Our AGM was held on December 11. Head Office correspondence concerned various elections, and the meeting voted for its chosen candidates for the parliamentary panel, TUC regional council, and the appeals committee. We also nominated our AAD delegate.

There followed a district council report from Bro. Cyril Blundell, the contents of which helped us from various AAD resolutions. It is hoped that the AAD will take notice of this branch’s call for no negotiations to alter either PNBs, or the maximum single-manned driving time for footplate staff.

The subject of cross cover also cropped up in Cyril’s report, and it was decided that with the amount of cross covering done by Three Bridges footplate staff, it was now time to ban overtime on spare duties, if cross covering is involved.

After a lengthy and detailed discussion the meeting passed on to the LDC report given by secretary Ray Young. Ray told us that the LDC had at long last agreed a flexible roster with management based on a link system of rotating around an eight week cycle, thus ensuring only 312 rostered hours for each driver every eight weeks.

This rotating roster had been working at the depot since November 28, replacing management’s roster which had been implemented with no staff side agreement on October 3. This turn had repacked the eight hour day at Three Bridges.

Finally it was time for the election of officers for 1984; a number of changes took place, but it’s to the credit and harmony of this branch that all our 1984 were elected unopposed.



Eastbourne Driver Peter Hyman c1984



My wife, family and I would like to express thanks to Mr. Black and Mr. T. Bevan and all members of Selhurst club along with my ex-workmates, for the generous presentation and flowers they gave us on Thursday 24 at Selhurst Staff Association Club.

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and it was an evening we shall never forget. Once again, many thanks to everyone concerned for making it such an enjoyable evening.






In reply to Bro. Lovells letter in the December issue criticising my account of week working on the West Somerset Railway,  I am amazed that anyone could turn what I simply regarded as an inexpensive but enjoyable holiday into a political issue.

Let me assure him that I have been a member of A.S.L.E.F. since 1956 and at present a member of the Horsham branch committee. I am also a third generation railwayman who is totally disillusioned by the efforts of successive governments and managements sabotage what was once the world’s finest railway system by providing an unattractive service then closing “un-economic” lines and sacking staff who have given all their working lives to the railway industry, while at the same time creating jobs for the boys in the clerical and management grades.

One of the reasons for my volunteering to spend half of my annual leave on the WSR was that my bank account was somewhat depleted due to our dispute in 1982, when I spent many hours attending meetings and standing in picket lines (which I would readily go again if the situation demanded) in an attempt to preserve the rapidly eroding rights and conditions of the Society’s members!

To take up Bro. Lovell’s point, redundancy in the West Country, I have twice experienced this situation; once in 1958 when Yeovil Pen Mill Loco closed, when I moved to Weymouth as a cleaner, and again in 1968 when I took promotion in order to avoid redundancy. I have been driving at Dorking EMUT.

The Taunton to Minehead branch was closed by British Rail as uneconomical and was subsequently re-opened by the WSR which is now performing a very valuable service for the community and providing jobs for several people, not to mention preserving a part of our history. Are we as a Society opposed to this?

Finally, in response to Bro. Lovell’s point about “slave labour”, I am at the moment working on the world’s most heavily congested commuter railway with clapped out stock, stopping at up to one hundred stations in a day’s work with sometimes as little as six minutes turn around between trips.

Trains are controlled by a brand new signalling system which fails monotonous regularity resulting in chaos and frustration for passengers and staff. I am “managed” by hordes of supervisors, inspectors and management who are supplied with personal two way radios and the latest VDU equipment, and none of whom seem able to make even the simplest decisions without first consulting the mysterious voice on the other end of the control phone. 

The contempt with which I am treated by administrative staff was again proved to me last week when I was stopped a day’s pay for attending an unavoidable hospital appointment because, to quote my local administrative assistant, “we do not pay you to go to the hospital”.
Comparing this with the respect with which the management of the WSR treats its staff, and the resulting high morale which exists on the WSR, I know where I would prefer to spend the rest of my service.




APRIL 1984


The branch meeting held at Three Bridges station on March 11 was, as usual, attended by a very high percentage of our membership.

The meeting started with some amendments to our standing orders, followed by discussion about one of our member who had stood as an unofficial candidate in a recent LDC election. the branch decided that although the person concerned had been roundly defeated, the incident had to be reported to the Executive Committee.

