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4 AAD: union sets targets for ft Rail Industry: GS puts case 

the year for Spanish customs 

■ 


AAD 2011: 

UNION IN 
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□ HE union's 201 1 annual conference took 
place last month and the executive 
committee has been set fresh objectives 
for the coming year. I have noticed a welcome 
change in the AAD over the years. Not long ago 
this event was full of conflict, speechifying and 
posturing. It was all very dramatic and theatrical, 
but not necessarily fruitful. Now it has a more 
thoughtful and professional atmosphere. 
Delegates apply themselves to solving problems 
and finding polices we can support together. It is 
an exercise in unifying rather than scoring points. 

ASLEF has changed in the recent past. For too 
long we operated our finances on 'a wing and a 
prayer', deciding what we wanted to do and 
hoping the money would somehow turn up. The 
section of the Annual Report on our finances was 
something of a side issue at conference. Not any 
more: delegates went over the accounts with a 
fine tooth comb. I was delighted to tell them the 
union had made an operating profit of over 
£380,000 - not because I've become an amateur 
accountant, but because I am a train driver and a 
trade unionist. In the most basic terms, especially 
now, we need a sound financial base in order to 
improve our conditions and our union. 

Over the coming year we will have many 
serious industrial issues to face. The government 
will seize on the McNulty Report to attack our 
conditions and cut back our industry. The 
companies will hide behind the government as it 
eagerly attacks our pensions. As well as 
organising ourselves tightly, we will need to win 
passengers, politicians, sections of the media and 
transport opinion-formers to our cause. This all 
costs money. Thanks to careful management of 
our accounts over recent years, we can afford to 
take on this challenge with confidence. That is 
why we will win. 

Keith Norman 

General Secretary 


News 4 


O Annual Conference sets targets for the 


coming year 4 

O President spells out union priorities 5 

O ATW'hones in on the insignificant' 7 

O National qualifications for railway 

operations 8 



Features 9 


o 

Government attitudes to unions are based on 


boardroom gossip and dodgy dossiers 

9 

o 

The anti-cuts campaign 

11 

o 

ASLEF's Annual Conference (AAD) 201 1 

12 

o 

Summary of financial information 

14 

o 

Rail will return to the public sector 

15 

o 

A treasury of rail in the valleys of Wales 

18 

o 

FHistory repeats itself at Derby's Silk Mill 

22 


Regulars 15 


O Keeping Track 15 

O Obituaries 16&17 

O Branch News 19 

O Letters 20&21 


O Prize Crossword/Legal services for members 23 



Conference Photos: 

Brian Morgan 


0Q 


ASLEF 


Aslef Journal published monthly by ASLEF 

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020 7794 6406 journal@aslef.org.uk www.aslef.org.uk 


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More than 
just a union 



JOURNAL 

JULY 2011 






4 


News 


TheASLEF JOURNAL 




r 


Annual Conference sets 
targets for the coming year 


ASLEF's Annual 
Assembly of Delegates 
(AAD) met in Swansea 
last month and applied itself to 
setting policies and aims to 
pursue over the coming year. 

The objectives and policies the 
union will pursue include 
O an extension of the last 
government's KeyWorker housing 
scheme to include all transport 
workers. This was introduced to 
assist employees to purchase or 
rent affordable property in areas 
near where they work that 
otherwise would have been 
beyond their price levels 
O resistance to suggestions that 
London's tube system could 
become 'driverless' - a proposal 
put forward by London Mayor 
Boris Johnson at a business dinner 
where he demonstrated 
considerable ignorance in saying 
driver training is possible 'in a 
couple of weeks'. Delegates 
insisted that 'only people who 
believed computers cannot go 
wrong would welcome driverless 
train', insisting they remain a vital 
part of the safety measures for 
passengers in the capital. 'There 
will always be a need for a driver 
to deal with emergencies.' 

O agitiation within the Labour 
Party for progressive and 
egalitarian policies and 'fighting 
for change within rather than 
shouting from the sidelines' 

O continued opposition to the 
government cuts programme 
O support for the Freight Grants 
Scheme 

O backing for the the Hands off 
The People of Iran (HOPI) 
campaign and support for 
imprisoned Iranian trade unionists 


O total opposition to reduced 
benefits for railway pensions, 
insisting on a scheme which 
includes keeping the final salary 
provision and retains the Retail 
Price Index (rather than the less- 
favourable Consumer Price Index) 
to calculate increases. 

O campaigning to ensure that all 
our members enjoy reasonable 
free travel facilities. While arguing 
that all members should be 
entitled to the same as former BR 
drivers, it was also recognised that 
we are increasingly seeing 
erosions and restrictions - for 
example on High Speed routes 
and Southeastern services to and 
from St Pancras. There are also 
question marks over entitlements 
when train services transfer to 
tram or light rail. 

O arguing with employers that 
physical needs breaks (PNBs) (or 
meal breaks on London 
Underground) should be available 
after a maximum of five and a half 
hours work before a break and no 
PNB should be diagrammed 
within two hours of the beginning 
of a duty. 

O insisting that Rest Day working 
should not be a part of the core 
conditions of any company. 

O calling for employers to ensure 
there is suitable accommodation 
for the immediate family of any 
ASLEF member who needs in- 
patient hospital treatment while 
on duty and away from the home 
depot for as long as the driver is 
hospitalised. 

O insisting that if a driver has to 
leave the grade because of a 
fatality while driving and is 
redeployed into another grade, he 
or she should retain the drivers' 


rate of pay 

O claiming that all newly 
qualified drivers should be on the 
full rate of pay from the day they 
do their first driving turn 
O arguing for a minimum of 
quadruple time plus time worked 
plus a day in lieu for attendance 
on Boxing Day for members 
working for London 
Underground. It is also to put to 
management that any 
agreements struck over the 
delivery of services for next year's 
Olympics should become 
permanent conditions, with a 
priority given to claims for a four- 
day working week and improved 
annual leave. 

O insisting that where toilets are 
provided on a train at least one 
should be working properly 
before starting a journey of half 
an hour or more; that there 
should be free sanitary wear 
whenever there is refurbishment; 
and that members be provided 
with modern lightweight lamps 
rather than the old bardic ones. 


O calling for regular services by 
railhead treatment trains (RTTs) 
during the leaf fall season. 

O arguing that drivers should be 
provided with speeds relating to 
theTPWS over speed trips that are 
placed at permanent speed 
restrictions. With the assistance of 
the membership it may be 
possible to post information on 
the union's web site, but there 
were concerns that if we went 
down this path all information 
must be both accurate and 
updated. 

O insisting that any driver who 
develop diabetes and are forced 
to leave the job because of 
medical grounds must be offered 
suitable alternative employment. 

'it is a daunting set of 
demands, but I am sure the 
Executive Committee will do all in 
its power to ensure that our 
members have conditions of 
service that match their 
professionalism, talent and 
dedication,' said general secretary 
Keith Norman. 




JULY 2011 


News 5 




President spells out 
union priorities 

EC President Alan Donnelly used his address to the 
AAD (Annual Assembly of Delegates) to look back at 
what the union has achieved over the past year and to 
identify some of the challenges lying ahead ... 



LAN said the union would soon be 
A ■ transferring its headquarters to 

modern offices with the potential to 
let space - which would offer the union 
stability for the future of the union as well as 
benefitting our staff. 

He said we now had 'a new government 
which was no different from the last Tory 
government'. Labour had a new leader and all 
the candidates had been to the union seeking 
support 'not for our numbers, but for our 
reputation'. The EC had backed Diane Abbot as 
the only candidate supporting a nationalised 
rail system, with Ed Miliband the second 
choice. Both Labour and the union had seen 
successes in local elections, with one new 
councillor, Collette Gibson, in the hall as a 
branch delegate. 

SUCCESSES IN EDUCATION, EQUALITIES 
AND FINANCES 

The year had also seen a rise in the number 
and quality of the union's education courses, 
and advances in our equalities agenda both 
within and outside ASLEF. We have 
representatives on all the majorTUC equalities 
committees as well as a thriving - and self- 
supporting - retired members' section. 

But, Alan stressed, the key is financial 
stability - and this year's financial report 
revealed an operating surplus 
for the year of over 
£380,000. 'When you 
have a surplus, you can 
do things you can 
otherwise only 
think of.' [ 

Alan regretted 
that there had been 
no national forum \ 
this year, although the 
freight forum had taken 
place with some success. The 
union is planning a national forum again later 
in the year. 

CRISIS IN FREIGHT AVERTED 

Alan then turned to 'one of the biggest issues 
we faced when we left Conference last year' 
live redundancies in the freight industry. 'How 
fickle that sector is!' he said. 'Now we have rest 



day working in every company. Yet only 1 2 
months ago our members got no rise at all in 
DB Shenker'. And even that wasn't enough for 
the employer. In 2010, 'riding on the back of a 
recession and a downturn' the employer 
wanted us to give up conditions we had 
'fought for for years'. 

'We told the company council we wanted a 
straightforward pay deal with no productivity 
terms - and to their credit, that is what they 
came back with. We are not averse to 
productivity, but it has to be a separate issue.' 

Alan also referred to the two disputes in 
London Underground, one short-lived about 
an IR issue and the other about working on 
Boxing Day. 'If the industry needs an additional 
service we will argue it properly - and not as 
something tagged onto the end of a pay deal,' 

He also spoke about the 
dispute in Arriva Trains 
Wales which got to the 
point of management 
saying they would 
only offer an 
improved deal if the 
negotiators accepted 



it over the table. This, Alan said, offended the 
basic ASLEF principle that changes in terms 
and conditions have to be accepted by the 
people it affected. 

DARK FORCES BEHIND THE TALKS 

But Alan also pointed to a darker side of the 
dispute. 'I believe the company's MD was not in 
charge,' he declared. 

'After the talks I went with the General 
Secretary to meet Conservative transport 
minister Theresa Villiers. Her first words were 
not, 'Welcome' -, but 'It was 1 2%!' She did not 
mention productivity but just '1 2%!' In the 
contemptuous way she said it, it told us 
straightaway of political involvement. There 
are outside agencies.' 

Better news was the legal victory over 
London Midland where the union overturned 
a judgement that made industrial action illegal 
even when ballot irregularities were trivial. 'We 
won that point - not just for ourselves, but for 
the whole union movement.' 

THREE FOR THE FUTURE 

Alan concluded by highlighting three major 
challenges for the future - pensions, travel 
facilities and the McNulty Report. 

O The President felt a priority must be to 
extend the recovery period. 'We cannot go 
down the line of increasing contributions,' he 
said as he insisted there must be no cuts in 
benefits. 'It took many years for former ASLEF 
members to make these advances. We are not 
in the business of giving them away.' 

O Secondly the travel facilities campaign is 
vastly important to our industry - and we are 
only seeking what we used to have. 

O Finally we have the challenge of the 
McNulty Report, which Alan called 
'management's wish list'. He said many 
companies did not want a fight with ASLEF 
over conditions and wanted the government 
to do it for them. 'These are politicians who 
attack our pensions and preserve their own, 
and who attack our travel facilities 
while they protect their own. 

