Biographies of chairmen, managers
other senior railway officers
The arrangement is alphabetical (surnames beginning):
Steamindex home page
This is regarded mainly as a by-product page as the main slant on biography is towards steam locomotive engineers, although it must be never forgotten that several senior officers, including the General Manager and Civil Engineer had greater influence than the Locomotive Superintendent and that board members, who might also hold other directorships were capable of considerable influence
Born 20 December 1862; died 15 October 1922 (Who Was Who) Briefly General Manager, GWR from 1919, but had to resign due to ill health (it had been undermined during WW1) in June 1921. Had been Superintendent of the Line since 1910. McDermot History of the Great Western Railway rev. Clinker.
Allen, William Philip [Bill]
Who Was Who notes that he was born on 11 November 1888 and died on 4 May 1958. Bonavia's British Rail: the first 25 years records that staff matters, perhaps inevitably, were entrusted to an ex-trade-unionist. W.P. ('Bill') Allen, former General Secretary of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen, who was short and cheerful, with a fine old-fashioned waxed moustache. His approach was friendly and down-to-earth, and he made the move from one side of the negotiating table to the other appear quite effortless. He was not in the least inclined to try to payoff old scores, and showed a warmer personality than his counterpart in the British Transport Commission, John Benstead from the NUR, even though he may have lacked Benstead's intellectual powers. His real success was shown by the fact that he had no enemies on either side of the negotiating table. A faintly malicious yet quite affectionate story was told about Bill Allen, derived from his dislike of formality and his insistence upon using Christian names. When he was momentarily unable to remember the name of someone whom he might be clapping on the shoulder, he always fell back on 'Arthur', so that a number of pseudo-Arthurs were always around in the dusty corridors of No 222.
McKillop's The lighted flame includes a wealth of information on Bill Allen: "He is the born trade union leader. His is an unfailing humour and understanding of humanity, and he is quite unaware of his natural qualities. It was inevitable that he should gravitate to the ranks of the Associated. His father, a prominent member of the Society, which he joined in 1886, was not enthusiastic when young Bill Allen decided to join the railway service. I expect Allen senior had visions of young Bill becoming' something better' than an engine driver. Our future General Secretary joined the G.N.R. at Homsey as a cleaner. A1 No. 60114 was named W.P. Allen.
Allport, Sir James Joseph
Born in Birmingham on 27 February 1811 and died in the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras on 25 April 1892 (ODNB). (Marshall gives incorrect date of death). Ellis' Midland Railway noted that the Midland's great general manager, James Allport, steered the company through the troubled seas of nineteenth-century boom and slump, and had brought it to its renaissance. He was a characteristic eminent Victorian of the best type, astute and forceful, yet genial and kind, not unaware of his merit, but regarding it with the same sort of satisfaction as he would have done in considering others.
By 28 he was chief clerk to the Birmingham and Derby Junction, and shortly after became general manager. He was made redundant on formation of the Midland Railway, but George Hudson placed him in command of the Newcastle and Darlington Junction, which he saw expand under his management into the York, Newcastle and Berwick. In 1850 he went as general manager to the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, and thence, in the same office, to the Midland in October, 1853. In the spring of 1854, he joined the Midland Board, but in 1857 he returned to office as general manager. From this he retired at the beginning of 1880, returning to the Board to fill the vacancy left by Edward Shipley Ellis, who had been chairman since 1873. A diplomatic move of 1877, which did not bear fruit, was for the joint acquisition by the Midland and the Great Northern of Allport's sometime command, the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway.
On retirement he was presented £10,000 by vote of the Midland proprietors. In 1884 he was knighted for his services to cheap travellers. He lived to see the fiftieth anniversary of the Railway Clearing House, of which he was the father, and died, full of years, within sound of the Midland engine whistles.
Towards the close of his long and active career, Sir James Allport said: "If there is one part of my public life on which I look back with more satisfaction than on anything else, it is with reference to the boon we conferred on third-class travellers. I have felt saddened to see third-class passengers shunted on to a siding in cold and bitter weather-a train containing amongst others many lightly-clad women and children-for the convenience of allowing the more comfortable and warmly-clad passengers to pass them. I have even known third-class trains to be shunted into a siding to allow express goods to pass. When the rich man travels, or if he lies in bed all day, his capital remains undiminished, and perhaps his income flows in all the same. But when the poor man travels, he has not only to pay his fare, but to sink his capital, for his time is his capital; and if he now consumes only five hours instead of ten in making a journey, he has saved five hours of time for useful labour-useful to himself, his family, and to society. And I think with even more pleasure of the comfort in travelling we have been able to confer on women and children. But it took twenty-five years to get it done."
Ellis British railway history (page 331) noted that he was known as "the Bismark of Railway Politics" .
ODNB biography by William Carr revised by Robert Brown. Also biography by Terry Gourvish in Dictionary of Business Biography. Biography in Vaughan's Railwaymen, politics and money (Appendix 5: gives alternative death date)
Nock, O.S. Railway enthusuast's encyclopedia
Anderson, Sir Alan Garrett
Born 9 Maarch 1877 (son of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson. Died 4 May 1952 (Who's Who). Controller of Railways, Ministry of War Transport, 194145; Chairman of Railway Executive, 194145. Director of LMS and Chairman of the Railway Executive from 1941. Chairman of Anderson Green & Co. and of the Orient Line. MP for the City of London 1935-40. Many business interests. See Burgess: A tour of inspection... LMS Journal, 2007 (18), 75..
Armytage, Sir George John
Born on 26 April 1842. Chairman of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway from 1887 to 1918. Died 8 November 1918. Marshall Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway. V. 2 and Who Was Who
Ashfield (Lord): Albert Henry
Born at New Normanton in Derbyshire, son of Henry Knattriess, on 8 August 1874. Father worked for Pullman and emigrated with his parents to USA in 1880. Having entered transport management on the Detroit Street Railway he became the General Manager of the Public Service Corporation of New Jersey and was sent to London by the Yerkes Group to become General Manager of the Underground Electric Railways in 1907. He was President of the Board of Trade between 1916 and 1919 and became the first Chairman of the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933. He was knighted in 1914 and made Baron Ashfield of Southwell in 1920. He died on 4 November 1948. Biography by Theo Barker in ODNB. Also given prominence by Hendry. See also Stephen Halliday's Fraud, liquidation and ingratitude. Backtrack, 2008, 22, 437 for portrait with daughter. John Helm regards the death of Lord Ashfield in the year that the British Transport Commission was formed was a crucial loss (Backtrack, 2010, 24, 654.). Blue plaque at 23 South Street London W1 see Humm J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc.,, 2015, 38, 252..Elliot on Ashfield.
Born in York on 3 July 1847 and died at Ulverston on 28 April 1928 (Peter Robinson, Backtrack, 2005, 19, 762). With frontispiece portrait. Son of a railwayman with same name, who had been GNR Divisional Superintendent at York and Peterborough. Brought up in those cities and education included that at Peterborogh Grammar School. Subject joined GNR at Nottingham, and then moved in 1872 to GNR Headquarters at King's Cross (Audit Office). He then joined the Eastern & Midland Railway at King's Lynn as Chief Accountatnt. He became Secretary and General Manager of the Cambrian Railways in 1891, before moving to the Furness Railway in 1895 as its General Manager. Rly. Mag. 1898, 3, 122-37.. Rush's Furness Railway traces his final energetic career until he retired from the FR in 1918 at the age of 71..
Surnames beginning "Ba"
Born 5 December 1865. Educated Eton (presumably reasons for name selected to start Schools class) and Sandhurst. Military career. Director National Provincial Bank. Chairman Southern Railway from 1924 until his death on 7 May 1932. Bonavia History of the Southern Railway record that he was a General, the Hon. Everard Baring of the famous merchant banking family. He had been Military Secretary to the Viceroy of India and was a director of several banks and insurance companies; his interest in railways had started in 1913 with the Rhodesia & Mashonaland Railways, where he was involved in reorganisation. On the Southern he was well able to deal with questions of external relations and public policy, especially over the negotiations about the proposed removal of Charing Cross Station to make way for a road bridge. He was described after his death as 'one of the kindest and bravest of men', and a friend wrote that 'no eyes could express so much amusement'; the nickname of 'The Imp' given him in boyhood stayed with him, so far as intimate friends were concerned, to the end. This would make him an excellent foil to the quiet and serious Walker. He was barely sixty when he became Chairman and his seven and three-quarter years at Waterloo covered the period of the Southern's major progress, especially electrification. His death on 7 May 1932 must have saddened Walker a great deal. Elliot shows how Baring was instrumental in the Southern Railway acquiring a public relations officer.
Barrie, Derek Stiven Maxwelton
Born 8 August 1907 in Newport (Mon.); died 24 June 1989. Barrie was like George Dow: a professional railwayman, a PR man, and someone who could write. His main area of enthusiast interest was Wales and he was to contribute one of the better volumes in the Regional History series Educated Apsley House, Clifton and Tonbridge School. Career in London and provincial journalism (Daily Graphic, Allied Newspapers, etc), reporter and sub-editor, 192432. Joined LMS Railway in 1932; on return from war service, rejoined LMS, 1946; PRO Railway Executive, 1948; Chief PRO British Transport Commission, 1956; Assistant Secretary-General., BTC, 1958; Assistant General Manager, York, 1961; Chairman., British Railways (Eastern) Board, and General Manager, British Railways Eastern Region, 196870. Member. Council, Institute. of Transport, 1968. Served with Royal Engineers, 194146; Hon. Colonel 74 Movement Control Regiment, RE and RCT, 196167; Major, Engr. and Rly Staff Corps (T & AVR), 1967, Lt-Col 196873. Bronze Star Medal (US), 1945. OStJ 1968 Author A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain, vol. 12, South Wales, 1980; numerous railway historical books and monograph. History of the Taff Vale Railway published by Oakwood Press and reviewed in Locomotive Mag., 1939, 45, 157. OBE 1969 (MBE 1945). Mainly Who Was Who. Ian Allan Driven by steam.manages to call him "Barry" whilst contributing an astute assessment of him: "Derek whom I first knew as PRO at Euston whilst Dow was at Liverpool Street. I did not particularly like him. I thought he was supercilious and pompous but he became more friendly in later years when he was appointed PRO to the British Transport Commis- sion but I always felt he was slightly hostile. He certainly tried to put me in my place in print once or twice when I had kicked over the traces probably spurred on by John Elliot, the Chairman of the BTC, who himself once wrote me a stern letter threatening the withdrawal of all 'facilities' if I made any more public criticisms of BTC affairs. But no-one can deny that Barry was a wonderful story-teller and his after dinner tales of exploits on railways in the Welsh valleys were apocryphal. He ultimately became GM of the Eastern Region at York which was rather surprising as he was always so much an LM man: a queer quirk too that he outran Dow, essentially an LNER man who only made it to Divisional Manager in the LM Region before retiring."Books: Modern locomotives of the L.M.S. London: LMS, . 34pp. + 12 plates Ottley 6825 : see also advertisement by The Locomotive Publshing Co. in Rly Mag., 1938, 83 (493 July) p. xv where notes that Coronation is in colour, and letter Backtrack, 2007, 21, 125 (letter by Paul Ross), "Review" in Loco. Rly Carr. Rev., 1937, 43, 335. Notes that cover illustration was colour painting by M. Secretan The Sirhowy Valley and its railways with Charles E. Lee reviewed Locomotive Mag., 1940, 46, 244.
Barrington-Ward, Victor [Sir Michael]
Born in Worcester on 17 July 1887. Died in 1972. Bonavia's British Rail: the first 25 years notes that railway operating on the Railway Executive was placed under V.M. Barrington-Ward, former Divisional General Manager (Southern Area) of the LNER. B-W, as he was universally known, was tall, with very blue eyes and a rather austere, clean-shaven face (Hughes LNER contains a portrait). He was a member of a distinguished family, his brothers including an editor of The Times and a famous surgeon. His early training had been on the Midland Railway under that wayward genius (Sir) Cecil Paget who, as General Superintendent, had, with J.H. Follows, introduced the pioneer system of train control, later extended to the whole LMS. B-W had transferred to the LNER where his fondness for Midland practices led him into a prolonged tussle with C.M. Jenkin Jones, the supreme exponent of the alternative North Eastern Railway control principles. B-W was famous for his taciturnity. He seldom gave reasons for his decisions, but always commanded respect even from those who disagreed with him. And if a decision was taken over his head with which he disagreed, he would still loyally carry it out. His loyalty to the Midland Railway was legendary; Jenkin Jones once wrote of B-W 'putting on his Derby hat and, facing the North West, saying his morning prayers to the gods of the Midland Pantheon. Rly Mag., 1927. 61, 414-15 (includes portrait) notes that he was educated at Westminster School and Edinburgh University where he obtained an engineering degree. During WW1 he became a Lieut Colonel in the Railway Operating Division and received a DSO The Times obituary (31 July 1972) notes that he died on 28 July 1972 and was born on 17 July 1887 at Duloe. This obituary observes his bravery in both World Wars and his uncompromising integrity and undeviating tenacity of purpose"Modern developments in railway operating practice presented to Institute of Transport meeting in November Locomotive Mag., 1937, 43, 371.. Operational organisation in Railway Executive. Unification of British Railways: administrative principles and practice. London: Modern Transport. 1951..
Assistant General Manager, LNER: according to Bonavia (The four railways p. 71) dour Scot who managed traffic apprenticeship scheme which ensured excellence of LNER management. Author of several books including official World War II history
Born 10 January 1897; died 24 January 1979. Educated King’s School, Peterborough. Served in Royal Navy during WW1. General Secretary, National Union of Railwaymen, 194347; President International Transport Workers’ Federation, 1946; Member: Advisory Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, 194348; Colonial and Economic Development Council, 1947-48; Royal Commission on Press, 1946; Deputy Lieutenent Cambridgeshire (formerly Huntingdon and Peterborough), Member British Transport Commission, 194761 eventually Deputy Chairman. Knighted 1953; CBE 1946. Bonavia noted that when entrusted with labour relations he was "a tough not to crack in every way". Remainder Who Was Who.,
Bird, Charles K.
Died in 1958. Chief Regional Officer of the Eastern Region of British Railways. He was a former LNER man whose intellectual qualities (he had been a Wrangler at Cambridge) were outstanding. He had a quick wit and on occasion a biting tongue: see also his mordant observations on Sir Brian Robertson. The impression he gave was that the ordinary office tasks of a manager scarcely extended his brain sufficiently and could bore him. Sadly, the signs of poor health which were to lead to his death in 1958, at the age of barely 60, were already beginning to appear. Bonavia British Rail: the first 25 years. Terry Jenkins Sir Ernest Lemon includes a couple of pictures which feature Bird and observes that he served on the Railway Chairmen's Commission during WW2.
Born 7 August 1899; died 26 September 1979 (had retired 1961). Served World War I from 191719, France, Belgium, Germany. Last Chief Goods Manager (from 1946) of the Great Western Railway: initial member of the Railway Executive where Terry Gourvish in British Railways, 1948-73: a business history. (1986) noted that an intensive publicity drive was organised by David Blee with the aim of cutting wagon turnround time and freeing idle stock. A wagon discharge campaign, which started in November, cut the average daily 'leave-over' of loaded wagons by a third, releasing about 35,000 wagons by the end of the year; and average terminal-user time for all vehicles, loaded and empty, was reduced from 2.13 days at the beginning of the campaign to 1.96 days only four weeks later. These examples, by showing what could be done with more determined management, suggest that the companies had failed to seize earlier opportunities for lessening the effects of austerity restrictions. He was General Manager of the unwieldy London Midland Region between 1956 and 1961. Bonavia's British Rail: the first 25 years noted that Blee was slim and clean-shaven, and that his rise had been rapid on `the Great Western. "He was a man of great sincerity and inner kindliness, but his ambition and a certain lack of humour made it difficult for him to relax. He saw himself as a super-salesman of railways and liked to relate how, when in his younger days, he had been Goods Agent at Slough, he had been accustomed after office hours to walk down to the Great West Road to watch the lorries passing and to consider each one an insult and a personal challenge. [He} lacked the downright approach of some of his colleagues, and was not an intellectual like C.K. Bird or Jenkin Jones of the LNER or Wood of the LMS. It was perhaps not surprising that David Blee built up his supporting team very largely from his old company. Great Western influence in commercial matters was looked at with some doubts by those from other companies, however, because that railway had adhered to the old-fashioned system of leaving passenger commercial matters under a Superintendent of the Line primarily concerned with operating. Bonavia Br. Rlys Illustrated, 2, 102 relates how he floundered on the London Midland Region (was too verbose and Woolly minded and was retired early. Loco. Rly Carr. Waon Rev., 1956, 62, 19-20 gives a summary of an Institute of Transport paper entitled Trends in British transport. A review of commercial principles in Railway Executive. Unification of British Railways: administrative principles and practice. London: Modern Transport. 1951... Photographs from an album presented to him on his retirement. Backtrack, 2020, 34, 306.
Bolton, Sir Ian Frederick Cheney
Baronet, born on 29 January 1889, and sent down from Scotland to Eton. Served in WW1. Chartered Accountant. Served during WW1 and on British Transport Commission from 1947 to 1959. Chairman of the Scottish Area Board from 1956 to 1965. President of the Scottish Boy Scout Association. Lord Lieutenant of Stirlingshire. Died 12 January 1982. See article by A.J. Mullay in Backtrack, 2009, 23, 262 for his contribution to railway walks.
Bonsor, Sir [Henry] Cosmo Orme
Born at Great Bookham into a brewing family (Combe, Delafield & Co.) on 2 September 1848. Educated at Eton. Involved in consolidation of brewing industry. Chairman of the South Eastern & Chatham Managing Committee and formerly Chairman of the South Eastern Railway from 1898. "During his tenure of office the two railways, once the butt of music-hall jokes, became models of technical advance, efficiency, and competent management, although the price of rationalization was high, resulting in the addition of £9 million to the capital account between 1899 and 1912". Director of Bank of England and MP. Died in Nice on 4 December 1929.. ODNB entry by Terry Gourvish.
Surnames beginning "Br"
Chairman Cambrian Railways: 1886-1900 (Rly Mag., 1900, 7, 190)
Burgess, Henry Givens
Born at Finnoe House in Tipperary on 6 April 1859; died 23 April 1937. Lived in Ireland in Kingstown and at Enniscorthy in County Wexford. Was Director of the Great Southern Railways. See Whitehouse and St John Thomas' LMS 150 page 38 for brief pen portait of Rt. Hon. H.G. Burgess; also M.C. Reed's The London & North Western Railway: a history. He had been successively the LNWR representative in Scotland, then in Ireland where he was the Director of Transportation in the latter part of WW1. He became the second General Manager of the LMS and served in that capacity between 1924 and 1927: there he was known to senior staff as "The Right Honourable Gentleman" due to being a privy councillor and Senator of the Irish Free State: .
Bury, Oliver Robert Hawke
Born 3 November 1861. Son of barrister; educated Westminster. Great uncle first Manager of GNR in 1847. From 1 January 1879 he was articles as a pupil to W. Adams of the LSWR. In 1881 he went to Hunter & English where he worked on a floating crane and on the construction of a distillery (Marshall). Having been Assistant Engineer on the Coleford Railway in October 1884 he was approinted resident engineer of the Great Western Railway of Brazil under Alison Janson, also becoming locomotive superintendent in 1885. In 1892 he was appointed Chief Engineer and Manager of the Great Western Railway of Brazil, in 1894 he moved to a similar position on the Entre Rios Railway in Argentina and then to the Buenos Aires & Rosario Railway. He became General Manager of the GNR in England on 1 July 1902. He was a member of the Ralway Executive Committee during WW1. In 1912 he resigned and joined the Board of the GNR and became a Director of the LNER until his resignation in December 1945 shortly before his death in London on 21 March 1946. He retained widespread business interests including many in South America. Considering his background it is not difficult to see why the senior managers of the LNER had to be of the calibre of Gresley and Wedgewood to be able to survive.
Railway Magazine 1908, 22, 441.
