Photo:Photo 1   Atlantic class loco "Beachy Head"

Photo 1 Atlantic class loco "Beachy Head"


Photo:Photo 2   Beachy Head

Photo 2 Beachy Head

GF Bloxam

Photo:Photo 3   Beachy Head.

Photo 3 Beachy Head.

GF Bloxam

Photo:Photo 4   Back at Brighton

Photo 4 Back at Brighton


Photo:Photo 5   Sydney Turner driving train

Photo 5 Sydney Turner driving train


Photo:Photo 6   Continental Platform Newhaven

Photo 6 Continental Platform Newhaven


Photo:Photo 7   Boat Train Up, North Quay

Photo 7 Boat Train Up, North Quay


Photo:Photo 8   Young ladies back from Switzerland

Photo 8 Young ladies back from Switzerland


Photo:Photo 9   Terrier class at North Quay

Photo 9 Terrier class at North Quay


Photo:Photo 10   0-6-2 tank engine at Loco yard

Photo 10 0-6-2 tank engine at Loco yard


Photo:Photo 11   Harbour Station with the London and Paris Hotel

Photo 11 Harbour Station with the London and Paris Hotel

Ray Turner

Including Boat Trains.

By Sylvia Woolford (nee Turner) and Ray Turner (father)

I've just spent an enjoyable afternoon with my parents sorting through their photographs. I have also learnt a lot about my grandad Sydney Turner. He died in 1962 when I was 2.

My grandad Sydney Turner was born at Deal in Kent (1896). Like all steam engine drivers, he started off as an Engine Cleaner, later promoted to Fireman and eventually became an Engine Driver at Folkestone where he drove the little "P-Class" engines of which it needed three at a time to help the boat train up the steep ramp from the harbour to the main line. He moved to Newhaven in 1936 so that he could be a 'Top Link Driver' and was promoted to driving the main-line Boat Trains to Victoria. During the 2nd World War years he drove the Ammunition and Tank Transporter Trains to and from Newhaven.

These photos were taken mainly by train spotters and copies were sent on to him. 32424 Beachy Head was one of a class of locomotives known as "Atlantics"; they used to haul the all-Pullman "Southern Belle" Victoria-Brighton service, which later became "Brighton Belle" when electrics were introduced. The Atlantics also worked the Victoria-Newhaven boat trains. The Railway Correspondence and Travel Society (RCTS) organised two "specials" using Beachy Head: 5th Oct 1952, all-Pullman Victoria-Brighton, celebrating the Centenary of Brighton Locomotive Works; the 60 mins. schedule was beaten despite signal checks. 13th April 1958: a Victoria-Newhaven Harbour "Boat Train"; by then, Beachy Head was the last Atlantic in service and this was its last run. photos 1 and 2 show Beachy Head with the Pullman train, photos 3 and 4 show Driver Turner and Fireman Stratton after the run.

Photo 5: Late 1950's - Driver Sydney Turner at the controls of a loco.

Photo 6: Late 1950's - 11:33am and the daily Boat Train is seen leaving the Continental Station at Newhaven.

Photo 7: A Boat Train, here seen passing the sidings at the North Quay, en route to London

Photo 8: Taken at Newhaven's Continental Station & Grandad Sydney Turner is seen talking to some young ladies before departure of the boat train from Newhaven to Victoria London. These girls had been evacuated to Switzerland in 1939 as toddlers so that they were safe during the War and now that the war was over, they had now returned home as young girls.

Photo 9: Taken in the late 1950's, Grandad is seen driving one of the Terrier Class Locomotives at the North Quay.  My mother's Great Uncle Harry Avis, used to walk in front of these Locomotives holding a red flag and carrying a bell when the trains travelled along the road and across the river bridge.

Photo 10: Another photo taken in the late 1950's of Grandad driving a steam Loco..

Photo 11: This photo is of the Harbour Station and the London and Paris Hotel. This station was used by passengers using the normal trains to reach Newhaven for the Cross Channel Boats, the Continental Station was used by the Boat Trains only. On the right of the picture is the water stand pipe for re-filling the Locomotive's Boilers.

This page was added by Sylvia Woolford on 02/02/2009.
Comments about this page

Photo 5 must have been taken before October 1951. The loco is ex London Chatham and Dover E class no 31273, which was taken out of service during October 1951.

By Charlie Verrall
On 07/02/2010

Hi, I can remember the boat trains very well. At some time in the early 50's one of these smashed through the town crossing gates before they were completely opened. My mother, myself and my sister in a pushchair were waiting at those gates and the impact and debris knocked me over. My sister was knocked out of her pushchair and my mother received a massive splinter of wood in her leg and bruising to her body. Nowadays compensation would be of prime consideration, but not then. Can anyone else remember this event? Incidently, I used to live opposite a Syd and Rita Turner in Gibbon Road and I believe a Ray Turner lived further down in the same road. Probably relatives of the author.

