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Tom Burnham

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About Tom Burnham

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  1. There's a photo in the Bexley Libraries collection of a "strawberry train" being loaded at Bexley station in 1905 (when it was still just about a Kent village) - the first 2 vehicles at any rate appear to be passenger-rated ventilated vans. At a casual glance I can't see any reference to them in Gould's book on SE&C carriages. https://www.boroughphotos.org/bexley/pcd_2211/
  2. Has anyone mentioned a layout called Wendeville Road that was written up in the MRN during the 1960s? Mostly late Metropolitan Railway steam.
  3. 1st June 1939, apparently. A train doing about 60 mph hit a lorry and 4 passengers in the train were killed.
  4. We were in Sandwich yesterday and noticed the Drill Hall (no longer in military use) on the Quay. Built in 1869 for the 2nd Cinque Ports Artillery Volunteers, it is attached to the medieval (but heavily restored) Fishergate next door. According to Historic England (https://research.historicengland.org.uk/redirect.aspx?id=6277|Drill Halls: A National Overview) the building is about 100 feet long by 40 feet wide, with a 75 ft long .22 firing range down one side and offices, toilets, mess etc at the back. Sandwich would probably have had a population of 3000 or less at that time.
  5. Hi Nick - i thought the crayfish ponds were relatively recent - certainly in their last form. I remember them being dug. 1970s maybe? It's surprising how quickly they've become overgrown and silted up since they were abandoned.
  6. They certainly would have done if they'd had the crayfish ponds back then! The wild boar would have had to make for high ground...
  7. And on this side of it, the great Rother Valley floods of January 1925 (other Rother Valley floods are available...) The loco of course is "Hesperus" - as someone once said, a good name for a wreck.
  8. Thinking about suitable carriages for the secondary services of the West Norfolk Railway, while looking out the above I came across a reference to the Colne Valley & Halstead Railway (Rly Mag Dec 1906, p.565). The correspondent had noted old carriages in use on the line 3 years previously, but on returning with a view to photographing them, he found they had been withdrawn. Two of the bodies had been sold - see photo below. "They had two doors on each side, and seats all round the coach - not transverse. The builders were Messrs. Wright and Sons, Saltley Works, Birmingham, who state that these carriages were probably built in 1859, but that it was not then the practice to prepare drawings, but that they were chalked out on the shop wall, thus, of course, leaving no record - a curious side light on old-world methods. The carriages were 18 ft. 6 in.long."
  9. Much as it pains me as a fan of Bugs Bunny, both the South Western and the Great Western had a very considerable traffic in rabbits from the West Country, particularly to northern England. The Railway Magazine for April 1906 had an article (p.297-302) describing the traffic in considerable detail (and including a photo of a LSWR pair-horse van of the type used to convey hampers of rabbits from Waterloo to the termini of the northern lines. The photo attached is one of the illustrations from the article.
  10. I seem to recall reading that the British Admiralty found that building an airship hanger used nearly as much steel as a cruiser (although to be fair probably not such specialised grades).
  11. Hmm, James Clayton from Derby went to join Maunsell's team at Ashford and helped to produce some notably competent locomotives, albeit with some Swindon input too via Holcroft - http://www.steamindex.com/people/clayton.htm Rushing in where angels fear to tread, it seems to me that the Midland wanted locos that gave predictable performances well within their limits - compared say with the London & North Western with heroic performances (and occasional spectacular failures) which knocked the engines to pieces. And Cecil Paget (in his General Superintendent period) comes across as a control freak who hated trade unions. I don't think he would have wanted motive power that only performed adequately in the hands of highly skilled top link men...
  12. See attached from the Pall Mall Gazette of Thursday 11 April 1907. The scheme clearly took a while from its conception to when it started to produce results. Harry Willmott, who had previously been London District Goods Manager of the Great Eastern, became General Manager of the Lancashire Derbyshire & East Coast Rly, no doubt to protect the GER investment in that company. He left when the LD&ECR was acquired by the Great Central. He then became chairman of the SoA&MJR, with Sidney Herbert as vice-chairman. Did the Great Central unload their shareholding in the Stratford once it no longer formed part of their strategy? I imagine the other shareholders would have been happy to accept any reasonable offer, whoever it was from. Incidentally, Sidney Herbert made quite a business of orchestrating shareholder revolts against the management of smaller railways (the Cambrian and the Isle of Wight Central, for example). The directors of the West Norfolk Railway must be hoping he doesn't decide to holiday on their part of the coast.
  13. That's rather like what happened with the various companies that were eventually (in 1907 so a very Edwardian scheme) merged to form the Stratford-on-Avon and Midland Junction Rly, under the auspices of stock market player Sidney Herbert. The line was smartened up and by 1909 they even managed to pay a small dividend on the much reduced capital. The idea was to create something that one of the larger companies would buy (if only to keep it out of the hands of a rival), but they didn't manage to achieve that before the outbreak of war, Government control and then Grouping.
  14. The Thanet stock was delivered in 1924-5 and built at Eastleigh and Lancing (though it was designed at Ashford) and would have been turned out in early SR green. The first 8 Continental carriages came out in 1921 (and thus in SE&CR brown as Northroader says) but another two 8-coach trains were only completed in late 1923 and carried SR numbers (and presumably SR green livery) from the start. Further carriages of this general type were ordered by the Southern, built by Ashford, Eastleigh and outside contractors. So I'd think only the first Continental 8-coach train would have run in SE&CR brown. Details from David Gould's Bogie Carriages of the SE&CR (1993) and Maunsell's SR Steam Carriage Stock (3rd edition, 2000). I hope Ashford library would still have copies of these works...
  15. Sir Eric Geddes was a North Eastern Railway man originally... However, I'd suggest that the Metropolitan would have become a GWR and LNER (ex Great Central) joint operation, thanks to their interests in the Chilterns. District trains ran over London Tilbury & Southend lines (later owned by the Midland Railway) in the east and London & South Western tracks to Richmond and Wimbledon in the west, so it would be logical for the District to become a Southern and LMS joint line, like the Somerset & Dorset. Thus maintaining the Circle service would have involved all 4 mainline groups!
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