One of the main reasons for doing these web sites is to try and explain to everybody the history of the footplate grades, the conditions they had to work in and the creation of the A.S.L.E.F. branches within the Brighton & Sussex area.

I am therefore very grateful for people sending me personal photos from their personal collection and for allowing me to display them on the web sites. But unfortunately what is missing, are the stories that accompany them. What I want to do is to try and remedy this by starting to record the remaining stories that are still out there, before they too are lost in the midst of time.

I have added some information about some of the drivers that I know and the comments that have already have been sent to me.

If you too have any stories about your own working life on the footplate, the people that you worked with and the conditions you had to work in please send me and I will post, on the web site.

If you are interested in helping me in capturing these stories by any means possible please let me know.





Click on the icon above for

the history  of the Brighton Branch of ASLEF

 Click on the icon above for

the Sussex Motive Power Depots & ASLEF Branches


This page features Drivers, Firemen, Secondmen & Trainmen

at their previous depots (outside of the Sussex area) prior to transferring to

Brighton depot(s).


For Brighton footplatemen at their previous depots or depots that have moved to within the Sussex area go to the web link at the top of this page





  Trevor Fielding 


  Trevor Fielding is on the footplate of 31822 at photographed in Hastings yard

The photographs were taken when Trevor was at Tonbridge loco where he started his footplate career on the 15.01.1951. Trevor later transferred to Brighton in the early 1960s






 Tony Harper Started entered the footplate grades at Hither Green in August 1974 and then transferred to Knottingley in 1975 and was eventually becoming a passed man there. Above Secondman Tony Harper (left) with Driver

 Roger Brook. 

Right: Tony Harper on the footplate of 37 in the mid-late 1970s



 Tony moved to Brighton E.M.U.T. in 1983 to seek promotion to Driver and later that year he transfered to Eastbourne E.M.U.T. At Eastbourne Tony served on the L.D.C. and was the A.S.L.E.F. Branch Secretary.







 Croydon Training Centre

Back row Chopper Harris, Ian Simmons Chris Haynes,

Front row Christine, Pete Wensly, Johnny Rutter



 Left: Tony Harper pictured whilst instructing on D.E.M.U. training course at East Grinstead.

Above: pictured at Charring Cross, Tony Harper (on the right) with fellow Waterloo driver instructors. In the middle is Mickey Geall (formerly of Brighton & Bognor Regis depots) & left Martin Bowman (Dover). 



Left - Right: Pete Wensley, Tony Harper & Ian Simmonds (Brighton & Redhill)










Above Firemen Mac McCabe under the wheels of a steam engine at Guildford coal staging in 1965.


Mac  (Above Left & Below Right) just arriving home from work C1965.


Mac first entered the railway industry as an engine cleaner on the 3rd August 1964.


When steam finished on the Southern and Guildford shed closed on the 9th. July 1967, 

Mac along with many Guildford men moved to Woking depot.

After steam went Mac lost interest and decided to finished with the railway just before Christmas 1967






 MP 12 Course at Basingstoke in 1985

Left - Right: Matthew Cole (Brighton/Norwood), Ray Cooke (Redhill), Richard Trellis (Norwood), Tony Menday (Basingstoke), Neil Hichman (Hither Green), Brian King (Bournemouth), Russell Barnes (Norwood) & Jeff Tidball (Norwood).


Dave Swaffield in the cab of 455 



Below Dave Swaffield's Driver Training Course 1989


Dave Swaffield is seen in the back row 3rd from the right


Dave Swaffield is seen 4th from the left


 The Norwood invasion of the 1990s

At the end of 1988 saw the introduction of the Train Crew Concept. Former Brighton guards Dave Swaffield, Simon Smith

& John Payne moved to Norwood to gain their promotion to driver.

About five years later they transferred back to Brighton, bringing back with them fellow Norwood drivers Richard Perrin,

Mick Freeman & Dave Hogan 


Simon Smith, Richard (Reggie) Perrin, Mick Freeman &  John Payne

 Simon Smith, & Dave Swaffield

 Richard (Reggie) Perrin & Mick Freeman

Mick Freeman in full Norwood uniform and state of mind








 Mark Herman

 Left ~ Right:

Paul Summerfield, Barry Foster & Mark Herman attending a Class 37 training course at Woking.

Mark Herman started on the footplate on 31.08.1977 at Woking. Mark transfered to Brighton in C1992 and left the railway in C1998 owing to health issues







 Engine driver Gordon Hoad & Fireman Peter Staniford at Waterloo in 1958.

Both Gordon & Peter moved to Brighton in the early 1960s

 Gordon Hoad


Les Ward on the footplate of a Class 73 (E.D.L.) at Stewarts Lane depot in C1974, in his Secondman days at Waterloo.

