Tunbridge Wells Branch

I have on 16th January 1977 read these beautifully written and well kept minutes, which are historically of great interest to the Society and the Trade Union movement.

Over the years these minutes indicate an efficient , dedicated and well run branch carrying out its function procedurally and constitutionally

Neil Milligan

Organising Secretary

Extracted and adapted from

Tunbridge Wells Branch A.G.M. Meeting

Sunday January 16th 1977 10.30 p.m.

at the Welfare Rooms Tunbridge Wells Central Station

The Branch Chairman opened the meeting, by extending a warm welcome to Bro N. Milligan, organising Secretary, who had come to discuss the possibility of members being unavailable to form a branch at Tunbridge Wells for 1977.

The Branch secretary read the minutes of the last meeting of the 19th September ’76, and it was moved by Bro. F. Diplock and seconded Bro. R. Harper. “That they were a true record.”

The minutes of the 2 Special Branch Meetings of the 3rd and 6th October ’76 were then read by the Branch Secretary and it was moved Bro. A. young and seconded Bro. B. Baldock, and moved by Bro. T. Allen and seconded Bro. F. Diplock. “That the minutes of these two special branch meeting were a true record.”

Matters arising from the three meetings.

The branch secretary read the correspondence and replies to and from all concern on what had taken place over the dispute between management and the branch on the loss of excessive Sunday duties at the depot.

This was given a very full discussion by the members, many questions were asked on the subject, and request for the up to date position were asked for by the members.

The Branch Chairman and Secretary gave their report on this but were unable to answer off questions due to there being no other replies, or very limited information in the replies that were received from Head Office and that perhaps the Organising Secretary could answer these on completion of Branch business.

L.D.C. Nominations

Due to there being insufficient members at the December meeting for a meeting to be held, nominations for the vacant L.D.C. position could not be called for prior to the 1st January ’77, but request for nominations for this still vacant position were then asked for.

It was proposed Bro. P. Musselwhite and seconded Bro. B. Baldock that Bro. A. Young be nominated for this position and there being no other persons nominated, Bro. A. Young accepted to stand for this and was given an unanimous vote by all members present to be the official L.D.C. representative to take up this vacant position.

The Branch Chairman, Bro. A. Brooker asked Bro. Milligan if he would accept an invitation from the branch to give his points of view on the issues raised throughout the meeting and answer if possible questions from the members.

Bro. Milligan accepted this invitation and informed the meating that he was pleased to visit Tunbridge Wells Branch and thanked the members for there welcome, especially as the circumstance of his visit related to the future existence of the branch.

Bro. Milligan opened by apologising to the members at being thrown in at the deep end at this meeting. He informed them that he had come to discuss the unavailability of members to form a branch for 1977, and he had no knowledge of the dispute which had led up to the possibility of this. He assured them that he had not been advised of or requested by Head office to look into this dispute and therefore was not in a position to answer questions as to what had taken place.

He explained what would happen if the members failed to elect Branch Officers to keep the Branch open, and how difficult it would be to re-open a Branch once it closed.

He requested the members to adjourn rather than close this meeting so to allow him to make notes of the Branch Secretary’s correspondence so that he could take the matter up direct with the General Secretary as to what had gone wrong at Head Office and he, himself would arrange to discuss the matter with Sectional Council ‘B’, with the view of the Branch being advised on both accounts of the position, which he helped would lead to fresh consideration being given to forming a branch at Tunbridge Wells for 1977.

This request was unanimously accepted and the meeting was adjourned at 13.20.

Extracted and adapted from

Tunbridge Wells Branch the Adjourned A.G.M. Meeting

Sunday March 20th 1977 10.30 p.m.

at the Welfare Rooms Tunbridge Wells Central Station

The Chairman welcomed to Bro N. Milligan, organising Secretary, on his return visit to the Branch to give his assistance (if required) to elect members form a branch for 1977

The Branch secretary read the minutes of the last meeting of the adjourned meeting  of 16th January ’77, together with letters received from the General secretary and Organising Secretary in reply to his assistance that the matters that had led to the possible unavailability of members to form a branch for 1977 would be throughly looked into by both himself and General Secretary with a full explanatory sent to the branch.

