Caledonian Blue

Any aspect related to the prototype stock.
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David Blevins
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Caledonian Blue

Post by David Blevins » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:33 am

Jas. F. McEwan contributed a large number of articles on CR Locomotives to the Magazine "The Locomotive Railway Carriage & Wagon Review" in the 1940's. I have a complete set of the Magazines for 1947. which generated letters to the editor on Locomotive allocation and Liveries of Exhibition engines.
One that I am attaching caught my eye and is from Norman Doran MacDonald of Auchterarder but who was originally from Edinburgh.
He states he worked with John F. McIntosh on the Architectural design of the Dunalastair 4-4-0, and introduced the Brighter Truer Blue.
Has anyone done any Research into who was "Norman Doran MacDonald" and more importantly did he ever leave any paper records on his work?
This person is mentioned in the Book by Jim MacIntosh "Caledonian Railway Livery" page 218 regarding Exhibition Engines 1886.
Mr MacDonald seems to have been an important figure not only as a Friend of Dugald Drummond, and JF McIntosh but as an Engineer/Designer for the Caledonian Railway.
It would be fascinating to trace this person and his Historical Importance to the "Caley Blue" saga.
David Blevins.
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Jim Summers
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Re: Caledonian Blue

Post by Jim Summers » Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:50 pm

i have found that fascinating, David, mainly because of this idea of a design consultant being involved.

I cannot contribute any research on the matter in hand, but I have always wondered to what extent the old-time engineers really had an eye for aesthetics. Or not.
Was there really someone else who provided the the 'company look' ?

We know a bit about the design considerations of streamlined locomotives and diesels and electrics, both here and in the US, but I can't think of any literature on how the older locomotives acquired their styles. Can anyone recommend some literature?
Mr MacDonald certainly implies that McIntosh and Drummond were big enough men not to be ashamed to ask for help, and that is in itself revealing.

JimS

dumb buffer
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Re: Caledonian Blue

Post by dumb buffer » Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:24 pm

Norman Doran MacDonald was an Edinburgh advocate who had a large interest in transport matters, particularly cars and steam locomotives. He appears to have formed a close relationship with, particularly, J F Macintosh. He was from 1899 to 1904 chairman of the Royal Scottish Automobile Club, and appears to have been a frequent contributor to technical journals on the subjects in which he was interested. He seems to have been able to talk his way into the design offices at St Rollox and also onto the footplate. I have a mental picture of the canny, reserved working class MacIntosh listening to the flamboyant, enthusiastic, upper class MacDonald, and responding with a resigned "Och aye" just to get rid of him.
You may gather that I am inclined to be sceptical about Norman MacDonald! I wouldn't ignore him, but I wouldn't take all he says at face value.

Allan F

Jim Summers
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Re: Caledonian Blue

Post by Jim Summers » Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:54 am

That all sounds much more plausible, Allan.

Jim

Jim Summers
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Re: Caledonian Blue

Post by Jim Summers » Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:55 am

That all sounds much more plausible, Allan.

Jim

MIKEWILLIAMS
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Re: Caledonian Blue

Post by MIKEWILLIAMS » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:09 pm

I don't think that McIntosh was reserved Allan. There's an anecdote in Nock's book about some bigwig enthusiast bursting into the drawing office at St. Rollox and McIntosh greeting him with "have they let you out of the asylum?" (translation from the doric). It may indeed have been MacDonald.

Best

Mike

dumb buffer
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Re: Caledonian Blue

Post by dumb buffer » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:12 pm

Point w I think one of MacIntoshesell made, Mike, but I think MacIntosh would have been quietly sceptical of MacDonald's wilder flights of fancy. But he wouldn't have said so. I think one of Macintoshes skills was his ability to get on with people at all levels of society despite his own humble background.

Allan F

David Blevins
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Re: Caledonian Blue

Post by David Blevins » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:22 pm

I have been researching into Norman Doran MacDonald and I have come across some Interesting facts which might re-open the debate on how Important and Influence he might have had on the Railway Industry.
He was Born in 1866, a son of John Hay Athole MacDonald who was an Important figure in Victorian times, being awarded the KCB by Queen Victoria in 1900, and was Lord Justice Clerk for Scotland 1888-1915 with the title Lord Kingsburgh. Rather than being of landed gentry or titled birth he appears to have made his Career in Scottish Law as an Advocate.
Norman too was a Scottish Advocate, and seems to have been a joint author with his Father on a "Manual on the Criminal Procedure(Scotland) Act 1887". He is listed as a "Recognised Expert on Railway Subjects...Design of Locomotives & Rolling Stock....Advising many of the Chief Railway Companies." He, Norman Doran MacDonald, Writer to the Signet and Journalist, along with Charles Rous-Marten Journalist, WJ Scott Clergyman, W.M. Ackworth, Railway Economist, W.M. Gilbert of The Scotsman, Percy Caldecot, Locomotive Photographer, took part in the "Race to the North" of 1895 and provided with their own Sleeping Saloon with attendant by the East Coast Companies and jointly timed the Runs. He was Invited to address a Highly Respected Group "The British Association of Engineering" in Glasgow on the 13th., September, 1901 by Colonel Crompton, who founded Crompton & Co., Electrical Engineering Company. Norman's Paper was addressed "Railway Rolling Stock Present and Future" and discussed Cylinders, Larger Fireboxes, Atlantic Type and 10 wheeled Locomotives, Equalizing or compensation levers, Loco Tenders, Suburban Trains, Passenger stock, Wagons, and Brakes. Here are a few quotes from his speech - "I am glad to stand here in this City of Glasgow and Honour the name of my friend Mr J. F. McIntosh, as the First man to break through our traditions, and to follow the example of other lands and provide something like a good fat boiler without frills, fads, or fancies, and to say he has gone on increasing his Boilers step by step in cautious British fashion, until he has given us his Great Mineral Engines with 2500 sq. ft. of Heating Surface. With all respect to Mr McIntosh, I think his Locomotive would have been the better of a leading pony truck." He continues in a similar fashion stating "…10 wheeled Locomotives would be of benefit to the Caledonian with its Beattocks, Dunblanes, & Cobbinshaws…….to get away quickly, move heavy loads, or climb, you will use the Ten Wheelers." Another quote "I have dwelt somewhat fully on ten wheelers because I am in several ways responsible for their Introduction into Great Britain." A final quote is ".....Big Wagon is coming along at last, and to say the Caledonian has the right article if you took off the buffers and put on automatic couplers. I am glad to be able to congratulate my Friend Mr J. F. McIntosh in that he has adopted for the Caledonian new large mineral stock the quick-action Westinghouse, though it puts him in the curious position of putting Superior Brakes on Wagons, and inferior ones for Human Freight".
He goes on to mention My Excellent Friend Mr Rous-Marten and to Thank Mr F. Moore for the Loan of Lantern Slides to illustrate his talk to the Learned Gentlemen of the time in 1901.
The Locomotives he mentions must have been 0-8-0, CR Nos 600 and 601 and the 30 Ton Bogie Mineral Wagons all turned out in 1901.
To be Invited to address such and Important Body he must have been of some standing in Engineering circles and societies.
There must be more to discover on "Norman Doran MacDonald", perhaps an Obituary in the Scotsman when he passed away in 1951.
How Important a Figure was Norman Doran MacDonald?

