Jump to content

GWR provender wagons


Mikkel

3,134 views

 Share

In 1884 the GWR centralized the provision of provender, so that every stable block on the system received a regular supply by rail from the provender store at Didcot, typically every 1-2 weeks. The supplies consisted of hay, chaff, straw bedding and sacks of feed. The feed included oats, beans and maize, either pre-mixed or separate.

 

The sizeable stable block at Farthing obviously needs a regular supply of feed and bedding, so two provender wagons have been made. I began with a diagram Q1, using the Coopercraft kit.

 

IMG_20200830_111956681_HDR.jpg.f9951b5b4f765a605a58ab228e21872c.jpg

 

 

 

The GWR only made a total of 12 dedicated provender wagons, in two slightly different lots of six. The Q1 kit represents the later batch, built in 1903 with diagonal bracing. They were very camera shy, the photo in Mike's post below is the only one I have seen so far.

 

On 02/12/2013 at 00:17, MikeOxon said:

As a result of Buffalo's information, I have now been able to examine a photograph of two provender wagons outside the Didcot stores.  This photo appears to be associated with an article from the Great Western Magazine, October 1906, by W.H.Stanier.  i agree that the left-hand wagon is probably the diagram Q1 as the DC1 type brake is visible.  The other wagon may well be from the earlier 1884 batch.

 

I have enhanced a small section of the photograph for research purposes and it would appear that the lettering does not conform to the usually accepted layout of the time. 

 

post-19820-0-06139300-1385939442.jpg

 

Nothing is very clear, so my thoughts are speculative.  It looks to me that the letters G.W.R are on the bottom plank at the R.H.end   The lettering on the visible end of the wagon is almost certainly not the number but looks to me as though it may well be the Tare weight.  At the bottom left of the side, there is probably the number but above that, it seems to me that it may state "To Carry", with the weight at the opposite (R.H.) end, so avoiding the diagonal bracing.  in addition, there is writing higher on the side, each side of the doors, which I think may be "Return to" on the left and "Didcot GWR" on the right (both in two lines).

 

I am well aware that's all very speculative, though the details are just a little clearer on the original.  'd welcome any further thoughts or comments.

 

Mike

 

 

 

 

 

As usual, the build involved modifications. The Vee hanger on these wagons was significantly off-center, towards the right. The instructions don’t mention this. So both vees were cut off. The solebars need shortening, and the end brackets must therefore also come off. Here is the original solebar (top), and a modified one (below).

 

IMG_20200830_151630057.jpg.12917fbfc7583c8bba1bda6648b87c9d.jpg

 

 

 

Then, sides and ends. The locating pips for the floor were removed. They make the floor sit too low, and the solebars in turn end up beneath the headstocks.

 

IMG_20200830_150042436_HDR.jpg.056ce5c10928aa6a14644bbcfd8b3dcc.jpg



 

As provided, the brake gear does not take the off-center Vee into account, as this trial fit shows.

 

IMG_20200901_085852266.jpg.c07cff8efdad589c24ac2050e636a64a.jpg

 

 

 

So the brake gear was modified to suit. Looks a bit odd, but that's what the drawing and text in Atkins et al shows.

 

IMG_20200904_160741603_HDR.jpg.249f208769b0aa6ad248cd61ccdb766b.jpg
 

 

 

 The DC1 brake gear was made using parts from the  Bill Bedford etch (recently withdrawn). The buffers are from Lanarkshire Models.

 

IMG_20200904_155824903_HDR.jpg.5e775c3da11450e6e225be54148cd4d0.jpg

 

 

 

The built-up wagon in GWR wagon red, as it would have been painted when built in 1903.

 

DSCN9282.jpg.428b2ec3391bca684b63ffd9fa5479c7.jpg

 

 

 

Apart from 12 purpose-built provender wagons, most of the GWR's provender was carried in numerous standard open wagons of all sorts. Several photos show them loaded improbably high, as illustrated in the image posted by Miss P. below.