By Colin Brandon
On 06/06/2010

Did anyone come across my grandad Mark (Offington) WOOLGAR, he also drove these trains...


On 17/07/2010

Does anyone have any pictures of Victor Morris, Steam train driver during the 50s.

By Lesley Ireland
On 04/09/2010

Yes to cousin Virginia Swann. Grandad (Mark) Woolgar was also one of the Victoria-Newhaven Boat Train drivers. He started on LBSCR and was bombed during WW1 by Zeppelins and in WW2 by Luftwaffe - scary stuff. I recall him telling me about it in the late 1950's.  I think he drove one of the 4-4-0 atlantic locos or even a 'Schools class'. He switched from driving steam loco's to electric multiple units in 1950, before retiring in 1955. His railway house had it's roof blown off twice by Luftwaffe in WW2. He had lots more  stories to tell as I recall.

By Malcolm Dubber
On 10/03/2011

To Lesley Ireland. I know Vic Morris and spoke to him today about your message. He does not recall your name , but is interested to know how your request for photos has come about. Richard

By Richard Beckett
On 10/03/2011

Vic was better known as POP Morris. He was a great driver to work with and he had a great sense of humor. I worked with him a few times on the footplate.

By william Still
On 11/04/2011

I am writing this for my dad Fred Stratton. He is on the third picture down on this page.It was the centenary run of the Brighton Belle. Dad is the tall one in the picture he was the fireman and Alf Welch was the driver. Dad had passed for drivng but was asked by Alf to fire for him. Inspector Jack McCarthy was also on the foot plate.

On 22/05/2011

I am doing some research into the three electric locomotives built by the Southern which hauled the boat trains from 1949 onwards. If anyone here has any stories, photos, documents, whatever about them, I would love to hear from them.

By Simon Lilley
On 06/01/2013 Some pictures on this site of the elecrtics you are interested in. you may find someone who can provide some of the history of them on there too. I have worked the Newhaven Boat trains with these as a Fireman on many occasions. I believe they were scrapped because they were not standard.

By william Still
On 07/01/2013 making organisation dedicated to the 750 volts direct current third rail electrified railway system in the South East. Includes photos and other information

By Richard Beckett
On 07/01/2013

William Still. Thanks for the tip, most useful. I would be interested to get back in touch with you about your experiences with these locos.

By Simon Lilley
On 13/01/2013

Simon Lilley: Feel free. Admin have my e mail address. You can also find me on Facebook.

Hi Bill, your email address has been passed on to Simon.

John -- Editor

By william Still
On 14/01/2013

In my research into the the history of Sussex loco-men and Sussex branches of A.S.L.E.F., I would like to add some additional information regarding photos 1,2,3 & 4. on this page. These great photos shows one of two R.T.C.S. special trains that run during October 1952. These two trains were to commemorate the centenary of "Brighton Locomotive Works." The Brighton Works Centenary Specials train run, on the 5th & 19th October 1952, when the "Railway Correspondence & Travel Society (R.C.T.S.), for the first time offered its members an all-Pullman travel on fast schedules. Both trains were hauled by H2 Atlantics, the first special was on the 5th October, and was hauled No.32424 "Beachy Head", this train was worked by Newhaven loco-men, Driver Sydney Turner & Fireman Fred Stratton (which ties in with Sylvia's comments regarding her grandfather Sydney Turner & Fred Stratton). On the 19th October, the second train run, hauled by No. 32435 "Trevose Head", which was worked by Brighton loco-men (names not known at the moment). This information as come from the R.T.C.S. book of Locomotives of the L.B.S.C.R. Volume 3, and is feature on the weblink below. I have also recorded this on my own web page which is Editor, please can you pass my contact details on to Simon Lilley, as I may be able to give him some assistance regarding his research into the Bulleid's electric locomotives/Newhaven Boat train. Regards Paul Edwards.


N.B. Your email address has been passed on to Simon as requested..

John -- editor

By Paul Edwards
On 01/03/2013

Paul I had an email address for you but it keeps getting bounced when I send you anything!!

Hopfully the new one sent to you will work, Simon.

John -- Editor

By Simon Lilley
On 04/03/2013

Further to my posting in January 2013 I am pleased to say that there is a book on the three Southern "Booster" locomotives coming out in April next year.

Full details

My thanks to those people who contacted me back in 2013. I hope we have managed to do these locomotives justice.

Best wishes


By Simon Lilley
On 15/11/2014

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