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Tom Burnham

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  1. Insects - left no stone unturned in search of unusual creepy-crawlies whatever part of the world he was in. See for example "A Contribution to our Knowledge of the Orthoptera of Macedonia" in the Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London for 1923, resulting from field work while he was stationed at Salonika during the war.
  2. Gabrielle and Rowena would have been named after granddaughters of Arthur Burr, the over-speculative financier behind Kent Coal Concessions and the East Kent Light Railway. Their father, Malcolm Burr, was also an interesting character - after Oxford he studied Geology at the Royal School of Mines and became chief geologist of Kent Coal Concessions (and arguably should have known better...) After military service in WW1, he did some geological consulting, but was mainly able to pursue what he was really interested in, entomology and languages. Photo of Gabrielle (who later became Britain's first woman flying instructor) and Rowena from The Tatler for 14 Feb 1912 -
  3. Can't help with plans, but it's certainly a spectacular location. Photo on 31 May 1973 with loco 5402 on the 17.29 Mallaig to Fort William.
  4. You got further into the yard than I did on my Sunday afternoon bike ride then!
  5. Sounds like the line to Queenborough Wharf (seen here in Sept 1981, now no more).
  6. Some interesting figures there. Possibly outwith the scope of this thread, but I was interested to see that while the SE&CR, LB&SCR and L&SWR all had very similar numbers of passengers, the SE&C was considerably ahead for first and second class passengers. I'd always thought of the SE&C getting most of its passengers from the working-class industrial areas of North Kent, while the L&SW spread out into the more genteel Thames Valley...
  7. Copy of section of a 1914 revision map showing from Clerkenwell Road at the top to south of Farringdon station. Doesn't identify the hole in the retaining wall on the right, but does show the trackage associated with the Great Northern Railway goods depot.
  8. And only just noticed (after 34 years) that the Ruston has odd sized buffers...
  9. T W Ward, Silvertown, 1974, 1980 and 1985 (2).
  10. Looking west from Farringdon in 1971 (very much changed since, of course) -
  11. The services of "foreign" companies offered an opportunity to make comparisons, not always favourable to the home team - Kentish Independent - Saturday 8 June 1878, p.4 "THE NEW RAILWAY SERVICE. - The introduction of the rolling stock of the Great Northern Railway Company on the North Kent line promises to be of advantage to travellers, beyond the convenience it affords of getting quickly and comfortably to central and north London and more distant stations, for the South Eastern directors cannot long endure the comparison between their old carriages and those of the rival company whom they have admitted into their domain. The Great Northern carriages are among the best in England, roomy, clean, and well lighted, and even the third class carriages have cushioned seats and hat rails - the greatest contrast imaginable to the wretched horse boxes in which the weary bones of the North Kent passengers have been chafed and shaken for so many years past. The first and second class carriages are absolutely faultless. The engines are of a very powerful kind, and the trains are provided throughout with vacuum breaks. The chairman of the South Eastern Company has promised to pay a visit of inspection to the Woolwich and Plumstead stations shortly, and it is to be hoped that he will come down in one of the Great Northern trains, and return in one of his own company's."
  12. Some preview pages on Google Books. Otherwise there is a reprint (VDI-Verlag) available via Amazon (other booksellers are available) although apparently only with some delay - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Die-Londoner-Untergrundbahnen-Ludwig-Troske/dp/3744632830
  13. By coincidence there's the first part of an article by Geoffrey Skelsey on the Metropolitan Widened Lines (including the Snow Hill tunnel) in the January 2020 BackTrack, which I picked up today. Regarding Smithfield Sidings, I believe they were electrified (3rd rail) as part of the Thameslink project for terminating non-Thameslink trains from the south, but I think they saw little regular use. Possibly someone can give more details.
  14. I guess the first one was pretty much from life after the local residents had turned out to see the wreckage. The Penny Illustrated Paper one is clearly based on imagination... We marked the 150th anniversary in Staplehurst by dropping a wreath into the River Beult, among other things. Samuel Smiles (of Self Help fame) who was then company secretary of the South Eastern Railway wrote 'Not long after the accident a young lady called upon Mr Eborall [the General Manager] and claimed some damage for the injury done to her dress. It was necessary to ask for references - for it was a practice of certain persons to make trade of claiming compensation in railway accidents - he desired to know if any person was with her at the time the accident occurred. "Yes!" she said, "My mother and Mr Charles Dickens." This was the first time we had heard that Charles Dickens was in the train.'
  15. The SE&CR always referred to officers' chargers in special train instructions; other ranks just had horses.... Tom
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