Papers of Dennis Rock Carling

Scope and Content

Having studied mathematical and mechanical science at Cambridge University, Carling went to train at Beyer, Peacock and Company in 1928. Some of Carling's autobiographical writings suggest he also had a period working for Hunslet.

He then joined London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) as Technical Assistant to the Chief Test Inspector in the Chief Mechanical Engineers Department (CAR/2). He worked mainly in the Dynamometer Car Office on locomotive testing, with some work undertaken in Motive Power Department and in the workshops. After the War he returned to the company before taking over the running of the Locomotive Testing Station at Rugby (CAR/3) where he remained until retirement - apart from a period of secondment to Office de Recherches et d'Essais (ORE). In retirement (CAR/4), Carling was an avid researcher and writer who published many papers and a book on tender locomotives. He was active in both the Newcomen Society and Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). Some items relate to his wider interests and family (CAR/5).

The collection has been arranged by activity ie material is arranged by who Carling was working for when it was created, by his personal railway research and by his personal items, not related to railways.

Administrative / Biographical History

Carling was Superintendent of the Rugby Locomotive Testing station. He was a son of Sir Ernest Rock Carling FRCS, an eminent surgeon and specialist in radiology. He gained the Mechanical Sciences Tripos at Trinity Hall, Cambridge in 1928 and went straight to Beyer Peacock for a two year apprenticeship during which time delivered the 1930 Garratt's to the LMS. In 1931 he took a sabbatical and visited most of the locomotive builders in Europe before joining the family firm. He went to the LNER in 1936 as an assistant with the dynamometer car, going to the Admiralty in 1939 in a technical capacity (Riddles in introduction to ILocoE Paper 497 noted that he had worked on magnetic mines and torpedoes during WW2). After the war he rejoined the LNER and owing to the unexpected death of D.W. Sandford was made head of the Rugby Test Plant throughout its steam operations, 1948-1959. Some of his contributions to the discussions on papers presented at meetings of the Newcomen Society are autobiographical and show that he had experience at Hunslet before joining the LNER to work on locomotive testing.

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Archivist's Note

Compiled by Karyn French, Archivist, Mar 2018.

Geographical Names