Bushrod [Deputy Operating Superintendent, Southern Railway and ex-LSWR] was one of the dwindling generation of officials who believed in doing things in style; we put up at the best hotels, and for our tour a large and comfortable car with a liveried chauffeur was engaged for the day. On our return to London by a semi.fast making several stops, the position of the reserved compartment on the train was notified from one stop to the next so that the stationmaster and his chief inspector, all spruced up, would be on the spot as the train drew up to make obeisance and give an account of their stewardship during the stop, just as if Bushrod were a potentate-quite amusing! Later in January we investigated shunting on the Somerset & Dorset line at Templecombe. Holcroft. Locomotive adventure.
Butterworth, Sir Alexander Kaye
Born Henbury Court, Gloucestershire on 4 December 1854; died London 23 January 1946 (confirmed Times obituary). Educated Marlborough College and London University; graduated LLB 1877. Barrister of Inner Temple 1878-83. Entered solicitor's dept, GWR, 1883, Was active in Railway Rates Inquiry 1889-90. Clerk to Bedfordshire County Coundl 1890-1. 1891 appointed solicitor to NER until 2. Msarch 1906 when he succeeded George S Gibb as general manager NER. Under his administration the NER brought into use the Riverside Quay at Hull for the joint NER/LYR steamer service to Zeebrugge, in 1907; new excursion platforms at Scarborough, 1908. He negotiated the NER interests in the South Yorkshire Joint Railway, the AxhoIme Joint Railway and the High Level Wear Bridge, Sunderland, 1909; the Shildon-Newport electrification and the NER/HBR Joint Dock at Hull, 1914. In 1913 he was chairman of the General Managers' Conference of the Railway Clearing House. He was knighted 1 January 1914. Member of Railway Executive Committee during WW1, and of the Railway Advisory Committee associated with the Ministry of Transport. Served on the Civil Service Arbitration Board 1917-20, 1921-2. His last task before retirement in 1921 was the NER/HBR amalgamation. In 1884 he married Julia Wigan who died in 1911 and their only child, the composer George Butterworth, born 1885, was killed in WWl in 1916. According to Blakemore's review of Bill Fawcett's The North Eastern Railway's two palaces of business (Backtrack, 2008, 22, 189) opted to work in that railway's London office. Geoffrey Hughes shows how Butterworth was excluded from the management of the LNER in favour of R.L. Wedgwood who became the General Manager of the group. Times obituary notes that he appeared at Wimbledon in the early days of the tennis championship; also notes his fairness and sympathy in dealing with questions of employment. Ottley lists three books which he authored: A treatise on the law relating to rates and traffic on railways and canals. London: 1889 (O 3554); The practice of the Railway and Canal Commission (O 3555) and The law relating to maximum rates and charges on railways. London: 1897 (O 3571)
Surnames beginning "Ca"
Born March 1870. Joined LNWR as a Cadet in 1886, under Mr Neal, Superintendent of the Line. In 1898 he became Chief Outdoor Assistant to the Superintendent of the Line and in 1901 he became Personal Assistant to Sir Frederick Harrison. In 1902 he left the LNWR to become the General Superintendent of the Caledonian Railway (see NBR Study Group Journal No. 32 for correspondence with W.F. Jackson in 1908/9) and in October 1908 he was promoted to the position of General Manager (see Railway Magazine 1908, 22, 368), but two years later he left to become the General Manager of the Buenos Ayres and Pacific Railway (Locomotive Mag., 1910, 16, 135) and in 1913 he was offered the post of General Manager of the LNWR, but Sir Frank Ree did not provide a smooth transition for Calthrop, and it was only following Ree's death in February 1914 that Calthrop was able to take up his appoinment, just on the outbreak of WW1. For much of WW1 he was seconded to the Board of Trade and died from influenza at the early age of 48 on 23 February 1919. Thus the LNWR and the LMS had lost a brilliant manager. Reed. MC. London & North Western Railway. 1996.
Cameron, Thomas Forbes
Cameron was educated in Edinburgh, but began his railway career as a traffic apprentice on the North Eastern Railway in 1912 and saw service in the 1914-18 war in the Northumberland Fusiliers, and the Directorate of Light Railways in France. After filling numerous District Office posts, he went, in 1934, to the York Headquarters, eventually being appointed assistant divisional general manager. He joined the chief general manager's staff in 1942, and later became assistant general manager (Works and General). He returned to Scotland in 1943 as Acting Divisional General Manager in 1943. With some reluctance on the part of the BTC, which would have prefered Robert Inglis; nevertheless, Cameron became Chief Regional Officer of the Scottish Region at a salary of £3,750, well in escess of that of the CROs of either the Eastern or North Eastern Regions (Mullay: Scottish Region). Bonavia (British Rail: the first 25 years) noted that his LMS counterpart had been due for retirement: TFC was certainly one of the ablest men in the railway service though this did not always appear in his rather lugubrious assessment of situations. His achievement in welding together the ex-LMS and ex-LNER components in the new Region testified to his capacity, though some amusement was caused by his insistence upon continuing to occupy a flat in the North British Hotel, Edinburgh, and travelling daily (by car) to his new Regional Headquarters in Glasgow.
Campbell, Lt-Col Hon. Henry Walter
Born 23 March 1835; died 17 December 1910. Director LSWR. Served with distinction in Crimean War, 185455.
Born in Allendale House, Wimborne in 1807. Died in Eastleigh on 17 July 1876. Solicitor from Wimborne Minster, who according to Ellis's South Western Raiilway was rich helped to promote the Southampton & Dorchester Railway which followed a wayward route which came to be known as Castleman's Snake or Castleman's Corkscrew. He briefly became Chairman of the LSWR,
Churchill, Viscount (Victor Albert Francis
Born on 23 October 1864 and died 3 January 1934. Extremely aristocratic Eton-schooled, Guardsman became Chairman of the GWR in 1908, and remained so until his death. Biographical details from Who was who (electronic version). Portrait in Nock's Great Western in the twenieth century. Churchill also chaired a couple of shipping companies. Strutt (Backtrack, 2014, 28, 308 et seq footnote 7) asserts that hee "served with immense success as GWR chairman for 25 years", but in spite of being a senior courtier his domestic life was a shambles. The previous footnote (on expenditure at Fishguard) hints that capital may have been wasted thereat. Fell out with brilliant Sir Felix Pole who took off for AEI (a significant move because Great Western Railway failed to tackle electric traction). See also Nock, O.S. Railway enthusuast's encyclopedia
Claughton, Gilbert Henry
Born 21 February 1856, son of the Bishop of St. Albans. Educated Eton. Apprenticed at Beyer Peacock. Studied at King's College, London. Mother was related to Earl of Dudley and Claughton became chief mineral agent for the Dudley Estates. He was mayor of Dudley and a director of the United Counties Bank, as well as of the LNWR. He became Chairman of the LNWR in 1911. Reed noted that he had a quiet humour and includes a portrait of him with senior drivers at Crewe. Suggests that early death (27 June 1921) was due to the arduous demands of WW1. Mostly Reed, but also Who Was Who.
Nock, O.S. Railway enthusuast's encyclopedia
Charles Forbes-Trelusis, 21st Baron Clinton resided at Heaton Sackville near Petrockstowe. Owned large estates and was Chairman of the Forestry Commission as well as a Director of the Southern Railway. See Burgess: A tour of inspection... LMS Journal, 2007 (18), 75.
Surnames beginning "Co"
Cobbold, John Chevalier
Member of greatly respected Suffolk family: involved in formation of Eastern Union Railway from Ipswich to Colchester, especially the Act of 19 July 1844 and was also behind the Ipswich to Bury line and its amalgamation with the EUR. (Allen, C.J. The Great Eastern Railway. Also driving force behind Tendering Hundred Railway (Railways South East, 2, 183) and Hadleigh Railway (Backtrack, 2018, 32, 714).
Colville, Charles John, 1st Viscount of
Born 23 Novemeber 1818. Died 1 July 1903. Educated Harrow. (Who was who) According to Lord Colville's report to his directors [of the GNR] at Kings Cross, Moon presided over a. small gathering consisting of Sir Daniel Gooch (Great Western), Lord Colville (G.N.R.) and the Chairmen of the Caledonian, L.S.W.R., L.Y.R. and Midland Railways. Moon opened by referring to the Great Eastern's request [for through carriages to Birmingham], 'which has led me to consider the brake question seriously'. He thought 'the time would soon come when the Board of Trade would go to Parliament to compel the adoption of an automatic brake'.
Lord Colville continued Engineers should meet to discuss the possibilities of this coupling. Webb claimed that most Locomotive Engineers were in favour of the vacuum brake pure and simple, but all the Chairmen at the meeting were of the opinion that it would be impossible to prevent the principle being made automatic. We finally decided that the Locomotive Engineers of the several Companies should meet to discuss the feasibility of adopting a universal continuous brake. Brown Great Northern locomotive engineers V.1. On page 210 Brown makes the tantalizing statement that Colville as a member of the Locomotive Committee had "shown great intereset in Stirling's work."
Conacher, Charles L.
General Manager Isle of Wight Central Railway. Rly Mag., 2, 401. Son of John Conacher below: see Rous-Marten Rly Mag., 2, 567.
Railway Magazine Illustrated Interview, 2, 289 states that career began on Scottish Central Railway. He then moved to Cambrian Railways where he was, in turn, Accountant, Secretary and General Manager, from whence he moved to NBR as General Manager on 11 August 1891 at a salary of £2500 per annum. His sojourn on the NBR was far from happy as he was forced to resign through Board manoeuvres worthy of Macbeth, where one of the main players was Wemyss who actually built a railway to serve his coal mines in competition with that of which he was supposedly Chairman. Other great railway managers, such as Sir Henry Oakley were shocked at the mistreatment of Conacher and some returned their free passes to him for his personal use to show their distaste for the corrupt NBR Board. See Donald Cattenach NBRSG Journal ((92), 16. See also John Thomas (North British Railway, Vol. 2). Having served the new electricity supply industry, Conacher returned to railway management on the Cambrian Railways.
Born on 22 November 1808 at 9 Quick Close, Melbourne, Derbyshire.Thomas Cook organized a special train (excursion) from Leicester to Loughborough to run on 5 July 1841 for those wishing to attend a temperance meeting. In 1842 an excursion to Edinburgh was organized. His son, John Mason (born in Market Harborough on 13 January 1834; died on 6 March 1899, at Mount Felix, his residence in Walton-on-Thames) joined his father in the business which grew rapidly during the Great Exhibition of 1851. The Parish Exhibtion of 1855 encouraged foreign travel: over 100,000 travelled with Thomas Cook. In 1865 his son became a Partner in the business. Offices were established in Fleet Street, London. In 1865 America was visited to encourage travel to Europe including the British Isles. Tours to the Holy Land and to Egypt were started in 1869. Died at Thorncroft, Knighton, Leicester, on 18 July 1892. Piers Brendon ODNB. Statue outside Leicester station see Backtrack, 2011, 25, 740 Railway Magazine 1898, 3, 40-8.
Cotton, Edward John
Cotton was born in Rochester (Kent) on 1 June 1829. He joined the GWR in the Traffic Department at Paddington in October 1845 and moved to the Railway Clearing House as a clerk in 1847. In 1853 he became the Manager of the Waterford & Kilkenny Railway and in October 1857 he beacme Manager of the Belfast & Ballymena Railway. In 1866 he was paid £1000 per annum, the highest salary in Ireland, by which time the railway had become the Belfast & Northern Counties Railway. In 1869 this was increased still further to £1200 per annum. Cotton retained an interest in the Railway Clearing House and in the Irish Railway Clearing House. He was Chairman of the Irish Railway Managers' Conference from 1864 until his death on 14 June 1899. He was appointed by the government as general investigator for the Congested District Board for Connaught and was responsible for the construction of the Balfour Lines. He was well-known in Ulster literary circles as an interpreter of Shakespeare. He features as a character in Delina Delaney by Mrs Amanda McKittrick as The Father of Steam Enterprise. Currie Northern Counties Vol. 1.
Joined the B&NCR in 1869 as an apprentice in the Manager's Office. In 1885 he became Cotton's Princioal Assistant, but lacked Cotton's sparkle. Currie Northern Counties Vol. 1.
Cox, Edwin Charles
Born 3 January 1868. Son of a South Eastern Railway railwayman: joined railway in 1883. Became Superintendent of the Line of SECR in 1911. Greatly assisted in successful operation of WW1 traffic. Chief Operating Superintendent of Southern Railway where he chaired electrification steering committee. Traffic Manager Southern Railway 1930-36. Lt. Col. in Engineer and Railway Staff Corps. Founder member of Institute of Transport. Died 9 December 1958.. See SR 150 and Who Was Who. See also Jeffrey Wells: 'Actively Engaged in Public Service', Backtrack, 2008, 22, 360 (includes portrait).
Born in Normanton, Yorkshire, in 1739. Family tradition indicates that a bitter quarrel with his father led to Richard leaving for London when aged sixteen.. He apprenticed himself to a Thames Street ironware merchant named Bicklewith. Crawshay's career was an exercise in self-improvement in the classic Smilesian mould, being the subject of an encomium in Samuel Smiles's Lives of the Engineers (18612). By 1763 Crawshay was in sole possession of Bicklewith's business. wharfs and warehouses, before settling at George Yard, Upper Thames Street, which was to be the London base of the Crawshay family firm until 1864. By the 1780s Crawshay was probably London's leading iron merchant. However, his pre-eminence in the capital was not enough. He was attracted to becoming an ironmaster in his own right: in 1786 Anthony Bacon, master of the Cyfarthfa ironworks at Merthyr Tudful, died. Crawshay had been in partnership with him as a supplier of guns to the Board of Ordnance during the American War of Independence. The guns had been cast at Cyfarthfa and he leased Cyfarthfa from Bacon's estate and devoted an increasing amount of his time to the development of the works. By 1793 Crawshay claimed to have laid out £50,000 on new plant at Cyfarthfa. He did so with effect. A survey of pig iron production in 1796 identified Cyfarthfa as by far the largest ironworks in Britain, casting 7204 tons when average output per works was a mere 1562 tons. The expansion of smelting was more than matched by a massive growth in forge capacity at Cyfarthfa. Indeed, it was in the field of iron refining that Crawshay made his most signal contribution to the British iron trade. He was the sponsor of the ‘iron puddling’ technique of Henry Cort, pioneered as a commercially viable process at his works in the late 1780s and which revolutionized the production of malleable bar iron in Britain. Cyfarthfa attracted industrialists and technologists from across the world. Crawshay died on 27 June 1810 and was buried at Llandaff Cathedral, attended by vast crowds from Merthyr. ODNB biography by Chris Evans
Born in 1764: ironmaster and merchant, the only son, of Richard Crawshay. Little known of Crawshay's early life and education, only that he joined his father's business as a young man. It was the beginning of a tempestuous career. Like his father, William Crawshay was a masterful character and he found it difficult to work under his father and this led to repeated estrangements. Increasingly, William Crawshay was entrusted with running the firm's merchant house in London, while his father remained at Cyfarthfa. A fresh quarrel in 1809 led to the old man's revising his will. William Crawshay was replaced as his father's executor and residuary legatee by Benjamin Hall. and would have been left without a share in the ironworks, but for a belated reconciliation through which he acquired a three-eighths share in the Cyfarthfa works. For much of the next decade Crawshay strove to reverse this humiliation and make himself the undisputed master of Cyfarthfa. The Cyfarthfa ironworks was the largest in Britain, producing 24,200 tons of pig iron from eight blast furnaces in 1823, yet the functioning of the Crawshay firm was far from smooth. He tested the Gurney engine adapted for travel on a tramway and was very impressed by its watertube boiler. William Crawshay, the Iron King, died on 11 August 1834 at his suburban mansion at Stoke Newington, Middlesex. ODNB biography by Chris Evans also E.A. Forward. Gurney's railway locomotives. Trans. Newcomen Soc., 1921, 2, 127.
Surnames beginning Da
Born in London on 17 October 1854; died 18 April 1928. Came from Northumbrian family, hence Lord Wooler. Newspaper proprietor and financier (The Standard and Evening Standard). Became a journalist in New South Wales on the Sydney Echo and in the USA. Introduced taxis to London..Chairman of Pullman Car Co. from 1915. President of Board and General Manger of International Sleeping Car Co. from 1919. Owned Thomas Cook. MP for Lambeth 1910-1927. ODNB entry by A.E. Watkin revised by Chandrika Paul.
Darbyshire, George Lional.
Born 30 May 1883 in Manchester. Darbyshire had been the last (acting) President of the LMS and became the Chief Regional Officer of the London Midland Region. His expertise lay mainly in labour and establishment matters, where the LMS had a larger and perhaps more bureaucratic organisation than any other of the four main lines. His term was not long, since he retired in February 1951. Accompanied Princess Elizabeth on visit to Wolverton Works in 1948: Locomotive Mag., 54, 54. As a CRO he supported his colleagues well, but at this time Euston needed a stronger hand at the helm as noted in Bonavia's British Rail: the first 25 years.
Born in 1874. Joined LYR telegraph department in 1890. Attended lectures on railway economics at Manchester University and obtained a scholarship. Involved in train control. Lectured at school of signalling. General Superintendent Northern Division LMS. Chief Comercial Manager 1932-8. Vice President from 1938-1944. Awarded CVO in 1939. Noted in account of Institute of Transport Congress response to Bilbrough's call for a National Transport Board. (Locomotive Mag., 1929, 45, 208). Marshall noted that he was an "approchable, cheerful and friendly man." Died 1 February 1958. Marshall Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway. V. 2 and Who Was Who. Terry Jenkins Sir Ernest Lemon paints a different picture of a man determined to retain and acquire additional powers. Pearson Man of the rail (p. 94): wrote that Ashton Davies, a vice-president, retired after 54 years of railway service; and so departed one of the most colourful of senior officers of the railways in this country. He is still talked about with affection by those who were in the service in his time. I was pleased when he wrote me a characteristically generous letter in January, 1948, from his home in St. Annes-on-Sea on my appointment at the Railway Executive. Retirement 31 August 1944: Locomotive Mag, 50, 139.
Born at Llandinam, Montgomeryshire on 18 Decemeber 1818. Came from a Calvinist Methodist background. Worked as a sawyer, but became involved in railway building mainly for the constituent companies of the Cambrian Railways in association with Thomas Savin. He was a contractor to the Pembroke & Tenby and Manchester & Milford Railways, but got into coal mining before the collapse of railway activity following the Mania. Following his involvement in Ocean Collieries he became the leading figure in the development of the Barry Railway. He died in Llandinam on 20 July 1890 (Marshall).. See Ivor Thomas: The Sawyer: a biography of David Davies of Llandinam (Carmarthen ,1988) and Herbert Williams Davies the Ocean: railway king and coal tycoon. Cardiff, 1991. He gave financial backing to James Metcalfe, inventor of the exhaust steam injector: hence Davies & Metcalfe. After his death his son Edward took his place.: Metcalfe, Richard. Davies & Metcalfe Ltd: railway engineers to the world. 1999. "Davies was a rugged, frugal, self-made capitalist, a relentless business competitor, who remained close to his chapel roots. Severely puritanical and sabbatarian in outlook, he also had a great fund of homely anecdotes about village mores, in both Welsh and English. He was a public-spirited philanthropist, and was perhaps the most influential Welshman of his time". Kenneth O. Morgan (ODNB). Covick, Owen. R.W. Perks and the Barry Railway Company, Part 1: to early-1887. J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc., 2008, 36, 71-83 Kenneth O Morgan biography in ODNB who notes that only son Edward died in 1898. Identical statues at Barry Docks and at Llandinam see Humm J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc.,, 2015, 38, 252...
Not in Marshall: problem is the diversity of names: Beckett and Grimthorpe (baronetcy). Michael Harris contributed an excellent biographical sketch in the Oxford Companion at Denison, Edmund Beckett (1836-1905). He was the parliamentary counsel for the Great Northern Railway in its fight to establish itself. His father Edmund Denison was the company's first Chairman and he was born at Gledlow Halll near Leeds on 29 January 1787 and died in Doncaster on 24 May 1874 (and is in the ODNB with an entry by Iain McLean). Presumably this brusque Yorkshire family must delight in baffling searchers in the ODNB.
Nock, O.S. Railway enthusuast's encyclopedia.
