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



1964 ~1969

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

  Three Bridges locomotive shed was opened in July 1848 by the L.B.S.C.R. (Shed Code 3-B).

On 27 January 1964 the steam shed was closed and the steam depot became a Mixed Traction depot. The Mixed Traction depot was closed in April 1969 along with Eastbourne M.T. & Feltham depots 

With the electrification arriving at Three Bridges in 1932, this created a new motorman’s depot at Three Bridges (E.M.U.T.) which opened in 1932, along with Reigate motormans depot.

The Three Bridges Branch of ASLEF was opened on 17th May 1913


 W C Headsman 1926 – 1940, G Gilliland 1941 -1942, F Brett 1943 – 1944, Charlie Stokes 1945-63, 

Jim Sayers 1964 - 1970, John Cook  1972 – 1973, Dave Shopland  1974 -1982, Derek Abrahams 1983, 

Robin Baldock  1984, Roy Luxford 1985 -1994, Martin Gee-Wooley 1994 –, Alison Berry  - 1998, 

Charlie Osta 1999 - 2004, Ron Pegler 2005 - 2007, Alex Button 2008 - 2010, Paul Eden 2010 to date.




MAY 1962


PAGE 110


The state of the branch assistance fund was discussed at some length. It was decided that the attention of more men should be drawn to the existence of this fund.

Out of the agenda of suggestions for the A.A.D. some discussion revolved around the All-Line Promotion items; the idea was touched upon that if a vacancy was to be advertised a second time, this should be done on an all-line basis.

District Council report was read and it was good to hear that in the district the number of nons is coming down.

L.D.C. items were dealt with next. (If more men would attend the meetings or even put their thoughts in writing, it would save a lot of argument!) under the new R.D. Argreement the R.D.R. No.3 Link was discussed, also the Sunday work for the additional link.

The question of filling the vacancies on the annual leave roster was discussed; this matter around a revised local agreement.

A.E. Hodgkinson

Branch Chairman




MAY 1963



The first meeting of the year had the usual attendance. Interesting and lengthy discussion took place on several important circulars. On the circular dealing with redundancy and resettlement, the money given to the older man was considered inadequate.

The Agenda of Suggestions for the A.A.D. was discussed with a view to forming amendments. In the list of delegates it was noted that four groups did not at stage have a delegate; this was considered deplorable, and about time all groups elected their delegates.

A number of local items were discussed including the low number of Passed Fireman at the depot, and a resolution was formed to be replaced before the management insisting that men eligible be passed. Also discussed were a number of minor link alterations.

A general discussion took placed at the end on the submitting of proposals to improve duties and other items dealing with economy, and it was noted that replies are rarely received from the management.

The next two branch meeting are 9 and 16 May. 

Branch Chairman








For the last meeting of 1963 there was a good attendance.

In the election of officers, Bro. J. Sayers stood down from the Committee, on which he had been for many years; his place is filled by Bro. D. Barrett.

A lengthy discussion took place on “Retirement Presentations.” It was decided to hold them in the B.R.S.A., the organization to be independent of the “S.A.” Collection would be made for four to retire in the first half of 1964, and then there will be a group presentation.

Finally, L.D.C. items were raised; these included new rosters for the introduction of diesels. There will be a roster for Fireman separate from the Drivers embracing all turn. It was not possible to bring in one roster for Drivers due to there being four types of traction involved. Movement from rosters was raised; in one movement a man suffered a loss of earnings, but his main complaint was that he was not consulted. The matter was taken up with Shed Master the following day and it was agreed that a man must be consulted

Put your complaints and suggestions to the Branch meeting. There will eight during 1964 – dates to be posted in E.M.U.T. and M.T. depots.

Branch Chairman



APRIL 1964



The first meeting of the year was well attended. After a report on the subject of retirement presentation, it was suggested that those retiring be divided into two groups of four, the first social to be held in July. Individual collections will be made for each man.

