Parcel Vans

How to do it, advice sought and offered.
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lindsay_g
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:43 pm

Parcel Vans

Post by lindsay_g »

I'm indebted to the those wqho questioned and answered the thread regarding weird and wonderful items attached to J Boyle etches. I can stop agonising over what turned out to be the sign holders. Even John had forgotten what these were!

This reminded me of another item attached to an etch - the parcel van of which an image is attached of part of the body etch. I've 2 of these and it strikes me that they'd make a suitable load to a wagon just completed. Trouble is that I can't find a photo of this type of parcel van so have no idea how to complete them, size of wheels, signage, etc.. I'm sure I have seen a photo of one or something similar but a perusal of the well thumbed books has drawn a blank.

Can anyone help?

Lindsay

P.S. I have a number of these fireplaces mentioned elsewhere - too many for one layout, so if anyone wants 1 or more, they're free to a good home.
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dumb buffer
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Re: Parcel Vans

Post by dumb buffer »

Lindsay, it's almost, but not quite, identical to the delivery van kit supplied by Langley Models.
Parcel Van.jpg
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The trouble is that while John's kit should make up very nicely, it's only sides and ends, and there's an awful lot needed to finish it.
I got mine separately -- 95p -- but it just contained the bits you have.
I have the four wheel version of the Langley kit, and I've debated getting the 2 wheel version and combining it with the etched body. It might work.....

Allan F
lindsay_g
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Re: Parcel Vans

Post by lindsay_g »

Allan - you really do seem to have a model ready to fit any thread!!

Yup, I'd take the Langley model as a starting point in the absence of anything True Line. I refurbished a couple of these for Burntisland 1883 - which is just my way of slipping in a shameless plug for our group's layout which will be exhibited at the Wakefield Show this weekend (Friday evening until Sunday). OK, it is North British, but still Scottish. Whilst not causing shorts in trying to operate part of the layout, I'll be rummaging around the Langley stand for some possible wheels for these carts, their loose trays are always good for picking up bits for lashing things together.

Lindsay
jim mac
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Re: Parcel Vans

Post by jim mac »

Lindsay
I think there is a photograph of a CR parcel van in an old magazine, but can't lay hands on it at present. The attached photographs from an article in Your Model Railway of January 1985 might assist with your shopping at Wakefield.
parcel van.jpg
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parcel van drg.jpg
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jim mac
lindsay_g
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Re: Parcel Vans

Post by lindsay_g »

Many thanks Jim....and very timely too, I'll get sizing for Wakefield.

I certainly didn't expect the vehicle to be 4 wheeled. Ah well, more work but more interest as well.

Lindsay
jim mac
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Re: Parcel Vans

Post by jim mac »

Lindsay
The "missing" photo (Railway Magazine January 1912) has turned up and the CR Van depicted is a different style of construction, but it is interesting to see the livery applied including the Crest.
parcel van CR.jpg
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jim mac
dumb buffer
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Re: Parcel Vans

Post by dumb buffer »

Interesting to see the CR parcel van. Would it be blue bodywork, do you think? It looks like a canvas tilt, but surprising to see a poster applied to it. On the basis of the drawing the John Boyle etch is approximately 3mm scale; I had always assumed it to be a 2 wheel vehicle, on account of it's apparently short body length.

I still think that a picture appears in the background of a picture in a book of a van more like the Langley Models kit; but I haven't the least idea where, and of course it wouldn't necessarily be a railway vehicle. I think the Post Office used similar vehicles.

Allan F
dumb buffer
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Re: Parcel Vans

Post by dumb buffer »

There are drawings in HMRS Journal Vol 18 No 8, and "Model Railways" October 1974. Neither is the version in the photographs! Nor are they like either the John Boyle version or the Langley Models version. I attach them below
Parcels Van MR 10-76.jpg
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Parcels Van HMRS 8-18895.jpg
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Allan F
lindsay_g
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Re: Parcel Vans

Post by lindsay_g »

Allan is quite correct regarding sizing. The etched parcel van looks a dead ringer for the Great Central van but it is much smaller in all dimensions from the drawings. Mmm, unless more images or drawings appear, I think they'll be completed freelance in non-railway finish - they'll still make a nice enough wagon load.

