MARCH 1981


I would not normally comment on a letter of the nature of Driver Hartree’s tittle “Vindictiveness” but as he is from my depot as it would be natural to assume he is referring to practices at his own depot, then I just reply.

After the letter was published I contacted our Organising Secretary and he agreed to visit and check out our organisation at Fratton. His observations only support the view that Fratton operates strictly within National and Local Agreements.

Finally I would hope that the reasons J. Hartree indicates as to why he feels he cannot support national policy should be put into perspective.

It is not the union’s fault if men work overtime. LDCs are not aways on hand to try to enforce the National Agreements and of course sharp practices exist in every depot. An LDC will always take the view of insisting on management stick to the book. It’s a bit more difficult trying to enforce one’s constituents if they won’t be advise. Of course there are men who’d work 24 hours a day if they could and there are men who sell every condition in the book. I believe that they are only a tiny part of our membership and the bulk of our men are worth fighting for. There as never been a time for greater unity. I know men who never supported May 14th are not negative view and they wish the action had been called now instead of then. We can and will overcome our difficulties if we unite behind our EC and give them the support they will surely need to fight and rape of our industry. 





MARCH 1981


This is what it could mean, if we sit back and do nothing - if we do not attend our branches and play our part - for our future, for your JOB!

1, Flexible rosters, no overtime payments.

2, Continental rosters.

3, Split Shifts, and a load of other goodies.

There are at present just under 4,000 drivers on the Southern Region. If BR gets its way on points mentioned it could well be about 2,000.

Are you becoming concerned? If not, what runs through your veins?

If it’s blood, like mine, then for God’s sake stand up and be counted.

The magical wall which a lot you seem to think protects you, is in great need of some propping up.

So come on lads, show us some spirit and a will to stop this wholesale slaughter of our industry, and defend our right to be a part of a railway system which at one time we were proud to be associated with.



 Extracted and adapted from

Ore BranchMeeting 

March 29th 1981

A resolution to Head Office over the introduction of A.W.S. was proposed by Bro. L. Baldwin and seconded by Bro. S. Tingley

The resolution was requested to be submitted for the 1982 A.A.D. reads as follows.

“In view of the forthcoming introduction of A.W.S. on the Central Division of Southern Region, we consider some payment should be made for operating extra mechanical equipment, of this is not possible we should be given some form of renumeration for working the aid of the aforesaid equipment in the past.”


Brighton E.M.U.T. Drivers

Cyril Hutchings & Ernie (Soapy) Watson



Extracted and adapted from

Tunbridge Wells Meeting

   Sunday 29th  March 1981 11.00 a.m.

at the Welfare Rooms Tunbridge Wells Central Station

There were five members present, the Chairman was Bro. F. Diplock

The Chairman then moved to L.D.C. business.

Route Learning i.e. Selhurst and the loss of Sunday work.

The Chairman then moved onto any other business and matters arising The L.D.C. Secretary then gave a detailed report of the progress with lost of Sunday Work from the 1st July 1981. He listed the costs and losses incurred and the counter argument as put forward by management. There was full discussion and the meeting gave full support to the L.D.C. in its action to presume the work which we at this branch feel we are about to loss. 

After this discussion the Chairman  asked for any other items.

The Secretary asked that the meeting endorse the Secretary in his move to have the Executive Committee member of Southern Region, Bro. D. Fullick to attend the May Branch meeting to inform the meeting of this Society’s current policy over wages and conditions of service and also to present a number of long service awards to members of this branch.

That the Branch Secretary write to the E.C. Member with the intention of inviting him to the May Branch meeting. Moved Bro. C. Exley and seconded by Bro. M. Allen.

After the above the Chairman then called for any other business after which, as there was no more business he called the meeting to a close at 13.00 p.m.

Tunbridge Wells Special Meeting

Sunday 26th  April 1981 11.00 a.m.

at the Welfare Rooms Tunbridge Wells Central Station

The business of discussing the loss of Sunday work and what action this branch can take.

There were seventeen members present, and the main item were as follows, the branch Secretary was unable to attend but he sent a letter to state that he would back any decision made at the meeting.

Chairman was Bro. F. Diplock, Secretary Bro. J. Carney and assistant Chairman Bro. G. Brown.

The first motion before the meeting was.

