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Keith Turton's Private Owner wagon's in Warwickshire

Photograph Reference: kt621

MC Ashwin & Son Coal Merchants Stratford-on-Avon PO Wagon No 24

MC Ashwin & Son Coal Merchants Stratford-on-Avon PO Wagon No 24.


Manley Cormell Ashwin was one of two substantial coal merchants in Stratford on Avon, but coal was a sideline to a warehouse full of assorted agricultural wares. ??ny imbalance with rival Hutchings and Co as made up by means of an agency for the Great Western Railway from virtually the day that its rails reached Stratford on Avon, in comparison with its rival's association with the comparatively insignificant East and West Junction line.

Concurrent with the arrival of the Great Western, Ashwin switched from the Stratford on Avon Canal to the railway for his coal supplies by hiring the first of a series of wagons from the Midland Waggon Co. of Birmingham commencing December 21st 1859 and continued hiring for many years, his first purchases of new wagons were not recorded until 1898. Between 1898 and 1905 a minor fleet was recorded by the Great Western Railway, the register entries mystified by the duplication of wagon numbers.:-

Date Numbers Builder
4/8/1898 2-6 Hunter, Rugby
23/5/1900 16 - 21 Midland, Birmingham
19/5/1900 7-15 Midland, Birmingham
12/10/1902 22-27 Midland, Birmingham
19/1/1906 22-33 Midland, Birmingham

There is then a gap until 1925 which could only be filled in if the missing Great Western registers are located. In 1925, six wagons numbered 19 to 24 were supplied by the Gloucester RC&WCo. Some explanation for the duplication of numbers may eventuate, but it is not a isolated instance The six wagons built by Thomas Hunter were 8-toners but the Register records that they were subsequently re-plated as 10-tonners.

Keith Turton