davidwilliam wrote:This young man was nurtured by Thompson after meeting Hardy`s widowed mother to discuss her son`s career....The article, 7 pages long with photos, deals with the many war-time austerity problems facing all railway companies; in particular keeping all locomotives running with minimum maintenance.
Curious dissonance in this statement. RHN Hardy's autobiography (Steam in the Blood, Ian Allan 1971) states only that he had already decided to become a railwaymen at a much younger age and that, on approaching leaving age from Marlborough, he applied first to the LMS, which 'did not evoke any particularly enthusiastic reply' and so in due course wrote to Doncaster. He received a letter from Thompson by return and was subsequently interviewed by Thompson 'at some length'. There would of course been the Marlborough connection, although Hardy does not mention that in that specific connection other than school was amongst the wide range of topics discussed.
The opening of chapter 2 notes that HNG died shortly after Hardy went to Doncaster, and continues 'And so Edward Thompson was the man who mattered (i.e. the new CME
) and of that I am proud'. However, further into that chapter, once Hardy had started his apprentice and was in digs, he explains his mother came to visit him there. It is at this point that Thompson is stated to have found out about this visit and invited Hardy and his mother to take tea with him. No further information is given about any matters discussed then.
There is no further mention of Thompson at all during Hardy's time in Doncaster Works or the Running Shed.
However, Hardy then devotes a short chapter 6 to his interactions with Thompson and his personal impressions and record of conversations are worth reading.