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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the history of the Brighton Branch of ASLEF

 

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the Brighton Motive Power Depot

On 26thJanuary 1904, when a 'Gladstone Glass' engine No. 192 ‘Jacomb Hood’ ran into the buffer stops when entering Eastbourne station with the 8.5. p.m. Hastings – London train in pouring rain. No serious damage or casualties resulted, the engine retired to the shed. The train continued in service with another engine a E4 class no. 485 ‘Ashington.'*

 BUFFER STOPS COLLISION

AT EASTBOURNE ON THE 15TH JANUARY 1905

INVOLVING DRIVER ROBERT BARBER

AND HIS FIREMAN JOHN BAIGENT

EXTRACTED AND ADAPTED FROM THE B.O.T

REPORT P.G. VON DONOP LT-COL R.E.

* crew from Battersea depot

JOHN BEIGNET WAS KILLED WHILST PROTECT HIS TRAIN 

AT THE STREATHAM COMMON CRASH ON THE 23rd JANUARY 1915

 A collision occurred at about 8.45 pm. on the 15th January at Eastbourne Station on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, between a passenger train and the buffer stops. The 8.5 pm. up passenger train from Hastings, consisting of an engine tender, (a 'Gladstone Glass' engine No. 192 ‘Jacomb Hood’), and 12 vehicles, was entering "Eastbourne Station on No. 3 platform line, it failed to stop at the usual point and came into collision with the buffer stops at the end of that line.

The speed of the train at the time of the collision was not great, so the shock not a very severe one, but six passengers have notified the Company of personal injuries sustained ; it is understood however that none of these are of a very serious nature. Two guards who were on the train at the time were also slightly injured.

The two leading vehicles of the train were considerably damaged, and nine of the remainder were slightly injured.

The engine of the train was a four-wheels-coupled tender engine, running chimney first; it was fitted with the Westinghouse automatic brake, working blocks on the four coupled wheels and on the tender wheels, and with a hand brake working the blocks on the tender wheels.

The vehicles of the train were all fitted wit11 the Westinghouse automatic brake working blocks on all the wheels of the eight-wheeled stock, and on four wheels of each of the remainder.

All the brakes are reported as having been in good order.

 

DESCRIPTION

Eastbourne Station, where this accident occurred, is a terminal station lying Approximately east and west, the buffer stops being at the west end.

The station is provided with two platforms, each of which accommodates two Platform line, but the only line connected with this accident is No. 3 platform line, which lies on the south side of the north platform. The length of this platform from its east end to the buffer stops is 600 feet. The platform line is signalled for both arrival and departure, being provided with connections  lending to both the up and the down line.

On the south side of No. 3 platform line is a siding, and at a short distance from the buffer stops there is on the platform line a trailing connection leading to this siding, this connection being used to enable an engine to run round its train.

The distance to the  east end of the platform to the fouling point of this connection is 425 feet, and the distance from the buffer stop to the same point is 175 feet.

The station signal box is situated on the south side of the line at a short distance to the east end of the station.

The gradient for a train approaching the station from Hastings is a slightly rising one. A driver obtains a fairly good view of this station when approaching it, and the Cavendish Road Bridge, 590 yards from the buffer stops, is a good landmark to show him where he is.

 EVIDENCE

Robert Barber, driver, states: I have been 34 years in the service of the Company, during  28 of which I have been employed as a driver. I came on duty on the 15th January at 8.25 a.m. to the 8.5 pm. train from Hastings to Eastbourne and then from Eastbourne to London. My engine was a four-wheeled-coupled tender engine.

