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FR & WHR & WHHR News

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by AndrewT, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. marshall5

    marshall5 Member

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    I'm afraid that I'll have to disagree as I don't have the proof to support that accusation. As far as being a "snob" I never found him anything other than friendly and approachable.
    BTW could you please refer me to any publications that you have authored so that I can judge them for myself.
    Ray.
     
  2. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Now I'm really confused .... Check the timeline for Little Giant from Festipedia (isn't that the online presence of FR Heritage?): https://www.festipedia.org.uk/wiki/Little_Giant I can easily believe LG was being mined for spares by the time Prince entered Blodge, but describing a loco seemingly dismantled a decade earlier as 'stripped down at the same time' seems a bit of a stretch. Weren't some parts also fitted to 'the Baldwin'? Can't recall if that was before or after preservation.

    I do recall Boyd's timeline for LG (appendix FR vol.2) stating 'dismantled, parts to Glan-y-Mor', but can't recall the date he ascribed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
  3. marshall5

    marshall5 Member

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    Ffestipedia quotes Palmerston as receiving Little Giant's boiler barrel in 1933, Boyd in 1932. I think that's a difference that makes no difference. Boyd does state that LG was "officially withdrawn" in 1932 leaving one to speculate that, in fact, it hadn't worked for some time and may have already been dismantled. I'm sure that a loco mileage record must exist which would give a fairly accurate date for LG ceasing work. It wouldn't be the first time that a railway with several similar locos 'mined' a withdrawn engine for spares as parts of IMR Nos 2&7 regularly appear around Douglas works despite the locos having been 'officially scrapped' seven decades ago and 5&9 (stored) are definitely missing quite a few bits!
    Due to its rough riding a pony truck was fitted to the Baldwin in Autumn 1957 and the framing for this reputedly contains LG's coupling rods. A buffer beam was used as an engine mount for the replacement diesel engine.
    Cheers,
    Ray.
     
  4. black5

    black5 Member

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    With a railtour coming to Blaenau yesterday, the railway laid on footplate rides with Hugh Napier and Chanoler. Attached is a video of their journey back to Minffordd, with Moelwyn for company.
     
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  5. garth manor

    garth manor New Member

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    It was very entertaining and a superb advert, topping a great railtour.
     
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  6. black5

    black5 Member

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  7. MartinBall

    MartinBall New Member

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    Anyone any news about the Isengard website? It's not been updated since 1oth July, and Barrie hasn't posted one of his 'holiday' notices....
     
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  8. pgbffest

    pgbffest New Member

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    He was at Blaenau last Saturday taking pictures of the Conwy Quest. If you want the accurate version of what is going on at the F&WHR you can either use their Facebook pages or go to http://insidemotion.co.uk/
     
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  9. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    They’re excellent but it’s good to have an unofficial perspective on it too - looking forward to Barrie’s next updates as always.
     
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  10. pgbffest

    pgbffest New Member

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    Unofficial or inaccurate?
     
  11. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    Of course I can forgive the occasional inaccuracy from railway journalists and other unofficial sources, it doesn't seem to be much of an issue. Just as I forgive the tendency towards blandness that you often find in official websites and publications. It's good to have both.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
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  12. meeee

    meeee Member

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    Little Giant is taken into the works in May 1924 and stripped for heavy overhaul. A report to the board around that time says the chassis is in fair condition but it requires a new boiler. There is no mention of it after that until 1929 when the tubes are stripped from the old boiler and sold for scrap.

    Making lots of assumptions in the Boyd style. I'd say that the boiler is condemned and the chassis is put to one side awaiting a new one. Unless it is stealthily reassembled then it last runs in 1924. Not officially withdrawn just stripped and forgotten.

    In addition to this in the early 20s LG is seen frequently working the WHR however the Baldwin arrives mid 1923. Perhaps by 1924 it has made LG surplus to requirements.

    Things on the FR then deteriorate until in the 1930s it is robbed for parts. The front wheel set is under Welsh Pony and the coupling rods still exist. The weighbar shaft is still in the Prince.



    Tim
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
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  13. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    The Festipedia entry for James Spooner has a 1932 photo of Little Giant's removed tank at Glan y Mor yard.
     
