ON THE 21st APRIL 2023

all images by Stuart Boakes

The Horsham Branch was established 

on Sunday 24th April 1898


JULY 2023


Back on 24 April 1898, when the ASLEF Horsham branch was formed, I wonder what thought was given to how that would look in 125 years’ time? Roll on 125 years and here we are in 2023 and ASLEF’s Horsham branch is now proudly representing three companies of Southern, Thameslink, and Harsco Rail. Our anniversary was celebrated in style with a commemorative branch meeting and, obviously, afterwards with a drink or two.

We were joined by GS Mick Whelan, EC1 Marz Colombini, and a number of past and present members and visitors. The GS explained what’s happening behind the scenes to resolve the current dispute and encouraged us to stand firm in unity. He then presented long service badges, commemorative badges, and retirement certificates to the recipients in attendance.

Horsham Branch number 102, formally 75D, represents 80 drivers across the three companies, in the market town of Horsham, West Sussex. Horsham driver passenger services on Southern stretch as far south as Portsmouth Harbour, serving London Victoria and London Bridge to the north. Thameslink services leave Horsham to head much further north to Peterborough. Harsco maintenance services cover a huge network across many parts of the country. The depots, despite being split into separate companies, enjoy a strong bond between them of great friendship, with regular social events, and one such event brings them to Arundel each summer for a drink or two. Denise Bloom is the branch’s most senior driver spearheading girl power, and is much respected not just within Horsham, but a most popular driver around the network.

Like all TOCs right now we face challenges in our working environment from government intervention. However, we’ve survived the challenges of the last 125 years and intend to continue doing so for at least the next 125 years, so look out! Horsham is fit for many more years to come, no matter what the future brings.

Mike Ryan 

Horsham 102

 Branch Chair

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