The engine was fitted with the Westinghouse automatic brake working blocks on the four coupled wheels; and on the tender wheels and with a hand brake working blocks on the tender wheels: my brake was in good order. I had been driving the same engine all day and I had had no trouble with the brakes at all. We left Hastings punctually at 8.5 pm. The last stop before reaching Eastbourne was Bexhill : I am not sure of the time of our arrival and departure at Bexhill, but I think we were about two minutes late in leaving. I had had no difficulty in stopping my train at Bexhill, and at that point my train was thoroughly well under control. A good distance outside Eastbourne I shut of steam: it was before we got to the outer home signals that we shut off steam. When passing the Eastbourne signal box I applied the brakes and slowed down, and I reached the end of the platform at what I consider a fair rate of speed.  As I was nearing the buffer stops I was looking out for the cross over road so as to stop before reaching it; finding, however, that I was going to stop too soon, I released my brakes again and somehow I- missed seeing the crossover road. I suddenly saw the buffer stops, and I then realised that I had gone further than I intended; I then applied the brakes and  tried to stop my train, but I could not stop it before coming into collision with the buffer stops. I estimate our speed at the outer home signal at 20 miles per hour: at the signal-box I estimate that our speed was slightly less than the above. When my engine was about half -way along the platform I estimate that our speed was not more than six miles per hour. When I struck the buffer stops I do not think our speed was more than four miles an hour. I consider that my train ran from Bexhill to Eastbourne at the usual speed and in accordance with my time-table. I admit that the collision was clue to my missing seeing the crossover road. The weather at the time was very cold, but there was no fog; I cannot account for my missing the crossover road. I think that I was a little over anxious as I have not much time at the station, and I wanted to stop at the right spot. At the signal-box when I applied the brakes the brakes acted well-just in the usual manner-and when I reached the end of the platform I had my train well under control. When the train struck the buffer stops I was not injured in any way-in fact, I hardly felt the shock at all. I was in a very nervous state at the time of the accident as I had been off work five weeks and had only started work two days before the accident. My illness was due to my having been knocked down by an engine in Battersea yard. I did not hear the fireman shout to me immediately before the collision occurred. Since my accident five weeks ago I have been suffering from deafness.

Driver  Barber was recalled after Mr. J.W. Wilkes had given evidence, and said:- I had intended to come back to duty on the 9th instant, but on account of my not feeling very well and also on account of my boy being ill I settled not to come back to duty till the 13th instant ; it was also by my doctor 's advice that I stayed off a few more days. I came on duty on the l3th, and I think I was fit to come on duty on that date. I did not specially ask my doctor whether I was fit to return to duty on the 13th instant. At, l.30 p.m. on the day of the accident I had a half pint of beer and about 2.30 I had another; I had another half pint of beer about 6.30 p.m. and  I had another drink before we came am I pint-that was all the think I had that doctor had warned me that I ought, to keep out of the cold as much as possible, I think chiefly on account of my hearing. The first two days that I was on duty prior to the Sunday were very cold, and I felt it very much. I have been accustomed to drink beer all my life, and four half pints would not upset me. 

John Edward Baigent, fireman, states: I have been 16 ½ years in the employment of the Company, during my 10 ½ of which I have been employed as a fireman. I was on duty with driver Barber on the 15th instant and was working the same hours with him. I was on the engine of the 8.5 p.m. train from Hastings; I had been on the same engine during the whole tour of my duty that day. We had had no trouble at all with the brakes of the engine. I remember reaching the road bridge on approaching Eastbourne Station; our speed at that point was certainly not over 30 miles per hour. Before reaching the bridge steam had been turned off, and just after passing the bridge the driver applied the Westinghouse brake to check the speed of the train; our speed when passing the signal-box I estimate at between five and ten miles per hour; our speed was about the same when we reached the end of the platform. Just before we reached the end of the platform my driver released the Westinghouse brake, and when we got about half-way up the platform I appealed to him to apply it again as I saw me we were not going to stop: the driver did not hear me on the first appeal so I appealed again; he then heard me, but it was too late, and we run into the buffer stops at a speed which was  scarcely a walking pace. I was not hurt at all by the collision; there was a slight shock but nothing to speak of. I cannot account for the fact that my driver did not realise that there was a danger of our not stopping when I realised it; the driver was looking over the side of the engine at the time as if he was looking for the crossover road. At the time of the accident I was a passed driver, and I am acquainted with the Company's rules as to the use of the brakes when entering a terminal station; I admit that the rules on this occasion were not strictly adhered to. After the accident the driver was so daze that he certainly did not look like a sober man, but between Hastings and Eastbourne his condition was all right. He did not appear to lm in my way suffering from drink, and he had done his work in the usual manner. I applied my own hand brake at the same time as the driver applied the automatic brake and I had never removed it again: so far as I was concerned all the rules for entering a terminal station were carried out. Owing to the length of our train it was necessary for the engine to run close to the fouling point of the crossover road in order to have all the vehicle alongside the platform. With this train we have eight minutes between the arrival and departure, and in that interva1 we have to run round our train and turn on the turntable.

