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TomJ

Milk tank liveries

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My layout is set in Cornwall in the early 60s (last throes of steam) is milk is an obvious traffic. I’ve acquired a few of the Dapol N gauge six wheeled tanks on a variety of liveries - blue IMS, silver express Dairies and the white United Dairies. 
Ive no idea how these relate to my chosen period - which livery would be seen and would a train consist of identical liveried tanks, or as it picked up from different dairies would they vary?

On every picture I’ve seen they’re just filthy with no discernible colour, but it would be nice to get the base colour correct!

Thanks

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2 minutes ago, TomJ said:

On every picture I’ve seen they’re just filthy with no discernible colour, but it would be nice to get the base colour correct!

 

Why?

 

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The Milk Marketing Board assumed control of all the rail tankers in 1942 and as and when they needed repainting, they were put into an overall silvery-grey livery with just an embossed plate in 4" lettering indicating the ownership. Things remained that way until by the end of the 1960s only Unigate and St Ivel were still using rail transport and started to paint wagons allocated to them in brighter colour schemes. Nonetheless, I can remember regularly seeing the milk tanks at Vauxhall and Wimbledon (the empties from the depot at Morden), and they were universally filthy silver-grey, with just small embossed plates to give away their ownership. That was also true of the milk tanks that I remember seeing standing idle in the sidings at Swindon in the mid-1970s.

 

Jim

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Posted (edited)

I started a thread with a milk tank livery question a few minutes before yours, specifically about the orange and white St Ivel, which will be too late for you I think, and I would say that all the colour pictures I can find for the early 60s seem to show "filth over silver", with the owner's name in white on a black panel halfway up the thank barrel on the left hand side.

 

Unlike Jim, I can remember seeing orange and white ones at Clapham Junction etc, but that was in the early 70s. I bought a short rake of Wrenn ones from Beatties in Croydon on the strength of seeing the real things less than an hour before!

 

This does pose the question whether the white/cream UD livery promulgated by Hornby Dublo c1960 is authentic or not ....... I think it is, and will see if I can find a photo to prove it.

 

And, Karhedron posted a colour photo of a WR milk train in the early 70s in another thread, which contains some dark red tankers, possibly still in ancient IMS livery, or the overall orange-red that is known (possibly an early version of Unigate livery, so post 1960??), but with added filth.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Nearholmer
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23 hours ago, jim.snowdon said:

The Milk Marketing Board assumed control of all the rail tankers in 1942 and as and when they needed repainting, they were put into an overall silvery-grey livery with just an embossed plate in 4" lettering indicating the ownership. 

 

Hi Jim,

 

Do you have any references for that statement? I ask because I'm not convinced that it's true. As I understand it in 1942 the Milk Marketing Board assumed reponsibility for the distrubution of milk around the country to ensure it got to where it was needed as part of the war effort. That isn't the same as assuming control of the rail tank wagons. All the tanks, except for those built by the MOT, still belonged to the dairies with the underframes belonging to the railway companies. 

 

There were milk tanks built post 1942 that appeared in private owner liveries, some of those during the war. A quick look through either Great Western Wagons Appendix or Great Western Coaches Appendix Volume 2, both by J H Russell shows several milk tanks built between 1944 and 1948 in the company colours of C.W.S., Express Dairy, Applin & Barrett, Cow & Gate, M.M.B and I.M.S (company colour was red). The lettering was much simplified from pre war but none had grey/silver tanks; or more probably unpainted alumnium as that was what they were clad in. 

 

The owner ship plates were only fitted to Express Dairy and United Dairies tanks, by the dairies themselves. Those for ED had lettering around 4" high but those for United Dairies were smaller at around 2 1/2". Again they were aluminium. Neither seemed to appear until after the war. The later Unigate plates contiuned in the same vein as UD. I did a lot of research on those plates when I did my 4mm and 7mm etched ones.

 

Justin

 

Justin

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Here is a link to the previous thread on the topic, which includes photos of trains containing red and blue tanks 

Justin

 

For details of what the MMB did and didn't do, contact Bruce Palmer 0208 686 3179 (his 'phone number is public domain as he runs a small company selling retro model railway components). Until he retired, he was in charge of logistics at the MMB, and used to organise what milk had to go where by rail.

 

Kevin

 

 

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2 hours ago, jjnewitt said:

 

Hi Jim,

 

Do you have any references for that statement? I ask because I'm not convinced that it's true. As I understand it in 1942 the Milk Marketing Board assumed reponsibility for the distrubution of milk around the country to ensure it got to where it was needed as part of the war effort. That isn't the same as assuming control of the rail tank wagons. All the tanks, except for those built by the MOT, still belonged to the dairies with the underframes belonging to the railway companies. 

