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LNER Brass Plate

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 8:41 pm
by sharp
Hi there,

I have owned the attached brass plate since around 1960 when, naively I wrote a letter to either Kings Cross Office or Stratford Works and simply asked if I could have a locomotive worksplate. Many moons later an open lorry turned with a Cash on Delivery (COD) invoice for a few shillings. The plate was wrapped in newspaper and clearly ex-loco as it was thick with grime.

I had the thing acid cleaned to remove all the muck and immediately coated it with polyurethane varnish (probably an illegal substance today!) to preserve the nice finish. This may be seen today as a mistake but we are where we are.

I have puzzled since then as to which locomotive it came from. The obvious candidate being Stratford built J20 BR number 64698 but that was not the subject of a rebuild in 1928 as indicated on the plate. J71 BR number 68293 was a Darlington loco and, again not rebuilt in 1928 and if it were, it would not likely to have been rebuilt at Stratford. I can’t imagine it was a plate from a tender as it is unlikely a tender rebuild would warrant a new worksplate.

So, the simple question is, ‘what does it come from?’

Any ideas?

I’d really appreciate your help.

Many thanks


Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 1:41 am
by richard
David sent me a picture of the workplate, and I suggested he post here.

Here is the picture - I've shrunk it down but it is still perfectly readable.


Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 11:54 am
by Colombo

As this is a worksplate, you have to consider the possibility that Stratford Works may have allocated works numbers to locomotives as opposed to running numbers. This enabled them to turn up the correct works records and drawings when it came back into the works. The traffic department was free to change loco numbers at any time, whereas the works number was sacrosanct.

As an extreme example of this in practise, think of The North British Locomotive Company, turning out locos for many different railway companies around the world: the running numbers meant very little to them. I have attached a picture of the works plate from the LMS Jubilee, Bahamas.

In which case it could be very difficult to identify the loco, crane, tender or whatever, without a copy of Stratford Works records and I have no idea where you would find this information.


Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 12:29 pm
by Colombo

Following my posting above, I have found a photo of the works plate on GE D16 Claud Hamilton, running no. 8900, and this is in the same format as your plate, with the number 8900 on it and the legend Rebuilt Stratford Works 1925.
So I have to consider that your J20 may have had enough work done on it in 1928 for Srtatford to consider it as a rebuild.


LNER Brass Plate

Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:31 pm
by cooperajn
There is nothing in the RCTS Green to apparently justify a Rebuild - and the loco would only have been five years old.
My guess would an accident which also damaged the plate; unfortunately I have no accident records.

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:47 am
by Colombo

As the J20s were built by the GER between 1920 and 1923, they could not originally have been fitted with an LNER works plate. But it seems to have been policy to fit a new works plate with the new corporate identity at the first opportunity.

For example, Yeadon Appendix 1. shows a plate for 5364 Lord Faringdon which states London and North Eastern Railway 5364 Gorton Works 1906. This loco was GCR 364.

There are examples of other pre grouping loco that have been fitted with similar plates in the same book.

It seems likely that your J20 would have had a major overhaul and perhaps exchanged its boiler in 1928 and so qualified for a rebuilt plate, or as you say, it may have been in an accident, or perhaps it was just a mistake.