GNR 1880s black goods loco livery?

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GNR 1880s black goods loco livery?

Post by Atlantic 3279 »

In "Great Northern Locomotive History, Volume 2" N. Groves mentions use of a black livery with red lining on some (or was it all?) GNR goods locos some time in the 1880s. In reference to the "standard goods" 0-6-0s (some of which survived as LNER J4/J3) he appears to me to state that the black livery was used from 1886 to the early 1990s, i.e between the Brunswick green inherited from Sturrock and the later extension of lighter green passenger loco livery to all classes. In reference to the smaller-wheeled 0-6-0s whose survivors were LNER J7, first built in 1883, he seems to say that black was used before 1886 then light green after that date.
I'm not too anxious about the uncertainty of the exact dates, but I am curious to know whether the black was applied to all 0-6-0s of various sizes and ages, at least once. Were any tank engines or 0-4--2 tender locos given the black livery too? Also, while photographs from the 1880s do exist, and on looking hard enough it may be possible to find examples that appear to show a black livery, I imagine that all of these will have been taken using virtually red-blind emulsion, giving no hint of the presence and layout of the red lining unless by some fluke the lighting was extremely favourable. I am therefore interested to know whether there is any record of the layout of the red lining, and of the lettering that accompanied it (if it differed from the lettering on green locos).
I would guess that double red lining of boiler bands and single red edge lining of main panels can be fairly safely assumed, but would the vintage lined black livery also include the double-lined panel with inset corners on the tender?
Is anybody already in possession of the most reliable answers to these questions please? I know that the Stirling-era policy of destroying most older records may severely limit surviving knowledge.
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Re: GNR 1880s black goods loco livery?

Post by john coffin »

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, most railways experimented with their painting to save money,
and the GNR was no exception.
There are few drawing type records of the paint other than the later Grass Green diagrams which include
the saddle tanks and the N1's.All the passenger loco dias I have seen show Grass Green.

However, what is known is that towards the end of Stirling's reign, many goods locos were painted
black, this includes 0-4-2's WT, also 0-4-0WT,s Saddle tanks and some of the 0-6-0 tender locos

Personally, from research I have carried out, I believe that it was mainly London suburban locos that this covered
and I believe that Kings Cross was still carrying out repairs which might well have included painting
and were suffering from a skilled staff shortage.

it did not seem to cover the G1/2/3 0-4-4T, nor any passenger locos, and more importantly did not last
more than around 15 years in terms of beginning to repainting in the Grass Green, and this stayed until
1914/5 with the wider scale introduction of the Lighter Gray.
As for the lining, I think Greame, that you are correct too. DIdn't think Grantham went that far back.

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Re: GNR 1880s black goods loco livery?

Post by Atlantic 3279 »

Thanks Paul. I don't expect Grantham's era to change one jot, but that need not prevent me from building the odd locomotive model or two from other periods.
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Re: GNR 1880s black goods loco livery?

Post by john coffin »

The only extra comment Graeme, is it was I am pretty sure restricted to the London Suburban area rather than all over the
GNR, it seems pretty certain it was not done at Doncaster, but rather KX.

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Re: GNR 1880s black goods loco livery?

Post by manna »

G'Day Gents

The only 'Black' loco on the GNR I've ever heard about was one of Ivatt's 0-8-0's (401 ?) painted black with red lining, didn't last long though.

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Re: GNR 1880s black goods loco livery?

Post by Atlantic 3279 »

Although the (much later) Ivatt 0-8-0 may be the only example for which a clear record now seems to survive, I'm happy to believe that Groves did not simply "make up a story" about use of a lined black livery on at least some 0-6-0s some time in the 1880s, but if he had source material containing additional information it is a shame that the full information did not appear in the book.

In some ways I find the whole book on the Stirling classes quite a demanding read, if details for model making are required, since "complete" information about each particular class tends not to be given. Only by studying the whole book, more than once, did I realise that most of the information is actually there if you look at all of the loco classes that shared components and /or were built around the same date.
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Re: GNR 1880s black goods loco livery?

Post by john coffin »

It is worth remembering who helped Groves in his endeavors.

Doncaster had only closed around 1966, as far as building locos, carriages and wagons, thus many of the works staff who would
have had history at the works pre-war, or a family tradition of working at the plant that went back pre-grouping, and thus
able to answer different questions. W. O. Skeat had been at the plant for many years, since he started at the plant as an apprentice
in 1921, and he was just one of those who contributed to the knowledge base, which built on the work of Bird.

Other contributors in terms of data were K. H. Leech and Maurice Boddy all of whom had a good knowledge of practices at the Plant.
The really sad thing for us now is that both Grove and others wrote at a time when books were published about railways, that spent their
time talking about engine performance, not the things we need to know now.

I believe from what I have read that Groves does a really good job for something that was written between 120 and 50 years after the events
and of course more than 10 years after Doncaster archives were scattered to the winds.

That we have the data we do is just a bonus, trying to second guess it is to say the least optimistic.

Paul
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Re: GNR 1880s black goods loco livery?

Post by john coffin »

Carter Railway Liveries states

1886 Number of suburban tank locos experimentally painted black, Goods engines were Black as standard.

post 1886 All engines and tenders painted grass green.

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Re: GNR 1880s black goods loco livery?

Post by john coffin »

Just received a copy of the Digby railway liveries book vol 3 which covers the East Coast railways.
The beauty of this book is the coloured drawings, but even though he references Carter, he does not
mention seeing any detail of Black locos which is interesting. I think this was the publication that
collected together stuff that had been in BRM when it first came out.

So I think unless you are modelling 1880-1890 then black is not a colour you would use.

Paul
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Re: GNR 1880s black goods loco livery?

Post by Atlantic 3279 »

I agree that it seems fairly safe to conclude that outside of the 1880s black looks unlikely.
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Re: GNR 1880s black goods loco livery?

Post by john coffin »

Mind you Graeme, there is a rumour floating in the ether that some of the Ivatt 0-8-0's were run in black,
but I have found no written evidence of this extending on No 401 when first ex works,

The rest of the class was painted Green from 1906, when I also think 401 was painted green too.
In 1912 many were painted the grey, which followed through to war time.

In LNER times they were painted Black, lined.

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Re: GNR 1880s black goods loco livery?

Post by 65447 »

john coffin wrote: Thu Apr 22, 2021 12:02 pm Just received a copy of the Digby railway liveries book vol 3 which covers the East Coast railways.
The beauty of this book is the coloured drawings, but even though he references Carter, he does not
mention seeing any detail of Black locos which is interesting. I think this was the publication that
collected together stuff that had been in BRM when it first came out.

So I think unless you are modelling 1880-1890 then black is not a colour you would use.

Paul
It's volume 2 and I would not place too much credence on the contents; a guide but neither definitive nor complete.
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Re: GNR 1880s black goods loco livery?

Post by john coffin »

And you have access to something more explicit, then why not share rather than knock published work???????????

Paul
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