The draft design of the120th anniversary badge 

designed by Mark Johnson. 





On behalf of the Brighton branch I’d like to thank everyone at Arkwright Road for making us so welcome when we visited the union’s head office last November. 

Dave Bennett led us on an informative tour of the building, the EC interrupted their meeting 
to welcome us and General Secretary Keith Norman made the day even more special by
finding time to present a 50 year medallion to branch member Bro John Osborne.

National Organiser Simon Weller, also a Brighton branch member, said, ‘John is a former 
local representative of long standing who guided Brighton depot through the sectorisation of 
the 1980s and privatisation of the 1990s and 2000s. He’s a railwayman through and through,
and his legacy continues as his son works as a driver with First Capital Connect.’

Perhaps I should also mention the exceptional hospitality laid on at the local hostelry!
Thanks for a great day.

Mark Johnson, 


Brighton Branch




‘Snow way’ our A.G.M. was being cancelled!

BARNHAM’S AGM and retirement presentation seemed to be one of the few events that survived the winter elements. Many members were unable to attend due to the poor weather conditions - but those who did fight the elements were treated to Bob Taylor’s own special brand of retirement speeches. Bob – an ex LDC and equal opportunity rep - said good bye to the railway after 27 years service.

Barnham was also celebrating the retirement of Tony Watt, another loyal ASLEF member who was saying goodbye after 49 years. Tony is looking forward to spending more time with his family and enjoying days out across the network, so you may see him on a train near you soon.

Barnham branch would like to send their best wishes to both Bob and Tony, and wish them a very happy retirement.

Jeff Turner,


Former Brighton EMUT driver Don Hitchings, 

Don reliving his memories whilst in the cab of the Brighton Belle, on the 4th March 2011.

The motor coach is currently being restored along with other coaches of the Belle and it is planned to enter main line services for special traffic purposes


APRIL 2011

Need to protect family friendly gains

IN the January edition of the Journal, Euston driver Mick Humphrys put forward the 
argument that we shouldn’t go round seeking ‘absurd work-life balance’ by ‘choosing shifts 
and turns’ and that we should be happy to ’all work to a roster compiled by our ASLEF

I have to challenge Mick’s ideas. I have a fair amount of experience of dealing with members who seek flexible working. These requests are never made lightly nor hurriedly. This is only right because the individual is actually changing his or her contract of employment - with no guarantee that this can reversed should circumstance return to normal. Also, it is not a right. The company can – and do - refuse requests.

But what really disappointed me was the isolationism that Mick’s letter shows. The ‘flexible working’ legislation was introduced by the last Labour government in an attempt to offer some improvement to the lot of workers who found themselves in especially trying circumstances. So while it may rancour some in our industry, we also need to look at the bigger picture and think of the benefits to other people in different industries who don’t have our industrial muscle.

The employers have been complaining about legislation like this, and the rest of the raft of ‘family friendly’ and health and safety legislation that Labour introduced. It is exactly what this government is setting about trying to dismantle.

So, far from saying, ‘We don’t need this sort of agreement on the railway’, we should be out there campaigning along with our brothers and sisters from other industries to ensure that legislation to protect workers and their families is not repealed in favour of the bosses.

Roy Luxford


Southern Company Council


 Tuesday 17th May 2011 


Bill MacKenzie & Mick Hawkins receiving 50 year medallions

John White 50 year medallion, Bob Attwood & Spike Jones 45 year badges

Jackie Sanders (Lham) 50 year medallion & Maurice Hunter 40 year badge


JUNE 2011


Branch Secretaries take over stately home!

A report of ASLEF’s course for new branch secretaries 

by Daniel Bound (Norwood Junction) ...

Stoke Rochford Hall, a stately hall near Grantham owned by the teacher’s union, was the beautiful setting for the four-day 2011 branch secretaries course. it was the first course A.S.L.E.F. has brought in-house, and was run by National Organiser Simon Weller; ably assisted by Executive Committee members Nigel Gibson and Marz Colombini.

The variety among the 17 delegates gave a good range of viewpoints. We came from Edinburgh to Three Bridges, St Blazey to Saltley and Wales to London’s Underground, and included a couple of assistant secretaries and a chairman among our number.

The first day covered the much-overlooked, highly necessary but sadly mundane Branch Secretary’s job of form filling, while the second discussed branch motions and resolutions, organising and running branch meetings, dealing with circulars, and the art of minute taking!

That afternoon saw the first visiting speaker, and also provided probably the most moving moments of the course. Victor Figueroa Clark from Justice for Colombia spoke about the difficulties and dangers of being a union member in Colombia. I don’t think anyone present had truly understood the situation trade union activists face in that country. Victor showed a dvd which documented some of the many people who have been killed or gone missing over many years.