Born in 1860, son of Goods Manager, North Eastern Railway Hull. Denniss joined the NER at Hull under his father. He served on both the NER and GWR until he became Superintendent of the Central Division of the NER in 1892 until becoming General Manager, Cambrian Railways in 1895. Died on 8 December 1917 (Who Was Who)..
portrait: C.C. Green's Cambrian Railways p. 58
See G.A. Sekon. Rly Mag 3 313-28. Further comment on Denniss's character in correspondence relating to Welshampton accident: see J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc., 2011 (211) letters from Peter Johnson and R. Maund
Dent, [Sir] Francis
Born 31 December 1866, son of Admiral C.B.C. Dent. Joined LNWR in 1884. By 1901 he had become District Traffic Manager. Joined SECR as Chief Goods Manager in 1907 and was General Manager from 1911-20: resigned in 1920 due to disagreement with Chairman Cosmo Bonsor. (Bonavia History of the Southern Railway) who described him as an "autocratic and somewhat difficult character". Died 4 June 1955..
John Thomas (North British vol.2) considers that Deuchars was a key figure in the Aberdeen races. From being an outdoor assistant earning £550 per annum he was promoted in November 1893 to be Superintendent of the Line earning £1000 and this was increased to £1250 in February 1896 and £1500 in February 1898.
Docker, Frank Dudley
Born 26 August 1862 in Smethwick, died near Amersham on 8 July 1944. Helped to reorganize the British heavy electrical industry and served as a director of two of the railways which exploited electric traction: the Metropolitan Railway and the LBSCR, and subsequently the Southern Railway. Who Was Who and R.A.S. Hennessey Dudley Docker Backtrack, 2008, 22, 164. ODNB entry Richard Davenport-Hines. Also highly involved with Metropolitan Carriage & Wagon Co.: brief obituary Locomotive Mag., 1944, 50, 120. Dudley Docker: the life and times of a trade warrior by R.P.T. Davenport-Hines. Cambridge University Press (available as e-book). Robert Humm. Dudley Docker and the railways. J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc., 2017 (230), 176-86
Douglas, John Montieth
Accountant and one term member of the NBR Board (John Thomas): his financial investigations at Cowlairs Works led to the resignation of Thomas Wheatley and his brother.
Drummond, Brigadier-General Sir Hugh Henry
Born at Clovelly Court in Devon on 29 November 1859; died 1 August 1924. First Chairman of Southern Railway: he had becomre involved with railways ovr the opening of the branch to Budleigh Salterton: this led to him becoming a a Director of LSWR in 1900 and Deputy Chairman from 1904.. He was a landowner with a background in banking: Director of National Provincial and Union Bank of England; Deputy Chairman, Alliance Assurance; Ended WW1 with rank of Honourary Brigadier General. Created a baronet in 1922. Member, Royal Bodyguard of Scotland. Who Was Who and Bonavia History of the Southern Railway.
Surnames beginning E
Born 30 June 1792 in Lancaster and died in Manchester on 22 June 1851. Originator of the card railway ticket. Trained as a cabinet maker, but became a clerk at Milton on Newcastle & Carlisle Railway where he invented card ticket, but employer not interested so he took his idea to the Manchester & Leeds Railway which adopted his idea. The tickets are still used on most "preserved railways", such as the North Norfolk Railway. Basics from Marshall. See also entry by Michael Farr in Oxford Companion. also in ODNB entry by G.J. Holyoake, revised by Philip S. Bagwell. Michael Farr, David Geldard and John Tilly. 150 years of the Edmondson ticket. Railway World, 1988, 49, 232 which notes GB Patent 8538/1840 for printing/numbering machine.
Edwards, Charles Lewis
Died 11 May 1928; born Winchester in March, 1865. Entered the service of the L. & S.W. Ry. in 1881; was appointed accountant to the North West Argentine Ry., Tucuman, March, 1890; appointed accountant to the Buenos Aires and Rosario Ry., July, 1895, and upon amalgamation of that company with the Central Argentine Ry. was appointed chief accountant in July, 1902; was appointed chief accountant of the Great Northern Ry., England, March, 1903. He was appointed chief accountant of the L. & N.E. Ry upon its formation. He was a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and Incorporated Society of Accountants and Auditors, Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, and of the Royal Horticultural Society; a Freeman of the City of London, and a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Turners, was Chairman of the Accountants Standing Committee and of the Railway Clearing House from 1913 to 1920 and 1925 onwards, and Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Railway Benevolent Institution, a post which he has occupied since 1922. CBE obituary in Locomotive Mag., 1928, 34, 203 states was much interested in locomotive matters. Who Was Who notes prominent Freemason,
Born John Elliot Blumenfeld in London on 6 May 1898. Educated Marlborough College and Royal Military College Sandhurst, but opted for a career in journalism. Like Dow and Barrie, Elliot became a railway manager following work in public relations, although Sir Herbert Walker had recruited him as an aide. Bonavia: Railways South East, 1993, 3, 182 states that he was unusual for railway management by being part Jewish and having been a journalist. Appointment as Chairman Railway Executive see Locomotive Mag., 1951, 57, 32. He eventually became Chief Regional Officer of the London Midland Region. Chairman of London Transport 1953-67. Chairman of Thomas Cook 1953-67. Died in London on 18 September 1988. Author of autobiography: On and off the rails: reviewed in Rly Wld, 1982, 43, 541. . ODNB entry by C.S. Nicholls. Obituary notice by Julian Morel (Rly Wld, 1988, 49, 729) noted his support for the Pullman services and improvements in services to France. Foreword to Railway Executive. Unification of British Railways: administrative principles and practice. London: Modern Transport. 1951...
Surnames beginning F
Fay, [Sir Samuel] Sam
Born Southampton 30 December 1856. Educated Blenheim House School Fareham. Entered LSWR as a clerk in 1872. Was Chief Clerk at Waterloo by 1884. In spring 1892 he became General Manager of the M&SWJR and General Manager of the GCR from March 1902. Director General of War Transport duing WW1. Died Romsey 30 May 1953. See Marshall. ODNB entry by George Dow revised by Ralph Harrington. which notes that Fay had a "magnetic personality"
Books where Fay was author
A Royal road: being the history of the London & South Western Railway from 1825 to the present time. Kingston-on-Thames. 1882. Ottley 6608
The War Office at war. London: Hutchinson, 1937. Ottley 516
John Neville Greaves. Sir Sam Fay. Book Guild. receives an extensive review in Backtrack, 2018, 32, 637.
The Managership of the Great Central Railway. Rly Mag., 1902, 10, 23-5.
Biography by Jack Simmons: Dictionary of Business Biography
Nock, O.S. Railway enthusuast's encyclopedia
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst
Born 10 June 1857 (Wikipedia 2011); died 31 March 1942 (Who Was Who). Chairman Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway from 1919. Conservative MP Middleton Div. of Lancashire, 190006, Exchange Division, Manchester, 192435. One of two Deputy Chairman on LMS.
Fiennes, Gerard (Gerry) Francis
Full name Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes. Born 7 June 1906. Died 25 May 1985. Educated Winchester and Oxford. (Who was Who) Joined LNER in 1928 as a traffic apprentice and rose to Board level on British Railways: Chairman Western Region, then Eastern Region. His I tried to run a railway is a classic. David St. John Thomas encountered his widow Jean in Journey through Britain. (page 489)..
I tried to run a railway. London: Ian Allan, 1967.
Reviewed by MJ in Railway Wld., 1967, 28, 504
Recollections of some lesser LNER locomotives. in Hughes, Geoffrey. A Gresley anthology. Didcot: Wild Swan/Gresley Society, 1994. pp. 67-70.
As perceived by the Assistant Yard Master at Whitemoor in 1931. The O2s were the most powerful locomotives, but these were limited southwards to working to Temple Mills. There were difficulties in getting enough work out of these locomotives, although the speed was greatly increased when March Town was playing at home. The J39 class was regarded excellent, although prone to rolling. Eventually K3 class locomotives were acquired for the Norwich to Whitemoor workings
Chapter 17 in Peter Townend. LNER Pacifics remembered: .
Joined London and North Western Railway service in March, 1904, and after obtaining experience at a number of goods and passenger stations, and in the Northampton and Liverpool Goods Managers' Offices and the Swansea District Traffic Superintendent's Office, was appointed Outdoor Assistant to the Superintendent of the Line in 1910. In November, 1912, he was appointed Assistant to the District Superintendent at Euston for the Southern District of the LNWR and in May, 1919, made Assistant District Superintendent at Liverpool for the Northern District. In March, 1922, the Crewe District Goods Manager's District was converted into a Traffic Superintendent's District, and Mr. Fisher was appointed the District Traffic Superintendent there, retaining that position in the following year, when the LNWR was merged in the London Midland and Scottish Railway. In March, 1925, he was appointed Operating Assistant at Crewe to the Chief General Superintendent. In 1929 he became Divisional Superintendent of Operation, Derby, and as from January, 1932, was appointed Operating Assistant to Chief General Superintendent, Derby. Paper presented to Institute of Transport. Locomotive Mag., 1939, 45, 1. , Became Chief Operating Manager, LMS, when Royle became a Vice President in 1944: (Grace's Guide) he had formerly been Deputy. Locomotive Mag, 50, 139.
Follows, John Henry
Follows was born in 1869 and was educated at Risley Grammar School. He joined the Midland Railway in 1890. He was Superintendent of Freight Trains from 1911-1912; Divisional Superintendent from 1912 to 1914; Superintendent of Operations from 1914 to 1917; Acting General Superintendent from 1917 to 1919; General Superintendent in 1919 and was a Vice President on the LMS between 1927 and 1932, He died on 13 December 1938. (Who Was Who).Hamilton Ellis (The Midland Railway) noted that "Centralised traffic control became the monument of J.H. Follows. For a long time there was on the Midland and on the LMS a lesser and rather quaint monument, the saloon carriage in which he made his travelling headquarters when out on the road, converted, as previously stated, from one of the Heysham rail motors. Follows was of rather an ascetic type, immaculate and perhaps a puritan. His saloon contained a grim white enamelled bath, served by a severely solitary cold tap. Nearly all the windows, right along the carriage, were of obscured glass. Whether this was to help him to concentrate, or to prevent lesser persons from being too awed by the daunting sight of the great man at work, has never been explained. Control not only made for smooth working and punctuality under normal conditions, it saved many difficult situations when things went wrong.". Several references to him in Terry Jenkins' Sir Ernest Lemon. In centre of group photograph of mutual improvement secretaries at Derby in 1921. Locomotive Mag., 1922, 28, 57.
An Ulsterman with revolver at hand. Began his career on the GNR(I): sent to Stranolar as Secretary in 1910 (Locomotive Mag., 1910, 16, 153) to reorganize narrow-gauge CDJR. Introduced halts, railcars based on buses and kept the railway running. General Manager from? Died 7 November 1943 (or possibly 1941). Need to check in Patterson (info pro tem from Hendry). Succeeded by Bernard Curran.
Forbes, James Staats
Born in Aberdeen on 7 March 1823. Educated as an engineer at Woolwich and from 1840 under Brunel. Joined GWR as booking clerk at Paddington, and was goods superintendent at Gloucester between 1855 and 1857. Became General Manager of the Dutch Rhenish Railway, and took up same position on LCDR from April 1861, and Chairman from 1874 (having joined board in 1871) where he was involved in bitter competition with SER under Watkin. Resigned from this post in 1886, but remained a director until 1897. At time of Railway Magazine Illustrated Interview, 2, 481 he was also Chairman of Edison & Swan Electric Light Co., President of the National Telephone Co and a Director of Lion Fire Insurance. Director of Metropolitan District, Chairman of the North Metropolitan & DN&SR, and on Board of Hull, Barnsley & West Riding Co. Notable art collector. Died in 5 April 1904. Uncle of Stanhope Forbes (artist) Excellent ODNB entry by Charles Welch, rev. Ralph Harrington, also T.R. Gourvish in Dictionary of Business Biography M.A.C. Horne. London's District Railway. Volumes 1 & 2.
Appointed General Manager of the LBSCR in 1899 when he was aged 42. Father, who died in 1888, had been a District Superintendent on GNR. Nephew of famous James Staats Forbes. William Forbes joined the LCDR in 1873 and was appointed Continental Manager in 1886 and Traffic Manager in 1888. Appointed Assistant General Manager following operating agreement with SER. Rly. Mag.., 1899, 5, 17.. Bonavia's History of the Southern Railway shows that he was athorn in the side of Walker in the first year of grouping.
Surnames beginning Ga
Gibb, [Sir] George Stegmann
Born in Aberdeen on 30 April 1850 and died in Wimbledon on 14 December 1925. (Marshall). Educated Aberdeen Grammar School and London University. Joined GWR as a solicitor in 1877. Following some work in private practice he became solicitor to the NER and was appointed General Manager of the North Eastern Railway in 1891 and joined the Board of that Company in 1906. Nock succinctly observed that George Gibb was a dynamic and truly great railwayman whose invigorating leadership brought a big programme of improvements including accelerations, new works and internal reforms. On 3 January 1906 he was appointed Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of the Underground Electric Railway Co. He was knighted in 1904. Unusually, the Illustrated Interview in the Railway Magazine (1, 491) gives no personal biographical information. Very thorough ODNB entry by R.J. Irving M.A.C. Horne. London's District Railway. Volume 2.
Superintendent of the line on the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway. Formerly with LDECR. Locomotive Mag., 1907, 13, 84.
Glyn, Sir Ralph
1885-1960. MP for Clackmannan & East Stirlingshire, 1918-22, then Abingdon 1924-53. Director of LMS. See Burgess: A tour of inspection... LMS Journal, 2007 (18), 75..
Gooday, John Frances Sykes
Gooday was General Manager of the GER from 1899 to 1910. According to Allen he was a "forcible character". He had joined the railway at 16 as a junior clerk on a salary of five shillings per week in 1863: this was in the Leeds office of the GER. By 1877 he had become Assistant Continental Manager, and in 1880, Continental Manager. In 1899 he became General Manager of the LB&SCR (see Illustrated Interview of Sarle, Rly Mag, 2, 1), but returned to the GER as GM in the same year in succession to Sir William Birt. Gooday was closely involved in the the GCR/GER/GNR amalgamation proposal which was rejected by Parliament. He joined the Board in 1910. He was succeeded by Hyde. Died 18 January 1915 (Who was Who)..
Gore Browne, Eric
Born 2 October 1885. Died 28 May 1964. Educated Malvern and Oxford. Banker. Controller of Rubber 1943-44. (Who was Who) Last Chairman of the Southern Railway. Strongly antagonistic to nationalization: "once eggs are scrambled. I defy any cook to unscramble them": Hendry notes his stance, but adds nothing further. Sean Day-Lewis Bulleid: last giant of steam (page 129) called him a keen-eyed banker.
Surnames beginning "Gr"
Grand, Keith Walter Chamberlsin
Born 3 July 1900.. Died 17 September 1983. Educated at Rugby. (Who was Who) Bonavia's British Rail the first 25 years gives but a glimpse of the Western Region's first Chief Regional Officer. He noted that he had been the Great Western's representative in New York (1928-9) where he developed a cosmopolitan outlook and a broad grasp of railway commercial activity. Cox (Locomotive panorama V. 2) stated that the diesel hydraulic locomotives were a part of Grand's determination to retain a separate identity for the Western. Pictured at Deltic roll-out Loco. Mag., 1955, 61, 190
Granet, William Guy
He was born on 13 October 1867 and educated at Rugby and Balliol College. He became a barrister in 1893 (Lincoln's Inn) and married the daughter of Lord Selby, Speaker of the House of Commons in 1892. He became Secretary of the Railway Companies' Association in 1900 and Assistant to the General Manager of the MR in 1905 and its General Manager in 1906. His interests included traffic control and industrial relations (he was secretary to the Employers' Committee during the general railway strike of 1907. He was a member of the Railway Executive Committee during WW1. He joined the Board of the Midland Railway in 1918 and became its Chairman in 1922. He died at his home, Burleigh Court in Gloucestershire on 11 October 1943..
"That wily old lawyer Sir William Guy Granet, sometime Dictator of the Midland" (in the words of the late Hamilton Ellis) would have outmanoeuvred Machiavelli himself. Nock wrote "Step by step, inexorably he virtually dictated the terms of the amalgamation and, although he did not become either chairman or deputy chairman of the new company, he dominated the proceedings of the board... The result was that the Midland precepts of management were adopted... Seventeen years earlier Granet had completely overthrown the traditional form of railway organisation which had prevailed on the Midland as firmly as on all the other large railways of Great Britain and now it was the turn of the other constituents of the LMS to experience what the Midland had passed through from 1906 onward."
Rutherford notes that Granet was undoubtedly one of those who wished to reduce the status, power (and salaries) of the idiosyncratic Victorian locomotive superintendents. He may well have arrived at that view (or received it from others and promulgated it further) whilst he was Secretary of the Railway Companies' Association early in the new century. Certainly once he [Granet] became General Manager of the Midland Railway, R.M. Deeley's attempts to introduce appropriate modern locomotive powereight-coupled engines for freight and four-cylinder de Glehn compound 4-6-0s for 'crack' expresses got nowhere and Deeley left in 1909. He was replaced by Henry Fowler, a man of wide interests but not the design of locomotives, although he was interested in details such as the application of superheating or the metallurgy of boiler stays. The concept of 'the dead hand of Derby' in locomotive matters can be traced back to these events.
Granet was once asked what type of man made the ideal leader and he replied "The benevolent despot". He got his man in the person of Lord Stamp (a director of ICI) who took up the post of President in January 1926.
H. G. Burgess, the last General Manager, retired in March 1927 and Granet himself resigned in October and moved to the City. Biography by Henry Parris Dictionary of Business Biography. ODNB biography by Harold Hartley; revised by Mark Pottle.
Grey, Sir Edward
Born in London on 25 Appril 1862. Educated at Winchester College and Balliol College Oxford. Traditional biography in ODNB by Keith Robbins. More interesting biography in letter by Alan Donaldson in Rly Arch., 2008 (21), 26. He was Foreign Secretary in Asquith's Liberal administration of 1906 and is best known for his alleged statement that "the lights are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime" as Europe slid into WW1. He was a Director of the NER and Chairman from 1906 until his appointment as Foreign Secretary. The family estate enjoyed its own station at Fallodon in Northumberland, and he was clearly a great lover of trains as well as of natural history. He was a devout Anglican and worshiped at Embleton parish church. He died on 7 September 1933. He was created a Viscount in 1916..
Born in 1830 was made General Manager of the GWR in 1866. Died on 7 October 1887: "He had been an able, tactful and popular Manager. He had drawn up a "long and deatiled report" on the final conversion of the broad gauge. He appears to have championed the carriage of third class passengers on express trains. McDermot History of the Great Western Railway rev. Clinker.
Guest, (Sir Josiah) John
Born in Dowlais on 2 February 1785, the eldest child of Thomas Guest, manager and part owner of Dowlais ironworks. John followed his father into the business in 1807. Due to the rise of the railway industry the Ironworks became the largest in the world and Guest attempted to keep up todate with the latest techniques. He became the first chairman of the Taff Vale Railway Company which was noted for its huge profitability gained through the haulage of coal for export. In 1846 Canford Manor in Dorset was acquired. He died on 26 November 1852. The name survived in Guest, Keen & Nettlefolds (GKN). Angela V. John in ODNB.. D.S. Barrie The Taff Vale Railway.
Surnames beginning "Ha"
There were three generations of Benjamin Hall who influenced the construction of canals and their associated tramroads in Monmouthshire. These were Dr Benjamin Hall (born 3 June 1742, died 25 October 1817), Chancellor of the Diocese of Llandaff and father of Benjamin Hall, born in Llandaff on 29 October 1778 and died on 19 August 1817. He married Charlotte, daughter of Richard Crawshay of Cyfartha on 16 December 1801 and came into the possession of the Abercarn Estate in 1808. He in turn was the father of Benjamin Hall born on 8 December 1802 and died on 27 April 1867. He was created a Baronet on 12 August 1838 and eventually Lord Lieutenant of Monmouthshire in 1861 Big Ben (Palace of Westminster) is named after him and he rejoices in an ODNB biography by G.F.R. Barker, revised by H.C.G. Matthew. See Archive, 2007 (55) 26.
