I don't as a rule "do forums" much anymore but I felt I needed to respond here to clarify a few things.
Bigmet wrote:Oh dear SACM obsessively banging the drum again.
Yes - someone has to! and I am enjoying what will be a good end to the year with this subject. The book is nearly done, I am doing two talks (one in London, one in York) for a range of people and I thoroughly enjoyed doing this podcast. It's a subject that isn't for everyone, I engage on it because I enjoy researching it.
ET was an engineer to whom neither of the opposed labels apply, and there is a very good book by Peter Grafton - who had direct access to many of ET's colleagues - which presents a well balanced account of the work he accomplished.
I absolutely agree: it's a great book, but Grafton did not have access to all of the information I now have to hand, thanks to the National Archives at Kew making some more documents available last year. It has been a real eye opener over the last year and in the podcast I cover at length the additional documents uncovered.
Bigmet wrote:Corbs wrote:...Did you give the podcast a listen? ...
Of course not, too much to do, too little time; and having read Grafton and others such as Townend, Harvey and Hardy - and spoken to some of these - who were there, and know what they are writing and talking about, I have the information.
Disappointing! Mainly because I think you would find the availability stats in particular very interesting. These were not available until recently and I have spent the last year putting them into a spreadsheet (which I will make available to anyone who wants it when I am finished with it).
Sadly, the picture Rogers' paints is pretty much correct as regards loco design.
The Rogers book is the greatest work of fiction since the bible, and the utter nonsense contained within that tome has put back the conversation on Edward Thompson - and in fact the many successes Gresley, Thompson and Peppercorn shared as a team - by many years sadly.
Thompson's undoubted strength was administration; he was a class act in this field and had he focussed all his effort there then he would be seen very differently. But he wanted to be a designing CME, which was not his strength. He's right up there with Scott of the Antarctic, boldly going where he had insufficient ability...
I would humbly suggest that you need to have a rethink about what Thompson's remit was as CME, together with the clear limitations of his office as a result of wartime austerity. The documents I have uncovered go into some detail about just how much of a precipice the LNER was on with regards locomotive availability and the task - which has been underplayed by many LNER writers - becomes extraordinary when you look at what Gresley in his final years and then Thompson and Peppercorn did over Thompson's reign as CME.
Much of what is written about this trio does them a disservice in the context of Thompson's work, quite frankly.
I'd be happy to speak to you about separately if you are willing to engage. Other than that - please feel free to listen to the podcast, or come to one of the talks. The subject has evolved and we are now talking facts, figures and evidence, rather than hearsay and speculation.