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Sir Daniel Gooch: Memoirs and Diary
David & Charles

Sir Daniel Gooch: Memoirs and Diary

Regular price £12.00 £0.00 Unit price per

When Isambard Kingdom Brunel selected Daniel Gooch, then barely twenty-one, as the first locomotive superintendent of the Great Western Railway in 1837, it was an inspired choice. Gooch was a tower of strength during the company's early struggle and within three years had de signed his first engines for the company. Gooch was surely predestined to be an engineer. Born in Bedlington, close to Newcastle, nine years before the opening of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, he was brought up among collieries, foundries and engineering works: his play. ground as a boy was Bedlington Iron- works. His elder brother Tom was apprenticed to Robert Stephenson, and the great George Stephenson himself was a frequent visitor to the Gooch home. Daniel had many relatives in engineering, too, including the Longridge and Hawkes families, thus ensuring that early promise was followed by a varied apprenticeship at Tredegar, the Vulcan Foundry and Dundee.

On the Great Western Gooch was not only locomotive engineer. In 1840 he recommended Swindon as the site for the company's works, the planning of which was also his responsibility. For the rest of his life he was identified with every aspect of the life of the rapidly expanding railway town. The engines he designed and built at Swindon gave the broad gauge GWR pre-eminence in speed and reliability, and firmly established the great Swindon tradition of superb design and craftsmanship which only ended with the end of the steam age.

At the time of his resignation (for reasons now revealed for the first time) in 1864 he was already doing other work as a consultant, and in 1860 was appointed engineer of the Great Eastern steamship in succession to Brunel, who had died in the previous year. He subsequently con- verted her for cable-laying, helped to form the Telegraph Construction & Main- tenance Company, and supervised an ex- pedition in 1865 to lay an Atlantic cable. This failed, but with his usual faith and courage he sailed in the "Great Ship' again Continued on back flap

Hardback with dust jacket, 16x24cm, 386 pages,

Condition: Good/Very Good

ISBN: 9780715356098

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Updated: 2 April 2024