Peppercorn: His Life & Locomotives (Pen & Sword)

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Born in Stoke Prior, Herefordshire, Arthur Peppercorn was the son of a vicar and one of 14 children. After a conventional upbringing and education his family paid for a Premium Apprenticeship for him at the Great Northern Railway in Doncaster; this was to be the start of a career which culminated in him becoming the last of the three Chief Mechanical Engineers appointed at the London and North Eastern Railway. Peppercorn, His Life and Locomotives is a biographical account which explores the influences on his generation and examines his life and career, with relation to his various work colleagues and the locomotives developed during his career.

Author, Tim Hillier-Graves, gives an account of Peppercorn’s time at Doncaster, which began at a time when Henry Ivatt was the Locomotive Superintendent, Nigel Gresley was Superintendent of the Carriage and Wagon Works and Oliver Bulleid had just completed his apprenticeship and was starting on his own career -.all rising to become CMEs and all names now renowned in the world of steam locomotives. At the end of his apprenticeship in 1910, Peppercorn was taken on by the GNR at Colwick Locomotive Depot. Over the years he rose steadily through the ranks and by 1933 was in the post of Assistant Mechanical Engineer at Stratford under Nigel Gresley, who by then was the CME of the LNER.

His rise continued; World War II and the death of Gresley brought big changes, Edward Thompson became CME and Peppercorn moved to Doncaster to take up the situation of Mechanical Engineer and Assistant CME. In 1945, the same year he was awarded an OBE, Peppercorn relinquished the post of Mechanical Engineer and took on the role of Deputy CME full-time, to assist Thompson who was suffering from health problems; these led in 1946 to Thompson’s retirement and Peppercorn’s rise to the post of CME. During the three years Peppercorn was in control at the LNER he is best remembered for the production of the A1 and A2 Pacifics, now known as the “Peppercorn Pacifics”.

Contains 250 colour and black & white photographs and weight diagrams. Hardback. 264 pages

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