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How long did Thompson, Gresley and Hawkesworth full brakes last?


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I'd like to add a little variety to my early-BR-blue van trains and wondered how long Thompson, Gresley and Hawkesorth full brakes lasted, and whether any would've seen BR blue? I'm toying with getting a Thompson full brake as a certain Liverpool-based retailer has the Bachmann one at a good price, but the Hornbey Gresley and Hawkesworth full brakes in maroon are VERY nice. I just need an excuse to get some for my BR(S) layout. Stretching a point maybe, but I know from photo evidence that stock used for mail traffic "got about a bit".

 

Your thoughts?

Thanks,

John

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This is a lovely subject, and we've been here a few times over the years and incarnations of RMWeb. There are pics in the Bradford Barton slim volume on Big Four Parcels Stock of BR.

 

Usual disclaimer that these late survivors wore the uniform livery of Extreme Parcels Grot, but there were examples that transitioned, and we have found collections that feature them before, so stick around and watch this space, more and better info will be along soon.

 

EDIT 1: http://scalerail.phpbbhosts.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1321

EDIT 2: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_10_2010/post-9992-003234600%201287439169.jpg

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/robertcwp/sets/72157603653607671/page6/ and the two subsequent pages will give you some ideas of, including many examples in what 'Chard describes as Extreme Parcels Grot. There were examples of all three types around, in varying conditions of blue, up until about 1977, when BR decided to limit themselves to a few types. Almost until then, ex-works examples could be seen; I recollect seeing blue steel-bodied Gresley vans, and match-boarded Thompson ones, in 1974-5.

Just one proviso; if you're modelling the SR, which bit is it? Most vans, barring SR-built types and (possibly ) BR-built CCTs/GUVs were barred from certain lines because of loading gauge problems. The main route concerned was Tonbridge- Hastings, but there may have been others

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As mentioned, this topic has come up before in various guises over the years. Rather than regurgitate it all here, I have provided some links to a handful of the relevant topics.

 

In summary, yes plenty of pre-nationalisation full-brakes hung around in BR blue into the late 70s and even early 80s. Even some Collett and Maunsell stock wore BR blue.

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/53870-br-bluegrey-is-it-now-classed-as-a-heritage-livery/

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/10656-how-long-did-pre-mk1-stock-last-in-service/

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/73149-bulleid-maunsell-and-hawksworth-coaches-did-they-last-until-the-1970s/

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Thanks for all the info.

I'm (mostly) interested in the BR(S) Central Division - my Father was a driver at Redhill.

Redhill was an important centre for Post Office traffic, along with ordinary parcels; some inter-regional workings started/finished there, I believe. Plenty of scope for odd vans from all over. Old Udders can probably give you more gen, as he used to work in Central Division Control, I think.

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Extreme Parcels Grot

 

A superbly accurate description of the livery.  Vans not used in passenger rakes were seldom put through the carriage washer and relied for any cleaning they might have got upon a little spare-time yard TLC and a long-handled brush.  In many cases it was very difficult indeed to determine whether the paint beneath the grime was maroon, blue or green other than around a few worn areas such as door frames and sometimes the stock number and data panel.

 

 

Just one proviso; if you're modelling the SR, which bit is it? Most vans, barring SR-built types and (possibly ) BR-built CCTs/GUVs were barred from certain lines because of loading gauge problems. The main route concerned was Tonbridge- Hastings, but there may have been others

 

Tunbridge Wells Central - St. Leonards was open only to "Restriction 0" vans with a body width of 8' 0".  Tonbridge - Tunbridge Wells West was open to Restriction 0 and Restriction 1 with a maximum body width of 8' 6".  BR CCT and GUV vans were permitted on both routes.  Among the SR designs there were some narrow bogie parcel vans designed for use on the Tunbridge Wells - St. Leonards route which IIRC were slightly narrower than their standard designs.

 

Thompson vans made it into blue.  I don't doubt those of other designs did also but I never saw them knowingly.  Many an SR-design van of wooden construction also made it into blue though too often you would never have known from the appearance!

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Thompson vans made it into blue.  I don't doubt those of other designs did also but I never saw them knowingly.

Blue Gresleys http://PaulBartlett.zenfolio.com/lnerparcels/e85766eb (admittedly in conservation, but from 1973 and no reason to believe it is other than as delivered from BR

 

1941 version http://PaulBartlett.zenfolio.com/lnerparcels/e13df6c0c http://PaulBartlett.zenfolio.com/lnerparcels/e51d82e5

 

Paul

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