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June 2002
Founding of the LBR’s Schools at Wolverton
The Watford Tanks
LNWR Post Office Carriages (Part 1)
Royal Visit to Crewe 1913
Old Photographs
Monument Lane
Cast Iron Signs
Power and Reward 1922
A Run in the ‘Problem’
My very own train
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Dear Mike,

I recently found at the PRO Explain 'Public Record Office' the following letter from T.W. Worsdell Explain 'Worsdell, Thomas William (1838—1916)' (Works Manager) to Mr. Ellis (one of the Shop Foremen), and it may be relevant to Mary Forsyth’s water troughs:

‘Trough for Whitmore The above must be coated with a composition made out of the following ingredients:
   36 gallons gas tar
   ½ bucket of pitch
   1 gallon coal oil
The trough to be dipped when hot into the above. I have instructed Mr Kern (? – writing unclear) to prepare a well for dipping them’.

Ted Talbot


Dear Mike,

I must have looked at Plate 102 in Ted Talbot’s LNWR Miscellany Vol.1 many, many times but the full impact of the caption only struck me recently. I quote:

‘A special train of forty 16ft vans, containing 500 tons of galvanised iron sheets ... behind Cauliflower Explain '‘Cauliflower’ 0-6-0 Locomotive Class' 0-6-0 No.464’.

All very nicely posed with the vans specially labelled and, I have no doubt, caption courtesy of LNWR Publicity Dept.

First of all, the 16ft vans weighed, on average, 5 tons 18 cwt so forty of them, plus load, is 236 plus 500 equals 736 tons. Not bad for an 18in engine I submit. No wonder the tender was piled high.

But the 16ft van had a capacity of 7 tons and 500 divided by 40 gives 12.5 tons! Even if these vans had been specially up-rated to 10 tons with heavier axles and journals they would still have been grossly overloaded.

Have I missed something? Would other readers care to comment?

Don Rowland



Dear Mike,

If anyone hasn’t already responded, the photo of PTARMIGAN used to illustrate Bill Broadbent’s article on bye-pass valves in the December Journal was taken outside Holyhead shed. A photo in Hawkins & Reeve’s shed book shows the same brick work and (just) the yard lamp, which is sited unusually close to the shed entrance.

Simon Fountain


Dear Mike,

For the record, the carriages involved (which were damaged beyond repair) were: TPO No.26, 32ft 0in (would have been D.399). Replaced by new 50ft 0in TPO carriage to D.392. 30ft 6in Parcel Van No.2023 – a supplementary vehicle, hence not replaced.

Philip Millard


Joe Brown kindly sent this view of Ancoats Shed, Move to the photographs page taken in 1917. Many Webb Explain 'Webb, Francis William (1836—1906)' and Whale Explain 'Whale, George (1842—1910)' engines can be seen and the engine with its smoke box Explain 'Smoke Box' door open is a Super D Explain 'Super D 0-8-0 Locomotive Class' 0-8-0.

The shed is of standard LNWR design with four roads and ten bays, but before reaching for your trusty Ian Allan pregrouping railway atlas we must admit that Ancoats shed is Joe’s 7mm scale model and represents an imaginary shed in Manchester, on a truncated link intended to connect London Road and Oldham Road stations. The over-track signal box is based on that previously existing at Linthwaite, near Huddersfield.

Story continues ...
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