Hambro, Charles Jocelyn
Born 3 October 1897 in London. Merchant banker: partner in C.J. Hambro & Son: the family originated in Denmark. Educated at Eton and Sandhurst. Served WW1 in Coldstream Guards where he won Military Cross on Western Front. In WW2 he served with Special Operations Executive and was involved in sabotage of heavy water plant in Norway. He was knighted for this activity. He had been a Director of the GWR since 1928, was Deputy Chairman from 1934 and Chairman between 1940 and 1945. He died on 28 August 1963. ODNB biography by M.R.D. Foot which only contains one discordant note by claiming the GWR was "the most successful of the four great British Railway companies".
Hamilton, Claud (Lord )
Born on 20 February 1843; died 26 January 1925. Educated at Harrow School. Member of Parliament (successively) for Londonderry; Kings Lynn, Liverpool West Derby and Kensington South. Main interest was as a director of the Great Eastern Railway from 1872; then vice chairman fom 1874 and chairman from 1893 until 1922. The Claud Hamilton 4-4-0 class was noted for its speed and reliability on Cromer to Liverpool Street expresses
Started work at the engine shops in South Shieds of the York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway and considered that the Stanhope & Tyne Railway had been over engineered (Langham Early locomotives on the Stanhope & Tyne Railway, Backtrack, 2019, 33, 588). Manager of the Londonderry Railway. He had worked for the Marquis of Londonderry for forty five years, and remained in his employ when the railway was taken over by the NER in 1900. See Rly Mag., 1901, 8, 70. Retired 1903 see Loco. Mag., 1903, 9, 40.
Harrison, [Sir] Frederick
Born 1844. Died 31 December 1914 (Who was Who). General Manager, London and North Western Railway and the subject of an early Railway Magazine Illustrated Interview. 1, 193-206. Argued that "The General Manager of a big railway must be a practical man who has been "through the mill" to use a familiar phrase, and you will find that we have all begun at the bottom of the ladder". He entered the LNWR in 1864 when aged 20 as a clerk at Shrewsbury under Sir George Findlay who took him to Euston when he became General Goods Manager later in the same year. For three years he was in Liverpool as Assistant District Superintendent, followed by one year at Chester in a similar capacity, and was Assistant Superintendent of the Line and Chief Goods Manager at Euston before becoming General Manager.
Hartley, Sir Harold Brewer
Hartley deserves better than being listed as the instrument used to draw Stanier away from the Great Western to the LMS. Sir Harold was a scientist of considerable stature and his recruitment onto the LMS may be seen as one of Stamp's great positive decisions; obviously, the recruitment of Stanier was another. Basic information obtained from [long] biography by E.J. Bowen (revised by K.D. Watson) in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: born 3 September 1878; died 9 September 1972. Educated Balliol: physical chemist. Biographer notes that "As a judge of character Hartley was quick to distinguish the efficient from the inefficient". Author of Studies in the history of chemistry (1971). It is noteworthy that Hartley was the original biographer of Ernest Lemon in the ODNB. He was also the original ODNB biographer of several other people, notably Guy Granet, several scientists and a musician killed during WW1.
Bond noted "an Oxford Don from Balliol and a Fellow of the Royal Society who, as a Brigadier-General, had been Director of Chemical Warfare during the Great War. Sir Harold, who in later years I came to know well, was a man of abounding energy, whose wisdom, experience, and an indomitable spirit which refused to be daunted by a crippling physical disability, enabled him to exert a powerful influence over affairs of national importance in science and the engineering profession right up to the time of his death at the advanced age of 94 years.". See also LMS Journal, 17, 37 on Scientific Research Department (article includes fine portrait)
A.J. Pearson Man of the rail (page 46): He was first and foremost very much a Balliol man. At the railway, which he joined when he was over fifty, he got through a tremendous amount of work, and his outside interests ranged widely. But he was always moderate, and his career with the railway was steady and industrious. He was a charming host; and he admired Stamp greatly.
Langridge: (p. 135) note possibly says more about Langriage than his subject: "Stamp's choice was, of course, Sir Harold Hartley; Oxford Don, late Chemical Warfare Chief, FRS. The appointer of Kenneth Clark as Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum ; a truly catholic set of interests but not an engineer. Naturally, a Don would have to have to do with that blessed word 'Research'"
Papers (relevant to steamindex)
William Arthur Stanier, 1876-1965. Biogr. Mem. Fellows R. Soc., 1966, 12, 489-502. illus. (port). bibliog.
Henderson was born on 28 September 1850, the second child of George and Eliza Henderson. He tended to become involved in business interests with his younger brothers Henry (Harry) and Brodie. When 17 he entered the City firm of Deloittes who were Accountants to the GWR. He moved to the stockbroker firmm of Eyton, Greenwood & Eyton and became a member of the Stock Exchange when 22. In 1874 he married Jane Davis who bore him 7 children, including 6 sons. He, and his brothers developed business interests in Latin America, especially successful of which were those in the Buenos Aires & Great Southern Railway where the Government guaranteed a 7% dividend.
In 1888 he became a director of the Manchester Ship Canal, and subsequently helped to bail out Barings Bank. Thus he came to the attention of the MSLR Board which he was invited to join. He formed a syndicate with £4m capital to underwrite the London extension. Amongst his achievements with the GCR was the brilliant acquisition of Sam Fay from the LSWR, probably Robinson as Locomotive Superintendent, and Dixon Davies as Solicitor. He entered politics as Liberal-Unionist MP for West Staffordshire (between 1906 and 1913, and then briefly as MP for St George's Hanover Square until raised to the peerage, as Lord Faringdon, in 1916 he had been knighted in 1902. He was involved in acquiring the LD&ECR and in developing Immingham Docks. He was involved in merger proposals with the GNR, and later GER, but these were thrown out by Parliament. He resisted negotiating with the trade unions. At the grouping the GCR Board presented him with a portrait by Sir William Orpen which is kept at Buscot. He died in 1934 whilst still Deputy Chairman of the LNER. Significantly, he was given special responsibility for financial matters by the LNER's Board.
When 40 he purchased Buscot, Faringdon, for £80,000 where he maintained his collections of fine books and paintings, especially those by the pre-Raphaelites: Burcot is now a National Trust property.
See Backtrack, 2001, 15, 707.
Backtrack, 2002, 16, 174. letter by Bloxsom
Backtrack, 1996, 10, 266
He is not listed in the Oxford Companion, nor is he given adequate coverage in the gloss about the Great Central by Andrew Dow, but Martin Daunton in his Oxford Dictionary of National Biography does it make it very clear that the Great Central Railway was only a minor element in his vast financial interests, many of which were in South America.
Surnames beginning Ho
Richard Hodgson (1812-1877) of Carham Hall, Coldstream, was Chairman of the North British Railway from 1855 until 1866. He was responsible for introducing ruthless business methods in association with the General Manager, Thomas Rowbotham, and the possibly unfortunate William Hurst, Locomotive Superintendent. This led to a major financial scandal whereby the Scottish Wagon Company provided the NBR with rolling stock on a deferred payment basis (unfortunately, Hodgson and his associates had substantial holdings in the Wagon Co.). There is a suggestion that Hodgson may have also used a policy of railway promotion and acquistion to provide the NBR with financial momentum of the Hudson sort. The quest for lines in Northumberland, notably the Border Counties Railway led to the NBR acquiring its own access to Newcastle, but at the cost of permitting the NER running its trains into Edinburgh. Also interested in developing Silloth in Cumberland later adopted name of Huntley (Cattenach) see Joy, Backtrack, 2019, 31, 280. In part Dawn Smith. Cattenach NBR Study Gp. J. 105, page 11.
Born on 10 October 1872, died 27 January 1944: edcated at Eton and Trinity College, Oxford. Became a Director of Martin's Bank in 1897 and was Chairman from from 1925 to 1939. He was a director of the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation and the Gas Light & Coke Co. He became a Director of the London & South Western Railway in 1910, and continued to serve on the Board of the Southern Railway, becoming Deputy Chairman in 1932 and Chairman from 1935 until his death in 1944. (Reg Davies LMS Journal, (21), 28. Family seat Overbury Court, Tewkesbury. Sired several more famous children. H.A.V. Bulleid called him "genial" and argued that he was eager to update the Southern's steam locomotives and passenger rolling stock. He died in 1944. Portrait (in extraordinary company which included Stanier and Willie Wood) on plate 43 of Bulleid on Bulleid. Sean Day-Lewis Bulleid: last giant of steam (pp. 129-30) called him gentle and much-loved. Bonavia notes that electrification caused him much concern about the saety of children and animals and his eccentric dressing, driving and general behaviour..
Holt, Oliver Stanbrooke
Born in Crumpsall, Manchester on 7 April 1855. Secretary Great Central Railway. Retired in January 1918. Died in Kendal on 9 August 1930, but funeral in Cheshire.
Ironmaster who was born on 16 February 1762 and died on 18 May 1822 and who arranged for Trevithick's locomotive to be run on his tramway. See Lawrence Ince biography of Homfray family in Oxford Dictionary of National biography.
Hopkins, Charles P.
Bonavia (British Rail: the first 25 years) noted that "the surprise appointment was in the North Eastern Region", where Charles Hopkins became the youngest CRO. He was one of the LNER's 'bright young men', his last post there being Assistant General Manager (Traffic and Statistics). The creation of a North Eastern Region had hung in the balance, the original idea being that all of the LNER in England would form one Region. The LNER Magazine noted that Hopkins hads been confirmed in the position of assistant general manager (Traffic and Statistics). Hopkins won a Traffic Apprenticeship, having gained the distinction in 1921, of being placed first in the first examination arranged by the N.E.R. Developing a flair for traffic problems, he made a speciality of wagon movement and control, but broadened his experience by a spell of service at Liverpool Street with the Continental Traffic Manager, and later as assistant to the superintendent (Eastern Section). He returned to York to grapple with rolling-stock matters in 1941 and joined the chief general manager's staff a year ater. Hopkins had charge of the Central Traffic Office at Marylebone, and represented the LNER on the Operating Committee of the R.E.C. Became General Manager of the Southern Region between 1955 and 1962 Gourvish
Horne, Robert Stevenson
Born at Slamannan, Stirlingshire, on 28 February 1871; died 3 September 1940. Educated at George Watson's College, Edinburgh, and the University of Glasgow, where he studied Law. Horne then spent a year teaching philosophy at the University College of North Wales, before being elected to the Faculty of Advocates (Scottish Bar) in 1896. He became a successful advocate, specialising in commercial and shipping cases and became a King's Counsel in 1910. During WW1, Horne became Director of Railways on the Western Front with the honorary rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Engineers. In 1917 he joined the Admiralty as Assistant Inspector-General of Transportation, becoming Director of Materials and Priority in 1918, and Director of Labour and Third Civil Lord later the same year. Horne was elected as MP for Glasgow Hillhead in 1918. He served under David Lloyd George as Minister of Labour between 1919 and 1920, as President of the Board of Trade between 1920 and 1921 and as Chancellor of the Exchequer between 1921 and 1922. In 1937 he was ennobled as Viscount Horne of Slamannan. Director and Chairman of Great Western Railway. Also on board of Suez Canal Co. Wikipedia 18 May 2016
Howey, John Edwards Presgrave
Born on 17 November 1883 at Melford Grange near Woodbridge, Suffolk. Died 8 September 1963. Creator, and for many years owner and operator of the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway. To implement his ideas he was involved with Bassett Lowke, Henry Greenly and Gresley. Wealth based on ownership of real estate in centre of Melbourne, Australia. Educated at Eton and was a premium apprentice at Vickers. See Snell's One man's railway. See Holcroft's encounters with him.
Born near York on 10 March 1800 and died in London on 14 December 1871. Subject of entry in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography by Michael Reed.
R.S. The railway king, 1800-1971: a study of George
Hudson and the business morals of his times. 1934.
Beaumont, Robert. The Railway King - a biography of George Hudson.
Review by Michael Rutherford noted "In the end, Beaumont seeks to persuade us that Hudson's achievements outweigh his business practice failings..."
Hill, Keith. On track to Westminster. . Backtrack, 2003, 17, 523-6.
Writer eventually who became BR Board's Parliamentary Communications Manager describes relationship between Members of Parliament and their interests in railways. including adventures of George Hudson (portrait), MP for York and much else besides for that City, are briefly outlined: this section was the subject of fairly sharp criticism from Christopher V. Awdry (letter page 715) on the relationship between Hudson and his great uncle Matthew Bottrill who funded some of Hudson's early schemes, but there was no insobriety in this relationship. .
Nock, O.S. Railway enthusuast's encyclopedia
Huish, [Captain] Mark
Born in Nottingham on 9 March 1808. Died at Bonchurch on Isle of Wight on 18 January 1867 (Gourvish ODNB). He had joined the East India Company and on return from India in 1839 he became Secretary & General Manager of the Glasgow, Paisley & Greenock Railway. In 1841 he became Secretary & General Manager of the Grand Junction Railway. From 1846 to 1858 he was General Manager of the LNWR, but resigned over policy matters and was replaced by Cawkell, when he retired to Bonchurch. Braine: The railway Moon.. Rutherford (Backtrack, 2009, 23, 462) quotes Gourvish: "[Huish's] strong personality and close acquaintance with the intricacies of traffic management enabled him... to exert a powerful influence over the councils of his employers, and there were many instances of his dictating to the Board and its several committees. The 'Euston Confederacy' a series of traffic agreements aimed at securing traffic from competitors, was very much his creation, and a startling answer to the difficulties facing the established lines as a result of Parliament's sanction of duplicate projects."
Railway accidents. Min. Proc Instn civ. Engrs., 1851/2, 11, 434 (Paper 854).
1000 locomotive failures on LNWR involving 587 locomotives were examined
See Oxford Companion short
biography by Terry Gourvish and full
biography based upon PhD Thesis.
Nock, O.S. Railway enthusuast's encyclopedia
Chairman Cambrian Railways:1900- (Rly Mag., 1900, 7, 190)
Hurcomb, Cyril William
Born in Oxford on 18 February 1883. Died in Horsham on 7 August 1973?. Educated at Oxford University and career civil servant. Director General of Ministry of War Transport and made Chairman of British Transport Commission. His relationship with the Railway Executive was fraught with problems as related by Bonavia: The nationalisation of British transport. Entry in Oxford Companion by TG presumably Terry Gourvish Max Nicholson contributed an ODNB biography, from which the following has been extracted (it should be noted that Nicholson regards Hurcomb's involvement with the BTC as a glitch in an otherwise brilliant career.
Hurcomb's pallid complexion and worn appearance belied his toughness and stamina, just as his austere mien disguised his receptiveness as a listener and his great consideration for others. These, combined with his clarity of mind and tenacity of purpose, made him an outstanding negotiator. His manner was never ingratiating, but his arguments were fair and persuasive, winning respect if not always affection. Without being an expert on any subject he learned enough of a number to be taken seriously by experts, and to complement their expertise with his own wisdom
The letter which I [Bonavia] had drafted from Hurcomb to Missenden dated 13 April 1948 contained the following sentences:
It seems to me that the question of the future form of traction ; whether it is to be steam, electricity, Diesel-electric, Diesel-mechanical, or gas turbine is probably the most important long-term problem facing the railways to-day, and it is of course closely linked with the future price ratios and availability of the different fuels. . . .
A large main line electrification scheme [ex-LNER Manchester-Sheffield-Wath] is in progress. The Executive also have in hand proposals for prolonged technical trials of both Diesel-mechanical and gas turbine main line locomotives. But as regards Diesel-electric traction, there seems to be a disparity. We are still experimenting as though there were no large fund of technical knowledge and experience upon which to draw, and as though our engineers had not been studying the characteristics (as I assume they have been doing) of this form of traction for the past twenty years. Whilst American practice admittedly requires to be interpreted in the light of the smaller loads, shorter average length of haul, and more restricted loading gauge in this country, there should be no major technical questions which are quite unfamiliar.
Where our experience is lacking, is in the true level of maintenance and operating costs under British conditions, and the effects upon operating methods of turning over a complete group of services to diesel-electric traction. And only a large-scale experiment can give us the answer to these questions.
For this reason I was disappointed to read in Slim's letter of 23rd March that so limited an experiment as that now in hand in the London Midland Region is all that the Executive apparently contemplate at the moment.
You will remember that in the summer of 1947 the L.N.E.R. announced that they had prepared a scheme for the dieselisation of the Anglo-Scottish East Coast services, involving the construction of 25 single units in replacement of 32 "Pacific" type express passenger engines. Maintenance facilities were to be provided at London and Edinburgh, entirely separate from the steam locomotive facilities.
The Commission would, I think, like to know whether it is the fact that this scheme has now been shelved and whether the Executive have come to conclusions which differ radically from those which were formed by the L.N E.R. Board last year. I cannot help feeling, however, that until a major scheme of the kind has been put into operation, we shall not have sufficient actual experience of the capabilities and costs of Diesel-electric traction in relation to steam and other forms of traction.
When eventually the Executive replied, in the following December, it was merely to inform the Commission that a Committee on Types of Motive Power had been set up.
Mullay (Backtrack, 2017, 31, 537) completely alters this entry by recording that Hurcomb had been the civil servant architect of the 1923 Grouping. Mullay is critical of Hurcomb's lack of technical skill considering cab signalling and track circuits as rival safety systems. KPJ: In retrospect it is obvious that neither Hurcomb nor Missenden were capable of ttransferring the management skills inherited from four major companies into the new nationalised concern/s and that the railways suffered greatly from inept decisions, or lack of them, from Secretaties of State with very few exceptions
Hyde, Walter Henry
Hyde followed the succesful Gooday as General Manager of the GER, but was forced to retire in 1914 aged only 50 due to the takeover of the LTSR by the Midland Railway. Hyde had anticipated the 1912 National Coal Strike and stockpiled coal, notably at Whitemoor (see Backtrack, 2016, 30, 564)
Surnames beginning I
Inglis, Colin C.
Chief Research Officer, British Transport Commission. Appointed in 1952 whilst Martin Herbert was in charge of British Railways' Research Department. Inglis joined the BTC from the Ministry of Supply Armament Design Establishment: he was an electrical engineer. Encountered by Roland C. Bond whilst both working on Ghats electrification project in 1930. Inglis retired in summer of 1964..
Inglis, James Charles
Born in Aberdeen on 9 September 1851 (Marshall) and educated in the Grammar School and at Aberdeen University where he took prizes in natural science and mathematics. Following University, in 1870 he entered the shops of Norman, Copland and Co., engineers and millwrights, Glasgow, where he stayed for two years. On the advice of Alexander Kirk, M.I.C.E., of Glasgow, he left Norman's and became a pupil for three years to James Abernethy. During this pupilage Inglis was involved in dock and harbour work, and this included work on the Alexandra Railways and Docks at Newport. In 1875 he joined the South Devon Railway, under P.J. Margary, M.I.C.E., then Chief Engineer of that line and of the Cornwall Railway. Inglis's early employment at Plymouth was on the construction of the deep water quays and works at Millbay, and subsequently on the heavy doublings and work then in progress on the South Devon and Cornwall Railways.
On the absorption of the Sonth Devon Railway in 1878 by the Great Western Railway, Inglis joined the staff of the larger system, but soon left to enter private practice as a civil engineer at Plymouth, in which capacity he held various posts and performed varied engineering works. He was also involved in large works, such as the Princetown Railway, the Bodmin Branch Railway, the Boscarne extension, the reconstruction of the great South Devon viaducts at Cornwood, Ivybridge and beyond, Marley Tunnel, etc. This varied experience was soon to tell, and in June, 1892, the Great Western Railway directors invited him to rejoin the Company as Assistant-Engineer at Paddington. In October, 1892, or only four months after his arrival at Paddington, Inglis was appointed Chief Engineer.
From the above it will be seen that Inglis had for a lengthened period dealt with heavy issues and varied problems, an excellent training in conjunction with his intimate knowledge of the Great Western Railway's systemfor the responsible post of General Manager of the Great Western Railway. He was a Lient. Colonel in the Railway Staff Corps, was Vice-President of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and a prominent member of the Engineering Standards Committee. Died Rottingdean on 19 December 1911. James Sutherland in the Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers does not state his relationship with Churchward, but does note his admiration for Brunel and a 1903 paper on the design of permanent way and locomotives for high speeds. (Marshall). see also Backtrack, 2014, 28, 134 for proposed electrification of Severn Tunnel
One must ponder on the relationship between Inglis, a very great civil engineer and manager, and Churchward, the great mechanical engineer. He was succeeded as General Manager by Frank Potter..