Day three led us through the intricacies of the A.A.D. (the union’s annual conference) from writing agenda items at branch level to what happens on the floor of the conference. this went well until Marz started explaining what a substantive motion was. it was downhill all the way from there!

The afternoon saw a further two visiting speakers, Chris Proctor from the Journal and Nigel Gooch from H.Q. Finance. They spoke about the art of cooking the books, or was it about cook books....

We wound up this excellent course with a session on recruitment. it was helped by the friendly, relaxed attitude of Simon, Nigel and Marz, but most of all by the focused attitude of all the participants. I feel it has armed me with the tools necessary to undertake my role as a branch secretary for the year ahead. I would highly recommend the course to everyone who is a branch secretary or who would like to become one.





Left ~ Right; Barnham Branch Members

Nigel Tippen, Steve Braithwaite, Alec (Dolly ) Gray, Bob Dorkings & Graham Lawrence

Graham entered the footplate grades on the 12th February 1973 at Brighton. Graham got his promotion to driver at West Croydon E.M.U.T. and moving back to Brighton E.M.U.T a few years later. 

By the late 1990s Graham had decided to transfer to Barnham depot where he remained until ill health forced him in to early retirement.


JULY 2011



I HAVE to inform you of the death of a quiet man from Battersea, Tony Sweetland on 24 April, five days short of his 86th birthday. Tony never married, and cared for his parents for many years. He lived in Battersea all his working life, being a driver at Victoria Central EMUT

Tony was a motorcycle dispatch rider in the war, serving in the UK and Burma. Always a keen cyclist, he took his bike all along the Coast Routes. On retirement he moved to Kent to be near his friends who became his extended family.

Ken Heydon

Battersea Branch


JULY 2011

A.A.D. 2011

Ivan gets to be the man with the gavel!


Left~Right: Alan Donnely (E.C. President) Ivan Wilson (Chair)

 & Keith Norman (G.S.)

Brighton delegate Ivan Wilson chairs the 2011 A.A.D. and becoming the second 

A.S.L.E.F. delegate from the Brighton branch to chair A.A.D.

Ivan Wilson from Brighton was chosen by delegates at Swansea to chair this year’s 
conference – and it was, he says, ‘a great privilege’.

‘The two proudest days of my life have been the one when I got my key, having passed out as a driver: and the other is the first day of this conference when such trust was placed in me.

‘Although I’ve been our branch chair for ten years this was very different. I know all the 
drivers at Brighton, for one thing. But strangely, and I don’t know why, it wasn’t alarming. It 
was rewarding and enriching. It’s a fulfilling role. ‘Perhaps it was because I had to 
concentrate completely for a week, something I suppose every train drivers learns to do. 

And I felt more involved in the debates, maybe because, facing them, I could see all the faces, reflecting how they were feeling.‘Peter Dodgson chaired my first conference and I never forgot the example of his calm and precise manner.’ Ivan, who joined BR at Waterloo in 1984, transferred to Brighton six years later and became an ASLEF rep the year he passed as a driver.‘I’ve always had a great interest in the union’s history,’ he says. ‘ Now, in a small way, I have become apart of it.’

Extracted from

The Loco Journal 

July 2011







 AUGUST 2011

Brighton makes history at the Railway Club 

Back row Left - Right: John White, Maurice Hunter, Ivan Wilson, Mick Hawkins,

 Simon WellerPaul Edwards, Marz Colombini & Spike Jones

Jackie Sanders (Littlehampton Branch), Bob Attwood & Bill MacKenzie

On Tuesday 17th May Brighton ASLEF Branch held its first Drivers reunion at the Brighton 
Railway Club. This reunion was also open to any ASLEF members connected to other Depots that operated in Sussex in the Central Division of the Southern Region.

The idea behind the Reunion came from the Brighton branch website “Brighton Motive 
Power Depots” which aims to record the history of members since the Branch opened in 

An enjoyable day took place with over 150 retired and active Drivers in attendance. Some 
had travelled from as far away as Edinburgh and Penzance! Many retired members renewed 
friendships with members they had not seen since retiring as long as 20 years ago.

Marz Colombini, EC Member District No1 and National Organiser Simon Weller (Brighton 
Branch member) were also present. Simon Weller presented 40 year membership badges to 
Retired Drivers Bob “Jetlag” Attwood and Maurice “Dougal” Hunter and 50 year 
membership Medallions to retired Drivers Mick Hawkins, Bill “Spike” jones, Bill Mackenzie, 

John “Chalky” White and Jack Sanders.
Both Mick Hawkins and Bill Mackenzie having served as L.D.C. representatives of ASLEF 
Brighton Branch over many years.

