Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

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brsince78
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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by brsince78 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:12 pm

Wildebeest wrote:If you would like a good read about ET I'd recommend the book "Edward Thompson of the L.N.E.R." written by Peter Grafton and published by Kestrel Books in 1971 (I was lucky to spot a copy on ebay).
I second your recomendation. Oakwood Press have recently asked Peter to update his first edition. You may find this easier to find. It is listed as a current title on their website (ISBN 978 0 85361 672 6). I suggest contacting Oakwood directly:- http://www.oakwoodpress.co.uk/contactoakwood.htm

P.S. I am not affiliated to Oakwood, just a keen collector of their books

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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by 65447 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:48 pm

Wildebeest wrote:If you would like a good read about ET I'd recommend the book "Edward Thompson of the L.N.E.R." written by Peter Grafton and published by Kestrel Books in 1971 (I was lucky to spot a copy on ebay).
Copies are also available from real booksellers at sensible prices.

It's a good read, but IMHO there are parts that really should be labelled 'not non-fiction'. I posted in another thread the discrepancies between Peter Grafton's account of Thompson's first rebuild of a B12 whilst at Stratford and the facts as recorded elsewhere, such as in the RCTS 'greenies'...

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S.A.C. Martin
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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by S.A.C. Martin » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:51 pm

65447 wrote:It's a good read, but IMHO there are parts that really should be labelled 'not non-fiction'. I posted in another thread the discrepancies between Peter Grafton's account of Thompson's first rebuild of a B12 whilst at Stratford and the facts as recorded elsewhere, such as in the RCTS 'greenies'...
I'm not sure I understand - do you mean Grafton's is fiction, or the RCTS?

I've been reading the RCTS volumes as and when I get the next one on eBay in the growing collection (!) and they are brilliant reads. Was surprised at the level of detail. Wish I had got these books sooner. Has helped the modelling enormously.

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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by 65447 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:51 pm

brsince78 wrote:Oakwood Press have recently asked Peter to update his first edition. You may find this easier to find. It is listed as a current title on their website (ISBN 978 0 85361 672 6).
The new edition is dated 2007, so not exactly recent and not as if the update has yet to be written... :?

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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by 65447 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:55 pm

S.A.C. Martin wrote:
65447 wrote:It's a good read, but IMHO there are parts that really should be labelled 'not non-fiction'. I posted in another thread the discrepancies between Peter Grafton's account of Thompson's first rebuild of a B12 whilst at Stratford and the facts as recorded elsewhere, such as in the RCTS 'greenies'...
I'm not sure I understand - do you mean Grafton's is fiction, or the RCTS?

I've been reading the RCTS volumes as and when I get the next one on eBay in the growing collection (!) and they are brilliant reads. Was surprised at the level of detail. Wish I had got these books sooner. Has helped the modelling enormously.
I thought that you said that you had studied English? I quoted an extract from a post, the subject of which is Peter Grafton's book, and responded to the recommendation with a qualification, supporting my contention by reference to a third publication...

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S.A.C. Martin
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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by S.A.C. Martin » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:00 pm

65447 wrote: I thought that you said that you had studied English? I quoted an extract from a post, the subject of which is Peter Grafton's book, and responded to the recommendation with a qualification, supporting my contention by reference to a third publication...
Forgive me for my tiredness; as I misread your initial post as "not fiction".

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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by strang steel » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:21 pm

S.A.C. Martin wrote:
65447 wrote:It's a good read, but IMHO there are parts that really should be labelled 'not non-fiction'. I posted in another thread the discrepancies between Peter Grafton's account of Thompson's first rebuild of a B12 whilst at Stratford and the facts as recorded elsewhere, such as in the RCTS 'greenies'...
I'm not sure I understand - do you mean Grafton's is fiction, or the RCTS?

I've been reading the RCTS volumes as and when I get the next one on eBay in the growing collection (!) and they are brilliant reads. Was surprised at the level of detail. Wish I had got these books sooner. Has helped the modelling enormously.

Yes, I am doing the same at the rate of about one volume every 3 months or so. They are fascinating, and have a wealth of photographs in each.

Lets hope we are not running each other up. :oops:
John

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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by davidwilliam » Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:56 pm

I was of two minds regarding this gentleman. I soon became aware the there was too many rumours floating about....probably from people whose lives had been drastically change with the death of Sir Nigel Gresley in April 1941. My mind was totally changed after I read an article in "Steam World" No. 59, May 1992.It`s titled "Memories Of Thompson" written by R.H N. Hardy who started his railway career as an apprentice in January 1941. 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.
I the approached editor of the LNER Society to simply recognize an alternative view about Thompson but after the then editor left I realise furthering this would not be sensible. I then asked the editor of Steam World if he might reprint the Hardy article...this also proved a difficult task. Pity.....
Perhaps there are other people in the LNER Forum who have the same unbalanced views of Thompson as I had but know how to promulgate this alternative view.