How fair is that?' 

Alan concluded his 
address with the stark 
warning that, 'We 

choose not to go to 
war - but if they 
want to pick a fight 
with us we will not 
run away.' 









Don’t stay silent, 
talk to 

CIR^S 

CIRAS is an alternative way for rail staff 
to report safety concerns confidentially. 
If you've tried company channels, or 
don't feel that you can, contact CIRAS. 

Freephone 0800 4 101 101 
Freepost CIRAS 
Text 07507 285887 
www.ciras.org.uk 



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JULY 2011 


News 7 


ATW 'hones in on the insignificant' 


Arriva Trains Wales (ATW) has 
demonstrated its priorities in 
excellent style with news that it 
intends to ban its train drivers 
from wearing trade union ties. 
Into the background go issues 
such as track delays, lack of 
electrification and a row over one 
of their managers telling the BBC 
that ASLEF members drive 'milk 
floats'. 


Keith Norman, ASLEF's general 
secretary, says it is a tribute to the 
company that they can 'manage 
to discover and hone in on the 
most insignificant issues at a time 
of potential crisis for rail in Wales'. 

'The government's consultant 
Roy McNulty is talking about 
'downgrading' rural lines and 
threatening the whole operation 
of rail in Wales,' Keith says. 'And 


what is bothering ATW 
management? Ties!' 

Keith says, 'I'm sure our 
passengers are more concerned 
with getting a reliable service 
than having a driver dressed as a 
company clone.' 

ATW has decided to spend 
money issuing drivers with a new 
style uniform - and in a bid to win 
over staff are also issuing a 


warning letter to drivers that they 
will be disciplined if they wear an 
ASLEF tie. 

'The words'small'and 'minded' 
spring to mind,' says Keith. 

O It's a sure sign of how seriously 
Roy McNulty's Report to the 
government on the rail industry 
will treat the trade unions. 

In the Glossary there is a 
reference to our union. ASLEF it 
says, the Amalgamated Society of 
Locomotive Engineers and 
Firemen. 

Er, that's Associated, Roy ...!! 



Don't go bothering the wealthy for their taxes 
Cut public services instead 


The EDL in Weymouth - 
'A peaceful day of hatred' 

Ed D’Bell and fellow ASLEF member Carl 
Wainwright took to the streets on 30 April to join 
a 350-strong protest against a gathering of the 
English Defence League (EDL) in the quiet 
seaside town of Weymouth. 

'The EDL said the date - the anniversary of 
Hitler's death - was coincidental. They also failed 
to explain why they were in Weymouth, a town 
with a 0.3% ethnic population.' 

Weymouth mayor Paul Kimber asked Ed to 
speak and 'I was pleased to say that our union 
backs these counter demonstrations.' 

Ed found Unite Against Fascism leader 
Weyman Bennett very impressive. He spoke of 
the need to resist far right groups and touched 
on the EDL recently burning a Koran. 'When 
people start burning books, it's only a short step 
to them talking about burning people.' 



Ed putting clear blue water between the 
union and the fascists 


Ed says the message of union members to 
groups like the EDL must be 'Everywhere you go 
-we will follow'. 

'The more ordinary members who make the 
effort, the sooner we will build a tolerant and 
egalitarian society,' he adds. 

O Ed D'Bell is District 1 's Black & Ethnic 
Minority Representative Committee Member 


Driving enthusiasm for 
The Railway Children 

ASLEF members, along with other East 
Midlands Trains staff ranging from 
managing director Tim Shoveller to 
conductor Yvonne Burton, gave up their 
time last month to operate a special 
excursion to the Mid-Norfolk railway in 
support of the Railway Children - and 
raised over £25,000 in the process. 

The 'Mid-Norfolk Marauder' as it was 
named for the day, was staffed by drivers, 
train managers and conductors who either 
gave wages to the charity or took a day's 
leave to help out. The Intercity 125 ran from 
St Pancras International to Dereham in 



The Mid-Norfolk Marauder with the 
volunteers who raised £25,00 for the Railway 
Children 


Norfolk. It was the first time a High Speed 
Train had ever visited this pleasant market 
town and it proved a unique experience for 
passengers - and a welcome fund-raiser for 
the charity. 


ESSEX DEATHS LEAD TO CROSSING 
CLOSURES 

Network Rail is to remove 25 level 
crossings and introduce extra safety 
measures at a further 329 following a 
campaign inspired by the deaths of two 
teenage girls at Elsenham, Essex, in 
2005. 



Retired ASLEF member Derek Hughes with 
his wife Eva Hughes, the new Civic Mayor of 
Doncaster. 'I've moved off the footplate into 
the Town Hall!' he says. 


HELP PUT TOGETHER ASLEF'S RESPONSE TO NETWORK RAIL'S (RUS) 

Branches will soon be receiving a summary of the Network Rail Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS) 
dealing with Rolling Stock. The Union would welcome any ideas, thoughts or issues that 
members would like to raise in relation to this strategy. Any contributions should be sent to 
dgould@aslef.org.uk or by post to Head Office by Friday 22 July. A full copy of the Strategy can be 
found at http://www.networkrail.co.uk/aspx/4449.aspxand then selecting Network RUS: 
Passenger Rolling Stock - Draft for Consultation. 







8 


Education 




National qualifications 
for railway operations 


Chris Nutty, one of ASLEF Education's Project Workers, 
explains the opportunities offered by the Institution of 
Railway Operators' Professional Development Programme 
(PDP) courses ... 


FOR more than a decade, the IRO 
has aimed to help operators 
develop their skills and careers. 
One way it does this is through its 
PDP courses, leading to nationally 
recognised qualifications, which it 
delivers in conjunction with 
Glasgow Caledonian University. 
They involve distance learning 
and direct tutorials from leading 
professionals - and drivers are 
now among those signing up. 

Chris Owen, a driver with First 
ScotRail for nine years and a 
Driver Instructor for five, is one 
member working towards an 
operational standards role. Fie 
told me, 'I was conscious that my 
career had become stagnant and I 
wanted to reinvigorate it and 
expand my knowledge of railway 


operational management. 

'I passed the IRO diploma and 
moved onto a degree course. I've 
learned a lot about new areas and 
being successful in the courses 
has been a great boost to my 
confidence.' 

Flopefully the qualifications 
will help him develop his career in 
the industry. And he's not the only 
one. 

First Great Western's Kerry 
Kelly, a qualified driver for two 
years, recently experienced some 
health problems - from which 
she's happily recovered - but the 
experience made her think about 
what would happen if she were 
unable to drive. She says she's 
seen drivers leaving the footplate 
and moving to alternative jobs 



Chris Owen has moved up a 
degree thanks to his IRO courses! 

within the industry that haven't 
matched their abilities. 

'The IRO course gave me a 
better understanding of the jobs 
out there so if I was ever unable to 
drive because of health reasons, 

I'd know what was available. Until 
now I had no idea about the 
infrastructure, engineering or 
economic sides of the railway.' 

Most of Kerry's study time is 
done at home, but on tutorial 
days she mixes with people in 
different roles from other 
companies. 


The ASLEF JOURNAL 



Kerry Kelly says, 'Now I know 
about different aspects of the 
railway' 


She says it gives her the peace 
of mind that she will be able to 
step into another role in the 
future and says, 'I feel that my job 
in the industry is more secure as a 
result of studying with the IRO.' 

Tricia Meade, the IRO's 
Learning and Development 
Manager, urges ASLEF members 
to consider taking the PDP or 
other bespoke courses. 

'Our website - 

www.railwayoperators.org - has 
full details of how to join and all of 
our courses and events. It's easy to 
enrol and, if your employer is a 
corporate member, the annual 
subscription is, in most cases, 
already paid.' 


Southeastern 

A report from Richard 
Daniels, the union's Lead 
Learning rep at Ashford 

ADULT Learners' Week is the UK's 
largest and longest running 
learning campaign. Field each 
May, it encourages thousands of 
adults, whatever their age, and 
background, to give learning a go. 

The ASLEF Union Learning reps 
on Southeastern Trains made it 
the focus for an active week of 
publicising education 
opportunities. Flere are a few of 
the things we did around our area 

RAMSGATE 

Learning rep Andy Bull, with help 
from Andy Cooke and myself, 
arranged an event at Ramsgate 
Railway Station foyer. This was 
useful as we spoke not only to 
staff but also to many members of 
the public. One lady said, 'It's 
good to see the unions 
encouraging Adult Learning' - so 
we did some good public 
relations as well! 

Staff from Kent Adult 


makes a platform for the learning message 


Education provided information 
on courses and a local pub owner 
offered the free use of a room 
with 1 0 PC's once a week for 
training. 

During the morning we visited 
the traincrew depot and 
afterwards we went to the 
Maintenance Depot at Ramsgate 
where we spoke to members, 
distributed questionnaires and 
answered queries. 

DOVER 

Michael Burdess went to the 
Dover Traincrew Depot at four in 
the morning to hand out 
questionnaires and meet the early 
staff. Andy Bishop and I met him 
later! 

We spoke to most grades 
during the day, while the Dover 
Skills Plus Centre ran Literacy and 
Numeracy Tasters and spoke 
about courses available at Kent 
Adult Education centres. 

ORPINGTON 

The following day Michael held a 
'family history' event in Dover 



Michael Burdess' wife provided 
homemade iced buns featuring 
the ASLEF logo - to show that if 
you're interested, learning is a 
piece of cake! 

part in our re-run Environmental 
Quiz. 

At the event Shirley Flandsley 
(Project Coordinator) signed a 
Learning Partnership Agreement 
between Kent Adult Education 
and ASLEF Education. 


Shirley Handsley (centre) signs 
the partnership agreement with 
Kent Adult Education. 

before we moved on to the 
Orpington Depot for an 
Environmental Awareness Day 
which included an Environmental 
Awareness Quiz. Shunt Driver 
Martin Lawford was most helpful 
in persuading people along to the 
event. 

ASHFORD 

At an event at Ashford Traincrew 
Depot, staff took part in Computer 
Literacy and Numeracy Tasters, 
filled out questionnaires and took 





JULY 2011 


Legal 9 


Government attitudes to unions 
are based on boardroom gossip 
and dodgy dossiers 


says our legal 
advisor fictoria 
Phillips of 

Thompsons 
Solicitors ... 

HE coalition's shameless attacks on 
working people's rights, including 
specifically those on rail industry 
workers, in order to please theirTory friends in 
the City and the business lobby must be 
challenged with hard facts. 

Ministers are relying on anecdote, gossip, 
dodgy statistics and even dodgier dossiers 
from train companies when they claim that 
businesses are being shackled by onerous 
regulations. 

The recent consultation by the 
department for Business, Innovation and 
Skills about changing the employment 
tribunal system in order to reduce claims used 
some very questionable 'evidence' as 



Transport secretary Philip Hammond 


justification, including that there had been a 
'dramatic' increase of 56% in claims from 2008 
to 2010. 

