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Edward Thompson: Wartime C.M.E. Discussion 2012 - 2020

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

  1. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    Hang on in there Simon. Given the research and time you have spent on this book it would be a very churlish person who says it doesn't represent a definitive and balanced critique of Thompson's time and work.

    But rest assured; those 'yes but' folk will still be out there on the day it is published. :)
     
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  2. Richard Roper

    Richard Roper Member

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    Just read your reply Simon, and Thank You for the update. I'd love to have a copy of your book, whether paperback or an e-book.
    I personally think it deserves a hardback, but appreciate that the effort and cost would more than likely be quite hideous!

    Richard.
     
  3. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Evening all,

    I have been working on the book in quiet periods, getting it ready for publication (which is going to be early next year). I have as promised gone back to the Great Northern chapter and made some changes.

    Thank you to everyone who submitted feedback in the development of that chapter. It's much appreciated.

    Please find below the chapter in question for your perusal.

    Any issues, let me know.

    This will likely be my last update on the thread for this year. It has been an incredible year, with two lectures and a podcast, and much support and food for thought given.

    There are so many people to thank for their support - Lawrence Robbins at the Model Railway Club of London, Mark Allatt and Ian McCabe of the Gresley Society, Graeme Bunker of the A1 Trust, Chris Ellick of the MNLPS - you've all been so supportive of my work and I am very grateful. There are dozens more, and I have a full page's worth of thanks in the book ready!

    On that note - enjoy the chapter, and have a great Christmas.

    Best wishes,

    Simon

     
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  4. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    Nice one Simon - the podcast episode just ticked over 2,000 plays and is the most-viewed one :) Good way to end the year.
     
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  5. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Thank you again for indulging me on this. It was such a great piece of media to be involved with, and you were most patient during recording! Of all the media pieces I have been involved with this year, that is the one I am most proud to have been involved with. Thank you Corbs. :)
     
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  6. MarkinDurham

    MarkinDurham Member

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    Nice one, Simon. I look forward to your completed work. Compliments of the season to you and your family.

    Mark
     
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  7. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    No criticism from me but minor corrections of English required (concerns highlighted) :

    There was never any question of a wholescale rebuilding of the existing Gresley classes, which had been identified by Thompson as being essential to the “Non-Standard, to be maintained” classes as part of the total of 19 classes and he had envisioned as the L.N.E.R. concentrating on in the years going forward.

    Should read "that" ?

    Thompson, who had worked in many roles throughout his railway career. This included acting as one of Gresley’s assistants, a draughtsman and various roles at the head of major railway works. He would have well understood his remit and the limits of his role.

    Sentence incomplete ?

    When all is said and done, for a one-off locomotive, which was designed and built during one of the greatest conflicts of our time, surviving for so long into the diesel era: that it was always able to do a task asked of it, is all that matters.

    Different punctuation required ?

    Whilst there’s no doubt of Townend’s ability, knowledge or experience, I question if this is entirely fair. The Thompson front end in service did not suffer middle big end failures the like of the Gresley Pacifics in their working lives. Crank axle failures on the Thompson Pacifics were, on examination of the causes of failures through the engine cards at York, virtually non-existent.

    Possible rewrite to read : to the extent of the ...?

    Pardon my pedantry but I hope you will forgive me; nonetheless a book I look forward to reading. Have you found a publisher for this yet because - if not - could I suggest you contact Mortons to publish it as one of their bookazine collection ?
     
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  8. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Thank you Fred for those corrections - have corrected them this morning on my master copy.

    I had discussions with a publisher last year and during the course of this year, but I have got no further than that I am afraid. I am concentrating on getting it finished as a "ready to publish" manuscript at the moment but I will bear that suggestion in mind. Thank you for your thoughts.
     
  9. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    Hello Simon,

    In that one chapter I still do not see how you deal with Bert Spencer's comments - as you ignore them completely and any reference to them.

    You do not address any of the criticisms I have made of Dick Hardy's recollections, or of the 'old school tie' accusations I have made.

    Your failure to understand what 'Front End' deficiencies Peter Townsend described is indicative of a failure to assess properly any of the engineering concepts; just as one would expect of a model railway modeller, with no knowledge of locomotive valve gear, as is also indicative of your failure to understand the report of E.S. Cox.

    Cheers,
    Julian
     
  10. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Do you need to be quite so aggressively offensive?
     
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  11. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Remembering the discussion on thread, I see no reason why Simon or anyone else should have to address those comments. There has been plenty of discussion over the choice of sources, and their weightings. You are at liberty to disagree with that, but not to impose your own views on those of an author. The same applies to the Cox report or Peter Townsend's comments, and how they are interpreted.

