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Chas Levin
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, new member, first post (aside from a 'saying hello' post in the Introductions section): please can anyone tell me who Walter K. Whigham was? LNER A4 number 4487 Sea Eagle was renamed Walter K. Whigham in 1947 but in spite of some fairly persistent googling I've not been able to find out who he was. I read that other locos including other A4s were named after rail industrialists, members of the relevant railway Boards and so forth, so that's my guess but if anyone has more info I'd be very grateful, Chas
 

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This possibility is from Wikipedia, so the accuracy is not guaranteed. There is an entry for Higham Park:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higham_Park

which refers (about 2/3 of the way down, under the heading 'Highland Court') to a Walter Whigham, chairman of Robert Fleming and Company, Merchant Bank.

I am not 100% sure that the above mentioned gentleman was the Walter K. Whigham the locomotive was named after, so would welcome better-informed opinion.
 

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Derelict Train Shed Owner
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556 Posts
The Eastern Region Railway Golfing Society History notes that one of its vice presidents in 1946, Walter K Wigham, had the A4 named after him. Considering this society was only open to senior staff of the Eastern Region railway it must be assumed he was someone on the board of LNER. Although he was clearly not a golfer of note as he is only mentioned twice, in passing!

ERRGS PDF History of the club

It is possible it is the same man that Richard has found as often these people had (and still have) more than one Directorship or board membership.

 

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Chas Levin
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26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you very much Richard and Ian, very pleased to find out at last! The Eastern Region Railway Golfing Society chap sounds like a pretty sure thing I'd say, and I'd agree that he may well also have been a banker (not a profession that came in for so much stick then of course). It has been bugging me for ages, mainly because I'm considering getting the Hornby model of the A4 (the BR experimental blue is the only livery I don't have an A4 in!) and I didn't want to buy it and then find out he was a dubious character and have some odd association floating through my mind whenever I ran the loco.
Does anyone else find that - the name on a loco affects the pleasure of seeing it run, either in a positive way or in a negative way?
I was initially surprised I hadn't found anything googling, but evidently I didn't look hard enough…

What a fabulous honour, to have an A4 - well, a loco of any kind - named after you!
Though I suppose in those days they didn't have quite the mystique they have now…

Many thanks once again, Chas
 

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Derelict Train Shed Owner
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QUOTE Does anyone else find that - the name on a loco affects the pleasure of seeing it run, either in a positive way or in a negative way?

Yup - I love to see Silver Fox...no real reason for it, just like the name and the fact it is a silver A4
. Yet oddly enough not so attracted to the other Silver Jubilee A4s?!?! Mallard has a place in my heart as well but for personal reasons. It was the loco left to me by my Granddad when he died. Other than those big engines, I'm a tank engine bod really. Small things that worked hard and got overlooked. Maybe I have some unresolved issues


 
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Chas Levin
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26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
To SirWilliamFRS: superb! Thank you for posting this link, wonderful picture and top notch info, Chairman of LNER is a fine association to have in my mind
Nice detail about it holding the record for the fastest non-stop London to Edinburgh steam run!

To Ian: it's a very individual thing isn't it? I chose as my representative silver A4 Silver Link, because we have a bit of a fox problem in our area so I didn't want to see one escaped on the actual layout (!) and I'm not much of a Royalist so I didn't fancy 'King' either.

To KGR: I rather agree, Sea Eagle is much nicer, but I'm after an A4 in BR Blue and the choice I've seen so far is Whigham or Woodcock, and I already have several bird names… though I do think the idea of bird names was a great one, as it seems to go so well with the streamlining = flying
Falcon, Kestrel, Golden Eagle - superb! Though for one in wartime livery I went for a custom job on Merlin, which seemed very fitting cloaked in black
 

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According to Yeadons Register, 4487 Sea Eagle became number 28 on 20th November 1946 but kept the name Sea Eagle until it went into works on 9 August 1947. When it came out on 1st October 1947 it had been changed to the name of the LNER Deputy Chairman Walter K Whigham.
 

