Left ~ Right: Eastbourne Train Crew Supervisor Ron Stringer 
& Eastbourne Ted Fears Jan 1986


MARCH 1986



Brighton No.2 branch is issuing a badge to celebrate fifty years of the EMUT depot at Brighton and West Worthing.

The badge price will be £2.60. Please forward money with order and enclosed a stamp address envelope.




Ore Closure Badge 


 The last Ore ASLEF Branch meeting 02.03.1986

Back Row Left ~Right :Eddie Ball, Bob Waghorne, Neil Milligan (A.S.L.E.F. D.O), 

Steve Brentall, Dennis Roberts. 

Front Row Left~Right: John Mould, Bill Arling, Syd Tingley, Jack Hoath.

Ore depot closed in May 1986 with their work being transferred to St Leonards. 

St. Leonards drivers therefore had to learn all of the Central Division routes covered by Ore depot, from Hastings to Brighton, Seaford to Hawards Heath & the Brighton Main Line to Victoria. Likewise the Ore drivers had to learn all of the South Eastern routes covered by St. Leonards.


Ore Shed in 1990 


MARCH 1986


On behalf of Streatham Hill drivers LDC I would like to thank all drivers and guards who signed the petition for leniency on behalf of Driver Pat OHarney at his No.2 appeal. I am happy to inform you that due to the excellent job, having his sentence reduced to weeks suspension.

A special thanks to all those who got themselves involved personally in all sorts of ways and enabled us to get six hundred signatures in about a week.




Above Brighton Secondman Tim Schofield 
at Angmering with the Ardingly Empty wagons en-route back to Westbury 24.04.1986


MAY 1986


Branch member have made many appearances at Wapping this month, marching, rallying and picketing n support of our sacked sisters and brothers from News International.

We have usually carried our homely and tattered branch banner; I have heard that some branches have fine expensive banners which are much grander than ours, but maybe their branch secretaries consider them too pretty to take to Wapping in case they get dirty.

We have been having collections at our branch for the print workers.

Early last month we attended the national Justice for Mineworkers march from County Hall to Hyde Park, and once again we felt proud to walk alongside this fine body of men and women from mining areas all over the country. The magnificent attendance on the march reflected the strength of feeling amongst trade unionist that it’s about time these sacked and jailed  miner received the fair treatment they deserve.

It was encouraging to see two of our Executive Committee members- Neoliberals Kirton and John Davies - gamely carrying the A.S.L.E.F. banner throughout the march; good to see EC members doing something useful!

Selhurst celebrates its 75th anniversary this year and to mark this we are hoping to have a dinner and dance in November. We’re also intending to produce a booklet on the history of Selhurst. Also a competition is under way to find the best badge design to celebrate our birthday - since other Southern depots have been known to nickname us the “turkey farm” maybe a badge in design of a turkey would be apt!

The March branch meetings revealed that the LDC is yet again at loggerheads with management over our new rosters; our bosses in their infinite wisdom want to write their own rosters for us (ignoring all social aspects such as long weekends, decent rest etc) instead of the LDC being sole compilers of them. If they’re so good at rostering they can do it themselves without LDCs co-operation, but woe betide them if its not word perfect, for we won’t work to it.

Our recommendation of our chairman we affiliated to the Workers’ Educational Association which is responsible for many of the TUC courses our members attend.



Littlehampton Driver Ted Sylvester 


JUNE 1986


The April branch meeting opened with a vote to suspend branch standing orders to allow a member of the NGA to address members about the dispute at Wapping.  

It was most disturbing to learn that the leader of a powerful trade union, affiliated to the TUC, should disallow a ballot of a section of its members who wish to support sacked NGA members, with the threat that if they did so they would lose their membership cards. Such are the times we live in.

roper was given on the plight of Bro. Ron Turner, who is very ill suffering with acute asbestos, the dormant killer in our midst.

Important items discussed included the safety arrangement for the complete removal of all asbestos roofing materials from Fratton depot electric car shed.