Lindsay
MIKEWILLIAMS
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Re: Parcel Vans

Post by MIKEWILLIAMS »

LNWR version from "LNWR Liveries"
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Dave Lochrie
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Re: Parcel Vans

Post by Dave Lochrie »

I'll answer this in several posts.
Part One
Light 2-wheeled vans in general and Railway Parcels Vans

The John Boyle etches are correct for 4mm scale, there is a tendancy for modellers to visualise horse drawn vehicles as larger than they really were. The Slaters "lorry" is equivelant to to the largest of the 3 sizes used by the Caledonian or it's contractors. The question is one of tare weight, locomotives got larger and larger, but there was little appreciable increase in basic horse power so most of the skill in coachbuilding of the period, lay in lightness and strength of construction, and in all cases a vehicle would rarely be larger than the minimum needed. The single horse van was produced in a variety of sizes and specs but all were surprisingly small. The clue to sizing from photos (apart from the horse of about 12-14 hands) is in the size of the wheels (4'- 5') and the amout of curve on the shafts. Mike's LNW version is similar in overall size to the etching, but without a side window, the attached Star Supply (Gloucs C&wCo photo) Van and the Hamer Bakery Van are also similar in size, but note the shaft curvature.
STAR Van.jpg
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HAMER .jpg
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The Langley model is similar (and the best source of wheels) but there is a more finescale etched kit produced in 4mm and 7mm by Shirescenes*, its been out of stock for a while and a few months ago I acquired one on ebay (or thought I had) -as the photo shows there is no helpfully no mention of scale on the pack, the previous owner, a 7mm modeller, had picked it up at an exhibition, got it home and decided it was too small and listed it as OO. (it might have given the game away if it included a horse) As I've mentioned they were smaller than you'd expect, but they didn't have wheels the size of a Conner Single, so I've just sold it again correctly listed as 7mm.
PV333.jpg
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I don't know where John's artwork came from and there are no drawings in his collection to give a clue. I have a collection of about 2,500 pre 1920 road vehicle photos, not all from Scotland, but having combed through about 500 Scottish street scenes from this period, looking for Caledonian or Wordie vehicles I have to say that any vans of this type, 2 or 4 wheeled, railway or other, are almost non-existent, compared to south of the border. (part 2 to follow)

Dave L
*Duncan Scale Models do a nice 7mm version and R. Parker of Malvern Wells have started to produce a range of 4mm horse drawn vehicles.
Last edited by Dave Lochrie on Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
BillAuld
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Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:21 pm

Re: Parcel Vans

Post by BillAuld »

Trying again to post picture of finished parcel van.
Never thought of these as anything but a 2 wheel vehicle.
Wheels and horse from Langley and springs from wagon spares.
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lindsay_g
Posts: 415
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Re: Parcel Vans

Post by lindsay_g »

Still quietly thinking over the future of the etch carts, there are many images to be found by Googling the key words (but no Caley so far). This site has number of good images for those wanting to stray from the proprietory models found on many layouts : http://www.britishdrivingsociety.co.uk/ ... istory.htm

Lindsay

P.S. How do you create a few words that are actually part of your text but give access to a URL? I've seen it done a few times on another Forum using the same vehicle as ours.
dumb buffer
Posts: 525
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:13 pm

Re: Parcel Vans

Post by dumb buffer »

If you become interested in horse drawn vehicles, a very good site to visit is The Guild of Model Wheelwrights http://www.guildofmodelwheelwrights.org/

Allan F
Dave Lochrie
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Re: Parcel Vans

Post by Dave Lochrie »

Part Two
Great Central Railway.jpg
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In the absense of any suitable Caledonian Parcel Vans, I enclose a photo of the GCR example in Jim Mac's earlier post. I've seen a statistical return which stated the number of horse drawn vehicles and horses owned by the Caledonian for a particular financial year, but I can't track it down, but I had presumed (but don't actually know) that as this was accounting related it would only include the Company owned vehicles, and not include, vehicles owned by contactors but carrying Caledonian branding -thirled to use wagon parlance -ie Wordie & Co and possibly others, and the company minutes do not shed much light, despite the considerable ongoing investment in plant and horses.

