.G.N.R. and .G.C.R. drawing rooms

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GCR11F
NER Y7 0-4-0T
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:54 am

.G.N.R. and .G.C.R. drawing rooms

Post by GCR11F »

I've been working on a research paper since the start of the last lockdown and have hit a wall regarding finding any information about he 1919 to 1920 .G.N.R. Doncaster, "Plant" and .G.C.R. Gorton, "Tank" drawing rooms. Specifically I'm looking for information on the folowing three aspects:
1.What were their general attitudes? (eg: How secretive were they?)
2.Howmuch control did Gresley and Robinson have over locomotive designs?
3.Did they ever exchange personell? / Is anyone known to have transfered from one to the other?
john coffin
LNER P2 2-8-2
Posts: 928
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:24 am

Re: .G.N.R. and .G.C.R. drawing rooms

Post by john coffin »

Whilst I cannot provide specific information of either site at that time, not quite that old to have been there, however, there
are some general comments I can make.

1/ It is unlikely that either drawing office exchanged information to a direct competitor. Remember by then the GC had reached London
for more than 20 years, and certainly from Manchester was competing directly with the GN. However, Robinson and Gresley knew each
other, they had almost certainly worked together in WW1 as part of the work they did for the war department, with Robinson providing
the 2-8-0 for the ROD. However, for instance when Earle Marsh went to the LBSCR from Doncaster he was allowed to borrow the drawings
of the Ivatt Atlantic, which he then modified to create the H1/2.
Gresley and Robinson were both members of ARLE and often exchanged data at the meetings.
When many of the books that were written in the 50's 60's and even early 70's the authors had to get approval from BR to release certain details
like wages and so on, so there was still a high level of secrecy.

2/ Basically both made the general idea available, one needs to understand how the drawing offices worked at that time.
One way to understand more is to study the NRM lists and you will see how many different items were drawn. All these items
were drawn under the auspices of a Lead Draftsman, who was instructed by the Chief Draftsman, following the instruction from the Chief.
Worth studying is the history of the B17, which Doncaster was unable to make fit within constrictions of the GE part of the LNER, and the
were finally designed by NBL who were more able to fit things within the layout demanded. Does that mean the draftsmen were no good,
no, it means that NBL produced many more locos on a yearly basis, and had more experience in fitting things in small spaces.

3/ Yes personnel did move, but the way the railway worked, most people at the lower level stayed in the company they started with.
But, let's be honest, a trained draftsman was a useful asset to other companies. IN earlier days, for instance Sturrock and many of
his staff left the GWR to go to the GNR. Stanier moved from the GWR to the LMS, so it was not unusual.

HTH
Paul
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