District Organiser No. 1 Graham Morris gave us an update on issues in District 1 and what’s happening across the country. He took questions from members before making long service presentations to retired member J Carney, who received his 45 year badge, and R Williams, who received his 40 year badge; he also presented badges from five to 30 years to members in attendance

Mark Jenkins

Eastbourne Branch Secretary

With the Coronavirus Covid-19 spread across the country it was decided by the Government to take control of all railway franchises from Monday 23rd March 2020 for a six month period.


Brighton Driver Dave Lace at Gatwick on a night service to Cambridge.

Saturday 19th April on a night turn waiting to depart Gatwick airport to Finsbury Park. 
People ask why do train run during Lockdown?
There are three good reasons why:-

1 If we can get one doctor, one nurse and one hospital cleaner to and from work. Then we 
have saved a life.

2 Railway aren’t easy to restart  after being shut down for a long period of time. The points at junctions seize up, traction units won’t reboot and the permanent way has to be kept clear.

3 It is reassuring for people to hear a train in the distance, if the train is running in these 
unprecedented times, then life carries on.


Over these last seven weeks during Lockdown, rail staff across the country have been going 
to work to get all the key workers to work. They haven’t had free coffee, half price pizza, free data or special shopping hours. 

They have performed their jobs in ways they have never done before with longer shifts, constant rota changes and these loss of some colleagues. They are working without glove, face mask and without the luxury of being able to wash their hands sometimes for hours. 
They are still being shouted at, sworn at and spat at. They See many non-essential passengers riding about like it’s a day trip. These staff are scared of being responsible for taking the virus home to their loved ones but still go to work & carry out their jobs! 




APRIL 2020



Retired driver Roger Owen died on Tuesday 28 January at the age of 75. Roger started on the railway at Honor Oak Park in September 1960, went to Essex House in the offices, and transferred to motive power in October 1962 as a fireman at Norwood Junction.
Roger became a driver at Stewarts Lane depot, Battersea, and, when the depot closed, we all transferred to Victoria mixed traction. He served as a staff rep, was a founder member of the Victoria train crew social club, serving as secretary arranging social events such as river trips and other activities.
Our sincere condolences to his wife Carol. 

Ken Heydon


Designed by Paul Edwards & Bob Dorkings

Covid-19 Railway Service badge

This badge was created to raise fund for the a NHS Chairity and sold to all railway workers regardless of their grade or their company they worked for.




REMEMBER the railway service badge issued to rail employees during the Second World War? It denoted that we were in a reserved occupation, serving the Allied war effort, and would not be called up to the armed forces. Each of the four main line rail companies – G.W.R., L.M.S., L.N.E.R., and S.R. – as well as London Transport issued staff with one. Bob Dorking (Barnham R.M.S.) and I have produced a Covid-19 badge which we are selling to rail workers(regardless of grade or company or union) with proceeds to go to an N.H.S.-related charity or benevolent fund dedicated to helping the families of NHS workers who have died fighting this war with Covid-19. 

It costs £5 (plus £2.50 p&p) and you can order one by emailing either Bob (rdorkings@yahoo.com) or me (paul.edwards1962@ sky.com). 

Paul Edwards, 

St Blazey 197

Designed by Paul Edwards & Bob Dorkings





Black lives matter – of course they do – just as all lives matter, but a very important message has been lost since the B.L.M. movement was hijacked by the radical left. 

While B.L.M. and its sycophants have endlessly been debating the changing of street names, and the removal of statues, they appear to be ignoring the 40 million victims of slavery in the world today, which include an estimated of 9.2 million men, women and children currently enslaved in Africa. 

As we have all seen and read, the news is filled with reports about B.L.M. supporters vandalising statues of slave traders,slave owners, and anyone who they perceive as having been historically involved in slavery. 

We now have the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announcing that he has asked a commission to examine the future of landmarks in our once great city. These include statues and street names. 

Perhaps some one could explain to me how attacking the statues of people who are long dead is supposed to help anyone, especially the millions of black and non-black people who are enslaved today. In my mind it is nothing more than woke activists of the B.L.M. movement, and their many supporters, who do not care one ounce for the millions in modern day slavery.

