RAILWAY – Meetings of North-Eastern Pass Holders
Accreditation the Redcar and Saltburn News 17/12/1874
MEETING OF NORTH- EASTERN PASS-HOLDERS
On Saturday (12/74) afternoon, a meeting of the pass-holders of the Darlington and Stockton section of the North-Eastern Railway, was held at the Coatham Hotel, Redcar, to protest against advance in the rate of passes to be issued for next year. About 150 gentlemen were present. Mr Miles Cadle presided, and in opening the proceedings drew attention to a circular which had been issued by the railway company announcing that the passes between Redcar and Middlesbrough are next year would be advanced to first-class £12, second £9, and third class £6, and advance of 400% on what they were a few years ago. After considerable discussion, it was resolved that the deputation should wait on the directors of their meeting on Monday (21/12) next, and report the result of the interview to an adjourned meeting in the evening of that day.
Accreditation the Redcar and Saltburn News 31/12/1874.
THE INCREASE OF PASSENGER FARES
ON THE NORTH EASTERN-RAILWAY
ADJOURNED MEETING OF PASS-HOLDERS
AT THE COATHAM HOTEL.
An adjourned meeting of pass-holders residing at Redcar, Coatham, and Saltburn-by-the-Sea, was held at the CoathamVictoriaHotel, on Monday (28/12) night, to receive the report of the deputation appointed at the previous meeting to wait on the directors of the Darlington section of the North-Eastern Railway. Mr M. Cadle again occupied the chair, and there was a large attendance.
THE CHAIRMAN opened the proceedings by stating that the deputation had met the directors at Darlington that day, by whom they had been very courteously received. He then called upon
Mr Bowron, who read the memorial presented to the directors as follows :-
“To the Directors of the Darlington Section of the
“GENTLEMAN, We, the undersigned pass-holders, residing at Redcar, Coatham, and Saltburn, desire respectfully to ask your attention to some of the following facts :-
“Some years ago you grunted passes at very low rates to the sea-side residents engaged in business at Stockton and Middlesbrough – the rate charged being, for instance, only £5 per annum for a first-class pass from Saltburn to Middlesbrough. This rate had, however, by 1873, become advanced to and uniform charge of £10, first-class Saltburn or Redcar to Stockton. Under the influence of these rates, many persons then residing at Stockton and Middlesbrough migrated to the sea-side and their bills or rented houses. To so great an extent was this done that the town of Coatham has considerably more than doubled during the last five years. It now becomes, or into your policy of raising continually the charge, a very serious question whether such persons can continue to afford to reside at the sea-side. In case say of a family, including three persons engaged in business, and holding first-class passes from Redcar to Stockton, and increased annual expense of £15 must now borne which is a serious tax. Moreover, in the case of several members of one family holding passes, no reduction is made, and is the case on other parts of your system; for instance, between Leeds, Harrogate, Ilkley, Offaly, &c. (See North-Eastern timetables for this month, page 72). The holders of second and third class passes feel the advance even more keenly. It is the fact that many young men residing at Saltburn and Redcar, tempted by the recent fares, have engaged themselves either as clerks or apprentices in some of the manufacturing establishments of Cleveland. As you, gentlemen doubtless know, it is usual in such cases, for a period of years, to give but nominal wages, and hence these young men are very severely affected by your advance in rates.
