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Picture Gallery Of Brighton's veteran Drivers In

The Retired Link


 Below: Features photos and a short video of the Bluebell footplate re-union, which was held on the 11th April 1998. 

The re-union was held to commemorate the 40th aniversary of the closure of the Bluebell line.This line used to run between East Grinstead (Low Level station) and Culver Junction, which was South of Barcombe Mills station on the now closed Lewes to Uckfield line.



The video below features a number of now retired drivers from Brighton, Newhaven & Three Bridges Locomotive depots.

The video was filmed by driver Ian Munro (Brighton, West Worthing & Barnham).

All of these drivers actually worked over the Bluebell prior to the line closing. These loco-men would of worked over this line, either as a Firemen or as a Enginemen and some of them worked as both.

The re-union also features fellow drivers and other guest, who where invited as guests by those drivers who attended the event.


This event was organised by Gerry Butler (pictured right) who was well known Clerical Officer within the Brighton/South Central areas.

Gerry was a qualified Engine men on the Bluebell Railway


 The video features former drivers from the following depots (Correct as far as I Know and in bracketts their later depots).

Brighton - Fred "Dinger" Bell, Peter Pollard, Lou Churcher (West Worthing), Ron Sheehan, Les Bradford, Ken Pursley (West Worthing), Ian Munroe (West Worthing), George Hards, Fred Locke, Les Forder, Tom Smith (West Worthing), Norman Tendall (Littlehampton), Ted Janes, Ernie "Chuckles" Southon, Reg Brooker (West Worthing), Geof "Killer" Reynolds, Brian Hall, Eric Francis, Ron Knight, Ernie Jackson, Ray Standing, Frank Geal (West Worthing), Fred Gambling, Jim Gambling

Three Bridges - Bob Hickman, Cyril Blundle, John "Chic" Debenham (Brighton), Jimmy Edwards (Brighton), Dave Shopland, Jim Sayers (Brighton), Dave ""Sweet Lips" Creasey (Newhaven, Seaford & Eastbourne)  , Les "Tug" Wilson.

Newhaven - Vic Morris (Seaford), Fred "Ginger" Wheeler (Seaford), Ron "Burglar" Tirrell (Brighton), George "Honda" Hilton (Seaford), Vic Harris (Brighton), Colin Wickenden (Seaford), Tom Holder (Seaford).

Guest Drivers - Ron French (Brighton), Cyril Hutchings (Brighton), Mac McCabe (Brighton), Jonh Newcombe (Redhill), Roy Luxford (Three Bridges), Ted "Smokey" Crawforth (Bognor Regis).


Appologies to those drivers who I have missed out or I do not know their names.


 Pictures below are taken from the Bluebell re-union video



























 Mac McCabe & RON FRENCH



 Left - Right: Les Bradford, Cyril Hutchings, Chuckles & Freddie Locke

 Ted Janes & Ian Munro


Eric Francis & Brian Hall

Killer & Ian Munro

 George Hilton (Nhvn &Sfd), Ron Sheehan & George Heaver

 Unknown (1) Unknown (2) & John Newcoombe

 Ian Munro, Frank Geal, Roy Luxford, Ray Standing, Mac Mcabe

 Dave Greasey Smokey Crawford, Gerry Butler and the rest unknown 

 Frank Geal, George Heaver, Geoff Reynolds, Smokey Crawford & Gerry Butler 


 Retirement Presentation


Mac McCabe’s 

Retirement Presentation

Left - Right

Tony Harper, Ivan Wilson & Mac McCabe 


Les Ward Retirement 7th March 2014


 Left ~ Right: Chris Burchel (Managing Director), Rex Kitchener, James Burton (Department Director).

Rex Kitchener's retirement presentation 26.11.2010

  Left ~ Right: Paul Horan & Rex Kitchener


Back row Left ~ Right: Russel Unknown, Geno (Guard), Alan Boon Guard, Rex Kitchener.

Front Michael Hurren (Guard), Bob Kettle, Harry Penter, Terry Grant (Guard), Bob Ogle & Jeff Simmons


  Barry Brett's retiring due  2009

  Barry Brett's retiring due  2009

Left - Rght: Mehmet Suleyman, Harry Penter (seated), Ian Hughes, Graham Warren, Bob Knevett, Paul Overington, Steve Toughey, Bob Kettle (seated), Barry Brett, Chris Horlock Mark Angel, Martin Watts.


Barry Brett & Dave Hunt


 Brighton Thameslink retirement and leaving due 2004

Left - Right: Steve Doyle (St. Pancras), Ken Winter (retiring) & Phil Stoddart (Penzance).


Peter White's Retirement due December 2000. 

Left ~ Right Tony Farmer, Dave Griffiths, Ivan Wilson & Peter White. 