"That this depot instructs our L.D.C. to put the following ultimatum before management. That unless this depot retains its percentage of Sunday work then this depot will be in dispute with management in conjunction with the traffic L.D.C.”

 Moved by Bro. G. Brown and seconded by Bro. R. Macdonald.

After full and proper discussion the vote was taken and was as follows. 

For the motion 15, against 0 & abstantenious  1. Motion carried.

The second motion before the meeting was as follows.

"That if we at this depot are to lose our Sunday work then we do not entertain any special openings on Sundays for fueling of engines or stock working. We further will not any longer do any train work on Bank or Public Holidays or undertake to do any loan work. All the above are not to clash with any motion for action from the traffic grades.” 

Moved by Bro. M. Allen and seconded by Bro. J. Carney. Carried unam.

The third notice of motion put before the meeting was.

"That we have a one day stoppage on Friday 1st May 1981, this will be subject to any positive intervention by management." 

Moved by Bro. M. Allen and seconded by Bro. D. Ward. Carried unam. 

The forth notice of motion put before the meeting was as follows.

"That a delegation be sent to Waterloo on Tuesday May 19th 1981 to meet the General Manager to protest at the unfair allocation of Sunday work and the complete withdrawal of Sunday duties at Tunbridge Wells West. Further we inform other staff grades at Tunbridge Wells West of our intention and ask them to note that anyone who wishes to accompany this delegation to Waterloo may do so. Management would be officially informed on the previous Friday, 13th May 1981 of this action, those who wish to travel to Waterloo must do so on the 09.33 from Tunbridge Wells Central or other convenient station and to apply for free travel or pay privileged rate."

Bro. F. Diplock declined the chair to the Assistant Chairman to speak to the meeting.

Moved Bro. F. Diplock and seconded D. Rodger. The voting was for the motion 14, against 0 & abstention 2.

The fifth notice of motion before the meeting was.

That if industrial action was to be taken that it follow this pattern

Early turn drivers strike – Monday

Late turn Guards strike – Tuesday

Signalmen strike – Wednesday

Late turn Driver’s strike – Thursday

Early turn Guard’s strike – Friday.

Bro. M. Allen moved the following amendment.

All of the above to be adopted only after full consultation with the relevant L.D.C. and after an open meeting where all can be consulted. So the above motion be held open till such meeting could be convened.

After the above the Chairman closed the meeting as there was no other business before the meeting it closed at 12.40.

Tunbridge Wells Meeting

   Sunday 10th  May 1981 11.00 a.m.

at the Welfare Rooms Tunbridge Wells Central Station

There were eleven members present, the Chairman was Bro. F. Diplock

Also in attendance at the meeting were the E.C. Member for Southern Region Bro. D. Fullick and the Organising Secretary Southern Area Bro. N. Milligan.

The Chairman called the meeting to order and opened the meeting by asking the Secretary to read the minutes of the last meetings of this branch.

After the minutes were read to the meeting the Chairman asked for any item arising from the minutes. Bro. W. Baldwin asked the meeting to note the call for strike action from the last meeting to point out to the officials of the Society that it was a call for strike action with which the members of the National Union of Railwaymen had rejected. That they would like to join our call for strike action to show that they felt aggrieved at the loss of Sunday work at this depot and branch.

That the minutes of the last meeting which was a special meeting were a true record. Moved Bro. M. Allen and seconded by Bro. R. Macdonald. Carried unam.

Bro. M. Allen gave his opinion to the meeting and called for a vote of thanks to be passed from the meeting to the E.C. member present to thank him for his support in the dispute at this depot.

Bro. W. Ovenden then rose and gave his statement and he felt that we at his branch taking past events into account had not been fully represented when we had, had a grievance.

Bro. W. Baldwin gave his view to the meeting covering the history of the dispute the fact that we were a Mixed Traction type depot and we were covered by that class of depots restrictions.

Bro. M. Allen asked that he make the following proposal.

That this Branch instructs it Secretary to send a letter of thanks to the E.C. for its backing when members of this branch were locked out

Proposed by Bro. M. Allen and seconded by Bro. J. Carney.

There was only one item of L.D.C. business to be put before the meeting that was the new roster which would take effect from the 1st June 1981 along with the new roster.  

Bro. W. Baldwin then asked the Chairman if we could cancel Branch Standing order No. 17 to allow the meeting more time for Bro. D. Fullick to give his report and present Society long membership awards.

