Cabside plate on early LNER Locos - not the builders plate

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Robpulham
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Cabside plate on early LNER Locos - not the builders plate

Post by Robpulham » Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:21 pm

Hello all I have a couple of locos in the pipeline both if which will be built in early LNER days looking at photos of them both of them have a secondary cabside plate as well as their Builders plate. The two locos that I have as examples are C1 4419 and A1 Doncaster.

I am trying to find out what the plates had on them - I have a feeling it was L&NER but I would like to be sure

All I have managed to pin down so far is that the plates were 9 x 5 and I have had the suggestion that they were LNER build plates which I could accept if they were only fitted to pre grouping locos but not when one was also fitted to 'Doncaster' which was built by the LNER itself. It doesn't make sense that they would fit a Doncaster builders plate on the smokebox and a secondary builders plate on the cabside
A1Cab.JPG
A1Cab.JPG (18.33 KiB) Viewed 603 times
C1 cab.JPG
C1 cab.JPG (21.3 KiB) Viewed 603 times
I would like to get some of these plates etched and any assistance on what they were, what the lettering was on them would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Cabside plate on early LNER Locos - not the builders plate

Post by john coffin » Wed Nov 11, 2020 11:38 am

Interesting Rob,
earlier in the year as I was re-designing my C12 to make it a round tank version, and I noticed these plates.

After considerable research, I have along with others, discovered that they are actually LNER audit plates
pictures of them are not very clear, but I have produced some 4mm artwork recently, happy to share.

This was a quick way for the company to check its fleet and ensure that each working was properly attributed.

They were on ALL LNER locos from 1923-1948, and many carried forward toward BR times, still checking on that.

HTH
Paul

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Robpulham
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Re: Cabside plate on early LNER Locos - not the builders plate

Post by Robpulham » Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:14 pm

Brilliant, that's just what I was hoping to hear. I wonder where they were place on other locos as I have only seen them cabside on photos taken early in the LNER period.
Thanks Paul

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Re: Cabside plate on early LNER Locos - not the builders plate

Post by 65447 » Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:32 pm

They seem to be randomly applied, looking through the photographs in the RCTS 'greenies' and John Crawley's book. I would guess that only Doncaster seriously applied itself to fixing them to its product, but even then not all - e.g. photographs of Atlantics don't show them. But the P1 has them and so even does the A1 Steam lot's Tornado, so definitely not restricted to just the early years of Grouping.

They do look like builder's works plates (which were asset tags to all intents and purposes) and I note that where fitted there aren't any other obvious plates, save those from external builders such as NB which are obvious by the diamond shape.

Originally fitted in the centre of the cab side sheet below the windows, later moved down when numbers were applied to the cabsides. Perhaps this relocation, which occurred in the early years of the LNER, makes them less obvious. There's also an access for something below the cab floor on a number of locomotives which could be mistaken for a plate.

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Re: Cabside plate on early LNER Locos - not the builders plate

Post by john coffin » Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:58 am

Have to be careful about Doncaster build plates and their honesty, but we do know for sure that on at least
two occasions, locos received build plates which were not true to their when they entered traffic.

Famously 8ft single No 1 came out before 2-2-2 no 92 which was a de-facto rebuild of Sturrock 215 and came out in August 1870
was numbered 49, whilst No 1 came out in July and was numbered No 50.

Later, No 500 Edward Thompson was given a build plate numbered 2000, but in fact the 2000 the engine was an ex LMS class 8.
This I know from the apprentice who actually picked up the plates. Doncaster was not going to let an ex LMS loco get that number.

Given I have the whole set of Yeadon, I checked a lot of photos through the whole series and saw a large number of these plates.

