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Penlan

LNWR Wagon Sheets

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L&NWR Wagon Sheets  - Do I put this in 'Pre-grouping' or 'Skills & Knowledge Centre - Kit, Scratch Building', Pre-grouping is the one for me...........

During the building of a 4mm scale L&NWR wagon recently, I decided to have the load covered by a wagon sheet. “Simples”, I thought.
So I prepared some drawings of sheets, based on information I thought was correct, and printed them off on decal paper, to get a very thin look to the sheet material, then LNWR Wagons Vol. 3 arrived.   Ohhhh, blast.

I had referred to the HMRS’s LNWR Liveries book (published in 1985 – was it that long ago - yes!), and there is noted the following:- ‘….. The sheets were marked ‘L&NW and were distinguished with a RED cross, but the precise arrangement is uncertain.  One photograph appears to show the cross in the shape of a + ……. A more likely arrangement is (as shown below) ….. prepared from a Bassett-Lowke model, but which is not guaranteed as completely authentic’.  It was this drawing that I used for my first foray into making the.

Perhaps the Saltire (diagonals) was originally interpreted verbally from a ‘Cross’ – when we cross our heart it tends to be as diagonals, or my family do anyway.

 

post-6979-0-61715700-1536919975.jpg

 

The next reference to L&NWR sheets that is available (though I admit to very few people) are a page of notes and sketches by Cross & Essery in the HMRS Journal in 1998, (Vol.19, No. 6, page 204), and the sketch there was the basis of an article in the L&NWR Society’s Journal Vol.5, No.5 of June 2007.  This article states that ‘Written evidence says that the cross in the centre of the LNWR sheet was RED and the fact it appears white is probably due to the effects of weathering – the (photographic negative) plates used for photography in that era were sensitive only to blue and ultraviolet, so would in fact make RED appear darker or even invisible..

The drawing is shown here :-

 

post-6979-0-57143000-1536920032.jpg

 

In the following Society Journal, Mike Williams posted a picture from the ‘LNWR Gazette’ for 1913, showing a couple of sheets in use as ‘pools’, with the digits adding more information to the ‘artwork’ on the sheets.  

post-6979-0-66410400-1536920047.jpg

Then this September, LNWR Wagons Vol.3 has appeared, and basically the drawing is the same as the article from the Society’s Journal of June 2007, apart from the substitution of a upside down number for date digits.   There are also photos in the Chapter to show the variations to help guide one along.  The author indicates that he believes the cross could be white.

I think we can expand a bit on that.  The design of the sheets changed over time, but the fundamental ‘artwork’ basically remained the same.
Though we can’t see the lettering on the sheet, the ‘Cross’ is evident, in this pre 1873 view at Coventry.

post-6979-0-04049900-1536920071.jpg
 

A better view of the arrangements is on these wagons at Clegg Street in 1879; again notice how conspicuous the Cross is, surely not Red.
 

post-6979-0-78636900-1536920081.jpg

It is mentioned that larger sheets were required for wagons from around 1909, the size was increased from 19’ 6” x 15’ 3” to 21’ x 14’ 4”, stating due to the higher sided wagons then in use – why? 

Not mentioned in LNWR Wagons Vol. 3 is a change in the lettering font style, and to be noted two variations of the initials - 'LNW' and 'LNWR', probably before 1909, to a Sans-Serif style as shown here.

 

post-6979-0-68214100-1536920093.jpg

 

post-6979-0-16576900-1536920106.jpg

 

I thought all sheets from various company’s would have a manufactured date on them, but the L&NWR examples shown seem to be vague on this point.   Looking at some late Victorian photo’s I could discern some digits near the centre of the cross, but the photo of the sheet below seems to show L&NW, not a date.

 

post-6979-0-98331100-1536920116.jpg

I don’t know how many Wagon Sheets the L&NWR had, but presumably at least 50,000 as the sheet numbers go that high.  There was a ‘Stores Committee’ minute that went out in 1909, I think, stating there were 2,500 Wagon Sheets with duplicated numbers (two sheets with the same number) and they were to be returned for renumbering.

The original drawing, in photo 1. shows the LNWR Diamonds, but I haven’t picked out these on any of the prototype wagon sheets I’ve seen in photographs.