The Chairman then asked Bro. N. Milligan Organising Secretary to present the following member with his long service award and to address the meeting.

Bro. Milligan addressed the meeting by giving a vote of thanks to Bro. C. Taylor for his devotion to the Society. After which Bro. Milligan addressed the meeting giving his opinion of the present stand taken by British Rail management and how we can try to fight it stand. After also informing the meeting as to how he was towards support for this depot’s dispute but we were not the only Branch with problems. After closing the speech Bro. Milligan then handed the meeting to Bro. D. Fullick who addressed the meeting giving his report to this branches dispute. He informed the meeting that it was not A.S.L.E.F.  Policy to condone unofficial strike action, but because of the situation at Tunbridge Wells then he felt that we warranted some support. After a very full  speech from Bro. D. Fullick the Chairman asked if anyone wanted to ask the E.C. member any questions.

Questions were put by Bros. W. Ovenden, W. Baldwin & F. Diplock.

The Chairman asked the meeting to consider bringing the meeting to a close.

That we at this meeting indicate a vote of thanks to Bros. N. Milligan and D. Fullick for attending the meeting. Moved by Bro. W. Baldwin and seconded by Bro. C. Exley. Carried.

The Chairman then asked for any other business as there was not any forthcoming he closed the meeting at 13.15

Extracted and adapted from

Ore Special Meeting 

May 17th 1981

Bro. R. Taylor, District Council Representative and Chairman spoke about the recent Tunbridge Wells dispute and its implications. A lengthy debate followed amongst the members present. At the conclusion of this it was proposed by 

Bro. S. Spackman and seconded by Bro. P. Bowles. 

"That the Secretary be instructed to write to other L.D.C.s with the view of staggered strikes during week commencing 1st June 1981. "

The voting on this was 8 for and 2 against. It was agreed that a copy of our proposal be sent to the Tunbridge Wells Secretary, to show them what we were prepared to do. 

The Secretary agreed to write to the following Branch Secretaries also asking for a speedy reply. Eastbourne, Three Bridges, Horsham, Bognor, Redhill, Littlehampton, Seaford (which comes under Eastbourne) and a copy to Tunbridge Wells.

On the question of the proposal from Eastbourne over stopped rest days, this was fully discussed but owing to several members having to book on around lunch time it was felt that insufficient time was given to this, It was agreed that a letter be sent to the Eastbourne Branch Secretary explaining this, and that we would discuss this proposal more fully at our next Branch Meeting

Tunbridge Wells Meeting

   Sunday 28th  June 1981 10.30 a.m.

at the Welfare Rooms Tunbridge Wells Central Station

The Chairman was Bro. F. Diplock who opened the meeting. The Secretary of this meeting was Bro. J. Carney, the Assistant Secretary, because the Secretary was away on annual leave. There were three other members present which made a total of five members present.

The minutes of the April Special meeting were read to the meeting there was a lively discussion over the motion 

“That if we at this depot are to lose our Sunday work, then we do not entertain any special openings on Sundays for fuelling of engines or stock workings. We further will not  any longer do any train work on Bank Holidays or undertake to do any loan work.”  

which has now been left for advice from our Head Office. This advice will, it is hoped will come when we receive a reply to a letter dated the 5th June 1981 under the heading of ‘Sunday Workings’. It was felt then brought to the attention of the meeting that the L.D.C. had conducted a ballot over the motion above, and the result of this ballot were disclosed to the meeting and were as follows.

For the motion 21, against 13, not returned or void 7. Total 41 members.

That in the light of the above ballot this branch was in favour of the motion.

That after which the minutes of the April meeting were taken to be a true record of that meeting. Moved by Bro. M. Allen and seconded by Bro. D. Godden. Carried Unan.

The Chairman then asked the Secretary to read the meeting the minutes of April & May monthly branch meetings.

That the minutes of the April & May minutes were taken as a true record. Moved by Bro. M. Allen and seconded by Bro. W. Baldwin.

The Chairman then asked the Secretary to read the circulars from Head Office. The Secretary mention of the fact that several voting papers had not been filled in and sent to the scruitineer. The Chairman explained to the meeting the reason for this error. This was due to the fact that we had invited Bro. D. Fullick & Bro. N. Milligan to the last meeting and because of this the voting papers had been overlooked. 

