This is a very interesting piece on the GWR’s last CME. Great stuff!
Chief Mechanical Engineer Frederick William Hawksworth was born 10 February 1884. He was the last Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Great Western Railway (Great Britain) (GWR). Hawksworth was born in Swindon, and he joined the GWR in 1898, aged 15, but did not become CME until he was 57, in 1941. Having been at the forefront of steam locomotive development under George Jackson Churchward, ideas at Swindon Works had somewhat stagnated under the later years of his successor C. B. Collett, whose reluctance to give up the CME’s post resulted in Hawksworth’s lateness in taking up this position. Hawksworth had been one of Churchward’s “Bright Young Men”, and was involved in Churchward’s designs: he worked on, for example, the general arrangement drawings for “The Great Bear”.
Hawksworth continued in the design tradition which he had been involved in throughout his career, but made some important improvements. In…
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