Richard Beeching

From Academic Kids

Richard Beeching

Dr. Richard Beeching later Baron Beeching (21 April 191323 March 1985) was an British physicist and engineer, and former chairman of British Railways. Beeching became infamous in Britain in the early 1960s for his role in masterminding the Beeching Axe railway closures of that decade.

Beeching was born in Maidstone Kent in April 1913 as the second of four brothers. He gained 1st class honours in Physics at Imperial College London followed by a research Ph.D.

In 1938 he married Ella Tiley, to whom he remained married for the rest of his life. At the age of 33, Beeching became Deputy Chief Engineer of the Armament Design Department of the Ministry of Supply.

In 1948 Beeching joined the giant chemical firm ICI, and in 1957 he was appointed technical director of the board.

In 1961 he was appointed chairman of the British Railways Board. He was appointed to the job because the government of the day wanted outside talent and fresh blood, to sort out the huge problems of the railway system.

During his time at this job, Beeching became a hugely controversial figure when he recommended a massive program of railway closures, to cut the cost of running the railway system. He was also responsible for modernising many aspects of the railway system.

Beeching resigned from the job in 1965 after the recommendations in one of his reports were rejected by the government. He re-joined ICI where he rose to become Deputy Chairman (1966-68). In 1965 he was made a Life Peer.


The effects of the Beeching Axe on a small station was the subject of Oh, Doctor Beeching!, a sitcom by David Croft and Richard Spendlove from 1995 to 1997. The theme song ran:

"Oh! Dr. Beeching, what have you done?
There once were lots of trains to catch but soon there will be none.
I'll have to buy a bike as I can't afford a car.
Oh! Dr. Beeching! What a naughty man you are!"

(Note: This is based on the once-well-known and railway-related ditty

"Oh! Mr porter, what can I do!
I wanted to go to Birmingham and they took me on to Crewe.
Take me back to London as quickly as you can
Oh Mr porter what a silly (girl) I am!"
Navigation

Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)

Information

  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Toolbox
Personal tools