Spare work from the E.M.U.T.  depot is going to other E.M.U.T. depots; in a number of cases use of taxis is being made to carry men to and from other depots. An approach will be made will made to Management to see if greater use can be made of the relief link (M.T.).

The question of a continuing  second manning was raised. It was pointed out that the matter was being discussed at Headquarters level.

The siting of Crawley Down Home was raised, also a warning light  in a boiler-house, up side after Redhill. A final discussion dealt with whether the rates of pay Driver now receive are reasonable. With the different forms of traction a driver is expected to know, and the increase in single manning. It’s about time a move was made for substantial rise for responsibility.

The next Branch Meeting is 26 April.

Branch Chairman.



 Three Bridges Loco Shed c1964



JUNE 1964


PAGE 126

Correspondence L.D.C. before the Branch in the main with second manning station limits, London to Brighton and Three Bridges depots; no one is yet support London Bridge. A second man now supplied at the other two depots.

On D.E.M.U. work for the depot, the management requires more economical diagrams. But it seem reason for no work is the fact the East Grinstead branch.

Retirement presentation raised again, and to prevent delay organisation  it was suggested that as a pensioners’    social is being held in May the next presentation could be made then.

A point was raised in relation to a newspaper report on a serious accident in which two Brighton men were killed. In the report was a statement from a “Railway Spokesman” which contained a misstatement showing that the “Railway Spokesman” had very little knowledge of the locality. The “report” being sent to Head Office.

There is a Branch Meeting on 7 June.

Branch Chairman.



JULY 1964


PAGE 146

An open meeting was called on 26 April to here an  L.D.C. report on the closure of Horsham M.T. and the transfer of men and work to Three Bridges; also to hear and collect ideas on link structures and training required to make the new links workable.

The provisional figures for the depot will be 58 Drivers and 35 Firemen.

The depot will be allocated D.E.M.U. work on the Steyning and East Grinstead lines; but both these lines come into the closure plans.

When the L.D.C. met the Management they suggested a link structure which would have meant minimum displacement of men, also the minimum of extra training (E.M.U.T.). the Management would not agree, and now additional training will be requires creating disturbance of rosters.

There are a number of light duty men at Horsham and the Management suggested that they be accomoditated at Three Bridges. The meeting agreed that this could be done, providing they are placed at the bottom of the roster and are utilised as a last resort, not displacing any Firemen.

The L.D.C. must be complimented on giving a clear report.

Branch Chairman.



APRIL 1966



Out of the minutes of the previous meeting an explanation was given to clarify the reference of road learning to R.S.C. L215.

One letter in the correspondence involved a signal irregularity which occurred at Brighton. It was noted that the track circuits had been altered to prevent such occurrences.

Industrial action over the 40-hour week and the October 3 ½ % was discussed at some length and the meeting decided it could not support strike action.

In the L.D.C. Report further closures were brought to the notice of the meeting, in that management now proposed to close the from Hurst Green to Lewes (which would eliminate Tunbridge Wells West and create redundancy at Brighton), and a small unit at East Grinstead. The latter indication was doubted as it’s the management’s intention to create larger rather than open further small ones.

Productivity Agreement, Clause D: it was noted that completely revised second manning rosters would be drawn up to come in April; that there was still some dispute over whether the Fireman surplus is to be considered on Regional or on a depot basis. Management contend that the overall commitment must be considered are resettlement is allowed.

Branch Chairman





PAGE 241

At our meeting held on August 14, discussion took place on the A.A.D. report, with most emphasis on the part dealing with the review of the wages structure.

Dismay was expressed over the further delay in agreement on freight train bonus. It was thought that it was about time that there were less thoughts on pennies and shillings and more thought on pursuing a line which would give a Driver a salary eliminating the lower mileage 140, thereby eliminating also the animosity that builds up over mileage payments.

Various local matters were dealt with; these included Inter-Regional trains, N.F.P.,  route learning facilities, revision of rosters, 3rd stage N.F.P. in October.