Right Les Ward in Waterloo mess room





Above: Barry Brett in Waterloo Mess room, 

Above Right  Barry Brett on the footplate of a Class 47, Right in the cab of a Class 50 (1989)


Barry entered the footplate grades in July 1971 at Waterloo. In April 1975 Barry moved to Wimbledon to get his promotion to driver and moved back to Waterloo in September in the same year. Barry later transfered to Brighton in 1994. 

In May 2009 Barry decided to take early retirement.







Phil Briggs 

Phil on his E.M.U.T. training at Waterloo South side training school on the left. 

Phil entered the footplatge grades at King's Cross on the 12.01.1981.

He transfered to Waterloo in the mid 1980's to gain his promotion to driver and later transferd to Brighton C1990.

Phil left the railway in C2005 and emigrated to Southern Brazil.






 Les Ward c1989

When this photo was taken Les was a driver at Staines where he had transfered to after the closure of Windsor depot. 

Shortly after this photo was taken, Les moved back to Waterloo and in 2000 moved to Brighton TL 



Steve Huckle (Hobbs) 

Steve transfered from Strawberry Hill to Brighton E.M.U.T. in c1986. His stay at Brighton was short lived and owing to various reasons Steve decided to move back to Strawberry Hill under a "Hardship Move"











Geoff Wlodarkzy

(Stratford & Wimbledon Park & Brighton)


 Route Learning Coach on the Guildford, Ascot, Staines and Alton c1988

Left ~ Right: Phill Briggs, (King's X, Waterloo & Brighton), Geoff Wlodarkzy (Stratford & Wimbledon Park & Brighton) & Jamie House (Weymouth, Kings X, Wimbledon & Weymouth)


 Ivan Wilson 1989




Back Row Left ~ Right: unknown (Vic "E"), Dave Holt (Woking),Doug Dunstall (Woking), Mike Campion (Epsom), Darren Clarke Vic "E" (Ex-Ipswich)

Front Row Left ~ Right: Carl Hibbs (Addiscombe), Martin Harris (Waterloo), Richard Pike Instuctor (Redhill E.M.U.T), Ivan Wilson (Wimbledon Park (Brighton), Dave Rousett (Fratton).


 Left ~ Right: Alan Talbot (Wimbledon Park/Weymouth), Gerry Warways (Waterloo Foreman) & Ivan Wilson.

c.November 1989

Wimbledon Park Open Day 1991

Back Row L~ R: Unknown, John Longmoor (ex-Seaford), Trevor "Pissy" Healy,Unknown, John Thompson, Ivan Wilson,

Front Row: Ricky Patterson (Weymouth), Andy Selwood, Fred Atkins (Traction Inspector) & Alan Spencer (collection).





 Adam Flowers

With the closure of Broad Street in c1984 Adam moved to Brighton E.M.U.T.

Adam served as ASLEF Branch Secretary up until the depot closed






Above: Dave Griffiths (left) & Simon Weller (right).

Simon Weller 

on the 

footplate of a class 37



Fireman Simon Weller



Fireman Simon Weller & Driver Mick Richards 

working the last B.R. steam train in 1988 on the 

Devil's Bridge line








Simon Weller Left on the footplate of a class 59 October 1990 and Right on a class 37 July 1994.








Gray is seen on the turntable at Old Oak Common on a Class 47 "ISAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNNEL" in  c1990.

In those days many a driver would have been mortified that a "BOY DRIVER" would be driving this type of main line locomotive.

Graymoved to Old Oak in 1989 to get his driver's promotion after being a guard at Three Bridges, after doing all his training and over 3 years productive driver there Gray moved to righton in the mid 1990's





 Dave Hunt seen here on a  E.P.B. "1951" at Orpington in 1992.








 John Waters

(whilst a Trainman at Redhill) on the footplate of "TAW VALLEY" 29.12.93.






Fireman Vic Clarke at Holton Heath (Cordite Factory)


Vic entered the footplate grades on 21.02.1944 at Yeovil and later transfered to Dorchester. Vic was to transfered to Weymouth and later moved back to Dorchester. 

Whilst at Dorchester, Vic served as Dorchester ASLEF BranchSecretary until he seek promotion to driver at Brighton in the mid 1950s. Vic's reasons for moving was due to the large amount of work being lost at Dorchester and the likelihood of get his promotion in the Dorchester area was highly unlikely.

Vic's seniority enable him to enter the dual link at Brighton and later transferring to West Worthing to get his motormans' position. Vic later transferred back back to the motorman's depot at Brighton.



Gordon Hatcher

second from right whilst at Templecombe loco in the mid 1950's 





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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