We the moved on to elect our ex-branch secretary, Bro. Dave Shopland, as a co-opted LDC member. We were also forced to switch the position of a few of our branch committee members. One reason was the imminent departure of Bro. Fred Stevens who is soon to be transferred to Battersea. Fred has been a loyal branch committee member at Three Bridges for a number of years. Eddie Keith, Dennis Mould, and Jack Smith from the Gatwick Airport shunt drivers link. This is soon to disappear; all four of them will move to Stewarts Lane (near Victoria) as part of the new Victoria - Gatwick Airport service. The Three Bridges branch wishes all four of them the best of luck in the future.

The rest of the meeting’s business included: nominations for Assistant General Secretary; AAD amendments; and further debate on local matters. Thus a long and enjoyable meeting was brought to an end.




Three Bridges drivers at Gatwick Airport

Left   L-R Johnny Vigar, Don Barrat & Fred Stevens

Tunbridge Wells Meeting 

Sunday 15th April 1984 at 10.00 a.m.

at the Welfare Rooms Tunbridge Wells Central Station


On any other business Bro. I. Bond asked about the depot could have a strike badge after a short debate on how many we should make. It was decided that Bros. Bond and MacDonald should make some designs for the next Branch meeting and the Secretary will post a list up to see how many badges each man wants.

Sunday 20th May 1984 

The Chairman then moved over to the floor to discuss the subject of badges. Bro. I. Bond had brought with him some designs based on a shield type badge with a picture of the old clock tower in the centre. 

It was discussed how many we should get. The Secretary had phoned up the firm who advertised in the Locomotive Journal. April 1984 and the prices he had got to show that by only getting say 50 done. It would work out around £4.50 each where as 400 would be lass than a £1 each. It was there voted on weather we should ave two badge. This was put to the floor by the Chairman. That this depot have two badges made of only 50 in number made the other of 400 in number. For 7, against 0 and abstention 1 = 8 members all voted.

The first badge of 50 in number will be of shield type as submitted by Bro. I. Bond with the colours yellow, blue and red.

The second badge of 400 in number will be of the shield type as submitted by Bro. I. Bond with the colour yellow, blue and red but the red and blue will be reversed in the second badge. The amount will be worked out and the charge to other than Tunbridge Wells drivers will be higher, the profits going to branch funds.

A vote of thanks was given to Bro. I. Bond and the Secretary instructed to write to Bro. I. Bond with a letter of thanks. All in favour.

On the question of how we are going to pay for them it was suggested that we as for the money first and they order the badges from say from each member then they will be reimburse when the final figure has been sorted our. 

Sunday 16th June 1984

The chairman then moved on to the badges being made by this Branch.  The Secretary had received from Marks of Distinction a quote which inform us that each badge would cost £1.10 and the Secretary informed the members present that he had sent to Marks of Distinction a cheque £80.50 as a deposit for work to be done. Money coming into the Branch was over £20.00 to date and the Chairman asked that if members wishing to order would they pay in advance so we the Branch would have the other £313.00 when the badges were done (not including P/P).  

Sunday 15th July 1984 

On any other business, the Secretary, Bro. J. Carney, asked if he could list the minutes the 39 members who are entitled to the special badge being made as some confusion was around to who may or may not be entitled to them.

Proposed by Bro. J. Carney and seconded by Bro. I. Bond. That the following 39 drivers second by Bro. I. Bond. That the following 39 drivers who may or may not at Tunbridge Wells West are entitled to the Tunbridge Wells West special badge because they were at the depot on July 12, 1982 and where on the Branch’s books up to or in between the May Branch meeting 20th, 1984.

It was then put forward by Bro. J. Carney and seconded by Bro. I. Bond. That all surplus of the above special badges be held in the Branch’s hands until all have claimed. All in favour.

The secretary did have a proof badge printed into lead. It was proposed by the Chairman and seconded by Bro. R. Simpson. That the proof badge goes into Branch files as part of the Branch’s property. All in favour.

It was suggested that Head Office gets one of our badges for Head Office Collection. This was proposed by Bro. I Bond and seconded by Bro. J. Carney. That a badge from Tunbridge Wells West go to Head Office of A.S.L.E.F. for their badge collection. All in favour.