Henry Putman, signalman, states : I have been 17 years in the service of the Company, during 13 of which I have been a signalman. I am now employed in the Eastbourne signal-box, where I have been employed just over seven years. I came on duty on the l.5th January at 3 p.m. to work till midnight; I came off duty at 6 a.m. the same morning. At 8.36 pm. I was offered the 8.5 p.m. train from Hastings, from Willingdon Junction; I at once accepted it. At 8.41 p.m. I received "Train entering section" and at 5.45 p.m. it passed my box. I estimate the speed of the train as it passed my box at about 10 to 15 miles per hour, which is about the usual speed at which they run past. As far as I could notice there was nothing unusual with the speed of the train. It appeared to me that when the train passed my box the steam was shut off, but I am confident that at that time the automatic brakes were not applied to the train. I watched the train run into the platform, but I did not watch it at the moment the collision occurred. I had no idea from what l saw of the train that there was any danger of its not stopping all right.

George Fowler., inspector, states: I have been an inspector for five years, and I am now stationed at Eastbourne, where I have been 20 years. I was on duty at the time this accident occurred, and at the time the collision happened I was standing about half-way down the up platform, and the train ran past me. I noticed nothing exceptional about the speed of the train ; it was running along the platform at the usual speed, and the time the engine passed me I thought it was going to stop all right before reaching the buffer stops. I knew that if the driver stopped short of the fouling point with the crossover road there would be room for the vehicles of the train, with the exception of half the brake van at the end of the platform. I saw, however, that the brake van at the end of the train had run in past the end of the platform, and I therefore knew the driver had run past the fouling point of the crossover road. This was as the first I knew of the possibility of a collision. I did not see anything to account for the driver over-running the fouling point. I spoke to the driver about a quarter of an hour after the collision had occurred ; he gave me no information of the accident. I noticed the driver appeared to be very strange; I could not form a opinion what the strangeness was due to, but he appeared in a very dazed condition : I scarcely thought that the driver was sober, but I cannot speak definitely on that point. The same train had run alongside the same platform at 11.23 that morning : it had stopped on that occasion with the engine short of the fouling point : all the vehicles of the train had been alongside the up platform except the brake van, which was opposite the ramp. It was a clear night and there was no fog, and there was nothing to prevent the driver, who was running along the platform line, from seeing where he was. There was a red light on the buffer stops.

Sydney Poate, policeman, states : I have been a little over five years in the employment of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company; during the whole of this time I have been stationed at Eastbourne. I was on duty at the station at the time this accident occurred. About a minute after the collision occurred I saw the driver and spoke to him I am distinctly of opinion that the driver was the worse for drink and was not fit to take charge of a locomotive. He appeared unsteady in his walk, and there was a curious smell about his breath, but I cannot say what it was that he smelt of. It was when he was walking across to the Superintendent's office that I noticed his walk was very unsteady; this was about five minutes after the accident.