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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by West_Stanley » Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:05 am

First off, I haven't read the nine page thread, so forgive me if someone else has already covered what I am about to say. The reason that Edward Thompson isn't very well thought of - in my opinion - is because:

i) He isn't Sir Nige, and:

ii) He hasn't been forgiven for what he did to the P2 locomotives

He did design the wonderful B1, though

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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by earlswood nob » Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:10 am

Good morning all

I am not a fan of Edward Thompson for several reasons including his rebuilding of the P2s and Great Northern.

However, he became CME at a very difficult time. He had to produce locos that were easy to maintain, and needed less maintenance than many of Gresley's engines.

Earlswood nob

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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by S.A.C. Martin » Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:49 pm

davidwilliam wrote:I was of two minds regarding this gentleman. I soon became aware the there was too many rumours floating about....probably from people whose lives had been drastically change with the death of Sir Nigel Gresley in April 1941. My mind was totally changed after I read an article in "Steam World" No. 59, May 1992.It`s titled "Memories Of Thompson" written by R.H N. Hardy who started his railway career as an apprentice in January 1941. 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.
I the approached editor of the LNER Society to simply recognize an alternative view about Thompson but after the then editor left I realise furthering this would not be sensible. I then asked the editor of Steam World if he might reprint the Hardy article...this also proved a difficult task. Pity.....
Perhaps there are other people in the LNER Forum who have the same unbalanced views of Thompson as I had but know how to promulgate this alternative view.
David, thank you for the pointer towards that article - I've never read it so I've just bought a copy for £1 off eBay!

I'm working on the book still and am coming along nicely with it. It's titled "Edward Thompson: Both sides of the story" and I have been collating views on the National Preservation forum for the last few years.

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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by JASd17 » Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:49 pm

davidwilliam wrote:I the approached editor of the LNER Society to simply recognize an alternative view about Thompson but after the then editor left I realise furthering this would not be sensible. I then asked the editor of Steam World if he might reprint the Hardy article...this also proved a difficult task. Pity.....
Perhaps there are other people in the LNER Forum who have the same unbalanced views of Thompson as I had but know how to promulgate this alternative view.
Most interesting, which of the last four editors of the LNER Society did you approach? Three are on this Forum.

I know all of these gentlemen, indeed I am one of them, non would have acted as you describe.

'davidwilliam' you are quite simply mistaken.

John

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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by S.A.C. Martin » Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:35 pm

JASd17 wrote:
Most interesting, which of the last four editors of the LNER Society did you approach? Three are on this Forum.

I know all of these gentlemen, indeed I am one of them, non would have acted as you describe.

'davidwilliam' you are quite simply mistaken.

John
Hi John - I think he may be referring to Steam World's editors. My apologies to you both if I speak out of turn.

Whilst I'd never say the LNER Society are as described above (certainly not when I've been in conversation with any of its members) it is true that speaking about Edward Thompson in an objective manner is met with a lot of resistance from people who would have you believe he was some sort of malicious anti-christ and not an increasingly elderly engineer working in wartime conditions.

If you have the time or the inclination, read this thread on Nat Pres I started back in 2012 - the thinking changes a number of time as do the questions being asked, but the one thing which keeps coming back is the vitriol aimed at anyone who might try and balance the conversation by asking if Thompson was as bad as is described in a number of LNER volumes.

The book I have been working on addresses this issue explicitly on a number of the major myths about Thompson's work and my conclusions at the end of it all is that Thompson has had a bad deal one way or another in terms of LNER history being written by those with a vested interest in putting him down.

But that's for another day.

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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by 65447 » Sat Sep 19, 2015 1:18 pm

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.

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Re: Edward Thompson. Good or Bad

Post by 2392 » Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:52 pm

I for one have been curious [have been for some time, whilst I must admit to being a Gresley fan] as to why Thompson has been so vilified over the years. As pretty well no other C.M.E. of any of the big four or their predecessors as been so treat. OK Stanier got it from the L.M.S. enthusiasts for scrapping many of the "preserved" fleet that had been collected at Crewe and Derby. I think he also had a hand in the scrapping of the G.W.R. broad gaugers too whilst works manager at Swindon. Equally Gresley's number two Bullied had his moments, what with those weird and wonderful designs he came up with on the Southern.......

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