 1, Allen

 2, Ashdown

 3, Baldwin

 4, Bodium

 5, Breeds

 6, Brown J.J.

 7, Brown R.

 8, Carney

 9, Cocks, J.

10, Coomber

11, Cox

12, Crampton

13, Diplock

14, Dodwell

15, Dougherty,

16, Ellard

17, Elston

18, Exley

19, Gent

20, Harper

21, Harris,

22, Herriett

23, Knowles

24, Love

25, Luckhurst

26, McDonald

27, Neal

28, Nye

29, Ovenden

30, Pepper

31, Rigby

32, Stephenson

33, Sullivan

34, Taylor

35, Dore

36, Simpson

37, Marchant

38, Staggs

39, Bond


39 drivers in total. All if favour 

Sunday 19th August 1984 

The Chairman then moved on to the next 
item on the agenda, which was badges. The 
Secretary read out the list to make sure members were aware of who was entitled to them. It was then brought about Bro. R. Bridger who did in fact came into work during the 1982 strike because of fears about his pension. The Secretary was asked what he had said to Bro. Bridger. The Secretary that made him join the strike. The Secretary said he had found that weather we all got sacked or not because Bro. Bridger was over 62 his pension right was safe, but also B.R. could not touch his pension as it had no control over it. It was then the Secretary gave his assurance to him that if he joined us on strike no members knowing the reasons for his return to work would not take any action against him. It was then proposed by Bro. A. Herriett and seconded by Bro. R. Harris. That Bro. R. Bridger be entitled to a special Tunbridge Wells West badges. The vote was recorded as For the motion 11, against 1 & abstention 0 = 12 members voted. It was then asked by the member to record in the minutes the reasons why he was allowed the badge and why he worked which has been done.

01, R. Sullivan 

02, I. Bond

03, D. Nye

04, R. Simpson

05, J. Staggs

06, F. Crampton

07, P. Bodiam

08,  D. Dore

09, A. Rigby

10, R. MacDonald

11, I. Breeds

12, R. Brown

13, P. Elston

14, S. Neal

15, A. Ashdown

16, R. Harper

17, R. Luckhurst

18, F. Diplock

19, W. Overden

20, C. Exley

21, J.J. Brown

22, R. Coomber

23, A. Herriett

24, M. Allen

25, R. Bridger

26, L. Stephenson

27, C. Taylor

28, H. Marchant

29, A. Dodwell

30, G. Ellard

31, R. Harris

32, H. Love

33, A. Cox

34, P. Pepper

35, J. Carney

36, K. Knowles


38, B. Gent

39 W. Baldwin

The meeting welcomed Bro. Bill Ford from Tonbridge branch and invited him to do the draw for the badges as it was discussed and adopted that a raffle tickets be put in the box and the 38 men who were entitled to as mentioned at the July meeting. The first number from the list got No.1 badge and so on the names and numbers did come out as (see list above).  
It was decided by all member attending Bro. D. Ford from Tonbridge be allowed a badge from the extras as such was allowed No. 40.
It was suggested and again excepted by all that Head Office be given No.50 and one of the ordinary type for their collection.
That left eight badges Not. 41 to 49 inclusive, it was decided by the members present to allow those member who have been listed up at the depot a chance of having a second badge, it was made known by members that ten where interested and there were only eight. Bro. D. Ford did draw out eight tickets and the successful members were 41, Bro. W. Baldwin, 42, Bro. R. MacDonald, 43, Bro. I. Bond, 44, Bro. S. Neal, 45, Bro. R. Harris, 46, Bro. J. Carney, 47, Bro. K. Knowles, 48, Bro. L. Stephenson & 49, Bro. P. Elston.
The list of names may change as men change badges but it was the wish of the members that members should make it know who has these badges with a view of making sure only members who should have them have got them.
It was then proposed by Bro. A. Herriett and seconded by Bro. P. Elston. That the above list of names be executable to this Branch. All in favour. 