 

On 17/02/2017 at 20:30, Miss Prism said:

Run out of Provender wagons? Got too much hay to shift? Got too many boring opens? Want to show off a bit more 'Swindon Improved Wagon Red'?

 

No problem:

 

post-133-0-22217600-1487359625.png

 

(Culham, c 1910)

 

 

 

I decided to have a go at replicating this. This close crop, from a much larger shot from King’s Meadow yard at Reading, illustrates what I was aiming for.

 

hay.JPG.742fc0182e28a3a74b26706a6d2de7a4.JPG

 

 


Not the 9 o’clock news. I set to work on some plumber’s hemp, cut fine and built up in layers on a foamboard box, using diluted PVA.

 

IMG_20201018_115150170_HDR.jpg.3a260e0052af243952a3d0b116182cb4.jpg

 

 


Then sheets (a.k.a. tarps) were made, using my usual method. Ian’s superb sheets were re-numbered and printed on regular paper, then laminated with thin foil and varnished multiple times, before weathering. The result is a shell that can be easily shaped and supports it’s own weight (see this post).

 

IMG_20201019_193527102_HDR.jpg.57674f5b26ff1c3ef96548048b78a765.jpg


 


I designed the load to fit my 4-plankers. My initial plan was to have the entire load and sheeting detachable, in line with my normal approach. In this shot, the tarp and load are separate, but magnets hold them together and allow easy removal.

 

IMG_20201022_094008016_HDR.jpg.8d68fed0c7e6ef3bae7907b04a33a77c.jpg

 

 


However, with a high load like this I felt that the lack of roping looked odd. So I decided to see how it would feel to have permanent loads and sheets. I  recruited one of my 4-plankers and added roping and side-cords, using painted sewing thread.

 

IMG_20201027_164744524_HDR.jpg.fc3baaa8179522e29aa33cc03dd0924e.jpg

 

 


Indents were made in the sheeting by pressing the edge of a ruler into the paper/foil shell, in order to emulate the ropes pulling down the sheet.

 

IMG_20201101_084705194_HDR.jpg.d0e92c4479387d8f4e7ceea18692e93f.jpg
 

 


This is what I ended up with. Don’t look to closely at how the cords are tied at the ends. Photos of provender trains don’t show clearly whether and how they were used in a situation like this.

 IMG_20201107_085824795_HDR.jpg.5150b49d48482eb6d7e81dfee3e0dde8.jpg

 

 


Sometimes, the GWR used two sheets laid sideways instead, as illustrated in this cropped detail of a train of hay bales.

 

IMG_20200503_084924385_HDR.jpg.0ddf742e35ce72c4e1f37f446650b866.jpg

 

 


I decided to do the same on my high-sided Q1 wagon. Here is the usual foil shell, this time composed of two sheets.

 

IMG_20201022_212506204_HDR.jpg.1749c44c32dc2cbb40a5a82151c88cb1.jpg

 

 


For the roping and cords, I loosely followed the cropped image above.  I also tried to fold the sheets at the ends as per that photo, but gave up:  Try as I might, it just looked weird in 4mm scale. Another time maybe.

 

IMG_20201110_083920701.jpg.6b8ce996c1f5d26a6d2f423071ee1582.jpg

 

 

 
Here are a few photos of the wagons in action on the (unfinished) new layout. A Buffalo class arrives with the weekly delivery of provender. Conveniently, the stable block at Farthing happens to have a siding alongside.

 

DSCN9729.jpg.6184dd9304ef24f0b126586a534a3432.jpg
 

 


Meanwhile, Betty is having a drink in preparation for the morning round. Proper care of railway horses was a serious matter, though hardly for ethical reasons. Horses were a company asset and an important part of operations, so obviously needed good maintenance. 

 

DSCN9743.jpg.744339a690018ca1ce231ba8653b1cdd.jpg

 

 


The loco has left, and the wagons are sat in the sidings. The camera has exaggerated the sheen.