All four men have held position of A.S.L.E.F. L.D.C. reps at Brighton Thameslink.

Peter along with Tony Farmer become the first L.D.C. reps. at the newly opened Thameslink depot in 1997.

Peter entered the footplate grades on 02.05.1960. Peter transfered to Brighton in C1992. During his footplate career held various ASLEF positions at many depots.

Peter had worked at depots March, Gillingham, Hull & Brighton.


 Jimmy Edwards receiving his retirement certificate from Dave Sawyer (Operation Manager) in 1996.


 Retirement & Long Service Awards 1989

Back row left to right John Osborne*, Bill MacKenzie*, Tony Luff (Horsham), Mike Donnelly (Area Opperation Manager), Bob Morgan (Littllehampton), Mick Gillam* (Littllehampton), Stewart Fuller* (Seaford).

Front; Stan Walters, George Hever, Charlie Evans, Phil Plaine*, Harry Vincent, John MacNeil* (Littllehampton), Bob Trann (Non Clerical Timekeeper).
* Served as LDC reps 


JULY 1991

 Left ~ Right: John Naisby (Train Crew Manager), Cyril Hutchings, Roy Swetman, Norman Light, Don Hill, Harry Mitchell, & Gus Wright, 



Norman Light's retirement due in 1991

Back row Left - Right: Jimmy Edwards, Roger Thomas (W. W.), Laurie Osman & Gus Wright.

Front row Billy Kenchington, Gordon Hatcher, George Hilton (Sfd), Norman Light, Harry "Zippy" Mitchell, 

Eddie Forder (W. W.) & Eddie Ricketts.

 Barry Brett's retiring due  2009

Left - Rght: Mehmet Suleyman, Harry Penter (seated), Ian Hughes, Graham Warren, Bob Knevett, Paul Overington, Steve Toughey, Bob Kettle (seated), Barry Brett, Chris Horlock Mark Angel, Martin Watts.


Barry Brett & Dave Hunt

 Miscellaneous photos of veteran 

Brighton footplate men

Don Hitchings reliving his Brighton Belle memories in the cab of  the Brighton Belle on the 4th March 2011.

 The motor coach is currently being restored along with other coaches of the Belle and it is planned to enter main line services for special traffic purposes in 2012.


 L-R: Billy Kenchington, Norman Light, Reg Jarrett, Jimmy Edwards & Les Forder.


 Retired Brighton driver David "the lobby cat" Jupp

(as seen on 05.07.10).

David started at Brighton on 10.06.1959 and retired early through ill health in C1997.



 Retired Brighton driver Ray Standing


Retired former Brighton drivers

 Left ~ Rightn Alan Ricketts (Plymouth) Mac McCabe (not retired) & Ken Benfell (Skipton).

Alan entered the footplate grade on 11.05.70 at Brighton. Alan moved to West Croydon to gain his promotion to driver and later transfering back to Brighton E.M.U.T. in the mid 1970's. Alan held the position of Brighton No.2 Branch Secretary 1981 ~1987. becoming the last Branch Secretaty of Brighton No.2 Branch. In the early 1990's Alan transfered to Plymouth where he remained until his early retirement. Alan now lives in Cyprus.



Ken Benfell  entered the footplate grade on 23.10.1972. Ken transfered to Eastbourne E.M.U.T. to gain his promotion to driver in the early 1980's. Ken moved back to Brighton in C1991. In C1995 Ken transfered to Leeds before transfering again to Skipton. Ken took early retirement owing to ill health.










Mac Mcabe Jim Sayers & Ken Benfell

Retired Brighton driver Jim Sayers (centre) C2003.

Jim entered the fooplate grade on 26.03.1940 at 

Three Bridges. Jim moved to Brighton E.M.U.T. when Three Bridges Loco closed in April 1969. During his footplate career Jim served on Three Bridges L.D.C. and Section Council "B"








Frank Heritage (left) 

Former Brighton loco-man and Brighton Depot Manager Photo taken 12.08.09 at the Nine Elms re-union





Mac McCabe Collection

Ron Bridle (T.Bdgs), Gordon Hoad, Chic Debenham & Wilf Jeans




Brighton footplate men attending the Nine Elms reunion at the Blue Bell in 2010


Above Ted Janes


Above Right Gordon Hoad (left)


Right Frank Heritage (centre of photo)





Left ~ Right: Bob "Taffy" Jones & Eddie Ricketts

Bob had returned to the footplate grades at Eastleigh in 1956.

 Eddie had transfered to Eastleigh with the closure of Dorchester Loco Depot. They both later to transfered to Brighton


Click on the icon above for

the history of the Brighton Branch of ASLEF

Click on the icon above for

the Sussex Motive Power Depots & ASLEF Branches

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