In the Sept 1907 Caledonian Diamond Jubilee edition The Railway Magazine, George Robb, Superintendent Carting Department, gives a brief history of the department set up on 1st February 1870. By 1906 the company ran it's own carting from 55 of it's stations and employed 1,000 staff and 1,000 horses. However photographs of anything other than 4-wheeled lorries or 2 wheeled carts are very rare compared with the variety on railways "south of the Border. Without Stores Department or Carting Department minutes we can only presume that they were pretty rare, and as I stated before they are non-existent in Scottish street scenes.

Cart construction in the UK by the turn of the Century, was divided primarily into those, mainly agricultural vehicles built to largely regional vernacular styles by local craftsmen and blacksmiths, and those for the non-agricultural market, which were constructed to a fairly standardised range of designs produced by the coachbuilding industry.
It is obviously this latter category that mass-produced the vehicles employed by the railway companies, and although specification details changed (ie the side windows on the 2-wheeled vans earlier in this post) the patterns were well established, and a baker's van, dairy float, station bus or Victoria, would be understood anywhere in the country for the purposes of supply and tendering. You can see examples of most of these at [color=#4040FF]http://www.gail-thornton ... hp[/color].

In the next part I'll show some Caledonian examples of horse drawn vehicles, and suggest that I'm far from convinced that the 4-wheeled Caledonian covered van posted by Jim Mac is what it claims to be.

Dave L
Lindsay, I would like to know how that is done too. ie when you say you can find further examples here except that when you click on the word it takes you to the link?
lindsay_g
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Re: Parcel Vans

Post by lindsay_g »

Thanks everyone for all the useful info and plans that have arrived. As to progress - why is life never easy?

The idea of quickly putting a couple of parcel carts together has come to naught. The various parts on the etch don't go together without effort - the seat is too broad, the kick board too narrow, and the sides need reprofiled for the roof (that has to be made, drilled for the luggage rack, and curved in 2 directions) to sit properly. Also, I realise I've only 1 pair of the size of wheels that looked the best fit for a 2 wheeled cart. Nothing insurmountable at all, but not the quicky that I was looking for. So, in an effort to make worthwhile progress this is being shelved until Modelrail when more wheels can be picked up.

Besides I may, in the meantime, glean more useful info from this thread particularly Dave's history by instalment.

In order to keep these hands busy, another thread will appear in the Association Resources section!

Lindsay
Barry Rhys
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Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:25 am

Re: Parcel Vans

Post by Barry Rhys »

Lindsay, I would like to know how that is done too. ie when you say you can find further examples here except that when you click on the word it takes you to the link?
Cunning, Dave. Yes, I tried clicking on it. Nowt. Reminds me of a great signature somebody had on another forum:
Click here to make a clickety sound.

Pleased to say I can actually help here - I looked back through my posts on another forum 'cus I knew I'd done it before successfully. The new RMweb forum has a built in 'Link' option, but the lner.info forum uses basically the same software as this one and I remembered using an old post from that one. Please remember that I'm absolutely not a computer techy, so I won't use words like 'embed', 'hotlink' or other words that you or I don't need to know.

When you're composing a message and you've reached the point in your text at which you want to write some text (eg. "here" ) and also use it to link to a web address, first of all either click on the button above the input screen marked URL, or simply hover over it, since it then displays the code format that you need to use. You basically need to write the following - simply use the keyboard keys, since clicking the URL button only gives you a little bit of it:

1. Write [url=http://
2. Then write the web address you want to link to, eg. "www.bbc.co.uk" (But without quotation marks - I put them here because the software keeps adding "http://" automatically every time I preview this message if I don't!)
So you've got: [url=http://www.bbc.co.uk
3. Close with a square bracket - but I've got to use a curvy one in this demo, otherwise it will function and only display the link! - then write the text that you want to appear in your message, eg. "here" (but without quotation marks), but you don't need to colour it blue or anything because that will automatically happen.
So you've got: [url=http://www.bbc.co.uk)here
4. Finally add the following on the end, but again the closing curvy bracket needs to be a square one: [/url)
So you've got: [url=http://www.bbc.co.uk)here[/url)

So I'll now do exactly that, here goes.... here .... waheyyy, it worked!

