Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

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richard
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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by richard »

SAC Martin: I had received complaints about civility in the thread, hence a "shot across the bow" or a "clearing of the moderatorial throat".
A "bring it on attitude" suggests you missed that.

I did not express an opinion either way on Thompson (you can probably find it elsewhere in the forums - he could clearly design a good locomotive, and some of his rebuilds were well considered). Maybe I'll read your book I don't know. There are pro-Thompson books around, from memory there's an Oakwood one but that is more of a biography than a technical treatise.

As for "cancel culture": This is just a meaningless tabloid catchphrase. In that more public sphere, those complaining about a "cancel culture" can invariably a week or two later be found calling for some boycott or other.
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strang steel
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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by strang steel »

Dave S wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:19 am Not having an opinion either way on Thompson I'll be interested in reading it if it's evidence based.

Any idea on a possible publication date ?
Same here.

I am always interested in well researched books even if they do challenge the hereto official narrative.
John. My spotting log website is now at https://spottinglogs.co.uk/spotting-rec ... s-70s-80s/
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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by S.A.C. Martin »

richard wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:14 am SAC Martin: I had received complaints about civility in the thread, hence a "shot across the bow" or a "clearing of the moderatorial throat".
A "bring it on attitude" suggests you missed that.
Well with respect Richard, the only things I can see being in any way "uncivil" are those aimed at me. So was the shot across the bow necessary? I note you've not highlighted Mick's rather unpleasant comment last night towards myself. Rather unfair no?
I did not express an opinion either way on Thompson (you can probably find it elsewhere in the forums - he could clearly design a good locomotive, and some of his rebuilds were well considered). Maybe I'll read your book I don't know. There are pro-Thompson books around, from memory there's an Oakwood one but that is more of a biography than a technical treatise.
It's not about being "pro Thompson" and this is part of the frustration with the reluctance from LNER enthusiasts to actually embrace primary evidence. What I have discovered and what i am reporting are facts. There are reports, statistics, and more, from the LNER itself. It's not put forward to pro-Thompson but it does in presenting it highlight what an insane amount of misinformation there is out there about him, I'm afraid.
As for "cancel culture": This is just a meaningless tabloid catchphrase. In that more public sphere, those complaining about a "cancel culture" can invariably a week or two later be found calling for some boycott or other.
With respect Richard - I'll happily send you a preview of the book and you can make your own mind up. But "cancel culture" is definitely apt when it comes to talking about Thompson I am afraid. So many writers have written incredible untruths that have muddied the waters - sometimes, deliberately, it seems.
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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by S.A.C. Martin »

To the gents asking if the book is evidence based - yes it is. New evidence has come to light from old archives of the LNER. I am reporting on it. The book has been written to be as objective as possible.
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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by drmditch »

strang steel wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 9:33 am
Dave S wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:19 am Not having an opinion either way on Thompson I'll be interested in reading it if it's evidence based.

Any idea on a possible publication date ?
Same here.

I am always interested in well researched books even if they do challenge the hereto official narrative.
Likewise.
(and I try to judge a book by it's contents, rather than my own pre-conceptions.)
Are we likely to get it this winter?
A good bit of detailed historical research may liven up the dark days ahead!

Mind you, there is, in my opinion, a constant generational issue in changing appreciations of historical context.
As an example coal usage, distribution and handling, some of which I can remember, is now difficult for younger people to relate to.
I think this is probably part of the human condition.

Were coal-cellars always smelly, or was it just ours?
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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by Dave S »

drmditch wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 10:22 am Were coal-cellars always smelly, or was it just ours?
I'll ask the housekeeper and staff....they'll know the answer.. :lol:
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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by harvester »

Gentlemen,
From this distance in time a lot of views expressed about particular locomotives are largely a matter of a personal preference, drawn from reading literature and maybe even personal observations , I doubt any of us will have experience of driving and maintaining locomotives on the main line prior to the 1960's . What are favourite locomotives will remain favourites but any thing which helps illuminate the different classes performance can only be of great interest . I have no real idea of the actual day to day performance of of LNER pacifics and have only personal favourites from the numerous books on the subject and lineside observations. No matter what A3's will be my personal favourite and as we all know they would "steam on a Woodbine" and outrun a HST on ascending Stoke Bank, never the less I look forward to reading a well researched book on Thompson locomotives.
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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by S.A.C. Martin »

harvester wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:22 pm Gentlemen,
From this distance in time a lot of views expressed about particular locomotives are largely a matter of a personal preference, drawn from reading literature and maybe even personal observations , I doubt any of us will have experience of driving and maintaining locomotives on the main line prior to the 1960's . What are favourite locomotives will remain favourites but any thing which helps illuminate the different classes performance can only be of great interest . I have no real idea of the actual day to day performance of of LNER pacifics and have only personal favourites from the numerous books on the subject and lineside observations. No matter what A3's will be my personal favourite and as we all know they would "steam on a Woodbine" and outrun a HST on ascending Stoke Bank, never the less I look forward to reading a well researched book on Thompson locomotives.
Thank you for your thoughts. I hope that my book when published does go into the category of "well researched" - there's certainly a huge amount of work done to bring new (or perhaps: forgotten) information to the fore.
52A
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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by 52A »

