An Unusual Collection

Discussion in 'Gallery' started by oldravendale, 4 November 2018.

  1. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Some while ago I bought a photo album for next to nothing - the pictures are of poor quality and, on an initial review, were mainly of subjects in which I have relatively little interest. However my thought was that anything railway would fit with my collection and that there may be some pictures worth salvaging.

    Recent closer inspection has shown that there are many of the LMS Euston electric sets and must go back to the late 1950s as most are of the Oerlikon units which I personally just remember. The majority of the others are of London Transport subjects at around the same date. (I've already forwarded a few scans to Yorkshire Dave:)). The exclusivity of this collection suggests that the photographer may have had a professional interest in electric stock. The name inside the album is D M Herbert so I claim no copyright.

    On the whole the photo quality is pretty awful. Most seem to be contact prints from negatives and the dirt and hairs suggest that these were probably home processed. I have, however, now scanned the complete collection. This has allowed me to use Photoshop to improve contrast and remove dirt - that's taking a couple of hours minimum for each photo so it's not quick. Regrettably there's little I can do about focus - or lack of it. However the potential historic value may be significant.

    This is the first one I've done. There's a Class 501 unit on the left of this photo (at least I believe that's what it is - my knowledge of such things is sorely lacking). I don't know where or a firm date, but immediately after the introduction of the 501s which replaced the Oerlikons, so 1958-ish seems likely. The sides are endorsed "SCRAP" rather than the cross within a circle with which I'm familiar. Above the window to the right of the open door on the nearest vehicle is a destination board for Watford. Sadly the vehicle number is not decipherable. As for location, I'll guess Stonebridge Park.

    Once again, if there's interest I'll be happy to publish these photos as I deal with them.


    img381.  FINAL JPEG.jpg
    Genghis, Rob R, jonte and 8 others like this.
  2. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Yes please, Brian! That's a fascinating picture and yes, that's something that will be a 501 (basically a 2 and half EPB - 3 cars on 57' underframes rather than pairs on 64' - as I understand it...).

    farnetti likes this.
  3. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    I would say they were taken at Croxley Green Depot.

    Croxley Green (David Warby photo) from the Disused Stations website

    For comparison - Stonebridge Park LT depot.

    Croxley Green depot was here:

    Are there photos of the later LMS units i.e. the predecessors of the 501's?

    It appears from the LT photos you've sent me and this one here they are taken in and around the Chorleywood, Rickmansworth, Watford, Aylesbury area. Out of curiousity are there any non-railway ones of the locale including buses?

    I also look forward to seeing the other electric stock photos. :)
    jonte, P A D, oldravendale and 2 others like this.
  4. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    I believe that there are a few photos of the later LMS units, Dave, but they are similar to the Oerlikon sets and I'm not certain how to tell t'other from which. I'll publish as I clean them up, which will take a while.

  5. cbrailways

    cbrailways Western Thunderer

    Certainly Croxley shed. Been in there a few times in my early railway career (1969ish).
    oldravendale likes this.
  6. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Confirmation of location - thanks Chris and Dave.

  7. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Following the hiatus of a new PC with Win 10 which needed some manipulation to make work with my very old edition of Photoshop Elements (thanks Steph!) I'm now working on some more of these files. Any info would once again be extremely useful. The contact prints from which these photos are taken are very poor and take an age to process, so completing the album will be slow.

    Firstly, definitely an Oerlikon set. This one looks as though it may be in working condition. Location is unconfirmed but possibly Croxley Green again. Date is also unknown but I'd put it probably at the mid to late '50s/

    img381 - Copy (3).jpg

    Following the information earlier on in this thread I can be pretty positive that this is Croxley Green. Certainly the Oerlikon vehicles here are withdrawn as "SCRAP" is clearly visible on the body sides. I wonder whether these were being stripped for parts, as otherwise why store vehicles for scrap in expensive inside storage space?

    img381 - Copy (4).jpg

    Not a clue what this is apart from being an appalling photo! Possibly a control unit from an Oerlikon set, and possibly at Croxley Green, but I've no way of knowing.

    img381 - Copy (5).jpg

    cbrailways, Rob R, Rob Pulham and 5 others like this.
  8. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Here's two more. The first is more Oerlikon stock with Class 501 units in the foreground and in front of the LMS unit. M75143 can be identified as the nearest vehicle. Again it's possible that the Oerlikon unit may still be working as a motorman seems to be exiting the cab.

    img382 - Copy (2).jpg

    For me this is a rather interesting shot. Is it Liverpool Street? And what would the date be? Units 296 and 433 can be easily identified.

    img382 - Copy (3).jpg

  9. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    More than likely it's Liverpool St as the unit on the right were generally used on the Enfield services. Could be Fenchurch St but unlikely.

