Monday 30 July 2012

Bluebell Railway 1905 H Class Steam Locomotive 263 returns to service


H Class 263 of 1905

 After a number of years out of service, the Bluebell Railway's 1905 built H Class steam locomotive 263, built in Ashford, Kent for the South Eastern & Chatham Railway, returned to service this past weekend. To celebrate, the Bluebell Railway which is in Sussex and has a large collection of Victorian and Edwardian locomotives and rolling stock, had a bit of a mini-event.

H Class 263 and C Class 592 lead a train out of Sheffield Park


Train consisting of 1900 built Metropolitan Railway coaches led by P Class 323 and E4 Class B473

Five locomotives were in service, the oldest dating form 1877 and the youngest from 1910. They were;

1877 built 'Captain Baxter' Fletcher Jennings built 0-4-0T industrial tank engine

1898 built London, Brighton & South Coast Railway (LBSCR) number B473 0-6-2T E4 Class tank engine (originally numbered 473 and named 'Birch Grove' in 1920's Southern Railway olive green

1902 built South Eastern & Chatham Railway (SECR) number 592 0-6-0 C Class tender engine in original SECR livery

1905 built South Eastern & Chatham Railway (SECR) number 263 0-4-4T H Class tank engine in original SECR livery

1910 built South Eastern & Chatham Railway (SECR) number 323 0-6-0T P class tank engine 'Bluebell' in preservation Bluebell Railway blue livery, similar to the original SECR livery


E4 Class B473 of 1898


P Class 323 'Bluebell' of 1910

Another 1910 built P class, 178, was also due to operate but unfortunately came out of service with a problem the week beforehand. Most of the carriages used were built in the Victorian or Edwardian era. More photos will follow of the individual Edwardian engines and rolling stock, so these serve as a taster for a superb preserved railway with a great late Victorian/Edwardian atmosphere and is well worth a visit, especially with such a large number of Edwardian era locomotives in use. Out of all the preserved railways in the UK there's very few where you can ride in wooden Victorian/Edwardian carriages, and especially behind a suitable locomotive too


C Class 592 of 1902


B473 getting a top-up of water


1877 built 'Captain Baxter' with P Class 'Bluebell'

Saturday 28 July 2012

South Shields Ferry, 1911


This is a scale model of the South Shields, a twin screw vehicular ferry built by Wood, Skinner and Company Ltd in Gateshead. It operated ferry services between North Shields and South Shields, originally owned by the Tyne Improvement Commission, on the River Tyne from 1911 up until the 1970's


Thursday 26 July 2012

Rowley Railway Station, 1913


 This old photograph in my collection, most likely dating from the 1990's, shows the recreated North Eastern Railway Station at Beamish Open Air Museum, using the relocated Rowley Station, and showing a Railway Station of 1913. The green locomotive is a North Eastern Railway C Class 876, more often known as a J21 class Locomotive, which is now awaiting restoration to working order - For more information on the recreated North Eastern Railway Station at Beamish, see these dedicated posts;

Tuesday 24 July 2012

Foster Traction Engine 2821 'Beryl', 1903


This typical late Victorian/Edwardian Traction Engine 'Beryl' was built by Fosters of Lincoln in 1903, makers number 2821. Traction Engines of this type were typically used on farms to power machinery such as threshing machines, saws etc, as well as able to tow machinery or wagons, as opposed to employing large numbers of horses. It is on display at the Bressingham Steam Museum, Diss, Norfolk


Sunday 22 July 2012

French Railway Poster Paris to London, 1904


French poster advertising fast trains between Paris and London, 1904. A reproduction of the poster can be bought from -

Saturday 21 July 2012

Explore Shackleton and Scott's Antarctic Expedition Huts

Thanks to google it's possible to use 360 degree photographs to see the interior of the Shackleton and Scott Antarctic Expedition huts, which still have most of the original clothing, food stuffs etc there from over a hundred years ago, almost identical to how they were left - see below;

Thursday 19 July 2012

Hawthorn & Leslie 0-4-0ST Steam Locomotive No 2, 1911


This is Hawthorn & Leslie 0-4-0ST (ST meaning 'Saddle Tank', meaning the water tank sits like a saddle around the top of the boiler) No 2, built in 1911 at their Forth Bank Works at Newcastle-upon-Tyne for Keighley Corporation Gas Department in the West Riding of Yorkshire where it received the number 2 in their fleet. In 1940 it went to the Ministry of Supply to work at the Royal Ordnance Factory at Dumfries, Scotland. It then worked at various munitions factories, Grangeston in Girvan, Ayrshire from 1949-1954, then Powfoot, Annan, Dumfriesshire from 1949-1976 (where it was again numbered No 2), before entering preservation in 1976 when it arrived at the Tanfield Railway.

