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DONCASTER WORKS

LOCOMOTIVE DRAWING OFFICE 

STURROCK ERA

Drawing Office

Before Sturrock, the early engines had been standard ones supplied by contractors who would supply full sets of drawings to the GNR offices at Boston.  One such drawing which survived until recent times, 13B (May 1853), general Arrangement of 0-6-0 Nos. 323-90, supplied by five different makers (1853-56), which had the Boston stamp.  Once Sturrock arrived, the GNR had more input on the designs. This suggests the Boston Drawing Office had prepared a composite drawing (covering engines on order).  Doncaster Works opened in 1852 for the repair of locomotives and carriages; and here eventually located its Locomotive and Carriage Drawing Office (though later than May 1853), the responsibility of the Locomotive Engineer.  Incidentally, drawing 13B became P3 in the Doncaster drawing series.  At a later date design work was separated between locomotives and carriages but it is the Locomotive Drawing Office (hereinafter referred to as LDO) which mainly concerns us here.  Several drawings survived until recent times and some (but not all) had been allocated fresh drawings numbers under Stirling. The list is arranged in order: A series with their later Stirling numbers; B series with their later Stirling numbers; drawings for which only the Stirling copies survived, with no indication of the Sturrock number.

Table 1 - Sturrock General Arrangement Drawings        

Drawing

Date

Type

Engine Nos.

Builders

Stirling

A Series

 

 

 

 

 

1A

9/9/-- (a)

2-4-0

71-75

Hawthorn

Q4

8A

?

2-2-2

214

Hawthorn

Q3

16A

?

0-4-2T

241-50

Slaughter

Q9

15A

/1858

0-4-2

1-50 altered

Sharp

-

17A

22/3/1865

2-4-0

251-60

Sharp

Q10

20A

18/4/1866

0-4-2T

241-50 rebt.

Sharp

Q12

B Series

 

 

 

 

 

1B

16/10/1855

0-4-2

110

Hawthorn

P6

5B (b)

8/1855

0-4-2 plan

157 altered

Wilson

P4

6B

28/8/1855 (c)

0-4-2
cross-section

157 altered

Wilson

P5

9B

3/11/1854

0-4-2

160 rebt.

Hick

Q6

11B

4/2/1851 (d)

0-6-0

168-97
198/9, 300-07

Wilson
 Fairbairn

P1

13B

5/1853 (e)

0-6-0

328-32
333-37/81-85
338-47/68-80
348-62/86-90
363-67

Hawthorn
Kitson
Wilson
Sharp (f)
Vulcan

P3

18B (b)

23/8/1856

0-6-0 plan

198/99, 300-07 (g)

Fairbairn

P7

19B

10/1856

0-6-0
 cross-section

198/99, 300-07 (g)

Fairbairn

P8

20B

8/1858 (h)

0-4-2ST

121-26 (j) rebt.

Bury

P9

22B (b)

1/1864

0-6-0  plan

400-09
410-19

Kitson
Hawthorn

P11

23B

30/3/1864

0-6-0
cross-section

400-09
410-19

Kitson
Hawthorn

P12

24B

?

0-6-0

420-29/40-49
430-39
450-55
456-60
461-69

Neilson
Kitson
Vulcan
Avonside
Hawthorn

P13

25B

?

0-6-0ST

111/34/39/40 rebt
144/49/53/55 rebt. (k)

Hawthorn
Wilson
 

P10

No originals          
? 0-6-0 308-17 Stephenson P2
  30/4/1857 2-4-0 76-90 Wilson Q1
blank blank ditto ditto Q2
cross-section
  9/4/1854 blank 223-28 blank Q5
  24/5/1856 blank 100 blank Q7
  11/1859 blank 229-40 blank Q8
  blank blank 264-69 blank Q11
  11/7/1866 blank 201-02 (m) blank Q13
  21/12/1866 blank 24/26/28/34/48 (n) "alterations" Q14

 

Notes:

a. Year missing or indecipherable

b. Assumed reference

c. Drawn at Doncaster

d. Signed by Sturrock

e. Drawn at Boston

f. Sharp, Stewart

g. Register just shows No. 4 Goods type

h. Later (surviving) copy dated 13/11/1862

j. Register shows 121-7 which is assumed to be a clerical error

k. Numbers entered in this order: 134, 139, 144, 149, 111, 140, 153, 155
m. Nos. 201 and 202 were rebuilt in 1866
n. These engines were rebuilt as 0-4-2 tender engines in 1866. Note that elsewhere No. 28 was thought to have been rebuilt as 0-4-2T in 1866.

