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Painting: Peter Annable (MGRA)

Mike Musson Collection

Warwickshire Railways' Guest Book

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Dr Laurence D Howe Hessle East Riding of Yorkshire 12 Aug 2017
MAIL BOXES ETC 12A Greenhill St, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6LF 6 Aug 2017
David Gwynne London 5 Aug 2017
Keith Nicholls Hollywood, Birmingham, West Midlands 28 July 2017
Mikkel Funder Oerebakken, 3000 Helsingoer, Denmark 9 July 2017
Tony Wright Little Bytham, Lincolnshire 17 Mar 2017
Pat Leonard Coventry, West Midlands 16 Mar 2017
John Reeves Erdington, Birmingham, West Midlands 23 Dec 2016
Hamish Smith Loughborough, Leicestershire 23 Dec 2016
James Smith Wright Brierley Hill,West Midlands 2 Dec 2016
Toby Clempson Oake Taunton,Somerset 2 Dec 2016
Eddie Taylor Littleover, Derby 2 Dec 2016
Parliamentary Trains Rugby, Warwickshire 2 Dec 2016
John Fancote Birmingham,West Midlands 2 Dec 2016
Berna Dodd Cleethorpes Lincolnshire 2 Dec 2016
Jonathan Edwards Harrow, Middlesex 13 Dec 2016
Kevin Flynn Pontardawe, Swansea Sep 2016
Michael Green Tamworth, Staffordshire 7 Aug 2016
Anthony Stephens Benfleet, Essex 31 May 2016
David Farmer Bedford, Bedfordshire 17 May 2016
Mark Barnes Castle Hill, New South Wales, Australia 5 Jan 2016
John Fancote Harborne Birmingham, West Midlands 23 Dec 2015
Neil Hardwick Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands 2 Aug 2015
Ian Dunn Rugby, Warwickshire 6 Jun 2015
Christopher Long Yate, Bristol 19 May 2015
Julian Reeve Narborough, Leicester, Leicestershire 29 Jan 2015
John Caldecott Walcote, Lutterworth, Leics 11 Jan 2015
Paul Elkin Bury Edmunds, Suffolk 10 Jan 2015
John Fancote Harborne Birmingham, West Midlands 2 Dec 2014
Basil Owen Redditch, Worcestershire 16 Dec 2014
Ray Sharratt Llanyre, Powys 3 Dec 2014
Paul Carter Lower Tadmarton Banbury, Oxfordshire 13 Nov 2014
Paul Ashton 120 Houston, TX 77065 United States 11 Nov 2014
Engine 61662 Appeal Earley, Reading, Berkshire 15 Oct 2014
Patrick Leonard Quinton Park, Coventry, Warwickshire 18 Sep 2014
Robert Woolfo Warwick, Warwickshire 6 Sep 2014
Penelope Wright Stoke Aldermoor Coventry, West Midlands 28 Aug 2014
Anthony Stephens Benfleet, Essex 5 Jun 2014
Mike Nichols Huntsville, Texas, USA 30 Mar 2014
Steve Arlin San Diego, California, USA 18 Mar 2014
Peter Booth Kilmington, Warminster 14 Mar 2014
Louis and Mike Booth Coleshill Birmingham, Warwickshire 4 Mar 2014
John Clarkson, Birkenhead, Auckland, New Zealand 5 Feb 2014
Mick Bramich Sou Brent, Devon 7 Jan 2014
Peter Mackay Culrain, Ardgay, Highland 3 Jan 2014
Mick Cleaver Ayton, Washington, Tyne and Wear 23 Dec 2013
John Fancote Harborne, Birmingham, West Midlands 12 Dec 2013
Philip Millard Woking, Surrey 10 Dec 2013
No 44515 Southampton, Hampshire 9 Dec 2013
Paul Ashton Narbonne, Languedoc, France 28 Nov 2013
Neil Briggs Basildon, Essex 25 Nov 2013
Chris Baker Birmingham 28 Oct 2013
Railway Modeller Beer, Seaton, Devon 12 Jul 2013
Neil Wesson Leamington Spa, Warwickshire 30 May 2013
John Haden Dosthill, Tamworth, Staffordshire 30 May 2013
Barry Read Ivybridge, Devon 28 Apr 2013
John Reeves Erdington, Birmingham, West Midlands 28 Mar 2013
Graham Laucht Harborne, Birmingham, West Midlands 9 Mar 2013
Michael Young Vero Beach, Florida, United States 6 Mar 2013
Christopher Spicer Stretton Under Fosse, Warwickshire 7 Feb 2013
Laurence Blundell Barton Under Needwood, Burton On Trent, Staffordshire 17 Jan 2013
Anthony Stephens Benfleet, Essex 14 Jan 2013
David Constable Pershore, Worcestershire 10 Jan 2013
Frank Cheevers Kingsclere near Newbury, Berkshire 26 Dec 2012
Marc Patiou Compiegne, Oise, France 22 Dec 2012
Howa Thomas Whitchurch Canonicorum, Bridport, Dorset 26 Oct 2012
Bob Burchell Stockport, Cheshire 11 Oct 2012
Ray Sharratt Llanyre, Powys 21 Sep 2012
Red Fort Toy Castles Tile Hill, Coventry, West Midlands 19 Sep 2012
Peter C Raybould Marlcliff, Alcester, Warwickshire 23 Aug 2012
James Pryal Mill Road, Maldon 4 Aug 2012
Peter Foyer Hunningham, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire 1 Aug 2012
Robert Ferris Birmingham, West Midlands 16 Jul 2012
Grant Regan Trondheimsveien, Oslo, Norway 31 Jul 2012
John Fancote Harborne, Birmingham, West Midlands 4 Jul 2012
Michael Wilson Aberffraw, Ty Groes, Anglesey 30 Jun 2012

We welcome your thoughts on the site as well as receiving any comments on the captions or photographs.

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Several thousand people visit each month, with hundreds spending over an hour on the site. It has taken many years of hard work to develop this site. Please show your appreciation by taking the time to send a message, or better still, send a message and also make a small donation via PayPal towards the running costs and the purchase of additional material.
 

Please View our Guest Entries from:

2014 - 2016  |   2009 - 2013  |   2005 - 2008

Warwickshire Railway's Guest Book: Period 2014 - 2016

Hi Mike. I was brought up in St George Road, Coventry, along side the loop line, 1950-1967. In 1990 I met a now friend of 27 years. Over those years we had talked of how little there was of Coventry station and the loop line in photographic form. When a bit bored one night I put Coventry station into my iPad followed the links to your site and WOW!! I couldn't put it down. Your Ordinance Suvery maps are brilliant, especially of British Oxygen. I have fond memories of hearing gas bottles being banged; an evening freight being viewed from my bedroom window, an 0-6-0 by Terry Road bridge letting off steam. I've gone on a bit I know, I just needed to say thanks a million!

Richard Dunn

Richard. Its our pleasure! It great to have such positive feedback.

Dear Mike. I am creating a model railway, based loosely on Moreton, but called Marton Hinmarche to signify a slight geographic relocation. You can read about it here: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=34324.0 The period I am modelling is the late 1950s and I am greatly indebted to your website for the many comprehensive details and photographs associated with the prototype. Thank you for everything you have included in your website and I will continue to visit it to verify various facts as the need occurs.

Dr L D Howe

Hello Mike, I’m a member (South Australian, though presently in UK) of the South Australian Protofour Group. I was looking for something among my e-mails and came across your e-mail correspondence with my very old mate Roger Wyatt; at the time I hadn't looked at it. My reason for contacting you is trivial: to mention that you list Model Railway News as “Model Rail News” in the article on the Daimler_Railcar. I thought I should let you know so that the article can be more easily revealed in an Internet search. You have a wonderful website; my hearty congratulations! (And great admiration for your energy; I know how much work is involved.)

Best wishes, Clive Huggan

Hi Clive. Thanks for spotting the error and letting me know. I have now corrected the page. Thanks too for the nice compliments, they are always appreciated.

Hello Mike. Sincere thanks from three ex Water Ortonites....now scattered across the globe. The latest additions to the Water Orton page stirred many memories. The two Midland stalwarts at rest before their demise. On a pedantic note and not for correction, they Both are photographed in the stowage sidings on the other side of the lines from the goods yard. They were bought across to the small goods yard for disposal. No 40396 succumbed in March 1962... However No 58186 was photographed in the engineers siding under Park Hall Wood and by West Junction Signal Box in August that year...probably shunted across the busy main lines and waiting the final push into the goods yard and her destiny. Thank you so very much from the three of us.

Best wishes Brian

Dear Sirs. The British Library would like to archive your website in the UK Web Archive. The UK Web Archive was established in 2004 to capture and archive websites from the UK domain, responding to the challenge of a 'digital black hole' in the nation's memory. It contains specially selected websites that represent different aspects of online life in the UK. We work closely with leading UK institutions to collect and permanently preserve the UK web, and our archive can be seen at www.webarchive.org.uk/. Archiving is free and does not normally require any effort on your part. If there are any other of your sites which you would like to be considered for archiving, you are most welcome to nominate them at www.webarchive.org.uk/ukwa/info/nominate. Information about copyright and how your archived website will be made available can be found in our FAQs at www.webarchive.org.uk/ukwa/info/faq. Should you require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to your participation.

Kind regards, Dorota Walker Assistant Web Archivist

Snow Hill and New Street were awesome. Trainspotters were not allowed on New Street, so used to buy a return ticket to Aston and stay on the platform most of the day. I have great memories of Snow Hill station. I would sit watching the Paddington trains emerge from tunnel, you could hear them and see the exhaust and steam before the loco appeared into the sunlight.

Vincent Barber

To confirm Duddeston Viaduct completion, 1889 1:500 map shows completed spans across Liverpool Street and Great Barr Street. Many thanks for the wealth of Information.

John Butler

Mike, I am sure someone will have pointed out the error on 'mraf1876' ...its a couple of Stanier class 8s.

Ray Sharratt

I came across your wonderful website when searching the Internet for the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Co Ltd. I am making contact on behalf of a good friend in France, who is an expert on the subject of the Chemin de Fer du Midi (one of the 7 railway companies making up the French network prior to the creation of the SNCF in 1938), operating in the South-West of France. It would appear that the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon company built some passenger coaches for the Midi some time around/after 1880 and I am seeking information on these carriages. I am not sure whether your (photographic) collection would contain any images or plans. Alternatively, perhaps you could suggest any other sources where I might find more information. I look forward to your response when you next have a moment.