Eastbourne Driver Roy Townsend taking the tail lamp off the rear of 2 BIL 2090 at Eastbourne 8th June 86.


JUNE 1986


Our April branch meeting found the chairman and secretary “playing” to usual capacity audience of four. Despite the poor attendance the meeting went on with the usual minutes, head office circulars, etc.

We learned that the replacement stock for the 1950s/60s vintage DMUs at present working the East Grinstead services, is, after electrification of the line, to be the equally decrepit 4 CAO EMUs given the usual plastic surgery. They are to be introduced with the October ’87 timetable change. A move which we feel sure will keep the East Grinstead regulars travelling in the manner to which they ate accustomed!

Speculation as to what are to replace the Class 33s after they are phased out was fuelled by rumours of cascaded Class 31s being drafted into the area.

Yet another case of one worn out group of machines being replaced by another? 

However with the low amount of freight workings in the area they shouldn’t be overstressed.

Any other business brought a resolution from Bro. I. Palmer that we join an area LDC forum being instigated by Bro. K. Seale of Selhurst. (We are not at present members as the Selhurst report in the April Journal suggested).

The voting went 3 -2 against and the resolution was carried over to next month’s meeting.

A question from the floor regarding the possibility of our No.3 link men receiving training on Class 47s was vetoed due to the thought that it would be hard to make a case to management for training of forty additional men to cover the handful of duties we work with the class. there being no further business the meeting closed at 20.24




Network Southeast came into existence on the 10th June 1986


JULY 1986


More and more I hear A.S.L.E.F. described as the train driver’s union, which of course it is, but what of that other sub-payers, you know -- what do they call them ? Oh yes, driver’s assistants.

Increasingly diagramming departments are single manning duties which contain a small amount of running requiring two men in the cab ie light engine, run around moves etc., and covering the double manned part of the duty with guards, other drivers with spare capacity on their turns or a driver’s assistant on a convoluted duty where he works a full shift and goes virtually nowhere.

At my own depot - Norwood - up until the May timetable changes there was turn booked to be double manned at different points by a guard and two drivers.

This sort of diagramming may well earn the clerks gold stars for super economy from this penny pinching, short sighted management but it’s not doing anything for advancement of tomorrow’s drivers.

although it may sound like a case of locking the stable door after the horse has bolted (ie the union agreeing to all these practices in the first place), I don’t see that way; after all, the driver’s assistants are still there, sit-in around the newsrooms wondering what strange object are that keeping thundering past the window.

So come on A.S.L.E.F. Haven’t we all seen examples of practical experience being lost, and the standard in the industry concerned declining never to be gained?

Let us not sell the livelihoods of the driver’s assistants and their families for £1.25 a shift. Let us go forward with progress, not as the train driver’s union but as the footplatemen’s union - protecting the sense of pride, dedication and most of all safety that locomotive staff possess in their work.





 Littlehampton Railwayman Left Les Fulcher & 

Right Littlehampton Driver Ken “Pierre" Michell


JULY 1986


Although appreciating that the Letters page gives an airing to various topics, opinions and arguments, I read with disbelief “Equality? No way!” by W. Clarke in the May Journal.

This blatant and un-informed attack on our female colleagues highlights an ignorant resistance to reality - the reality being a woman’s capability to complete on equal terms with men in our industry, given the opportunity to do so.

Does Mr. Clarke wait for a second bu if the first has a woman driver? For God’s sake don’t wait for a second train, there might not be one!

Bro Clarke’s letter, feebly grounded on myths and fables, shows up sexism for what it really is.

The letter is pernicious, irrational and hurtful. Mr. Clarke, I believe the disease is in your camp.



The photo was taken by Bob Dorkings

Left ~ Right Littlehampton Driver Alec Lovell 

& Railway man Sean Morris 29.08.1986




Question marks over safety have constantly arisen since the introduction of the sliding door electri unit (Class 455) on the Southern Region.

