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. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    32,287
    Likes Received:
    16,381
    Occupation:
    Training moles
    Location:
    The back of beyond
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    You have the wrong impression I’m afraid but never mind.
     
  2. RLinkinS

    RLinkinS Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Messages:
    621
    Likes Received:
    650
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Which book did Langridge write that in? I would like to understand his opinion of Stanier.

    Sent from my SM-A105FN using Tapatalk
     
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    21,140
    Likes Received:
    39,482
    Location:
    215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Under Ten CMEs. Langridge didn't explicitly say anything against him as I recall, but the strong sense I got from reading the book was the more I read, the less I thought of Stanier. He seems to have relatively little input into the design of locos, which, OK, as we have thrashed out on this thread isn't particularly the role of the CME. But where he did introduce practice from Swindon, it often didn't seem to work very well first time round, as if he didn't quite understand what he was suggesting. And, I think most damningly, if the role of the CME isn't about designing locos, it is surely about producing a coherent department, and it seems to me that Stanier still seemed to struggle between the competing Derby, Horwich and Crewe schools.

    OK, I may have read more into the account than was actually intended, but my sense would be not to put him perhaps quite the high pedestal where many suggest he belongs. Maybe I need to read more, the LMS being somewhat foreign territory for me.

    Tom
     
    MellishR, RLinkinS and S.A.C. Martin like this.
  4. Eightpot

    Eightpot Well-Known Member Friend

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Messages:
    7,165
    Likes Received:
    1,580
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Engineer Emeritus
    Location:
    Aylesbury
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    "Under 10 CMEs", Volume 1 Dugald Drummond to W. A. Stanier 1912-1944" by E. A. Langridge by the Oakwood Press, 2011. ISBN 978 0 85361 701 3.

    The is also a Volume Two covering C. E. Fairburn to J. F. Harrison 1944-1959 as ISBN 978 0 85361 716 7.
     
    RLinkinS likes this.
  5. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2014
    Messages:
    11,090
    Likes Received:
    10,720
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired, best job I've ever had
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    To balance up that view, read Cox's Locomotive Panorama.
     
    RLinkinS, Bluenosejohn and Cartman like this.
  6. Cartman

    Cartman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Messages:
    1,207
    Likes Received:
    876
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I know he struggled a bit with the Jubilees at first, they had problems with steaming, due to low degree superheating. Changes to the blast pipe and chimney dimensions helped and this transformed them. The first 113 were ordered straight off the drawing board and were initially a disappointment, but became excellent engines (another of my favourite classes of loco!)
     
    Bluenosejohn likes this.
  7. 69530

    69530 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    69
    Gender:
    Male
    What about the 0-4-4 tanks 41900-41909 did they not spend most of the 50's in store, I certainly never saw one in steam, and were they needed in the first place ?
     
  8. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,248
    Likes Received:
    3,149
    Occupation:
    Once computers, now part time writer I suppose.
    Location:
    SE England
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Umm, if we discuss the possible shortcomings of every CME of every line this thread will achieve truly stupendous size.
     
  9. Cartman

    Cartman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Messages:
    1,207
    Likes Received:
    876
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I don't think Stanier had anything to do with thise those, they were outstanding orders when he took over, a bit like the Q class on the southern when Bulleid replaced Maunsell
     
    Bluenosejohn likes this.
  10. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2014
    Messages:
    11,090
    Likes Received:
    10,720
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired, best job I've ever had
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Not Stanier engines, they just happened to be delivered after he had taken over. Basically an updated Midland design
     
    Bluenosejohn likes this.
  11. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    3,847
    Likes Received:
    5,541
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Asset Engineer (Signalling), MNLPS Treasurer
    Location:
    Sidcup, Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I wonder if other writers who wrote on historical figures received similar commentary when they were developing their work?

    I, in fact, haven't.

    ES Cox - engineer, brought in as an advisor to Stanier - no direct experience of Thompson locos until after Thompson.
    OS Nock - Timekeeper - no direct experience aside from a few logs.
    Cecil J Allen - Timekeeper - no direct experience aside from a few logs.
    Bill Harvey - some practical experience with some classes, his memoirs do not line up with the company's records. Who is right?

    Who else is there that I have "rubbished" - ? Lots of exaggeration coming from some quarters today.