 The locomotive does not have a rear to the upper half of the cab meaning it is possible to view the goings-on on the footplate when in use. It is seen here in the later stages of an overhaul, later on the day this was took it was moved outside in preparation for it's overhauled boiler, seen undergoing a steam test here; 

 Hopefully No 2 will be back in service soon and i'll have a photograph of the entire locomotive in action

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Southampton Corporation Tramways Tram 45, 1903


This is Southampton Tram No 45, built in 1903 by Hurst Nelson for the Southampton Corporation Tramways, and is a typical double deck, open top electric Tram of the Edwardian era as seen in most large towns and cities in the UK. After many years of service, it was retired in 1949, and promptly bought by the Light Railway Transport League after a tour of Southampton's Tramway network. It is slightly lower than most Trams of this type as it had to be able to go under the Bargate arch in Southampton, which restricted the size of the Tram. It also, to cater for this restriction, has the seats on the top deck located down the centre of the Tram facing outwards, this is called 'knifeboard' style. The upper deck placed strain on the Tram's body which, as originally built, the three windows on each side, so within four years Tram 45 and the 11 other Southampton Trams of the same design were rebuilt with four windows on each side as seen today, so Tram 45 now represents it's 1907 (at the latest) condition onwards.

This was the first Tram to be privately preserved in the UK and kick-started the preservation of Trams. The Wikipedia page for the Southampton Tram network has a good description and images of the problems faced by the Bargate arch, and how they were overcome -

Monday 16 July 2012

Watch 'The Acrobatic Fly', 1910

Pretty self-explanatory title - an acrobatic fly, propped up on the end of a match stick, filmed in 1910

Sunday 15 July 2012

Crich Tramway Village Edwardian Weekend 2012

This weekend saw the Crich Tramway Village's annual Edwardian Weekend. The Tramway Village is the home of the National Tram Museum. Fourteen of the museum's Trams were built in the Edwardian era, and they also have many Victorian Trams which were also just as fitting to be running over the weekend as of course they would be in use during the era. It's the only two days of the year that you can see, and ride on, a horse-drawn Tram, which were still in use at the beginning of the Edwardian era despite rapidly being taken over by electric Trams. For more information on the event, here is the webpage for it -


 Old and the new - 1874 built Sheffield Horse Tram 15, hauled over the weekend by Joseph the Shire Horse, overtaking a 1914 built Saxon Model A Roadster

 A street dung collector protests about the new form of electric traction taking over Sheffield's tram system - meaning less work for him!


 Albert 'Ampstead, one of the Edwardian Music Hall stars, entertaining the crowd with 'The Man That Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo'


 Suffragette demonstration



 Sheffield Tram 74 of 1900


Southampton Tram 45 of 1903

Saturday 14 July 2012

Antoinette 50hp V8 Aero Engine, 1905


This is one of two Antoinette engines owned by the Royal Aircraft Factory, Farnborough, and is probably the one that was loaned to S.F. Cody and used by him in his British Army Aeroplane No 1 for the first succesful aeroplane flight in the UK on October 16 1908.

An Antoinette aero engine was also used when the first British military airship 'Nulli Secundus' made it's notable flight from Farnborough to London on October 5 1907. Antoinette also produced aircraft, such as this 1910 example i've posted about previously;

Thursday 12 July 2012

Midland Railway Brake Van, 1912




This is a Brake Van built by the Midland Railway at their Derby Works in 1912. They were used, as the name suggests, to assist in braking, and were positioned at the end of long goods trains to ensure they stopped safely and in good time when they needed to. The style of the body differed with each Railway company, and this distinctive six wheeled design was unique to the Midland Railway



Tuesday 10 July 2012

Rover 15 Tourer, 1909


Like Maudslay, Rover made their cars with highly distinctive radiators. The Rover radiator was designed to look like their shield badge, which they had been using on bicycles since the late 19th Century. The Rover 15, named after it's 15hp engine, was built at Rover's 'New Meteor Works' on Garfield Road, Coventry. It cost £375 when new, and as an example, a Policeman would earn around £70 annually.


