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The Acquired Wagons of British Railways by David Larkin


Ben04uk
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  • 4 weeks later...

I have a copy.  The sheer amount of information it contains makes it well worth having if you have anything more than a rudimentary interest in wagons and the decrepitude of many of the wagons illustrated offers challenges for those who would add weathering to their pristine models.  Where it really scores is its exposition of the renumbering of former private owner wagons into the P series.  So haphazard and poorly recorded was that process that there will never be a full numerical list but the information in this book is the nearest that we will ever get.  The book is worth having but I would not pay the cover price for it, nor did I.

 

Chris

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I have a copy.  The sheer amount of information it contains makes it well worth having if you have anything more than a rudimentary interest in wagons and the decrepitude of many of the wagons illustrated offers challenges for those who would add weathering to their pristine models.  Where it really scores is its exposition of the renumbering of former private owner wagons into the P series.  So haphazard and poorly recorded was that process that there will never be a full numerical list but the information in this book is the nearest that we will ever get.  The book is worth having but I would not pay the cover price for it, nor did I.

 

Chris

David Larkin has been working on this for a very long time. Many years ago (mid 1980s?), when the TOPS Circle was on its last legs, he wrote to say that he was concentrating his efforts to try and record the history of those wagons taken over from private owners at the beginning of WW2, and subsequently nationalised under BR.

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Speaking as a confirmed wagon nut, this latest publication is another excellent piece of work frae Mr Larking.

You want to run GCR six wheel brake vans on Scottish layout? The proof is within, together with lots of other great information...

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Speaking as a confirmed wagon nut, this latest publication is another excellent piece of work frae Mr Larking.

You want to run GCR six wheel brake vans on Scottish layout? The proof is within, together with lots of other great information...

 

I don't think he's larking, he's deadly serious!

 

Mike.

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Now that I have a copy I can agree that it is an excellent book, with a very systematic approach to the subject. Very much a 'directory' rather than a detailed history of the various vehicle types covered. Initially I was surprised that the book had hard covers. But given the intended scope of the series as a whole, and the ever increasing distance of time and first hand knowledge, I suspect the series will be seen as a definitive reference work.

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Mr Larkin's wagon books are some of my most thumbed books. His first Civil Engineers book was what fired my interest in Departmental rolling stock. Having read this publication, I have to say it is surely worth the money. Looking forward to volume two, hopefully it fills the void about the lack of info on PO and MOT steel-bodied minerals. The potential number of future volumes is frankly mind-boggling though...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi. I got this at the weekend, first time seeing it.

 

Only you will know what you want but certainly there are lots of new pictures (don’t think I recognised any repeats from previously published ones), numbering information and far greater coverage than in the oldest paperback books by Bradford Barton (perhaps you mean the A4 size, more recent soft covered ones?) Also, as the title, this is about wagons BR received at nationalisation (plus some built afterwards to, I assume, orders already in the pipeline). If I recall correctly the more recent A4 series was about wagons built by BR, so this is new ground.

 

I would also say some pictures are larger than the previous series which is advantageous. Also, a greater use of other peoples photographs, probably understandable given the subject and when I think Mr Larkin started taking his own. Whilst some are obviously acquired and therefore details such as location and date are not given, probably because not noted, I was a wee bit surprised at how many from Don Rolland were similarly limited. My recollection of his pictures from the Bradford Barton series, where some were used in those, that most had such details. The location was often Millerhill, so the information always seemed very local for an Edinburgh boy! Perhaps my recollection is at fault though.

 

A previous contributor commented about not wanting to pay the cover price. Whilst I didn’t (but supported a trader at the Wigan exhibition) l would suggest it is worth it for those with an interest in the subject. Afterall you can pay a few pounds on eBay just for one postcard size picture, if that is your wish.

 

Someone else mentioned in jest a knighthood for services to wagonry. I think we owe a debt of gratitude for the years of photography and research undertaken and also for the willingness to share that via published books (and in the past, I think, an information service?) It could all so easily just have been lost/given up on.

 

Personally, I’m looking forward to future volumes.

 

I have all his other wagon books is there any thing new in this one from his  previous paperback volumes,  unusual this one is in hardback.

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Thanks. That was what I was wondering as I've got the Bradford Barton books and have been picking up the others when I find them. Usually at heritage railways, but they rarely have books on wagons.

 

Unfortunately not having local bookshops that stock railway books means I'm often buying blind and it can be disheartening when you buy a book online and find that you've already got most of it in another form.

 

I should be at Llangollen at the weekend so I'll have a look if they've got it.

 

 

 

Jason

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Puzzled over the section on the renumbering of PO wagons as the illustrations largely do not appear to support the number lists. Some may be explained by wagons being leased but on page 14 for example their is a photo of P50777, a former Hurst Nelson wagon, yet that number according to the lists was supplied to T Hunter of Rugby and Hurst Nelson wagons were P51051-P52200 

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Puzzled over the section on the renumbering of PO wagons as the illustrations largely do not appear to support the number lists. Some may be explained by wagons being leased but on page 14 for example their is a photo of P50777, a former Hurst Nelson wagon, yet that number according to the lists was supplied to T Hunter of Rugby and Hurst Nelson wagons were P51051-P52200 

I haven't seen the book. But you appear to have mis-understood. Each of the numerous wagon repair workshops were provided with a batch of sequential numbers to apply to wagons as they came in - quite randomly and nothing to do with either the previous owner or builder. When they had used up their allocation they were given another batch of numbers. Which means that if a works didn't use all of their numbers there are gaps in the number series - once again quite randomly. Dave published this in the HMRS Journal some years ago. 

 

Larkin, David (1997) Whatever happened to the Private owner wagons? Journal of the Historical Model Railway Society 16 (part 4), pp 123 - 129.

 

Larkin, David (1998b) Whatever happened to the Private owner wagons? Further notes. Journal of the Historical Model Railway Society 16 (part 7), pp 263 - 266.

 

Paul

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Puzzled over the section on the renumbering of PO wagons as the illustrations largely do not appear to support the number lists. Some may be explained by wagons being leased but on page 14 for example their is a photo of P50777, a former Hurst Nelson wagon, yet that number according to the lists was supplied to T Hunter of Rugby and Hurst Nelson wagons were P51051-P52200 

 

 

I haven't seen the book. But you appear to have mis-understood. Each of the numerous wagon repair workshops were provided with a batch of sequential numbers to apply to wagons as they came in - quite randomly and nothing to do with either the previous owner or builder. When they had used up their allocation they were given another batch of numbers. Which means that if a works didn't use all of their numbers there are gaps in the number series - once again quite randomly. Dave published this in the HMRS Journal some years ago. 

 

Larkin, David (1997) Whatever happened to the Private owner wagons? Journal of the Historical Model Railway Society 16 (part 4), pp 123 - 129.

 

Larkin, David (1998b) Whatever happened to the Private owner wagons? Further notes. Journal of the Historical Model Railway Society 16 (part 7), pp 263 - 266.

 

Paul

I have a copy on order so cannot comment specifically BUT if it is necessary for Paul to explain something to another reader by reference to entirely separate and 20-year old articles in the HMRS Journal, isn't that indicative that some fundamental facts/explanations are omitted from this publication? The majority of us do not have the collected wisdom of Dave Larkin and Paul to fall back on, which is why a writer should never assume a knowledge of key facts.

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