Bram van der Velden

Bram, Not sure I can help you much. My interest is really the GWR in the Midlands and I added the information on the BRCWC because of its location, industrial locomotives and rail connection. Those few photographs I have obtained of their rolling stock tend to be either for the GWR or other Midland based Industries. My understanding was that the company started coach building in 1876 and that outside the UK, British Empire and South American Railways were their main customers. I was unaware of any French Railway Company orders. Regarding other places to look; there may be some archive information on the BRCWC held at the Birmingham Central Library, but I believe the bulk of the Company's records were deposited at the Staffordshire County Record Office (http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/c/F175154). I am unaware of any French Railway drawings or photographs in the HMRS collections (http://www.hmrs.org.uk/archives/index.php), but it might be worth asking them. I hope you are successful in your search. Best Regards, Robert

Wow! What an incredible site, great work. Keep up the great work.

Cheers Simon Young.

Hi Simon. Many thanks for your kind words.

Mike. Some reminiscences of working the GWR engines whilst at Saltley mpd in 1963. There was still intense rivalry between the Midland and the GWR and on one occasion when working the Washwood Heath to Severn Tunnel junction fitted freight, I had a different driver to my regular mate. As we set off with our GWR Hall class loco to climb the bank to Kings Norton, my driver said, 'I don't care what happens for the rest of the journey but when we cross the GWR at Bordesley Green, I want the engine blowing off and making plenty of smoke. We will show these GWR men that we can drive and fire their locos.' Firing GWR locos from Birmingham was fine for me because we had a Midland shovel (smaller than the GWR shovel) and Midland coal. The only time I had a problem was the reverse direction from Gloucester with GWR 2-8-0 2895. It was my first experience of Welsh steam coal and a GWR shovel. I was never short of steam but kept loading coal into the firebox. I was still firing the engine as we went over the top of the Lickey Incline and down towards Kings Norton. With a Midland engine, I would be taking it easy at this stage and running down the fire. We dropped the engine off at Saltley mpd during the early hours and went off duty. I had a couple of leave days and when I was next on duty, I was told that there was so much fire in the firebox, that nobody could get near the engine to carryout disposal for two days. I wasn't to popular with the shed staff. I also remember running into Gloucester on a Saturday morning with a Severn Tunnel junction train and the GWR men relieving us were not at all happy because our loco was an LMS Jubilee, with a Midland shovel and coal.

Ray Sharratt

i Mike, Wonderful website. Photo 'lnwrrm873' is a delight in itself, one of those rare colour photos of the LMS era. Passing on a northbound train does not seem right however. 'Shunting' seems a more appropriate caption when you look at the headlamps. The loco is carrying one white headlamp (painted black as per LMS standard) carried on RHS and one red tail lamp (painted white) on the LHS.

Regards Darwin Smith

Hi Darwin, we have as you suggested modified our caption to make it clear the loco was shunting the stock.

Hello Mike and congratulations on providing such a great website. Having lived in Shakespeare's Stratford for some time - I now live in Essex - in a past life I'm particularly interested in Warwickshire railways (together with those of Nottingham/Derbyshire, where I was born and bred). I've also just taken delivery of a fine scale heavily weathered 0 gauge Jubilee (45670 - Howard of Effingham), hence my homing in on that great photograph of No 45654 'Hood' at New Street. Always preferred the appearance of the Jubilees to the 5s, though it's all a matter of subjective taste of course.

However, in the interest of accuracy, may I be so impertinent as to refer to the content of the caption to 'lnwrbns_br328', No 45654 'Hood', in which there is a reference to the locomotive being named after the battleship HMS Hood. This is incorrect. The Jubilees from No 45639 to No 45678 were named after Sea Lords, meaning that the locomotive was named after Admiral Hood (as was Lord Nelson class No 30859, Lord Hood). Those from No 45679 to No 45730 were named after Royal Navy warships, but, as 'Hood' had already been allocated to No 45654 after the Admiral, a second locomotive, especially of the same class, could hardly be subsequently be named after the ship.

Best Regards Neil A Vann

Many thanks for your kind words and the correction. We have now corrected the caption as suggested.

An excellent website and most useful when doing research. Just a correction regarding the signal shown in the photo: Lapworth Station: gwrl2522 The signal is Lapworth’s Down Distants, not Outer Distant, which suggests there was an Inner Distant as well. There wasn’t - it only had one! The signals were both wire-worked and not worked by motor as the caption states. The arm on the shorter post is for trains routed to the Down Relief line at Lapworth, not the Down Goods Loop. Splitting Distants, as these signals were known, were only provided by the GWR where the lower speed through the diverging junction was 40 mph or more. The speed from the Down Main to the Down Relief at Lapworth was 40 mph, so an additional worked Distant signal was provided to enable trains to take the junction at the maximum permissible speed. The speed from the Down Main to the Down Goods Loop was 15 mph, so the Distant signals would be maintained at Caution and the relevant Home signal only cleared as the train approached it, thus ensuring that it’s speed had been reduced accordingly. I’ve attached my photograph of the interior of Lapworth Signal Box, taken in the mid-1960’s. Feel free to use it on the site if you so desire.

Regards, Martin Crane

Thanks Martin. The caption has now been corrected.

Mike, I am the editor of the Northern Mine Research Society journal and would like to include a photo of the Beyer Peacock engine 'William Francis' in a forthcoming article on Baddesley Colliery. The Society is an amateur organisation. Could we have your permission to do so? We will, of course include a suitable acknowledgement.

Regards, Richard Smith

We were able to put Richard in touch with the source of the photograph

Sirs: I have been given a page from a book by Robert Ferris showing a 1937 poster for 'The Shakespeare Country' with a coloured illustration of the old school buildings of King Edward VI School in Stratford upon Avon. ( Shakespeare's School) I would very much like to locate a copy of the poster for framing and display in the School, and would appreciate your help please. With best wishes.

Richard Pearson Archivist: King Edward VI School Stratford-upon- Avon

Dear Richard We assume your inquiry refers to a webpage written by my colleague, Robert Ferris, seen here The Shakespeare Country. This is a scan of a 1937 GWR publicity leaflet from Robert's personal collection. Robert is not too sure what to suggest as these leaflets are not guaranteed to be available for sale. Fortunately this particular one must have been printed in fairly large quantities as he did see at least one other copy at the last Railway Collectors Fair in Burton in November 2016. If it helps the next fair is March see (www.tobaz.co.uk/burton/index.htm), Another possible source would be eBay. Sorry we cannot be more helpful. Best wishes Mike

Congratulations on an excellent website. The information and images it contains are extremely informative to historians and railway modellers alike. I was looking for drawings and photos to help me construct a scratch built water tower for my O gauge layout and the information on your site regarding the Alcester tower and engine shed was perfect. I wondered if there is anyone you know who could answer some questions about the tower? I have nearly completed the model but have some queries about exactly how it worked, in particular how the flow of water out of the tank was controlled. There are differences between the drawing and the photos.

Regards Ian Statham

Hi Ian. I regret I cannot find anyone who can provide you with a specific answer. However common opinion is always use photographic evidence ahead of a drawing because the latter will state the intended methodology as perceived by the draughtsman whereas a photo shows how the workman interpreted the design on site. Reasons for differences are many, one being availability of materials or parts. Sorry I cannot help any further. Regards Mike

Just stumbled upon your site. Found my way there when reading Simon Bradleys "Railways". I live in Canada, but am originally from Wilmcote. The pictures of Wilmcote station brings back vivid memories. My grandfather (Arthur Robbins) was a signalman in the Wilmcote box. Probably from the late 1930s until he retired in the 1960's. I have many happy memories of being in the box watching him work. I also took the train every school day from Wilmcote to Stratford for high school. The other interesting information I found was the information about the tram link to the Wilmcote quarries. As a small lad I played in the Gypsy Hall quarry site. My grandfather, lived in an old quarry workers Cottage in station road, just down from the station. (Now demolished).

Ciao, Ian

Hi Mike. Whilst browsing through the internet I came across a set of videos on YouTube entitled "Decades of Steam:19xx's". There are five in the set, one for each decade from the 1920s through to the 1960's. Whilst showing content from across the whole of the UK there are lengthy sequences from GWR locations at Hatton, Warwick and Leamington as well as LMS locations at Kenilworth, Milverton, Leamington Spa Avenue, Rugby and Brinklow, also Weedon although not in Warwickshire. My personal favourite is the one for the 1940s with sequences on the Coventry to Leamington line. You may well have already considered these videos for inclusion in you Video List but if not may I suggest you give them a look. Many thanks for producing such a fabulous Web Site.

Regards John Taylor.

Hi John. Thanks for the kind words. I hadn't seen them before so I have now added them to the section relating to films from the county, but with your citation.

Hi Mike, This is by far the best railway website I have managed to find! The selection and quality of the photographs is excellent, together with the articles to suite! I Will be making ‘many a visit’…

Kind Regards Bob Elleray

Hi Mike. Just a quick note of thanks and appreciation for this website - I'm currently planning a small model railway layout inspired by Moor Street and it's been invaluable for research, as well as improving my understanding of railways in and around Birmingham. One small correction - here: 'gwrbj2659' the caption states "An unidentified Class 56", but it is a Class 47 (aka Brush Type 4).

Kind regards Railsquid aka Ian

Hi. I return to your photographs quite often as I live in Hall Green close to Yardley Wood Station and enjoy the history. I really enjoy what you have created here. Today I went onto a different section, The Banbury to Wolverhampton area, and was interested to see a Spamcan and two other Bullieds on our rails. You also mentioned my football team Birmingham City (yes I have suffered). I know that Blues won the League Cup in 1963 but didn't remember them being in the FA Cup Semi as you commented in the text, so I had to check. It was a match at villa Park (an insignificant ground in the north of Birmingham) where Manchester United beat Southampton 1-0 thanks to a goal by Denis Law. So the trains were heading home with miserable Southampton supporters post match. United went on to win the Cup 3-1 against Leicester City. I was nearly 13 at the time so steam trains and football were my obsessions.

Regards Roger Simmons

Dear Mr Musson, I came to the Warwickshire Railways website as a result of a project currently on-going in the Kenilworth Cutting, formerly part of the Berkswell branch. As you probably realise, this is now part of the Sustrans cycle route between Kenilworth and the University of Warwick. Warwickshire Geological Conservation Group are designing an interpretation panel to outline what can be 'read' from a section in the Kenilworth Sandstone which we have recently exposed from beneath the undergrowth. Part of this panel outlines the use of the sandstone in Kenilworth buildings and also the history of the cutting as part of the 1884 branch to Berkswell. I am appending an early stage design of this panel which is due to be re-submitted to our designers for final revisions. You will see that we have an image of one of our members 'viewing' the outcrop prior to exposure and cleaning. Frankly, this image does not add a great deal to the story! We felt that it would be much better if we could include an image of the site while it was still in use as a railway. Hence the visit to your site! Image 'lnwrkj3129' is absolutely ideal in that it shows both the Common Lane bridge (a good point of reference for ordinary members of the public) and, in the background, the actual location of our exposure. Moreover, the locomotive adds real interest and scale to the picture. The purpose of this approach, therefore, is to ask if you would be able to provide the Group with permission to use this image on the interpretation panel which will be installed at the site. Assuming that you are able to provide us with permission, there could be a problem in that I note that the image is just 163kB which may be too small to provide a sharp image on the panel. However, hopefully this will not be an obstacle. Finally, perhaps I should point out that we are a registered charity working to conserve good examples of the local geology and provide public benefit in the form of education. This panel forms part of this programme. I look forward to hearing from you and hope that you are able to support us in this way.

