Biography of Henry A. Ivatt
Henry Alfred Ivatt born in 1851 and educated at Liverpool College.
He then entered L&NWR's Crewe Locomotive Works as an apprentice under John Ramsbottom and F.W. Webb. This
was followed by practical experience as a fireman on the express engines working out of Crewe. After
serving a number of other posts, he was given control of the Holyhead Locomotive Depot in 1874, before
being promoted to the Chester District. In 1877 he moved to the
Great Southern & Western Railway (GS&WR) of Ireland under McDonnell,
the GS&WR locomotive engineer in 1886. In 1895, he returned to England to become the Chief Locomotive
Superintendent of the Great Northern
During Ivatt's tenure, the railways were experiencing large increases in traffic, resulting in a need
for engines much more powerful than those built by his predecessor
Patrick Stirling. Ivatt chose larger boilers with larger grate areas,
and adopted superheating. He pushed British locomotive design by being the first to introduce both the
the 4-4-2 "Atlantic" wheel arrangement,
and the Walschaert valve-gear to Britain.
Ivatt retired in 1911, and died in 1923 at his home in Haywards Heath (Sussex).
The LMS's last Chief Mechanical Engineer, H.G. Ivatt was Henry Alfred's son.
The SR's last Chief Mechanical Engineer, O.V.S. Bulleid was his son-in-law.