George Frank Burtt
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Burtt (more often known as Frank Burtt) was born in Greenwich
on 22 March 1871 and died in Brighton on 22 August 1949. [Obituary
Locomotive Mag., 1949,
55, 143]. Educated Colfes Grammar School, Lewisham and West Kent
Grammar School (Marshall). Apprenticed
under Stroudley at New Cross Works. Moved to Drawing Office, Brighton 1892
where he remained until he retired in 1932. He was an extremely energetic
man and during the labour shortage of WW2 he went back to Brighton works
and was employed photographing new construction and also developing and printing
X-ray photographs of boiler plate welds, and finally as librarian, completing
in all 51½ years' railway service, and serving under no less than six
C.M.E.s: W. Stroudley, R. J. Billinton, D. E. Marsh, L. B. Billinton, R.
E. L. Maunsell and O. V. S. Bulleid. He was a founder member of the Stephenson
Locomotive Society and of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers. Very important
locomotive historian, although R.J. Billinton insisted that his work should
remain pseudonymous. He was one of Ian Allan's pioneering authors of most
excellent slim locomotive histories.
Fred Rich (Steam Wld,
2005 (217) 23) called him a "fiery little man" and gives details of how
he took official photographs involving newly assembled locomotives and the
staff involved. Many are reproduced in his 1946 study of Brighton locomotives.
His involvement in the founding of the Stephenson Locomotive Society is
celebrated in Backtrack, 2009,
Burtt took a leading part in the formation of this Institution of Locomotive Engineers. The original secretary was T. H. Baxter, but after a few months he obtained a colonial appointment and Burtt was appointed in his stead. He acted as honorary secretary, treasurer and publisher until 1922. The growth of the Institution necessitated his relinquishing the secretaryship in that year but he retained the position of honorary publisher and treasurer until a whole-time paid secretary and treasurer was appointed in 1931. For his services to the Institution he was made an Honorary Life Member and presented with a purse of gold and an illuminated address signed by all the Past-Presidents under whom he had held office. Obit J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1949, 39, 386. Burtt should probably be in ODNB.
Some French Train Services and Locomotive Performances (Paper 19).
It would seem that Burtt assisted the Ian Allan in getting started.
LB&SCR locomotives: an up-to-date survey from 1870. Staines: Ian Allan, 1946. 57p.
Clear and concise work: Burtt worked for the LBSCR. From the bibliographical standpoint the book is interesting in that it is clear that neither the author nor the publisher knew much about pamphlet production as there are six blank sheets "for notes" (at a time of extreme paper shortage!).
The locomotives of the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway, 1839-1903. London, 1903.
See Ottley 6678 for a full account of this book which began life as a series of periodical articles, and all of which were published pseudonymously as Burtt was an employee of the LBSCR.
S.E. & C.R. locomotives, 1874-1923. London, Ian Allan, 1947. 46 p. 36 illus., 16 tables.
A clear and concise work.
London & South Western Railway Locomotives 1873-1922. Ian Allan, 1948
Cross Channel & Coastal Paddle Steamers. Richard TIllIng, 1934
Steamers of the Thames & Medway. Richard Tilling, 1949
Porttrait: Group photograph at Swiss Locomotive Works, Winterthur on 2 June 1930. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1930, 20, Plate (between pp 466-7) and present in group photograph taken at Railway Centenary in Darlington: J. Instn Loco, Engrs, 1925, 15, 576