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: Wartime C.M.E. Discussion 2012 - 2021

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

  1. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Messages:
    6,819
    Likes Received:
    3,596
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Freelance photo - journalist
    Location:
    Southport
    Poorly worded perhaps but the intention was to point out the timing factor.
     
    Spamcan81 likes this.
  2. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    3,640
    Likes Received:
    4,963
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Apprentice Rail Engineer, MNLPS Treasurer, Author
    Location:
    Sidcup, Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I have now read Tim Hillier-Graves book and my personal view is that it has an array of excellent photographs, some never seen before, and we should be thankful to him for that at the very least. there are some truly astonishing photographs of Thompson, the man, but I would also say there's a lot of photographs which are not relevant to the Thompson story and are slotted in to allow for ambles away from focusing on the man himself.

    I am also very much of the opinion that there's little overlap between my book and his, particularly where research is concerned. Except in one area, for which I know - for a fact - that he hasn't had the primary evidence to hand when writing his book. So in short: by all means buy his book for the photographs, of which there are 250 in the 280 page book.

    I feel strongly that the biggest issue I see with railway writers - and has been the case for some time - is that far too many focus on photographs and secondary evidence. If you come out of this thread with one thing that is more important than anything else, it is that primary evidence is of the upmost importance when writing on any subject.
     
  3. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,163
    Likes Received:
    14,360
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Did you like the book-binding, and the type-setting too? ;) :)

    Glad it's not impinged on your work, I only hope that your potential publishers agree with that view, fingers crossed.
     
  4. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    3,640
    Likes Received:
    4,963
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Apprentice Rail Engineer, MNLPS Treasurer, Author
    Location:
    Sidcup, Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    It's a well manufactured book.
     
    Richard Roper, 5944, 35B and 2 others like this.
  5. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Messages:
    6,819
    Likes Received:
    3,596
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Freelance photo - journalist
    Location:
    Southport
    From personal experience I can say hat Pen & Sword books have both excellent photograph reproduction and finished quality pr
     
    Richard Roper and 46203 like this.
  6. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    3,640
    Likes Received:
    4,963
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Apprentice Rail Engineer, MNLPS Treasurer, Author
    Location:
    Sidcup, Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Reading the Tim Hillier-Graves book has proved to me that my book has the edge on virtually everything else by way of primary evidence from the LNER. Not trying to be arrogant - it's just a difference of approach and being able to have this discussion here allowed me to cast the net wider. An advantage of being a younger writer, perhaps! The photographs are of course excellent, I just question whether the claims on the rear of the book are entirely true.

    One thing has come up in the Tim Hillier-Graves that I will have to change, as it happens. It regards my chapter on Bert Spencer. Hillier-Graves has managed to get a hold of some letters from Spencer, writing about Thompson.

    We all may wish to read the book and revise our opinions on Thompson's treatment of Spencer, if nothing else.

    The letter reveals that Thompson and Spencer were rather closer than has been written on previously, to the extent that Thompson went out of his way to accommodate Spencer - and was the person that actually brought him into the fold closer for dealing with the standard classes. Spencer gained much from Thompson moving the department to Doncaster, in particular for his family and wife (both hailing from the north east originally) and the letter gives a completely different viewpoint on the Thompson-Spencer relationship.

    Frankly - if you read the section on Bert Spencer - you then completely revise your opinion and the truth is that Thompson and Spencer had an amicable, working relationship, with Thompson making arrangements for Spencer that suited his work and life in particular.

    So much so, that I must make amendments and credit Mr Hillier-Graves for this discovery accordingly.

    You see, one of the things I have been saying for years is that the Thompson story has been told in the worst possible way. This more or less proves it - other people speculating wildly on a relationship between two men and accusing one of being awful to the former. Now we have evidence that proves this wasn't true. Yet again.

    It is a shame that Mr Hillier-Graves did not engage in this discussion in this thread (or did he?) - his notes on the P2s and their rebuilds are highly inaccurate, unfortunately. He makes the claim that we don't have enough data on them - a quick glance at my spreadsheet reveals otherwise!
     
    jnc, 62440, Paul42 and 3 others like this.
  7. Victor

    Victor Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    12,459
    Likes Received:
    5,716
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    DEWSBURY West Yorkshire
    So, to summarise, your manuscript (at the publishers) has to be returned to yourself for a partial re write, and Mr Hillier-Graves book has too many photographs.
    I'm a bit confused as to exactly what career path you have chosen...........Engineering, author, or ???
     
  8. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,163
    Likes Received:
    14,360
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I'm a bit confused as to what point you're trying to make?
     
