Cover photo: This superb image of women munitions workers in Derby Locomotive Works Paint Shop is taken from a booklet produced by the Midland Railway Company to acknowledge its contribution to the war effort. You will find the main caption to this photograph with the rest of the images and Peter Witts' captions starting on page 8. [Graham Timson collection]
Back cover: Our back cover picks up the theme of the Midland railway in 1849 that is covered by Chris Rouse’s article on accidents on the Midland Railway during the first four months of that year. This is the cover of the 11-page proceedings of the tumultuous half-yearly meeting of the Midland Railway Proprietors that took place on 15th February 1849. A group of shareholders had realised that the way that George Hudson had presented the accounts lacked the fullness and clarity that they needed. Even though Hudson managed to persuade the meeting to provide him with a vote of confidence, his position as the Chairman of the Midland Railway was no longer tenable, and, nine weeks later, he resigned in a letter to the respectable and responsible Deputy Chairman, John Ellis. Ellis was subsequently to see the Midland through the treacherous storms of the next ten years until his resignation in 1858, accepted by the Directors ‘with deep regret.’ By then, the company was ready to take on the massive expansion that, during the next 15 years, made it one of the world’s great railway enterprises. [Ian Howard collection]
Cover photo: This photograph shows MR 1853 class 4–2–2 No. 627 on the turntable at Chinley, being turned for the return journey after, apparently, bringing in the Liverpool portion of a Liverpool and Manchester express to London. The two portions would be combined at Chinley, the train then being headed by an engine more suited to the demanding lift over the line through the Peak District to Derby. This engine being here is puzzling, since it appears to have been allocated to sheds south of Nottingham during its life. I have no date, which is some time after 1907 when No. 1870 received its new number.
The carriages behind the locomotive are, to the left, No. 2023, a 48ft lavatory third to D486, one of the 50 built in 1900 under lot 464. I cannot identify its companion in the right, since the image cuts most of it off. However, its number appears to be something like “124?”, a number completely outside the range recorded by Lacey and Dow for the Clayton lavatory express stock. I would greatly appreciate any information about these carriages, the locomotive, and their workings. [Ian Howard collection]
Back cover: This memorandum of 1902 from Derby to Mr Graham at Skipton shows that it was difficult to keep track of goods on a complex system like a railway, and that correcting mistakes was even more difficult. Traders regularly complained about the inability of the railway companies to take care of their property, and to deliver it to the right place and on time. Although companies used the telegraph (and, in a few years, the telephone) to help them improve matters, they still relied upon hand-written communications like this.
On the back of this memorandum someone (presumably Mr. Graham) has written in indelible pencil ‘We did not intercept this wagon - it was labelled to us & is duly recorded in our number book. The original label was not preserved. I have taken up with my people for not reporting [indecipherable] to Colne & do not think anything of the sort will occur again.’ [Ian Howard collection]
Cover photo: This view of the east end of Skipton station some time around 1900 contains a wealth of fascinating detail. The wires controlling the ground signals are rather slack. Also, the nearest track still has inside keys. On the left, one can see the parapet of the bridge over Eller Beck. Further to the left, and out of view in this image, are the platforms for the Skipton and Ilkley line, which crossed Eller Beck by its own separate bridge. It is not possible to see the number or other details of the engine and train standing at the far platform, although, if one knew the date more precisely, it might be possible to be more specific. [Ian Howard collection]
Back cover: This brochure was provided by the Midland Railway to American visitors to the UK who landed off one of the transatlantic liners that docked at Liverpool in the early decades of the 20th century. Although undated, it contains a page of MR statistics that relate to 1921. So, it was produced in that year. I do not know how they were actually issued to potential American passengers. Did a Midland agent go on board as the liner docked to hand the brochures out; or was he waiting to present them to passengers as they dis-embarked? Perhaps they were simply available at the Midland’s Adelphi Hotel, by far the best and most modern in Liverpool at the time. I would appreciate any information on this that readers can provide. [Ian Howard collection]