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Hewitt Pearson Montague Beames

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Hewitt Pearson Montague Beames (1875-1948) was Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London and North Western Railway from 1920 to 1922.

1875 May 9th. Born in Monkstown, Dublin

Educated at Corrig School, Kingstown, County Dublin, (now Dún Laoghaire), at Dover College, and Crawley's Military Academy. He then became an apprentice under, and pupil of, Francis William Webb at the Crewe works of the London and North Western Railway (LNWR).

A keen rugby union player, Beames played for Lancashire on several occasions, and was invited to tour Canada with the Irish national rugby union team, but was unable to go.

Between January 1900 and May 1901, Beames served in the cavalry in South Africa during the Boer War. He then resumed work at Crewe.

Between January 1902 and 1909, Beames was "Assistant to the Outdoor Superintendent, Crewe" who dealt with pumping, dredging and other dock machinery. From 1909 until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Beames was personal assistant to the Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME), Charles Bowen Cooke.

WWI On the outbreak of war, Beames joined the Royal Engineers' Railway Company with the British Expeditionary Force until he was recalled to Crewe to become "Chief Assistant and Works Manager, Crewe Works". Beames became Deputy CME in June 1919 and CME in November 1920.

Beames only produced one new locomotive, the LNWR 380 Class 0-8-4T for use in South Wales. He also reboilered the LNWR Claughton Class locomotives.

The LNWR merged with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&YR) in 1922 and the latter's CME, George Hughes was made CME of the now expanded LNWR, with Beames as "Divisional Mechanical Engineer, Western Division". The LNWR was then grouped in 1923 into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) and Beames became "Mechanical Engineer, Crewe". Beames was overlooked in favour of the elderly Hughes for the top position of CME.

In December 1930 Beames was made Deputy Chief Mechanical Engineer, under Ernest Lemon headquartered at Derby. Lemon was quickly promoted and a new man William Stanier brought in.

Beames retired from the railway on 30 September 1934. He was then active in local politics and was awarded the CBE by George VI in 1946.

1848 March 5th. Died


1948 Obituary [1]

WE record with regret the death of Major Hewitt Pearson Montague Beames, which occurred on March 5th at his home at Chester Place, Crewe. Many of our readers will recall his long association with the London and North-Western Railway, of which he was chief mechanical engineer, and his subsequent years of service as deputy chief mechanical engineer of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway.

Hewitt Beames was born in 187 5 and was educated at Corrig School, Kingstown, Dublin, Dover College, and at Crawley's Military Academy, Dublin.

During his apprenticeship at the Crewe works of the London and North-Western Railway he was a pupil of the late F. W. Webb, and in 1899 he became junior assistant works manager at Crewe. His work in that appointment was interrupted by military service in the South Mrican War, but soon after his return, at the end of 1901, Beames became assistant to the outdoor superintendent at Crewe, taking over the supervision of pumping, lifting and conveying machinery and the railway's dredging and dock plant.

In 1910 Major Beames was appointed personal assistant to Mr. C. J. Bowen Cooke, who was then C.M.E. at Crewe. In that position he was responsible for the construction, and in a large measure for the design, of plant for the mechanical handling of coal from wagon to locomotive.

On the outbreak of war in August, 1914, Major Beames was given command of the 110th Company (Railway), R.E., but two years later he had to relinquish that position to return to Crewe to take charge of the manufacture of munitions there and also of the building of locomotives for war service.

In June, 1919, Major Beames was appointed deputy C.M.E. of the London and North Western Railway, and on December 1, 1920, he succeeded Mr. Bowen Cooke as chief mechanical engineer. Mter the grouping of the railways in 1923 he remained in charge of the Crewe works, which in 1925-1927 were reorganised under his direction. A paper describing this reorganisation, which included the introduction, for the first time in Europe, of the belt system in a locomotive works, was presented by Major Beames to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1928.

In January, 1931, Major Beames was appointed deputy chief mechanical engineer of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway at Derby, in which office he remained until he retired on September 30, 1934.

Major Beames was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and for some years served as a Vice-President of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers. Following his retirement, he took an active interest in local government and at the time of his death was Chairman of the Cheshire County Council.


1949 Obituary [2]

Major HEWITT PEARSON MONTAGUE BEAMES, C.B.E., was closely associated with the London and North Western Railway, and after the grouping of the railways, with the Midland section of the London, Midland and Scottish system during the whole of his professional career. He entered the Crewe works as a pupil of the late Mr. F. W. Webb in 1895; rose to be chief mechanical engineer of the L.N.W.R., and eventually became deputy chief mechanical engineer of the L.M.S.R.

He was born in 1875 and educated at Corrig School, Kingstown, Dublin, Dover College, and at Crawley's Military Academy, Dublin. On the completion of his pupilage in 1899 he became junior assistant works manager at Crewe. This appointment, however, was interrupted by war service in South Africa. Shortly after his return to this country at the end of 1901 he was made assistant to the outdoor superintendent at Crewe. After serving in this position for eight years he became personal assistant to the chief mechanical engineer with responsibility for the construction, and in a large measure for the design, of plant for the mechanical handling of coal from wagon to locomotive.

On the outbreak of the war of 1914-18 Major Beames was posted to the command of the 110th Company (Railway), Royal Engineers, and saw service in France. In 1916 he relinquished that command and returned to Crewe as chief assistant to the works manager with the charge of the manufacture of munitions and control of a personnel of some 9,000.

In June 1919 he became deputy C.M.E. and on 1st December 1920 he received the appointment of chief mechanical engineer. After the grouping of the railways in 1923 he remained in charge of the Crewe works, which were reorganized under his direction during the years 1925 to 1927. In this connexion Major Beames presented a paper to the Institution in 1928 entitled, "Reorganization of Crewe Locomotive Works", where in was described the introduction, for the first time in Europe, of the belt system in a locomotive works.

In 1931 he took up his final appointment as deputy chief mechanical engineer of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, at Derby, where he continued in office until his retirement in 1934.

Major Beames was elected a Member of the Institution in 1922. He was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and for some years served as a vice-president of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers. After his retirement he became actively interested in local government and at the time of his death, which occurred at Crewe on 5th March 1948, was chairman of the Cheshire County Council. He was a keen territorial officer and served with the rank of major in the Railway Staff Corps, Royal Engineers, for thirteen years. More recently he had been a director of Northern Aircraft and Engineering Products, Ltd."



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Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1948/03/12
  2. 1949 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries