Newhaven Branch of ASLEF

By Paul Edwards

I am working on a website that is recording the history of Footplatemen, which includes their working conditions and the A.S.L.E.F. branches of Sussex area. Please see the web link below.

I have used some info from this web site, which I have given credit to and those people who have recorded their memories on this web site forum. My aim is to try and achieve an in depth history of Newhaven Footplatemen, and I hope that this is all ok with those people who have provided such information. If anyone as any objections will only be to happy to remove their info from my web site.


Paul Edwards

Photo:Back Row L~R: Sam Lower & F. Wilde, Front Row L~R: Ben Piddlesden, Charlie Green & Ernie Collington

Back Row L~R: Sam Lower & F. Wilde, Front Row L~R: Ben Piddlesden, Charlie Green & Ernie Collington

Ron Terrill Collection

Photo:L~ R: Driver Alf Charman & Fireman Charlie Evans, Driver Earn Eacott & Fireman Tim Norman

L~ R: Driver Alf Charman & Fireman Charlie Evans, Driver Earn Eacott & Fireman Tim Norman

Ron Terrill Collection

Photo:Bill Terrill

Bill Terrill

Ron Terrill Collection

This page was added by Paul Edwards on 05/02/2013.
Comments about this page

Great to see these pictures. I knew the men in the second picture and of course Bill Terril in the third. I worked at Newhaven Depot till mid 1962 when I transferred to the cross channel ships as a fireman on the SS Londres.

By william Still
On 07/02/2013

I started as a cleaner at Newhaven in March 1949 age 15, From 1939 I lived with my mothers brother Jack Hillman ( my guardian) who was a driver at  Newhaven along with Ted Hillman his brother, I had my first firemans duty as a passed cleaner with Charlie Evans, booked on at 4.45 am light engine (E4 now at the Bluebell Railway) to Lewes then full load goods back to Newhaven, then onto Seaford & back to Newhaven shed, prepare the engine for 8.45 a.m. shunting duties at the north quay, some breakfast then passenger train up to Lewes and relieve Three Bridges crew, then light engine back to Newhaven, usually a K class mougal  then put by prep for the return trip to Three Bridges in the evening. Which was the penultimate weeks turn duty I did prior to leaving the Railway at the end of 1954 to start a new career at De Havillands Hatfield.  Although hard work on the footplate for a 16 year old I did enjoy my time on the southern. Had one or two mishaps !!! one being when still a cleaner Ted Knowles shift foreman said to me to jump up into the cab of Beachy Head which was standing cold to unwind the hand brake and put in reverse, intention was to move it out of the shed. the cylinder cocks were shut which on moving, because the cylinders were full of water we bent one of the side rods pushing the center foot step up about 45 degrees, to this day I still can not believe it was possible. of course we had a visit from the inspector a Mr Mac somebody, poor old Ted took the brunt of it. The same inspector a few months later passed me for footplate duties.  Jack & Ted Hillman never had any retirement both died at age 64 in 1963 / 65.    

By Dave Brady
On 15/08/2014

I have just been looking at these pictures and just found my Grandad F. Wilde, feeling quite proud to find him.

By Marian Wilde
On 04/10/2016

So interesting. Thank you. My son is a train driver and we are a long-term 'railway family.' One of my great-uncles was stationmaster at Littlehampton and I have some photos of his yard 'pilot' shunting engine going straight through the back wall of the engine shed, crossing a road and ending up in someone's front room! Retirements are still quite short as although the job is no longer so physically exhausting the shift work still shortens life-expectancy.


By Derry Hannam
On 17/06/2018

In the first photograph the 3 men on the left are wearing their Sussex flat caps. They were very popular in the 1st half of the 20th century.

By Terry Howard
On 19/04/2020

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