Chairman Bro. C. Cornford

Vice Chairman Bro A. Brooker
Secretary Bro. C. Russell
Assistant Secretary

Tunbridge Wells Branch Meeting

Sunday February 20th 1955, at 10.45 a.m.

at the Welfare Rooms, Central Station.

Bro C.R. Cornford presiding

Members present Bros. C.R. Cornford, C. Russell, V. Rumley, R. Bridger, A. Brooker 

& P. Fellows

The Chairman opened the meeting by asking the Secretary to read the minutes of the last meeting. Proposed V. Rumley & seconded A. Brooker they were a true record.

The Quarterly returns of the December were passed round the meeting for perusal by members.

The official voting form from Head Office with regard the forthcoming vacant position of Acting Assistant General Secretary was filled in at the meeting. This Branch recorded it unanimous vote in favour of Bro. N.A. Ginches, Edge Hill Branch

Moved Bro R. Bridger and seconded by V. Rumley.

Social Committee

The undermentioned members of the A.S.L.E.F. SOCIAL Committee having served their annual term of office submitted their resignations by signature.

W. Wickham, W. Baldwin, K. Savage, P. Pepper, E. Dunmall, R. Bridger, W. Gent, W. Stiff, 

R. Aspley, A. Murphy, V. Rumley & R. Sullivan.

The following members intimated their desire to serve on the Social Committee should they be required the ensuing year:-

W. Wickman, W. Baldwin, K. Savage, K. Cavie, A. Murphy, V. Rumley, R. Sullivan, W. Gent, W. Stiff, R. Asprey, P. Pepper, E. Dunmall & R. Bridger.

The Auditors interim report on the Social Committee Funds during the past year showed a deviation and it was proposed by Bro. V. Rumley & seconded by Bro. A, Brooker. “That in order to complete the audit by Thursday 24.2.55 the treasurer be asked to give a satisfactory report on this resolution on agree to repay the deficit amount on weekly instalments by the end of 1955. The District Council Delegate was unavailable to report the matter to the Organising Secretary on Monday 28.2.55, if the Treasurer did not agree actively to the proposals.

The Branch Secretary was instructed to forward a letter to the Treasurer to convey the proposal of the Branch.

Bro. R. Bridger gave a verbal report on the activities of the Social Committee since the last Branch meeting and Bro. V. Rumley reported that the weekly raffles of useful domestic articles had been an initial success.


A verbal report on the activities of the L.D.C. was given jointly by Bros. V. Rumley and A. Brooker. The 2 main items of the report were (a) the Holiday Roster and (b) the moving of rostered Sunday 7.38 a.m. from No.3 link to Nos. 1 & 2 combined links and the rostering of spare Sunday 10.0 p.m. into No.3 link. For 4 Against 3.

The Chairman (Bro. C.R. Cornford) gave a verbal report on the minutes of the District Council No.4 held on Monday 29th November 1954. Branch membership of this branch was entered at the District Council meeting as :-

OURS 86, N.U.R., 11, NONS 1, POLITICAL 85.

In thanking members present for their attendance the Chairman closed the meeting at 

12.45 p.m


Tunbridge Wells Branch Meeting

Sunday March 20th 1955, at 10.45 a.m.

at the Welfare Rooms, Central Station.

Bro C.R. Cornford presiding

Members present Bros. C.R. Cornford, C. Russell A. Brooker K. Savage, W. Stiff, 

& E. Dunmall.

The Chairman declared the meeting open by asking the Secretary to read the minutes of the last meeting. Proposed R. Bridger seconded by C.R. Cornford that they were a true record.

Social Committee

Referring back to the last Branch meeting and the question of the discrestion in the A.S.L.E.& F. Social Committee funds it was reported by the Chairman that he had sought and obtained the same of the Societies Organising Secretary. Bro. W.J. Cleaver. On the strength of such advise and after though and sympathic discusson the branch did not feel that they with so small attendance, could instruct the Social Committee in their commitments. It was therefore deemed the wiser venue for the Social Committee themselves to meet on some potential constructive solution and advise the Branch of the results on findings.

15 draw books in aid of funds sponsored by the Tunbridge Wells Trades Council were put through the Secretaries letters box at his private address.