I would like to thank the Railway Club for providing the Buffet and for making the afternoon and evening pass all too quickly

Ivan Wilson 


Brighton Branch 



25th AUGUST 1891~ 25th AUGUST 2011



Back Row L~R: Mark Johnson (Branch Secretary), Norman Moye, Ritchie Cassling, 

Tony Farmer (F.C.C. Company Council), Steve Chatfield (Vice Chair), Andy Warburton, 

Sean Roberts, Paul Heerey, Steve Allison, Andy Butchers, 

Tony Brace (Branch Sec 2007~09).
Front Row L~R: Malcolm Gurr, Dave Eaton, Chris Newton (Branch Sec. 1988-2000), 

Simon Weller (National Organiser), Spike Jones, Paul Horan & Harry Penter.

 Harry Penter receiving his 20 year membership badge from Simon Weller at the120th 

Brighton Anniversary branch meeting 25.08.11

Left ~ Right: Andy Butchers, Harry Penter, Simon Weller & Mark Johnson




IT IS with deep regret that I have to inform you of the death of Ken Setford who died on 30 May aged 82.

A service was held on 10 June at Thanet Crematorium in Margate which was very well attended. Ken was known as the ‘Gnome Man’ because he made them for the workforce. They found homes throughout the Southern Region.

Ken was in the RAF Police in Germany where he met his wife Eve. They had been married for 63 years and had four children. We offer our condolences to Eve and all the family.

Ken Heydon

Battersea Branch




The issue of staff travel and its price will not go away. How can Europeans get better travel facilities than us in England? They travel in Europe and the UK for free. We non-safeguarded staff can travel for free in Europe but, unlike the rest of Europe, we can’t travel in our own country for free. Isn’t it time we were brought into line with them?

Even the long distance Priv. ticket are a waste of time. I recently wanted to take a few trips. Then I found that a Priv. from London to Cardiff was £39.25 and to Scotland £65. Redhill to Wigan cost £68. I thought “There’s no way I’m going to pay those prices. I’ll add to the ozone layer and use my car or go by coach.” It was a cheaper to fly to Scotland - and took less and five hours less. Yes, I suppose I could have tried to but one of the cheaper on line tickets that everyone wants (but they are so severely limited there’s no chance of getting one).

In the end I paid Megabus £11.25 to take me from Victoria to Cardiff. Do the maths. £49.25 by train or £11.25 for a coach journey that only took 45 minutes longer.

Long distance Priv. tickets are a waste of time. No wonder no staff travel by train. We want free travel boxes that we can keep into retirement because people go for the cheaper option. So much for the ‘green’ policies of getting out of cars and coaches onto trains.

It’s cheaper by anything apart from rail
Dean Anderson


Driver Class 313 conversion course August 2011.

Left - Right  Jinine Cohen (Trainer) Brighton,  Paul Hancock Barnham, 

 Ian Dove Brighton  and Adrian Watson Barnham 



Horsham Driver Biff Manvell receiving his 

fifty years A.S.L.E.F. medallion



I WOULD like to thank everyone who helped and supported me in the recent General 

Secretary election. Whilst I’m naturally disappointed I’d like to give Mick my sincere 

congratulations and I look forward to working with him to take ASLEF forward on to the 

next chapter of our history.

My disappointment is tempered by knowing the honour I have of serving as ASLEF’s 

National Organiser. I will continue to give the commitment and energy to that role that you 


Individuals come and go. ASLEF remains.

Simon Weller, 

National Organiser

Ivan Wilson

 at Brighton standing in the cab door way of an FCC 377 on Sunday 25.09.2011



Staff travel anger

As a new TOC entrant (I have 15 years’ service) I am extremely disappointed that the staff travel campaign appears to have been put on the back burner. I am now finding it increasingly difficult to justify my continuing membership of the union.

The contributions saved could go towards my train travel costs particularly in retirement, as I will not retain any travel facilities, unlike our European rail colleagues who continue to enjoy travel concessions on our national rail network after only 11 years’ service.

J. Owen


Three Bridges




District Organiser Graham Morris organised a very useful and informative union training course at Lewisham College in Deptford in October. Most of us were taking part in our own time but it was well attended and we all agreed it proved well worth the effort.

We covered a range of union rep topics, beginning with the various stages of grievance procedures, startingwith how to resolve issues before they get to the formal machinery.
Course tutor Dawn Livingston gave us a free hand to recreate situations from our own experiences, recount how they had come about and how they were resolved. It was useful to observe how another person might have addressed the various problems.

During the day we also covered thechanges in Disability Discrimination and had a fruitful discussion about whether items raised by us were individual or collective grievances, finally conceding that there is a narrow line between the two.

On behalf of all those who attended I’d like to offer sincere thanks to a brilliant tutor and to Graham for making the time to organise the course. It was union money well
Graeme Baxter, 

London Bridge

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