Mystery Number 106
– supplied by Ted Talbot
Ted says that on the back of the print is written: "2317 on Swansea train at Craven Arms, attaching restaurant car which had worked from Swansea to Craven Arms. This was a 'tea car'. Two compartments had been fitted with a small kitchen - tea etc. was served in the remaining compartments." Also written there is the name of the photographer: Dr Ian C. Allen.
The engine appears to be backing with the tea car into the platform where the stock of the Swansea train is waiting. Steam from the safety valves obscures the signals. Presumably, the engine has brought the train from Shrewsbury and has hooked off to collect the tea car. Can anyone supply further information please?
|Philip A. Millard — 04-Aug-2010 7.56 AM|
The Tea Car is D.47, one of eight converted circa 1911 from 57ft 0in cove-roof corridor thirds of D.264. The conversion involved converting two compartments into a small kitchen/pantry which could serve light refreshments. A drinking water tank was provided on the roof. Their LMS numbers were 4597 to 4604, and then 189 to 196 in the 1933 re-numbering scheme, although they were withdrawn between 1933 and 1936.
A Tea Car was provided on the 1015 from Swansea to London Euston (through carriages to Liverpool LS) as a far as Craven Arms, arrive 1430 (1933 timings). The car returned on the 1040 from Euston, 1200 from Liverpool, depart Craven Arms 1517, arrive Swansea Victoria 1854. As you say, the photo shows the train engine which has collected the Tea Car backing down onto the train.
Another six Tea Cars with high elliptical roofs were built new to D.48 in 1915 - these were 52ft 6in length and lasted in service until 1951/2.
The engine no. 2317 appears to be in its original lined black livery with 10in serif numerals, suggesting a date circa 1928-30. But the smokebox number plate appears to my eyes to have block style numerals of the 1936 type.
|David Walker — 10-Aug-2010 11.04 AM|
I would fully agree with Mr Millard's comments re: this picture but would add a point.
I think he is quite correct re: the Fowler 2-6-4T no. 2317 being in the short lived 'Block Style' lettering, which then makes for an interesting point: the date of the photograph can, it would seem, be tied down very tightly, as this loco livery only came into use in 1936 and the tea cars of this type were all withdrawn that year too. On this basis the potential date overlap must be very short.
|Ted Talbot — 16-Aug-2010 10.54 AM|
Philip raises an interesting point about the smokebox numberplate. So I looked at the original photo with a magnifying glass and found that it is not really sharp. All the same, the numberplate is not in the block style - it just looks as if it might be because the '1' and the '7' are just straight lines and the serifs are small, and the '2' and '3' are certainly the early type too.
Another point concerns the shed plate. At this period, as the engine is probably allocated to a former LNWR shed, such as Shrewsbury (LNWR Shed 30) or Swansea (LNWR Shed 33), one would expect an LNWR enamel plate on the smokebox door. But actually it is a cast-iron plate as fitted to Midland Division engines, a shallow oval showing just a number, rather than the more circular oval LMS 1935 type with number and letter below.
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