Mr. J. W. Wilkes states : I am locomotive foreman at Eastbourne and have held that position for 30 years. About five minutes after the accident I saw the driver and I got on to the engine and spoke to him ; I asked him what he had been doing and 1 could not make anything of him ; he stood up and rolled about and seemed in a dazed sort of state. He gave me the impression at once that he was under the influence of drink. I was not aware that this man had met with an accident previously. I have heard now of the accident under which he went, but I am still of opinion at the time of this accident that his condition was due to drink. This driver belongs to Battersea and is not directly employed under me. I would like to substitute for "rolled about," as given above, “unsteady on his legs."

Dr. Habgood states : I was called to Eastbourne Station on the evening of the 15th instant after the occurrence of the accident. About 9 o'clock I had a conversation with the driver of the train. The conversation left the impression on me that the driver was the worse for liquor ; I felt confident about that. I made him walk across the hall, and when he got about half-may across he walked unsteadily. The driver told me at the time that about a month ago he had suffered from an accident, having been knocked down; this knowledge caused me to modify my opinion, and the conclusion I then formed was that his condition was partly due to drink and partly to the accident under which he had gone. I noticed that he was a bit deaf on one side, and that I attributed to his accident. He smelt of drink, and he acknowledged to having taken two pints of beer. He also said that he felt in his head the result of the previous accident. In his conversation he sometimes repeated himself unnecessarily. I am still of opinion that his condition was, to a certain extent, due to drink. I consider that the fact of his having met with an accident would render him more susceptible to the effects of drink than he would have been before. A small amount of drink might therefore account for the state the driver was in.

Mr. John James Richardson states : I am outdoor Locomotive Superintendent on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway. I have held that appointment four years. My headquarters are at Brighton. On the morning of the 15th January driver Barber booked on duty at 8.25 a.m. to take the 9.25 a.m. to Hastings, booked to arrive at Hastings at 12.5 p.m. after the arrival of the train at Hastings driver Barber would have to wait until the passengers were unloaded, and he would then have to shunt the train. After this he would take the engine to St. Leonards and there get water, and attend to the engine generally, leaving it in the running shed there. He would then book off duty, which on this date was at 1.30 pm. He would then be off duty until 5.30 p.m., and would be due to leave the shunting shed-at 6 pm. He would then have to take the engine into Hastings in order to shunt the 6.25 p.m. train on its arrival from Bexhill, after which he would haw to shunt his own train. He is due to leave Hastings at 8.5 pm., and, booked to arrive at Victoria station 10.45 p.m. On arriving at Victoria he would have to carry out some shunting with his own train, and would be free to leave Victoria with his engine at 11.20 or 11.30 p.m. He would then take the engine to Battersea sheds, take coa1 and do all necessary work to the engine, and make out his daily return. He would probably be able to leave his engine at about 1 a.m. Driver Barber had 14 hours' rest before coming on duty on the 15th, and he would have had 14 hours' rest before coming on duty again on the 16th. There are eight drivers in the same gang with drive r Barber, and one of them would probably work this turn of duty one Sunday out of four. On the 14th  January driver Barber's eyesight was tested in my presence in my office. It was the regular test which is taken annually with a driver over 50 years of age, Driver Barber made no remark to me at that time as to any defect in his eyesight or with regard to his hearing. Barber's sight was tested by the two usual tests and he passed them both satisfactorily. I noticed nothing to make me think that driver Barber was suffering from deafness. Barber had met with an accident on the 8th December, and went off duty on that day. On the 5th January the medical officer (Dr. Flide), reported him as fit for duty. Barber then applied to his foreman for a week's leave of absence which he was given. He resumed duty on the 13th January. I submit the attached certificate from Dr. Flide as to driver Barber being ready to resume duty on the 5th January. On this date, his money from the Compensation Fund ceased. Driver Barber when tested could see .the ''spot" with one eye at the full distance 15 feet but with the other ere he could only see it at 12 feet. If a man can see the spot at a distance of 10 feet he is accepted. I did not know at the time what reasons driver Barber gave far asking for a leave on the 5th January ; the foreman said nothing to me cm the subject.

