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Modelling 1930s Derbyshire Dales or thereabouts. Got lots of info online about general look of the area , even a very nice lady from one council whose grandad was LMS.  But no-one could say what the sheep and cows looked like back then.  So...  Has anyone ever found a site that'd tell me what sheep/cattle were about in different parts of UK prewar?  I know that I might get everything else fairly right but don't want to hear "Them cows never came to Britain til.."

 

 

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I guess it depends what scale you are working in. I admire your push for authenticity.

I maybe unobservant, but aren't all sheep white and fluffy?

As for cows, I do know that Frisians are relatively modern, brown cows are more authentic for the 1930s....

I'm sure there is a history of British cattle somewhere....

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I am no kind of expert on livestock, but I remember reading in MRJ that British Shorthorns were a common type in the first half of the 20th century.

 

Also, searching for "Derbyshire cattle breeds" raises a reference to Blue Albion cattle which were a local breed. (The top hit is a Wikipedia page, but that has no images. Do the search yourself to get pictures of the recreated breed.)

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Hi,

 

I like what you want to do!  Until fairly recently, from the 50's and 60's, each part of the country had it's own particular breeds of farm animals.  In Lincolnshire, where I am, we have Lincoln red cattle, Lincolnshire Longwool sheep and Lincoln curly coat pigs.  I haven't researched it yet (I may have a wee look later) but Guy has beaten me to it!  I can't recall ever hearing of Blue Albion cattle, but British Shorthorns were common around the country.  If you can't find a picture of a Blue Albion then you won't go far wrong if you use a picture of a British Shorthorn and substitute the reddish-brown tones with a scruffy blue-grey.  Very few breeds of cattle are one single colour, and those that are are usually red or black.

 

Also, sheep are rarely, if ever white.  Dirty beiges, fawns and greys and very pale, light browns: it's only seeing sheep at a distance that makes them look white against their background.  Some breeds have brown, or black, faces, and the Leicester whiteface has, you've guessed it, a white face, which only accents the colour of it's fleece.  The nearest most sheep get to being white is when they have just been shorn or when they are washed for showing, and even then very few breeds are actually white!

 

Good luck with your research into this subject, I think you'll find it a fascinating endeavour!

 

Roja

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4 hours ago, GDR said:

Modelling 1930s Derbyshire Dales or thereabouts. Got lots of info online about general look of the area , even a very nice lady from one council whose grandad was LMS.  But no-one could say what the sheep and cows looked like back then.  So...  Has anyone ever found a site that'd tell me what sheep/cattle were about in different parts of UK prewar?  I know that I might get everything else fairly right but don't want to hear "Them cows never came to Britain til.."

 

 

Cowspotters, eh!? :jester:

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Thankyou livestock lovers! Did get a breakthrough on sheep. Seems I need to paint off-white ones, as Roja said, with weird black n white faces. They look like Welsh collies in disguise. Apropos of which I'm on to sheepdogs next then....

 

So onward with my cattle education. Wonder if you get udder-counters like rivet-counters?

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19 hours ago, ikcdab said:

I guess it depends what scale you are working in. I admire your push for authenticity.

I maybe unobservant, but aren't all sheep white and fluffy?

As for cows, I do know that Frisians are relatively modern, brown cows are more authentic for the 1930s....

I'm sure there is a history of British cattle somewhere....

Whilst the widespread use of Friesian cattle is more of a post-war phenomenon, there were a few herds in the UK from around the turn of the century, with a Breed Society founded in 1909. Still, it's best to ignore black and white cows if your layout is pre-nationalisation, apart from native breeds like the Belted Galloways.

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Might it be worth contacting a local agricultural auctioneer, like Bagshaw's of Ashbourne, to see if they have any archive material from your era?  There is also the Bakewell Show - I have looked on line and not found anything, but some years ago I bought a book on its history, which probably would have had some photos from an appropriate year, but I seem to have mislaid it!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Short Horn and Albion were definitely around in my neck of the woods (Peak District). 
Look up heritage breeds on Google for both sheep and cattle and disappear down that wormhole! If only someone made decent models of these beasts. 

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I’ve just found this tread and thought I’d have a say.  A friend of mine was doing a 1930’s farming diorama and was struggling with getting the livestock correct as it would be displayed at a country show.  As he was getting nowhere (fast), he contacted BBC’s Countryfile asking for help and he got a brilliant response suggested breeds, not only sheep and cattle, but pigs, chickens, ducks and as to which breeds were more popular or hardy in some areas, rather than others.

Edited by jools1959
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I would of thought Shorthorn and Albion for the cattle and Derbyshire Gritstone for the sheep. But even back then different breeds would get about, so you could have a nice herd of black and white Belted Galloways! 

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Great stuff all. Thanks. Like Nearhomer says half the fun of doing any research on here is getting side-tracked. 

 

Might get round to building a railway some time...!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Random udder-spotting note - be aware that quite a few breeds of cattle used to be horned but at various dates were bred to be polled, ie hornless - I have an idea this trend may be continuing.