“We are, indeed, well aware that you are acting thoroughly within your legal rights in the course you have adopted; and we in no way challenge you are right; but we do most respectfully submit that, holding as you do an immense monopoly, unparalleled by any other line in England, it is your equitable duty to treat with corresponding liberality the population within your grasp. This we acknowledge that you have endeavoured in many things to do; and we are led to hope, therefore, that you will recognise the hardship to clerks and apprentices, the serious extra expense to family men, and the effect also of deterioration of value of all the capital invested in houses at the sea-side the annual value to which, as compared with inland houses, necessarily becomes reduced by an amount equivalent to the increased cost of travelling to the occupant. No complaint was made to your Board last year when you advanced the rates, because we knew the different you had to contend with in the largely increased cost of fuel, materials, and Labour. But although these items of your expenses have not entirely regained their normal level, they have yet receded, so far that we confidently anticipated a rebate of their last advance. Our anticipations were strengthened by the large reductions of fares contemplated by some other companies, also by your own company in places where you have competition, and our disappointment at being subjected instead to another advance, is very great. We will not presume to attempt to teach you your own business, but we trust you will not lose sight of the great advantages to your company resulting from the encouragement of pass-holders. You have not only a large revenue paid in advance without (in effect) any expense of collection, but the labours also of the ticket and audit clerks must be largely diminished. We would also respectfully urge upon you the fact that we nearly all contribute directly or indirectly to the enormous revenue you draw from the mineral and merchandise traffic of the district, and unhealthy and un-enjoyable as are too many parts of our local manufacturing town, it becomes too many of us a physical necessity to reside away from them. We would also remind you that the increase of house property in Saltburn and Redcar has been a large source of revenue to the company in the carriage of building material and will continue to be so unless the progress of these towns is checked, and we firmly believe it will be, by increasing the cost of travelling to the businessmen residing in them. We would also mention that a considerable sum is paid in ordinary fares by other members of the pass-holders’ families who are constantly travelling on the line, which would be lost to your company if you compel them by increased rates, to reside at the towns where they carry on their business. Adverting next to the deposit demanded in future, we submit that it is calculated to be a great annoyance to us, without being of any real benefit to yourselves. Your object would be equally attained by refusing to issue any new pass except in next change for the previous one, and by rigorously prosecuting all laws unprincipled persons who should attempt to travel fraudulently by means of an old pass. In this you would have the sympathy and support of all respectable travellers, instead of alienating them by a petty and vexations impost. It may be mentioned that the pass-holders have appointed a standing committee to watch over their interests, who will make it a part of their duty, in the event of their hearing of any attempt to defraud the company by travelling with an old pass without a pass, to report the fact to the company, and to aid them in bringing the offender to justice. Lastly, in the interests of the those young pass-holders before mentioned, we would ask you to allow passes to be taken as follows, where preferred :- say on 1st of January for three months on payment of 4/12ths of the entire annual charge, renewable on the 1st April for other three months on payment of 3/12ths of the entire annual charge, for other three months from 1st July on payment of other 3/12ths, and for the last three months on 1st of October on payment of the remaining 2/12ths. Thus, should any holder failed to renew his pass, you would have received an extra payment for the time already elapsed.
“In conclusion, we might add that our wants are so simple and well known to you and greatly to facilitate the arrangements of your traffic, and we do sincerely and confidently trust that you will feel yourself sable, on reconsideration, to reduce our rates to the level of those charged in 1873, to withdraw the stipulation for deposits, and to grant the facility we seek for quarterly payments.”
