G.A. Sekon, was the pen-name of George Augustus Nokes (1867-1948), who was a partner in a firm of Surveyors and Land Agents, and wrote extensively on railway matters for magazines, newspapers and technical journals on all aspects of railways. On becoming a full-time writer, he was appointed as the first editor of the Railway Magazine, but he was an argumentative and opinionated person (reflected in many of his writings) and left after an argument with the owners to start a magazine of his own. Among those he fell out with were the fantasist Clement Stretton, and the author of a similar work to his own – the “British Steam Locomotive 1825-1925” by E.L. Ahrons.
Both had a similar approach in some ways- a leisurely stroll through the early history of the locomotive, followed by a breathless gallop through the last ten or twenty years. Certainly Sekon’s book shows signs of haste, either with errors or uncorrected typos. Ahrons was in poor health, facing a deadline which no writer can ignore, and his book was completed for the press posthumously. One cause of dispute between them seems to have been the origins of the blast pipe.
Before a personal financial crisis in the late 80’s forced me to sell a number of books, I owned
a copy of “Timothy Hackworth and the Locomotive” which had belonged to E.L. Ahrons. It was full of marginal notes, including on one page in very heavy pencil “THAT EGREGIOUS B#$%&*
SEKON!!!” which would indicate little love lost between them…
For a draughtsmman’s view of the same period, see:-
For a mechanical engineers view see:-
PREVIEW BELOW – MAY TAKE A WHILE TO LOAD.