James W. Lowe's British steam locomotive builders


British steam locomotive builders. Cambridge: Goose, 1975. 705pp.[reprinted by Pen & Sword without Supplement in 2014]
Ottley 10510: "A comprehensive work embodying great detail." Includes both "company builders" (such as Robert Stephenson, and many obscure companies which must have been difficult to trace) and railway builders, such as the Midland Railway. The author had been a premium apprentice at the Wolverhampton Works of the GWR. The main arrangement is by company, but location might have been better, and some entries are under individuals (such as Hedley). There is a great deal of difference in the depth of detail between individual entries: some are relatively concise, others list the entire output. In some cases one suspects that Lowe incorporates all of the probably very limited information which is still available. Lowe clearly states where there is doubt about a company's output, but failed to state how the knowledge of a specific works had arisen. There are several excellent indexes and the illustrations had been chosen either beacuse of their historical interest or to illustrate some of the more unusual products of a specific works.. List of companies included. Bibliography was reasonably good, although Steam locomotive development is not there. Macnair (Backtrack, 2017, 31, 710) notes significant errors in entry for Neath Abbey (although his own work contains a major error).

The Aknowledgements (page 12) lists:
R. Abbott, Oxford;
The late G. Alliez;
G. E. Baddeley, Croydon;
M. Billington, Nuneaton;
Rev. E. Boston, Cadeby;
R. E. Bowen, Dinas Powis;
V. Bradley, Wirral;
R. Brown, Kilmarnock;
L. G. Charlton, Newcastle;
R. H. Clark, Norwich;
R. N. Clements, Co. Kildare;
E. Craven, London W1;
W. J. F. Davenport, Tollerton;
S. R. Devlin, London SE1;
G. Dow, Audlem;
A. G. Dunbar, Glasgow;
J. M. Fleming, Gosforth;
S. H. P. Higgins, Wolverhampton;
Dr. R. L. Hills, Manchester;
K. Hoole, Scarborough;
G. Horsman, Headingley;
J. Houston, Co. Antrim;
F. Jones, Loughton;
O. Jones, Tredegar;
S. A. Leleux, Keighley;
W. E. Loveridge, Whitby;
J. J. W. Lowe, Offenham;
A. Mackenzie, Edinburgh;
J. F. McEwan, Glasgow;
D. Martin, Kirkintilloch;
G. Moore, Beckenham;
J. Morley, Rayleigh;
J. M. Mowat, Glasgow;
W. G. Pearson, Liverpool;
J. D. Petty, Middlesboro';
A. R. Phillips, Leics;
K. Plant, Sheffield;
B. Radford, Derby;
R. N. Redman, Horsforth;
D. L. Smith, Ayr;
J. J. Smith, Airdrie;
W. A. Smyth, Birmingham;
D. H. Stuart, Glasgow;
C. H. Warrington, Dilhorne;
C. R. Weaver, Kenilworth;
R. Wear, Wellingborough;
B. Webb, Scarborough;
E. M. S. Wood, Ormskirk.

Libraries, Museums etc. Belfast Transport Museum Birkenhead - Williamson Museum Birmingham - City Museum and Art Gallery Bradford - City Art Gallery and Museum Cardiff - County Record Office Dublin - National Library of Ireland Dundee Museum and Art Gallery Eccles Central Library Edinburgh - Scottish Record Office Glasgow - Mitchell Library, Museum of Transport Leicester - City and University Libraries

The book is not faultless: Douglas Earle Marsh did not die in 1911 (page 396) but in 1933, and the Marsh Atlantics largely remained un-named until given names by Southern Railway.

British steam locomotive builders. Supplement Hickley: TEE publishing. 1984. 56pp.
Described as "rare" by some avaricious booksellers: personal copy cost £2.50 (secondhand).

Building Britain's locomotives, Moorland.
Review in Rly Wld, 1980, 41, 36: "worthwhile book and one that is highly recommended".

Educated King Edward VI Grammar School, Birmingham and became a premium apprentice at GWR Wolverhampton Works in 1928, but was transferred to Swindon after two years. In 1935 he joined British Timken and later became an Inspector for the South African Railways & Harbours. Just prior to WW2 he joined Rolls Royce Aero Division at Derby.

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