  14. meeee

    meeee Member

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    That doesn't tell us much though. We know it wasn't running after 1929 as there were no tubes in the boiler.

    Tim
     
  15. pete2hogs

    pete2hogs Member

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    I do get a little fed up with this snide attitude towards Boyd. The modern assumption seems to be that because official records disagree with what he reported he was making it up. Well I know from my own personal experience that what official records say - and indeed what management say - can have almost no connection with what is happening on the ground. This tendency will naturally increase where there is hostility and indeed cultural differences between management and operatives on the ground, and more so if the operation is short of cash and increasingly ramshackle as was the case with the FR in the 30's and 40's and the NWNGR/WHR for the whole 20th century.

    This does not mean that Boyd should always be taken as gospel, but neither should official records. No source is infallible. And there is no need to go making detrimental comments about people's character. Surely we've had enough of that with Edward Thompson.
     
  16. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    One problem all railway history tends to suffer from is that, not generally being written by historians, it doesn't have the same standards of referencing and sourcing as other genres of history. This makes it very difficult to judge the accuracy of a work, because you, the reader, can't see what the author is basing their thesis on: real evidence or their own imagination?

    A non-Ffestiniog example is the claim, often published, that the GCR London Extension was built to some form of continental gauge. If you go back to original documents it is clear that this isn't true; but people still believe it is because they've read it in a book. The person who put it in that book must have got the idea from somewhere, but there is no way to tell where!

    My own assumption with Boyd is that he gathered a large amount of oral history in the 40s and 50s from people such as Robert Evans, that a lot of the content relating to the ~1900-1946 period is derived from this material, and that it is heavily coloured by his sources' opinions.

    Of course Ffestiniog scholarship is much better than that available for a lot of railways, partly down to Boyd himself, but since he was writing things have come along a long way, for example with the books of Peter Johnson, or Jones & Dennis's "Little Giants". They do in my opinion suffer a bit from an overly-chronological "this happened...then this...then this" style of writing, and you could probably carve two or three separate concise theses from some of the ideas in "Little Giants", but they are a great step forward and the reproduction of original source material by both is fantastic.
     
  17. huochemi

    huochemi Member Friend

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    I don't disagree with your general point (and posters on NP could take note rather than putting out dogmatic unsupported statements!). Some of us authors do try and provide footnotes and sources, but one has to strike a balance as academic texts are often difficult to read as the flow is interrupted by the rather slavish adherence to Harvard/Cambridge rules or whatever. One also finds oneself being mentally deferential to such texts until you realise they are often just as flawed as any other, e.g. by their omission of sources or lack of any legal analysis being brought to company structures etc. It is of course a truism that two heads are better than one and if you can get collaboration (real collaboration that is, not just picking up the typos) it is likely to lead to a better product. I take the view that my books (for instance) are works in progress and partly put out there to stimulate further input/discussion (albeit generally there is a deafening silence!).
     
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  18. meeee

    meeee Member

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    I think the issue with Boyd isn't that he didn't have access to what we know now. It's more that he did but didn't use it or even cross reference the oral history he gathered. On top of that he damaged and destroyed documents through his own carelessness which prevents them being used by anyone else.

    I happen to agree that his style is much more readable than Peter Johnson who's work I find very dry. They just have a laissez-faire attitude to accuracy and detail.

    I think "Little Giants" trys to hard to include plenty of colour about the lives of the people involved rather than just a list of things that happen. Where things can't be proven the authors present what they know and suggest theories without presenting them as a solid gold fact. For me this makes it a much more interesting book than if it was just a list of things that happened .

    Tim
     
  19. paullad1984

    paullad1984 Member

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    As a side note I'm just rereading immortal rails and finding book two very enthralling. Haven't read it for years.
     
  20. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

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    The simple solution to that is: don't use the Harvard system!

    At both school and university, I have always been taught to use footnotes. Unlike in-line citations, they do not interrupt the flow of the text; but unlike endnotes, they are within sight of the text they refer to, which saves the reader having to constantly flick back and forth to the end of the book.

    I reject the idea that academic texts will always be dry. It is perfectly possible to write narrative histories which read like novels, and yet are still academically rigorous and fully referenced. A People's Tragedy by Orlando Figes would be a good non-railway example. (Be warned, though, it is a long read!)
     

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