John Speller's Web Pages Stoke Works

John Speller's Web Pages - North Staffordshire Railway

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The North Staffordshire Railway established a locomotive works south of the station at Stoke in 1868, and thereafter designed, built and repaired most of its locomotives there. For a railway of its size the North Stafford built some remarkably fine locomotives, and Stoke Works possessed an excellent design team. It is noteworthy that H. G. Ivatt, later Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LMS, was at one time Deputy CME under the last Chief Mechanical Engineer of the North Staffordshire Railway, John Albert Hookham (1863-1934), and that Sir William Stanier's Chief Draughtsman, Thomas Coleman, also served under Hookham. Hookham was himself noteworthy for having made a number of innovations, including having anticipated Maunsell's "Lord Nelson" Class on his 4-cylinder 0-6-0T No. 23 by setting the cranks to give eight exhausts per revolution -- or was James Clayton, who had worked with Hookham under Maunsell, responsible for the idea on both locomotives? Hookham had come to the North Stafford in 1915 from the Ashford Works of the South Eastern & Chatham Railway, as had his predecessor, John Henry Adams (1860-1915), before him. Adams was the son of William Adams, Locomotive Superintendent of the London & South Western Railway. Mr. Hookham retired in 1924 and the LMS closed Stoke Works in 1927. Most of the staff were transferred to Crewe, and the LMS added extra trains between Stoke and Crewe for the benefit of employees who wished to commute from Stoke rather than moving their homes to Crewe. The last locomotives constructed at Stoke Works were four 0-6-2T engines built under Mr. Hookham's supervision to J. H. Adams's "New L" Class design by the LMS in 1923 -- NSR Nos. 1, 2, 10 & 48. Mr. Hookham was also noteworthy in that his method of packing piston valves later became standard on British Railways.
This photograph of the Locomotive Erecting Shop at Stoke Works in 1911 shows the rather cramped conditions that seem to have obtained there
The Carriage Erecting Shop at Stoke Works, 1901
The Wagon Shops at Stoke Works
Another view of the Locomotive Erecting Shop, 1901
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