Yet the Ministry of Justice's own figures for 
the end of last year showed that ET claims fell 
by 51 % compared to the same period in 2009! 
Either government departments don't talk to 
each other, or it's the old adage about not 
letting the truth get in the way of a good story. 

SHADY PRACTICE 

Transport secretary Philip Hammond says he 
wants the railways to be more efficient and 
points to a list of complaints by employers 
which supposedly demonstrate a lackof'21st 
century practices'. 

These are said to include overtime 
agreements, pay for the time needed to 
prepare trains, time to read notices and walk to 
trains, shift patterns and strict observance of 
health and safety regulations. 

All hard fought for rights that are very much 
21 st century practices. To undermine them 
would be to take drivers back decades. 

And now George Osbourne has announced 
a 'wholesale review' of employment law, after 
speaking to the bosses'union the Institute of 
Directors. 

MYTH MONGERS 

An audience like that was bound to lap up the 
myths he peddled about the impact on growth 
that the so-called unlimited compensation for 
discrimination victims, the right of workers to 
be consulted 90 days ahead of collective 
redundancies and the laws that protect 
employee pay and conditions when a business 


is transferred to a new owner are having. 

The reality, as theTUC pointed out, is that 
making it easier to make people redundant 
and giving the workforce less time to come up 
with alternatives and save jobs will simply 
worsen unemployment. 

As for'unlimited compensation' for 
discrimination, it's hard enough for people to 
win these claims in the first place, and the 
amount they get will not make them rich - 
especially given that most will have lost their 
jobs. In the period from April 2009 to April 
2010 the median award for sex discrimination 
was £6,275, for race £5,392 and for disability 
£8,553, according to the government's own 
statistics. 

THEY COULD TRY BEING FAIR! 

If employers really are too scared to employ 
people because of the prospect of having to 
pay that sort of money to them, shouldn't they 
just ensure that they treat their workers fairly? 
Tribunals don't award compensation to 
employees who can't prove that they've 
suffered an injustice. 

Osbourne may talk a good talk to his mates 
at the loD, but the reality is that there's not 
much he can actually do about employment 
laws that come from Europe. It was the 
European Court which lifted the cap on 
discrimination compensation because it was 
contrary to the Treaty of Rome and did not 
provide an adequate remedy for a 
discrimination victim's losses. 

And the rules about consultation on 
collective redundancies and transfers of 
business are also governed by EU directives 
which are binding on the UK. 

Osbourne called on the business 
community to get stuck into the argument 
and make the case for growth, against what he 
anticipates will be opposition from the unions. 

They should start by acknowledging that 
little grows in constantly shifting sands and an 
insecure workforce which can be sacked at the 
drop of a hat isn't going to be spending the 
country out of its economic doldrums. 




'Spanish practices' in rail? Yes please! says GS 

The transport minister Philip Hammond banged on last month about 
'Spanish practices' in our industry, accusing us of a host of unearned 
benefits. 

'If only!' said general secretary Keith Norman, but then he added, 'On the 
other hand, we're certainly in favour of the way the Spanish railways 
practice. With positive government support (rather than carping) it is 
expanding, improving and updating, benefiting passengers, business and 
regional development. In fact, rail in Spain puts the UK to shame.' 

Keith pointed out that the Spanish are in the process of linking all the 
provincial capitals with high speed rail. Of the total of 9,500 miles of track, 
over half - 5,500 miles - is already electrified and there is such faith in the 
Spanish AVE high speed trains that if they are more than five minutes late, 
passengers are entitled to a full refund. 

And the UK has the most expensive fares in Europe, something it 
combines with having the least amount of electrified track. 

'Spanish practices? Yes please!' 







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the bigger the prize! 

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district councils. 


If you would like to take part please contact Lee James at 
Head Office at ljames@asIef.org.uk or on 020 7317 8600 
by 6th June 2011. 


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JULY 2011 


Opinion 1 1 



The anti-cuts 
campaign isn't 
over - it's just 
begun! 

& Says Gregor Gall, 

Professor of 
Industrial Relations 
at the University of 
Hertfordshire 

Y ANY measure, the TUC organised 
march against the cuts on Saturday 
26 March was a spectacular success. 
Estimates of the turnout vary from 500,000 to 
750,000. Those attending were pretty much 
from all walks of life and parts of society. 

Of course, union members mobilised by 
their national unions constituted the bulk of 
the marchers. Of the 1 ,000-odd banners on the 
demonstration, some two-thirds were union 
banners of national unions, regions and 
branches (with another 69 being from 
constituency Labour Parties). 

Amongst the biggest turnouts by banner 
were Unison, the National Union ofTeachers, 
the Public and Commercial Services Union, 
and the University and College Union. ASLEF 
did very well - given its tiny size compared to 
these unions - with its turnout and having 21 
of its banners on the demo. 

If the attendance had been anything less 
than the 1 00,000 the TUC conservatively 
predicted, the campaign against the cuts 
would have received a massive knock back. 
Indeed, it may have effectively been over. 

WHICH WAY NOW FOR THE MARCHERS? 

But now that we're on the other side of the 26 
March, such a turnout must beg the $64m 
question: what now? Surely, the march was the 
beginning of the campaign and not its end? 

Well, the next obvious staging post in the 
campaign would seem to be the 30 June when 
the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) 
union along with the National Union of 
Teachers (NUT) and several other teaching 
unions are planning to hold a one-day strike 
over the Hutton attacks on public sector 
pensions. 

But as it's unlikely that the two biggest 
unions in the country, Unite and Unison, will 
be on board for this co-ordinated action, it will 
not quite be the 'general strike' across the 
public sector that some activists were hoping 
for. Even if Unite and Unison were on board, 
the underlying issue is that the strike is against 
pension reform. There's nothing wrong with 


that in itself. Unions should be taking action to 
stop an attack on what are essentially deferred 
wages for workers. 

ONLY UNITED ON PENSIONS SO FAR 
But, at this point in time, if this is the only 
example of joint union action against the cuts, 
then we do have a problem. This is because 
the cuts in public services are happening and 
will continue to happen under this Con-Dem 
coalition government. Joint action on 
pensions is a boost to the morale of those 
fighting the cuts but it's not a fight against 
those self-same cuts. 

For example, the GMB union has calculated 
that in councils across England by early May 
1 71 ,709 jobs are either under threat or have 
already gone. Yet there have so far been no 
strikes against these threats and losses. 

What is needed is coordinated industrial 
action against job losses in the public sector 
running in tandem with the creation of 
alliances between those that provide these 
services and those that use them in order to 
jointly defend them. The mantra must be cuts 
in jobs leads to cuts in services. 

EXPECTATIONS HAVE BEEN RAISED 

Then, there is another problem to deal with. 
The massive turnout on the 26 March gives the 
unions a big headache - that of greatly 
enhanced expectations. Both 'demo virgins' 
and veterans will now be asking after 26 March 
'If we can pull off this, what else can we pull 
off?' and 'How can we build on the momentum 
we've just created?' 

Calling more demonstrations just does not 
come up to scratch if that's all that is done. 
More demonstrations when there is little of an 
actual fight going on usually lead to declining 
turnouts, and disillusionment and 



demoralisation amongst those who had 
hoped for so much more. But if the next 
demonstrations that are called are to allow the 
expression of active and widespread resistance 
and opposition on the ground, then the 
situation is altogether different. 

LOOKING FOR A LEAD 
So the ball is firmly back in the court of the 
TUC and its General Council which is 
comprised of the general secretaries and the 
like of its affiliated unions. We cannot wait until 
the next TUC congress in September to revisit 
the issue of 'what next?' That would mean 
actual action - if that was the decision - it 
would not happen until the end of this year or 
the beginning of next. 

In between now and the end of the 
summer many unions will have their annual 
conferences. It has to be hoped that the raised 
mood amongst union members and workers 
will lead to some firm plans for effective, hard 
hitting action to be taken as soon as the 
holiday season ends. 




12 AAD 


2011 


The ASLEF JOURNAL 


MESSAGES TO ASLEF FROM THE WELSH LABOUR LEADER AND UK TRAIN 
DELEGATES SUM UP - AND KEITH SAYS HE WILL STEP DOWN AS GENERi 



F'S ANNUAL CONFERENCE (f 


This will be my last AAD as your General 
Secretary. I have asked the Executive 
Committee to make arrangements for an 
election. Once you have decided my 
replacement, probably by late autumn, I will 

resign. 

It was a hard 
decision, but I 
felt it was 
time to stand 
aside for 
reasons both 
personal and 
professional. I 
owe it to my 
wife. 


Christine, to keep my promise to s 
have achieved the two major goal 
me in 2005. 

I said then that I wanted to restor< 
footing, and move our headquarb 
modern head office. 

Both of these have been done and 
reins to a new leader. 

I will miss the comradeship, the fri 
many of the committed and settle: 
drivers who make up our union fa 
secretary has given me great plea 
Meanwhile, I hope you will be as ii 
hear what our two key-note speak 
Carwyn Jones AM and Andrew Gw 
Keith Norman, General Secretary 


CARWYN JONES : 
COOPERATION, NOT 
COMPETITION, IN PUBLIC 
SERVICES 

Carwyn Jones, who, as Wales' 
First Minister is the only 
national Labour leader in the 
UK, told ASLEF delegates in 
Swansea that his party'believes 
in cooperation in public 
services - not in competition'. 

Despite Labour's successes 
in Wales, he stressed that the 
UK government's budget 
would inevitably have effects 
on the principality. 'We will do 
all we can to minimise the 
effects of these cuts but we 
have had to defer some 
important plans. The Welsh 
capital budget has been 
slashed by 40%,' he declared. 

Carwyn said it was 
impossible to overestimate the 
importance of integrated 
transport. 'We need a seamless 
system - which is why we will 
put money into state-of-the-art 
rail and coach interchanges.' 

There have been genuine 
improvements in rail in Wales 
with increased passenger 
numbers and punctuality levels 
higher than the UK. 'We've also 


opened two railways lines, 
improved other services, 
funded additional rolling stock, 
invested in Newport station 
and modernised lines up the 
valleys.' 

Fie stressed the need to take 
electrification past Cardiff and 
on to Swansea, something he 
said was of importance not just 
to the city, but to the entire 
region. Fie also wanted to 
develop the Cambrian line, 
improve services in the Cardiff 
valleys and introduce 
electrification onto the north 
coast line. 

'I look at decisions from the 


Andrew Gwynne, who became Shadow 
Minister for Transport in October last year, is 
the MP for Denton where he grew up and 
became a local councillor. This potted history 
alone was enough to make conference warm 
to him - even before he began an honest and 
encouraging speech which began accepting 
that the Labour government'didn't do enough 
in rail to reverse the effects of privatisation'. 

Andrew said it was a lie that public 
transport cuts were the result of excessive 
public spending by the Labour government. 
'The deficit is the result of the irresponsibility 
of bankers and the need to bail them out by 
the public purse,' he declared. 

