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.




Click on the icon above for

the history of the Brighton Branch of ASLEF 


Click on the icon above for

the Brighton Motive Power Depot

 BRANCH SECRETARIES 1920 -

W. BOULTON 1947 - 1958, C. FOOT 1959 -  A. COOK C2007 TO DATE

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL 

MARCH 1947

PAGE 75

SELHURST BRANCH.

It is the duty of all men to attending meetings when available. On Sunday, February 2, we organised an open meeting for the purpose of gleaning knowledge on the suggested 88 hour fortnight. In the absence of the E.C. member, we had the pleasure of Bro. Cleaver (Organiser), at very short notice, to address the meeting. Although not being well informed on the latest negotiations, he was able to give those present food for thought on policy of our Society leading up to the present suggested step. At the time of writing, our members are not convinced that it will be beneficial, seeing that we already work 26 Sundays each year, and our duties are all passenger work. I would recommend that all readers of the Locomotive Journal pick up February’s issue and read again the General Secretary’s notes, Bro. J.F. Sharman’s report, Scottish Opinion, Bro. Simer's article, Bro. Monslow on Nationalisation, and last, but not least, Bill Juke’s Call to Action. All, in their way, should make us realise what is at stake, and from now on resolve to work as we never worked before for the ideal of us all, which is to provide for a better and fuller life. no periodical, magazine or journal contains such a wealth of sane writing for the price.

W.B.

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL 

DECEMBER 1947

PAGE 309

SELHURST BRANCH.

Since our last report we have had visits by Bro. Cleaver (Organiser), to address members on that vexed question of housing. Whilst the present system gives only limited scope to him as Liaison Officer, our members are satisfied that motormen are at least having consideration alongside other key grades.

Rest Days! Implementation of same has revealed that the Electrical Section is working very near the bone for manpower. This position will have to be closely watched by Sectional Council.

We had the pleasure of the company of Bro. W. Isaac, Chairman of Sectional Council Employees’ Side, at our October 27 meeting, his short address was appreciated by all present.

All men in Steam and Electrical branches in electrified areas are asked to tale note of the promotional machinery that will soon be a national agreement. There are some far reaching changes. Go to your meetings and keep in touch with current affairs! On the lighter side, we had our first Social and Dance on October 21. Results were very encouraging. Our best thanks to all who made the evening successful, including Mrs. and the Misses Boniface and Bro. Mutter for raffle prizes - and to our colleagues from Wimbledon  and Norwood Junction for their support. Don’t forget Carnival Dance, December 28! let’s have a “Bumper” evening together.

W.B. 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL 

MARCH 1950

PAGE 82

SELHURST BRANCH.

Our series of social dances have now ended. Although not the financial success anticipated by the committee, some jolly evenings have been spent together. Our best thanks to all who supported them., especially to Mrs. and the Misses Boniface, and Bro. C. Vaughan for spot and raffle prizes; also Bro. Len Tavener, M.C.

All members and friends and surrounding branches are cordially invited to the Annual Re-union at S.R.A.C., East Croydon Station, on Good Friday, April 7th, 6.30 - 10.30 p.m. a grand programme is being arrange; tickets 2s.6d

Branch meetings have not been too well attended since the beginning of 1950. We have booked a larger room, so come along and keep in touch with current affairs. Every Thursday is Branch night.

Now the new Promotional and Redundancy scheme is in circulation to branches, all members are specially urged to make themselves acquainted with it. There are sweeping changes to take place in administration of the Electrical Section of the Motive Power Department. Motormen on the Southern Region are particularly involved.

Bro. Renshaw, the newly elected candidate in the Internal Ballot, will requite all the support that can be given on Sectional Council; my one regret is that I am not permitted to be with him - we have now only one representative. Thinking all who supported my nomination.

W. Boulton  

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL 

FEBRUARY 1951

PAGE 62

SELHURST BRANCH.

we have had a busy year, and can look back with some measure of satisfaction if only because of the younger element that have attended Branch meetings.

In view of the new L.D.C. set-up, one which Selhurst does not agree with. I would appeal to all depots covered by the Branch to make sure they have regular attenders at meetings.

Depot representation can, if we let it, be the means of splitting the men; then selfish interests will prevail. Therefore let the slogan be: “To the Branch meetings regularly in 1951, and keep together!”

