Scottish Railway Preservation Society’s ‘Fife Circle’ rail tour, in the capable hands of Ex-LMSR Class 5MT 4-6-0 No.45407, is about to run through Cowdenbeath station, in September of this year. No.45407 was built by Armstrong Whitworth, of Newcastle, in 1937 and worked until the last days of steam on British Railways, when she was allocated to Lostock Hall MPD, her first posting was at Kettering.
Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Whitworth, have, as they say, ‘some form’. Mr. Whitworth is your standard screw thread man, he was also a Fellow of the Royal Society and produced a ‘sharp shooter rifle’. Mr. Armstrong was also something of an armaments type and his breach loading gun was used to re-equip the British artillery after the Crimean war. Mr. Armstrong had built, for himself, a house at the very forefront of the technology of the day. ‘Cragside’, in the village of Rothbury, had hot a cold running water, central heating, and electric lighting utilising a water powered generator, hydroelectricity was a very novel idea for 1878.
Not content with hydro electrics and building locomotives and guns, Armstrong Whitworth, built ships, they are credited with the first ‘ice breaker’ and another which was involved in the opening and operation of the Trans-Siberian Railway. And if that’s not enough they built some rather handsome motor cars too – the Armstrong Siddley Sapphire was one such – bank managers loved them!!
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