In another occasional series of historical reviews of ‘Big Four’ locomotive engineers, Cedric Johns highlights the career of Frederick W Hawksworth, who succeeded
Charles Collett in 1941…
FAMOUS BRITISH LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS: FREDERICK W HAWKSWORTH GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY
County 4-6-0 No. 1002 County of Berks near Twyford in April 1956. COLOUR-RAIL.COM / T OWEN BRW419
In retrospect, the final years of Frederick Hawksworth’s engineering career at Swindon were cut short by political events beyond his control when the 1945, postwar general election swept Clement Attlee’s Labour government into power.
Three years later the Great Western’s proud traditions were replaced by a newly-formed, politically-managed organisation proclaiming it to be British Railways.
Not only did Nationalisation threaten Swindon’s reputation for excellence and all that it had stood for over the generations starting with Gooch and Brunel, it spelled the end of the ‘Big Four’ as we had grown up to know it collectively and individually.
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