Our newly set up Central LDC co-operative has been looking into the latest complaint that the passenger emergency escape procedure poses a risk for drivers.

The problem is that the key available to the public to open the end doors of the train in an emergency can also open the door into the driving cab - which is an open invitation for drunken yobbos to break into the cab and attack the driver. This has already occurred on our division.

Unfortunately, at the moment, management will not recognise our LDC co-operative. This is hindering progress.

The May branch meeting had a rather unusual guest, the Area Manager. Most people’s reservations about having management representatives in the branch room were dispelled as the members had the opportunity to ask questions and air grievances to a real person for once, instead of a faceless bureaucrat.

The June branch meeting heard a report from the branch secretary who was our delegate at the AAD. Some of us who managed to attend as observers thought we’d accidentally walked into showdown at the Darby and Joan club, but when we spotted that everyone was wearing the same cheap Timex watch, we realised we’d come to the right place.

Finally I’d like to thank everybody who sponsored me to stop smoking and remind anyone who hasn’t paid me to COUGH UP !






It is with sad regret that I report the death of Driver J. Gourlay who passed away at 2 p.m. on Friday 8 August, 1986. Although John was an NUR member I am sure that all those wh knew him would want him to be remembered here for all the staunch support he had shown A.S.L.E.F. in the past.

John was a loco man of old school, a real “Top Link” driver who moved south of the border in the late 60s to Norwood where over the last twenty years or so he gained the friendship and respect of all his colleagues.

If only remains for me to say farewell, John. the newsroom will not be the same without you.



One of two version of the Streatham Hill 50th Anniversary badge




It was with the deepest regret that we learned of the death of Jack Rowe recently.

Jack, was a driver at Seaford for eight years until he retired two years ago, was one of the most popular of men and someone who would be instantly liked because of his friendly manner. One of a large railway family. Jack retired to be near them and was with them when he was taken suddenly ill and later died.

It was hoped that he would have had a long and happy retirement after his many years on the railway and this sad event has left his colleagues deeply shocked.

We will have happy memories of Jack’s time at Seaford and send our sincerest condolences to his family.


Left ~ Right: Seaford EMUT Driver Jack (Sam) Rowe with (his brother) Jim Rowe Snr.




It is with deep regret that I have to inform members of the sudden death on 28 June of Bro. Jack (Sam) Rowe, my uncle, after only two years retirement.

He joined the old Southern Railway at Guildford and was member of that branch, transferring over the years to Feltham, Ascot and Reading as his career progressed. Most of his driving life was spent at the Ascot EMUT depot. Jack transferred to the Sussex coast on redundancy in 1972 and became a member of Seaford branch.

Although never one to look for high office, he was a strong supporter of the Society policies and was always to the fore in any industrial dispute. His popularity was shown by the number of fellow members and colleagues of various grades who attended  the funeral. Bro. S. Cheal travelling some sixty miles from Seaford.

It is indicative of the stress of the driver’s job that so many of our members either die in service or within a short time of  retirement. look around at your retired members. If my branch is anything to go by, you will have more widows than retired members. Earlier retirement should now be given the highest priority.

I am sure members will join me in offering deep sympathy to Bro Rowe’s family during their time of sorrow.






A vacancy exists for a post of maid/cleaner/cook/nurse/teacher/psychiatrist/geisha girl all rolled into one.

These are the conditions of service: hours of duty - 24 hours a day, seven day a week; leave - none; pay - occasionally, in dire need, a small handout may be procured but only after extreme grovelling and supplication, sickness - not allowed.

This job is only open to women. All applicants should report to their local church or registry office where their future employer awaits them and a marriage certificate will be issued.

If the penny has dropped and you’re sitting there sulking because you’re feeling got at, then put aside your ire and examine your conscience.

Is your household run along the socialist lines that you’re always telling the blokes at work you want for society?

Are you one of the tiny minority whose married life is egalitarian?

