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Percy - Trainspotter!

PERCY WHITLOCK:
1 June 1903 (Chatham) - 1 May 1946 (Bournemouth)

February 2012


The South Eastern and Chatham Railway and the London , Chatham and Dover Railway Amalgamated 1899 LOCOMOTIVES: Their Description, History, distinctive features and interest

by Percy W Whitlock [1]

Preface

The first branch of line that has come to be The South Eastern & Chatham Railway was from Canterbury to Whitstable, which was opened 3 rd of May 1830. The first train of twenty open carriages was drawn by the “Invicta” which (though not in its original form) can be seen at Canterbury in Dane John Gardens . She was built by the Stephensons and was their 20 th engine, The “Rocket” being the 19 th . Originally she had 4 coupled 4ft wheels; cylinders 10 x 18; boiler had 25 3” tubes. Heating surface 192 sq ft Working Pressure 40 lb to begin & weighed 6¼ tons.

Crampton, a Broadstairs man born in 1816 who had much to do with the Great Western Railway[,] built many engines which came to be used on the South Eastern, & the Chatham & Dover . One of his engines the “ Liverpool ” had 8 wheels, 8ft drivers & weighed with its tender 56 tons; at times this locomotive reached a speed of 79 mph.

The first engines for the actual “South Eastern” line were built by Sharp, Roberts & Co. Then in small batches came engines from Nasmith, Bury, Tulk & Ley, Jones & Potts, Forester etc up till 1851 when ten new Crampton's were put on. One of these[,] No 136 the “Folkestone”[,] was in the 1851[Great] Exhibition. She was a 4.2.0 with 6ft drivers & 3ft 6 bogies; cylinders 15 x 22 & weighed 26¼ tons.

In 1853 James Janson Cudworth built the first engine at Ashford:- 0.4.0 passenger loco. Wheels 5ft 6, cylinders 15 x 20, heating surface 1191, weight 271/2 tons, & next year 1857 he introduced his coal burners. In the latter part of 1857 he made his experiments with No 142 fitting her with a 7ft 6 sloping firebox (grate 7ft) with two furnaces. During 1857 also Cudworth introduced the first of his large goods engines[,] two of which (built 1863) had Mansell wooden wheels. In 1861 came the first of his 2.2.2's (7ft drivers, 4ft 9 bogies & 4ft trailing wheels). These also had two grates:- heating surface 1137; working pressure 130; weight 331/2 tons. Most of these had 17 x 22 cylinders but some [had] 16 x 22 & one of these latter[,] No 81 “The Flying Dutchman”[,] worked the Royal trains. Cudworth resigned in 1876 & was succeeded by Alfred Watkin on whose resignation Ashford was managed by R C Mansell until the coming of James Stirling with whose engines this book commences. The last 2.4.0 Cudworth passenger loco to be withdrawn from service was no 38, in October 1904.

[1] Compiled in 1923 as a birthday present for Edna Kingdon, much to the annoyance and incredulity of Edna's mother, who thought it a highly inappropriate gift!


Letter to William Coulthard [1] 1 November 1939

The Pavilion, Bournemouth

Dear Mr Coulthard,

Many thanks for your interesting letter. I am very glad to hear that my work is agreeable to you. Naturally I am always pleased to hear that my compositions fill a need, and prove interesting to players.

I have heard a lot about your fine organ at S. Bees, and have actually received a letter some years ago from Col Dixon on the subject of organs in Bournemouth . He is a widely read, and experienced man, and his writings always prove most interesting.

I met Canon Code at the Midhurst Sanatorium, where we were both laid aside for a while [2] , and he has visited me twice since, and has been most kind, as you say, in introducing some of my music at Carlisle .

You are correct as to the initials in the Plymouth Suite: the others are H Austin Dewdney, a rather despondent local music critic; Dr Dixon (boro' organist at Lancaster ) - and generally the naughty boy at any party; and Dom Winfrith, a dear old man, organist at Buckfast Abbey in Devonshire .

I know of the organ at Durham of course, but have not yet had the opportunity to play it.

No, I have no more stuff in the press just now, as at the moment I am working full time in another part of the Pavilion, which has been made into the Food Office for the Borough. I have been put in charge of the records and checking dept which is most interesting work, and am still organist here, with a recital every Sunday afternoon, and a share in the other concerts as required.

I think you would like a good deal of the organ here, I will enclose herewith a revised specification. The Great, Swell, and Pedal are noble departments of classical design. The solo is a normal department, plus a complete battery of cinema effects, and the Choir is an intermediate accompanimental department of considerable utility. I hope you will have the opportunity of seeing the organ before long.

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely

Percy Whitlock - Borough Organist

[1] William M Coulthard, organist at St Bees Priory Church, Cumbria (1936-50), famed for its 1899 Father Willis organ.

[2] In 1928. Code was a Canon at Carlisle Cathedral.


 

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