There is still one Labour leader left The present transport minister has signed 



past and think how ludicrous 
they were. Swansea once had 
four railway stations,' Carwyn 
said. 

'Wales wants a railway we 
can be proud of. We want to 
invest in rail because it is the 
right thing to do. We need to 
address things like half of our 
stations not being accessible to 
wheelchair users.' 

Carwyn finished by saying 
Labour in Wales is working on a 
new model for delivering rail 
services. 'We have a not-for- 
profit model for our water 
supply and I think we can look 
at a similar model for rail.' 



Andrew Gwynne 'Working people did not cause 
the deficit - and shouldn't have to pay for it.' 

ANDREW GWYNNE : RAIL ENRICHES THE 
COUNTRY, NOT JUST THE PASSENGER 




JULY 2011 


2011 


13 


ISPORT MINISTER - 
JVL SECRETARY ... 

VAD) 201 1 

pend more time with her, and I 
s I set myself when you elected 


IVAN GETS TO BE THE MAN WITH THE GAVEL! 


Ivan Wilson from Brighton was chosen by delegates at 
Swansea to chair this year's conference - and it was, he says, 
'a great privilege'. 

'The two proudest days of my life have been the one 
when I got my key, having passed out as a driver: and the 
other is the first day of this conference when such trust was 
placed in me. 

'Although I've been our branch chair for ten years this 
was very different. I know all the drivers at Brighton, for one 
thing. But strangely, and I don't know why, it wasn't 
alarming. It was rewarding and enriching. It's a fulfilling role. 

'Perhaps it was because I had to concentrate completely for a week, something I suppose 
every train drivers learns to do. And I felt more involved in the debates, maybe because. 



> ASLEF to a sound financial 
ers into a purpose-built and 


facing them, I could see all the faces, reflecting how they were feeling. 

'Peter Dodgson chaired my first conference and I never forgot the example of his calm and 
precise manner.' 

Ivan, who joined BR at Waterloo in 1984, transferred to Brighton six years later and became 


1 1 feel it is time to hand over the 


an ASLEF rep the year he passed as a driver. 

'I've always had a great interest in the union's history,' he says.' Now, in a small way, I have 


become part of it.' 


iendship and the company of so 
5s trade unionists and train 
mily. Being your general 
sure and immense pride, 
nterested as delegates were to 
:ers at our AAD in Swansea - 
ynne MP - had to say. 


up to an annual 15% reduction in transport 
spending. Labour rejected this. 'Rather we 
called for investment - in Thameslink, Crossrail, 
electrification, new carriages and taking high 
speed rail to Leeds and Manchester rather than 
doing half the job and going as far as 
Birmingham. 

'And instead of expecting passengers to 
face double digit fare rises we should demand 
that private companies with huge profits and 
fat cat director pay take their share of the pain.' 

Andrew insisted that more fragmentation of 
the railways was not the answer any more than 
charging passengers more was a solution. 'This 
ignores the fact that we see money pouring 
out of the industry in shareholder dividends 
every day.' 

Labour stood for 

O Keeping the 'human face ofrail'- 
something technology could never replace 
O Controlling the fare levels that private 
firms could charge. 'It is not just the rail 
user who benefits from efficient rail: it 
enriches our economy and our society.' 

O Keeping the railway as a single entity 
and opposing the break-up of the 
infrastructure which 'we cannot afford to 
have driven by the profit motive'. 

O Stressing the importance of rail freight. 
'Unlike the Tories, we do not have an 
obsession ideology that public is bad, private is 
good. We want a partnership approach and 
welcome the views of ASLEF on how we can 
make that work.' 


ANDY KEEPS IT IN THE FAMILY! 


■ The youngest conference delegate was Andy Bull from Ramsgate - 
where his dad, Dave, is branch secretary. 

. 'I always wanted to be a driver,' Andy says, 'even when my mum and 

* dad thought I should stay in education to get'something better'- 

whatever that is! But after a year at university in Portsmouth I became a 
trainee driver. I think at 24 1 was the youngest at the time. I'm driving 
High Speed trains now, which are brilliant. 

'I was brought up with principles about people being treated fairly 
and soon realised how union ideals fitted in with my philosophy. The 
GS said this week he wanted to leave the world a better place than he 
found it. That sums it up nicely for me. 

'I'm lucky to have had such a supportive dad and to have older work colleagues who have 
accepted me and delegates here who've been so friendly. 

'I've enjoyed this week. I've always thought you should get involved. There's no point 
sitting on the side lines sulking.' 


Active Andy follows 
father's footsteps 


'WE'RE ALL TRAIN DRIVERS HERE!' 


Alex McCallum says the best part of the union's conference was finding 
himself among friends. 'We all have the common bond of being train 
drivers,' says the delegate from Ayr. 'We all do the same job in ASLEF. It's 
difficult not to feel involved. 

'When I set off here I had little idea of what to expect. I thought there 
might be a series of little groups, with the Scots being one of them. I 
can only say I was pleasantly surprised. 

'It's been encouraging to find a whole room of people pulling 
together, and to find that wherever you come from across the UK, 
drivers sing from the same hymn sheet. I feel more enthusiasm than I 
have for years. 

'It's been both worthwhile and a pleasure for me. I'd recommend anyone who gets the 
chance to come to an ASLEF AAD. 

'And the social side hasn't been bad either ... !' 



Alex McCallum 
found a family in 
Swansea! 



Daniel is becoming a 
conference 'old 
stager'- but he's 
always bright and 
enthusiastic 


WE'RE NOT HERE FOR A SHOW' 


Daniel Masrani, who represented the Cardiff branch, says this year's was 
a quieter conference than usual, but adds, 'On the other hand, we're not 
here for a show, are we? We're here to set a union agenda, and we did 
that. 

'We also had some good speakers. I was particularly impressed by 
Carwyn Jones. It was good to hear a Labour leader not being afraid to 
express unequivocal support for rail as a public service. 

'Every time you go to an AAD you feel more confident speaking at 
the podium. It's never easy, but you don't have to worry about heckling 
or being put down. It's a great atmosphere - just how union meetings 
should be.' 







14 Financial 


SUMMARY 


he ASLEF JOURNAL 


ASSOCIATED SOCIETY OF LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS AND FIREMEN 
SUMMARY OF FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR MEMBERS 
FORTHEYEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2010 

Under the provisions of Section 32A of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1 992 ASLEF is obliged to provide 

members with a statement summarising its financial affairs. 


Income and expenditure 
£ 

Total income 11,964,319 

Total expenditure 5,151,579 

£4,557,583 of total income comprised payments in respect of membership. 

Political Income and Expenditure 

The figures above include £1 28,820 income and £205,639 expenditure in respect of the political fund. 

Salaries and Benefits 



Salary 

Employer's National 

Pension 

Benefits 

Total 



Insurance contributions 

contributions 




£ 

£ 

£ 

£ 

£ 

K Norman, General Secretary 

78,352 

8,106 

32,257 

3,756 

122,471 

A Donnelly, President 

14,840 

806 



15,646 

Executive Committee 

H Bradley 

30,106 

3,012 



33,118 

D Calfe 

9,936 

359 



10,295 

M Colombini 

35,736 

3,637 



39,373 

B Corbett 

32,124 

3,169 



35,293 

N Gibson 

34,206 

3,412 



37,618 

T McDonald 

25,469 

2,253 



27,722 

T Wilkinson 

19,526 

337 



19,863 


INDEPENDENT AUDITORS' REPORT TO THE MEMBERS OF THE ASSOCIATED SOCIETY OF LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS AND FIREMEN 

We have audited the financial statements of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen for the year ended 31 December 201 0 which comprise the consolidated 
income and expenditure account, balance sheet and the related notes. These financial statements have been prepared under the historical cost convention as modified by the 
revaluation of freehold property and the accounting policies set out therein. 

This report is made solely to the union's members, as a body, in accordance with theTrade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1 992. Our audit work has been undertaken 
so that we might state to the union's members those matters we are required to state to them in an auditors' report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by 
law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the union and the union's members as a body, for our audit work, for this report, or for the opinions we have 
formed. 

RESPECTIVE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND AUDITORS 

The executive committee's responsibilities for preparing the annual report and the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and relevant United Kingdom Accounting 
Standards (United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice) are set out in the statement of the executive committee's responsibilities. 

Our responsibility is to audit the financial statements in accordance with relevant legal and regulatory requirements and International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland). 

We report to you our opinion as to whether the financial statements give a true and fair view and are properly prepared in accordance with the Trade Union and Labour Relations 
(Consolidation) Act 1 992. We also report to you, if in our opinion, the financial review contained in the annual report is consistent with the financial statements, if the union has not 
kept proper accounting records or if we have not received all the information and explanations we require for our audit. 

We read the other information contained in the Annual Report and consider the implications for our report if we become aware of any apparent misstatements within it. 

BASIS OF AUDIT OPINION 

We conducted our audit in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) issued by the Auditing Practices Board. An audit includes an examination, on a 
test basis, of evidence relevant to the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. It also includes an assessment of the significant estimates and judgements made by the 
executive committee in the preparation of the financial statements, and of whether the accounting policies are appropriate to the union's circumstances, consistently applied and 
adequately disclosed. 

We planned and performed our audit so as to obtain all the information and explanations which we considered necessary in order to provide us with sufficient evidence to give 
reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatement, whether caused by fraud or other irregularity or error. In forming our opinion we also 
evaluated the overall adequacy of the presentation of information in the financial statements. 

INDEPENDENT AUDITORS' REPORT TO THE MEMBERS OF THE ASSOCIATED SOCIETY OF LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS AND FIREMEN 

OPINION 

In our opinion the financial statements give a true and fair view, in accordance with relevant United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice, of the state of the union's 
affairs as at 3 1 December 201 0 and of its results for the year then ended and have been properly prepared in accordance with theTrade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) 
Act 1 992 and the information given in the financial review contained in the Annual Report is consistent with the financial statements. 

Hard Dowdy 

a trading style of: 

Chantrey Vellacott DFK LLP 
Chartered Accountants 
Statutory Auditor 
LONDON 
14 March 2011 

IRREGULARITY STATEMENT 

Under Section 32A(6a) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1 992 we are obliged to publish the following statement. A member who is concerned that 
some irregularity may be occurring or has occurred in the conduct of the financial affairs of the union may take steps with a view to investigating further, obtaining clarification 
and if necessary securing regularisation of that conduct. 

The member may raise any such concern with such one or more of the following as it seems appropriate to raise it with; the officials of the union, the trustees of the property of 
the union, the auditor or auditors of the union, the Certification Officer (who is an independent officer appointed by the Secretary of State) and the police. 

Where a member believes that the financial affairs of the union have been or are being conducted in breach of the law or in breach of the rules of the union and contemplates 
bringing civil proceedings against the union or responsible officials or trustees, he should consider obtaining independent legal advice. 




