The Locomotives of the Great Northern Railway, by G.F. Bird, 1903 [ebook]


Hard Back book, 7”x 5”, 203pp. 8 black and white photogravure illustrations, 112 line drawings by the author, full lists of locomotives ordered by each of the GNR’s Loco Engineers, and of those built at Doncaster.


This is one of the three classic Edwardian single company locomotive histories, the other two being Burtt, London Brighton and South Coast (which we already offer, see Southern Group) and Maclean, North Eastern, which will be available later this year. The detailed work by these authors enabled lesser talents to churn out pot-boilers post WWII without having to do much original research themselves. Burtt clearly had the support of H.A. Ivatt whose portrait is the frontispiece of the book, had known Patrick Stirling (died 1895) and had contact, through an unnamed intermediary with Archibald Sturrock. In 1866, Sturrock married a lady of property, and retired from the GNR early, to enjoy the shooting and angling life of a country gentleman. He lived well into his 90s, and visited Ivatt at Doncaster on at least one occasion, when they were photographed together.This copy of Bird’s book is inscribed to an unfortunately illegible name “…from H.A.I.”. In the 1960s, I was acquainted with Ivatt’s grandson, H.A.V. Bullied (son of O.V.S. and an Ivatt daughter). He told me that Ivatt kept a small stock of Bird’s book on hand, and presented a copy to each of his pupils and premium apprentices. Few authors would desire a better accolade!


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