Best wishes, Ian Fenwick (project coordinator)

We put Ian in touch with the photographer's brother who supplied the photograph.

Wonderful web site..... Is it possible to order a print or image for private use?

Regards Pete Berry, Gloucester

Hi Peter. We do not supply photographs as their not our copyright. However if you look at our list of suppliers you might find some help there.

Reference the image 'lnwrk2040', Kenilworth Station. At the time, the two yards were still open for business and 46447 was not on a PW train. The yard photographed is on the Coventry side and had a weighbridge and office still operating. The opposite end of the station was the coal yard. The engine was an Ivatt class 2 and it meant that Streets Siding at Kenilworth Junction was still open because this was the only engine type allowed to negotiate the siding. When Streets siding closed we would have a Stanier class 3 tank engine on this particular duty and I remember clearly shunting both yards with these engines.

Ray Sharratt

I stand suitably corrected.

I would be interested to know the date of the photograph of the Stanier class 8 standing on Southam & Long Itchington line at Marton junction 'lnwrmartj1326'. When I was a passed cleaner at Rugby mpd in 1959, I spent a week working the first re-routed chalk trains via Rugby to the Southam Cement works. I think it was around June 1959. We worked the train with a Stanier class 8 and a light engine Stanier class 8 was also involved to facilitate the reversal down to the cement works. I was always on the train engine to Marton and we followed the train down to Southam & Long Itchington for the works, assisting in the marshalling of the return empties. We again were the train engine back to Rugby, with the other engine returning light and occasionally double heading the train. I believed that the line to Weedon was closed shortly afterwards because the passenger service trains had already been withdrawn. The picture would appear to relate to our working (light engine involved) because I am fairly certain that we worked wrong line to the cement works. There appears to be no lamp on the front of the engine, so was it awaiting the main train?

Ray Sharratt

It seems you are spot on as the photo, which appears in the LMS Stations book, is dated 1959. The authors state there were some dubious shunting movements as a down train is signalled yet the 8F on the Weeden branch has not only passed the signal but the trap has been set to permit this. So it looks as if it was your trip being captured on film.

Thank you for all the effort you put into sharing the photos of Warwickshire Railways. have been resident in darkest Essex since the mid seventies. However apart from 3 years in Somerset as a small child I lived in Solihull and most of the family lived in South Birmingham. My current model railway project is based very very loosely on somewhere near 1960s Hampton in Arden, so you can see why your project is such a lovely resource. What is odd is that I model ex LMS BR not the ex GWR lines I lived near.

Very best wishes Tony

Tony was kind and generous enough to make a donation.

Hi Mike, The caption under this photo - Rugby Station: 'lnwrrm2419' - of Bilton Sidings signal box lever frame states that the catch handles were locked unless the lever was free to be moved. The lever frame in the photo is an L&NWR tumbler locked frame which had direct lever locking, the catch handles were NOT locked. L&NWR tappit locked frames had catch handles which projected out a couple more inches which DID drive the interlocking and so were locked unless the lever was free to be moved. I hope this information is of use on your excellent web site.

Kind Regards, Dave Blower (Signalman70 on flickr)

Hi David As you have 'tumbled' that this is an area beyond my expertise. Would you like to rewrite it and I will credit you as the author of the caption. Your help would be very appreciated. Best wishes Mike. (Which Dave subsequently did!)

Hi all, 'gwrsrh287' – 3276 and pannier tank at Southam Road & Harbury station. May I offer a correction or two? This “Duke” was built as No 3287 St Agnes (not “3252”) and was later renumbered as 3276. And denamed in 1930. Which is what this late 1930s picture shows.

All the best, Steve

Your site is great. I came to the Midlands from South Wales, Devon, Exeter & Newton Abbot. I am trying to locate photo of Newton Abbot loco work's east end elevation showing traverser etc circa 1950s. Also photos of Stanier Pacifics in Devon 1955-1956, many thanks.

Engines777

We pointed him to our list of photograph suppliers on the website.

The website is quite magnificent. As an enthusiast of the GWR I could spend many hours browsing through the photographs and historical notes. Great work! Sincere thanks to those who have contributed to it.

Roger Wyatt

Thank you for all the effort you put into sharing the photos of Warwickshire Railways.

Anthony Stephens

Great website. Love the new shot of the 8F and 9F double heading through Kenilworth. I grew in Kenilworth in 1980s, went to school in Coventry and spent much time in Leamington so fascinating to see all the history come to life. The site helped inspire me start a model railway layout of Kenilworth. It was all proceeding well in our house basement in Australia, until a relocation to LA. Rather stupidly, in hindsight, I had built the layout to custom fit the basement, so when we moved had to bin all the baseboards! Sadly too busy now with work and family life, so I think something for retirement. My wife brought me a train cabinet to display the trains on the wall for Christmas, so at least some of the rolling stock can come out of the boxes. Looks forward to more updates.

Cheers. Mark Barnes

Hi, I was recently given a link to your website to see a photo you have of an ex-S&D 7F at Rugby, which is indeed an excellent view, for which, many thanks. However, just to let you know, there is a minor error in the caption (I belong to the Amalgamated Society of Rivet Counters and General NitPickers United, of course!). No 9676 is described as being built in 1914 by Stephensons (1914 engines were built at Derby) whereas it was the first of the second batch (of 5) built by Stephensons, but in 1925. It was the first of the large-boilered engines, and the last to carry one - a G9BS - receiving a standard G9AS boiler in 1956.

Cheers - Jeremy English

Dear Mike, I have really enjoyed the Warwickshire Railways Site, although I have lived in London for many years I come from Leamington Spa and used to commute to Birmingham from Leamington Spa in the 1970s. I just remember the end of steam in Leamington and as a 5 year old was once invited onto the footplate of a Castle whilst they took on water, we were picking my aunt up from the station. I was totally in awe and I suppose hooked on GWR locos for years to come. There is a small error on one photograph GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton Bentley Heath Crossing: 'gwrbh123' it says no Star Class locos are preserved when of course 4003 Lode Star was preserved a long time before it was fashionable to do so and sits in preserved splendour at York. Keep up the good work I am particularly interested in the Leamington to Weedon line, my Dad used to take me shooting on a friends farm that ran alongside the line near Stockton I saw the lines lifted therein about 1961 or 2 and how in a matter of 15 years so much of the profile had disappeared. Dad's friend, the farmer struggled to feed his sheep in the great winter of 62/63, because there was no railway and in fact I think they were snowed up for 7 weeks (they were over a mile off the main road) He recalled that in 1947 the railway kept them all going as the trains stopped to pick up people from the trackside and delivered goods to them. Of course modern health and safety would not allow me on the footplate of a Paddington to Birkenhead Express or allow trains to stop in the middle of nowhere to pick people up or drop them off!

Regards Charles Lawton

Hi Charles. This illustrates the danger of copying verbatim other peoples' information instead of undertaking actual research.

Hi Mike. Forgive me if you already have these somewhere, but the National Library of Scotland also has a superb mapping resource extending across the country. I am not sure which web address is best to give, both of these lead to national coverage with zoomable 6" to the mile OS at various different dates. These are good, but more exciting is the project to add 25" mapping. I'm afraid they haven't reached Warwickshire yet, but it looks as if it will be in the next tranche to be added, so far they have everything to the south. I think a worthy link on any historical website.

Best wishes, Toby (Clempson)

Hi Toby. Yes its a great resource which I have been using for the last 3 months or so. I now add to each station page several dated versions of the same location as it shows changes over time. I too am excited by the 6 inch to the mile version. I use screen grab to create copies. I have a 22 inch monitor and 'screen grabs' produce sufficient geographical coverage. It might be different with the 6 inch maps. Best wishes Mike

I am writing to enquire if we can use one of the photos on your site (ref: misc_indust1478 - coal tippler at Longford Power station) to illustrate an article about modelling rail served coal industries in the forthcoming 2016 Railway Modeller Annual.

Kind regards, Steve Flint, Peco Publications

Good afternoon. I have just come across your site and read loads of fascinating facts and really enjoyed the excellent photos. At the young age of 62 my interest in Railways was started by my Uncle. He use to take me to watch trains at The Hawthorns and occasionally visit the signal box 1958-60. The signalman was a renown guy called Yakeedah (not sure how its spelt). Once I had reached the grown up age of 10 I was allowed to travel from West Bromwich to Snow Hill on Saturdays to go train spotting. Occasionally I would travel from Langley Green. I was very sad when Snow Hill closed. I then moved over to Snow Hill once New Street had been redeveloped and spent a few years train spotting from there. In 1975 I started my career with British Railways. In 1989 I became the Area Retail Trainer and so began my association with the lines and staff from Birmingham to Leamington and Stratford. I learned a lot and realised this area had a wealth of history and its own culture. I was responsible for retail training throughout the West Midlands Area. Since then services have changed, stations built or rebuilt, rolling stock has changed and I was made redundant in 2012 so I travel a lot now for leisure. Good luck with your site. I will be an avid reader from now on.

Best wishes to you all Steve Crook

Hi - you have a great collection of old pictures and maps/diagrams. I was browsing your Solihull station photos and happened to notice that image 'gwrs2707' may be misdescribed...where the train appears to be departing towards Leamington (it's on the Blossomfield Road bridge, with views of Tudor Grange parkland - yet to be - on the right), unless it is approaching the platform driverless!? in the Snow Hill direction. But is this the right direction for this track? Other photos indicate traffic in either direction I think'. I discovered this website by way of googling for old Solihull station area maps (I lived nearby) but then was interested in the photos too.

Many thanks ColinR

Hi Colin. Thanks for the compliment and the question. Robert Ferris has responded at length to your email which has been added to the caption.

Hello, Mike. On the 'Mishaps' page the thumbnail of 'lnwr191' actually links to 'lnwr190'. Love your site! I grew up in the USA and must have seen my share of late steam, though little of it remains in my conscious memory. To see how the UK ran their roads is a great experience. Works as yours make all this history accessible.

Thank you, Donald.

We often visited Rugby between 1959 & 1962 and spotted from under the birdcage or on the opposite side in 'the Field'. This was an incredible place to see locos - you've even got a picture on your site circa 1897 of exactly the place we stood. The picture at Towns Thorns though is wonderful considering its age - May 1939 and we often saw 45638 Zanzibar passing through.