Or when you come home from work do you expect your tired and harassed girlfriend/wife to have the house pristine and your dinner on the table, regardless of if she’s been out at work or at home looking after the little future drivers all day?

Come on, admit it - most of you are socialist at work, but as soon as you get in the front door you turn into capitalists and put you feet up and start laying down the law (this is known in medical circles as the “Driver Jekyll and Husband Hyde” syndrome).

But don’t worry, it’s not all your fault - in this society you are conditioned to expect servicing; women have been brought up and prepared to be your servants and even though you may acknowledge equally in theory you find it easy to ignore in practice.

And before you trot out the tired, hackneyed old argument about biology pre-determining women’s roles, you show me a biology book which proves that women’s bodies are specially built for scrubbing the floor and cleaning under the toilet seat or better equipped than your for trailing round the supermarket on a hot Saturday morning with several heavy bags plus the mandatory screaming offspring.

So if you’re such good socialists, look into your home lives - you may have passed out on HSTs, 47s, Cromptons, etc. but could you pass out on the washing machine and the iron?

Why don’t you go and do something totally different today like finding your own clean shirt and kiddies, or even change your own socks all on your own without having to be reminded or threatened.

And if you’re a one link man why not go really mad for once in your life and get the cookery book out, find the recipe for tea, then actually brew up a pot yourself!






I would like to offer my sincere thanks and appreciation to A.S.L.E.F. branches within the Central sector of the Southern Region for allowing me to be returned unopposed to serve a further term of office from 1 February 1987.

I would also like to thank all footplate staff and LDC representatives throughout the Southern Region for all the support I have received since I have served as a representative on Southern Region SC “B” from 1970.

The next three years do not look to be an easy road for footplate personnel but I know we will battle on together to get the best we can for those we represent.

Once again, many thanks to you all.








I feel it is time we put some of the issues affecting our union into perspective and high time we started to pick up the reasons for its being. Our society was formed to give help and assistance to all loco men and represent our grade in negotiation in all forms.

One issue which I feel should be brought before the Executive Committee for re-negotiation because it will, or already does, affect many of our members, is that of the redundancy, transfer and resettlement arrangements.

The terms of resettlement for older members who opt to leave the service upon the closure of their depot seems unreasonable if they have less than three years to complete.

If they have more than that, then the agreement requires modification to take into account today’s costs of living and expectations of lifestyle.

For those of us left who elect to retain our positions at other locations, then there are areas where improvements should be sought.


Where the transfer requires movement of home, or if you elect to move home, for the convenience of yourself and management, then in most recent case I have come across, the person involve usually gets a good deal from British Rail. That is not to say that there is not room for improvement. Some companies now employ agencies who make all the arrangements involve in the process of house moving.

It is the arrangements that apply when one decides to travel to a new location because of family commitments or whatever that require re-negotiation in light of recent tax and travel alterations. You may feel that existing arrangements are more than generous, but let us take a closer look (and on these points, I would be interested in other members’ feelings).


at the time of writing the personal travel allowance is 20p per mile. Personal travel is just what its title states.

No matter how one hets to one’s new place of employment (on foot, cycle, horseback or car) one is able to claim this allowance, provided the distance to your new depot is further than before or involves you in travelling a greater distance.

For most of us we are talking about using the family car to enable us to make the new journey. i say car, because who amongst us is going to walk or ride a cycle on a wet snow morning at 3 am for perhaps fifteen of miles? Particularly as you are lulled into thinking that you are paid for the journey.

Well, you might think you are being paid 20p per mile, that true, but one pays tax on that 20p which leaves on with 14p. And this, when the AA and RAC estimate motoring costs at approximately 26 for the average family saloon, a sum which BR pays car users on company business. So where does this leave you? Out of pocket by 12p a mile.     


The wording of this part of our conditions is in real need of re-negotiations to reduce ambiguities in interpretation. Perhaps the most damaging part of this facility is that the recipient is now assessed for tax because it is judged to be a perk. This tax may in some cases offset the benefits of the little left after tax of the above payments after your increased expenditure.