In the UK, we have a shocking range of modern slavery,something that these brave souls attacking our statues happily ignore. 

The UK government’s 2019 annual report declared that we have at least 13,000 victims of slavery in this country. When you research their findings, and go to the Global Slavery Index, you will find this number is estimated to be at least 136,000.

In the UK slavery takes the form of forced labour and domestic and sexual exploitation. Vietnamese and Albanians make up the largest numbers. Britain has a cannabis black market worth £2.6 billion so you can guess where most of these individuals end up! Those not forced to work in the cannabis industry are‘enslaved’in nail bars, brothels, and restaurants. Some are even kept behind locked doors in the private residences of the rich and famous. 

B.L.M. and the many corporate executives, university professors, media,sport, and cultural personalities who are taking the knee seem totally unconcerned about these individuals. 

The endless debating does not amount to anything more that virtue signalling. They waste time debating whether people, today who were never slaves,should receive reparations from people, today, who have never owned a slave. 

I find it very hard to stomach that whilst they engage in all this posturing, they ignore the 40 million current victims of actual slavery. To me this constitutes an extreme insult to those who are suffering slavery in silence and represents an immeasurable depth of woke hypocrisy.

 Please take a moment and reflect on those that are slowly dying from the physical, sexual, and emotional abuse that they are being forced to endure. 

I could go on for eternity a sit was a subject I studied whilst doing my diploma in health & safety and has, once again, come to the forefront with recent events. 

One final thought. History should be explained, taught, and lesson slearned, but it should not be re-written. 

Paul Overington,

H.& S. rep, Brighton

GS Mick Whelan says: ‘I think you may be conflating – and confusing – two ideas. one about the aims of the Black lives Matter movement; the other about slavery in the world today. Here at A.S.L.E.F. we often say that ‘a train driver is a train driver is a train driver’. By which we mean that it does not matter whether you are black or white; male or female; heterosexual or homosexual; young or old; English, Scottish, Irish, or Welsh. or anything else. What matters is that you drive trains, you are a member of our union, and, whatever your race, colour, or creed, you deserve to be treated the same as everyone else. We backed the Black lives Matter movement because it was – and is – trying to make the point that black lives matter as well. The movement, you will remember, began in the United States where it seemed, frankly, that black lives did – and do – not matter as much as white lives. i believe – and this trade union believes – that black lives matter and that white lives matter; it is not a question of either/or. The point about the statues, and the street names, is that they celebrate the oppressors, rather than the oppressed. Slavery in the modern world is, as you say, a contemporary evil. But you can condemn the evils of the past as well as the evils of the present. That is not an either/or and you don’t, Paul, have to choose between the one or the other!’ 





Simon Smith: It’s your round, pal 

Sad to report that our colleague Simon smith passed away in August. Simon began his railway service in 1980 as a freight guard at Brighton depot. At DRI he joined the footplate at Norwood M.T. Simon and i spent many hours‘learning the road’between Croydon and Brighton! After his time at Norwood he returned to Brighton. during this time he became a traction trainer at Croydon and helped many trainee drivers towards getting their key. Back on the track again, Simon then joined the newly opened Thameslink depot at Brighton in 1997. 

Simon loved his beer, his music and his football. he travelled extensively in the old Eastern bloc and, latterly, Asia. sadly, he was diagnosed with M.S., which bought an end to his railway career. he always went to Asia during the winter here, as relief from M.S., this was becoming more difficult as time went on and he was struggling to get to our seats at the Amex stadium to watch Brighton & Hove Albion. A frequent branch attendee, Simon will be greatly missed. 