David York

Hello. Just came across this site, and I'm so glad I have, my late father worked on the GWR as a fireman on the 28xx mainly, but also worked on the iron ore trains down to Gloucester I think, he was stationed at Stratford

Phil

G'day Mike. I noticed on your website that you say that Hunningham bridge is a steel bridge. This is incorrect, it is a wrought iron bridge, and was constructed between 1849 and 1850. The article “Inspection and Completion of the Rugby and Leamington Railway”, in The Royal Leamington Spa Courier, and Warwickshire Standard, 22nd February 1851, p.2 provides a very good description of the line and its 35 bridges, cuttings, and viaducts, and the engineers and contractors responsible for its construction. I am currently completing a conference paper (for the ICE) on William Thomas Doyne, and the Hunningham High Bridge is a very significant metal truss bridge, and at the time it was constructed was the largest lattice metal truss bridge in the world.

The images on your website are great, and it is nice to see what the rail track looked like from the bridge, as late as the 1990s. The cutting is now very overgrown. If the railway reserve was made a 'rail-trail', the diverse collection of bridges along it are very interesting, and would be better appreciated from a trail. Many are of heritage significance.

Hope this helps, regards Ken McInnes, Ringwood, Victoria, Australia

I have been making good use of your excellent photographic resource research Coventry Railway Station as we are currently preparing concept designs for the site to extend station capacity and link in to the Friargate development. Can you advise if your images are available in a higher resolution format for use in reports and are they copyright protected?

Thanks Ian Saunders Partner D5 Architects LLP

Hi! I am so pleased to find this site I was looking for information on the railway line that used to run at the bottom of my granddad's garden in Duke Barn Field (for those who don't know where this is it's adjacent to the Coventry Loop Line). If anyone remembers Ambrose + Mable Flinn pre-1955 I would really like to hear from you.

Thank you, Susan

If you can help Susan please contact us and we will forward your email.

Hi. My Grandfather 'Frederick Roberts Hunt' known as Bob to his friends, was an engine driver on the GWR back in 1930s-40s operating out of Tyseley shed, he lived in Acocks Green. I have been trying to find out more information about him. I have a B&W photo of him by and on his engine. He had many tales to tell of his time on the train. Can anyone help?

Julie Tomkins

Julie contacted us via our Facebook page. We responded 'Hi Julie There are records available through Ancestry of railway employees which you could try. We would love to add any photos you might have to the Tyseley page'. Can anyone else help?

Hi Mike, Excellent resource; thank you for your efforts and those of the other contributors, all very much appreciated.

Kind regards, Geoff Slater

Dear Mike Musson, my name is Anna Steuber and I'm a producer for Florianfilm, a German production company specialising on cultural documentaries. The French-German public broadcaster ARTE has commissioned us to make a 45 minute documentary about Shakespeare's work and his remaining cultural impact, which will be broadcast in 2016 to celebrate Shakespeare’s 400 year commemoration.

We are currently in the final stages of the editing of our film and in the film, we would like to feature an image, that is embedded in your website: 'gwrsa1536'. Could you let me know, who the copyright holder for this image is and what the general license fee for said image is. We would like to acquire the rights for the TV use in Germany and France for the duration of seven years, as well as a 7 day on-line catch up after the initial broadcast. If you have any further questions about our company or the film, please don't hesitate to get in touch. As we are nearing the picture-loc date of our editing phase, I would greatly appreciate it, if you could get back to me as soon as possible.

Best wishes, Anna

We put Anna in touch with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust who owned the copyright.

Hello Mike. Today (4th September) is the anniversary of opening of the line between Bearley and Alcester. I have put a post on the Didcot Facebook page about it, with the Warwickshire Railways photo of the 517 class loco taking water from the canal and links to the website and Facebook page.

Best wishes, Frank Dumbleton

Hi. Firstly - many congratulations on your excellent website. I am looking for someone I could interview this Thursday, or maybe Friday, regarding the history of New Street station. This would be for use as part of a special TV programme being compiled for later this month by ITV News Central. Is there anyone you know who could help please?

Many thanks, Keith Wilkinson

We put ITV in touch with Richard Foster, whose several books chartered the history of New Street station from its genesis to the 1960s.

Dear Mr Musson. I have been browsing your Warwickshire railways website with great interest. What a wonderful resource - thank you so much for putting it together. It it truly fascinating! There were two photos of the Goods Yard at Solihull (where I live) that I found fascinating and would love a closer look at the originals (or high res copies) to see what other detail might be gleaned about the wagons found in Solihull. I wondered if you could help me at all as to who has or where the originals might be found? The two photos and their credits are: Ref: 'gwrs271a' by P Hopkins Close up view showing the numerous coal wagons which originated from many sources in Solihull's goods yard and Ref: 'gwrs2620' a Great Western Railway Photograph of the new Goods Yard built at the same time as the track was quadrupled between Olton and Lapworth. This photo is followed by text from Robert Ferris who I gather may have had access to a GWR archive.

Best wishes and again many thanks for the wonderful website - Mike Hannon

Hi Mike. A quick line about an issue which had been nagging away for a while relating to the image mrthl1106 on the Tamworth High Level section of WR. A recent Facebook post about Tamworth station using this photograph set me to thinking, a colour photograph of the original Trent Valley Railway station at Tamworth had also recently been posted and knowing that the station was completely rebuilt in the early to mid 1960s electrification project I was wondering how long this 'Tamworth' station could have existed for. The answer would have to have been about 10 or 15 years, which seemed very unlikely in view of its style etc. I searched around a bit and saw that the photograph actually shows Nuneaton Trent Valley Station. The building still exists but has been brutally re-modelled to remove most if not all of its architectural detailing. There don't seem to be many photographs of the exterior of Nuneaton TV so it would be great to move the image to the appropriate page on your magnificent website to join the LMS era photograph there.

Best wishes, Toby Clempson

Hi Toby. Having never been to Tamworth I made the same error of reading the description on the back of the photograph but I have now corrected it. The link above now goes to photos new home which as you correctly stated is Nuneaton Trent Valley station.

Hello Mike. We are looking for a image or find the owner permission to have a old or Victorian photo of "New street station" in our new Tesco store inside the 'Grand Central' which will open next month. We are interested on something similar please see attached, Birmingham New Street Station: 'lnwrbns_str405'. Please can you help?

Kind Regards, Matt McGrath Senior Graphic Designer of Tesco Property Design Team.

We put Tesco in touch with the LNWR Society who have supplied the image being used at their Tesco Express store. I am very pleased to report that Tesco made a generous donation to their funds.

Hello there. My great-grandfather was a clockcase maker in Birmingham and supplied a number of clocks to Snow Hill Station, Birmingham, in 1912. I have traced one of them, now at a school in Wolverhampton, and have heard of another that was bought in 1969 for £125 by a farmer from Uttoxeter Staffordshire and the suggestion that it is still there to this day, as shown on your page in image 'gwrbsh1129.htm'. It's presumably on a farm, but the question is, "where exactly is it?". Can anyone please throw any light on this. Many thanks in advance.

Cheers, John Lerwill

Hi Mike, Browsing through the site recently and observed what I believe to be a typo error on the Long Marston page. “Therefore for a period of 20 years ending in 1892, the station had a staggered platform configuration, with the level crossing in the middle, as was common throughout the UK's railway system. Kev Mitchell and Vic Smith also provide an insight into the amount of traffic passing through the station.” I think it should read Vic Mitchell and Kev Smith.

Best wishes, Vic Smith

Hi Vic Thanks for spotting the typo - it must have been a long day. We have now corrected it and added your email to the guest book. Best wishes Mike

Hey! I found out my great great grandad was the driver of the La France 102. We have a photo that is the only one. Do you have any other information on the engine???

Joe Hill

Joe posted this query on our Facebook page. If you use our Search facility it picks up most queries. Because its a free Google facility the search is limited to the pages index by Google's robot and therefore it can take several weeks before new content is indexed by Google's robot. There are several photos of 'La France'.

Hi! You have produced a fantastic website and one to which I frequently refer. I have a question which you may be able to help. Do you know if there are any photos in existence of the freight sidings/yards at Erdington and Chester Road stations? I have checked what I think are obvious places the Hendrys' book, Steaming Up to Sutton and Cross City Connections.

Thanks Neil Hardwick

Hi Neil. We haven't come across any photographs of sidings at either location. We will keep our eyes open. If you find some please let us know. Our thanks too for not only your kind words but your generous donation to help fund the cost of running the website.

Hello Could you tell me what the copyright situation is on your films? I need a 20 second snippet for a film I am making for a church.

Many thanks Peter Ralley

Hi Peter. All of the videos are hosted by YouTube. All I have done is to seek them out and link them to the website for your pleasure.

Dear Mike. Just want to say what a fantastic website! As an engine cleaner on the Severn Valley Railway and lifelong enthusiast, I've always been fascinated with the days of steam, especially dating back to before WWII and 1948 (largely because I DON'T have nostalgic memories having been born over 20 years after the end of steam). Unfortunately, most photos I'm able to come across date to the BR era because of nostalgia being so popular at the moment on the steam railways - and because of other deciding factors, it's hard to truly see what the railways - in particular the locomotives - looked like further back in time. Fortunately, your website provides a window into that world, which would be otherwise unavailable. Well done!

I have thought though, since colour photographs of the pre-1948 locomotives are relatively rare and pre-1923 engines are virtually non-existent, I've wondered if you've thought about getting some of your photos coloured professionally? For all I know, it may be outside your budget, but I've seen it done with footage from World War I (World War I in colour) and World War II (Apocalypse), perhaps if you're able to, you might want to try the same thing? I'm sure your site's viewers would be delighted to see some copper and brass GWR engines from the early 1930s, 1920s, even Victorian and Edwardian as well as crimson LMS and Midland engines in their natural state!

Either way, keep up the good work! Alex Curry

Robert and I do try to provide an informed view of what the railways were like in their heyday. Regarding colouring photos so that they capture the real world look. Its becoming almost prohibitively expensive to buy any type of material such as original documentation, photos, maps, etc never mind paying someone to produce colour versions. Having said that there are occasionally someone who is equally as passionate about railways as we are and is expert at this type of art, namely David Williams. He kindly sent me two of his images, both using photos taken by Stretton-Ward but subsequently sold to Gordon Coltas and on his demise these were sold on to David. He kindly sent two that you may be interested in, both in LMS days, one of ex-LNWR 3P 4-4-0 Precursor class No 25319 'Bucephalus' at Kenilworth and the other of LMS 5XP 4-6-0 Jubilee class No 5638 'Zanzibar' heading an up milk and perishables train into Town Thorns.

I have been thoroughly enjoying the photographs on your Warwickshire Railways website. I live now in London and it's wonderful to see photographs of my hometown of Sutton Coldfield many years ago!

