A typical selection of coal wagons arrives at Upper Isis.
indentThere were some 6 million private
owner wagons registered with the Big Four at the outbreak of WWII; the vast majority of
them being coal wagons. Our proprietor Andy McMillan hand-painted these mainly Welsh
examples some years ago (which is why he refused us permission to weather them rather
more dramatically!), but, given the proximity of the Welsh coalfield and the sheer
number of wagons they had there it can hardly be surprising that they formed a large
proportion of the coal wagons seen in the West of England during both wars.
Therefore we use them to illustrate this layout.
indent It should be remembered that we do not normally supply rolling stock for a layout (although naturally we can), it simply being the case that our customers tend to buy lots of stock for their intended layout long before they get the railway to run it on! Would we wish to deny them that pleasure? Certainly not!
indent(For the curious; all four wagons are entirely prototypical but of the 1926 period - some mines probably changed owners or closed during the aftermath of the General Strike and some of the names may not have existed by 1940 but perhaps you will excuse us such a minor point... As far as Mr McMillan can remember [his researches were done some 20 years ago and his notes are neither computerised nor to hand], "BB" was a coal factor - a kind of middle man owning neither mines nor ships, "Blaen Graigola" was a colliery at Pontadawe, "George Mills & Sons" was a coal merchant from Cirencester and Ynys Aman was another colliery. All would have been regularly seen in the Welsh Valleys so that during the war, when the Government took ownership of all private owner wagons and sent the next available wagon to fulfil the next order, they could have been seen anywhere in the country. Naturally, as the war progressed they might have travelled even further afield while oddities from other parts of the country might well arrive in the South; a good one for the "prototype for everything" department!)
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