JULY 2011 


Opinion 15 


Rail will follow banks back 
to the public sector 


That is, cut the greedy money-gobbling 
middle-men out of the frame once and for all 
and re-nationalise and re-unite the whole 
railway, both track and trains, here and now. 

TAKING EXACTLY THE WRONG PATH 


a lively and thoughtful commentary on 
McNulty's approach to rail'reform' from 
Hugh Potton, a driver at LTV Paddington 


S AN ASLEF member who by no 
means endorses everything the 
union stands for, I must say there 
have been times when I've seriously 
questioned the validity of my membership. 
However, the article on the McNulty Report in 
the June Journal provided a timely 
reassurance that my subscription is not 'money 
down the drain'. 

ASLEF's finely honed instincts for smelling a 
rat cannot be faulted in this matter. To re- 
admit the private sector via the back door of 
'vertical integration' into the world of safety- 
critical railway maintenance would indeed be 
'Son of Railtrack'- and prove categorically that 
both the industry and the government have 
learned absolutely nothing from the 
horrendous mistakes and catastrophic failures 
of its recent past. 

The pernicious mantra that'the private 
sector is King' (which remains obstinately 
espoused by government despite the 
overwhelming evidence to the contrary) gives 
anyone the impression that our parliamentary 
ministers are congenital idiots. 

THE ROAD TO TRACK AND RUIN 

Railways aside, are their memories so pitifully 
short-term that they are already suffering 
amnesia attacks with regard to the recent 
banking debacle? In the day of plenty, the 
financial sector strutted like a peacock, 


crowing about being the life-blood of the 
private buccaneer and entrepreneur. When 
times got hard, however, it promptly ran home 
crying to 'Nanny State', snivelling in her apron 
skirt, pathetically whimpering for exorbitant 
hand-outs that have rendered this country 
effectively bankrupt. 

In this we have a perfect example of what 
will inevitably happen if 'vertical integration' of 
the railway is adopted. In fact, as this is 
nothing more than a highly expensive, 
circuitous 'two-stage' process on the road back 
into public ownership, why doesn't the 
government do the decent thing for a change? 


It's going to happen anyway - sooner or later. 
Surely it would be far better to do that through 
efficient control of spending rather than 
through a railway re-run of 'Fred the Shred' 
scandals! 

As ASLEF also very rightly pointed out in 
the article, making freight an even bigger 
'Cinderella' than it is now, together with the 
downgrading of rural lines, would be just 
about the most perfect mis-direction in which 
to take the railway. In years to come there will 
be an increasing societal reliance on both, as 
road transport becomes progressively more 
unviable through fuel scarcity and 
environmental concerns. If government wasn't 
to avoid massive social fallout in the near 
future, then it had better drastically revise its 
attitude to the railway - and in double quick 
time. 

Well done, ASLEF, for highlighting that 
need. 


Despite the contrary evidence, governments still persist with the 'privatisation is best' mantra 







f% ? C l 




liiP'l 




[ M'f 





A HUNDRED YEARS OF UNION 


The ASLEF Locomotive Journal of 1 91 1 had a report from 'Nota 
Bene' on the new National Insurance scheme, while 'Railway 
Clerk' explained that mile-posts are not for drivers ... 


THE NATIONAL 
INSURANCE BILL 

'Owing to the widespread interest 
that is naturally being taken in 
this highly important measure, a 
brief enumeration of its salient 
features is advisable. 

'We can only .give its main 
points, which are as follows: The 
health scheme is open to all 
persons in the nationality, 
provided that they are British 
subjects, but all employed 
persons in receipt of more than 


£160 per annum as salary will be 
voluntary contributors. With 
certain exceptions, as noted 
below, insurance against sickness 
is compulsory in the case of all 
working men and women who 
come below the income tax level 
of £160 a year.' 

RAILWAY MILEAGE 

'Many ordinary railway 
passengers are under the 
impression that railway 
companies place mile-posts along 


their lines either to enable them 
to time the speed of trains or for 
the information of the engine - 
drivers working the engines. It 
should therefore be clearly 
understood that the origin of the 
railway mile-posts was for the 
protection of the traders and the 
public. All the early Railway Acts 
contain a clause as follows:- 
"And in order to ascertain and 
calculate with greater precision 
and facility the distance for which 
tonnage shall be demanded the 


said company shall cause the 
railway to be measured, and 
stones or other conspicuous 
marks to be set up and for ever 
maintained, at the distance of 
one-quarter of a mile from each 
other, with proper inscriptions 
thereon; and it shall not be lawful 
for the company to demand or 
take any rates for or in respect of 
any goods, wares, merchandise, or 
other things, but for and during 
such time as such stones shall be 
so set up and maintained as 
aforesaid." 


O Extracts selected and 
edited by Dave Bennett 






1 6 Obituaries 


The ASLEF JOURNAL 




JOHN CROWSTON 
BELOVED BACKBENCHER 

IT IS with sadness that I report the untimely 
death of retired Immingham and former 
Frodingham driver John Crowston. He was 
a very popular and dry-witted character 
who had a great sense of humour. He was 
affectionately known as'Crowie', an 
improvement on the nickname 'Raggy Tash' 
bestowed on him by old drivers at 
Frodingham! 

Having served several years in the army, 
John, at 25, was a late starter on the railway 
in the 1970s. He would often have me in 


stitches telling me of his army escapades, 
scrapes and near misses when he was on 
manoeuvres in Germany. 

We started at about the same time so 
that I was three months senior but he was 
three years older. He was Assistant Branch 
Secretary for a short while at Frodingham 
where I first knew him, but persuaded me 
to take over from him, saying he prefered to 
be a 'backbencher'. I became Branch 
Secretary of Immingham and it is partially 
thanks to John that I stood for election to 
the local Town Council. 

We both retired at the same time, 
although I was 61 and John was 64. It just 


doesn't seem fair that he had only two 
years retirement time with his wife. 

John lived in the family home for most of 
his life, even after his parents passed away 
and he was married to Margaret. He 
brought up his step-children until his long 
illness began. 

Everyone at Immingham and former 
Frodingham drivers send their heartfelt 
condolences to Margaret's family, 
grandchildren and John's sister. He will be 
sadly missed. 

David Doherty, retired members, 
Immingham 


TONY SWEETLAND 
QUIET MAN OF 
BATTERSEA 

I HAVE to inform you of the death 
of a quiet man from Battersea, 
Tony Sweetland on 24 April, five 
days short of his 86th birthday. 
Tony never married, and cared for 
his parents for many years. He 
lived in Battersea all his working 
life, being a driver at Victoria 
Central EMUT 

Tony was a motorcycle 
dispatch rider in the war, serving 
in the UK and Burma. Always a 
keen cyclist, he took his bike all 
along the Coast Routes. On 
retirement he moved to Kent to 
be near his friends who became 
his extended family. 

Ken Heydon, Battersea 
branch 

PETER WALSH 
NEWTON HEATH 
THROUGH AND 
THROUGH 

WITH sadness I report the death 
of retired driver Peter Walsh at the 
age of 82 years. Peter was born at 
Newton Heath so it was no 
surprise that he worked at the 
Dean Land depot from age 1 5 
until his retirement. 

Peter was a man of strong 
views and values in every part of 
his life but none were stronger 
than his trade union and Labour 
opinions. He was held in high 
esteem by both his branch and 
his local Stalybridge community - 
something testified by the 
number of people at his funeral. 

Our thoughts are with Peter's 
wife and family at this sad time. 

S. Black, retired members' 
section, Newton Heath 


KAREN HARRISON 

ATRAILBLAZER 

I AM very sorry to have to 
inform you of the death of 
former train driver Karen 
Harrison. She passed away 
very suddenly in May at 
Harris Manchester College, in 
Oxford where, for the last 
three years, she had been 
reading Law to become a 
barrister, specialising in 
human rights and 
employment law. 

Karen began her footplate 
career in 1 979 at Old Oak 
Common depot, quickly 
establishing herself active, 
outspoken and often 
controversial character, 
always forthright on issues of 
equal opportunities and 
social justice. She made many 
friends, and upset plenty of 
others, to her constant 
amusement. After a short 
stint on the 'Southern', Karen 
transferred to Marylebone 
depot in 1 988, where her 
advanced sense of humour 
and fun found its true 
spiritual home. She became 
the first female LDC rep, the 
first female branch secretary, 
was the first woman delegate 
to the AAD and was selected 
to chair the AAD in 1 995, 
something she regarded as 
an honour and a privilege. 
Though her bid to be elected 
to the union's EC was 
unsuccessful, she was 
delighted and astonished to 
poll around 200 votes! 

Karen became seriously ill 
with meningitis and was off 
the footplate for around 1 8 
months. She recovered, and 


was able to return to driving 
but eventually left the 
industry in 1997 for personal 
reasons. She then became a 
regional rep for Unison where 
she won several landmark 
tribunals on behalf of union 
members. This experience 
prompted her to finally apply 
for a place at university to 
read law. She was accepted at 
Oxford to the delight of 
family and friends and took 
the first steps towards a new 
and exciting career. 
Unfortunately, she developed 
some serious health issues 
and did not live to achieve 
her goal. 

I will remember her as a 
loyal friend and colleague, 
committed socialist and trade 
union activist. All the present 
day women drivers owe 
Karen an immense debt of 
gratitude for her fight against 
prejudice in the work place 
and her practical legacy of 
female activism which 
continues in ASLEF to the 
present day. 

Her funeral service took 
place in the College Chapel 6 
May, and was overflowing 
with family, friends, former 
railway colleagues, fellow 
students, tutors and college 
staff. Everyone, including the 
Chaplain, had wonderful, 
often 'risque 1 , stories 
featuring Karen. The eulogy 
given by her Tutor at Law Mrs 
Louise Gullifer concentrated 
on speaking not only of 
Karen's intelligence, kindness 
and work ethic but left us all 
in no doubt what a breath of 
fresh air she had brought to 
her tutorials and college life 



If V 

1 1 



with her constant attempts to 
inform and educate them 
about the 'real world'. 

On behalf of all her former 
colleagues and friends, 
particularly those from 
Marylebone depot, we send 
our heartfelt condolences to 
Karen's mum Margaret, her 
sister Marie and all her lovely 
family who are devastated at 
their sudden loss. 

Tricia Roche, retired 
driver - Kings Cross, 
Marylebone and 
Chingford 





JULY 2011 


Obituaries 1 7 




JO GALIBARDY 
OLYMPIAN DRIVER 

WE are sorry to report that Jo 
Galibardy, the former Olympian 
gold medal hockey player we 
featured in an article in January, 
died suddenly on 1 7 May. Jo was 
97 but was still able to look after 
himself, making his daily trip to 
the betting shop until the day he 
died. 

We offer our sincere regrets to 
all Jo's family. 

SANDRA 
GALLACHER 
JUST 52 

IT is with deep regret that I have 
to report the sad loss of Sandra 
Gallacher at 52 years old. 

