach a stationary train in a 
station platform for the purpose of attaching with passengers in both portions if the 
movement entails groping one’s way through a smog-filled tunnel. Yet this must happen quite often at such places.

To the men who perform such work there is, I submit, an additional and totally unnecessary 
strain in these circumstances. A warning light at the exit of the tunnel would be a great 
assistance to Drivers. Rail safety has become a real talking-point in places far removed from 
mess-rooms and trade union branch rooms of recent months. now is the time to faithfully 
report anything that appears to threaten the high level of safety on British Railways. It does 
not follow because men have had to put with all manner of inconveniences for years, that we 
should continue to make hard work of the most simple tasks. A little more effort in this 
business of submitting reports can make all the difference.

Let us welcome the letter published in the February Journal from Motorman Gordon Knight of Littlehampton (see above Feb 1959 Locomotive Journal). Strong complaint is made about a “monstrosity” shortly to be thrust upon him in the shape of a new Motorman’s Tickets.Bro. Knight points out that he has no watch, no desk at which to write, no free hand, no note- book and no time for answering what he describes as “the twenty-solar question” - actual departure times.

Now it happens, in this case, that the Trade Unions were given an opportunity to comment on the matter before this ticket was finally approved. All the points raised by Bro. Knight, 
together with a few that he didn’t mention, were put to the Management by our 
representatives at a meeting held at Marylebone on 7th January last.

The Commission’s representatives explained that the new ticket had been evolved after 
consultation with all Regions and with the Accountants. The changes from existing Southern 
Region ticket were considered necessary in order to facilitate paybill work which has been 
affected by office mechanisation. Mileage calculation is an important feature. The 
management claimed that the information required on the ticket is much the same as that 
needed in the past.

From our side it was said that the quick turn-round at terminal points allowed Motormen no 
time for entering additional details and the general suitability of the form was questioned. It 
was agreed that if any difficulty was experienced by Motormen in completing the form, 
special consideration would be given locally to any cases of the type mentioned. L.D.C. 
representatives will take due note...


APRIL 1959


(Extracted & adapted)

PAGE 131 

The March meeting of our Branch brought a special occasion: the 
members of the Branch gathering to pay a tribute to our retiring 
member, Bro. Ern Binstead (Seniority Date 14.03.19).

“Ern” came to us about 20 years ago from the Brighton railway, and at all times proved himself a good Trade Unionist. 

It was a great surprise to most of us to learn that Ern had served in the 1914 - 18 War, and, what is more, that he had received the M.M. for gallantry on the Somme.

He was presented with a wristlet watch, suitably inscribed, from the men at the depot.



Driver Ernie Skinner & Fireman Ian Muro

Ernie was a L.D.C.Rep. for Brighton loco in the late 1950s 

early 1960s 


APRIL 1959

PAGE 112



Sir - I would like to express my opinion on the lack of humanity and moral fervour in the Trade Union Movement today.

These two forces which carried the Unions through their struggle conflicts of earlier days seem to have been replaced by complacency and and apathy, and when you give any serious thought to the obstacles yet to be negotiated in the way of working conditions, wages, social advancement, etc., it presents a very sorry picture.

Furthermore, there is a lack of controversy in our Journal; this could be counteracted by allowing space for members to air their views on a multitude of subjects. i don’t suggest this as a “gimmick” to fill the branch rooms, but as a heartfelt opinion. As it stands at the present we get an occasional article tinged with controversy, but this not enough to retain interest.

I have seen scores of “Journals” lying about in rooms, cabs etc., evidently taken more out of loyalty to the Society than for the interest they hold. What we want is facts, lively reports, militant articles, and, above all, a difference of opinion. All this in the right perspective could, I’m sure, help to bring back at least a spark of that humanity and moral fervour.

If one wishes to see havoc that complacency and apathy can do, one only has to glance to France. So perhaps an important topic of controversy is an article on the reasons “Why you pay a Potical Levy.”




MAY 1959




Page 144

The 1959 Annual Assembly of Delegates will commence on Tuesday, 5th May, in Blackpool. 

