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Keith Turton's Private Owner wagon's in Warwickshire

Photograph Reference: kt633

Leamington Priors Gas Company No 10 Leamington built by GRC&W

Town gas was produced in Leamington Spa from 1834 and possibly earlier, the site of the gasworks unchanged alongside the Warwick and Napton Canal. Initially coal was delivered by canal and at no time was a siding built to serve the gasworks, coal being unloaded at the Great Western Railway sidings and transported by road to the gasworks for much of its lifetime. Coal supplies were obtained from a widely spaced range of collieries in North Wales, North Staffordshire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire and 1897 is a typical year in which 14,000 tons of gas coal and 2,000 tons of Cannel coal were contracted for. This appears to have all been delivered by rail but by-products such as coke were regularly shipped out by canal.

The gasworks owned a fleet of at least twenty-three wagons, the first five, assumed as numbered 1 to 5, being built by Thomas Hunter of Rugby, then came six built by Gloucester (10 to 15) being registered in 1897 by the GWR (no's 40459 to 40464). Twelve further wagons were purchased second hand in 1916, one of these, no.22 was recorded as showing a broad diagonal band bottom left to top right which includes the large letters "ROYAL LEAMINGTON SPA" This was recorded by A. G. Thomas on wagon no. 24 as two white diagonal stripes surrounding the above lettering on a red oxide body with plain white lettering The name of the company "Leamington Priors Gas Company, appears to have been shown on all wagons. The Gloucester wagons were of unusual construction in that they were of seven planks with full height side doors and painted red with white letters shaded black, measuring 14'6" x 6'11" x 4'0" with side doors and brakes one side.

Keith Turton