Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by aron33, Aug 15, 2017.
Ben Alder exactly as it was in 1966!
Dugald Drummond, at least by his LSWR days, seemed to have that Edwardian quirk of being simultaneously feared and revered by his men. The stories are of a fierce disciplinarian, but also at times with a streak of compassion and fairness where he felt it justified. He was certainly a different character from the genial, easy-going Adams.
Drummond is also an object lesson in how, if you judge Locomotive Superintendent just by his locos, you miss a significant part of the picture. Of his LSWR locos, the T9 was good, but given a new lease of life after Drummond's death by fitting superheaters; likewise the Black Motors. The D15's were an excellent example of the large 4-4-0 express engine. The M7s were competent, but can hardly be said to be at the forefront of passenger tank design. (In comparative trials in early SR days, amongst a group of similar locos they were shown to have both the highest running and repair costs). The rest of Drummond's locos for the LSWR varied between the humdrum and the awful.
And yet ... Eastleigh. For that alone, he earned his money on the South Western. The LSWR was hardly alone in entering the twentieth century with its major locomotive works in an awkward city site, constraining expansion and driving up wages. Drummond, backed up by his board, acted decisively to transplant the works to a new rural site - the contrast with his Brightonian neighbours, who spent two decades dithering while they slowly drowned under a backlog of repairs caused by an inefficient works layout - could not be more stark.
It was already very rusty by then.
And much handsomer with the genuine Highland boiler and smokebox wing plates, and lined green livery.
I may have got it wrong as I am remembering and all my books are in store. It may of course be an author's bias against him, it wouldn't be the first time. (In my mind I have that it was in a discussion about Smith)
There's a tale of a Highland driver who, when informed of the demise of Peter Drummond, commented "I'll bet the old devil believes in superheating now".
The more I think about it the more I am sure that the story about Peter Drummond being hated, also claimed that Christopher Cumming had an armchair which he sat in when on the footplate - which sounds pretty implausible.
From what I've seen, information on Cumming seems pretty thin on the ground. It was an uncaptioned image of one of his 'Snaigow' class (one of those "that's a new one on me" moments) which first got me to look deeper into the Highland than the 'Jones Goods'. A remarkably modern looking design for it's time, though I certainly never noticed an armchair!
According to David L Smith, Peter Drummond calmed down a lot during his term of office and became quite well thought of. The locomotives got better as well when "Big Brother" was no longer around to tell him what to do. Both brothers had enduring problems with marine big ends which, considering Stroudley's marine big ends do not seem to have been especially troublesome, is strange.
One of those niggling little oddities which, if anyone could ever pin down the underlying cause, might cast an interesting light on the finer points of motion design.
Seconded for 'Royal George', supposedly the first 'useful' engine as prior to it the Stockton & Darlington were considering getting rid of steam traction, and also fills goods engine gap post-1825 (as Rocket and Planet were passenger engines, I'm struggling to think of the next earliest goods loco in steam, even for static I assume it would be the remains of 'Nelson', 'Lion' or 'Derwent' of 1845 at Darlington)
Is there a good source for information on the big end issue? I don't remember any mention of it in the relevant Bradley volume, for instance.
I see that the proposed GWR County 4-4-0 project has been re-launched.
Where does it say?
The latest Railway Magazine.
And from what I've read, it seems the project has been handed over to a new group based at Toddington.
Fake News. There has been no such handover agreed.
You're making quite serious allegations here. I hope you have evidence to back this up.
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Why should you hope that I have?
Because the last thing this site would need is a defamation claim. Or maybe you didn't really mean 'fake news'?
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It might have been more appropriate for me to have used the term in inverted commas! Nonetheless.
Separate names with a comma.