While she was at the Watercress Line, the A1SLT and the Mid Hants Railway welcomed John Peppercorn, the nephew of legendary locomotive designer Arthur Peppercorn OBE (29 January 1889 - 3 March 1951). Arthur was the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LNER, succeeding Edward Thompson on 1 July 1946 until 1 December 1947, when the LNER ceased to exist, becoming part of British Railways. During this time he designed the A1 Pacifics which new build Tornado
represents, filling the missing gap as none of the originals were preserved. Arthur was CME for only a very short period before nationalisation He retired at the end of 1949 after only 3 and a half years in a senior position. He died not long into retirement.
John has fond memories of his uncle and was very keen to see the locomotive which he designed. This was actually the first time John had seen Tornado
in steam, so we were only too happy to give him a ride on the footplate 'over the Alps'.
John mentioned that Arthur was seen to be very much the black sheep of the family as he chose not to pursue his fathers career in the church, choosing instead to be an engineer. The rest, as they say, is history. But it's rather fortunate perhaps that he did choose this path as maybe the A1 class, considered to be one of the finest steam locomotives ever built in this country, would not have existed at all, or at least, not as he designed them.
John Peppercorn with the Peppercorn family, including Arthur - MHR
John stands next to the locomotive his uncle designed - MHR
John cabs Tornado for the first time - MHR
John tries the driver's seat for size - MHR