Bro. S.H. Armstrong has resigned as Assistant Secretary, and Bro. O. Mahoney elected in his place. Tribute was paid to Bro. Armstrong at the A.G.M. for the grand work he has put in over a number of years in close co-operation with the Secretary. Bro. J. Le Boutillier (Vice Chairman) sportingly stood down to allow Bro. Armstrong to be elected Vice Chairman for the two remaining he has to serve in the railway industry. Nice gesture, Jack.

We have several colleagues who are having a long term of sickness; to these, our best wishes for early return to normal health in 1951.

BILL BOULTON  

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL 

MAY 1951

PAGE 163

SELHURST BRANCH.

A full house attended the branch annual reunion on Good Friday at the S.R.A. Club, East Croydon.

Our chairman, Bro. E.G. Cordell, welcomed all present, including our retired members and visitors, with Bro. A. Hallworth (Acting Assistant General Secretary). He then handed over the proceedings to Bro. Len Tavener, compere and M.C. for the evening, and right well did he work, keeping the cabaret and dancing going.

The artistes were Mick, Dick & Geo., a versatile trio; June & Pauline, juvenile acrobatic dancers and singers; Tom Bullen, Electric accordion; and Tom Kenyon, late “Stars in Battledress.” Dancing was to the music of Ethel Tulles and her band.

Once again a very fine programme, thanks to the M.C. who organised it, ably assisted by Bro. Spiv. Armstrong.

Our best thanks are also extended to the donors of raffle prizes and to the lady helpers who worked so hard to ensure refreshments being up to standard, and so contributed in no small measure to the success of the evening.

Branch meetings recently have not been so well attended as they might be. There are still stern times ahead. See to it, comrades, that we do not slip behind in any of the deliberations that are bound to take place in the very near future, and support your branch officers by attending meetings. 

BILL BOULTON

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL 

APRIL 1957

PAGE 148

SELHURST BRANCH.

Over three months have passed since the change of Branch Secretary, and I am m=now settling down to work with “Bill” in the background ever ready to advise if and when required. Selhurst branch has always been a team, and I am proud of the excellent spirit among us, especially around the L.D.C. with Bro. Taverner as Secretary and Bro. Richardson, Chairman.

It is pleasing to note that the latest amendment to the P.T. & R.A, Clauses 22 and 23b, have not worked out too badly for our men now that the “Starred” men are known.

Good Friday, April 19, brings us once again to the annual re-union. Don’t forget the date. Have an evening out with the old boys and enjoy the grand show put on for all to remember.

Branch meeting date for April is Tuesday 16. Keep up the good attendance. We should like to see reports from other Electrical branches regularly, just to learn we new on the map on the Southern.

C. FOOT

BRANCH SECRETARY

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL 

JUNE 1957

PAGE 219

SELHURST BRANCH.

On Good Friday, April 19, Selhurst held its Annual Re-union, when 92 retired and active members and their friend sat down to enjoy a tea at the East Croydon Social Club. After tea, our E. C. Member, Don Pullen, presented Bill Boulton with an inscribed wallet containing a sum of money, and to Mrs. Boulton a barometer, given by the Electrical branches as a reward for the sterling services rendered by Bill over the last 25 years, and a tribute to the able assistance rendered by Mrs Boulton. Bro. Pullen, ably assisted by E.C. Member Bert Howes, Bro. E. Cordell and retired member W. Roberts, thanked Mr. and Mrs. Boulton for their services to the Selhurst Branch. During the evening we had the pleasure of the company of our Organiser, Bro. W.J. Cleaver.

The evening was spent enjoying a cabaret and dancing, ably got together by our L.D.C. Secretary L. Tavener.

Truly a wonderful evening, enjoyed by all.

 C. FOOT

BRANCH SECRETARY

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL 

OCTOBER 1958

PAGE 362

SELHURST BRANCH.

On October 26th, 1957 our late Bro. “Bob” Beadle met with an accident whilst riding to work on his bicycle, and was fatally injured. There were no witnesses. After prolonged negotiations a settlement has been made of £1,000 to his widow.

Perhaps this bald statement does not mean much to the average person.

My object is to remind all our members of the vast amount of time and work that has been put in, firstly by Bro. Adams (Redhill), Bro. C. Foot (our Branch Secretary), Bro. W. Evans (Assistant General Secretary), and the Society’s Compensation Department, to effect the settlement. Our best thanks are accorded to them all for their efforts.

See to it that you pay your contributions each quarter, in time to keep in benefit, and thus assist your Secretary and Officers to send in a 100% return (not forgetting the Political Levy!).

BIIL BOULTON

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL 

NOVEMBER 1958

PAGE 396

SELHURST BRANCH.