 

IMG_20201106_090233083_HDR.jpg.96bc24afcc49a17277ee5cd5eac66eb4.jpg

 

 

 

A close-up, warts and all. The mind struggles to accept that the hay wasn't completely covered over. There is room for improvement with the roping and cords, several lessons learnt there.

 

DSCN9693.jpg.2516999982eb01435e39bee12b15a9f5.jpg

 

 


I'd like to experiment more with the shaping of the sheets. Here I have made slight rounded indents along the bottom to avoid a straight line. Period photos show that, although sheets were pulled as taut as possible, there were still lots of wrinkles etc. 

 

IMG_20201106_092224934_HDR.jpg.214c0bd5caaedce2bcda088d5dbed7a8.jpg

 

 


Despite these experiments, I’m still undecided about permanent loads and sheeting. To illustrate my doubt: It's the next day and the Buffalo class is back to pick up the provender wagons. But wait, what’s this? They are still full and sheeted!

 

IMG_20201106_091312377_HDR.jpg.71fd930eeedf7160cead1dfef78d7749.jpg

 

 

More thinking needed. It never ends! :)

 

 

Edited by Mikkel

  • Like 23
  • Informative/Useful 1
  • Craftsmanship/clever 24
  • Round of applause 2
 Share

78 Comments


Recommended Comments



Lovely additions Mikkel and well built as usual.

 

It's another item for me to do eventually too and good to see you making good use of the plumbers hemp ( it does pong a bit so I placed mine in an airtight container !!! ).

 

G

 

p.s. nice clean thumb nail ! :D

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment

Wagons with two sheets were marshalled so the the leading sheet overlapped the trailing sheet, so that the wind didn't get in the gap and cause havoc.

 

I suspect that the sheet is as much to restrain the load as to protect it from the weather. With baled hay, there's no such need, so lorry-loads of bales are only roped (strapped, these days) not covered. 

 

I do think that to achieve a realistic look, sheets do have to be tied down so that the load is an integral part of the model. 

 

Sorry, brain fading this evening after a long day so my remarks are coming across as a bit disconnected.

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
2 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

Wagons with two sheets were marshalled so the the leading sheet overlapped the trailing sheet, so that the wind didn't get in the gap and cause havoc.

Aha, two sheets to the wind, eh?

 

Not sure where Donald Trump has disappeared to, but at least his syrup has been found:

D9E20E60-ADC0-46DF-AE4E-02CD07C8EBF1.jpeg.1b2e243c12ac540034706fdb59122fbf.jpeg

 

Edited by Regularity
  • Funny 8
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
10 hours ago, bgman said:

Lovely additions Mikkel and well built as usual.

 

It's another item for me to do eventually too and good to see you making good use of the plumbers hemp ( it does pong a bit so I placed mine in an airtight container !!! ).

 

G

 

p.s. nice clean thumb nail ! :D

 

Thanks Grahame. I think the plumber's hemp works fairly well. For 4mm scale I found I had to cut it in very short fine bits though, almost like static grass. I actually like the smell. It reminds me of something good  from my childhood, not sure what!

 

Regarding clean nails, it is fortunate that I do not model with my feet. 

 

9 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

Wagons with two sheets were marshalled so the the leading sheet overlapped the trailing sheet, so that the wind didn't get in the gap and cause havoc.

 

I suspect that the sheet is as much to restrain the load as to protect it from the weather. With baled hay, there's no such need, so lorry-loads of bales are only roped (strapped, these days) not covered. 

 

I do think that to achieve a realistic look, sheets do have to be tied down so that the load is an integral part of the model. 

 

Sorry, brain fading this evening after a long day so my remarks are coming across as a bit disconnected.

 

That's useful info about the sheets, Stephen. In my mind the yard entry is a trailing one, so that should be OK :)

 

Hay balers began to appear just before the turn of the century, but most photos I have seen from the early 1900s appear to show “loose” hay and straw. Yet surely it must somehow have been tied up beneath those high-mounted sheets, or it would have been all over the place.