Almost without exception in the years that have passed since the war, we have heard the 
claim: “Without doubt, this is the most important Conference of recent years.” The 
forthcoming Assembly in Blackpool will certainly not provide any exception. Indeed, a study of the Agenda of Suggestions and a glance at the list of extremely experienced delegates indicates that the year 1959 will mark off another important milestone in the history of the Society.

Looking back through the A.A.D. Reports of the past 15 years and remembering the vast 
chafes that have taken place in every aspect of our day-to-day job, one can only marvel at the tenacious ability of our representatives at all levels in securing the best possible agreements on the one hand, whilst averting the worst possible disasters on the other.

It has been said of the Railway industry, many times, that we stagger from one crisis to 
another. This neither the time nor the place to speak in defence of the Railway Management; 
but so far as the Railway Unions are concerned there can be no question that, despite the 
critical times in which we move, each crisis has been faced with determination and the future very carefully planned. This “staggering” charge simply doesn’t stick; and the records prove the point.

Why is it then, that each Annual Conference appears to outdo the last in presenting more and more pressing problems for our membership? Why in these days of Joint Consultation and supposedly improved negotiating machinery, cannot an attempt be made to tie up all our 
worries into a neat parcel - and settle things with the Management, once and for all?
The answer to that straight question is simple enough; but the final solution to all our 
problems is very much more tricky.

It takes two sides to make an agreement. Even though one may be generous enough to grant 
that all the top-level representatives of the British Transport Commission are as sincere as we are in the “common desire” to put the Railways back on their feet, there remains a serious doubt as to the intentions of those people who really control the finances of British Transport.

The problem is, of course, entirely political. In a situation where the profit-making sectors of 
the transport industry are more and more being divorced from the Railways (which, with all 
the goodwill in the world, can never hope to pay their way under existing conditions) we 
cannot expect to solve such issues as the Wages Structure, the Shorter Working Week, 
Improved Annual Leave, etc., all of which call for considerable withdrawals from a non-
existent “kitty.”

It is well remembered that no matter what “economies” we may work to effect, no matter how much additional productivity is achieved, we can never hope to do more than pay for all the improved service that may flow from Modernisation. It is entirely unreasonable to suppose that we can ever provide from our own labours sufficient to meet the cost of improved pay and working conditions for Railway staff while, at the same time, huge profits are being drained from transport by private enterprise.

A Labour Government promises a fully integrated system of road and rail transport. It is 
surely in the interests of all railway employees to work doubly hard in the coming months to 
ensure the total defeat of the Tories at the polls in the next Election. We must see to it that the past bungling in transport is swept aside and replaced by Labour’s planned system. Until that time, we cannot hope for a speedy end to our many difficulties.

With Railway rates of pay always at the bottom of the industrial scale it is not surprising that 
suggestions for increasing wages of Footplate staff have taken pride of place - numerically at least - among the agenda items at the Annual Conferences. This year, however, the popular demand for a shorter working week has elbowed its way to top place. No. 1 in the “Hit Parade” if you like - and with good reason.

This is not to say everyone is happy on the wages question, though it would be true to say that my visits to Electrical Branches in the past three months reveal considerable faith in the 
ultimate conclusions of the current Pay Review.

Motormen generally, are well aware that the real “take-home” pay of Footplatemen varies 
considerably from Region to Region, and even from Depot to Depot. It is appreciated that 
men whose “extras” are practically non-existent are becoming impatient with the seeming 
delay in the conduct of the Pay Review.

In circulars to the Branches, in reports to District Council and elsewhere, Society policy on 
wages has been made abundantly clear. Up-to-the-minute news on activities of the various 
Railway Committees is Number 1 priority for Executive Committee Members in their reports to Branches. It should be obvious to all who bother with the FACTS that no time is being lost in arriving at a final settlement.

In any case, the 1959 A.A.D. will have the final word on both these important matters and the outcome will be closely watched by our people everywhere.

Other items of great interest concern: Suggested amendments to the Promotion and 
Redundancy Arrangements; the question of manning the new forms of traction; qualifications of the second man where provided; payment of lodging allowances; route knowledge; Work Study; travelling facilities; uniform clothing; the working of rest days; pensions; the financial position of the Railway industry; and last, but no means least. the withdrawal of services on railways.

