If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Edward Thompson: Both sides of the story

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by S.A.C. Martin, May 2, 2012.

  1. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    2,126
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Apprentice Railway Engineer, Children's Author
    Location:
    Sidcup, Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Yes, nineteen classes. Made up of:

    New Standard Classes:
    A1, A2, B1, K1, O1, J11, J50, L1, Q1

    Non Standard Classes (to be maintained):
    A10, A3, A4, B17, D49, B16, K3, V2*, O4, V1, V3

    In the first group, the A1 and A2 referred to are A1/1 and A2/3 designs. Thompson had planned to make Gresley's J50/3 the standard shunting locomotive. This was replaced by the J72 under Peppercorn. The O1 would have been built from O4s and potentially as new too. The Q1 was a complete class and no more would have been likely built. The B1 would have been the most numerous class across the system. Note that classes B1, K1 and O1 use the same boiler type.

    In the second group, note that almost all of these to be retained are Gresley classes. V1/V3 are mentioned separately - they make up the 19th class and would have all been rebuilt to V3 standard. There's no evidence to suggest the A10s would have been rebuilt into a3s - in fact it is likely that group would have been rebuilt into A1/1s. The B17s would have been rebuilt to B2 standard. D49 was unlikely to have been rebuilt to Morpeth standard but would have been likely retained. Class B16 would have been converted into the B16/3 configuration - the only Raven design to be retained in any way. Class K3 would not have been rebuilt to the K5 standard, given the excellence of the K1 design. Thompson continued the building of Gresley V2s (66 more built during 1941-42).

    There were a number of diesels that were ordered. Four shunters, similar to class 08 and given the designation J45 (later DES1). I believe there was a plan, not implemented, to make them the new standard, though neither Thompson nor Peppercorn acted on this. All four were built at Doncaster and worked until 1967 when withdrawn.

    Re the V2s and the pony truck design - from Peter Grafton's work:

    Checking the dates, the specific design of pony truck was introduced under Thompson and was a close copy of the Stanier O6 pony truck being built by the LNER at the time. The design was used variously on classes O1, K1 and then class V2 amongst others. It appears the decision was taken under Thompson to fit the V2s and the work was carried out across the whole of the class under Peppercorn.
     
    30854 likes this.
  2. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    190
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    retired
    Location:
    east sussex
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    i cant really understand why some are saying that the only thing that needed fixing was the centre big end .

    Cox was critical of the valve gear because it allowed such inequality in the work done by the cylinders
    if a gear allows an imbalance of up to 30% it is not a good thing and replacement of said gear with summat that will do a better job must be desirable . whether or not it directly contributed to failures (it did) , it has implications for maintenance , which remained the case until the end. the A4 s were always high maintenance .that had to end post 1939

    leaving aside rights and wrongs of rebuilding the P2s , imo the rebuilt engines were a very impressive looking machine .

    FWIW , jma1009 posed a question in post #734, which was re Holcrofts' application of a derived gear to a 4 cyl loco .which attracted no answers. I think that was GWR 40 ,later 4000.

    I have read that Cox/Stanier, were asked to put a price on the removal of the conjugated motion from all LNER locos . the price was prohibitive ,and it was not done . it is entirely feasible this was the reason the A3/4 were never converted , rather than the whim or failing of any individual. the board said no.
    this must have been the subject of a report which AFAIK ,has never surfaced . does anyone know more about this.
    rebuilding cannot have been an option during the war years . the men with the skills were away from home being shot at . to suggest this could have been done with a skilled labour shortage while the works were engaged in producing material for the war effort as well as maintaining the fleet is at the least, naïve.

    Thompsons reticence when discussing the Cox report with OSN must have been due to the high degree of confidentiality . it was for the eyes of the board. it should be no surprise that the details have taken so long to emerge . I suspect there is more on the subject that will surface in time.

    if memory serves , was not Morpeth rebuilt with inside cylinders ? surely that would not have perpetuated?

    a bit of an odds and sods post but I am re-reading all from p32.
     
    andrewshimmin likes this.
  3. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    2,491
    Likes Received:
    1,602
    Occupation:
    computers
    Location:
    SE England
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    No, it wasn't a GWR locomotive, or even a main line one. This was covered recently in another topic IIRC.
    My understanding is that 40/4000 in her original form had the same cleverly angled crank to connect inside and outside valves, it was the actual valve gear driving it (which was without eccentrics) that was different.
     
  4. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    2,126
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Apprentice Railway Engineer, Children's Author
    Location:
    Sidcup, Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    DVYC8jhWAAE_r1t.jpg-large.jpeg

    For anyone so interested, tomorrow is the day of my lecture on Edward Thompson at the MRC in the evening.

    I have much to say and so little time in which to say it...!
     
  5. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Messages:
    1,032
    Likes Received:
    1,246
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Stanthorpe, QLD, Australia
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Break a leg Simon! :)
     
    S.A.C. Martin likes this.
  6. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    2,126
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Apprentice Railway Engineer, Children's Author
    Location:
    Sidcup, Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Thank you kindly.

    The aim is not to make out that everything written about Thompson is wrong.

    It’s to give context, ask some questions, challenge a few notions and if people come away thinking of him as a flawed human being and not a pantomime villain, it’ll be a good result.
     
  7. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    3,026
    Likes Received:
    1,072
    Doesn't that description apply to every one of us?
     
    andrewshimmin and 30854 like this.
  8. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    2,126
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Apprentice Railway Engineer, Children's Author
    Location:
    Sidcup, Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Yes definitely! :)
     
    andrewshimmin likes this.
  9. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Messages:
    2,450
    Likes Received:
    2,370
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Brighton&Hove
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I wish circumstances would allow me to be there Simon. This thread has been absolutely fascinating and quite the eye-opener.

