IGNITING THE SUSSEX BEACONS

OF UNITY

THE HISTORY OF THE

SUSSEX BRANCHES OF A.S.L.E.F. 



EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY 

 One of the main reasons for doing these web sites is to try and explain to everybody the history of the footplate grades, the conditions they had to work in and the creation of the A.S.L.E.F. branches within the Brighton & Sussex area.

I am therefore very grateful for people sending me personal photos from their personal collection and for allowing me to display them on the web sites. But unfortunately what is missing, are the stories that accompany them. What I want to do is to try and remedy this by starting to record the remaining stories that are still out there, before they too are lost in the midst of time.

I have added some information about some of the drivers that I know and the comments that have already have been sent to me.

If you too have any stories about your own working life on the footplate, the people that you worked with and the conditions you had to work in please send me and I will post, on the web site.

If you are interested in helping me in capturing these stories by any means possible please let me know.




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BOGNOR REGIS

E.M.U.T.



  This web page is dedicated to all A.S.L.E.F. members who have worked at Bognor depot over the years, and it features A.S.L.E.F. members who brought the trains of Bognor to life.

 

First electric train arriving at Bognor 1938 

 

 

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL OCTOBER 1950

BOGNOR BRANCH

Presentations to retiring Bognor regis railwaymen were made at a Smoking Concerty and Party at "The White Horse," Bognor Regis, on Friday March 24 1950, organised jointly by N.U.R., Railway sports club, A.S.L.E. & F.

On behalf of the Staff and N.U.R. Mr. Frank Rutter (Station Master) presented retirement cheques to Mrs. Harfield (Carriage Cleaner) and Bro. Pilcher (Stores issuer, Loco).

Mr. Cleaver (Organiser, A.S.L.E. & F.) gave a very interesting speech which was greatly appreciated by all present - also his remarks to retired members and their wives when making presentations of cheques to Bros. W. Hellyer, E. Pursley and J. Tribe and bouquets to retiring members wives.

Mr. E. Steel (Chairman, A.S.L.E. & F.) presided.

Entertainment was given by Miss Bailey (Soprano), Mr. Chapman (Tenor), Mr. V. Smith (Tenor), Mr. Baldwin (Tenor), Mr Volkes (Accordionist), Mr. Swift (Accomanpist), and Mr. King (Piano).

A grand evening came to an end at 11 p.m. with a very hearty vote of thanks to the organisers.

G.E. Freeman,

Vice Chairman

 

 

Bognor motorman's room c1961

Left - Right: Vic Clarke (Brighton) & Alec Price

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

FEBRUARY 1964

VIEW POINT

VINDICATION

On the morning of 8 February of last year a collision occurred between two electric passenger trains at Drayton, Southern Region. To quote the words of the Ministry of Transport Inspecting Officer’s report: “In dense fog the 7.50 a.m. Up Portsmouth Harbour to Brighton electric passenger train, which had been wrongly admitted into the section, collided at about 25 m.p.h. with the 7.37 a.m. Up Portsmouth Harbour to Bognor Regis electric passenger train, which was moving slowly after having been stopped at Drayton Up home signal. There were about 210 passengers in the two trains; 17 were injured, fortunately none very seriously,and the driver of the second train and the guard of the leading train were also hurt.” 

The driver of the 7.50 a.m train - Bro. E.J. Chivers of our Bognor Regis Branch - said at the Ministry of Transport Inquiry into this accident that he saw the arm of Drayton Up distant signal rise to the clear position as he approached at moderate speed. He did not accelerate fully because of the fog so as to be sure of not missing the home signal, and the train as travelling at about 30 m.p.h. only when he suddenly saw the trailhead. He put the brake hands in the lap position and let go the deadman’s handle; he then opened the side door of the cab and got on to the footboard, whence he was thrown clear when the collision happened.

In his official report on the collision Col. W.P. Reed, the Inspecting Officer, laid the prime responsibility upon the another signalman; and criticised a guard for failure to carry out Rule 55 promptly.

Furthermore, he also was critical of Driver Chivers, for

“failure to make a full application of the Westinghouse brake in the emergency and his lack of appreciation of the delay element in the deadman’s control application.” 

(In fact there is no delay on the stock in question, although there is of course, in the case of electric, diesel-electric or electric-diesel locos which have dual controls.)

This last criticism, based upon mistaken information, received publicity in the Press, along with the other comments referred to above. Accordingly, on the instructions of our Executive Committee, following their perusal of the documents, an approach was made to the Ministry with a view to a correction to the report being publicly made.

As a result we have been advised that the Press and other bodies to whom the original report was issued, have been sent copies of the following letter from the Inspecting Officer to the Minister:

“With reference to my Report dated June 19, 1963, on the collision between two electric passenger trains on February 8, 1963, at Drayton in the Southern Region, British Railways, there was an error in the information which I was given about the working of the compressed air brake when the deadman’s handle is released. I have since been informed that there is no designed delayed in the onset of the brake when this handle is released on the electric multiple-unit passenger stock of the Southern Region. The observations in paras. 11 and 20 of my Report would not have been made but for this error, and I accept that Driver Chivers’ action in releasing the deadman’s handle to apply the brake was fully effective.”