    Neither was Andrew Roden, he's written some excellent histories on railways. Neither was Andrew Hardy: his book on the Gresley P2s is a must read. There are countless other writers who "weren't born when steam was king" that have gone on to write some excellent, well researched volumes on steam locomotives and railways. They don't seem to get the criticism I do.

    Maybe it's because I put out my work for review on social media? Maybe it's because I am challenging some long held and well established (but incorrect) views? Maybe it's because - shock horror - a fresh eye has revealed a lot of mistakes that some past generations have made when writing. Who knows?

    For someone to be this rattled by my work and what I say, it must be hitting pretty close to home.
     
    Matt37401 and MellishR like this.
  12. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    3,847
    Likes Received:
    5,541
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Asset Engineer (Signalling), MNLPS Treasurer
    Location:
    Sidcup, Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Entirely fair point Noel, thank you.
     
    jnc likes this.
  13. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,977
    Likes Received:
    6,069
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Although perhaps if the same rigour were applied in assessing the merits of other designs and designers there might be a substantial revision of railway history.

    Just as an example I was reading a book written in the early 1970s that made the claim that the drivers of the GSWR hated the Caledonian and the LMS because the GSWR was a stronghold of Scottish Presbyterianism. I am not saying that it is not true but there was no evidence or reference provided for the claim. With no peer review etc and just generally lower standards of evidence, anecdotes often get presented as fact.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2021
    MellishR and S.A.C. Martin like this.
  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    21,140
    Likes Received:
    39,482
    Location:
    215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Is Alex aware? :eek:

    Tom
     
    Kje7812, 35B and flying scotsman123 like this.
  15. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,651
    Likes Received:
    15,457
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    We have a selection of reverends/canons etc. Who volunteer with or are connected with the railway but I'm not sure what denomination they are! :)
     
    Jamessquared likes this.
  16. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    3,248
    Likes Received:
    3,149
    Occupation:
    Once computers, now part time writer I suppose.
    Location:
    SE England
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    It was an irritation to me that having carefully provided references for information sources in my book, the publisher made me take them out because footnotes weren't 'house style'.
     
  17. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    3,847
    Likes Received:
    5,541
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Asset Engineer (Signalling), MNLPS Treasurer
    Location:
    Sidcup, Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The point is Ralph that if we look at someone's opinion, and check whether it is correct, and find it lacking (whether because it doesn't line up with what we know, or the dates don't match, or even - as per recently - there weren't enough locomotives in service to make a big generalized claim about an entire class) then we can't just say "oh well, he's still right" can we?

    I'm not going to apologise for ruffling a few feathers with my work: it's quite obvious there has been some absolute bilge written down the years about Edward Thompson, and if we're all serious about railway history here, then we shouldn't be afraid to call out something as being wrong, if it is wrong.

    For the same reason that if I get something wrong, I hope someone points it out to me, so I can correct myself and my work for the future.
     
    69530, MellishR and jnc like this.
  18. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    3,847
    Likes Received:
    5,541
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Asset Engineer (Signalling), MNLPS Treasurer
    Location:
    Sidcup, Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Which is a fair point entirely. However...

    I just want to throw it out there - we had a HUGE ten page discussion on Bert Spencer in this thread, some time ago. We discussed how badly Bert Spencer was treated by Thompson - whether that was true - after all, J.F. Harrison said this was so, it must be true!

    Tim Hillier-Graves recent book on Thompson quotes directly and indirectly from letters Bert Spencer wrote about Thompson. Surprise surprise - Bert Spencer himself doesn't think he was maltreated by Thompson - the upshot is that we discover he was much closer to Thompson's inner circle and the development of locomotives in the department than we first thought.

    So we had viewpoints which claimed that Thompson sowed discord, gave a specific example, and now with research and evidence, we discover - yet again - that wasn't the case.

    It happens so often with Thompson's story that - for someone like me, doing the research - it is really difficult to not perceive a pattern of behaviour, from a select few people. It was said earlier in the thread that there was something of a smear campaign against Thompson - I feel strongly that it's not a full on conspiracy, people planning to do this, but the whole thing does have an air of many different writers egging each other on to write worse and worse accounts of him. An historical race to the bottom, so to speak.
     
    MellishR and jnc like this.
  19. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    16,144
    Likes Received:
    13,184
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    It was emerging, not well worked.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  20. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    10,634
    Likes Received:
    4,404
    Really? I have always considered it a given. Certainly in all tbe time ive been interested in the subject so sibce the late 60s. I've never seen it argued not to the case.
     

Share This Page