It occurs to me that there must be a directory somewhere, probably in the Railway Clearing House records, noting the wagon sheets ‘liveries’, certainly to help the RCH  ‘Tellers’ etc., which Sheets (and Ropes) to mark off in their ledgers.  Presumably most Companies had already established their own designs by 1847.

I acknowledge the works of Cross & Essery (HMRS), Dr. Peter Ellis and Mike Williams (L&NWR Society), The L&NWR Society Facebook pages and the LNWR Society in-house Journals (plus other contributions over time who’s origins are mis-laid) in compiling these notes

Finally, I’m now making my own interpretation of what some of the sheets looked like, so I can now clothe the load in something resembling a LNWR wagon sheet – But what to make it out of, to get those folds, drapes etc.,   I anticipate decal sheets will be used in the process again somewhere.  The font I’ve used is an adaptation of ‘Egyptian’ which has appeared on my PC in MSWord.  Looking into these wagon sheets has distracted me for nearly two weeks; perhaps I can now return to the wagon and finish it. 
These notes are for discussion puposes, ALL E. & O. E.  :O
 

 

post-6979-0-78895200-1536920126.jpg

 

There are some interesting discussions on RMweb on modelling Wagon Sheets at  http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/136093-wagon-tarpaulins-the-easy-way/page-1&do=findComment&comment=3247241

Don’t forget the Joint RMweb and LNWR Society Modelling Competition, details at 
http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/forum/335-london-north-western-railway-society-modelling-challenge/ 

post-6979-0-16415700-1536920059.jpg

Edited by Penlan
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That is immensely useful research; thanks very much for posting it.

 

Surely the longer, narrower sheets of 1909 were needed when the 18'-long wagons started to become common? In 1909 these were all D84, hence the misleading reference to higher-sided wagons.

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Surely the longer, narrower sheets of 1909 were needed when the 18'-long wagons started to become common? In 1909 these were all D84, hence the misleading reference to higher-sided wagons.

Why didn't I think of that  :jester:

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The challenge is to unpick the design(s) actually in use at the period one is modelling.

 

Re-posting my comment from the LNWR Facebook group, with apologies to Sandy and others who've already seen it:

 

There's a photo of Birmingham Central Goods Station (Midland Railway), probably 1890s, that shows a D1 with a sheet with a prominent saltaire that looks white - Warwickshire Railways ref. mrcgy924b. So there's photographic evidence for both forms of cross, perhaps a different dates, since the Oldham Clegg Street photos in LNWR Wagons Vol. 3 are, I'm sure, even earlier - 1880s?* As to the colour, though in all these photos the cross looks white, there's evidently good contemporary or near-contemporary evidence for red. In addition to the Bassett-Lowke model, the article "Sheets, sacks and ropes" by Bob Essery in Midland Record No. 3 cites an article from the Railway Magazine, March 1904: "The London and North-Western, a red cross"; and also a 1925 issue of the LMS Magazine: "Prior to the grouping... the L. & N.W. a red cross". (See, it pays to be a Midland enthusiast too!) Is it possible that the red- painted part of the sheet might be shinier than the rest and hence appear white even with non-red-sensitive film?

 

This is the photo to which I am referring.

 

*Sandy has confirmed 1879.

 

I thought it might be helpful to review the RTS (ready-to-sheet) offerings.

 

First the Roger Smith sheet (with ropes added by me):

 

post-29416-0-19815200-1536953824_thumb.jpg

 

This has a white issue date May 1920 and red best-before date Feb 1921, so is intended to represent a late pre-Grouping style.

 

Secondly the wagonsheets.co.uk offering, here on a D2 wagon, based on the Birmingham Central photo:

 

post-29416-0-81602500-1536953889_thumb.jpg

 

This also has the block-style lettering rather than sans-serif - which might be the same as the Birmingham photo.

 

I'm fairly sure I used to be able to find a photo on the Vectis auction house website of a Bing or Carrette for Bassett-Lowke LNWR wagon with sheet, with the red saltaire. However, right now I can only locate an example with a white saltaire! (Going on the wagon numberplate, I suspect the tinplate artwork dates from 1909!) One's confidence in the authenticity of Bassett-Lowke sheets is a little shaken by the purportedly Midland example here...

 

 

Edited by Compound2632
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 Is it possible that the red- painted part of the sheet might be shinier than the rest and hence appear white even with non-red-sensitive film?