 

There were milk tanks built post 1942 that appeared in private owner liveries, some of those during the war. A quick look through either Great Western Wagons Appendix or Great Western Coaches Appendix Volume 2, both by J H Russell shows several milk tanks built between 1944 and 1948 in the company colours of C.W.S., Express Dairy, Applin & Barrett, Cow & Gate, M.M.B and I.M.S (company colour was red). The lettering was much simplified from pre war but none had grey/silver tanks; or more probably unpainted alumnium as that was what they were clad in. 

 

The owner ship plates were only fitted to Express Dairy and United Dairies tanks, by the dairies themselves. Those for ED had lettering around 4" high but those for United Dairies were smaller at around 2 1/2". Again they were aluminium. Neither seemed to appear until after the war. The later Unigate plates contiuned in the same vein as UD. I did a lot of research on those plates when I did my 4mm and 7mm etched ones.

 

Justin

 

Justin

Justin,

 

I read it in the same context as was applied to the privately owned coal wagons, ie they went into a pool controlled by the MMB whilst still being the property of their owners. The same had also happened to oil tank wagons, although unlike the coal wagons, they did go back to their owners after the end of the war.

 

Turning to milk tanks, looking through GW Wagons Appendix, there are two pictures of post-war tanks, brand new, bearing company liveries, and a further one in MMB livery. All of the other post war pictures are of tanks in the early 1950s in varying shades of grey, some with plates, bar one that is in dirty aluminium with UD lettering, or of tanks built pre-war. I haven't got either of the GW Coaches Appendices, so cannot comment there.

 

Geoff Gamble's Volume 4 in his British Railway Wagons series has eight pictures of milk tanks in the 1960s, early as well as late, every one in shades of dirty grey.

 

Jim

 

Jim

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This academic thesis seems to clear-up the question of the MMB and PO tank wagons during the war (p131), 'pooling' definitely did occur, and it includes a useful summary of who owned how many rail tanks, effectively a list of what was pooled, I think. 

 

http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/18843/1/TS Thesis Final Draft.pdf 

 

Frustratingly, it doesn't seem to mention when "de-pooling" occurred, assuming that it did at some stage, even if the MMB was conducting the orchestra.

 

The one photo that it contains of a WR milk train in 1950 appears to show at least some tanks in "branded" PO livery, and what look like a few churn vans (they might contain butter, cheese, or dried-milk of course) in the consist among many tanks, and the text seems to imply that a tiny dribble of long-distance churn traffic did persist until the early 1950s.

 

 

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26 minutes ago, jim.snowdon said:

bar one that is in dirty aluminium with UD lettering

 

Is this the Hornby Dublo livery, perchance?

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6 minutes ago, jim.snowdon said:

Geoff Gamble's Volume 4 in his British Railway Wagons series has eight pictures of milk tanks in the 1960s, early as well as late, every one in shades of dirty grey.

 

They are black and white photos though... Unless you can see the lettering under all the crud you can't tell what livery, if any, they wear. Anything with a company plate was most probably unpainted but my point was that milk tanks were still being painted in private owner liveries post 1942. M.M.B. blue also still counts as a private owner livery. Those tanks were owned by the Milk Marketting Board.  

 

Those photos in the geoff Gamble book were taken by David Larkin and they along with others taken by him have appeared elsewhere, most recently in his 2nd volume on BR Parcels and Passenger Rated Stock. There are photos in there, mostly taken in the 70s but none dated earlier than 1963, and all black and white, that show milk tanks still in M.M.B blue, I.M.S red and Express Dairy blue though of course when they were actually painted in those liveries is anyones guess. 

 

I still have yet to be convinced about the 'pooling' of milk tanks into the 60s. I don't see the random pattern of milk tanks that you'd expect in such situations. You see a lot of tanks belonging to a certain dairy working to their creameries. As I said earlier there's a difference between organising the distrubution of milk by rail to having responsibility for the milk tank fleet. 

 

Incidently St. Ivel was a Unigate brand. 

 

1 hour ago, Nearholmer said:

For details of what the MMB did and didn't do, contact Bruce Palmer 0208 686 3179 (his 'phone number is public domain as he runs a small company selling retro model railway components). Until he retired, he was in charge of logistics at the MMB, and used to organise what milk had to go where by rail.

 

Thanks Kevin. I'll gte in touch with him. I'll also have a look at that thesis. 

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It's getting to be more fascinating than I thought. Thank you, Justin.

 

Jim

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I remember seeing the up milk on Saturdays in Truro from 1956 to 1962/63. It used to stop there for some reason for about half an hour or so in the afternoon. I know it's a long time ago now, but the only colouring I can remember is the dirt over a silver colour already referred to. The brake vehicle was always a Collett or Hawksworth full brake.