Dr. Habgood states : At the time I formed my opinion that Barber's condition was partly due to the accident which he had undergone, I was under the impression that the accident was quite a recent one, and I was not aware that he had been declared fit for duty on the 5th January. I am not, however, prepared to say that Barber's condition after the accident was entirely due to drink.

Dr. C. N. Flide states : I am a medical officer living at Battersea, and one of those employed by the London Brighton and South Coast Railway to examine their men. Barber came to me on the 9th December and said that he had been injured in Battersea yard. He was suffering from a hurt shoulder and arm, and I treated him for those injuries up to the 5th January. I then gave a medical certificate to the effect that he had recovered from those injuries. When I gave that certificate I considered that as far as injuries; were concerned Barber was as fit as he had been previous to his accident. After hearing of the accident at Eastbourne, I gave on the 21st January a certificate, which I now submit. I consider that the deafness and dimness of vision referred to in this certificate had nothing to do with the accident of the 8th December. While I was treating Barber for his injuries, I also treated him for his deafness and for inflammation of his eye. At my suggestion he went to the Throat, Ear and Nose Hospital in Golden Square, Regent Street. This was in December, after the accident of the 8th. About a week after the 5th January I saw Barber at his house, and examined his eyes. He was at the time still suffering from them. They were then worse than on the 5th. I gave him something for his eyes, and told him that he ought not to go to work. I considered that a keen wind or exposure would make them worse. Exposure would also make the deafness worse.

Driver Barber is still suffering from ear trouble, and has been for some years. I consider that after the accident at Eastbourne Barber would naturally be in a dazed condition, due to the condition of health in which he was at the time. Barber has been a patient of mine for 14 years. On the 12th January, when I told Barber that he was not fit to resume duty, I did not make any further reports to the Company. The only reason that I can give for not communicating with the company is that it is not usual to do so. I was aware that after having given my certificate of the 5th, the Company would probably put him on duty. On the 12th January, when his eyes were still worse, I took no steps to stop the Company from employing him. I should describe Barber's condition as '' hard of hearing." In his condition a shock would be followed by giddiness, but the giddiness might come on even without a shock. I am aware that Barber stated that he hardly felt the shock of the Eastbourne collision, but the concussion would quite suffice to produce the giddiness. The inflammation that drive Barber was suffering from would interfere with his seeing signals if it was existing at the time. I cannot say with certainty whether I mentioned to Barber that it was desirable that he should avoid alcohol. In the condition in which he was it was distinctly desirable that he should be abstemious. On the 12th January I went to see Barber's son, and in the course of the visit I met Barber himself. I admit that Barber was suffering from inflammation of the eyes, which might become serious at any moment, and from deafness which might at any time cause giddiness; and in spite of this, I consider that I was justified in recommending that Barber should resume duty. The certificate of the 2st January was supplied by me at Barber's request. I am appointed by the men as provident doctor, and my certificates are accepted by the Company under the Workmen's Compensation Act, and generally, and I am actually sin the pay of the Company as far as accidents are concerned, but not as regards general illness. I still consider that I did my duty to the Company in the matter. The certificate which I gave on the 5th January is a printed form referring to the Workmen's Compensation Act, and I regarded it as referring solely to the accident which had happened to Barber on the 8th December.

Conclusion.

The passenger train concerned in this collision had left Hastings punctually at 8.5 p.m.; it was two minutes late when it left Bexhill, which was its last stopping place before reaching Eastbourne, and it was still two minutes late when it arrived at Eastbourne. Its speed generally throughout its journey from Hastings to Eastbourne was not in excess of that authorised.

Driver Barber, who was in charge of the engine of the train, states that he turned off steam a good distance outside Eastbourne Station, that when passing the station signalbox he applied the brakes, and that he reached the end of the platform at what he considered a fair rate of speed. This evidence is confirmed by signalman Putman, who was on duty in the station signal-box, and who states that the train had passed his box at the usual speed of a train entering the station, and that he had no idea that there was any danger of its not stopping all right. It is also confirmed by inspector Fowler, who was on platform duty at the time ; he was half-may down the platform when the engine passed him, and he states that it was running along the platform at the usual speed, and he thought that it was going to stop all right before reaching the buffer stops. It appears certain therefore that the train was going at s moderate speed up to the time that it reached a point about half-way down the platform.

