Influential People of the LMS

Without the hard working men and women of the line, the LMS simply would not have succeeded. The company was very big and had hundreds of thousands of people on the payroll but who were the men at the top making all the big decisions and the important people who changed the face of UK rail travel?

Chairmen of LMS – 1923 to 1941
Charles Lawrence: 1923 to 1924
Born in May, 1855 Baron Lawrence was the first chairman of the LMS for one year only and died three years later after leaving the position in 1924. Educated to a high level at the famous Marlborough College in Wiltshire he was seen as a leading business man of the day, in fact he was involved in a whole host of other business activities including insurance, Bolivian railways and was famously portrayed by the famous painter, Walter Ouless in 1915.

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William Guy Granet: 1924 to 1927
Qualified as a barrister but then moved in to the rail industry, Granet was born in Italy in 1867. He had a sharp financial brain and indeed his father was a banker which could explain where he picked up his business acumen from.

Before being chairman of the LMR he was general manager of the Midland line or MR and previous to both senior management roles was in fact secretary of the RCA for 5 years. His keen eye for modernisation made him the perfect chairman and was rewarded for his work in 1911 when he was graciously given a knighthood.

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Josiah Stamp: 1927 – 1941
Another figures and statistics expert was J. Stamp. Born in 1880, he was the middle child a big family of 7 brothers and sisters. Stamp held many creditable positions including being a director of the Bank of England.

Chief Mechanical Engineers
George Hughes: 1923-1925
The first head of engineering of the LMS was George Hughes who not only involved with the LMS but also the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. A clever and forward thinking man, Hughes even tried to build an electric type locomotive in 1912. With 4 motors and used for hauling light goods it was eventually discarded after becoming too expensive.

Henry Fowler: 1925-1931
Sir Henry Fowler began his lover affair with steam travel back in 1895 when he was a humble gas engineer on the Lancashire and Yorkshire line. He quickly rose through the ranks and was hired by the rival Midland Railway in 1900 where he was appointed chief engineer towards the end of the decade.

Towards the latter period of his career he once again moved lines to the LMS, he was seduced by the sheer scale of the LMS track and under Hughes made great strides in ensuring the line was safe and fully operational. He died in 1938 just 5 years after retirement.

Ernest Lemon: 1931-1932
Like many leading engineers of the time, Lemon was involved with the war effort and in particular for Lemon he was given the job of being in charge of aircraft production where was also praised for his ability to streamline aircraft manufacturing in the British factories.

His time as CME was short because he was quickly promoted to vice president, this was in 1932. He died in 1954 after enjoying a long retirement.

William Stanier: 1932-1944
Stanier was born in to a family already influenced by the railways. His father was working for GWR and this is how Stanier junior started his long career in the British railways.

From office boy, draughtsman and inspector he worked his way up and was chief mechanical engineer of the LMS in 1932 after being handpicked by Stamp himself. Perhaps his most important contribution was his design of the Black Five locomotive or the record breaking Princess Coronation Class that set the world record for speed of over 110 MPH.

Charles Fairburn: 1944-1945
Fairburn only held the post of CME for just one year because of death. A Yorkshireman born and bred he was one of the first engineers to phase in diesel type trains on the LMS.

George Ivatt: 1945-1947
Like so many other notable men of the LMS, Ivatt had railways in his blood. His father was the famous engineer Henry Ivatt and George began working the lines based in Crewe as a young apprentice. During the war period he worked in France and his bio also indicated that he travelled around to different parts of the country in order to further his career.

After WW2 Ivatt was appointed CME and continued to expand the existing infrastructure of the network and he also added the LMS Ivatt class train. He died in 1976, aged 90 years.