I know I've written it out really long-winded, because actually it only takes seconds - it really is easy. Give it a go. Right now I'm going to continue watching this hero using a stick of this plant to play this game. Brillo. You can call him Sir.

Neil
Half Welsh, 100% Yorkshireman
dumb buffer
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Re: Parcel Vans

Post by dumb buffer »

What I had tried to say was that the Caley's cartage was almost, if not entirely undertaken by Wordie's, albeit they painted their vehicles with the railway company name; and a perusal of their company history is helpful.

Also there was in the old Transport Museum a 2 wheel open cart in CR livery. It has disappeared from the present abortion, but I have a couple of pictures.

Allan F
Barry Rhys
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Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:25 am

Re: Parcel Vans

Post by Barry Rhys »

Lindsay, I wonder if I might be allowed a suggestion?

This thread has become a real trove of information - not just for Caley modellers either. I think if I were to mention to people (possibly even prospective CRA Members) why a forum can be so useful, this thread would be a good illustration.

Only thing is, I originally dropped into this thread assuming that it was about railway wagons or carriages for carrying parcels traffic, like NPCS Luggage Vans, and not the road vehicles! I suspect I'm not the only person to have (fortunately, as it turns out) made this error.

I wonder if you might consider changing the title a little to clarify the 'road' bit, for example to Horsedrawn Parcel Delivery Vans? Apparently the Opening Poster can easily change the thread title by editing the title in the opening post.

Ignore this if you think there's no problem. Thanks, Neil
Half Welsh, 100% Yorkshireman
Dave Lochrie
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Re: Parcel Vans

Post by Dave Lochrie »

Part Three

I'm splitting this into parts mainly due to the limit in number of images per post. The relationship between The Caledonian and Wordie & Co is long and complex and was still in place when my grandfather (an ex Caley man) became Cartage Manager for the Northern Division of the LMS under John Ballantyne, Goods Manager, in 1935 (by which time the LMS held a 51% stake in the company).
A large proportion of their vehicles were branded Caledonian Railway, but at the same time you would have seen Wordie & Co branded vehicles, Caledonian owned vehicles and other contractors working exclusively for the Caledonian, and often all together at the larger depots. It is, however, incorrect that they ran most of the Caledonian's cartage, to put it in perspective, in 1906 Wordies operated from 28 Caledonian stations, where the Caledonian operated direct services from 55 (often overlapping in the cities), even if these figures were exclusive, this is well short of the total number of stations, the shortfall being met mostly by local contractors, mostly with exclusive contracts for their districts. There are no records of these but local newspaper ads and trade directories often provide the carrier's name and these were often longstanding arrangements handed down accross several generations.
The trading arrangements could be complex, Wordie & Co did provide most of the cartage for the main towns served by the GNSR, and in Ireland operated as agents on behalf of the GNRI, the Caledonian, the Midland and in some areas for the L&YR.
Wordie & Co, AD.jpg
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Closer to home, taking Dundee as an example, here Wordie & Co were the agents, obviously for the Caledonian, but also operated as direct agents for the Dundee and Arbroath, the LNWR, as well as several shipping companies, several Jute Mills (to and from the docks) and the Caledon Shipyard.
Dundee West 1.jpg
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Dundee West Goods Yard: In the second shot looking into the yard the lorry on the right hand side is clearly branded London & North Western Railway, but will probably cary the Wordie & Co branding on the rear. These images by Dundee amateur photographer Alexander Wilson (a Jute Merchant) are from DundeeCity Collection, and are available to purchase from http://photopolis.dundeecity.gov.uk/catalog/22.
Dundee West 2.jpg
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Dave Lochrie
Part Four will look at the mystery promotional parcel van and start to look at standard Caledonian/ Wordie horse drawn vehicles
Dave Lochrie
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Re: Parcel Vans

Post by Dave Lochrie »