I think the shiny red is a theory put forward, but I find that difficult to believe, especially considering how shiny the LNWR's loco's were, yet the red lining didn't look like a white line beside the grey, of course the loco red lining was under varnish, the coloured paint line on the wagon sheet exposed.

However, it does then raise the possible point, with the change to non-serif lettering, did the LNWR also change to a red soltire (diagonal cross), but the photo of sheet 28979 (6th illustration in my OP) still shows a proper cross, not a saltire.

I am grateful to Compound2623 for raising these points, as there's obviously room for discussion, which is all I ask - but I don't want to put the sheet on hold to long, the wagon is meant to be running in Cardiff and NEC this year, or so I'm told :O

Edited by Penlan
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Another late LNWR Wagon sheet, in a photo that has nothing to do with this one, by Compound2632

at post #1270 on http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/113035-more-pre-grouping-wagons-in-4mm-the-d299-appreciation-thread/page-51
which takes you to http://www.warwickshirerailways.com/lms/mrcgy692.htm  and gives you this  

 

post-6979-0-61339100-1537196699.jpg

Edited by Penlan

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That looks like one of the sheets in your opening post - the photo tagged Ancoats 1900 but evidently not so early, given the GW wagon with 25" initials in the foreground. Setting aside the invisibility of any cross, the Roger Smith sheet is a moderately close match for this though the L N W is a bit too spindly and closely spaced - possibly too tall as well. I think this second photo shows a hint of the outer, smaller LNW lettering, hidden by the way the sheet is furled.

 

It looks like there's only me, thee and Guy interested in this - I cannot understand why most modellers are so indifferent to this topic as the sheet should be the most prominent feature of at least one-third of merchandise wagons in trains on the road. Let's face it, wagons outnumber engines by 100:1, so should clearly be occupying most of most modellers' attention.

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Oh dont worry Stephen, Im very much interested in the topic, just have nothing to contribute myself.

And as Im dreadful at sewing, my options in G3 are quite limited for wagon sheets. 

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Another late LNWR Wagon sheet, in a photo that has nothing to do with this one, by Compound2632

at post #1270 on http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/113035-more-pre-grouping-wagons-in-4mm-the-d299-appreciation-thread/page-51

which takes you to http://www.warwickshirerailways.com/lms/mrcgy692.htm and gives you this

 

mrcgy692 #2.jpg

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Sorry, posted before I could comment, is that also an LNWR wagonsheet on the left of the photo immediately above the trolley loaded with timber? I’m only looking on my phone so it’s difficult to judge.

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Could well be, couldn't it? 

 

I believe that by this date, sheets were pooled as well as wagons, so it's not necessarily a LNW wagon under that LNW sheet... So, if you're modelling late pre-grouping, you don't need to get too hung up on the exact design of late LNW sheets - just put a sheet from a company whose sheet design is better established (ha!) on your LNW wagon.

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Not sure how I missed this photo...
In the L&NWRSoc's Journal, Vol. 4, No.2, Sept 2003.
This (part) photo is from G.H.Grinling's 'The Ways of Our Railways', published in 1905.
The sheet(s) is covering cables for the Glasgow District Subway.
I wonder if that's a numbering error on the end. '4839', then upside down 'xx89' - or as seen, 68xx  :O 
The wagon is either a D.76 or D77.
I have difficulty in believing the end of the 'cross' is red. 

 

post-6979-0-14395100-1546614798_thumb.jpg

Edited by Penlan
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Having just come upon this thread, and thank you all for the detailed information on wagon sheets, it has just struck me from looking at the photo with sheets used as a 'pool' that the numbers appear to be on both sides of the sheet. (see the left hand 'pool'). I have never read any information on this system (numbers on both sides of sheet) being used  anywhere and may be completely barking up the wrong tree but the numbers on the nearest  side and the left side (of the left pool) are the same, so it must be a single sheet that has been used, rather than doubling up and two sheets being used, which is what I thought might have happened until I looked again at the numbers (10003 in both cases).

Any thoughts anyone?

Best wishes

Rich

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Many thanks for raising the topic. Yes, we should all have a lot more wagon sheets but the two problems are finding authoritative information on the designs and actually modelling them so that they look realistic rather than a crumpled piece of paper.

I  certainly needs some LNWR ones for my Edwardian Rhymney Railway layout.

Jonathan

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