The branch felt these books should be returned unsold as this could create a precedent especially as we ourselves can do with this sort of financial aid in our own sphere 

The Chairman of the Social Committee Bro. W. Stiff advised the Branch of the result of the collection of retired Driver G. Gorham and the fact that a joint presentation will be hold in the near future together with that of Bro. P. Savage who is shortly due to retire and is now ill.

L.D.C. Report

A verbal report on L.D.C. activities was given by our L.D.C. Representative Bro. A. Brooker. The main issue -stressed were on

a, anomalies arising from the Holiday roster

b, new train workings  on the Oxted & East Grinstead lines

C, his four day visit to the B.R. L.D.C. school at Watford  and what transpired there, and

d, a verbal report on the disposal time test which took place during the past week at our depot.

District Council Report

The Chairman Bro. C.R. Cornford next gave a report from motes he made at the last District Council No.4 meeting held on 28th February 1955

The Chairman closed the meeting at 1.15 p.m.


MARCH 1955


On January 7th, the Annual Children's party, given by the A.S.L.E. & F. Social committee, was held in the King Charles Hall, Tunbridge Wells.

Over 70 children of Motive Power department employees sat down for tea, which was followed by a series of short comic films. it is still open to comjecture whether these films enjoyed more by the parents than by the children. Ice cream was served during the evening which culminated in the distribution of a present fr each child from the Christmas tree. Thanks of the branch are accorded to the members of the Social Committee and their wives for their untiring efforts during the past year to make this party such a huge success.



Tunbridge Wells Branch Meeting

Sunday April 24th 1955, at 10.45 a.m.

at the Welfare Rooms, Central Station.

Bro C.R. Cornford presiding

Members present Bros. R. Cornford, V. Rumley, R. sulivan, K. Savage, A. Brooker, R. Bridger, F. Bone, L. Evans, W. Wareham, K. Cavie G. Howis, W. Gent, W. Ovenden, A. Dodwell, 

F. Robinson, B. Gower, D. Nye & D. Ward

The chairman declared the meeting open by asking Bro. R. Bridger to read the minutes and act as minute taker in absence of the Branch Secretary who was working abd had not been successful in efforting a change of duties to enable to be at the meeting.

Proposed K. Savage seconded A. Brooker the minutes were a true record .

The quarterly returns for March 195 wee shown on the table together with bank paying in slip £61.17.8

Two new members D. Brett & B. Brown were accepted by the meeting.

General Secretary

Moved V. Rumley seconded K. Savage. “That the Secretary write to General Secretary re his illness.

Strike Action

In view of the impending strike action called by the Executive Committee arrangements  were to be made to hold strike meetings in the Wheatsheaf Hall, Victoria road. Morning and evening meetings on Wednesday 27th April and if need be on Sunday morning and evening April 30th 1955.

Strike Committee

Proposed R. Sullivan seconded K. Cavie – 

Bros. Cornford, Russell, Robinson, Wareham, Brooker, Rumley & Savage. 


Picket Points 2 men at each point, main enterance, Bates Yard, Show ground Gates, and Top Gates.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 1 p.m.

Tunbridge Wells Branch Special Strike Meeting

Wednesday April 27th 1955, at 10.00 a.m.

at the Wheatsheaf Hall .

Bro C.R. Cornford presiding

Members present Bros. C. Kemp, F. Elmer, F. Robinson, R. Saunders, R. Wickens, M. Kibbey, D. Ward, C. Woods, R. Jeffery, K. Savage, D. Austin, G. Howis, R. Taylor, A. Dowell, 

J. Francis, W. Gent, F. Bone, A. Card, W. Wareham, C.R. Cornford & C. Russell.

Correspondence Ref No. 50/1955

Strike Decision notice from Executive Committee was read to the meeting

District Council No.4

Bro. R. Cornford gave a verbal a report on the Strike situation from District Council No.4 meeting which he attended as delegate on Sunday 25th 1955. He informed us that Organising Secretary W.J. Cleaver stated that the potential strike is legal and appealed to all to support the call. The reports of Branches all over the area showed favourable support of the strike on behalf of the footplatemen so much so that there had been promises from some N.U.R. footplate staff to come out with us.

Bro. F. Robinson gave his verbal sentiments on the strike situation saying that as an older member he had been through strikes before to uphold the tradition and bearing of the footplateman. He felt that we were falling below our standard in the wage level and we had got to make our stand now to pressure the esteem with which a footplateman had always been held for the benefit of the future of the younger fraternity.