The Engineers Department. Rly Mag., 1, 519.
As General Manager: Rly Mag., 1903, 13, 156 includes portrait on p. 152
As General Manager: Rly Mag., 1908, 22, 89
Nock, O.S. Railway enthusuast's encyclopedia
Jack Simmons: Oxford Companion p.222
Inglis, [Dr] John
Born in 1842; son of Anthony Inglis. Died 1919. Proprietor of A. & J. Inglis, shipbuilders and engineers on the Clyde. Studied at Glasgow University. John Inglis was Chairman of the NBR locomotive committee and had encouraged the development of the Atlantics. Thomas (North British) notes this connection, but says no more about Inglis other than to note that the NBR only acquired Inglis vessels for its steamer services. Keen yachtsman and designer of yachts.See Simpson, NBR Study Group J., 2000, (78), 27..
Ismay, Joseph Bruce
Born in Liverpool on 12 December 1862; died 17 October 1937, educated Harrow. Shipowner; director of LMS and formerly of LNWR. Also on Board of Birmingham Canal Navigation. Who Was Who and C.H. Ellis. London Midland & Scottish. Nock A history of the LMS
Jackson, Willaim Fulton
Born Glasgow on 12 November 1855. Worked in a clerk in a Glasgow hatter's business and joined the NBR as a clerk in Edinburgh on 1 February 1877 where his progress was steady being noted for his attention to detail. According to David L. Smith (Locomotive Mag.,1946, 52, 120 appointed Secretary to the Ayrshire & Wigtownshire Railway in 1880. Appointed General Manager North British Railway in 1899; previously Rating Agent. Gave evidence for the Scottish railway companies to the Royal Commission on Rating and Valuation. Retired on 14 May 1918; and died on 30 November 1931. His wife had predeceased him in 1919; they had no children, and the estate was left to a niece. D. Cattenach. William Fulton Jackson. North British Study Gp J., 2010 (109) 35. which contains two portraits. Further portrait rear cover Issue 95 NBRSGJ Illustrated interview, Rly Mag., 1901, 8, 300. Retirement North British Study Gp J., 2020 (139) 43
Surnames beginning K
Born 14 October 1870. Died 26 December 1943. Educated Scots School, Rutherglen. Joined the Caledonian Railway in 1892; by 1897 was night stationmaster at Carlisle. By 1910 was superintendent of the Western Division of the Caledonian Railway and by 1916 was superindent of the line, becoming in General Superintendent of the Northern Division after the formation of the LMS. Responsible in 1928 for an investigation into the state of the Clogher Valley Railway and a 37pp Report published by HMSO. Patterson: Clogher Valley Railway. Chairman Stelar Oil Co., Glasgow, 1936; Chairman Ailsa Shipbuilding Co., 1940.
Surnames beginning L
Jack Simmons (Oxford Companion) biographical sketch notes that one of Five Kings on Railway Board chaired by Dalhousie. Later he twice served as Chairman of the London Brighton & South Coast Railway (1848-55 and 1867-94). "He successfully sorted out tangles, calmed tempers, and restored confidence'. ODNB entry by Thomas Seccombe revised by Philip S. Bagwell was born in Edinburgh on 12 December 1812; was educated at Houghton-le-Spring grammar school and St John's College, Cambridge where he became a Fellow. He also qualified as a barrister. He died at Sydenham Hill on 6 August 1897..
General Manager of the GWR from 1887 (when aged 54) until his resignation in July 1896 following a long illnes. Managed the final conversion from the broad gauge. Prior to his appointment as General Manger he had been Chief Goods Manager from March 1879, and prior to that had worked for Pickford & Co. from 1847 before becoming Goods Superintendent at Paddington in May 1865. . McDermot History of the Great Western Railway rev. Clinker
Born London c1777; died Aigburth 20 January 1853 (Grace's Guide). Dawn Smith notes that he resided at Wavertree Hall and was Mayor of Liverpool in 1823 and became chairman of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway and subsequently a director of the LNWR until the Moon purge of 1851. M.C. Reed. Also obituary of William Frederic Lawrence, grandson: see Locomotive Mag., 1935, 41, 54,
Lawrence, Charles Napier
Born 27 May 1855; died 17 December 1927. Became Lord Kingsgate. (Wikipedia 2011). Last Chairman of LNWR: first Chairman of LMS.. A son of Lord Lawrence of the Punjab. Served on LNWR Board from 1884. Had interests in insurance and in South American railways: he was Chairman of Antofagasta & Bolivia Railway. M.C. Reed
Surnames beginning M
Manager of Listowell & Ballybunion Railway: information from Hennessey, R.A.S. One track to the future. Backtrack, 2005, 19, 437-41; and references therein
Maclure, Sir William
Director of Cambrian Railways (involved in unfair dismissal of official on that railway) and on Great Central Railway where son, W.G.P. was locomotive running superintendent. Jackson J.G. Robinson.
Nock (Great locomotives of the Southern Railway) (page 94) and the Locomotives of R.E.L. Maunsell refers to Hugh McColl, Chief Clark at Ashford as a dour and Indomitable character, who had been brought to Ashford from Kilmarnock by James Stirling. According to Nock he mellowed under Maunsell. In group portrait at ARLE meeting in Grasmere Locomotive Mag., 1925, 31, 31.
Born 18 February 1911, Died 29 January 2003. Educated at Eton and Cambridge. (Who was Who).Bonavia thought highly of him (Railways South East, 1993, 3, 182). He was General Manager of the Southern Region between 1963 and 1968. He had come to the Region from London Transport in 1955 to become Assistant General Manager of the Southrtn Region (Locomotive Mag., 1955, 61, 118) where he had been Chief Commercial and Public Relations Officer. He had a distinguished WW2 record and held the OBE. He was the son of a former Chancellor of the Exchequer and enjoyed independent means. Wonderful appreciation of Graff-Baker in Seymour Biscoe Tritton Lecture. Grayer (Southern Way No. 17, 46 et seq) describes his highly dated Traveller's Handbook of 1965/6.
Pictured at Deltic roll-out Loco. Mag., 1955, 61, 190
Management of design. (Sir Seymour Biscoe Tritton lecture). J. Instn Loco Engrs., 1966, 56, 318-29,
In charge of Research Department on LMS and then in similar capacity for British Railways until his retirement if 1961. Clashed with Colin Inglis, Chief Research Officer of British Transport Commission.
Matheson, [Sir] Alexander
Born at Attadale in Wester Ross on 16 January 1805.Educated at the University of Edinburgh and then went to the Far East, initially in Calcutta and then in Canton where he formed Jardine, Matheson and was involved in the opium trade. He retuned to Britain in 1842 and became MP for the Inverness burghs in 1847. He was Chairman of the Inverness & Aberdeen Junction Railway; then Highland Railway (until 1884). He was responsible for the Woosung Road Co., the first (brief) railway in China. He was created a baronet in 1882 and died in London on 26 July 1886. ODNB entry by Richard J. Grace and see Backtrack, 2010, 24, 204..
Matheson, Donald Alexander
Born in Perthshire in 1860. Educated at Perth Academy and Watt College, Edinburgh. Last General Manager and Consulting Engineer of the Caledonian Railway: appointed 1 October 1910 until 1922, then General Manager of London Midland and Scottish Railway in Scotland, 1923-26. and retired 31 December 1926 (SLS Caledonian Railway centenary). Trained as a Civil Engineer and worked for LNWR. Brought in as Resident Engineer to the Glasgow Central Railway which was creating a great financial drain for the Caledonian Railway (Nock: Caledonian Railway) died 10 December 1935 (Who Was Who). Member of Engineering Standards Committee; Past Vice-President of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland; Lt-Col Engineer and Railway Staff Corps; Member of the Government Railway Executive Committee during WW1; Chairman of the General Manager's Conference of the Associated Railway Companies of Great Britain, 1917. Director of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and of several charitable institutions; has designed and constructed many railway engineering works of magnitude. Also Mullay's London's Scottish railways Humm (J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc., 2015, 38, 252) notes plaque in main entrance to Glasgow Central station.
Matthews, Sir Ronald
Born 25 June 1885. Died 1 July 1959. Educated at Eton. (Who Was Who). Sir Ronald Matthews lived in Doncaster, and was also Chairman of the Sheffield firm of Turton Brothers and Matthews, and had been Master Cutler. Both Gresley and Thompson were his house guests, and evidently close, as Prudence, one of the Matthews daughters, recalls them as 'Uncle Tim' and 'Uncle Ned'. On paper. Thompson should have been the automatic choice to succeed Gresley. but according to Stewart Cox, Sir Ronald made approaches to his opposite number on the Southern, to see if Bulleid could be enticed back, and the LMS, to enquire after the availability of Roland Bond, whom he had interviewed in connection with Bond's appointment to superintend the joint LNER/LMS locomotive testing station. However, Bulleid was engaged in the production of his new 'Merchant Navy' Pacifics, and Bond had just been put in charge of the workshops at Crewe, so neither could be spared. Consequently, here being no other obvious candidates for the post, without further delay, Matthews appointed Edward Thompson as CME of the LNER, the decision being confirmed at the Board Meeting on 24th April, 1941, just 19 days after Gresley's passing. Hughes: Sir Nigel Gresley. Terry Jenkins Sir Ernest Lemon notes how Lemon served on committees of the Railway Companies' Association, on which Matthews was Chairman, during WW2 to explore the prospects for Post-War reconstruction. Matthews used the celebratory luncheon to mark the centenary of the railway from Edinburgh to Berwick to speak against nationalization (Scotsman 21 June 1946). He also wished to see The Coronation back in service.
Born 1785; died 1867. First railway solicitor (Stockton & Darlington Railway). Steered Bill through Parliament. Vallance Railway enthusiast's bedside book
Surnames beginning "Mi"
Appointed Interim General Manager in 1901 (Rly Mag., 1901, 8, 254 with portrait). Born in Stirling in 1850. In 1879 he had been sent to Belfast to be the Caledonian Railway's representative in Ireland. Died, at early age of 58, when general manager of the Caledonian Ry., at Glasgow on Friday, 18 September 1908. Mr. Millar entered the service of the company in 1873 as a goods clerk, and by sheer merit reached the highest office open to him in 1901. He was highly respected and extremely popular both in his business capacity and his social relations. Locomotive Mag., 1908, 14, 170.
District Freight Manager at Huskisson Freight Terminal in Liverpool: portrait of him with Sir Brian Robertson. Backtrack, 2019, 33, 750.
Milne, [Sir] James
Born in Dublin, 4 May 1883. Father was a Scottish Presbyterian minister. Educated High School Dublin, Campbell College, Belfast, Victoria University Manchester and pupil of Churchward at Swindon. MICE. He then served in the offices of the superintendent of the line and of the general manager, and in 1912 took charge of the passenger train running department. Four years later he was appointed chief clerk to the divisional superintendent at Pontypool Road and Newport, and service in Swansea and Plymouth followed. Then moved to GWR Headquarters where he was concerned with statistics. He became director of statistics at new Ministry of Transport in 1919, subsequently as one of the two officials selected to assist the Committee on National Expenditure. In 1922, he was selected by Lord Inchcape to assist the Indian Retrenchment Committeea work for which he received the C.S.I. He returned to GWR in 1922 as AGM and became GM in 1929. Witness to Weir Committee on Railway Electrification. He was knighted in 1932. During WW2 he was deputy-chairman of the Railway Executive Committee and Nock notes that his great qualities were shown to great advantage during the flying bomb attacks on London during WW2.. He was opposed to Nationalization, but offered chairmanship of Railway Executive, but declined it. In 1948 he reported to the Irish Minister for Industry and Commerce in Report on Transport in Ireland. The motive power aspects of this report are considered by Clements and McMahon in The locomotives of the GSR especially on pp. 334-5. Earlier Milne had contributed significant parts of multi-authored works on the administration of railways: see Ottley 1744,3475 and 3704. Died on 1 April 1958 (Who was who). H.A.V. Bulleid Master builders of steam notes page 116 that was known as Jimmy. See appointment as GM, GWR: Locomotive Mag., 1929, 35, 236. see also Szlumper diaries which are severely critical of Milne and the Great Western's lack of War effort.
Geoffrey Channon in Dictionary of Business
Nock, O.S. Railway enthusuast's encyclopedia
Missenden, Sir Eustace James
Mitchell, Robert Proctor
Collaborated with Bassett-Lowke, latterly through Narrow Guage Railways Ltd, in the creation of miniature pleasure railways, but also in the running of the 15 inch version of the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway. Davies's The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway has little information about Mitchell except to note his involvement in pleasure lines at Rhyl and Southport and that he came from a wealthy ship-owning family and was probably experienced in maintaining engines.
General Manager of the GNSR since 1880. Formerly with NER in Newcastle area, including the management of Tyne Dock.
Rly Mag., 1899, 5, 289. Portrait
Moorsom, Constantine Richard
Born Portsmouth 22 September 1792. Died London 26 May 1861 following an operation on an old wound received at the Battle of Copenhagen.. Brother of William Scarth Moorsom: Marshall included both to avoid confusion. Constantine was educated at the Royal Naval College, Portsmouth from 1807-9. He wsa Joint Secretary of the Birmingham & Gloucester Railway from 1833 where his brother was Engineer. He rose to be Chairman shortly before the line was taken over by the Midland Railway. He also served the London & Birmingham Railway as Secretary. Later he became a director of the LNWR and chairman from Ocober 1852. See Reed. and Peter Braine: The railway Moon who takes the perceptive quotation from an obituary in Herepath that "the gallant Admiral sat generally quiet and unobrusive, seldom taking part in the discussions, but when he did it was always to uphold the plans of the board, with a little too much of the quarter deck. many thought, in his manner"..
Joined LCDR as Accountant 35 years ago. Assisted Lord Cairns and Lord Salisbury in their investigation of finances of LCDR in 1869. See Rly Mag., 2, 481.
Surnames beginning "N"
Neele, George Potter
Author of reminiscences of his career on the LNWR which culminated in his being Superintendent of the Line and responsible for the Company's links with the Railway Clearing House and for Royal train journeys. One of Nock, O.S. Railway enthusuast's encyclopedia 93 "personalities". Dawn Smith adds birth (12 December 1825) and death (4 January 1921) dates and career details from obituary in Locomotive Mag., 1921, 27, 51. He began his railway carrer on the Eastern Counties Railway in 1847; became chief clerk of the South Staffordshire Railway in 1849; Superintendent of the Line on the LNWR in 1862 Responsible for handling Royal journeys and work with Railway Clearing House..
Newnes, Sir George
Driving force behind Lynton & Barnstaple Railway. See Rly Mag., 2, 457. Born in Matlock on 13 March 1851. He was educated at Silcoates School, Yorkshire, Shireland Hall, Birmingham, and for two terms at the City of London School. At sixteen he was apprenticed to a wholesale haberdasher in the City, subsequently travelling in haberdashery and managing a shop in Manchester. In 1881 moved into popular journalsim with the weekly Tit-Bits. This grew and Newnes became a major newpaper proprietor .
Newton, Sir Charles
Born 6 June 1882; died 23 May 1973. Knighted 1943. Joined GWR in 1897; Assistant to Comptroller Great Eastern Railway 1916; Chief Accountant, GER 1922; Chief Accountant, LNER 1928; Divisional General Manager (Southern Area) 1936; Chief General Manager LNER, 1939-47, Director 1947; Holder of Brunel Medal London School of Economics, University of London; Publication: Railway Accounts, 1930 (Ottley 3488). Who Was Who.; opened Jaywick Miniature Railway: see Locomotive..., 1936, 42, 247.
Newton, Sir (Charles) Wilfrid
Born 11 December 1928. Educated Orange Preparatory School, Johannesburg and Highlands North High School, Johannesburg and University of Witwatersrand. CBE 1988, Knighted 1993. Chairman and Chief Executive, London Regional Transport, 1989-94; Chairman, London Underground Ltd, 1989-94 following Chairman and Chief Executive, Mass Transit Railway Corporation, Hong Kong, 198-89 and career in financial management. Who's Who.;
Newton, George Bolland
Born Dulwich in 1838. Educated Charterhouse. Had hoped to enter university and become barister, but had to join North London Railway as a lad. He became Secretary in 1875 and General Manager in 1877. Lieut. Colonel in Engineer and Railway Staff Corps. Chairman N&SWJR. Auditor RCH. Associate Instn Civ. Engrs. Management of Railway Benovelent Institution. St John Ambulance Association. Hobbies included horses and dogs.
Rly Mag., 1898, 3, 217
Surnames beginning "O"
Oakley, Sir Henry
Born November 1823. Clerk at Somerset House; then Assistant at House of Commons; then from 1849 clerk in GNR Secretay's office; Assistant Secretary; Accountant; Secretary from 1858 and General Manager from 1870. Knighhted in 1891 and joined Board in 1897. With late William Grinling had uncovered the Redpath fraud. Illustrated Interview: Rly Mag., 2, 193. Nock, O.S. Railway enthusuast's encyclopedia Wragg Historical disctionary
Irishman. Captain O'Brien was Secretary of the Great North of England Railway from 1841 to 1845. He then served as Secretary of The Wiltshire, Somerset & Weymouth Railway before returning north as Secretary of York, Newcastle & Berwick and became the first General Manager of the North Eastern Railway. His resignation in February 1871 had been associated with the severe criticism by W. Yolland in his report on the Brockley Whins accident of 6 December 1870 where a head-on collision was caused by a lack of interlocking at facing points (suggested by Prof. Simmons in his account in The Express Train and Other Railway Studies), but his retirement was mentioned in The Northern Echo as early as 7 December 1870: Page 3, col.1: "Captain O'Brien will retire from the management of the North-Eastern Railway at the end of the year." Neil Mackay (e-mail to KPJ) notes the absence of O'Brien's departure from the Company's Board Minutes, although his successor's (Tennant) appointment is. O'Brien died in London on 6 September 1873. According to Dawn Smith was born in Co. Clare in 1808. C.J. Allen The North Eastern Railway. Further research into Capt. O'Brien and his mysterious departure from the NER in 1871 has revealed that his retirement was mentioned in The Northern Echo as early as 7th Dec 1870: The story had reached York by 31 December (York Herald, p.9) On 7th January 1871 the same newspaper had a short item under "Local News" on p9: "NORTH-EASTERN RAILWAY. At a meeting of the Directors of this line, on Friday week, Mr. Tennant was appointed General Manager of the Company, retaining his present position as auditor; and Mr. Wilkinson, formerly of the Transfer Office, was appointed secretary in the place of Mr. Cleghorn, who has resigned." [No mention of O'Brien]. Strangely, this is NOT recorded in the Board minutes. However, I think that the newspaper reports indicate that O'Brien's retirement was under consideration from early December 1870, and that there is nothing to indicate that his employment was terminated as a result of adverse comments received from the Board of Trade, as has been suggested by Prof. Simmons in his account in The Express Train and Other Railway Studies. The fact that there is no mention of the change in GM in the Board Minutes, or in those of any of the Committees, is highly unusual. Perhaps the matter was considered prejudicial by the NER solicitors in view of the compensation claims for Brockley Whins, in particular after Yolland's reports appeared, but this would not be the case in early December 1870. The Board presented Cleghorn with a purse containing one thousand pounds, and an engraved silver inkstand in late December 1870; he became a director. O'Brien was presented with a centre-piece in September 1871, but this was subscribed by the workmen (and Tennant organised the collection). There appears to have been no presentation by the Board, nor were Board members in attendance at the September gathering. All very mysterious. York Reference Library has George Leeman's papers, and I plan to examine these in case there is any private mention of the affair.I hope that this might be of some interest for Steam Index (but probably not in as much detail).
Sunmaes beginning "P"
Paget, [George] Ernest
Born on 10 November 1841. Educated at Harrow. Enjoyed himself in Royal Horse Guards and became Chairman of the Midland Railway. Father of Cecil Paget. Died on 30 December 1923.
Parker, Sir Peter
Born in Malo-les-Bains, near Dunkirk, France, on 30 August 1924, the third son of Tom Parker, a marine engineer born in Hull, and his wife, Dorothy Sydney, née Mackinlay, a teacher. He spent half of his childhood in France, and the rest, from 1932, in Shanghai, where he was educated at the Shanghai public school. In 1937, with the Japanese invasion of China, the family was evacuated to Britain. Parker's father then worked for many years in Africa, but his mother settled with her children in Bedford, where Parker attended Bedford School. WW2 then shaped his studies, for he won a special scholarship to the School of Oriental and African Studies to study Japanese. He was called up in 1943, serving first in the Intelligence Corps in India and Burma, then in the United States and Japan (19457), acquiring the rank of major.