    Bluenosejohn, 69530, 62440 and 2 others like this.
  9. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    3,640
    Likes Received:
    4,963
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Apprentice Rail Engineer, MNLPS Treasurer, Author
    Location:
    Sidcup, Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Surely I can have an engineering career and also write books in my spare time if I so wish?
     
    MellishR, Bluenosejohn, 69530 and 4 others like this.
  10. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,162
    Likes Received:
    2,879
    Occupation:
    Once computers, now part time writer I suppose.
    Location:
    SE England
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Especially as I have my doubts that the income from Railway books constitutes a serious career unless one is able to knock them out very quickly indeed. Serious research costs significant time and money. The hourly rate for my book, which doesn't seem to have been a poor seller, is deplorable.
     
  11. 30567

    30567 Well-Known Member Friend

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,939
    Likes Received:
    2,251
    We've had enough of polymaths on here.:)

    Agreed, no money to be made out of books unless you are J K Rowling. Do it for love or not at all.
     
  12. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    14,921
    Likes Received:
    12,002
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Just so long as the research remains more consistently robust than, say, OS Nock;)
     
  13. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    6,614
    Likes Received:
    4,852
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Thorn in my managers side
    Location:
    72
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Perhaps @S.A.C. Martin hopes his book will achieve Harry Potter sales levels?
     
  14. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    3,640
    Likes Received:
    4,963
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Apprentice Rail Engineer, MNLPS Treasurer, Author
    Location:
    Sidcup, Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I'd be happy to just see it in print and doing some good - changing the viewpoints of people on Thompson.
     
  15. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Messages:
    6,819
    Likes Received:
    3,596
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Freelance photo - journalist
    Location:
    Southport
    Income from books is NOT a fortune; to put it into context I have used my own photographs in published books because if I paid the going publication fee to others I would end up paying to get the book published. As S.A.C Martin notes one publishes for (a) personal satisfaction or (b) simply to expand the knowledge in a specific field. Many do not realise the satisfaction gained from a physical book with one's name as author but the expense of getting to that stage often comes to more than any generated income.
     
    Eightpot, 30854, Bluenosejohn and 3 others like this.
  16. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,162
    Likes Received:
    2,879
    Occupation:
    Once computers, now part time writer I suppose.
    Location:
    SE England
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Amen to that... My publisher wanted some third party photographs in my book. I think the rate per image from my drawings, which the book is full of, worked out at a fraction of a percent of what the image libraries were getting. Its difficult, cataloguing and preserving a photo library is serious effort and they do deserve to make a fair rate, but damnit, that differential hurts. But to put it into perspective I did the sums, and a quick tour of the further reaches of the country to get photos of enough classes to more or less fill the gaps would have cost me more in fuel and cheap motel stays than it cost me to buy the images.

    Think that £35 book is expensive? I tell you, its not!
     
  17. andrewshimmin

    andrewshimmin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,622
    Likes Received:
    1,853
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Agreed re the very high cost of obtaining images: although sometimes if the subject is rare one has little choice. For my forthcoming Egypt book in many cases there is only one publishable photo of a class known to exist... Some of those with photo collections are very generous and delighted to help make the subject better known. Others I think often don't realise that what sounds like a modest charge per photo makes a small print run book unviable.
     
    jnc, 30854 and S.A.C. Martin like this.
  18. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,233
    Likes Received:
    1,697
    If important new evidence came to light, although published by someone else, every author (or engineer or scientist for that matter) with any integrity would wish to take account of it in their own work if there was still time before publication. After publication they might also need to accept with good grace any valid criticisms of their errors and omissions :) as I’m sure Mr. Hillier-Graves is doing now and Simon may have to in due course.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  19. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Messages:
    5,811
    Likes Received:
    5,931
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Brighton&Hove
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Getting O/T here (sorry), but I can't help but wonder about the sort of changes online-only publication will bring (aside from making this book lover despondent) e.g. How do things stand concerning utilising credited images already in the public domain? Including only links to same would save a hellofalotof download time, not to mention revolutionising the bibliography/referencing section. Maybe (away from dire online fiction) it's already happening and I just haven't noticed!

    I sincerely hope I don't live to see a day when physical books go dodo-wise. So often, there's absolutely no substitute for ferreting out a much loved volume and whiling away the hours ensconced in it's pages, hopefully going some small way towards balancing the care lavished by the author(s)
     
  20. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    3,640
    Likes Received:
    4,963
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Apprentice Rail Engineer, MNLPS Treasurer, Author
    Location:
    Sidcup, Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Which is precisely why I have updated my working drafts bibliography section to include Mr Hiller-Graves work, and to also acknowledge his work in my section on Bert Spencer, this week.
     
    Richard Roper, jnc, Paul42 and 3 others like this.

Share This Page