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Express Parcels branding


New Haven Neil

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I'm collecting stock for an eventual return to BR modelling ( the handle is a clue to my recent interests) and am wishing to re-create the BR blue era of my early teens, pre-Tops or maybe just straying into tops numbering. As the location is to be Tyneside/Wearside, there was a lot of parcels traffic around I recall, there was a very busy mail-order catalogue warehouse in Sunderland that could produce enormous trains at times and the back roads at Newcastle Central always had parcels vehicles loitering in them, being awoken occasionally by the resident 204's (03 to the younger element).

 

My question then, is when did common pacels vehicles (GUV, various CCT BG's etc) get that 'Express Parcels' logo? I just don't recall it!! So is this a memory failure, being in my 50's, or was it not common or even not applied at that time?

 

Thanks for your assembled wisdom,

 

Neil

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It won't look right on a Caledonia you know :scratchhead:

But it might suit a L&L Vale of Rheidol.....

 

The GW parcels railcars had this branding in the 1940s, but I personally associate the Express Parcels brand with the white Rail Alphabet lettering of the mid/late 1960s. I have a vague recollection that MOPOK produced some 4mm and 7mm scale waterslide transfers in both white and cream back in the late 60s and that these included the Express Parcels branding. The Parkin Mark 1 coaches bible has a couple of GUV photos in colour - one in maroon with large Parcels Express lettering and (bizarrely) white BR arrows of indecision above the waist lining (per the caption, this attractive livery is a non-standard ER internal parcels circuit livery ) and the other in standard rail blue with Express Parcels lettering.

 

Either way, please keep the L&L steaming even if you're going to be spending some time with 4mm electric mice......

 

David

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Yes, that Parcels Express maroon branding was I think almost a one off, it was largely blue era. IIRC the double arrows didn't come in until 64, so it's certainly going to be post then, but given the speed at which NPCCS was repainted I suspect it may have been the late 60s at least before they became common.

 

I think somewhere under the bed I have the photos I took of the parcels trains in Central in the 80s, I'll fish some out for reference. I also have a series of shots of a parcels train being loaded at Manors due to a bomb scare at Central during the early 90s when the IRA was quite busy in the area.

 

Boris

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Ah, I really must get a new user name... Surely the blue Caledonia 'Hibernia' will look OK on these Matt??..... :angel:

 

Don't worry boys, the L&L remains as is, but currently out of use as I am also stopped, having had hip surgery! 4 months on crutches, aagh. Can't carry live steamers with both hands taken up with them!

 

The BR blue is for my 'retirement layout', 6 years. Additional, not instead of.

 

Mike, the answer is I don't know what the difference is, but my era as stated in the OP is '73 ish, just pre-tops when we had to know what class a loco was, rather than read the side! :jester: :jester:

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Ah, I really must get a new user name... Surely the blue Caledonia 'Hibernia' will look OK on these Matt??..... :angel:

 

Don't worry boys, the L&L remains as is, but currently out of use as I am also stopped, having had hip surgery! 4 months on crutches, aagh. Can't carry live steamers with both hands taken up with them!

 

The BR blue is for my 'retirement layout', 6 years. Additional, not instead of.

 

Mike, the answer is I don't know what the difference is, but my era as stated in the OP is '73 ish, just pre-tops when we had to know what class a loco was, rather than read the side! :jester: :jester:

The Mopok transfers came out in 1969/70 (Dibber25 could probably be able to give more precise dates, as they were from the same club as him, IIRC); the prototype vehicles probably carried them from a year or two earlier. Not all parcels stock carried them; I've seen photos on BR-built GUVs and CCTs, ex-Insulfish SPVs, along with some oddities, such as a Gresley full-brake. I never saw any on Siphons, whilst some Fruit Ds and ex-Southern 4-wheel vans carried the double arrow, but not the lettering. There were other varieties; Rail-Air Express Parcels covered some GUVs with through control cables allowing them to work between DMMU power cars on services in the Reading-Paddington area, whilst various vehicles carried 'Newspapers'. One of the oddest brandings I recollect was on a Stanier 50' BG; it was on the lines of ' West of England Newspaper Train Brake Van- Return Empty To Old Oak Common', the sort of thing one might see on a WR parcels van, but in fairly large 'Rail Alphabet' characters. Somewhere, I've a model of this, which will have the correct lettering and numbering, as I'd carefully noted them down.

What happened to the MOPOK range of transfers? There were some useful bits on that sheet, some examples of which can still be found on models I built at the time.

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