LMS Route: Evesham to Birmingham
Kings Heath Station: mrkh734
A Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company Ltd 10
ton, 7 plank, mineral wagon owned by CP Perry & Son. The absence of a
station on the wagon was probably because they had a presence at several
stations being listed at Camp Hill between 1926 and 1933 and at Kings Heath in
1938. The company had been in business since 1912 and was to last until 1966.
This was the only wagon built by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon
Company for CP Perry & Son.
by Keith Turton
In size this company was on the third rung from the top of
the ladder of Birmingham coal factors and merchants.: The top level was held by
the three giants of the trade, Evesons, J.C. Abbott & Co. and Wilson Carter
and Pearson. Next came three others, substantial by any means, in Spencer
Abbott, Alexander Comley and Lunt Bros. On the third rung down was a cluster of
several who, not to be compared in size as those already listed, ran
substantial trading operations from numerous depots scattered around the coal
sidings of both of the constituents of the LM&S railway and to a lesser
extent the Great Western. Firms like C.P.Perry, Leonard Leigh, Thomas
Mottishead, Frank Knight and Lawrence Miller, although names not too familiar,
could also be found in the records of the Coal Buying Committee of the
Corporation of the City of Birmingham, participating in the lucrative trade
that was offering through competitive tendering. Continuity in trade is
confirmed by entries covering six years from 1934 to 1939.
Charles P. Perry & Son whose only known new wagon to be
recorded is illustrated here, obviously
operated a reasonable sized fleet. Three further wagons were built by the
Birmingham RC&WCo. in 1924 and numbered 212-214 (others may have been
either hired or acquired second hand. Perry traded mainly with Cannock Chase
collieries, particularly Brereton, but also sourced anthracite from the
Pontyberem Colliery in south Wales, which would most likely have been delivered
in the colliery's own wagons. Although trading was mainly with Cannock Chase
collieries with access mainly to formerly L&NWR lines, Perry's depots were
mainly on the lines of the former Midland Railway.
The company remained in family hands and traded until at
least 1938, and after the war until it was voluntarily wound up in 1979 The
1934 contracts awarded to Perry follow:
|Public Assistance Committee
| Fire stations
This totals 11,285 tons, 220 tons a week or 22-25 wagon
Netherseal was in south Derbyshire and Brereton near Rugeley
in Staffordshire. Pooley Hall and Griff were both Warwickshire collieries,
Brownhills was in Cannock Chase Assuming Perry's own wagons were used, a fleet
of at least fifty would be needed. And this is for one contract. Merchants of
similar size usually included a selection of consumers from the known 3,000
industrial plants estimated to have been based in Birmingham.
Just as an aside some of the conditions of contract have to
be read to be believed. Thomas Mottesheads contract with Westerly house for
Brownhills coal carried the following directive. "delivered by canal boats
and unloaded immediately. Coal (has) been thrown alongside the canal and
allowed to remain for a time, then loaded into lorries and carted to the boiler
house or stack. Very hard on weighbridge. Contractor paid when weighed."
Imagine this in the 21st century!