On demobilization Parker was accepted at Lincoln College, Oxford, reading history but, spent much of his time in acting, politicshe was chairman of the University Labour Cluband participating in numerous sports, where his charismatic personality and motivational skills were fully evident. He might have made a career as an actor, playing Hamlet in a Kenneth Tynan production, and King Lear in a West End production and subsequently on an American tour. In 1950 he graduated with a second-class degree in history, and won a Commonwealth Fund fellowship to Cornell and Harvard. The following year he returned to Britain to contest Bedford (unsuccessfully) for the Labour Party. On 15 December 1951 he married Gillian Rowe-Dutton (19252010), medical doctor, and daughter of Sir Ernest Rowe-Dutton, civil servant. They had three sons and a daughter.
On marriage Parker abandoned his political ambitions and pursued a business career. After spending two years in personnel with Phillips Electrical, he undertook higher profile appointments as head of the overseas department of the Industrial Welfare Society (19534) and then secretary to the Duke of Edinburgh's study conference on the human problems of industry (19546), for which he was appointed LVO in 1957. He joined Booker Brothers McConnell in 1956, where he played a full part in implementing Bookers' successful diversification strategies. By the early 1970s he could lay claim to be a professional company director with a wide portfolio: he had been a director of Bookers (196070) and chairman of Bookers Engineering and Industrial Holdings Ltd (196670), and was chairman of the glass and plastic container manufacturer Rockware (19716) and director or chairman of a string of other companies. Under his guidance they weathered the storms of the recession and battles for corporate control in the 1970s and showed a flair for reinvention and diversification. He also acquired a substantial experience of public corporations, as a board member of the British Steel Corporation (19679), the British Tourist Authority (196975), and the British Airways Board (197181).
Parker's enthusiasm for both the public and private sectors brought him to the notice of governments. In 1967 Barbara Castle offered him the chairmanship of British Rail, but he felt he could not accept the job at the then going rate of £12,500. Ten years later, after the end of Richard Marsh's reign, there was another chance. This time Parker accepted, though it meant taking a post at only £23,300 a year, a third of his private sector salary, and less than Richard Beeching had been paid fifteen years earlier. As chairman of the British Railways Board from September 1976 to September 1983, he immediately set about redressing the prevailing atmosphere of gloom and despondencyrailway fortunes were, as Parker later wrote, at an achingly low ebb (Parker, 184)which had accompanied Marsh's failure to win more investment for the railways at a time of economic stringency; a state of perpetual audit, with numerous public inquiries and policy reviews; and the evident road-building enthusiasm of the Department of the Environment.
Parker emphasized the need to respond positively and openly to his sponsoring department, now newly constituted as the Department of Transport. He also set about transforming the structure of the board. His changes in January 1977 gave the board a firmer grip of railway management via a more centralized functional shape, and heralded important further alterations: the identification of the board's subsidiaries as businesses to be operated commercially as separate limited companies; the public service obligation, a properly constituted device for subsidizing unprofitable but socially necessary passenger services; and sector management, the division of the railway businesses into five defined sectorsintercity, London commuting, provincial services, freight, and parcels, each with a manager given growing responsibility for financial performance. In 1978 he established a strategy unit as an in-house consultancy think tank, to provide longer-term planning, and went on to revolutionize British Rail's public relations, notably with the appointments of Grant Woodruff and Will Camp. Symbolically, he moved the board headquarters from 222 Marylebone Road to the brighter Rail House in Euston. He also introduced a more consensual approach to industrial relations with the joint managementunion British Rail Council of 1979 and the trade associationtrade union document Investment in Transport (1981). Other innovationsincluding the establishment of an environment panel, a commuter's charter, and improved access for the disabledwere entirely Parkerian in conception. His chairmanship also saw the development of new trains such as the flawed advanced passenger train and the more enduring high-speed train, the introduction of the Total Operations Processing System (TOPS) computer system for control of freight operating, and support for the channel tunnel, which he helped to keep alive after the abandonment of the first project in 1975. He was knighted in 1978.
Parker did not flourish in what he called the stony age of Thatcher (Gourvish personal knowledge), where nationalized railways came in for particular criticism. With hindsight he should not have accepted a two-year extension to his five-year term in 1981, despite an increase in salary, to £60,000. He failed to win the government over to the desirability of a long-term policy for the railways based on social cost-benefit criteria, and his ambitious plans for railway electrification, outlined in reports in 1981, were rejected. There were also serious problems with the trade unions, where ASLEF's resistance to Parker's notion of a contractinvestment in return for improved productivity and, more specifically, flexible methods of working, or flexible rosteringwas used as an example to the labour movement by the Thatcher government. Parker was instructed to stand firm, and spoke rather ruefully of virility symbols. The bitter and highly visible strikes in 1982, when Parker was squeezed between an intransigent government, hawkish railway managers, and unions demanding rewards for productivity concessions, stretched his faith in consensus. Some of his actions played into the hands of opponents. His battle to obtain adequate funding of railways via warnings about the consequences of postponed maintenancethe crumbling edge of qualitymerely produced another searching review of railway finances, the Serpell report of 1983. The latter, although effectively sidelined by Parker's publicity machine, left him disappointed by the acrimony that accompanied it, and left his successor, Bob Reid, to cope with its findings, notably the opportunities for further savings in railway costs. At the same time Parker's enthusiasm for publicprivate partnership for his subsidiary businesses, a device to inject capital into these neglected activities, merely encouraged a process of privatization via disposal and sale.
In 1983 Parker returned to the private sector in rather bruised condition. Yet his legacy was not inconsiderable. He had encouraged railway managers to concentrate upon their core competences and to do so with pride. He had established a new organization with a centralized board, and with sector managers given bottom-line responsibility for the several rail businesses. He certainly did not flinch in his battles with the unions. In overall terms his impact was more positive than negative.
Parker's autobiography, For Starters: the Business of Life (1989), gives due weight to his railway years, but does not allow them to dominate the account. After British Rail he went back to Rockware, helped this rather beleaguered company to revive its fortunes, and was chairman until 1992. He gathered additional posts as chairman of, and as a director of various other companies, and pursued his business links with Japan via Mitsubishi in particular, serving as chairman of Mitsubishi Electric UK (198496), and then Mitsubishi Electric Europe (19962002). He was prominent in organizing two highly successful festivals of Jananese culture in 1991 and 2000, and remained closely involved in the organization of the Duke of Edinburgh's Commonwealth study conferences. A cultured man of wide interests, he was chairman of the National Theatre Board (198691), and of the Young Vic (19936), and gave much of his time to higher education, notably as chairman of Westfield College London (196976), and vice-chairman of the London University Court (19702002). At the London School of Economics he was first a governor, then chairman of the court (198898), and was particularly supportive of the business history unit. He also served as vice-chairman of the British Institute of Management for many years, and helped to establish the Foundation for Management Education. He was made a KBE in 1993. Above all, he enjoyed spending time with his family.
A unique and sometimes paradoxical figure, Parker combined a distinguished war service with left-wing sympathies, an enthusiasm for business and politics with a deep interest in literature and the arts, and support for and experience of the private sector with an equal commitment to the public sector. While his appeal to consensus and his convivial approach did not suit everyone, he was above all a crusader, an arch-motivator who could make people at all levels of an organization feel special. Described in obituaries as a true renaissance man, he was able to convey the excitement of the challenge of life, whether in business, academia, or politics. More than most he was equipped to prosper in what he called the bowl of piranhas that was the public sector (Parker, 194), where he approached the public policy challenge with good humour and a spirit of co-operation. In the middle of an intense battle with the trade unions he could find an analogy in poetry or political discourse. He also revealed a talent for portraiture and his sketches enlivened many a public record. His business career combined inexhaustible energy, courage, and personal warmth, and he was not afraid to innovate or take chances. As he put it: Do all your sums, look hard, but don't forget you still have to leap (ibid., 317). He died of a heart attack while on holiday in Bodrum, Turkey, on 28 April 2002, leaving an estate valued at over £2 million. Terry Gourvish ODNB
Patrick, William .
Born Strathaven in 1853. Educated Hamilton Academy and St John's Grammar School in Hamilton. Worked in Hamilton Gasworks and when aged 15 joined the General Manager's office of the Caledonian Railway. Worked as a Parliamentary clerk. In 1889 became Assistant Traffic Superintendent; then Assistant General Manager in 1891 and General Manager from 1 February 1900. Lieutenant-Colonel in the Engineer & Railway Staff Corps. Railway portrait gallery. Mr William Patrick. Rly Mag., 1900, 7, 385 + portrait on fp. Died 12 January 1901 (SLS Caledonian Railway centenary). .
Quaker industrialist from Darlington (born 31 May 1767 and died there on 31 July 1858) who brought George Stephenson to the Stockton & Darlington Railway and assisted with the establishment of Robert Stephenson & Co. Maurice W. Kirby has contributed biographies to the Oxford Companion to British railway history and to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography as well as the book: The origins of railway enterprise: the Stockton and Darlington Railway, 1821-1863. Cambridge University Press, 1993. Pease entry in John Marshall. Raistrick Quakers in science and industry. Cathcart centenary tribute Rly Wld, 1958, 19, 234.
Born Darlington on 22 June 1799. Educated at Tatham's Academy, Leeds, and Josiah Forster's Academy, London. He aided his father, Edward (above) in the projection of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, in 1819 and 1820 by preparing the company's first prospectus. He emerged as an influential voice in the management of the railway in 1828, when he took the lead in projecting an extension of the line from Stockton to the hamlet of Middlesbrough further down the Tees estuary. Pease was a leading shareholder in Robert Stephenson & Co., of Newcastle. Died on 8 February 1872 and buried in the Quaker burial-ground in Darlington. ODNB entry by A.F. Pollard, revised by Charlotte Fell-Smith and M.W. Kirby. Paese entry in John Marshall. Statue in High Street, Darlington see Backtrack, 2011, 25, 740
Perks, [Sir] Robert William
Born in London on 24 April 1849 and died there on 30 November 1934. Educated at New Kingswood School, Bath and King's College London and worked as a lawyer who specialised in the law relating to railways. He assisted Messrs. T.A. and C. Walker, contractors, and was involved in Barry Docks and the Manchester Ship Canal. He was Chairman of the Metropolitan District Railway during 1902-06 (the period of electrification) and had been solicitor to the Metropolitan Railway before then. He was MP for Louth between 1892 and 1910. He was a distinguished Methodist and was closely involved with the construction of Central Hall, Westminster. ODNB biography by O.A. Rattenbury revised by Clive D. Field. See also Stephen Halliday's Fraud, liquidation and ingratitude. Backtrack, 2008, 22, 437. Covick, Owen. R.W. Perks and the Barry Railway Company, Part 1: to early-1887. J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc., 2008, 36, 71-83 and following parts: Part 3. Mentioned and portrayed in Horne's London's District Railway. Volume 2.
Born Spalding, Lincs., on 23 November 1878. Educated St Peter's School, York. Articled to solicitor, took his LLB (London) in 1902, with first-class honours; entered the North Eastern Railway eventually joining staff of the general manager, Sir George Gibb. In 1906 Gibb took over the management of the Metropolitan District and London Underground Electric Railways and took Pick with him. In the following year Gibb retired from his direct managerial responsibility and Pick was transferred to the staff of his successor, A.H. Stanley, later Lord Ashfield. Pick was closely associated with Stanley in the management of the underground railways and from 1912, the London General Omnibus Company. As traffic development officer (1909) and commercial manager (1912) he was responsible, in particular, for building up the system of bus routes in London and also for advertising. In 1917 Pick was appointed by his chief, then president of the Board of Trade in Lloyd George's wartime government, to take charge of the household fuel and lighting branch of the coal-mines control department, under Guy Calthrop. Returning to the underground group of companies after WW1, Pick became a joint assistant managing director in 1921 and three years later assumed full administrative control under Ashfield. He became joint managing director in 1928 and, when the London Passenger Transport Board was formed in 1933 with Ashfield as chairman, Pick became vice-chairman and chief executive officer.
It was the combination of Pick and Ashfield, rather than the individual work of either, that led to the remarkable development of public passenger transport in London: the two men were essentially complementary. Ashfield was at his best in dealing with politicians, shareholders, and the public. Pick was a very shy man, but a great administrator, responsible for the day-to-day efficiency of a system which technically was generally acknowledged to be without equal anywhere in the world. He had a very quick mind and an exceptional grasp of operating and engineering principles and techniques. There was no part of the transport undertaking of which he did not have a thorough understanding; and the power of decision came easily to him. Through his interest in the visual arts he encouraged good design in everyday things. He commissioned Edward Johnston to design an alphabet for display purposes (1916), and London Transport lettering on direction signs and posters became celebrated for its clarity. Pick raised the standard of poster design by seeking artists of quality, including Fred Taylor and McKnight Kauffer. Station design, ranging from the overall architecture to small details, was subject to Pick's personal scrutiny to ensure good design and fitness for purpose. The many examples of excellent contemporary architecture in the buildings erected by London Transport in Pick's time are lasting monuments to his ideals. Pick retired from the London Passenger Transport Board in 1940 and was for a short, unhappy time director-general of the Ministry of Information. In 1941 he undertook special duties for the minister of transport in connection with the development of traffic on canals and inland waterways. He died in Golders Green on 7 November 1941. Blue plawque at 15 Wildwood Road London NW11 see Humm J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc.,, 2015, 38, 252...
ODNB: John Elliot, revised Michael Robbins
Barman, C. The man who built London Transport: a biography of Frank Pick. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1979.
General Manager, Great Northern Railway (Ireland). Started railway career at Manchester London Road on LNWR in Goods Manager's Office. Moved to Euston to work in Rates Department. Divisional Manager for Shropshire & Herefordshire District and then moved to the Irish North Western Railway. In May 1890 became Secretary of the GNR(I) and was appointed General Manager in April 1896. Illustrated Interview. Rly Mag., 5, 385-400.
Pole, Sir Felix John Clewett
Born in Little Bedwyn on 1 February 1877, Felix John Clewett Pole was the son of a schoolmaster. He became a telegraph lad on the GWR at Swindon on 12 October 1891. Under James Charles Inglis he became in charge of publicity and public relations. In 1912 he became responsible for staff and labour and Chief Clerk in June 1913. He became General Manager of the GWR in June 1921 and resigned in 1929 when his relationship with the Chairman, Viscount Churchill, became strained. He became Chairman of Associated Electrical Industries in 1928. During later life he became blind and died in Reading on 15 January 1956. Geoffrey Channon Dictionary of Business Biography also excellent entry in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. See also replcement by James Milne in 1929: Locomotive Mag., 1929, 35, 236. Knighthood was bestowed as part of Stanley Baldwin's resignation honours. Locomotive Mag., 1924, 30, 99.
Felix J.C. Pole: his book. 1954.
Ottley 5990: not available through inter-library lending system
paragraph (p50): "When the Bill was under discussion, particularly in the committee stage, there was the usual intrigue and effort to effect changes. So far as the Great Western was concerned, the most serious was an attempt by the London & North Western Company to secure the transfer of the Rhymney Railway from the Great Western to the LM&SR. Mr. Prosser, the General Manager of the Rhymney Railway told me that Sir Arthur Watson, the General Manager of the L&NWR, had offered to give him twice as good personal terms as he would get from the Great Western. Whether this was true or not, it certainly was the case that the L&NWR wished to retain an interest in South Wales via the Rhymney Railway."
Pole stated that "a railway does not know what each coach or each train on each direction carries." [Helm Backtrack 11 216..
See short feature on kindness of man:
Great Western Railway Journal
Nock, O.S. Railway enthusuast's encyclopedia
Pollitt, Sir William
Born Ashton-under-Lyne on 24 February 1842. Educated privately. Joined MS&LR on 29 June 1857. Made Chief Accountatnt on 27 August 1869, and Assistant General Manager on 1 January 1886. He became a JP and Colonel in the Engineer and Volunteer Staff Corps. He was Chairman of the Wrexham Mold & Connah's Quay Railway, and was a Director of the CLC and several small railways.
The Managership of the Great Central Railway. Rly Mag., 1902, 10, 23-5.
Andrew Dow wrote a concise biography in the Oxford Companion (page 384)
Obituary Locomotive Mag., 1908, 14, 187.
Pope, Frank Aubrey
Born 3 August 1893. Died 15 January 1962. Educated at The Leys School (Who was who) entry which makes clear that Pope enjoyed a rich career: being called upon to offer expertise in India in 1932-3 and again in 1933-4. (he had served in Nigeria between 1925 and 1930). He was Director of Railways to the BEF in France in the early stages of WW2. Hendry states that Pope was trained on the LNWR; succeeded Speir on the NCC in 1941. Locomotive Mag., 1938, 44, 225 notes that appointed to new position of Superintendent of Operation uner T. Royle. In 1943 he was rewarded by becoming Chief Commercial Manager of the LMS, and became Vice President 1946. He became the Chairman of the UTA in 1948 where he introduced diesel railcars rebuilt from steam rolling stock. He was also responsible for closing the narrow gauge former NCC lines. In 1951 he joined the British Transport Commission, where he failed to become its Chairman, but remained with the BTC until 1958. Bonavia (British Rail: the first 25 years) tells of how he had been appointed Secretary to a Committee of which Pope was the Chairman Frank Pope, who had in fact been Hurcomb's nominee for the RE Chairmanship, but rejected by the Minister, initiated a greater insistence upon Commission participation in railway matters. His approach was based upon personal relationships rather than the written word; his views were strongly held but he was not very articulate on paper. Friendly (and preferably convivial) contacts were his chosen method of getting points across. Bonavia was appointed Secretary to a Committee of which Pope was Chairman. He sent for Bonavia and said: 'We are going to run this show as follows. At the first meeting, you will arrange a damned good lunch and we shall all get to know each other. At the second meeting, you will produce a draft of our final report. The rest of our meetings will be spent in getting your draft right'. One of Pope's interests - which was shared by Sir Reginald Wilson, the forceful Comptroller of the Commission - was the cost of the train services still maintained on minor lines and branches. The Executive had set up two committees to review unremunerative lines and, where appropriate, make recommendations for closure. But in the absence of any determined policy on the part of the Executive as a whole, progress was slow. In fact, over the six years of the Executive's existence the route-mileage only fell from 19,639 to 19,222, or by 2.1 per cent. In Northern Ireland, Pope had introduced diesel railcar services extensively and he was convinced that they were the answer to the problem of rural train services. He pressed the Executive to exploit their possibilities and the RE set up in August 1951 a rather oddly-named Light Weight Trains Committee, which reported with commendable speed in March 1952. E.S. Cox (J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1962, 52, 105): Notwithstanding the very big part which the Author had played in the development of the vehicles, he would not mind it being said that no description of their production and development would be complete without a mention of the name of Frank Pope. It was well known that for many years between the wars 37 cars of the kind described languished on the Great Western Railway without further development either in the Region or in British Railways, and it was only after the war, in Northern Ireland, that Frank Pope, although not an engineer, did, in collaboration with his engineers and the manufacturers, take the development to a worth while state, and it was he as much as anyone who was instrumental, when he joined the Commission, in initiating the Railcar Committee which started the whole job, and from his position in the Commission Frank Pope kept a close watch on the development through all its stages. The biography of Ermest Lemon (by Terry Jenkins) notes that Ernest Lemon and Frank Pope had known each other since their youths (but Lemon was considerably older): at Darvel and on holiday at Machrie Bay on the Isle of Arran. Langridge Under ten CMEs 2 page 163 states that Pope was a close associate of Cleaver, the manager (KPJ: managing director?) of AEC.
Portal, Wyndham Raymond
Last Chairman of the Great Western Railway: opponent of nationalisation, but according to ODNB biography (J.V. Sheffield revised by Robert Brown) was recognized by Attlee to have been great influence on attempting to alleviate poverty. Born into family of banknote paper manufacturers (Portals) at Overton in Hampshire on 9 April 1885. Educated Eton and Christ Church, Oxford. Director GWR: Chairman from 1945, by which time he had been created a Vscount. Died 6 May 1949.