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In depth idiot
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Quite likely Marylebone. Many such ceremonies happened there as it was convenient to the London offices, but was not crowded with traffic other than rush hours.
 

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Snapped several Black 5s on that platform at that exact spot in the mid-60s. They were about the last class used in the last years of the steam-hauled Nottingham semi-fast trains.
6991
 

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IMHO the only A4 to carry a persons name should be 60007. All the rest should have remained "birds", some quite evocative names I feel, were "lost" or went different classes.

Rgds.....Mike
 

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Chas Levin
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26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Was it a political thing perhaps, the renaming? I don't directly mean politicians themselves, but that perhaps there was considerable pressure in the corridor-tenders of power to honour railway execs... If so, did they choose the A4 Class for this purpose because they were the flagship design of the network? And, was this executive renaming business more or less common with the other Big Three? Chas
 

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Hello Chas,

I would be interested to know just what period you are looking at. You say "BR Blue" and then say that " only Whigham and Woodcock".

As I model the period 1948 - 55, I also am interested in "BR Blue" locos. I have got the following models in BR Blue:

60003 Andrew K McCosh
60007 Sir Nigel Gresley
60014 Silver Link
60024 Kingfisher
60025 Falcon
60028 Walter K Whigham
60033 Seagull

I don't know mhow important detail is to you, but whilst tenders (Corridor and Non-Corridor) were exchanged at times, the main visible difference which was constant at this period was those locos with single chimneys and those with double ones. To be correct, the only BR Blue A4s with double chimneys were:

60005 Sir Charles Newton
60022 Mallard
60033 Seagull
60034 Lord Farringdon

These 4 locos were fitted with double chimneys when built

All others were converted after 1956 (when Brunswick Green was the livery).

Stuart May
 

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Derelict Train Shed Owner
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QUOTE perhaps there was considerable pressure in the corridor-tenders of power to honour railway execs

I should imagine so. Lets face it, most of us would probably have one of our favourite type of engine named for us if we could wangle it! Having had a University background I know that naming things after people is often done either when lots of money passes hands or someone is in a position to do grant the favour, often to their predecessor.

GWR certainly have a few named for people but they seem at first glance to be public figures and politicians rather than engineers or executives of the railway itself - although it was a very quick check so I should imagine there are a couple in there somewhere. LMS Coronation class obviously has the Duchess of Hamilton, Duchess of Abercorn as well as Sir William A Stanier FRS so it would seem to be an honour that was conducted by all four companies, but LNER do appear to lead the field in sucking up/showing off

 

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Chas Levin
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hello,
To Stuart: I was being a bit imprecise and also perhaps giving the impression that I'd researched the historical reality of this in depth, which I haven't as yet! What I should have said was that having spent some time watching RTR items coming up for sale on Ebay I have only seen the Hornby models of Woodcock and Whigham come up in BR Blue… Do you mean that various others you have are custom-produced individual models and that all those that you list did in fact exist in BR Blue in reality? If so, thank you for the info and I shall renew my search, maybe look at adding respray / renumber skills to my schedule…

To Ian: yes indeed, I'm equally sure that money changing hands was often the prime motivator, but I am habitually a little too cynical even for my own taste so I was trying to avoid coming to that conclusion! These are Great Steam Engines for goodness' sake: surely the Romance Of Steam should have taken precedence over filthy lucre?

Actually, I guess that's why I was a little puzzled because as you say, other companies honoured Kings, Duchesses and the like which for the times was thoroughly to be expected, but I wonder if they thought that that Messrs McCosh and Whighams' fame would last as well as King Edward I, for instance? Probably not - I think this must be another example of the way these machines were regarded simply as limited life-span tools at the time and no-one dreamt that they would be lovingly preserved and written about decades later…

Chas
 

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Lord Faringdon (note 1 r Woolwinder) was lucky - he had an A4 and a whole class named after him - the Lord Faringdon 4-6-0 locos of the GCR (later B3).
6991
 
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