At our October meeting, Bro. M. Renshaw (Sectional Council Staff Side Chairman and representative), gave a lucid and explanatory report regarding the Modernisation (Stage One) on the Eastern Section of the Southern Region. We all much appreciate his visit.

Whilst the picture he gave us did not appear to be drastic so far as redundancy is concerned, it will be incumbent upon L.D.C.’s and representatives to keep ever vigilant concerning the future. Some sincere thought must be given to our colleagues who fall by the way in future. The gate is closing fast to jobs for them. What about a campaign to establish full staff list rates of pay if work cannot be found? It is up to the Branches

BILL BOULTON

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL 

FEBRUARY 1959

PAGE 64

SELHURST BRANCH.

On December 14th the members of the Selhurst Branch met for their A.G.M. After having selected their officers for 1959 our retiring Chairman, W. Boulton, then presented to retiring member sW. Key and A. Sutton their retiring grants and thanked them for their services to the branch. The Branch Secretary then presented to Bro. W. Boulton his retiring grants and a gift of notes from the branch, thanking him very sincerely for his past services. After 30 year’s service to our branch, Bro. W. Boulton’s advice will surely be missed by all. Thanks Bill.

C. Foot

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL 

APRIL 1959

PAGE 112

SELHURST BRANCH


APATHY

Sir - I would like to express my opinion on the lack of humanity and moral fervour in the Trade Union Movement today.

These two forces which carried the Unions through their struggle conflicts of earlier days seem to have been replaced by complacency and and apathy, and when you give any serious thought to the obstacles yet to be negotiated in the way of working conditions, wages, social advancement, etc., it presents a very sorry picture.

Furthermore, there is a lack of controversy in our Journal; this could be counteracted by allowing space for members to air their views on a multitude of subjects. i don’t suggest this as a “gimmick” to fill the branch rooms, but as a heartfelt opinion. As it stands at the present we get an occasional article tinged with controversy, but this not enough to retain interest.

I have seen scores of “Journals” lying about in rooms, cabs etc., evidently taken more out of loyalty to the Society than for the interest they hold. What we want is facts, lively reports, militant articles, and, above all, a difference of opinion. All this in the right perspective could, I’m sure, help to bring back at least a spark of that humanity and moral fervour.

If one wishes to see havoc that complacency and apathy can do, one only has to glance to France. So perhaps an important topic of controversy is an article on the reasons “Why you pay a Potical Levy.”

    E.A. STREETER

SELHURST

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL 

APRIL 1959

PAGE 112

SELHURST BRANCH

THANKS

Sir - I would like, through the medium of the Journal, to express appreciation to the Society of the efficient manner in which my claim for accident off duty was conducted.

The cheque handed to me in settlement of my claim was received with gratitude. A typical example of the very high standard of efficiency of A.S.L.E. & F., working, as always, in the interest of its members’ welfare. 

Thank you.

E. PENTECOST

SELHURST

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL 

MAY 1959

PAGE 166

SELHURST BRANCH

On Good Friday we had the company of Organiser W.J.K. Cleaver and his wife at our Annual Reunion, when 75 retired and active Motormen and their friends sat down to enjoy tea together. In the evening the East Croydon Social Club was opened to the hole of the retired and active members, who enjoyed a session of dancing and a cabaret put on by The Snags Sniffle Group - a number of our members who gave a good hourentertainment which was enjoyed by all. The evening went all too quickly after a session of dancing under the direction of the M.C., Len Taverner. Thanks, Snags - Thanks, Len.

C. FOOT

BRANCH SECRETARY 

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL 

JANUARY 1965

PAGE 15

DON PULLEN 

DISTRICT ORGANISER No. 7 REPORT

Selhurst and Bognor Regis Branches are currently grappling with housing problems on behalf of members and we are doing our best to ease the burden of transferred members. This is a very difficult one to solve. At Selhurst, we were recently shattered by the news that Len Taverner had been removed from track duties by the M.O. This meant an unexpected shake up of the L.D.C. because Len has been transferred to Selhurst depot and thus loses his seat at West Croydon after many years in office. Bro. Taverner has the best wishes of all his colleagues for a full and speedy recover.

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL 

FEBRUARY 1965

PAGE 39

SELHURST BRANCH

December saw the Branch A.G.M. Arranged for a Sunday to include both shifts, it proved a very lively meeting. It was refreshing indeed, and a promise of things to come, to see younger members volunteering for positions as officers of the Branch.

