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John Addison

Posted: Sun May 11, 2014 8:34 pm
by Douglas Hind
Peter Robinson of the Cumbrian Railways Association is researching the career of John Addison who was among other things an engineer to the Caledonian Railway in its early days. Hopefully someone can shed some light on the subject. He writes:

The character I am seeking information about is John Addison. Below is an extract from my timeline for him, and any details of this employment with the Caley would be much appreciated. His salary on appointment to the M&C was initially only £300 pa, quickly raised to £450 when he took on the role of engineer as well, but would this compare with his pay on the Caley ? What was the role of Superintendent at this time - was he overall in charge of operational matters ? Perhaps of commercial ? HIs name appears under the many advertisements for CR services in the newspapers of the time. But from what was a senior post in a large company why did he opt to move as General Manager to a very small company like the M&C, although within a very few years it was to become very prosperous with dividends of up to 13%. I wonder if he left the Caley under some sort of a cloud. When did he actually finish with the Caley ? He was only interviewed for the Maryport job on 2nd November 1857 and started in December. Many questions about someone who seemed to be heading for much higher things, but then turned away to become a big fish in a very small sea . Are there any CR staff or management records going back to the 1850s ?

Any information or hints very gratefully received.


Re: John Addison

Posted: Sun May 11, 2014 8:40 pm
by Douglas Hind
Oops! I missed part of Peter's message.


1844 1 May, commenced wkg for John Errington as assistant to Mr McVeigh surveying and staking out line for L&C Rly from Shap southwards

1844 18 July, present when 1st sod lifted at Shap Summit

1845 16 June. took up appointment under John Errington for Cal Rly as Resident Engr in charge of contract from Carlisle to Beattock Summit

1847 no date rode on engine of demo run over C Rly Carlisle to Edinburgh

1851 General Superintendent, Caledonian Rly, age 30
Residence 6 The Crescent, Carlisle (opposite station)

WORK 1853 Superintendent, Caledonian Railway, Buchanan Street Station

Residence 1853 South Greenbank, Glasgow (also in 1855)
Two sons born to his wife while living here.

1857 December took up appt as General Manager of M&C Rly

Re: John Addison

Posted: Mon May 12, 2014 9:20 am
by Jim Summers
That looks a high salary for that time, Douglas.
In my Signalling book I discuss the Signal Engineers and their pay. Of course one would need to study inflation over the years, but in 1906 the Signal Supt. for the whole Caledonian had a salary of £300, and a Divisional Civil Engineer might be getting £700.

Jim S