Adam Townsend

Could you possibly advise me as to who is currently the Copyright Holder of the Lens of Sutton Collection Images – you mention the collection on your site so I am hoping you are in the know. I have an image I wish to use on a non profit site.

Regards Richard Holladay

Gordon Coltas' photos are now the subject of a collective effort to save them but as I know from others, the collection is not whole. Roger Carpenter is also a source of Gordon's photos. Please remember to add a SAE and be prepared to wait for a response as they are usually inundated with requests and it is only a hobby not a business. Best wishes Mike

Dear Mike and Robert. What a fascinating and informative website, full of treasures. Whilst Warwickshire is not my area, I am learning fast. Many of the locos portrayed come from my home area of South Wales, and are 'old friends' for me - I wish somebody would do the same sort of thing for my own patch - I would be compelled to offer what help I could. In the meantime, all power to your elbow, and good luck. Long live 86B Newport Pill!!!

Yours, David Ravenhill

Dear sir. I have a series of photographs of my old village station, taken by my friend and fellow enthusiast Eddie Ravenhall. I can e mail them if you would like to include on our excellent site. In addition Don Taggart has photos of Snow Hill which you might want to add.

Best wishes Brian Hughes

Following further contact with Brian we are currently adding both Eddie's and Don's photos to the website.

Dear Sir or Madam. The British Library would like to archive your website in the UK Web Archive. The UK Web Archive was established in 2004 to capture and archive websites from the UK domain, responding to the challenge of a 'digital black hole' in the nation's memory. It contains specially selected websites that represent different aspects of online life in the UK. We work closely with leading UK institutions to collect and permanently preserve the UK web, and our archive can be seen at www.webarchive.org.uk/. Archiving is free and does not normally require any effort on your part. If there are any other of your sites which you would like to be considered for archiving, you are most welcome to nominate them at www.webarchive.org.uk/ukwa/info/nominate. Information about copyright and how your archived website will be made available can be found in our FAQs at www.webarchive.org.uk/ukwa/info/faq. Should you require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to your participation.

Kind regards, Dorota Walker Assistant Web Archivist

Hi Mike. Just enjoyed looking at the old pictures of Bulkington Railway Station, some of which I had never seen before. Especially interested as I am the current owner of the property!

Kind regards Mrs Alison McBride

Excellent site, without any doubt, full of interesting stuff - - - but 'gwro1584' This picture shows the bridge at the north end of Olton Station. The caption is incorrect. The bridge crosses Richmond Road, not Ulverley Green Road. Refer to 'new_olton_map' for confirmation!

Regards, Howard Richter

Hi Howard. Yes you are correct and we have made the correction. Robert took the opportunity of adding a more comprehensive caption too.

Mike. I thought I ought to check something with you. I have, on occasion, posted photographs on several Groups on Facebook from the Warwickshire Railways website. These have been in an attempt to clarify a point or answer a question. I always say that the picture is from the website. I hope that this is OK. If not please advise and I will refrain from doing so. Also, the latest photos of the remodelling at Rugby are fantastic. Before I retired I was reading reports on the bridges in the pictures. Seeing how they were built was an education and wouldn't be allowed under current health and safety.

Regards John Fancote

John you are very welcome in using the photographs. We just ask people to give credit to the Warwickshire Railways website, prefertably with a link to the page. The Rugby photos are indeed stunning. Best wishes Mike

Mike, I contacted your good self some time back to say that ‘I agreed with Bill Perrin in saying that the location for the image 'gwrt306' not Tyseley depot’, but I stand to be corrected, because it most surely IS Tyseley shed yard showing the far end of the coaling stage. Richard Postill has posted a photo to you 'gwrt2362' which just shows the tail end of the brick arches and also the site map of the shed does show that there is no earth mound at that end. I must have visited Tyseley many times in my youth riding my trusty bicycle and never noticed that the coaling stage was so large an affair, possibly I only had eyes for the locomotives and, of course, we never had a camera back then, so well done to all those marvellous photographers who were able and willing to capture these images for our further enjoyment, while the historical value of the photos is immeasurable. Thank you and your team for preserving and presenting these images for all of us to enjoy.

Best Regards...........Derek Dean

Hi Derek. Many thanks for your email which was very informative. Your comments appreciating the foresight of photographers now long gone is shared by Robert and myself. I have added the photograph back to the page and updated the caption with your comments. I will add it later to the guest book too. Best wishes Mike

Dear Mike. Thanks for your interest in my website: www.cementkilns.co.uk. I am flattered that you have used some of my content in your interesting site. The text of my website is written by me alone and is not ripped off from elsewhere on the internet. All content not my own is meticulously credited and licensed. Many people use my content in their own sites. Although I am the registered copyright owner of this material, I am happy to allow use of my material at no charge and without restriction, provided that a link to the original source is included. This is in order to provide the user with the extensive cross-references and background information in my site, and to ensure that the latest version can be seen.

Best regards - Dylan Moore

Hi Mike. Can you help? I was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire in 1946, and have very fond memories of my Grandfather who was a 'Steam Train Driver' based at the Nuneaton Trent Valley Loco Sheds. His name was Cyril Baker who lived in 'Trent Road' right next to the railway lines, signal box and shunting ramp..! Can still smell the steam from the engines mixed with nightly smog on winter nights and hear the wonderful 'clinking and clanking' from the daily shunting and other railway noises as express trains or goods trains thundered through the the junction day and night..! During my childhood I was able on countless occasions to visit the wonderful engine sheds with my Grandfather who would show me around some of the enormous and awe inspiring engines. I also spent over the years many an hour along with countless other young lads, fuelled with all manner of fizzy drinks and bags of crisps sitting on the embankment in Trent Road next to the bridge before Nuneaton Trent Valley railway station 'Train Spotting'.

I'm now living in Belgium and having recently discovered your very interesting website I wonder if you or anyone else would have any photographic records of the 'National Railwayman's Strike' in Nuneaton? Can't be too sure now as to the exact year, (possibly somewhere around 1952) but I do recall being shown some newspaper cuttings years later by family members, either from 'The Nuneaton Tribune' or 'Nuneaton Observer' with a photo of striking drivers standing on mass across the lines at Nuneaton Trent Valley railway station, including a very small boy (me) at the front holding the hands of his grandfather..! In memory of my Grandfather I would love to obtain a copy of this if at all possible. Therefore I would be very grateful if you or anybody else could possibly send me a .jpeg picture or inform me where I might be able to obtain a clipping or .jpeg file.

Best regards John Orme

Being about Nuneaton I passed the enquiry on to Pete Lee, the well known expert on most things Nuneatonian who wrote, 'Hi John Mike Musson has passed on to me your enquiry regarding the 1952 railwaymen's strike. Unfortunately I do not have a cutting, but remember old railwaymen telling me about it. You might like to look through a document (Nuneaton & Stockingford Locomotive Staff 1900-1966) I put together of locomotive men based on Nuneaton & Stockingford loco sheds and your grandfather is listed there (with all his mates). I will keep a look out for the press cutting though. Cheers Peter Lee'.

Hello, I wonder if you can solve a family conundrum. A relative (Mary Pinfold) was orphaned, then a short time later taken to New Zealand by her aunt and uncle. According to family history both her parents died in a rail accident in Warwickshire sometime between 1870 - 1873. I’m wondering if you have any record of a fatal accident in the area around that time and any victims with that surname. In the 9 months after my relative’s birth in 1870 there were over 50 deaths in rail accidents in the UK, it’d certainly be a good cover story if she was illegitimate and bundled off to the colonies!

Thanks in advance - Gill Stannard

Hi Gill. You might try the archive site Railways Archive which has a section devoted to numerous accident reports. Best of luck. Mike

Hello Mike. A really fascinating website so much detail. I live in the modern village of Hampton Magna in the parish of Budbrooke. half a mile from Warwick Parkway which seems to be bulging at the seams again after the Harbury landslip line has reopened. I see it was a problem in 1884 !! Main reason for this note is that I have heard that there used to be a Budbrooke Halt for the Military on whose Depot we now live on. I believe it was a few 100yds north of Parkway but I have been unable to find any record of it anywhere. Do you have any information on this interesting topic?.

Regards David Potts Vickers

Dear David. Sorry, but I have never heard of such a halt. Why not visit the County Record Office and the Warwickshire Regiment Museum - both in Warwick. They should help in providing OS maps (County Records) and possibly photos (both places). If you do discover any information please let us know as we would love to add it to the website (with you being credited as the source). Sorry I cannot help. Best wishes Mike

Please note that the Hall in pictures gwr_src2460 and gwr_src1436 is not a modified Hall and cannot, therefore, be 6994, as captioned. If you have the name right, then I suggest that 6944 is more likely to be correct. That would certainly align with the build and scrap dates quoted under gwr_src1436.

Nigel Newling

Hi Nigel. Correction now made. On checking it was my typo regarding the number not the original notes. Thanks for spotting the error and please do not hesitate to point out any others. Best wishes Mike

Nigel replied: Happy to have helped – your site is one of the treasures of the internet as far as I am concerned. Thank you very much for all your work. ( …and if you have any more pictures of trains known to be using the Honeybourne /Cheltenham route in the 45/47 period I will be even happier! :-) )

Hi Mike. I find your excellent website of great interest. However, at the risk of appearing a "clever dick", I feel compelled to offer two corrections: a) Picture gwrt2408: The unit depicted is a Class "116" (not a "114"). b) Picture gwrt1033: The Eastern Region did have an allocation of Class 25/0s. Also, Tinsley had a number shedded there circa 1973-75. I hope this is of use to you.

Regards, Duncan Robertson

Hi Duncan. I stand corrected. I have now updated to reflect the information you provided.

Many thanks for your excellent website. However, please would you check captions to lnwr_pol1210 and lnwr_pol1211 These seem to describe the locomotive No 46244; she was indeed involved in the accident in July 1947 but if you go to the Railways Archive website and download the MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT Report on the derailment which occurred on 19th November 1951 at Polesworth in the London Midland Region British Railways you will find the reference 'The train was hauled by the "City of Leicester", a class 8P tender engine' which would make her No 46252 and not No 46244. The photographs do seem to show a “continuous” footplate swept down to the buffer beam which would seem to indicate an engine built without streamlining as No 46252 and not a de-streamlined engine like No 46244. Please forgive me if I'm talking nonsense. Best regards

Theo Bell

Hi Theo. No your not talking nonsense. I cannot recall why I attributed No 46244 to this accident. I vaguely recall being questioned about this accident previously and thought I had corrected the error. You will now note by revisiting the webpage that not only has the error been corrected but all the photos resized etc plus new photos added (albeit small ones) of the 1947 accident. If you know where I can obtain better copies please let me know. Thanks for letting us know of the error.