Sunday 8 July 2012

Liverpool Class Pulling and Sailing Lifeboat 'JC Madge', 1904


This is a fine example of an Edwardian Lifeboat of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Built in 1904 at the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company in Blackwall, east London, this is a 'Liverpool' class Lifeboat, 41 feet long and equipped with a sail and sixteen oars to power her, with two drop-keels for when the sail was in use. Unlike many Lifeboats of the time she was non-self righting, which meant that if capsized would not self-right, but her design was instead more stable than self-righting Lifeboats of the time.

The 'JC Madge' was based at Sheringham on the north Norfolk coastfrom 1904 until 1936 when replaced by a Motor Lifeboat. Her crew continued to man the Lifeboat during the Great War, and in 1916 stood by a steam ship, the SS Uller of Norway all night in stormy seas, snow and gale force winds, as the ship had foundered on sands off the coast, and in the morning escorted it to the Humber Estuary 53 miles away.

In 1988, the 'JC Madge' was purchased by the Sheringham Museum Trust, which since being sold out of service had been converted into a pleasure craft, and has since been restored to original condition. This old photograph of mine shows the 'JC Madge' on display in Sheringham, with the Motor Lifeboat that replaced it, and the Lifeboat that replaced that, in 1998 to commemorate 150 years of an RNLI Lifeboat at Sheringham. It is now on display in 'The Mo' Sheringham Museum -

Saturday 7 July 2012

Hawthorn Leslie Steam Locomotive 'Met', 1909


This is the 1909 built steam locomotive 'Met', built by Hawthorn Leslie for the Metropolitan Electric Power Supply Company Ltd, Acton, Middlesex (hence the name). It is built as an 0-4-0ST, meaning that it has four main, powered wheels, with ST meaning 'Saddle Tank', describing the way the water tank is fitted, as seen on the photograph. It is seen here around ten years ago at the Darlington North Road Station Museum, but since then it has been sold and moved on, and is now at the Stratford Broadway Railway, see here -

Thursday 5 July 2012

Coventry Humber 15hp Car (Lambert & Butler Motors 3 of 25)


This is 3 of 25 in the Lambert & Butler Motors Series of Cigarette Cards, issued in 1908, showing a 15hp Coventry Humber Car. From the back of the card;

"This illustration shows the Coventry Humber 15hp, which during the last two or three years has become so extremely popular. Shipments of this car have been made to practically all parts of the world, including Australia, Canada, India, Japan, China, and Russia, and the great variation of climate indicated is proof of its sterling quality"

Wednesday 4 July 2012

Watch "Women Farm Workers", 1916

 1916 film of WW1 'Land Girls', the Women's National Land Service Corps who worked on farms around Britain during the First World War to make up for the lack of men who had gone off to join the armed forces. These women from non-farming backgrounds had to learn and adapt to this new lifestyle, and with more and more horses needed for the war effort were also the drivers and users of new machinery such as tractors which were coming into use more and more during the First World War

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Royal Parcel Mail Van, 1904


This is a period advert from The Motor Car Emporium Ltd, of Addison Road North, Holland Park Avenue, London. The Motor Car Emporium was a dealer in Durkopp and de Dion Bouton vehicles, specialising in commercial vehicles. This advert shows a 'Royal Parcel Mail Van', which would nowadays be known as a post van, and although I can't tell for certain I believe it to be a de Dion Bouton chassis. The description on the advert says - 'Selected for Government Work because it is perfectly reliable, runs silently and smoothly, and is the most economical vehicle on the Market. This vehicle has carried the Royal Parcel Mail since February 1, 1904, to the entire satisfaction of the authorities'

 'As supplied to all the Principal Mail Contractors'


Sunday 1 July 2012