Sunday 16th September 1984 

The Chairman notices as then brought to the attention that Bro. V. Hodges N.U.R. member had purchased one of our strike badges and then sold it to another N.U.R. member for £5. When the secretary had still got some of the badges at £1.50. it was then suggested by  Bro. R. Harris that the Secretary write to Bro. V. Hodges and inform him that the Branch is upset to hear that he sold the badge so shortly after paying for it and then obtaining another from the Secretary.

Driver Adam Flowers at Broad Street

With the closure of Broad Street in c1984 Adam moved to Brighton E.M.U.T.

Adam served as Broad Street Branch Secretary up until the depot closed

Victoria E.M.U.T. closed and amalgamated with Victoria M.T. with 

the introduction of the dedicated Gatwick Express in May 1984.

Brighton No.2 Branch 50th Anniversary Badge 


JUNE 1984


Overtime is being worked at Selhurst. I cannot be precise as to the exact amount because  it is being worked at the request of train crew supervisors, but rest days are being worked on an if and when required basis. And the current position at Selhurst almost assures the overtime to any driver making himself available for work on his rest day.

Before this state of affairs is condemned out of hand by the Executive Committee or any one else. I would like to draw attention to the following facts and observations.

The situation at Selhurst has resulted from two things.

1, The crass stupidity of Southern Region (Central Division) management.

2. Our own PT&R arrangrements.

In 1983 two decisions by S.R. (Central Division) management led to our plight; the closure of Coulsdon North EMUT depot and the closure of West Croydon EMUT depot.

Between them Coulsdon and West Croydon had 58 diagrams. Management decided to 56 of these diagrams to Selhurst and the senior driver at each depot took resettlement. The depots closed on August 14, 1983; only forty drivers opted to come with the work to Selhurst which left us with 16 vacancies. We could not advertise these until the September list. Before September we lost a further six (14a moves etc) and so we advertise for 22 drivers on Vacancy list 5. remember we were still running a trains service. Of the 22 successful applicants, not one was Southern man, ten were relief drivers needing nine week course, the remainder require an MP12 course and all will require extensive route training. Southern Region do not have room at the training school meaning that some of our new drivers will have to at wait at least three months for a vacancy! All the 22 have registered 8b moves away from the Southern Region.

Soon after, we lost a further eight drivers (14a moves) and advertised for eight on vacancy list 6. Only two of the successful applicants were Southern men and all eight have registered moves away from Selhurst. three of them are relief drivers needing a nine week course and the other five need MP12 courses; the training school remains just as crowded.

We have since lost a further 17 driver and another is to go within the next week.

The May cuts have taken nine diagrammed running turns away from us. Our establishment from May 14, 1984 will be 128; we are advertising ten on the March list.

The exact state of affair at this depot today is as follows; establishment, 136; vacancies, 17; training, 11; routes, 20; drivers not fully conversant with route in their respective links, 13.

Our situation is impossible; we have to work rest days. If overtime and rest day working is banned how on earth will we provide a service to the public? If we increase our establishment, where would we get the  drivers from? Other regions? When would they be operational? 1985? And would they stay in Selhurst?

We are a single manned depot, and I repeat, if we stop working rest days we will give management a golden opportunity to cut more trains. If they so wish, they will make cuts anyway, but we at Selhurst do not wish to allow them to place the blame on the non-co-operation of staff.

I will end on a rather sour note. Drivers at some nearby depots, although they will not do Selhurst work when they are spare, will do Selhurst work on Sunday and rest days. They tell management that the National Conditions of Service and A.S.L.E.F. do not permit them to cross cover, but its OK on rest days.

Selhurst branch would welcome a visit by any EC member or an AAD delegate from a branch recommending a rest day ban. If they come, I hope they bring the answers to our problems.




 Maurice "Cocker" Taylor (c1984)

Maurice is seen chatting to the Mayor and Mayoress of Brighton.


JUNE 1984


It is with deep sorrow that I report the death of Bro. G.P. Pullen at the age of 60 years. George died in hospital on march 5, after a short illness. he leaves a wife, a son and a daughter. George, a highly respected member of our depot, will be greatly missed by us all, especially the Motive Power Social Fund to which he devoted a lot of his time.





JULY 1984


Who runs British Rail? The British Rail Board will claim they do, which in a manner of working is true. But seen in its more than an expensive extension of an interfering British government.