 

Drawings were given Stirling P/Q numbers from around July August 1866.  Selected drawings were renumbered in date order from Q1 upwards.   It is possible drawings not relevant for future reference were not renumbered, but retained with their original numbers for as long as thought necessary.   There is compelling evidence that all the early General Plan drawings survived until at least 1900, apparent by the detailed knowledge of these earlier locomotives described by George Frederick Bird in LOCOMOTIVES OF THE GREAT NORTHERN RAILWAY, first published in 1903.  Apart from detailed dimensions, Bird was able to  draw  sketches of many types suggesting he was able to borrow (on behalf of the Locomotive Publishing Company) the early drawings held at Doncaster.   This should be borne in mind as quite often there were differences between a drawing and the finished locomotive, in addition to the occasional drawing slip made by Bird.  In this latter respect the reader is referred to Bird’s (unfinished) drawing of E B Wilson 2-4-0 No. 76.  It appears likely that the surviving drawings were divided between the Works and LDO.  Bird only saw the Works copies and therefore missed (for example) Q34 (11/7/1874) covering "Jenny Lind" Nos. 203/4 rebuilt which was retained in the LDO. The original drawings are long gone, so there were perhaps other slips which cannot now be detected.  These early locomotives will be dealt with later.

 

Engine classification

Prior to Stirling’s arrival all engines were supplied by contractors and it was easy to describe them as Sharpies, Little Hawthorns, Jenny Linds and so on.  This changed when Doncaster Works started production in 1867.  Classes were then described in such terms as Six Coupled Goods, Four Coupled Passenger, or Metropolitan Bogie Tank. The actual word “class” rarely appeared.  Albeit adequate at the time, such descriptions are difficult to follow today.  The only earlier classification that has come to light, in use by September 1856 at the latest, segregated goods engines into four categories, presumably for loading purposes.  These were as follows.

Table 2 – Sturrock Loading Classifications

 

Classification

Wheels diam

Cyls. Dia

Engine Nos.

No. 1 Goods

5ft.-3in.

17in.

318-27

No. 2 Goods

5ft.-3in.

16½in.

308-17

No. 3 Goods

5ft.-3in.

16in.

328-90

No. 4 Goods

5ft.-0in.

16in.

168-99, 300-07

Running Numbers

Engines were given numbers in a sort of order with passenger and goods engines separated as follows:
Passenger: 1-100, 200-99
Goods: 101-199, 300-99, 400-99

Safety Valves

The early engines had spring-balance safety valves above the firebox and in some cases, e.g. the “Sharpie” 2-2-2s, above the dome also.  As far as is known the engines ordered after Sturrock’s arrival only had them above the fireboxes.

Sturrock's departure

The Works Manager at Doncaster, Francis Parker, resigned in October 1865.  On 31 October the Glasgow & South Western Railway Board members learned that their Locomotive Supt., Patrick Stirling, had received an offer from an English company (presumably that of Works Manager).  Shortly afterwards Archibald Sturrock gave notice (probably in the November) of his intention to retire at the end of 1866.)  The GSWR Board tried to tempt Stirling to stay at Kilmarnock, offering him a six-years engagement with a salary of £800 per annum.  The GNR Board interviewed Stirling on 9 January 1866 and offered him the post of Assistant Locomotive Engineer at Doncaster with an annual salary of £1000, and to succeed Sturrock as Locomotive Engineer later that year when his annual salary would be increased to £2000.  Stirling submitted his resignation from the GSWR on 15 January 1866, and this was discussed by its Board on the 21st.   Patrick Stirling left Kilmarnock on 1 March 1866 for new his post at Doncaster, and later took up the full appointment on 1 October.  In that seven month probationary period, Stirling seems to have undertaken most of the design work.  Patrick's post at Kilmarnock was taken by his younger brother James, at the miserable salary of £250 per annum, though this was raised six years later (1872) to £800.

 

Long after his retirement, when in his late seventies, Sturrock wrote in his private family memoirs “Being 50 years of age in 1866 and wishing to be my own master, and having through my own savings and the fortune left me by my second wife, enough income for my expenditure, I retired on 30th September 1866 from the post of Locomotive Engineer to the Great Northern Railway.” 

 

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