MARCH 1980


It is with deep regret that once again I find myself having to report the death of two of our members, Brothers J. Conway (Vic Eastern), and W. Long (Mix Traction), both men of a quiet nature and both falling to heart problems. Our sympathies go out to both families.

The last six months has been our Branch Secretarys worst for 28 years, with something like seven men either having to come off the track or dying.

It is in the back of all Loco-mns minds as to whether this is the job we perform, with the “stress and strain” involved today, or in society in general.

To be fair and to quote an article in the Sunday Times (February 3rd, Can Jogging Kill?) “500 people in Britain die every day from ‘heart-related ailments’.”  It also said “exercise undoubtedly starts off heart disease if it doesn’t keep it down”.     

Maybe the time is here to have 30 mins. hard exercise inside the eight hour diagramme under Medical supervision, a long term investment for BR perhaps?

Our LDCs have been involved in the train card system, car parking Streatham Hill and Stewarts Lane and removal of the gateman. And a 12 point guideline by Sectional Council approved by Regional management because of the abusiveness of the manning agreement.


Littlehampton Driver Fred Janaway, 

Littlehampton ASLEF Branch Secretary c1980 - c1990

Seaford Driver Bill Lipscombe

Extracted and adapted from


Tuesday 13th May 1980 

Branch Secretary explained the reason for the meeting being explained

Members present W. Tansell, S. Cheal, H. Allen, C. Wickenden, F. Wheeler, R. Morris 


Correspondence, The Chairman read a letter signed by nine other members of the Seaford Branch. Voting procedures were discussed by the floor. Proposed by Bro. H. Allen & Seconded Bro. C. Wickenden, 

That the following resolution be adopted, and PLACE BEFORE THE E.C. of the A.S.L.E.& F." Carried

"That this Seaford Branch gives a vote of confidence in our Branch Secretary, Bro R. Morris in complying with the wishes of the last Branch meeting and endorses his letter to Bro. W. Mullett dated 13th February 1980. 

Further, that Bro. J. Bowlden and D. Smith be transferred to No.1 and No.2 Brighton Branches as per rule 7, and that any matter deemed to be repugnant of insulting be ignored."

"Further, That this Branch demand that the E.C. obtain all detailed information from Organising Secretary N. Milligan, as why he discussed and advised a Seaford member (unknown at the of this resolution) without the consent of the Seaford Branch Chairman or Secretary to hold another L.D.C. Representative election, which would include members of this Seaford Branch (not yet transferred under A.S.L.E. & F. Rule 7) who do not work at Seaford Depot, to be included in any L.D.C. Representative vote."

"Further, That our Branch Secretary forward the document containing 9 signatures, to be placed before the E.C. in order that such necessary steps can be taken to obtain a written apology from Seaford member Bro. W. Mullett for soliciting Seaford members to sign the enclosed document thereby contravening Rule 37 clause 4 paragraph 3 of the A.S.L.E. & F. Rules."


The last recorded meeting of the Seaford Branch of A.S.L.E.& F. 

was on Tuesday 13th May 1980 

From June 1980 ~ July1992 Seaford A.S.L.E.& F members become 

part of the Eastbourne Branch.


MAY 1980


Not just Selhurst Branch, but members from all over the Southern Region and beyond will be sorry to learn of the early retirement on ill-health of Eric Pentecost. For several years, Eric has been handicapped through chronic arthritis and despite all efforts to overcome the effects of this condition he was obliged to leave the railway on 5 April 1980.

Those members who have been privileged to work with him over the past years will remember Eric Pentecost as an active and gifted sportsman and an enthusiastic trade unionist above all else. An accomplished footballer on the verge of professional status, good club cricketer and enthusiastic golfer, he made many friends on the sports field. In the Labour movement he has been equally popular as Branch office, LDC representative, AAD delegate and to District Council No.4, Croydon Trades Council and Labour Party over the years. "Nothing spectacular, " he says. But a wholehearted colleague whether at work or play and one who will be missed.

Even now Eric hasn't given up. He says he's come terms with life and is nowes helping the hospital specialist, with the intention of using his experience over the pas five years help others who are unfortunate enough to fall victim to the same complaint. This is typical of the man, and we all hope will remember the good times and manage to maintain his cheerful outlook, despite the problems, for many years.        


JUNE 1980



It Selhurst’s recent meetings the branch noted with thanks the services of several members. One member who has had to retire through ill health (and many men of the Southern will know him) is Bro. Eric Pentecost for many years an active member of this branch and instigator of many of the good working practices that we now enjoy. No woads that I can write can do justice to the work Eric has done, and Eric, even though he has to retire, expresses wishes to keep an interest in branch affairs. We all wish him a long and happy retirement without too much pain. One of our previous branch secretaries Bro. George Brown, has moved to another depot and we thank him for all his work as secretary and also LDC secretary of Selhurst EMUT. We wish you well, George!

Also two branch committee men and LDC secretaries have had to give up their work; Bro. Clive True of Caterham EMUT, due to personal reasons, and Bro. Ron Bridle of Coulsdon North EMUT, following the very sad loss of his wife. We all express our sincere condolences to Ron and his family. Thank you to both Brothers. The branch can ill afford to lose men of their calibre and we can only say to the men who have replaced them, good luck and keep up their good work.