Daily mirror, 6 June 1984: “That British Rail Chief, Mr. Bob Reid was given instructions by the Transport Secretary, Mr. N. Ridley, on how to handle his pay claim.” 

Whil Mr Reid was playing footsie under the table with Mr. MacGregor, Mrs. T. was working in her bid to destroy the N.U.M.

With the cloud of Serpell overhanging, political manipulation can only mean disaster for the railways. The anti-railway lobby in parliament has the resources to infiltrate BRB, and once established the railwayfuture will begin to look very uncertain to say the least. These people are no more than “Chicago gangsters” under a shroud of respectability.

If we as railwaymen, management and staff alike, allow our railways to be continually used as a political football, we shall all be out of a job and the country will be without a railway network.

I pray to God that good will prevail.




JULY 1984

I wish to express my sincere thank to the Society and its solicitors, also to Mr. Alan Taylor, secretary of Norwood branch, for help in bringing a successful conclusion to my accident claim recently concluded in the courts.

I realise that without the support of A.S.L.E.F. I would not have been able to pursue this claim against the other car driver, as the cost would have beyond my means.

It is at times like these that the value of belonging to a trade union becomes fully apparent. In appreciation I have forwarded a cheque to the Orphan Fund.



Brighton E.M.U.T Drivers 

Cyril Hutchings (and his snuff box) & Fred Locke (B'ton LDC) 

in Brighton messroom mid 1980s




As usual the branch meeting held on Sunday, July 15 was very well attended . it was the third quarter meeting and we again managed to exceed a fifty per cent attendance, which has been the average for this year.

The meeting dealt with head office correspondence, the district council report, and LDC report. The AAD report followed and we were informed that Three Bridges had succeeded in getting a motion adopted calling for no change in the current physical needs break agreement.

The meeting then welcomed Bro. Bob Rudge, the Three Bridges N.U.R Secretary whom we have invited to arrange a liaison committee between local A.S.L.E.F. and N.U.R branches under the terms of the Federation.

One of the first tasks facing the committee will be to raise money for the miners. And it was the mineworkers’ strike that took up debate for the next section of the meeting.

Agreement was reached that we make a donation from our branch funds, plus a recommendation that each member of the Three Bridges branch donate a further £5 per person to the N.U.M. strike fund.

The money goes to the wives and children of striking miners who now depend to a large degree on soup kitchens for food, and I am pleased to say money is being freely donated.

A decision was made to bring Three Bridges in line with most other Central Division depots by ending cross cover. The meeting elected Bro. Luxford as our district council rep, and Bro. Baldock as vice chairman. The elections were caused by the retirement of Cyril Blundell.

That evening Cyril was presented with his retirement certificate (above centre) plus lots of gifts from the members. A proper reception was held for Cyril in the BRSA club, attended by Assistant General Secretary Don Pullen (right) and Peter Milton (Left) the mayor of Crawley, plus most members of the branch and many railwaymen from Three Bridges and Gatwick Airport area. Needless to say, a very enjoyable time was had by all.



Ian Munro Inside West Worthing Shed c1984




Derek Abrahams of Three Bridges Branch went to see what was happening at one Yorkshire pit. This is what he found.

At 4.30 am on a Saturday morning in August, a small group of railwaymen - myself Robin Baldock of Three Bridges of Three Bridges A.S.L.E.F., along with Bob Rudge and Kevin Larkin of Three Bridges N.U.R. - set off on a journey which was to take us from the leafy lanes of Conservative West sussex, through numerous social barriers, to the battleground reality of working class South Yorkshire.

We had deliberately chosen to travel a long distance to visit the miners and their families on strike at Hatfield colliery near doncaster - firstly to show those on strike that their support comes from all over the country; and secondly to see for ourselves the huge social differences between the two areas.

Having heard stories of Kent miners being stopped at the Dartford Tunnel we decided to cross London well away from the Kent area and then travel by motorway all the way to Doncaster.

It’s strange how paranoia sets in on a trip like this, because not only did I decide to carry my driving licence, insurance and MOT, but also brought my registration document just to be on the safe side in case we were stopped by the police, particularly as our two cars contained over £100 worth of foodstuffs which had been purchased with money collected from Three Bridges and Gatwick Airport areas.