 

 

7 hours ago, Regularity said:

Aha, two sheets to the wind, eh?

 

Not sure where Donald Trump has disappeared to, but at least his syrup has been found

 

khfvoau6_hsvzdr_meu5l6.png

https://faketrumptweet.com/

 

:jester:

 

 

Edited by Mikkel
  • Like 1
  • Funny 2
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
6 hours ago, Florence Locomotive Works said:

Very, very nice Mikkel.

 

Douglas

 

Many thanks Douglas. I'm a little ambivalent about the results, looking at the photos the rope and ties looks too white for example, though it's better in reality.

 

As mentioned, the folding at the ends of the Q1 could also be better. Photos tend to show that the top flap was folded over the side flaps, but in model form this can look a bit odd I find. Stephen has done it nicely here though:

 

very 

 

6 hours ago, BWsTrains said:

Lovely work Mikkel,

 

I feel some load building coming up ahead in my patch.

 

Thx,

 

Colin

 

 

Thanks Colin. I look forward to seeing what you come up with. I haven't done much in terms of loads myself so far. I think a load of Guiness barrels are next - assuming that would be right for the 1900s! I'm off to find out.

 

 

Edited by Mikkel
  • Like 1
Link to comment
1 hour ago, Mikkel said:

Photos tend to show that the top flap was folded over the side flaps, but in model form this can look a bit odd I find. Stephen has done it nicely here though:

 

 

 

 

That was my first sheeted wagon (in modern times) and as far as I can recall I was following my nose so I was really pleased when I came across this:

 

1528217683_open-12325-smallresized.jpg.ff50e5b91bc64a0502aca4b6b6c67490.jpg

 

[gwr.org.uk]

 

It's the other railway but tucked in corners seem to have been the aim:

 

1863123612_MidlandD299secondscratchbodysheetedperGurnosphoto.JPG.38ad2fc583693b383593a509d2acd3ca.JPG

 

It gets tricky once the load piles up above the sides of the wagon, as with your load of provender. Then one's up against the challenge of representing loose folds and general bagginess. There was a post on my wagon building thread giving a link to a sailing-ship-modelling website - I've not tried their methods but there are some interesting techniques illustrated there.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold

Lovely work Mikkel!  Wagons with tarpaulins are conspicuously absent on Sherton, this inspirational post may help rectify this!

 

BW

 

Dave

  • Thanks 1
  • Friendly/supportive 1
Link to comment

Excellent as ever Mikkel. Sheets are difficult to model, but those are sitting down in a realistic manner. 

 

Good tip with the plumbers hemp too. 

 

Gave me a fright though, I opened the post without my specs on and saw the hemp and the scissors and thought that some blonde lady would wake up to a surprise.... 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment

I built my own Provender Wagon many years ago when CooperCraft kits were the latest thing in realism.  I simply made mine to the instructions, knowing nothing about offset V-hangers and such like.  I've always said that my modelling is 'impressionist' rather than accurate. 

 

Your version is far more skilfully executed and I like the way you have added a load and sheeting.

 

In my own case, North Leigh is not far from Didcot, so I consider it reasonable for one of these rarities to turn up occasionally.  I did feature a photo of one being horse-shunted, while the usual crowd of workers with nothing better to do stood by, watching.

 

If you speak nicely to your wife, you will discover that cotton thread comes in many different colours, so I'm sure you will find something to suit your 'roping'.

  • Like 2
Link to comment

Beautiful work as always, and fascinating too. My stables for Bricklayers Arms are nearing completion so my thoughts are turning to hay so your article is very timely and extremely useful. I will be shamelessly copying a few techniques here especially the use of plumbers hemp.

Thank you. 

0DDBE4C0-E706-4169-B34F-2A7FBE0494DE.jpeg

  • Like 5
  • Craftsmanship/clever 4
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
10 hours ago, Miss Prism said:

Lots of good things to savour in this blog. I will return later for a lazier read.

