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LNWR Mystery Photographs
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  • Mystery Number 238 – supplied by Mike Williams

    Show image of mystery phot  photos/M238B.jpg

    A Lantern slide scanned by Norman. Mike and Norman say :-
    Believe it to be on the Oxford to Cambridge line because of the style of the building and the typical Bletchley train formation of three Luggage Composites (or luggage Thirds?) with a 2-compartment Brake Third at each end, all of which I assume are 30ft 6in stock.
    This must be one of the earliest pictures of a moving LNWR train. I can't spot where the photograph was taken. I thought it was on one of those lines from Bletchley to Bedford or Oxford but the pattern of woodwork on the building doesn't match that is any of the photographs I've seen. Perhaps the walls were covered in pebbledash in later years.
    ps this is a digitally enhanced version of received photo.

    The second photo is the one John refers to in 2nd note

  • Click here for larger version

  • Jim Lodge — 24-Sep-2017 11.32 PM
    Locomotive is a “Samson” and is vacuum fitted, so picture possibly not as early as supposed — probably late 1880s to early 1890s.
    John Alsop — 25-Sep-2017 1.38 PM
    I am sure that this is looking east at Bow Brickhill. The attached scan of a Photomatic picture I think confirms this. Certainly the building has been rendered, but the chimneys are right, the joists match, and there is a matching signal to be seen through and over the cab of the loco. Aspley Guise is similar but too many small details differ and chimneys are wrong.
    David Munn — 25-Sep-2017 1.38 PM
    Is mystery photo 238 of the crossing keepers cottage at Aspley Guise on the BBM?
    The house looks a simplified version of that in the photo, and older photos on Google images show the house in the early 1900’s with the extra panelling.
    See 3rd photo above.
    Philip Millard — 27-Sep-2017 8.45 AM
    I confirm that the location is Bow Brickhill, the crossing keeper’s hut was still there recently.
    Harry Jack — 27-Sep-2017 12.46 PM
    Or could it be this crossing house? Near Elstow, about a mile & a quarter south-west of Bedford.

    See 4th photo above.
    Harry Jack — 28-Sep-2017 11.50 AM
    If the Samson is passing the crossing house in the 4th photo, the train is travelling from Bedford to Bletchley.
    The date is very unlikely to be before 1889. If any moving-train photos were taken before that year they must be extremely rare.
    Mike Williams — 28-Sep-2017 9.42 PM
    May I draw our resident expert‘s attention to my comment “which I assume are 30ft 6in stock” and ask for his opinions please?
    Philip Millard — 29-Sep-2017 9.30 AM
    Yes, I agree that it is 30ft 6in stock, undoubtedly a Bletchley District set. These continued in service until 1905—06.
    Harry Jack — 04-Apr-2018 7.06 PM
    While I still think that the date of this one is around 1889, it now appears that the very first moving train photograph was taken in 1880 (or maybe 1879) with the new ’instantaneous’ system. Several shots of moving trains were exhibited at the Royal Photographic Society‘s exhibition in October 1880, and a writer in the ‘Photographic News’ of July of that year mentions having seen such photographs. (He wasn’t impressed.)
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