A good report was read from Organising SecretaryDon Pullen re Housing of Railway Tenants; it fell a bit flat with the summing-up that  “not much can be done without Government intervention.”

Still confusion and wrong interpretations as regards use of taxis and application of Factory Act to local problems. Members urged that they need legal advice from Head Office. L.D.C.’s complained that when meeting Management they become “amateurs” against “professionals” when discussing legal points.

Election of officers saw a few changes, and, owing to the new area organisation, two new L.D.C. representatives, including Secretary and Chairman.

Selhurst have a big job on their hands for 1965 but are ready for it. The efforts of a few are bringing rewards; the attendances are up.

E. PENTECOST

BRANCH REPORTER

 LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2007


Henry John English - private, principled and loyal

HENRY JOHN ENGLISH – or Harry, as we all knew him - passed away peacefully on 30 August this year at the home of his son Peter, who had been caring for him during his illness. He was born on 2 January 1924.

Harry started work at Nine Elms MP in 1946 after leaving the Armed Forces. During his time serving with the Royal Marine Commandos during WW11 he was based at various times at Dieppe, Sicily, Italy, Yugoslavia, the Adriatic and Greece. Harry was a ‘founder member’ of the first RM Commando - that consisted entirely of volunteers.

Harry progressed in the footplate grades and worked as a Driver at several depots on the Western and Central Divisions of the Southern. When he became redundant at Coulsdon North EMUT he elected to move to St Pancras, and it was from this depot he retired in 1989. Harry was a private man with very strong principles

and fierce loyalty to his friends. He helped many people during his working life, and expected nothing in return.

Admired by all those who met him, Harry will be mourned and sadly missed,

Our thoughts are with his family

Andrew Cook 

Secretary

Selhurst Branch

 LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

APRIL 2008

ARTHUR PARMENTER 

BOOT BOY TO FOOTPLATE

ARTHUR PARMENTER was born in 1916 in Hutton, Essex. He started work at the age of 14 as a boot boy in a large country house in the village. In 1941 he joined the railway, taking on an engine cleaner post at Stratford. In the course of time he progressed to become a driver.

In retirement Arthur enjoyed travelling and spent many holidays in most parts of world and the UK. He was also an avid whist player.

After living in the London area for many years Arthur moved to West Sussex early in 2007. He died on 4 November last year after a short illness.

F. HUGHES 

retired driver – Selhurst

 LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

OCTOBER 2008

JOHN NIVISON

A DRIVER WITH BOXING GLOVES

It is with sadness that I report the passing away of retired member John Nivison at the age of 73.

Born in 1934, John started his railway career two days after his 15th birthday at Woodside and South Croydon Railway as a junior porter. He then moved to Stewarts Lane as a cleaner, joining ASLEF in October 1950.

In 1952, whilst still at Stewarts Lane, he got his job as a fireman. From ’52 - ’54 he did his National Service and afterwards returned to his job, becoming a passed fireman in early ’59 and later that year getting his appointment as a driver at Norwood.

John was a driver for 14 years before promotion to various roles such as yard supervisor at New Cross Gate, traincrew supervisor at Holborn Viaduct and Hither Green and traction inspector at Norwood. His final move before retirement in 2000 was to Selhurst.

Even in retirement he still found time on his holidays to drive steam trains. I’m sure his Polish Brothers will miss him too!

People say that he spent all his waking hours at work! This can’t be true because he devoted an enormous amount of his time to the Croydon Amateur Boxing Club as well. He has touched the lives of many boxers from across the country from Southend and Sittingbourne to Chichester and Portsmouth.

He will be missed by a great many from the railway and from a sport he loved and gave so much to.

ANDREW COOK

Secretary

Selhurst Branch

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2008


MEDALLIONS FOR SELHURST PAIR

The Selhurst branch recently hosted an event to present two of its members – George Moore and John Kinnest - with the union’s coveted 50 year medallions.

George, who was born in 1936, started his railway career in 1952 as an engine cleaner at Farnley Junction, becoming a passed cleaner the following year. Two years later he left to do his National Service in Kenya until 1956.

He returned to Farnley Junction as a cleaner before he was promoted to Fireman at Low Moor, Bradford in 1960.

In 1962 he was transferred to York where he saw the last of the steam trains in passenger service and became a second man on the diesel. In 1967 he became a passed second man and early the next year he transferred to Wembley as passed senior second man.

In September 1969 he transferred to Selhurst as a driver.

He stayed at Selhurst for the next 28 years (brave man!) before retiring early due to ill health. George reached his 50 years as a member of ASLEF back in 2002.

