Primary traps

Christopher Hinton writes to two of his most senior managers in early 1955 that he has “read the report of the enquiry into the failure of the primary traps at Capenhurst and feel that much of the evidence is unsatisfactory.” I’m not sure what “primary traps” are, perhaps steam traps, and I don’t really need the detail, but this long, blistering memo reinforces to me why Hinton’s people called him Sir Christ behind his back. In the memo he uses words like “scandalous” and “ineffective,” slating them for six explosions over six days, then concludes thus: “I shall be asking these questions when the report is considered at the P.E.C. [Production Executive Committee] and you will no doubt wish to have the opportunity of considering them in advance of that meeting.” I, for one, am glad I didn’t attend that meeting.

Hinton memo


Hinton, Christopher. 1955. Hinton to Owen & Ross, Feb. 28, 1955. AB 19/13. National Archives, Kew, United Kingdom.