Branch Chairman





PAGE 274


Sir. –Through the medium of the “Locomotive Journal” I would like to express my thanks to Organising Secretary Don Pullen, and both No.1 & No.4 District Councils’ Secretaries for their fine efforts in making the Weekend School, held on 8th/ 9th October, a wonderful success and really worthwhile. I feel confident our London members must have gained some benefit from the weekend in the quiet countryside of Sussex, away from the environments of town.

I personally look forward to next Weekend School, and I feel sure that I voice the opinion of most of us who were in attendance.

Best wishes for the future schools.

 J. Sayers


Three Bridges Branch.

* Plaw Hatch is situated on road between Forest Row & West Hoathley stations on the edge of Ashdown forest.





At our A.G.M. appreciation was  expressed to Driver F. Marshall (retired) for services to the Branch;also a welcome was given to recent appointees to the depot from other Regions. 

The November meeting dealt mainly with items for the 1967 A.A.D.; the principal item concerns the Driver’s rate on a salaried basis and consists of a formula which would give the E.C. room to manoeuvre in the light of negotiations.

It was submitted that Second Men should automatically receive a rise on passing a driving examination.

The A.G.M. consisted almost entirely of discussion on L.D.C.; D.C.; Form 1; Manning of Traction with hand operated D.S.D.; Continuous Duty; Rationalisation of E.M.U.T. and M.T. Depots, Central Division; Change of Booking-on Point; and the difficulties being created before the move takes place, through another Department taking over the Shed before the present occupants move out.

Branch Chairman.





The meeting on January 13 agreed to the proposal that a presentation be made to Driver C. Stokes for services to the Branch.

The taking over the depot by the C.C.E. came in for further discussion. It was pointed out that the taking over of redundant depots with men still in them was taking place all over the country to the detriment of those men; so that as this was a national problem, a motion was adopted to go to H.O. 

The averted non-cooperation was discussed at some length. It was notes that the redundancy safe-guards were reaffirmed, which was welcomed. 

An investigation was asked for into the cause of two fires on electro-diesels – one involving a Three Bridges Driver. A motion was formulated and submitted to H.O.

Branch Secretary

Three Bridges




 Brian Slash Prior (Three Bridges & Redhill) is seen on a Rail Tour Special, and giving up the staff at Fisbourne Crossing whilst on the return trip back from Lavant station in the late 1960s



MARCH 1967 


The meeting on May 2 commenced with one minute’s silence for the Fireman B.A. Brown, killed in a accident on his way home from work, a great loss both to his parents and to the depot.

The bonus dispute was then discussed and a resolution was voted reaffirming the Branch’s previous resolution on manning and bonus, endorsing the E.C.’s decision to press for a flat-rate payment.

The rest of the meeting was turned to Mr. K. Perry, Staff Side Secretary, Sectional Council No.2, he talked on the closure of the Guildford and Heathfield (Cuckoo) branches.

There would be a loss of four turns ----- and one R.D.R. at Three Bridges – as there are vacancies the lost would be three Drivers surplus. Another item was the proposed amalgamation of E.M.U.T. and M.T. depots; this is interesting as it would eliminate the nuisance of relief ------ as they have served no useful purpose. The amalgamation proposals depend on the revision of R.S.N.T. L211.

Vote of thanks to Mr. Perry was passed.

Branch Secretary

Three Bridges

**Owing to the fold of journal in the binder, it was difficult to read the full report, this will be addresses shortly.






We had a good meeting recently at Three Bridges where Jimmy Sayers and his lads wanted to know the details of the pending closure of their depot. At Feltham, Eastbourne and other Southern Depots, too, our members anxiousy await the November vacancy lists which will give some idea of the moves in store.

Our Sectional council Representatives have had a few crosses to bear down through the years, but never on the Southern Region have they been confronted with wholesale redundancy before. 



Class 33 training January 1969

Left to right, Dave Strudwick Norwood, Ray Cooper Hither Green, Biff Manvell Three Bridges, Ted “the Colonel" Lynch (Instructor) 

& Graham Pink Eastleigh.


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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