Part Four

I mentioned in an earlier post that coachbuilt vehicles for a wide range of trades/ functions were by the 1880's fairly standardised throughout the UK, having evolved (almost in a Darwinian sense) to provide a vehicle fit-for-purpose, which were a combination of design and lightness of construction to keep the tare weight down (because of the fixed hp of the motive power).
So the Caledonian Parcel Van from the January 1912, Railway Magazine, is something of an mystery, and is unlike any parcel van I've ever seen. For a start this is a heavily constructed, coachbuilt vehicle, and the only type of comparable goods vehicle, would be a brewery dray. Parcel's vehicles, whether panelled or canvas covered are usually lightly built to maximise the capacity for paying traffic, if seating for driver and 2nd man is provided (usually only for improved vision in urban traffic)this is again likely to be lightly built .
Careful comparison with over a thousand photos provided some surprising results -the heavy "box" on which the crew are sat is similar to the design used on Mail Coaches of 70 years earlier which found continued use on later passenger carrying vehicles such as the light station bus, the wagonette and the char-a-banc (the only exceptions I could find were a prison van -passanger and a bullion van which was almost identical but non-passanger). The main body on station buses is always wider than the two-seat box (though both the style and rake to the front of the lower body panelling matches some examples of this type of vehicle),
Station Buses @ Callander.jpg
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Wagonette 1880.jpg
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the overall arrangement has more in common with a wagonette (sometimes refered to as a shooting break) which is a rear access vehicle with two bench seats facing inwards. Note how the canvas cover starts forward of the rear body.
Caledonian Comparison.jpg
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The surprising match is with a char-a-banc design operated by the Caledonian Railway from Lochearnhead Station, C & O from 1889, the parcel van is slightly shorter but the visible parts of the bodywork are near identical, right down to the location of the crest. I'm not sure whether we are looking at an attempt at a standard CR design for horse-drawn vehicles, a re-use of a redundant passanger vehicle, or possibly a multi-purpose vehicle, which became particularly popular in the 1900's to the 1920's with early petrol chassis, both in railway and general useage, as a way of offsetting the high capital outlay by having de-mountable char-a-banc or possibly a wagonette (as in the second picture) bodies.
As usual I don't actually know the answer and it is impossible to tell what the pristine canvas "tilt" covers. The livery is interesting, and I would agree that blue is the most likely option for the parcel van. The company owned char-a-banc could also be blue (darker) but purple brown seems more likely.
TBC

Dave L
Dave Lochrie
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Re: Parcel Vans

Post by Dave Lochrie »

Part Five

The complex logistics of the forwarding and collection of railway goods traffic is split into parcels traffic, implying carriage by passenger train, and the rest being general goods traffic. This is obviously very simplistic as mthere were numerous sub-categories to each. This post is initially about parcel vans but I promised to put these into context, especially as the panelled parcel van was in Caledonian terms fairly rare and non-existant outside the centre of the large towns and cities. Parcel traffic would have been collected/ delivered from the passanger station, but outside of the large towns this would usually be by the same carrier (CR, Wordie's or independent) as the goods traffic, though, depending on the size of district covered and volume of traffic, not necessarily in the same vehicle or on the same run. But the distinction between parcel and goods traffic's delivery from the station to the customer becomes a question of paperwork rather than the vehicle used (obviously this is a two-way process collection and delivery)
Royal Mail traffic was dealt with under separate arrangements which I'll return to in another installment.
Where the station was located in the town or village a small number of items could be despatched by sending one of the porters either on foot or with a station barrow.
Apart from the specialised Parcel Vans covered in the earlier posts, what horse-drawn vehicles did the Caledonian and Wordie & Co use for the bulk of their work. Identifying vehicles conclusively in street and yard photos is difficult and I can give "probable sightings" in photos, but I am also going to use the excellent line drawinds by Edward Paget-Tomlinson prepared for his book The Railway Carriers (a semi- official history of Wordie & Co, in as much as Mr P-T was a family member by marriage)
recommended as essential reading for it's level of detail on the daily work of the company's stables and depots and the gradual introduction of motorised transport as well as a history of the Company and it's origins and of course relationship with the railways.