    Photo taken in the rain as well judging by the reflections on the platforms.
  10. John K

    John K Western Thunderer

    It's tricky because the one on the left is an AM2 Fenchurch St - Shoeburyness 4-car unit, and on the right is an AM5/1 Liverpool St - Enfield and Chingford 3-car unit.
    All of the Eastern Region EMUs were interchangeable and they could all could run on any of the GE and LT&S electric lines.
    Having said all that, I'm pretty sure its Liverpool St not Fenchurch St because of the width of the platforms.
    John K
  11. 76043

    76043 Western Thunderer

    Looks like West Side Liverpool Street to me, you can also see an arched window in the far background above the number 433. Platforms too wide for Fenchurch. The AM2 (302s) were used all over the GE section as they were built before the Fenchurch St electrification was completed.
    AJC and adrian like this.
  12. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    The "appalling photo" in post 7 shows two controllers. The control handle is on top and works in an arc rotating the vertical shaft which has insulated and conducting parts and roller 'fingers' to change how much power reaches the traction motors. They are bigger than a tram controller and look like they might be motorised for MU operation.
    76043 likes this.
  13. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Thank you all for your very kind help and observations. These help considerably in adding some information which up to now has been sorely lacking.

    As far as the GE units are concerned, any thoughts about a possible date? Neither of the units appears to have a yellow end which might be a starter!

    As stated earlier, these photos are outside any focus of personal interest but they have accrued a sort of mystique over the years. They also seem to be of subjects which were rarely photographed so I'll continue to plug away at them, despite their poor condition.

    Rob R likes this.
  14. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    100% Liverpool street but unusual to see an AM2 on the west side, but then equally rare to see an AM5 on the East side, just one of those life's mysteries
  15. 76043

    76043 Western Thunderer

    According to Wikipedia the 302's were introduced between 1958-60 and the 305's 1959-60, and if the first Yellow warning panel appeared in 1962, then that gives you a timeframe.

    Wikipedia even claims the first 20 302's stayed on the GE section for the bulk of their lives.
    British Rail Class 302 - Wikipedia

    I don't know, I wasn't even born then... ;)
  16. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Thanks for your research on this one. Between 1959 and '62 I'd just started my train spotting career.:) Look at the fine mess it got me in to......

  17. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    I managed to get three more done this evening.

    First looks to me like the dead man's handle in a cab, but is this from an Oerlikon unit, a later LMS unit , 501 or even tube stock? Possibly, at this distance in time, a rhetorical question, but still worth asking.

    img382 - Copy (4).jpg

    This one is possibly one of the worst in the collection, but of interest nonetheless. The signal box board confirms the location as Stonebridge Park. In view of the presence of a brake van I'm wondering whether this is Oerlikon stock on the way to the breakers yard.

    img382 - Copy (5).jpg

    More withdrawn Oerlikon stock possibly at Croxley Green again. For some reason the photographer had a fixation with the Oerlikon units although there's more BR and tube stock (and even a very few steam loco photos) to come.

    img382 - Copy.jpg

  18. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    The photographic quality may be indifferent but it is still a fascinating record of the last days of the Oerlikon stock.
    76043 likes this.
  19. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    How many hours of gentle rubbing by a uniform jacket sleeve to polish away all the paint on the control desk?

    Eeeh, they don’t make uniforms like that any more...
    76043 likes this.
  20. GWR Jim

    GWR Jim Western Thunderer


    I have no modelling interest in these photos but, boy do I find them fascinating!! There is so much going on in them and of course questions, perhaps, can still be answered by some of those still around at this time.

    Thanks for all your work and time in posting these.

    It got me thinking how many collections of value to us Railway Overcoats, (Not Anoraks) have been 'binned'.

    Keep them coming.