Hi Mike, Are you aware that Chilton did a paint job at Bordesley in December included the walls and ceiling of entrance stairwell. Fortunately their corporate colours include white! Why they did not paint the inside wall above the street door or indeed outdoors I don't know and is a shame but the whole effect thus far is quite startling and it deserves a rethink as being the most inhospitable now.

Kind regards, Julian Glass

I was about to bin this old plan when I came across your Warwickshire Railways website. It is possibly a RCH plan. It is in poor condition with a large torn piece missing in one corner. I have scanned it - see attachments. One scan is of the whole thing to give context and the other I have cropped out the damage. Please feel free to use it if appropriate.

Regards Chris Heaven

Hi Chris. Not only would we like to use but I am sure the LNWR Society would like to have the original. Their Drawing Officer's email address is: drawings@lnwrs.org.uk

Dear Mike. Herewith a small donation to your Warwickshire Railways website which I promised about 18 months ago! Thank you for giving me the reference and details about the photograph which included my father William Elkin. Keep up the good work.

Best regards Paul Elkin

Hi Paul. Many thanks for your kind donation which we are intending to use to purchase photos from the 'Britain from Above' series.

Hi Mike. Great site, spent more time than I should (or that SWMBO liked) on it. One very very minor niggle regarding the photo Ref: 'gwrbsh1264'. Surely the loco has a side window cab, so maybe a typo in the first instance, then researcher did 2855 ? Maybe should be 3855 which was a Banbury engine at the given date Still a great site though and will have to look at the 'other' railways in Warwickshire ( were there any others ????)

Regards Pete

Pete - First regarding your query about the locomotive number. According to Robert Ferris you are indeed correct. The information I provided was transcribed from the information attached to the photograph. Robert has now rewritten the caption and as is typical of Robert, he has added more information, this time on the cattle wagon. Regarding your other question. As I grew up train spotting at Tile Hill I can assure you there were 'other' railways in Warwickshire! Go on take a look, I dare you. Obviously when SWMBO has gone shopping!!!

Hi. My Dad Taffy Evans was an Engine Driver for many years at Long Marston until it closed. Looking back on the photos it brings back great memories when Dad use to take me on the trains at Long Marston. I remember being at the open Days 1987 and other years and from your photo Roger Monk Train 8233 you will see Dad with his orange jacket on. Do you know if I can get a copy of this photo. I wish we still had these trains today my favourite was the Royal Engineer which Dad took to the isle of Wight when it left long Marston. I often tell my children now about these great trains and times we had at Long Marston. I miss it loads.

Richard Evans

Richard. Roger has responded to you after a similar email request was received last October but this time in your wife's name. Can you check if his response is going into your spam box?

Dear Mike. I have enjoyed looking at your website, which I found through Wikipedia. I'm actually looking for a book as a Christmas gift which includes the Great Western Railway and Stratford Upon Avon station. It is proving difficult and I wonder if you have written any books which you have for sale or know to any local authors which have done so. The gift is for a friend who used to live in Stratford and worked on the railways.

Many thanks and hope to hear from you soon Louise Symonds

Louise. I am afraid there are no books written by us, but my recommendations are: 'Great Western in Shakespeare Country' by Bob Pixton published by Kestrel Railway Books in 2009 (ISBN 978-1-905505-13-5 'Shakespeare's Railways' by John Boynton published by Mid England Books in 1994, reprinted 1998 (ISBN 0 9522248 1 X). We hope you have a Happy Christmas. Regards Robert

Hi. I have come across this picture of my father (John Thomas Kendrick) and I think this was taken approximately 1950 at Leamington Shed - can anyone clarify this for me please?

Kind Regards - Kate Rose

Shed plate 84D confirms the location is Leamington Shed prior to September 1963 after which it was renumbered 2L until closure in 1965. The 'overhead electric wire warning' flash on the bunker front would in my mind place this closer to 1960 than 1950 (baring in mind when the WCML was electrified) and this locomotive does not appear in the Leamington shed allocation list for 1950. The locomotive can be identified as an ex-LMS Ivatt design built by Crewe works in November 1950. 'I have an allocation list for Leamington shed in 1959 which includes three of the class, one of which was numbered 41285'. - Robert

Hi. Searching on Google for a photo of shunter D2912 I came across your webpage and found the photo on your site - see image 'lnwrns2694'. My interest is that I have the North British diamond builder's plate. Not sure where it was placed on the loco but I couldn't spot it.

Kind regards Alan Wickens Wellington, NZ

Hi Mike, Browsing pictures of the North Warwickshire line, I came across photograph reference 'gwrbj446'. I’m sure this is not a mogul but a Grange Class loco - raised running boards over cylinders & exhaust steam injector pipe behind boiler handrail. Thanks for a great website.

Paul Carter

Hi Paul. Robert Ferris, has confirmed you are absolutely correct. Being am LMS man myself I don't know a Grange from Manor or even Hall!!! As such I took the notes as read, even when I looked at the original scan I just counted the wheels I could see (which proved to be wrong) not being aware of the clues in the running board etc.

Dear Mike. Once again I am writing to congratulate you on what must be one of England's best railway web sites. I am currently working on an OO gauge model of the Shipston-on-Stour branch and your pages have proved to be most useful. There is one photo: Stratford on Avon Shed: smjsa77 which has two Midland 3Fs on shed, No 3322 and No 3077. Which is the one to the right of the shed roads? I cannot identify the numbers on the screen. I plan to use this loco as the prototype for a visiting Midland 3F to Shipston.

With my best regards, Paul Ashton

Hi Paul. The loco on the right is No 3322 as can be seen now that the photo is enlarged and lightened.

Hi Mike, I've been reading through that part of the Warwickshire railway site that deals with the 'Birmingham West Suburban Railway' and have found something that I find hard to reconcile. I'll try to layout what I've noticed. Working from the railway map 'mr_generic1430b' and looking in particular at the junction marked as 'Central Goods Station Branch Junction 133m.10ch. (0m. 0ch) and then looking at the Bartholomew's Map at 'central_goods_map'. It would appear that the junction shown on the Bartholomews for the connection into the 'Central Goods' is a pure fiction. Not sure how you 'sort' that, short of pointing out the error, or deleting the reference.

Regards Gordon

Gordon. I would have to agree with your comments that Bartholomew's map is more creative than actual. I have let your email tell the story as it shows we must never accept everything at face value. Regards Mike

Hi Mike, I looked at your web site today and very enjoyable to surf it was too. I noticed you have used maps from my LMS shed series and whilst I am more than happy for you to use them would it be possible to credit them.

George Reeve

Thanks George. All drawings/maps are now updated with the correct credit.

Mike This has come up before, but I believe the mention of the visit of the vintage locomotive 'Lion' see 'lnwrdun2399' and 'lnwrdun2400' to Dunchurch station was in connection with a short 1960s general interest newsclip rather than having any connection with the filming of 'The Titfield Thunderbolt' on the Camerton line in Somerset a decade earlier. See: movietone short here On the occasion of the locomotive's visit to Dunchurch, and its brief run on the Rugby-Dunchurch length of the Leamington line in 1961, the footplate crew wearing appropriate period costume, I myself saw the engine parked in Rugby Midland shed. Thanks for listening.

Regards Tony Newman

Tony. Thanks for the correction which has been added to the page. The video is fascinating. Regards Mike.

Hi. My Dad Taffy Evans was an Engine Driver for many years at Long Marston until it closed. Looking back on the photos it brings back great memories when Dad use to take me on the trains at Long Marston. I remember being at the open Days 1987 and other years and from your photo Roger Monk Train 8233 you will see Dad with his orange jacket on. Do you know if I can get a copy of this photo. I wish we still had these trains today my favourite was the Royal Engineer which Dad took to the Isle of Wight when it left long Marston. I often tell my children now about these great trains and times we had at Long Marston

Donna Evans

Some time ago I found a photograph of the Canal at Lowsonford, looking towards the old Great Western Railway Line, and bridge going over the canal. I am almost certain it was on your website, could you please advise if you have this photo. I own that old railway bank, and would like to obtain a copy.

Deborah Giblin

I think you might be referring to the photo of the viaduct carrying the Stratford upon Avon canal viaduct passing over the North Warwickshire line north of Bearley. See images 'gwrbj546' and 'gwrbj763'. The first photo is from the Windows of Warwickshire website and you would need to contact them. The other was taken by GM Perkins. I think Roger Carpenter has copies of his collection. Roger is listed on our website as a supplier of photographs.

Mike. I'm presently engaged in writing up the history of No.255 Squadron RAF, which was based at RAF Honiley immediately prior to joining Operation Torch in November 1942.

Most surviving documentation relates to Officers and Aircrew; I have very little about the 'erks'. One rock-solid slice of information regarding Other Ranks refers to a night march from the airfield to Berkswell Station, to catch the 02:40 Special to Liverpool on 26 Nov 1942 - the first leg of the journey to Algeria. In order to beef up the rather sparse detail, I'm looking for an out-of-copyright image of the station, suitable for insertion into Wikimedia Commons as Public Domain or, failing that, into Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence.

Although the train is facing the wrong way, your image 'lnwrberk1292' would seem to be a possible, or failing that 'lnwrberk524'. On the subject of image lnwrberk1292: It seems to me that the station name board has been painted out. Redecoration, or was the image actually taken in wartime? If you can help with this, may I suggest that you (rather than I) do the upload? That seems to produce fewer copyright difficulties. The "Wikimedia Category" for 255's images is: 'No._255_Squadron_RAF'. Progress to date with the Squadron's history is here: No._255_Squadron_RAF Hoping you can help.

Chris Eley 255 Squadron Association

I replied to Chris off-line providing info on who to contact. Regarding his belief that the station nameboard was painted out I think its the reflection of the sun obscuring the lettering but without being able to look at the original I cannot be sure.

Dear Sirs. Our preservation group is currently involved in building a replica of LNER B17 No. 61662 and we have noticed a photo of this locomotive, running in its LNER guise as 2862 on your website ref 'gcrcs30'. Would it be possible please for us to use this photo in our Newsletter, as a not for profit group we are not able to pay reproduction fees but we could make a small donation to your funds. I hope this is okay with you and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best Regards, Ken Livermore Hon. Secretary NBL Preservation Group

Despite my declining such a fee, Ken was kind enough to make a contribution.

Robert. Can you have another look at picture 'gwrbh27' for me please? I think the train is an unlikely composition for a Paddington train. It looks more like a west country formation with a branch Van Composite, 3rd pair followed by a 5 coach Van 3rd, 3rd, H38 restaurant, Composite, Van 3rd standard set (“M Set”?).

Thanks, Nigel Newling

Hi Nigel. Robert has provided an extensive answer which appears with your question in the image's caption.

Regarding 'gwrt358', I think "GWR 0-6-0PT No 2104, a half-cab class 2102 design," should read "2021 design". Very useful site, thanks...

