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The Locomotives of Boulton's siding

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I'm currently part way through 'The chronicle of Boulton's siding', about Mr Issac Watt Boulton and his fleet of bizarre looking locomotives available for hire by railways and engineering contractors.  It's turning in to one of those books I wished I'd read years ago, and is well worth tracking a copy down if you'e not read it. 

 

Sadly, given the date the book was originally written, there aren't many photos of the locos. A spot of googling turned up photos of Rattlesnake and Ariadne. Does anyone know of any other photos?

 

 

 

 

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I'm currently part way through 'The chronicle of Boulton's siding', about Mr Issac Watt Boulton and his fleet of bizarre looking locomotives available for hire by railways and engineering contractors.  It's turning in to one of those books I wished I'd read years ago, and is well worth tracking a copy down if you'e not read it. 

 

Sadly, given the date the book was originally written, there aren't many photos of the locos. A spot of googling turned up photos of Rattlesnake and Ariadne. Does anyone know of any other photos?

Rattlesnake is in MRJ Compendium No. 2 built by Paul Berntsen, for Bob Barlow in P4. There is also a photo in MRJ No.114. It has 2 Portescap motors.

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There have been a number of articles in the Industrial Railway Record over the years expanding on the information in the book. They've generally been illustrated by photographs – in some cases the photograph from which the drawing in the book was derived.

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There's quite a few Industrial Railway Record articles available online here:

http://www.irsociety.co.uk/Archives/back_issues.htm

 

I've often thought working your way through "Boulton's" to build a model of each loco would be a hobby in itself.

 

Oakwood Press published a book of drawings reproduced from The Locomotive magazine "Boultons Sidings including Contractors Locomotives" ISBN 0 85361 3974.  A heady £5.95 when it was first published in 1989.  Compiled by Mike Sharman, who else?

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I also would be interested to see any piccies of his engines, it is stated that the majority of the drawings are based off photographs, I have seen a picture of john smith no.122:

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There is a piccie of john smith no.122 as shown on page 251 of Chronicles

post-29975-0-65435400-1513701162_thumb.png

Edited by Killian keane

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John Smith of Coven is a pretty interesting subject in its own right. There are interesting early ploughing engines shown on that site, which have separate frames rather bolting everything to the boiler.

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Boulton's Siding was on the Oldham, Ashton and Guide Bridge Railway, just a little south of Ashton. A signal box of that name survived some years after the firm went out of business. I suspect it may have been done away with when the new curve west to Ashton Moss Sidings (and the junction with the L&Y) was put in about 1911.

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There is also a picture of the George England 2-2-2wt shown on page 144, though it saw very little (if any) service in his ownership (note that the picture does not show the actual same one but dwarf, which interestingly started life on the same railway as wantage 'shannon'(not my photo))

post-29975-0-21729000-1483903045.jpg

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There are also pictures of all the broad gauge locomotives he dealt with, (chapters 17-19), firstly the longridge 0-4-0wt locos (the last broad gaugers to work in Britain) shown in 'the railway magazine' (the exact edition I don't have to hand but I will include the photo If I can find it), next the e.b. wilson engines of much the same type (seen below, again not my picture) and of course the well known picture of fowlers ghost

Edit: heres the first series of longridge 0-4-0wt locos http://spellerweb.net/rhindex/UKRH/OtherRailways/Silica.html

post-29975-0-57894900-1483906163.jpg

post-29975-0-59217600-1513701298.jpg

Edited by Killian keane
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In 'Railway Archive' 35 there are photographs of 'Hercules' (page 48) and Boulton's Bury 0-4-0 No 26 (page 59) for which see pages 32 and 33 of 'The Chronicles of Boulton's Siding.

There is also an article, 'Notes on the Chronicles of Boulton's Siding'  in the Locomotive Magazine for March 1931 , pages 92 & 93. This has a small photo of the Stephenson long-boiler 0-6-0 'Lord Robartes'.

More interesting perhaps is the drawing of Boulton's owner's plate.

(The 1931 article may have been incorporated in the David & Charles reprint, in which case apologies for cluttering this thread with stuff you already know! I haven't seen a copy of the reprint for donkey's years, and my copy of the Chronicles is one of the 1927 originals, a fortunate and much prized acquisition!)

I hoping this is of use.

Regards, David.

 

 

    

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There is also a picture of the George England 2-2-2wt shown on page 144, though it saw very little (if any) service in his ownership (note that the picture does not show the actual same one but dwarf, which interestingly started life on the same railway as wantage 'shannon'(not my photo))

Which reminds me that I found a website dedicated to Mr England and his locos: http://www.georgeengland.org/index.php

 

I'm surprised there are no photos of Boulton's loco Little England at the Great Exhibition, where it started it's life on show. There's quite a well known photo of the SER Crampton that was apparently next to it, and other photos of the exhibition itself (although if did occur to me that being painted blue might have made the loco difficult to photograph with very early films). 