Sandra became a Driver in 
1 999 and during her time at 
Fratton she was both popular 
and well respected Driver. As 
well as Driving she acted as the 
Branch Education 
Representative and was a 
dedicated wife and mother. 

Sandra battled bravely with 
cancer remained, not only 
holding down a job but also 
caring for a sick husband and 
running a family home. But I 
never heard her complain. 

Through sheer grit and 
determination she took every 
knock-back in life on the chin 
while strove to combat any 
obstacle that befell her. She 
fought her illness every step of 
the way and remained in good 
heart. 

Sandra, you will be sorely 
missed by all at Fratton 
John Glazebrook, Secretary, 
Portsmouth & IOW Branch 

HERBIE LIVEMORE 

IT is with great regret that I have 
to inform the membership of the 
passing of retired Swindon driver 
Herbie Livemore. 

Herbie was a man who 'did his 
bit'for the Swindon Depot and 
the men who worked there. He 
served as branch chairman for 
many years, and also as an LDC 
rep and MAS committee man. 

Herbie was cremated on 3 
May. Our thoughts are with his 
wife Bet, family and friends at this 
sad time. 

DJ. Manners, former 
chairman, Swindon branch 



DESMOND OWENS 
LOSS OF A 
MARATHON MAN 

IT IS with great sadness that I 
announce the untimely death 
of Desmond Owens - known 
as 'Des' to everyone. He 
passed away peacefully at the 
age of 47 at the Sue Ryder 
Hospice in Peterborough on 
the 21 April after fighting a 
long battle with a brain 
tumour. He had recently 
remarried and Peterborough 
Branch would like to pass on 
its condolences to Christine, 
his two sons and other family 
members. 

He started his railway 
career as a trainee driver in 
October 2004 and passed out 
to become a driver at Kings 
Cross in January 2006, 
eventually transferring to 
Peterborough. 

Des was simply one of 
nature's nice guys. I have 
never heard a bad word said 
about him and he never 
spoke ill of anyone. Even 
during his last days of work 
when carrying out light 
duties, all at Peterborough 
could see that he was not a 
well man but he dealt with his 
struggles with class. 

His many interests 
included gardening and his 


P i. * L -■ 


_l_ i 

- 


Desmond Owens, one of nature's nice guys 


love of sport. He coached at 
rugby and completed four 
full marathons, two at 
Edinburgh, one in Dublin 
and the London 
Marathon. 


As I finish this letter, I 
cannot help wondering that 
life can be very unkind at 
times. RIP Des. 

G Kerwin, Reporter, 
Peterborough branch 


HIL FORD AND LES HENDERSON - KING'S CROSS LOSES TWO 
RETIRED MEMBERS 

IT IS with deep regret and sadness that I inform you of the death of our Retired colleague Phil Ford. He 
was aged 79. 

After leaving school, Phil started work as an electrician for his local council but then left to start a 
long career on the railway at King's Cross. Phil was on the footplate all the rest of his working life 
except for two years when he left to do his national service in the army. 

He was a devoted family man, who loved Crystal Palace and snooker. He was also a brilliant 
handyman. In fact, if Phil couldn't fix it - you needed a new one! Phil, who stayed youthful, passed 
away on 5 April. It was a tribute to him that many of his friends and former work colleagues attended a 
packed service of thanksgiving for this true and good friend. 

We extend our sincere sympathy to his wife Pam, daughters Lynne and Jill and grandchildren 
Georgie, Lauren, Christopher and Joe. 

Only a few weeks later - on 25 May - another retired branch member, Les Henderson, passed away 
in hospital at the age of 82. 

Les had a moment of glory when the BBC were filming the 'Roundabout' series of films. Les was 
always smart and clean and when the film crew wanted to film someone getting oil from the oil stores 
and carrying them to a locomotive , the foreman turned to Les. He came into the mess room and said to 
him, 'You'll have to do it - you are the only presentable one here!' 

Les obliged. 

May they both RIP 

Les Muir, Secretary, King's Cross Branch 





18 Rail History 


The ASLEF JOURNAL 


A treasury of rail in 
the valleys of Wales 

A private house in Garnant in the 
Amman Valley is home to one of the 
biggest collections of rare railway 
artifacts in the UK. As it is not far from 
Swansea where the union held its annual 
conference this year, Chris Proctor went to 
investigate ... 


T'S a surprise to see Don 
Lawrence at the 
doorway of his home - 
because he is dressed in the full 
uniform of a 1 940s GWR station 
master, right down to his cotton 
socks which sport the company 
logo. From the outside his house 
looks like any other, but inside the 
vast ground floor is an Aladdin's 
cave to anyone with enthusiasm 
for, or memories of, the railway. 

It was Don's workplace when 
he first came to South Wales 22 
years ago, when he was 55. He set 
up shop as a watch repairer, 
having decided to leave the rat- 
race and 'live a rich life rather than 
building up a bank account'. 

His accent quickly establishes 
that he is not a local, and sounds 
Canadian. 'I picked it up when I 
lived there, and it stuck because 
of my Canadian wife,' he says. 
Originally from Weymouth, Don 
moved to Garnant from Hemel 
Hempstead where he worked as 
an instrument engineer for the 
Dickinson Robinson Group (DRG). 

Every object in his collection, 
he says, has a story. And so does 
his move to Garnant. 'I got so 
bored during a wet week in our 
caravan in Kent that I started 
reading Exchange and Mart and 
saw this house for sale for about a 
tenth of the cost of properties 
where we lived, so we drove here 
to see what it was like. We fell in 
love with the place and bought it 
as a holiday home. Six months 
later we moved here 
permanently. It was the best thing 
we did.' 

He smiles broadly as he recalls, 
'Whenever we turned up the 
neighbours at each side rushed 
round to give us freshly baked 
cakes. It got to the stage that 
before we came my wife spent a 


week baking Canadian-style so 
we'd have something to give 
them in return! 

'I opened a clock and watch 
repair shop in the front of the 
house. I didn't know how long I 
could earn a living out of it, 
because I thought I'd have 
repaired all the local clocks in a 
year or so and then business 
would dry up. But it didn't happen 
like that. People heard of me and 
started sending clocks from all 
over the world. Fixing clocks, it 
seems was a dying art. 

'In fact, fixing anything is a 
dying art.' 

A HOBBY TAKES OVER A 
HOME 

But then eleven years ago Don 
decided to retire. 'Then I thought, 
'So what do I do now?" 

He tinkered with radio- 
controlled boats before turning to 
railway memorabilia. What started 
as an interest has now emerged 
into perhaps the best private 
collection in the country, which 
he occasionally opens on request 
to enthusiasts for free as the 
Garnant Railway Museum. It 
stretches through his garage, 
includes three large rooms and 
even has model track (he prefers 
the sturdier'O'gauge) 
meandering out into the garden. 

He found a lot of his treasures 
in car boot sales and eBay - but 
much has been donated. Haifa 
dozen local retired drivers take an 
active interest in his museum. One 
of them was Tyssul Evans, a 
former driver at Fishguard and 
Didcot, to whom the museum is 
dedicated and whose obituary 
Don wrote for the March Journal. 

'People throw things out, not 
knowing that they will be 
interesting, even valuable, to 



Don Lawrence, the founder, 
curator and generous host of the 
Garnant Railway Museum 



The Museum is a research 
facility as well as a treasure of 
memorabilia 

others in years to come,' Don 
laments. 'When the mines closed 
around here they threw 
everything down the pit and filled 
it in. A terrible waste.' 

A FEW FAVOURITE THINGS 

Does Don have favourite pieces? 

'A few, yes. I really like this glass 
box with three tickets from 
Garnant station. One of them isn't 
cancelled. And the 1 888 GWR 
boundary marker. Brunei replaced 
the entire broad-gauge rail with 
standard gauge in 1 892 - so this is 
a real relic from before what was a 
land-mark change. 

'But it's always amazing what 
attracts people. I've seen drivers 
savouring things that have 
seemed unremarkable, but touch 
a chord or a memory. Everyone 
finds some object they find 
fascinating and strangely 
touching.' 

O Don's Garnant Railway 
Museum isn't open to the public 
('My wife won't let me!' he says) - 
but if you get in touch with him 
through the Journal, he says he'll 
be only too happy to show you 
around this wonderful hall of 
memories. 





Stop, look and listen' says the sign. 
You'd be very strange not to! 


This 1 888 GWR boundary marker 
is one of Don's favourite pieces 


These signal box block 
instruments were once part of 
the signalling system 




The collection includes hats, 
truncheons and hand-cuffs from 
the British Transport 
Commission (the fore-runner of 
the British Transport Police 


An old ASLEF poster features in 
this wall display 








Portsmouth wishes 
hasta la vista to 


JoVua, sllei^oed 
at Glasgow 
~£>ra ! 

The May branch 
meeting of Glasgow 
branch became a 
presentation event 
for members to 
receive their ASLEF 
service badges. 
Following the usual 
branch business of 
reports from the 
various reps and the 
usual circulars and 
correspondence, 
Company Council 
secretary Ian Smith, 
who was deputising 
for District Organiser 
Kevin Lindsay, 
awarded badges as 
follows 

O Roddy McDonald 
- 5-years badge 
O Scott Mungall -5- 
year badge 
O George Mitchell - 
30 year badge. 

Ian himself was 


c^ood i/u,0ht at the <^rove 


At our April branch meeting our EC member, Terry Wilkinson, gave us 
an update on the latest developments in pay talks before we had 
reports from the Trains Council and the local Flealth and Safety and 
Industrial reps. To end the night, Terry presented long service badges 
to Chris Copping, Danny Johns and Steve Condon. All in all, it was an 
enjoyable evening. 

Graham Dean, Secretary, Arnos Grove branch 


Some of the mustered Glasgow clan (left to 
right) Scot Mungall, Roddy McDonald, John 
Strachan, Ian Smith, George Mitchell and 
Glasgow branch chair Jim Walsh 


presented with his 
20-year badge by 
branch chairman Jim 
Walsh before he 
made the final 
presentation of a 40- 
year medallion to 
John Strachan. John 
is a long-time activist 
and who regularly 
attends branch 
meetings. For once, 
he was quiet as Ian 
made the 

presentation - but he 
was soon back to his 
usual self! 

Afterwards, many 
of the members at 


John Strachan is 
presented with his 
40 year medallion by 
acting district 
organiser Ian Smith 

the meeting enjoyed 
'a small social 
gathering'! 