It should be noted that this train, which entered the station the down direction, was due to run on to London in the up direction, and it was therefore necessary for the engine to run round it after arriving at Eastbourne. In order, therefore, that this might be done without any delay, it was desirable that the train should be brought to a stand before its leading vehicle reached the fouling-point of the connection leading to the siding which, as above stated, was situated 175 feet from the buffer stops. On the other hand, it was desirable that all the passenger coaches should come to a stand alongside the platform. The length of the train apart from the engine, tender, and the rear brake van, was 420 feet, whilst the length of the platform between its east end and the fouling-point of the siding connection was 425 feet. In order, therefore, to accomplish both objects, it was necessary to stop the leading vehicle at a spot very near the fouling-point of the connection, and to do this required the exercise of special care. The length of the engine and tender together was 52 feet, so the engine should have been brought to a stand with its leading end about 120 feet from the buffer stops.

Driver Barber states that as he was approaching the buffer stops he was looking out for the siding connection so as to bring his train to rest just before reaching the fouling point ; he found, however, that his train was going to stop too soon, so he released his brakes and allowed his train to run on. He states that he continued looking for the connection but that he somehow missed seeing it, and he suddenly saw the buffer stops just ahead of him. He at once ain applied his brakes, but he was unable to stop the train before the collision occurred. The speed of the train at the time of collision appears to have been walking pace.

Fireman Baigent, who was also on the engine at the time, corroborates driver Barber's evidence, except that he thinks that it was when they reached the end of the platform that the brakes were released. He says that when they were half-way down the platform he appealed to the driver to apply them again ; the driver did not hear him, so he appealed to him again, but it was then too late, and the collision occurred.

The night appears to have been a very cold one, but clear, there being no fog; there was a red light on the buffer stops at the time of the collision.

There can be no doubt that this accident was entirely due to the mistake made by driver Barber in not stopping his train at the proper spot, and on him the responsibility for this accident must rest ; no blame attaches to any other servant of the Company.

All witnesses agree that Barber was in a dazed condition after the collision, but there is, I much regret to say, very strong evidence to the effect that he was at the time suffering from the effects of drink. Policeman Pate, who was on duty at the station and who spoke to Barber immediately after the collision, is distinctly of opinion that Barber was the worse for drink, and that he was not in a fit state to take charge of a locomotive. Mr. Wilkes, locomotive foreman at Eastbourne, saw Barber five minute after the collision, and is of opinion that his dazed condition was due to drink. Dr. Habgood, of Eastbourne, who was called to the station after the accident in order to attend to the injured passengers, states that he examined Barber, spoke to him, and made him walk across the station hall ; he at once formed the opinion that Barber's condition due to drink. Dr. Habgood admits that at that time he did not know that Barber had previously met with an accident; this knowledge caused him to subsequently modify his opinion, and the conclusion he then formed was that Barber's dazed  condition was partly due to his accident and partly to drink, but he emphatically states his opinion that his condition was undoubtedly partly due to the latter cause.

Driver Barber, on the other hand, attributed his dazed condition to the state of his health due to the effects of the accident which he had previously met with. It was therefore necessary to investigate the circumstances under which Barber resumed duty after the accident.

It appears that on the 8th December Barber had met with an accident in Battersea yard, and on account of injuries which he thereby sustained, he had had to go off duty and to place himself under the care of Dr. Flide. Dr. Flide is employed as one of the doctors of the men's Provident Society, and he is also employed by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway to attend to their men in cases of accidents, his certificates being there for accepted by that Company. Dr. Flide states that Barber was suffering from injuries to his arm and shoulder, which were the results of the Battersea accident, and that he was also suffering from defective eyesight and hearing, but that these latter defects were no due to the accident at all. On the 5th January, Dr. Flide submitted to the Company’s certificate to the effect that Barber was then fit to resume duty.

