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


St Leonards

Diesel & Electric Era

   This web page is dedicated to all A.S.L.E.F. members who have worked at St Leonards 

depot over the years, and it features A.S.L.E.F. members who brought the trains of

St Leonards to life.


St Leonard’s (known as Hastings) locomotive shed was opened in November 1845 by L.B.S.C.R.

(Shed Code (H until 1903 & from 1903 onwards StL). 

The South Eastern Railway opened a locomotive shed at Hastings on the 13th February 1851 and closed in 1929.

 The Crowhurst, Sidley and Bexhill Railway opened a locomotive shed at Bexhill West on 1st June 1902.

This shed was later taken over by the South Eastern Railway and closed in 1936 by the Southern Railway.

With the formation of the Southern Railway the locomotive shed transferred from being a sub shed of Brighton 

and become a sub shed of Ashford, with a shed code of 74E (1950 - 1958) and later a sub shed of Stewarts 

Lane/Hither Green 73D (1963 - 1973) and in 1973 SE


The St Leonards  Branch of ASLEF was opened on 18th March 1906.

For more information about the St Leonards Branch of A.S.L.E.F. click on icon below left.



ST. LEONARD'S.—Oddfellows' Arms, Caves Road.  Last Thursday in the month. 

St Leonards Branch Secretaries

D. Sargent c1936 - c1955, J. Wallis 1970s K. Auger 1985 - c1998, S. Jenner c2010 - ? 


 St Leonards Maintenance Depot Badge 

1973 - 1987




Sir, - May I through the medium of the Journal express my sincere appreciation of all the assistance afforded me by Head Office, Bro. Don Pullen and Bro. Johnnie Wallis, Branch Secretary, St Leonards, following the terrible accident at Hither Green in 1967 in which I found myself involved.

In my view nowhere could we wish for finer representation at times of trouble than that given by our Trade Union - the “Associated”.

The satisfactory financial settlement that the Society obtained on my behalf from the B.R.B. is very deeply appreciated.

My most cordial thanks and good wishes for the future.

Donald S. Purves

St. Leonards




Left to Right

John (Johnny) Wallis. former St.Leonards ASLEF Branch Secretary and Branch District Council Rep. Pretty sure he was a Bevan boy in WW2.

Ian Clare  Hastings Guards L.D.C. & N.U.R. Secretary

William (Bill) Woolett. Driver at St.Leonards. Drivers L.D.C. Secretary for many years until late 1980s 



Above the St. Leonard's Branch 1982 A.S.L.E.F. strike badges. 

The badge on the left was one of the first A.S.L.E.F. loyalty badges to be made after the 1982 strike. 

The loyal A.S.L.E.F. members of the St Leonards branch felt they needed to be recognised when meeting other loyal A.S.L.E.F. members from other branches/depots. 

This was due to the high number of  A.S.L.E.F. members who did not strike within their branch.


Colin Price Collection 

John Vaughn Collection


 Kevin Auger attending 

the 1985  A.S.L.E.F. National School, at Head Office 

Kevin transferred to St. Leonards in 1982 until its closure as a footplate depot in the 1990s when all drivers moved to Hastings. Kevin served as the St Leonards A.S.L.E.F. Branch Secretary for 13 years as serving on the L.D.C. member and subsequent Secretary.



Left - Right Guard Jim Tayler & Driver John Baker. 

Last Day of Hastings D.E.M.U.s on the Hastings to Charing Cross route 1986


  Chris Taylor attending 

the 1989  A.S.L.E.F. National School. 




Four Generations of the Chaloner Footplate Family

Driver Barry Chaloner’s  Father was John (Jack) father was a motormen at Ore EMUT Depot, and later finishing up  as Motive Power Foreman at St Leonards West Marina. His father (my grandfather) was on the footplate, and also ended his career as a M.P.F. at St. Leonards West Marina. Barry’s my middle son is a driver at Hastings with his youngest son having passed his driving assessment and currently waiting for a vacancy (Feb 2016). 

* In the 1925 Southern Railway Seniority Book appears a H. Chaloner with a seniority of 10th June 1889 



Beckenham School E.M.U.T. Course 1985

Left to Right Glen Johnson (ex Hither Green) Tony Edwards, Trevor Kilby (Orpington), 

Andy Marks (Depot Unknown), Brian Clee, Dennis Russell, Ken Sowerby, Robin Lever (L. Bdge) 

Steve Roast & Seated Brian Shimmings

R Glen ex HG, Hastings Dvr? Trevor Kilby Orp, Andy Marks, Tony Hastings Dvr, Ken Hastings Dvr, Ken (darts) ex Preston, Robin Lever, Steve Roast, seated Brian Hastings Dvr. Info from Steve Roast

6th MAY 1986


Left - Right

Jeff Bridges & Henry Marchant


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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