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Thomas Parker (1829-1903)

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1894.

Thomas Parker (1829-1903)

Started his professional life as an apprentice under Robert Sinclair at the Greenock Works of the Caledonian Railway.

1858, he moved to the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR) to become their Carriage and Wagon Superintendent. In this position, Parker produced one of the first dining car designs used in Britain, and a series of 6-wheeled bogie coaches.

1886, he became the MS&LR's Locomotive Superintendent.

Parker introduced a series of designs with inside frames. Parker was also the first to use Belpaire fireboxes on locomotives intended for British running. Beyer, Peacock and Co had used them previously on locomotives exported to Belgium). Both the Belpaire firebox and the inside frame designs would be continued through to the end of the MS&LR (later GCR) with Grouping in 1923.

Parker also oversaw the complete remodelling of the MS&LR's Gorton Works, and added a new erecting shop to the complex.

1893 Parker retired but continued to live near the Gorton Works. [1]

He died at Gorton in 1903.



1894 The Engineer published an appreciation of Thomas Parker upon his retirement; the following is an extract from it:[2]

'THOMAS PARKER last year resigned the position of locomotive superintendent of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway. He is the designer of the engines which we illustrated last week and illustrate this week. In 1847 after some practical experience, he entered the service of the Caledonian Railway Company, whose works were then at Greenock, under the management of Robert Sinclair. He was with the London and South-Western Railway Company, under Mr. Beattie, during the year 1851, after which he returned to the Caledonian Railway Company, and was engaged for some considerable time in the inspection of material and rolling stock supplied by contract to that company. He entered the service of the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway Company in 1858, and was associated with the late Mr. Sacre until he resigned in 1886, during which time Mr. Parker assisted him in various ways. When Mr. Sacre resigned Mr. Parker was appointed locomotive engineer, which position he held until his resignation in December last, his active connection terminating in the early part of this year. Mr. Parker became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on January 8th, 1887.'


1903 Obituary [3]

THOMAS PARKER was born in Ayrshire on 11th July 1829, and commenced his apprenticeship in 1847 at the Greenock Works of the Caledonian Railway under the late Mr. Robert Sinclair.

In 1851 he served for one year with the London and South Western Railway under Mr. Beattie, after which he returned to the Caledonian Railway, and was engaged for some considerable time on the inspection of material and rolling stock supplied by contract to that company.

In 1858 he was appointed carriage and wagon superintendent on the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, and during his term of office he constructed the whole of the now existing carriage and wagon shops. He introduced on the same railway a six-wheel bogie coach, and the dining-car built by him in 1885 was one of the first constructed in this country.

In 1886, on the resignation of Mr. Sacre he was appointed locomotive, carriage, and wagon superintendent.

At the Manchester Jubilee Exhibition he exhibited engine No. 561, which was an entirely new type of locomotive on the line, and subsequently used Belpaire fire-boxes extensively.

In 1892 he remodelled the locomotive shops, and built a large new erecting shop.

He retired in 1893 after a railway career of nearly fifty years; and during the time he was with the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Co., the wagon stock was increased from 4,182 to 17,933 vehicles, and the carriage stock from 338 to 1,106. His death took place at his residence at Gorton, near Manchester, on 25th November 1903, at the age of seventy-four.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1872; and was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.



1904 Obituary [4]

THOMAS PARKER, who died at his residence, Gorton House, Gorton, Manchester, on the 25th November, 1903, was born in Ayrshire in 1829.

In 1847, after some practical experience, he entered the Locomotive Department of the Caledonian Railway Company at Greenock, under Robert Sinclair, and, with the exception of two years, 1851-53, during which time he was engaged in the Locomotive Departments of the London and South Western and the Scottish Central Railways, he remained in the service of the Caledonian Company until 1858, when he was appointed Carriage and Wagon Superintendent of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway.

On the resignation of Mr. Sacre in 1886 he succeeded to the post of Locomotive Engineer to the Company.

During his long connection with the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway he erected the present carriage and wagon shops ; he was one of the first to construct 6-wheeled bogie coaches, and the dining-car built by him in 1885 was one of the first in the country. He designed for the Manchester Jubilee Exhibition Engine No. 561, which was one of an entirely new type on the line, and he was one of the first to use Belpaire fire-boxes extensively in this country.

In 1892 he remodelled the locomotive shops and built the large new erecting shop. He was called in to inspect the rolling stock of the Metropolitan Railway Company and of the Cambrian Railway Company. Mr. Parker retired in 1893 after a career of nearly fifty years.

He was elected Member of the Institution on the 8th January, 1889.



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