Portal, Sir Wyndham Spencer
Born 22 July 1822; died 14 September 1905. Educated at Harrow and Royal Military College, Sandhurst. Military career. Director of LSWR from 1861; Deputy Chairman, 1875; Chairman, 1892-99. Owned Laverstoke Bank Note Paper Mills. Created a baronet in 1901. Who Was Who.
Porter, George Richardson
Born in London in 1792. Educated at Merchant Taylor's. Traded in sugar and wine. Joined Board of Trade statistical department and eventually took charge of railway department. He was one of the Five Kings under the chairmanship of Dalhousie. He was a founder member of the Statistical Society. He died on 3 September 1852 in Tunbridge Wells. Henry Parris entry in ODNB.
General Manager of GWR in succession to James Inglis who died in December 1911. Born in 1856. Joined GWR in 1869 as a lad in the Goods Department at Paddington. In 1904 he became chief assistant to Inglis in 1904. On Inglis' death Potter succeeeded, but he in turn died in St Ives on 23 July 1919: "worn out by the strain and anxieties of the last four years" (of WW1). He had been a member of the Railway Executive Committee during WW1. He in turn was succeeded by Charles Aldington. McDermot History of the Great Western Railway rev. Clinker
Surnames beginning "R"
Originally employed by the Furness Railway as its Locomotive Superintendent eventually became General Manager.
Traffic Manager, Southern Railway. Encountered in Kevin Robertson's Leader: the full story being credited with being the accidental instrument leading towards the Leader class: he wished for a modern tank engine to replace the M7 class used for empty stock movements into and out of Waterloo. The M7 class soldiered on until replaced by BR standard types!
Robertson, [General Sir] Brian Hubert
Born Simla, India, 22 July 1896. His father was Field Marshal Sir William Robertson, the first ranker to reach Field Marshal. Educated Charterhouse School and Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. Commissioned into Royal Engineers in 1914. During WW1 served in France winning the MC, three mentions in dispatches and DSO. In 1935 became managing director of Dunlop, South Africa. During WW2 he was recalled as a reserve officer in the South African forces. He became a successful military administrator, and following the War he was the military administrator responsible for restoring the economic, social, and political life of West Germany for five years at a time which included the blockade of Berlin. In 1950 Robertson became commander-in-chief middle east land forces, but in 1953 he became chairman of the British Transport Commission. Here he was under insistent but diverse political pressures. In 1961 he was created Baron Robertson of Oakridge. He did not suffer fools gladly and he could be daunting; but those who penetrated this carapace found affection, kindness, and a sense of fun, particularly apparent with the young, with whom he liked to relax in strenuous outdoor sports. He was a natural leader, and an able linguist and public speaker, endowed with a brilliant analytical brain He had a strong Christian faith, and a deep sense of loyalty to his country. Robertson died on 29 April 1974 at Far Oakridge, Gloucestershire. Charles Richardson (ODNB).
There is an excellent biography (Robert Humm's assessment) A Most Dipomatic General by David Williamson (Brasseys 1996). This has a long chapter on his spell at the BTC.
Bonavia (British Rail: the first 25 years) succinctly summarised Sir Brian Robertson arrival to preside over the assortment of businesses, some vast in scale, which the Transport Act of 1953 had put directly under the Commission, the first reaction of the staff was that now a real leader had appeared. Sir Brian was a man of commanding presence and great integrity, expecting and receiving respect. Some mistook his icy manner (based upon shyness) for arrogance. C.K. Bird, when General Manager of the Eastern Region, once observed to some of his officers: 'The Chairman is the most fairminded and impartial man I have ever met. He hates us all equally'. CKB's mordant wit had led him into misjudgment. Sir Brian expected complete loyalty from those who worked with him; he did not necessarily look for intellectual brilliance. The nearest thing to a twinkle in the Chairman's eye that some of us ever saw was when, describing in military 'briefing' style the new organisation at headquarters, he remarked: 'And Sir Reginald Wilson will now become a Commission Member pure if not simple'.
Died on 17 June 1906 aged 70. Born at Auchtergaven, Perthshire. Special Government Commissioner for Railways, Indian Empire. Formerly Superintendent of the Highland Railway 1875-90, General Manager of the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) 1890-6 and Chairman Board of Public Works, Ireland 1896-1901. Brief obituary Locomotive Mag., 1906, 12, 125, which notes that he had visited the United States and Canada travelling over 75,000 miles in connection with his mission to India where he advocated the establishmnet of a Railway Board. (remainder Who Was Who).
Roebuck, William Richardson
Acquired the Treffry estate in 1870 "having arrived in Cornwall from London in 1870 with a large fortune" (Rly Arch., 2009 (22) 4 et seq. Set about converting Treffry's system of tramways into the Cornwall Minerals Railway. Established headquarters at St Blazey with roundhouse to service six-coupled back-to-back locomotives, some of which were to eventually work on the Lynn & Fakenham Railway. Many of the works were constructed by Sir Morton Peto, and the collapse of the mineral industry led to the financial ruin of Peto.
Royden, Sir Thomas
Born in Liverpool on 22 May 1871 into a family of shipowners. Educated at Winchester and Magdalen College, Oxford. He was a director of many companies including Cunard. In 1941 he succeeded Stamp as Chairman of the LMS. Died at Alresford on 6 November 1950. ODNB entry by F.A. Bates revised by Adrian Jarvis. Several mentions of him in Terry Jenkins Sir Ernest Lemon.
Pearson Man of the rail p. 94 notes that In 1946 Lord Royden retired from the chairmanship of the L.M.S. and was succeeded by Sir Robert Burrows. Royden was very old when in the emergency of Stamp's death in 1941 he succeeded him. For all that he was a remarkable person in a negative kind of way. He was utterly undemonstrative, with, apparently, little sense of humour, and his approach to business was matter of fact and ice cold. He tackled difficult staff problems at the top without any sign of emotion. Men like Arthur Towle and Lemon left during his period of office, and although both were considerable personalities, I never saw Royden at all disturbed. He used to say to me when I had been reporting something difficult to him (and I had included the words 'I am afraid,') 'What are you afraid of-if it is so it is so.' I doubt if Royden was afraid of anything or anyone. I never saw anyone more economical of effort and nervous energy. Perhaps that is why he lived to his nineties.
Royle, Thomas Wright
Born 27 September 1882; died 17 July 1969. He joined Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway in 1898; was Confidential Assistant to Superintendent of the Line in connection with Railway Executive Committee work, from 1914; Assistant Superintendent of the Line, Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, 1919; Assistant Divisional General Superintendent, Northern Division, LNWR, 1922; Assistant General Superintendent, Western Division, LMSR, 1923; Assistant Chief Commercial Manager, LMSR, 1932; Chief Assistant Commercial Manager, LMSR, 1935; Chief Operating Manager, LMSR; 1938; Vice-President LMSR, 1944-47 (appointment 31 August 1944: Locomotive Mag, 1944, 50, 139.). He briefly became Deputy Chief Regional Officer of the LMR, but retired in 1948.Lt-Col, Engineer and Railway Staff Corps, 1938; Pres. Institute of Transport, 1947-48. Paper on modernisation of railway shunting presented to Railway Students Association. Locomotive Mag. 1940, 46, 136. Co-patentee of ash ejector fitted to Jubilee class locomotive. GB 518507 Improvements in ejecting means for ashes and like materials from enclosed spaces such as smoke boxes. Applied 27 August 1938; published 28 February 1940. Mentioned in Terry Jenkins Sir Ernest Lemon. See Whitehouse and St John Thomas' LMS 150 page 37 for photographic and pen portaits of Royle. .
Rusholme, Lord (Robert Alexander
Born on 29 November 1890; died 18 August 1977. Educated St. Mary's School, Heaton Mersey. Senior official within Co-operative Union and created a peer by the Post-WW2 Labour Government. Member of the British Transport Commission from 1947 to 1959 and of the London Midland Region Area Board from 1955 to 1960. Bonavia (The first 25 years) called him a helpful Mancunian, practical and affable by nature, but with no special knowledge of transport.
Surnames beginning Sa-
Sackville, Lord (Arthur Cecil)
Arthur Cecil; born in 1848, brother of then Prime Minster; whilst at Cambridge had travelled with footplate crews and guards of GER trains; worked in shops at Stratford. Assistant Traffic Manager, GER; Carriage Dept of GNR at Doncaster, and lastly General Manager, Metropolitan District Railway. Rly Mag., 2, 282 (obituary)
Salisbury, 3rd Marquis of
(Cecil, Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne)
Chairman of the Great Eastern from 1868-1871: took the railway out of Chancery and the Company was able to pay a small dividernd on its ordinary shares. Publicly stated that the Liverpool Street extension was "one of the greatest mistakes ever committed in connection with a railway." Also co-arbitrator, with Lord Cairns on finances of LCDR (award 24 February 1871).
Allen, C.J.: The Great Eastern
Scott Damant: Rly Mag., 1, 571
Born at Hatfield House on 3 February 1830; died there on 22 August 1903. Member of the hugely influential Salisbury family. Educated at Eton and eventual Prime Minister. Paul Smith in a tediously long ODNB entry notes that: "Although in 1866 he was seriously embarrassed by the Overend Gurney crash, he had enough business acumen to make a successful chairman of the beleaguered Great Eastern Railway Company from 1868 to 1872." Allen relates "Curiously enough the Marquis of Salisbury, after succeeding to the chairmanship, publicly stated that in his opinion" what was done in 1865 was one of the greatest mistakes ever Committed in connection with a railway", the ground of this pessimism being the weak financial position of the G.E.R. at that time in relation to a project which was bound to prove extremely costly. .
Sarle, [Sir] Allen Lanyon
Sarle was born at Westness, Rousay, Orkney, of Cornish parentage in 14 November 1828. He died on 4 June 1903. He was educated at Selkirk Grammar School and the High School in Edinburgh. He was a junior clerk in the office of an Edinburgh stockbroker. In 1848 he moved to the London office of the Shropshire Union Railway Company and when this amalgamated with the LNWR he moved to the Audit Office of the London & Brighton Railway. In 1854 he became the Accountant and in 1867 the Secretary and in 1885 the Secretary/General Manager. The function was divided again in 1898. He was knighted in 1896. In 1867 there was a financial crisis on the LBSCR and all the executive officers, other tha Sarle, were forced to resign. Samuel Laing MP and a new Board were appointed and they developed the company to become highly profitable. He would appear to be an excellent candidate for a full biography. Partly based on Who Was Who material. Was on Board of the Mersey Railway: see A. Jarvis, Rly Wld., 1986, 47, 211.
Saunders, Charles Alexander
Ellis (p. 66) describes him as "one of the greatest secretaries in railway history". The position (Secretary and General Superintendent of the Great Western Railway) amounted to that of general manager, but without jurisdiction over the engineer. Saunders was older than Brunel, had been a Civil Servant on the mercantile side in Mauritius, and was at first Secretary to the London Committee. He retired in September 1863 and died in the following September (22-09-1864). An amazing omission from ODNB. Nock, O.S. Railway enthusuast's encyclopedia.
Born 24 December 1820. Appointed as Assistant Secretary to the South Wales Railway in 1844, becoming Chief Secretary in 1849. When his uncle, Charles Saunders retired as Secretary to the Great Western in 1863, Frederick filled his place and when he resigned from this post in June 1886, he was made a Director of the company. Succeeding Gooch in 1889, he retired in June 1895 although he remained a member of the Board until his death at Reading on 1 January 1901. Great Western Railway Trust website
Born Llwynymaen in 1826 and died in Oswestry on 23 July 1889: Marshall. The promotion of the Oswestry & Newtown Railway was a joint affair between the local land owners, the better-off tradesmen, and the contractors. In the case of all the early Cambrian lines the party of the third part was Thomas Savin, at this time in partnership with David Davies. Not only did they actively promote the railways, but they became involved with the financing of them, and for a time operated them on lease. Kidner: Cambrian Railways. Not in ODNB but mentioned in Kenneth O. Morgan excellent entry for David Davies..
Scott, Finlay Forbes
Born in 1860; orphaned in 1871. His father had been an officer on the LBSCR and the company offered him employment. He was station master at several locations and in 1907 was made Superintendent of the Line. Dawn Smith
Scotter, Sir Charles
Born in Norwich, on 22 October 1835 (date given in Who Was Who) son of a cabinet maker who was sent to the debtors' prison in Norwich Castle in November 1841, and when released in March 1842 moved to Holt in North Norfolk and then moved to Hull where Scotter joined the staff of the Manchester Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway as a receiving clerk in the Goods Department where most of the traffic was handled by ferry. In 1856 he married Annie Wilkinson. In 1860 he was promoted to Clerk-in-Charge of the Passenger Deparment at Hull. In 1866 he was promoted to be Continental Agent at the Company's Headquarters in Manchester charged with developing traffic through Grimsby. In 1872 he became Assistant Goods Manager and within a year Goods Manager. (see Ron Strutt, Backtrack. 2014, 28, 198). Scotter became General Manager of the LSWR in March 1885 and remained in that post until he became Chairman of the Board between 1904 and 1910 when he died on 13 December. He was largely responsible for the LSWR acquiring Southampton Docks, of developing the privilege ticket system and of encouraging traffic to Bournemouth. Scotter's later career is covered by Strutt in Backtrack, 28, 308: this includes moves to limit competition and reduce operating costs between the Great Western and South Western Railways. He was a Lt Col in the Railway Engineer and Volunteer Staff Corps and a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. Strutt argues that the Railway Magazine 1, 385 Illustrated Interview) colours his career and many of the obituaries favoured "Hull" as his place of birth thus avoiding the taint of Norwich.
Selbie, Robert Hope
General Manager, Metropolitan Railway. Son of Rev. R.W. Selbie of Salford. Born 1868. Educated Manchester Grammar School and Owens College of Victoria University, Manchester. Joined L&YR where he rose to position of Assistant to Traffic Manager. Became Secretary to Metropolitan Railway in June 1903. Died 17 May 1930 (Who Was Who and Ovenden who calls him saviour of railway). See Rly Mag., 1908, 23, 336 (includes port). Memorial see Humm J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc., 2015, 38, 252.
In 1892 joined office of Superintendent of the Line, Great Northern Railway, In 1914 became Superintendent of the Line (Dawn Smith).
Sims, William Unwin
Chairman Great Western. Death by suicide late 1839. Ellis
Slim, General Sir William Joseph
Born in Bishopstone, near Bristol on 6 August 1891. Educated at St Philip's Catholic School in Edgbaston and King Edward's School in Birmingham. Joined Royal Warwickshire Regiment in 1914: served in Gallipoli Camapaign where was wounded and awarded MC. Professional soldier in India between the Wars. Brilliant Burma Campaign during WW2. Briefly Deputy Chairman of the Railway Executive before becoming Chief of Imperial General Staff and then Governor General of Australia. Died 14 December 1970. Funeral St George's Chapel, Windsor. Author of Defeat into Victory (1956) and Unofficial History (1959). Raymond Callahan ODNB entry.
Surnames beginning Sm-
Educated at Cheltenham College. Entered service with LNWR, 1896; District Goods Manager at Liverpool from 1902, Wo1verhampton from 1911, Birmingham from January 1914. Outdoor Goods Manager, Northern Division (at Liverpool), LNWR from May 1914. General Manager, Furness Railway from 15th April 1918. Retired from railway May 1923. (Peter Robinson, Backtrack, 2005, 19, 763).
Speir, Malcolm Scott
Currie (Northern Counties Railway, v 2) states that Speir was born on 6 February 1887 into an old Scottish family and was educated at Radley. He joined the Midland Railway at Derby and was sent to America in 1909/10 to study railway management there. On return he joined the Caledonian Railway. He was awarded the Military Cross during WW1 and according to Currie was a tall, spare, dynamic man. Rutherford notes that he used the title Major following the WW1. Between 1931 and 1941 Speir was General Manager of the Northern Counties Committee in Northern Ireland. On 31 March 1941 he returned to Scotland as Chief Officer of the LMS in Scotland on a salary of £3,500 per annum when J. Ballantyne retired.. (LMS Journal, 2008 (22), 80). His period in Ulster was associated with a dynamic approach during a difficult economic period: this included the introduction of colour light signalling and high speed operation on single lines. Currie notes that the 2-6-0 type was due to him and these were used on the North Atlantic Express between Belfast and Portrush. Scott notes that Speir eased out Hugh Stewart and records that Speir was a workaholic.. No. 90 was named Duke of Abercorn after it had hauled the Governor General's train to open the Greenisland loop started by his predecessor Pepper. Nock in Out the line notes that he was full of energy and a great Christian gentleman. On the NCC he was succeeded by what must have been regarded as strangely named Frank Pope..
Speyer. Sir Edgar
Born New York on 7 September 1862: German Jewish origins. Moved to London in 1887. Financed railways, including London Underground. Naturalized British in 1892. During WW1 accused of pro-German activities and fled to USA. His British nationality was revoked in 1921. Died in Berlin on 16 February 1932. Built large house on cliffs at Overstrand in Norfolk, still extant as hotel, where accused of signalling to German submarines. ODNB biography by Theo Barker. See also Stephen Halliday's Fraud, liquidation and ingratitude. Backtrack, 2008, 22, 437. Antony Lentin. Banker, traitor, scapegoat, spy? The troublesome case of Sir Edgar Speyer; an episode of the Great War. (London: Haus, 2013). KPJ wonders if the Overstrand loop was constructed to provide smooth transit from London to Overstrand for Speyer and his friends.
Stafford, John Herman
Joined L&YR in 1849 in Secretary's Office, became Secretary in 1875 and General Manager in1890. See Rly Mag., 2, 97. Retirement: Rly Mag., 1899, 4, 510.
Richard de Aquila Grosvenor, fourth son of the Marquis of Westminster, was born on 28 January 1837. He was educated at Westminster School and Cambridge. He was MP (Liberal) for Flintshire and was created a Privy Councillor in 1872. He succeeded Moon as Chairman of the LNWR, and in turn handed over to Claughton in 1911, having retired in the February. He died on 18 May 1912 in London. See M.C. Reed who stated that Stalbridge was "no stranger to the footplate" Biddle wrote entry in Oxford Companion which noted that Stalbridge was strong advocate for Channel Tunnel. ODNB entry A.C. Bell revised C.G. Matthew. LNWR Society Journal, 2012..
Born 1847; died 4 November 1925. General Manager, GNR 1898-1902; formerly Manager of Highland Railway, 1897-8. Who Was Who..
Stephens, Holman Frederick
Stirling, John of
Born in 1811 (Ellis North British Railway) who beacame Laird of Kippendavie when aged five. Chairman of the Scottish North Eastern Railway and subsequently of the North British Railway in 1866 which according to Ellis he rejuvenated. Died in 1882. Cattenach North British Railway Study Gp. J. (105), p. 11. John Thomas (North British) claimed that the Railway Times (full source not given) stated that Kippendavie's approach to the Caledonian Railway was like a "dog returning to its vomit". He was eager for the two companies to amalgamate and achieved the approval of both Boards for this in November 1871, but this was thwarted by John Montieth Douglas, an accountant and shareholder, who showed that the finances relating to the Caledonian Railway given to the NBR Board members had not been approved by the CR. See also David Stirling's The rise of the NB. NBR Study Group J., No. 71, 32. Remarkably not in Oxford Dictionary of English National Biography..
Sutherland, Duke of (third)
George Granville William Leveson-Gower (Marshall files him unnder italicised portion) was born on 18 December 1828 probably at Trentham (becoming the Marquis of Stafford). P.J.G. Ransom's Narrow gauge steam paints a sympathetic picture of the Duke's contributions to railway history whereas Eric Richards (ODNB) portrays him as a playboy who lived off his ancestors' infamous Highland clearances. P.J.G. Ransom's The Mont Cenis Fell Railway shows the deep financial involvement in this short-lived venture (the tunnel killed off the narrow gauge line over the pass) and on page 53 shows how Stroudley designed a Fell type locomotive for the Duke. The Duke died at the aptly-named Dunrobin Castle on 22 September 1892. He was a Director of the LNWR and of the Highland Railway. He appears to have been a Pupil of J.E. McConnell at Wolverton where he learned how to drive a locomotive: he subsequently drove many famous people to Dunrobin Castle. Eric Richards ODNB biography notes some of railway foibles (denies the Highland Railway its identity through failure to use inititial capitals. See also Alan A. Jackson article in J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc., 2003, 34, 370 which shows that Duke was probably subject of gentle parody by Gilbert and Sullivan.