It was suggested by Bro. F. Elmer and seconded by Bro. F. Robinson. “That as E. C. member P.G. Hocking was speaking at Tonbridge on Sunday  1st May. Secretary should write to Head Office inviting Bro. Hocking to speak at one meeting on Sunday morning. Carried.

On arriving home secretary immediately sent off to Head Office and received a copy next day requesting  that as Bro. Hocking was an E.C. member he would be in committee at National Level on the Wages Negotations with the B.T.c. and our own local branch officers to make arrangements to carry the strike through successfully.

Proposed K. Savage and seconded R. Saunders. “That W. Gent be first on 3.0a.m. Tuesday May 2nd.” Carried

The Chairman closed the meeting at 12.0 noon.

Tunbridge Wells Branch Special Strike Meeting

Wednesday April 27th 1955, at 7.00 p.m.

at the Wheatsheaf Hall .

Members present Bros. D. Nye, A. Hollands, S. Neal, H. Dyer, L. Coomber, A. Murphy, 

V. Vidler, D. Card, G. Chalkin, W. Baldwin, A. Brooker, R. Bridger, B.  Gower,A. Dougherty, 

M. Flattman, W. Ovenden, R. Aspey, J. King, J. Mace & R. Cornford

Report was given on the Sunday meeting held at the Welfare Room, Central Station April 24/55 

Picket Messengers

L.Coomber, A. Murphy, D. Card, R. Bridger

Bro. A. Hollands kindly offered to use his motorcycle in the event of the strike taking place to perform the duties as messenger between depots. Bro. D. Nye kindly offered this services as cyclist messenger in the locality.

District Council Report

The Chairman gave a further report similar to the one he delivered at the morning meeting on the District Council No.4 meeting attending on Monday April 25th .

On the advice of an E.C. Member of the strike should take place members could present themselves at the pay table but immediately leave the premises.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 9.0 p.m.


After these Special Meetins were held, I received from Head Office 2 cheques valued at £240 used as strike pay at the rate of £2 per member and 4/- for each child up to school leaving age. These were dispatched from Head Office on April 29th 1955.

On Sunday 10.15 a.m. May 1st 1955, I received the following telegram:-









A meeting was called for 10.45 a.m. To deal with strike duties on Sunday 1st May but on the reciept of the telegram the meeting was called off pending usual Branch Meeting to be held Sunday 15th May or any previous emergency arising. Members were advised that they could hear E.C. Member Hocking speak at the Medway Hall Tonbridge 7.0 p.m. Sunday May 1st  May.


Tunbridge Wells Branch Meeting

Sunday May 15th 1955, at 10.45 a.m.

at the Welfare Rooms, Central Station.

Bro A. Brooker presiding

Members present Bros. A. Brooker, C. Russell, V. Rumley, R. Bridger & K. Cavie.

The Vice Chairman Bro. A. Brooker opened the meeting by asking the Secretary to read the minutes of the previous ordinary branch meeting.

Proposed V. Rumley seconded K. Cavie they were a true record.

The Special Strike meetings minutes held on Wednesday 27th April 1955 were taken as read.

New Membership G. Reeves submitted an application for membership form and was accepted by the meeting. The Secretary informed the meeting that the membership was now 91. Bro. V. Rumley moved and R. Bridger seconded a vote of congratulations on the Secretary for the new he had obtained since taking over his duties.

Moved V. Rumley seconded R. Bridger that Bro. N. Pinches be the branch choice for the position of acting Assistant General Secretary. Unanimously.

Moved V. Rumley that Secretary contact Organising Secretary W.J. Cleaver re clasification as to whether Bro. P Savage is entitled to holiday pay or leave

Social Committee

Bro. R. Bridger gave the meeting the information that the Social Committee had made provisions arrangements for outings and joint presentation to Bros. P. Savage & G. Gorham.

L.D.C. Report 

Bro. V. Rumley gave an L.D.C. Report on new engine workings and informed the meeting that it was proposed to hold 2 open meetings on Thursday May 19th.

The vice Chairman closed the meeting at 12.30 p.m.