David Swaffield, 

Brighton Retired Members’ Section






It is with great sadness that I have to report the passing of our friend and work colleague Roger White. Roger’s railway career began in 1961 on the isle of Wight; he moved to Epsom, then Littlehampton and, finally, Barnham when Littlehampton closed in 1995. Roger was a true gentleman, always polite, and calm, and the cornerstone of the LDC at Barnham. Respected by drivers and managers alike whilst carrying out his driving and LDC duties. A loyal ASLEF man, who retired in 2004, he will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

 Jeff Turner, 

Barnham 029 

Branch Secretary




Ton up: 100 years of membership at Norwood Junction

IT WAS Tuesday 1 September 1970, a beautiful sunny day after a bank holiday, and the start of autumn. Shortly after  10 a.m. fresh faced young man walked into the lobby of Norwood depot; Malcolm Lathwell had booked on for his first day of training as a second man. 

It is the greatest honour that ASLEF can bestow, and a great honour for a branch secretary, to present one of our members with a 50 year ASLEF medallion. Even rarer if that member is still on the roster, so Norwood Junction must be unique in ASLEF history by having two members on the roster having 50 year medallions. 

Last year, in 2019, Bro Alan Cranstoun reached his 50 years at Norwood. Alan is an absolute legend to anyone who knows him; his stories leave members of all ages and seniorities captivated and laughing. 

Alan has spent all his 50 years at Norwood; while Malcolm has been somewhat a wanderer. Bro Lathwell moved to West Croydon in 1976 to become a full driver and get his key, but two years later boomeranged back to Norwood, where he remained until 1984 when he moved to the dark side and Selhurst depot. 

He got itchy feet in 1998 when he upped sticks to South West Trains at Waterloo, and was there for four years before moving to Gatwick Express, when he finally settled down for a bit. 

The railway runs strong in some families, and so it is with the Lathwell family. Malcolm’s son, Ian, joined Selhurst as a driver in 2003, after being a conductor for two years, and moved to Norwood in 2010. Ian was an active member of Norwood branch, regularly attending branch meetings and contributing heavily to the running of the branch. When Ian left in 2013 to emigrate to America with his new wife, to start a family, he left behind a Lathwell-size hole, so in 2017 Malcolm made his final move back to where we like to think is his spiritual home of Norwood. 

Malcolm is a true gentleman, looked up to by senior and junior drivers, a railwayman and Norwood man through and through; and Norwood is a better place with Malcolm and Alan present. 

Norwood is a special and unique depot: relaxed, welcoming, and such a diverse depot, with a great mix of genders and ethnicities and its own uniform policy; once you’re a Norwood driver, wherever you go on the railway, you’re always really a Norwood driver... 

Daniel Bound, 

Norwood Junction 

147 Branch Secretary



100 years ago an Unknown Warrior arrived at Victoria

PLAQUE sits on the wall between platforms 8 and 9 at Victoria station. Thousands of people walk past it each day, and many do not notice. It says that the Unknown Warrior arrived on platform 8 at 20.32 on 10 November 1920.

One Victoria driver, Steve Copley, noticed, though, and several months in advance of the centenary of the coffin arriving in the capital, told GTR that something should be done to mark the anniversary. A challenge in these covid-hit times.

Steve didn’t hear anything back, but G.T.R. did act on his suggestion. One manager (an ex-serviceman) heard that the company was planning something and nominated a driver for the train that would be part of the commemoration.

Surely it would be a Victoria driver! But, no, the driver put forward was from the second smallest depot on Southern, Epsom, with just 25 drivers. That driver was Marc Stoner, an ex-serviceman, and one of our local ASLEF reps at the depot. He is very patriotic, and proud of this country’s servicemen, past and present. He has maintained his military links by volunteering with the charity Combat Stress, and this was recognised by the Southern manager who nominated him.

Marc took part in the centenary service (smaller than we would have liked, due to current restrictions) with great pride. And the depot has taken great pride in having one of its own chosen for this railway and military commemoration, and the ‘well done’ comments on the group WhatsApp with many a photo of the event take pride of place at the depot.

A small depot like Epsom doesn’t often get recognition but, on this occasion, we are very proud of Marc. So, on behalf of the depot, thank you to Steve Copley for reminding GTR, and to Marc Stoner for partaking in this event.

Dave MacLennan, 
Epsom depot

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