John started his railway career in 1950 aged 15 as an engine cleaner. He spent a year cleaning before becoming a passed cleaner taking on firing duties on steam engines. In 1958 he passed out for driving at Redhill - but it wasn’t until October 1961 that he was appointed to the driving link.

In May 1984 he transferred to Victoria where he stayed until 1987 when ill health brought him to Selhurst to work in the Shunt Link until he retired in 1999.

Like George, John’s 50 year medallion was long overdue and well earned!

Selhurst Branch members were pleased to be able to help celebrate and recognise over 100 years of Aslef membership.

Andrew Cook 

Secretary

Selhurst Branch

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2008

ASLEF WAS THERE FOR ME

Following my diagnosis with acute myeloid leukaemia in May this year, I was admitted to the Royal Marsden hospital in Sutton for treatment. I had four courses of chemo and went into remission on the first hit. Fortunately I’m still in remission and I was able to return to work on 8 October.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the union reps of Selhurst branch for visiting me and supporting me throughout my treatment and to my return to work. Some people deserve special mention – especially Bro Ray ‘Mad

Dog’ D’souza who visited me in hospital and made sure my sick notes reached the depot; our branch secretary Bro Andy ‘Cooky’ Cook for keeping all my colleagues at work informed of my progress and for encouraging them to send me loads of supporting emails; Bro Alex ‘Respect’ Holness for his messages of support; Bro Ian ‘Ninja’ Heriman for visiting and giving me a laugh at the low times (you know the story, Ninja!); Bro Mick ‘633 squadron’ Curtis for being a special mate; and to all my colleagues at Selhurst for their messages of support. You kept me smiling even at the low times.

Times like this bring out the best in people. To ASLEF’s Selhurst branch and all my colleagues: a big thank you.

Rich Castle

Selhurst Branch

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

JANUARY 2009

SELHURST CALLS TIME ON TIMMS

THE Selhurst branch was proud to present a retirement certificate and 50 year medallion to Peter Timms on 11 November. The awards were made by Alex Holness (Branch Chairman) and local staff rep Ray D'Souza.

Peter was a 'drivers' driver' to the extent that he wanted his driver colleagues - people that he'd worked with for so many years - to present him with his record of achievement. We found two 'old boys' who were happy to do the honours!

Peter started on the railway in 1947 at Norwood Loco Depot as a cleaner. He rose through the ranks before passing out as a driver in October 1963 and in 1964 he transferred to Selhurst where he spent the last 42 years of his career as a driver.

I would like to say a big 'thank you' to Grace Fox for laying on another fabulous hot and cold buffet for all the members and guests at the Selhurst BRSA.

Andrew Cook

Secretary 

Selhurst Branch

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

DECEMBER 2009


GOOD WORK ROY!

I WOULD just like to put into writing my many thanks for the work Roy Luxford put in for me in helping me to return to my Driving job, which is still being worked on.

Once again many thanks and keep up the good work that you and the DFC do.

John Ward – Selhurst

LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL

JANUARY 2010

Executive hear views from the Selhurst messroom

No less than four members of the Selhurst branch - Terry Allwright, Andy Cook, Andrew Johnson and Rob Lowndes - went along to this year’s national weekend forum, and found it ‘informative, interesting and good fun’.

Andrew Johnson says, ‘It’s been fantastic. this weekend I’ve met two members of Parliament, I’ve had the general secretary personally apologise to me for being late, and I’ve told the national leadership where they’re going wrong!

‘Everyone is equal here – my opinion counts just as much as the President’s.

‘I’ve never had any contact with A.S.L.E.F. members outside the branch before. but this weekend has made the union come alive for me, seeing it in a national context.

‘We stayed in a good hotel, enjoyed splendid company and took part in lots of debates. It was about the union listening to its grassroots – rather than the other way round! to my surprise I was one of the first people on my feet, Why? because I could!

‘I raised a question about the EU that we’d been talking about in the messroom the day before. how’s that? A debate in the messroom is transformed into a discussion with the national executive! that’s quicker than the internet and a lot more effective!

‘It’s a fantastic opportunity and should be better advertised. We knew about it because Andy Cook has an email list of 140 of our 190 branch members and he makes sure we’re kept in the picture.

‘I’d recommend it to anyone. It’s your union, so have your say in what it does.’

 

Click on the icon above for

the history of the Brighton Branch of ASLEF 


Click on the icon above for

the Brighton Motive Power Depot

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