David Joy: inventor, engineer and designer of a special steam engine


Explore – some of the main London railway stations which were built during the Victorian period and notice how their design was influenced by the steam trains

Discuss – the impact that the arrival of the railway (and the Underground) had on the growth of Hampstead

Discover – how the growth of towns and cities has been influenced by transport systems


Personal History

Subject Areas

Suggested Activities

Interesting fact about the railways

Literary and Artistic Links


Other Resources

Subject Areas

• History – Victorian Britain and the coming of the railways to London

• Science – The invention of the steam engine and the beginnings of mass production

• Geography – How patterns of activity and settlement were influenced by transport systems

Suggested Activities

• Make a detailed drawing of a steam engine or steam ship, or create a collage of different types of steam driven vehicles

• Write a poem about trains; see John Betjeman’s collection of poems on steam trains

• How did David Joy’s inventions to increase locomotive efficiency benefit the railway companies and railway users?

• The railways encouraged the growth of suburbs so that villages outside London (like Hampstead) became part of London. Look at historic maps of Hampstead and work out where the growth took place first and why. (See separate background note on historic maps.)

Interesting fact about the railways

The Great Exhibition in 1851 would not have been possible without the railways. They brought 6.2 million visitors to London to see it – 1/3 of the population of the whole country. (The Great Western alone brought ¾ million people into London.) The railways also built hotels at major destinations for their passengers.

Literary & Artistic Links

John Betjeman on Trains, edited by Jonathan Glancey (Methuen 2006)

Trains and Buttered Toast – Selected Radio Talks, edited by Stephen Games (John Murray 2006)


Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Steam Index – a website devoted to (mainly) steam locomotive history. See http://www.steamindex.com/people/joy.htm

Other resources

Some BBC resources on the Flying Scotsman:

4472 – Flying Scotsman

Steam Days, Episode 6 – A Tale of Two Scotsmen

Flying Scotsman: Iconic Locomotive Steams into Swanage



This page was last updated on December 2nd, 2020.


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