 

I have to hand 'A beast book for the pocket' published 1936/7, which includes farm as well as wild 'beasts. Re Frisians, 'in 1934 a census showed 23,797 females in Great Britain', of which 5,612 were registered that year, and in 1935 more pure-bred stock was imported (imports of Dutch cattle were apparently banned in 1873, although some were brought i in 1914) so Frisians seem to have been rapidly increasing in popularity from the mid-30s.

 

Shorthorns came in beef and dairy varieties. '70% of all the cattle of Britain' are of Shorthorn type. 40,000 odd registered in England alone (compare with the figure for Frisians). They milked almost as well as Frisians and had the advantage that 'high milking records are maintained over long periods without loss of flesh or injury to the breeding qualities'. Also, even in the Dairy types, the meat is sufficiently good that it is worth steering them for the butcher.

 

In the 1930s the book has it that Herefords were the leading beef breed (horned, red and white but used to be black and white - unlike Frisians which started red and white and by the 30s were black and white - occassionally red and white were born but these couldn't be registered in the breed book). 

 

Other breeds include Aberdeen Angus. Some Guernseys in England but not Jerseys (particularly vulnerable to TB).  Galloways (including Belted Galloways, which not all were) were 'the earliest polled breed known' although 'horns still sometimes crop out). Red Polls are mostly East Anglia, Devons and South Devons, Sussex, Welsh Black and Highland largely where you would expect. Longhorns and Old Gloucester were almost extinct. Dexters, which have been mentioned, were 'almost extinct' in Ireland and no longer had a herd-book, but 202 were registered in England in 1935.

 

The Blue Albion (stud book from 1921) as stated is from the Peak of Derbyshire - only about 80 females registered each year so pretty rare even then. Basically a Dairy Shorthorn with the red replaced by 'blue' - they can be blue, blue  and white, or blue and roan. Note that 'The nose and horn-tips must be dark'! That's one for the rivet-counters!

 

As to sheep, the Derbyshire Gritstone is polled, black face with white marks, and black and white legs. Another local (from the corner where Lancashire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire meet) is the Lonk which is like a larger, longer-legged, stronger-horned Scottish Blackface. Note that despite the name the latter is thought to have originated in the Pennines where there were and are large numbers. I think you might well have had Leicesters on the better land, but they were becoming a bit of a problem - they were Bakewell's original 'improved' breed, and the in-breeding was taking its toll. 

 

I can't find a specifically Derbyshire pig; the commonest thoroughout the country in the 30s was apparently the Middle White, which is a rather squash-nosed sort of animal, a cross, would you believe, between the Large White and the Small White. The latter being a now-extinct 'small, pug-nosed, delicate, sausage-shaped, small eared, Chinese-bred race', which sounds ever so sweet!

 

Hope some of that was of use - don't forget to paint those horn-tips!

 

 

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On 01/03/2021 at 12:41, Compound2632 said:

Midland Railway passengers at Derby, 26 November 1909:

 

1741713735_DY9162DerbyCattleDocks.jpg.0a046d5e189b3b7b2ae828ac0f7b036f.jpg

 

NRM DY 9162,  released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) licence by the National Railway Museum.

Wonder who did the necessary shovel work upon departure? Railway or those who'd (presumably) rented cattle dock space.

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48 minutes ago, GDR said:

Wonder who did the necessary shovel work upon departure? Railway or those who'd (presumably) rented cattle dock space.

 

The Midland Railway Study Centre has several Goods Manager's Circulars headed "Cleansing and disinfecting cattle trucks and pens", the most recent of which is No. 1056 of 1 June 1882 [Item 17838]. Not having seen this document, my inference from the mention of trucks and pens in the same breath is that both were the responsibility of railway staff.

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12 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:

I’d not imagined cattle owners renting pens. I thought cows travelled at an all-inclusive fare, with waiting space, refreshments, and cleaning all-in.

 

Don't give the ToCs ideas. They'll be renting out platform space...

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  • 1 month later...
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Posted (edited)

I have been acquiring livestock for Highbridge Wharf's cattle dock. Having found that ready painted cattle cost a fair bit if you need a lot, I found this supplier of resin animals. The products are generally good quality, although I have had to replace the odd foot. The cows are all posed standing, except one, which is sitting down, although she is clearly a modified version of the standing type. I have converted my two back to standing - but if you want them in a field then that's a job you don't need to do. The pigs' snouts seem a bit long to me, but quick jobs with a file and a small drill, for the nostrils, soon makes them look better - I think. Six cows or eight sheep for £3.49 is a good deal in my books, especially if you are going to customize your breeds with a paint job anyway. After I placed my first order, I saw a rather worrying review of the supplier, but my two orders have come back within a week of ordering. They also supply 7mm scale animals and others in wargaming scales. Wargaming seems to be their primary focus, but quite a few of their lines are made in a range of scales, including 00 and 0.

Post 2nd class is free, 1st class is 50p.

https://www.serious-play.co.uk/collections/animals-and-people

I have no connection to this supplier, except as a happy customer.

If you want photos I can oblige, but I am conscious that I often seem to invade threads with my photos.

Edited by phil_sutters
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I'm quite taken by the idea of wargaming pigs.

 

The sitting cow really looks to me as if she's in the act of getting up, which is a breach of Rice's first law.

 

They do look interesting...

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