Bro. Brooker proposed these minutes be taken as read Seconded Bro. Sullivan agreed

CR Cornford 21.9.55


Driver Fred Diplock & Fireman Dennis Ward taking water at Eridge 

Tunbridge Wells Branch 

Report of a Special Meeting

Held on Friday May 27th

at the Wheatsheaf Hall

A. Brooker presiding

The Chairman outlined the Circular letter, No. 55/1955 and the read the proposal of the B.T.C. And it was pointed out that at this depot the 6.6 a.m. would be the only turn to benefit namely 3d per day, and fireman 2 ½ per day.

Discussion on men working ballast trains on Saturday night, advised men to complete turn to nearest depot.

Bro. J. Wareham being on holiday, it was moved by Bro. Cavie & seconded by Bro. R. Sulivan that Bro L. Evans be asked to take his place on Strike committee.

Sunday picketing was discussed, and it was suggested 5.40 a.m. To 10.15 a.m. and 1.30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Main Gates and Broadwater Lane to be covered.

Members present Bros. P. Underwood, J. Wareham. R. Sullivan, K. Cavie, D. Nye, 

E. Dunmall, L. Stephenson, R. Wickens, D. Tasker, A. Brooker, G. Howis, R. Jefferys 

& K. Savage.

Tunbridge Wells Branch 

Report of a Special Meeting

Held on Friday May 27th 1955 

at the Wheatsheaf Hall

at 7.0 p.m.

F. Robinson presiding

Bro. F. Robinson the gave details of C. Russel's illness and arrangements pending


Circular letter read 61/1955 also appendix A & B mileage payments.

Bro. L. Evans was then moved for strike committee in place of J. Wareham who was on holiday. Carried

Picket for Sunday was then arranged

Main Gate

Bro. L. Coomber 5.40 a.m. to 8.0 am

Bro. V. Vilder 8.0 a.m. to 10.15 a.m.

Bro. F. Diplock 1.30 p.m. to 4.0 p.m

Bro. J. Pring 4.0 p.m. to 6.0 p.m.

Broadwater Lane

Bro. F. P.age 5.40 a.m. to 8.0 am

Bro. R. Coomber 8.0 a.m. to 10.15 a.m.

Bro. R. Bridger 1.30 p.m. to 4.0 p.m

Bro. F. Robinson  4.0 p.m. to 6.0 p.m. 

A vote of thanks was then moved for Bro. F. Robinson by Bro. R. Bridger and seconded Bro. L. Evans, also for Bro. A. Brooker, moved by Bro. V. Rumley and seconded by Bro. P. Pepper for taking over at this late stage. Carried

Members present Bros. A. Hollands, P. Pepper, R, Bridger, J. Pring, L. Evans, F. Diplock, 

A. Benton, E. Dunmall, F. Page, L. Coomber, V. Rumley, F. Robinson, R. Saunders, 

R. Coomber, A. Gordon, H. Dyer & G. Reeves.

Meeting closed at 8.20 p.m. 


Left - Right: Fireman George Hollands & Unknown Driver at Brighton Top Table

unbridge Wells Branch Meeting

Sunday October 21st 1955, at 7.30 p.m.

at the Welfare Rooms, Central Station.

Bro C.R. Cornford presiding

The minutes of 15.5.55 – 27.5.55 a.m. & 27.5.55 p.m. were taking as read, moved by Bro. A. Brooker and seconded by R. Sullivan. agreed  

Matters arising

Position explained re Bro. P. Savage’s holiday by L.D.C. Chairman the following 

No nominations were made for delegates to T.U.C. – I..T.W.F. .or or A.A.D. on the last Bro. A. Brooker  raised re rota of A.A.D. delegates could be improved under the powers of the E.C. if enough small depots in the area raised the matter with Head Office.

Letter from Bro. C. Waghorn of Tonbridge branch Chairman pointed out that it was out of order for this member to request special meeting of this branch, but that he was quite in order to attend and join in discussion, as the member was not there nor a satisfied of the position to explained.

Also that a letter in kind by Bro. A. Hollands had been discussed at the meeting.

The Chairman moved that it lay on the table, and Bro. C. Waghorn to be notified by Secretary.

A report on L.D.C. business was given by Bro. A. Brooker giving an outline of the disposal times, meetings that had taken place and new position that would arise from the M7s being fitted for water treatment with blow down cock etc. He also asked the meeting to decide on which holiday the holidays for 1956 were to start as the Mondays, if the proposed roster was correct with Rest Days was either March 26th or April 9th both equenlent distant from April 1st in National Conditions was unanimous to start on March 26th.

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