Gordon Harrington, 
Assistant Secretary, 
Glasgow branch 


Upcoming events, 


O GARSTON DEPOT REUNION 

is holding its next reunion at the LMS club in Burnsall 
Street, Garston on 24 September. Tickets are £5 and can 
be purchased from either Steve Maloney at Lime Street, 
Steve Foster at Kirkdale, Mick Maloney at Birkenhead, 
Steve Glover Lime Street or Chris Todd at Lime Street. Chris 
can also be contacted on 07927996529 or email 
todd390@hotmail.com 

O TOLPUDDLE MARTYRS' FESTIVAL 

TheTolpuddle Martyrs' Festival is being held from Friday 
1 5 July to Sunday 1 7 July. All are invited to this gathering 
which combines music and entertainment with a 
campaign to save public services and promote an 
economy that promotes a fair and sustainable future for 
all. Further details are available at 
http://www.tolpuddlemartyrs.org.uk 


Doug Ruffell of our 
Farnham branch has 
retired from the 
railway after almost 40 
years' service. Fie was 
presented with an '0' 
Gauge Scale model of 
a Class 47 at a special 
evening organised by 
our local staff reps 
Barry Foster and 
Martin Warrick in The 
Lamb public house. 
Many of Doug's work 
mates from Farnham, 
Woking and 
Basingstoke were in 
attendance. 

Doug started his 
railway career as a 
Secondman at 


Basingstoke in 1971. 
Five years later he took 
promotion to Driver at 
Effingham Junction, a 
small and quiet 
country depot in 
Surrey. 

After a short while 
of pootling around 
the Surrey green-belt 
on suburban trains, 
Doug decided to 
move depot to 
Wimbledon for main 
line work and fast 
trains to Portsmouth. 

Fie enjoyed this 
until it was time to 
move nearer to his 
home, so in 1982 
Doug moved to 




Doug 'stopped 
pootling and moved 
to Farnham'! 

Farnham where he 
stayed for the rest of 
his career quickly 
becoming one of the 
many celebrated 
characters of the 
depot. 

Steve West 
Reporter, Farnham 
branch 


PRESIDENT AND GS AT BISHOP'S STORTFORD 

The well-attended May meeting of Bishop's Stortford Branch at the FHalf 
Moon Public Flouse was pleased to welcome Keith Norman and Alan 
Donnelly, escorted by our own EC member, Nigel Gibson. The business 
was dealt with briskly and was followed by a few words from Keith who 
then presented service badges to Bros Jim McCabe, Barry Simmons, Bill 
James, Rick Furmanis and Sis Alexis Bright. Fie also had pleasure in 
presenting newly-retired member John Allen with a card and gift from 
the members of the depot. 

Alan then addressed the meeting, also briefly, before everyone 
partook of the splendid buffet supplied by Sis Michaela Flawkes. All in 
all it was a very convivial evening, enhanced by the unusual presence of 
the General Secretary and President together - a first for Bishop's 
Stortford! 


'Wingnut' 

At the Portsmouth & IOW 
Branch May's meeting, Tom 
Chapman (aka'Wingnut') 
finally bowed out with 45 
years dedicated service to 
ASLEF and the railway. Fie 
was presented with an ASLEF 
coal train and a retirement 
certificate by the Chair, Ruth 
Vincent, in honour of his 
dedicated service to the 



union. 

Tom will now be breaking 
down barriers in Spain where 
he will finally rest his ears! 
John Glazebrook, Secretary, 
Portsmouth & IOW 


* i 

J 

Wingnut heads south! 





20 Letters 


The ASLEF JOURNAL 



These are the pages where you talk to us. We welcome your 
letters, either by mail to the ASLEF Journal at 9 Arkwright 
Road London NW3 6AB or by email tojournal@aslef.org.uk 
Because of our space constraints, please try to keep your 
contributions as short as you can. This month we continue 
our STAR LETTER feature. The immensely lucky winner 
will pocket a rich range of ASLEF regalia! 


ALL EQUAL IN UNION 



In reply to Phil Gamer's letter in the 
June issue of the Journal, I would like to 
say I agree about the PNB's and the 
abuse of the diagramming - but I would 
take Phil to task on the 'downsizing' of 
our union. 

There are government departments 
for a lot of things that affect us apart 
from equalities - such as health and 
safety and pensions - but would he 
suggest the union stops doing work on 
these issues too? And as for the union's 
international work. I'm sure he would 
feel differently if he listened to some of 
the union reps from the countries that 
outlaw unions including harassing 
them for holding what we would regard 
as ordinary branch meetings. AAD 


delegates heard just such accounts 
from a speaker from Justice for 
Colombia. 

A union is just what it says: it means 
that together we are stronger - and I'd 
argue that includes international 
members. The more constructive minds 
we have at our disposal, the more ideas 
we receive to help our members. 

Downsizing a union only benefits 
the management. ASLEF does 
concentrate on its own members - and 
that includes ones from ethnic 
minorities, LGBT and women. Would 
Phil really advocate ignoring these 
members' needs simply to save a few 
pence? 

Floyd Doyle, Cambridge branch 


Thanks to No 7 from Brian 

I WOULD like to thank all the branches that 
nominated me for the position of EC member 
for District No 7, and all the members in the 
district for their support during the election. 

I believe that to have been nominated 
unopposed was a vindication in the way 
ASLEF has unified within the district. I would 
also like to place on record my appreciation of 
the professionalism of our Branch Officers and 
Company Council members that has 
enhanced this position. 

On a more personal note, a big thanks to 
our District Officer Stan Moran for his advice 
and friendship whilst I have been the EC 
member. 

Brian Corbett, EC member. District 
No 7 

Working after 65 

After I wrote last month about the age of 
retirement I can tell you that South West 
Trains has embraced the law change and 
granted a Mainline Driver the right to 
continue working past 65. It's a first for our 
company and an example to operators 
nationwide. 

For those who argue this is wrong, I must 
point out that none of the regulatory 
bodies - such as HSE, RSSB, ORR or the DfT - 
have offered any reason why a driver 
cannot continue past 65 if they meet all the 
required standards. 

I agree to some extent that it denies an 
opportunity for a younger person to enter 
our grade, but a new entrant can be of any 
age above the minimum. So someone 
retiring can be replaced by someone almost 
as old - or even older! It's our job to look 
after our existing members, so we shouldn't 
call on them to retire so they can be 
replaced by someone we are yet to meet - 
and who may not even embrace union 
membership! 

And just as a footnote - I'm aged 45. 

John Taylor, Drivers LLC - Guildford. 

The vital helping hand of 
Union 

I'VE been off work since November 2009 
waiting for an operation on my upper 
spine/neck. 


In October we received a cheque from the 
union's hardship fund. Without it we would 
have been well and truly stumped. Life is hard 
living off benefits and you can't believe how 
much your generosity has helped over the 
past months. I've seen many appeals and 
collections in my 21 years on the railway - but 
until now I never realised how important they 
could be. 

The day I went into hospital I phoned home 
to my wife and my youngest boy Darren were 
okay - to be told that union reps had dropped 
a cheque for almost £800 through our 
letterbox. You can't imagine how the worry 
lifted from my shoulders. 

The week before Christmas you gave me 
another cheque which was followed by more, 
for varying amounts, over the following 
months. My wife couldn't believe it, and I 
varied from being dumbfounded to being 
embarrassed. Until then I thought I might have 
to go bankrupt because of red letters that kept 
arriving. 

I'm not very good at putting things like this 
down on paper. I'm probably a grumpy old 
man who finds it difficult to say thank you. 

How do I say it to the hundreds of branches 
and thousands of members who threw me a 
life-belt when I thought I was drowning? All I 


can say is that without you, we would have 
given up long ago. 

On behalf of my wife, sons and myself, from 
the bottom of our hearts: thank you very 
much. 

Sadly, the side effects of the operation have 
led me to ask to be considered for redundancy 
on ill health grounds. 

Don't ever let anyone tell you that union 
membership is just an expensive diary. Many 
of you will never experience that fully unless 
you go through something like this. It's 
friendship and brotherhood, being strong 
together, being generous to each other, 
having sympathy with those less fortunate and 
most of all looking after each other. 

I will also never forget any of you. It takes a 
special person to be a train driver. You are all 
special. Don't let anyone tell you you're not. 
Andy Boyce, Driver - Colchester 

Harmonisation harmony! 

Just a word of thanks to our DFC reps and 
District Organiser Mick Whelan for securing 
an agreement that is acceptable to nearly 
all the drivers in London Midland, following 
procrastinated harmonisation talks. 

Our negotiators continually behaved in a 




JUNE 2011 


Letters 21 




professional manner when it would have 
been easier to succumb to the tactics being 
employed by others at the negotiating 
table. 

It would be remiss of me not to state how 
proud I am of all our drivers at Birmingham 
New Street Branch who conducted 
themselves with dignity and solidarity 
throughout. 

Our thanks also to all the other depots 
and drivers on London Midland who, with 
the exception of a couple of ‘stocking tops', 
gave their support to our ASLEF reps. 

Angie Butler, Secretary, Birmingham 
New Street branch 

Good memories of you all 

I AM writing this letter to say a big thank you 
to all who contributed to a collection which I 
gratefully accepted after I was dismissed from 
employment as a train driver at Millerhill depot 
in Edinburgh. 

I have enjoyed my career on the railway 
over the last 24 years and have some good 
memories of working at South Dock, 
Sunderland and Tyne Yard, Gateshead, not to 


mention two spells at Millerhill. 

I have been grateful over the years to have 
met and worked with some real characters and 
having the chance to work in an environment 
which suited me. 

I have invested the very generous 
collection you raised for me and when I have 
decided what to do next I will use the money 
to retrain or seek an educational qualification 
which will assist me with my future 
employment. I end by wishing all who knew 
me and worked with me over the years all the 
very best for the future. Thank you again. 
Kevin Baird, Driver, Millerhill 

Thanks for badge support 

You kindly included an advert for an 'ASLEF 
1 30th anniversary' badge in the previous 
two issues of the Journal. As I said, £1 from 
each sale went to the National Justice for 
Mineworkers Campaign - and we've sold 
them all. 

Rick Sumner, the convener of the NJMC, 
wrote to thank me for the £1 07 we raised. 
He also said that they are still helping, as 
best they can, 20 men who have never 


worked since March 1 984. One, he told me, 
was beaten unconscious by police at his 
own doorstep and this left him with slight 
permanent brain damage. 

He is just one of the victims. It is only 
thanks to fellow trades unionists that they 
are still able to offer the 'sacked lads' some 
limited financial assistance. 

Les French, Marylebone branch 

Alan bows out 

I would like to thank members of Banbury, 
Aylesbury and Marylebone branches for their 
generosity and good wishes following my 
recent retirement from the railway after 40 
short years. 

Although I have already expressed this to 
Banbury branch personally, I felt a few lines in 
the Journal would be appropriate. 

In closing I'd like to add my best wishes to 
friends and colleagues on freight and 
passenger companies who I met from my BR 
days to the present. Thanks to you all. The 
railway was, and hopefully will remain, an 
industry full of fine people. 

Alan Jones, Retired Members Section 


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5HL or via Paypal david@brinkworth.me.uk 



WANTED:- AN ORIGINAL VINYL’ COPY OF GREEN ALL THE 
WAY’ BY DAVE GOULDER. I am able to copy the tracks & return the 
record or am willing to purchase at a reasonable price. Please telephone 
Reg on 07702396921. 


w 


A VERY LIMITED NUMBER (25) OF THE 
KIN G'S LYNN ASLEF BRANCH CENTENARY 
BADGE (2006) have been reproduced and are available 
at £10 inc. P&P from M Steele, 1 Rosecroft, South 


Wootton King's Lynn Norfolk PE30 3WX or Telephone 07788 153954. 