MR JAMES HOOD, one of the deputation, briefly reported the result of the meeting with the directors. The memorial of the pass-holders had, from the admission of the directors, evidently received careful attention. The first point referred to as the interview was the price of passes, and although our little hope was held out of any reduction in the tariff, yet the directors of the Darlington section undertook to lay the whole subject before the Gen board of directors at York in as favourable a light as possible. The directors maintained that the Tees-side was the most favourite part of the North Eastern system. In opposition to this, the deputation pointed out the favourable tariff granted to Harrogate, Ilkley, etc., Which was met by the rejoinder that the Midland Company had running powers over that portion of the line. A concession was, however, thought likely to be granted in the case of family passes. Secondly, the question of a deposit on passes was and said by the directors by referring to the practice of other companies, who even for a month pass of 35s require a deposit of 10s, and it was their intention to adhere to this, although the deputation offered to assist in collecting the old passes, if a list of pass-holders was given them. Thirdly, the question of quarterly payments for yearly passes could not be entertained, owing to the extra labour involved in book-keeping, auditing, etc., and the directors reminded the deputation that quarterly passes were issued at a slightly advanced cost. Fourthly, the subject of monthly passes will meet with consideration at the hands of the York directors :- his hereto these passes have not been available except during the summer season, and then only for distances of over 24 miles. Fifthly the directors agreed to grant temporary passes for a fortnight, pending the decision of the York general board, on written application being made to Mr Stephenson; and after wards to issue passes of whatever class may be desired, and to arrange the difference in prices pro.. and con. and pro. rata. Sixthly, the directors complained that the dinner or luncheon train was made use of by pass-holders too much greater extent than was ever contemplated; in fact, it was evident they never intended pass-holders to travel more than once each way per day. The directors used this as a strong argument against the pass-holders., Compared with other railways, the directors stated that with the exception of the Harrogate branch and Darlington section was below or any other; they, therefore, would not admit any breach of faith with the pass-holders
Eighthly, the deputation suggested a mile each tariff of 20s per mile per annum for first-class passes, 15s for second, and a proportionate rate for third; but this section of directors said they had no power to agree to this proposal, which with other matters would be laid before the general board at York. The deputation urged strongly the adoption of the Harrogate and Ilkley rates, which the directors pointed out were the lowest of any part of the North Eastern system, and asked if the deputation would be willing to abide by the Tyne-side and other district rates. The deputation said in reply that if they had taken the laws great, they would suggest to the directors to take the maximum and minimum rates over their line, and strike an average, which they thought the pass-holders would be willing to accept. The deputation also pointed out that the Harrogate and Ilkley rates were only equal to 16s per mile per annum first-class, and 14s second.
In reply to a question from the CHAIRMAN, as to whether anyone present had applied for a pass for next year, only one gentleman replied to the affirmative.
THE CHAIRMAN said that on the Midland line passes were issued to apprentices, students, etc., at half the usual rates.
MR HOGG stated that the deputation had urged strongly to the directors that they had a right to be as favourably treated as the pass-holders of any other part of their system. With regard to the noon train, he did not think itself that more than 15 to 20 pass-holders used it, and this would be more than counterbalanced by the time they were away during the year.
MR SHEIL thought this will very petty point for like the-Eastern to take up. When a pass was taken out the holder had a right to use it as much as was thought proper.
MR SCOTT contended, notwithstanding their assertion to the contrary, the directors had broken faith with them. When, induced by the lower rates for passes, businessmen from Middlesbrough and Stockton had built rented houses at the see-side, what else was it but a breach of faith when these rates were raised? True, the pass-holders had no legal remedy, or they could have enforced it, but this did not make the moral obligation on the part of the directors any less.
On the motion of Mr Dunning seconded by Mr Shiel, a resolution was passed confirming the steps taken by the deputation.
THE CHAIRMAN next proposed, “That this meeting learns with pleasure the courteous reception given to the deputation by the directors of the Darlington section of the North-Eastern Railway Company today, and also that they have promised to submit the memorial to the general board at York; and trust that their promised advocacy of its prayer will receive favourable consideration from the York branch.
MR TAYLOR seconded the resolution, which was carried and a copy of it was ordered to be sent to Henry Pease, Esq., Chairman of the Darlington section, to J. E. MacNay, Esq., secretary, and to Geo. Stephenson, Esq., general manager.
MR CROSSLEY proposed, and Mr Alan seconded the following resolution, which was unanimously carried :- “That a pass-holders’ Association be formed, for the general promotion of, and to watch over, the interests of the pass-holders.”
On the motion of Mr Crossley, seconded by Mr Henderson, it was resolved, “That a committee be formed, with power to increased its numbers to 15, to carry out the objects of the association.”
Thoughts of thanks were then passed to the deputation and the chairman, and the meeting separated.
August 25, 2014 Railway