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Edward Thompson: Wartime C.M.E. Discussion 2012 - 2019

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

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    In the interests of transparency - we did record the lecture, and my intention is to edit it down to a reasonable length (!) for putting onto YouTube.

    It's not going to be perfect - it was at times difficult to get the points over - but I have had a lot of very positive feedback.

    The one thing I have taken heart from in giving the lecture, is that many people appreciated that the wartime situation for Gresley and Thompson as CMEs was not so black and white as has been described.

    I have always felt that LNER writers have not given Gresley or Thompson enough credit in this area, given the difficulties of wartime (but in fairness, some documents which are available to me now were not available to anyone a few years ago).
     
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  2. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Still working on the video - and will publish as soon as I can.

    Here's something I have been working on, on and off.

    upload_2019-10-21_16-41-40.png

    So with all of the statistics I have gathered for the classes above, I was able to create what I like to call the "ideal member of a class" whereby I have used the mean of each class to create a "what if" scenario for what a member of said class looked like on paper.

    Basically: this is just an exercise in statistics (and incomplete at that!)

    Work visits ranked by the lowest number of visits giving the top placing (1). Mileage is highest mileage giving top placing (1). Availability is calculated using a simplified form of the previous one, which is days engine available for work divided by total engine days available in a year. That percentage figure is then ranked with highest availability given top weighting (1). These three columns are added together to give the score - overall ranking is then done by the lowest score given the highest ranking (1).

    Thoughts? Very much a work in progress but its giving interesting results.

    The whole thing is a complete hypothetical - as the lifetimes of each class are not the same. At best its a guide to what could be expected of each class over their lifetimes. Arguably the only thing it really tells us is that the rollerbearing A1s were the best Pacifics on the LNER by way of maintenance and availability...which we knew already.

    Overthinking it? Overworking myself? Who knows? I am less than a week away from giving a lecture to the Gresley Society!
     
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Slightly overthinking I suspect. It’s valid to look at - and compare - average class mileage between overhauls; likewise availability. Less so to then try to compute some scoring system between them, particularly just by adding up ranks. A bit like saying “Steve Smith scores 774 runs in the Ashes while Harry Kane scored 28 goals in a season - let’s compare who’s best”.

    Ultimately, high mileage between overhauls keeps the finance people happy (because it suggests low per mile operating cost); high availability keeps the operating department happy (because it suggests they can rely on the engines to do the work allotted). The Peppercorn locos look good on both counts. The only caveat is that they are both new at the time you are looking at, which should tend towards high availability: essentially they were withdrawn before their age caught up with them in diminishing reliability. (As I recall, KF Cook is interesting on that point in comparing boiler maintenance costs on LMS boilers, where in some of the stats, the long-term costs of major plate replacement hasn’t worked through for newer boilers, so they look cheaper per mile than some of the older boilers).

    Tom
     
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  4. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    I think you’re probably right there Tom. Use the rank function was never my strong point anyway!
     
  5. Hermod

    Hermod New Member

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    The A2 is not so good as the A2/3 on same boiler.
    Any possible explanation?
    A former LNER employe John Bellwood said that Peppercorns A2 was best british Pacific in Steam World june 99
     
  6. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Almost identical boiler - but two draughting arrangements and two regulator types including the multi valve ejector. 15 locos of which some were single chimney, one was double (like A1s) and the rest were multi valve. Speculation on my part - but maybe they like the A2/2s suffered in waiting for specific boilers to be available?

    Of course, the stats don’t tell you why the availability was as it was - you have to take a deeper dive into the engine cards to look at trends of what’s been done at the major works.
     
  7. jma1009

    jma1009 Member

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    The Channel 5 'Great Model Railway Challenge' Final was quite interesting this evening!

    Someone didn't come across too well - though I accept editing and the deliberate creation of drama by the producers is quite likely to end up with a distorted view of things in a TV programme.

    Cheers,
    Julian
     
  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Are you aiming to play the man or the ball?

    Tom
     
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  9. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    Disappointing comment from @jma1009.

    In respect of the subject of the thread, I was present today when Simon brilliantly rose to perhaps the hardest challenge (greater than a TV reality show I would suggest!) that he could set himself - presenting his case for reassessing Thompson to The Gresley Society AGM! I forget the exact question he asked at the end, but it was something along the lines of 'So does anyone one think Thompson did set about irradicating Gresley from the LNER?' and no-one did! No surprising given what a thoroughly researched and well-argued case he had just presented! A pleasure and a privilege to hear the presentation.

    Thank you, Simon.

    Steven
     
  10. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Julian is quite incapable of playing anything Tom. Best leave the troll under the bridge.

    If he had seen me in previous episodes he might have a different view.