2-wheeled vehicles.
These were more commonplace in rural areas as they coped better with uneven surfaces and their wider turning circle was less of an issue. Three main body designs of single horse vehicles were in common use and there is evidence that could be fitted with hoops and a canvas tilt/cover. The first had slatted sides in the same style as what became the standard railway parcel wagon and the second design had an outside frame and was used throughout Scotland for light goods/ parcels and trade work, the third style seemed exclusive to railway use and was a combination of the other 2 designs with lower panelling with several slats above.
2 wheel slatted.jpg
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2 wheel panelled.jpg
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2 wheel combined.jpg
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Dave L
To be continued Part Six - 4 wheeled goods lorries
Last edited by Dave Lochrie on Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Dave Lochrie
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Re: Parcel Vans

Post by Dave Lochrie »

Part Six

4-wheeled vehicles, part 1
For small towns the vehicle of choice was the versatile single horse goods lorry or lurry, of which thousands were in use all over Scotland -look at any Edwardian street scene and these outnumber other road vehicles by a factor of many to one.
Broomielaw c1912.jpg
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The Caledonian and Wordies used at least 4 standard sizes of these with differing load weights - 9ft 6inches, 10ft 6 inches, 12ft 8 inches and 13ft 8inches nominal body lengths with widths from 5ft 6inches to 6ft 6inches. wheel diameters were nominally 2ft 8 inches front and 3ft rear. These were usually braked, but otherwise basic (very few had the luxury of a seat for the driver) and, of course afforded no shelter (the valuable goods could at least be covered with canvas). A single horse could easily be expected to move 1.5 -5 Tons of load.
CR 3 Ton Lorry.jpg
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The contrast between a single carrier loading-up and signing the official paperwork at a village goods yard and the organised chaos that existed at somewhere like Buchanan Street Goods Yard can only be imagined, but if this picture has been partly posed, it will have been to make things appear more ordered and efficient than reality!
Buchanan St Goods Station between 5 & 6pm.jpg
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but with an average load of say 2 tons, every 8 Ton open goods wagon would need 4 lorry loads to clear it. Some consignees did collect goods and parcels in their own vehicles or by their own nominated carrier. Making sure all the payments, pre-paid and invoiced were accounted for was the role of the army of goods clerks and the complex paperwork system they presided over.

Next part mainly photos

Dave L
Does anyone have a high resolution copy of the shot of Buchanan Street Goods Yard featured amongst other places as a full page shot in LMS Architecture?
MIKEWILLIAMS
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Re: Parcel Vans

Post by MIKEWILLIAMS »

Do you mean this one Dave? I'm using it in the wagon book. Is the vehicle behind the first lurry a timber carrier?

Best

Mike
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Buchanan Street.jpg
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Dave Lochrie
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Re: Parcel Vans

Post by Dave Lochrie »

Thanks Mike,
never seen that photo before, is the original hi-res enough for close examination?
Yes, that appears to be a one-horse timber (or girder/ pipe wagon), the rear axle slid on central shaft to give an adjustable wheelbase to accommodate varying load lengths. They had a relatively narrow track so the weight demanded it a second or third "trace horse" would be added in front of the shafts. They were fairly rare vehicles, but unlike the parcel vans of the topic title I was at least able to pick a few out in general views, the first, Aberdeen Docks, from an elevated angle, giving a better idea of the design (a bit like those markers you used to have in school design & technology classes in the days when it was called woodwork), and the second -its in the middle of the shot, going up Renfield Street in Glasgow in about 1890 before the trams were juiced, hopefully shows the narrower track (on the timber wagon).
Aberdeen Harbour Railways-15.jpg
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Renfield Street.jpg
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This is the Buchanan Street photo I was refering to, I can get close-ups from my shot, but not enough to read any vehicle markings. But there is some amazing detail to be had, I would just like a better scan, the original small print is marked Scotrail, would this now be at the NRM, presumably next year's cataloging will confirm this.
Buchannan Street Goods.jpg
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Unusual view of the Empty Cask Wagon in your photo, (which is presumably why its in the book?)

Dave L
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