Edgar J. Larkin

Edgar Larkin, born in 1900, was one of the relatively few locomotive engineers to have written books, notably Memoirs of a railway engineer. 1979. Chapter 8: Locomotive building and maintenance notes the "Progressive system of workshop training" introduced by Larkin at Derby in 1932. He recorded the closure of outstation workshops at Belle Vue, Bow, Bristol, Carlisle, Kentish Town, Leeds, Saltley and Sheffield, with work concentrated at Derby.

Larkin's observations on H.G. Ivatt are recorded on that page. Larkin confirms that Anthony Bulleid was a graduate pupil at Derby and was a Cambridge graduate.

Larkin had attended the joint brake trails between Peterborough and Spalding (Midland Railway and GNR). These lasted six weeks. Newly designed rapid reacting valves. Fowler was represented by Herbert Chambers; and Gresley by Oliver Bulleid. Larkin was a footplate observer.

On page 84 of his Memoirs Larkin noted that W.A. Stanier was a very likeable and much respected engineer. He will probably be best remembered for his renowned Pacifics. In 1939 Larkin was involved in production planning for new construction. On page 88: he described Charles E. Fairburn as a most able administrator. He was the first engineer to graduate from Oxford; also a graduate from Cambridge. Previously General Manager of English Electric under Sir George Nelson (Chairman). Larkin involved in diesel electric shunters at Derby. Fairburn "was a first-class administrator, a brilliant mathematician and a tireless worker (page 91)


An illustrated history of British Railways workshops: locomotive, carriage and wagon building and maintenance, from 1825 to the present day. Sparkford: OPC, 1992. 184pp.
Essentially a picture book (reproduction to a high standard), but there is some lack of overall direction. Thus it combines relatively "recent" views (the Queen in her "new" Royal train (in 1988) with a Midland clerestory (official photograph and superb) of 1890. Each works has a chronology: facts worth verifying: Stratford Works completed in 1847 for the Eastern Counties Railway; last locomotive constructed in 1924: N7 999E (1702nd locomotive built there). Bibliography of the works found useful, but goodish, nevertheless.Edgar Larkin was very old when the book was prepared.
Memoirs of a railway engineer. London: Mechanical Engineering Publications, 1979. 212pp.