Regards, Jim C

Now corrected - Mike

Mike and Robert. Great site with superb details and photos. Keep up the good work.

John Barnes

I would just like to thank you for Warwickshire Railways for me it is a great point of reference when I am out going about my duties as a Mobile Operations Manager based at Saltley, and to see what the railway was like and compare it to the railway of today. Some times I find it almost unbelievable what we have lost. My area covers Blackwell to Tamworth, Warwick to Queens Head, Kings Norton to Saltley, Water Orton to Stockingford and the Sutton park line to name but a few. Once again Thank You.

Neil Fox

Mike, thanks again for the memories. I visited Birmingham New Street two or three times each week in the 1958 to 1963 period. I am researching No 70033 'Charles Dickens' (see image 'lnwrbns_br334') and can advise you that the above image is post-February 1961 as the speedometer was fitted during September 1960, but the 'lightening flash' power warning plates were not applied until after the engine was transferred to Willesden depot (1A). It was rare for any express to appear on platform 4, and the headcode indicates ECS train, unless, of course, they are about to be changed.

Best Regards - Derek Dean

Dear Sirs, A contributor to my site mentioned your web site to me, so I had to pay your site a visit of course. It looks great, professional and it is very, very extensive too. As my site has had a big make-over I was hoping I might trouble you for a links exchange and a mention on your Facebook page? Please have a look atthe Train Photo Forum!

Marcel Gommers

A photograph of an 'unknown class 40' at Rugby seen in image 'lnwrrm722' displaying the head code 1S57 prompted an exchange of information which demonstrates the pitfalls of relying on the written word of others. It started when Patrick McDermott wrote, 'Your photo of an 'unknown class 40' at Rugby seen in image 'lnwrrm722' is displaying the head code 1S57 which I believe from my reference books refers to the down named train 'The Queen of Scots' which I understand ran from London Euston-Leeds-Glasgow.

Regular contributor, John Hyde wrote, 'Dear Mike, Re image 'lnwrrm722'. I believe that your correspondent is incorrect regarding the reporting number of this train. 1S 57 applied to the down 'Royal Scot', Euston to Glasgow train and not the 'The Queen of Scots'. Please see attached photograph.

Patrick has subsequently written, 'Regarding the photograph and head codes, I have further researched the 1S57 code. Surprisingly the Eastern Region did use 1S57 for the 'Queen of Scots' and the London Midland Region used the same code for the 'Royal Scot'. As if head codes weren't confusing enough! I have found various photographs from my reference books of the Eastern Region 'Queen of Scots' which confusingly showed it being hauled by Deltics, Class 40s and Peaks. I also have a photograph of a Deltic with a 'Queen of Scots' head board showing 1S57 so is clearly an Eastern Region train.

It is therefore easy to understand the author's confusion as seeing a class 40 with a head code 1S57 showed it as Queen of Scots and not The Royal Scot. The problem is that there does not seem to be a definitive list of codes and the inter-regional codes are the same ones used for all regions so distinguishing what region the train belongs too is only possible from identifying the locomotive. Problem here is that some types worked in many regions!

Mike Musson writes, 'What is of further interest is that the shape of the 'Royal Scot' headboard seen in image 'lnwrrm722' is different to that seen in John Hyde's' photograph. Readers may have noted that I have increased the photo width of image 'lnwrrm722' to 1000 from 800 pixels which is our new standard. One day I will revisit all Rugby again to increase the size of the other images. I have also increased the width of its two subsidiary photos 'lnwrrm722a' and 'lnwrrm722b'.

Having looked at your website I remember going by steam train from London to Rugby for my first term at Rugby School in September 1962. Luggage in advance.

Peter Booth

Peter was kind enough to make a donation to support the website

Hi. My son and I like your website. We have been to visit the locations of many of your sites photos over the last few weekends. See the attached examples. Louis (age 9) is doing a school project on the history of the line. I have no objection If you want to post these on your site, but please mention that I had landowners permission to access the land and many parts of the line and the access routes are often used for game shooting.

Thanks Mike and Louis

Hi Louis and Mike. Many thanks for your kind remarks about the website and how it has helped you in creating your school project. I looked at your photos and thought they were fascinating insofar as they showed the remains of what was once a major route to the north. I have to sadly decline your kind offer of using the photos on the website because we try very hard to focus on the period 1838 to circa 1970 and not to have a 'then and now' look to the website. Not because we do not appreciate such photos but simply because of the volume of extra work it would entail. I have received several hundred historical images which I have yet to add to the website from people who sent them just over the last month when I was on holiday. This, in addition to revisiting several thousand existing photos and increasing their size to 1000 pixels wide, is very time consuming. May I suggest that you load them on to Flickr and then copy and paste the URL of each into an email to me. I will then add the URLs to your guest book entry so that other visitors can look at them too. Adding URL links is a very quick job for me and avoids my having to create resize photos, create HTML pages and write the captions. FYI the guest book has about 600/700 visitors each month. Putting your photos on Flickr will also reach a wider audience too. Again my thanks for your kind offer and comments. Best wishes Mike M

Louis and Mike also kindly made a donation to support the website.

Hello Mike. A small donation in appreciation of all the work involved in putting the website together. I am in the process of modelling the buildings at Studley and Astwood Bank and have found the site to be a wonderful resource.

Kind regards, John Clarkson, Auckland, New Zealand

Having thanked John I also asked what his connection was with Studley and Astwood. John wrote, 'Although I have family in the UK it is not always easy getting hold of material, books etc. for modelling purposes. I have no personal connection with Studley and Astwood Bank – just a long term interest in the MR/LMS, particularly the Birmingham to Bristol routes and the fruit traffic, architecture and size of the stations drew me to the Evesham loop. I have collected many books about those lines including Bob Essery's excellent illustrated history of the "Ashchurch to Barnt Green Line". However, I found your website a great way to overview the entire region when deciding upon locations to model. I think you have put together a wonderful resource (and your son has done an excellent job of the site too) – long may it last.'

Just come across this fabulous site bringing back many memories of youthful days in and around Nuneaton including a view of No 58118 - the first footplate I climbed onto at Abbey Street circa 1958......sadly I never owned a camera and can only rely on my memories and wonderful captions of others. Thanks indeed for making this public.

John Kenning

Hello. I was drawn to your website again recently by the photos of the MoD system at Kineton taken by Roger Monk. I would very much like to get copies of these for my own collection - could you perhaps please forward this email to him? I was born within sight of the railway at Berkswell. My early camera was a box Brownie, and it is best to draw a veil over the quality of most of the photos that I took with that (though a few are usable). It was 1968 before I could afford a decent camera, but after that I managed a few half-decent colour slides. I am at the moment scanning them for the Kidderminster Railway Museum collection, which will be the final home for the original slides. But since information is for sharing, would you like a few to add to your website? They are scanned as high resolution tif files (so are too big to email) but could be re-worked as JPEGs if that is your file format.

Best wishes Mike Christensen

Mike has since kindly forwarded relevant copies of his slides and they will appear soon on the website.

Hi Mike. I have just discovered your website in pursuit of information relating to ex LNWR 50ft Arc roof stock diags 138/216/268/316 in the early BR Period. These you might know are the coaches produced by Ratio Models. I was pleasantly surprised to find a photo of an ex M&GNJ coach at Birmingham New Street (see 'lnwrbns_br1823'). The coach appears to correspond to 50 ft corridor third diag 268 which as is well documented, were transferred to the M&GNJ by the LMS . According to information provided by Ratio the Diag 268 corridor thirds were extinct from revenue service by 1947 with the longest surviving , Third Diag 316 brake third being extinct by 1952, hence the photo would seem to disprove this source albeit the information on these models is now quite old. Another source in RM website has indicated that 8 of the 21 diag 268 coaches transferred to the M&GNJ were surviving at the end of 1952. There has been speculation that some of these coaches survived to be painted in BR Crimson/Cream albeit perhaps without the upper crimson stripe due to lack of space. The coach photographed at New Street is said to be wearing yellow green livery and although having looked carefully, I cannot see a dividing line between the colours which even given the grime of the time you might expect to be just discernible. Was the livery recorded by the photographer or could this be from an original colour print or maybe are there further photos of these coaches in BR service in this livery ? Any information you know of or can point me to on the above subject would be appreciated. Thanks for producing such a good web site which looks to be a gold mine for railway interest. As a young lad I was often taken from Hull to Coventry to stay with my Aunt and Uncle who both worked for the GEC. We usually went by rail so its possible I might have caught a glimpse of one but didn't appreciate it!

Kind Regards David Spenceley

Philip Millard, noted author and expert on LNWR coaching stock writes, 'I wrote the original prototype notes for the Ratio coach kits, and the information is perfectly correct for the LMS and BR(M). It is quite true that a number of coaches were transferred to the M&GN in the 1930's and these lasted somewhat longer. According to my records the former TK to D.268 lasted until 1953. After transfer to the M&GN they received the LNER ersatz "varnished teak" livery. I would be exceedingly surprised if any received the BR crimson/cream livery, which was never applied by BR(M) to elderly vehicles which worked out their remaining time in LMS maroon.

I have no idea what is meant by "yellow-green" livery.

For the record, this coach was turned out new on 22/09/99 as LNWR TK 2315 (D.268). It was one of the first of this type to be built on the bulb-iron frame, and with panels on the corridor side in place of the former non-door droplights. At the grouping it became LMS 4989 (applied 12/24) and then 2393 in the 1933 renumbering. It was transferred to the M&GN in 1937 and received LNER number 80122 (M&GN Diagram 4). It was again renumbered to 61023 in 2/50 (note the plain typeface of the numerals, and the added E suffix). It was withdrawn from revenue service in 5/53 but was not broken up immediately; in 1/55 it was transferred to service stock as S&T Toolvan DE320233. Its final withdrawal date is not recorded.

Dear Mike. I came across the photo of Coventry Pneumatic Railcar at Kenilworth station 'lnwrk161' on your web site while researching the Coventry-built pneumatic tyred railcars for the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust. May I ask for the manufacturer's name to be corrected, please. The railcar was built by Armstrong Siddeley Motors in Coventry to the design of the French Michelin Company. To give you some history of pneumatic tyred railcars in this country, a 24 seat 'Micheline type 9' railcar was tested by all of the Big Four railway companies in 1932. See the review of the trials in the 16th February 1932 edition of Commercial Motor. The LMS alone seemed convinced by the possibilities of pneumatic tyred railcars. In March 1934 a larger, improved railcar was brought from France for testing. It seated 56 passengers and was similar in appearance to the railcar photographed at Kenilworth. Armstrong Siddeley Motors became interested in the Micheline principle, setting up a subsidiary, The Coventry Pneumatic Railcar Company, to build pneumatic tyred railcars under licence. An order was received from the LMS for two 56 seat vehicles. Although the railcars were French in design, Armstrong Siddeley emphasised that they were entirely British in manufacture. They were built at the Parkside, Coventry factory in 1936-37. I have found little about the railcars in service. The photos on your web site at Kenilworth and Nuneaton ('lnwrns1732') are the only ones seen. The more detailed caption with the Nuneaton photo is generally correct. The Coventry railcars were put into store at the outbreak of war and scrapped in 1945.