The high integrity of H.M. Inspecting Officers of Railways is undermined by this ready correction on the part of Col. Reed, to whom we tender thanks for thus publicly absolving Bro. Shivers from the measure of blame which had previously seemed to rest upon him.   

 Colin Marsden Collection

Harry Hopper

 

Derek Aldis

 Dave Smithers Collection

Dave Smithers

 

 

Driver's D.I.s Course on 1st August 1993

Left to Right
Ted Dent (Three Bridges), Tom Appleby (Norwood), Jim Cameron (W. Worthing),
Ron "The Vicar" Taylor (Vic "C") Chopper Harris (C.T.C.), Steve Sylvester (Bognor Regis), Ray Williams (Littlehampton), Andy McGilvey (Selhurst), Ian Chivers (Bognor Regis) & Charlie Saunders (Selhurst)

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

MAY 1991

BOGNOR REGIS

 

 Les Friend, Ron Can & Mrs Friend


A large gathering took place at the Railway Social Club on Friday 1 March, the occasion being the retirement of our colleague Leslie Friend, who has been an A.S.L.E.F. member for 49 years

He started work at Tonbridge in 1942 as a cleaner boy moving to various depots until he eventually settles at Bognor Regis in 1962.

Les has always been a keen union member having held various postions in the Branch all his working life, finishing as Vice Chairman. He was always there to help and advise should the need arise.

The evening as one to remember. It wa nice to see retired colleagues together from Brighton, Fratton, Littlehampton and Worthing.

A presentation was made by Ron Can of a picture together with monies collected. Our District Secretary Len Warboys made the presentation on behalf of the union, touching on Leslie’s loyalty and dedication to the union over the years.

One must say a special thank you yo all those involved in organising the evening. It was a credit to all concerned.

Leslie, we wish you and your dear wife a long, healthy and happy retirement.

Branch Reporter.

 

 

Bognor driver Les Friend's Retirement

Left to right standing :- Nick Bullimore (Brighton, Bognor & Blyth Cambios ), Vic Lambert (Bognor), Stan Janaway (Brighton & Litlehampton), Tony Watts (Brighton, Bognor), Bart-Jones (Norwood, Bognor, Vic "E", Blackfriars, Brighton), Harold Stokes,(Bognor) Graham Kingshott (Brighton, Bognor & Barnham) , Ian Chivers (Brighton, Bognor, Barnham & Eurostar), Ron Cann (Bognor), Harry Brown(Bognor), Mark (sparky) Watkins (Bognor, Fratton & Salisbury), Ray Vincent (Horsham & Bognor), Mick Donnelly (Bognor), Arthur Budden (I.O.W. & Littlehampton), Terry (Barney Rubble) Edwards ( Guildford & Littlehampton), Mick Collie (West Worthing), Todd Slaughter (Bognor, Brighton & Littlehampton), John Sullivan (Nine Elms & Bognor) .

Sitting Left to right: Russell Dare (Bognor & Bristol), Eric Knight (Bognor) , Les Friend (Bognor), Alec Price (Bognor), Don Giles (Bognor

 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

DECEMBER 1992


May I through the medium of the Journal say thank you to District Secretary Len Warboys for the assistance he gave me in obtaining a successful result in my Appeal at the Independent appeals Board Tribunal against a decision of the Department of Social security.

He has bee most caring in the assistance he has given me many months. It is nice to know that we have men like Len who care so much for their fellow men in times of trouble.

I enclose a cheque for £20 for the Orphan Fund. With every good wish

Les Friend

Retired Driver

Bognor Regis

 

 

Bognor driver Alec Price's Retirement

Left to Right Standing:- John Lillywhite (Bognor), Todd Slaughter(Brighton & Littlehampton), Harry Brown (Bognor), Les (coaster) Caswell (Bognor), Trevor Allen, Roy Spreadbury (Andover & Littlehampton), Don Giles (Bognor), Alec Price (Bognor), Vic Lambert (Bognor), Dickey Dye (Bognor), Ron Cann (Bognor), Fred Janaway (I.O.W. Littlehampton), John Tarrant (Bognor), Russell Dare (Bognor & Bristol), Graham Kingshott (Brighton & Bognor), Barry Atkinson (Bognor), John Flowers (Bognor), Bob Morgan (Littlehampton), Ron Cheeseman (Bognor), Alan Arnold (Bognor) & Paul White (Bognor Guard).

Front row: - Tony Watts (Brighton & Bognor), Eddie "Sooty" Fordham (Brighton, Bognor, W. Worthing), Bart- Jones(Norwood, Bognor, Vic "E", Blackfriars, Brighton), Nick Bullimore (Brighton, Bognor & Blyth Cambios ), , Ernie Whitfield (Bognor St. Blazey).

 

 

Above

(Smokey) Ted Crawford at the Bluebell re-union &

Left in his steam days on the South Western

 

 

Nine Elms Reunion 2011

John Lillywhite (fratton & Bognor)

Left: Ron Cann

The photo was taken from the Brighton Train Crew Fund Social of 1991.

The video was filmed by Eddie Fordham to commerate the centenary of the Brighton Branch of A.S.L.E.F.

 

 



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