Jump to content

LNER Banana Van announced!!


Recommended Posts

There do seem to have been banana depots in many towns. Reading's Vastern Road goods yard had one - an appropriately curved building. See here for Moor Street's ripening rooms. Here's Lenton's Banana Store, Nuneaton. on 26 October 1927:

 

image.png.1411955c96f5adae2e9da2a5e551c6e0.png

 

[NRM DY 14580, released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) licence by the National Railway Museum.]

  • Like 3
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

In the older thread on banana vans, mention was made of them turning up in small numbers at Barnstaple. Banana vans travelled in block trains from Southampton Docks to Exeter Central, where one of the importers had a warehouse. I'd think those seen in Barnstaple would have originated as part of such workings.

 

John

  • Like 1
  • Interesting/Thought-provoking 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There was an article in the Great Eastern Railway Society Journal No 61 January 1990 on Banana traffic on the GER by John Watling, which may answer some of the queries raised above.

 

PS some even had the lettering changed to SR, plenty of scope for Oxford Rail!

 

Paul

Edited by PaulG
PS added
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Garethp8873 changed the title to LNER Banana Van announced!!

In the early 1960s there were regular Banana trains from Barry in South Wales and Shrewsbury allocated Jubilees were used on a regular basis. I think the trains went to Crewe and beyond.

 

David

  • Informative/Useful 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, PaulG said:

There was an article in the Great Eastern Railway Society Journal No 61 January 1990 on Banana traffic on the GER by John Watling, which may answer some of the queries raised above.

 

Go on then, give us the gist - what port, what destination(s)?

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

 

Go on then, give us the gist - what port, what destination(s)?

 

The reason I gave the link to the GERS is not sure of copyright issues to post a pdf of the article.

 

In the illustrated article John Watling says "................it is interesting to find during the mid-1930s, at, least some of the vans were loaned to the Southern Railway for a sufficient period to merit the livery being changed, SR appearing in place of NE.

 

Bananas were being imported at Southampton during this period and it would appear that whist the SR had a shortage of stock the LNER was blessed with a surplus. The photograph taken by the late Dr. Ian Allen at Worting Junction shows class S15 No. 497 at the head of a train from Southampton. The four leading vehicles are all banana vans; the first is LSWR, the second and third are the GER design, lettered SR, and the fourth was probably a Southern Railway product. In volume 1 of "An Illustrated History of Southern Wagons", published bu OPC in 1984, a small p;art of 632849 may be seen, again in SR livery".

 

Paul

  • Informative/Useful 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, PaulG said:

The reason I gave the link to the GERS is not sure of copyright issues to post a pdf of the article.

 

That's right and proper but...

 

4 minutes ago, PaulG said:

In the illustrated article John Watling says "................it is interesting to find during the mid-1930s, at, least some of the vans were loaned to the Southern Railway for a sufficient period to merit the livery being changed, SR appearing in place of NE.

 

Bananas were being imported at Southampton during this period and it would appear that whist the SR had a shortage of stock the LNER was blessed with a surplus. The photograph taken by the late Dr. Ian Allen at Worting Junction shows class S15 No. 497 at the head of a train from Southampton. The four leading vehicles are all banana vans; the first is LSWR, the second and third are the GER design, lettered SR, and the fourth was probably a Southern Railway product. In volume 1 of "An Illustrated History of Southern Wagons", published bu OPC in 1984, a small p;art of 632849 may be seen, again in SR livery".

 

... it's the Southampton traffic you speak of here whereas it's the Great Eastern's own banana traffic that I really, really, want to know about. What port did their banana traffic come in by and to where did their banana trains run?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

 

That's right and proper but...

 

 

... it's the Southampton traffic you speak of here whereas it's the Great Eastern's own banana traffic that I really, really, want to know about. What port did their banana traffic come in by and to where did their banana trains run?

..................................Elders & Fyffes in 1907 made Stratford Market East London their distribution centre............Jamaican bananas were being landed at Manchester Docks........route via GN&GE Joint........GER ran complete trains of 20 to 25 vans.............

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, PaulG said:

..................................Elders & Fyffes in 1907 made Stratford Market East London their distribution centre............Jamaican bananas were being landed at Manchester Docks........route via GN&GE Joint........GER ran complete trains of 20 to 25 vans.............

 

Thanks. That makes sense; interesting that the Great Eastern rather than the Great Northern or Great Central provided the vehicles.

Edited by Compound2632
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Compound2632 said:

 

Thanks. That makes sense; interesting that the Great Eastern rather than the Great Northern or Great Central provided the vehicles.

..................the article says initially both the MR and GNR provided vans...... there were two available routes...........good reason for the GER to build some wagons!

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, GreenGiraffe22 said:

Hmmm bananas weren't really obtainable in wartime but I'll still be interested to have one in my goods yard, it's only loosely based on the war years anyway 

 

Bananas may not have been but the vans were...

  • Like 1
  • Agree 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

No, they are not quite the same as fruit vans.  Banana vans have steam heating and no ventilation, as the bendy things were cropped green and ripened aboard the ships and on the trains to be palatable at sale, whereas fruit is usually picked ripe and needs to be kept cool and unheated, but well ventilated, to stop it going overripe in transit.  Both had internal drop down shelves that boxes could be put on. 

 

One, not the only but one, of the reasons for the building of the GW's Badminton cut off was to access the then new port of Avonmouth for fast banana traffic.

 

I have no knowledge of the GER's banana traffic, but would be surprised if some of it didn't come in via London or Tilbury; Tilbury is more LT&S I know.

  • Agree 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, GreenGiraffe22 said:

Hmmm bananas weren't really obtainable in wartime but I'll still be interested to have one in my goods yard, it's only loosely based on the war years anyway 

All vans of this type were pooled during the war, the banana vans being insulated, were used to carry meat. So on a wartime layout anywhere that a meat van can be justified, a banana van of any company can be used in stead.

 

On the Southern the livery of banana vans was changed during the war but they were still, discreetly, marked differently to meat vans. This may suggest that at least some banana traffic was being carried.

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I read that there was an ideal number of hours before the arrival at market to deliberately trigger the ripening process. Consequently some journeys from port to destination started with the van heat off, only being turned on at the appropriate point in the journey.

  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • RMweb Gold

Hello everyone

 

Readers might like to be aware that Trains Illustrated June 1954 carries an article entitled Bananas Galore - which gives an outline of how banana transit was arranged at that time. There are no photos nor mention of specific vans, though

 

At that time, four to six banana boats were coming in every week - roughly one to each of Avonmouth, Garston, Liverpool, London (PLA), Preston and Southampton. The article states that the biggest of these ships required 700 vans to accommodate the cargo.

 

Brian

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well you all seem to have missed the fact that Bananas were imported to the Great Eastern by the Woolwich Ferry having been grown in the confines of Woolwich Arsenal.

 

Due to the prevailing weather in South London, the crops were not that great and hence the popular music hall song - "Yes, we have no bananas, we have no bananas today!"

 

 

  • Funny 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

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...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.