    I haven’t seen today’s episode as I was out actually putting my money where my mouth is and giving a lecture in York on Edward Thompson to the Gresley Society, presenting all of my evidence in folders and inviting challenges from the floor.

    It was well received and I have come away with much food for thought.

    My thanks to Ian MacCabe, Mark Allatt, Graeme Bunker, Chris Ellick, and many more besides, who encouraged me to pursue this and to make my case in public.

    I’ve always wanted to present a lecture on railway history - today I accomplished a dream.

    It was an honour to present to the Gresley Society and I won’t deny I was a little choked up when it was over.

    34991265-1FF9-47F7-AEED-D6F3D522E8CE.jpeg

    56A61D70-05E8-4881-8B8F-59E70BCF9D2C.jpeg

    E6718831-76B6-44D4-B05E-D90ABB1C0574.jpeg
     
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  11. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    Here are a trio of my pictures from today - including Simon and a slide of his favourite locomotive!

    Steven

    IMG_20191026_214140.jpg IMG_20191026_165515.jpg IMG_20191026_165518.jpg
     
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  12. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Simon,

    Are those all your models?
     
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  13. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    All except no.500 I have built: most have used Graeme Kings excellent resin parts. Graeme built no.500 for me as his prototype A2/3 conversion.
     
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  14. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    Great pictures, Simon - and, even better for me, I am hidden in the view from the back so my bald patch doesn't make another guest appearance on the internet! (I am still recovering from a web search about the Hayes Centre near Swanick which revealed a link to a piece by our Vicar that included a particularly fine shot in which my bald patch did make a guest appearance taken by a very good friend!)

    Steven
     
  15. ross

    ross Member

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    [QUOTE="S.A.C. Martin, post: [/QUOTE]
    Just to clarify, when you said you were choked at the end of your address to the Gresley society- I take it that was your emotional response rather than someone else's....;)
     
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  16. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Definitely emotional! :)
     
  17. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    I have been reflecting on what was an incredible day at the weekend. I don't think it is an understatement to say that I achieved a small dream of mine - giving a lecture on railway history, and moreover giving it to one of the biggest railway societies in the country at that. That the subject was Edward Thompson is even more of an achievement.

    That the lecture received the response it did at the Gresley Society it did is testament to the power of evidence, and the open mindedness of those within the Gresley Society. I was really humbled by the comments after and by the support.

    The wonderful thing about these sort of lectures is that you have an opportunity to involve people, and the points made from the floor were always thoughtful and considered.

    I passed on a copy of the book (in rough draft) to a gentleman to read. I felt given his questions and enthusiasm, I could not refuse a request to read what I have.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
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  18. Richard Roper

    Richard Roper Member

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    Really looking forward to seeing your book Simon! Is it still your intention to have it published as a bound item?
    Glad you had a positive and enjoyable response to your lecture too.

    Richard.
     
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  19. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    At this time the main aim is to get the manuscript done as much as possible.

    I’ve been struggling to get the bibliography done and happily it’s nearly there (so many citations!)

    The major sections are complete, each locomotive class is discussed fully now, and my personal viewpoints on each year end of the LNER and the work Thompson was doing is ongoing.

    Its probably the definitive version of my work on this now.

    If I find a publisher I’ll do a proper paperback. If I can’t, I’ll self publish electronically. I won’t self publish a printed version I’ve decided. Too much time and space taken up and I really don’t have as much time anymore with everything I do.

    Thank you for your kind thoughts.

    My original offer of supplying everyone on Nat Pres with a free ebook of it still stands.
     
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  20. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    On a separate note, and in the interests of transparency, I wrote to Julian at the weekend asking him to stop posting on this thread, unless he was willing to provide an apology or provide the information that I had requested (on multiple occasions) that he’d claimed to have to back up his points.

    On the subject matter Julian alluded to however - The Great Model Railway Challenge had three episodes. Two of which I come across well in, I’d like to think. In the third episode, there was rather more going on behind the scenes and, sadly, it’s easier to create a pantomime villain than it is to tell the actual story.

    Jennifer Kirk - team mate, second in command, excellent railway modeller and blogger - has spoken out about this on her YouTube channel. You can judge me by the footage or by her words.



    From my point of view the show was excellent in that it showed a broad range of people taking part in an entertaining show with some world class modelling on display. It won’t be for everyone but maybe it adds something important to the hobbys perception to the general public.

    I have been modelling railways - mostly locomotives - for over twelve years and it’s been a comfort to me in dark times. I thoroughly enjoy it and it’s also allowed me to gain new perspectives of Thompson through actually building some of his standard classes, and also rans.

    My current loco project is the K1/1 which will be built from all manner of spare parts!
     

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