I am not old enough to have had a lot to do with the Thompson rebuilds I only fired a few and they were all rough riding coal gobblers. I did speak to lots of the older generation and they were not well liked for that reason. I have seen Thompson described as vain, autocratic and also charming, I suppose we all have our own points of view!
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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by Paul_sterling »

Afternoon Folks,

On looking over some information about J.F. Harrison, I stumbled across a note in regards to Gresley and Thompson.

https://www.steamindex.com/people/bond.htm

"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"

It could be as a result of unclear writing, but I find the comments in regards to Thompson and Gresley, fascinating, even if this is the only piece I've found to reference them in a positive light together.

The remainder of the quote is in the link listed, towards the bottom of the page, but also notes about how R.C. Bond, as well as Bullied, were early choices to succeed Gresley, upon his untimely passing. Bullied being recalled from the SR, I have seen referenced elsewhere, but Bond as a suitor, no that's a new one to me, nd on the initial face of it, seems odd in his passing up of a position higher than his then incumbent one (Crewe works Superintendent), but that being said, this may well have been owing to what appears to be a desperate situation at Crewe during WW2 and issues around repairs.

Paul.
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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by S.A.C. Martin »

Hi Paul,

This is one of the key issues I have researched and discussed in the book I've been writing - but there's absolutely no truth whatsoever in what was claimed.

There were no approaches to Bond or Bulleid. Thompson was effectively already working as the C.M.E. in several ways before Gresley passed away, and Peppercorn was also working effectively as his assistant too. The time covering Gresley's passing, funeral and Thompson's official appointment by the board was less than three weeks, and there was no discussion of approaching anyone.

All informal and formal approaches had to be agreed by the board of directors - these had always been recorded in the board minutes, going back to 1923 - and there are no such records for Bond or Bulleid, or anyone else.

Thompson was the first - and only - choice and the LNER Emergency Board of WW2 acted swiftly to appoint him.

I can be confident in saying that as I have a full copy of the board minutes for 1923-48, photographed by myself over a three week sojourn at the National Archives at Kew, and I have read them in full.

The Edward Thompson story has been totally muddied by a number of falsehoods and outright lies, I am afraid - where Hughes is concerned, I believe he in good faith repeated a story given to him - but he did not do the primary evidence evaluation he should have done to ascertain if the story was in fact true.

Which - I am afraid - it is not, and should be struck from the record.
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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by john coffin »

I wonder what has happened to this book?

I note that in the latest issue of The Railway Magazine, there is an article that is based on Mr Martin's work
but more importantly Pen and Sword have published February this year a book on Thompson. Written by Tim Hillier -Grave
Wonder if this means there is no more appetite for such a book right now??????

Hilier-Grave has written a number of books recently, and has one about Peppercorn coming out on April 30th this year.
Does though make you wonder how deep his research is. A recent book on Gresley and his team seems to have
been pretty well researched though.

No connection with the company or author, just interested.

Paul
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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by S.A.C. Martin »

john coffin wrote: Sat Apr 24, 2021 4:04 pm I wonder what has happened to this book?
Hi Paul,

I am working on edits for the publisher as we speak. The book will likely be printed in June/July and out in August.
I note that in the latest issue of The Railway Magazine, there is an article that is based on Mr Martin's work
Yes: I did a lockdown interview with Nicola Fox and was happy to share the fruits of my research.
but more importantly Pen and Sword have published February this year a book on Thompson. Written by Tim Hillier -Grave
Wonder if this means there is no more appetite for such a book right now??????
if there was no appetite, I wouldn't have a publisher. Wishful thinking on your part Paul? I hope not, there is nothing for anyone to fear from the publishing of my book.
Hilier-Grave has written a number of books recently, and has one about Peppercorn coming out on April 30th this year.
Does though make you wonder how deep his research is. A recent book on Gresley and his team seems to have
been pretty well researched though.

No connection with the company or author, just interested.

Paul
With respect to Mr Hillier-Graves - the depth of his Thompson research is not good enough and there are some inaccuracies throughout his tome. I do however welcome another voice pointing out some of the more farcical claims about Thompson and exposing some of the nonsense written on his designs.

If we had both been aware the other was writing a book, perhaps instead of two books there'd be one - but I remain supremely confident in my work and the peer-review my research has had from a number of different sources (including a near ten year thread on Nat Pres).
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