Our last branch meeting was on the day of the pay ward and though we did not have the finer details members expressed surprise at the awards; and in the circumstances it is fair but will only keep us up with inflation.

Also members are wary - what is it going to cost us next year? That is the fear, and we will all have to be on our toes over the big “Rail into the 80s” plan.

Since we changes our branch meetings to Thursday, attendances have greatly improved and though not all of our LDC men “L574” these days attend the branch we only hope they see fit to come in the future, and swell the meeting even more.




JUNE 1980


I must say I was more than surprised to read in the May Journal the letter from Dave Bush (Slade Green) calling for the consolidation of all long and contract mileage with the introduction of O.M.O. trains.

What you are calling on us to do, Dave, is complete U-turn in Society policy.

At the 1978 AAD, item 243, calling for mileage to payable at 140 miles, was “noted”, and as a follow up to this, the 1979 Conference adopted a policy (item 79, carried unanimously), that the principle of contract mileage be extended to cover all Footplate grades.

To go along with Dave’s suggestion would be giving licence to Management to take full advantage of the 350 miles a day limitation for all Drivers, for just a few pence in our pockets for consolidation.

Mileage payment is, and should always be, used as a penalty payment. To pursue a policy of its being paid at 140 miles or less, and then incorporate it into contract mileage agreements at local level must be the right course - bearing in mind that contract mileage agreements will make jobs at the same time give our members more leisure time.


BRIGHTON (2)      





At the July meeting of the Selhurst branch the members were pleased to welcome once again Bro. D. Fullick for an EC report.

Standing orders were suspended to give Derrick as much time as possible. His main theme was the Inquiry being currently conducted by the Monopolies Commission into the London and South East services. He gave details of the hearing attended by the General Secretary and EC representatives. Derrick explained how our condition of service and Working Practices had been a major factor at the hearing; he also explained his fears about what the commissions report might contain in finality, and the possible serious consequences it could have for our members present assist in getting the message across by talking to other members in the mess rooms and elsewhere.

The Society was in his view facing many problems; the Monopolies Commission, Employment Bill, hiving off, financial cuts and the Government’s attitude to wage increases for workers in the public sector.

It was, Derrick said, important that the members fully understood the serious situation that faced all of us. While those present agreed that they would attempt to convey the message requested, they felt that the General Secretary and EC should put out ad much information as possible to the total membership. the general feeling being that this was an area that could be improved on.

Derrick said one of the problems was striking a balance in respect of information of this nature. some were only too eager to shrug it off as union propaganda and scaremongering and this could have a counter effect to that intended. However, those present felt that the issues involved should be brought to the attention of both the public and our membership whenever possible, even though certain people might say that the information was propaganda etc.!

This our member believed was, and is a very serious time for the Society, and members expressed their fears in the many questions posed to Derrick. All too soon time ran out, but it will not be long before we ask Derrick to come back and give a report again.






I personally do not agree that railway management should seek to interfere with public holidays. If these are to be changes it is the prerogative of the “House” to do so and not the employers.

Train drivers must be free to choose to work on common law holidays and statutory holidays, or to remain at home like other members of the community. It is a fact that when a train driver gives up his “Royal Proclamation” holiday and goes to work; even with the enhancement payments and a day in lieu is lower paid for working than many other members of the community are paid for taking the holiday off with pay, enjoying the public holiday with family and friends. The board keeps coming up with the idea of a “Continental” working week without Continental conditions of service and rates of pay: Sunday in the working week, without even considering that Sunday is a common law holiday and not part of the working week. In fact I cannot understand why A.S.L.E.F. has not asked the Board to give us a day in lieu for working on Sundays, seeing that Sundays comes within the same category as the public holidays.



Brighton Secondman Matthew Cole standing in front of a class 73 at Lavant stone quarry, holding the Fishbourne - Lavant staff




Having read and heard so much comment concerning the May 14 day of protest it seems that it is the general opinion that so many did not take part because of the political involvement. Of course when working people are asked to make sacrifices all sort of excuses are made so as not to be involved. I am not writing to you as an excuse, but as a serious complaint, because I worked on May 14, and I am not alone in my reasons.

Firstly I need no converting as to the principles and system of a Conservative government. I was born in 1924 the second son of a railwayman, and married a miners daughter in 1945, whose three brother were also miners. The family debates we used to have, would be good material for some of the so called socialist today, never mind the Tories.

I went to work on May 14 because of the conditions under which we work, and how they have changed. No longer is the national conditions of service used as a guide, and no longer is seniority used as a guide to get the priorities right. Some indeed have gone back as far as a hundred years ago. The only response one gets on complaining is vindictiveness based on half truths and lies. Go to the branch we are told, change age LDC is the cry. What a load of rubbish. No matter who attends branch meeting, no matter who the LDC are, the national condition of service should automatically be carried out, and if there is some new system then the sooner we have some trade union reform the better. At the moment Maggie and her true blues are not our worst enemy.

I sincerely hope that we not asked nationally to make sacrifices in the near future in order to protect the system which now operates I am afraid answering the call will be very difficult.



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