Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Industrial Locomotives of the West Midlands

Industrial Locomtives of the West Midlands 1947An interesting purchase for a couple of quid at a recent exhibition - The Birmingham Locomotive Clubs (later, the Industrial Railway Society) "Industrial Locomotives of the West Midlands" spotting book.

Covering central England, it lists the loco fleets of 140 different concerns using both standard and narrow gauge machines. The editor of the 44 page booklet is Eric S. Tonks.

I'm staggered at the range of business, a few that caught my eye:

Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers Ltd (Harbury)
Austin Motor Co,. Ltd (Longbridge)
City of Birmingham Electric Supply Dept
Birmingham Small Arms Co. Ltd (Small Heath)
City of Coventry Gas Dept (Foleshill)
Foleshill Railway Company
Haunchwood Brick & Tile Co. Ltd. (Stockingford)
Morris Motors Ltd (Courthouse Green, Coventry)
Wolseley Motors Ltd.
Hill Farm (Brockamin, Leigh)
Birmingham Canal Navigations (Norton Canes)
Crosse & Blackwell Ltd (Burton-on-Trent)
Samuel Griffiths, Scrap Dealer (Willenhall)
Midland Tar Distillers Ltd. (Oldbury and Chesterton)
Priestman's Depot (Brownhills)
Royal Ordnance Factory (Bescot)

and that ignores all the collieries. I'd take a bet that none of these businesses has anything to do with rail transport now. Some are fairly close to where I live so I might do a bit more digging to find out more about them. At a guess, we have over 1000 locomotives listed.

Inside Industrial Locomtives of the West Midlands 1947

As well as spotting lists (well marked in this copy) there are a few photos. Quite an achievement at this date for a low-volume publication.

I like the stamped number on the cover too. Presumably this is so a particular spotter couple identify his (let's face it, it was HIS) book in the even of a mix-up.

If you want a re-print of this book, you can buy it here.

or the modern equivalent here.

1 comment:

Matt Dawson said...

Eric Tonks featured in "The Train Now Departing":

24 minutes, 30 seconds in.