Cardean's whistle

Any aspect related to the prototype stock.
Post Reply
Posts: 155
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:41 am

Cardean's whistle

Post by Coronach »

It's no secret that No 903 is universally regarded as the Caley's 'flagship', so it's unsurprising that the company provided her with a distinctive maritime whistle in 1909, courtesy of Wm Dennys.
But what might this whistle have sounded like? I've heard it described as being akin to a foghorn.
I'm wondering whether it sounded like the deep hooters of German steam classes or would it perhaps sound more maritime, akin to PS Waverley, itself a Dennys' product?
I'd welcome any reflections on this as the sounds of the railway intrigue me as much as the visual element.

Posts: 15
Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 8:27 pm

Re: Cardean's whistle

Post by lms14509 »

Although I could not comment on the "sound" of Cardean's whistle, as luck would have it, I was thumbing thru' a copy of the January 1932 edition of Railway Magazine. There was a contribution by our late President, Alan Dunbar on the subject of 903's whistle and that of No.147 also. "Mr A.G. Dunbar points out that there were two types, as suggested ...No 147 was fitted with one type and No. 903 , Cardean , with the other.I think I am correct in saying that the one Denny brought over was put on 903. It had three semi-circular openings in the side, and was about six inches in diameter. The one fitted on No. 147 was of a different type. The top cylindrical portion of the whistle was fixed into a square box containing the valve for operating. These engines were known by the whistle, even to the uninitiated on the line side". (of course 147 was interesting for other reasons-none affecting her whistle). In contrast, the late David Newlands, in an article in the HMRS Journal of January-March 1970 Volume 7 No.1 noted"Sometime in 1919...the large whistle was taken off and replaced by a normal one. My aquaintance with the engine began in November 1921....At this time, however, the "Dunalastair IV" no.147 was sporting a large deep-toned whistle, and I can only suppose that this was the one off Cardean, its removal from the latter having been merely incidental and with no "political significance". I have encountered some argument about this probable origin of the whistle on no.147, but I cannot believe that the Caley authorities would aquire , or make, another unusual whistle and put it on a 4-4-0 for no particular reason"
Jim Summers
Posts: 937
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Cardean's whistle and now the Turbine steamer

Post by Jim Summers »

The inquiry into the whistle or two of Cardean was inspired by Donald Yule as an aspect of the story of his family. He eventually published the account and sent us a copy.
He has asked me to greet all members once more and to draw your attention to a new small book of little tales based on historical events.
One is based around a director of the Caley and describes how the company came to order its first turbine steamer. None of these stories claim to be based on direct historical evidence, but they may not be too far from the truth.
The RNLI will benefit from the sales.

Attached are the details of how to order (it is self-published and printed on demand). For some easy reading with some wry observations, it may be just the wee book for your holiday at home. Meanwhile, here is the cover.

Jim S
Good Morning Sir George .jpg
Good Morning Sir George .jpg (70.62 KiB) Viewed 727 times
Good Morning, Sir George description .jpg
Good Morning, Sir George description .jpg (55.2 KiB) Viewed 727 times
Post Reply