    If my own interest in history generally has taught me one thing, it's that 'politicking' was as prevalent in all societies, be it 70, 700 or 1700 years ago, as it is today!

    Will a recording of your presentation, or a downloadable transcript be available at some point, for those of us unable to attend in person?

    ..... and btw, good luck with the Gresleyites on the 8th!
     
    S.A.C. Martin likes this.
  10. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    2,126
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Apprentice Railway Engineer, Children's Author
    Location:
    Sidcup, Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Thank you kindly. I will happily make the following materials from my lecture available to anyone who would like them for further reading:
    • The ES Cox Report
    • My presentation slides
    • My bibliography (includes details of all the books I have read, quoted from, archive material and similar)
    • Research notes
    There are a few things I am holding back for the book, understandably.

    It is incredible to think how far this thread has come in the six years (!!!) it has been running. My views have not been entirely concrete, they do change as a result of new information, but as the development of both book and research has developed my views towards Thompson the man have softened more and more.

    There have been many eye openers throughout the course of my research, the main one being the revelation that Thompson did not select Great Northern. This amongst other things have really damaged his reputation.
     
    30854 likes this.
  11. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Messages:
    2,450
    Likes Received:
    2,370
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Brighton&Hove
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Your book is most definìtely going on my shopping list Simon.:)
     
  12. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    2,126
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Apprentice Railway Engineer, Children's Author
    Location:
    Sidcup, Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Don't put it on there yet - I keep saying it's finished and then I keep changing it...! At some point I need to just bite the bullet, put it out there and what will be will be.
     
  13. Muzza

    Muzza New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    47
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Mareeba, Qld, Australia
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    All the best with the lecture Simon. Your research has been thorough and your argument well reasoned.

    From a Gresleyite from "down under".


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
    S.A.C. Martin likes this.
  14. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    2,126
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Apprentice Railway Engineer, Children's Author
    Location:
    Sidcup, Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    That's very kind Muzza, thank you.

    I hope everyone knows I am myself a Gresleyite - P2 founder member 103, 4472 Club member, Tornado covenanter, M&GNR supporter, etc etc...

    I do not seek to denigrate Gresley by raising Thompson. I seek to simply clarify and address issues which have arisen from what feels like at times, 50-60 years of propaganda - most well meaning, some of it I would say deliberate.

    But you can all be the judge of that.
     
    60525, andrewshimmin and 30854 like this.
  15. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Messages:
    5,340
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Freelance photo - journalist
    Location:
    Southport
    A question out of the box perhaps BUT was that the intent of the person who made the choice as I understand from earlier postings on this thread that he refused to budge once the significance of his choice was pointed out ?
     
  16. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    2,126
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Apprentice Railway Engineer, Children's Author
    Location:
    Sidcup, Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Two things here:

    1) he didn’t choose 4470 - G A Musgrave chose 4470. There were only six of the A10s left at this point - the aim was to produce a prototype for which these could be converted and new locomotives then produced later.

    2) he most certainly did not show tact when responding to Teddy Windle.

    However there is a third part to this story which has until now not been entirely clear.

    Thompson did not name his Pacific locomotives - he was not one for naming locomotives generally (prototype B1 to be named Utility - that was his idea. I am told he was dismayed by the decision to affix names of deer to his locomotives!)

    Those decisions were taken by those around him. He grudgingly agreed to the P2s retaining (or in 2005s case, restoring) their names.

    It appears that the new A1 engine was to take a new numerical identity until it was pointed out to Thompson that it had, of course, been classed as a rebuild - licences had to be obtained for major repairs and for new construction during the war, steel being in short supply. 4470 having being quietly dismantled, the remaining parts were in the new erecting shop for the new build.

    The driving axles, tender and cartazzi components were reused. The rest of the locomotive was made up of Gresley and Thompson standard parts including A4 frames, modified, an A4 boiler, and a similarly arranged cylinder arrangement to the A2 sub classes - but the middle cylinder connecting rod was not of equal length. An interesting change to the “all equal connecting rods” mantra.

    It could have been any name and number of the remaining A10s. By virtue of being a rebuild, it had to keep the name and number of whichever locomotive was chosen.

    One member of Thompson’s team went on record in Peter Graftons book to say that he felt Thompson kept the name and number chosen, not because he felt he was destroying Gresleys legacy but that if his own ideas were good and sound, what better than the original prototype, rebuilt, to usher in a new era and embody the improvements that were envisaged.
     
    60525 and andrewshimmin like this.
  17. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,164
    Likes Received:
    1,136
    Just one thing, Simon, in the interests of posterity and taxonomy:
    Antelope, not deer!
    :)
     
    S.A.C. Martin likes this.
  18. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Messages:
    2,450
    Likes Received:
    2,370
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Brighton&Hove
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    They taste pretty much the same.
     
    35B and Forestpines like this.
  19. jma1009

    jma1009 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    Messages:
    680
    Likes Received:
    359
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    ynysddu south wales
    Hi Simon,

    I wish you the very best for tomorrow evening and good luck. It takes a lot of guts to do a public talk or go on the stage. I think we have all learned a great deal of Thompson by way of your threads, and that must only be good for historical research.

    Cheers,
    Julian
     
  20. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    2,126
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Apprentice Railway Engineer, Children's Author
    Location:
    Sidcup, Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Fair comment! :oops:
     
    andrewshimmin likes this.

Share This Page