130 YEAR ASLEF ANNIVERSARY BADGE 

One of 100. £6 each including postage and packing. 
£1 for each sale goes to Justice for Mineworkers. 
Contact Les French, 9 Milton Road, Gillingham, 
Kent, ME7 5LP or 01634 576 058 



INTERCITY DRIVER BASEBALL CAPS, navy blue 
embroidered, only 50 made, adjustable velcro strap on 
reverse. £8.50 each plus £1.50 p&p. Email 
intercityexpressl25@hotmail.co.uk or call 07930-419850 
for payment details. 


FAVERSHAM BRANCH (077) has 

finally launched its 25th Anniversary 
ASLEF/NUM badge. They cost £10 
each including P&P. A few Faversham 
Branch Centenary badges remain 
available at £5 each including P&P. To order please contact the Branch 
Secretary, Steve Gurdler, 18 Hunters Way West, Chatham, Kent ME5 
7HL. steve.gurdler@aslefonline.co.uk or 07941 110473 



FOOTBALL PROGRAMMES and FOOTBALL 
BADGES bought by collector. Please call or email with 
any pre-1965 programmes or other early football 
memorabilia. Martin Scott 07718 131622 Email: 
scottfootball@hotmail.com 



CITY OF LONDON BADGES, one 10-year 
and one depot badge. Depot badges are 
numbered 1-150. There are only 150 of each. 
Price £5 plus £1 p&p. All profits to City of 
London branch funds to acquire a branch banner. 
Further information or orders to Colin Dawson 01689 849 543 or 
22 Hutchison Road, New Addington, Croydon, Surrey CR0 0BD. 



NXEA 2009 STRIKE BADGE commemorating solidarity 
of ASLEF members. Purchase (£3 plus p&p) from NXEA 
Branch Secretary or District Council 5 Secretary. Contact M 
Steele on 07788 153954, 1 Rosecroft, South Wootton, 
Kings Lynn Norfolk PE30 3WX. Proceeds to District 
Council 5 Education Fund and ASLEF Fighting Fund. 










22 Derby Silk Mill 


The ASLEF JOURNAL 


History repeats itself 
at Derby's Silk Mill 


177 years ago the owners 
of Derby's Silk Mill locked 
out its workers for joining 
a union. This year workers 
in the building were 
turfed out because of cuts 
... Chris Nutty, ASLEF 
Derby Area Trades Council 
delegate, reports ... 

N 1 833 Derby's Silk Mill owners 
locked out their workers simply 
because they were in a trade union. 

By November that year a large proportion of 
Derby's workers had joined a trade union and 
the Silk Mill masters took fright demanding 
that their workers abandon this 'great power of 
darkness', as the events were described in the 
Times newspaper of the period. The workers 
refused and the Mill owners' denied some 
1 ,800 workers employment for five months in 
the bitter dispute over the right to be a trade 
union member. 

Some socialist historians consider the Silk 
Mill Lockout to be as significant event as 
Tolpuddle in the history of the British trade 
union movement. Every year -on the Saturday 
of the May Bank Holiday - the sacrifices that 
the mill workers made for the right to be a 
union member are remembered in a march 
organised by the Derby Area Trades Council 
(DATC). 

Traditionally the march starts at Derby's 
Market Place and finishes at the Silk Mill. This 
year was different. 

LOCKED OUT AGAIN 

The march halted at the Silk Mill while Steve 
Hardy, one of the current Silk Mill's workers, 
laid a wreath at the memorial to the workers. 
Then it was back to the Market Place to hear 



This plaque, unveiled by the TUC President of 
the day, recalls an important event in the 
history of British trade unionism 



At the end of the Silk Mill pub is this mural 
which depicts the famous strike 


the main speakers - including Cheryl Pidgeon 
(TUC), Alex Gordon (RMT), Paul Bayliss (Derby 
Labour Group) and Labour MP Chris Williams - 
and enjoy some suitable entertainment from 
the BannerTheatre Group. 

In 201 1 history repeated itself when the 
Con-Dem Council, which now runs the mill as 
a museum of Derby's industrial heritage, 
locked out their workers. Because of the 
'current economic situation', the museum is to 
be mothballed for two years - with no firm re- 
opening date. All the Council say is that it is 
'mothballed fora period of time after Sunday 
3rd April 2011'. It adds that it will 'do 
everything it can to ensure that the building 
re-opens as soon as possible, as it plays a big 
role in realising a positive future for the city'. 

At the risk of stating the obvious, if they 
care so much, why on earth have they shut it! 

A LOSS TO US ALL 

The closure of the Silk Mill Museum is a loss to 
both the city and the nation. The bulk of its 
exhibits are rail and aviation related, reflecting 
the city's strong links to these industries. 
Among other interesting items it included an 
apparatus from the Chief Mechanical 
Engineer's Office in Nelson Street that was 
used to work out valve setting for steam locos 
and a Class 91 cab. It also featured Rolls Royce 
aero engines from radial through to modern 
jet engines as well as other displays covering 
local industries like mining, pottery and 
foundry work 

It was a brilliant educational facility and it 
will be a shame if the next generation of 



1 77 years on, trade unionists acknowledge 
their debt to their 1 9th century forbearers 



Musical and theatrical events helped to draw 
in the general public to hear the story of the 
silk mill workers 


Derby's children will not have the opportunity 
to learn from this museum how and why their 
city developed as it did. 

EXPANDING EVENT 

ASLEF's Derby branch, as usual, supported this 
year's event which drew over 200 supporters. 
The event continues to grow, although on the 
march long-time DATC stalwart and former EC 
member Ted Cartwright recalled that in the 
late 60s/early 70s only five or six people 
continued the wreath laying tradition. As 
interest grew again GS Ray Buckton and 
various ASLEF EC members bolstered the 
numbers. 

There are now plans to engage more with 
the general public by organising stalls and 
entertainment in the market place after the 
marches. 

It is important that we remember the 
events of the past and the sacrifices that our 
forbearers endured to fashion the living 
conditions we have now; just as it is essential 
that we continue to fight for a fairer society - 
although in the current economic climate we 
may have to fight just to keep what we have. 

The Silk Mill strikers of the 19th century 
have shown us the way. 




JULY 2011 


Crossword 23 




Prize Crossword No. 63 set by TLC 



Solution to Crossword No 62 which appeared in the 
June 201 1 edition of the ASLEF Journal. 

Congratulations to Mike Harding from Dagenham 

ACROSS 1 Osteopath 8 Mile after Mile 1 1 Olga 1 2 
Dream 1 3 Spur 1 6 Montage 1 7 Disdain 1 8 Talkies 20 
Magical 21 Ruin 22 Agent 23 Omen 26 General Pardon 
27 Old Street DOWN 2 Seed 3 Enforce 4 Prepaid 5 Tamp 
6 Diagonal Lines 7 Clapham Common 9 Dormitory 1 0 
Crinoline 14 Habit 15 Usage 19 Signals 20 Manipur 24 
Bell 25 Brae 


ACROSS 

I Sparkling drink (12) 

7 Dutch cheese (5) 

8 Ornamental hair 
decorations (7) 

I I Blind attachment to a 
particular creed (7) 

1 2 Deformity (7) 

13 Tree (5) 

14 Guilty of breaking the 
marriage vow (9) 

16 Quarrelled (9) 

19 Vision (5) 

21 CSE Grades (1-6) 

23 Defensive barricade (7) 

24 Give an account (7) 

25 King of Libya (1950-69) 


(5) 

26 Substances used in the 
operating theatre (12) 

DOWN 

1 Betrothed (7) 

2 Nervous excitement (7) 

3 Off the peg (5-4) 

4 Fox-hole (5) 

5 Evening entertainment 
(7) 

6 Old married couple 
(5,3,4) 

9 One who lubricates (5) 

10 Unfounded general 
belief (12) 

15 Stress mark (9) 


1 7 Dangerous weapon (5) 

18 Hand held explosive (7) 

19 Japanese officer (7) 

20 Aids defective vision (7) 
22 Newspaper, 
colloquially (5) 



The winner of this month's crossword will receive 
Marks & Spencer vouchers to the value of £25 


MARKS & 
SPENCER 


Name.. 


Address. 


..Postcode- 


Thanks for all your responses to the 60th ASLEF crossword in the June edition. If you complete this month's crossword please send the 
solution to the Editor, ASLEF Journal, 9 Arkwright Road, London NW3 6AB by the 14th of the issue month. 


ASLEF'S legal services - your rights for their wrongs! 

FREE LEGAL ADVICE ASLEF also provides first class free legal 
advice - both for members and for their dependents. During 
2009 ASLEF recovered £1,946,190.45 in damages for all types of 
cases. Call the helpline on 0808 1 00 8009 

EMERGENCIES If you are an ASLEF member who is arrested or 
being interviewed by the police and need legal assistance - 
day or night - you can call the members' Emergency Hotline on 
0800 587 7530. 

SACKINGS OR OTHER PROBLEMS AT WORK Harassment, 
discrimination or bullying? If your local, branch or district 
representative is unavailable, call the Industrial Relations 
department at union headquarters (020 7317 8600) or email 
info@aslef.org.uk 


Changed your Address? 

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Postcode 

Telephone 

Branch 

Membership No 

Please return coupon to: 9 Arkwright Road, 
London NW3 6AB 


More than just a union 



THOMPSONS 

O i C ! T ft i 







Why choose the AA? 

• More dedicated Patrols than any other 
UK Breakdown Service 

• On average, the AA complete roadside 
repairs in less than 30 minutes 

• The AA gives priority service to Members 
in vulnerable situations 

• We aim to arrive in around 40 minutes 

*Discount level is dependant upon level of cover purchased. Maximum discount available is 30% when purchasing either Single Membership with Roadside + two additional 
levels of cover; Joint Membership with Roadside + one additional level of cover; Family Membership with Roadside. 

This offer is only available to ASLEF employees and only by calling the number given, quoting the stated reference and paying annually by direct debit under a recurring transaction 
arrangement. The enrolment offer is available to new Members for their first 12 months of Membership only. The renewal offer is available to ASLEF employees who are existing 
AA Members (or who join under the enrolment offer) and will be available at each renewal date until they cease to be ASLEF employees or the withdrawal of this scheme. This 
offer is not available in conjunction with any other offer or discount. This offer does not apply to Breakdown Repair Cover, or any other AA products or services. People who cease 
to be ASLEF employees shall cease to be entitled to this offer. Offer may be amended or withdrawn at any time. tLines open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. 0800 calls are free from 
a BT landline. Mobile and other providers' costs may vary. 

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RG21 4EA. England & Wales. Registered number 2414212. 


To join, call 

0800 048 0075 

Quoting reference 'ASLEF 751' 



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For the 
road ahead