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It would also be interesting to see if the actual layout of the siding itself could be discerned, (it would make a fantastic model!) the best photo I have yet seen is the one reproduced on page 266 showing a pletherer of locos in various states, at least two or three parallel roads in the background. The road the small tender is standing on seems to be perpendicular to those - wagon turntable maybe (?), then a narrow gauge line behind that with engine 'Queen of the forest' (sorry if I'm stating the obvious)

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On page 218 the engine 'Brymbo' made from two wagonloads of scrap and various bits and peices is shown (handsome for a bitsa!), this picture shows an evidently elderly locomotive (resembling dolgoch to some extent) for the brymbo ironworks, by its quaint appearance, one might reason that it is either a contemporary or replacement to the engine supplied by Boulton

http://www.gettyimages.ie/detail/news-photo/brymbo-iron-company-0-4-0-tank-locomotive-robertson-order-news-photo/493708084

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It would also be interesting to see if the actual layout of the siding itself could be discerned, (it would make a fantastic model!) the best photo I have yet seen is the one reproduced on page 266 showing a pletherer of locos in various states, at least two or three parallel roads in the background. The road the small tender is standing on seems to be perpendicular to those - wagon turntable maybe (?), then a narrow gauge line behind that with engine 'Queen of the forest' (sorry if I'm stating the obvious)

I'd agree that it would make a fantastic model (and you'd not have to motorise some of the trickier locos). 

 

It might be possible to work something out from contemporary maps. If I've understood things correctly, there was a main works next to Portland Street in Ashton - the book says it extended towards North Street, which would put it in this area: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.4874686,-2.1028971,18z smf

 

There's an 'Engine works' at this location in the 1874 OS map https://www.old-maps.co.uk/#/Map/393228/398938/13/100675

 

This works has tracks for testing narrow gauge locos. The 'siding' itself was detached from this, and alongside the MS&L.  I've not been able to find this on the map yet. 

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Also, remember that when Mr Boulton needed to test narrow gauge steamers, he would lay a length of track along north street, a necessary feature on a model!

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Of course, the real party trick would be to drive a loco up the road on it's way to the nearest goods yard for onward delivery. It should be possible to replicate this with the the bits available for HO scale radio controlled road vehicles. (I did recently see a radio controlled 4mm steam loco demonstrated by driving it along a Templot printout of some track, so this isn't completely insane.....)

 

Interestingly, one of the locos illustrated in the book is actually preserved. Not one of Boulton's, but the Danish Chaplin vertical boiler loco used to illustrate this type of engine.

 

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/bachmic/6147551132/

 

There are several others of these dotted around the World, including one dumped in a rainforest in Belize. 

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There are many small drawings etc., in 'The British Steam Locomotive 1825 - 1925' by A. L. Ahrons, reproduced by Bracken Books in 1987 - Originally published in 1927 by the Locomotive Publishing Co.,  It's a BIG book, but on Ebay the Bracken one is currently under £10, the original is in the £20 bracket (not Bracken :no:  ).

Edited by Penlan

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There are many small drawings etc., in 'The British Steam Locomotive 1825 - 1925' by A. L. Ahrons, reproduced by Bracken Books in 1987 - Originally published in 1927 by the Locomotive Publishing Co., It's a BIG book, but on Ebay the Bracken one is currently under £10, the original is in the £20 bracket (not Bracken https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_no.gif ).

Ah yes that books one Ive been meaning to get, thanks for the reminder! Are the drawings any better than the ones in chronicles?

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There are many small drawings etc., in 'The British Steam Locomotive 1825 - 1925' by A. L. Ahrons, reproduced by Bracken Books in 1987 - Originally published in 1927 by the Locomotive Publishing Co.,  It's a BIG book, but on Ebay the Bracken one is currently under £10, the original is in the £20 bracket (not Bracken :no:  ).

 

 

It is also available free from archive.org here: https://archive.org/details/britishsteamrail00ahro

 

There are quite a few railway books on there it is quite a helpful resource if you are after something that is out of copyright.

 

Gary

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It is also available free from archive.org here: https://archive.org/details/britishsteamrail00ahro

Goodness me, how times have moved on - Agreed a terrific resource, oh bogger.

But sorry to say, I still like to turn a page over, handle a book, read in bed or the bath, it's about being tactile :O 

Perhaps that's why three walls of my study is full of book shelves (and books).

Edited by Penlan
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Are the drawings any better than the ones in chronicles?

When I find my copy, and I know it's here, somewhere, I will compare.

Unfortunately, I've had a bit of a social meeting earlier this evening - The Village Legion's Happy Hour or Two -

and the eyesight is not what it was, this was after a Wake following a Funeral earlier in the afternoon......

Don't know about Middle England, but Rural England in the Far West is, well it's what you make it..   :blind: 

Edited by Penlan

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Goodness me, how times have moved on - Agreed a terrific resource, oh bogger.

But sorry to say, I still like to turn a page over, handle a book, read in bed or the bath, it's about being tactile :O 

Perhaps that's why three walls of my study is full of book shelves (and books).

 

Yes you're quite right. It's not quite the same as being able to turn a page. It does let you build up quite a library for free though, which helped when things were a bit harder financially.

 

Gary

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