 

Thanks for the original inspiration Miss P, I keep returning to that Culham photo. A whole train of provender wagons would have been nice, but I can't quite stomach the effort needed!

 

 

10 hours ago, wenlock said:

Lovely work Mikkel!  Wagons with tarpaulins are conspicuously absent on Sherton, this inspirational post may help rectify this!

 

BW

 

Dave

 

Thanks Dave, it would be nice to see some tarps on Sherton. I am beginning to think that we don't need as many as on the prototype - a small number go a long way to give the right impression.

 

 

9 hours ago, kitpw said:

I had no idea about the intracacies of (model) wagon sheets and ropes - top notch modelling.  The provender wagon is a big beast and needs that Buffalo to move it about!

 

Kit PW

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blogs/blog/2502-swan-hill/

 

 

Thanks Kit, yes the Q1 is huge. It does pass beneath the loading gauge, but not with a high load!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
6 hours ago, Dave John said:

Excellent as ever Mikkel. Sheets are difficult to model, but those are sitting down in a realistic manner. 

 

Good tip with the plumbers hemp too. 

 

Gave me a fright though, I opened the post without my specs on and saw the hemp and the scissors and thought that some blonde lady would wake up to a surprise.... 

 

Thanks Dave. Yes, all this business with sheets/tarps is tricky stuff to model, and quite time consuming too I find. You finish a wagon and think you're done. But then there's the couplings. And the weighting. And the load. And the tarp. And the ties/ropes. And that's just simple stuff like mine! 

 

Rest assured BTW. No blondes were harmed in the making of these models :D

 

 

4 hours ago, MikeOxon said:

I built my own Provender Wagon many years ago when CooperCraft kits were the latest thing in realism.  I simply made mine to the instructions, knowing nothing about offset V-hangers and such like.  I've always said that my modelling is 'impressionist' rather than accurate. 

 

Your version is far more skilfully executed and I like the way you have added a load and sheeting.

 

In my own case, North Leigh is not far from Didcot, so I consider it reasonable for one of these rarities to turn up occasionally.  I did feature a photo of one being horse-shunted, while the usual crowd of workers with nothing better to do stood by, watching.

 

If you speak nicely to your wife, you will discover that cotton thread comes in many different colours, so I'm sure you will find something to suit your 'roping'.

 

Hi Mike. Your horse-drawn Q1 was the first I saw in GWR red, I have often admired it.  I think most people build the Q1 kit with the V-hanger in the central position, since there is no mention of anything else in the instructions. 

 

The sewing thread used for the wagons was in fact "stolen" from my wife's collection. I eventually decided to come clean, and she duly gave me the whole thing saying she never used that roll. So much for all my stealth :D I should probably have gone for darker thread though. I did paint and weather it, but you can't really tell in the photos. 

 

 

4 hours ago, 5&9Models said:

Beautiful work as always, and fascinating too. My stables for Bricklayers Arms are nearing completion so my thoughts are turning to hay so your article is very timely and extremely useful. I will be shamelessly copying a few techniques here especially the use of plumbers hemp.

Thank you. 

0DDBE4C0-E706-4169-B34F-2A7FBE0494DE.jpeg

 

Many thanks Chris. Your stables look fantastic! There must have been hundreds of stalls in there. And storage at the upper level, it seems. Very classy.

 

Incidentally, one might say that hay and straw is all very well, but what about the sacks of feed? I had a close look at a 1906 photo of the provender store at Didcot. Below is a crop. It suggests to me that sacks were loaded at the bottom of wagons, then covered with hay and straw. So the wagons we see in photos may well be full of unseen sacks! 

