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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. 30567

    30567 Well-Known Member Friend

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    That would be great Simon.

    Reading another thread, it looks as though you need a comparative chapter on Webb and Thompson!
     
  2. RLinkinS

    RLinkinS Member

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    I think Simon will need a rest after this marathon, much as I enjoy and appreciate his efforts.

    Sent from my SM-A105FN using Tapatalk
     
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  3. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Okay, thought occurs - I could do this as an online presentation and web chat effectively.

    Discuss each slide - explain the thoughts behind them - note down any questions - we can talk out answers - ! I will see what if anything I can publish that is NRM or Kew archive material.
     
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  4. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    I have started my next book's research. Appropriate to my role as treasurer of the MNLPS, I am going to write a book on the development of Bulleid's Merchant Navy locomotives during wartime.
     
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  5. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Hallo everyone!

    Welcome to my Coronavirus special presentation on Edward Thompson: Wartime C.M.E.

    I will be posting a series of slides taken from my lectures given last year. I will include notes below some slides to help contextualize the information. New posts will be every half hour or so.

    Feel free to ask questions, challenge, and more.

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    So the reason I ask this question at the start is see what other people think the story of Edward Thompson is.

    I'd like to invite everyone to throw in their thoughts and open it up for discussion...
     
  6. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    So carrying on - here's a few slides with some quotations on Edward Thompson throughout the last sixty years.

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    So as we can see, there is a wealth of people out there who have been willing to comment on Edward Thompson, the man, the engineer, and the person.


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    I have very much wanted to focus on new sources of information and contextualizing Thompson's actions and decision making in light of these new sources.

    Below I have slides on the three main new sources of information that have been at the forefront of my writing on Edward Thompson.


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  7. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    So, an important question:

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    So a quick recap on what we know to be factual where Edward Thompson is concerned, including a recent find, his exact mentions in dispatches from WW1 for acts of heroism.


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    So as we can see, Thompson had a long and varied career prior to taking over as C.M.E. of the L.N.E.R. and it would not be an understatement to say his breadth of experience across many different roles and departments made him entirely suitable for the role.
     
  8. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    So let's focus a little on some of his work done under Sir Nigel Gresley.

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    So, the next few slides will address an elephant in the room. Several authors have made claims that Thompson wasn't the L.N.E.R.'s first choice for the C.M.E. role.

    There is no evidence for this claim, and in fact the emergency board notes and records in fact show a very different story. Thompson was likely to have been the first choice and had been acting up in Gresley's stead, for some time (up to six months, if we judge it on his attendance on Gresley's behalf and also for the decisions delegated to him).


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  9. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    So Thompson was appointed pretty swiftly after Gresley's death. What was his job though?

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    With the above in mind - what was the situation he inherited?


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  10. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    So with that in mind, what can we see in the form of statistics that allows us to quantify what those issues actually meant to the L.N.E.R. and Thompson?

    The document outlined below is one of the Kew Gardens documents, which I have been converting into a wide ranging spreadsheet of statistics on the LNER's motive power.

    Initially I only had 1942-1947, but now thanks to the engine cards from York, and a few other documents, I have been able to collate stats from the 1930s into the 1950s for a wide range of LNER locomotive classes.

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    So, what have the statistics I have collated shown? Largely, the conclusions below:


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  11. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    So - one of those "new" (or should I say, rediscovered) sources of information includes the E.S. Cox/Sir William Stanier report.

    This report was commissioned in 1941 by the L.N.E.R. at Thompson's suggestion, and published in 1942 to the L.N.E.R. Emergency Board and acted on after the board agreed measures of improvement.

    It was an internal document, not for publication, and was specific to the direction of engineering the L.N.E.R. should take in the short term and the long term going forward.

    Cox wrote the report on Stanier's behalf, but both men attended Doncaster works, and were furnished with the internal statistics such as the availability ones, together with being able to examine work going on locomotives under repair.

    This document is available in a range of locations including the Science Museum Group here: https://collection.sciencemuseumgroup.org.uk/documents/aa110092433

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    So the big question - what happened next? What did Thompson and the L.N.E.R. board decide to do after the publication of the report?

    We actually have evidence for this in the emergency board notes, again:


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  12. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    At which point, I am going to take a break for a few hours and come back to this later. Hope this has been of interest so far!

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  13. sir gilbert claughton

    sir gilbert claughton Member

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    i was hoping for "The Webb Compounds - Fact and Fiction"

    guess i'll have to wait a bit longer
     
  14. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    So good morning everyone! We will finish the presentation today by going through Thompson's actions whilst in the job.

    So Thompson's intentions were to produce new, small range of standard locomotives, together with retaining the most useful and largest classes as "non-standard, to be maintained".

    The intention was to withdraw every other locomotive class in favour of these 19 classes.

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  15. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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  16. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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  17. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    So how did Thompson's policies really affect the L.N.E.R.? The answer is, not as much as he'd desired. He wanted to reduce the number of loco classes to 19 types, with around 20 boiler combinations.

    The L.N.E.R. had in 1948 around 163 boiler types and 170 loco classes, and with British Railways coming to the fore, were unable to do the mass scrapping and renewal of loco stock that had been intended by Thompson, and then Peppercorn, thereafter.

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  18. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Okay, time to generate more heat than light!

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  19. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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  20. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Annnnnnnnnnnnd now for the big one.

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    From this, to this:



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