Tunbridge Wells Meeting

   Sunday 18th  October 1981

at the Welfare Rooms Tunbridge Wells Central Station 

The Chairman opened the meeting and welcome all for attending 

The Chairman then brought to attention of the meeting the contents of circular 169/1981 –Cuts in service and asked the meeting for its comments.

Bro. M. Allen who spoke for the whole of the members present said that this Branch was in agreement with paragraph 9 of the above circular but did not want any worsen of our Condition of Services and asked the meeting to instruct the Secretary to write to Head Office with this view in mind. 

"That the Secretary write to Head Office and point to the E.C. that we would like to see a joint approach by all the Railway Trade Unions to prevent any further cuts in services and to try to find any further reduction in expenses in other areas of railway operations.

Moved Bro. M. Allen and seconded by Bro. J. Carney. Carried.

The Chairman then ask the meeting to consider the contents of circular 171/1981 – Cut in Service day of action, he asked the meeting to consider the following. 

"That E.C. Resolution No.2556/330 which is mentioned in the above circular should have been used on the 1st January 1981 when the first cuts were enacted and not well after many more similar cuts in services. It would appear from E.C. action that our Society only seem to protect the larger depot and not the small depots like ourselves. That we at this depot were disappointed that cuts in service of the train service which we at this depot work were severed and yet when a threat of a loss some inter city services from Waterloo was moved that we should be expected to support strike action. 

Moved Bro. M. Allen and seconded by Bro. L. Stephenson.

The Chairman then congratulated Bro. M. Allen on is letter in the Locomotive Journal.

The Chairman then asked the L.D.C. on behalf of the Branch Membership to persue with whatever bodies available the reinstatement of the Sunday Service. Replying for the L.D.C., Bro. M. Allen informed the meeting that he was in contact with the East Sussex Travellers Association and he was preparing a plan.

After a short discussion Bro. Allen then moved onto other L.D.C.items.

New workings – with the introduction of the new service to London Bridge this depot had gained 4 new trips to London.

* Sunday service – Brighton and Redhill depots working train services down the East Grinstead line and the very poor standard of duty because of the need for men from the depots to the point of the service.

Travel Groups – the East Sussex Travellers Association were trying to get a bus service from Brighton to Uckfield that would connect with the train service to provide a service to London.

* This work was diagrammed to Redhill M.T. (TWW branch minutes 22.11.81).

Recorded in the T.W.W. branch minutes 20.12.81

Reduction in service and loss of train service.

Loss of Sunday service was £67,500 revenue was £48,000.

Monday to Friday service was £34,000 which left a surplus of £15,000 after the fares increase was £62,500 and the cost of service was £46,000 with a surplus of £18,000.

Provision of Uckfield to Tonbridge service was £52,000 with a revenue of £6,000 + £7,500.


APRIL 1981



RSJC L789-90 Appendix A&B (EC minutes 330) were circulated to Branch Officers prior to the meeting and placed on the agenda. There was general agreement that changes listed provided a basis from which the driver could receive a higher rate of pay and improved status and that providing there driver’s assistant could receive a guarantee of a right to become a driver, ways should be found of adopting the Board’s requirements “Trainman Line of Promotion”. Such a system would help disability men. At the moment the placing of such men in other jobs is becoming impossible; a traffic line of promotion would make movement to other grades readily acceptable as the revised PT&R would then allow movement up. however, there may still be some resistance from AM’s and SM’s against having a high priced labour unit on their budget.

Protest action against service cuts was discussed. The Branch will not readily accept that action should take place and Branch policy is that the machinery must be used to the full. There is excess capacity; off-peak trains are carrying fewer and fewer passengers; the number of people travelling peak is also falling. Some evidence is the number of empty parking spaces. The decision of ADD for industrial action is looked upon with trepidation, when carrying of every thing are falling and there is vast spare alternative transport. There cannot be any real resistance to cuts when we offered no alternative and accepted as “Fait Accompli”  the closure of the parcels division.

There was some discussion of the cooperation of drivers with  the conductor guards (pay train) to enable maximisation of revenue to ensure all passenger journeys are recorded. The Reading/Tonbridge route has 26 stations, 15 of them open, plus 16 connection routes.

It was hoped that the TU “Federation” would solve the membership problem early and thereby ease the passage of “motive power” items through the machinery, with shorter times for progression reducing costs.