Paul

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Re: Cabside plate on early LNER Locos - not the builders plate

Post by 65447 » Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:04 am

Paul,

Allan Sibley went into these numbering anomalies in detail, wrote them up and published them in the GNRS' GN News c2000. I republished them in LNERSG Journal 51 following the conclusion of Malcolm Crawley's series of pen portraits of locomotive engineers, culminating with Thompson and Peppercorn. Allan based his article on information provided by John Jennison of the LMS Society and Brian Deer of the GNRS. The anomalies date back to the earliest days of the GNR.

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Re: Cabside plate on early LNER Locos - not the builders plate

Post by john coffin » Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:16 pm

Not sure the word anomaly is appropriate for what was almost certainly something that was thought about
by for instance the works manager, or even higher management.

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Re: Cabside plate on early LNER Locos - not the builders plate

Post by 65447 » Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:56 pm

john coffin wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:16 pm
Not sure the word anomaly is appropriate for what was almost certainly something that was thought about
by for instance the works manager, or even higher management.
"A deviation from the standard or norm" - seems to fit pretty well to me... 8)

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Re: Cabside plate on early LNER Locos - not the builders plate

Post by Robpulham » Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:45 pm

Thanks for the info Gents.

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Re: Cabside plate on early LNER Locos - not the builders plate

Post by SpiritProgress1938 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 4:05 am

I had similar problems looking for good photos of the cabside plates engines received early in LNER days, mostly for a CGI model of A1 1470, and as far as my findings uncovered they were only applied to tender locos during the period where both "LNER" and their respective number were applied to the tender. Looking at my Yeadons Register for C1 Atlantics, I was able to blow up a cabside shot of 1419 and get a good look at that plate. While not the highest quality, it seems to read "L&NER 1419 Doncaster Works" and as for year I'd assume it is 1906 given 1419 was built that year. Given that on 1419's GN Builders Plate would read "1117", it's build number, the small plate is basically just to identify which engine it is regardless of it's original builder's plate. Off that info and styling, I found a shot of J39 4915's plate on GW Railwayana Auctions, and the top seems to match:

https://www.gwra.co.uk/auctions/lner-9- ... -0029.html

As for the base of the Atlantic plate, J6 4225 seems to match it nicely:

https://www.gwra.co.uk/auctions/london- ... -0243.html

If these are accurate to the Pacifics or even any other engines I'm not sure, but I hope this helps out! These photos certainly assisted me!
Attachments
c1Cab1419.png
Cabside view of 1419
c1Cab1419.png (267.86 KiB) Viewed 311 times
Plate1419.PNG
Close up of the plate
Plate1419.PNG (36.57 KiB) Viewed 311 times
29.jpg
4915's plate
243.jpg
4225's Doncaster Plate

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Re: Cabside plate on early LNER Locos - not the builders plate

Post by billbedford » Tue Nov 17, 2020 12:33 pm

I would recommend 'British Locomotive Builder's Plates' by Keith Buckle & David Love. 1994 pub: Midland Publishing Ltd ISBN; 1-85780-018-4, which has a couple of pages of photos of these plates.
Bill Bedford
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Re: Cabside plate on early LNER Locos - not the builders plate

Post by john coffin » Tue Nov 17, 2020 2:44 pm

Certainly both classes C12 and C13-4 carried these plates for most of the career in the LNER.

Whilst classes D1 and D2 carried these plates in different places. Many of them carried builders
plates on the splashers with the audit plates on the cab sides. Later though many of them carried the
audit plate on the splashers, and not necessarily the works plate.

Paul

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Re: Cabside plate on early LNER Locos - not the builders plate

Post by Robpulham » Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:02 pm

Brilliant, thanks again Gents.

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Re: Cabside plate on early LNER Locos - not the builders plate

Post by Robpulham » Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:02 pm

I had a bit of a DOH!! moment this morning when it sank in that Spiritprogress1938 had determined that the numbers used on these plates were in fact the loco number as opposed to the works number which I had previously surmised.

I must have been subconsciously thinking about it while asleep as it was there as soon as I woke up

Thanks again.

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