This adds up to pretty formidable agenda. It’s a safe bet that in the weeks that follow the 
Conference the messroom will hum with rumours of all manner of “new agreements.”There is only one way of keeping abreast of developments following the decisions taken in Blackpool this month. Better look up the date of the next Branch meeting.


MAY 1959

PAGE 166


On Good Friday we had the company of Organiser W.J.K. Cleaver and his wife at our Annual Reunion, when 75 retired and active Motormen and their friends sat down to enjoy tea together. In the evening the East Croydon Social Club was opened to the hole of the retired and active members, who enjoyed a session of dancing and a cabaret put on by The Snags Sniffle Group - a number of our members who gave a good hourentertainment which was enjoyed by all. The evening went all too quickly after a session of dancing under the direction of the M.C., Len Taverner. Thanks, Snags - Thanks, Len.




JUNE 1959




Page 180


These notes come to you direct from the Annual Assembly of Delegates which, for the past 
eight days, has been giving consideration to items submitted by the Branches and included in the Conference Agenda.

The Executive Committee has, covered many important matters concerning the industrial and political future of each one of our members. The progress of such items as Wages, 
Modernisation, Manning, Training, etc., etc., has been reported to the assembled delegates. 
Decisions of great importance have been taken - particularly in respect of the items submitted by the Branches.

There have been many lively sessions, many sober moments and, just occasionally, those 
more jocular and lighthearted phases that relieve the general tension of all conferences of 
this importance.

Delegates appear to have mixed feelings as to the standard debate here. Some of the more 
experienced claim that they have seen better Conferences in the past. Others think the 
standard has been as high as usual.

Among the younger delegates we have heard the usual complaint that Conference procedure 
has been very confusing - particularly during the first few days. Nevertheless, the point of 
view of the younger fraternity has found adequate expression on the floor of Conference and 
there can be little doubt that those youngsters present will make their mark in the affairs of 
the Society in the years to come.

One thing is certain, Bro. Sam Auty of Royston has shown, as indeed he was expected to 
show, that he possesses all the qualities that go to make a first-class Chairman. His handling 
of Conference, his shrewd Yorkshire wit and judgement, have been a feature throughout - and Sam has held the esteem of all concerned from the very start.

The two Motormen’s representatives have had an unusually large number of difficult 
problems to contend with and, although in some cases they have been very disappointed with results; their efforts on behalf of the Branches they represent have been altogether 
praiseworthy and it is certain that our Electrical Branches will applaud their work here in 

The most pleasing feature of the Conference is that, regardless of personal hopes, successes 
and disappointments, there has been no show of bombast or of resentment at the decisions. 
Les Hancock of Leystone and Ted Tinsley of Orpington have not had easy Conference. But 
both are fully deserving of the gratitude of every one of us for the job of work they have done.

-  -  -  -  -  - 

The opening of the electrified lines to the Kent Coast and the new services to the coast towns will take place on 15th June, 1959.

In the recent past, as been mentioned earlier on this page, the Eastern sector of the Southern 
Region has been the scene of feverish activity; many men have received Electrical training; 
practical train-running experience has been gained by many new recruits to the ever-swelling ranks of motormen throughout the area.

These new colleagues will be welcomed by all established motormen in the district. Quite a 
few of these men are drivers of many years standing. Electrical duties are much different from the old steam work. No matter what may be said to the contrary by outsiders, the very fact of single manning has some psychological effect on the best of us when, for the first time, we “take on” without a mate.

We have said many times on this page that there is far more to driving the fast-moving, quick-accelerating, new forms of traction than appears on the surface. Added concentration is necessary; speeds require some new judgement (there is a vast difference in the judgement of when sitting immediately over the running rail); many new features have to be taken into 
account; headaches, at first, are not uncommon.

*  *  *  *  *  *

Next month, perhaps, we can have a word on the subject of some of the more important 

decisions taken at the Blackpool Conference


Fratton Locomotive Shed closed on the 2nd November 1959. But still continue as a stabling 

point until July 1967. The shed was demolished in 1969.

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