The contents of these letters was given a very full discussion by the members and Mr. Milligan was asked if there was anything he could add to these replies. He explained there was nothing further he could say, and give fresh consideration at this meeting, to forming a Branch for 1977.

Further discussion was given to this and it was unanimously agreed that in the light of the assurances within the General Secretary’s letter, the Branch accepted the explanation given.

Branch officers

The Chairman informed the members that with the acceptance of Head office explanation the next business of the meeting would be the election of the Branch officers of 1977 and called for nominations for these positions.

Ore Driver Jack Hoath

Extracted and adapted from

Ore Meeting 

March 27th 1977


The suspension of Driver A.W. Morris (Brighton E.M.U.T.) was discussed. It was proposed by Bro. W. Arling and seconded by Bro. A. Thompson. That the following resolution be sent to Brighton L.D.C.

“That this Branch uphold the appeal of Driver Arthur Morris in accordance with the request of Brighton L.D.C."

It was decided that the following resolution be sent to Head Office.

“That this Branch instruct A.S.L.E.F. General Secretary in accordance with E.C. report at District Council No.4 to press for the reinstatement of Collective Bargaining within the Trade Union Movement.”

Proposed by Bro. R. Chamberlian and seconded by Bro. A. Thompson

Extracted and adapted from

Tunbridge Wells Special Branch Meeting

Sunday August 14th 1977 10.45 a.m.

at the Welfare Rooms Tunbridge Wells Central Station

The Chairman opened the meeting by stating that this meeting had been called to welcome Sectional Council member Bill Eames to give a report on the events surrounding the closure of the Eridge – Oxted line on Sundays. For the purpose of this meeting all normal branch business was suspended.

Bill Eames thanked the Chairman for the welcome and set out to give a full and graphic report on the events leading up to the threat of massive cuts in service and the result of intense pressure put on the B.R.B. to revise the list of cuts by seeing that money could be saved by cutting out non essentials and waste. He went on to describe the events leading up to and since the closure of the Eridge – Oxted Sundays and the future attempts that would be made to reinstate same.

Questions were asked after Bill Eames had finished his report on the possible reopening of High Brooms station on Sundays. The recent introduction of the half hourly Charing Cross – Hastings service causing delays to our Tonbridge - Eridge services and the decline in general of railways in the Tunbridge Wells area.

Bill Eames noted the questions and points put forward and hoped in conjunction with the L.D.C. would resolve some of the issues.

The Chairman having had to a leave a little earlier passed the Chair to the Branch Secretary who at 13:00 brought the meeting to a close with thanks to Bill Eames and Branch member for their attendance

5 members were present.

Extracted and adapted from

Tunbridge Wells Branch Meeting

Sunday September 18th 1977 10.00 a.m.

at the Welfare Rooms Tunbridge Wells Central Station

Correspondence since the last meeting was read out and included

The Branch Secretary then reported on an item on presentation. 

Since the presentation of a pen and pencil by A.S.L.E.F. Head office to the Tunbridge Wells Branch Chairman. Consideration was given to presentation to other branch officers, in view of the fact that A.S.L.E.F. Head Office did not make a presentation to Branch Secretaries until twenty years in office and no presentation was made to L.D.C. Representatives at all. It was considered that a token of appreciation to Branch officers K. Savage, W. Baldwin, A. Ashdown & F. Diplock in the shape of presentation pens should be made with grateful thanks for their efforts on behalf of the members of this branch.

The Branch Chairman wished to endorsed the action of the Secretary in this matter and said he had worked with these members in their various capacities and knew the time and effort that they had put in over the years. He thanked them both personally and behalf of the branch.

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