Driver Pibworth

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notascoobie
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Driver Pibworth

Post by notascoobie » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:52 pm

I have a casual aquaintance of several years standing who I previously knew only by her christian name. Recently I discovered her surname is Pibworth. When I remarked that was the name of a very famous locomotive driver, I was informed that she was a relative of the great man and that she had found some info when doing genealogical research.

I am aware that Driver Albert Pibworth (of Gateshead shed?) was one of the early A1 drivers and was the first choice for the GWR loco exchanges until his regular loco went unserviceable, and that he drove the first non-stop for its first leg north from the Cross. What a CV! I've had a Google and found an article from a New Zealand newspaper, but beyond that I know little. But I'm sure there's more out there......

I have wondered whether any of the erudite and knowledgable members of this forum know if anything has been published on this famous and accomplished driver? If so, I would be grateful for any links, references or unpublished material which could shed more light on my friend's relative.

Regards,

Vernon

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Re: Driver Pibworth

Post by Trafford Park » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:54 pm

I think he was a Kings Cross driver.

Andy W
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Re: Driver Pibworth

Post by Andy W » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:43 am

Albert Pibworth was one of the most famous KX drivers and his regular engine from new in 1923 was Gresley pacific 4475 Flying Fox. This engine was selected for the 1925 trials on the GWR, taking on one of their Castle class engines, but it ran hot and he had to take 4474 Victor Wild to work the London-Plymouth (and return) trips. 4475 was repaired and was used for the LNER trials with 4474's regular driver but it didn't last past the second day. 4474 latest all week on the GWR.

Although the trials showed up some shortcomings in the Gresley pacifics, which were later rectified, Driver Pibworth acquited himself well on the GWR and when in summer 1927 it was decided to trial longer through workings with the pacifics, he took Flying Fox all the way to Newcastle with the very first run - the 09.50 from KX on 11th July 1927.

This paved the way for the famous non-stop runs between Kings Cross and Edinburgh and these started on 1st May 1928 when Driver Pibworth took 4472 Flying Scotsman on the initial working, the 10 o'clock down (naturally!), handing over to an equally famous Gateshead driver, Tom Blades, en-route.

You didn't get to do those trips unless you were at the top of your trade.

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notascoobie
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Re: Driver Pibworth

Post by notascoobie » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:58 pm

TF and Andy,

Thanks very much for your posts.

I read in one source that Driver Pibworth was from Gateshead and I wondered whether he had migrated south to KX? It was certainly from the 'Cross that he had his greatest exploits.

Thanks again.

Regards,

Vernon

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notascoobie
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Re: Driver Pibworth

Post by notascoobie » Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:37 am

Hello again.

I went back to the reference to Gateshead and found I had mis-read it. It seems he was KX throughout. Looks like it's remedial Janet & John book 1 for me!

From the RCTS Loco of the LNER sreries I found that he was the driver of 1477 in Gresley's 1923 comparison of Atlantic types on the NBR main line. 1477 was modified with shorter chimney and dome, whistle moved to the front of the cab and a modified cab.

Regards,

Vernon

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strang steel
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Re: Driver Pibworth

Post by strang steel » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:00 am

This may prove interesting.

There are only 3 Albert Pibworths on the 1911 census. One was born in 1902 and another born in 1898 which suggests they would be too young to be a driver by 1923.

This leaves an Albert Thomas Pibworth born in 1882, but he gives his birthplace as Reading and his employment as a sugar wafer baker in a biscuit factory.
John

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Re: Driver Pibworth

Post by Hermit 109 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:28 pm

Hello notascoobie, when I joined the railway at King's Cross Top Shed in 1962, there was a Top Link driver by the name of Pibworth. I think (if memory serves me correct) his first name was Len and I believe he was the son of the famous Albert Pibworth. He would have been close to retirement age in 1962, so that would have put his birthdate some time in the late 1890's. Hope this is some help

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Re: Driver Pibworth

Post by JeffB » Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:47 pm

There was a driver at Top Shed called Len Pibworth, can remember firing for him a couple of times in the early sixties.

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strang steel
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Re: Driver Pibworth

Post by strang steel » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:41 pm

There is a Leonard James Pibworth on the 1911 census. He is aged 9 and was born in St Pancras, so would seem promising.

Sadly, he is not listed with his parents at the time, but with grandparents in Newbury.

Such frustrations are commonplace in family research.
John

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notascoobie
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Re: Driver Pibworth

Post by notascoobie » Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:35 pm

Hi,
thanks for your geneological inputs and personal reminiscences. I will certainly be passing this information to my friend and will be interested to know whether she has any more recent family drivers at the 'Cross.
Regards,
Vernon

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Re: Driver Pibworth

Post by 69999 » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:47 pm

The latest edition - No 155 - of The Gresley Observer - the Journal of The Gresley Society contains on page 38 an article about Driver Albert Pibworth. This article - about 2/3 page - is said to be an extract from an article published in 'Meccano Magazine' January 1930. The article includes a photograph of Driver Pibworth alongside the cab of 4472 together with Sir Nigel Gresley and the Lord Mayor of London inside the cab prior to taking the inaugural 'Flying Scotsman' from Kings Cross on 1 May 1928.
The same issue of the The Gresley Observer also has an extensive (23 pages) tribute to another legendary GNR/LNER/BR driver Joe Burgess.

DG
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notascoobie
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Re: Driver Pibworth

Post by notascoobie » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:55 pm

Hi DG,

Thanks for this information, I'll pass it, together with contact details for the Gresley Society, to my friend.

Regards,

Vernon

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notascoobie
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Re: Driver Pibworth

Post by notascoobie » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:30 pm

Hello again.

That was a really good call thank you. A quick Google revealed that the Meccano Mag was available on-line:

http://www.meccanoindex.co.uk/MMissue.p ... 1327940369

there's a really good article about the career of Driver Pibworth on pages 4 and 17.

Thank you once again.

Regards,

Vernon

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Re: Driver Pibworth

Post by Stamfordian » Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:34 am

The birth of an Albert Pibworth was registered in the third (September) quarter of 1864 in Newbury (not far from Swindon!)

The LNER's Albert Pibworth retired in February 1929, according to the Meccano Magazine, and went to live near Newbury, but died in September aged 65. Almost without doubt, his birth is noted above.

Albert married Alice M. A. Allen in 1890 in Hendon. They are on the 1901 census in Islington. Alice died in Islington in 1902 (in childbirth?), which will be why the 9-year-old Leonard noted upthread was living in Newbury with his grandparents in 1911.

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notascoobie
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Re: Driver Pibworth

Post by notascoobie » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:36 pm

Stamfordian wrote:The birth of an Albert Pibworth was registered in the third (September) quarter of 1864 in Newbury (not far from Swindon!)

The LNER's Albert Pibworth retired in February 1929, according to the Meccano Magazine, and went to live near Newbury, but died in September aged 65. Almost without doubt, his birth is noted above.

Albert married Alice M. A. Allen in 1890 in Hendon. They are on the 1901 census in Islington. Alice died in Islington in 1902 (in childbirth?), which will be why the 9-year-old Leonard noted upthread was living in Newbury with his grandparents in 1911.
Hi Stamfordian,

Thanks for more information on this thread. You seem to have solved a mystery.

I will certainly pass this on to my friend.

Regards,

Vernon

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