For enthusiasts and researchers of the Great Eastern Railway

RW011 The 'Locomotive Engineers and Firemen's Monthly Journal' for 1896.

NEW JULY 2020. The Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) was formed in 1880. What is on offer here is a file containing the twelve issues of volume 9 of their Monthly Journal which came out in 1896.

Some non-railway-related sections have been omitted such as those filled with poetry, philosophical articles and 'some thoughts on indigestion'. Nevertheless you will still get over 500 pages for your money! The contents fall broadly into two parts: topics on railways, and reports from the branches.

The railway items occupy more than half the total space, and constitute a distinctly valuable but little-known source of quality information. 

Clement Stretton always provided a monthly article: his topics included the latest MS&L express locomotives, a look back at 1895 and Joy's valve gear (with a large fold-out drawing). Charles Rous-Martin submitted accounts of journeys, including London to Aberdeen during the 'race to the north'. Continuous brake failures were discussed, and a detailed list of the current locomotives of the Midland Railway was given. Historical subjects were not neglected: accounts of the Stockton & Darlington and early Scottish railways appeared, for example, and the first hundred locomotives built by the Vulcan Foundry and also by R. Stephenson & Co were both listed in detail. There were illustrations, but only a few.

Apart from the railway items the rest of each Journal, headed 'Correspondence', was made up of reports from the branches. Depending on the local secretary, their style varied widely - from stirring arguments about current issues to news about their concert where 'Miss Skinner gave selections on the banjo'.

That heading is a bit misleading, because readers' letters were also printed in the railway part, rather like the 'Clearing House' in our own Journal. Moreover something like the coal premium, which caused strong resentment among honest drivers who tried to make up lost time and so were denied it, was considered in both sections.

Passions sometimes ran high. Among the men the chief animosity seemed to be directed not at their employers but at their fellows in the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants (later to become part of the NUR). The thorn in the flesh of the railway specialists was a young and abrasive upstart, who for unjustified reasons kept accusing them of errors - so much so that solicitors were mentioned. Clement Stretton was exasperated when he was accused of hiding behind a pseudonym in a letter, totally wrongly he said. He felt it rich coming from a person who signed his own letters G A Sekon, when it was really Nokes the auctioneer! This was one year before the upstart founded his own Railway Magazine.

This file is word-searchable and has bookmarks to the main parts. It will be available to download as soon as payment has been made. You go to your account and click on ‘Downloads’. New customers create an account as they place their order.

Pages 502
File Size (MB) 24.6

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