Peter Barnes, Librarian, Coventry Branch, Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust

Peter was kind enough to subsequently rewrite the caption to the Kenilworth photograph. I have also added links to other photographs of the Railcar plus the French import being tested at Widney Manor.

Dear Mike. Looking at photograph, 'lnwrberk2355', may I suggest that the caption is slightly misleading as written? The station running-in board in the picture, entitled 'Berkswell and Balsall Common' is a standard LMSR 'Hawkseye' sign. Full details of which may be seen at page 102 of “LMS Lineside Volume 1 by my LMS Society colleagues the late Roy Anderson and Nelson Twells. The drawing by another LMS Society member, Graham Warburton, states that the background to the sign was off-white inclined towards grey and the area behind the station name would have been Golden Yellow to BS 48 356. These signs lasted a long time until replaced by the BR enamelled totem designs.

Hope this helps, Regards, Michael Byng

Thanks Mike. The caption has now been amended to avoid any ambiguity and the extra information has been added too.

Hi Mike. Many thanks for pointing out the error in the caption which I have now rewritten. I took the opportunity of increasing the size of the photo (and 'gwrls839') to the new standard of 1000 pixels wide. It will be sometime however before I get around to the do the same to the remaining photos at Leamington. Please keep an eye open for errors and feel free to offer additional information, images etc. It will all help to add value to the site and, because the HMRS have agreed to become its long term custodian, it will help modellers, enthusiasts and historians for generations to come. Best wishes Mike

Dear Mr Musson, Your site has some superb information, we are involved with Virgin Trains and potential development work at Coventry Station and wondered whether you held any historic plans, construction information or photographs during construction of the current 1962 modern station or knew who might?

Regards Mike Arthur - Director, Design MAD Ltd

Hello Mike. This website is an invaluable source of information and photographs. Something has gone awry, however, with the caption to 'gwrls840' of a 517-class at Leamington. This class consisted of rather more than 12 engines! I think the comment refers to Lot 'W' which were built over the dates stated. The photo shows an interesting example, with smokebox wing plates and with the toolboxes forward, in front of the fillers at the rear end of the tanks. The variability of this class is remarkable.

Regards, Mike Flemming

On viewing your excellent site I noticed that in the descriptive caption to the photograph of Alcester stations running in board ('mra1292') it is described as LMR region red/maroon with cream script. The board was in fact Western Region brown and cream as Alcester was transferred along with other stations south of Barnt Green to the western region of British Railways after nationalisation. The board still exist on sight at Alcester in the grounds of what is now a private residence on the old station platform.

Keith Ewins

Hi Mike,
Re:- IMAGE 'lnwrcr2062' Coundon Road Station Signal Box. I thought you would be interested to know that, whilst driving across the level crossing today, I noticed that the disused structure has been demolished over the weekend of 25th and 26th January 2014. Unsure of the exact date. Likewise the box at Hawkesbury Lane suffered the same fate the previous weekend 18th and 19th January 2014. Again unsure of the exact date.
Re:- IMAGE 'lnwrchg2807'. The locomotive is indeed "Lord Kitchener" but is 70043 not 70047 as stated.
Re:- IMAGE 'lnwrns1732'. I think the caption may be wrong concerning the direction of travel. If you look closely you will note that the route is set from the DOWN SLOW to the UP & DOWN COVENTRY and signal 39, on the bracket of four, is off suggesting the railcar is travelling towards Coventry. However if this is the case then the drivers compartment must be similar to that of a bus as passengers can be clearly seen in one of the front windows. Signalling information has been taken from an SRS box diagram for Nuneaton No 2 dated 1956.

Regards, John Taylor

Thanks John for the correction and extra information. Signalling was never my strong point. Darren Towler, the last signalman to work the box, has subsequently wrote, 'Just read the addition to 'lnwrcr2062' Coundon Road Station Signal Box. The exact date and time for demolition was around 01:30 - 01:50 hrs on Sunday 26th January 2014

Until Mrs Thatcher closed us all, I was a miner in the Kent Coalfield. The Kent Coalfield were part of the South Midlands, consisting of Warwickshire, Leicestershire, South Derbyshire and Kent, so we were certainly the VERY South Midlands!!!

Anthony Sansum

Reference your query asto the signal box structure seen in image 'mrna1095a', the signal type box in the background is in fact an old signal box, that was put on the site for the sole use of the Signal and Telegraph lineman. This was the base for the Telegraph lineman and assistant lineman plus the Mechanical lineman and his assistant, they reported to the S&T inspector at the S&T Department based at Nuneaton's Trent Valley S&T yard which was located by the cattle docks south of the Leicester Road bridge.

Mick Mears

Thanks Mick. I have now updated the caption.

Hi Mike. Regarding image 'gwrsa1337'. I would just like to point a little known error in your description of the derailment of GWR Diesel Railcar No 20 at Stratford on Avon. You are quite correct in the fact that AEC A180 Engine were 8.8 liters, they were also straight 6's with a bore of 115mm. However the engines used on the final series of GWR Diesel Railcars, which were numbered 19 to 38, were A182's of 9.6 Liters straight 6's, the same engines that were used in the first batch of London Transport RT Buses, which are known as the prewar's. You may ask how I know this, I know this because I helped to rebuild both engines of GWR Diesel Railcar No 22 at Didcot Railway Centre. If you follow this link and look at the pictures on the right hand side, 3rd picture down there is a picture of Jim Parker and I putting the oil feed pipes to the crankshaft bearings of No 1 engine. I have also attached a picture of No1 Engine which I told during running maintenance of her during work week at Didcot last year .

Regards Andrew

Your photograph 'lnwr_hw2282' states "View of Handsworth Wood station in 1933 after it had been down graded to an unmanned Halt status." I believe that Handsworth Wood won the Quota League in 1934, and I have seen a photograph of the award on the station.

David Hedley

Hi David. I have never heard of the Quota League and when I googled it I got the following off the UK Railway Forum: 'Hi all One of the Friends of the Settle Carlisle line has a plaque which reads 'London Midland Scottish Railway. Quota league competition. The staff of this station won the shield in their league for the year 1934'. Does anyone know what the quota league competition was, and (much harder) which station won the plaque in 1934? We'd like the plaque to be returned to the station that won it, if we could find out which it was. It is likely to be one in the Yorkshire / North Western district, if not on the Settle-Carlisle line itself. Thanking you in advance Sarah George'.

Davis responded, 'Wow! I could (and will) follow this up and I am able to obtain a scan of the photos of the shield on Handsworth Wood station, with Frank Doughty who was "the staff" at that time (1935 when the photo was taken). As to when it became an unmanned halt, I can't help. David'.

Hi Mike, I've been studying the picture: Coventry Station - BR Locomotives: lnwrcov234 Without the original photo I can't be 100% certain but, under the 1740 number appears to be a number ending '2' which suggests this engine is Clan Campbell. Unfortunately I have insufficient definition available on-line from the photo to fully analyse the side number and name, but thought I'd share.

Regards, Phillip Covell

Hi Phillip. I do believe you are correct. The name plate whilst not sharp does seems to be Clan Campbell. or spotting the clue. Thanks for the clue. Regards Mike

I spent my formative years in S.W. Birmingham, spent many a happy day by the line side at Bournville, Kings Norton etc. My maternal Great, Great Grandfather, William Tomlinson was a signalman at Kings Heath station, 1890s. to 1920s. Must be a bit of Midland Railway Company in my genes! Keeping my hand in building an N gauge model of Kings Heath station, period 1920s to 1940s. Your web site is pure gold for this project.

Best Regards from the Highlands, Peter Mackay

Peter was kind enough to make a donation to support the website.

Hi Mike. I have acquired the attached copy photograph through an auction site, unfortunately it is not the original albumen print, but a more recent photographic copy. The original caption is however helpfully included: "Site of the extension of New Street Station - Hill Street - June 1883" which is I think pretty reliable being written in a period hand on what appears to be the photograph's original card mounting board. It is perhaps worth mentioning that I have seen the view before, a small version is reproduced in the booklet "The Story of New Street" which was published by British Railways London Midland Region in 1954 to celebrate the centenary of the station's original opening on 1.6.1854. However, the photograph is mis-captioned in this publication as follows: "Clearing the site of the new station, 1850". This cannot be so, as the Wolverhampton end of the 1854 station is clearly visible in the background and the construction site in the photograph is on the south side of what became Queens Drive. I can't decide whether the brick structures on the site are part of what has been demolished, or are part of the foundations of the new station extension, I will have to review the evidence and see if I can work it out. On the subject of contributions to the site, I will have a think about what I can offer, unfortunately I do not live within easy striking distance of the excellent library and records office facilities in Birmingham, living as I do some distance to the west of Taunton in Somerset. However there are interesting new resources being made available on-line from time to time (such as the British Newspapers Archive) and there is always my own library. I will see what I can do. I think this photograph will make an interesting companion to the pre 1885 painting I sent previously.

Best regards, Toby

Hi Toby. Thanks for the photograph which I have now published as image 'lnwrbns_str3078'.

I looked at Kings Heath Station and found several errors. While the station closed in 1941 it remained open for parcels traffic and as an advance booking office - my late brother was the clerk there in the early 1960s, I made several visits to the booking office looking for unusual tickets. The "write up' doesn't reflect this aspect of the station. Turning to the images 'mrkh 744 shewing GWR No 5912 and is dated 1957, I must say that I never saw a GW loco there until the early 1960s. Image 'mrkh745' LMS 20002 the caption is totally wrong as to the progression of numbers was 158 to 158A to 2 in 1907 and 20002 in 1934 when 15501 was renumbered 2. Image 'mrkh723' claims taken on 11/10/66, but says the locomotive was withdrawn in 7/65! Nevertheless a fantastic site.

Malcolm Peakman

Hi Malcolm. Thanks for the corrections which I have now addressed, they are always appreciated as accuracy is extremely important. Regretfully most of the places within the scope of the website are just names to me and I am therefore very reliant upon others for information. That's not to say that all errors are theirs, e.g. in the case of mrkh723 I must have misread the loco number as when I rechecked my information, the detail info is all together different. The date of the GWR locomotive has been checked on the original print so I can only assume it was the exception to prove the rule. FYI the site's future is being 'future protected' by the HMRS who have agreed to become its custodians. We feel that it has as much relevance in the year 2114 as it is in 2014. It would add great value to the website if you and others with specific knowledge of the various locations could add further detail to the website thereby ensuring that such memories are preserved for future generations.

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