I would like to see an application from the membership to instruct our AAD to review and try to gain improvements in the benefits available to our members.






Presnent: J. Norris, E. Gates, K. Auger (St. Leonards), 

R. Dorkings, R. White, J. Sanders (Littlehampton), 

R. Thomas (West Worthing), P. Plaine, D. Knight, L. Osman, F. Locke, A. Ricketts, 

P. Osborne, J. Osborne, W. MacKenzie, S. Huckle, B. Noakes, A. Light, M. Organ, 

W. Kenchington, P. Edwards, A. Edwards, T. Fielding, R. Swetman, V. Clarke, M. Hunter,

 B. Brown, G. Hussey, M. Hawkins, R. Jarrett, F. Maskell, M. Thompson, S.Fortune, 

W. Jones, C. Horlock (Brighton Nos. 1&2), 

L. Warboys (Fratton), E.O’Keefe, R. Black & K. Serle (Selhust). (39) 

District Secretary D. Fullick took floor the chair for the first part of the meeting, he explained the reason for calling same, then handed over the floor to E.C. member J. Davies.

Bro. Davies explained the background to the productivity talk which started in 1979, and brought us up to date. He said that B. R. where looking to 1986 to push in all the so called “shopping list” back in 1982 just after our flexi rostering strike, also the monopolies commission report of 1980 looked to the possible privatisation of L. &S.E. sector of the B.R. hence B.R.’s interest in getting as much of the shopping list in as possible. He said A.S.L.E.F had argued at R.S.N.T. the safety angle against imposing Decision 92, B.R. didn’t want to know, neither did the Railway Inspectorate. 

Bro. D. Fullick then opened to questions from the floor, several points were put to Bro. Davies to which he answered (some not to everybody’s liking). Bro. Davies ended by saying any dispute over interpretation should be forwarded to the E.C., and that he was the only E.C. member who had voted against the proposals. Here the Chairman wound up the first stage of the meeting. He and Bro. Davies left.

The meeting then elected Bro. Plaine to Chairman. He read a resolution sent by Waterloo Branch to the meeting and opened the floor for questions. A lengthy debate took place on Decision 92 & the Waterloo resolution. After questions the following resolution was proposed by Bro. E. o’Keefe (Selhurst) & seconded by Bro. B. Noakes.

1 Driver’s Assistant or footplate staff to be diagrammed on ballast trainsfrom commencement of diagrams both in relation to the lack of P.N. Break and for safety reasons.

2 No driver to be called upon to couple or uncouple locos or trains under any circumstances.

3 Insist on drivers over 55 years be given the opportunity of early retirement in relation to the number of displaced drivers.

4 Insist on all intensive suburban duties to be limited to 7 hours actual time spent at the front.

5 Insist on all P.N. Breaks to be completed by the termination of the fifth hour of duty.

6 Staff Side L.D.C.’s to be given the time to examine all diagrams prior to their operation in order to ensure that all relevant agreements are adhered to by the management.

7 To give back backing to this resolution a co-ordinating committee be formed consisting of L.D.C. members.

8 Further we inform the E.C. of A.S.L.E.F. that we view with utter disgust their actions in agreeing to the implementation of Dec 92, and further the Southern Region expects full E.C. support in any action it may take to salvage the best it can from a retrograde agreement. 

Voting all in favour.

Pro W. Mackenzie & Sec M. Hawkins, 4 L.D.C. members from each division. All in favour.

Pro. E. O’Keefe & Sec B. Noakes for Bros. P. Plaine, R. Black, W. Mackenzie 

& B. Reed for Central Committee members. Voting all in favour.

Seaford Driver George Caulfield 

6th NOVEMEBER 1986

On the 6th November, 1986 a Motor Luggage Van (No.68005), whilst making an manoeuvre from the Parcel Dock collided with the buffer stops on the ’Switch Road' and struck the bridge parapet. 

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