Szlumper, Gilbert Savill
Surnames beginning T
Chairman of the Locomotive Committee, LMS Board. Bond.
Thompson family of Brampton
James Thompson became Lord Carlisle's agent in 1819 for his collieries near Brampton (the Lord was solely interested in his mines as a minor source of income). Members of family later leased collieries and railway from Lord Carlisle near Brampton: Charles Lacy Thompson lived 1857 to 1920. Brother James lived 1859 to 1899. Father Thomas Charles
Thompson, Stephen Harry
Land-owner: director of York & North Midland Railway. Chairman of North Eastern Railway from 1855 until his death in 1874. Quietly dismissed William O'Brien, General Manager in 1871. Dawn Smith.
Born in Kirtlebridge in 1835. Died 9 June 1906. Educated Carlisle Grammar School and entered Caledonian Railway as a lad in 1848. By 1856 he was the chief clerk in the Goods Manager's office in Glasgow. In 1865 he was promoted to be a district officer in Edinburgh. Knighted in 1897. Responsible for abolishing second class and increasing passenger comfort. In 1866 he returned to Glasgow as Manager of the Western & Southern Districts. In 1870 he advanced to be General Goods Manager and in 1882 he became General Manager. He justified the heavy capital cost of the Glasgow Central Railway. Resigned 31 January 1900, but joined Board and became Chairman, (SLS Caledonian Railway centenary). See Railway Magazine Illustrated Interview. 1, 289. Long entry in Grace's Guide: presumably recent literature, such as David Ross and Summerson on Caledonian Railway must give more. Times obituary was useful. The end of the Grace's piece is added below:
On 27 May, 1898, he was presented with his portrait by the late Sir John Watson of Earnock, in name of a number of influential gentlemen and admiring friends. Social and jovial, a clever raconteur, witty and kindly, Sir James is a general favourite wherever he goes. He has one characteristic which links him in close fellowship with all Scotsmen worthy of the national name, and that is his delight in the songs and poetry of Robert Burns. Scotland's ploughman bard is to him the king of poets and prince of good fellows. It is very rare to find a successful businessman an admirer of poetry in any form, and perhaps the poetry of Burns least of all. Intellect, heart, humour, and broad mind may safely be predicated of the man who gently admires Burns, and Sir James Thompson is a conspicuous example. His keen sense of humour saves him from that giddiness which high position frequently causes, and specially pardonable in men who have scaled up from the lowest rung of the social ladder. When congratulated on receiving the honour of knighthood, he replied: "It was conferred on the general manager of the Caledonian Railway." Early in January, 1900, Sir James Thompson voluntarily resigned the position of general manager of the Caledonian Railway Company. The directors accepted his resignation with reluctance, and requested him to take a seat at the Directors' Board, so that, though deprived of his services as manager, they might have the benefit of his counsel. Sir James agreed to an arrangement, which was at once a high tribute to his abilities and a graceful token of esteem.
Treffry, Joseph Thomas
Baptised Joseph Thomas Austen at St Andrew's Church, Plymouth, on 1 May 1782, and died at Place, near Fowey (where he had been Squire) on 1 May 1782.. ODNB biography by Jack Simmons (revised Edmund Newell). Driving force behind what was to become the Cornwall Minerals Railway under William Richardson Roebuck to connect his mines with ports at Fowey and Newquay. Began with a canal which connected Par Harbour with Pontsmill which connected with a railway which involved a 1 in 10 incline worked by a water wheel to acsend the Luxulyan Valley which it then crossed on a viaduct. The exit from Newquay Harbour was even more steeply graded (1 in 4½) and included a tunnel followed by the Trenance Viaduct. . MacDermot History of the Great Western.
Turner, George Henry
Was born in Bridgewater, Somerset in 1836 and joined the railway in 1849. In 1853 he became a goods clerk on the MR at Bristol; he rose to become Chief Clerk in Birmingham; Chief Goods Agent in Nottingham in 1875; the Chief Goods Canvasser at Derby in 1878; the Goods Manager for the GSWR in 1880, but returned to the same post on the MR in 1882. In 1891 he became Assistant General Manager and in the following year General Manager. He was a JP in the County of Derby and Colonel in the Engineer & Railway Volunteer Corps. Railway Magazine Illustrated Interview 1, 97.
Vivian, Hugh (Captain)
Born in 1884; died 17 July 1956. Member of Cornish family which had moved to Swansea to establish copper smelting works and came of a family associated with the industrial development of South Wales for over 140 years, having founded the Copper Works at Swansea in 1810 Educated at Uppingham and the Universities of Hanover (where he studied locomotive engineering under Von Borries) and Freiburg, taking degrees in mechanical engineering and metallurgy with first class honours. In 1909, he became Technical Manager of Vivian & Sons Ltd., of Swansea, of which company he was appointed Assistant General Manager in 1918, and Managing Director in 1922. He was appointed a director of Beyer, Peacock & Co. Ltd., in 1934 and became Acting Chairman of that company in 1936 and Chairman the following year, a position he held until 1949. He was a director of the Great Western Railway Company from 1944 to 1947, and Chairman of its Locomotive Committee. He was a director and later Chairman of Richard Garrett Engineering Works Ltd., and a director of Associated Electrical Industries Ltd., Briton Ferry Steel Co. Ltd. (Consulting Director), Christy & Co. Ltd., Portals Ltd., and other companies. He was part-time Director of the South West Division of the National Coal Board, a member of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, of the Institute of Metals>. He took a leading part in the educational life of Wales being on the Governing Body of the University of Wales and of the National Museum of Wales, and a Member of Council of the University College of Swansea. He became a member of the Western Area Board of the B.T.C. in 1955. He had been a Member of the Institution of Loccomotive Engineers since 1919. The Locomotive Mag., 1956, 62, 173 obituary notes his charming disposition, his immense enthusiasm for many subjects and a profound knowledge thereon. Obituary ILocoE. See also Loco. Mag., 1924, 30, 74.
Surnames beginning "W"
Walker, [Sir] Herbert Anscombe
Born London 15 May 1868; died London 29 September 1949. Educated North London Collegiate School and Bruges. Joined LNWR. In 1893 made District Superintendent, North Wales Division in 1893; in 1902 he became District Superintendent Euston, when he visited the USA to study American practice. In 1912 he became the General Manager of the LSWR where he instigated the programme of electrification. He succeeded Ree as Chairman of the Executive Committee of General Managers to control railways on behalf of the Board of Trade during WW1: He received a knighthood in 1915. After a frustrating year of indecision on the part of the Southern Railway's Board he was appointed General Manager of the Southern Railway where he encouraged the electrification programme. In this respect he was a major influence on steam locomotive develooment, or the lack of it, on the Southern. Witness to Weir Committee on Railway Electrification. He retired in 1937. He was a strong advocate of the Channel Tunnel. Marshall. Oxford Companion (by Michael Bonavia), an ODNB good entry by Colin Watson who noted Walker was physically well made, having stamina and a commanding presence. He looked what he was, a man who knew his job and meant to do it and had a remarkable memory. and C.F. Klapper's Sir Herbert Walker's Southern Railway. 1972. Nock, O.S. Railway enthusuast's encyclopedia. Stone cameo portrait in Waterloo station (Humm J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc., 2015, 38, 252)
Walker, Sir Robert
Born 18 March 1890: educated Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. herditary owner of Sand Hutton Estate (North East of York): built a 15 inch railway, much of the equipment from which went to the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway. Following WW1 converted this system to 18 inch gauge to serve large agricultural estate. Used four Hunslet 0-4-0WT locomotives from WW1 government meat depot at Deptford (WN 1207/1916 and 1289-91/1917. Director of Derwent Valley Light Railway. Died 11 February 1930. See W.J.K. Davies' Light railways.
Watkin, [Sir] Edward
Born in Salford on 26 September 1819 and died in Northenden (Manchester) on 13 April 1901 (Marshall). Great opponent of James Staats Forbes when they were respective Chairmen of SER and LCDR. Meddled in locomotive affairs by the appointment of his son as Locomotive Superintendent of the South Eastern Railway. Builder of railway empires: creator of the Great Central Railway. Chairman of the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway, the South Eastern Railway and the Metropolitan Railway. Sought to construct Channel Tunnel and the Wembley Tower. See also S.A. Griffin. Edward Watkin - an appreciation. Backtrack, 1998, 12, 659-61.which states that two of Watkins "unqualified successes" were the sale of the Trent Valley Railway and the formation of the Cheshire Lines Committee. The former was incorporated in 1845 to by-pass Birmingham and a consortium was organized to purchase the railway which in turn led to the formation of the LNWR in 1846. The latter was created by the MSLR and the GNR in 1862 and the Midland joined in 1866. The usual tale of Watkin's dream of a Manchester to Paris railway aided by his Chairmanship of the MSLR, SER and Metropolitan Railway is told, as is its progress being thwarted by Forbes of the LCDR and MDR. Watkin's last great venture was in West Lancashire where he attempted to reach Blackpool, partly by extending the Cheshire Lines Extension Railway (to Southport) over the West Lancashire Railway and partly by the North West Central Railway from the GNR Keighley branch to Penwortham Junction outside Preston via Colne. See letters in volume 13 (page 109) by Kidner, (illus on page 661 is of Metropolitan District Railway not as stated and SER did not run Pullman cars - they owned American-type cars purchased in 1891).Braine (Relationship between Moon and Watkin (plus attributions of statements challenged), and especially of sale of Trent Valley Railway), and Hodgins [Forbes and Channel Tunnel, sale of Trent Valley Railway, and lines to Blackpool. (Writer was working on biography of Watkin)].and reply to these by author on page 221. illus.: Photograph; Sir Edward Watkin; also Dow's Great Central and David Hodgkins The second railway king: the life and times of Sir Edward Watkin 1891-1901. Cardiff: Merton Priory Press, 2002. http://www.watkins.net.au/ . It is appropriate to note that the Railway Magazine called Watkin the "Railway Czar" in his obituary Death of the railway king [Sir Edward William Watkin]. Rly Mag. 1901, 8, 411-16. illus. (port). Nock, O.S. Railway enthusuast's encyclopedia. Evidence of his Trump-like character emerges in Timperley's article on the Dinting tragedy of 1855 when he accused one of those who fell to their deaths of suicide: see Backtrack, 2017, 31 658.
Watson, Sir Arthur
Born in Manchester on 18 September 1873. Died 13 April 1954. Educated Manchester Grammar School and Victoria University, Manchester. Trained as Civil Engineer and rose to be Chief Assistant Engineer to LYR 1905-10; then became Superintendent of the Line, 1910-18; Chairman of the Superintendents' Conference at the Railway Clearing House, London, 1915-18; Assistant General Manager, 1918-19; General Manager, 1919-20; General Manager London and North-Western Railway, 1921-23; First General Manager of the LMS, 1923-24. Member of the Permanent Commission of the International Railway Association, 1922. Founder Member of Institute of Transport. Latterly much involved in hospital management. Marshall Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway. V. 2 and Who Was Who.
Wemyss, Randolph Erskine
Ruthless coal baron who with the aid of Wieland and Grierson took control of the NBR. In 1897 he constructed a new railway to connect his mines with Methil Dock in competition with the NBR and engineered the resignation of Conacher for "dishonest practice". John Thomas North British vol 2.
Whyte, James J.W.
Joined the Londonderry & Lough Swilly Railway in 1910: Manager from 1931 to 1967: latterly a bus company. Hendry: Patterson would be better
Company Secretary to NBR. Formerly employed by LNWR (not mentioned Reed). When he resigned due to ill-health he was given a place on the Board and with Randolph Erskine Wemyss and Grierson formed a cabal which took control of NBR and got rid of Conacher. Cattenach NBRSG Journal, (92), 16. Wieland died in 1905. Thomas North British Railway V.2.
Wilkinson, Joseph Loftus
Born in Buckinghamshire in 1845. Educated in Reading. Joined GWR as boy clerk in 1852. Promoted as telegraph clerk, goods clerk to stationmaster and then worked as a manager for nineteen years in the goods department. In 1887 he beacme the goods manager of the Buenos Aires & Pacific Railway but returned to the GWR as Goods Manager in 1887. In 1895 he became Acting General Manager and General Manager in 1896. He regretted the departure of the broad gauge and envisaged London to Birmingham being accomplished in one hour. He observed the fast twin screw ships used on the Channel Islands run, the fast Cornishman non-stop to Exeter and taking only seven hours (and four minutes to Truro) "we firmly believe in speed"; and the new cut-off lines via Westbury, High Wycombe (leading to a circular suburban service via Uxbridge) and to Milford. See Rly Mag., 1, 1. and another feature in same volume on page 508.. McDermot History of the Great Western Railway rev. Clinker. Purchser of nameplate off broad gauge locomotivve: Stephen Spark letter Backtrack, 2017, 37, 637.
Russell Willmott, engineer and manager of the SMJR was appointed secretary and General Manager of the Isle of Wight Central Ry. in 1912, but still had charge of the locomotive and permanent way departments of the SMJR. Locomotive Mag., 1912, 18, 3..
Born 14 August 1895, died 12 May 1966. Chairman, 194965, and Managing Director, 193860, of Beyer, Peacock & Co. Ltd, and its subsidiary companies including Beyer Peacock (Hymek) Ltd (195865). C.B.E., whose death occurred on 12th May 1966, had been Chairman and Managing Director of the Beyer Peacock Group since 1949. Served in the Army in the First World War after which he served his apprenticeship with Charles McNeil & Co., Ltd., Glasgow. He joined Beyer Peacock & Co. in 1924 as cost accountant and after holding several positions, rose to general manager in 1934 and managing director four years later. In 1949, the year he was elected chairman of the company, he received his C.B.E. Wilmot had travelled widely on behalf of his company and of the Locomotive and Allied Manufacturers' Association, of which he was president at various times. He was also a president of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants from 1943 to 1946 and chairman of the North Western Management Research Group. In 1959 he was awarded the Bowie Medal of the British Institute of Management of which he had been chairman from 1956 to 1958. Wilmot had been a life Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and he served for several years on the Council of the Federation of British Industries (see Locomotive Mag., 1956, 62, 163) . He had been a Member of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers since 1939 (obituary: Journal 1966, 56, 114..
Born in Kendal in 1822; died in Nunthorpe Hall, Middlesbrough in 1899. Member of Stockton & Darlington Railway's Management Committee. Co-founder of Gilkes & Wilson, locomotive repairer and manufacturer in Middlesbrough. See Pearce p. 103. Eestablished the Tees Engine Works in 1844, under the style of Gilkes, Wilson and Company, at which place a large number of the locomotives used on the Stockton and Darlington Railway were built. Responsible for developing Tees as major port.
General Manager Weston & Clevedon Light Railway; formerly similar position on Severn & Wye Railway at Lydney. See Rly Mag., 1901, 8, 524.
Surnames beginning Wo
Wood, William Valentine
Born on 14 February 1883. Died 26 August 1959. Educated Methodist College, Belfast (Who was Who). Sir William Valentine Wood (taken from LMS 150 and possibly written by D.S.M. Barrie) ('Willie Wood' to colleagues on the railway, 'Val' to family and close friends) had never anticipated becoming president. When Stamp was killed on that dreadful night of 16 April 1941, Wood was shattered. He broke the news to the Railway Executive Committee with an emotion very strange to his quiet nature. He must have felt daunted by the need to follow such an outstanding figure.
Wood was smallish, clean-shaven, with strong glasses that gave him a slightly owlish expression, though he had a quiet, rather quizzical smile. You never saw him or hardly ever without a cigarette in his mouth. This combined with a very low voice, rapid speech and a strong Ulster brogue to make communication rather difficult, unless you knew him well and could guess in which way his quicksilver mind was working.
He had started on the Midland's NCC as an accountant, at which work
he was supreme. But he was also interested, and rapidly became knowledgeable,
in almost every aspect of railway work. He once told of a slight collision
in which an NCC locomotive had been involved ; 'actually', he said
with that delightful twinkle, 'I was driving the engine'.
In the 1914-18 war he was involved in Government work and when Sir Eric Geddes' Ministry of Transport was created in 1919 he became its first director of finance. There he began a long friendship with Sir Cyril Hurcomb, later the first chairman of the British Transport Commission, who had the highest regard for him. He returned to the railway to rise through the accountancy side of the LMS and eventually became vice president (finance and services). Here he made a wonderful two-man team with Stamp, dealing with all the economic and financial aspects of the railway. He wrote 90 per cent of the short volume Railways, officially a joint work with Stamp.
His speed at juggling with numbers was legendary. Quote almost any figure to him and he would whip out an old-fashioned calculating machine from the top drawer of his desk and rapidly convert it into something else ; a price per ton of engine weight, a weight per mile of fishplates .
His points in discussion could be difficult to ascertain because of his speed and inaudibility but on paper he was formidable. Every one on the LMS respected Willie Wood those who knew him personally were deeply attached to him. He should have retired at nationalisation, instead of accepting Hurcomb's pressing invitation to soldier on: his last five years were an anti-climax after a long and happy life on the railway..Hendry presents a sharp verbal portrait noting that he was "an analyst rather than an ideas man". His name appears frequently in the index of Terry Jenkins Sir Ernest Lemon, but there does not appear to have been much interaction between Wood and Lemon.
A.J. Pearson: Sir William Wood was trained on the Northern Counties Committee in Ireland, where he became accountant. The N.C.C. was originally the Belfast & Northern Counties Railway and was taken over by the Midland in 1903. Wood was of medium height, well set, wore heavily-leased glasses, was very shy, spoke with a strong Irish accent, and had a first-class creative brain. After the first world war he was accountant to the Ministry of Transport, and from 1924 he had been assistant accountant-general at Euston, and succeeded John Quirey as vice-president for finance and service in 1929. He was in my view the best English railway general manager to come out of Ireland. When Wood was first knighted before the second world war, we had a discussion about the christian name he should use. His names were William Valentine (the latter because he was born on Valentine's Day and was known as Val. see also Szlumper diaries which are severely critical of Valentine Wood
Oxford Companion entry by Gerald Crompton
Wright, Frederick Matthew
Born 26 June 1916; died 29 June 1990. General Manager, British Railways, Western Region and Member of British Railways (Western) Board, 197276. Educated Rutherford College, Newcastle upon Tyne. Joined LNER, 1933. Served with Royal Engineers during WW2. Eastern Region: Commercial Superintendent, Great Northern Line, 1961; Divisional Manager, Doncaster, 1964; Assistant General Manager, York, 1968; Member, BR (Eastern) Board, 1969; Deputy General Manager, York, 1970. Who Was Who
His biographer (Richard Davenport-Hines) in the ODNB calls him a speculator, but fraudster might be more accurate. He was born in the United Kingdom on 9 February 1845, but moved to the USA in 1866 where he became involved in mining ventures. He returned to Britain in 1889 where he was associated with the London & Globe Finance Corporation which funded the Waterloo & Baker Street Railway. His fraudulent activities eventually led to his prosecution at the hands of the Solicitor General, Edward Carson, and his sentence to penal servitude, but he died at the end of the court case by swallowing a cyanide capsule on 26 January 1904 when he was found to have a loaded revolver in his pocket See also Stephen Halliday's Fraud, liquidation and ingratitude. Backtrack, 2008, 22, 437..
Yerkes, Charles Tyson
Born in Philadelphia, USA, on 28 June 1837 and died in New York on 29 December 1905. Name rhymes wityh "turkeys". He was a financial speculator who had made a fortune on the stock exchange by the age of 30, but was subsequently sent to prison for embezzlement, but this did not deter his progress for long as he subsequently became involved in investing in transport for Chicago including the Loop elevated railway. When the going became too hot there he moved to London in the 1890s and joined with Edgar Speyer and Robert William Perks to invest in the London Undergroud system, notably by electrifying the District line and by financing the completion of the tube lines. ODNB biography by Theo Barker. See also Stephen Halliday's Fraud, liquidation and ingratitude. Backtrack, 2008, 22, 437. and Tim Sherwood's Charles Tyson Yerkes: the traction king of London. 2008.
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