As things turned out the 200 mile journey north was free of police and our small group, which also included Robin’s wife Janet, reached Hatfield in just under five hours.

At Hatfield we were met by Bob Hulme who is the Hatfield miner’s welfare officer. Bob showed us around the soup kitchen which feeds up to 500 people a day.

Although the food we brought from Sussex was a help, it was really a drop in the ocean, as the soup kitchens in that feed not only miners on strike but also young children and babies. It’s the inclusion of the young and very young on this daily hunger list that causes the most concern to striking miners and puts them under the greatest psychological pressure.

Even the youngest and most vulnerable members of the mining communities are making sacrifices in their diet as a result of the current dispute.

The precise details of the miners’ hardship were given to me by Peter Curran, the Hafield NUM branch secretary. Peter is a face worker and since March 12 he has lost £131 per week in wages. Including unsocial hours payments etc. Peter and his colleagues have lost around £4,00.

Yet Hatfield colliery, with 33 million tonnes of very high quality coal in the Barnsley and High Hazel seams, is on the surface a very safe pit.

But the miners fear that Hatfield may well be shut down purely for political reasons, because Hatfield, like all the collieries in Yorkshire, is a very strong NUM pit, and the government fears that if coal is to form the backbone of Britain’s engird supplies for the foreseeable future, then the men who produce that energy must not be allowed to belong to a strong trade union.

In the ideal Tory party coal industry, the miners fear pits like Hatfield and other selected mines in the militant area would be shut down and coal would be supplied from the more “politically moderate” coalfield of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Peter told us of the hardship of the miners. Many men have had their electricity supply cut off. There was a list of dirty tricks and intimidation being used by the Department of Health and Social Security to try and force men back to work. One striking miner had volunteered to wash and clean coal so with union approval it could be supplied to widows, pensioners and hospitals. This striker has now had social security payments to his family stopped, the reason being given that he was receiving a small meal allowance for his charity work.

Considering that single men receive no social security at all and that a married man with as many as three children will receive just £23 a week, it is amazing how these people have survived for so long.

Still, among all the troubles and hardships the NUM are currently facing, there is a tremendous determination and spirit among the men and their families.

The determination was best personified by Steve McGee who is president of the Hatfield NUM. In the afternoon Steve took Kevin, Bob and myself on a trip to the Bandit Country of North Nottinghamshire. We were luck that we had chosen a Saturday; the visit would have virtually impossible on a working day, as police road blocks prevent any access to areas when working collieries are operational.

More importantly Steve would almost certainly have been arrested had we been stopped by the police, the reason being that his current conditions of bail make him a virtual prisoner in the town of Hatfield. The change he is soon to face in court is that of threatening behaviour; somewhat strange, as after Steve’s brief confrontation with the police, he needed immediate treatment for head injuries at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

Steve said that when the local police first arrived in Nottinghamshire there was an extremely good relationship between the police and the pickets - so good that the police even supplied food and hot drinks and played football with those on the picket line.

Then, outside police forces from London, Manchester, etc. arrived and the attitude changed overnight. This has led to some of the most violent and disturbing scenes ever witnessed in any industrial dispute.

Still it must be remembered that the vast majority of strikers have not been involved in any picketing over the last six months, they have sent that time simply trying to survive.

It’s this picture of people attempting to survive and preserve their communities that will be our lasting memory of Hatfield and its marvellous people.

Of course, whether the TUC or the darker autumn evenings bring any relief to the NUM still remains to be seen.

For our small group it was time to head back to sedate West Sussex where the only roadblock are caused by hay trucks and herds of cattle being shunted down sleepy country lanes.

We had truly enjoyed our day at Hatfield and are now supporting their soup kitchens with weekly donations from Three Bridges A.S.L.E.F. and N.U.R. I f any other branches wish to support Hatfield or any other colliery, details of individual branch addresses can be obtained from NUM area offices.

But please take our advice and don’t just send food and money to the miners, visit them for yourselves. All you need to say is that you are an A.S.L.E.F. or N.U.R. member and they will give you a tremendous welcome. If our trips to Hatfield is anything to goby it will be an eye opening experience not to be missed.       

Railway accidents on British Railways

Southern Region 

Central Division

Redhill 30th November 1984

Littlehampton Driver Gordon Rooke

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