    The book, when finished - and I hope it does get "properly" published, with the value that a decent editor can provide, rather than "just" being self-published - will stand or fall as a whole. Neither you nor I have enough material on which to form an overall judgement of the conclusions despite @S.A.C. Martin's very public sharing of material en route.
     
  12. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    That's fair up to a point, but where there is a substantial body of opinion based on person X saying such-and-such, but Simon has amassed evidence to the contrary, a few words exploring why person X may have made that statement and why it was mistaken wouldn't go amiss.

    I agree with the desirability of using a "proper" publisher if possible.
     
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  13. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Agreed wholeheartedly
     
  14. huochemi

    huochemi Well-Known Member Friend

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    Oi, what's this about "proper" publishers? I publish my own books and IMHO they are rather better than a lot of the stuff put out by "proper" publishers. I think, if I may be so bold, that what it needs is an editor.
     
  15. torgormaig

    torgormaig Well-Known Member Friend

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    I have to agree with Robin (@houchemi) about the excellent quality of his self published books. I was looking through a couple of them last week in the NRM's Search Engine library and was very impressed by both the quality of his research (into Chinese loco class history) and the production of the books. They are certainly far superior to the quality of "bookazine" type publications. But I'm sure Simon will persue all options once he has a finished product to publish.

    Peter
     
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  16. huochemi

    huochemi Well-Known Member Friend

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    That's very kind Peter. Usual fee?;)
     
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  17. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    You are unfair to criticise a portion of the book without knowing the contents and organisation of the whole. It may be that Simon feels discussion of the various points you raise should be discussed in other portions of the book yet to be read. That is the author's right and - until the complete thesis is available for comment - may not be the final form of the data that Simon has collated. AIUI Simon offered the text for interest and comments regarding the content; your comments could have been better offered rather than stated as an attack on a work still in progress.
     
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  18. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Hallo Julian.

    The chapter is on Great Northern, not Bert Spencer, Julian.

    I am dealing specifically and only with the locomotive 4470 in that chapter. Bert Spencer was not present at Doncaster works throughout the development of Great Northern and is therefore of limited value here. I have explained this before. That is the end of the matter.

    Your accusations are not based in reality, nor are they fair. They appear to be based purely on a personal level from yourself against Dick Hardy and public schools.

    Neither of which I wish to bring into the Thompson book (because I do not place much stock in your views on either subject). That too, is the end of the matter.

    Julian, I have asked you multiple times to explain your stance on this and multiple times you have not provided any evidence to the contrary.

    Your repeated personal attacks on me have now got to a stage where I am considering asking the moderators to limit your access to the thread.

    I have asked you, several months ago, to apologize for your past comments; which were not forthcoming. I politely asked you via direct message to stop posting in the thread, out of respect for the fact that every time you do, you add nothing of value and bring us into disrepute.

    As far as I am concerned - having said this once before - this will be the last time that I respond to you directly as I will be placing you on my "ignore" list, out of a desire to be kind to my own mental well being and sanity.

    That is the end of it, as far as I am concerned.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
  19. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    I would like to make it clear that Bert Spencer is not included in the Great Northern chapter as he was not present throughout its design process and is, in my opinion, of limited value to the discussion on the development of the lone Thompson A1.

    I have a separate chapter in which I write about Bert Spencer in any event. I have been careful to be objective where Spencer is concerned, however I - very much - think that his viewpoints have been overplayed in the Thompson story.

    We should try and focus on primary evidence from people who were there, together with stats, reports, and the like, which are objective in nature and not simply take at face value the opinions given (and in fairness I say the same of Dick Hardy's views - but then he has the advantage of having been someone who - did - work on Great Northern).

    The above chapter was published because I promised to republish it in this thread, as thanks to those who had provided feedback.

    Hi Fred - nailed it as usual. Thank you for your considered points.
     
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  20. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    I agree; but equally I want to place on record that I have written on Bert Spencer in another chapter within the book.

    Agree. Obviously I would prefer it stands - but if it falls, there is no shame in having tried. I have read more, and written more, and done more with this subject than almost everything else I have done in my life. It has taken up so much of my time, there has been blood, sweat and tears, and whatever other people think of the material is fine by me. I am proud for having stuck with it and done something productive.

    I could not have done that without the myriad of viewpoints and robust debate on this forum, which for the most part, has been respectful. Thank you all.

    I saw no reason to hide away the evidence from others. With everything I have found, I have talked about it here. I have shared the statistics, letters, and other finds, at the earliest opportunities. It fascinates me that we can still find out new things so long after the event.

    The Edward Thompson story is more dramatic, more emotive, and more life affirming than many have told it. For too long we have relied on writers who do not do their research. Now, with more material available, we can see a very different story unfold.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019

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