More wagons? Blimey - you must be keen!"
indentNext to the engine in the front row is an ex-Mainline standard
LMS van, repainted in pre-war LMS colours. The opens have just been described so
behind the Open A is a GWR fruit van, another standard Mainline product but weathered down
a bit. Again, the Welsh coal PO wagons have been described so the last wagon is the
NE 1942 steel double bolster wagon. As it is "new" it is pristine although
I doubt it would have stayed that way for long! Finally another Mainline product
(we have lots, they were "state of the art" in their day and are still excellent
models compared to what some people are still selling"), the GWR "Toad"
brake van. This however has benefited not only from a coat of proper GWR "Goods
Grey" but the post 1936 lettering style when the large, 16" letters were
abandoned for small 4" ones in the bottom left-hand corner. We feel that it is
only by mixing appropriate new and recent-past liveries on the same model railway that one
can truly capture the period chosen.
indent "And on the left, ladies and gentlemen, you can
see..." Very well, it's a re-painted mainline cattle wagon. True, the
N.E. didn't have anything quite like this - but then neither did anyone else as far as I
know! However, the LNER did take over quite a variety of vans from the pre-Grouping
companies and, during rebuilding, such a van may well have acquired the familiar NE
"porthole" upper doors such as we have added here. (And what, a
knowledgeable expert might ask, is a "foreign" non common-user van like a cattle
wagon doing on a GWR branch line? Well, there are some things worth researching and
some not! I have assumed that farmers continued to buy cattle from other parts of
the country when they were needed which accounts for a NE van being on GW territory.
With wartime "standing orders" that any wagon should be re-loaded at the nearest
location, if there had been cattle to take to market the NE wagon would have been used
rather than sending it back empty and telegraphing for a "Mex" - the GWR
telegraphic code for a cattle wagon. Still not convinced? All right; I
didn't finish the CooperCraft kit of the Mex in time for the photos. Happy now?)
indent And finally, a word on
period. The well-known TV series "Poirot" always seems wrong to me since
in an effort to capture the '30s period every scene appears to take place in a classic
1930s building. One would assume from watching these programmes that Poirot only
investigated murders occurring in brand new buildings! The show may thereby
"smell" of the '30s but once you notice the deliberate exclusion of any earlier
period such ritual insistence upon art deco settings makes the whole show
ridiculous. To me it lacks the gritty realism of the fact that poorer people
normally live in older housing! Have a look next time they show an episode and now
I've pointed this out, see if you agree...