Eric Arthur Langridge

Under ten CMEs; compiled and edited by John Marshall, Simon Marshall  and Bruce Nathan

This is a very important work that emerged during the period following the compilation of Steam locomotive development. Most of the materail originally appeared in the Journal of the Stephenson Locomotive Society in the form of short articles and this led to correspondence, much of which is incorporated in the book. Simon Marshall is the son of the late John Marshall who had begun the task of amalgamating the journal articles and other material (notably some which had been included within a book)..

Langridge was born on 20 May 1896. He was educated at St. Olave's School to which he commuted on the LBSCR, and would have liked to have trained at Brighton Works, but his father could not afford the £150 premium and through family contacts (his father was in the London Office of the San Paulo Brzilian Railway) was able to serve a premium apprenticeship at Eastleigh with a receipt from Dugald Drummond for the £50 (illustrated on page 12). Whilst at Eastleigh Works Langridge studied at Hartley University College in Southampton.

Langridge eventually left Eastleigh to join the Midland Railway at Derby Works where he was an observant fly upon the wall under a succession of top people: Hughes, Fowler, Lemon, Stanier, Fairburn, Ivatt, Riddles...

Many of the views expressed by Langridge are contrary to what is now regarded as "perceived wisdom". Thus he does not consider that the G3 0-8-0 was flawed through undersized bearings and notes that the Claughtons were unpopular on the Midland Division because of their left-hand drive.

As we know, Coleman's scheme was chosen, and before all the drawings had been completed an order for 50 had been placed with Vulcan Foundry. They may have actually done some of the design themselves; much of the design bears their stamp, and it is interesting to note that Charles Finlayson, brother of J.J. at Eastleigh and uncle of T.S. (then at Gorton and lastly, at Derby), was chief draughtsman at Vulcan. The Vulcan Foundry-built engines Nos. 5020-69 started appearing first, Crewe producing Nos. 5000-19 shortly afterwards. There seems to be a likeness between the class '5' and the LSWR 'HIS' in details. In general there was nothing new about these engines for Urie had introduced his two-cylinder, outside gear pattern 4-6-0 back in 1913 (incidentally his chief draughtsman was contract-shop trained and the SR had perpetuated it in the 'King Arthur' design, which had quite similar dimensions to the, class 5. Thus, even with moderate superheat, there was no reason why the Black Staniers should not have got a good reputation from the first.

The above contains a major error: T.S. Finlayson was at Eastleigh and nephew J.J. [John James] Finlayson was to conclude his career at Derby. Bond confirms that Charles was at the Vulcan. Furthermore, even without the error it is a "difficult" paragraph and one in which several highly controversial claims are being made: that Vulcan Foundry contributed to the class 5 design; that this design was similar to the Eastleigh 4-6-0s, and that contract-shop training produced a certain edge in design.

Notes that Cocks History of Southern Railway locomotives to 1938, J. Instn Loco. Engrs. 1948, 38, 749-822. Disc.: 823-60 (Paper No. 481) was not a very sympathetic portrayal.

Coleman was obviously on the way up, and a lack of discipline on the part of Martin at Crewe enabled Stanier to transfer him (and his ex-contract shop men) to Crewe, and let Martin finish his time out 'off the map' at Horwich.

The above is a "difficult paragraph" as at first one is tempted to consider that it was Martin who was being transferred, rather than Coleman. This is not helped by the index where Martin is not an entry, nor is it with a non-machine readable version of the text posssible to trace further previous references to Martin.

Volume 2: C.E. Fairburn to J.F. Harrison.
The chapter on Harrison is diappointingly thin, but the many references to Coleman in both volumes, but especially the second are very revealing. Contains a considerable amount about diesel traction, notably Nos. 10000, No. 10800 (on page 65 he called it a "white elephant") and the Fell locomotive. Sometimes there are infuriating references to people as when mentioning (pp. 93-5) being entertained by J. Black who is described as former chief draughtsman of North British Locomotive Co, he introduces a list of other contract shop chief draughtsman: Galt, Blacklock and Jackson. Presumably the last was the Beyer Peacock man responsible for many enhancements to the Beyer Garratt, but who were the other two? The same page contains further sloppiness; "To turn back to steam matters I recall trials with an annular blast pipe on poor steaming 2-6-2Ts, and an American-type spark arrester is recorded as being tried on No. 4932 (presumably Class 5 not a 2-6-2T). I should have mentioned the German type of inclined plane intermediate buffers being tried on early Stanier locomotives...". The hectic style was acceptable in the Journal where it was possible for members to chat in response, but is unaccaptable in a book. Worse muddle followed on page 67, but the Compilers' footnote sorts that one out (it concerned Alexander Newlands and diesel electric No. 10000: a haunting yarn?)

This volume has a considerable amount of information about the diesel multiple unit programme and its problems and peope relationships. It is suggested that F.A. Pope had a very close relationship with Cleaver, the manager (managing director?) of AEC (p. 163).

There is an index in Volume 2 to both volumes (each of which is numbered separately, but the index makes it clear in which volume the refernce applies), but it is utterly inadequate in relation to the material contained: one of Oakwood's conspicuous failings.