David Blevins.

Jim Summers
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Re: Caledonian Blue

Post by Jim Summers » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:52 am

I have nothing to contribute in this matter, but would like to thank David for sharing his researches. They do cast an interesting light on the role of the well-connected, informed enthusiast in the environment of those times. Public relations was not a term in those days, but clearly played a part.
JimS

caley739
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Re: Caledonian Blue

Post by caley739 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:28 pm

MIKEWILLIAMS wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:09 pm
There's an anecdote in Nock's book about some bigwig enthusiast bursting into the drawing office at St. Rollox and McIntosh greeting him with "have they let you out of the asylum?" (translation from the doric). It may indeed have been MacDonald.



Mike
From my reading of the book, page 143, it was indeed Norman Doran Macdonald referred to. O S Nock seems to be dismissed as superficial these days, but it was the discovery of his "The Caledonian Railway" in the local library shortly after publication in 1963 that kindled my interest in The Caley. I still have a copy on my bookshelves.

Tom Robertson

David Blevins
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Re: Caledonian Blue

Post by David Blevins » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:15 pm

Thank you for pointing me in the direction of O. S. Nock. I have dusted down two of his Books from my collection "The Railway Race to the North" and "The Caledonian Railway", where Norman Doran MacDonald is mentioned a number of times throughout. I will read through the Books and try to elicit what the author O. S. Nock knew about our Scottish Advocate.
David Blevins.

John Paton
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Re: Caledonian Blue

Post by John Paton » Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:33 pm

Here is a photo and brief biography of Norman MacDonald. It is from an article in the January 1948 issue of "Scotland's SMT Magazine" in which he wrote an article "Forerunners of the LMS".
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John Paton
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Re: Caledonian Blue

Post by John Paton » Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:36 pm

I realise that it is hard to read the scan, so here is a zoom-in.

John
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JimG
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Re: Caledonian Blue

Post by JimG » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:49 pm

John Paton wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:33 pm
Here is a photo and brief biography of Norman MacDonald. It is from an article in the January 1948 issue of "Scotland's SMT Magazine" in which he wrote an article "Forerunners of the LMS".
Just as a complete aside to this thread, the bottom picture is of my piano teacher - James Harvey Scott. :D

Jim G.

Graham R
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Re: Caledonian Blue

Post by Graham R » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:12 pm

And the second one down is the man who left Aberdeen University its splendid O’Dell collection of railway books and ephemera.

David Blevins
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Re: Caledonian Blue

Post by David Blevins » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:07 pm

Thanks John I was hoping someone would have access to an Obituary for Norman Doran MacDonald and a Photograph is more than I was expecting - Excellent. The Obituary also contains more details of his Life and connections, including the Russian Royal Family and the Imperial Railway. He certainly seems to be a well travelled Man in his studies of Railways, acquiring knowledge on best practices - it does make you think he could have advised some of our Great Locomotive Superintendents and Drawing Offices.
I wonder if this subject on the Forum would make interesting Reading for The True Line, although it would have to be "re-branded" something like ND MacDonald did he Influence JF McIntosh.
David Blevins.

John Paton
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Re: Caledonian Blue

Post by John Paton » Sat Jul 27, 2019 2:14 pm

David, the extract I uploaded is not an obituary. It is from "SMT Scotland's Magazine" in 1948. As always in that magazine at that time there is a brief biography of all the authors of articles in that issue, in one of the first few pages. The January 1948 issue was a special on Scotland's Railways (for an obvious reason), and included an article by MacDonald.

It would be worth trying to find his obituary as it could elaborate further.

Incidentally, by the 1930s "Scotland's Magazine" although started by the SMT, contained some 'general interest' railway articles (probably due to the acquisition of a controlling share of SMT by the LMS+LNER). In the 1950s there is even more railway content, often authored by Norman McKillop, and colour reproduction of some BR posters.

John

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