 

IMG_20200527_071344481_HDR.jpg.a5181ba860c29cc15400a5d7d149c7f8.jpg

  • Like 2
  • Informative/Useful 5
Link to comment

The wagons look really good, I think having a wagon carrying a high load of fodder and sheeted over puts the clock back very well, and one usually pops up in my goods trains.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold

Yes, I remember this one:

 

On 17/02/2017 at 22:59, Northroader said:

Agreed, a load of fodder makes a very useful thing to have around. A bit earlier than 1910, and the wagon might be a bit wide.. (sorry about thecouplers, a bright idea due for a change)

post-26540-0-49566400-1487368702_thumb.jpg

 

Edited by Mikkel
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
On 13/11/2020 at 10:33, kitpw said:

The provender wagon is a big beast and needs that Buffalo to move it about!

It’s big because the load is not very dense.

  • Agree 2
Link to comment
5 minutes ago, Regularity said:

It’s big because the load is not very dense.

 

But for the same load the larger wagon will have the greater tare weight.

  • Agree 1
Link to comment
18 hours ago, Mikkel said:

 

Thanks Dave. Yes, all this business with sheets/tarps is tricky stuff to model, and quite time consuming too I find. You finish a wagon and think you're done. But then there's the couplings. And the weighting. And the load. And the tarp. And the ties/ropes. And that's just simple stuff like mine! 

 

Rest assured BTW. No blondes were harmed in the making of these models :D

 

 

 

Hi Mike. Your horse-drawn Q1 was the first I saw in GWR red, I have often admired it.  I think most people build the Q1 kit with the V-hanger in the central position, since there is no mention of anything else in the instructions. 

 

The sewing thread used for the wagons was in fact "stolen" from my wife's collection. I eventually decided to come clean, and she duly gave me the whole thing saying she never used that roll. So much for all my stealth :D I should probably have gone for darker thread though. I did paint and weather it, but you can't really tell in the photos. 

 

 

 

Many thanks Chris. Your stables look fantastic! There must have been hundreds of stalls in there. And storage at the upper level, it seems. Very classy.

 

Incidentally, one might say that hay and straw is all very well, but what about the sacks of feed? I had a close look at a 1906 photo of the provender store at Didcot. Below is a crop. It suggests to me that sacks were loaded at the bottom of wagons, then covered with hay and straw. So the wagons we see in photos may well be full of unseen sacks! 

 

IMG_20200527_071344481_HDR.jpg.a5181ba860c29cc15400a5d7d149c7f8.jpg


I suppose the sacks must be fodder horses...! :D Sorry!

  • Funny 3
Link to comment
5 hours ago, Regularity said:

It’s big because the load is not very dense.

Does the same apply to the Prime Minister’s head?

  • Funny 2
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
1 hour ago, Simond said:

Does the same apply to the Prime Minister’s head?

Certainly seems to have gay on top, awaiting a tarpaulin...

Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold

That one I didn't get, but I won't ask :rolleyes:. BTW Simon I just found your Lydham Heath thread, didn't know it was with you now. I think I saw it at Watford in 1997 or thereabouts, made a big impression.

 

Meanwhile back at the ranch, I got out the looking glass and read some instructions from the GWR Horse Dept that are reproduced in Tony Atkins' GWR Goods Cartage Vol. 1 (p76).  Unfortunately there is no date.

 

"All requisitions for Provender must be made (through book no. 605) to the Horse Superintendent. They will be due at his office on each alternate Thursday [...] A supply for fourteen days ending on a Monday must be ordered each time, except for those Stations specially instructed to order weekly [...] The provender must be weighed on its receipt, and should a deficiency of any of the component parts be discovered, the circumstances must be at once reported. Great care must be taken to prevent waste and misappropriation."

 

So this suggests bi-weekly delivery as the norm, rather than weekly as stated elsewhere. The weighing is also interesting. How would that be done I wonder. Perhaps there would be scales at the stables. 

 

As for misappropriation, yes that would be high crime wouldn't it! Never mind the Medellin Cartel, the infamous Farthing Hay & Fodder Ring strikes again! 

  • Like 2
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...