Peter Lockwood

Peter Lockwood was RailDoc and much more….

April 25, 2005

Dear Mr. Ellenberger,

I am enclosing some pictures of some of the (railway steam engine) models I have built over several years. Unfortunately, I do not have too many “action” photos, but these will perhaps give you some idea of what I do.

Duchess under construction — future name, “City of St. John’s”.

I built my first steamboat model at age nine. I have always ‘made’ things! From childhood I built boats. As a teenager during the war, I built model aeroplanes. Then after the war, as a med student, I bought my first lathe and built a small workshop in the cellar of our house. I produced several small engines for boats and then started my first locomotive – “Virginia” (American standard 4-4-0), seen in the workshop photo with the unfinished Duchess”.

My son with Jane the tank engine, taking on water.

Following a stint in the R.A.F. at Wegberg, I did more work on Virginia and then emigrated to Canada where Virginia was completed in 1962. During this time I also made a steam yacht which now occupies a glass case I my office.

Following the completion of Virginia, I made several other things – a launch engine for a three-meter boat, a stationary beam, and with the help of the kids – I started building a railway track round the garden. About this time, I also began building the Duchess (completed in 1981) which took nine years to construct. However, as it was a major undertaking to get her onto the track, being so heavy (200 kilos); I commenced “Jane”, a green dock tank engine which you can see with one of my sons and his wife near the water tower on the photo.

During my years in Newfoundland, the workshop has been considerably enlarged and has welding (gas and electric), milling, shaping, and a new Myford lathe acquired in 1965. I also have a cutter grinder and various woodworking tools – both hand and machine.

Jane was built in two years and as she only weighs 60k, she is easy to get onto the track and very happy with a load of six adults. (I imported my Welsh steam coal – half a ton – from the U.K. many years ago, so I’m O.K. for a good bit yet!) In the meantime, a traction engine was built in the nineties together with several other odds and ends.

Living in the land of snow and ice, I also have a caterpillar tractor to clear the snow. This rather large beastie requires maintenance at times. As well, I have several automobile projects as I was also engaged in motor sport locally and inter-provincially. I was a national steward for several years.

Raising steam. c.1970

So now, I’m having to sit back on my laurels at the age of 78 with a total hip replacement and spinal stenosis! I hope this gives you some idea of what a “model engineer” does!

My late wife was once asked, “And what do you do?” Her reply was, “I bask in my husband’s reflected glory!” She was however, an excellent nurse and mother and a literary genius!

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Peter Lockwood

P.S. I also paint and have exhibited and sold some of my artwork. I play jazz
piano too. J

Thank you Peter for this extraordinary contribution! Wolfgang.

article about the family´s donation to local museum

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