Other points raised at the meeting which require further information and discussion; the very high surplus of footplate staff now and in the next three years; the effect of this when followed by a very high level of retirements amounting to 33 per cent of drivers up to 1988; time off within a duty to attend hospital etc; the problem of getting the Gatwick service to run to time consistently, one factor mails and shot turn round times; complex work in the East Croydon area for two years with extensive service reductions     

Jack Sayers Collection

Eastbourne Driver Jack Sayers (middle) receiving his retirement certificate c1980 

Extracted and adapted from

Ore Meeting August 16th 1981

Commenced 10.05 close 12.50

In the L.D.C. Report 

The proposed Gatwick Airport Rail Link from Victoria in the future was discussed. This involved the use of Class 73 locos and ten mark two coaches plus luggage van. Again several L.D.C.s had recorded their disapproval over this measure, quite naturally, feeling that work would be lost for E.M.U. men. 

Bro. R. Taylor gave a lengthy but informative talk on the District Council meetings, he had attended. Items included inter-union disputes, the question of more flexible hours and also on the question of the Channel Tunnel. 

The widow Bro. R. Jefford, Littlehampton had received the sum of £50,000 over the Sweethill disaster which happened in December 1978.

Next item on the agenda was proposed strike which had been called by N.U.R. and A.S.L.E.F. over the refusal by the B.R.B. to accept the findings of Lord McCarthy’s tribunal of 11% without strings attached. A lengthy debate followed and all members present aired their views. It  was proposed by Bro. P. Bowles and seconded by Bro. J. Newett that the following letter be sent to Head Office.

“This Branch deplores the was negotiations have been handles, lack of information in the early stages and consider, that a secret ballot should have been or should be instigated before the strike commences.”

The voting on this was 8 for with 1 abstaining.

It was proposed by Bro. P. Bowles and seconded by Bro. F. Jenner.

"That in the event of the strike taking place that we would hold a branch meeting on Sunday 6th September 1981 at 10.0 a.m. at the Granville Hotel.” 

The Secretary said he would make provisional arrangements.

Horsham "A shift" 1980s

Standing Left ~Right: Brian Whitehead, Neville Speed, Don Payne, C. Grant, & Reg Hampshire, 

Seated from the 

Back Row L~R: A. Harris, George Burton, 

Middle Row: Tony Luff & H. Clack, 

Front Row: Dave Penfold, W. Edwards & Dave Greenwood.

Brighton M.T. Driver Johnny Saunders





Chairman Bro. Ernie Streeter had the sad duty to call for one minute’s silence in memory of Bro. Harry Rennie who was killed on duty. Bro. Rennie leaves behind a wife and three children, with another baby on the way, and our deepest condolences go to Bro. Rennie’s widow and family, with the assurance that this Branch will do all it can to make their lives a bit easier.

At our last meetings we have had AAD reports and District Council report from our delegate Bro. Black, who reported in usual abrasive style; we thank him for the hard work that he has put into these reports.

As this meeting was a week before the strike call, members present expressed anger and frustration at the lack of members attending, but most of all anger was expressed at the absence of LDC members, as our meetings are held on Thursday; we have six depots belonging to this branch and seven LDC men do L574 this day. The members were right in asking “Where were they?” After all, LDCs are the backbone of this union, and branches, even though LDC members are not forced to be present, have surely got the right to expect that these men attend the branch regularly.

Members would like to remind the EC that they should not give up any of our present conditions of service (what few we have!) - and we as a branch will be keeping a close eye on all that goes on in the next few months.



Railway accidents on British Railways

Southern Region 

Central Division


Bromley Junction 13th November 1981 

Involving Horsham Driver Cyril Brockhurst & 

Selhurst Driver N.A. Marshall 






I would like on behalf of the Branch Officers, and members to thank Bro. M. Saville who resigned from the office of Branch Secretary after four years of sterling service. He took over when the Branch was at a low ebb, but when he resigned for private reasons it is now looking more like the Branch I transferred to in the early fifties.

The second subject impinges on the first, i.e. Branch attendance. If the Branch membership gave the Secretary suppport by attending branch meetings instead of trying to hold them in the mess rooms and expecting him and branch officers to do everything for them, these dedicated men would have the encouragement to do their job.

Branch attendance is essential to our Society and Trade Union Movement. The Cliche that it is more important to try and fill the branch rooms now than it was 20 years ago is a non starter. It has always been important and always will be.



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