North Eastern Railway Station Masters & Agents Association
The North Eastern Railway Station Masters’ Association was formed at a meeting of station masters in Leeds on 15 February 1914. In 1916, the North Eastern Railway Station Masters Association reported that its membership stood at 373, or 68% of those eligible to join. Membership numbers climbed for the next two years, reaching 452 and 85% of those eligible by 1918. Two years later membership had fallen to 306, although it rose again to 344 in the following year. No later membership figures are given in the AGM minutes or publications.
The first Chairman of the new association was Mr Hall, of Hylton station, and the first General Secretary was Mr J Newsham, of Hemingbrough. Mr Newsham remained active in the Association for many years, becoming Consulting Secretary after he stepped down as General Secretary in 1920, before being elected Vice-Chairman in 1921 and Chairman in 1922. He was also a General Secretary of the National Federation of Station Masters’ and Agents’ Associations.
The North Eastern Railway Station Masters Association seem to have been sometimes in opposition to one of the larger bodies representing railway workers, the Railway Clerks Association. Station masters were eligible to join the Railway Clerks Association and this overlap in interests was not tolerated happily by either organisation. The Railway Clerks Association was much larger in number than the station masters’ own organisations, claiming 5000 station masters among its members.
In 1918 The North Eastern Railway Station Masters’ Association became part of The National Federation of Station Masters and Agents Associations. In May 1919, the name of the North Eastern Railway Station Masters Association was amended to the North Eastern Railway Station Masters’ & Agents Association in following a vote to add agents to the association’s constitution.
At the grouping of the railways in 1923, the North Eastern Railway Station Masters & Agents Association became the London & North Easter Railway Station Masters & Agents Association. Under the London & North Eastern Railway the Association appears to have simply petered out. Fewer executive committee meetings were held by the mid-1920s, and an annual meeting was held in 1927, at which the officers of the association were re-elected; but no more meetings were minuted until 1937, when a new General Secretary was elected, and the final motion carried was to ask as many members of the Association as possible to attend a meeting to wind up its affairs.