Mick's Column


Here you can find archives of the monthly column from ASLEF's General Secretary, Mick Whelan.

20202019 - 2018 - 2017201620152014  - 2013 - 2012 - 2011

Other archived columns:  2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005


The curfew tolls the knell of passing day


September 2020


September 2020


Our thoughts, as they have been continually in recent days, are with the families, friends, colleagues, and all those impacted, by the tragedy at Stonehaven. The untimely deaths of the driver, Brett McCullough, train conductor Donald Dinnie, and passenger Christopher Stuchbury, will live long in the minds and memories of the railway family. 


It is at times like this that the railway family comes together as one, operating for a greater good, with the unions, companies, and Network Rail all behaving with dignity, and mutual respect, to deal with the immediate aftermath, and to pave the way for an investigation, and the subsequent lessons that we will need to learn to prevent such an occurrence again. 


Now is not the time for idle speculation, sensationalism, or the scoring of industrial or political points. That may come later, when we have all the information and data at our disposal, if we need to ensure there can be no repeat so that no families have to suffer this agony again. 


For those who wish, individually or through their branches, a joint fund has been set up with the RMT for the families of Brett and Donald with monies to be divided equally. You can find details on page 4 of the Journal, on the ASLEF website, and the information will be circulated, too. 


We have been responding to messages, not just from the UK but from right across the world, from trade unions, civil society groups, and individuals paying their respects to those who passed, and have been impacted. Such friendship and solidarity is greatly appreciated. 


We have all worked through this difficult time but I want to put on record my thanks to District Organiser Kevin Lindsay, supported by EC2 Jim Baxter, and all our representatives who have demonstrated great professionalism during the most difficult and emotional of circumstances. 


Every day we continue to work on the challenges presented by the pandemic, and the changing economic circumstances, but those are topics and discussions for future columns. Because now we want to take time to reflect on, and show respect for, those who are no longer with us, and consider those left behind, and the fight to ensure, in future, that everyone comes home from working and travelling on our railways safely.


Our thoughts are continually with you and your family at this difficult time. 



Yours fraternally


Mick Whelan, general secretary


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