Barber however asked for, and received from the Railway Company, a further week’s leave, and he did not actually come on duty till the 13th January. Barber states that his reasons for asking for this week's leave were that he was not feeling very well, that his boy was ill, and that the doctor advised him to stay off duty a few days longer ; he states, however, that when he came on duty on the 13th, he considered that he was fit for duty, but that he did not specially ask his doctor's opinion before doing so.

On the 14th January-that is, the day before the collision-Barber underwent at Brighton the annual eyesight test, in the presence of Mr. Richardson; the resident Locomotive Superintendent. Barber passed both tests to which he was subjected, satisfactorily, and he made no remarks at the time as to his suffering from any defects of either hearing or vision.

On the 21st January-that is, six days after the accident Dr. Flide gave driver Barber a certificate to the effect that neither his hearing nor his sight were in a good condition when he resumed work, and that it was against his advice that he had done so. Dr. Flide states that it was at driver Barber's request that he furnished this certificate: which was dated January 21st.

In support of this certificate, which was at variance with that of the 5th January, Dr. Flide states that on or about the 12th January he examined Barber's eyes, and finding that they were worse than they had previously been, he advised him not to resume work. Dr. Flide admits that he took no steps to warn the Company of this opinion that Barber was then not fit for duty, though he  knew that the Company would probably act on his certificate of the 5th January and employ him. His explanation for his not doing so is that he considered that his certificate of the 5th January referred solely to the injuries which Barber had received from the accident, and not to his eyesight or hearing, these two latter defects being, in his opinion, not due to the accident at all.

Dr. Flide's evidence is not entirely supported by Barber himself, as, though Barber says that it was partly owing to the doctor's advice that he stayed off duty few extra days, he distinctly states that he did not specially consult him as to resuming duty on the 13th January, and that he himself thought that he was fit to do so on that date.

If Dr. Flide formed the opinion on 13th January that Barber was resuming work when he was not in a fit condition to do so, it was certainly his duty to have cancelled his certificate of the 5th January and to have warned the Company of Barber's condition. He did not, however, do so, and Barber accordingly arranged to return to work.

Under these circumstances, the Company were undoubtedly justified in regarding Barber as fit to return to duty on the 13th January, and in allowing him to do so.

Whether the general sate of Barber's health can be held partially or at all responsible for his mistake on the 13th January may, perhaps, he open to doubt, but the evidence of policeman Poate, Mr. Wilkes and  Dr. Habgood is conclusive that Barber was at the time suffering from the effects of drink, and I consider that it is to that cause that his mistake must he primarily attributed. It is quite possible, however, as stated by both Dr. Habgood and Dr. Flide, that his Battersea accident may haw rendered him more susceptible the effects of drink than he had previously been, and that his condition on this occasion may have been brought about by the intense cold of the night acting on him after he had taken a comparatively small amount of' drink, which under normal conditions would not have had any deleterious effects.

The hours of duty for which driver Barber and his fireman were detailed on the day of the collision cannot be regarded as entirely satisfactory.

These men came on duty at their head-quarters in London at 8.25 a.m., and they booked off duty at St. Leonards at 1.30 pm. ; they then came on duty again at 5.30 pm., and they would finally have booked off in London at about 1 a.m. They would thus have been away from their head-quarters for 16 ½  hours, during which time they would have been at work on their engine for 12 ½  hours, and for four hours they would have been off duty at St. Leonards.

This tour of duty is, it should be stated, only a Sunday one, and it mould not fall to any one pair of men oftener than once in four weeks ; the Company further state that arrangements are made that men working it have 14 hours off duty both before and after it.

The Company's difficulties in working the morning nad evening trains on n Sunday between London and Hastings without incurring there long hours are fully recognised, but the Company should consider carefully whether any steps cannot be taken to obviate the necessity for them.

 

 

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