Captain H.P.M. Beames (1875–1948)

An Irishman, he was a pupil under Webb in 1898 but took leave two years later to fight in the Boer War. Returning to Crewe he progressed to Chief Mechanical Engineer after Bowen Cooke but when the LNW merged with the LYR, George Hughes, as the senior man in terms of years of experience was appointed overall CME in his place. Although he originated the ‘belts’ method of production-line building in Crewe his career under the LMS ran under similar bad luck as the LMS chairman insisted on an getting an outsider to force the employees from different companies to work together, a great disappointment, which he bore with good grace.

However as an assistant CME at Crewe he was able to improve production efficiency to nearer the level it attained during Webb’s time as well as experiment with modifications to a number of the older LNWR locomotive classes (eg capprotti valve gear on Prince Of Wales, larger boiler Claughtons). Over the years he turned more to civic affairs being president of the Webb Orphanage, the Crewe Mechanics Institute and chairman of Cheshire County Council.