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Yes, whatever the region, I never saw a post nationalisation brake vehicle on a milk train. I guess by the time the Mk1 BGs were being displaced from top-link services in the late 60s, the requirement to include accommodation for the Guard disappeared as they were allowed to travel in the rear cab of diesels.

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On 13/04/2020 at 21:57, Nearholmer said:

The one photo that it contains of a WR milk train in 1950 appears to show at least some tanks in "branded" PO livery, and what look like a few churn vans (they might contain butter, cheese, or dried-milk of course) in the consist among many tanks, and the text seems to imply that a tiny dribble of long-distance churn traffic did persist until the early 1950s.

 

 

 

There was still churn traffic between Chippenham and Aylesbury in 1961 according to the Bristol carriage working programme.

 

Chris

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On 13/04/2020 at 19:42, Nearholmer said:

Here is a link to the previous thread on the topic, which includes photos of trains containing red and blue tanks 

Justin

 

For details of what the MMB did and didn't do, contact Bruce Palmer 0208 686 3179 (his 'phone number is public domain as he runs a small company selling retro model railway components). Until he retired, he was in charge of logistics at the MMB, and used to organise what milk had to go where by rail.

 

Kevin

 

 

Interesting, i work for what MMB became (National Milk Records) Pretty much everyone that worked for MMB have now gone, i wish i had access to some old records from MMB days

Cheers.

James

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Karhedron

 

If you look in the thread that I've opened about St Ivel tanks, I have linked to a photo of the Clapham Junct - Vauxhall-Waterloo milk train in 1970, which had to have  a van after 1968 because there is no second cab in an 08/09, and that I think does show a Mk1, although (a) I'm not totally sure, and (b) I can't work out what vehicle it is, possibly a BCK or BSK rather than a BG. Other, earlier, photos show it with an ex-LMS BG, but there were always plenty of odd coaches and vans hanging about at CJ to choose from.

 

I'd be interested in your reading of it.

 

Frustrating, because although I can remember that train, particularly seeing it at Waterloo, and can remember the tank wagons fairly clearly, all I remember about the van is "bogie vehicle".

 

Kevin

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16 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

If you look in the thread that I've opened about St Ivel tanks, I have linked to a photo of the Clapham Junct - Vauxhall-Waterloo milk train in 1970, which had to have  a van after 1968 because there is no second cab in an 08/09, and that I think does show a Mk1, although (a) I'm not totally sure, and (b) I can't work out what vehicle it is, possibly a BCK or BSK rather than a BG. Other, earlier, photos show it with an ex-LMS BG, but there were always plenty of odd coaches and vans hanging about at CJ to choose from.

 

If you are referring to this one....

 

Milk Train at Clapham

 

It does indeed look like a Mk1 brake of some description but it is too small and oblique for me to make out what sort. The photo is dated 1970. Interestingly, by 1975 the train had reverted to pre-nationalisation stock again (I think this is an ex-LMS Stove-R).

 

Vauxhall milk delivery

 

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I knew if I kept looking for long enough I would find one.  The exception to the rule. This photo shows a BR Mk1 full brake on a milk train at North Elmham in 1960. This is the only example I have seen before the end of steam.

 

file.php?id=23323&sid=847e350081462800b4

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Anyone know what milk tanker liveries i should be using on my 1930s Newton Abbot railway?

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12 hours ago, PeterLoader said:

Anyone know what milk tanker liveries i should be using on my 1930s Newton Abbot railway?

Others on the forum will be able to tell you exactly what dairies were on the route from Penzance. Too early for MMB or Unigate or St Ivel or silver tanks. It will be the colourful liveries / united dairies white.

 

4 wheel milk tanks or 6 wheel or a mixture  may be an option for you depending on exact date.  The 6 wheelers stated to appear in 1931 and the 4 wheelers disappeared by WW2. You will also need some Siphons and a full brake to complete your train (and a loco of course).

 

Will

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You are correct that both 4 and 6-wheeled milk tanks could be seen in the early 30s. The 4-wheelers had all been rebuilt as 6-wheelers by 1937. Many of the familiar dairies like St Erth were operating but not yet dispatching to London yet at this date.

 

Lostwithiel certainly was open and sending milk to London at this date. It was opened in 1932 by Nestle. The photo below shows a mix of tankers and Siphons which is a pretty good train makeup to aim for. By 1940, Lostwithiel was being operated by Wallens Supplies. I have not see RTR models of tankers in either livery unfortunately.

 

EUXmUX5XsAAjeKf.png

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This 1937 shot shows a dark liveried milk tanker but I cannot make out any details.

 

Lostwithiel2.png

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Real thing looks like a model :)

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