How good was Gresley?

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2002EarlMarischal
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Re: How good was Gresley?

Post by 2002EarlMarischal » Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:13 pm

Hatfield Shed wrote:AKAIK he took up Salisbury Hall on landing the LNER CME post, and then moved to Audley End to be looked after by his daughter after he was widowed
Just read the attached link, others may find it interesting:

http://www.gresley.org.uk/biog_has.htm

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strang steel
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Re: How good was Gresley?

Post by strang steel » Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:47 am

Yes, thanks for that. A very interesting character and I must read a full biography when I get the chance.
John

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Re: How good was Gresley?

Post by Hatfield Shed » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:21 am

He certainly moved around somewhat while in office, more than I recalled. The LNER's CME's had a thin time of it for losing their wives. Gresley, Thompson and Peppercorn all widowed, though Peppercorn remarried.

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Re: How good was Gresley?

Post by paullad1984 » Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:50 pm

Gresley was a genius, end of ;-)
Stainmore forever!

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Re: How good was Gresley?

Post by meldrum » Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:44 pm

[quote="Hatfield Shed"]He may well have driven to KX. He was an enthusiastic motorist by all accounts, though I don't know what cars he owned. The house was just a few miles from the Great North Road (A1), including a stretch of the Barnet by-pass, then the fastest road in the UK, essentially the only autobahn in the UK at that time. (Which was why the blower Bentley's were developed on a site in Welwyn Garden City: cheap light industrial buildings available near the only piece of road in the UK anything like the Mulsanne straight. Tales of fearsome speeds achieved during night time testing...)

If you want to see driving conditions of the time follow the link. In glorious colour, what England looked like in 1939, and the best of it because we are in LNER territory too...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm_Q7X_-2Ck[/quote
Lovely film that - thanks for the link. Nice to see a bit of steam in there, did anyone spot what appears to be a splendid Sentinel S8 steam wagon at 1:11 ? He must have had a good fire on as there appears to be no smoke. Probably the fastest commercial vehicle seen in this film (but not going flat out here by any means) and with the biggest carrying capacity!

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2002EarlMarischal
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Re: How good was Gresley?

Post by 2002EarlMarischal » Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:22 pm

I wonder whether Gresley ever met some of the other "greats" from the transport world through the Institute of Mechanical Engineers etc, e.g. Reginald Mitchell (who started off in railways before moving to aviation) and Henry Royce?

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Re: How good was Gresley?

Post by jwealleans » Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:29 pm

There was certainly a great deal of interaction between CMEs in Europe, including the British ones. I'd be surprised if there wasn't the same kind of interaction between disciplines within this country, although how formal it was and whether any record survives is more of an open question.

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2002EarlMarischal
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Re: How good was Gresley?

Post by 2002EarlMarischal » Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:37 pm

It seems to me that the 1930s were such an inspiring and exciting period for development of aviation, railways etc. I also have the impression that the leading figures were household names and the country followed their progress with enthusiasm.

Who do we have now that falls into that category? Dyson and the Apple guys excepted, has the day of the individual inventor gone? I could not name one modern train/plane designer. I suppose the obvious answer is that technology has become so involved that every new design is the product of a team effort with no one person standing out.

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Re: How good was Gresley?

Post by Hatfield Shed » Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:56 pm

There was then, as there is now, a good amount of interaction between folk at the top of their technical fields. The various institutional records will provide evidence. A look around on Steamindex http://www.steamindex.com/index.htm is a quick route in to some of this.

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Re: How good was Gresley?

Post by Eightpot » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:30 pm

Re Meldrum's posting and the Great North Road film, the lorry seen at 1.11 is an unfortunately not a Sentinel S8 steam waggon but an AEC Mammoth Major Mk. II 8-wheeler of the London Brick Company, possibly from one of their nearby brick works around the Peterborough area. Another of their vehicles, an AEC Monarch 4-wheeler can also be seen at 4.24.

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Re: How good was Gresley?

Post by James Brodie » Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:49 am

We had J39/3s and they were even though being worked out good runners/steamers/haulers this is on loose coupled and mineral trains. easy on the fireman and everything in the right place for the driver. not hard work at all.
The Green Arrows again nearly life expired but more than on top of their work heavy unfitted freight/brakies/and tight times E.Ps. To get an A1/3or10 compared to a Green Arrow it was a more comfy ride.
Remember some of the American locos had (and it was named so as well) Gresley valve gear. Our American cousins their working conditions were far better than ours and take the Budd and other makes of passenger vehicles, they were using models in the mid 40s that we are just venturing to build now. The CZ train for example.
I would defend Thompson to the last, if his engines were driven in a sympathetic manner they were good but Gresley was good too.
Any criticism he delayed Ravens plans for electrification but maybe I am being unjust and unfair as if the railways had been electrified I might not have got started on the N.E. area of the railways and experienced sixty wonderful years of the magic of steam.
James Brodie. Potential platform edge white line painter

65447
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Re: How good was Gresley?

Post by 65447 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:26 pm

James Brodie wrote:Any criticism he delayed Ravens plans for electrification but maybe I am being unjust and unfair as if the railways had been electrified I might not have got started on the N.E. area of the railways and experienced sixty wonderful years of the magic of steam.
James Brodie. Potential platform edge white line painter
This is another of those old chestnuts that need roasting from time to time.

First, Raven's plans were for the NER only, whereas Gresley had the whole of the LNER to provide motive power for as CME.

Second, the CME only put forward proposals concerning motive power. These were routine in the sense of scrapping of old locomotives and building replacements for them, and new construction to address specific traffics, increased loadings, and so on.

It was a joint meeting of the Locomotive and Traffic Committees that considered the proposals submitted, and accepted, modified, or rejected them as they saw appropriate. The carriage and wagon programmes were similarly decided.

Whilst the CME might have made recommendations he did not set the overall policies, merely implemented them, so it would never have been within Gresley's purview to decide to build electric locomotives, and it is very doubtful that the LNER Board would have permitted Raven to do so, had he been appointed CME.

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Re: How good was Gresley?

Post by 65447 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:28 pm

2002EarlMarischal wrote:I wonder whether Gresley ever met some of the other "greats" from the transport world through the Institute of Mechanical Engineers etc, e.g. Reginald Mitchell (who started off in railways before moving to aviation) and Henry Royce?
W O Bentley was a Doncaster apprentice.

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2002EarlMarischal
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Re: How good was Gresley?

Post by 2002EarlMarischal » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:37 pm

Well, I didn't know that! Thanks :)

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Re: How good was Gresley?

Post by hq1hitchin » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:56 pm

65447 wrote: W O Bentley was a Doncaster apprentice.

In one of Richard Hardy's books there is a description of a footplate ride, and a suitable photograph, that was arranged for Mr Bentley in his old age. Think it was on a rebuilt MN, but I could be wrong. Seems he sat on the engine as she did her stuff and took it all in but said little.
A topper is proper if the train's a non-stopper!

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